How to travel from Hanoi to Halong (Part 1)


 There are many choices for transport from Hanoi to Halong Bay. Check the list below and choose which is the best convenient and suitable for your trip.

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Popular local bus

By far the cheapest way to get to Halong Bay from Hanoi is by public bus. Just as with any city, a public bus is economical for the local as well as the tourist. As it is part of an everyday busy route, this option will allow a look into the life of the local Vietnamese. However, also just like any city, public buses provide certain pitfalls that make it less than the ideal way to travel.

  • From bus stations such as Luong Yen Bus, My Dinh bus or Gia Lam in Hanoi to Bai Chay bus station in Halong City.
  • The price can be as low as 6USD
  • You could visit here to check the price at
  • Take approximately 4 hours to complete
  • The common route is Hanoi – Hai Duong – Hai Phong – Bai Chay (Ha Long).
Local bus (via

Straightforward shuttle bus

The shuttle bus, on the other hand, offers just a step up in terms of comfort and convenience. This mode of transportation is typically referred to as the tourist bus because it focuses on the needs of foreign travelers.

The route will begin in Hanoi Old Quarter, making it even more convenient for those in the area, though a quick taxi will also get you to the meeting spot in no time. These shuttles and minibuses are suitable for smaller groups of tourists and go direct to Halong Bay, so it is much easier to maneuver when you are not very familiar with Vietnam. However, just like with all buses, you will want to consider the time you will have.

If you are planning on staying in Halong for a couple of days, taking a bus at any time can be cheap and convenient. However, if you are planning for one day alone, work with your cruise operators to make sure that you leave no later than 8am so that you will be able to catch up your cruise and really see some sights of the bay before having to come right back to Hanoi.

Painless private car/taxi

Taxi (via

Though not the most economical choice, hiring a taxi or a private car is certainly one of the most carefree ways of traveling from Hanoi to Halong Bay. While it will take just as long as a bus or train in many instances, taking a car provides privacy and a direct route from point A to point B.

This may be a good choice for families with many bags or many participants so that everyone is sitting nice and cozy together without worry. It can also be helpful for business travelers who need to do work on the way without as many interruptions or distractions. Most hotels will gladly assist you with organizing a taxi or private car and included in this category are hotel/airport transfers as well.

There are many companies that will help make the changeover from Hanoi airport to Halong Bay the easiest possible without worry or despair that you can’t find the driver, don’t understand the language, or are not sure how to manage the local currency.

And for the more adventurous and independent still, you can always rent a car for yourself so that you have the freedom to journey through the Vietnamese landscape at your own pace. All of these options will push you much closer to the 60-100USD range, but it may be worth it.

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