Asia Pacific Travel Team
Hue City will offer free entrance tickets to Vietnamese visitors at its imperial palace and monuments on National Day (September 2), according to Dr.Phan Thanh Hai, director of the Hue Monuments Conservation Center.
Accordingly, visitors touring the Imperial Palace and Minh Mang and Khai Dinh tombs will receive free entrance at the Thieu Tri tomb and An Dinh palace.
Besides, visitors to Tu Dinh will be taken to Gia Long and Thieu Tri tombs, Hon Chen temple and An Dinh palace for free.
Groups of up to 20 visitors will enjoy guided tours free-of-charge, 10-30 percent discount on ceremonial music performances, photos and electric car services, among others.
On the day, the “Golden Tourism Week at Hue Heritage Site” promotional program will be kicked off and run until September 8.
On the occasion, the Hue Monuments Conservation Center will open two exhibitions on Vietnamese doctors under feudal dynasties and national spirit in poetry at Thai Hoa palace.
Only 100 km from Hanoi, Ba Khan is a new destination in Hoa Binh province.This site is also suitable for sightseeings,excursions or picnics in the summer days.
The central province of Thua Thien-Hue welcomed over 2.1 million tourists in the past eight months of this year, including 735,900 foreigners, up 1.32% compared to the same period last year.
These tourists added to the locality’s tourism industry revenue over VND1.88 trillion (about US$85 million), a year-on-year increase of 4.18%.
Notably, the world’s third largest cruise ship Voyager of the Seas carrying more than 3,600 passengers docked at Chan May Port in the locality in August for the first time.
Currently, the Chan May port is increasing its wharf from 310m to 360m with the aim to serve 13 ships with about 30,000 tourists from now to the year-end.
The province plans to launch air routes connecting Hue city with other localities in the region as well as intensify internal and external collaboration and promotion activities to boost tourism.
The Hue Monuments Conservation Centre will offer a variety of promotions to visitors during the third Golden Tourism Week in 2015, which is running from September 2-9.
The Tourism Week event is expected to attract about 2 million tourists to Hue ancient imperial relic sites.
Pleiku Airport in the Central Highlands province of Gia Lai will be reopened from 12am on September 1 as stipulated in Decision No. 3106 of the Ministry of Transport.
Earlier, flights to and from Pleiku Airport were halted from March 15, 2015 as the airport’s major facilities were being upgraded to be capable of receiving larger aircrafts.
The two-phase upgrade project began last September at a cost of VND945 billion (US$43.3 million). In its second phase, the airport was closed temporarily for over six months due to construction works on its runway.
The runway was enlarged from 36 metres in width to 45 metres and from 1,830 metres in length to 2,400 metres in order to accommodate A321, Boeing 737 and other aircrafts of the same size.
In addition, the terminal was renovated to serve up to 600 passengers during peak time.
At present, only the national flag carrier Vietnam Airlines is using the airport, with flights arriving from Ha Noi, Da Nang and Ho Chi Minh City.
In the future, two low-cost airlines VietJet Air and Jetstar Pacific will also operate services to and from the airport.
It takes approximately 30 minutes by motorbikes from Phan Rang to Nam Cuong sand hill. This is still a new tourists’ attraction which little people know about. Until now, Nam Cuong sand hill has never been properly invested in.
Coming to Nam Cuong, tourists will see many layers of sand queued up, overwhelming their sight as a talented placement work of the country of sun and wind. From the towering hills, visitors can zoom their eyes out of the blue Dong Hai Sea and Cha Bang mountains located on the southwest known as the legendary mountain of the Cham ethnic.
The most beautiful moment to contemplate the sand dunes is at the dawn when sunshine spreads on sandy grassland make the class stands out "color resolution" into bright and dark, then gradually flushed into a light orange color.
One of the interesting things of Nam Cuong sand hill is "changing the appearance" every hour, every day. Coming to the sand dunes in the windy day, visitors will have a chance to witness the continuous and surprisingly fast transformation of sand dunes. Taking steps by steps on the sand hill, the tourists can feel the gentleness of tiny grain of sand, seemed to embrace their foot.
Original Nam Cuong dunes associated with the life inside the village of Cham ethnic. In ancient times, people here do fishery. The queues following one another go across the sand towards the sea in the beginning of the day.
Nam Cuong sand hills attracted the travelers chiefly by untouched beauty. Nam Cuong still retains their wild characters. Thus, tourists from afar come here to enjoy the unique excitement of nature in this coast.
A series of cultural and tourism events is taking place in Mu Cang Chai District in the northern province of Yen Bai, celebrating the region's beautiful terraced landscapes and rich ethnic cultures.
Themed Mua Vang Tren Non (Golden Season in the Mountains), the events are aimed at strengthening tourism connections in the northwest of Viet Nam.
These events will also mark World Tourism Day (September 27) and the 57th anniversary of the founding of Mu Cang Chai District (October 18).
Activities include a music contest featuring the traditional bamboo instrument known as the khe‘n, paragliding, highland markets, documentary films about Yen Bai, a photo exhibition on Mu Cang Chai's terraced golden rice fields and goat fighting.
The events will run until September 30.
A geological park featuring the largest volcanic cavern system in Southeast Asia is expected to open in 2016 in the Central Highlands province of Dak Nong.
Bui Quang Mich, Deputy Head of the provincial Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism, said on August 26 that his department is joining with relevant agencies in Krong No district to implement the project.
Efforts are focusing on studying geological structures, bio-diversity and heritage potential in line with the criteria set by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) as well as proposing solutions for the management, planning and sustainable exploitation of the park.
The agencies are also compiling a dossier on the park to seek national and global standards, thus helping realise its objectives of heritage preservation, public awareness improvement and sustainable socio-economic development.
The volcanic cavern system was discovered by a group of Vietnamese and Japanese scientists in Krong No district’s Choah village in 2014 and has since been declared as beautiful as the Manjanggul Lava Cave – a UNESCO heritage site in the Republic of Korea.
The system, which resulted from a volcanic eruption process that took place millions of years ago, is the first to have been discovered in Viet Nam.
Located along the Serepok River, the system includes 12 volcanic caves, three of which have been studied and the largest measures 1,066 metres, making it the longest volcanic cave in Southeast Asia.
Krong No and the adjacent areas boast diverse and unique geological identities, magnificent landscapes, preservation areas, special-use forests and special traditional culture.
With such advantages, the park is expected to help Dak Nong attract more domestic and foreign tourists, boosting the locality’s socio-economic development.
Chinese visitor arrivals in central Vietnam have significantly recovered following a sharp slide more than one year ago when China illegally placed a giant oil rig in Vietnam’s waters in the East Sea.
Danang, Khanh Hoa and Binh Thuan have welcomed more Chinese tourists this year. Compared to the other two provinces, Danang has attracted more Chinese visitors as more than 30 weekly flights from Chinese cities, Hong Kong and Macao bring around 4,500 tourists to the central coast city a week.
China is a major source of visitors for Danang’s tourism sector, said Tran Chi Cuong, deputy director of the Danang Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism. “Chinese arrivals in Danang have recovered fast since the incident in the East Sea last year. We expect more flights linking Danang and China at the end of this year.”
Local travel firms said Danang has many resorts offering services that match the Chinese’s needs and travel companies in the central coastal city have gained much experience in wooing tourists from China and arranging chartered flights to carry them to Danang.
Chinese tourists visit not only Danang but also neighboring places of interest like Quang Nam Province and Thua Thien-Hue Province’s Hue City.
As a new destination in central Vietnam for Chinese travelers, Khanh Hoa has lured the second largest number of Chinese visitors to the region after Danang. Chinese partners consider Khanh Hoa a potential venue for their guests.
Statistics of the Khanh Hoa Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism showed hotels in the province served more than 8,200 Chinese in June this year, over ten times higher than in June last year. In the first half of this year, the province attracted 44,583 Chinese travelers, up a staggering 135% compared to the same period last year.
Tu Quy Thanh, director of Lien Bang Travelink Company, said Chinese tourists love beaches, and that Danang and Khanh Hoa are attractive to them in terms of scenery and geographical location.
Thanh said the company has introduced other coastal destinations in Vietnam including Phu Quoc Island off mainland Kien Giang Province to Chinese partners but they have shown little interest as it takes longer time to travel there.
In Binh Thuan, Chinese tourists have helped many resorts of three to five-star rankings cushion the impact of the drastic fall in Russian arrivals, which results from the rouble dip against the U.S. dollar.
Le Minh Chinh, director of the Binh Thuan Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism, said the number of Chinese tourists started to bounce back in April 2015 and most of them are guests of the chartered flights landing at Cam Ranh International Airport in Khanh Hoa Province.
The first seven months of this year saw 35,631 Chinese visiting Binh Thuan, accounting for 13.8% of total international arrivals in the province in which Mui Ne beaches are lined with a large number of resorts.
Ganh Da Dia, which means Sea Cliff of Stone Plates, is a seashore area of uniformly interlocking basalt rock columns located along the coast in An Ninh Dong Commune, Tuy An District, Phu Yen Province in central Vietnam.
The area is about 100 meters wide and 250 meters long, composed of an estimated 35,000 columns of basalt rocks. The rocks are dark lava columns with roughly flat surfaces of different shapes - round, pentagon, hexagon, polygon...
Ganh Da Dia looks like a gigantic beehive or pile of dinner plates, hence the name.
The rock columns were created from volcanic eruptions millions of years ago; when the molten basalt flows met cold water, they solidified and created polygonal formations due to thermal contraction.
Ganh Da Dia was listed as a National Heritage site in January 1998 by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism.
The traditional Bat Trang ceramic village in Gia Lam district, Hanoi, which has undergone 800 years of development, has affirmed its position and brand name in domestic and foreign markets.
Bat Trang ceramics are a pride of Hanoi. In 2011, the municipal People’s Committee approved a detailed plan to preserve and develop the craft village in connection with tourism development.
A market to introduce Bat Trang ceramic products was also established, helping to intensify craft village promotion. The market has become an ideal shopping destination for foreign visitors.
From the end of the Tran Dynasty to the beginning of the Nguyen Dynasty, a large quantity of Bat Trang potteries were shipped to Japan, Malaysia, Thailand, Spain, Portugal, Holland, the UK and France.
In recent years, the village has greeted over 10,000 international tourists and more than 50,000 Vietnamese tourists per year.
However, artisans in the traditional craft village are facing difficulties in seeking markets for their products, especially foreign markets.
According to Ha Van Lam, a representative of the Bat Trang craft village, about 80-85% of local products were exported to foreign markets in 1990-2000 but the figure dropped remarkably after 2005.
The situation is attributed to economic recession, slow renovation in improving product models, severe competition in the markets and unprofessional operations of local households and businesses.
In such a context, municipal authorities and local residents have been making every effort to recover the long-standing craft village.
Famous local artisans create ceramic products bearing their personal stamp which are attractive to a great number of customers.
Local pottery makers are focusing on expanding domestic markets while seeking foreign partners.
Additionally, they are also paying attention to applying new production technologies, innovating models and improving the quality of their products in order to meet the increasingly demanding requirements of customers.
According to statistics from Bat Trang commune, the locality’s annual revenue from the ceramic industry reaches nearly VND400 billion (US$18.34 million), contributing substantially to local socio-economic development.
In order to promote the development of the craft village, a specific direction and more support from municipal authorities and relevant agencies are needed.