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Public Transportation in Ha Long Bay

Mastering the public transportation system in Ha Long Bay is a crucial aspect of adapting to life there. This article provides a detailed overview of the available local transit options.

Public transportation in Ha Long Bay is diverse and efficient, making it possible for both locals and expats to navigate the city without the need for a personal vehicle. The city offers a variety of public transportation options including buses, taxis, motorbike taxis, and the most popular, the ferry system. Each of these systems provides a unique perspective of the city and its surrounding areas, making commuting not just a necessity, but also an experience.


The bus system in Ha Long Bay is run by the Quang Ninh Department of Transportation. It is a reliable and cost-effective way to get around the city and its outskirts. The buses are generally safe, even at night, and are used by a wide demographic including school children, working adults, and the elderly. A single journey typically costs around 7,000 VND (approximately 0.30 USD), making it an affordable option for daily commuting. The routes cover most parts of the city and its surrounding areas, including popular tourist destinations like the Sun World Ha Long Park and Bai Chay Beach.


Taxis are another common mode of transportation in Ha Long Bay. They are slightly more expensive than buses but offer more convenience and comfort. The taxis are metered and the drivers are generally honest, but it’s always a good idea to keep an eye on the meter. Taxis are safe to use at any time of the day or night, and are a good option for women travelling alone or for those with heavy luggage. Some popular taxi companies in the city include Mai Linh Taxi and Taxi Group.

Motorbike Taxis

Motorbike taxis, locally known as “xe om”, are a unique and thrilling way to get around Ha Long Bay. They are faster and can navigate through traffic more easily than regular taxis. However, they might not be the safest option, especially for those not used to riding on two wheels. The cost of a motorbike taxi is negotiable, but it’s usually cheaper than a regular taxi. It’s important to agree on the price before starting the journey to avoid any misunderstandings.

Ferry System

The ferry system is arguably the most popular mode of transportation in Ha Long Bay, especially for tourists. The ferries provide a unique opportunity to experience the breathtaking beauty of the bay and its numerous islands. The ferry system is run by the Ha Long Bay Management Board and is safe and well-organized. A round-trip ticket costs around 200,000 VND (approximately 8.60 USD) and the journey takes about 4 hours. The ferries operate from early morning until late evening, making them a convenient option for day trips.

In conclusion, public transportation in Ha Long Bay is diverse, efficient, and affordable. It is possible for an expat to live comfortably in the city without a car, relying solely on the public transportation system and walking. However, it’s important to note that each mode of transportation comes with its own set of advantages and disadvantages, and the choice largely depends on personal preferences and needs.

Betsy Burlingame Betsy Burlingame is the Founder and President of Expat Exchange and is one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. She launched Expat Exchange in 1997 as her Master's thesis project at NYU. Prior to Expat Exchange, Betsy worked at AT&T in International and Mass Market Marketing. She graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University with a BA in International Business and German.

Some of Betsy's articles include 12 Best Places to Live in Portugal, 7 Best Places to Live in Panama and 12 Things to Know Before Moving to the Dominican Republic. Betsy loves to travel and spend time with her family. Connect with Betsy on LinkedIn.

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