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How to get to Cat Ba by bus, taxi, transfer, ferry, motorbike & shuttle

Are you planning a trip to Vietnam and wondering how to get to Cat Ba? In this article, I will provide you with comprehensive information on traveling to Cat Ba Island from different places of Vietnam, including Hanoi, Ninh Binh, Tam Coc, Sapa, Ha Giang, Halong Bay, Phong Nha, as well as popular destinations in central and southern Vietnam such as Hue, Da Nang, Hoi An, Nha Trang, Da Lat, Ho Chi Minh, and Phu Quoc.

You’ll find detailed insights on different transportation options, including flights, buses, taxis, shuttles and transfers, ferries, and boats, to help you reach Cat Ba smoothly and efficiently.

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Here is what you will find:

How to get from HANOI and Noi Bai Airport to Cat Ba

You have two different options to get to Cat Ba from Hanoi, either from the city center or from Noi Bai International Airport. You can either take a bus or opt for a taxi/transfer + ferry, and each option has its own advantages and disadvantages. Let me walk you through the entire journey in detail.

How to reach Cat Ba by taxi/transfer + ferry

Opting for a transfer/taxi + ferry package is the most convenient and efficient way to travel to Cat Ba. It also offers the flexibility to choose your preferred departure time and align the journey with your travel itinerary.

Depending on whether you’re departing from HANOI city (👉prices) or from the AIRPORT (👉prices), there are two different pick-up locations. If you’re in Hanoi city, the transfer will conveniently collect you from your hotel. If you’re arriving at Noi Bai Airport, the pick-up point will be at the arrivals terminal.

The route begins from Hanoi, heading towards the city of Hai Phong, where the ferry terminal to Cat Ba Island is situated. Upon reaching the terminal, the transfer service will seamlessly transport you to your accommodation.

The estimated travel time for the entire journey is around 2 hours when departing from Hanoi city. If you’re starting from Noi Bai Airport, the journey will take approximately 2 hours and 20 minutes.

How to get to Cat Ba by bus + ferry

If you’re looking to save on transportation, this is the option for you! Bus + ferry packages are incredibly affordable and perfect for staying within your travel budget.

There are multiple pickup points available, depending on whether you’re catching the bus from HANOI City (👉prices) or from the AIRPORT (👉prices). In the former case, the bus makes stops at convenient locations like Hoan Kiem Lake or Dong Xuan Market. For airport departures, you’ll be picked up at the arrivals terminal of Noi Bai Airport between 6:00 AM and 1:00 PM (depending on your flight’s arrival time), and then taken to the city to catch the bus heading to Cat Ba.

The bus journey takes you to the coastal city of Hai Phong, where you’ll board the ferry that will transport you to the island. Once you’ve crossed the water, you’ll continue the journey by bus to the central area of Cat Ba, where you’ll find most of the hotels and restaurants. The entire process is well-organized, so you don’t have to worry about a thing.

The complete bus + ferry journey from Hanoi city typically takes around 3 hours and 30 minutes. If you’re starting from the airport, the total travel time will depend on your flight’s arrival time, as the buses have fixed schedules and you may need to wait a bit before they depart.

How to get from NINH BINH & TAM COC to Cat Ba

In Ninh Binh and Tam Coc, you have 2 transportation options: private transfer + ferry or bus + ferry. Let me provide you with more details about these methods of transportation.

Getting to Cat Ba by transfer/taxi + ferry

If you’re planning to travel to Cat Ba, booking a TRANSFER (👉price) service is the quickest and most convenient option. For larger groups, there are also MINIVANS (👉prices) available that can cater to your needs.

The transfer service will pick you up from your hotel in Ninh Binh and take you to Hai Phong, where the ferry terminal to Cat Ba is located. It’s worth noting that the ferry ticket is already included in the service.

Once you arrive at the Cat Ba port, the car or minivan will transport you directly to your pre-booked accommodation on the island. The journey typically takes around 4 hours and 30 minutes, covering a distance of approximately 180 km (111,8mi) between Ninh Binh and Cat Ba.

Getting to Cat Ba by bus + ferry

El trayecto total de Ninh Binh o Tam Coc hasta Cat Ba dura unas 4 horas y 30 minutos y recorrerás una distancia de aproximadamente 150 km.

If you’re looking to save on transportation, your best choice is to take a public bus and ferry. I recommend considering a TRANSPORTATION PACKAGE (👉price & schedules) that includes both the bus journey and the ferry ride to Cat Ba Island. These packages are designed to be hassle-free, so you don’t have to worry about organizing the connections yourself.

Some companies offer complimentary hotel pick-up in Ninh Binh or Tam Coc, and I highly recommend prioritizing this option. During the booking process, you’ll have the opportunity to select your preferred pick-up location.

Here’s the itinerary: you’ll depart from Ninh Binh or Tam Coc by bus, heading to Hai Phong city, where you’ll board the ferry to Cat Ba Island. Once you reach the Cat Ba port, the bus will transport you to the central area of the island, where most hotels and services are situated.

The total travel time from Ninh Binh or Tam Coc to Cat Ba is approximately 4 hours and 30 minutes, covering a distance of around 150 km.

How to travel from SAPA to Cat Ba

To travel from Sapa to Cat Ba, you have the option to purchase a TRANSPORTATION PACKAGE (👉price & schedules) that includes buses from Sapa and the ferry ride to the island. These packages are designed to provide a hassle-free experience, as all the arrangements are already taken care of.

Some companies offer a complimentary hotel pick-up service in Sapa, and I highly recommend considering this convenient option. During the booking process, you’ll have the flexibility to choose your preferred pick-up location.

The entire journey from Sapa to Cat Ba typically takes around 11 hours. During the trip, there will be a brief stop in Hanoi, where you’ll switch buses to continue your journey to Cat Ba (there might be a short waiting period). By opting for one of these packages, the bus and ferry connections are already planned, so you can relax and enjoy the journey without any concerns.

How to get from HA GIANG to Cat Ba

If you’re planning to travel from Ha Giang to Cat Ba, I highly recommend purchasing a TRANSPORTATION PACKAGE (👉price & schedules) that includes buses to Cat Ba and the ferry crossing to the island. These packages offer great convenience as all the arrangements are taken care of, saving you the trouble of coordinating the connections on your own.

Some companies provide a complimentary hotel pick-up service in Ha Giang, which is the most comfortable option and the one I recommend selecting. During the reservation process, you’ll have the opportunity to choose your preferred pick-up location.

The journey begins with a bus departing from Ha Giang to Hanoi, with an approximate duration of 6 hours and 30 minutes. Upon arrival in Hanoi, there will be a 30-minute break at the Hanoi office.

From there, you’ll board another bus that will take you to the ferry terminal in Hanoi, where you’ll board the ferry heading to Cat Ba. Upon reaching the Cat Ba port, you’ll continue the journey by bus to the central area of the island, where most accommodations and services are situated. This leg of the journey typically takes around 3 hours and 30 minutes.

How to travel from HALONG to Cat Ba

If you’re planning to travel from Halong City to Cat Ba, I highly recommend purchasing a TRANSPORTATION PACKAGE (👉price & schedules) that includes buses to Cat Ba and the ferry crossing to the island. These packages offer great convenience as all the arrangements are taken care of in advance, relieving you of any worries about making the connections yourself.

From Halong City, you’ll board a bus that will take you to the ferry pier for the journey to Cat Ba. Once you arrive at the Cat Ba port after the ferry ride, a bus will transport you to the central area of the island, where most accommodations and services are conveniently located. The entire journey takes approximately 1 hour and 40 minutes.

How to go from PHONG NHA to Cat Ba

If you’re planning to travel from Phong Nha to Cat Ba, I highly recommend purchasing a TRANSPORTATION PACKAGE (👉prices & schedules) that includes buses to Cat Ba and the ferry crossing to the island. These packages are incredibly convenient as all the arrangements are pre-organized, allowing you to relax and not worry about making the connections on your own.

From Phong Nha, you’ll board a bus that will take you to Tam Coc. There, you’ll transfer to another bus that will transport you to the ferry pier, where you’ll embark on the journey to Cat Ba. Once you arrive at Cat Ba port, a bus will be available to take you to the central area of the island, where you’ll find the majority of accommodations and services. The entire journey typically takes around 14 hours.

Cómo to get by PLANE to a Cat Ba (Central & Southern Vietnam)

Let’s explore how to travel to Cat Ba from the cities of Hué, Da Nang, Hoi An, Ho Chi Minh, Phu Quoc, Nha Trang, and Da Lat.

From Hué to Cat Ba

You have two options to reach Cat Ba from Hué:

  1. You can choose to head to Phu Bai International Airport, which is the nearest airport to Hué. The best option to reach the airport is to take a TAXI (👉prices) to avoid any inconvenience. Daily FLIGHTS (👉price & schedules) are available to Hai Phong Airport, located about 30 kilometers (18,6 mi) from Cat Ba. The quickest flights have a duration of approximately 5 hours and 40 minutes, including layovers. While this may seem like a long time, the road journey takes at least 13 hours.
  2. Another option is to take a flight from Da Nang Airport. To make this journey, you can either take a TAXI (👉prices) directly from your hotel in Hué or board one of the BUSES (👉prices & schedules) that drop you off near Da Nang Airport (some even offer hotel pick-up services). Daily FLIGHTS (👉prices & schedules) are available from Da Nang Airport to Hai Phong Airport, with a flight duration of approximately 1 hour and 25 minutes.

Once you land, you will need to take a TAXI (👉prices) that will transport you to the GOT pier. While there are other ferry ports that connect to Cat Ba, this one is the closest to the island, and the ticket fare is only $0.5 USD.

Upon arriving at the Cai Vieng port, which is approximately 24 kilometers from the southern part of the island where hotels and services are located, you will find taxis waiting. Personally, I paid around 200,000 VND (approximately $8.5 USD) for the journey to my hotel.

how to get to cat ba by plane

From DA NANG and HOI AN to Cat Ba

To reach Cat Ba from Da Nang and Hoi An, your first step is to make your way to Da Nang International Airport. If you’re starting from Hoi An, the best option is to take a TAXI or MINIBUS (👉prices & schedules) available throughout the day. Just ensure that the final destination is the airport and not the city of Da Nang! For those departing from Da Nang itself, you can find TAXI (👉prices) services to the airport through this link.

Once at the airport, you’ll have daily FLIGHTS (👉prices & schedules) to Hai Phong Airport, which is located around 30 kilometers (18,6 mi) away from Cat Ba. The flight typically takes about 1 hour and 25 minutes.

Once you land, you will need to take a TAXI (👉prices) that will transport you to the GOT pier. While there are other ferry ports that connect to Cat Ba, this one is the closest to the island, and the ticket fare is only $0.5 USD.

Upon arriving at the Cai Vieng port, which is approximately 24 kilometers from the southern part of the island where hotels and services are located, you will find taxis waiting. Personally, I paid around 200,000 VND (approximately $8.5 USD) for the journey to my hotel.

From Ho chi minh to Cat Ba

To reach Cat Ba from Ho Chi Minh City, you’ll first need to make your way to Tan Son Nhat International Airport. The most convenient option is to take a TAXI (👉prices) to the airport to avoid any hassles.

There are daily FLIGHTS (👉prices & schedules) available to Hai Phong Airport, which is situated about 30 kilometers (18,6 mi) away from Cat Ba. The flight duration typically takes around 2 hours.

Once you land, you will need to take a TAXI (👉prices) that will transport you to the GOT pier. While there are other ferry ports that connect to Cat Ba, this one is the closest to the island, and the ticket fare is only $0.5 USD.

Upon arriving at the Cai Vieng port, which is approximately 24 kilometers from the southern part of the island where hotels and services are located, you will find taxis waiting. Personally, I paid around 200,000 VND (approximately $8.5 USD) for the journey to my hotel.

From Phu Quoc to Cat Ba

To reach Cat Ba from Phu Quoc, you’ll first need to head to Phu Quoc International Airport. The most convenient option is to take a TAXI (👉prices) to the airport to avoid any hassles.

There are daily FLIGHTS (👉prices & schedules) available to Hai Phong Airport, which is situated about 30 kilometers (18,6 mi) away from Cat Ba. The flight duration typically takes around 2 hours.

Once you land, you will need to take a TAXI (👉prices) that will transport you to the GOT pier. While there are other ferry ports that connect to Cat Ba, this one is the closest to the island, and the ticket fare is only $0.5 USD.

Upon arriving at the Cai Vieng port, which is approximately 24 kilometers from the southern part of the island where hotels and services are located, you will find taxis waiting. Personally, I paid around 200,000 VND (approximately $8.5 USD) for the journey to my hotel.

From Nha Trang to Cat Ba

To reach Cat Ba from Nha Trang, you’ll need to head to Cam Ranh Airport. The most convenient way to get there is by taking a TAXI (👉prices), ensuring a hassle-free journey.

There are daily FLIGHTS (👉prices & schedules) available from Cam Ranh Airport to Hai Phong Airport, which is located around 30 kilometers away from Cat Ba. The flight typically takes about 1 hour and 45 minutes.

Once you land, you will need to take a TAXI (👉prices) that will transport you to the GOT pier. While there are other ferry ports that connect to Cat Ba, this one is the closest to the island, and the ticket fare is only $0.5 USD.

Upon arriving at the Cai Vieng port, which is approximately 24 kilometers from the southern part of the island where hotels and services are located, you will find taxis waiting. Personally, I paid around 200,000 VND (approximately $8.5 USD) for the journey to my hotel.

From Da Lat to Cat Ba

To get to Cat Ba from Da Lat, you’ll first need to make your way to Lien Khuong Airport, which is located 30km (18,6 mi) away from Da Lat. The best option is to take a TAXI (👉prices) to the airport to avoid any complications.

There are daily FLIGHTS (👉prices & schedules) available to Hai Phong Airport, which is approximately 30 kilometers away from Cat Ba. The flight duration is about 1 hour and 40 minutes.

Once you land, you will need to take a TAXI (👉prices) that will transport you to the GOT pier. While there are other ferry ports that connect to Cat Ba, this one is the closest to the island, and the ticket fare is only $0.5 USD.

Upon arriving at the Cai Vieng port, which is approximately 24 kilometers from the southern part of the island where hotels and services are located, you will find taxis waiting. Personally, I paid around 200,000 VND (approximately $8.5 USD) for the journey to my hotel.

How to get to Cat Ba by MOTORBIKE or car

If you’re looking for flexibility and adventure, it’s entirely possible to travel to Cat Ba by car or motorbike. Your first destination will be the Got Ferry Terminal in Hai Phong, a coastal city located 120km away from Hanoi.

Upon reaching the terminal, you’ll need to purchase two separate tickets: one for passengers, priced at around 12,000VND ($0.51 or €0.48), and another one to transport your motorbike (45,000VND or $1.92 or €1.78) or car (190,000VND or $8.09 or €7.53) to the island.

TOURS and activities in Cat Ba

Explore the stunning beauty of Cat Ba through a variety of thrilling tours and activities that allow you to discover the island and its surroundings. From kayak excursions in Lan Ha Bay to witnessing the mesmerizing bioluminescence while kayaking, uncover the hidden gems of this enchanting Vietnamese island.

Is it SAFE to travel to Vietnam?

If you’re considering traveling to Vietnam, it’s important to be aware of certain risks to ensure your safety. Additionally, as with any trip, I highly recommend obtaining a reliable TRAVEL INSURANCE (👉5% off) that provides coverage for any unexpected situations abroad.

While Vietnam is generally a safe country, theft is common in larger cities, public transportation, crowded markets, and tourist areas. Taking necessary precautions and staying vigilant can help minimize any potential risks.

It’s recommended to ask for the price before buying anything and negotiate if necessary since it’s common to be charged higher prices for taxis, souvenirs, products, or services, especially in the more touristy areas of Vietnam, if you’re a foreigner.

In addition, some areas of Vietnam, especially in the central region and near the border with Laos, have landmines that can pose a danger to travelers. If you plan to visit these places, it’s important to inform yourself in advance about the mined areas and follow the recommendations of local authorities.

Safety for Women

I spent a year and a half traveling in Vietnam and never encountered any truly unpleasant situations. It’s common for men to want to take pictures with you or even blatantly put their phone in front of your face and record videos.

That being said, Vietnam is not free from sexual assaults, verbal harassment, or unwanted groping. I recommend that you:

  • Be cautious at night, especially if you plan to drink at a bar (which is not advisable).
  • Use Grab to move around safely at night and always avoid taxis and motorbikes you find on the street.
  • If you become a victim of sexual assault, seek immediate medical assistance, contact the local police, your embassy, and make sure to file a report.

FAQ’s about getting to Cat Ba

Is it possible to travel to Cat Ba Island by motorcycle or car?

Yes, you can reach Cat Ba Island by motorcycle or car, but please note that you won’t be able to travel the entire distance by land. As the island is accessible only by water, you will need to take a ferry for a portion of the journey.

Is it possible to travel to Cat Ba from Hanoi by train?

While there is a train that runs from Hanoi to the city of Hai Phong, where the ferry terminal to Cat Ba is located, it is not the most recommended option. There are faster and more practical transportation methods available to reach the island.

How long does it take to travel from Hanoi to Cat Ba?

The travel time to reach Cat Ba Island from Hanoi depends on the chosen mode of transportation and the departure point (city center or airport). On average, it takes between 2 and 4 hours to reach the island.

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