Halong Bay Transportation: Getting to and Around

December 05, 2023

Halong Bay, located in the Gulf of Tonkin, Vietnam, is a paradise for many tourists. If you wish to travel to this gem but don’t know where to begin, the article below will provide you with the necessary information regarding traveling to and visiting Halong Bay.

An Overview

​Halong Bay is in the Gulf of Tonkin in the Northeast sea area of Vietnam. It belongs to Quang Ninh Province, about 160km from Hanoi. Thanks to its favorable location, outstanding landscape, and developed transportation system over the years, Halong attracts millions of domestic and international tourists.

Nowadays, there are 6 main routes that visitors can travel to Halong Bay. The transportation may differ based on the distance of the starting points, it can be buses, cars, trains, or planes.

Route Distance (by road)
Hanoi - Halong 160km
Hai Phong - Halong 50km
Sapa - Halong 450km
Ninh Binh - Halong 220km
Da Nang - Halong 880km
Ho Chi Minh - Halong 1800km


Travel to Halong Bay

Being a worldwide famous destination, Halong has received quite strong investment in infrastructure development in recent years. Therefore, to go to Halong, you can use many different ways and means. Here are the 4 most popular ways for reference:

  • The airplane is the fastest and most comfortable choice for guests who are far from Halong.
  • Shuttle bus is the most common and convenient way to travel. You can book it by yourself or through travel agents if you worry about scamming.
  • The private car is a greater option for those who want a comfortable driving experience as it is more exclusive, and luxurious.
  • The train is the cheapest option for travelers on a budget though it may take more time than usual.

Shuttle bus

  • Travel time (from Hanoi): 2,5 hours
  • Price/pax (from Hanoi): US $15 - 20
  • Suitable: Families, Groups of friends

Shuttle buses are considered the most familiar and one of the most affordable means of transportation to Halong. You should contact reliable travel agencies to arrange the bus for you. Or you can book it with the cruise company, too.

Travel By Shuttle bus

Shuttle bus is the most popular means of travel


  • Inexpensive way of transfer
  • Fairly comfortable and fast 
  • Buses from travel companies offer pickup/drop-off service, leather seats, water, air-con, wifi, and other amenities


  • There isn’t much privacy
  • If you travel from Sapa, Da Nang, or further, the trip will be long and unpleasant.

There are many kinds of buses you can choose from, the most popular ones may be the Limousine D-car 9-seat or 16-seat buses. Here are some travel companies you can contact for transportation:

Departure point

Distance & duration



160 km

2.5 hours

Halong Bay Junk Boat

(+84) 904 699 428

Ninh Binh

220 km

3.5 hours

Ninh Binh Express Bus 

(+84) 964 756 592


450 km

7 hours

Phuc Xuyen

(1900 6799)

Da Nang

880 km

15 hours

An Binh

(+84) 90 788 653

Ho Chi Minh City

1,800 km

30 hours

An Binh

(+84) 907 866 530


Private Car

  • Travel time (from Hanoi): 2,5 hours
  • Price/pax (from Hanoi): US $105 - $200
  • Suitable: Couples, Families, Seniors, Affluent Travelers

For those who want the most relaxing trip to Halong Bay, a private car will be the best option. You don’t need to share the car with other tourists and enjoy high-end amenities in the car like wifi, large leather seats, charging ports, air conditioning, and lighting. 


  • Complete privacy on a high-quality vehicle
  • Pleasant and relaxing trip
  • Flexible schedule and instant service


  • High price for groups of 3 or below
  • Mostly available from Hanoi only

You can choose a private car 4-seat, 7-seat, or Minivan 16-seat for your trip. the transfer cars are modern and from famous brands like Ford, Toyota, Hyundai, etc. 

You can book private cars from travel companies (Halong Bay Junk Boat), the companies you book the cruise from, or transportation companies (Mai Linh, Taxi Go,..)

Private Car

Private Car is perfect for a relaxing trip


  • Travel time: 1,5 hours (Da Nang), 2 hours (Ho Chi Minh)
  • Price/pax: US $60 - 150  (one way)
  • Suitable: Travellers far from Halong

Overall, if you are far from Hanoi, the airway is undoubtedly the way to travel. It’s comfortable and time-saving. You can fly to Noi Bai International Airport (Hanoi), Cat Bi Airport (Hai Phong), and Van Don Airport (Quang Ninh) then take a road transfer to Halong.

NOTE: There is no direct flight to Halong.  


  • Fast and easy way of transfer.
  • Saving your energy.


  • The flying cost is high, especially for high-class airlines.
  • Only flights from Da Nang and Ho Chi Minh are bookable.

There are 3 airlines you can choose from, which are Vietjet Air (low-cost airline), Vietnam Airlines & Bamboo Airway (full-service airline). You can easily book them from their website or contact Halong Bay Junkboat. Remember that the flights are only available from Da Nang and Ho Chi Minh City.


Airplane is a time-saving option


  • Travel time: 7 - 42 hours depending on route
  • Price/pax: US $15 - 65 depending on route
  • Suitable: Budget travelers, Backpackers

If you want to save money, the railway is the most possible route to travel. The train will allow you to take in the scenery at a leisurely pace. You have several options, from a soft/hard seat to a sleeping cabin. You can take a train from Sapa, Danang, or Ho Chi Minh to Hanoi the night before then take a road transfer to Halong for better comfort.

NOTE: The train route to Halong is temporarily closed due to low passengers and renovation. We'll update you when it runs again.


Travel by train is budget-friendly


  • An authentic and unique experience way of traveling.
  • Cheap and safe transportation.
  • Have an opportunity to explore Vietnam better.


  • Time-consuming and less comfy during long trips.

The best way to take a train is to buy tickets directly at the train station. Or else, you can buy it online at the official website. Here are some routes that you can use the railway to travel to Hanoi:

Departure point


Distance & travel Time


Lao Cai Railway Station

300 km

8 hours

Ninh Binh

Ninh Binh Train Station

115 km

3 hours

Da Nang

Da Nang Train Station

800 km

17 hours

Ho Chi Minh City

Saigon Railway Station

1,7330 km

32 hours


Getting around Halong

Once you arrive at Halong City, there are many kinds of transportation you can use. If you want to visit the bay, you can take a day cruise from the pier, where you can buy a ticket there. If you want to take an overnight cruise, you should book in advance with a reputable company to choose your desired ship. Let’s take a look at some of the most popular options:


The most convenient way to travel, you can easily pick a taxi on the road and travel anywhere in the city. The numbers of taxis are plenty and most of them speak basic English so you can talk with them. 

Be sure to check the travel meter inside the taxi, it is usually around 11,000 - 14.000 VND/km. You should choose from reputable taxi companies like Mai Linh to avoid scams or ask the hotel receptionist to call you a taxi.

Book a taxi

Book a taxi is an easy way to travel around

Local bus

If you’re a budget traveler, you can consider using a local bus. The fee is around 10,000 VND for the whole route, so you can save a lot of money. However, it’ll be slow and hard to know where to stop so be sure to ask the locals.

To travel around Halong City, you should take the bus route from Bai Chay to Tuan Chau, where you can stop at Tuan Chau Marina.

Transportation app

Using a transportation app like Grab will be the most handy for individuals who have already traveled in Vietnam. Simply download the app on your phone, enter your location and destination, and a local driver will arrive to pick you up.

You can choose to travel by car (4-seat, 7-seat) or motorbike from the app. Depending on the time and the route, the price may change.

Using Transport App

Using the Transport App is ideal if you have experience

Eclectic cart

This is a quite popular means of transportation, especially in the city center and tourist destinations like Bai Chay. The ticket to get on the tram is around US $25 - 45/route

This is a vehicle that is being promoted in Halong as the advantages of electric vehicles and reasonable cost (if there are enough people on the cart).


All in all, the transportation infrastructure in Halong in particular, and Quang Ninh in general is very developed, so you can be assured about finding a means of transportation to and getting around here. If you are interested, let’s take a look at the most recommended cruise from Halong Bay Junk Boat and plan your holiday now.

Hale Nguyen

Images source: Internet

Plan your tailor - made trip with a local expert
Book securely with money-back guarantee
Travel stress-free with local 24/7 support
Ask a Question