Arrivals & Departures Travelling around Vietnam just got a lot easier

Photo of Grace Millimaci

A new airport in Vietnam’s north is expected to make it easier to see the country’s spectacular tourism attractions.

Five million passengers are expected to make their way through Vietnam’s newly constructed international airport annually by 2030.

Van Don International Airport opened on December 30 in the coastal province of Quang Ninh.

Spanning 288ha, Van Don cost 7.5 trillion Vietnamese Dong ($460 million) to build. It will offer easier access to top tourism sites in northern Vietnam, such as the waters of Ha Long Bay.

Quang Ninh is considered to be one of the country’s three special economic zones and the new airport is expected to boost the local economy by welcoming 500,000 passengers in its first year of operation.

Travellers can fly from Ho Chi Minh City in the south to Van Don on Vietnam Airlines’ new two-hour flight aboard an Airbus A321.

The daily service leaves Tan Son Nhat International Airport at 2pm.

Vietnam’s official tourism website suggests flying is a quicker and more convenient option for visitors.

“Many travellers underestimate the distance (and state of the roads) between cities and opt for buses or trains instead of flying,” the website explains.

“It’s good to note that train rides from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City can run up to 30 hours, and from Central Vietnam to either point, 16 hours is quite common. In light of this, it makes a lot of sense to opt for a one- or two-hour plane ride and spend more time in your destination.

“Prices for domestic tickets are surprisingly reasonable, and there are daily flights to all of the country’s top destinations.”

AirAsia is determined to introduce cheaper domestic travel options in Vietnam, with the airline recently signing a memorandum of co-operation to reaffirm its intention to set up a low-cost carrier with local partners in the country.

If you do head to Ha Long, April and May offer sunshine and a breeze, while September to October are cooler, with clear skies. 

For more information about Vietnam, visit vietnam.travel, or go to vietnamairlines.com for flight information.

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