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Hanoi to Halong Bay

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Halong Bay at a glance

High season

Sep - Nov
Place you can't miss
"Ba Trai Dao beach "
Local currency
VND
Good to know
Ha Long Bay has been known for decades as a traveler's dream spot, receiving roughly 6 million visitors a year. Ha Long Bay has more than a whopping 1,600 islands, and is located 144km from Hanoi. They say the best time of year to visit Ha Long Bay is from September to November and then from the month of March to May and that’s because there is no rain and the temperatures are mild. There are different types of trips that a traveler can make in Ha Long Bay as there really is something for everybody. Couples can have a romantic honeymoon style holiday, backpackers can have a fun bucket-list fueled experience. If you simply want to lounge or take a relaxing cruise, then that’s available too! Thanks to the modern road work, getting from one city to the next has never been easier. We cant take you to places like Hanoi, Ninh Binh and more.
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Top reviews

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C
Would recommend.
Very comfortable & clean vehicle. Took a smaller car to get out to the depot to meet the limousine. Once in the limousine & out of the city the journey was fast.
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Service is Good
Nice service and best travel with good Vehicle

How to get from Hanoi to Halong Bay

There are plenty of simple and easy ways to get from Hanoi to Halong Bay. The journey, a relatively short jaunt of 180 kilometres, can be made in four common ways:

 

  • Bus: Comfortable and simple, the direct bus to Halong Bay from Hanoi takes around 4 hours. These journeys take place during daylight hours. Both luxury buses and economy buses are available. The Halong Bay Bus is typically very popular with backpackers, because they’re a great way to save money if you’re watching your budget!

 

  • Minivan: Similar to a bus, but smaller and a little more expensive. By minivan, your trip to Halong Bay from Hanoi will take 2.5-3 hours. Again, these trips take place during daytime - and again, you can choose either a luxury minivan or a standard one.

 

  • Train: The direct train from Hanoi to Halong Bay takes around 7 hours. There is typically one departure per day.

 

  • Private car: though this is the most expensive option, this is typically slightly quicker than a minivan - and offers the most luxury. Car options include luxury cars, SUV cars and standard cars. Usually, with a car, you can choose any departure time you like! This option is often very popular with families, and those who are okay with spending extra cash to receive a little more luxury.

 

     Other options include the unusual and unpopular choices of airplane or helicopter! You can also take a train from Hanoi to Hai Phong before then catching a bus to Halong Bay from Hai Phong. We are working to add all of these methods to our site as soon as possible. That said, these options are all a little impractical - and both of the air travel methods are very expensive.

     An important note: after arriving in Halong Bay, most tourists want to tour around the bay on a boat.

You can easily arrange these Halong Bay boat tours in two ways: 

  • When you arrive in Halong Bay. All accommodations in Halong Bay offer this service.

 

  • As part of a package before you arrive in Halong Bay. Many agents and accommodations in Hanoi offer packages which include both your travel to Halong Bay and your boat tour around the bay. We can also help to organise that for you!

 

     Halong Bay is one of the best island destinations in the world. Though rugged, raw and majestic, it’s also very accessible and easy to visit. Recognised by UNESCO, the bay is made up of over 1500 limestone islands.

     It’s also absolutely full of opportunities for island adventures. With diving, hiking, canoeing and more, there are plenty of oceanic activities on offer. Onland, you’ll be able to enjoy great seafood, fantastic caves and interactions with monkeys.

 

What you’ll see when traveling from Hanoi to Halong Bay

     If you’re travelling via road, the first stretch of your journey will take you out of the madcap hustle-and-bustle highways of Hanoi. This in itself is a fun part of the trip - scooters, cars, buses and occasional pedestrians weave their way through the insanity of Hanoi’s wacky roads. Even for South East-Asian standards, Hanoian roads are mayhem - and the bus from Hanoi is a great way to experience them!

     After you escape the perils and pitfalls of Hanoi’s roads, you’ll eventually hit peaceful pieces of rurality. Hanoi may make you think that Vietnam is all motorbikes, commotion and chaos. But it isn’t. 

     The next stretch of the journey by bus from Hanoi to Halong Bay will take you through rice terraces and quiet towns. And don’t be surprised if your vehicle has to slow down to allow marauding herds of cows over the road. In Vietnam, it happens all the time!

     As the final stretch brings the ocean into view, you’ll be greeted with a Vietnam which feels worlds apart from the busy Hanoi you’ve left behind.

     If you travel by train from Hanoi to Halong Bay, you’ll see much the same sights, but you (of course!) won’t experience being on the roads.

     Whichever way you do it, it’s a beautiful journey to a beautiful part of the world. Whether you get the bus to Halong Bay, or choose another option, you’ll really enjoy the ride!

     One of the best things about the journey from Hanoi to Halong Bay is the contrast between the two destinations. Two of Vietnam’s most popular tourist spots, they couldn’t be more different from one another. But you should absolutely visit them both.

 

What is the best time of year to visit Halong Bay?

     There’s not really a bad time!

     The time of year you should visit depends on what type of weather you like. With Halong Bay, you have several different options:

  • September to December: With little chance of rain and pleasant temperatures, this is peak tourist time. Temperatures sit at around 22C, which is perfect for sunbathing, hiking and swimming. But this is also the busiest period. If you’re keen to avoid crowds, it’s best to avoid this season. 

 

  • March to May: Similar to the above, but with less tourists and slightly more chance of rain. That said, rain is fairly unlikely - and the temperatures are great, at an average of around 24C.

 

  • January to February: Mystically misty, this is Halong Bay’s quietest period. This means less tourists, but it also means that you’ll have foggy, cool weather. This type of weather isn’t great for sunbathing and beach activities, but the mist gives Halong Bay an unusual and mysterious atmosphere. Temperatures average around 16C.

 

  • June - August: hot and humid, with temperatures of around 29C, this time of year brings a huge chance of monsoons, along with a lot of tourists. Though these months are warm, they are the worst time to visit - the weather can disrupt lots of activities.

 

What is the best time of year to visit Hanoi?

     The two best periods are from February to April and from September to November. During these periods, the weather is great - it’s not too hot, and there’s little chance of rain. From February to April, the temperatures sit at around 21C, while from September to November, they’re slightly higher, at around 25C.

     From May to August, the weather can be unbearably hot, at almost 30C. Though this might not sound too high, the humidity makes it feel much warmer. This season also brings a multitude of monsoons, which can make the city unpleasant. 

     In December and January, the high humidity makes Hanoi cold, wet, damp and grey. Average temperatures are around 17C, but they feel much lower.

     It’s not a great idea to visit during Tet. The Vietnamese New Year, Tet is a huge celebration. During this period, Hanoi grinds to halt. Most businesses and restaurants are closed, so it’s not a great time to be a tourist in Hanoi. The exact dates change each year, but they’re always sometime in January and February - so make sure you check the dates before you visit.

     Outside of the big cities, Tet isn’t so much of a problem. Smaller destinations in this period are still fairly accessible and enjoyable, though you should avoid all travel during Tet if you can.

     If you travel to Hanoi in the right season, you’ll be greeted with a busy, vibrant destination, full of craziness, kindness and some of the world’s best street food.