While reaching Halong Bay may have previously been a tiresome venture, new investments from the government and private companies have made the journey considerably faster and easier. You can now access Halong Bay by three airports: make sure you choose the one that is best for you.
Hanoi (Noi Bai International Airport) to Halong Bay
Thanks to the recent government investment into the Hanoi to Halong Bay highway, drives to and from these locations have been cut from four hours to two – usually with a short stop in-between – making Halong Bay an accessible location from the moment you land in Vietnam.
There are many international airlines flying into Noi Bai and direct flights are available. Travelers coming from a growing number of European cities can hop on a Vietnam Airlines flight direct. Flights from the US may take a little longer and usually average around 20 hours with a stop in-between.
Though there are plenty of options available when it comes to travel from Hanoi to Halong Bay, some of them are best avoided. The adventurers of the world might be excited by the idea of train travel, but it’s very crowded and takes five hours to get there. While a public buses are cheap, they don’t provide a comfortable journey, leaving you stuck in a hot and overcrowded bus for hours on end.
Consider hiring a minibus or car with a driver to take you there. To ensure the best service, book through President Cruises to get a private four or seven-seat car. Our drivers can pick you up and drop you off at the airport.
Alternatively, President Cruises operates a fleet of private shuttle transfers daily between Hanoi and Halong Bay. We’ve got a 16-seat shuttle and a 29-seat shuttle, both equipped with on board WiFi, USB chargers, air-conditioning and complimentary bottles of water. This is, without a doubt, the most luxurious way to reach Halong Bay.
Our shuttle transfers leave Hanoi at 8:45am in the Old Quarter and will pick you up, though guests staying outside of the area can head to the central pick-up location at Hanoi Tower. The returning shuttle transfer leaves Halong Bay at 12:15 and drops guests to their hotels back in the Hanoi Old Quarter or at the central drop-off point in Hanoi Tower.
While our limousine service does not go to Noi Bai airport, we do have a service that does – the seaplane. As a part of our special package, we offer the seaplane transfer, which departs from Hanoi airport twice a day. The seaplane can carry up to 8 people with luggage.
Halong City (Van Don Airport) to Halong Bay
Thanks to the arrival of the Van Don international airport, built by private investors, and the Ha Long to Van Don expressway, travelers are a mere hour from Halong Bay once they land.
Even though the airport has just opened up, there is no list of international flights arriving in Van Don just yet. However, the airport was created for that very purpose, with great stretches of tarmac available for massive international airplanes and state-of-the-art facilities.
Starting at the end of December 2018, flights from Ho Chi Minh City to Van Don will run daily at 2:00pm and 4:45pm for the return. The airport will open a far greater number of domestic and international flights in the future, so be sure to keep an eye out for developing news if you wish to fly into Halong Bay’s closest airport.
Hai Phong (Cat Bi Airport) to Halong Bay
While Cat Bi airport is an international airport, it mostly sees domestic flights from Ho Chi Minh City and Danang. Daily flights from Ho Chi Minh City to Cat Bi depart at 7:00 11:15, 12:50 and 16:55, while flights from Danang are less consistent.
Unlike Hanoi, the travel options from Cat Bi are few and your best bet would be to get a private transfer, which, if booked online, will cost around $60 and take around two hours.