New expressway to cut travel time from Hanoi to Ha Long Bay by half

By Vy An   November 7, 2017 | 10:49 am GMT+7
New expressway to cut travel time from Hanoi to Ha Long Bay by half
Part of the Hanoi-Ha Long expressway under construction. Photo by VnExpress/Giang Huy

Road trips from Vietnam’s capital to the famous bay will be slashed to one and a half hours.

A new expressway scheduled for completion in March next year will reduce travel times from Hanoi to the world famous Ha Long Bay to just an hour and a half.

The obvious transit point for people wishing to visit the bay is Hanoi, which is 180 kilometers (112 miles) to the west and home to an international airport.

The journey currently takes at least three hours.

Van Don International Airport around 50 kilometers from the bay is also scheduled to open next spring.

The $330 million airport is designed to receive two million arrivals a year by 2020, and there are plans to expand the capacity to five million by 2030.

Officials said the new infrastructure is being put in place so that Ha Long and Quang Ninh Province can host a national tourism year for the first time in 2018 and the ASEAN Tourism Forum in January 2019.

The national tourism year will include a paragliding tournament in April, an international car race in June and a food festival in the fall.

Ha Long Bay was named a UNESCO world heritage site in 1994, and is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Vietnam.

Visitors to Ha Long during the first half of 2017 rose 12 percent on-year to more than 4.3 million, including 1.7 million foreign travelers, according to Quang Ninh's news portal.

The bay was used to film the recent Hollywood blockbuster “Kong: Skull Island”, and has been raved about by many travel bloggers.

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