The karst formation of Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park has evolved since the Paleozoic (some 400 million years ago) and so is the oldest major karst area in Asia. Subject to massive tectonic changes, the park’s karst landscape is extremely complex with many geomorphic features of considerable significance. The vast area, extending to the border of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, contains spectacular formations including 65 kilometers of caves and underground rivers.
If you’re planning this same drive and want to know all about it – how long it is, how long it takes, and where to stop along the way – read on. By the end of this post, you’ll know everything about the drive between Halong Bay and Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park.
As the crow flies, it’s roughly 237 miles between Halong Bay and Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park. Luckily, we can’t skip over all the good stuff and have to drive – that means seeing some of the sights and countryside between these two points.
For driving, it is roughly 337 miles or 542 km between Halong Bay and Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park. This may vary slightly depending on your start and end points.
In terms of travel time by car, the 337 miles drive from Halong Bay to Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park takes 7 hours 34 minutes. Again, your final drive time depends on where you start in Halong Bay and end in Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park.
As 337 miles is roughly one tank of gas, you may or may not need to stop for gas along the way; there are plenty of options along these major roads.
Realistically, you're not going to want to drive without stopping all the way from Halong Bay to Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park, especially if you're the main driver. So let's say you're actually planning a road trip to Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park, and you need to stop along the way to rest. Plus if it's a real road trip, you might want to check out interesting stops along the way, eat at great restaurants, and find a hotel to stay overnight. That's what we are perfect for, helping you figure out travel plans in detail.
Based on the length of this trip, we think you could spread out this fun road trip over a number of days.
Road trip: 2 days of driving
With the full itinerary planned out, we can estimate your total travel time for this trip.
Travel time: 7 hours 34 minutes hours on the road with 2 overnights
Start at Halong Bay.
Drive for about 3 hours, then stop in Đường Trần Phú and stay for about 2 hours.
Next, drive for another 4 hours then stop in Đường Hồ Chí Minh, DHCM, QL.15. Stay overnight.
Finally, drive for about 0.6 hours and arrive in Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park.
To give you a better estimate of real-life travel, we've put together a flight itinerary with actual airports. Eventually you'll be able to customize this plan, choosing your own airports and flights. But for now, here's an example we've selected to give you an idea of how traveling might work between airports.
Departure airport: Cat Bi International Airport (HPH)
Arrival airport: Dong Hoi Airport (VDH)
With the airports selected, we can estimate the travel time to and from the airport, based on how far the airport is from downtown.
Getting to the airport: 35 minutes
Getting to your destination: 57 minutes
Now finally, let's look at an example flight from HPH to VDH and figure out how long it would take to fly including take-off and landing, and time to taxi on the runway.
Commercial flight time: 28 minutes
So now we can finally get an idea of the total travel time from Halong Bay to Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park including time spent getting to/from the airports, an estimated wait time of 2 hours at the airport for TSA security lines and waiting at the gate, and the actual flight itself.
Total travel time: 3 hours 59 minutes
Now let's assume you have a private jet and you can fly in the fastest possible straight line between Halong Bay and Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park. Because of the curvature of the Earth, the shortest distance is actually the "great circle" distance, or "as the crow flies" which is calculated using an iterative Vincenty formula.
Flight time from Halong Bay, Quang Ninh Province to Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park, Quang Binh Province is 29 minutes under avarage conditions.
Our flight time calculator assumes an average flight speed for a commercial airliner of 500 mph, which is equivalent to 805 km/hr or 434 knots.
Actual flight times may vary depending on aircraft type, cruise speed, routing, weather conditions, passenger load, and other factors.