Halong Bay in Vietnam is popular for its remarkable towering limestone islands. It is situated in the Quang Ninh Province. The Noi Bai international airport is the biggest and closest i.e. 19 miles or 30 Km away from Hanoi.
The majority of travelers spend one day sightseeing in the capital city and start for Halong Bay the next day. The distance between Hanoi to Halong has been shortened after the inauguration of the new highway last year. The drive timing has reduced from 4 to 1.5 hours. Therefore travelers on a tight schedule tour to Halong Bay from Hanoi can take a back tour on the same day.
Transportation options include bus, train, day trip tour, cruise, private car, shuttle, and more. For ground transportation information, you can visit bookaway.com. There, you can compare and book tickets online in advance. It allows you to enjoy the tour without any concerns as well as choosing or booking transportation. The ground transportation options from Hanoi to Halong and vice versa has its pros and cons.
Local Bus – [Cheapest option]
The local bus is the cheapest option, but there can be issues like a language barrier. Coach stations are in the center, so you need to reach there by a city bus or cab or Uber. Traveling time is 4 to 5 hours.
The bus stops along the road for passengers. There is a luggage limitation and travel times are inconvenient at times. There are no toilets on the bus, so the driver makes one halt. Cost is around $7, and for more information, you could visit bookaway.com.
Minivan – [Convenient option]
Halong Bay cruise offers a combo package [including shuttle bus service], which is cheaper than booking both separately. If you are lucky, you can grab special promotions like free transfer for cruise booking with them. However, cost varies and there are different minibus options.
There is no need to be worried about the pick-up from the hotel and the drop-off point [cruise center]. So choose a return ticket from halong bay to Hanoi because the bus picks you from the cruise center, and drops you at the doorstep of your hotel. The normal price is between $10 & $20 for a one-way ticket so for a two-way ticket the cost is double.
Train – [Takes more time than road options]
The train is cheap, but you need to go to the station Yen Vien, which is 10 km away from the city center. It is a 7 hours ride. It is the cheapest option starting at $6, but make sure to book tickets from bookaway.com in advance to get a guaranteed spot. Have the email print out of the train ticket when you board.
Shared or private car – [Comfortable option for a little extra price]
You can choose a comfortable ride in a shared car with recliner seats. You can even pick a private transport, but it is expensive. This option is flexible for convenient for departure time and personal pick-up at the hotel & drop off at the waiting lounge. A great option for groups and families because the car can be stopped whenever your kids need to use the washroom. In a shared option with other travelers, there can be a little delay because of picking all the passengers.