Vietnam's 'cave province' schedules direct flights to northern Thailand

By Vy An   March 3, 2017 | 06:09 pm GMT+7
Vietnam's 'cave province' schedules direct flights to northern Thailand
Inside a breathtaking cave in Quang Binh. Photo courtesy of British Cave Research Association

From the mountains of Chiang Mai into the depths of the world's biggest cave in Quang Binh from just $100.

In a bid to promote tourism, the central province of Quang Binh, famous for its vast cave network, has announced plans to open a direct flight to Chiang Mai in Thailand from July.

Following a meeting with officials in Chiang Mai on Wednesday, officials from the province said that there will be two flights per week on Mondays and Fridays.

The new service aims to attract more Thai tourists to Quang Binh, home to the world’s largest cave Son Doong and many other magnificient grottos, as well as the nearby tourist towns Hue and Hoi An, they said.

The route from Quang Binh’s capital Dong Hoi will be the first direct flight from Vietnam to Thailand’s mountainous city of Chiang Mai, a popular cultural and religious center around 700 kilometers (435 miles) to the north of Bangkok.

It will cut the flight time between the two cities to around two hours from the current nine and a half hour journey that transits in Hanoi and Bangkok. Dong Hoi and Chiang Mai are around 1,200 kilometers apart, or a 20-hour road trip through Laos.

Travelers will be able to book return tickets from April, starting from $100, Quang Binh officials said.

In January, the province said it was going to discuss the new service with local carriers Vietnam Airlines, VietJet and Jestar. It’s still not clear which or if all of them will cover the new route.

Quang Binh is a rising star on Vietnam's tourism map and has been making various efforts to gain global recognition.

In a recent promotional video, the province describes itself as a beautiful and exciting destination, and repeatedly reminds viewers that it was the set for the new blockbuster "Kong, Skull Island", which will hit local theaters next Friday.

The video, published in January, features the testimony of the film’s director Jordan Vogt-Roberts himself.

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