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Hanoi to Cat Ba Island

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Cat Ba Island at a glance

High season

April - Nov
Place you can't miss
Hospital cave
Local currency
VND
Good to know
Surprisingly enough, the Cat Ba islands aren’t a common household name (like Hanoi or Halong bay). Nonetheless, it’s a beautiful island that’s worth visiting. You can easily book a bus from Hanoi that will take roughly four hours. While it’s not a huge island compared to the others surrounding Vietnam, we recommend spending at least a few days there. You can "get lost" simply by watching the sunset or the fisherman work. If motorbikes are your thing, they're a great way to explore the city, and you can even join a tour where you’ll pass small villages and get insider information. Going on treks is another, wonderful way to get acquainted with the Island and see breathtaking Cat Ba. When you’re ready to move on to Hanoi or Ninh Binh, you can take one of our comfortable direct buses.
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Your questions, our answers

Are there any stops during this ride?
Should I take food and water with me?
Can I take my bicycle / motorbike on board with me?
Is there a flexible cancellation policy?
What is the distance between Hanoi to Cat Ba Island?
What is the cheapest transport option from Hanoi and Cat Ba Island?
What is the frequency of departures per day?
Can I choose my pickup / drop-off location?
What is the luggage policy?
Can I book a ticket for the same day?
What is the most popular transportation service from Hanoi to Cat Ba Island?
What is the fastest transportation service from Hanoi to Cat Ba Island?
Who are the service providers on this route?

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About the Ride from Hanoi to Cat Ba

For the 125km (78 mile) journey to Cat Ba from Hanoi, the best option is a combined ticket for bus and ferry.

Some tourists choose to make their own way from Hanoi to Halong Bay, and then book their own transport from Halong Bay to Cat Ba.

And although both of these route options are available, they’re really only a good idea for those travellers who specifically want to spend time in Halong before going to Cat Ba. If you’re more interested in getting straight from Hanoi to Cat Ba, a combined bus and ferry to Cat Ba from Hanoi is a much simpler option. It saves you the problem of having to book separate tickets and the headache of having to tackle several journeys.

After enjoying the non-stop chaos and culture of busy Hanoi, you might be eagerly anticipating something a little more relaxing. And that’s exactly what Cat Ba offers. Full of snorkeling, swimming, caving and hiking, it’s the perfect island getaway. For an exciting combination of jungle fun and shoreside escapades, it doesn’t get much better than Cat Ba.

The journey from Hanoi to Cat Ba is also full of fun, with three different, but equally exciting sections. 

Via bus, you’ll go from Hanoi to Ben Pha Got ferry terminal, the closest mainland point to Cat Ba. You’ll then take a boat from this terminal to a port on Cat Ba. From there, you’ll get another bus, into the center of Ca Ba island. 

The journey starts in the heart of Hanoi’s chaos and craziness, and ends at the shimmering shores of Cat Ba.

One of Vietnam’s most popular destinations, Cat Ba is the biggest island in Halong Bay. Rough, rugged and full of beautiful natural wonder, no visit to Vietnam is complete without a trip to Cat Ba.

 

What to see when traveling from Hanoi to Cat Ba

With a combined ferry and bus ticket to Cat Ba from Hanoi, the journey itself is interesting and exciting. 

Full of variety, the journey includes two bus trips and one ferry crossing. On the first stretch of the journey, the bus from Hanoi to Ben Pha Got ferry terminal, you’ll leave the busy roads of Hanoi, making your way past smaller settlements and cosy roadside stores. This part of the journey from Hanoi to Cat Ba takes around two hours.

Upon reaching the Ben Pha Got ferry terminal, you’ll be greeted by the boat which will take you to Cat Ba. Sometimes a ferry, sometimes a speedboat, your boat will be one of many docked in this small but bustling terminal. During your 20 minute boat ride between ports, you’ll be surrounded by the waters which Cat Ba calls home. 

On the final stretch of your journey, the bus from Cat Ba Pier to Cat Ba center, you’ll become briefly acquainted with much of the adventure that Cat Ba has to offer. Rustic homes, lush forests and crashing shores accompany you on your journey to the heart of Cat Ba Island.

 

What is the fastest way to get from Hanoi to Cat Ba?

The fastest way to get to Cat Ba from Hanoi is by Economy Bus and Ferry from Daiichi Travel. The journey takes around 3 hours and costs $10. With this ticket, you get a bus from Hanoi to the mainland ferry, a ferry from the mainland to Cat Ba Pier, then a different bus from the ferry port to the center of Cat Ba. For the section from pier to pier, some journeys are serviced by a small ferry, while others are serviced by a speedboat.

 

What is the cheapest way to get from Hanoi to Cat Ba?

The cheapest way to get to Cat Ba from Hanoi is the same as the fastest way: Economy Bus and Ferry from Daiichi Travel. The journey takes around 3 hours and costs $10. All details listed above also apply to this journey.

 

What is the most popular way to get from Hanoi to Cat Ba?

The most popular way to get to Cat Ba from Hanoi is by Economy Bus and Ferry by Good Morning Cat Ba. The journey takes around 3.5 hours and costs a little less than $13. Some snacks are provided. The journey is made up of one ferry trip and two separate bus journeys. As with the options we’ve listed above, your bus does not board the ferry.

 

How to get from Hanoi to Cat Ba

Taking a combined bus and ferry to Cat Ba from Hanoi

The combined bus and ferry from Hanoi to Cat Ba is a simple journey which saves you the trouble of requiring separate tickets for separate legs of your journey. If you want to get to Cat Ba quickly and easily with no problems or complications, it’s the best way.

Because this journey is provided by a number of different companies, the specifics vary. Your bus company will usually pick you up from a pre-designated point in Cat Ba, but all providers are typically happy to pick you up from your hotel. Similarly, all providers are usually able to drop you at your hotel in Hanoi.

When you reach the mainland ferry terminal, some boats will drive on to the ferry  and therefore the one bus will take you all the way from Hanoi to Cat Ba

In other instances, one bus will take you to the mainland ferry terminal, where you’ll step off your bus and on to the ferry. When you step off the ferry at the Cat Ba dock, you’ll board a different bus, which will then take you to the center of Cat Ba. If your bus doesn’t board the boat, your boat might either be a ferry or a small speedboat.

You should check the details for each individual journey to see the services and perks which each provider offers. But whatever you choose, all journeys are simple, affordable and fun.

Pick up points that take you from Hanoi to Cat Ba:

Departing from:

  • Various locations in Hanoi
  • Hotel pick up

Arriving at:

  • Various streets in Cat Ba
  • Hotel drop off 

 

Which operators can I book with for a bus and ferry ride from Hanoi to Cat Ba?

Hanoi to Cat Ba bus and ferry operators

  • Good Morning Cat Ba
  • Daiichi Travel
  • Full Moon Party
  • Orient Travel
  • Cat Ba Discovery
  • Cat Ba Express

 

How many departures from Hanoi to Cat Ba are there each day?

There are around 18 departures to Cat Ba from Hanoi each day.