How to get from

Ha Giang to Cat Ba Island

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2 ways to get from Ha Giang to Cat Ba Island

Taking a bus-ferry from Ha Giang to Cat Ba Island
Know before you go

In order to get to and from Ninh Binh to Cat Ba Island, you need to take a prearranged combination of a bus and ferry. There are options where the bus is transported by ferry, and others where you are driven up to a ferry. A/C is present in both the buses and ferries.

  • Pros
    • Toilet on board
    • Free cancellations
    • Comfortable cabins
    • Lots of cabin class options provided
    • Personal pick ups and drop offs
  • Cons
    • Long bus journey
    • No food or drink provided
    • Possible motion + sea sickness
    • Limited departure times per day
Most popular rides
Taking a bus from Ha Giang to Cat Ba Island
Know before you go

There is 1 operator that run from Ha Giang to Cat Ba Island. If you decide to take a bus, you can take the Sleeping option.

Most popular rides

About the ride from Ha Giang to Cat Ba Island 

After spending time in the remote northern region around Ha Giang, a trip to east coast Vietnam is really enticing. Cat Ba Island in Ha Long Bay is one of those places that many travelers head to on their way down south. It's the largest island in the area and has been welcoming guests for years.

The contrast from what you'll have experienced in Ha Giang can be something of a culture shock. Especially if you've been trekking to hill tribe villages for days on end. However, as the ride from Ha Giang to Cat Ba Island is over ten hours, you'll have time to rest and reflect on the road ahead.

Traveling to Cat Ba Island from Ha Giang can be made overland by bus or minivan and then by speedboat ferry. The overland drive forms the lion's share of the trip whereas the ferry crossing takes just an hour. The total distance as the crow flies is 314 kilometers (195 miles).

Buses leaving Ha Giang for Cat Ba Island are really comfortable. They're designed for relaxation and include fully reclining seats that more than resemble beds. It's a good option for not only getting a good night's sleep but also saving money on accommodation.

Onboard facilities include a washroom, air conditioning and USB chargers. You'll also be given a complimentary blanket to combat the A/C. Make sure you pack a sleep mask, ear plugs and woolly socks to really get cozy as you travel through the night.

Be prepared to wake up when you stop at service stations. They're often very brightly lit and the noise of everyone moving on or off the bus can be a bit annoying if you've just dropped off to sleep. Best advice is to just grin and bear it. This is just part and parcel of the traveling experience.

In stark contrast to the bus part of the journey to Cat Ba from Ha Giang, the speedboat ferry is actually quite cramped. It can also be a bumpy ride but you'll cover the 50 kilometer (31 mile) distance from the mainland in no time at all. Sea sickness tablets can come in handy!

Purchasing a combination bus and boat ticket allows for a seamless transition from land to sea. Prices per passenger usually start from just $27. This is a very affordable option, especially when you also include the fact that you're not having to pay for overnight accommodation.

 

What to see when traveling from Ha Giang to Cat Ba Island

Traveling to Vietnam's east coast is always a great adventure. Roads to the mountains were relatively inaccessible until recently, however, they're becoming quite well used these days. Don't worry about anything too hair raising, although you can expect a few sharp bends and winding corners.

Heading out from Ha Giang is really scenic. Forests of bamboo align the rural roads whilst paddy fields signal signs of life either side of rustic looking roadside villages. If you've been in Ha Giang for a while you'll be more than used to this type of lifestyle tucked away in the mountains.

It won't ever get boring though, so keep your nose glued to the window as you absorb every last drop of north Vietnam's countryside. Most buses depart Ha Giang around 7:00 pm this means you might get to see the sunrise over the mountains and forests. Fingers crossed!

As you travel south east you'll start to see lots of other traffic on the main highway as well as lots of built up, more industrial, areas along the route. Passing through built up areas can be quite depressing which is just as well that you'll be making the journey in the dark.

However, you can expect to see lots of bright lights when you arrive at service stations. This is an opportunity to stock up on supplies, stretch your legs and use the facilities. Finally you'll arrive at  Hai Phong from where you'll take the early morning speedboat ferry to Cat Ba. 

You might just have enough time to grab a super sweet Vietnamese coffee for the ferry ride but remember, it can get bumpy so you might want to finish your drink before you set off! Seeing the sunrise over Halong Bay is the stuff of traveling dreams. Make sure you stay awake.

The closer you get to Cat Ba Island the more waterway traffic you'll meet. This can be anything from rickety old junk boats to super posh luxury cruise ships. Just sit back and take it all in. 

 

How to get to Cat Ba Island from Ha Giang

Taking a ferry/bus

The combination of sleeper bus and speedboat ferry is the best way to get from Ha Giang to Cat Ba Island. There are no trains and no airlines making this journey. You can also hire a private minivan or make the route by taxi. Basically, however you get to Hai Phong, you're going to need a boat.

This is a really affordable option for travelers. Not only will you be driving through the night and therefore saving on overnight accommodation, you'll also only have to pay from $27 for the privilege. Covering 314 kilometers (195 miles) for less than $30 is a great deal.

Sleeper buses are super comfortable and designed to, you've guessed it, help you sleep. Seats recline to practically horizontal and you'll even get a cozy blanket to help you cope with the air conditioning. Buses also feature onboard bathrooms, WiFi access (in places) and USB charge points.

Some bus services will also provide a small selection of snacks and drinks. However, don't take this for granted. Always keep a fresh stock of supplies with you for midnight munchies. Otherwise your only source of food will be at the service stations. Which is usually overpriced and not very tasty.

Although the speedboat ferry can be a bit cramped, it will get you to Cat Ba Island in around an hour. It's a nice way to complete the trip as you finally enter the hallowed waters of Ha Long Bay.

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Reviews of the ride from Ha Giang to Cat Ba Island

3.0

Based on 5 reviews from Bookaway users who traveled from Ha Giang to Cat Ba Island

  • W
    W
    We went to Ha Giang with this company , it was just perfect. The bus trip was made very comfortable and enjoyable. We had a nice trip. I’ll comeback. Tks
  • M
    M
    The transfer was in time and the staff very kind. In particular Tun, speaks a good English and was very polite. I forgot my jacket in the first autobus, and the day after he bring it in my hotel in cat ba. Unbelievable perfect!
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Your questions, our answers

Bookaway's customers prefer Tourist bus-ferry by Good Morning Cat Ba

Tourist bus-ferry by Good Morning Cat Ba starting at US$30.

238 Km (Air)

BUS-FERRYGood Morning Cat Ba

BUSThe Long Travel