How to travel from Hanoi to Halong (Part 2)


Travelling from Hanoi to Halong is one of the most popular routes for tourists coming to Vietnam. In the age of modern technology, there are heaps of options available for all kinds of travel needs. We suggest the most convenient transports to help your trip more easier.

>> How to travel from Hanoi to Halong (Part 1)

Mischievous motorcycle

Though not remotely the conventional choice, for those travelers looking for a real adventure experience, motorcycling is yet another option to get from Hanoi to Halong Bay. 

You will get 1 -2 helmets and a tourist map if hiring motorbike in companies, not the local shop around Old Quarter and the deposit would be from $250 to $400.

The common route is same as local bus, however, there are more than 2 different routes to Halong Bay so you need to study the map carefully. Keep in mind that the traffic in Vietnam is quite chaotic, messy and may get you confused.

Traditional train

The train is another popular public option that has its pros and cons, though it is more widely utilized by locals than tourists. While trains offer lovely views and are usually quicker than buses, the train from Hanoi to Halong Bay can take as long as 7 hours and is not generally consistent.

Traditional train (via vietexpresstravel)
From there, tourists will have to take a cab to get to the city center. This adds still more time and expense to your journey. You will have to leave at an early hour so as to maximise your day. Since the station is about 5km from the harbor, you would need to add a short taxi ride if taking a ferry as well. Vietnamese trains usually offer a choice between air-conditioned “soft seats” and more traditional wooden “hard seats”. From Hanoi to Halong, only hard seats are available.

These are local trains not tourist trains so while some will think it’s an amazing opportunity to ride with the locals, others may not prefer the unreliability of length, schedule and last-minute cancellations.

High-flying helicopters

Another slightly more adventurous form of transport from Hanoi to Halong Bay is the helicopter. Quick and thrilling, a helicopter allows for a lovely view of Halong Bay from the skies above and only 45 minutes of commute time. The flight leaves from Gia Lam Airport, a small airfield owned by the army. Helicopter capacity is 7 people total, including pilots and passengers, so only small groups can travel together. Many helicopter rides are combined with other tours as part of their transport to or from the bay. This making it significantly less expensive than hiring a private helicopter which could amount to thousands of USD.

While this form of transportation is certainly decadent and luxurious, helicopters may be fearsome to some.  The potential dangers of flight and are not at all economically friendly.  It could certainly be a fantastic treat if you can afford it. However because of the expense, it is not an overly popular choice. It doesn’t usually compare to the less expensive forms of travel available.

Helicopter (via helicoptertohalongbayvietnam)

Stunning seaplanes

Another form of aerial transport is probably the best option available for time, luxury, and even economic value. Hai Au Aviation offers the unique one-of-a-kind flight seaplane flight experience from Hanoi to Halong Bay.

Just as with helicopters, the flight only takes a speedy 45-minutes. It leaves you much more time to enjoy the bay and all it has to offer. While more expensive than most ground transportation, a seaplane flight is far less expensive than a helicopter.

Direct flights to or from Hanoi to Halong Bay run from 275 USD and include stunning views of the bay below. Hai Au Aviation also offers many combination packages and tour deals which combine a seaplane flight with cruises, hotels, and many Halong Bay excursions of one or multiple day options.

These packages make it even more economical to pursue the beauty of a seaplane flight in combination with ground or transport either way. People who dislike air travel or who have a large group with them may not prefer this form of transportation. But for the adventurous or indulgent at heart, seaplane travel is the most beautiful and optimal form of transport.

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