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Sunday, April 22, 2018
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Halong bay tours: Every way to explore | 2018 Guide

Halong Bay is a magnificent natural world heritage located in Quang Ninh, Vietnam. Over the past few years, it has become more and more popular among global traveling lover community. Halong Bay is famous for its gorgeous beauty and the diversity of activities. The inclusion of Halong Bay on your traveling map must be the reason why you’re here. You’re having no idea of worth visiting places or get tired of the fragmented information? If so, you’re at the right place. This article will provide you with the details of all available Halong Bay tours and interesting activities. Let’s get started and make your own plan with us!

Halong Bay boat tour: Getting surrounded by the beauty

Halong Bay is the perfect combination of ocean, limestone pillars, and islands. There’s no wonder why the most popular way to explore Halong Bay is getting a boat tour. A small boat can sail in between and give you the close look at the huge, interesting shaped pillars which have stood there for thousands of years. Being surrounded by the majestic natural beauty will make you realize how small and short-lived human beings are. Especially for anyone fancying immersing in the deep blue water and hiking up the mountain at the same time, the scattered islands on the bay will definitely satisfy you.

Halong Bay 1 day tour: Ideal for short trip

Halong Bay 1 day tour: Overview

Halong Bay Tours
(Source: https://www.halongbaydaycruise.com)

This tour is an appropriate choice for people having limited time. The tour is typically about 4 hours long. However, don’t worry that you will miss out too much because the most significant features of the bay will be included. There is just a pity that with that amount of time, it won’t be able to provide you with lots of activities.

There is a wide variety of cruises for Halong Bay 1 day tour. The most popular type is the wooden junks, some of which can carry up to 46 people. They are mostly used for the joining-group tour which is suitable for people who like making friends and studying other cultures. However, if you prefer something less crowded with more peace, you can choose smaller cruises with premium service. You can also hire the private cruise for the whole family or group of friends. It will guarantee you the comfort and privacy.

For people who want to see more than just the bay, you can make the most of your time by taking the morning tour (from 8 am to 12 pm) or the afternoon tour (from 1 pm to 5 pm). However, this requires an intense schedule and you have to be completely active with your transportation. Therefore, you can choose the easier as well as the most popular choice which is the full day tour. There is almost no difference in the itinerary between them except for the inclusion of transportation.

Halong Bay 1 day tour: Price

You should bear in mind that the fewer people there are and the better the cruises are, the more money you will pay. With the normal junk tour, you just need to pay about US$ 45/person for a group of 1-4 people and US$ 40/person for a group of 5-8 people. The price for the private tour will be doubled, about US$ 80/person for the group of 5-8 people, US$ 90/person for the group of 3-4 people and US$ 150/person for 2 people.

Halong Bay 1 day tour: Itinerary

Despite the variety of providers, there is almost no difference among their itinerary. This is the most comment full day tour itinerary. People choosing half day tour can take this as the reference.

ITINERARY

At 7:30 am – 8:30 am, the tour guide will pick you up at your hotel and depart for the journey to Halong. The distance between Hanoi and Halong is about 180km. It takes you about 3.5 hours to get there. You will have about 30-minutes-break in the middle of the way in Hai Duong Province.

At about 12 pm – 12.30 pm, you will arrive at the harbor and board on the cruise. While the cruise starts to sail into the majestic beauty, you will get the lunch with seafood and traditional and local Vietnamese dishes. During 4-hour-trip, you will enjoy the magnificent scenery of thousands of milestone pillars in interesting islets such as Ngon Cai Islet, Trong Mai Islet, Dinh Huong Islet and Cho Da Islet. Besides, you can also visit Ba Hang floating village and explore the gorgeousness of Thien Cung Cave.

At 4 pm – 4:30 pm, you will head back to the bus and depart for home.

Halong Bay 2 day tour: Night on the ocean

Halong Bay 2 day tour: Overview

Halong Bay Tours
(Source: http://vietlongtravel.com)

This tour is completely ideal for people wanting to escape the noisy and chaotic city for one night. More than just sightseeing, with Halong Bay 2 day tour, you’ll have a lot of interesting activities to explore the local life and culture during the day and night. Furthermore, the cruise deck is also a great place if you want some romance. There’s nothing greater than watching the moon and the stars shining above which you barely see in the city filled with the light from the skyscrapers while letting the off-shore breeze blow through your hair. You and your partner can drink the champagne and give each other the words that have never been told. And a tight sleep in the embrace of the ocean and natural beauty will bring away all of your stress and sadness in life.

The cruises used for Halong Bay 2 day tour are usually bigger than the day cruises. They are equipped with restaurant, bar, deck, and room with private toilet and safety devices. They are able to provide you with everything that you may need during the tour. What if you’re a vegetarian? Don’t worry, they always have a separated menu for you. Moreover, the well-trained staff guarantee to quickly respond to your needs and the emergencies. With fewer number of passengers than the day tour, you’ll definitely get better care and have requirements met in time.

Halong Bay 2 day tour: Prices

The price of Halong Bay 2 day tour is absolutely equivalent to the good service and experience that you will have. It varies very widely depending on the brand of the cruise, the type of the cabin, the charge for extra services, season of the year or even the day of the week. The cheapest price to be found is about US$ 46/person and it can go up to US$ 555/person. If you feel too lost to have a proper choice, you may find some good advice on Halong Bay Cruise here.

Halong Bay 2 day tour: Itinerary

There are differences in choosing some destinations such as floating village or islands and activities of various cruises. However, they all share the same frame of the itinerary as below.

DAY 1

7:30am8:30am, you’ll get picked up and spend 3.5 next hours on transferring

12am1pm is the time for boarding, checking-in, enjoying the welcome drink and listening to the brief

In the next 1.5 hours, you’ll be having you lunch while the cruise starts to sail into the bay.

At about 3.15pm, you’ll have about a half hour to visit one in many magnificent caves in the bay.

After that, you’ll be taken to an island to relax on the white sandy beach and having other activities like kayaking, swimming or hiking up the mountain in about 2 hours.

6pm8pm is the time for you to come back to the cruise, participate in a cooking class and enjoy your dinner.

For the rest of the night, you can freely relax on the deck or take part in other night activities like watching movie or fishing the squids.

DAY 2

6.30am – 7am, you will start our day with Tai Chi exercise on the deck

After that, you can enjoy your breakfast and peaceful morning in half an hour

8.30am is time for you to do some activities like kayaking, swimming, visiting more caves and fishing village

At 10am-10.30am, you will come back to the cruise, enjoy your lunch while it heads back to the harbor

At 11.45am, the cruise disembarks and farewell

After that, you will be taken back to Hanoi and that is the end of your trip

Halong Bay 3-day tour: Thoroughly enjoy the beauty

Halong Bay 3 day tour: Overview

Halong Bay Tours
(Source: youtube.com)

Halong Bay 3 day tour is not as popular as Halong Bay 2 day tour. However, it’s a great trip for people having a long vacation. The itinerary of this tour is not much different from the 2-day tour, yet the outstanding feature is you don’t have to do everything in a hurry. The 3-day tour will give you enough time to slowly sail through almost every single corner of the bay and you’ll see much more than what 1 day or 2-day tour can offer you. Furthermore, you also have more time to enjoy the fresh, unpolluted air in the middle of the sea and do a lot of exciting water activities.

The cruises that can provide 3-day tour are usually the best and largest cruises in the bay. However, some mid-range cruises also have this service. They have to meet all the requirement relating to safety, facilities, and services like restaurant or bar etc. If one thing goes wrong, the trip of every passenger will be ruined. I strongly recommend you to choose large and credible cruises which are equipped with safety devices as there are a lot of hidden risks on the bay, especially bad weather. Besides normal sightseeing trip, you also can hire the cruise to organize big events such as conferences and weddings.

Halong Bay 3 day tour: Price

The price for Halong Bay 3 day tour varies in such a wide, from US$ 150 to US$ 900. It’s also based on the criteria such as the size of the cruise, the type of cabin and the services that they can offer. As this is a long vacation in the middle of the sea, I bet you wouldn’t expect something inconvenient and uncomfortable. Nevertheless, if your budget is not big enough for the fancies tour, the one at about US$ 500 will be suitable for you.

Halong Bay 3 day tour: Itinerary

DAY 1:

7.30am – 11.30am: Transfer from Hanoi to Halong Bay

11.30am – 12.15pm: Arrive in Tuan Chau Island

12.15pm: Transfer to the boat

12.30pm: Welcome drink, cruise information and check-in

1.00pm – 2:30pm: Lunch at the restaurant

2.30pm – 4.30pm: Cruise and sightseeing along Halong Bay. Enjoy an afternoon spa treatment

4.00pm: Visit one of the most beautiful Cave and kayaking

5.00pm – 6.30pm: Happy Hour (Buy one, get one drink) on the sundeck

6.00pm – 7.00pm: Cooking demonstration on the sundeck

7.30pm – 10.00pm: Dinner at the restaurant

9.00pm: Movies in the restaurant, squid fishing

DAY 2:

07.00am: Tai Chi demonstration on the sundeck

07.00am – 08.30am: Light breakfast, coffee & pastries

08.30am: Transfer to smaller boats for excursions

09.00am: Visit an island

10.30am: Visit Pearl Farm

12.00pm: Vietnamese set lunch

2.30pm: Visit floating village by bamboo boat or kayak

3.30pm: Return to the cruise

5.00pm – 6.30pm: Happy Hour (Buy one, get one drink) on the sundeck

6.00pm – 7.00pm: Cooking demonstration on the sundeck Pre-dinner cocktails on the sundeck 7.30pm: Dinner at the restaurant

9.00pm: Movies in the restaurant, squid fishing

DAY 3:

07.00am: Tai Chi demonstration on the sundeck

07.00am – 09.30am: Light breakfast, coffee & pastries

07.30am: Stay on board and just relax or enjoy a spa treatment

08.30am: Breakfast at the restaurant

09.30am: Bill settlement and checkout

10.30am: Return to Tuan Chau Marina

Halong Bay tourist attraction: Sightseeing of the journey

Halong Bay tourist attraction: Islet tour

Islet tour: Thien Nga Islet
Halong bay tours
(Source: https://www.halong-bay-hotels.com)

Thien Nga Islet (Swan Islet) is located on Bai Tu Long Bay. This 15-meter high islet is the comparison of three stones piling in each other. The biggest block creates the body and two others are the neck and head. From the far distance, the islet looks like a beautiful lost swan swimming in the sea.

Islet tour: Mat Quy Islet
halong bay tours
(Source: https://www.pinterest.com)

Mat Quy Islet (Monster Head Islet) is located near Am Islet (Kettle Islet) on Bai Tu Long Bay. Its height is from 30 to 35 meters above the sea level. This islet has the shape of a monster head with a big nose and a distorted face. Despite its ugly appearance, it’s still an attractive sight to many tourists. Legend has it that this is the head of the monster killed by Kim Quy (the Golden Tortoise) for threatening local lives.

Islet tour: Dau Nguoi Islet
Halong Bay tours
(Source: https://www.orientalsails.com)

Dau Nguoi Islet (Human Head Islet) is situated about 13km away from Bai Chay, near Sung Sot Cave and Titov Island. This is a 25-meter high islet. It’s another islet with the shape of a head. However, instead of a monster head, it’s a beautiful Egyptian alike head with a pointed chin and a big hawkish nose. The islet somehow reminds us of the statue of the Egyptian Sphinx. It looks best in the sunset when the sun gradually comes down behind it.

Islet tour: Yen Ngua Islet
Halong bay tours
(Source: https://www.vietnamtonkintravel.com)

Yen Ngua Islet is located in the heart of Halong Bay – the World Heritage. This is the artwork of nature’s creative hands. It is the combination of two pieces of stone, one is higher than the other one. They are linked to each other, creating a massive saddle-like shape. Interestingly, boats can sail through underneath the connecting point of these two pieces. To some people, the islet looks more like a sewing machine than a saddle.

Islet tour: Ngon Cai Islet
Halong Bay tours
(Source: http://www.halongbaycruise.vn)

Ngon Cai Islet (Thumb Islet) is situated in the West of Halong Bay, about 6km to the South-Eastern Tuan Chau Marina. It looks like a huge thumb rising up from the sea. The sea-level changes in approximately 6000 years have formed the shape of this karst limestone. According to the local people, the image of a thumb-up figure means good luck. There is a hearsay story among travelers that the Mother Nature created the islet here to remind everyone how amazing Halong Bay is and people need to preserve it.

Islet tour: Trong Mai Islet
halong bay tours
(Source: Insta dpursuitofnana)

Trong Mai Islet (Chicken Mate, Kissing Rocks or Fighting Cocks Islet) is a symbolic and not to be missed attraction of Halong Bay. It is located in the Southwest of Halong, about 6km to the South-Eastern Tuan Chau Marina. The islet is about 12 meters tall above the sea level with two huge rocks resembling a rooster and a hen kissing and protecting each other. As the old story told, they represent the faithful and loyal love. Some other people also say the islet looks more like two angry and combative chicken in the traditional cockfighting. The islet is the most beautiful at dawn when the sun sheds its first light on it.

Islet tour: Dinh Huong Islet
Halong bay tours
(Source: Insta Travelerlionking)

Dinh Huong Islet (Incense Burner Islet), also known as Lu Huong Islet, is located in the southwest of Dau Go Island. It consists of one huge piece of stone resembling a burning incense standing in the middle of the sea. The exact time of Dinh Huong Islet’s formation remains unknown, however, it has always been the sacred symbol of Halong Bay. It is considered to be a holy object to worship the Sky and Earth as well as dedicate to the heroes having sacrificed for the country. Dinh Huong Islet, according to the scientists, vividly represents for the typically geological and geomorphological values of Halong Bay. Beyond the role of an attractive sight, the islet also helps to navigate cruises and boats. The image of Dinh Huong Islet is honored to be printed on VND 200,000 note.

Islet tour: Cho Da Islet
Halong Bay tours
(Source: https://alotrip.com)

Cho Da Islet (Dog Islet) is situated about 4km to the Southeast of Tuan Chau Marina, near Thien Cung Cave. It’s one the most interesting shaped islets in the bay. As described by its name, the 8-meter-high islet has the shape of a dog sitting and looking out to the sea. The stone dog is very familiar with Vietnamese people. They are usually placed in front of the gate of the temples or the ancient houses.

People believe they will inform the good news to the visitors, keep the house safe and prevent the wicked and evil from getting in the house. Cho Da Islet is like a gatekeeper for Halong Bay. It has stood there for thousands of years to protect the bay and guarantee the safety of the tourists enjoying the heritage’s beauty. This islet is an interesting attraction and has contributed to the sacred shade of the bay.

Islet tour: Con Coc Islet
Halong Bay Tours
(Source: https://www.orientalsails.com)

Con Coc Islet (Toad Islet) is located to the Southeast of Halong Bay, about 12km from Bai Chay. It is 9 meters high. Under nature’s hand, this islet is sculptured with the shape of a huge toad sitting in the middle of the sea, looking at the sky, waiting for the rain. Beside Mat Quy Islet, Cho Da Islet, etc. this islet has its own story too.

According to a Vietnamese folk tale, once upon a time, there had been no rain for years which threatened the lives of all species. A brave toad decided to go meet the God and ask for the rain. His accompany is a group of animal. To honor the toad, everyone started to call it the Uncle of God. Since then, whenever the toad grinds its teeth, it is rain. Although this is just a scientific phenomenon, back in the old day, it’s a useful signal helping Vietnamese farmers forecast the rain in agriculture.

Islet tour: Ba Trai Dao Islet
Halong Bay tours
(Source: https://www.vietnamworldheritages.com)

Ba Trai Dao Islet (Three Peaches Islet) is situated about 22km to the Southeast of Bai Chay Tourist Wharf. It takes about an hour to get there by speedboat from Bai Chay. Therefore, not a lot of tourists have the chance to enjoy its beauty. However, it’s still one of the most favorite islets in Halong Bay. The islet is the combination of three mountains resembling three peaches. Their average height is 23 meters. This islet is featured with the same name beach which is one of the most beautiful beaches on the bay.

One interesting thing about this beach is that you just can swim at the beach in about 2-3 hours a day because of the rising tide. Like some other islets on the bay, Ba Trai Dao also has its own story. Once upon a time, the God’s youngest daughter fell in love with a poor fisherman. She stole three peaches in heaven for him so he can become immortal. Unluckily, the God found that out and turned the peaches into three mountains. Therefore, the islet is named as Ba Trai Dao (Three Peaches).

Halong Bay tourist attraction: Halong Bay cave tour

Halong Bay cave tour: Thien Cung Cave
Halong Bay tours
(Source: Insta ribsjourney)

Thien Cung Cave (Heaven Cave), along with Sung Sot Cave, is one of the largest and most magnificent caves in Halong Bay. It is located to the north of Dau Go Cave. The cave was discovered quite late as it was hidden under the flora coverage. In 1993, the fishermen came here to avoid a big storm and explored large cave accidentally. The stalactites with the shapes of the dragon, phoenix and four pillars overwhelmed the fishermen and made them think of a heavenly palace. It explains the name of the cave.

Halong Bay tours
(Source: Insta ribsjourney)

Thien Cung Cave is at the height of 25 meters above the sea level. Tourists visiting this cave will have the feeling of visiting a natural art museum with so many sophisticated masterpieces created through thousands of years. There are four large pillars in the center of the cave to “support the roof of heaven” with many strange images living inside such as bird, fish, flowers and even scenes of human life from the bottom to the top of the pillars.

Halong Bay tours
(Source: Insta beobungbuvn)

Sometimes, people may hear the sound of the beating drums in the cave. However, actually, it is just the noise of the wind blowing through the hole of the stones. Walking to the last part of the cave, you’ll see three small ponds of clean water. Legend has it that this is where May bathed her 100 children. The path leading you out of the cave was the way which May and her 50 children took to come to the new lands.

Halong Bay cave tour: Sung Sot Grotto
Halong Bay Tours
(Source: Insta Kennyg_uy)

Sung Sot Grotto is situated in the center of the bay. Its French name is “grotto des surprises” (grotto of surprise). The grotto covers an area of 10,000-meter square. It’s divided into 2 chambers. The first one is like a huge theatre hall. There is a narrow passage leading to the second room which can contain up to thousands of people at one time. The grotto is famous for numerous stalactites and stalagmites with different forms and shapes hanging from the ceiling and along the paved passage.

Halong Bay tours
(Source: Insta paulbucknallphotographer)

At the lowest point of the grotto, you’ll see a royal garden with a crystal clear pond and magnificent landscape of mountains. Therefore, many bird and plants can live here. Sometimes, you may see monkeys searching for fruits too. Up to the roof of the grotto, you can see small and soft spots looking like the pattern in the ceiling. Significantly, there is a huge piece of stone standing up to the ceiling by the grotto’s mouth which is the evidence of the typical karst-style grottoes. At the side of the entrance, there is a rock resembling a horse and a long sword. Legend has it, they were left behind by Saint Giong after he defeated the evils and demons.

Halong Bay cave tour: Dau Go Cave

Dau Go Cave is situated on Driftwood Island. From the far distance, the entrance of the cave looks blue and resembles a jellyfish. You can reach the entrance after 90 steps up. The ceiling is about 25 meters high. It’s divided into three main parts.

Halong bay tours
(Source: https://halong.dulichvietnam.com.vn)

The exterior room has a vault full of natural light. Depending on the imagination of the visitors, you can see a lot of interesting shapes of the rock. Through a narrow passage, you will enter the second chamber with much less light. It’s smaller but more graceful. It creates the feeling like you’re going to a pagoda that every step is gentler. And the last chamber is widely opened. There is a well of clear water at the end of the cave. In the dim light, we can see the image of the ancient citadel, elephants, horses, and men with swords and spears. They all look like moving and suddenly being petrified.

Halong Bay Tours
(Source: https://www.citypassguide.com)

The name of the cave has the origin from the story of the resistance against the invasion of the Yuan – Mongolian. The remaining wooden pieces used as an ironwood stake trap for the decisive battle on Bach Dang River were found in the grotto. That explains the cave’s current name.

Halong Bay Tours
(Source: https://halongbay.holiday)

In 1917, Khai Dinh king paid a visit to the cave and was overwhelmed by the beauty of this place. He decided to put in an engraved stone on the right side of the entrance to praise this magnificent beauty. In the book “Marvels of the World”, published in France in 1938, the grotto was called as “Grotte des Merveilles” (a site of many marvels).

Halong Bay cave tour: Trinh Nu Cave

Trinh Nu Cave (Virgin Cave) is situated about 15km to the south of Bai Chay Beach. For fishermen, Trinh Nu cave is a shelter, but for the young couple, it symbolizes the true love. It has become a romantic place to take an oath of love. Entering the cave, you will see a stone statue of a girl lying in the middle of the grotto, letting her hair down and looking towards the sea with hope. In the opposite cave, there is another statue with the shape of a man turning his face to the girl on the other side. Absolutely, they have their own story which is a sad one.

Legend has it, once upon a time, there was a beautiful girl whose poor family lived in a fishing zone. The administrator wanted to marry her but she already had a fiancé who was catching fish offshore. As being refused, the administrator got angry, expelled her out of the fish zone and took her to an inhabited island. Suffering the hunger and exhaustion, the girl turned into stone. Her fiancé, after knowing that she was in danger, got on the way to search for her. He floated near the island where she died but he couldn’t get nearby. With his last attempt to get close to his lover, he turned to stone too.

Halong Bay tourist attractions: Halong Bay island tour

Halong Bay island tour: Titov Island
Halong Bay Tours
(Source: Phong Nguyen)

Titov Island is a must-visit place once you get to Halong Bay. It is always included in every tour no matter it lasts for one, two or three days. The island is situated 14 km to the east of Bai Chay. At the end of the 19th century, the island’s name was Cat Nang. On November 22nd, 1992, President Ho Chi Minh and the Soviet astronaut Gherman Titov paid a visit to the island. To perpetuate the remembrance of this auspicious occasion, President Ho Chi Minh named the island after the astronaut.

Halong Bay Tours
(Source: Instagramer @aka.jam)
Halong Bay Tours
(Source: Instagramer @yoyochen0420)

The island has a beautiful white sandy beach, looking like a moon embracing the island from above with emerald blue water and small wave. This creates ideal conditions for the most amazing water activities and sports. What’s better than sunbathing on the beach while drinking tasty, fresh fruit juice? After that, you can immerse in the crystal clear water and let the tiny waves massage your body. Furthermore, the fresh seafood that you’ll get on the island will impress you. Besides water activities, you also can go on a 420-step-hiking to the mountain on the island. From here, you can have a spectacular overview of the bay.

Halong Bay Tours
(Source: Instagramer @naveda89)
Halong Bay island tour: Soi Sim Island
Halong Bay Tours
(Source: http://www.balloonhalongbay.com)

Soi Sim Island is a small soil island in the southwest of Halong Bay. It’s pretty near Titov Island, just about 700 meters away.  Explaining the name “Soi Sim”, the locals said that in the past, the major plants on the island was Rhodomyrtus tomentosa (called “sim” in Vietnamese). Therefore, the island was named after that plant. On the island, there are two 200-meter hills covered by a green primeval forest. This primeval forest is home to many species of flora, especially endemic plants. This is the result of thousands of years isolated from the mainland. This island is not so popular with the tourists as Titov island so it’s much quieter and peaceful. However, due to its impressive beauty, the authority is planning to build this island to an eco-tourism site.

Halong Bay Tours
(Source: https://halongcruisevietnam.com)

Halong Bay tourist attractions: Halong Bay floating village

Halong Bay floating village: Cua Van-Van Gia Fishing Village
Halong Bay tours
(Source: http://huonghaihalong.com)

Cua Van-Van Gia Fishing Village is the first to mention floating village. It’s situated 20 km away from the harbor, in a calm area surrounded by the giant mountain. The population of this village is about 733 in 176 households. This is the biggest one out of 4 fishing village on the bay. Their main income is from fishing. Visiting this village is a great experience for tourists who love to learn the local life as well as their culture and customs. The special thing about floating village is that every house is just a boat. However, they look really spacious and clean. The family with good income can upgrade the roof to tiled roof and have facility inside such as radios, televisions sets, table, and chairs, etc.

Halong Bay Tours
(Source: http://halongtourism.com.vn)

Although the life in the middle of the sea is difficult and tough, people there still try to provide the children education. They built four classrooms and one small room for the teacher on an area of over 150-meter square. They are the first floating classroom in Halong. The “school” has been developing and so far, there are 7 classes which are mainly for grade 1 and 2 students. It’s interesting to witness children going to school. The school is lack of so much facility, however, the happiness is still all over their faces. Cua Van now has become one of the most favorite tourist attraction in Halong.

Halong Bay floating village: Tung Sau Pearl Farm
Halong Bay Tours
(Source: http://www.easytours24h.com)

Besides fishing, cultivating pearl is another Halong Bay tradition. Due to the development of the tourism in Halong Bay, this tradition has been shared with the visitors in cruising itineraries. The tour to Tung Sau Pearl Farm is the most popular, short yet informative one which shows visitors the process of creating the pearl. After being transferred to the farm by a tender, visitors will be given an overview of how to make the pearl, which type of oysters to choose. After that, the tourists will have a look at the cages where the oysters are kept. The cages size depends on the age of the oysters. At the end of the tour, the tourists can see the process of creating the pearls with their own eyes. The whole process is conducted by the professional artisan.

Halong Bay Tours
(Source: http://www.easytours24h.com)

Halong bay seaplane tour: Great view from the top

Halong Bay ToursIf you’re seeking a more unique and awesome experience, the seaplane tour will absolutely be your cup tea. This tour is quite young that it was launched 3 years ago by Hai Au Aviation. However, it has got lots of praises from every passenger. Unlike the boat tour, with the top position, you’ll get the full view of the heritage underneath. Halong Bay becomes a gorgeous scenery picture which is put nicely into a frame with so many sophisticated details and the harmony colors of deep blue, green, yellow and white. It will take you forever to completely enjoy this breathtaking beauty and you will never get enough of it.

Halong Bay ToursEspecially, you can freely use 4G and all digital devices during the flight. One more surprise for you is the cool landing and taking off on water.  For people who have been to Halong before, this is a whole new and exciting way to explore it. Whereas, for people who have never been there, this tour is definitely worth trying instead of the same common boat tour.

Halong Bay toursHai Au Aviation uses Cessna Grand Caravan 208B – EX amphibian aircrafts for their service. They built a waiting and departure lounge in Halong, near the harbor, which creates a lot of convenience for the tourist. The motto of the company is strictly following the international aviation rules to guarantee the customers’ safety. The pilots are friendly and experienced with more than 6000 flying hours. Furthermore, all procedures with Hai Au Aviation are smooth and easy due to the professional and well-trained staff.

Halong Bay ToursHalong Bay day trip from Hanoi: Schedule flight

The scheduled flight with seaplane is an ideal choice for a Halong Bay day trip from Hanoi. Instead of spending 4 precious hours on a crowded, uncomfortable bus being stuck in the middle of the chaotic street, you can hop on the seaplane and experience the most exciting, comfortable and premium journey ever. This flight will save you a great amount of time while it just takes you 45 minutes to get to Halong Bay. You can also book the flight including 15-minute-sightseeing-tour of the stunning bay. Therefore, you’ll have time to enjoy the beauty of every gorgeous limestone karsts and floating villages from above before landing on Tuan Chau Island Marina.

Halong Bay ToursThe flight will start at Noi Bai Airport, Hanoi to Tuan Chau Marina. You will fly through the Red River Delta, Co Loa, Luc Dau Giang, Hai Phong City. The price for one-way ticket varies from US$ 175-385 depending on the season and the time of the day. If you take the round-trip fly, it will cost you only US$ 350.

Halong Bay day trip in Halong: Scenic flight

If you don’t choose to fly from Hanoi to Halong Bay by seaplane, you still can enjoy its fantastic view with the scenic flight. This tour is much shorter than cruise tour which is 25 minutes long including taking off and landing. However, it gives you the amazing view and experience that the cruise will never be able to give you. It’s a completely new way to explore the beauty of the bay and you will be so proud of the spectacular pictures that you take during the flight. It will fly through Dau Be Island, Cong Do Island and Bo Hon Island. Especially, the price for this flight remains at US$ 99 no matter of the season or time.

Halong Bay Tours

Halong Bay land tour: Not just natural heritage

Halong Bay is mostly known as the UNESCO Natural Heritage. However, the limestone karsts and islands rising up from the blue water are not the only things that you can visit. It’s also famous for its nature, culture and local customs. Therefore, if you want to see more than just the natural heritage, the site listed above is worth a try.

Halong Bay local tour: For cultural lovers

Halong Bay local tour: Quang Ninh Museum

Halong Bay Tours
(Source: http://thuviendientu.baoquangninh.com.vn)

Quang Ninh Museum – Library is a unique work of art in architecture. Its appearance has been overwhelming a lot of people. Everything from the long stairs to shiny black glass reflecting the beauty of Halong and the impressive typeface of the museum’s name is a great background for you to take an insta-ish picture. People are also impressed by the space inside the museum. With 3 floors, Quang Ninh Museum brings to the visitors the sufficient view of the local nature and people. The museum opens all weekdays except for Monday, from 8 am to 5 pm. The price for the ticket is VND 30,000/time/adult, VND 15,000/time/student and VND 10,000/time/child.

Halong Bay Tours
(Source: https://mytour.vn)
Halong Bay Tours
(Source: https://mytour.vn)

Halong Bay local tour: Ba Vang Pagoda

Ba Vang Pagoda is situated on Thanh Dang Mountain. Its official name is Bao Quang Tu, however, people call it Ba Vang. At night, the pagoda is lighted creating Elysium scenery. The pagoda is at the height of 340 meters to the west of Uong Bi City, facing Bang Dang River. From there, you can see Hai Phong City far far away with Do Son Sea. Thanh Long (Green Dragon) Mountain is on the left and Bach Ho (White Tiger) Mountain is on the right.

Halong Bay local tour: Yen Tu Relics

Halong Bay trip is not only about the sea. If you want to visit a temple, Yen Tu is a good choice for you. This is a system of temples, chambers, towers, and forests of ancients trees mixed with nature, scattered from Red slope to Yen Tu Mountain vertically.

Halong Bay local tour: Nu Hoang Cable

Nu Hoang Cable goes pass the entrance of Cua Luc Bay, connecting Bai Chay Beach with Ba Deo (Hon Gai, Ha Long City). On 25th of June 2017, Halong cable system is opened and get into operation after almost 2 years of construction. It belongs to the 6000 billion entertainment complex lying along Bai Chay Beach to Ba Deo Hill. The beauty of Halong Bay from above will definitely overwhelm you. You will be able to experience magnificent view no matter days or nights.

Situated on the peak of Ba Deo Hill, Mat Troi Wheel is the second biggest wheel in Vietnam and one of the biggest ones in the world. From here, you can see Halong Bay’s beauty at the height of 215 meters compared to the sea level. The pillar on Bai Chay side is 188.8 meters. This is the record for the highest pillar in the world. The pillar on Ba Deo side is 133 meters. The cable system just has 2 cabins which look like 2-floor-bus with the capacity of 230 people/cabin. There are chairs, handles, and rails for visitors inside the spacious cabin. The price for an adult is VND 300,000, VND 200,00 for child’s height under 1.3 meter and free for children’s height under 1 meter. This is the lump-sum price for cable, wheel, and playground on Ba Deo Hill.

Halong Bay backpacker tour: For natural lovers

Halong Bay backpacker tour: Climbing Bai Tho Moutain

To adventurous tourists who would love to release their energy and explore Halong’s natural beauty, climbing Bai Tho Mountain is definitely your vibe. This activity is suitable for everyone because there are not a lot of sloppy and dangerous spots. After overcoming all the challenges, your reward would be the spectacular view of Halong from the peak of the mountain at the end of the journey. Don’t forget to bring along your pocket camera to keep some memories for yourself. I bet these pictures will gain your friends’ admiration.

Halong Bay backpacker tour: Trekking with Active Travel

Halong Bay Tours
(Source: catbahotels.info)

If you’re searching for a long trekking tour, the 4-day-tour with Active Travel in Cat Ba Island can be the ideal choice for you. The journey is the combination of one trekking day, one kayaking day and one relaxing day on the boat. This is the harmonious combination of adventuring and relaxing. The tour is expensive but the experience is really worth the money.

Halong Bay backpacker tour: Spice Roads Cycle Tour

Halong Bay Tours
(Source: http://snailadventure.com.vn)

If you’re a cycling lover and you want to explore Halong in your own way, you can participate in Spice Roads Cycle tour. Spice Roads offers a lot of cycle tours in Vietnam and Southeast Asia countries. With this tour, you will cycle along Red River to Cat Ba National Park. Besides, this tour also includes resting in junk boat bringing balance for the participants. You will be satisfied enjoying Halong Bay from different angles.

We have just gone through all the tours available in Halong and the details of what you will see on that tour. There are so many different ways to enjoy Halong’s beauty and you can choose whatever suits with your time and your style. I hope we have provided you with enough information to make a perfect plan.

 

Hanoi to Halong Bay: 7 ways to travel | The 2018 Guide

Hanoi to Halong Bay
Hanoi to Halong Bay

Halong Bay, recognized as UNESCO World Heritage Site, is one of the most favorite tourist attractions in Vietnam. It is famous for thousands of limestone islets with different shape raising up from the immensely blue water. Visiting this beautiful site must be on the bucket list of almost every traveler to Vietnam. One of their biggest concerns to be known is how to travel from Hanoi to Halong Bay. Therefore, for anyone who is still confused about which means of transports to choose, this article will give you all information that you need.

Hanoi to Halong Bay: Popular & inexpensive land transport

Hanoi to Halong Bay

Halong Bay is located in the northeast of Vietnam, right at the heart of the Gulf of Tonkin. It belongs to Quang Ninh province. Halong Bay is about 180 km away from the capital of Hanoi. This is neither too far nor too short distance. With its charming beauty, Halong Bay has been a popular tourist attraction with local people for a long time. After the recognition of UNESCO, Halong Bay became globally well-known and an international tourism hot spot.

From Hanoi to Halong beautyThe magnificent beauty of Halong Bay (source: Shutterstock.com)

Consequently, tourism development is considered as one of the provincial priorities. To meet the increasing number of tourists’ demands to travel from Hanoi to Halong Bay, the traffic has been upgraded in the recent years. It makes the journey by land transport much shorter and more comfortable. This is the reason why tourists choose these vehicles beside the fact that they are popular and inexpensive. However, they are not the same. Each means of transport will give you its own typical experience which you can find out below.

Local coach: for eager backpackers

What are advantages of the local coach?

In all countries, coach along with public transports are the most popular and convenient ways to move from place to place. Another reason for it to become everyone’s favorite transportation is its cheap price. A coach can make your trip much more comfortable and simpler. Especially if you’re not a good map reader yet an eager traveler, a coach is really helpful. Traveling by coach will provide you a closer look at the life of local Vietnamese and all beautiful landscapes on the way.

Coach from Hanoi to Halong Bay
Local coach is one of the most popular and convenient one (source: Shutterstock)

The common route of all coaches is Hanoi – Hai Duong – Hai Phong – Bai Chay (Halong). Thanks to the upgraded traffic infrastructure, the journey is just about 4 to 5 hours long. The price for one way ticket can vary from US$ 3.5-7 depending on coach’s quality and size. Another good thing about the coach is that you don’t get any surcharge on the weekend. The earliest coach departs at 6 a.m and the latest is at 8 p.m. There is a coach leaving every 1-2 hours due to various providers’ schedule. The first coach coming back to Hanoi starts at about 12 p.m and the last one is at about 9.30 pm.

How to book a ticket from Hanoi to Halong Bay?

The process to buy a ticket from Hanoi to Halong Bay is not too complicated. The first thing to do is choosing your departing date. After a few clicks on the website vexere.com , you will get a fully detailed schedule of the day from all providers. The wide range of choice might overwhelm you. You should take time to consider the quality of the coach as well as the coach provider’s credibility.

Ticket from Hanoi to Halong Bay
Passengers are buying coach tickets at Gia Lam Station (Dailo.vn)

A useful tip for you is reading the reviews of previous travelers and seeing provider’s popularity. Especially, you can have more trust in the providers having active licenses in local coach stations. Once you find out the suitable coach, you just need to pick up your phone, call them and make a reservation. You can also book through the website. Otherwise, you can directly go to their offices or local coach stations and buy the ticket. Booking in advance will ensure you a smooth journey and lessen the trouble.

Some Coach Providers Information
NamePhone numberAddress
Dai Phat Coach

(+84) 983 472 299

Giap Bat Station, Km6 Giai Phong Str, Hoang Mai Dist, Hanoi

Duc Phuc Coach

(+84) 979 065 168
(+84) 912 474 408

Tien Lang New Bridge, Ba Dinh Dist, Hanoi
Kumho Viet Thanh

1900 7075

20 Pham Hung Str, Tu Liem Dist, Hanoi

Phuc Xuyen Coach

(02) 033 663 366
(02) 033 556 677
(+84) 912 069 739


Group 7, Region 1, Yen Thanh Ward, Uong Bi, Quang Ninh

Xuan Truong Coach

(+84) 912 767 688Van Don Dist, Quang Ninh

Coach station to travel from Hanoi to Halong Bay
Nuoc Ngam Station – one of the 4 biggest local coach stations in Hanoi (Source: NDH.vn)
Local Coach Station List
NamePhone numberAddress
My Dinh Station

(024) 376 855 49

20 Pham Hung Str, My Dinh Ward, Nam Tu Niem Dist, Hanoi

Nuoc Ngam Station

(024) 386 121 58Km8, Giai Phong Str, Hoang Liet Ward, Hoang Mai Dist, Hanoi

Giap Bat Station

(024) 386 414 67

Km6, Giai Phong Str, Hoang Liet Ward, Hoang Mai Dist, Hanoi

Yen Nghia Station

(024) 335 712 85Highway 6, Yen Nghia Ward, Ha Dong Dist, Hanoi

Gia Lam Station

(02) 438 271 529No.9, Ngo Gia Kham Str, Long Bien Dist, Hanoi

Why not to choose the coach to travel from Hanoi to Halong Bay?

In spite of all advantages mentioned above, the coach is not a completely ideal transport to travel from Hanoi to Halong Bay. The coach mainly serves local people. Consequently, most of the time, neither the salesman/saleswoman nor drivers can speak English. The language barrier will create a lot of difficulties in communicating and understanding. This will lead to big troubles if there’s any delay or you miss your stop. The fact that the coach is not available at the Old Quarter, where most of the foreign tourists live, makes it much less convenient.

Furthermore, the coach is quite unsuitable with a day trip. As you have to depart for and leave the bay early, you will always be in a hurry. Even if you are willing to wait for the latest coach, the fact that you’re out of energy will make your trip less perfect. Furthermore, who can guarantee the providers won’t cancel that coach at last minute? Spending a half day just for moving back and forth won’t ensure you a perfect journey either.

Coach from Hanoi to Halong Bay
Information of local coal to travel from Hanoi to Halong Bay (Source: Shutterstock.com)

Shuttle Bus: Convenient and straightforward

What’s so good about shuttle bus?

The shuttle bus is also known as the tourist bus. As the main customers of the shuttle bus are foreign tourists, it offers more comfort and convenience for them. It is usually small high-quality bus including Ford Transit, Limousine Bus which have from 9 to 16 seats. Simultaneously, it doesn’t stop at the middle of the way to catch more customers but runs straight to Halong Bay. There is just a small break which is about 15 minutes for the passengers to go to the toilet. Therefore, it will take less time to travel from Hanoi to Halong Bay than going by coach, about 3 – 3.5 hours.

Furthermore, it also includes some advanced services such as wifi, water on the bus. Especially, there won’t be a severe language barrier. The drivers normally have enough English to communicate with you and solve some of your problems. However, the cost for the better service will definitely higher. You will have to pay about US$ 10-20 for a one-way ticket/person. The departure time is usually at 7.30 a.m or 8.30 a.m or earlier depending on providers’ schedule.

Limousine from Hanoi to Halong Bay
High-quality interior and advanced quality of a Limousine mini bus to Halong Bay (Source: thuexelimousines.com)

Where to catch the shuttle bus from Hanoi to Halong Bay?

As mentioned above, the shuttle bus mainly serves foreign customers. Therefore, instead of departing from the local stations, the shuttle bus will mostly pick up the passengers from the Old Quarter – the center for foreigners in Hanoi. However, some shuttle buses can also be found in the local coach stations. Some other buses offer hotel picking up service. One thing to notice that the picking up time is usually a half to one hour before the departure time. Similar to the coach, you can also find the bus providers’ contacts on vexere.com or travelertick.com and book through the website or call them to book. A more convenient way for customers having accommodation in the Old Quarter is going straight to the tourist bus agencies.

Note
Normally, the agencies offering the tourist bus also provides different kind of tours in Halong Bay. If you’re not really good at making a plan and follow your schedule, this is pretty advantageous for you.

Some Shuttle Buses Information
Shuttle Bus ProvidersPhone numberAddress
Hoang Long VIP Bus1900 969 681
1900 7075
Quang Ninh: No.312, Group 2, Region 5, Ha Tu Ward, Halong Dist, Quang Ninh

Hanoi:
Hanoi Office: Yen Nghia Station, Ha Dong Dist, Hanoi
Old Quarter Office: No.42, Ma May Dist, Hoan Kiem Dist, Hanoi
Minh Anh Limousine(+84) 977 719 666Quang Ninh: Group 5, Region Tan Lan 3, Cam Thuy Ward, Cam Pha Dist, Quang Ninh

Hanoi: Alley 11 Duy Tan Str, Cau Giay Dist, Hanoi
Ha Vy Limousine(+84) 969 255 255Quang Ninh: Group 6, Region 8, Hong Hai Ward, Halong Dist, Quang Ninh

Hanoi: Cau Giay Park, Cau Giay Dist, Hanoi
Cua Ong Limousine1900 565 685
(+84) 983 227 788
(+84) 898 257 788
Quang Ninh: Cua Ong Ward, Cam Pha, Quang Ninh

Hanoi: 72A Nguyen Trai Str, Thanh Xuan Dist, Hanoi
Van Don Xanh(020) 033 991 991
(+84) 964 240 240
(+84) 981 755 198
Quang Ninh: Tailgate Cai Rong Market, Cai Rong Town, Van Don Ward, Quang Ninh.

Hanoi: Cau Giay Dist, Hanoi

Is there any hesitation for the shuttle bus?

It should be a “yes” for anyone having short or one day trip. Although compared to the local coach, the journey by shuttle bus is shorter and has much better services. Nevertheless, it will still take much of your time. You can’t be 100 percent sure there will be no incident on the way which can ruin your whole journey. In addition, the shuttle bus usually departs at about 8 a.m which is not early enough for you to have more time in Halong Bay. Hence, if you want to thoroughly enjoy the beauty of this heritage, the tourist bus is not ideal either.

Shuttle Bus from Hanoi to Halong Bay
Information of shuttle bus to travel from Hanoi to Halong Bay (Source: Hanoitohalong.com)

Private car/taxi: Carefree and Painless

Who to take private car/taxi to Halong Bay?

If the local coach and shuttle bus can’t satisfy you, private car/taxi can be your choice to travel from Hanoi to Halong Bay. While private car/taxi is not really economical and also takes as much time as the local coach and shuttle bus, it will give you a carefree direct journey and more space of privacy in return. It suits with flexible travelers who don’t like to follow any rules or schedules. This is also a good choice for a small group of friends or family. There is enough space for a lot of luggage, especially if you want to make a BBQ on the beach. In addition, everyone can sit nice and close to each other to have a chit chat or lean on each other sleeping. The private car/taxi is also ideal for a businessman who wants to work on the way without being disturbed.

Private car from Hanoi to Halong Bay
Convenient private car with lots of space (source: shutterstock.com)

How to get a private car/taxi from Hanoi?

Taxi from Hanoi to Halong Bay

There should be no difficulty getting a taxi to travel from Hanoi to Halong Bay. You can call to the taxi brands which are familiar and credible to you to book one. Normally, the price will be measured by the electricity meter. However, you can deal with the driver an all-in journey to have a better price. The price can vary from US$43-57 per way depending on the size of the taxi and if you want to share or not. You also can call some taxi brands in Halong to check whether they have any taxi heading back to Halong. If you’re lucky, you can go there with half price or even less.

Taxi Brand List
NameAreaPhone Number
Mai LinhQuang Ninh(203) 3 628 628
Hong GaiQuang Ninh(203) 3 848 484
Ha LongQuang Ninh(203) 3 626 262
Thanh HungQuang Ninh(203) 3 659 659
Thinh HungQuang Ninh(203) 3 616 161
Sao Mai Quang Ninh(203) 3 822 822
Dong BacQuang Ninh(203) 3 828 282
Van LocQuang Ninh(203) 3 646 646
Minh AnhQuang Ninh(203) 3 858 585
Bai ChayQuang Ninh(203) 3 646 464
Dai LoiQuang Ninh(203) 3 640 640
Hoa Anh ĐaoQuang Ninh(203) 3 656 565
Ba saoHanoi(024) 3 232 232
Thanh Nga Hanoi(024) 38 215 215
Van XuanHanoi(024) 38 222 888
Song NhueHanoi(024) 63 252 525
Huong Lua Hanoi(024) 38 262 626
Vic groupHanoi(024) 38 585 858
Thanh CongHanoi(024) 32 575 757
Sao Ha NoiHanoi(024) 62 535 353
MorningHanoi(024) 3 625 252
ABCHanoi(024) 37 191 919
My Dinh Hanoi(024) 38 333 888
Thang LongHanoi(024) 36 282 828
Taxi from Hanoi to Halong Bay
Information of taxi to travel to Halong Bay (Source: mailinh.vn)
Private car from Hanoi to Halong Bay
Private car with driver
 The same thing can be done if you want to hire a private car with driver. There are a lot of agencies or individuals providing this service promoting themselves on the internet. You can check out the Hanoi transfer service or Golden Holiday Travel to book and get the updated price. The driver normally can speak English. You don’t have to worry about the miscommunication too much. They may make your journey less boring if you travel alone or give you a lot of interesting facts along the way. The experienced drivers can be helpful in giving you recommendations of accommodations or services to take.
Private car from Hanoi to Halong Bay
The private car driver can be really helpful for you (source: private-driver.eu)

The price for the private car to travel from Hanoi to Halong Bay is in such a wide range. There are many factors affecting the price of this journey. A few to mention are the size, the brand and status of the car, if it’s one way or round trip, waiting surcharge, etc. The average price is about US$ 80-100 for the round trip including parking fee, tolls, petrol, driver. To get the best service, you’d better ask your friends or other travelers having had experience with the private car. This will guarantee that you won’t hire a fake one that can harm or rob you.

Private car without driver

The private car without driver can be a choice for you but it’s not highly recommended. The process to hire a car is too complicated. You have to have the B1 driving license, original identity card, original household and a bike with registration certificate (or cash instead). The price varies from US$ 25-65 per day and can be higher on the weekend and holidays. There are a lot of choices for you which are available at otochothuetulai.vn

Note:
It’s illegal for you to drive a car or motorbike in Vietnam if you don’t have Vietnamese driving license. The International Driver’s Permits are not recognized.

Private car from Hanoi to Halong Bay
Information of private car to travel from Hanoi to Halong Bay (Source: bp.blogspot.com)

Why not to choose private car/taxi to travel from Hanoi to Halong?

Taxi and private car share the same disadvantage with the coach and bus which is the long trip. Other than that, there are also some hidden risks. The taxi drivers may take a longer route to charge you more for example. Some other more serious ones lie at the private car without a driver. You will need to check the car and all the terms in the contract carefully because some unclear trapping terms can cost you a great amount of money. You might be charged more for damaging the car, not knowing the traffic rules. The worst scenario is you getting lost and messing up your journey. However, if you have experience, enough budget and a detailed plan for it, driving by your own also promises so much fun.

Motorbike: Advanturous journey to Halong Bay

What are advantages of the motorbike?

Although motorbike is not convenient for the long journey, yet to the eager travelers who want an adventure and explore, it is such a great means of transport. With a motorcycle, you can be completely flexible and active with your schedule. The total time to travel from Hanoi to Halong Bay by motorbike is about 3.5 – 4 hours. However, you can stop wherever you want, spend time studying local lives. You can challenge yourself with non-stop driving and feel the air blowing through your hair. The price of the gasoline is fairly cheap that you don’t mind going the round way to see more and learn more. Especially when you get to Halong Bay, the feeling of achieving something will definitely satisfy you. If you don’t own a bike, it’s still possible to hire one. The process of renting a motorbike is much simpler than a car.

How to rent a motorbike?

It’s not hard to find a bike renting store. A lot of them are available in the Old Quarter and West Lake area. Most of the owners can speak English fluently, so you can communicate with them easily. Once you go to the shop, you can ask to try the bike that you like. They will also give you some suggestions of which one is suitable with your driving experience and aim.

There are many kinds of bike available which are Honda Win, Honda Wave, Airblade and even more powerful motorbike. After having chosen the one will accompany you, the last step of the process is giving the owner the photocopy of your passport, the deposit, and the renting fee. Some owners may ask you for the original passport. However, it’s recommended to try to make a deal with them. The deposit and the renting fee is US$ 250-400 and US$ 4-20/day respectively.

Motorbike from Hanoi to Halong Bay
There is wide range of choice for you to rent(source: Facebook Vietmotors)
Some motorbike rental shops
NamePhone numberAddress
Vietmotors

(+84) 1666 478 888

No 55, Trinh Cong Son Str, Tay Ho Dist, Hanoi
James Hanoi Motorbike

(+84) 915 010 817

No 289 Ngoc Thuy Str, Long Bien Dist, Hanoi

Phung Motorbike

(+84) 965 936 677No 13 Ngo Huyen Str, Hoan Kiem Dist, Hanoi

Hanoi motorbike rental and sales

(+84) 983 182 368No 14, Hang Chinh Str, Hoan Kiem Dist, Hanoi

Some routes from Hanoi to Halong Bay
RouteHanoi – Bac Ninh – HalongHanoi – Hai Duong – HalongHanoi – Hai Duong – Hai Phong – Halong
Distance155 km170 km160 km
Estimate DurationAbout 3 hours drivingAbout 4 hours drivingAbout 3.5 hours driving
Detailed GuideFrom Hanoi center follow the road No.5 10km to Sai Dong T-junction, then follow road No.1 23 km to Bac Ninh area, after that follow road no.18 122 km through Pha Lai – Chi Linh – Dong Trieu – Uong Bi – Ha Long.

From Hanoi center, drive to Nam Sach Town, Hai Duong city then turn to highway no.183, follow the route Sao Do – Dong Trieu – Uong Bi – Ha Long

From Hanoi, drive through Hai Duong to Quan Toan, Hai Phong then turn to highway no.10 connected with highway no.18A in Uong Bi, Halong

What are disadvantages of the motorbike?

There are actually many disadvantages of driving a motorbike. With the distance of 180km, it requires you to have good health and driving skill. Otherwise, you will easily get tired and have no energy left for other activities. A bigger obstacle for you is when your bike breaks down. If you’re in the middle of the highway, the chance that you can find a store to fix it is almost zero. Another disadvantage could be the weather, especially when it rains heavily. It’s challenging to drive under the rain, followed by the chance of an accident. Therefore, using a motorbike to travel from Hanoi to Halong Bay could be really dangerous for people having no experience. Easily getting lost is also one of the disadvantages. The messy, chaotic traffic can confuse you and lead you in the wrong direction.

Note
If you still insist on driving with the motorbike, you should have the best preparation to minimize the troubles. It’s recommended to have a good quality helmet, legs and arms protection. You also need a map or preferably a phone connected to the internet to check the route. You’d better go in a group to get the support from your friends.

Motorbike from Hanoi to Halong Bay
Information of motorbike to travel from Hanoi to Halong Bay (Source: Shutterstock.com)

Train: Traditional and vintage

Why to choose train to travel from Hanoi to Halong?

The train is last land transport on the list as well as the oldest one. Unlike other noisy, rushing vehicles, the train will give you the feeling of being brought back to the old days. A lot of people love the sound of the train whistle and the moment it slowly departs from the station. It also offers you a lovely view and the chance to blend in with local people. Getting to Halong Bay by train completely suits the dreamy souls and people who love to learn the culture. Especially, it’s pretty safe to go by train.

There is just one train departing per day. The journey is about 5-7 hours long. You can choose to depart from Yen Vien Station. The average price is approximately US$4.5 depending on whether you choose a hard seat or soft seat. The departure time is at about 5 a.m. You can also depart from Gia Lam Station with Halong Express. The price for foreign tourist is US$15/one-way ticket (single tourist) and US$10/one-way ticket (group tourist).

How to book a train ticket to Halong?

With anyone wanting to depart from Yen Vien Station, you just need to check out the website dailyvetauhoa.com for the information and go straight to the station, call the number 1900 1224 or 0978 198 489 to book a ticket. The tourists choosing to travel from Hanoi to Halong Bay with Halong Express from Gia Lam can call the number (024) 9 059 059 or (+84) 944 916 916 to book.

What are drawbacks of taking train from Hanoi?

The train is the least popular among all land transports. It can be explained by long travel and expensive price compared to other vehicles. As it’s not really preferable, the schedule consequently is inconsistent. You may not find a train available on the day you want to go. If you do, there could be a last-minute cancellation. The train is not inconvenient that it stops at the Halong Station. This means it doesn’t take you to either the city center or the harbor. Therefore, you will have to get a taxi which will add a little more to the time and expenses. If you just have one day for the trip, the train is definitely not a good choice.

Train from Hanoi to Halong Bay
Information of train to travel from Hanoi to Halong Bay (Source: shutterstock.com)

From Hanoi to Halong Bay: Extraordinary view from air transport

Hanoi to Halong Bay

We just go through the most popular and inexpensive land transportation to travel from Hanoi to Halong Bay. They are economical and pretty suitable for most travelers. They offer the tourists comfortable trips and beautiful landscapes. It’s hard for us to ignore the benefit of these means of transport. However, it can be better! The limit budget makes us temporarily satisfied with the ordinary experience. Do you want something extraordinary? Have you ever thought of yourself experiencing more gorgeous and incredible view? How can you find them? You don’t have to doubt too much because they exist! They are air transports. People used to think about air transports as something that only millionaire can afford. Nowadays, air transports are for everyone.

Helicopter: Time-saving trip

Why is helicopter worth trying?

The first one to mention is the helicopter. It’s the EC 155 B1 manufactured by Airbus Helicopter. Although it is not familiar as a transport, the service which it offers is being used more and more. The helicopter will bring you the adventurous and thrilling experience from the height of 300-500 meters and 120-150 meters in 8 sightseeing minutes. You may feel like a Holywood movie star and enjoy the lovely view from the sky at the same time.

helicopter from Hanoi to Halong Bay
Passengers with helicopter flying to Halong Bay (source: vietnamhelitours.com)

Furthermore, it just takes you about 45 minutes to travel from Hanoi to Halong Bay. This will save you a lot of time comparing to other vehicles. Especially, many helicopter rides have cooperated with tours in Halong Bay with the role of tour’s transportation. Therefore, it even becomes more convenient for you if you want a lump sum tour. It’s also much cheaper than hiring a private helicopter which can cost you thousands of dollar.

Where to get the flight from Hanoi?

Your flight will depart from Gia Lam Airport which is a small airfield owned by the military at about 9 a.m. The helicopter has 12 seats and can carry maximum 4800 kg. This means just a small group of people is accepted to travel. The price for the trip from Hanoi to Halong is US$ 440/person, Halong to Hanoi is US$ 390/person and US$770/person for the round trip.

What are downsides of the helicopter?

While the experience with the helicopter is awesome to some people, it can be really fearsome to others. The small size of the helicopter can create insecurity. You can feel the movements of the aircraft obviously which is scary at some parts. It’s definitely unsuitable with people having heart disease or height fear. Furthermore, it is not economically friendly at all. That’s why the helicopter cannot become a popular choice. The potential dangers of flight also create more hesitation for the passengers. You also need to notice that the helicopter only flies with at least 6 people. Therefore, with the high price, it’s not always available due to the insufficient number of passengers.

Helicopter from Hanoi to Halong Bay
Information of helicopter to travel from Hanoi to Halong Bay (Source:vnh.com.vn)

Seaplane: Stunning close-up view

Hanoi to Halong Bay
Hanoi to Halong Bay

Why to choose seaplane to travel from Hanoi to Halong?

Traveling with seaplane has become familiar in other countries for a long time. In 2014, the first seaplane service was finally brought to Vietnam by Hai Au Aviation with three Cessna Grand Caravan 208B – EX amphibian aircrafts. The aim of the company is to offer the most incredible view of all Vietnam’s heritages and sightseeing to the local and international tourists.

Professional tourism provider

Different from the helicopter, Hai Au Aviation provides the flying service just like any other airlines. There is a seaplane check-in counter at Noi Bai Airport. In Halong – the current main destination of Hai Au Aviation, the check-in counter, waiting lounge and departure lounge are also set up to bring the convenience to the customers. Besides, the company also strictly follows the safety rules and meets all the demands from civil aviation authority. Hai Au Aviation can be considered as one of the most credible service providers in Vietnam tourism.

Captains flying from Hanoi to Halong Bay
Experienced foreign captains
Ground crew serving from Hanoi to Halong Bay
Professional and dedicated ground crew

With some other vehicles, you may worry about the language barrier which can create troubles for your journey. Hai Au Aviation guarantees a smooth journey providing fluent English speaking staff and ground service crew. Any problems happening to you will be quickly solved by the dedicate and well-trained crew. Furthermore, the experienced foreign captains and Vietnamese co-pilots will ensure your safety and give you the magnificent view.

Once-in-a-lifetime experience

Other than the great credibility and support from the company, the incredible experience from the sky is the main reason for tourists’ decision to travel from Hanoi to Halong Bay by seaplane. With its small size, the seaplane easily gets close and between gorgeous limestone pillars reaching up from the water. You will have the close-up view from above which is completely different from the one you get from the cruise.

View of the flight from Hanoi to Halong Bay
The magnificent view from the seaplane of Hai Au Aviation

Note:
It’s totally fine if you want to bring home some pictures of this breath-taking view, because all digital devices are allowed, including mobile phones. In addition, you can also use the 4G internet to immediately share those pictures with your friends.

Seaplane from Hanoi to Halong Bay
Cool landing on water

One more surprise that the seaplanes give to you is the cool landing to or taking off from the water. The seaplane is equipped with two floats which make the seaplane much more flexible. The moments the seaplanes speeding up or down on the water surface and splash water onto the window will bring out lots of fun. The last benefit from the seaplane is the short traveling. It just takes you 60 minutes to travel from Hanoi to Halong Bay. It’s suitable for anyone who wants to save traveling time and have one day trip.

What kinds of tour are available?

Scheduled flight from Hanoi to Halong Bay

The scheduled flights will depart from Noi Bai Airport – Hanoi and arrive at Tuan Chau Harbor, which is convenient for tourists wanting to take a cruise tour after that. The seaplane’s capacity is 12 people along with 7kg hand luggage. The journey is 60-minute-long including 15 minutes flying around Halong Bay so the tourists can enjoy the beauty of this heritage. The price for one-way ticket varies from US$ 175-385 depending on the season and the time of the day. However, it’s still cheaper compared to the helicopter. You can take more advantage taking round trip which is just US$ 350.

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Scenic flight in Halong Bay

The scenic flight is for people who get to Halong Bay by other transports but still want to enjoy the incredible view. The flight includes 25 minutes flying around Halong Bay. This one is more economical than the scheduled flight. It just costs you US$ 99 per person. The experience that you get will definitely worth the money and a try.

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Charter flight from Hanoi to Halong Bay

With the charter flight, you can go to anywhere with whoever and whenever you want. The price for the premium service can go up to thousands of US dollar. However, if you are wealthy enough, the flight will definitely satisfy you.

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How to book a flight from Hanoi to Halong Bay?

There are several ways to book a flight with the seaplane. You can directly call the hotline of the company (+84) 962 069 689 to get suggestions or book through tourism agencies. It’s also possible for you to book through the website or facebook page Hai Au Aviation. The process is quick and simple with the good delay or cancellation policies.

Seaplane from Hanoi to Halong Bay
Information of seaplane to travel from Hanoi to Halong Bay

Helicopter or seaplane: Pros and cons?

VehicleHelicopterSeaplane
PriceOne-way flight: US$ 390-440/person
Round trip: US$ 770/person
Scenic flight: US$ 99/person
One way: US$ 175-385/person
Round trip: From US$ 350

Number of seat1212
Length of flight45 minutes (includes 8 minutes for sightseeing)60 minutes (includes 15 minutes for sightseeing)
Pros+ Nice view
+ Short journey
+ Short journey
+ Gorgeous view
+ Professional staff and international pilots
+ Cool landing and taking off
+ Safe
ConsHigh price (from US$ 390)
Need at least 6 people
High price (From US$ 175)
Need at least 3 people

From Hanoi to Halong Bay: How to choose a suitable transportation

Among various transportation available, it might confuse you to find out the suitable one. Not figuring out the main criteria for the transport that you want will consume you a lot of time to decide. Moreover, it can lead to wrong decisions which could ruin your whole journey. Then how to choose a proper one while every transport has its own pros and cons. Answering the questions below and you will definitely be able to choose the right one to travel from Hanoi to Halong Bay. Otherwise, our suggestions could be helpful for you.

In which season do you have your trip?

Weather Hanoi to Halong BAy
A foggy day may prevent you from enjoying Halong from above (Source: halongbaytours.biz)

Season and weather are among the factors affecting what transport to choose. As Halong Bay is in the North part of Vietnam, it has all four seasons. The weather in each season is obviously different. That’s why you need to consider carefully what is the disadvantage of the season and choose the vehicle which can help you to avoid them. For example, in the summer, all transports seem to be possible. However, the summer in the north of Vietnam is so hot that can burn you. Therefore, traveling to Halong Bay by motorbike under the 50-degree sun heat is definitely not a good choice. You can read more information about the best time to travel Halong to make the wisest decision or change your schedule.

What is your budget?

We can’t deny that money is the main and decisive factor. The budget will narrow down our range of choice. Therefore, you should pay a lot of attention to your budget to balance the expenses for the whole journey. You should not sacrifice the backup money for the transportation because anything could happen. If you have the little budget, the suitable transports for you are the local coach, motorbike or train. You can choose the tourist bus or private car/taxi with the higher budget. Finally, if you have a decent amount of money and love to spend it in the right place, helicopter or seaplane are definitely the choices for you.

Who do you go with?

Accompanion from Hanoi to Halong Bay
Who you go with will pretty much decide which vehicle to choose (Source: osisbaypartycruise.com)

The size of the traveling group also has an effect on the decision. The smaller the group is, the easier it is to find out a suitable transport to travel from Hanoi to Halong Bay. If you go alone or having 2 to 3 people accompanying you, the group can be flexible with all the transports. However, the bigger group which has more than 10 people won’t absolutely fit a taxi or a tourist bus. In addition, once you decide to go with a group, you need to consider the financial and physical status of everyone. If one of you is car sick, the local coach, tourist bus or taxi can’t be the choice. Traveling by bike requires everyone to be able to drive. Driving constantly in such a long distance can easily lead to the accidents.

How much luggage do you bring along?

It seems to be not a really important factor. However, it could be the reason for you to give up some choices to travel from Hanoi to Halong Bay. A small bag for short trip will let you fit in any vehicles. However, when you have more than 2 big bags, it’s already become inconvenient for the motorbike, coach or tourist bus. It’s more ideal for the taxi/private car or seaplane and helicopter. What about when you have a long vacation and have a lot of belonging? no transport could be better than the taxi/private car or the seaplane with a charter flight.

Which tour do you want to take in Halong Bay?

Tours from Hanoi to Halong Bay
What tour and activities you choose also affect a lots to your decision (Source: boldtravel.com)

The rest schedule of your journey influences a lot on what to decide. You need to arrange the vehicle which can make the most convenience for the whole trip. If you have a one-day trip and want to have a cruise tour, traveling by train or by bike are not recommended. A tip for you is to choose the tourist bus and seaplane. Their cooperation with high-quality cruises in Halong Bay will give you a convenient and carefree all-in tour in which you will get the best services. Furthermore, booking these combined tours can save you some money. The detailed information of tours in Halong will help you to make the best decision.

Brief summary of all vehicles

 DurationPrice

Departure timeConvenience & comfortAdvantagesDisadvantages
Coach4-5 hrsUS$ 3.5 – 7/personEarliest: 6 a.m
Latest: 8 p.m

6/10+ Cheap and convenient
+ Closer look at local life and landscape

+ Language barrier
+ Time – consuming

Tourist bus3-3.5 hrsUS$ 10-20/person7.30 – 8.30 a.m

7/10+ Comfortable and convenient
+ Direct trip
+ Advanced services: wifi, water

+ Time-consuming

Taxi/private car3-3.5 hrsUS$ 43-57/wayAny time you want8/10+ Carefree and comfortable
+ More privacy
+ More space for luggage

+ Time – consuming
+ Unnecessary charge

Motorbike3.5-4 hrsUS$ 4-20/dayAny time you want5/10+ Flexible and active
+ Cheap
+ Adventurous

+ Time – consuming
+ Inconvenient
+ Risky and dangerous
+ Not allowed to drive without Vietnamese driving license

Train5-7 hrsUS$ 4.5/person (from Yen Vien)

US$ 10-15/person (from Gia Lam)
5 a.m or 7 a.m5.5/10+ Lovely view
+ Safe

+ Time-consuming
+ Inconvenient
+ Not always available

Helicopter45 minsUS$ 440/person/way

US$ 770/person/round trip
9 a.m9/10+ Time-saving
+ Beautiful view

High price (from US$ 390)
Need at least 6 people
Seaplane60 minsUS$ 99/person (scenic flight)

US$ 175-385/person/way (scheduled flight)
9 a.m or 2 p.m9/10+Time-saving
+ Gorgeous view
+ Flexible
+ Convenient

High price (From US$ 175)
Need at least 3 people

Make the most of your trip!

Top view from Hanoi to Halong Bay
You deserve a great view like this of Halong Bay (Source: Shutterstock.com)

There are many things contributing to the success of a trip and transportation is one of them. With various means of transport, it has never been easier to travel from Hanoi to Halong Bay. However, careful consideration over the vehicle can help you to enjoy it most. Be a wise traveler and make a wise choice. No matter what you choose, you deserve an incredible view!

Information updated by Nov 4th, 2017

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