Ho Chi Minh City to Halong Bay by Bus

Ho Chi Minh City to Halong Bay by Bus Take the bus only if you need to save money or want the greatest amount of convenience and flexibility. Both daytime and sleeper-style, long-haul buses clog the highway between the north and south. While traveling by bus is incredibly cheap, chaotic road conditions provide less scenery and far less sleep than you would get on the train.

Ho Chi Minh City to Halong Bay by Bus

Take the bus from Ho Chi Minh City to Hanoi, You'll get off the bus in Hanoi then travel approximately 170km from Hanoi to Ha Long International Cruise Port or Tuan Chau Harbour, and travel time expected approximately 2.5 hour or more via bus or private car. Buses are also the slowest option for getting around. While they do provide some convenience - many tourist companies will collect you right at your hotel and tickets are easy to book -- you'll spend hours waiting in Vietnam's terrible traffic to collect other passengers and get out of the city. Always add an hour or two to the estimated arrival time to compensate for rest stops and traffic.

Night buses have small, horizontal bunk beds and save you the expense for a night of accommodation. Unfortunately, between the swerving of the driver and the constant done of horns, you'll get little rest. Because passengers ride in a mostly horizontal position, many locals inevitably end up sick on buses; take Dramamine or try ginger if you are prone to motion sickness. Bunks are quite small and are too short for most average-height people to fully stretch out.
  • Cost: $ (low)
  • Time: ★ (slow)
  • Comfort: ★ (low)
  • Convenience: ★ ★ ★ (high)
  • Scenery: ★ ★ (medium)

Take the bus only if you need to save money or want the greatest amount of convenience and flexibility. Don't expect to get much sleep on overnight buses!

1. Take the bus from Ho Chi Minh City to Hanoi

If the train is a little too expensive, you can take the long-haul sleeper buses with chairs that recline as beds. Although tickets are a lot cheaper, buses are not as comfortable as taking the train. However, most buses have a tiny bathroom, and there are plenty of rest stops along the way. The journey will take around 35 hours, accounting for traffic and delays.

You also have the option of taking the hop-on-hop-off buses. With an ‘open bus ticket’, you can get off at any major stop, spend a few days exploring the area, then head to the next city on the route. Depending on your interests, you can choose your route, whether it’s inland or coastal. The open bus ticket will cost you about $50. If you’d prefer to pay for each individual ticket, expect to shell out about $10 from city to city. Tickets are bookable online, through hotels, or you can head over to Pham Ngu Lao Street in the backpacker district of Ho Chi Minh City, where you will find the whole street filled with tour operators.

2. How To Travel From Ho Chi Minh City to Halong Bay?

Vietnam is an ideal place for travellers to begin their first backpacking journey. Visitors who want to travel between the north and south can take intercity buses that offer plenty of intermediary stops, making it easy to enjoy everything the country has to offer. Discover the best routes for travelling from Ho Chi Minh City to Hanoi and then to Halong Bay, but each destination has a different vibe as well. Hanoi, the capital city, is located in the north and often referred to as a cultural hub. In the south, travellers will find Ho Chi Minh City, an urban centre with residents from around the globe and Halong Bay is one of the world’s natural wonders, and is the most beautiful tourist destination of Vietnam. International visitors to Vietnam annually often cite charming Halong Bay as one of their favourite destinations. The best way to tour, see and enjoy Halong Bay scenery is cruise trips and cruise around the bay's islands.

3. Where to book bus ticket?

You can book tourist buses at your hotel or from any travel agency office -- there are many in the Pham Ngu Lao area in Saigon. Going directly to the bus office may save you the commission paid for a booking.

Note: Theft is a problem on overnight buses. Be careful of mobile phones and MP3 players which may disappear after you fall asleep.

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