Vietnam’s new Van Don International Airport is the gateway to Halong Bay
An international cruise port and highway are in the pipeline to make getting to the UNESCO World Heritage site even easier.
Getting to beautiful Halong Bay just got a whole lot easier with the opening of Van Don International Airport on Dec 30.
Situated in Quang Ninh Province, just 50km away from the UNESCO World Heritage site, visitors will be able to reach Halong Bay after a 90-minute bus or taxi ride to their destination.
Previously, travellers would have to fly to Noi Ba International Airport in Hanoi, and take a four-hour bus journey to Halong Bay.
The design of Van Don is said to take inspiration from the unique formation of Halong Bay, and features a state-of-the-art runway. “It is the most modern airport in Vietnam,” said Romy Berntsen, a project manager and architect from Netherlands Airport Consultants (NACO), an airport consultancy and engineering firm that assisted in Van Don's construction.
The airport took two years to construct and costs VND7.463 billion (S$439.2 million). It is the first international airport in Vietnam to be developed by a private company – Sun Group, the country's premier developer of tourism, leisure and entertainment-focused properties and projects.
The new airport is expected to receive 2 million passengers annually for the next two years, and 5 million passengers annually by 2030.
Sun Group is also involved in two other major infrastructure projects in Quang Ninh Province: The Halong-Van Don Highway and the Halong International Cruise Port. Via the 60km-long Halong-Van Don Highway, travel time from Van Don International Airport to Halong City will only take 50 minutes.
The Halong International Cruise Port will be dedicated to receiving international cruise ships. Designed by renowned architect Bill Bensley, who is behind swanky stays such as the Four Seasons Tented Camp Chiang Rai, and the J.W. Marriott Phu Quoc, the port terminal is set to be a new landmark for the city of Quang Ninh. The massive port will be able to accommodate two cruise ships at the same time.