Hanoi to Halong
Halong is one of the World Natural Heritage, which explains the fascination of tourists everywhere to come visit Halong, 165km away from Hanoi capital, Halong Bay is easily accessible.
By private car or limousine
It’s easy to rent a private car or a luxury limousine transfer Hanoi – Halong, enjoy your trip on your own pace, maximize experience of your Halong day tour. Save your time, the car will pick you up and drop you off at your place, this is the best way to go from Hanoi to Halong bay and it takes about 2.5 hour driving only. From Noi Bai airport, you can rent a shuttle bus to Halong bay.
If you are travelling on your own and want to save cost, taking the bus from Hanoi to Halong can be a good thrill. From My Dinh or Luong Yen bus station, you can take a bus which departs every 15 minutes from the station. It will take about 4-5 hours to reach the Halong pier. The cost is about 120.000 VND. This way of transport is exciting partly because you get to be part of the daily commune of the locals, who come and go to Hanoi. Additionally, with someone who has no fix schedule. However, this type is more suitable for those who are more familiar with Vietnam conditions or has adventurous streak; for first time tourists, it is not recommended.
Of course, the most popular way to go from Hanoi to Halong Bay is to book a tour. Tours are 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. Join a shuttle bus they will pick you up from your hotel, or have private car transferring if you do not want to join others on a shuttle bus. This will increase the cost but also comfort. Going on tours is recommended for family, group of friends and anybody who want to have a fuss free trip.
Once you are in Vietnam, you can reach basically everywhere by motorcycle, even at the most remote places. This type is the utmost adventurous and thrilling of all. Since Halong bay is only 170km away from Hanoi and the road is quite straight forward, one can rent a good bike from the Old quarter, a map and good riding skill to make the trip. It is advisable that you should embark on this with a small group of friends to support each other on the way, especially in case a bike brakes down. Careful inspection of bike before the trip is crucial to ensure a safest trip. An average price for bike rental is about $20/day. However, it will take slightly longer than bus or car to reach Halong and is considerably more tiring. Thus unless you plan to stay long in the area, riding the bike to Halong is not very worth it.
By Train (Halong Express)
|Fare: 200,000 VND (10 USD)|
Cai Lan Port to Halong
If you are traveling with an International Cruise Ships such as Celebrity Cruise, Millennium Cruise, Regent Voyager, it is likely that you will be docking in one of piers and Cai Lan international port. There is a total of 7 piers which receive both freight ships and tourist ships so it is very helpful if you know which specific pier you will be stopping at.
From Cai Lan to Bai Chay pier, it takes about 15 minutes. Transfer can be arranged as you arrive by getting a taxi, but to save time, it is better to book transfer in advance. Taxi fare should not exceed $15.
Normally, these cruises will allow you a day to visit Halong Bay. You can book a day cruise trip (which normally lasts between 4 and 8 hours, depending on your arrival time) that includes transfer from where you stop.
If you have more than 1 day to spend in Halong Bay you can book a trip where you can stay on board of a smaller cruise in Halong Bay or in a hotel in mainland. It is advisable that you arrange these tours in advance as it may sometimes be difficult to decide as you land without knowing which junk is a good one to travel with in Halong Bay.
Hai Phong to Halong bay
Hai Phong city is about 30km away from Halong Bay. You can either book a private car or take a taxi and it will take roughly 1 hours to transfer from Hai Phong airport to Halong Bay.
The easiest way to book for a private transfer is to ask the reception at your hotel or contact a legit travel agency to arrange the service. If you want to wave for a taxi, do not forget to negotiate the price in advance because for long distance, it is better to pay lump-sum for the whole trip rather than pay on a kilometer-based charge.
There is also daily local bus from Hai Phong bus station to Halong departing every 30 minutes from 6 am to 6 pm and the bus fare is around VND 80,000 to VND 100,000 ($4 to $5) per seat. This is a great way to travel as a real local at a low cost. However, the bus follows a fixed route and does not drop guests at any wharfs, you will need to take a taxi or a typical Vietnamese motorbike taxi to the wharf where your cruise docks to join the trip.