Hanoi Noi Bai International Airport is the largest airport in northern Vietnam, serving the capital of the country. It is located 45 Km from the city centre, (40 minutes’ drive). It counts with two terminals, the T1 that handles domestic flights and the latest one, opened in 2014, which handles international ones.
The airport handled over 20 million passengers in 2016, (19% increase over previous year). This is a 20% of what Heathrow handles and over 15m less than El Dorado Airport in Bogota.
Many different air carriers now operate from this airport, including Vietnam Airlines, my airline of the day. The airport offers all standard services, including shopping, dining and ATMs
My Experience Arriving:
Upon arrival in Hanoi, immigration was super straightforward, I had free visa stay for up to 15 days, which was nice, speedy and super easy. No crowds whatsoever so the process was very smooth. My baggage already there waiting for me at the baggage belt as usual (I remind you I am always the latest passengers to hang out airports so no surprise). I found the facilities pristine and comfortable to wander around.
Also, importantly easy to get a sim card with data on arrival, I got mine for only 250000 kip for 10GB data.
I had checked online for bus services to the city center, and it seems to have a service operating every 30 minutes for 10000 Kip (less than 50p), however, this service was nowhere to be seen when I left the exit hall. No signals, no boards, no airport staff knew how to direct me to bus stop either. Hitomi, my new friend from Japan and myself were a bit lost for a while, until 15 minutes later we managed to find a van service for 100000 kip (£3.5) for a shared ride to the city, which ended up being not too bad (Despite the fact that we had to wait for the van to fill up with other arriving passengers). Still very disappointed about the airport lack of appropriate signals.
Departing (Domestic terminal)
As a good airport should always have, this one had free WiFi, which is always well appreciated for short time travellers like me. However, they need to fix the language barrier when logging is requested. Something they must improve.
Airport security checks were quick and efficient at all times.
Facilities looked pretty shiny clean to me, very spacious, although extremely limited amenities for dining or hot drinks. There is an airport lounge which seems to be nice, but I did not get to experience it, maybe it more worth to experience for longer visits.
To sum up, clean but in need of increasing passenger’s facilities.
My Hanoi Airport Rating: (1*-5*)
- Airport Facilities **
- Friendliness of airport staff *****
- Signs **
- Passport Control *****
- Cleanliness *****
“An airport carpet can tell you everything about its surroundings”
Love from Jenny