Halong bay of Vietnam has been a World Heritage site from 1994 and has been the North Vietnam’s best tourism hub. Every year more and more people are wanting to know how to get there from Hanoi, here are some tips and answers to frequently asked questions.
If you are on a budget, you can opt to ride the bus from Hanoi Gia Lam bus station to Mien Tay bus station in Bai Chay in Halong. There is also the bus from Luong Yen station to Halong for 7 USD one way. Expect that no one can understand English, just use body language, and only Vietnam dong or the US currency is accepted. Fare is about 3 USD.
Another option is the train. Ride the train at Gia Lam Railway Station to Halong Train Station. The train station is 4 km away from the Bai Chai Tourist Wharf. Fare is about 20 USD for a one way ticket.
There is also the daily shuttle bus from Old Quarter of Hanoi driven by local tour operators. Fare ranges from 10 -20 USD. The bus leaves Hanoi center by 8 am and returns by 12 am. The meeting point is in front of Opera House, N0 1 Trang Tien Street, Hanoi and the dropping point is Bai Chay habour.
If you want more privacy and space, you can try renting a car and driver. Car rental companies offers services from the airport. It costs around 100 USD inclusive of petrol, driver and miscellanous from Noi Bai Airport to Halong.
For a 16-seater, it can range from 13-150 USD. Do not try to drive yourself unless you have a Vietnamese license. International permits are not recognized.
If you don’t have a problem with money you can try the seaplane. The sea plane takes 45 minutes from Noi Bai Airport to Tuan Chau Marina. You will also be given 15 minutes birds-eye view of the Halong Bay. Hai Au Aviation is the unique seaplane service in Vietnam until now and cost $275 per person one way.