Asia Pacific Travel Team
Nine art troupes across the region have gathered at a five-day traditional music festival of the Association Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in northern Thanh Hoa province, beginning on August 1.
Artists from eight ASEAN member states - Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Singapore, Thailand, the Philippine, Myanmar and host Vietnam- are joined by counterparts from the Republic of Korea at the event.
Addressing the opening night, Deputy Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Vuong Duy Bien said the event marks the 20-year ASEAN membership of Vietnam and the 48 years history of the bloc ahead of the formation of the ASEAN Community at the end of this year.
The concert aims to promote valuable musical features of regional countries and to enhance mutual understanding among their peoples.
As such, it will give stimulation to tourism growth in Vietnam and across ASEAN, Bien noted.
The festival will last five days, during which participating troupes will also perform at the local Sam Son beach resort town, a well-known tourist destination in Vietnam, besides the official programme.
A seminar on the diversity of ASEAN traditional music will take place as part of the event.
Quang Ninh Province on July 27 extended a ban on tourist boats’ operations in Halong Bay until further notice as torrential rain was forecast to continue to wreak havoc in the World Heritage-listed bay in the coming days.
Hoang Ngoc Hung, chief representative of the Port Authority of Inland Waterway Area No. 1 in Halong, told the Daily that heavy rain was projected to pour in Halong Bay and that owners of tourist boats had been informed of weather conditions.
Nguyen Thi Minh Luong of the provincial Department of Information and Communications said heavy rain in the past days had inundated many streets in Quang Ninh Province and caused traffic jams. Many tourists had been stranded on islands like Co To and Quan Lan as of on July 27.
“The government of Quang Ninh Province has asked travel agencies and hotels on the islands hit by heavy rain to lower service charges and support clients to stay there while waiting for weather to improve,” Luong said.
At least 2,500 travelers had to take shelter on Co To Island as boats had been banned from leaving ports, said Vu Duc Loi, administrative manager of Co To District.
Co To island in the storm
Loi said the figure was based on reports by lodgingfacilities while households providing homestay services and rooms for rent had not reported the numbers of their guests to the authorities.
Co To Island attracted 100,000 visitors in the first half of this year, equivalent to the number recorded in all of 2014. As usual, there are four daily tourist boat services and a number of chartered vessels transporting passengers to the island.
The committee for natural disaster control, search and rescue in Cam Pha City said torrential rain and floods killed a mother and two daughters in a family in Mong Duong Ward on Sunday night.
According to the national weather center, a tropical low in the north triggered torrential rain in Quang Ninh Province.
Rainfalls of 613 mm were recorded in Cua Ong, 391 mm in Mong Cai and 285 mm in Bai Chay, said Bui Duc Long of the center.
Notably, rainfalls in Cua Ong were much higher than the 570 mm that caused the most severe flooding in Hanoi in 2008.
Prolonged rain has inundated parts of Quang Ninh and many roads in the province’s Cam Pha City have submerged under one meter of water.
Some 20 ancient carved sandstone slabs were recently discovered scattered in fields and around villages of Tang Ghenh, Hu Tru Lin and Hong Nhi Pa in Lao Chai commune, Mu Cang Chai district, the northern province of Yen Bai.
The 2-by-50 cubic-metre volume stones are shaped in pyramids, mountains, turtles and pages carved with various features such as terraced fields, cranes, heavenly horses and astronomical maps, among others.
According to experts from the provincial museum, the ancient carvings belong to the Mong ethnic group who lived in the area around the 16th - 17th century.
The museum is currently holding six stones with outstanding carvings for further study.
Mu Cang Chai district, some 1,000 meters above sea level, has long been a favourite destination for discovery tourism. Besides its well-known awe-inspiring terraced fields, the district is among a few areas where local cuisine, festivals and songs and dances are kept almost unchanged through the years.
Many cultural and art activities will take place in Ha Noi to mark the 70th anniversary of August Revolution (August 19) and National Day (September 2), with the highlight being a grand meeting and parade at Ba Dinh Square, according to the Ha Noi Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism.
About 10,000 local people will march in the parade at Ba Dinh Square on September 2 morning, and many large screens will be installed at various locations in the city for the public to watch the live broadcast of the parade.
Concerts and sports activities will also be held at Ly Thai To Park, August Revolution Square and in front of My Dinh National Stadium to mark the day.
In addition, the city will also hold various significant activities including a workshop on Ha Noi, its tradition and prospects for development, a knowledge contest on the August Revolution and National Day, an exhibition on war items at the ancient Imperial Citadel of Thang Long, a bicycle race around Hoan Kiem Lake and free film screenings for the public.
The capital Ha Noi will let off fireworks at 9pm on September 2. The fireworks display is planned about 30 venues across the city, including five high-range shows at Hoan Kiem Lake, Thong Nhat Park, West Lake, Van Quan Lake and My Dinh National Stadium to celebrate the 70th anniversary of August Revolution (August 19) and National Day (September 2).
Viet Nam's first top-rope climbing competition will be organised in the world heritage site of Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park in Quang Binh Province from August 5 to 20 as part of the Cave Festival.
The Phong Nha-Ke Bang Tourism Centre has built a 30 metre, partially-artificial cliff at the gate of Hang Toi (Dark Cave), the highest of its kind in the country.
The route will later be used as an adventure entertainment option for tourists.
Hang Toi is a part of tours of the national park, offering visitors such attractions as zip-lining and cave mud-bathing.
The 400-metre zip-line over the Chay River to the entrance of Toi Cave (Dark Cave) in the central province of Quang Binh was recognised by the Viet nam Book of Records (Vietkings) as the longest zip-line route in Viet nam.
The zip-line system is a classic choice for those who love adventurous activities.
Phan Thanh Nien, a mountaineer who successfully conquered Everest Mount in Nepal, said that Chay River-Dark Cave zip-line system will be an attractive destination for tourists given its stunning terrain.
The modern zip-line system has been operational since September 2014, drawing about 30,000 travellers, most of whom are foreigners.
Zip liners will be dazzled by the gorgeous views from the air, seeing a large part of Chay river and the jungle snaking between mountains or even dipping themselves to the crystal green water.
Three exhibitions providing visitors with an overview of Champa culture, which emerged in the late 2nd century AD, opened in Da Nang city on July 25.
The first exhibition entitled “Inscriptions and Scripts of Cham” displays documents featuring Cham writings on paper and ‘buong’ leaves, a unique material for making the paper of the Cham people as well as inscriptions on stone steles. The content of the inscriptions varied from praising the gods to extending peoples’ wishes to the gods.
The second exhibition included artefacts unearthed from archaeological excavations in Qua Giang, Phong Le and Cam Mit sites in Da Nang city, which were made of various materials including ceramic, crystal, ivory and gold. Many of the exhibits were made public for the first time.
The three exhibitions are taking place at the Da Nang Museum of Cham Sculpture as part of activities to mark the museum’s 100th anniversary.
The same day, a seminar on ‘Archaeology on Champa after the year 1975 and the preservation and exhibition of Champa’ opened at the museum, attracting many scholars, archaeologists and cultural researchers.
The waterfall of Dai Yem (Pink Blouse), also known as Nang or Ban Vat, is located in Muong Sang Commune in Moc Chau District in Son La Province.
If you visit Moc Chau town, you will have opportunities to watch the magical beauty which nature has granted to this area, and live in a primeval scene of the early days of life on earth.
Dai Yem waterfall is a historical landscape, which is closely related to the history of Thai people in Muon Sang land a long time ago. The name Dai Yem is derived from a story about the brassiere of the girl who saved a boy from the flood.
The Vat spring which flows to the waterfall has a length of about 5km. Water fills the spring year round. When it flows to this part, the spring is blocked by a limestone wall, and the water is stagnant and flows back to the lower bank. Bo Sap is a large spring, which derives from Bo Sap village near the border of Vietnam and Laos in Yen Chau land.
Back to the upstream of the spring, tourists can reach the first waterfall. The internal parts of the spring have many small and medium rocks with various strange shapes. In the rainy season (April to September), the entire 70m width is a white curtain flowing to the river, a poetic scene. The second waterfall has only one line from a height of 50m. Many trees at the top of the waterfall create a grand landscape.
The waterfall includes two levels of falls with the second located 150 meters at an angle below the first one. Above the second waterfall is a floral stretch of land from where visitors can view the surrounding mountainous view.
The Dai Yem Waterfall looks most stunning during the rainy season from April to September every year, when the 70-meter-wide fall gushes down its slope, looking a dazzling white and imposingly dramatic and poetic.
Source: VietNamNet Bridge
A trip up to Cam Mountain on the newly-launched cable car system is an ideal way for tourists to the Mekong Delta province of An Giang to celebrate the Ba Chua Xu Festival last month.
The VND300 billion cable car is 3.5 km in length, with 89 cabins that can carry eight people each, for a total of 2,000 people every hour.
Return tickets cost VND155,000 for adults and VND80,000 for children, down from the previous VND180,000 and VND110,000.
One-way tickets to the mountain peak are VND100,000 for adults and VND55,000 for children, while tickets from the peak to the base are VND80,000 for adults and VND45,000 for children.
Cam Mountain belongs to a range of seven mountains; the roof of the Mekong Delta.
At some 710 metres above sea level, the top of the mountain affords views of immense rice fields, huge palm trees, and the seven mountains.
A 5D cinema was also opened recently, where purchases of ten tickets get one free.
Tourists can also enjoy don ca tai tu (southern opera) and local specialties such as banh xeo trung da dieu (Vietnamese-style pancakes with ostrich egg), grilled ostrich, and che thot not (palm sugar dessert).
A group of French experts are working on a plan to help the northern mountainous province of Lao Cai develop sustainable tourism in Bac Ha town, the second most popular destination in the locality.
Accordingly, the town will be zoned into three main areas. Its centre is set to maintain traditional markets as well as culture, sports and entertainment activities and resort services.
Sites surrounding the centre are ideal for tourists to explore local customs associated with handicraft making, communal activities and local cuisine.
Eco-tourism, home-stay models and river and cave exploration tours will be developed in the outer vicinity.
Regarding the Bac Ha town planning project, the experts from the Aquitaine region also proposed suitable architecture models, grid systems and roads connecting local villages.
Doan Van Huong, Chairman of the Lao Cai People’s Committee, expressed his hope that the plan would be completed by the end of 2015.
Upgrades to the central bus station, waste water treatment and underground grid systems ought to be part of the final plan, Huong requested.
In the first half of 2015, tourist arrivals in Bac Ha climbed 30% over the same period last year. The locality has implemented projects to improve the central market and build roads to villages, but the projects are not closely linked and are not sustainable.