Earlier this week, Vietnam’s first private airport – Van Don International Airport – opened up in Quang Ninh, roughly 30 miles away from Vietnam’s beautiful stretch of over a thousand islands in Ha Long Bay.

This airport makes traveling to Vietnam’s popular tourist attractions so much easier (and cheaper) than ever before – Not only due to its proximity to the breathtaking stretch of coast, but according to Vietnam Net, the airport is also offering free tickets to local tourist attractions, including ones in Ha Long Bay.

ti top island

The view from the top of Ti Top Island. Photo: Courtesy of Alexander Boss/Flickr

And according to Lonely Planet, there are also two more new projects on the way. The Ha Long Van Don Highway which is designed to shorten the commute from Van Don Airport to Ha Long City, and Ha Long International Cruise Port in Ha Long City which will be capable of fitting two cruise ships at the same time, with a total of 8,460 passengers.

The plethora of caves and islands located in Ha Long Bay are what makes it such a gem. Be sure to check out the Dau Co Cave, Sung Sot Cave, Ti Top Island and everything else Quang Ninh Province has to offer.

Hang Dau Go. Photo: Courtesy of Davidlohr Bueso/Flickr

Dau Co Cave and Sung Sot Cave are filled with a variety of unique cave formations that are illuminated by colorful lights and accompanied by designated walking paths and paddle zones – Making it one of the coolest caving experiences in the world. (And don’t forget about the famous Kissing Rocks.)

ha long bay

The Kissing Rocks on a cloudy Ha Long day … Photo: Courtesy of Eddy Milfort/Flickr

Vietnam’s tourism industry is expanding at rapid speeds, so it goes without saying that these hidden gems are unlikely to remain “hidden” for much longer.

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