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Halong Bay travel articles

Stories and advice from our travel experts. See more travel articles

Normally, the distance from Hanoi to Halong Bay is about 170 km. Shuttle Bus takes you around 3.5 hours, included haft-hour for break time from Hanoi to Halong Bay. If you go by private car, it takes around 3 hours.

On the other hand, there is another route which only takes you about 2.5 hours for travelling to Halong Bay. You can hire a car or buy a ticket of a VIP bus to travel from Hanoi city centre to Halong Bay through the new Hanoi - Hai Phong highway, which shortens the distance between Hanoi - Halong to about more than 150km.

However, there will be a fee for the new highway which is about 6.5 USD/turn/car and that is the reason why the price for transportation through this new route is a little bit higher than the old one.

You can read more detail how to travel from hanoi to Halong Bay here

The distance from Halong Bay to Ninh Binh is 200km. However, due to the low-quality traffic system, it takes around 5 hours to transfer from Halong Bay to Ninh Binh

There are 02 ways to get to Ninh Binh from Halong Bay:

  • Option 1: Take the public bus.

The ticket's rate for the bus Halong Bay- Ninh Binh is quite cheap, only 10USD/Person. However, the bus will not pick you up and drop you off at your hotel. You have to come to the meeting point before departure time of the bus. Additionally, the quality of the service is very low since the buses are operated by local people who do not know how to serve foreign tourists, and do not speak English. So, taking the bus is not recommended to avoid the unhappy time of your journey in Vietnam

  • Option 2: Book the private car in advance

Book the private car is the best way to get to Ninh Binh from Halong Bay due to following reason

Driver will pick you up at the hotels, cruise pier and take you to any hotel in Ninh Binh

Driver will pick you up at any time you want. Especially if you would like to go Ninh Binh after your Halong Bay Cruise Tour, the driver will contact with cruise's operator and know when you disembark to pick you up

The rate for the private car from Halong to Ninh Binh:

  • 4 seat private car: 95USD
  • 7 seat private car: 105USD
  • 16 seat private car: 115USD

Read more detail here.

1. What is the bad weather that might occur in Halong Bay?

Halong Bay is located in the north of Vietnam. The weather of Halong Bay is the coastal climate. There are two distinct seasons in each year: summer from May to October and winter from November to April next year.

Summer (from May to October): This is hot season in Halong bay, as is stormy season. There are usually more than 5 storms coming to Halong bay in this season.

Winter (from November to April next year): This is cold season in Halong Bay. The bad weather may occur in Halong Bay are: foggy, monsoons, cyclone and thunderstorm. Some kinds of bad weather are forecasted in advance from 2 to 3 days (storm, typhoon...) while some are not (monsoons, cyclone, thunderstorm...).

Read overall guide for weather in Halong by click here

Therefore, the cancellation may be informed before you leave Hanoi to Halong Bay or when you arrive in Halong Bay.

2. What are Cancellation Policies due to bad weather?

All cruises in Halong Bay must have permission from Management Board of Halong Bay to stay overnight in the Bay. Based on the weather conditions (high winds, monsoon, thunderstorm, cyclone, storm,...), the Management Board has the authority to cancel all cruises on certain day to guarantee the safety of tourists.

In those cases, following policies will be applied:  

- If the cancellation is informed before you leave Hanoi to Halong Bay (you have not used any service yet): 100% refund.  

- If the cancellation is informed during the trip (you have already used some services: transfer, lunch, day trip, hotel in Halong,...): Only the fee of these services will be charged and we will refund whole remain amount  

- If the trip is cut down from 3 days/2 nights to 2 days/1 night, we will charge as 2 days/1 night trip, plus other services you have already used and refund the remain amount.

Important Notes:  

- The cancellation is announced ONLY by the Management Board of Halong Bay and often in short notice of time. Therefore your understandings in these situations are highly appreciated  

- The period from May to July is considered as storm weather in Halong Bay with many unpredictable weather conditions. Hence more cruises will be cancelled with short notice during this season.

- In all cases, please contact our consultants directly for any urgent help. We are here to support you with all of our best!

=> What should you do if Halong Bay Cruise is canceled? read here

Cruise itinerary and schedule are subject to change basing on weather and operations conditions. In some case, if the cruise company decide to change the itinerary, schedule due to the policy of the Management Board of the bay, we will change the itinerary according to the new itinerary of the cruise.

If you have made the booking before the itinerary changed, we will inform you about the change and provide you more information about the new itinerary.

Nowadays there are ports in 2 places: Halong and Hai Phong.

1- From Halong:

The distance from Halong to Hanoi airport is around 200 km. If you go by private car, it takes about 3.5 hours for direct transfer (by private car - price from $60 for 4 seats car). 

One cheaper option is taking a shuttle bus from Halong to Bac Ninh (it's on the way back to Hanoi), then taking a taxi to the airport (about 20 USD). It will take about 4 hours.

Another option which is more expensive but take little travelling time is going through the new Hanoi - Hai Phong highway that shortens the distance to about 170km and takes about 2.5 hours. However as there is highway fee, a private car will cost about $70 for 4 seats car.

2- From Hai Phong:

There is a highway from Hai Phong to Hanoi. By taking this route, it will only take about 2 hours transfering directly to the airport. This option is available both with private car or using shuttle bus of some Halong cruises

Winter (around Octobet to December) and Spring (March and April) are two best seasons to visit Halong. It has the pleasant weather and low chance of rain, during there are higher chance of storm from June to September.

Read more: what-is-the-best-time-to-visit-halong-bay.html

For Halong Bay 2 days or 3 days program is enough to discover main sight here. The longer program is suitable the guest who want to have more time in the stunning scenery and discovery deep inside the center of Bay.

Read more detail at: halong-bay-tour-itinerary-1-night-or-2-nights-on-cruise-is-better.html

Halong Bay is 500km far away to Sapa so it will very hard if you transfer on the same day. There are few options below:

Option 1: By bus: you can take overnight bus from Sapa to Hanoi. You will arrive about 6:00 AM in the morning. Relax then take another day bus (about 3 hours) to Halong Bay.

Option 2: Train + Bus: Take overnight train back to Hanoi around 5:00 AM then 3 hours by bus to Halong Bay.

There are 3 best ways to book Halong bay Cruise when you already in Hanoi: 

  • Going to directly cruise’s office, you have to pay a public price, quite high for your trip.
  • Travel agency in Hanoi Old Quarter: there are many travel agency around Hanoi Old Quarter, it easy to come, deals and book. You should double check aboud qualities of boat and ask them make sure exactly which one you are put in. 
  • Researching and booking information on the Internet: it is easier for you to compare price and qualities, some time you can get a very good deals for last minute. 

Cat Bi Airport located in Hai Phong city and 50km far way from Halong Bay. There is also a new highway just open so it only takes 1 hours transfer from Halong Bay to Cat Bi Airport.

S
Sanny
Hi there, I am looking at the peony and genesis cruises, I like them both, I did message yesterday regarding vegetarian food on the peony cruise. Does Genesis cruise cater for vegetarians too? no meat and no seafood.
Response from BestPrice Travel
Hi I am pleased to inform that both Peony Cruise and Genesis Regal cruise have the vegetarian food for all your meal Cheers
A
Alexandra
Hi there, I am looking for a Halong Bay Cruise, but instead of returning back to Hanoi, I would like to head to Ninh Binh and further south. Is there an oppurtunity? Thanks and best regards, Alexandra
Response from BestPrice Travel
Hi Book the private car is the best way to get to Ninh Binh from Halong Bay due to following reason Driver will pick you up at the hotels, cruise pier and take you to any hotel in Ninh Binh Driver will pick you up at any time you want. Especially if you would like to go Ninh Binh after your Halong Bay Cruise Tour, the driver will contact with cruise's operator and know when you disembark to pick you up The rate for the private car from Halong to Ninh Binh: 4 seat private car: 95USD 7 seat private car: 105USD 16 seat private car: 115USD
R
Robyn
When I arrive in Hanoi do I need to have hotel booked for transfer,or can I transfer straight from Hanoi Airport? By the Luxury Bus..Many Thanks Robyn Lawson
Response from BestPrice Travel
Hi The Sharing luxury van only pick-up/drop-off at the hotels located in Hanoi Old Quarter If you are at the Airport, we can arrange a private car pick you up and transfer you to the Hanoi Old Quarter, or transfer you directly to Halong Bay Cheers
D
David Yan
Dear Sir or Madam, we are planning to get a Cruise from your website, the Stellar of the Seas, for 2D1N starting 12th August. We saw that you offer transfer services however only round trips from Hanoi. We are coming from Tam Coc (Ninh Binh) so we are wondering whether you also offer transfer services from Tam Coc to Halong Bay, and afterwards from Halong Bay to Hanoi. If not, could you give some advice whether the bus transport from Tam Coc is reliable for catching the Cruise at 12:00 pm? Thanks in advance for your help. David Yan
Response from BestPrice Travel
Hi I am pleased to inform that we do not offer the sharing car from Ninh Binh to Halong So if you would like to start from Ninh Binh, we can arrange the private car from Ninh Binh to Halong, then the sharing car from Halong to Hanoi The rate as below: - Sharing luxury van Halong- Hanoi: 35USD/Car/Way - Private car Ninh Binh- Halong: 4 seat private car: 95USD 7 seat private car: 105USD 16 seat private car: 115USD
A
Ashish Agarwal
Need to book a 2 day 1 night cruise for 28 june. What will be the suggested cruise and best price you can offer. So far we have liked mon cheri, orchid cruise and stellar of the seas. We would want to inlcude limousine bus transfer from hanoi as well. Please suggest a good cruise with yiur best prices. Regards, Ashish
Response from BestPrice Travel
Dear Mr. Ashish Agarwal, Warmest greeting from BestPrice Travel! First of all I would like to say thank you very much for your request. My name is Bella Nguyen – Travel Consultant of BestPrice Travel . I will follow up your request. I just check with Orchid Cruise, Mon Cheri Cruise and Stella Of the Sea Cruise, they are still available until this time. However, I recommend you luxury Orchid Cruise with free limousine round trip Hanoi – Halong – Hanoi. Or Stella Of the Sea if you like Swimming Pool in Cruise. For more choices, it’s my pleasure to give you the quotation for Cruises as below: Orchid Cruise (top 3 selling Cruise for many years) 02 Days on 28th Jun 2019- See more detail here Cabin 01: Suite Balcony - 02 adults: 360 USD Free Luxury Limousine Bus Round Trip Hanoi- Halong- Hanoi for 02 adults Total rate : 360 USD ( Price for 02 adults) Promotion: Free VIP Bus round trip Hanoi – Halong – Hanoi Free Visa Letter (save $15/person) Jun Flash Sale: 35% OFF Mon Cheri Cruise (luxury Cruise with cheap price) 02 Days on 28th Jun 2019- See more detail here Cabin 01: Ocean Suite Balcony - 02 adults: 320 USD Luxury Limousine Bus Round Trip Hanoi- Halong- Hanoi for 02 adults: 60 USD Total rate : 380 USD ( Price for 02 adults) Promotion: Freen Hanoi Street Food Tour Free Visa Letter (save $15/person) Stella Of the Sea Cruise (the only one has pool outside) 02 Days on 28th Jun 2019- See more detail here Cabin 01: Junior Suite - 02 adults: 360 USD Luxury Limousine Bus Round Trip Hanoi- Halong- Hanoi for 02 adults: 70 USD Total rate : 430 USD ( Price for 02 adults) Promotion: Freen Hanoi Street Food Tour Free Visa Letter (save $15/person) I'm waiting for your reply the soonest.
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