The central province of Quang Binh, Vietnam, famous for its vast cave network, has announced plans to open a direct flight to Chiang Mai, Thailand in July in a bid to promote tourism.
Following a meeting with officials in Chiang Mai, it has been reported 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 magnificent grottos as well as to the nearby tourist towns, Hue and Hoi An.
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 centre roughly 700 kilometres (435 miles) north of Bangkok. It will reduce the flight time between the two cities from the current nine-and-a-half-hour journey that transits in Hanoi and Bangkok down to roughly two hours. Travellers will be able to book return tickets from April starting from $100 US, Quang Binh officials said.
In January, the province said it was going to discuss the new service with local carriers Vietnam Airlines, Viet Jet and Jetstar. It is 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.