We spent a lot of time researching how to get from Hanoi to Cat Ba Island which we were visiting to go on a boat trip around Lan Ha and Ha Long Bay, but unfortunately there's quite a lot of poor information on the web. There are plenty of options including trains or buses to Ha Long City, booking via an agency or even booking each part with separate companies.
But actually you don't need to bother with any of that! There's a cheap route which also happens to be the easiest option and we're gonna give you all the details you need to know so you can get from Hanoi to Cat Ba Island in the cheapest and best way possible.
pin me for later...
Hanoi to Cat Ba Island - Where to Buy Tickets
There is a national company called Hoàng Long which runs routes the length and breadth of Vietnam. Make your way to the Hanoi Head Office on Tran Nhat Duat, the main road that runs between the river and the Old Quarter.
Here you can buy a combo ticket which will get you all the way to Cat Ba Town. Included in this is:
- Car transfer from Hoàng Long Head Office to Bến xe Nước Ngầm bus station (30 minutes)
- Bus from Bến xe Nước Ngầm bus station to Dinh Vu port (2 hours 30 minutes)
- Speedboat from Dinh Vu port to Cai Vieng port on Cat Ba Island (30 minutes)
- Coach from Cai Vieng port to Hoàng Long office in the centre of Cat Ba Town (30 minutes)
The cost of the ticket is 200,000VND (roughly £7) per person, one way.
We also checked with some local agencies and the cost was significantly higher at 340,000VND (£12) for a very similar service.
In total it took about 4 and a half hours to get from Hanoi to Cat Ba Town door to door.
This really is a no stress option as you are taken directly from place to place with little or no waiting time. There's no negotiating with individual providers and the coaches and speedboats we travelled on were extremely comfortable and well maintained.
When you're ready to leave Cat Ba Island, simply head to the Hoàng Long office on the main street of Cat Ba Town where you will have been dropped off, the journey will be the same but in reverse - bus, speedboat and then a transfer by bus to wherever you are headed to next. Simple!
Heading to Cat Ba Island? Read our post on what to do when you get to Cat Ba below and check out our Vietnam section if you're travelling on further around this amazing country.