I'm planning on taking the 9-20 train from Long Bien to Haiphong in June.
What time are the ferries/hydrofoils to Cat Ba
I arrive in Haiphong just after midday..
You might be better off doing a bus + ferry to cat ba with the same company, 1 ticket. These guys are pretty reliable for booking
Thanks but it's just the boat/hydrofoil times from Haiphong I'm after.
I just did this Hanoi-Haiphong-Cat Ba trip yesterday. The train left Long Bien station in Hanoi on time at 9:20 am and arrived in Haiphong on time at 12:00 pm. We walked to Ben Binh pier (about 20 mins) from the train station (there were several taxis you could take but we chose to walk) and bought tickets for the 1:00 pm hydrofoil that is operated by Cat Ba Island Resort & Spa. As others have noted on TA, there are plenty of people near the pier trying to sell you various boat tickets. We ignored them and walked directly to where the Cat Ba Island Resort & Spa boat leaves to buy our tickets to make sure we weren't scammed. The tickets cost 180,000 dong per person and the boat takes you directly to Cat Ba town. I don't get why people would take the boat that takes you to a different part of the island and then you need a shuttle to town. The boat we took was really full with locals, I'd say there were less than 10 tourists. A good sign you are going the best way.
If this is the way you want to go, your two options are taking the 1pm boat or the 3pm boat. Our 1pm boat took off about 5 mins early and some people had to stand it was so full (not sure if this is always the case, we went on a Friday) - so I'd recommend you get to the pier at least 15 mins before the departure time.
Perfect. That's exactly what I want to do..
I take you just turned up at Long Bien railway station and bought the train ticket on the day?
Hi bmpLondon - Yes, everyone buys the train tickets on the day of departure. Maybe go to the station a half hour early as there was just the one ticket window open. Boarding started 20 minutes before departure. You can buy your tickets the day before at the station if you want, but it's not necessary. Our car was only about half-full.
We found this was a great way to get to Haiphong - interesting scenery along the way, fairly comfortable soft seats, and really cheap (70,000 dong per person).
Note that there is also train service from the main Hanoi Ga.
thanks for latest information cheals37...am planning to ride the train from hanoi to haiphong for our next year trip.
What about being really leisurely and spending a night in Haiphong, then getting the early ferry?
I've got a night there on the way back..
We took this ferry this week. The price on the ticket office window and the ticket now says 220,000 dong. If you try to argue with the vendors, they will just call you 'Crazy Man' or 'Crazy Lady.' Nowhere or no amount of haggling would get any of the vendors to reduce the price