NHA TRANG, Vietnam, 22 March 2019: There are plenty of low fare deals for travellers planning to visit Nha Trang during its sea festival this May.
Now in its ninth year, the Nha Trang – Khanh Hoa Sea Festival runs from 11 to 14 May and is also flagged as a signature event under Vietnam’s National Tourism Year, themed ‘Nha Trang – the Colour of Sea’.
The 2019 Vietnam Miss Universe and Miss ASEAN Tourism competitions, a sea tourism festival themed ‘Symphony of the Sea’ and a seafood festival, as well as the Nha Trang sailing boat tournament should draw more visitors to the seaside city.
The ninth Nha Trang Sea Festival that opens Saturday 11 May will highlight cultural, artistic and sport activities.
Since 2003, the festival has been regularly organised on alternative years attracting around 120,000 tourists over the four days.
With coastline up to 180 km, the province is noted for its stunning natural landscapes such as Van Phong, Nha Trang, and Cam Ranh bays, but a visit to Khanh Hoa becomes even more interesting when the province hosts a festival.
Once a sleepy beach village that developed dramatically to become a bustling city by the sea, Nha Trang is now served by nonstop flights from various cities around Asia to nearby Cam Ranh airport.
Out of Bangkok, Thai AirAsia launches four weekly direct flights to Cam Ranh International Airport 1 May, the nearest airport to Nha Trang.
Using A320 aircraft the airline offers flights on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday for roundtrip fares starting at USD92 bookable on Skyscanner. Flight time is around two hours compared with more than five hours on airlines that offer one-stop services to Cam Ranh.
Thai AirAsia competes head-on with Bangkok Airways that started flying the route to Cam Ranh late January.
Both offer nonstop flights using similar aircraft, the A320 and A319, on the same four days of the week.
Thai AirAsia departs early morning from Don Mueang airport, while the Bangkok Airways’ flight departs from Suvarnabhumi Airport mid-morning. The latter connects with airline services from Europe that have codeshare deals with Bangkok Airways on the route to Cam Ranh.
However, the roundtrip fare is considerably more expensive on Bangkok Airways at USD313, although it offers checked baggage and an inflight meal in addition to airport lounge access for economy class passengers.
Skycanner flags the Bangkok Airways flight as 4% more eco-friendly based on its aircraft use (A319).
From Kuala Lumpur, AirAsia offers direct flights to Cam Ranh with a lead-in roundtrip fare of USD149 and a flight time of two hours and 25 minutes.
This compares with one-stop flights on other airlines that take up to six hours of travelling time with roundtrip fares as high as USD436 on Vietjet that claims to be a low-cost airline.
Out of Singapore, the only options to Cam Ranh are one- stop flights via Ho Chi Minh City with travel times of up to seven hours and fares ranging from USD182 on Jetstar to USD478 on Vietjet.
Direct flights encourage travellers resident in Southeast Asia’s capital cities to take short breaks to beach resorts in neighbouring countries.
Khanh Hoa province’ Department of Tourism reports there are 680 accommodation units available offering 31,700 rooms.