Access to the UNESCO World Heritage Halong Bay is now much easier than before as there are 3 airports nearby, which is: Noi Bai airport (Hanoi), Cat Bi airport (Haiphong) and Van Don airport (Quang Ninh).
This little article will provide the most up-to-date (2019) information of 3 airports, its pros & cons so that you can find the best airport to land.
For each airport, we will also show you how to get from there to Halong Bay, Halong City.
Noi Bai International Airport (HAN)
Noi Bai International Airport, also known Hanoi airport (HNH), Vietnam) is located in Soc Son district, which is 30 km (19 miles) away from city center of Hanoi. It is 180 km away from Halong City by normal way & 150 km by Expressway. This is the second biggest international airport in Vietnam and the biggest transport hub among 3 ones near Halong Bay. Thus, there are many filghts arrive & departure from here every day, including all domestic flights & some international flights from Europe, Indochina, North East Asia, South East Asia, North America, Middle East, Africa, etc…
Although Noi Bai airport is not the nearest from Halong Bay, it is the most chosen by visitors. This is because it is connected with many international airports in the world. A number of Vietnamese and international airlines operate from Noi Bai Airport, including Vietnam Airlines, Pacific Airlines, AirAsia, Cathay Pacific, Hong Kong Airlines, Thai Airways, Lao Airlines and Tiger Airways. Thus, it is the easiest way to arrive in Vietnam wherever you are.
Moreover, transportation from Hanoi airport to Halong Bay is quite convenient. Most the travelers will spend a day and explore the capital and travel to Halong Bay the next day. But if you want to go straight to Halong Bay, there are 4 main transports: local bus, taxi, private car and helicopter.
There are many local buses running from Hanoi to Halong every 10-15 minute. But if you prefer it, you need to take taxi or bus from airport to Bac Thang Long toll station to catch bus. You must walk across the highway without pedestrian bridge if you take bus, which is quite dangerous. Thus, I highly recommend you to take taxi, which is only about 6 km far away, equally VND 120,000. And do remember to tell driver that you want to catch the bus to Halong.
The bus ticket cost about VND 120,000/person and it will drop off you in Bai Chay bus station, where you can transfer to your hotel by taxi (VND 50,000-150,000 depending on distance) or ask hotel you booked to arrange you a pick-up if they have.
This will take a longer time than other transport but the cheapest way to make the trip. It is easy for you to catch bus on daytime every 10-15 minute. But if your flight landed from 18:00 to night-time, it is not the good choice for you. You would better find other ways below.
If you do not want to share the trip from Hanoi airport with strangers or wish to be totally flexible of your schedule, a taxi is your good option.
There are 2 routes from Hanoi to Halong: normal way (180 km & 3.5-4 hours) & New Express way (150 km & 2.5-3 hours) with fee surcharged (about $10 for 4-7 seat car). You can discuss the route you want with taxi driver.
There are 14 taxi brands allowed to pick up guests from Noi Bai airport. You can catch a cab at:
T2 terminal: Arrival Hall – first floor – Hall C and E
T1 terminal: Arrival Hall – first floor – East Wing
However, be sure to use a metered taxi and confirm the total cost including fuel, all fees, go New Express way or not, etc… with the taxi driver before get in. They may charge you more when they take a longer route than necessary.
The cost for a trip by taxi is VND 1,700,000 – 2,000,000 depending on type of car; not including New Express Way fee. This is even higher than price listed of some companies specialized in providing transfer service when you book car in advance. And there is only 4 & 7-seat taxi available at the airport, so it is not suitable for big group (more than 5 people).
This sounds like taxi but it is much better due to its quality, safety, convenience & even price.
When you book airport pick-up with in advance with a transfer service company like Halong Transportation, these are your advantages:
- You can check price among many deals and choose the best one. This is certainly better than metered taxi and even better after you make deal with taxi driver at airport.
- You need not take time to find a car & dealing rate after a flight. The driver is always ready waiting for you with your name board when you get out. You no need to pay any fee if your flight delayed as they usually offer free waiting time to 4-6 hours.
- Professional procedure: Easy booking, fast confirm & easy communication.
- Safety trip: You no need to worry about cheat, bad driver or old car.
- Many various type of car suitable for number of people.
The cost is about VND 1,300,000 – 1,500,000 ($60-$70)/ one-way trip for a private 4-seat car suitable for 2-3 people. You can find price list for other types of vehicle by click here.
Whether you are a busy businessman on holiday or go on a vacation with your family, if you want privacy, flexibility & comfort, private transfer will ensure the best option for you.
It is the only option if you want to fly from Hanoi to Halong Bay, which is the fastest & most expensive way. It takes only 45 minutes to travel from Hanoi to Halong by seaplane.
Traveling by seaplane you will get an amazing view of Halong from above which a normal transfer or cruise cannot provide.
To book seaplane, you can contact directly with the company that operates the seaplane, Hai Au Aviation. The cost is around $400/person/round trip.
Cat Bi International Aiport (HPH)
It now hosts domestic flights from Ho Chi Minh City, Phu Quoc, Pleiku, Nha Trang, Da Lat and Da Nang and also international routes that connects Singapore, Macau, Seoul, Japan, etc… and Hai Phong. JetStar Pacific, VietJet Air, Vietnam Airlines and Emirates are some airlines which are exploiting Catbi airport.
The new Halong – Haiphong Express way (which officially established since September 2nd, 2018) has reduced travel time to 1.5-2 hours. Thus, it is quite easy to find a transport, includes bus, taxi & private car
Bus goes to Bai Chay Bus Station (Halong City) from Lac Long Bus Station (Hai Phong City) every 20 minute. You need to take taxi from Cat Bi airport to Lac Long Station, which is about 10 km far away & equally VND 100,000.
The bus costs about VND 70,000/person.
There are 8 taxi brands in Hai Phong airport as below.
The metered taxi from airport to Halong is about VND 700,000 for a 4-seat car and VND 800,000 for a 7-seat car, not including fee.
|Tên hãng||Số điện thoại|
|Taxi Trung Kiên||0225 326 626|
|Taxi Kim Liên||0225 356 5565|
|Taxi Long Bảo||0225 357 6576|
|Taxi Đất Cảng||0225 373 6736|
|Taxi Mai Linh||0225 3 833 833|
|Taxi 84||0225 3 84 84 84|
|Taxi Gọi Là Có||0225 3 785 785|
|Taxi Hà Phương||0225 368 6868|
As I mention before, you can book a private transfer in advance with an equal rate to taxi, but higher quality (about car, service & driver).
Van Don International Airport
Van Don airport, also known Quang Ninh airport (VOD), is situated on Van Don Island, Quang Ninh & officially opened in June 2018. It is 70 km far away to Halong center (by expressway) and takes about 1.5 hour.
Completed with massive and well-invested infrastructure and state-of-the-art facilities, it is the most advanced airport up to date. But there are 2 domestic (Ho Chi Minh, Da Nang) & 3 international airport (Tham Quyen, Ho Nam & Seoul) connect to Van Don airport now (Updated in Nov 2019). So the ticket is quite high & limits your choice of departure airport.
However, there are many special offer for passengers flying to this airport, including
- Free bus tickets on Halong – Van Don route
- Free tickets for Ha Long and Yen Tu sightseeing tours
- Discount for games at Sun World Halong Complex at 50% for group & 20% for individual
Similarly to other airports, there are 3 main airport pick-up service you can choose to go to Halong.
As mentioned before, you will be provided free bus tickets on Halong – Van Don route (operated by Phuc Xuyen Co) when fly to Van Don airport, booking directly by hotline 02033556699.
But the time is not flexible so you can take time waiting for bus.
Metered taxi is easily caught in airport at VND 700,000 for a 4-seat car & 800,000 for a 7-seat car (not including express way fee).
Rate is equal to taxi, but you can click here if you would like to book in advance or find bigger car for big group.
We strongly hope that you will get some useful information by this short article to choose what is airport suitable for you to get Halong Bay & an airport pick-up service when landing to have a safe & comfortable trip.
If you have any question, please do not hesitate to leave a comment or contact us any time!
And please not forget to check other TIPS travelling in Halong Bay here.