Travel from Hanoi to Halong Bay as a local

From Hanoi, there is two ways to travel to Halong bay by bus:

  • Book a tour with agency for 1 day tour (around 38usd) or 2 days 1 night.
  • As a Vietnamese, Im staying in Hanoi now for working, I decided to travel to Halong bay on the weekend as a local way.

First I need to book my ticket bus, there is a 45 seats bus named Kumho Viet Thanh with good review on internet. So on Saturday morning I went to My Dinh bus station ( Ben xe My Dinh) to buy the ticket, it was very easy to find the booth and after that go directly to the bus.

I often didn’t like so much the atmosphere of the local bus but with Kumho Viet Thanh it was no smell and everything was fine on the way, even their stop station with quite good local food.

We asked the bus driver to stop us at Tuan Chau island where we booked the hotel. We intended to stay in Halong city but its quite far from the port ( 12km) so better to stay in Tuan Chau island where the port located currently cause we don’t have so much time.

From the entrance, we took a taxi to go to the hotel. After check in at Paradise Suites hotel we went to the port just far a few minutes to prepare for the trip to visit Halong bay. I passed to some agency near the hotel and got their price. However, cause its really near the port so I decided to look more around there, and I found the port office where they also sell the ticket for the travel boat ( 100.000VND) and ticket for the sight seeing ( 190.000VND) which cheaper than the other agency for the same tour – 3 hours visit Halong bay.

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The office where you can find the ticket for Halong bay tour

At that time it was 3pm so we saved the trip for tomorrow morning. Instead of that we went to swim at Paradise suites pool, the view is quite nice, just we cant swim so much cause the water was a bit cold.

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At the evening, we had dinner at restaurant 1958, actually even with nice design, the food is very good and price is reasonable, I was very happy with my sead food too. It’s the reason why we came back for the lunch at the day after.


On Sunday morning, after a good sleep on a very comfortable bed, we went to have breakfast at coffee place in front the port. For the tickets to vist Halong Bay, you need to go to inside the office to buy it, avoid to buy from the local women always try to sell for you with higher price.

The trip will start at 8.30am for a tour of 3 hours. They will drive you to visit Thien cung cave and some symbol stones in Halong bay.

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View of Halong Bay
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Thien Cung cave

The tour finished at 11.30am, then we got back to check out hotel then had lunch again at 1958 restaurant. Even we checked out, the hotel still lend us the bicycle to ride around the island.

The view on the bicycle trip is quite nice with a lot of big travel boats ( Cruises). On the way I was also excited to see the sea – planes taking off from the water.
seaplane-nb

At 2pm Sunday we used a taxi to go to Ben Chay bus station, take the Kumho Viet Thanh bus again to go back to Hanoi. After 4 hours, we arrived in Hanoi – My Dinh bus station. We had a nice trip in Halong bay during weekend as a local way and it was perfect cause:
_ It was same price as the tour but we had better stay ( 4 star hotel) and better food.
_ We had flexible &more time to see Halong bay with a different views: the pool, the sea, discover Tuan Chau island, the sea planes.. instead of that with the tour you only can see Halong bay with a normal lunch and then come back to Hanoi or sleep in 3star hotel in Halong city.

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