Hoang Long is a private bus company that has been operating since 1997. This long-established operator now has over 200 coaches carrying passengers across Vietnam, with a wide network offering services to everywhere you’d want to visit within the country.
Routes served by Hoang Long Bus Company
Hanoi–Ho Chi Minh City
Hoang Long is one of the few bus companies that offer the mammoth Hanoi – Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) route. There is one bus per day that runs the entire route, all 37 hours of it!
The 13.00 bus from Hanoi and the 17.30 bus from HCMC are the ones to catch if you wish to travel the entire route, although most people onboard will be disembarking at stops along the way. Tickets cost VND1,000,000 from Hanoi and VND830,000 from HCMC.
Other destinations from Hanoi
The vast majority of visitors to Vietnam will want to stop several times along this route and Hoang Long presents plenty of choice. There are six buses each day to Haiphong, from where you can visit the world-famous Ha Long Bay. Buses depart between 11.00 and 19.20 for the 1 ½ hour journey with four services each day headed from Haiphong back to the capital. Tickets in either direction will cost VND145,000.
Another popular journey from Hanoi is the short two hour ride to Ninh Binh, there is one service a day from Hanoi (at 13.00) and costs VND180,000.
Hue is another hugely popular town along the main Hanoi – HCMC route. You can reach Hue from Hanoi on the 13.00 bus every day, the journey usually takes around 15 hours so you are scheduled to arrive in Hue at 03.45 the next morning.
Da Nang can be reached on the same bus from Hanoi in 17 hours, arriving at 14.55. Tickets cost VND420,000 to Hue and VND480,00 to Da Nang.
From Ho Chi Minh City
Da Nang and Hue can also be reached directly from HCMC. There are three buses per day heading to both cities between 14.30 and 18.30, travelling throughout the night and for most of the following day. The 21 hour trip to Da Nang costs VND500,000 whilst tickets for HCMC – Hue are priced at VND590,000, for a trip lasting 23 hours.
The biggest advantage with travelling with Hoang Long is the wide network of services offered. This allows you to easily arrange your transport throughout the country with a very highly regarded and well-established travel operator without having to worry about the quality of the coaches.
At VND830,000, the HCMC – Hanoi ticket is outstanding value, although as it is an incredibly long journey you are still likely to want to break it up with stops along the route. But if you have a reason to get to the other end of the country quickly, and flight prices are too high for your budget, then this is probably the option for you.
Hoang Long services are dirt cheap for a reason - this is an extremely ‘local’ operator and you should not at all expect western standards. Buses could be oversold or late and the drivers may feel like smoking or playing loud music for the entire journey. WiFi, toilets and air conditioning may or may not be working depending on your luck. If you want to travel like a local, Hoang Long is the operator for you! No one is going to hold your hand and tend to your every need or really care if you complain that a family of five has spilled over into your seats. On Hoang Long the staff is focused on keeping the bus moving towards its destination and little else. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.
Keep in mind
If you’re in Hanoi and wish to visit Ha Long Bay independently and not through an organised tour, then Hoang Long is a great option. The frequent services to Haiphong allow you to catch a ferry across to Cat Ba Island from where you can arrange trips to Ha Long Bay yourself.
If you know what to expect it’s going to be a nice little adventure you can tell your friends about. For those expecting a pleasant hassle free trip like the buses back home it can be quite traumatic.