Most of the Vietnamese airports are domestic facilities, although a small number of these might have short flights to nearby neighboring countries in Southeast Asia, such as Cambodia, Laos, and Thailand. There are only a very few airports in Vietnam that accept international long haul flights from countries farther away. With the exception of Russia, all direct nonstop international flights to Vietnam are from countries in Asia. The primary reason that Russia is on the list is the history of Vietnam’s alliance with the Soviet Union during the French and American Vietnam Wars of the twentieth century.There are airlines that fly from San Francisco, the United Arab Emirates, and Frankfurt, but these flights stop somewhere along the way, generally in Asia.
Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi is the largest Vietnam international airport in the northern part of the country. Hanoi is the capital and second largest city in the country, but the airport is still relatively small. Noi Bai International Airport is the flight destination for those tourists who are planning cruises in beautiful Halong Bay, which is both a UNESCO World Heritage Site and undoubtedly the top tourism destination in the country. A new destination in this region is in the remote mountains near the border of Laos and China. Mount Fansipan is here, and it is the highest point in the country at more than 10,000 feet above sea level. There is adventure trekking, hiking, and mountain cycling in this area—as well as remote ethnic minority tribes. Noi Bai International Airport is what is used for tours here, and the drive into the remote region often includes a visit to a traditional village of the Hmong, Dao, or Tay people.
The largest of all the international airports in Vietnam is located in Ho Chi Minh City in the southern part of the country, and accepts more visitors on vacations than any other Vietnamese airports do. There are airlines from Europe and North America that have connecting service to this airport—most notably, Frankfurt, Paris, and San Francisco. Its official name is Tan Son Nhut International Airport, and it accepts the largest number of flights from both outside and inside the country. Tan Son Nhut International Airport is a very modern facility with excellent transportation options. Although it is located just under five miles north of the city center, it is within the city limits and there are several luxury hotels nearby, including one right at the entrance to the airport.
The other two international airports in Vietnam are located in Hue and Da Nang. Located in the geographical center of the country, Da Nang Airport is the country’s third largest international passenger facility. This is the facility visitors will use for the beaches along this section of coast, including famous China Beach.
The official name of Hue Airport is Phu Bai International Airport. Even though the ancient imperial capital of Hue is only about 50 miles north of Da Nang, many visitors who have booked vacation packages will fly into Phu Bai Airport for a single overnight in order to tour the lovely UNESCO World Heritage Site.
There are other Vietnamese airports located in areas where visitors travel for their vacations. One of these is on beautiful Phu Quoc Island, off the coast of Cambodia and Vietnam’s Mekong Delta area. Most people who fly here will do so from Ho Chi Minh City, as it is only about a one-hour flight. The only other way to reach this island is by ferry from either Cambodia or the western coast of Vietnam.