How to Get from Ho Chi Minh City to Halong Bay?

Distance & Types of Transportation

Rachel Tran
Rachel Tran | Published: May 28, 2020

While Halong Bay and Ho Chi Minh City are the biggest magnets for tourists in Vietnam, the distance between these two attractions is quite something. Many may wonder which means of transportation is the best to travel such a distance. Read on to find out all the available options to get from Ho Chi Minh City to Halong Bay, as well as which best suits you.

I. How Far is It from Ho Chi Minh City to Halong Bay?

Map of distance from Ho Chi Minh City to Halong Bay
Distance from Ho Chi Minh City to Halong Bay

Halong Bay is in Quang Ninh, a province located in the north of Vietnam. Ho Chi Minh City is in the far south. The distance between these two attractions is 1,700 kilometers, roughly equivalent to the distance between Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.

For such a distance, the best and fastest way to reach Halong Bay is by taking a 2-hour direct flight to Van Don Airport.

II. How to Travel from Ho Chi Minh City to Halong Bay

How to travel from Ho Chi Minh city to Halong Bay

1. Travel from Ho Chi Minh City to Halong Bay by Air

For those seeking a seamless, stress-free journey, traveling by air is your best choice. However, there are quite a few ways to travel by airplane from Ho Chi Minh City to Halong Bay. Take a look at the following table:

 

Flight from Tan Son Nhat Airport to…

Van Don Airport

Cat Bi Airport

Noi Bai Airport

Location

Quang Ninh

Hai Phong

Hanoi

Duration

2 hours 5 minutes

2 hours

2 hours 10 minutes

Distance from Halong Bay

50 kilometers

70 kilometers

190 kilometers

Suppliers

Vietnam Airlines, Vietjet Air, Bamboo Airways

Vietnam Airlines, Vietjet Air, Bamboo Airways

Vietnam Airlines, Vietjet Air, Bamboo Airways, Jetstar

Price

From 43USD ~ 1,000,000 VND

From 55USD ~ 1,300,000 VND 

From 43USD ~ 1,000,000 VND

Connecting trip to Halong Bay

Free bus ticket

Taxi 

A variety of options

Note: Generally speaking, Vietnam Airlines is the priciest airline, providing inclusive meals, water and more free baggage allowance. Bamboo Airways is medium-priced, while Vietjet Air is the cheapest. To find the most suitable means of transportation from Hanoi to Halong Bay, check out our article Travel from Hanoi to Halong Bay.

2. Travel from Ho Chi Minh City to Halong Bay by Train

It’s impossible to travel directly from Ho Chi Minh City to Halong Bay by train. You can catch a train in Saigon train station, arrive in Hanoi and use another means of transport to travel to Halong Bay.

Route: Sai Gon train station (Ho Chi Minh City) – Hanoi train station (Hanoi)

Duration: 33-37 hours

Price: 40 – 60 USD (depending on which seat you choose)

Note: a journey by train will take roughly 1 day and a half, making it the most time-consuming means of transportation available. It’s best to buy a sleeper ticket so that you can stretch your arms and legs a bit during the long journey. After arriving in Hanoi, check out the available means of transport in this article Travel from Hanoi to Halong Bay to find a way to reach Halong Bay.

Train from Ho Chi Minh to Halong Bay

3. Travel from Ho Chi Minh City to Halong Bay by Bus

Again, there is no direct bus from Ho Chi Minh City to Halong bay. That means you’ll have to book a ticket from Ho Chi Minh City to Hanoi, and then find a way to reach Halong Bay. 

It’s a really long way from Ho Chi Minh City to Hanoi, so it’s best to catch a sleeper bus. There is a tiny bathroom on the bus, and there are plenty of stops along the way. 

Duration: 35 hours

Price: 40 USD (tickets can be booked online)

Note: Generally speaking, it’s not a very comfortable way to travel to Halong Bay. The beds do not fully recline and the view is not nearly as good as traveling by train. If you have more time to spend, jump on a hop-on-hop-off bus, which allows you to get off at a major stop, stay for a few days, then head to the next city on the route. The price will be around 50 USD. On arriving in Hanoi, check out the available means of transport in this article Travel from Hanoi to Halong Bay to find a way to reach Halong Bay.

4. Travel from Ho Chi Minh City to Halong Bay by Motorbike

Motorcycling is not recommended in the case, as you should have a legal driving license to drive in Vietnam without risks of legal issues. It will be a very long journey; make sure you are in good health conditions, have a partner and a working smartphone.

It’s pretty hard to estimate the time it takes to ride a motorbike to Halong Bay, as it depends on the time you take to rest between stops. Regarding cost, you’ll need to spend about 10 USD per day to rent a motorbike in Ho Chi Minh City and return it in Hanoi. Gasoline is not quite a matter, a liter of gasoline only costs 1 USD.

Summary of transport options to get from Ho Chi Minh City to Halong Bay:

 

Means of transport

Airplane

Train

Bus

Motorbike

Direct or indirect?

Direct

Indirect

Indirect

Direct

Duration

2 hours

33-37 hours

35 hours

40-50 hours

Cost

From 43 USD

From 40 USD (to reach Hanoi)

From 40 USD (to reach Hanoi)

From 50 USD (rental fee, highway fee)

Convenience

Very comfortable

Less comfortable

Uncomfortable

Very tiring

Risks

Safe

Safe

Less safe

Dangerous

Travel from Ho Chi Minh City to Halong Bay FAQ:

Can I drive from Ho Chi Minh City to Halong Bay?

Car rentals are not readily available for the route. However, you can choose to rent a car to drive from Ho Chi Minh City to Hanoi, but it will be a whopping fee of nearly 800 USD.

What is the best way to travel from Ho Chi Minh City to Halong Bay?

For those who have some to spare, you are strongly advised to choose the airplane. A direct flight from Ho Chi Minh City to Van Don Airport will be both time-efficient and relaxing for you and your family.

What is the cheapest way to travel from Ho Chi Minh City to Halong Bay?

Though the train and bus might look cheap at first, bear in mind that it is not inclusive of the cost to travel from Hanoi to Halong Bay. It’s said that the total amount you pay will be more than enough to enjoy a direct flight. All things considered, airplanes are the most efficient way to travel.

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