A Guide to Halong Bay Day Trip from Hanoi

By Ngoc Tu Dinh - March 10, 2023
A Guide to Halong Bay Day Trip from Hanoi

Halong Bay day trip from Hanoi is one of the not-to-be-missed experiences in Vietnam. With only a 2.5-hour drive from Hanoi, you can reach Halong Bay and embark on a boat to discover Halong Bay within one day. The one day tour is a clever option for those who have the limited time but still want to enjoy the best of this UNESCO World Natural Heritage site. In this article, IZITOUR will help you to decide which itinerary to choose and how you can make use of your time and budget. You also get to know the wide range of must-do activities when taking a Halong Bay 1 day trip.

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1. How to get to Halong Bay from Hanoi?

There are up to 7 ways to transfer from Hanoi to Halong Bay. However, if you book a package of Halong Bay day trip from Hanoi with a cruise company, they often include the shuttle bus services. You should check with the cruise if the shuttle bus raises surcharge or not. Shuttle buses are most recommended as they pick up and drop off right at the area of Hanoi Old Quarter. You can save time finding transportation and don't have to move a lot between the waiting points.

>> Read 6 more ways to transfer from Hanoi to Halong Bay

2. How much a Halong Bay Day Trip costs?

 

2.1. Sightseeing ticket

Tickets to visit Halong Bay in a day allows you to enter the area and go sightseeing, visit caves, islands, beaches, fishing villages. You must buy a cruise ticket along with a sightseeing ticket. Visitors choose and buy a cruise ticket at their own choice, then go to the port to buy a sightseeing ticket to the port.

  • Route 1: Thien Cung Cave, Stone Dog Islet, Dinh Huong Islet, Trong Mai islet, Ba Hang. Price: 290.000 VND/person ~ 12.37 US$.
  • Route 2: Trong Mai islet, Sung Sot cave, Luon Cave, Titov island. Price: 290.000 VND/person ~ 12.37 US$.
  • Route 3: Thien Cung Cave, Dau Go Cave, Stone Dog Islet, Dinh Huong islet, Trong Mai islet, Sung Sot cave, Titov Island. Price: 240.000 VND/person ~ 10.5 US$.
  • Route 4: Thay cave, Vung Vieng, Cong Do, Tung Ang, Hon Xep, Cap La cave. Price: 240.000 VND/person ~ 10.5 US$.
  • Route 5: Dinh Huong islet, Stone Dog islet, Trong Mai islet, Ba Hang, Gia Luan Harbour. Price: 290.000 VND/person ~ 12.37 US$.

Most tourists choose route 1 and route 2 to visit Halong Bay in one day. Routes 3, 4, 5 are programs of overnight cruises on Halong Bay.

>>> Click here to check more programs of Overnight Halong Bay Cruise.

2.2. Boat, cruise ticket

The price of chartering a boat to visit Halong Bay in a day will be different depending on whether you hire a join boat or hire a private boat, specifically as follows.

Sharing budget boat

If you go to route 1 (4 hours), it's about 150,000 VND - 200,000 VND/person ~ 8.5 US$, and route 2 (6 hours) is about 200,000 VND - 250,000 VND/person ~ 10.5US$.

inside sharing boat halong bay day trip from hanoi
Inside a sharing boat

Charter budget boat

  – Around October – April: On weekdays, the price is 500,000/hour ~ 21US$, on weekends (Saturday & Sunday), the price is 600,000/hour.

  – Around May – September: On weekdays, it costs 600,000/hour ~ 25.5US$, on weekends, (Saturday & Sunday) costs 700,000/hour ~ 30US$.

This is the boat rental price to visit Halong Bay for a 48-seat boat.

halong bay day trip from hanoi hong hai boat
Hong Hai boat in Halong Bay

Sharing deluxe cruise

The deluxe sharing cruise of 20 pax costs around US$86/person more. Normally, the package of deluxe cruise includes all sightseeing tickets, a lunch and cruise fee.

sundeck halong bay day trip from hanoi
Sundeck of a deluxe cruise

Charter deluxe cruise

In addition, you can rent a VIP yacht (an iron boat equipped with a fan, air conditioner, and karaoke). It costs 1,200,000 VND/hour ~ 51US$.

2.3. Bamboo boat

Boat and cruise ships will bring you around Halong Bay. Arrive in Ba Hang, you can rent a bamboo boat or kayak to get closer to nature and local life. 50,000 VND/pax (optional) ~ 21US$.

3. Things to do within 1 Day in Halong Bay? 

 

Kayaking

You can explore a corner of the bay by yourself with kayaking. This is the best way to take a closer look at the compelling karst and limestone in Halong Bay. Join a Halong Bay day trip, you will have about 30 - 60 minutes to experience kayaking. Normally kayaking fee included in the deluxe Halong Bay day cruise.

Rowing a Bamboo boat

An alternative for kayaking is a bamboo boat. Bamboo boats carried by local people are available in the Luon cave and Ba Hang area. The lagoon is not large enough for a big cruise so the bamboo boat can take you to enter the area with alluring scenery covered by limestone and vegetation.

Visiting a cave

In order to discover the geological side of Halong Bay, you will definitely have to visit some of the several thousand-year caves here. Sung Sot cave, Thien Cung cave, Trinh Nu cave, Trong cave and Thien Canh Son cave will leave you at awe. In these caves, you can climb up inside and admire the natural landscape.

Swimming

Although not particularly large, the bay's beaches are lovely. On Titop Island there is a nice beach, and several other smaller beaches around the bay. You can go swimming or hike up a mountain to get a panoramic view of Halong Bay and take the best selfies.

Afternoon tea

Many tourists desire to participate in afternoon tea since this experience is so soothing. Spend time enjoying the Halong Bay sunset, have a cup of coffee, a cup of tea, or a glass of wine. Good luck because it won't be simple to capture the charming sunset moment.

Cooking lessons

For those who love cooking and would like to explore Vietnamese cuisine, cooking lesson on Halong Bay Cruise is an exciting experience. The chef will show you how to make Vietnamese traditional dishes like spring rolls, Vietnamese salad or how to carve different kinds of vegetables and fruits. The best part of the cooking lesson is that you enjoy a new dish made by yourself.

Enjoy lunch onboard

On Halong Bay day trip, you are served Vietnamese lunches with local seafood and traditional dishes. Set lunch menu can be served for a group of 6 to 10 people. The more deluxe the cruise is, the more abundant menus are. The bigger boat even serves a buffet with several choices. Soft drinks, beer, mineral water may cost an extra fee. 

4. Which harbour to depart?

 

Halong International Cruise Port

Halong International Cruise Port, previously Bai Chay tourist, wharf is located on Halong road, right in the centre of the Bai Chay tourist area, providing easy access for both domestic and international tourists coming to take Halong Bay day trip. You can visit Halong Bay on a day boat departing from Halong International Cruise Port for a morning tour or afternoon tour.

halong bay day trip from hanoi international cruise port

Tuan Chau Marina

Tuan Chau Marina is located 12.5km from Ha Long city, on Tuan Chau island. Tuan Chau is the most popular port for both domestic and international visitors taking a Halong Bay day trip from Hanoi.

5. Which itinerary of Halong Bay Day Trip to choose? 

 

4-hour itinerary (route 1)

This classic route takes you to the most well-known spots of Halong Bay. If you mind staying on a boat too long, 4 hours is a suitable period of time. This itinerary can be accomplished within 3-4 hours. It will be suitable for visitors to visit Halong Bay in the morning or in the afternoon. The boat starts at 08:00 and disembark at 12:00 in the morning, and 12:30 to 16:30 accordingly in the afternoon. They serve on-board Vietnamese lunches, which should be booked in advance.

Visiting tour route 1, visitors will be surprised by the magnificent and splendid beauty of Thien Cung cave - one of the famous beautiful caves in Halong Bay, located on Dau Go Island. The cave is located at an altitude of 20m above sea level, with a base area of about 3,000 square metres. The cave has a system of splendid and bright white stalagmites and stalactites carved from crystal. While visiting, tourists feel lost in a magnificent palace, hence the name Thien Cung - Heaven Palace. Dau Go Cave has an ancient and contemplative beauty and is one of the earliest discovered caves in Halong Bay. Ba Hang Cave has 3 small cleft-shaped caves located close to each other, connecting with 2 salt water lakes, so it is called Ba Hang - Three Cave. The scenery around Ba Hang is the lush green with soaring rocky islands, vertical cliffs covered by layers of abundant tropical forest vegetation, creating a charming and poetic atmosphere. Following the route, visitors can also admire the unique rocky islands in Halong Bay: Stone Dog islet, Dinh Huong islet, especially Trong Mai islet (Ga Choi) which has been chosen as the symbol of Halong Bay.

>> Read more about Halong Bay caves

Morning tour:

07:40: Arrive at Halong International Port to check in on the boat.

08:00 – 08:15: The cruise starts visiting Halong bay – one of the New Seven Wonder world heritage

08:50: Passing through Stone Dog islet,  Dinh Huong islet (Incense burner Islet) – the image on the back side of 200.000d in Vietnam currency.

09:00: Visit Ba Hang area – where you can kayak or bamboo boat to explore the area.

09:50: Visit Trong Mai Islet – a symbol of Halong Bay

10:10: Visit Thien Cung cave – one of the most stunning caves in Halong Bay

11:10: Have lunch on the boat (set menu)

11:45-12:10: Back to Ha Long International Port.

12:30: Take transfer back to your hotel

halong bay day trip from hanoi incense burner islet
The backside of 200,000VND is Incense burner Islet

Note: To join in the morning tour, you should stay at a hotel in Halong one day before.

Afternoon tour:

11h40: Arrive at Halong International Port.

12h00 – 12h15: Boat starts to visit Halong bay – the World Heritage Site

12h30: Have lunch on the boat (set menu) 

13h30: Visit Stone dog islet, Incense burner islet

13h40: Visit Ba Hang area – where you can kayak or go on a bamboo boat or relax.

14h20: Visit Trong Mai islet (Fighting Cock Islet)

14h40: Visit Thien Cung cave

16h30: The boat disembark Halong International Port

17h00: Take a transfer back to your hotel

6-hour itinerary (route 2)

The 6-hour itinerary is favoured by many tourists when deciding the route for Halong Bay day trip from Hanoi. This itinerary can be conducted within 5-6 hours. On the tour, you will visit some of these sightseeing: Surprise cave (Sung Sot cave) - the largest cave in Halong Bay, Bo Nong cave, Luon cave, Ho Dong Tien cave, Trong cave, Trinh Nu cave and Me Cung cave, then head to Soi Sim island or Titov island for beach relaxation, also hiking to the top with panorama views.

Departing from Tuan Chau Marina or Halong International Cruise Port, the boat takes you to visit Soi Sim island, Titop island. Continuing the journey, the boat will take you past Bo Nau cave, Trong cave, Trinh Nu cave. You will visit 2 famous beautiful caves in Halong Bay: Sung Sot cave, Luon cave. The last point in the 6-hour journey, the boat will take you to visit the Me Cung cave - Maze cave. The boat starts at 12:00 and disembark at 18:00. They also serve on-board set menu lunches, which you should book in advance.

Detailed itinerary 

08:45 – 09: 15: The shuttle bus and tour guide pick you up from the hotel in Hanoi Old Quarter to Halong Bay.

12:15: Arrive at Tuan Chau Harbor, welcome aboard, and safety briefing. Start the 6-hour journey to explore Halong Bay, passing through thousands of limestone islets, including Trong Cave, while enjoying delicious Vietnamese lunch on the boat.

13:45: Arrive at Bo Hon archipelago, tour guide escorts you to visit Surprise Cave to see a lot of stalagmites and stalactites with different shapes of rock formation, then go kayaking or bamboo boat rowing in Luon Cave to discover a beautiful lagoon. Visit Titov Island, relax on the sandy beach or climb up to the peak for a panoramic view of the Bay.

16:30: Return to the boat and cruise back toward Tuan Chau Marina. There is a lot of time for sunbathing on the upper deck with music.

17:45: Disembark and transfer back to Hanoi

20:30: Drop off at your hotel, the trip ends.

8-hour cruise itinerary with transfer from Hanoi

The itinerary can be completed within around 7 – 8 hours, which is the longest journey to visit Halong Bay during one day. You will have a lot of time to visit caves, beaches, explore the islands and go kayaking on the emerald water of the bay. 

Unlike other tours departing at early morning or noon, this tour departs early approximately 9:30 am. So you should depart from Hanoi at 06:00 am. Travellers can visit tourist attractions no less than an overnight cruise.

The detailed itinerary depends on the cruise, and you can visit one of the routes from 1 to 5.

For the sharing budget boat and charter boat, you can easily buy a ticket at the dock as there are a huge number of these boats. However, for charter deluxe cruise and sharing deluxe cruise, you should book in advance to guarantee your slot.

Arcady Cruise

Arcady Cruise is one of the most popular day boat. With the modern design and equipments, Arcady cruise matches the most strictly requirements set by Vietnam Tourism sector in terms of safety and quality.

  • Departure: Tuan Chau International Port
  • Type of cruise: 7 - 8 hour cruise
  • Meal: seafood buffet lunch
  • Activities:
    • Explore Sung Sot cave
    • Explore Titov Island, a panoramic view of Halong Bay from the top of the mountain
    • Kayaking or rowing bamboo boat at Luon Cave
  • Transfer from Hanoi: Yes

>> See real time pricing: ARCADY CRUISE | Cat Ba Lan Ha Bay Day trip (Group Tour) - 01 Day

halong bay day trip from hanoi arcady cruise

La Casta Daily cruise

La Casta Daily Cruise is a new, modern and classy 1-day cruise in Halong with an 8-hour tour program on the bay. La Casta Daily Cruise offers a fascinating program of experiences.

  • Departure: Tuan Chau International Port
  • Type of cruise: 7 - 8 hour cruise
  • Meal: seafood buffet lunch
  • Activities:
    • Visit Surprise Cave, the largest cave in Halong Bay
    • Explore Titov Island, a panoramic view of Halong Bay from the top of the mountain
    • Kayaking or rowing bamboo boat at Luon Cave
  • Transfer from Hanoi: Yes

la casta cruise halong bay day trip

 

Paradise Explorer

The number one choice for a day cruise in Halong bay. Paradise Explorer features the same comfort and splendour as an onboard overnight boat.

  • Departure: Tuan Chau International Port
  • Type of cruise: 7 hour cruise
  • Meal: lunch
  • Activities:
    • Enjoy the famous landscapes of Trong Mai islet
    • Visit  Sung Sot cave
    • Kayak or take bamboo boat in Luon cave
    • Discover Titov Island to see the panorama of the bay
    • Optional massage or enjoy drinks at sunset
  • Transfer from Hanoi: Yes

halong bay day trip from hanoi paradise explorer

 

Sea Octopus

A 5-star yacht can accommodate up to 200 guests, along with comfortable facilities, professional dedicated service, and a high-class menu.

  • Departure: Halong International Port
  • Type of cruise: 7 hours on a boat
  • Meal: buffet lunch or set menu
  • Activities:
    • Visit Surprise cave
    • Row bamboo boat in Luon cave or Take private cano to discover the bay
    • Hiking to Titov Island’s peak to see the panorama of Halong Bay
    • Transfer from Hanoi: Yes

Halong Bay day trip from Hanoi is very suitable for those who have a limited time. If you have more time, we recommend 2-3 night cruises to have more leisure time and experience on magnificent bay. To get more information or quotations for the best deals, feel free to contact us.


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Ngoc Tu Dinh
Travel Expert
I'm Ngoc Tu Dinh, a local travel expert from Ninh Binh Province, Vietnam. Exploring Vietnam has been my passion for years, and I've spent 10 years as a tour guide throughout Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia. I hope that my understanding of Vietnamese culture, allow me to offer a unique perspective in this blog. Currently, I am based at IZITOUR. If you're planning a trip to Vietnam, I'm here to help you make the most of it! Feel free to leave your comments at the end of the article. Your feedback is important, and I look forward to responding to you.

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22 Comments

  • Anna Vitucci
  • Anna Vitucci
    Italy
Salve! Chiedo scusa, ma non ho ben capito. Io scelgo e acquisto un percorso (che costa circa 13 euro). Poi scelgo la giunca con cui voglio fare questo percorso. Poi acquisto un biglietto turistico(???). Da dove acquisto il tutto? verrò con un'amica (forse più) a luglio. Partenza da Hanoi, ovviamente. Grazie.
ReplyJan 20, 2024
    • Jazmine Tran
    • Jazmine Tran
      Vietnam
    Ciao Anna, mi dispiace che al momento sia disponibile solo la nostra consulente di viaggio inglese. La contatterà al più presto via e-mail. Cordiali saluti,
    Jan 22, 2024
  • Vesselina H
  • Vesselina H
    Bulgaria
Hi, we are 6 and we want a day trip to Halong and pick up, the 13 /01/24 . What do you recommend? What are the options and the prices? Thank you
ReplyDec 23, 2023
    • Kayla Le
    • Kayla Le
      Vietnam
    Hi Vesselina, thank you for your request. Our travel consultant will contact you via email. Please check your email or reach us on Whatsapp +84 912 121 091 if you have any other questions. Best regards,
    Dec 25, 2023
  • Henry Chan
  • Henry Chan
    Singapore
Hi, there are so many tours n hard to decide. We have 4 adults n prefer more sight seeing than activities. A day tour and preferably hotel pickup. Which tour do you recommend? Thanks
ReplyDec 18, 2023
    • Jazmine Tran
    • Jazmine Tran
      Vietnam
    Dear Mr. Henry Chan, Thank you very much for contacting IziTour. Our travel expert have already get in touch with you about options for day tour to Halong Bay, including pick up and drop off in Hanoi.
    Dec 19, 2023
  • Stephanie Tome
  • Stephanie Tome
    France
Bonjour nous serons en Croisiere en date du 30/12 et 01/12/23 Nous aimerions passer une journée 8 h pour aller à la baie Nous aimerions etres plutôt avec un petit groupe Nous sommes 3 Nous aimerions un aller retour transfert au port
ReplyNov 24, 2023
    • Jazmine Tran
    • Jazmine Tran
      Vietnam
    Bonjour, nous avons bien reçu votre demande. Notre personnel vous contactera dès que possible. Merci de nous faire confiance.
    Nov 24, 2023
  • Luca Angeli
  • Luca Angeli
    Italy
Salve, vorrei sapere se domani è disponibile 4.2. Itinerario di 6 ore (percorso 2)
ReplyNov 12, 2023
    • Kayla Le
    • Kayla Le
      Vietnam
    Ciao Luca, mi scuso per la mia risposta tardiva. La crociera giornaliera di 6 ore è disponibile tutti i giorni. Grazie per l'interesse e buon viaggio!
    Nov 14, 2023
  • Lenny Tanzil
  • Lenny Tanzil
    Indonesia
Hi.. we would like to know the price of 1D tour from hanoi. Thank you
ReplySep 18, 2023
    • Kayla Le
    • Kayla Le
      Vietnam
    Hi Lenny, we have well received you request. Our travel consultant Mrs. Hien will contact you soonest via email. Meanwhile, she is available at Whatsapp +84 382 536 266. Best regards,
    Sep 18, 2023
  • Bond Lee
  • Bond Lee
    Singapore
Hi i would like to find out more about the 6 hours route 2 details
ReplySep 1, 2023
    • Kayla Le
    • Kayla Le
      Vietnam
    It is worth visiting Halong on a 6-hour cruise if you have a tight timing. During the tour you have chance to see some caves like Surprise cave (Sung Sot cave) - the largest cave in Halong Bay, an island for beach relaxation, also hiking to the top with panorama views. The boat starts at around 12:00 and disembark at around 18:00. If you would like to book a tour, please contact our hotline +84 382 536 266.
    Sep 5, 2023
  • Marianela Duk
  • Marianela Duk
    United Kingdom
Hello, please I would like to know price of one day cruise from Hanoi to Halong bay . Thanks
ReplyAug 27, 2023
    • Kayla Le
    • Kayla Le
      Vietnam
    Hi Marianela, we have well received you request. Our travel consultant Mrs. Hien will contact you soonest via email. Meanwhile, she is available at Whatsapp +84 382 536 266. Best regards,
    Aug 28, 2023
  • Kate Chasseaud
  • Kate Chasseaud
    United Kingdom
Would it be possible to do both the morning amd afternoon tour on the same day so I can do both routes?
ReplyAug 24, 2023
    • Kayla Le
    • Kayla Le
      Vietnam
    Hi Kate, it's the same route for 4-hour morning tour and afternoon tour. If you would like to take a longer tour, you should buy 8-hour ticket. Best regards,
    Aug 24, 2023
  • Madhusudan Aggarwal
  • Madhusudan Aggarwal
    India
Looking for a cruise route2 option for 6 adults and 1 child 7years.
ReplyJul 10, 2023
    • Kayla Le
    • Kayla Le
      Vietnam
    Hi Madhusudan, we have well received you request. Our travel consultant will contact you soonest via email. Meanwhile, she is available at Whatsapp +84 382 536 266. Best regards,
    Jul 10, 2023
  • Christian De coster
  • Christian De coster
    Belgium
Bonjours, j'arrive le 08/06/2023 à Hanoï hôtel aquarius grand hôtel. Combien coûte une excursion de 2 jours à la baie d'halong avec navette aller retour
ReplyApr 23, 2023
    • Kayla Le
    • Kayla Le
      Vietnam
    Bonjour Christian, Nous avons bien reçu votre demande. Notre conseiller en voyage vous contactera et vous enverra un devis dans le meilleur délai. Bien cordialement,
    Apr 24, 2023

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