The closest airport is in Pleiku (PXU), 48 kilometres south of Kon Tum. Local buses in the form of large minivans blaze the journey in as little as an hour.
As of November 2015, Pleiku is serviced by domestic flights from Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi. After being closed for renovations, the airport reopened October 2015 with a facilities upgrade and expanded runway to accommodate larger aircraft, so it’s likely more flights will be added in the future.
Ho Chi Minh City (Vietnam Airlines, VietJet Air, Jetstar)
Hanoi (Vietnam Airlines, VietJet)
There is no train station in Kon Tum.
The bus station is located two kilometres northwest of the town centre, on Phan Dinh Phung Road. Some routes are serviced by small companies that utilise minivans or minibuses and a foreigner surcharge comes into effect. While it is standard for bus companies to sometimes charge US$2 extra for luggage or big backpacks, foreigners may be forced to pay double the local rate for the same seat. All prices listed here are regular local rates.
Minh Quoc bus company has a booth at the bus station, as well as a booking office/depot in the town centre at 647 Nguyen Hue, T: (0603) 855 855, minhquockontum.com.
They service the following destinations:
HCMC: departs at 15:00, 16:30, 17:00, 17:30, 17:45. Costs 270,000-290,000 dong and takes 12 hours.
Da Nang: departs at 19:30, 20:30. Costs 180,000 dong.
Qui Nhon: departs at 06:40, 07:40, 09:00. Costs 90,000 dong.
Hue: departs at 19:30. Costs 210,000 dong.
All other bus companies, sample destinations and schedule:
Hue: departs at 07:30. Costs 220,000 dong and takes 9 hours.
Buon Ma Thuot: departs regularly from 04:00-17:00. Costs 200,000 and takes 6.5 hours.
Quang Ngai: departs at 06:30 and 12:30. Costs 150,000 dong and takes 5 hours.
Nha Trang: departs at 18:00. Costs 240,000 dong and takes 10.5 hours.
Da Lat: departs at 05:30, 15:30. Costs 220,000 dong and takes 12 hours.
HCMC: departs 16:30, 17:00, 17:30, 18:00. Costs 270,000 dong and takes 12 hours.
Hanoi: departs at 12:30. Costs 570,000 dong and takes 24 hours.
Minivans to Pleiku depart hourly, all day from 05:00 to 17:00, 25,000 dong. Bus may wait or drive around town until they get enough people before actually departing. They can be flagged down anywhere on Phan Dinh Phung Rd between the bus station and the bridge. Taking it from the bus station will give you a chance at claiming a comfortable seat – though ultimately the bossy ticket taker may order you to change seats.
Bo Y/Phou Keua Vietnamese/Lao border
The Bo Y, Vietnam and Phou Keua, Laos border is 82 kilometres northwest of Kon Tum. This border will connect you with Attapeu, Laos. Dien Hong Bus Company services the route to Attapeu and Pakse. The bus departs from Pleiku and though there is no regularly scheduled stop in Kon Tum, simply call the bus company at T: 0989 122 122 in advance and they will pick you up from your hotel/location in Kon Tum en route. Pick up times in Kon Tum would be the following:
Attapeu: departs at 07:45, 09:00, 09:30. Costs 120,000 dong and takes 5 hours.
Pakse: departs at 07:45, 09:00, 09:30. Costs 260,000 dong and takes 12 hours.
Lao visa on arrival is available to foreigners at the Bo Y/Phou Keua border.
The bus waits for passengers to cross and continues on the Lao side.
Metered taxis are available. Sometimes it is difficult to come across one past 20:00 or if you are outside the town centre. Your hotel can always call one and they’ll pick you up at your location at no extra charge. Mai Linh Taxi, T: (060) 3838 3838.
Hotels rent motorbikes for around 150,000 dong per day. Bicycles are not readily available though the town is flat, and the relatively calm streets and surrounding countryside would be great for cycling.