Named after a village in Vietnam, Tan Son Nhat International Airport is only 8 kilometres to Ho Chi Minh City centre, that is how its nickname 'Ho Chi Minh City Airport' came about. Sprawled on 1,977 acres of land, it is the largest airport by size in old-Saigon. Once a military base, it played a prominent role in the notorious Vietnam War, labelling it that era’s busiest airbase in the world.
Today, the airport serves millions of passengers from all over the world marching through its newly-expanded terminal buildings. The expansion project has increased the airport’s total capacity to 20 million passengers per year. As it’s sitting in the middle of condensed Ho Chi Minh City, further expansion works are deemed improbable. Moving forward, Long Thanh International Airport will be constructed in the near future, to replace the current international airport.
Ho Chi Minh City Airport has two terminals – domestic and international. More than 30 airlines are operating domestic and international flights from this airport. As the two terminal buildings are within walking distance from each other, no shuttle bus service is available as yet. Just turn left after exiting the domestic terminal, to get to International Terminal 2. It’s practical to have luggage bags with wheels, looking at the amount of walking you’ll be doing. You can also use the airport’s trolleys if you can get hold of one.
Services and Facilities
The amenities at Ho Chi Minh City Airport are basic. An information help desk is strategically placed outside the domestic terminal building, and one on the ground floor of the International arrival hall. You’ll also find a tourist information counter at the arrival hall.
Auto-mated teller machines and currency exchange counters are easily spotted throughout the airport. A baggage storage facility is offered at a small hourly rate, with no time limit. Internet is only available in Business lounge. You can purchase per entry passes to lounges with Wi-Fi and shower facilities, and a small selection of refreshments and grub.
Some of the lounge passes are only purchasable in blocks of 3 and 5 hours, so it might be economical to stay at a hotel if you have more than 7 hours till your next flight, plus you get to see a little of Ho Chi Minh. Though there are no hotels at the airport, most hotels in District 1 are about 20 minutes away in off-peak hour traffic. The airport charges an exit-toll fee, and your taxi driver will add that to the taxi fare.
IMPORTANT! Information is correct as of 07 July 2014 and is subject to change. Please always check Ho Chi Minh City Airport website for the latest update of the following information.