The best way to transfer from Hanoi to Ha Long Bay

The routes from Hanoi to Halong Bay have become the most busy transfer activities in North Vietnam for tourists. Various types of transportation are available, such as private cars or vans, shuttle buses or vans, trains, and airplanes.

The most convenient method to travel from Hanoi to Halong Bay is to use a private car or van.

However, if you are a solo traveler or have a small budget, another choice, such as a shuttle van or bus, can be suitable.

Now, let’s dive in each way!

visit halong bay
Beautiful Halong Bay

Distance and time from Hanoi to Halong Bay

Depending on your starting point, the distance can be various. The most popular places are to depart from the Old Quarter of Hanoi or Noi Bai airport.

  • Noi Bai Airport to Halong: The distance is 168 to 192 km, depending on the driving routes. It takes 3 to 4 hours to travel from Hanoi airport to Halong. However, you can need more time to escape from the airport, typically for customs clearance.
  • The Old Quarter of Hanoi to Halong Bay: The distance is 167km for driving, which is the most popular for counting between two places. The time to travel is 2.5 to 3 hours on average, depending on the traffic conditions and the routes.

Transfer for a family

When arranging a transfer for a family or private group to travel to Halong from Hanoi, you can choose a private vehicle, including a private car for max 4 members or a private van for max 9 members.

Typically, for a family or a group with a baby, these vehicles are the most suitable to travel because you can get a door-to-door service and start at your time.

So, we suggest reserving a van or car in advance because you will be busy when you are already in Hanoi, and you make sure these vehicles are available for your group.

private 7 seat modern car fortuner vietnam
A small private car for a small group. ©Vietnamdrive

Transfer to a big group

When your group is 10 members and over, transportation with a bus to Halong from Hanoi is the most convenient and comfortable.

A few groups of 10 or 11 guests ask Vietnamdrive to arrange a van for transfer on this route. However, we often suggest upgrading to a bus because you need a space for your luggage, and this transfer has a long distance of travel from 2.5 to 3 hours.

However, you may pay attention to the location of your hotels in Hanoi because a few sites in the old parts of the city, bus cannot come.

private bus transfer
You can choose a private bus for your transfer. ©Vietnamdrive

Transfer for a solo or small-budget tourist

The route from Hanoi to Halong Bay is a long distance, as the same transfer from Hanoi to Sapa; these distances cost a high price for solo or small-budget tourists using private vehicles. Traveling on a shared van or shuttle bus in a solo-traveling situation is a good choice.

Many local transport companies offer buses from Hanoi to Halong daily with affordable prices starting from 200,000 VND per person per way. If you book a shared van or limousine van, its rate comes higher as you travel with fewer people and less waiting time when on it.

Where to book? It’s easy to do online in advance with a travel agent in Hanoi or anywhere in Vietnam. Another choice is very convenient to arrange this with your cruises in Halong Bay because most cruise firms also offer a shared van or shuttle bus for their guests.

shuttle bus transportation to travel
Shuttle bus transfer. ©Vietnamdrive

Should I arrange a Hanoi to Halong transfer in advance?

Yes, of course. For long distances like this movement, it is better to book a transfer in advance to avoid getting higher prices or no seats left, typically when you choose to travel with your family or private group who need a private transfer.

What are the different types of buses from Hanoi to Halong?

You may notice three types of buses for the Hanoi-to-Halong route.

  1. The first ones are local buses, which often supply the moving needs of the locals to and from these two places and other stops in between. Quality and prices are low, so Vietnamdrive’s team does not recommend tourists using these buses.
  2. The second type of bus for this route is shuttle buses, which usually come from the local transportation companies in Hanoi or cruise firms. If you are happy to join with other people, these buses are good to choose from, fair price and alright quality.
  3. The third type of bus to Halong from Hanoi is a private bus, which is good for a big private group.
travel from hanoi to halong bay

Is there a train from Hanoi to Halong?

Yes, there is. However, we do not recommend traveling to Halong Bay from Hanoi or vice versa because it takes 6 hours to run, which wastes your valuable time during your holidays in Vietnam. Besides, the quality conditions on trains are local style, which makes us not suggest you select them to travel.

Why do you not tell me about the seaplanes for transfer from Hanoi to Halong?

Vietnamdrive recognizes seaplanes from Hanoi to Halong Bay are not transportation for only transfer, but that is an experience. Besides, flying seaplanes is high prices and is not popular with most tourists. Ony Hai Au Aviation offers these flights from Hanoi to Halong Bay. Thus, when you want to experience a seaplane to see Hanoi and Halong from the sky, this seaplane service can serve you.

Now, you can choose a suitable vehicle to move from Hanoi to Halong Bay with our insight thoughts above. However, when you do not know which means of transportation is good for your group, please tell us! We are here to support you to get an exciting time to explore these beautiful places of North Vietnam.

Please fill out the form to contact us for any requests! Or Whatsapp +84 934 889 667 to our phone! Thank you!


    About the author

    The editorial staff of Vietnamdrive is a team of travel experts managed by Mr. Thom who has worked in tourism for 14 years. Trusted by thousands of tourists from all over the world.