Vietnam’s Cam Ranh is soaring for the stars with Bangkok Airways emerging as the latest in a string of airlines to unveil a direct route to the pristine coastal destination.
Starting Jan. 25, Bangkok Airways will operate four non-stop return flights weekly between Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport and Cam Ranh International Airport on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday aboard a 144-seat Airbus 319.
The direction connection to Bangkok is the latest link forged between one of Vietnam’s hottest destinations and international markets.
S7 Airlines has debuted direct flights from both Irkutsk and Novosibirsk to Cam Ranh last month and this month respectively, joining other Russian carriers offering direct services.
Earlier this year, Vietnam Airlines introduced direct flights from Seoul and Cam Ranh, joining VietJet Air, Jeju Air and Korean Air with direct links between the destinations. Just over a year ago, AirAsia started direct flights from Kuala Lumpur to Cam Ranh. Less than a year before that, HK Express kicked off direct flights from Hong Kong.
Over the past few years Vietjet Air, China Southern, Air China, Jetstar Pacific Airlines, Loong Air and Sichuan Airlines have also started offering non-stop flights from a host of Chinese destinations including Guangzhou, Hangzhou, Shenzhen, Changsha, Chengdu, Chongqing, Xi’an and Kunming.
Bangkok Airways’ new route comes hot on the heels of the launch of Cam Ranh International Airport’s USD 163 million international passenger terminal, which can now handle four million passengers per year with expansion plans in place to increase capacity further. The airport receives more than 30 international flights per day.
Long deemed a gateway to nearby bustling beach city Nha Trang, Cam Ranh is fast emerging as a destination in its own right. Its increasing popularity has been fuelled by the evolution of Long Beach, a stunning 8-kilometer stretch of white sand less than five minutes from the airport.
Since 2015, more than 30 hospitality projects have been licensed for development along the strip. Many are hotels that do or will carry an international brand name.
“With so many international resorts establishing themselves in Cam Ranh over the next few years, coupled with excellent infrastructure in place such as the airport expansion to cater to tourism growth, Cam Ranh will soon rival the likes of Danang, Phuket and even Bali as among Asia’s best beach destinations,” said Sulaiman Zainul Abidin, the Cam Ranh International Terminal’s deputy general-director and chief operating officer.
“People can’t get enough of Cam Ranh as there isn’t a more desirable place to be on the water in Vietnam,” added Pham Van Hien, owner and chairman of the Anam, a five-star 12-hectare resort overlooking 300 metres of Long Beach that celebrated its grand opening in April 2017. “It’s rare to find so many remarkable qualities in one location.”
Hien said insiders predicted tourism investment along Long Beach would total well over one billion USD during the next decade.
As a complement to the burgeoning resort scene, Greg Norman in November unveiled his latest design, KN Golf Links, a 27-hole development that marks Norman’s third effort in the country and a new anchor for golf along the south central coast.
The main attraction at the club is its 18-hole Links course, inspired by the classic seaside layouts of Scotland and Ireland and described by Norman as one of the “most unique properties I’ve ever been able to work with.”
Complementing the Links course is the Oasis: a 9-hole, garden-style challenge that runs inland from the clubhouse.