Hanoi to Halong Bay: How to travel to Halong from Hanoi?

Halong Bay is one of the famous tourist destinations in Vietnam and is recognized by UNESCO as a world heritage site with thousands of majestic limestone islands and beautiful scenery. If you're planning on getting from Hanoi to Halong Bay, let's look at this “Hanoi to Halong Bay: How to travel to Halong from Hanoi?” to find out about suitable means of transportation, time, and cost to help you choose the best travel route.


1. What to know before traveling to Halong Bay

Hanoi to Ha Long Bay distance: 170 km 


• 2 hours 30 minutes via the new national highway 5B (only for 4-wheel vehicles)

• 3.5 hours via National Route 18 (all vehicles allowed)

The Hanoi - Hai Phong Expressway has shortened the travel time from Hanoi to Ha Long Bay to 2 hours and 30 minutes, bringing convenience and enhancing the travel experience for visitors. Thus, you can save a lot of time on a one-day sightseeing trip. If money is not an issue, choose luxury and private transport.

2. 6 best ways to travel to Halong from Hanoi

Hanoi to Ha Long is one of the most popular tourist routes in Vietnam, very convenient for two-way travel. With a distance of 170 km and an improved transportation system, visitors can easily move through different means of transport. In this part, we will list the 6 best ways to travel to Ha Long from Hanoi, from the pros and cons to the price of each means of transport.

Means of transport

Travel time

Cost/ one way

Shuttle bus - The most popular

2,5 hours

USD 9 - 16

Luxury bus (Limousine) - the most comfortable

2,5 hours

USD 11 - 25

Private Car - Best for Privacy

3 hours

USD 110 - 250

Seaplane - A new experience

0,75 hours

USD 250 - 450

Motorcycle - The most adventurous

4 hours

USD 6 - 8

Train - Travel like a local

7 hours

USD 4 - 5

Traveling from Ha Long Bay to Hanoi usually go through the same route. Booking return tickets from shuttle bus companies and private delivery companies will guarantee you a hassle-free trip if you have a clear travel schedule. If you are going to Hanoi airport, the most convenient means include shuttle bus, luxury bus and private car.


2.1. Shuttle bus - The most popular

Shuttle bus, also known as "tourist bus", is the most popular means of transportation from Hanoi to Ha Long Bay. There are many different types of shuttle buses from Hanoi to Ha Long, with 9 to 45 seats and basic equipment such as air conditioning, bottled water, etc.

• Travel time: 2.5 hours

• Cost: Ticket price from Hanoi to Ha Long is about USD 9 to USD 16 /way/person

• Ideal for: Travelers on a limited budget, solo travelers, and backpackers


• Savings: The economical choice of the best means of transport from Hanoi to Ha Long Bay

• Convenience: Full equipment combined with good service


• Fixed time and schedule

• Often crowded, not offer large space

How to book a shuttle bus?

Shuttle buses are provided by many tour bus companies and cruise companies with prices ranging from USD 9 USD to USD 16 for one way. 

Shuttle Bus Operators

Departure time

Ticket price

Phone Number

Doan Xuan

Hanoi: 6h50 - 17h30

Ha Long: 7:00 - 18:00

200.000 VND (~ USD 9)

0981 413 413

Hai Au

Hanoi: 6:30 am - 16:30 pm              

Ha Long: 5:20am -6:40pm

200.000VND (~ USD 9)

0964 202 094

Kumho Viet Thanh

BigC Hanoi: 10am, 5pm

Ha Long: 6am - 6pm

150.000VND (~ USD 7)

094 889 0033

Hoang Cong

Hanoi: 3h00 - 21h00

Ha Long: 5:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m

180.000VND (~ USD 8)

0964 202 094

Indochina Bus 

Hanoi: 8:30am

Ha Long: 11:30am

200.000VND (~ 9 USD)

1900 272 708

In addition, if you want a cheaper price (USD5 - USD9), choose using local buses from three main bus stops from which most local buses depart: My Dinh Bus Station, Gia Lam Bus Station, and Giap Bat Bus Station.

2.2. Luxury bus (Limousine) - the most comfortable

If you want to experience superior service, traveling by limousine from Hanoi to Ha Long Bay will be a great choice for your travel. Besides basic amenities such as free drinking water and air conditioning system, a luxury limousine with 7 to 9 seats will provide the most comfortable ride with a higher standard.

• Travel time: 2.5 hours

• Price: About USD 11 - USD 25/way/person, including free pick up and drop off in the city. There will be a surcharge for suburban pick-up.

• Ideal for: Travelers with a high budget, families


• Comfort: Offering top-notch amenities such as free wifi, massage chairs, LCD screens, sound system, automatic doors, etc.

• Good service: The driver is friendly, can solve some basic problems

• Simple and fast travel on the new highway


• More expensive than normal shuttle bus service

How to book a premium bus?

Not only Limousine operators, but many cruise companies also offer premium bus services with pick up and drop off services. Usually, many travelers choose to book a luxury cruise in Ha Long Bay, which includes a combined transport package or sometimes also includes free shipping.

Limousine Operators

Departure time

Ticket price

Phone Number

Ha Long Travel 

Hanoi: 5:30am - 8pm

Ha Long: 5:30am - 8pm

250.000 VND (~ USD 11)

0964 202 094

Van Don Xanh Limousine

Hanoi: 5:30am - 9pm

Ha Long: 5:30am - 9pm

260.000 VND (~ USD 12)

0843 556 633

Anh Huy

Hanoi: 3:30 am - 9 pm

250.000-300.000VND (~ USD 11-13)


Hoang Phu Limousine

Hanoi: 5am - 7pm

Ha Long: 5am - 7pm

220.000-270.000VND (~ USD 10-12)

0961 690 056

Phúc Xuyên Limousine

Hanoi: 12am - 5pm

Ha Long: 3:30pm - 7:30pm

260.000VND (~ 12 USD)

1900 6799


2.3. Private Car - Best for Privacy

You can rent a private car from Hanoi to Ha Long through cruise companies or travel agencies. You will be picked up and dropped off at designated points by a luxury limousine.

• Travel time: 2 to 2.5 hours for the trip from Hanoi to Ha Long City via the new highway

• Price: USD 110 to USD 250/way, depending on vehicle type (4, 7, or 16 seats), and trip duration (1, 2, or 3 days).

• Ideal for: Couples, Families with kids, Groups of friends, Business travelers.


• Flexible: Flexible timing and easily adjustable route

• Fits the budget: Lower prices due to cost sharing for team members

• More privacy: The best privacy and comfort


• High cost

How to book a private car?

To book a private car from Hanoi to Ha Long, there are many private car rental companies and services in Hanoi, which you can find through websites, mobile apps or consult a friend or colleague who has used a similar service before… Here are some private car operators that we suggest:

Private car operators


Phone Number

Hanoi Transfer Service Company



0982358282 (Viber/Zalo/Whatsapp)

Mai Linh Taxi





(Mobile App)

 GreenLion Bus


     +84 243 828 4555

Taxi Go


1900 0370


2.4. Seaplane - A new experience

Don't forget that there is no direct flight between Hanoi and Ha Long Bay. If you are looking for a fun way to explore Ha Long, a seaplane can offer a unique experience.

• Flight time: only 45 minutes (additional 15 minutes for the tour)

• Price: USD 350 - USD 450/one way/person (fares may vary by season and time of day)

• Ideal for: Wealthy Travelers, Couples, Active Travelers, Luxury Travelers


• Fastest means: Private, fast and equipped with free Wi-Fi and 4G internet connection

• Professional staff: Professional travel service with well-trained and experienced staff

• Stunning view: An extraordinary way to see the stunning landscape of Ha Long Bay from above

• The most prestigious and exclusive seaplane supplier will ensure your safety and precious experience


• Not suitable for people with heart disease or fear of heights

How to book tickets on seaplane:

Seaplane supplier: Hai Au Aviation is the only supplier of seaplanes from Hanoi to Ha Long Bay

• Regular flight: 45 minutes

• Panoramic flight: 15 minutes

• Departure port: Noi Bai International Airport - Counter E09, Hall E, Terminal 1, Noi Bai International Airport, Hanoi

• Arrival port: Tuan Chau Wharf - Villa T7, Tuan Chau district, Ha Long city, Quang Ninh province

Things to know before flying a seaplane:

• Don't forget to bring your passport with you when checking in.

• Please be present at least 30 minutes before departure time to check-in.

• Each passenger is allowed 7 kg of baggage free of charge (not applicable for infants). For baggage exceeding the specified weight, a surcharge will apply.

• A flight that requires at least 4 passengers, not suitable for couples and solo travelers. In this case, you can request a private charter flight.

• A seaplane flight to Halong Bay allows up to 12 passengers.

• Passengers weighing over 110 kg will be charged a weight fee to purchase a second seat.

• Make sure you're in good health, don't have heart disease or are afraid of heights.


2.5. Motorcycle - The most adventurous

Instead of traveling to Ha Long from Hanoi by bus or train, choosing to go by motorbike is a better choice for those who have an adventurous soul.

• Time: 3.5 - 4 hours, flexible and depends on you

• Price: ~ USD 6 - USD 8/day for motorbike rental

• Ideal for: Solo travelers, Adventurers, Young people, Nature lovers


• Adventure: A memorable adventure especially for those who love nature and real experiences

• Autonomy: An autonomous and cost-effective means of traveling on two wheels

• Sightseeing: Great opportunity to see stunning mountain ranges, charming beaches, and beautiful sights along the way

• Unforgettable: A precious memory to share with your travel friends


• Dangerous and may encounter unexpected scams when renting motorbikes

How to book a motorbike rental?

There are motorbike rental centers in Hanoi that we recommended such as: 

• MOTOGO: 81 Nguyen Kha Trac, Mai Dich, Hanoi

• AZ Motorbikes: 55 lane 76/35 Duong An Duong, Tay Ho, Hanoi

• Happy Zip Motorbikes: 451 Hong Ha Street, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi

• Tigit Motorbikes Hanoi: 10 alley 603 Lac Long Quan street, Xuan La ward, Tay Ho district, Hanoi

Things to know before traveling by motorbike to Ha Long Bay from Hanoi:

• Prepare a driver's license, good driving skills, adequate fuel, and other essentials.

• When renting a motorbike, you will have to place a deposit and send a copy of your passport (sometimes your flight information).

• After picking up the car, be sure to ask for your insurance documents and vehicle ownership certificate (photocopy).

• Make sure your motorcycle is in good condition, full of fuel, and thoroughly checked for any problems.

• Make sure you bring essentials like a map, drinking water, some clothes, spare fuel, raincoat, etc.

• Highly recommend going with friends (4-10 people) to avoid getting lost and can help each other in case of trouble during the trip.


2.6. Train - Travel like a local

Traveling from Hanoi to Ha Long Bay by train is the slowest and safest means, thanks to the authentic experience it offers. This can be a great opportunity to see and enjoy the beautiful scenery on either side of the railway.

• Time: ~7 hours

• Price: ~ USD 5 /way/person

• Ideal for: culture lovers, budget travelers, singles, solo travelers


• Sightseeing: the perfect opportunity to enjoy the panoramic views and take stunning photos for your travel collection

• Local: authentic travel experience in Vietnam to enjoy the relaxed atmosphere

• Save money: offer the cheapest ticket price and is considered safer than other types of transportation


• Long time and not convenient

How to book train tickets?

You can only catch the train at 4:55 am from Yen Vien station in Gia Lam, Hanoi, to Ha Long station, located in Gieng Day Ward, the east of Bai Chay City. 

3. Tips for choosing means of transport to Ha Long from Hanoi for various types of travelers

For independent travelers and self-sufficient travelers

• Recommended transport: Shuttle bus

• The best method to get to Ha Long Bay from Hanoi if you are traveling alone and have a limited budget is to go by shuttle bus (priced from USD 14.12 to USD 18.50/way) or local bus ( about USD 9.25 - USD 18.50/way).

• Total one-way travel time ranges from 2.5 to 3 hours. Motorcycling is also another option, however, not strongly recommended. This will take about 4 hours, but the stunning views along the way are worth it.

For families with children and groups of friends

• Top pick: Private car

• When traveling in groups or as a family, other people are often present and the protection of children is a priority. Therefore, renting a private car with a range of capacities to suit the number of people is the best option. Travel time is between 2.5 and 3 hours and prices range from $92.50 to $140.76 one way.

For couples and luxury travelers

• Best Suggestion: Seaplane

• The best way to travel is by seaplane, which is strongly recommended if money is not an issue. Depending on the tourist season, the cost per person ranges from 164.89 USD to 440.95 USD.

For elderly travelers

• Best advice: Luxury bus (Limousine)

• From 50 years old and above, you should consider your health condition before choosing a means of transportation. Luxury buses are high-quality vehicles (this is important for your safety while traveling) and are comfortable with ample interior space.


4. Conclusion

On the journey from Hanoi to Halong Bay, there are a variety of vehicles and transportation options for you to discover the beauty of this famous tourist destination. From traveling by shuttle bus or motorbike to using the train or bus, each method has its own advantages and conveniences.

Whether you're someone who wants to experience the comfort and convenience of a limousine or enjoy a romantic train ride, we hope this “Hanoi to Ha Long Bay: How to travel to Ha Long from Hanoi?” article will provide you with the best answer on your discovery journey in Vietnam.

Besides, if you are planning to visit Halong Bay and looking for information about this beautiful destination, just check out Halong Travel tip from A to Z

Read more:

=> Best overnight cruise in Halong Bay

=> Halong Bay Shore Excursions - Day Tour

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