Travelers to Vietnam will now be able to reach beautiful Ha Long Bay in one hour thanks to the brand new Van Don International Airport in the Quang Ninh province.
About 136 miles from Hanoi, the airport is less than one hour away from picturesque and popular Ha Long Bay, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Ha Long’s gorgeous small islets and limestone pillars have made it very popular among travelers and cruise ships.
According to Sun Group, the company that built the airport, 2.5 million passengers are expected to visit the bay each year over the next two years, and that number is expected to increase and reach 5 million by 2030. Sun Group is also embarking upon two more projects designed to accommodate tourists to the Quang Ninh area. The Ha Long-Van Don Highway is being designed to make traveling from the airport to Ha Long City more efficient, at just under 50 minutes. The Ha Long International Cruise Port in Ha Long City is also under construction. When finished, the port will be able to accommodate two cruise ships and a total of 8,460 passengers.
While these new projects will achieve their goal of drawing tourists to the area, they may exacerbate Vietnam’s significant overtourism problem. Ha Long Bay is already packed with backpackers and cruise passengers, and you’d be hard pressed to enjoy the stunning scenery without dozens of other tourists snapping photos right alongside you. As tourism in the area grows, you might want to sidestep the crowds and take a more off-the-beaten-path approach to Ha Long Bay.