Cam Mountain cable car system planned


The giant Buddha statue on Cam Mount.

A business cooperation agreement has been signed for the development of a cable car system to Cam Mount in southern An Giang Province.

The 3,461 m cable car system will be jointly built by the MHB Bank, Chau Doc branch and An Giang Tourism Development JSC. With 89 cars, it will be able to carry 2,000 passengers per hour when completed.

The system will connect Lam Vien Tourism Park at the foot of the mountain with Vo Ong Buom on the peak of Cam Mount in An Hao Commune of the Cuu Long (Mekong) province of An Giang's Tinh Bien District.

Cam Mount, which is 716 metres above sea level, is the highest peak of the That Son (Seven Mounts) Range. It is also considered the rooftop of the Mekong Delta in Viet Nam.

With an investment of VND292 billion (nearly US$13 million), the cable car project is scheduled to begin at the end of this year.

Thanks to its natural beauty and historic relics, such as the Great Buddha Pagoda, La Pagoda, Thanh Long Spring and Thuy Kiem Cave, the Cam Mount receives over 1 million visitors annually.

The cable car project is expected to pave the way for the further development of tourism at Cam Mount as well as An Giang Province as a whole, according to the provincial authority.

A ground-breaking ceremony for construction of the cable car system project was held at the foot of the Cam Mount on 24 December 2013.

Holiday market remains quiet ahead of Tet

Traders in many HCM City traditional markets have cut down on stocks even though Tet (Lunar New Year) is just three weeks away due to low demand.

A shopkeeper in Ba Chieu Market in Binh Thanh District said instead of stocking tonnes of confectionaries and other dry foodstuffs for Tet like in previous years, this year they only have a few dozen kilos.

She added that in the past people would begin to shop nearly two months before the Lunar New Year, but the market is quiet this year.

As a result of the lack of demand, traders only buy more from wholesalers after they sell out all their stocks, she said.

The same situation is reported in many other markets like Ben Thanh in District 1, Lon in District 5, Binh Tay in District 6, and Thai Binh in District 1.

A shopkeeper in Thai Binh said she was sitting on fire because if the situation persisted she would have no Tet.

However, the prices of many products have risen sharply: dry foodstuffs like bamboo shoot are up by 5-50 per cent, while many spices are up by over 10 per cent.

Confectionery prices have risen by a reported 10 per cent.

Traders blame the price rise on the high cost of water, electricity, gas, and transport, though some admitted that they push prices up to earn a little extra before Tet.

One trader said he increased prices to make bigger profits because of sluggish sales.

Vinh-Vientiane air route launched

The first flight linking central Nghe An province’s Vinh City and the Lao capital city of Vientiane landed at Wattay International Airport on January 12.

It was the first international route run by the national flag carrier, Vietnam Airlines in 2014.

Four flights are launched per week on the new route, departing every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday by ATR-72 aircraft.

The flights depart from Vinh airport at 8:40 am and from Vientiane airport at 10:40 am (local time).

Lao Civil Aviation Department Director General Yakua Lopangkao said that the new route will facilitate businessmen and tourists’ travel thus broadening comprehensive

cooperation, noting that Laos Airlines will offer the best possible conditions for its Vietnamese counterpart to effectively exploit air routes to Laos.

Promoting Vietnam tourism abroad

Vietnam’s tourism potential was introduced to international tour operators at a workshop in Belgium on January 9.

The event, which was jointly organized by the Vietnamese Embassy in Belgium and Travel Magazine, attracted representatives of global leading tour operators such as

Thomascook, Wagon Lit, Croisiere and Exclusive coming from France, Britain, Belgium, Luxembourg and others.

Tour operator representatives agreed many European visitors select Vietnam as one of their favourite destinations for its beautiful scenery and people’s friendliness and hospitality.

They examined the Ninh Thuan-based luxury Amanoi Resort model invested by Amanresorts International – a luxury hotel group.

Amanoi Resort investor Petor Van Kerckhove, Chairman of the VK advisory board, said endowed with long white sand beaches, Ninh Thuan province in central Vietnam has great potential for developing luxury resorts.

Inaugurated in October 2013, Amanoi Ninh Thuan is one of the 32 luxury Aman resorts operating in 16 countries.

The resort is expected to attract global celebrities and billionaires every year.

Free wifi services go live in Tam Dao

Tam Dao officially launched a new free wifi service yesterday in a bid to lure more tourists to the beautiful but relatively unknown mountain resort near Ha Noi.

The Department of Information and Communications in Vinh Phuc Province confirmed that over VND7.8 billion (US$366,600) had been spent on the project, which would

allow visitors and local people to enjoy free access to the internet until 2019.

Due to the mountainous terrain, wi-fi hotspots were placed in hotels and high buildings in the centre of Tam Dao.

Tam Dao has followed in the footsteps of Da Nang, Hoi An, Hue and Ha Long to become the fifth tourist destination to provide free wifi in Viet Nam. The project aims to help

visitors discover more about the people and culture of the region.

Tam Dao is located in Tam Duong District, 86km from the capital.

Can Tho announces Da Nang flight route

A new air route connecting central Da Nang City and Can Tho City in the Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta will be launched in 2014.

Vice Chairman of the Can Tho People's Committee Dao Anh Dung made the announcement while working with provincial agencies on preparations for a conference

scheduled for late February on increasing the flights to and from the Can Tho International Airport.

According to him, the new route will be served by three flights a week, catering to the demand of businesses and tourists hoping to visit the Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta and

the central region. It will play an important role in boosting economic growth and tourism in Can Tho City and the Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta region, he predicted.

Can Tho International Airport started operations in 2010. It currently hosts domestic flights to Ha Noi, Phu Quoc and Con Dao islands, as well as international flights to

Taiwan (China) during the Tet (Lunar New Year) holiday.

Amanresorts builds beachside retreat

Amanresorts will make its debut in Viet Nam with a contemporary beachside resort, along with a full-service Aman Spa.

Named after the Sanskrit-derived word for ‘peace' and ‘noi', which means ‘place', the Amanoi retreat is situated on a beach that overlooks the spectacular Vinh Hy Bay.

Amanoi is situated on the coastline of this national park, which is one of the country's largest natural conservation sites.

Quang Ninh to diversify tourism products

Diversifying the experiences available to visitors is the cornerstone of a major new plan to revitalise the tourism industry in the northern province of Quang Ninh in 2014.

The province boasts great potential for the industry thanks to its abundance of beauty sports including world famous Ha Long Bay, Yen Tu Buddhism complex, Bai Tu Long

Bay and the Mong Cai international border gate. However, this potential is still mostly untapped.

Secretary of the provincial Party Committee Pham Minh Chinh has asked the local authority to continue raising the quality of human resources while rethinking the

experiences currently on offer to tourists and finding ways of making them both more exciting and lucrative.

Last year, the province spent more than 900 million VND (42.3 million USD) on building a museum-library complex, which was inaugurated in October and awarded the prize

“Building of the Year” by the Vietnam Urban Planning and Development Association.

Since it was inaugurated, the complex has welcomed nearly 30,000 visitors, many of them from foreign countries.

Meanwhile, since last August, Quang Ninh has held folk music performances everyday to entertain tourists in the province.

Recently, the province conducted a pilot programme in which it invited domestic and foreign travel agencies and journalists to join fact-finding tours, with the aim of

encouraging them to spread the word to other countries worldwide.

Hotels are also getting in on the act, organising attractive new events to teach foreign visitors how to cook Vietnam’s traditional dishes and introducing them to the country’s famous tea and coffee.

The province served 7.5 million holidaymakers in 2013, a year-on-year rise of 7 percent, and earned 5 trillion VND (235 million USD) from tourism.-

Vietnam Airlines offers promotions on local routes for Tet

The 6th Golden Moments’ promotional program offering on some domestic routes by the national flag carrier Vietnam Airlines has been kicked off.

Accordingly, one-way tickets for routes including Ho Chi Minh City-Phu Quoc and Hanoi-Chu Lai will be priced at VND499,000; HCMC-Quy Nhon at VND599,000;

HCMC-Vinh at VND99,000 and Hanoi-Quy Nhon at VND1099,000 (not including tax).

The special rates will be applicable for flights departing from January 15-March 15.

The carrier also offer a direct route from Vinh City in the central province of Nghe An to the Lao capital city of Vientiane from January 12, 2014.

The discount on a round-trip ticket on the Vinh-Vientiane route for VND825,000 (not including tax) will be applicable for flights departing from January 12-March 31, 2014.

Tickets are available from now to February 23.

Vietnam Airlines is planning to launch 8 flights between Taiwan (China) and the Mekong Delta city of Can Tho to be started from January 26-February 9.

There will be four flights from Taipei, Gaoxiong and Taizhong to Can Tho, and four others from Can Tho to these localities.

The new services aim to create conditions for overseas Vietnamese who will return to their hometown to celebrate Tet.