Lan Ha Bay is at the southern end of Halong Bay – well away from the boat crush to the north. It has the same karst limestone outcrops and in addition, it even has white sandy beaches and more islands.
Halong Bay is accessed from the town of the same name, whilst Lan Ha Bay is accessed from Hai Phong. To visit this isolated Lan Ha Bay you have to access Cat Ba island and start exploring from the port in Cat Ba Island.
Halong Bay is 170 kilometers to the east of Hanoi, it takes about 3.5 hour drive.
Lan Ha Bay is 130km from Hanoi,
it takes about 3.5 hours included bus and boat transfer.
Halong Bay - Vietnam Lan Ha Bay - Cat Ba Island - Vietnam
Halong Bay is polluted and crowded with boats as far as the eye can see.
The Lan Ha Bay itself is more beautiful and less touristy than Halong Bay. Lan Ha Bay is at the southern end of Halong Bay – well away from the boat crush to the north. It has the same karst limestone outcrops and in addition, it even has white sandy beaches and more islands.
For those who want to continue on to Ninh Binh after the boat trip and not back-track to Hanoi, and need to bring all of your luggage with you, Lan Ha Bay is your best option. Some bus companies have a service leaving from Cat Ba to Ninh Binh such as Full moon party, Good morning Cat Ba, Hoang Long …
A backpacker who’d been to both described them like this - Ha Long Bay attracts holiday goers, there’s lots of nice and fancy resorts there and so its less budget friendly. Lan Ha Bay attracts backpackers and will suit a slim budget, but is equally as beautiful.
What to do in Lan Ha Bay
• Kayaking to explore Lan Ha Bay: your kayak empowers very close access, through karst into covered lagoons, pristine shorelines and skimming angling corners where other big boats can’t get to.
• Swimming in crystal water of Lan Ha Bay and relaxing on many beautiful wild beaches in the area.
• A bamboo boat ride into Bright Cave or Dark Cave: Enjoy a bamboo boat with a local rider cruising to Bright Cave or Dark Cave, you will see an angled passageway prompting the cave at the water level.
• Trekking & Cycling in Viet Hai village which was absolutely secluded from the outside world with around 80 households maintaining their self-supply life as the ancient humans just a few years ago.
How to get to Lan Ha Bay
As mentioned above Lan Ha Bay is accessed from Hai Phong. To visit this isolated bay you have to access Cat Ba island and start exploring from the port in Cat Ba Island.
The route will be:
- Get to Hai Phong then land transfer to Got pier or Binh harbor. Got pier is 27km from Hai Phong centre and 28km from Cat Bi International Airport; Binh harbor is 500m from Hai Phong centre and 9km from Cat Bi International Airport.
- Speed boat from Got pier to Cai Vieng port (~ 10 minutes) or from Binh harbor in Hai Phong centre to Cat Ba Island (~ 45 minutes).
- Cai Vieng port to Cat Ba town by bus (~ 40 minutes). If you take a speedboat from Binh harbor you will save 40 minute transfer by bus as the boat will dock near the Cat Ba town.
- Visit Lan Ha Bay by boat from Cat Ba island.
How to get from Hanoi to Lan Ha Bay
You can travel from Hanoi to Lan Ha Bay by bus, by private car or join our daily tours.
- By BUS: There are frequent buses departing daily from Hanoi and the journey takes about 3.5 hours included bus and boat transfer. The bus companies are Cat Ba Express, Interbuslines, Full moon party, Good morning Cat Ba, Hoang Long …The price is from 200,000 VND (8,7 US$)/way. They offer pick up from hotels in Hanoi Old Quarter and drop off at hotels in Cat Ba Town.
Bus schedule Hanoi - Cat Ba - Hanoi:
Departure from Hanoi to Cat Ba at 8h00, 11h00 or 14h00
Departure from Cat Ba to Hanoi at 9h00, 12h30 or 16h00
- By PRIVATE CAR: If you travel in a big group or family with kids, you can book a private car/ van to get to Cat Ba Island from Hanoi. It takes only 2 hours thanks to Hanoi-Haiphong Expressway.
- Daily Lan Ha Bay tours from Hanoi: There are several boat companies offer day tours and overnight tours from Hanoi to Lan Ha Bay. Check out Lan Ha Bay tours for your reference.
How to get from Hai Phong airport (Cat Bi International Airport) to Cat Ba Island – Lan Ha Bay
If you arrive by air to Hai Phong City, you should go to Binh harbor for a high-speed boat to Cat Ba Island.
Binh harbor is about 9km from Cat Bi International Airport and 500m from Hai Phong centre. If time allows you to get to Cat Ba Island on the same day you can take a cab from the airport (~100,000 VND on the meter) to Binh harbor then take a 45 minute speed boat to Cat Ba Island (200,000 – 220,000 VND/ticket/way).
Boat schedule Binh harbor - Cat Ba - Binh harbor:
Departure from Binh harbor to Cat Ba at 7h00, 9h00, 13h00 or 15h00
Departure from Cat Ba to Hanoi at 8h00, 10h00, 14h00 or 16h00
High speed boat Binh harbor, Hai Phong to Cat Ba Island
Once in Cat Ba Island you can book tours to Lan Ha Bay from some travel agents in the town.
How to get from Ha Long to Cat Ba Island – Lan Ha Bay
From Ha Long to Cat Ba Island you can take a ferry at Tuan Chau Island. The latest one leaves Tuan Chau at 15h00.
The ticket costs 220,000 VND (9,6 US$)/ticket/way.
Tuan Chau ferry to Cat Ba Island Time Table and Price
How to get from Ninh Binh to Cat Ba Island – Lan Ha Bay
Some bus companies have a service leaving from Ninh Binh to Cat Ba such as Full moon party, Good morning Cat Ba, Hoang Long … The ticket costs 320,000 VND – 350,000 VND/ticket/way.
Departure time from Ninh Binh to Cat Ba: 07h45, 8h45, 13h00 every day (around 4,5 hours).