5 ways to get to Cat Ba Island from Hanoi

180 km away from Hanoi, Cat Ba Island is the largest among 367 islands spreading out 100 square miles making up Cat Ba Archipelago. It takes approximately 4 hours on 2 road trips and 1 sea route to get to Cat Ba Island from Hanoi. Yet, there are plenty of transportation choices depending on your travel taste.

About Cat Ba Island

Nestled on the edge of Vietnam’s magnificent Halong Bay, Cat Ba Island’s landscapes are rugged and spectacular with a wide range of natural ecosystems which are totally perfect for exploring by bike, motorbike or car; but most interestingly on Heritage Cruises. 

Cat Ba Island is home to 6 communes with a population of about 13,500 inhabitants. This beautiful island encompasses two distinctive parts regarding Cat Ba Town with a concentration of tourism services and Cat Ba National Park featured by dense forests and its biodiversity. 

The distance between Hanoi and Cat Ba Island is approximately 180km (~112 miles), including 02 road trips and 01 sea route. It takes 4 hours on average to get to Cat Ba Island from Hanoi. But there are plenty of other choices depending on your travel taste.

1. DIRECT BUS (including speedboat ticket)

If you want to make it quick, you can buy a bus ticket to get to Cat Ba Island from Hanoi. This bus ticket covers all 3 parts of the journey: 2 on land and 1 speedboat, with the center of Cat Ba Town as its final destination. Unlike going by train, you are absolutely worry-free about time. 

Part 1: Hanoi – Ben Got (2.5 hours)

Bus from Hanoi to Cat Ba Island will pick up passengers and depart from the company offices (which are often located in the Old Quarter). The bus will take the Highway 5B Hanoi – Hai Phong and pass the bridge over Tan Vu beach to Ben Got, Cat Hai, Hai Phong. 

This new bridge (since 2017) saves so much time to go to Hai Phong/ Cat Ba Island from Hanoi, reducing the fare of bus tickets by ⅓. 

Part 2: Ben Got – Cai Vieng Port (10 minutes)

You will then take a ferry or speedboat, depending on the bus company. This little voyage takes 10 minutes by speedboat. 

Part 3: Cai Vieng Port – Cat Ba Town center (40 minutes)

From here, there will be a bus picking you up and taking you to the center of Cat Ba Town. On the way, you will have the chance to enjoy one of the most beautiful roads in Vietnam with the impressive scenery of mountains, caves, blue beaches and white sand. 

With-pristine-water-and-surrounding-nature-landscapes-heritage-cruises-binh-chuan-makes-great-impressions-on-tourists-minds

There are more than 10 direct buses from Hanoi to Cat Ba Island everyday. The earliest one departs at 6:00 while the latest one departs at 14:30. Bus fare ranges from $11 – $17. 

2. TRAIN & SPEEDBOAT

If you want to explore the train system of Vietnam, this is an ideal option. However, it might take a lot of time and effort to enjoy this one-of-a-kind experience. This option includes 2 parts: Hanoi to Hai Phong by train & Hai Phong to Cat Ba by speedboat. 

Part 1: Hanoi – Hai Phong by train (2.5 hours)

This railway is not a part of the main North-South railway in Vietnam, which makes it interesting enough to be worth a try. The 102-km journey takes about 2 hours and 35 minutes. The leisurely speed allows passengers to enjoy Vietnamese countryside’s lives that are just a few centimeters outside the window. 

 

Train code Departure time Departure destination Arrival time Arrival destination
HP1 6:00 Hanoi Railway Station 8:15 Hai Phong Railway Station
LP3 9:20 Long Bien Railway Station 12:00 Hai Phong Railway Station
LP5 15:35 Long Bien Railway Station 18:00 Hai Phong Railway Station
LP7 18:10 Long Bien Railway Station 20:35 Hai Phong Railway Station

 

Hanoi Railway Station: 120 Lê Duẩn, Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội

Long Bien Railway Station: Trần Nhật Duật, Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội 

Hai Phong Railway Station: 75 Lương Khánh Thiện, Ngô Quyền, Hải Phòng 

Train tickets cost about $2 – $4 each, depending on type of seats (hard or soft). 

If you are planning to arrive at Cat Ba on the same day, HP1 and LP3 are strongly recommended so that you won’t miss your speedboat. But you can consider to spend one or two nights in Hai Phong as this city is also worthy of a visit. 

Part 2: Hai Phong – Cat Ba by ferry/ speedboat (1 hour) 

There are 2 departure points for speedboats and ferries in Hai Phong. They also have different destinations. 

2.1 From Ben Binh – Cat Ba Port (45 minutes)

From Hai Phong Railway Station, it will take you 10 minutes by car and 20 minutes on foot to get to Ben Binh. You can buy speedboat tickets at the port. Cost of tickets range from 180.000 VND – 240.000 VND. No ferry available here. The earliest speedboat departs at 9:00 and the latest one departs at 16:00.

Ben Binh: 4 Bến Bính, Minh Khai, Hồng Bàng, Hải Phòng

Cat Ba Port: Cát Bà Town, Cát Hải, Hải Phòng 

2.2 From Ben Got – Cai Vieng Port (10 minutes)

Ben Got is 27 km away from Hai Phong Railway Station, taking approximately 40 minutes to get there from the station by car. You will have to go pass the bridge over Tan Vu Beach which is a part of the Highway, so it is required to catch a taxi from Hai Phong. 

Price for speedboat tickets is 220.000VND/ turn on weekdays and 250.000VND/ turn on weekends. For ferries, it costs only 12.000VND/ person without vehicle. The earliest ferry departs at 5:30 and the latest one departs at 18:30. 

From Cai Vieng Port, you need to go 24km to get to the center of Cat Ba Town.

Ben Got: Bến Gót, Cái Viềng, Cát Hải, Hải Phòng

Cai Vieng Port: 365 Phù Long, Cái Viềng, Cát Hải, Hải Phòng

3. SEAPLANE 

If luxury is your preference, the best transportation from Hanoi to Cat Ba Island is by seaplane. 

Currently, there are only flights between Hanoi and Tuan Chau Island (Ha Long, Quang Ninh) operated by Hai Au Aviation. It takes 45 minutes from Noi Bai Airport to Tuan Chau Island Marina. This promises to be a unique experience with aerial views over the North of Vietnam ending with impressive water landing at Tuan Chau Island. 

After landing at Tuan Chau Island, you can either catch a coach or take a ferry to get to Cat Ba Island.

The below fares are not including 2% conveniences fee if paying via credit card (no extra charge if paying directly or bank transfer). 

3.1 Summer schedule

Flight Route Departure time Arrival time Public fare
16 Apr 2020 – 30 Sep 2020 01 Oct 2020 – 31 Oct 2020
Hanoi – Ha Long 09:00 10:00 VND 7,750,000 VND 9,700,000
Hanoi – Ha Long 12:30 13:30 VND 7,750,000 VND 9,700,000
Hanoi – Ha Long 14:30 15:15 VND 4,200,000 VND 4,200,000
Hanoi – Ha Long 16:00 16:45 VND 5,550,000 VND 6,950,000

3.2 Winter schedule 

Flight Route Departure time Arrival time Public fare
01 Nov 2019 – 31 Jan 2020 01 Feb 2020 – 14 Apr 2020
Hanoi – Ha Long 09:20 10:20 VND 9,700,000
10:05 11:05 VND 9,700,000 VND 9,700,000
Hanoi – Ha Long 12:30 13:30 VND 9,700,000 VND 9,700,000
Hanoi – Ha Long 14:30 15:15 VND 4,200,000 VND 4,200,000
Hanoi – Ha Long 16:00 16:45 VND 6,950,000
16:05 16:50 VND 6,950,000
16:25 17:10 VND 6,950,000
16:35 17:20 VND 6,950,000

 

4. Motorbike

For adventurous travellers, you can get to Cat Ba Island from Hanoi on your own. There are 2 options available.

4.1 Hanoi – Hai Phong – Cat Ba Island

You can take the QL5 from Hanoi to Hai Phong, then catch a ferry at Ben Got, Cai Vieng, Hai Phong. The ferry will take you to Cai Vieng Port. 

From here, you will need to ride 15-20 km more to get to Cat Ba town center. This promises to be one of the most impressive road trips with the beautiful scenes of the beach, fishing villages and cliffs along the coast. 

The total distance is around 130 km.

4.2 Hanoi – Hai Duong – Tuan Chau – Cat Ba Island 

From Hanoi, you can take QL18 to Bac Ninh – Hai Duong, then arrive at Ha Long to catch a ferry at Tuan Chau. When coming to Hai Duong, it is recommended to visit Con Son – Kiep Bac relic site if you have spare time. Or you can spend 1-2 days in Ha Long City as this is also a famous tourist attraction. 

Then you can catch a ferry at Gia Luan Port (Tuan Chau) to get to Cat Ba Island. There are 7 ferry trips/ day on average, starting at 7:30 and ending at 18:00. With a different departing port, the route to Cat Ba Island center will also be different. Instead of riding along the coast, you will go through the dense and pristine forests on Cat Ba Island. The weather is suggested to be cool and fresh as you ride through the greenwood. The road is newly done, so it is unnecessary to worry about your road trip. 

The total distance is around 150 km.

5. Limousine shuttles 

This option ensures your convenience, speed and privacy. Heritage Cruises provides daily limousine shuttles from Hanoi city center to Ben Got. The limousine is well-equipped with free Wi-Fi, luxurious leather seats and professional drivers. Door-to-door pick-up and drop-off is also offered. Price is at only 45 USD/ person for a round trip between Hanoi and Ben Got in Cat Ba Archipelago. 

Private cars and limousines can also be arranged – from Hanoi, Airports, or any other locations.

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