We had an absolute blast in Phong Nha and loved visiting the caves, and the National Park, but all too soon it was time to head onto Hanoi. We needed to save time, as the days on our visa were running out, so we opted to take the overnight sleeper bus to Hanoi. It wasn’t our only choice, there are overnight trains here too – although you do have to get to the closest train station, which is another bus ride away. Here are the best ways to go to Hanoi from Phong Nha.
THIS POST MAY CONTAIN COMPENSATED AND AFFILIATE LINKS MORE INFORMATION IN OUR DISCLAIMER
How to Go from Phong Nha to Hanoi – Transport Options
Phong Nha is a phenomenal place to visit, I have to say it might be my favorite place in Vietnam, but there’s some tough competition. As ever, when we go somewhere we need to figure out how to get there and how to get to the next place. For us, after the first time we visited Phong Nha, our next stop was Hanoi. And so this guide covers how to go from Phong Nha to Hanoi. There aren’t a huge number of options for this trip, but I’ll cover the fastest way to travel from Phong Nha to Hanoi, the easiest way to go to Hanoi from Phong Nha, and the cheapest way to get to Hanoi from Phong Nha. If you want to skip ahead, then our guide on things to do in Hanoi is here.
How to get to Hanoi from Phong Nha
For transport from Hanoi to Phong Nha, then you have several options. You can take a direct sleeper bus from Phong Nha to Hanoi. You can also take a bus to Dong Hoi, then the train from Dong Hoi to Hanoi or you can fly from Dong Hoi to Hanoi.
How to get to Hanoi from Phong Nha
For transport from Hanoi to Phong Nha, then you have several options. There are buses, trains, and planes that can be involved in this journey, it just depends on how you want to travel. Your journey to Hanoi from Phong Nha can take 3 hours (ish) or up to 12 hours. You can even choose a mode of transport from Phong Nha to Hanoi that saves you a night’s accommodation too.
It’s about 500 kilometers (310 miles) by road from Phong Nha to Hanoi and the sleeper bus from Phong Nha to Hanoi is one of the easiest ways to go from Phong Nha to Hanoi. It takes from 9-12 hours to go from Phong Nha to Hanoi by bus and there are 1 or 2 buses a day from Phong Nha to Hanoi. If you don’t mind a sleeper bus (we did this trip and it was relatively comfortable), then this is the most convenient way to go to Hanoi from Phong Nha.
Most buses from Phong Nha to Hanoi leave from the bus operator’s offices in Phong Nha, which is pretty central in Phong Nha, and arrive near the Old Quarter in Hanoi – so they’re perfect for getting straight into seeing Hanoi. Sleeper buses to Hanoi from Phong Nha leave at around 21:30-21:45 and arrive in Hanoi 12 hours later. You’ll save on a night’s accommodation costs by using the sleeper bus to Hanoi from Phong Nha.
There are currently three companies running night buses from Phong Nha to Hanoi. This may increase as more tourists arrive in the area. All of these buses leave from their “office” in Phong Nha, which is essentially the Central Backpackers Hostel. They leave at around 9-10 pm and the Central Backpackers has a café that you can use even if you’re not staying there.
- Check availability on the Queen Café Bus from Phong Nha to Hanoi
- Check availability on the GroupTours bus from Phon Nha to Hanoi
- Check availability on the SSB Bus from Phong Nha to Hanoi
All buses arrive at the edge of Hanoi’s Old Quarter, where it’s easy to get to pretty much anywhere in Hanoi.
These buses to Hanoi from Phong Nha are air-conditioned and by booking online here you can sometimes select your seats.
The most direct route is to take a sleeper bus to Hanoi from Phong Nha. This is also the cheapest way to get to Hanoi. You can check the times, availability, and seats for sleeper buses to Hanoi from Phong Nha here.
Online booking of buses to Hanoi from Phong Nha means you can pay with a card and you won’t have to find the cash to pay for your ticket.
Train from Phong Nha to Hanoi
Now having put a heading in here of “train”, I guess I ought to explain that there actually is no train station in Phong Nha. You’ll need to take a bus (or taxi) from Phong Nha to Dong Hoi train station. Once you get there, there is a night train. So if you sleep better on trains than on buses, then this is the better option for you.
First, you’ll need to get from Phong Nha to Dong Hoi. This is either a bus or a taxi ride.
Phong Nha to Dong Hoi
It’s about 45 kilometers (28 miles) from Phong Nha to Dong Hoi train station and you can either take a local bus or a taxi. The local bus to Dong Hoi from Phong Nha takes about 90 minutes and costs 40,000 VND. The bus that goes to Phong Nha from Dong Hoi is the B4.
The local bus number 4 (it’s green and yellow) runs between Dong Hoi and Phong Nha. It has a sign on it saying Dong Hoi – Hoan Lao – Phong Nha. You can’t book this bus online, and you’ll need to pay cash for your ticket.
There are a few bus stops in Phong Nha for the bus to Dong Hoi, check with your accommodation which is the best one for you, but you’ll likely spot it while you’re exploring Phong Nha as the main stop is in the main street in Phong Nha.
The first bus to Dong Hoi from Phong Nha leaves at 5:30 am and then departs hourly until around 5 pm. If you’re planning on taking the train, then be aware that the closest stop to the train station is about 1 kilometer (less than a mile) away.
If you are planning to fly from Dong Hoi to Hanoi, then the good news is that this bus stops just outside the airport gates – about 100 meters away. The bus stop is denoted by the B4 bus stop sign.
If you’re taking a taxi expect it to take about an hour to get to Dong Hoi train station from Phong Nha. You’ll likely pay between 400,000 and 600,000 VND for a taxi from Phong Nha to Dong Hoi – you can ask at your accommodation or call one of the taxi companies.
- Mai Linh Taxi: (052) 3835,835
- Taxi Dong Hoi: (052) 3841,841
- Taxi Quang Binh: (052) 382.82.82.
Trains from Dong Hoi to Hanoi
There are both daytime trains and overnight trains to Hanoi from Dong Hoi. Both take about 12 hours. So you can decide to spend the night on the train or the day on the train. And there are varying levels of comfort too.
The overnight train from Dong Hoi to Hanoi is a little bit more expensive than the sleeper bus, but you’ll likely get a bit more sleep. It’s a great way to arrive in Hanoi as the train station is easy to navigate from.
Taking the train to Hanoi from Phong Nha is a great way of traveling to Hanoi and this is the second cheapest way to go to Hanoi from Phong Nha. There are usually around 6 trains a day from Dong Hoi to Hanoi.
You can book train tickets in Vietnam in several ways.
- Use the official government site DSVN. You will be able to book tickets, but you’ll need to go to a train station to pay for them (in cash, Vietnamese dong only). The official site does NOT always work with international cards.
- You can book train tickets in Vietnam using 12goAsia. Tickets are confirmed and there’s no need to pick up tickets from a train station. You can use international cards to book tickets on 12goAsia.
- Use BaoLau– in the same way as 12goAsai. Tickets are confirmed. You can use an international card.
Check our map of the train and minivan stations to see which is easiest for you to get to if you’re planning on taking the train to Hanoi from Phong Nha.
There are usually 6 trains a day from Dong Hoi to Hanoi. The train from Dong Hoi to Hanoi takes from 10.5 hours to 12 hours. There are three classes of tickets available, from 2nd class AC sleeper to 1st class AC sleeper and then the luxury train, which is usually around three times the price of 2nd class sleeper.
Vietnam Railways do change the timetable, but currently the first train leaves Dong Hoi at 7:15 am and this is the only daytime train, it arrives in Hanoi at 7:12 pm. There are four or five overnight trains – the first is at 15:15 and the latest train to leave Dong Hoi for Hanoi is at 00:06. These earlier trains have a restaurant car and you can have your dinner on them. They are full sleeper trains, so you’ll get a proper lie-flat bed. They arrive in Hanoi in the early hours (from 4:12 am to around 5:50 am!) except for the last train which arrives at 11:46. We suggest that you confirm the current train times at DSVN or book via 12goAsia or BaoLau.
Flight from Phong Nha to Hanoi
If you’re in a hurry, then this is the quickest way to get to Hanoi from Phong Nha. There’s no airport in Phong Nha, so you need to get to Dong Hoi Airport (VDH). So you’ll need a
Transfer from Phong Nha to Dong Hoi Airport
This is the most expensive way to travel to Hanoi from Phong Nha and while it’s the quickest, with check-in times and transfers, it will still take you around 6 hours for the trip. Check the flight times here.
There are 6 flights a day from Dong Hoi to Hanoi. The first flight of the day is at 3 pm and the last direct flight is at 5:35 pm. Direct flights to Hanoi from Dong Hoi are operated by Vietnam Airlines. Check the prices of flights to Hanoi from Dong Hoi here. (Flights usually cost around US$55-60 and take around an hour).
Flights arrive at the international airport in Hanoi, which is around 28 kilometers (17 miles) from central Hanoi. Local buses run between Hanoi International Airport (Noi Bai) and Hanoi City Center. The bus costs 45,000 VND and takes about an hour. Buses to Hanoi from Hanoi Airport run from 5 am until 10 pm and there’s a bus every 15-20 minutes. You’ll need to pay cash when you board the bus.
Once you’ve flown into Hanoi Noi Bai airport, unless you’re flying straight out, you’ll still need to get into Hanoi. Our guide on how to go from Hanoi Noi Bai Airport to Hanoi is here.
Map of Bus Stops, Airports, and Train Stations for going from Phong Nha to Hanoi
You can also see the train station and bus stops from Phong Nha to Hanoi here.
The quickest way to get from Phong Nha to Hanoi
It’s the quickest to fly from Phong Nha to Hanoi. However, this means you will need to take a transfer or a taxi from Phong Nha to Dong Hoi (VDH) airport. Even with a transfer and a flight, it will still take you around 6 hours to go from Phong Nha to Hanoi. To my mind, this is only worth it if you’re flying out of Hanoi Noi Bai Airport and not heading into the city.
The easiest way to go to Hanoi from Phong Nha
The easiest way to get from Phong Nha to Hanoi is to take a sleeper bus from Phong Nha to Hanoi. There are no transfers involved in this journey, but it does take about 12 hours. However you’ll save on a night’s accommodation, and your biggest hassle will be finding your way from the stop in Hanoi to your Hanoi accommodation. This is how we traveled from Phong Nha to Hanoi. You can check ticket prices here.
The cheapest way to go from Phong Nha to Hanoi
The cheapest way to get to Hanoi from Phong Nha is to take the sleeper bus. It’s cheap. It takes 12 hours (or so) and you don’t have to faff around with transfers until you get to Hanoi. – reserve your seats here.
The best way to go from Phong Nha to Hanoi
Much as I love traveling on trains, and there is a train that you can take for part of this journey, for me the best way to go to Hanoi from Phong Nha is to take the sleeper bus.
Where to Stay in Hanoi
There are a host of places to stay in Hanoi – here’s our pick of the luxury places to stay in Hanoi, mid-range places to stay in Hanoi, and budget accommodations in Hanoi.
The Peridot Grand Luxury Hotel in Hanoi is a fabulous five-star luxury hotel in Hanoi. From its magnificent roof terrace with pool to its 3 bars and two restaurants, it’s got everything you need in a stunning location in Hanoi. Premier double rooms are fabulous, but the Junior and Luxury suites are truly glorious, with separate living rooms and some seriously gorgeous decorations, and just the best double-ended luxury bath. Bathrobes, slippers, and amenities come as standard and the service is second to none here. Check rates and availability at this top Hanoi hotel here.
For a mid-range hotel, you can’t go far wrong with the Meritel Hanoi – there’s a rooftop pool, shared lounge, and some seriously good facilities for the money. Rooms are large with fabulously comfortable beds and the showers are superb. Virtually all the rooms come with minibars and the hotel staff is super friendly and helpful. The breakfasts here are fabulous – get a great deal on this Hanoi hotel here.
The Trang Trang Premium hotel is a whole lot of hotel for the budget range that it’s in. This budget Hanoi hotel is in a great location near the Water Puppet Theater and rooms are well equipped, spacious, and with some excellent air conditioning. They also come with kettles, fridges, and a flat-screen TV. There’s a shared lounge here and a terrace too. You can pick up a great breakfast for around US$2 too! Pick up a great value room in Hanoi here.
Travel Tips for Exploring Vietnam
- Considering travel insurance for your trip? World Nomads offers coverage for more
than 150 adventure activities as well as emergency medical, lost luggage, trip cancellation, and more.
- Download and install a VPN BEFORE you travel to Vietnam > discount coupon here
- Prearrange your airport transfer with Welcome Pickups.
- Book the best Vietnam tours and guides on Klook or Get Your Guide
- Book Buses in Vietnam with 12goAsia
- Book accommodation in Vietnam with Booking
Key Routes to Travel in Vietnam
Want to know more about different forms of transport in Vietnam? Our guide to Vietnam transport is here. And here’s how to travel some of the popular routes around Vietnam, your options, and how we did it.
- How to go from Ho Chi Minh Airport to HCMC
- How to get to Phu Quoc from Ho Chi Minh City.
- Go from Chau Doc to Can Tho
- How to go from Hanoi Airport to the City
- How to go from Phong Nha to Hanoi
- Best way to go from Mui Ne to Dalat
- How to go from Hanoi to Hue
- How to go from Hoi An to Hue
- How to go from Ho Chi Minh City to the Cu Chi Tunnels
- How to get to Phu Quoc Island
- How to go from Hoi An to Danang
- How to go from Vietnam to Cambodia
- How to go from Ho Chi Minh to Phnom Penh
- How to go from Phnom Penh to Chau Doc (Cambodia to Vietnam)
- How to go to Mui Ne from Ho Chi Minh City
- How to go from Hanoi to Sapa
- How to go from Chau Doc to Phnom Penh (Vietnam to Cambodia)
Final Words on How to Go from Phong Nha to Hanoi
Traveling to Hanoi from Phong Nha is easy. There are several options from overnight sleeper buses to local buses (or taxis) and either trains or planes. All of the options for getting from Phong Nha to Hanoi are easy to book, this is a relatively well-traveled route, and it’s great to have options.
Stock images in this article are courtesy Deposit Photos.
We receive a fee when you get a quote from World Nomads using our affiliate links. We do not represent World Nomads. This is not a recommendation to buy travel insurance.
ASocialNomad is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com, amazon.co.uk, and amazon.ca. Amazon and the Amazon logo are trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.