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Halong Bay to Ninh Binh: How to Travel

Halong Bay - Ninh Binh is a popular route for many visitors aiming to visit major attractions in Northern Vietnam. Having finished a 2 or 3-day vacation in Halong Bay, you can spend time transferring directly to Ninh Binh for another short trip without having to return to Hanoi. However, if you still do not know how to book transportation or what is the fastest way to travel from Halong Bay to Ninh Binh, this article will be very helpful.

Halong Bay to Ninh Binh: How to Travel

Halong Bay - Ninh Binh: what are the best options?

The distance between Halong Bay and Ninh Binh is 190km (from Halong international cruise port to Trang An scenic complex). There are 4 major options to get from Halong Bay to Ninh Binh: by tourist/ Limousine bus, by private car/ taxi, by local bus, by motorbike and by train. The journey takes around 3.5 hours without resting.

Halong bay to Ninh Binh routes

Routes Distance Travel time
Halong bay to Ninh Binh city 210km (130.5mi) 3h30m
Halong bay to Trang An complex 190km (118mi) 3h10m
Halong bay to Bai Dinh Pagoda 215km (133.6mi) 3h50m
Halong bay to Cuc Phuong national park 240km (149mi) 5h

How to get from Halong Bay to Ninh Binh?

Ninh Binh - Photo: @ninhbinh.explore / Instagram

The best option to transfer from Halong Bay to Ninh Binh primarily depends on your purposes and budget. Below is detailed transportation information from Halong Bay to Ninh Binh that you should know.

By tourist/ Limousine bus

Trang An in Ninh binh - Photo: @ninhbinh.explore / Instagram

Taking a tourist or Limousine bus is a convenient, money-saving, and highly-recommended way to get from Halong Bay to Ninh Binh. Those buses run on smooth highways with designated stops. The total transfer time is around 3.5 to 4 hours. One of the biggest advantages of transferring by tourist/ Limousine bus is that you will not be overwhelmed by the crowds since each Limousine accommodates only 9 passengers. In addition, couples or independent travelers will love this option the most because instead of having to hire a whole car, you can choose a shared option with other strangers that is more economical.

The ticket fare for a Limousine D Car seat is around VND 300.000 - VND 400.000/ pax.

Some popular tourist and Limousine bus companies following Halong Bay - Ninh Binh route are:

  • Limousine Quang Muoi: 1900 0287
  • Ninh Binh Bus (ninhbinhbus.com): +84 888 333 630

Tips: Ninh Binh Bus offers daily transfer between Halong bay and Ninh Binh by Dcar limousine starting from 22 USD/pp. Check out their website Ninhbinhbus.com for ticket information!

By private car/ taxi

Lotus in Hang Mua, Ninh Binh - Photo: @_im.rot_ / Instagram

Transferring by private car or taxi is the fastest and most comfortable way to get from Halong Bay to Ninh Binh. You can be flexible in time and driving routes. This option is best suited for families with kids or groups of friends. But it is also the most expensive means of transport. It costs you around 135 USD/ car for 3 to 4 passengers.

Taxi brands from Halong Bay - Ninh Binh:

  • Mai Linh Taxi: 0203 362 86 28
  • Hon Gai Taxi: 0203 384 84 84
  • Thanh Cong Taxi: 0203 367 57 57

By local bus

Trang An Scenic Landscape Complex - Photo: @ninhbinh.explore / Instagram

Traveling by local bus might not be comfortable but very cost-saving and suitable for budget-minded travelers. Direct buses from Halong city to Ninh Binh are available every day.

You need to get to Bai Chay bus station and buy ticket at the ticket counter. It usually takes around 4 to 5 hours and VND 160.000 - VND 250.000/ passenger/ one way.

Some local buses that have direct transfer from Halong Bay to Ninh Binh: Anh Thang bus, Vu Ngu bus, Quan Nam bus, Hai Thang bus.


  • You should pay attention to your personal belongings and watch out for several crimes like pickpocketing and stealing at the bus station.
  • Check out information about the bus schedule before coming to the station to avoid waiting.

By motorbike

Dong Am Tien in Ninh Binh - Photo: @ninhbinhtours / Instagram

Adventurous travelers will love the scenic motorbike ride from Halong Bay to Ninh Binh, passing spectacular landscapes. You can also stop for taking photos or resting flexibly. One thing to keep in mind is that renting a motorbike to drive on your own can be a dangerous option with busy traffic. You should also need to strictly follow transportation rules and regulations for safety reasons.

By train 

Tam Coc in Ninh Binh - Photo: @ninhbinhtours / Instagram

There is no direct train line between Halong bay and Ninh Binh. You will need to travel to Hanoi or Hai Phong railway station, then take a train ride to Ninh Binh. Traveling by train is a quite interesting experience that you can closely admire the rural beauty along the way. 

With a distance of around 115 km, the total train journey takes around 2 - 2.5 hours. There are 5 trains from Hanoi Railway station (120 Le Duan street) to Ninh Binh Railway station (1 Hoang Hoa Tham street) every day. The ticket price for a seat with an air conditioner is around VND 150.000 - VND 250.000 per person.

Hanoi - Ninh Binh train schedule

Train Time
SE7 6:00 - 8:19 
SE5 9:00 - 11:15 
TN1 14:35 - 17:03  
SE1 19:30 - 21:44  
SE19 20:10 - 22:21 

Transfer option ratings


Total transfer time

Pros and cons


By tourist/ Limousine bus

3.5 - 4 hours

- Pros: Comfortable, less crowded, money-saving


- Cons: The service can be quickly fully booked


By private car/ taxi

3.5 hours

- Pros: Fastest way, stress-free, flexible, easy to book


- Cons: Costly and not suitable for large groups or independent travelers.


By local bus

4 - 5 hours

- Pros: The most economical way, buses are available during the day


- Cons: Crowded and not safe due to local crimes


By motorbike

4 hours

- Pros: Flexible, enjoy a beautiful drive, less expensive


- Cons: Dangerous and challenging with inexperienced tourists


By train 4.5 hours (Including 2 hour transfer from Halong bay to Hanoi)

- Pros: Trains are available throughout the day, you will not get stuck in crowd

- Cons: The total transfer time from Halong Bay to Ninh Binh will be much longer


Local tips

Trang An heritage site - one of the most popular tourist attraction in Ninh Binh 

  • Buy tickets as early as possible to avoid overbooking and price rise especially in peak season or public holidays.
  • Prepare necessary items like first-aid equipment, water, and some medicines because most vehicles follow the highways with only a few stops.
  • Check rented vehicles carefully in case you want to travel by yourself.
  • Be careful with minor crimes in public areas and tourist attractions.
  • Dress properly when you visit spiritual sites in Ninh Binh.

See reverse route guide: Ninh Binh to Halong bay

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