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Hanoi to Halong bay travel tips

Halong Bay Vietnam, which is located in the western coast of Tokin Gulf in North East sea area of Viet Nam, is a popular tourist attraction in Viet Nam. Thanks for thousands of magnificent islands formed naturally, Ha Long Bay has been recognized as a world natural heritage by UNESCO. Halong Bay attracts national and international tourists with wonderful sceneries. To have an unforgettable trip from Hanoi to Halong Bay, you can have a look at the following experiences.
Time to visit Ha Long
Visiting Ha Long Bay tourists can experience 4 seasons clearly such as: very cold winter (from November to March) and very hot summer (from April to October).
This clear division of weather has made Ha Long Bay become an attractive destination to many tourists. For Vietnamese people, it would be the most ideal to have a trip to Ha Long Bay every summer (from April to October). However, Ha Long Bay becomes the most attractive to international tourists in winters. Summer is the main tourism season of Ha Long Bay so you should take a trip to this destination from March to May or from August to October. You shouldn’t come here in June or July because of the following reasons:
  • The weekend days of June and July are the peak days resulting in the unpleasant feeling and expensive service expense.
  • The other reason is the inconvenience of weather because in these 2 months, there are a lot of storms happening in the Ha Long Bay, so you should be careful in case you visit Ha Long in June and July.
Hanoi to Halong Bay transportation
Motorbikes/ Cars
Hanoi - Bac Ninh - Ha Long Route: 155 kilometers.
This route which takes about 3 hours to travel by car is the shortest road from Ha Noi city to Ha Long, you can have a look at the following journey:
  • From Ha Noi, travelling along route 5- Sai Dong turning point: 10 km.
  • From Sai Dong, travelling a long Road 1- Bac Ninh Province: 23 km.
  • From Bac Ninh, travelling along Road 18 - Pha Lai - Chi Linh - Dong Trieu - Uong Bi - Ha Long: 122 km.
Ha Noi- Bac Ninh- Ha Long Route: 160 km
  • From Noi Bai airport (Ha Noi), travelling along Noi Bai- Bac Ninh: 32 km.
  • From the way to Highway 18A crossing Pha Lai, Sao Do, Dong Trieu, Uong Bi to Ha Long.
Tourists can take famous buses gathering at Luong Yen bus station or My Dinh bus station. The first bus departs at 6 am and the last one departs at 5 pm (each journey lasts from 3 to 4 hours). Bus tickets fluctuate from 100 thousand dong/ seat to 200 thousand dong/ bed seat.
Train from Hanoi to Halong bay
Tourists can take Halong Express tourist trains departing at 7:05 am from Gia Lam train station and it takes about 5 hours to get to Ha Long. Train tickets fluctuate from 5 USD/ 1- way/ person (for Vietnamese tourists) to 15 USD/ 1- way/ person (for foreigners).
Hotels in Ha Long bay 
There are many 3- and 4-star hotels around Bai Chay tourist resort that tourists can choose. Hotel price for a 3-star hotel is at least 474,000 VND/ day. You should come here in the early or middle of a week if you want to find cheap hotel rooms easily. From Friday to Sunday each week, there are a lot of tourists coming to Ha Long and this may result in expensive hotel price or difficulty in finding available rooms.
Besides, tourists can also stay in hostels with the average price at about 150,000 VND/ day. You can have a look at some following hotel addresses: Ha Long Dream (08 Ha Long street); Mithirn (Hung Thang street); Ha Long Pearl (Bai Chay); Ha Long Bay (Ha Long street); Bach Dang (02 Ha Long); Cong Doan Bai Chay (Ha Long street); Moon Light (Hung Thang street), etc….
On these days, many tourists are interested in Ha Long tours which offer them a chance to stay all night at the Bay. This service can bring to you great experience with many interesting activities such as: go sightseeing to enjoy Ha Long view at dawn or sunset, kayaking, bathing on the bay, singing karaoke, fishing squids at night, etc…
Night tours on the Bay may last for 2 days 1 night or 3 days 2 nights depending on the journey of each cruiser. The price for a 2- day journey of some 3-star cruisers like V’spirit, Majestic, Calypso, Halong Sails, Oriental Sails, Glory, etc is at least 2,200,000 VND and this price includes all prices for transportation from Hanoi to Ha Long, 3 meals, sightseeing, etc. Besides, in Ha Long Bay, there are also many 4- and 5-star cruisers namely Au co, Emeraude, Paradise, Starlight, etc. You can contact some travel companies to get reasonable price, especially there are many attractive promotions in summers.
In addition, you can take a ship around Ha Long Bay. The ship price depends on time and kinds of ships. If you go in a group of 10- 15 people, you are recommended to rent a small timber boat. In case you don’t go in a big group, you can ask hotel staffs to order the ticket for you. A sightseeing ticket costs about 40,000 VND/ person. If you want to have 6 hours sightseeing on Bay, it will cost you 100,000 VND. You should take a 3-4-hour sightseeing journey to save money. There are morning or afternoon journeys which offer convenience in travelling and relaxing that tourists can choose.
Vehicles for travelling and sightseeing in Ha Long
For travelling around the city, you can take taxi of some following firms: 886 Taxi– Mong Cai; Ha Long, Hon Gai; Mai Linh, etc. You can rent cruise ships these firms to visit the Gulf: Bai Chay tourist cruise terminal, Ha Long tourist cruise terminal; Duong Hai company; Ha Long Bay Service Center; Hai Au Company.
Attractions around Ha Long Bay
Bai Chay: Bai Chay Resort which is located along Halong Bay coast is an ideal destination for relaxing and bathing. Tourists can experience the wind all year round and the average temperature is above 20°C.
Co To Island: Tourists can take boats to Co To island to enjoy wonderful scenery with beautiful coral reefs and bathe. Co To Island can still remain some special wild characteristics in the bustling atmosphere of Ha Long tourist attraction.
Tuan Chau Island: Tuan Chau Island is the most beautiful island among 1, 969 ones in Ha Long Bay and it is also the only island in which there are citizens. The sloping Tra Co Coast with white sand is an ideal destination for underwater games.
Luon Grotto: One of the great attractive points of Halong Bay is the wide range of big and small grottos, and each one has its own beauty and story. Luon Grotto which is situated on Bo Hon Island, 14 kilometers south of Bai Chay is one among those grottos. Visiting this grotto, you have chance to encounter beautiful classes of rosin pillars which have been formed in different shapes and sizes in millions of years. Tourists can see Con Rua Islet in front of the grotto and the sky Gate is located on the right of Luon grotto.
Sung Sot Grotto: Sung Sot Grotto is situated at the center of Ha Long, on Bo Hon island. Inside this grotto exists many fossil stone pillars in various shapes. Sung Sot Grotto is located near many other attractive sights of Ha Long (Ti Top beach- Bo Nau Cave- Me Cung Grotto- Luon Grotto- Sung Sot Grotto) and it was named “Grotte des surprises” by the French.
Yen Tu Buddhism relic: Tourists coming to Ha Long have chance to visit not only the sea, but also pagodas. If you prefer the pagoda ceremony, Yen Tu Relic is certainly not a bad choice. Yen Tu Relic consists of a wide range of pagodas, hermitage, towers and ancient tree forest locating in the beautiful natural scenery from Red Slope to Yen Tu Mountain.
Cua Van Fishing Village: This destination brings about Vietnamese atmosphere and images to tourists visiting Ha Long. In this place, tourists can not only enjoy the peaceful and quiet atmosphere, but also learn more about the life and culture of fishermen like fishing, sailing, etc...
Historic sites in Ha Long: a group of vestiges including Bai Tho Mountain, Tran Quoc Nghien pantheon, Quang Ninh museum, etc is all favorite destinations of many tourists to Ha Long.
All information above will help you have a good trip from Hanoi to Halong bay. Let’s carry the luggage and go!