Together with flights, there are ways how to get to Halong Bay, particularly from two major cities of Hanoi and Saigon. While you can book a flight ticket with ease, the others might engage themselves with land transport and take advantage of the newly-built expressways. Besides, somebody might use the shuttle bus services of the luxurious Halong Bay Cruises that directly take them from Hanoi Old Quarters to Halong. Read on for more specific instructions updated 2019!
How to Get to Halong Bay from Hanoi
There are some transfer ways how to get to Halong Bay from Hanoi, and the best-known options are the 2-hour coach, shuttle bus, seaplane, and helicopter.
The two former options of coach and bus (or even private car) can benefit from the newly-built Hanoi – Halong expressway that cuts the travel time by half, taking a 2-hour drive now. Driving on this expressway, people can arrive at Halong quickly which encourages the 1-day trip, away from the city. This transportation method is popular and inexpensive, particularly the local bus (coach) is suitable for backpackers. The Expressway now replaces the old coach route of Hanoi – Hai Duong – Hai Phong – Bai Chay (Halong) with the innovative one of Hanoi – Halong. Know that the express ticket price is higher because of the toll fee. If you work with the tour agents or cruise operators in advance and ask for a shuttle bus, take it easy to get on and enjoy the direct transfer to Halong. Mainly serving the foreign guests, this kind of tourist bus runs on the straightforward route, including a break of 15-20 minutes halfway.
Next, as long as the budget allows, you can make the most of the travel by air transfer from Hanoi to Halong via a seaplane or a helicopter. This is fast, convenient, and extraordinary. Hai Au Aviation takes care of the seaplane services which take around 45 minutes. Get to a private Hai Au Aviation seaplane check-in counter in Noi Bai Airport and be ready for your flight. It is the bird’s-eye view over the enthralling scenery that makes the aerial travel-worthy. You will be pleased to watch Co Loa Citadel, Red River Delta, Hai Phong port city, Tuan Chau Island, etc., from the top dimension. Also, the 15-minute scenic flight over Halong Bay is truly spectacular. Another aerial transfer from Hanoi to Halong is the helicopter which is more costly than the seaplane. It also takes the 45-minute flight, including the 8-minute sightseeing from the height of 120-150m.
How to Get to Halong Bay from Ho Chi Minh City
Visitors from Ho Chi Minh City can get to Halong by plane, train, and bus. The fastest way how to get to Halong Bay from Ho Chi Minh City is to take a direct flight. You can take a flight from Saigon to Hai Phong or Van Don (Cai Rong). The Saigon-Hai Phong flight takes around 2 hours. From Cai Bi International Airport (Hai Phong), get the 1-hour transfer to the Bay via the Hai Phong – Halong Expressway. Also, if you fly to Van Don (Cai Rong), this location is convenient to see Quan Lan Island or Co To Island. Another channel preferred by most of the tour agents is to first fly from Saigon to Hanoi. And then, from Hanoi, you can use services of the shuttle bus, 2-hour coach, helicopter, or seaplane upon booking. Furthermore, if having more time but less budget, opt for the long Saigon-Hanoi train which takes even 35-37 hours (not recommended, although).
Hope that the article lets you know all how to get to Ha Long Bay. The beauty of the UNESCO Bay can defeat any distance obstacle. You might depart from either Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City to arrive at the legendary Halong Bay from which the voyage of a lifetime will begin. Let’s travel north!
I love traveling and have been working in tourism industry since 1996. Vietnam is my homeland so I would like to share with you my experience to discover this destination best!