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So you've decided to embark on an exciting trip to Vietnam. Great choice! With stunning natural scenery, delicious food, and vibrant culture, Vietnam has so much to offer visitors. The only downside is that it's a long, narrow country, so getting around can be time-consuming if you're limited to buses and trains. The solution? Take to the skies and experience Vietnam from a bird's eye view. Domestic flights within Vietnam are inexpensive, and quick, and provide jaw-dropping aerial views of the country. Read on to discover the best ways to fly around Vietnam so you can make the most of your time exploring this captivating destination.

Flying Into Vietnam: International Airports and Entry Requirements

To visit Vietnam, you'll fly into one of the major international airports in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Da Nang, Phu Quoc, or Nha Trang. - Hanoi's Noi Bai International Airport and Ho Chi Minh City's Tan Son Nhat International Airport receive the majority of international flights.

  • Before your trip, check Vietnam's entry requirements which typically include a passport valid for 6 months and a pre-approved visa. The easiest way to get a visa is through Vietnam's official e-Visa portal where you can apply online, pay the fee, and receive an e-Visa via email in 3 business days.

  • Once in Vietnam, the best way to hop between cities and see the sights is by domestic flight. Vietnam has a handful of airlines that offer quick and affordable flights between destinations. The major domestic airlines are:

  • Vietnam Airlines - is the national carrier and is considered the most reliable. They offer the most extensive network, flying to over 20 domestic destinations like Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Da Nang, and Nha Trang. Fares are budget-friendly especially if you book in advance.

  • VietJet Air - is a popular low-cost carrier, flying to many of the same places as Vietnam Airlines for even less. While VietJet Air may not offer as much legroom or amenities, fares are hard to beat. They frequently offer sales and promotions to snag cheap fares. The nickname of VietJet Air is Delay Air due to its frequent delays.

  • Pacific Airlines - is a budget carrier from Vietnam Airlines. It's Vietnam Airlines answer to domestic low-cost travel demand.

  • Bamboo Airways - is a newer airline that also services many major cities in Vietnam. They aim to provide high-quality service for competitive prices. Bamboo Airways may be worth comparing fares with Vietnam Airlines and VietJet Air for your destination.

  • Vietravel Airlines - is a relatively new budget carrier. It offers very budget-friendly fares but services and facilities can be hit-and-miss.

  • Domestic flights can be booked on the airlines' websites, through travel agencies in Vietnam, or on booking sites like Expedia and Kayak. Roundtrip fares between cities like Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City average $100-200 USD

Other tips for flying within Vietnam:

  • Arrive at the airport at least 90 minutes before departure for domestic flights.

  • Checked baggage allowance is typically 15-20 kilos, carry-on is 7 kilos. Budget carriers tend to offer very low baggage allowance.

  • In-flight service includes a complimentary snack and drink. Vietnam Airlines tend to offer the best in-flight services including free meals.

  • Most airlines allow changes to tickets but fees apply. Refunds are usually not permitted.

Popular Domestic Routes in Southern Vietnam

Once you’ve arrived in Vietnam, the best way to explore the southern part of the country is by air. Vietnam Airlines, VietJet Air, and Jetstar Pacific all offer affordable fares between popular southern cities like Ho Chi Minh City, Da Nang, Nha Trang, and Phu Quoc Island.

Ho Chi Minh City to Da Nang

This 55-minute flight is a quick way to travel between Vietnam’s largest city and the coastal city of Da Nang, the gateway to Hue and Hoi An. Roundtrip fares start around $50 USD. Da Nang’s beachy vibe and ancient towns are a nice contrast to the bustle of Ho Chi Minh City.

Ho Chi Minh City to Nha Trang

Jet over to Nha Trang, Vietnam’s premier beach destination, in just over an hour. Crystal-clear waters and white sand beaches await in this coastal town. Fares for the short flight start around $30 USD roundtrip. Once you arrive, check into a beachfront hotel and spend your days swimming, boating, or exploring nearby islands.

Ho Chi Minh City to Phu Quoc Island

Escape to Vietnam’s largest island, Phu Quoc, with roundtrip fares from Ho Chi Minh City starting at $60 USD. The 50-minute flight transports you to a tropical paradise lined with palm-fringed beaches and resorts. Rent a motorbike to explore the island’s fishing villages, pearl farms, and Phu Quoc Prison. Or just claim your spot on the soft sand and not move for days.

Da Nang to Nha Trang

For under $50 USD roundtrip, you can fly from beach to beach, touching down at Nha Trang’s Cam Ranh Airport just over an hour after leaving Da Nang. Soak in the resort vibe of both destinations and enjoy a variety of watersports at each locale. Or travel in the opposite direction from Nha Trang to Da Nang to experience ancient Hue and Hoi An.

Domestic flights within Vietnam open up a world of possibilities for exploring the country’s diverse landscapes, cultures, and coastlines. Take advantage of budget airlines and short travel times to visit multiple destinations on your trip. The southern part of Vietnam in particular, with its beaches, islands, and cities, lends itself well to quick flights between popular spots.


Tri Nguyen Island, Nha Trang

Popular Domestic Routes in Central Vietnam

Once you’ve flown into one of Vietnam’s international airports, the fun really begins! Vietnam’s domestic flight network opens up the whole country to explore. Some of the most popular routes are in Central Vietnam, connecting historic cities like Hue, Hoi An, and Da Nang.

Da Nang to Hoi An

Only a 30-minute flight from Da Nang, the UNESCO World Heritage town of Hoi An is a must-see. Wander the charming streets lined with traditional houses, shop for handmade goods, and dine on delicious street food. Roundtrip fares on VietJet Air or Vietnam Airlines start at around $30 USD.

Da Nang to Hue

For a glimpse into Vietnam’s imperial past, head to Hue, the nation’s capital from 1802 to 1945. A 45-minute flight from Da Nang, Hue is home to the Imperial City and royal tombs. Fares start around $40 USD roundtrip.

Connecting the Coast

One popular itinerary is flying into Da Nang, then making your way down the coast, stopping in Hoi An and Hue before flying out of Hue. The coastal cities each have a unique charm and together give you a sense of Central Vietnam’s history and culture.

  • Da Nang: A bustling beach city with resorts, seafood, and nightlife.

  • Hoi An: A picturesque trading port town renowned for tailoring, lanterns, and heritage houses.

  • Hue: A historic capital city on the Perfume River with royal palaces and pagodas.

Domestic flights make it simple to visit multiple destinations without long overland journeys. Check VietJet Air, Vietnam Airlines, or Bamboo Airways for fares and schedules connecting Da Nang, Hoi An, and Hue. With efficient service and short flight times, you’ll be exploring new places in no time! Central Vietnam has so much to offer, and flying between cities is an easy way to experience all its highlights.


Hue, Vietnam

Popular Domestic Routes in Northern Vietnam

Once you’ve arrived in Vietnam, the best way to explore the country is by air. Vietnam Airlines and budget carriers offer quick hops between cities in the north, south, and center of Vietnam.

Hanoi to Ha Long Bay

One of the most popular domestic routes is Hanoi to Ha Long Bay, a UNESCO World Heritage site famed for its emerald waters and limestone islands. Multiple airlines offer a short 45-minute flight from Hanoi to Ha Long City several times per day. From the Ha Long City airport, you can take a shuttle bus directly to Ha Long Bay where cruise boats and boats await to take you around the bay. This is a very efficient way to see Ha Long Bay without taking a long bus ride from Hanoi.

Hanoi to Sa Pa

Another scenic flight within northern Vietnam is from Hanoi to Sa Pa, a charming mountain town in the Hoang Lien Son Mountains. Vietnam Airlines and Bamboo Airways operate flights from Hanoi to Sa Pa, cutting the travel time down to just 45 minutes versus the 5-6 hour bus ride. The Sa Pa airport is located right in town, so as soon as you land you can check into your hotel and start enjoying the fresh air and hiking. Sa Pa is a great base for trekking, visiting local hill tribes, and seeing rice terraces.

  • Hanoi to Dien Bien Phu - For history buffs, Vietnam Airlines flies from Hanoi to Dien Bien Phu, the site of the decisive 1954 battle where Vietnam gained independence from French rule. The flight takes about an hour.

  • Hanoi to Phu Quoc Island - Phu Quoc Island in southern Vietnam is a popular beach getaway. Vietnam Airlines, VietJet, and Bamboo Airways all offer direct flights from Hanoi to Phu Quoc that take about 2 hours. Phu Quoc’s white sand beaches and resorts are tropical paradise.


Sapa, Vietnam

Tips for Booking Domestic Flights in Vietnam

Booking domestic flights within Vietnam requires some insider tips to get the best deals and ensure a smooth experience.

Book in advance

Booking 4 to 6 weeks before your trip is ideal for the best fares on Vietnam Airlines, Vietjet Air, and Jetstar Pacific. Waiting until the last minute means fewer flight options and higher prices.

Be flexible with your dates

Flying midweek or non-holidays can save you money. If your schedule allows, check fares for the days before and after your target dates. You might find cheaper rates or promotions like ‘ Vietjet Wednesday’ sales.

Compare budget airlines

Vietnam has low-cost carriers like Vietjet Air and Jetstar Pacific offering steep discounts. Compare their fares with national carrier Vietnam Airlines. You can often save 30-50% flying budget airlines, especially if booking promo fares.

Look for promo deals and coupons

Check the airlines’ social media and website for the latest sales and coupon codes. Flash sales and holiday promotions can drop fares significantly if you act fast. Newsletters also provide early access to the best deals.

Be ready to book

Have your payment details, passenger information, and booking preferences ready before searching for fares. Promo fares and the cheapest seats sell quickly, especially around holidays. Be ready to complete the purchase as soon as you find an acceptable fare.

Check Baggage Limits

For most domestic routes, you’re often allowed to check in one piece of luggage not exceeding 30 kilograms or 66 pounds. It’s best to check with your specific airline to confirm their policy. Any bags over the weight limit will incur excess baggage fees at the airport.

Carry-On Rules

In addition to your checked bag, you can bring one carry-on item and one personal item like a purse or laptop bag. carry-on bags should not exceed 56 x 36 x 23 cm or 22 x 14 x 9 inches in size, including handles and wheels. Make sure any liquids are in 3.4-ounce or 100ml containers and placed in a single, clear, sealable plastic bag. Keep in mind that overhead bin space is limited, so aim for a smaller carry-on bag.

How far in advance should I book?

For the best fares, book at least 2 to 4 weeks before your trip. Booking too early, over 3 months in advance, may limit your options. Booking too late, within a week of travel, will make cheap fares hard to find. This is especially true if you’re traveling during peak season from December to February.