Part of travelling around on a tight budget will be all sorts of way to save money, one of which will be sleeping in airports. I was actually looking forward to the experience and see how is it like to sleep in an airport.
Noi Bai International Airport
I left Manila late in the evening and arrived in Noi Bai International Airport Terminal 2 in Hanoi at 12:45am local time. I decided to just stay there until the first bus going to Hanoi arrives which is around 6:00am and riding a taxi is not an option for me.
Noi Bai International Airport is the biggest airport in northern Vietnam, which serves the capital city of Hanoi. The airport is located 45 kilometers from the city center. The new International Terminal 2 opened at the end of 2014. The new terminal offers 96 check-in counters, ten self-service kiosks, 17 boarding gates and 283 flight information display systems. The airport terminal provides various services, shopping, dining, currency exchange, ATMs and transportation options (Source: http://www.hanoiairportonline.com/)
When I arrived in the airport, almost all the shops are already closed except for an information center and 2 currency exchange. After getting through immigration, I headed downstairs to collect my baggage. There’s not much to see in the arrival area, so I started to look for a spot where I can stay the night. I was surprised when I found out there were NO OUTLETS in the floor I was staying. I actually did not bother go up and check the other floors where you will find a sleeping pod. This is a good option if you want an uninterrupted sleep inside the airport. You can check them out here.
What I like about this airport is that I am not alone sleeping in the airport. I found other travelers and even locals sleeping in the benches inside the arrival area. Maybe trying to save a couple of bucks as well. Oh and did I mention they have very fast free internet? Coming from the Philippines, we don’t really have fast internet back home which sucks. During my stay in the airport, I was able to finish downloading movies and series to watch during this trip. Thank good I finish everything before my laptop battery died! Whew!
Da Nang International Aiport
I took a 4:00pm bus from Hoi An back to Da Nang and arrived a little before 5:00pm. My flight to Ho Chi Minh is not until 7:50am the next day. Because of the early flight (No online check-in for this Jetstar flight) and having history of being left by the plane, I decided to just stay in the airport for the night.
Da Nang International Airport is the third busiest airport in Vietnam. It is an important transportation hub in the central region. The airport is located 2 km from the city center. The new terminal building opened at the end of 2011 offering travelers modern facilities and a wide range of airport services, including many shopping and dining venues. (Source: http://www.danangairportonline.com/)
Stayed at a nearby coffee shop to kill time which is 10 minutes away from the airport by taxi. I arrived at the airport before 11:00pm, there were still flights leaving Da Nang and it was still busy at that time. The departure area before the checked-in area is pretty basic, there were few benches and stores. Found a free bench and decided to settle down together with my things. I was still awake up until around 1:00am and started to dooze off when all the passengers already boarded and the maintenance started to clean the area. At maybe around 2:30am, a guy maybe a security, woke me up said that we are not allowed inside. I told him I have a flight this morning, he said I have to wait outside. So I gathered all my stuff and headed to the nearby exit.
So there I was outside the entrance, not sleepy anymore. I just decided to wait until they let me back in. When I checked the flight information display, the first flight will be at 6:10am. At around 4:00am they opened the doors and I was able to go back in. I washed up a little in the restroom before checking-in. At this moment I am haggard, malagkit and pagoda tragedy! The only time I was able to sleep, more like nap, was during the short flight to Ho Chi Minh.
To everyone who is planning to stay in Da Nang Airport, I suggest just get a room near the airport and just spend a night there. Well unless you also want to experience what happened to me.
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