Transportation to Halong Bay is always the first problem you need to tick in your to-do list before your trip to Halong. If you have decided to arrive by plane, this blog will help you make the decision as to which airport near Halong Bay to land at.
Which Airports Near Halong Bay Should You Consider?
Van Don, Noi Bai and Cat Bi are the closest airports to Halong Bay.
Option 1: Van Don International Airport
Where is Van Don Airport?
Van Don Airport is located in Quang Ninh, 50 km from Halong Bay (expressway). Debuted in December 2018, Van Don is the newest commercial airport in Vietnam. Completed with massive and well-invested infrastructure and state-of-the-art facilities, it is Vietnam’s most technologically advanced airport. It comprises 3.6km runway to facilitate the landing of aircrafts at discounted service fees for all carriers.
How to get from Van Don to Halong Bay
Access to the UNESCO World Heritage Halong Bay is now much faster and easier thanks to this newly-opened international airport. Van Don Airport is a mere 50 km from the famous new wonder of nature. All the passengers flying to Van Don will be provided with free bus tickets for the Halong – Van Don route. Or if you prefer a taxi, the cost won’t be too high as it’s the nearest airport to Halong Bay (not to mention that taxi fares in Vietnam are comparatively low).
Option 2: Noi Bai International Airport
Where is Noi Bai Airport?
Noi Bai Airport is located in Hanoi and it might not sound like an airport near Halong Bay as it’s 150km from it. However, it is the 2nd biggest transport hub in Vietnam, and by far the most popular choice by Halong Bay visitors. This international airport is located in Soc Son district, which is about 27 kilometers from the city center of Hanoi. With the area of approximately 140,000 m2, the airport welcomes 15 million passengers annually.
Although it’s the farthest from Halong Bay, Noi Bai airport is widely chosen by those who visit Halong Bay. This is because it connects to many international airports in the world; it also helps that transportation from Hanoi to Halong Bay is quite convenient.
How to get to Halong Bay:
From Noi Bai Airport
You can transfer to Halong Bay without stopping by in Hanoi. From the airport, you can choose either buses or taxis (but keep in mind that the distance is 150 km in total).
- Bus: From the airport, you will need to take a taxi/motorbike taxi/bus to Bac Thang Long toll station to catch a bus to Halong Bay. This is the cheapest way to do the trip.
- Shuttle Bus: A direct bus from the airport to your hotel will save you time and headaches. It will be a bit more pricey but if your budget permits, it’s a good solution.
- Taxi: Obviously this is the most convenient option, and the most expensive. It will take you around $70 – $80 for the trip.
From Hanoi City Center
If you wish to spend some time exploring the thousand-year-old capital, you should visit Hanoi before heading to Halong Bay. From Noi Bai Airport, you can easily take a bus/shuttle bus/taxi/Grab to Hanoi. And when in Hanoi, you’ll be provided with many different ways of transport to Halong:
- Motorbike for adventure lovers: You can rent a motorbike and drive it all the way to Halong Bay. Just make sure you own either International driving license or a local one.
- Local Bus for your budget: With the price varies from 100 – 200.000VND (about 5-10 dollars), this is a budget choice for those who want to either save up money or experience the local way of traveling.
- Shuttle Bus for convenience: A direct bus will offer a good balance between price and convenience.
- Private Car for privacy: You won’t have to share your space with anyone else. And of course, can’t share the fares either.
- Seaplane for once-of-a-lifetime experience: What can be better than viewing Halong Bay from above! But of course this service comes with high price!
- Train for safety: It takes up to 6 hours but if you are too worried about the traffic in Vietnam, this is the safest choice!
Option 3: Cat Bi International Airport
Where is Cat Bi Airport?
Cat Bi is located in Hai Phong, 60 km from Halong Bay (highway). Cat Bi (HPH) offers flights from multiple airline carriers to many popular global destinations. There are 85 flights on 14 different routes from the airport, connecting HPH to 14 different cities in 6 different countries. The most popular routes connect Haiphong to Bangkok, Seoul, Shenzhen, Matsumoto and Da Nang.
How to get from Cat Bi to Halong Bay
From Cat Bi, you can take a bus, a shared car or a taxi to Halong Bay.
Bus: you will need to take a taxi to Lac Long Station, catch a bus to Hon Gai, Halong and taxi again to Halong Bay. It will take you almost 2 hours and $10 – $13.
Taxi: A taxi will take you less than 1 hour and $35 – $50 for a trip.
Shared car: There are many shared car services at the airport. Basically they will pick up enough people for a car and you share the fares altogether. It will cost you about 1 hour and $15 – $20.
Which Airport Near Halong Bay Suits You The Best?
All the three airports have their own pros and cons and you should consider them carefully before making the decision. To help you sort it out more easily, we will list down the advantages as well as disadvantages of each airport near Halong Bay:
Van Don International Airport:
This is the newest airport so it is also the most advanced airport. Besides, people who take flights to Van Don International Airport will receive free tickets to Halong Bay, Bai Tu Long Bay and Yen Tu. The tickets will be valid for 30 days since their flights. All these beauty spots are quite close to the airport so you can take a day off to explore them. The passengers will also be provided with free bus tickets for the Ha Long-Van Don route.
As a brand new airport, there aren’t many flights to Van Don at the moment, which means ticket prices are still quite high and it limits your choice of departure airports.
Noi Bai International Airport:
Currently, there are 22 international airlines that operate out of Noi Bai international airport. You can easily find a flight to Noi Bai from your city’s airport. Also, as Noi Bai has been the most popular one for years, information/advice about it is all over the Internet. Besides, you can take a short trip to Hanoi, the charming capital of Vietnam, before heading to Halong.
As said above, Noi Bai is the farthest airport among the three. In exchange for some convenience, you will have to spend more hours on the road.
Cat Bi International Airport:
Only 60 km from Halong Bay, Cat Bi offers another fast way to get to the famous attraction. Operating since 2016, Cat Bi has become a hub for many airlines such as Vietjet. Hence, you can get a direct flight to Cat Bi from many international airports such as Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Beijing, Incheon, etc. Besides, according to the latest survey among 6 biggest airports in Vietnam, Cat Bi ranks no.1 in terms of service quality.
Compared to Noi Bai, Cat Bi is still a small airport as it doesn’t connect to as many airports as Noi Bai does.
Choosing the best airport near Halong Bay actually depends on your itinerary, your budget and other factors. We hope that having read this post, you are now able to choose the one that’s best for you. If you have any further question, don’t hesitate to contact us!
Need a complete guide to cruising Halong Bay? Check our exclusive post here.
Not sure which bay you should choose in the first place – Ha Long, Lan Ha or Bai Tu Long? Then read our definitive comparison of the 3 bays!