Cat Ba to Ha Giang – The Fastest & Cheapest way

Your route from Cat Ba to Ha Giang takes you from an island paradise to the awe-inspiring terrains of North Vietnam. Use this guide to explore the most efficient ways to undertake this 11-hour journey.
In this guide:

The Start of the Ha Giang Loop

Ha Giang is the starting line for the famed Ha Giang Loop, a bucket-list motorcycle journey through some of Vietnam’s most stunning terrains. The town itself is a provincial capital, but it’s relatively small and doesn’t have an airport or train station. The loop takes about 3 to 5 days to complete, depending on your pace and interests. After finishing the loop, you’ll find yourself back in Ha Giang, from where you’ll most likely proceed to other Vietnamese destinations via Hanoi.

Traveling from Cat Ba to Ha Giang

For travelers setting out from Cat Ba to Ha Giang, the trip almost always includes a segment through Hanoi due to its convenient connections. The distance between Cat Ba and Ha Giang is roughly 450 km, and it typically takes around 11 hours to make the journey. The first part of the journey consists of a smooth highway ride to Hanoi. Beyond that, the roads start winding through the mountains and villages as you get closer to Ha Giang. Though less winding than the Ha Giang Loop itself, this explains the lengthy duration of the trip. On the bright side, a new high-speed highway is under construction between Hanoi and Ha Giang, aiming to reduce travel time significantly in the future.

Transfer Options Between Cat Ba and Ha Giang

Sleeper Bus: Due to the lengthy journey, the sleeper bus is a popular choice among travelers. A ticket for a standard sleeper bus costs around 500,000 VND.

Traveling First to Hanoi: Another viable option is to travel first to Hanoi, which is approximately 150 km away from Cat Ba and takes about 4 hours. From Hanoi, several transport options are available for the onward journey to Ha Giang.

Your Options from Hanoi:

  • Option 1: A standard sleeper bus (night) for around 250,000 VND.
  • Option 2: A VIP sleeper bus (night) for a more comfortable ride, costing around 350,000 VND.
  • Option 3: A limousine bus (day), priced at approximately 300,000 VND.
  • Option 4: A private car (day) for those seeking flexibility, albeit at a higher cost.

Booking the Transfer from Cat Ba

  1. Tour Operators: If you’re on a tour, your transportation is often arranged for you.
  2. Offline: Travel agencies in Hanoi’s Old Quarter can assist with booking your bus tickets.
  3. Online: Websites like Vexere,, and Baolau offer online booking services.

Tips for Traveling Between Cat Ba and Ha Giang

  • Given the long distance, it’s advised to break the journey by first traveling to Hanoi.
  • Make sure to book your tickets well in advance, particularly during peak seasons.
  • If you struggle with sleeping on buses, opt for daytime travel.
  • Riding a motorbike all the way from Cat Ba is not recommended due to the long distances and busy highways.

Hassle-free combination tour Halong Bay & Ha Giang

Imagine going from the stunning landscapes of Cat Ba Island straight to the majestic mountains of Ha Giang without any hassle. Trek through Cat Ba National Park, go kayaking, or take a boat tour through neighboring Lan Ha Bay. We can even combine Cat Ba with an overnight cruise. Reach out to us, and we’ll design a tailor-made adventure for you, combining these two incredible locations seamlessly.

Excited to visit Ha Giang? Book your local experiece here!