Da Nang Airport is the third busiest airport in the country and a massive transport hub in Vietnam. Located just two kilometres from Da Nang’s bustling city centre, 35 kilometres north of picturesque Hoi An, and 93 kilometres south of Hue, this modern airport has central Vietnam well covered.
Hidden looks briefly into the history of the airport itself, we then break down important information to help make your airport experience a breeze. We’ve included details on visa on arrival, airport lounges, food, money exchanges, facilities, and transportation, along with some helpful insider tips. We at Hidden have got your back—so let’s get started!
History of Da Nang Airport
Da Nang’s airport has been around since the 1930’s and holds an exciting past. Over the years, it has had multiple uses and has been occupied by several countries who used it as a military base.
Originally called Tourane Airport, the French government built the facility for civilian use in the 1930’s. However, during World War ll the Japanese occupied French Indochina and the Japanese Air Force used the area as a military airbase. For nearly ten years from 1945 to 1954 the French Air Force used the airport during the French Indochina War. They renovated the space in 1954 and placed a NATO-standard 2,400 metre asphalt runway. When the Vietnam War began, the airport was known as the Da Nang Air Base. A substantial military base for the United States during the war which they expanded to 2,350 acres, along with two 3,048 metre asphalt runways with concrete touchdown pads, parallel taxiways and a heliport.
Nowadays with the wars far behind Vietnam, Da Nang Airport is once again a major airport within the country. In 2011 the airport expanded to a second terminal to relieve some of the pressure and to adequately accommodate the increasing traffic it was receiving. Most recently a new international terminal opened its doors in May of 2017, designed with the capacity of six million passengers per year. The airport is only getting better with age and continues to welcome more and more passengers each year.
Visa on Arrival
The Vietnam Visa on Arrival process is easy and available for travellers who are entering the country by air. Fill out your application online ahead of time on the Vietnam government website with your arrival date and airport you will fly into. You then pay your visa fee, and within two business days, you should receive your digital approval letter. Once you have received your letter, make sure to print it out and have it ready, along with the other required documents for when you arrive in the country.
When you enter the main hall of the airport, make your way straight over to the Vietnam Visa on Arrival counter. Hand in your passport, entry-exit form, two passport photos, and the print out of your approval letter. Here you will have to pay a stamping fee for your letter with cash in USD. It’s essential that you have your money ready beforehand as there’s no ATM in the Visa on Arrival area. The cost of the approval letter and stamping fee vary, so make sure to refer to this for the most up-to-date amounts.
Hidden Hint: Pay attention to the expiry date on your passport. You need a minimum of six months validity to receive the visa for Vietnam, and the passport photo you provide can not be more than six-months-old either.
Terminals at Da Nang Airport
Both terminals come equipped with the necessities to survive your airport experience, including restaurants and cafes, free drinking water, mobile charging, WiFi, ATM and banking services, lounges, baby change rooms, and currency exchange. Furthermore, they also offer a variety of extra services such as baggage wrapping, a smoking room, tax refund, tourist information, local SIM cards, car rental, hotel and tour bookings, along with free trolleys. It’s worth mentioning that the two terminals are located a 10-minute walk from each other. If you need to catch a connecting flight in the other terminal, you’re required to exit the arrivals hall and take the covered corridor outside to change terminals. To stay up to date and see a live stream of flights arriving and departing from the airport click here.
Terminal 1 Domestic
The Domestic terminal is made up of three floors, although the middle floor is restricted airline office space. The ground floor houses arrivals and some limited amenities including cafes, SIM card services and money exchanges. The top level is made up of check-in counters, security checks, and departure gates. This can be accessed by lift from the car park and a drive-through drop off.
Hidden Hint: Motorcycles are not permitted to use the raised road to drop off at departures at either terminal.
Cafes, shops, and restaurants at the domestic terminal are currently undergoing development, but there are adequate options for a drink or a quick bite, especially as that the longest domestic flight from Da Nang is the hour and a half route to Ho Chi Minh City.
The airlines that fly in and out of the Domestic terminal are Vietnam Airlines, VietJet Air, VASCO, and Jetstar Pacific. The most popular domestic flights are to the bigger cities of Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.
Terminal 2 International
Da Nang’s International Terminal is a four-level facility considered to be one of the best in Vietnam. The ground level consists of a baggage claim, arrival and immigration, visa on arrival, customs, gates, gate lounges, and lost and found, as well as some amenities such as SIM card services, restaurants, and souvenir shops. The second floor houses the arrival corridors and gate lounges. The third is departures and holds 44 check-in counters, departures immigrations, customs and security checks. Lastly, the fourth floor contains the lounges, including green lounge and CIP orchid lounge. Baby change rooms and toilets are available on the first three levels.
International airlines that have routes through Da Nang include Air Asia, Air Busan, Air Macau, Air Seoul, Asiana Airlines, Bangkok Airways, Beijing Capital Airlines, Cambodia Angkor Air, Cathay Dragon, China Eastern Airlines, Eastar Jet, Hainan Airlines, HK Express, Jeju Air, Jetstar Asia Airways, Jetstar Pacific, Jin Air, Korean Air, Loong Air, Okay Airways, Qatar Airways, Sichuan Airlines, Silkair, Thai AirAsia, Thai Vietjet Air, and T’way Airlines. The most popular international flights are to Seoul, Busan and Hong Kong.
Hidden Hint: When claiming your baggage remember to hold on to your baggage tag. Da Nang airport is one of the few airports that check if your tag matches with the one on your bag as you’re leaving.
Amenities at the Da Nang airport
Unlike some airports around the world where you feel like you have to sign away your first-born child to gain access to the internet, here at Da Nang Airport it’s incredibly easy. Free connection is available for any device with wifi capabilities. First, connect to “Maltairport Wi-Fi” on your device, then open a session in your browser and agree to the terms and conditions—and voila! All the cafes at the airport have free Wi-Fi as well.
Food and Drink
Each terminal has a variety of food and drinks to choose from. Local food including pho and banh mi, fast food chains, multiple cafes, and restaurants are scattered throughout the airport. It’s worth mentioning that you should be prepared to pay regular international airport prices for food and beverages—things aren’t cheap!
If you’re after some duty-free goods, both terminals have Lotte and Alux duty-free shops located in the departures area. There you’ll be able to find an array of spirits, cigarettes and cigars, perfumes, cosmetics, and sweets. Gift shops are also spread out on the first and second floors, selling anything from handicraft souvenirs to local tea and coffee. There even is a mini-mart in the gate lounge of the International terminal full of snacks and softs drinks.
Money Exchange and ATMs
Whether you want to exchange your funds to Vietnamese Dong or another currency, you’ll be able to find money exchange counters located at both terminals in the arrivals hall. If you’re flying domestic, another option is to head to the Demen coffee shop on the exterior wall of the domestic terminal where they offer money exchange at a fair price. It’s open from 6 am to 11 pm, so it’s an excellent late arrival option. ATMs are also available, with the international terminal providing BIDV, Agribank and Vietin Bank, while the domestic terminal has Techcom bank, Vietcom bank, and Seabank.
When travelling to a new country, a great way to move as the locals do is to get a Vietnam SIM card upon arrival. On the ground floor of Da Nang Airport, there are some kiosks to purchase a SIM card from–all you need is an unlocked phone and your passport. Viettel, Vinaphone, Mobiphone, and Vietnamobile are the four common mobile providers to choose from. Prices don’t differ too much from provider to provider, and a monthly package will cost you roughly 10,000 VND (0.40 USD) for 50MB to 500,000 VND (21.50 USD) for 30GB, depending on the provider. If you’re planning on travelling all over Vietnam, then Viettel is your best bet, as it has the best coverage overall, even in remote places of the country.
Hidden Hint: Make sure the vendor registers your SIM card. If your card isn’t registered, you’re at risk for it to be shut down without warning and you will lose all your credit allowances. All you need to provide for registration is your passport.
Want to relax and treat yourself before your flight? Or maybe you want to hunker down and get some work down? Either way, both terminals offer lounges for your use. Regardless of your airline or ticket class, every passenger has access to these facilities at a reasonable price.
The Domestic Terminal lounge will set you back 360.000 VND (15.50 USD) and will provide you with charging stations, massage chairs, newspapers and magazines, as well as food and drinks.
The International Terminal lounge costs 575,000 VND (25 USD) for adults, 253,000 VND (11 USD) for kids, and is free for children under 2-years-old. The space aims to be more like a boutique hotel or a private club rather than a shared lounge. Inside the lounge, you’ll find comfortable seats, a buffet of food and drinks, showers, massage chairs, workstations with iMacs and all necessary amenities, nap boxes with televisions, as well as newspapers and magazines.
Parking is located directly across from the terminal building and is available for cars, motorbikes and bicycles. The parking lot is open 24 hours a day, with both short and long-term parking options offered at varying costs. For details on prices, it’s best to refer here. CCTV is used in the lot, as well as automatic number plate recognition technology, giving you peace of mind when leaving your vehicle for longer periods. Payment can be made at the payment machines at the barrier when exiting with debit or card or at the entry to the car park with debit or card.
Transportation to Da Nang City and Hoi An
Da Nang Airport to Hoi An
With Hoi An situated only 30 kilometres from Da Nang Airport, it’s a relatively quick and easy trip! The journey can take anywhere from 45 to 90 minutes, depending on your choice of transport. There are a number of transport options to choose from, including private car, Hoi An Express Airport shuttle, Grab, local bus, tourist bus, and motorbike taxi. To get all the details about transport options and which is right for you, make sure to read “How to get from Da Nang to Hoi An.”
Metered taxi – 450,000 to 600,000 VND (20 to 26 USD)
Hoi An Express Airport shuttle – 111,000 VND (5 USD)
Private car – 320,000 – 1 million VND (14 to 43 USD) depending on car/van size
Grab – GrabCar: 350,000 to 450,000 VND (15 to 20 USD); GrabBike: 117,000 VND (5 USD)
Local bus – 20,000 VND (.85 USD) per person
Tourist bus – 80,000 to 100,000 VND (4 to 5 USD)
Da Nang Airport to Da Nang City
Da Nang Airport is a city airport and is conveniently located just two kilometres from the city centre. This makes it incredibly easy for travellers to get around. It’s possible to hop in a taxi, Grab, or arrange a private car, but the cheapest option would be to catch a motorcycle taxi if you’re light on luggage.
Metered taxi – 60,000 VND (2.5 USD)
Grab – GrabCar: 45,000 VND (2 USD); GrabBike: 18,000 VND (0.80c USD)
Hidden Hint: There can be cars hanging around the parking lot and taxi areas offering you Grab service, but always order the car through the app. You’ll find that the app will give you the license plate number of your Grab vehicle to avoid any confusion.
Many travellers initially assume it’s best to fly in and out of the larger airports of either Saigon or Hanoi. But, the third not well-known option, Da Nang International Airport, could be your best bet as it holds all of the modern necessities, but without all the chaos. The airport is less crowded so offers a more relaxed experience than the others—particularly useful for older travellers or those with young families. In fact, it’s a good option for anyone who wants to skip a potentially hectic experience.
Another advantage to entering the country from Da Nang is that you can begin your trip roughly in the middle of Vietnam, within close distance of two popular tourist hotspots—Hue and Hoi An. Although Hue does have an airport, flights are usually much cheaper from Da Nang, and the land travel to Hue via the Hai Van Pass is a popular alternative. Everything considered flying into Da Nang International Airport is a solid choice and you now have all the information you need to make your experience as enjoyable as possible.