AirAsia is flying directly to two popular Asean destinations from Penang – bringing the popular Malaysian state closer to Hanoi in Vietnam and Phuket in Thailand. Starting from July 1, flights to Hanoi will operate four times weekly while flights to Phuket will operate daily.
AirAsia Malaysia commercial head Spencer Lee said Penang is a great tourism hub due to its Unesco World Heritage status, vibrant cultures and beautiful architecture.
“More importantly, its strategic location at the crossroads in the region has helped boost the growing inbound and outbound travel demand that saw seven million tourist arrivals via air travel last year,” he said.
Lee added that the new routes will improve the tourism sector in the region. “We are positive that the latest routes will significantly contribute to the tourism sectors of all three countries to become a desirable tourism region for travellers across the world,” he said.
Hanoi is one of Vietnam’s main cultural centres and is steeped in rich history. The capital city boasts a bustling yet laid back atmosphere with attractions easily explored on foot such as the Hoan Kiem Lake with its famous red bridge that will lead you to the Ngoc Son or Temple of Jade Mountain located on Jade Island.
Travellers can soak up the emerald green beauty of Halong Bay that is made up of over 3,000 limestone islets and home to caves and grottos as well as fishing villages.
The picturesque town of Sapa in the north also awaits travellers with its rugged scenery of rice terraces and lush greenery popular for mountain trails or cycling expeditions. In addition to Sapa, travellers can also opt for other parts of northern Vietnam such as Son La and Bac Ha.
Meanwhile, Phuket is more than Patong’s endless beach umbrellas and Soi Bangla’s nightlife. There are several beautiful beaches, breathtaking viewpoints, and both relaxing and extreme activities to fill your itinerary.
A winding road leads to the top of Nakkerd Hill, where the Big Buddha marble statue looks over the island. Then, move into the interior of Old Phuket Town for a walking tour of this once-neglected district.
Also, don’t miss the islands of Phang Nga Bay. Whether paddling into lagoons within limestone cliffs on a kayak or taking a speedboat tour of James Bond Island and the village-on-stilts Koh Panyee, you’re bound to have a memorable day cruising around these dreamy islands.