Luxury eco-tourism site to be established in Quang Ninh

The Vietnam-Russia Technology and Investment JSC (VRG) plans to build a luxury eco-tourism area on Soi Nhu island in northern coastal Quang Ninh province’s Van Don district.

The project will be constructed on an area of 120 ha at an estimated cost of 35 million USD. It will consist of a zone of 5-star villas and other technical infrastructures serving tourism activities such as mount climbing, jet-ski, parachuting and fishing.

Once completed and commissioned become operational, it is expected to attract more foreign holiday-makers, especially those from Russia.

In a recent meeting between local leaders and representatives from VRG, Secretary of Quang Ninh provincial Party Committee Pham Minh Chinh hailed the investor’s idea and determination in seeking investment opportunities in the locality.

He affirmed that the local authorities will provide them with the best possible conditions to implement the project.

Admiration of sunset on Thu Bon River

Hoa Hong Travel Company in Hoi An has launched a tour to admire sunset on the Thu Bon River to give tourists a glimpse on culture and landscapes of Quang Nam Province. As the last golden rays shed light on the water, tourists will indulge themselves in romance with shimmering sceneries on the river, corn fields and images of fishermen working on the river.

Potato snack Chic Chips will be prepared on board together with some finger foods made by the Hoi An Hotel and selected drinks to serve tourists. Moreover, travelers will relax with massages for foot, shoulder or neck by Ginger Spa staff.

From the first stop at Duy Hai Fishing Village, the cruise will elbow its way through numerous fishing boats anchored on the river to help tourists learn more about the waterlogged-land culture and daily life of locals. Tourists will know how fishermen prepare for offshore fishing at nighttime.

Then tourists will continue drifting back to Tra Nhieu Fishing Village at dusk. Golden shimmers over peaceful river sceneries should be recorded behind the lens of tourists’ cameras.

In Tra Nhieu, tourists will have a chance to take kayak or wooden round boats with locals to experience and approach life of fishermen there. Then, a further 150-meter walk in the village will take excursionists to an old house that has for three generations been making handicrafts such as sleeping mats, bamboo baskets and fishing nets.

In that house, tourists will have fun with bai choi – a traditional game similar to bingo accompanied by Vietnamese traditional folk music. Then they will be entertained with ho khoan singing to comprehend more about traditional culture of the villagers.

Pham Vu Dung, director of the company, said that the tour will be an amazing experience, giving tourists a quick perception of the beauty of nature and people in Hoi An in particular and on the Thu Bon River’s valley in general. The tour is a combination between cruise and community tourism to promote a new and potential land for tourists.

Tickets are priced from US$25 to US$40 per person. For more information, tourists can contact or

Red River tour of pagodas covers three provinces

A new tour taking visitors to temples and pagodas along the Hong (Red) River in the northern provinces of Phu Tho, Yen Bai and Lao Cai will start on August 10 (the middle of 7th lunar month), according to Tran Huu Son, director of Lao Cai Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism.

The tour will take tourists to such places as a temple dedicated to Mother Au Co in Ha Hoa District of Phu Tho Province, Dong Cuong Temple in Van Yen District of Yen Bai Province and Bao Ha Temple in Bao Yen District of Lao Cai Province.

The last destination is a temple dedicated to Mother Au Co in Lao Cai City in the 18th century. It is considered an important spiritual building confirming national sovereignty on the northern border with China.

Au Co was an immortal mountain fairy who married Lac Long Quan (Dragon Lord of Lac), and had 100 children known as Bach Viet , said to be the ancestors of all Vietnamese people from Viet Nam to southern China. Au Co is honoured as the mother of Vietnamese civilisation.

Son also said flower and light festivals and a street parade would be organised in Sa Pa Town on September 6.

In another attempt to attract tourists, an international marathon race will be held in the same town on September 20 and 21.

Quang Ninh opens tours to new tourism destinations

Quang Ninh Province has listed three new tours and 12 tourist destinations in the city of Mong Cai.

The tours are around the city centre and from the centre to Tra Co beach and to Po Hen Memorial Monument.

The city centre includes the Mong Cai border gate with China, Bac Luan bridge, National Landmark No 1369, Xa Tac Temple, Ka Long Bridge, and several markets and trade centres.

The second tour takes in the Tra Co – Binh Ngoc T-junction, Tra Co Temple, Tra Co Church, Xuan Lan Pagoda, Nam Tho Pagoda, Vinh Thuan Golf, and the Sa Vy border information complex.

The third passes through the Mong Cai International Border Gate, Bac Luan bridge, National Landmark No1369, Po Hen Memorial Monument, and markets and trade centres. All these places have been named new tourism destinations.

Dien Bien Phu victory celebration boosts tourism

According to the Dien Bien Province Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism, the success of a programme to celebrate the 60th anniversary of Viet Nam's victory at Dien Bien Phu and a series of cultural events have helped Dien Bien tourism achieve strong growth.

The province welcomed 315,000 visitors, including 48,800 foreigners, in the first six months of the year, a 66 per cent year-on-year rise.

Da Lat plans push for monsoon tourism

The flower city of Da Lat will hold a summer festival called Mua tren pho nui (Rain in mountain city) from August 7 to 10, and hopes to turn its rainy season into a tourist attraction.

It will feature games played in the rain, a photo and painting exhibition depicting rains in the city, romanticise drinking of coffee in the rain, and a fashion contest.

The festival will be under the aegis of the National Tourism Year 2014 – Central Highlands.

Quang Nam spurs international tourism


Hoi An ancient town.

Central Quang Nam province held a forum on July 9 seeking ways to improve the tourism sector and identify alternative marketing strategies to attract new global market segments to the province.

Participants at the forum agreed that the locality has made great efforts to upgrade its tourism infrastructure, raise the quality of services, accelerate tourism promotion and enhance investment in tourism products to popularize its tourism brand name.

It has an international reputation as a peaceful and charming town, surrounded by incredibly majestic landscape dotted with lush forests and beautiful lakes.

In the first half of this year, Quang Nam welcomed more than 1.7 million visitors, an increase of 6.2% against same period last year.

The US Conde Nast Traveler magazine has cited Quang Nam’s UNESCO-recognised Hoi An city as the second most attractive destination in Asia while the US Huffington Post Magazine introduced Hoi An as one of seven must-see destinations for visitors to Vietnam.

The United Nations Human Settlements Programme in Asia also selected Hoi An as a scenic city of 2013 in Asia.

However, the East Sea stand-off caused by China has affected the tourism sector in Vietnam, including Quang Nam. The number of visitors, mainly from China, to the province dropped off 7.3% and 4.4% in May and June, respectively.

The province also faces other challenges, such as erosion of its coastal areas, limited allocation of tourism outside Hoi An, travellers’ short stay at tourism sites like My Son, human resource training, and waste treatment.

To further develop tourism, participants proposed that Quang Nam launch an integrated programme similar to Cambodia’s “The Smile of Angkor” show introducing its historical and cultural features and offering free cuisine.

They stressed the need to allow the use of electric vehicles to ensure green tourism and reduce pollution and improve the quality of “night life” in downtown areas.

The province should pay more attention to developing the MICE tourism model, building websites on tourism and increasing visitors’ duration of stay by opening more shopping centres.

Furthermore, it should closely coordinate with neighbouring provinces in developing tours and promote tourism in potential markets, like Japan, the Republic of Korea, and Russia.

Ca Mau to mobilise 500 billion VND for tourism development

The southernmost province of Ca Mau will mobilise 500 billion VND (23.5 million USD) between now and 2020 to develop its tourism sector, said the provincial Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism.

According to a recently approved plan on tourism development in the 2014-15 and 2015-20 period, the province will give priority to upgrading transport infrastructure, especially roads to its main tourist sites, including Dat Mui commune in Ngoc Hien district, Khai Long beach on Hon Khoai Island, Hon Da Bac in Tran Van Thoi district, Ca Mau Cape and Vo Doi national parks in U Minh Ha area and wild bird gardens .

It will train 500 tour managers and guides to meet the tourism development demand in the process of national industrialisation and modernisation and international integration.

Ca Mau boasts many attractive eco-tourism sites but its tourism development is yet to match potential. Each year, it only serves 800,000 tourists for 300 billion VND (14.1 million USD).

The province sets a target of receiving at least two million holidaymakers every year from 2015, and hopes to earn an annual revenue of 700 billion - 1 trillion VND (23.9 million - 47 million USD) from the sector.

Tourism sector makes effort to achieve strong growth

The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, localities and travel companies are working together to increase the number of arrivals to the country in the second half of this year despite the current tensions in the East Sea after China illegally positioned its oil rig Haiyang Shiyou-981 deep inside Vietnam’s waters in early May.

The tourism sector faced a decrease in the number of tourists from China and the Chinese-speaking markets in late May, which went down further in June. A slight fall was also reported in other international markets for fears of social insecurity stemming from extreme acts by those who take advantage of the Chinese side’s wrongful actions.

Statistics show that in the first half of 2014, the tourism sector served 4.287 million foreign tourists and 23.4 million domestic visitors, up by 21.1 percent and 6.9 percent year on year, largely due to those who came to Vietnam in the first five months.

The sector has, therefore, adopted a plan, with the focus on ensuring absolute security and safety for tourists at beauty sites, further improving the quality of services and boosting domestic tourism.

It has set to launch communication campaigns helping foreign tourists understand the nature of the East Sea situation and feel as safe as their houses when travelling around Vietnam.

To make up for the decline in Chinese visitors, localities and travel agencies were asked to speed up promotion programmes in other markets, especially Japan, the Republic of Korea, Russia and the ASEAN member countries.

Meanwhile, the culture sector has also organised a lot of activities in order to affirm the country’s sovereignty over national sea and islands, as well as to honour and promote culture values of the Vietnam ethnic community.

A series of culture and tourism events were also held in Vietnam and several countries, including Vietnam Culture Days in Russia, Vietnam Year in France and France Year in Vietnam, Hue Festival and the 2014 UN Day of Vesak.-

Bac Giang actively promotes tourism

The number of tourists to the northern province of Bac Giang has seen an average growth of around 15 percent in recent years, thanks to its efforts in tapping local tourism potential.

With its proximity to major northern economic-tourism hubs of Hanoi, Hai Phong city and Quang Ninh province, Bac Giang is striving to collaborate with these localities to build combined tours.

The province is home to more than 2,200 historical relic sites, including over 100 recognised national ones. The most remarkable are Vinh Nghiem Pagoda where more than 3,000 Buddhist sutra wood blocks are being preserved, Tho Ha Communal House, the revolutionary safety zone in Hiep Hoa district, and relics of the Yen The uprising in the French colonial time.

Bac Giang is also endowed with various scenic sites, notably Suoi Mo and Dong Thong tourism areas, or the Khe Ro primitive forest.

More than 500 traditional festivals are organised annually in the locality. Many of them feature unique cultural identities of local ethnic minority groups.

In addition, a variety of local specialties have long been famous throughout the country, such as lychee grown in Luc Ngan district, rice wine of Van village, ceramic of Tho Ha, crispy rice cracker of Ke village or dry rice noodle of Nam Duong.

With the target of turning tourism into one of its key economic sectors, Bac Giang has exerted efforts in implementing a number of programmes and projects to expand the industry until 2020 with a vision towards 2030.

Nearly 100 billion VND (4.7 million USD) from the provincial budget, along with tens of billions of VND mobilised from all economic sectors have been poured into preserving historical and cultural relic sites as well as traditional art forms such as Quan Ho (love duet singing) and Ca Tru (ceremonial singing), recognised by the UNESCO as two examples of the World Intangible Cultural Heritage.

In the time ahead, the province will do more to address shortcomings in tourism human resources, service quality and infrastructure in order to turn its potential into reality.

Northern province to launch spiritual tours from August

The northern province of Lao Cai will offer a tour of Mother Goddess worshipping sites along the Red River from August 10, hoping to draw more visitors to the border locality.

Director of the provincial Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism Tran Huu Son on July 10 said the tour will go through six temples in Phu Tho, Yen Bai and Lao Cai provinces, four of the destinations are located in Lao Cai.

More sections of the Noi Bai – Lao Cai Highway will be open to traffic in this August, shortening the travel time between capital Hanoi and the province, Son said, adding that he hopes more than 10,000 visitors will take this tour.

The worship of Mother Goddess is a folk belief that addresses the concerns believers have in their daily and a way to express their desires for good fortune.

Apart from the spiritual tour, Lao Cai also plans to organise lantern and street festivals in its resort city of Sapa in October.

An international marathon tournament will be held in Sapa on September 20 – 21 with the participation of some 450 athletes from 43 countries and territories.

In early September, the province will launch eight new tours and offer promotion packages such as discounts in ticket and service prices, the official announced.

Lao Cai is one of the tourism hot spots in Vietnam’s northwestern region, and its Sapa is a must-see place of interest.

In 2012, Sapa was among the five most favourite destinations of Vietnam. Its terraced rice fields were also selected as one of the seven terrace wonders of Southeast Asia.

Da Nang launches stimulus programme to lure visitors

The central city of Da Nang will launch a t ourism s timulus programme from August 1 to help local businesses overcome difficulties during the low season, the Da Nang Today online reported.

The city is likely to see a significant decrease in the volume of domestic visitors from September compared with the summer months. In addition, there has been a sharp decline in the number of visitors to the city from China and its territories since mid May.

In an attempt to attract more visitors, the “2014 Tourism Stimulus” programme is to be launched one month earlier than last year’s in order to encourage more domestic tourists.

The programme, which will run until 31 December , will focus on domestic and foreign tourist markets, and MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions) tourism, instead of only the domestic tourist market as last year.

According to statistics released by the city’s Tourism Promotion Centre, about 90 businesses across the city have so far registered to participate in the programme. They will offer many promotional programmes, and up to 10 percent discount on their services and products.

Apart from offering discounts, the businesses will pay special attention to diversifying their tourist products and launching new tours in order to attract more visitors to the city.

Last year’s programme drew a great deal of attention from local hotels, resorts, restaurants, transport service providers and tourist areas who offered up to 50 percent discount on their prices.

However, local travel agents were unable to offer the best prices to their customers because cooperation between themselves and the local service providers had been ineffective.

The city’s tourism experts stressed the need for airlines, travel agents and tourist areas to cooperate effectively in order to provide the most attractive promotions to visitors from both home and abroad.

Da Nang is home to an international airport with eight domestic routes and 20 international ones, an international seaport which welcomes 700,000 arrivals each year, and 337 accommodation facilities, including 10 five-star and nine four-star hotels and resorts.

In the first half of this year, it saw more than 1.7 million tourist arrivals, up 15.8 percent from the same period last year. Of this, the number of foreigners topped 450,600, a year-on-year rise of 15.7 percent.

VN to welcome 8.3 million int’l guests in 2014

Viet Nam catered for 4.28 million foreign visitors in the first half of 2014, up 21% and 23.4 million domestic tourists, up 7% year on year.

These holiday makers brought the tourism sector VND125,000 billion in revenues, up 22% compared to the same period last year.

The sector has set the goal of receiving 8.2-8.3 million foreign tourists and providing services for 37.5 million domestic visitors in 2014 for revenues of around VND240 trillion.