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Hanoi to Halong Bay: How to Travel 2024

Plan your trip with ease and embark on a memorable adventure from the bustling capital to the serene beauty of Halong Bay.

Hanoi to Halong Bay: How to Travel 2024
D-Car Transfer by Heritage Cruises
  • Halong Bay is a popular tourist spot, receiving millions of visitors each year, with 90% transiting through Hanoi, according to reports.
  • The distance between Hanoi and Halong Bay is approximately 163 kilometers (101 miles).
  • The average travel time from Hanoi to Halong Bay is around 2,5 to 3 hours via the Hanoi-Hai Phong highway, without the need for transfers.
  • On average, the bus fare to get to Halong Bay from Hanoi is 150,000 VND (approximately 7 USD).
  • Over 100 bus companies operate this route with more than 1,000 round-trips daily.
  • The majority of public buses to Halong Bay depart from My Dinh Bus Station, which is located 5 km from the city center.
  • The drive from Hanoi to Halong Bay is a scenic journey, passing through rural areas and charming villages, giving visitors a glimpse of authentic Vietnamese life.
  • Many tour packages are available, combining the journey from Hanoi to Halong Bay with an overnight stay on a traditional junk boat, allowing visitors to fully experience the beauty of the bay.

Thanks to the new express driveway, it now takes only 2.5 hours to get from Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam and a popular transit point for visitors, to Halong Bay, the famed UNESCO World Heritage Site. There are multiple ways to get from one destination to another, and here is a comprehensive guide on Hanoi - Halong Bay transportation for your reference.

1. Overview

Hanoi - Hai Phong express way

Halong Bay sits on Vietnam’s coastline, just over 163 kilometers (101 miles) east of Hanoi, and is worlds away from the hustle and bustle of Hanoi. Sprinkled with impressive limestone karsts, tropical jungles and idyllic beaches, Halong Bay must not be missed. Luckily, it's incredibly easy to travel there from Hanoi.

Trip map:

Trip information:

Route Distance Travel time
Hanoi to Halong bay (Bai Chay bus station) 150 km (93 mi) 2 hours 15 minutes
Hanoi to Tuan Chau Island (for cruise port) 145 km (90 mi) 2 hours 12 minutes
Hanoi to Halong city (city tour, Quang Ninh museum) 155 km (96 mi) 2 hours 18 minutes
Noi Bai International Airport (HAN) to Halong bay 174 km (108 mi) 2 hours 35 minutes
Hanoi to Cai Rong port (for Co To Island) 206 km (128 mi) 3 hours 10 minutes
Hanoi to Halong bay International Port (Bai Tu Long Bay area) 156 km (97 mi) 2 hours 20 minutes

2. Shuttle bus

Shuttle bus
Photo: Van Don Xanh
Good for:
  • Family
  • Group
  • Budget

Time:  2 hours and 30 minutes - 3 hours

Pricing: 350,00 VND to 500,000 VND one way/ pax if your pick--up and drop-off points are in Hanoi old quarter. Surcharge may apply if you stay outside of the old quarter area.

Best for:  Shuttle bus is considered one of the most effective means of transport between Hanoi and Halong and vice versa. This is the best option if you are budget-conscious and want to save traveling time.

Types of shuttle bus

Shuttle buses or tourist buses from Hanoi to Halong are widely preferred by both locals and foreigners. Choices of shuttle buses vary from budget-friendly to luxurious ones. Almost all shuttle buses drive on 5B Hanoi - Halong Highway which will take only around 2.5 - 3 hours to arrive. The departure time at Hanoi Old Quarter pick-up points is around 8 am to 9 am.

There are three major types of shuttle buses: standard buses, luxury buses, and shuttle buses managed by cruise companies.

  • Standard shuttle buses have various passenger capacities ranging from 16-seater minivan to 29-to-30-seater bus, 35-seater bus, and 45-seater bus.
  • Luxury shuttle buses are often 9-seater Limousine and 19-seater Fuso complete with high-end amenities.
  • Many cruise companies also have their own shuttle service to pick up and drop off tourists at certain destinations.

Popular shuttle bus companies

Van Don Xanh bus company

Among the numerous shuttle buses operating on the Hanoi-Halong route, the following brands are recommended:





Fare (one-way)

Van Don Xanh

Every hour from 6:00 – 21:00 


02033991991 (Vietnamese/English)

290.000 VND (~ 13 USD)

Kalong 40-seater Bus

6:00 – 22:30


1900088807 (Vietnamese/English)

250.000 VND (~ 11 USD)

VIP Anh Huy

Every 30 minutes from 3:30 – 21:00


0911863919 (Vietnamese)

220.000 – 260.000 VND (~ 10 – 12 USD)

Trung Thành Limousine 

6:00 – 21:00


0966896896 (Vietnamese)

240.000 – 350.000 VND (~ 11 – 16 USD)

How to book

Although fares can be purchased through the bus company's website directly, you are recommended to book tickets through cruise or tour operators for better assurance.

3. Public bus

Public bus
Kumho Viet Thanh bus at Quang Ninh Museum and Library.
Good for:
  • Budget
  • Solo
  • Backpackers

Time: ~2-3 hours

Pricing: 100,000 VND to 250,000 VND/pax/one-way

Best for: Using local buses is not as comfortable and convenient as shuttle buses, but it is cheaper. When traveling on a budget, a local bus might be a better option.

Bus stations in Hanoi (for Halong bay)

Most local buses depart from three main bus stations including:

  • My Dinh Station: 20 Pham Hung Street, My Dinh 2, Nam Tu Liem District, Ha Noi. This big and modern bus station is around 11km from Hanoi Old Quarter. It is the primary bus station that connects Hanoi with provinces in the North and Northwest regions such as Quang Ninh, Yen Bai, Lao Cai, Phu Tho, Hoa Binh, Ninh Binh, ect. From here, there are numerous buses that run every half hour to Bai Chay, Quang Ninh Province for a visit to Halong Bay.
  • Giap Bat Station: 6 Giai Phong Street, Hoang Liet Ward, Hoang Mai District. The distance from Giap Bat bus station to Hanoi Old Quarter is 7km, about a 17-minute drive. This bus station is the busy and chaotic gateway of Hanoi to provinces in Central and Southern Vietnam namely Nam Dinh, Ninh Binh, Ho Chi Minh City. There are a few buses running on the Hanoi - Halong route.
  • Gia Lam Station: 9 Ngo Gia Kham Street, Long Bien District, Hanoi. This is the nearest bus station from Hanoi Old Quarter (5.5km) but bus options to Halong are very limited. The station primarily provides public buses to Bac Giang, Hai Phong, Thai Binh, Thanh Hoa, Ha Giang, and Tuyen Quang Province.

Bus station map

Popular bus companies

Bus station


Operation and Phone

Ticket (one way)

My Dinh Bus Station

Kumho Viet Thanh

Every two hours from 6:00 – 19:00

Hotline: 1900088835 (English/Vietnamese)

120.000 VND ~ 6 USD

Phuc Xuyen 

Every hour from 5:00 – 20:00 

Hotline: 19006799 (English/Vietnamese)

80.000 - 240.000 VND 4 ~ 11 USD

Anh Quy

Every day at 16:00

Hotline: 0969960459 (Vietnamese)

100.000 VND ~ 5 USD

Nghia Anh Limousine

Every hour from 10:30 - 14:30

Hotline: 0898253838 (Vietnamese)

200.000 VND ~ 9 USD

Giap Bat Bus Station 

Sinh Thanh

Every day at 12:00 

Hotline: 0915446929 (Vietnamese)

100.000 VND ~ 5 USD

Thao Thieu 

Every day at 8:30 

Hotline: 0913578413 (Vietnamese)

100.000 VND ~ 5 USD

Gia Lam Bus Station

Dai Phat

Every day at 20:50

Hotline: 0983472299 (Vietnamese)

170.000 VND ~ 8 USD

How to book

Tickets are available at bus station ticketing offices. No advanced reservation is required.

My Dinh Bus Station (Photo: BBbirdZ / Shutterstock)

Local tips: 60% of buses to Halong Bay depart from My Dinh Station, offering a wider choice of bus operators and price ranges.

4. Private car

Private car
Mai Linh Taxi
Good for:
  • Families
  • Luxury travelers
  • Business

Time: 2 hours and 30 minutes - 3 hours.

Pricing: 2,300,000 VND to 4,000,000 VND round trip.

Best for: Business travelers, families, and groups of friends who prefer a private and comfortable transfer.

To take a private car from Hanoi to Halong Bay, you  can book the service through cruise providers or travel agencies. Alternatively, it is possible to book a private taxi. The private car will pick you up and drop you off at whichever location is agreed upon. This is the easiest way, but also the most expensive, to get to Halong Bay.

Here are some reputable companies and taxi brands with private transfer services:

Company Website Address Contact
Hanoi Transfer Service Company hanoitransferservice.com 21 Ma May Street, Hang Buom, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi 098 235 8282
Green Lion Bus greenlionbus.com 16E Phu Hung Street, Hang Ma, Hoan Kiem 0984709669
Mai Linh Taxi mailinh.vn 47 P. Kim Đồng, Giáp Bát, Hoàng Mai, Hà Nội xechothue.hanoi@mailinh.vn / 0983287222
Taxi Thanh Nga   No.8 OBT4X1 Bac Linh Dam, Hoang Mai District, Hanoi 02438215215 / 0989215215


Types of car

Round trip (same day)

Round trip (include one 1 night in Halong)

4-seater private car

2,800,000 VND ~ 120 USD

3,200,000 VND - 3,800,000 VND ~ 140-160 USD

7-seater private car 

3,200,000 VND ~ 140 USD

3,800,000 VND ~ 160 USD

16-seater private minivan 

4,000,000 VND ~ 180 USD

4,900,000 VND ~ 210 USD

5. Seaplane flights

Seaplane flights
Photo: Seaplanes.vn
Good for:
  • Business
  • Honeymooners
  • Time-efficient travelers

Time: 60 minutes

Pricing: 4,100,000 VND - 9,000,000 VND ~ 175 - 385 USD/ pax

Best for: Affluent travelers and couples to admire aerial views of the bay

Halong bay seaplane
Photo: Seaplanes.vn

Taking a seaplane is the most special and amazing way to transfer from Hanoi to Halong Bay. It’s also the fastest way to get to Halong Bay. Moreover, using this aviation service, you will be offered a spectacular seaplane trip with aerial views of the bay. A 45-minute scheduled flight from Hanoi to Halong Bay costs from 4,100,000 VND - 9,000,000 VND.

Port of Departure:

Noi Bai International Airport: Counter E09, Lobby E, Terminal 1, Noi Bai International Airport, Hanoi 

Port of Arrival: 

Tuan Chau Marina: Villa T7 Tuan Chau Commercial Urban Area, Tuan Chau Ward, Halong City, Quang Ninh Province, Vietnam

How to book a seaplane

The seaplane trip can be booked through the Hai Au Aviation’s website seaplanes.vn or contact online.sales@haiauaviation.com Hotline: 0962069689

Alternatively, you can contact cruise providers to see if there are any packages available which include a seaplane flight. The plane departs from Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi and arrives in Tuan Chau Cruise port in Halong Bay. Once arrived, you can take a Grab taxi (similar to Uber) or regular taxi to your final destination.

6. Trains

Local trains in Vietnam (Photo: Shutterstock)
Good for:
  • Budget
  • Relaxation

Time: 6 hours and 45 minutes

Pricing: 94,000 VND ~ 4 USD/ pax

Best for: Backpackers and tourists with a tight budget. This is also a great way to enjoy the scenery on the road if you are not pressed for time.

Recently the railway between Hanoi and Halong Bay reopened allowing tourists to take the train to Halong Bay. For a more authentic Vietnamese experience where you can travel with the landscape just passing by at an easy pace, take the train. This is by far the cheapest option to get to Halong Bay. You can expect a ticket to be a bit less than 80.000 VND (4 USD).

Time and where to catch the train

The train leaves once a day from Yen Vien station in Hanoi at 4:55 am. and arrives at Halong station at 11:41 am, a total travel time of 6 hours and 45 minutes. Once the train arrives in Halong City, you have to arrange additional transportation to reach your hotel or the cruise port. The train going back to Hanoi will also take 6 hours and 46 minutes and leaves Halong station at 1.50 pm. and arrives in Hanoi at 8.31 pm.

Station Distance (km) Departure
Yen Vien Station 0 4:55
Tu Son 6 5:15
Bac Ninh 18 5:37
Bac Giang 38 6:12
Pho Trang 48 6:30
Kep 58 7:16
Bao Son 66 7:39
Lan Mau 75 8:1
Dong Trieu 107 9:18
Mao Khe 116 9:52
Uong Bi 132 10:30
Yen Cu 152 11:14
Halong station 164 11:45

How to book

You can book tickets at a local travel agency in Hanoi or the railway official website: https://dsvn.vn/

7. Motorbike

Good for:
  • Budget
  • Solo travelers

Time: 3 hours and 30 minutes - 4 hours

Pricing: 118,000 VND to 164,000 VND ~ 5 - 7 USD

Best for: Adventure travelers, independent backpackers

Are you an adventure seeker? If flexibility in time, traveling route, and thrilling experiences are what you fancy, renting a motorbike to drive to Halong Bay is worth trying. There are many places to rent a motorbike in Hanoi at a cheap cost of just 118,000 VND to 164,000 VND per day. You can get help from your hotel or contact motorbike rental centers directly.

Motorbike for rent in Vietnam (Photo: instagram.com/p/CO0CpPEplja/)

Where to rent a motorbike

Here are some popular brands: 13535 Motorbike Rental Hanoi, Happy Zip Motorbikes Rental & Sale Hanoi, Phung Motorbike, and Tigit Motorbikes Hanoi. The rental fee is around118,000 VND to 164,000 VND per day.

Route directions

Obviously, driving from Hanoi to Halong Bay provides you more chances to enjoy the beautiful scenery on both sides. However, this option only fits adventurous ones with moderate physical strength. There are two prevalent ways to transfer from Hanoi to Halong Bay:

Route 1: Hanoi - Bac Ninh - Halong (155km)

From Hanoi, drive on Highway 5 about 10km to Sai Dong Junction then continue to drive further 23km on Highway 1 to Bac Ninh Province. Follow Highway 18 about 122km to reach Halong City.

Route 2: Hanoi - Hai Duong - Halong (170km)

This route is a bit longer but more convenient. From Hanoi, you go to Nam Sach Town, Hai Duong Province then drive on Highway 183 to Halong City.

8. Summary of options (with comparison table)

Summary of options (with comparison table)
Orchid Cruises Halong Bay

Types of transportation

Prices (round trip)


Best for

Pros & cons

Shuttle bus

230,000 VND - 460,000 VND

2.5 - 3 hours

Independent travelers and backpackers


  • An economical and time-saving way of transport 
  • Guests can be picked up and dropped off at their hotels in the Old Quarter
  • English-speaking drivers


  • Passengers must follow fixed schedules

Local bus

230,000 VND - 460,000 VND

3 - 3.5 hours

Budget-minded travelers and backpackers 


  • A cheap way of transport
  • A variety of options for local bus operators and arriving points


  • Time inflexibility 
  • Without English-speaking drivers
  • Longer transfer time and several stops

Private car

2,300,000 VND - 3,500,000 VND

2.5 - 3 hours

Groups and families with children


  • The fastest way of transport by road
  • Direct route without stops
  • Comfortable and private
  • Flexible in time


  • More expensive
  • Drive license may be required
  • Having additional charges


4,100,000 VND - 9,000,000 VND one way

60 minutes

Affluent travelers and couples


  • The fastest and most wonderful way of transfer
  • Having a chance to contemplate exquisite views


  • The most expensive way
  • Guests must follow fixed schedules


187,000 VND

6 hours and 45 minutes

Budget-minded travelers and those enjoying an extraordinary way of travel


  • Breathtaking views on the way
  • The cheapest way to transfer


  • Time-consuming
  • Inflexibility


118,000 VND to 164,000 VND per day

~ 4 hours

Adventurous travelers and backpackers


  • Flexible and cost-saving
  • Unforgettable experience with a scenic drive


  • Dangerous and stressful


9. The reverse route: Halong Bay - Hanoi

The reverse route: Halong Bay - Hanoi

Transportation from Halong Bay to Hanoi is normally the same as Hanoi to Halong Bay. If you already have a clear travel plan, you should book round-trip tickets from shuttle bus companies and private car transfer providers so you can enjoy a hassle-free journey.

10. Day trips between Hanoi and Halong Bay

Day trips between Hanoi and Halong Bay
Kayaking in Halong bay

Thanks to the construction of the new Highway 5B, you now are able to take a day trip between Hanoi and Halong Bay at ease.

The best way to get from Hanoi to Halong Bay is to take a shuttle bus or hire a private car. While the former option is more economical, the latter is quicker and more convenient yet expensive. If you travel independently, taking a shuttle bus is the most suitable choice which will cost only around 230,000 VND - 351,000 VND. On the other hand, groups of friends and families with a high budget are highly recommended to choose the private transfer option.

Once you arrive in Halong City, you can easily buy a day cruise ticket to visit Halong Bay. The two most popular routes in Halong Bay for a day tour include:

Route 1: Tuan Chau Port - Thien Cung Cave - Dau Go Cave - Dinh Huong Islet - Fighting Cock Islet (4 hours)

Route 2: Tuan Chau Port - Dinh Huong Islet - Fighting Cock Islet - Sung Sot Cave - Titop Island (6 hours)

It usually costs 290.000 VND ~ 13 USD per passenger either on route 1 or route 2. Tickets are available at Tuan Chau Port, Ngoc Chau Ward, Tuan Chau, Halong City.

Alternatively, a more convenient and hassle-free option is to book a day cruise with Hanoi - Halong transfer included. There are numerous day cruises on Halong Bay including Estella Premium Day Cruise, Genesis Day Cruise, Amazing Sails, Orchid Day Cruise, Phoenix Day Cruise, and Paradise Luxury Day Cruise.

Notes: All prices are up to date!

11. Tips for different types of travelers

Tips for different types of travelers
Photo: Orchidcruises.com

For independent travelers and backpackers

If you travel alone and on a tight budget, the best way to reach Halong Bay from Hanoi is to take a shuttle bus (around 351,000 VND - 460,000 VND round trip) or a local bus (around 230,000 - 460,000 VND round trip). The total transfer time is from 2.5 - 3 hours one way. Another option but not highly suggested is to drive a motorbike which will take around 4 hours yet picturesque scenery on the way paid off.

For small groups and families

Traveling in groups or with families means that you are accompanied by others and safety for children is especially the top priority. Therefore, the most suitable way is hiring a private car with various capacities depending on the number of people. It costs around 2,300,000 VND to 3,500,000 VND per car round trip and takes  2.5 - 3 hours to arrive.

For affluent travelers and couples

If money is not a problem, you are highly recommended to experience a seaplane, the most extraordinary way to reach Halong Bay from Hanoi. The price ranges from 4,1m to 9m VND per pax depending on tourist seasons.

Questions and Answers (16)

Ask your question
Contact Information
Cindy Kerr 3 months, 4 weeks ago

I would like to take boat/cruise from Halong Bay to Hanoi, one way, 2 adults 7th April. What are the options? Currently have private car booked but would like to go by boat if possible. Cindy

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Helen 3 months, 3 weeks ago

@Cindy Kerr, Thank you so much for your question. However, now we don't have any boat from Halong to Hanoi for you. For further information needed, feel free to contact us. Best regards, Helen

1 people found this helpful
David Gouveia 4 months ago

Coming to Hanoi in March. Looking to take a 1-2 night cruise to Halong Bay then come back to Hanoi. I'm a single traveler looking for a a mid range to possibly luxury cruise depending on price. Would prefer a cruise with other single travelers rather than families if possible. What would you recommend? Are transfers included with any of the cruises or are they always separate?

Your Reply
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Helen 4 months ago

@David, Thank you so much for your question. I would like to suggest our best cruises for young people such as Genesis Luxury Regal Cruise, Heritage Cruise Binh Chuan, Orchid Classic Cruise, Capella Cruise. If you want to transfer, you can select it in our form when booking, don't worry. Please check our email for further assistance. Best regards, Helen.

0 people found this helpful
Heather Tod 6 months, 3 weeks ago

We are arriving in Halong Bay on board the cruise ship Celebrity Solstice on the 7 December Are taxis readily available at the port as we would like to go into the old quarter in Hanoi If not who would you recommend booking a transfer with and a cost please We also need a transfer back to Halong bay from Hanoi later in the evening

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Visithalongbay Team 6 months, 3 weeks ago

@Heather, Plenty of taxis are available at the port. However, if you want a private 4-seat car, we offer a private sedan car at the cost of US$165/car/round trip. Regards,

1 people found this helpful
Nicky M 1 year, 2 months ago
Hi there, is it possible to please help me book a bus from Hanoi to Ha Long Bay. For 2 people on the 7th April, we would like to leave Hanoi at 9pm. Is there anyone I can get in contact with to book this while details you could pass on? Thank you very much :)
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Lan 1 year, 2 months ago
@Nicky Kumho Viet Thanh operates daily buses from My Dinh station to Halong (Bai Chay station) with a frequency of 30 minutes per trip. However, the latest bus departs at 18:30, so there is no bus available at 9:00 PM. To book your tickets , you can contact them through their phone numbers: 0948.89.00.33 or 02435.333.888. Their office address in Hanoi is located next to the gas station at 67 My Dinh bus station (one-way street at the foot of the FLC building).
1 people found this helpful
Lee 1 year, 3 months ago
I went to Vietnam last year. Ha Long is a beautiful city that you should not miss when coming to Vietnam. There are many hotels here, but you should ask the price before coming. I was staying at the White crown hotel. It is very clean and quiet , good price . You should book through their Facebook Fanpage.
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Lan 1 year, 3 months ago
@Lee We are glad that you had a great trip in Halong bay. We hope to welcome you back someday!
2 people found this helpful
Jenny Hill 1 year, 6 months ago
The 3 hour shuttle bus does it stop for bathrooms break. Does the 6 hour train have a bathroom?
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Grace 1 year, 6 months ago
Could you please advise what is the best and cheapest way for transfer to Halong Bay from Hanoi (2 Ways) for 4 Passengers? Thanks
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Mia Nguyen 1 year, 6 months ago
@Grace For the group of 4, we recommend that you book a luxury bus with Van Don Xanh (vandonxanh.com), the one-way ticket costs ~US$9/pp for Hanoi-Tuan Chau route. The best part of this bus company is that they offer English support for ticket booking!
1 people found this helpful
Natasa 1 year, 7 months ago
Dear, can you send me price for 2 option of transport from Hanoi airport to Halong bay for 2 adults, 1 child 6 years and infant 2 years on 15 sept around 12.00 1. Private transfer, via new express road. How it lasts(duration time)? 2. Shared limuosine van - are you going on normal road or highway, do you have stops? How it lasts?
Your Reply
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Mia Nguyen 1 year, 7 months ago
@Natasa A private 7-seater car will cost about US$ 130/car/way. For the Limousine van, please note that it can only pick you up in the Old Quarter so you will need to take a taxi to the center for the bus. The ticket costs US$ 25/ticket/way.  It takes around 2,5-hour transfer to Halong and you may have one stop on the way.
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Frequently asked questions

1. How much does it cost to transfer by a luxury Limousine?

Transferring to Halong Bay on  a  luxury limousine is a bit more expensive than a shuttle bus which is around 930,000-1,050,000 VND/ pax/ round trip. Also bear in mind that it is not an actual limousine but an upgraded Ford Transit car with leather seats and TV. It’s still a lot more comfortable than the standard bus, hence the price difference.

2. Is it possible to take a day trip to Halong Bay?

A day trip to Halong Bay is one of the most popular options. With a round-trip ticket by shuttle bus, luxury Limousine, or bus of a cruise company, you can easily approach Halong Bay within 3 hours. Upon arrival, there are many routes to choose on Halong Bay. Also, a number of day cruises provide unique itineraries to prominent tourist attractions. Here are some of the best day cruises on  Halong Bay: Phoenix Day Cruise, L'Azalée Day Cruise, Orchid Day Cruise, Jade Sails, Genesis Day Cruise, and Estella Premium Day Cruise. 

3. What is the fastest way to reach Halong Bay from Hanoi?

If you prefer road transfer, shuttle buses and private cars are the two fastest ways to reach Halong Bay thanks to a direct route without stops. Alternatively, if you have the cash to splash, you can take a seaplane from Noi Bai International Airport to Halong City. 

4. Should I book the transfer directly with car companies or through tourist agencies?

Booking through tourist agencies is  highly recommended because you are likely to get better prices, discounts, and guarantees. Otherwise, the price is often higher as you book directly and it is sometimes difficult to contact the car service providers in case of emergency.

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