HANOI TO HALONG | Best Way To Go To Halong Bay 2018

Nguyen Mai Huong - October 30, 2018

Recognised as UNESCO World Heritage Site, Halong Bay, located in North Vietnam, receives millions of international tourists each year. With stunning beaches, majestic islands, splendid caves and a wide range of amazing activities, the destination must be in the bucket list of every visitor.

Regarding the concern of tourists over how to reach Halong Bay, we would love to share everything you need, from different means of transportations, durations, fares, availability to their pros and cons, in this article!

You are sure to be offered a wide range of options when it comes to transportations. Here is a feature comparison table so that you can have a general look into each type.

  Coach Shuttle Bus Private car Train Seaplane/



Time taken 4 – 5 hrs 2.5 – 3.5 hrs 3 hrs 5 – 7 hrs 45 – 60 min
Cost US$4 – 8/person US$8 – 10/person US$45 – 60/way US$4 – 15/person US100 – 450/person/way
Availability first – 6 am


last – 9 pm

first – 5 am


last – 9 pm

24/7 5 am or 7 am 9 am or 2 pm

Hanoi to Halong by coach: Travel as a local at the cheapest price

With the distance of 170 km from Hanoi, travelling by coach is considered the most popular means of transportation among local people. There are now more than 20 local coach operators whose vehicles range from 29 to 45-seater coaches. You can choose your suitable pick-up points among My Dinh, Gia Lam or Giap Bat Bus Station, etc. for your best convenience. Passengers are free to drop off at Halong city, Bai Chay beach or Tuan Chau, etc. The coach fare, therefore, is subject to various factors such as coach types, pick-up and drop-off points.

Hanoi to Halong

A typical coach that will take you to Halong


Travelling by coach is preferred by Vietnamese people because of its affordability and flexibility. This means of transportation provides eager travellers with an amazing opportunity to authentically experience as the local at a cheap price.


Hanoi To Halong

It is never easy to find the right coach in such a large bus station.

  • Moving to the bus station may put you to inconvenience since many tourists usually stay at the Old Quarter.
  • Besides, passengers are required to contact in advance or directly go to the ticket office to purchase a ticket. However, neither service providers such as drivers nor ticket salesmen at the bus station speak foreign languages. Language barrier pose an enormous challenge which should be seriously considered. Miscommunication may result in unexpected problems for you.
  • What is more, as the fare is rather low, the quality of the journey is not guaranteed. It is not recommended especially to those travelling with children because too many passengers can be crammed into one coach. The driver may also stop multiple times during the route to pick up more passengers.

Hanoi to Halong by shuttle bus: Go with the best comfortability you can ever imagined

Shuttle bus is beyond doubt a great alternative for local coach because it mainly serves international tourists. Vehicles provided are all high quality 9 to 16-seater limousine buses with luxurious interior. Passengers are taken straight to the destinations. Further Information to Travel to Halong Bay from Hanoi by Shuttle Bus


  • The driver has a sufficient command of English, so communication with foreign customers is not really a big deal.
  • Also, Wi-Fi access and phone charger plugs are available to ensure the greatest convenience.

Hanoi To Halong

You can have a look at the interior of the shuttle bus.

  • Another plus is that service providers are willing to pick you up at your accommodation without additional charge.
  • Shuttle bus tickets are easily booked via websites such as vexegiare.com and travelertick.com or phone call. Another possible way is to directly contact local tourist agency at the Old Quarter for further information.


  • The shuttle bus fare is a little higher than local coach due to the better service at around US$8 -10.
  • Travelling by shuttle bus is faster than by coach. However, spending about 3 hours on moving is still an issue for visitors with limited amount of time.

Hanoi to Halong by private car: Travel with the ultimate convenience

Besides the above mentioned public vehicles, hiring a private car is a viable option especially for tourists with high demand for privacy. You can choose to hire a car with or without a driver. Yet, it is way complicated and troublesome to rent a car without a driver, not to say nearly impossible when you are a foreigner. There are a bunch of requirements in terms of driving license, identity cards and so on. Moreover, being unfamiliar to the place may lead to getting lost.

If you need a driver then don’t worry. They do speak English and are very hospitable. The cost for renting varies and depends on size, brand and status. You can contact local agency for further advice.

Hanoi To Halong

Isn’t it worth considering hiring a private car?


  • It is a good selection if you go in a big group.
  • Local drivers who are clear about the route get you straight to the destination. They are also willing to help you with heavy luggage.
  • You are free to travel the way you want, and the service is available 24/7.


Generally, the hiring cost is rather high, ranging from US$45 to 60 per way.

Hanoi to Halong by train: Indulge yourselves in a romantic fantasy

If you have a heart for traditional means of transportation, then travelling by train is a great idea. You will get the chance to peacefully explore the natural beauty of mountains and forests mixed with peaceful rivers during the journey to Halong through the window.

The train from Yen Vien Railway Station departing at 5 am takes 7 hours to get to Halong. The average ticket price is around US$4 subject to the seat type.

The train from Gia Lam Railway Station departing at 7 am takes about 5 hours to get to Ha Long. Foreigners use special tickets with sign and regulation, sold at US$15. A group of more than 15 people can get a US$10 ticket/person.

You can go to the website dailyvetauhoa.com or contact Halong Express (phone number: 1900 1224 or 0978 198 489) to book a ticket.

Hanoi To Halong

The view from the window train will just be amazing!


  • You can enjoy the wonderful view of Vietnam during the journey.
  • The train from Gia Lam Railway Station offers customers with a lot of attractive entertaining activities such as bar service and entertainment programmes such as commercials, funny comedy clips, movies and music.


  • Trains may not go daily, so there may be no schedule on your travelling time.
  • It takes up to 7 hours and can be a drawback if time not allowed.
  • The cost almost doubles other means of public transportations.

Hanoi to Halong by seaplane/helicopter

International visitors to Vietnam with generous budget should give it a try. It is definitely an exhilarating experience to get the magnificent view of North Vietnam from hundreds of metres above the land. Tourists can contact Hai Au Aviation for more information concerning the cost.

Hanoi To Halong

Have an astonishing view from above, why not?


It is not time-consuming at all as you can get to Halong in less than 1 hour.


A seaplane or helicopter trip to Halong Bay is sure to cost a fortune.