We all know or at least hear about Ha Long Bay when it comes to visiting Vietnam. But not many of us notice that there is actually an alternative to Ha Long Bay which is less touristy and comparably beautiful.
Getting to Lan Ha Bay is also not complicated at all. You have a wide variety of options for transportation. Read this article to find out how to get to Lan Ha Bay.
Where is Lan Ha Bay?
From the local perspective, Lan Ha Bay is known as the twin of Ha Long Bay. It is actually not so far from Ha Long Bay but seems to be much less popular. This is not necessarily a disadvantage as Lan Ha Bay does a better job in remaining the truly local experiences, nature, and culture.
Lan Ha Bay is located in Cat Ba Island, which overlooking the Van Gate. This bay lies south and east to Cat Ba Town – about 120 kilometers from Hanoi.
Geographically speaking, Lan Ha Bay is an extension of Ha Long Bay. But it belongs to a different city of Vietnam. To get to Lan Ha, you may be interested in going from Ha Noi, Cat Ba, and Hai Phong.
How to get to Lan Ha Bay from Hanoi
Tour package Hanoi – Cat Ba
This tour package will take care of all the transporting from Hanoi to Lan Ha Bay and back. One considerable advantage is that it includes pick-up and drop-off at your hotel in the Old quarter of Hanoi.
You will first transfer to Hai Phong city by a shared tourist van and then head to Cat Bat Town by a speedboat. This option is also ideal for those trying to avoid the taxi scams.
This choice is recommended for people prefer hassle-free and comfortable transportation. Family with kids may then be interested in this option as you will need more space for your children to play around when they get bored.
It used to be the most economical way to get to Lan Ha Bay from Hanoi as you can go to Cat Ba from Luong Yen bus station which is located in the old quarter.
Now it has been moved to Yen Nghia station with Hoang Long bus is one of the most reputable brands for transferring. This station is more than 15 km from the old quarter. So if you do not have the real local experience, this option is not recommended.
If you prefer slow travel, going by train is then a perfect way. You will get to Hai Phong City by train and then take a taxi to Ben Binh pier.
How to get to Lan Ha Bay from Hai Phong
You can either go by speedboat or hydrofoil from Hai Phong (Ben Binh pier) to Cat Ba Island. The high season of tourism here lasts from June to September. You thus need to book the ticket in advance.
There are some well-known speedboat companies such as Mekong Hoang Yen, CatBa Island resorts and spa, Hadeco, Van Tai Cat Ba, Hoang Long, and Thong Nhat.
The price range is between 150,000VND and 250,000VND.
There are also many cruises in Cat Ba island that offer tours to Lan Ha Bay. Cat ba island cruises, while do not come in great number as those in Ha Long Bay, are still more than enough for your choice.
Cruises in Lan Ha Bay normally come in boutique and classic styles. Most of them provide 2-day and 3-day trips to Lan Ha Bay. These cruises will give you more time to enjoy and relax on the bay while giving you the best experiences of a cruising trip.
It is not difficult at all to find a cruise in Lan Ha Bay. You can either book it directly when you come to Cat Ba Island or book it in advance with the cruise company or with a travel agent such as Sunlight Cruise.
Let’s check out our cruises:
How to get to Lan Ha Bay from Ha Long Bay
There is now no direct ferry from Ha Long to Cat Ba. But the transferring means are diverse for your choice.
From Tuan Chau Island
You can catch a ferry to go from Tuan Chau island to Gia Luan Pier. From Gia Luan, you can either take a bus or a taxi to Cat Ba Town. The ferry departs at 3:00 PM every day and you will arrive at Gia Luan Pier at around 5:00 PM.
Junk overnight package
If you book an overnight junk package from Hanoi, you can check with your tour guides if you can travel to Cat Ba during the trip. You can then get to Gia Luan or Ben Beo Pier when you are with them on the junk.
From Bai Chay Pier
The last option is to get to Bai Chay Pier and then Cat Ba Town. People usually book this in a group junk. However, this option may take you quite a long time – about 6-7 hours to get to Cat Ba Town.
As you arrive in Cat Ba Town, you will then need to find the speedboats or cruises in Lan Ha Bay. So if your schedule is tight, this transferring choice is not recommended.
Now as you know where is Lan Ha Bay and how to get there, you can start planning your trip to this gorgeous bay right away. Cruises in Cat Ba and Lan Ha Bay will make your trip much more memorable while exploring the spectacular lime karsts and seductive white-sand beaches.
Thank you so much for reading and this article hopefully gives you useful information for your trip plan in Vietnam, especially in places with natural wonders. Lan Ha Bay is always in the list of the must-go places, so give it a try.
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