Halong Bay is a coastal city to the east of Hanoi, while Ninh Binh lies to the south of Vietnam’s capital. The distance between 2 cities is 192 kilometers and take about 3.5 – 4 riding hours by either bus, motorbike or private car.
1. By bus
- Best if: You’d love the convenient with a reasonable cost
- Don’t if: If you travel too late in the evening
Buses are the most common ways of traveling between Halong and Ninh Binh. Most companies offer 2 kind of buses: limousine (with 9 designed seats) or standard bus (29 seats). They could pick you up from any hotel in Halong City and drop you off at your hotel/homestay in Ninh Binh.
The ride normally takes around 3.5 to 4 hours. The standard have only 1 schedule per day: 12:00 while limousines offer more itineraries, with one leaving Halong Bay every hour starting at 5:00. Vexere is a reliable platform to book a bus in Vietnam. Otherwise, try to book directly with one of the operator here.(Keep in mind that the staff speak very little English).
2. By Motorcycle
- Best if: You love adventure and love an off-the-beaten track experience
- Don’t if: You’re not frequent with driving motorbike in South East Asia
The ride by motorbike from Halong Bay to Ninh Binh would be an interesting experience if you’re an adventure-seeker and have prior expertise riding a motorcycle, especially in an Asian country. The route will pass by the authentic parts of both areas, with a magical transition of scenery from coastal to Vietnam countryside.
Start from Halong City; you’ll have to ride around 28 kilometers to the south to reach Uong Bi City. After that, follow Highway No. 10, traveling through Thai Binh Province, Nam Dinh Province, and then Ninh Binh.
The journey might take up to 5 hours if you’re traveling non-stop. Since traveling by motorbike is rather exhausting, especially during the summer months, we recommend that you take a little break every 1 hour.
The shops in Halong only allow you to take their motorbike to Ninh Binh if you agree to ride it back later and deposit a few million dong. If that’s not the big deal, you could hire one with a price range of 150,000 vnd to 200,000 vnd without gasoline.
3. Private Car or taxi
- Best if: If you have a spacious budget and time is critical for you
- Don’t if: You don’t want to spend much on a transportation
If you are planning to arrange your own car to travel between Ninh Binh and Halong Bay, we highly recommend that you use the private car. These cars offer you a package that includes everything you need for the trip, such as tickets and admission fees. It would also make it easier for you to negotiate a fixed price in advance.
Taxis, on the other hand, typically charge by the kilometer, which may not include all of the additional fees you’ll be required to pay.
It’s better to book a private car through your homestay, hotels. They’ll know local drivers who have experienced travel this route. A private car from Halong Bay to Ninh Binh costs around 1,500,000 VND per way for a 4-seater and 2,000,000 VND per way if you are looking for a bigger car.