How to travel from Hanoi to Cat Ba Island

Cat Ba is an island located southwest of Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam. Cat Ba Island is situated approximately 160 kilometers from Hanoi. Find a detailed list of the options how to travel from Hanoi to Cat Ba and choose the best way depending on your preferences.

1. By Bus & Ferry

The easiest way to travel from Hanoi to Cat Ba Island is taking a bus and ferry (some companies use speed boats). Normally tour companies sell combined bus and ferry tickets and it totally takes about 3.5-4 hours to reach the island from the capital city.

Trip from Hanoi to Cat Ba Island by bus and ferry

When traveling by bus and ferry from Hanoi to Cat Ba Island, the route is normally as follows:

Step 1: Hanoi Old Quarter - Got Pier (by bus)

The bus picks up passengers from the pick-up point in Hanoi Old Quarter (or hotel, if this option is included) and drive to Got Pier (Bến phà Gót). Got Pier is located on Cat Hai Island which is connected with the mainland by a long sea bridge. The journey from Hanoi to Got Pier takes approximately 2.5-3 hours.

Step 2: Got Pier - Cai Vieng Pier (by ferry or speedboat)

Upon arriving at Got Pier, you will have to get off the bus, take your luggage and change to a ferry or speedboat for crossing the sea to Cai Vieng Pier (Bến phà Cái Viềng) on Cat Ba Island. The trip by a speedboat takes about 10 minutes, by a ferry – about 30 minutes. However, it may take longer to cross the sea when strong waves are present.

Step 3: Cai Vieng Pier - Cat Ba Town (by bus)

Another bus picks up passengers from Cai Vieng Pier and brings to Cat Ba Town, which is located on the southern part of the island. The journey from the pier into the town takes about 40 minutes.

How to travel from Hanoi to Cat Ba Island

Companies providing bus from Hanoi to Cat Ba

There are many tour companies providing combined bus and ferry tickets for a trip from Hanoi to Cat Ba Island. The most reputable tour companies serving this route are listed below.

1. Cat Ba Express

Cat Ba Express is a famous bus company that serves tourists on many routes. The route between Hanoi and Cat Ba Island is served by different types of bus so the tourists could choose the bus according to their needs.

Bus type: air-conditioned bus with 29 reclining seats / 9-seat VIP Bus

Departure time from Hanoi to Cat Ba Island: 7:30, 10:30, 14:00

Travel time: about 3.5-4 hours, depending on traffic

Fare: 340,000 VND (check for discount here: Cat Ba Express Bus from Hanoi to Cat Ba)

Pick-up point in Hanoi: 37B Nguyen Huu Huan, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi

Drop-off point in Cat Ba: No. 219, 1/4 Street, Cat Ba Town

2. Daiichi Travel

Daiichi Travel is a bus company that provides professional services to the passenger on the route between Hanoi and Cat Ba. The bus is quite large and comfortable. During our last trip we were taking this bus and our detailed review of the bus trip can be found here: Bus between Cat Ba Island and Hanoi by Daiichi Travel.

Bus type: 45-seat air-conditioned bus

Departure time from Hanoi to Cat Ba Island: 8:00, 10:30, 12:30, 14:30

Travel time: about 3.5-4 hours, depending on traffic

Fare: 250,000 VND (check for discount here: Daiichi Travel Bus from Hanoi to Cat Ba)

Pick-up point in Hanoi: 96 Nguyen Huu Huan, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi

Drop-off point in Cat Ba: No. 19 Nui Ngoc, Cat Ba Town

3. Full Moon Party

Full Moon Party is a travel agency and hotel on Cat Ba Island, with many years of experience serving foreign and Vietnamese tourists.

Bus type: 34-seat air-conditioned bus

Departure time from Hanoi to Cat Ba Island: 7:30, 10:30, 14:00

Travel time: about 3.5-4 hours, depending on traffic

Fare: 200,000 VND (check for discount here: Full Moon Party Bus from Hanoi to Cat Ba)

Pick-up point in Hanoi: 126B Tran Quang Khai, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi

Drop-off point in Cat Ba: No. 236A Thang Tu Street, Cat Ba Town

4. Good Morning Cat Ba

Good Morning Cat Ba is another famous travel company that operates on the route between Hanoi and Cat Ba. The company provides a full range of transportation services for tourists.

Bus type: 34-seat air-conditioned bus

Departure time from Hanoi to Cat Ba Island: 7:30, 10:30, 14:00

Travel time: about 3.5-4 hours, depending on traffic

Fare: 400,000 VND (check for discount here: Good Morning Cat Ba Bus from Hanoi to Cat Ba)

Pick-up point in Hanoi: 13 Hang Huong, Hang Ma, Hanoi Old Quarter

Drop-off point in Cat Ba: No. 265 Nui Ngoc, Cat Ba Town

Bus tickets

Tickets for the trip from Hanoi to Cat Ba by bus can be booked online via Bookaway. Here you can find and compare current prices of all the above mentioned companies serving this route. Bus tickets for a trip from Hanoi to Cat Ba Island can be found here: Bus tickets Hanoi - Cat Ba.

Most of the companies provide pick up service from the hotels in Hanoi Old Quarter and drop off in Cat Ba Town. We would recommend comparing prices, checking timetables and drop off points of all companies before booking to make sure that your chosen bus meets your needs the best.

2. By Train & Hydrofoil

Of course, Cat Ba is an island and therefore there is no train route going all the way. However, there is a way to travel most of the route from Hanoi to Cat Ba Island by train as well. This way, you need to take a train from Hanoi to Haiphong, which is the city that is closest to Cat Ba, and then take a hydrofoil from Haiphong to Cat Ba Island.

Trip from Hanoi to Cat Ba Island by train and hydrofoil

Step 1: Long Bien Railway Station - Haiphong Railway Station (by train)

You can take a train from Long Bien Railway Station (Ga Long Biên), a station located in Hanoi's Old Quarter, all the way to Haiphong Railway Station (Ga Hải Phòng). Hanoi and Haiphong is approximately 100 kilometers apart and it takes about 3 hours to travel between the cities.

Schedule of the train from Hanoi to Haiphong

There are 4 daily trains running from Hanoi to Haiphong:

  • HP1 train departs from Hanoi at 06:00 and arrives to Haiphong at 08:25
  • LP3 train departs from Hanoi at 09:20 and arrives to Haiphong at 12:00
  • LP5 train departs from Hanoi at 15:00 and arrives to Haiphong at 18:15
  • LP7 train departs from Hanoi at 18:15 and arrives to Haiphong at 21:05

If you want to travel to Cat Ba by train, we would suggest you to book tickets in advance and double check the schedule as it might be changed.

It is recommended to take a train that leaves before noon, as the last hydrofoil that runs to Cat Ba is departing at 16:00. If you will fail to catch the last boat, you can stay in Haiphong. There are many accommodation options to choose from: Hotels in Haiphong.

Tickets for the train from Hanoi to Haiphong

Train ticket price can be around 65,000-85,000 VND as it depends on the selected seat and the time of travel. During weekends, train ticket prices are usually a bit higher.

Train tickets for the trip from Hanoi to Haiphong can be booked here: Hanoi-Haiphong Train Tickets.

Step 2: Haiphong Railway Station - Ben Binh Pier (by walking or taxi)

Haiphong Railway Station is located not that far from Ben Binh Pier (Bến Tàu Hải Phòng - Cát Bà), the main port for boats going to Cat Ba Island. You can walk there in about 30 minutes or take a taxi for around 30,000-40,000 VND.

Hydrofoil tickets can be purchased at the pier.

Step 3: Ben Binh Pier - Cat Ba Island (by hydrofoil)

Hydrofoil departs from Ben Binh Pier in Haiphong and it takes only 1 hour to get to Cat Ba Pier (Bến tàu Cát Bà), which is located right in the center of Cat Ba Town.

Detailed information about traveling between Haiphong and Cat Ba Island can be found here: How to travel from Haiphong to Cat Ba Island.

Our review of hydrofoil trip: From Haiphong to Cat Ba Island by Hydrofoil [Review].

How to travel from Hanoi to Cat Ba Island

3. Travel by Local Bus & Boat

The cheapest way to travel from Hanoi to Cat Ba Island is by taking a local bus and boat. Although it is cheap, we don't really recommend this option when traveling from Hanoi to Cat Ba Island, unless you want to have the most local experience.

Traveling by local bus is quite time consuming and complicated for tourists. You have to buy tickets at the station by yourself. That means that you have to come to Yen Nghia Bus Station, which is located 17 kilometers outside of Hanoi. This makes you waste a lot of time traveling and also increases the cost as the bus station is quite far from city. When taking a taxi from Hanoi's Old Quarter, it can take up to 30 minutes to reach Yen Nghia Bus Station.

Another thing to consider is the language. When you can't speak local language and local people don't speak English at all, traveling by a local bus isn't that easy.

Bus Station: Yen Nghia Bus Station (Bến xe Yên Nghĩa)

Company: Hoang Long

Departure time: 5:20, 7:20, 11:20, 13:20

Travel time: about 4-5 hours 

4. By Private Transfer or Taxi

If you are traveling with family or as a group, taking a private transfer or taxi is the most convenient way for getting from Hanoi to Cat Ba Island. The private transfer or taxi can pick you up at the hotel in Hanoi and drop you directly at your hotel on Cat Ba Island. When traveling this way, you will get a personalized service so you could enjoy the traveling experience all the way.

Grouptour is a company providing private transportation with an option of either a 9-seater VIP van or 12-seater VIP van, both of which are of the same quality. Private transfer from Hanoi to Cat Ba Island can be booked here: Private Transfer from Hanoi to Cat Ba Island.

Tips

Travel options for coming back from Cat Ba to Hanoi are briefly described here: How to travel from Cat Ba Island to Hanoi.