Van Don International Airport (VDO) is the gateway to the amazing Ha Long Bay (known for its famous limestone pillars that cascade into the ocean), located only 50 km (31 miles) away from the bay itself. The airport is brand new, modern & clean and only just celebrated its first birthday in 2019.
History at VDO
With tourism expanding rapidly in the north of Vietnam to Ha Long Bay and the Ban Gioc Waterfall on the Chinese border, the Vietnam government saw a need for a new international airport to service the region. Improvements to nearby Cat Bi were many years off and Hanoi was overcrowded, so a new site was selected. The new airfield would have 3,600-meter (over 11,000 feet) concrete runway (big enough to support even a Boeing 747) and a new terminal building that could cater to five million passengers a year.
Only two phases of the airport are built so far, with around 7.5 trillion Dong (US$330 million) spent to build the new facility. With so much money being deployed on a clean white-paper project, passengers can be delighted to experience a state of the art terminal, powerful air conditioning, four jetbridge gates (no buses to a ramp here!) and quick security gates.
Airlines at VDO
However, despite the popularity of passengers the airport has not been as popular with airlines. Currently, only three routes exist, Shenzen, Ho Chi Minh City and Da Nang, operated by:
- Bamboo Airways
- Vietnam Airlines
- Donghai Airlines
The one international route to China is operated by Donghai Airlines. Hopefully, some future flights are proposed by more international carriers but with two other international airports, Hanoi and Cat Bi well catered for it’s unlikely.
Transportation at VDO
If you’re traveling to and from the airport from Ha Long, you have several options. The airport is a bit far from the bay and there are no nearby urban areas so you might be prepared for a long ground journey after a flight.
The first is the free shuttle bus. Labeled 14A and 14B they take around 90 minutes from the airport to Ha Long Bay. The first drives on the coast whilst the latter bus travels inland. If your hotel or resort is along the coast, you might want to consider the first just in case you’re not backtracking later.
The buses only run a few times a day but are timed to arriving flights, so you will likely have two waiting outside when you land. These are by far the best options for getting into town as you will save plenty of time and money. They know most of the local hotels so simply ask when you arrive and they can drop you where needed.
Alternatively, you can take a taxi for around 800,000 Dong (~$34.00) to the city center, but you won’t really be saving much time.
Address: Đoàn Kết, Vân Đồn District, Quảng Ninh 20000
Elevation: 0 cm
Province: Quảng Ninh
Phone: 0203 3901 111
Serves: Hạ Long, Khu kinh tế Vân Đồn