Travelers looking to make the 486-mile (783 km) journey from Hue to scenic Halong Bay—famous for its limestone pillars and lush islands—will likely wish to make the journey by a combination of a flight and private transfer. For those who don't mind the considerable additional travel time, a private transfer from Hue to Halong Bay will afford the opportunity to see more of the country along the way, and stop at points of interest that might not otherwise be visited.
By Plane and Private Transfer
Duration: 4.5 hours
The fastest way to get from Hue to Halong Bay is by a combination of plane and private transfer. In the first leg of the journey, travelers will fly from Hue to Hanoi. Direct flights take approximately one hour and fifteen minutes.
After arriving in Hanoi, travelers will need to arrange for a private transfer to Halong Bay, a drive of approximately three hours. The QL5B highway winds through the countryside, which is frequently shrouded in fog, making the drive especially scenic.
Travelers may wish to stop at the historic city of Hai Phong, an hour outside of Halong Bay. Hai Phong was an old French colonial city, and its opera house and cathedral are architectural exemplars of the French style of the time.
By Private Transfer
Duration: 15 hours
Those who don't mind the significantly longer travel time and are able to split the journey over multiple days may wish to consider a private transfer between Hue and Halong Bay.
The drive winds along the coast, on the QL1A highway. A particularly good spot to stop and enjoy the water is at charming Ke Go Lake, which is surrounded by forests teeming with pheasants, black lemurs, and other wildlife. Rowboats may be rented to experience the lake and surrounding environment fully.
Travelers may next wish to stop at the city of Vinh. Vinh is the cultural and economic hub of central Vietnam and its largest city. Approximately halfway through the journey, it offers an ideal place to stop for the night and to experience the city's night markets for an authentic Vietnamese dinner. The nearby Du Dong village is full of sunflower fields.
Further along is the relatively under-the-radar region of Ninh Binh, which is surrounded by limestone cliffs and rice fields. One of the best ways to enjoy Ninh Binh's typical rural Vietnamese atmosphere is to rent a rowboat and explore the region's temples, caves, and lakes.