Flight to Ho Chi Minh City

Cam Ranh Travel Blog

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The new road to Cam Ranh Bay

Ken dropped me off in front of the terminal building at the old Nha Trang Airport on the south side of town. The airport closed to commercial traffic about a year ago and the city now uses the larger airport at Cam Ranh Bay, about twenty miles down the coast. Both airports were constructed by the Americans during the war. The Russian-built MI 8 helicopter that I had seen circling Nha Trang the past few days sat parked on the ramp, the only aircraft on the field. A security guard shouted "No!" when I went to take a picture of it. After half an hour, the shuttle bus to Cam Ranh boarded.


A new four-lane highway contained little or no traffic and made the wide route seem out of place compared to the busy streets of town and the two-lane highway leading into it.

Dong ba Thin across the bay, sugar mill smoke stack just visible
The half hour ride was scenic, hugging green hills and the rocky shoreline of the deep blue South China Sea. The route straightened upon reaching the white sands and low green scrub of Cam Ranh Bay. Some of the buildings from the old U.S. Air Force base stand eerily weathered and neglected, others cleaned and painted fresh, including the terminal.


Vietnam Airlines flight VN 337 to Ho Chi Minh City cost $41.50. A light rain fell as our French-built ATR turboprop departed. On take-off, I could see across the narrow bay to Dong ba Thin and the sugar mill - its stack still billowing white smoke. Enroute, glimpses of hilly ground between white clouds brought back more familiar sights of Vietnam; scattered villages and green tropical foliage speckled with patches of red clay earth. But no green or red tracers arced skyward on this flight...


The hour flight saved eleven sitting on a bus. Saigon traffic was heavy and the fixed-price $6 taxi took more than an hour to reach District 1. I checked into the Hau Guesthouse where I had stayed last month. The price had increased to $17 a night.


Upon starting up my laptop, its screen went black with a list of re-start options but each failed. I felt like I was downstream and just lost my paddle.

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The new road to Cam Ranh Bay
The new road to Cam Ranh Bay
Dong ba Thin across the bay, sugar…
Dong ba Thin across the bay, suga…
Cam Ranh
photo by: rotorhead85