Asia Pacific Travel Team
About 80km to the south of Ha Noi, Van Long Lagoon (Gia Vien District, Ninh Binh Province) is an attractive tourist site, especially at weekends. To Van Long, visitors will have the opportunity to admire charming natural landscapes and discover the typical wetland ecosystem in the Red River Delta.
With an area of 3,500ha, Van Long is the largest wetland natural reserve in Red River Delta and is considered as “Waveless bay” with tranquil water surface like a giant mirror reflecting spectacular natural sceneries. Here, the boats will take visitors around the lagoon to contemplate limestone mountains named according their shapes as Meo Cao (Cat), Mam Xoi (Glutinous Rice Tray), Hom Sach (Book Trunk), Da Ban (Rook Table), Nghien (Slab), Co Tien (Fairy)… There are 32 beautiful and specific caves inside these limestone mountains, such as Bong, Rua, Chanh, Doi…, of which Ca Cave in Hoang Quyen Mountain Range is the most impressive. The cave is 250m long, 8m high, 10m wide with half floating structure and has many stalactites of various forms.
Going deeper into the lagoon, the riotousness of modern life is gradually replaced by the sounds of oar, fishes, amphibians, hubbub grass in the wind. Under clear water, mosses and algae winding intermittently according to waves make a charming and lively natural picture.
Van Long is home to 39 species of mammals, 72 species of birds, 32 species of reptiles and amphibians, 44 species of fishes, 39 aquatic species and 79 species of insects, many of which are listed in Viet Nam Red Book such as cobra, chamois, iguana… Especially, Van Long has been by Viet Nam Record Book Centre as “The place owns the largest number of delacour’s langur (trachypithecus delacouri) with 100 individuals in danger of extinction. In the dry season (from November to April), Van Long is the wintering place of numerous birds from the North as Bonelli eagle, gray heron, white stork… It is also home to 457 species of high plants and 35 species of aquatic plants, 8 species of which are listed in Viet Nam Red Book, including chukrasia tabularis, drynaria fortunei, melientha suavis, strychnos nux-vomica, dalbergia cochinchinensis…
Along with its beautiful natural scenery, Van Long Wetland Natural Reverse also has many special cultural relics such as Hong Nuong Temple, Mau Temple, Thung La Temple, Thanh Son Pagoda, Dich Long Pagoda...
Put into operation for tourism since 1998, Van Long Wetland Natural Reverse is a specific ecotourism site attracting domestic and international visitors.
From 19-23 November 2015, Week of Culture - Tourism Mekong Delta in Ha Noi will take place with the theme “Impressive Cultural Heritage - Mekong Delta Tourism”.
The event will be held by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism in coordination with People’s Committees of provinces and cities in Mekong Delta in response to National Tourism Year 2016 - Phu Quoc - the Mekong Delta under the theme “Exploring the Southern Land”.
Taking part in the Week of Culture - Tourism Mekong Delta in Ha Noi, Ben Tre Province will introduce typical tourist products of the locality. In addition, information on tours, routes , new destinations and local special foods… also will be introduced to visitors in Ha Noi.
The Week of Culture - Tourism Mekong Delta in Ha Noi aims to introduce, promote and honor cultural values of Mekong Delta, highlight potentials of tourism, call for investment and create momentum for economic, cultural and social development for provinces and cities in the Mekong Delta.
Under the framework of the week, there will be activities promoting for the Mekong Delta such as: exhibition; art performances; seminar; cuisine exchange; roadshow program…
With thousands of years of history, Ha Noi has a unique culture with various historical relic sites, festivals and trade villages, which are helping the city become more attractive to both domestic and foreign tourists.
Along with eco-tourism, resorts and entertainment centres, cultural tourism is also defined as a core pillar in the city’s tourism master plan until 2020 with a vision to 2030 and related projects. The new Department of Tourism is also expected to help strengthen tourism management and promotion.
The city will organise a number of seminars between State management agencies and travel enterprises through the end of this year to update each other on their operational situations and popularise new policies while analysing the city’s tourism market and reviewing the number of accommodation facilities, transport firms and travel agents for better management.
Stronger public relations campaigns will also be held through mass media and a website on Ha Noi tourism at hanoi.tourism.vn, enabling tourists to search for information more easily.
A guidebook on local three to five-star hotels will also be published in five languages: Vietnamese, English, Japanese, Korean and Chinese. The city is set to take part in the Jata tourism fair in Japan and offer intensive tourism training to locals in a number of trade villages like Bat Trang, Van Phuc and Phu Vinh.
Some major projects will also be implemented to develop diverse tourism forms, including those to increase Ha Noi’s tourism products from 2016-2020 with orientations to 2030, promote the Giong Festival space in Gia Lam and Soc Son districts, and upgrade the Ba Vi-Suoi Hai area to a national tourism site by 2020.
In the first half of this year, the capital welcomed over 9.98 million visitors, a 3.38 percent rise year-on-year, including 1.53 million foreign arrivals, up 5 percent over the same period last year.
The Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism of Da Nang City has announced that it will work with related parties to open new river tourism programmes, such as the Han River – Co Co River Tour, the Cu De River Tour, and the Han River – Tuy Loan River Tour.
Tours will bring tourists visiting Cultural Village K20, Avalokitesvara Temple, Ngu Hanh Son Mountain, a stone carving village, Nam O cultural cluster, Cam Ne mat village and the Tuy Loan village temple.
The department considers river tourism a strong advantage for the city as it gives visitors more choices.
Han River Port and Thuan Phuoc River Port are being developed as fixed tourism ports. The development of boat tours along Han River, where guests can enjoy the local scenery, is expected to earn the city's tourism sector more revenue.
Many impressive works can be found along the Han River, including the "Carp Turns in to a Dragon" Statue, the Bridge of Love, and Bach Dang Walking Street.
Rice terraces in Viet Nam's northern provinces are ranked eighth among the most dreamlike and beautiful landscapes on earth, according to the website of UK's Telegraph newspaper.
"The rice paddies in Viet Nam form one of the most striking green landscapes in the world. The country is the second -largest exporter of rice in the world," it said.
The Viet Nam Ministry of Tourism also lists the rice terraces as one of the country's most beautiful sights. The fields draw tourists in September and October when colours change before the harvest season.
The Telegraph listed 26 "amazing landscapes", including the world's largest salt flats formed from several prehistoric lakes in Bolivia; the salt and soda Lake Natron in Tanzania; an icy cave in Alaska; a hill with 400,000 pink moss flowers in Japan; and dragon blood trees in Socotra, Yemen.
On Oct. 7th 2015, Ha Noi Traditional Craft Village Tourism and Culture Festival 2015 kicked off with the Opening ceremony at Quan Ngua Sport Palace, Ha Noi under the theme "Traditional quintessence - Integration and Spread".
The festival aims to honour outstanding craft villages and artisans in Ha Noi and other localities in the North. It is also a good opportunity to promote tourism potential of the traditional craft villages and connect travel businesses with the villages.
The festival features 300 booths from 22 traditional craft villages of Ha Noi and 15 provinces and cities in various fields including ceramics, rattan, embroidery, weaving, folk paintings, paper making, wood carving and bronze casting; cuisine and travel businesses.
At the festival, visitors will get a chance to know more about traditional craft villages in Ha Noi and to enjoy culinary art of Ha Noi and other localities in the North.
The Ha Noi Traditional Trade Village’s Culture and Tourism Fetival 2015 is a part of activities to celebrate 61st anniversary of the Ha Noi Liberation Day (October 10, 1954-2015) and will last until October 11.
Located in No.15 Nguyen Dinh Chieu Street, Hai Ba Trung District, Ha Noi Cheo Theatre is an interesting destination for people who love traditional folk art.
One of unique and impressed programs put into operation to serve visitors in Ha Noi Cheo Theatre is “Long Thanh folk show” with many special folk art items of Northern Delta civilization and ancient Thang Long land. The highlight of “Long Thanh folk show” is a new performance model combining cheo and water puppetry on the same stage. The model not only contributes to preserving and developing the art types of cheo and water puppetry but also introduces them to visitors, especially foreign visitors. The model also aims to attract children by funny water puppetry scenes and learning about cheo.
With same origination from Northern Delta, cheo and water puppetry have many similarities and close attachments. The music, language and story of cheo is used for water puppetry. Normally, water puppetry artists control puppets in lakes or ponds, and cheo artists are inside tormentor and sing according to the acts of puppets. But in the “Long Thanh folk show”, the items are performed on a multi-functional stage which includes a wooden floor and a pool of water. Some items are performed in both wooden floor and pool. Especially, cheo artists sing, say and control puppets directly by hand to express acts of characters, and give audience real and intimate feelings.
Besides the items combining cheo and water puppetry, the program “Long Thanh folk show” also includes other many excellent art performance items such as: old cheo extract “Thi Mau len chua”, chau van singing “Co doi thuong ngan”, xam singing, ca tru singing, folk instrument solo performance…
The program “Long Thanh folk show” is performed daily from 17h00 in Ha Noi Cheo Theatre with the price of VND150,000/person.
On Oct. 9th 2015, the Belgian – Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce in Viet Nam (Beluxcham) under the support of the Belgian Embassy in Viet Nam will hold “Belgian Beer Festival” at the American Club, 19 – 21 Hai Ba Trung street, Hoan Kiem Dist., Ha Noi. The event aims to promote Belgian culture to Vietnamese people and foreigners in Viet Nam.
Belgian Beer Festival in Viet Nam was first held in Ha Noi in Oct. 2014 after the initiative of the Belgian Ambassador and followed by the second organization in HCMC last April.
This October, the Belgian Beer Festival will return to Ha Noi with more than 50 kinds of Belgian beer for visitors to try, each with its own special glass.
At the festival, visitors will have a chance to know more about Belgian beers, enjoy the many varieties, qualities and flavors ranging from strong tasteful beers to fruity and light-beers for the female-lovers.
The Ministry of Transport has permitted Tuan Chau wharf in Ha Long City in Quang Ninh Province to handle foreign passenger ships from October 1.
Under Decision 3465 signed by Deputy Minister of Transport Nguyen Nhat last week, Tuan Chau wharf will accommodate foreign and Vietnamese ships of 100 meters long.
The wharf, which lies in the south-southeast part of Tuan Chau Island in Ha Long City, has two piers, with one having a length of 1,443 meters and the other 4,411 meters.
The new facility is expected to attract more foreign ships to the UNESCO-recognized World Heritage site of Ha Long Bay in the northern province.
Earlier, the authority of Quang Ninh Province decided to relocate tourist boats from Bai Chay wharf to Tuan Chau wharf. The relocation is set for completion late this year and Bai Chay wharf will be closed by next summer.
A photo exhibition featuring 12 photos of Hoan Kiem Lake (Sword Lake) sceneries is opening at Hoan Kiem Lake Cultural Information Centre in downtown Ha Noi.
Titled Sac Mau Ho Guom (The Colours of Sword Lake), the exhibition, which showcases photos taken by Ha Hong, a journalist, is expected to bring visitors the images and exquisite views of the Sword Lake in different seasons.
A native of the central province of Ha Tinh but born and raised in Ha Noi, Mr. Hong is currently head of Nhan Dan (The People) newspaper's Science and Education News Desk as well as head of the newspaper's Photography Club.
With a passion for Ha Noi, especially Hoan Kiem Lake, Mr. Hong launched his own website on the lake (www.hohoankiem.org) in 2006 to tell lovers of the thousand-year-old-city the stories of Hanoians around Sword Lake and introduced his photos.
"Every day after work or at weekends, I often go for a stroll around Hoan Kiem Lake to capture the colourful moments of this place, a bouquet of flowers in the heart of the city", said Hong.
He added that the bouquet of flowers changes its colour with the arrival of each season: the pinkish white of ban (mountain ebony) flowers in spring, the bright red of phuong (flamboyant) flowers, the purple of bang lang (giant crape-myrtle) flowers in summer, the flaming-red of loc vung (Barringtonia acutangula) flowers in early autumn and the giant crape-myrtle leaves turn from green to red warning the approaching cold days of winter.
Mr. Hong engrossed to capture these changes of colours of Sword Lake for all seasons, and in the last nine years, over a thousand news articles and more than five thousand photos taken by the journalist have been published on his website.
This photo exhibition aims to celebrate the 61st anniversary of Ha Noi's liberation (October 10, 1954) at the Hoan Kiem Lake Cultural Information Centre, 2 Le Thai To Street, and will end on October 19.