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Where is Halong bay?

Where is Halong Bay?

(And how to get there)

Where is Halong Bay? Well, the best way to get to Halong Bay is via Hanoi.  Halong Bay is about 170 km (105 mi) east of Hanoi and takes about 3 hours to get there by road. Hanoi is the second Largest city in Vietnam with its stunning mixture of French and traditional Vietnamese architecture and is a thriving Asian metropolis that is the cultural centre of Vietnam.

If you are planning to visit Halong Bay then it would be wise to stay in Hanoi and transfer to Halong Bay. Hanoi is an absolute must when travelling this region and you most definitely would add this to your trip to Halong Bay. The city of  Halong  is not a generally a place worth seeing and is more the gateway to the stunning bay.

Getting to Hanoi

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Hanoi is served by Noi Bai International Airport, approximately 40 km (25 mi) north of Hanoi. Most major airlines either fly direct to Hanoi or you connect flight via Bangkok, Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur or Singpore depending on which part of  the globe you are travelling from.

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Getting to your Hotel

If you already have a hotel booked, most hotels will organize transfers for you for a minimal price which is sometimes the best way to go if it is your first time in South East Asia.  Hanoi Airport can be quite crazy and confronting with taxi drivers competing for fares and some will take no for an answer. It is best to go to the fixed price taxi stand right outside the exit, offering fares between US$10 and US$16 into the city.

Shuttle-buses from the airport to Hanoi stop at the Vietnam Airlines Office on 1 Quang Trung (a bit south of the old quarter) but conveniently stocked with taxis and motorbike drivers to get you to your hotel.

There are also hire car stands within the airport if you wish to hire a car. Only the brave would take this on as traffic in Hanoi has no semblance of order or road rules. And if you get lost are you going to be able to ask “where is halong bay?” in Vietnamese.

Getting to Halong Bay

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Some travellers prefer to steer their own course and want to find out “where is Halong Bay?” on their own. Travelling independently allows you to take more or less time in places. The downside is that it is hard to arrange a cruise this way as negotiating on the docks is a great way to get ripped off.

If you choose to go via road then you have a few options:

  1. Hanoi to Bac Ninh to Halong: 155km. This is the shortest land route from Hanoi to Halong.
  2. Hanoi to Hai Duong to Halong: 163km.
  3. Mong Cai to Halong: 180km. From Mong Cai go along National Highway No. 4B via Hai Ha, Dam Ha then take National Highway No.18B through Cua Ong, Cam Pha, Hon Gai to Bai Chay.


You can take a bus to Halong City from Hanoi (40, 000d, 3½ hours) if you are game. The public bus to Halong is very crowded, somewhat unpredictable and dangerous. This is not recommended.


Railway to Halong Bay Vietnam: Every day runs a train depart from Yen Vien Railway Station (Gia Lam District, Hanoi) for Halong at 4.50am and arrive at 11.40am.


Air to Halong Bay Vietnam: Offers a helicopter flight every Saturday from Gia Lam Airport (Hanoi). Northern Airport Flight Service Company (04-827 4409; fax 827 2780; 173 Pho Truong Chinh, Hanoi) departing at 8 am and returning at 3 pm. The cost for the charter service is US$175 per person, but it only runs with a minimum of six guests.

Once in Halong Bay there are huge selection of 3 star Halong Bay tours and 4 star Halong Bay tours to choose from. Making the right selection could make or break your holiday.