Halong is one of the World Natural Heritage, which explains a large number of tourists coming here every year. Being 170km away from Hanoi capital, Halong Bay is easily accessible.
One of the most difficult things to plan when traveling abroad is how to get from one place to another. In the age of modern technology, there are heaps of options available for all kinds of travel needs. From buses; motorcycles to trains, the ways to get from Hanoi to Halong are numerous.
If you want to save cost, taking a bus can be a good choice as well as it is economical when you decide to travel alone. From Hanoi, tourists can catch a high-quality bus going to Quang Ninh at My Dinh, Luong Yen or Gia Lam Terminal. It will take about 3-4 hours to reach the pier with the cost of about 220000 VND ($10). After that, there are plenty of cruise operators that you can choose. This way of transport is quite exciting because you can look into the life of the locals but it may be difficult to communicate with drivers if you can not speak Vietnamese. Additionally, with someone who has no fixed schedule, taking the bus is very convenient.
However, this type is more suitable for those who are more familiar with Vietnam conditions .Hence, for first-time tourists, it is not recommended. This option is also not appropriate for a day trip, as you will have to depart from the hotel and leave the bay early that does not guarantee a perfect journey for you.
Of course, the most popular way to go from Hanoi to Halong Bay is to book a tour. Tours from operators are cheap and available every day. They will take care of your transportation, cruise and accommodation. There will also be a guide that will help explain things along the way. Almost tours operators will provide a shuttle bus that starts from the Old Quarter.
Going on tours is recommended for family or group of friends. An average cost for a 2 – day trip is about 3million VND ($136). If you are planning for one day, work with your operators to make sure that you leave no later than 8 am so that you will be able to catch up your cruise and see some sights of the bay before coming right back to Hanoi.
Once you are in Vietnam, you can reach everywhere by motor cycle, even at the most remote places. This type is the most adventurous and thrilling of all. Since the distance is not very far and the road is straight forward, you can rent a motorbike from the Old quarter, a map to make the trip as long as you have good riding skill. It is advisable that you should join a small group of friends to support each other in the way, especially in case a motorbike brakes down.
Careful inspection before hitting the road is crucial to ensure a safe trip. An average price for rental is about $20/day. However, it will take slightly longer than bus or car to reach Halong and more tiring. Thus unless you plan to stay long in the area, riding the motor bike to Halong is not very worth it. Keep in mind that the traffic in Vietnam is quite chaotic, messy and confusing.
By private car
Private car is the best option if you do not want to share shuttle bus with strangers. The travel time is shorter because you don’t have to wait for others, and it allows you some breaks for photographs, refreshments or a toilet stop along the way.
Rates for transfer from the center of Hanoi to Halong Bay (2-way).
Normally, there are 3 kinds of vehicles: 4-seater cars for maximum 2 passengers, 7-seater for maximum 5 passengers and 16-seater for maximum 11 passengers.
(this to allow room for your luggage).
Hanoi airport (Noi Bai airport) to Halong Bay
The train is another popular public option that is more widely utilized by locals than tourists. While trains offer lovely views, it can take 7 hours to reach Halong.
You will have to leave at an early hour so as to maximize your day and since the station is about 5km from the harbor, you need to catch a taxi as well. It’s an opportunity to ride with the residents, but you may not prefer the unreliability of length, schedule and last-minute cancellations.
Are you ready to explore one of the World Natural Heritage?