How to go from Hanoi to Cat Ba island ? All means of transportation
The island of Cat Ba is located 145km east of Hanoi, in Halong Bay.
It is now very easy to reach Cat Ba from the Vietnamese capital.
In this article, we will explore all the means of transportation available to you,
how long it takes, and how much it will cost.
Get in touch with us to organize your stay on Cat Ba Island.
Table des matières de l'article
What are the means of transportation to go from Hanoi to Cat Ba?
Several means of transportation are available to you to reach Cat Ba Island from Hanoi:
- The most comfortable and expensive: renting a private car;
- The most economical and clever choice: a private bus;
- The longest and complicated: the train;
- Through the itinerary of a cruise company.
Let’s explore these various possibilities in detail.
From Hanoi to Cat Ba by private car
You have the option in Vietnam to easily rent vehicles, whether motorcycles or cars. We do not recommend renting motorcycles in big cities or for highway journeys, such as the case for traveling to Cat Ba Island from Hanoi. However, it is entirely possible to rent a private car and the services of a driver for this journey. It is prohibited for tourists in Vietnam to drive cars, so the services of a driver are mandatory.
Here is the price we offer for the round trip Hanoi – Cat Ba. As the car must return to Hanoi, an round trip is necessary.
|Total price (en USD)
|7 seats car
|16 seats car
This price includes the rental of the vehicle and the services of the driver, highway tolls (round trip), and ferry tickets (round trip) to reach Cat Ba Island.
Expect about 2 hours and 30 minutes of travel to reach the Pha Got port. You will then need to take the ferry (30 minutes of wait time and a 20-minute crossing) to reach the town of Cat Ba (30 minutes). In total, you will arrive in the town of Cat Ba after approximately 4 hours of travel.
Deck of the ferry to go to Cat Ba. Photo: Mathieu Arnaudet
From Hanoi to Cat Ba by bus
In our opinion, this is the cleverest choice. There are indeed several bus companies that operate the Hanoi – Cat Ba Island route (and vice versa) multiple times a day.
The prices of the companies below include the bus journey AND the ferry ticket price to reach Cat Ba. In the high tourist season, from May to September, during the peak of the heat, the ferry may be crowded. In this case, the transport price includes the fast boat crossing. In this case, you will arrive by boat directly to the town of Cat Ba. If you take the ferry with the bus, you will continue by bus to the town of Cat Ba (allow about 30 minutes to travel from the North to the South of the town).
Cat Ba Express
07h30 – 11h00
10h45 – 14h15
14h00 – 17h30
Good Morning Cat Ba
07h30 – 11h00
10h00 – 14h00
14h00 – 17h30
08h00 – 12h00
10h30 – 14h00
12h30 – 16h30
14h30 – 18h30
Parfum d’Automne collaborates daily with the Daiichi company, which has offices in Hanoi, Cat Ba, and Tam Coc. The buses are comfortable, spacious, and equipped with air conditioning, and most of the time, WIFI is available. In all buses, an English-speaking customer service representative is present to assist and provide information.
Bus from Daiichi company
From Hanoi to Cat Ba by train… and then boat
If you haven’t had the chance during your stay in Vietnam to take the “Reunification Train,” you can take it to get to Cat Ba Island. It won’t take you directly to the island, of course…
Indeed, you can take the train from Hanoi to the city of Hai Phong. The journey takes about 2.5 hours and costs 70,000 VND. Once in Hai Phong, you have two options:
Take the ferry from the Pha Binh port: 10 minutes by taxi and 45 minutes by boat to reach the town of Cat Ba (south of the island). The boat transport costs about 10 dollars per person.
Cat Ba Island Resort and Spa
9h – 13h – 16h
Mekong Hoang Yen
7h – 9h30 – 11h30 – 13h30 – 15h
7h – 8h – 10h – 13h – 15h – 16h
Boat from Mekong Hoang Yen
Take the ferry from the Pha Got port: this is the port where buses take the ferry. If you are in Haiphong, we do not recommend choosing this option. You will need to take a new bus on Cat Ba Island to take you to the town of Cat Ba. It will also cost you more in taxi fare since the Dinh Vu port is located 25 km from the city of Hai Phong!
Book a tour !
This is undoubtedly the easiest solution: by booking a cruise in Lan Ha Bay from the Ben Beo port, you will be transported from Hanoi to Cat Ba Island, and this service is included in the reservation. It might be a bus from one of the companies mentioned above (as is the case with Parfum d’Automne) or the cruise company’s own bus.
We recommend staying an extra day on Cat Ba Island after your cruise to make the most of the activities on the island.
How to access Cat Ba Island?
We have mentioned the various ways to access Cat Ba Island, but we will summarize them here:
Access to Cat Ba Island by ferry from Pha Got
This is how you will access Cat Ba Island if you take the bus from Hanoi on your own or if you book a cruise in Lan Ha Bay from the Ben Beo port in the south of the island. Using this route, you will arrive in the north of Cat Ba Island. You will then need to continue by bus to reach the town of Cat Ba located in the south of the island.
Itinerary on the map :
Access to Cat Ba Island by speedboat from Pha Got
During the peak tourist season from May to September, the ferry is often crowded. Bus companies then collaborate with speedboats to transport their customers to Cat Ba Island. The boat goes directly to the town of Cat Ba. It won’t cost you more!
Speed boat from Pha Got to Cat Ba island. Photo: Mathieu Arnaudet
Access to Cat Ba Island by boat from Pha Binh (Haiphong)
For those taking the train from Hanoi to Haiphong or if you are already in Haiphong, we suggest going to the Pha Binh port, located 10km from the center of Haiphong. From there, you can take a boat from one of the companies mentioned earlier, which will take you to the town of Cat Ba. You can buy a ticket either at the port or at your hotel in Haiphong.
Here is the itinerary to get to the port from the center of Hai Phong:
An access by cable car
Vietnam has a penchant for cable cars, much like the French have a fondness for roundabouts. So, a cable car has been constructed, connecting the port of Pha Got to Cat Ba Island! As of the time this article is written – May 2023 – the cable car is not in operation.
You now have all the information to travel to Cat Ba Island from Hanoi!
Feel free to contact us to visit Cat Ba and Lan Ha bay
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