Unusually cheap flights give Americans perfect reason to visit Saigon

By Vi Vu   July 24, 2017 | 07:22 pm PT
Unusually cheap flights give Americans perfect reason to visit Saigon
American tourists on Bui Vien backpacker street in Saigon downtown. Photo by VnExpress/Thanh Nguyen
Round-trip deals from nine U.S. cities including New York and Los Angeles are on offer for less than $600.

For American travelers itching to visit Saigon but are discouraged by the four-digit air fares, the time has come to scratch that itch.

Three of the world’s top airlines, Cathay Pacific, All Nippon Airways and Asiana, are rolling out round-trip flights between nine U.S. cities and Saigon starting from just $484.

Condé Nast Traveler said on Monday, citing Scott Keyes who founded Scott’s Cheap Flights, that the deals are valid for select dates between September and December 2017, and include the Thanksgiving weekend but not Christmas.

Some of the routes include day-long transits in Hong Kong Tokyo, or Seoul, which could be either a burden or a blessing depending on the way you look at it.

The roundtrip prices are: $484 from Los Angeles, $485 from San Jose, $486 from San Francisco, $498 from Seattle, $519 from Chicago, $528 from Honolulu, $547 from New York, $556 from Newark and $595 from Washington, D.C.

According to Keyes, the cheap tickets will probably be gone in two days, so if you've had your eye on Vietnam and its bustling southern metropolis, you need to act fast.

He said visitors might have to do some research. He recommended using the Google Flights’ calendar to find dates with the best fares. After narrowing down their travel dates, they can head over to Momondo, a popular site with exclusive flight deals, and use those dates to see if they can dig up a better price.

Americans are among the top foreign visitors to Vietnam. Their arrivals increased to 320,200 in the first six months of 2017, a 9-percent jump compared to the same period last year.

Saigon is the country’s top destination in terms of foreign arrivals. Many tourists favor the combination of a modern commercial center and a city steeped in history that can be felt at places like the War Remnants Museum and the Independence Palace.

The city is also connected by air and road to other popular tourist destinations such as Hoi An, Hanoi, Ha Long Bay and the Mekong Delta.

And for those who want to save money in the country's most luxurious city, there are not just cheap flights.

Real estate consutancy firm Savills said room rates at the city's five-star hotels fell 6 percent from a year ago to $117 per room on average in the second quarter.

Price of Travel, a travel cost database, in April ranked Saigon the world’s third cheapest city, where backpackers only need $18.33 a day for meals, beer, a place to stay, public transport and an entrance fee to a top attraction.

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