Hanoi launches double story tour buses

Hanoi’s first “Hop on – Hop off” buses were launched on May 30 to serve tourists in exploring the capital city, aiming to create a highlight in local tourism in this summer.

Hanoi launches double story tour buses: Hanoi’s first “Hop on – Hop off” buses were launched on May 30 to serve tourists in exploring the capital city, aiming to create a highlight in local tourism this summer. According to Deputy Vice Chairman of the Hanoi Transportation Service Corporation Nguyen Cong Nhat, the Hanoi city tour Hop on – Hop off using the roofless buses gives visitors a view of the city from the above. The “Hop on-Hop off” bus service designed by Hanoitourist travel company aims to offer tourists a new and more convenient way to explore Hanoi’s tourist attractions.  

Each bus has 80 seats and is equipped with modern technology, including the GPS system, free Wifi, USB gates, refrigerator, a TV screen and safety cameras. An automatic narration system in various languages such as English, Chinese, Japanese, and Korean is also installed in the buses, giving visitors an overall insight of over 30 most typical tourist attractions of the city. As one of the first visitors using the service, Dac Luong from Hoan Kiem district of Hanoi said that the service gives visitors a convenient tour through various streets.

Route 01 departs from the Dong Kinh Nghia Thuc Square near Hoan Kiem Lake, passing Le Thai To – Trang Thi- Dien Bien Phu – Doc Lap – Hoang Van Thu – Hung Vuong – Thanh Nien – Yen Phu – Thanh Nien – Hung Vuong – Phan Dinh Phung – Hoang Dieu – Le Hong Phong – Hung Vuong – Nguyen Thai Hoc – Van Mieu – Quoc Tu Giam – Ton Duc Thang – Nguyen Thai Hoc – Cua Nam – Phan Boi Chau – Ly Thuong Kiet – Phan Chu Trinh – Hai Ba Trung – Le Thanh Tong – Trang Tien – Dinh Tien Hoang and ends at the bus station (starting point).

In the weekend, as the pedestrian streets open, the route changes to Hanoi Opera House – Trang Tien – Ngo Quyen – Ly Thuong Kiet – Quang Trung – Trang Thi – Dien Bien Phu – Doc Lap – Hoang Van Thu – Hung Vuong – Thanh Nien – Yen Phu – Thanh Nien – Hung Vuong – Phan Dinh Phung – Hoang Dieu – Le Hong Phong – Hung Vuong – Nguyen Thai Hoc – Van Mieu – Quoc Tu Giam – Ton Duc Thang – Nguyen Thai Hoc – Cua Nam-Phan Boi Chau – Ly Thuong Kiet – Phan Chu Trinh – Hai Ba Trung – Le Thanh Tong – Hanoi Opera House.

The operation time of the service is from 9:00 to 18:10. One bus will depart in every 30 minutes. Ticket price is 300,000 VND (13.2 USD) for a four-hour tour, 450,000 VND (19.8 USD) for 24 hours and 650,000 (28.6) for 48 hours.

According to Nguyen The Hung, Vice Chairman of the Hanoi People’s Committee, last year, Hanoi served nearly 24 million visitors, up 9 percent over 2016. The municipal Department of Tourism predicted that in the first half of 2018, the growth in the number of tourists to the city will reach 24 percent.

As a regional and global attractive destination, Hanoi eyes to welcome 25.4 million tourists, including 5.5 million foreigners, this year.

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Da Nang summer travel programme

A series of 23 exciting events under the 2018 Da Nang Summer Destination programme, taking place from June 16 to 20, promises to give visitors a new and interesting experience in the coastal city this summer.

TA series of 23 exciting events under the 2018 Da Nang Summer Destination programme, taking place from June 16 to 20, promises to give visitors a new and interesting experience in the coastal city this summer.  

The Da Nang municipal Tourism Department announced the agenda for the annual summer travel stimulus programme on Thursday, aimed at attracting tourists to Da Nang. Accordingly, the opening ceremony for the 2018 Da Nang Summer Destination will take place at Bien Dong (East Sea) Park on June 16, featuring a series of attractive art performances in parallel with music programmes, street festivals, and cuisine events.

A yoga festival will also be held on Da Nang’s beaches, offering visitors the chance to practice yoga with professional instructors. Cinema shows at sea will feature a series of free films on the theme of Viet Nam and its tourism, including the Kong: Skull Island, a critical and commercial success which was filmed at various locations around Viet Nam.

Both visitors and Da Nang locals will have the chance to enjoy activities throughout the programme, such as decorating and arranging coracles, joining coracle racing and singing.

A new feature for this year’s event is “awakening” the tourism potential of the beach along Nguyen Tat Thanh Street with many meaningful activities, such as a festival exchanging garbage for notebooks, Bai Choi folk singing, and cultural exchange programmes.

According to Ngo Quang Vinh, Head of Da Nang Tourism Department, this is the first time the department has coordinated with local businesses and tour operators to promote Da Nang’s tourism products.

The 2018 summer holiday festival with its many innovations will contribute to the creation of recreational activities serving tourists and promote marine tourism products in Da Nang, helping turn it into a city of events and festivals, Vinh added.

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Mausoleum closes for maintenance

The Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum is an important landmark of Ha Noi capital city and stands integrated to the political and social history of Viet Nam.
MAUSOLEUM CLOSES FOR MAINTENANCE. The President Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum in Hanoi will be closed to visitors for maintenance from June 15 to August 15, according to the mausoleum’s Management Board. The sites will resume operation from August 16, said the statement. The Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum is an important landmark of Ha Noi capital city and stands integrated to the political and social history of Viet Nam. After his death on September 2, 1969, President Ho Chi Minh was embalmed and put for view in this granite mausoleum. The mausoleum, modeled after Lenin’s tomb in Moscow, was built in two years, from 1973 to 1975, with materials donated by people from all over the country. The mausoleum welcomed nearly 51,000 visitors, including 11,500 foreigners during holidays in celebration of the 43rd National Reunification Day (April 30) and International Workers’ Day (May 1) this year. Services: Vietnam visa approval letter

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Can Tho-Bangkok direct air route

WorldTrans will cooperate with domestic travel companies to operate charter flights between the Vietnamese and Thai cities. The first flight carrying 180 passengers departed from Can Tho to Bangkok on June 6 morning by Airbus 320 of Thai Vietjet Air, a Thai low-cost airline and an associate company of Vietjet Air.

Can ThoBangkok direct air route launched: The World Transportation Services Joint Stock Company (WorldTrans) on June 6 launched a direct air route between Can Tho city (Vietnam) and Bangkok (Thailand) at Can Tho International Airport. WorldTrans will cooperate with domestic travel companies to operate charter flights between the Vietnamese and Thai cities. The first flight carrying 180 passengers departed from Can Tho to Bangkok on June 6 morning by Airbus 320 of Thai Vietjet Air, a Thai low-cost airline and an associate company of Vietjet Air.  

WorldTrans will operate 28 charter flights within three months from June to August 2018, serving about 5,000 passengers. The direct flight from Can Tho to Bangkok starts at 9:05 am, and vice versa 7:00 am. The flight duration is one hour and 25 minutes. To date, WorldTrans has sold out 5,000 air tickets. WorldTrans General Director Vu Duc Bien said after three months of operation, WorldTrans will study the possibility of maintaining the air route until the end of this year and have a new plan for 2019.

Apart from this air route, WorldTrans aims to operate 100 charter flights from Can Tho and other Vietnamese cities and provinces to Japan, the Republic of Korea, China, and other Asian countries. According to the municipal People’s Committee, the traveling demand in Can Tho and the Mekong Delta, in general, is increasing. The launching of the Can Tho-Bangkok air route will open up new opportunities for the tourism sector in the Mekong Delta city to prosper.

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Dalat model village

The clay tunnel or Dalat model village of clay sculptures is a must-see destination

The clay tunnel or Dalat model village of clay sculptures is a must-see destination. Covering more than 1,200 square meters of lush pine forest, the clay tunnel is a new artificial wonder for Dalat city in the central highland province of Lam Dong. The clay tunnel located in the middle of the pine forest and it’s a miniature version of Dalat city, includes unique architectural masterpieces such as the railway station, Bao Dai’s Palace, Pasteur Institute, Dalat University, Palace Hotel, Linh Son Pagoda, Ho Xuan Huong Lake, and Dalat market are meticulously reproduced with red clay.

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Dalat – A Miracle Night

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HCMC keen on developing shopping tourism

HCM City has become a veritable shopping mecca, but experts say that tourist spending remains at a low level. Traditional markets such as Ben Thanh, Binh Tay, An Dong Plaza and Saigon Square as well as luxury department stores Takashimaya, Vincom Centre, Parkson and Diamond Plaza can be conveniently reached by different means of transport or on foot from the city’s centre.

HCM City keen on developing shopping tourism: As the country’s economic hub and tourism magnet with name-brand boutiques and a wide variety of local and foreign goods, HCM City has become a veritable shopping mecca, but experts say that tourist spending remains at a low level. Traditional markets such as Ben Thanh, Binh Tay, An Dong Plaza and Saigon Square as well as luxury department stores Takashimaya, Vincom Centre, Parkson, and Diamond Plaza can be conveniently reached by different means of transport or on foot from the city’s center.  

While a wide array of international brands and renowned local designs can be bought at many of these sites, the city also has many streets that specialize in selling paintings, fabric, antiques, jewelry or traditional medicine in or near the downtown area. Because of the wide variety of Vietnamese-made products and souvenirs, wandering around downtown is a must-do experience, especially for foreign tourists, according to Nguyen The Trung, a tour guide of Transviet Tour Company.

The famous Ben Thanh market, located in an easily accessible central location, is open all day and night, offering a taste of local lifestyles. It offers clothing, footwear and textiles as well as brocade, jewelry, and special local dishes, among countless other items. However, prices at Ben Thanh Market and the discount shopping mall called Saigon Square can be inflated and tourists are urged to bargain up to 50 percent under the ticketed price.

“I visited Ben Thanh market one time, and bought nothing,” said Alexander Markos Kennedy, who has worked in HCM City for five years. “It’s exciting to look around inside the market, but it’s not a good place for shopping as you have to bargain and the quality of products is not good. I just wandered around some streets and visited stores in the city center. I finally bought two cups with photos of Ha Noi, and some T-shirts, paintings and jewelry boxes at different stores to take home. The items were inexpensive, lightweight and easily portable for his flight back to the US, he said.

Many souvenirs shops and stores providing these kinds of products, however, had failed to satisfy tourists’ shopping needs and tastes, Trung said, adding that handmade embroidery, silk fabric, clothes, handicrafts, lacquerware, tea, and coffee were all popular tourist purchases. Tran Van Long, general director of Viet Media Travel Corporation, said that foreign tourists’ length of stay in HCM City averaged only 2.6 days but could be longer if shopping was promoted. Because of its many shopping centers and premium stores, the city should develop specific plans to promote the city as a shopping destination for tourists, according to Nguyen Quoc Ky, chairman and general director of Vietravel. Pedestrianized streets such as Bui Vien and Pham Ngu Lao in the popular backpacker and budget area of HCM City’s District 1 should have more stores and entertainment services for tourists, he said. Nighttime activities for tourists, including entertainment shows and leisure activities as well as shopping hours between 6pm and 2am, could result in a huge volume of revenue for the tourism sector, according to Ky.

Most tourism services now operate from 7am to 5pm, even though most tourism revenue is gained by nighttime services and activities. Vietnamese tourists often travel to Thailand not just for beautiful landscapes or historic sites but also for shopping and entertainment services. Nguyen Dinh Quang, the operation supervisor at Indochina Tourist & Trade Co., Ltd, said the city should develop shopping complexes for tourists that would offer a wide range of products at reasonable prices and a guarantee of high quality.

“Overlapping products at different stores and poorly designed souvenirs are among the shortcomings,” he said, adding that product price and quality at markets and souvenir stores are not strictly supervised. “Counterfeit goods also flood the market and stores, causing concern among local and foreign tourists about the availability of genuine, high-quality products.” To prevent fraud, tourism authorities and market supervision agencies should strictly monitor markets and stores that attract many tourists, Quang said.

Bui Ta Hoang Vu, director of the city’s Department of Tourism, said the number of foreign tourists visiting HCM City in 2017 hit a record-high of 6.4 million, up 23 percent compared to the previous year. However, tourism receipts increased only 12.6 percent year-on-year to reach VND116 trillion ($5.11 billion), he said. “To encourage spending, the department plans to set up a shopping complex with authentic made-in-Viet Nam products with properly fixed prices to meet demand.” Only 60 stores and shopping centers had received certifications for quality standards issued by the Department of Tourism, he said, adding that the department planned to expand the number of certified stores. This year, the department would organize a contest on designing and producing souvenirs and gifts for tourists and would work with the Department of Industry and Trade to regularly hold sales programs for tourists.

Souvenir shopping is an integral component of the travel experience and contributes a significant proportion of overall travel expenditures, according to Pham Trung Luong, deputy chairman of the Viet Nam Tourism Education Association under the Viet Nam Tourism Association. The country should develop shopping complexes geared toward tourists at popular destinations in the country, which would make it easier to manage prices and the quality of products.

The procedures to receive refunds on value-added tax (VAT) for foreign tourists should also be simplified, he said. As of the end of last year, only 573 stores of 77 enterprises were taking part in the VAT refund program, according to the city’s Department of Tourism. Economist Dinh The Hien said that many foreigners were unaware of Viet Nam’s VAT refund policy. “VAT refunds are more common and more easily secured in Singapore, Hong Kong, Japan among other countries,” he said.

Le Tuan Binh, deputy director of the customs department of Tan Son Nhat International Airport, said that VAT refunds processed daily at the airport amounted to only VND100 million ($4,400), reflecting low demand. The electronic data connection between stores, customs agencies and banks should be improved to facilitate VAT refunds and purchases, Binh said.

Kenneth Atkinson, executive chairman of the accounting and consulting firm Grant Thornton Vietnam, said the low amount of tourist spending was not only an issue in HCM City but also in other destinations in the country. More visitors are coming from mainland China, Russia and Taiwan and other countries, but they spend less than $860 (2016 data), while visitors from Europe and North America spend an average $1,400 to $1,600. Under a new government resolution, the country aims to have by 2020 18.5 million visitors and US$20 billion in spending by international tourists for leisure and business travel, Atkinson added.

These figures would gradually increase average direct visitor spending to $1,080 from the current $860, but it would entail changing the mix of visitors and attracting more tourists from developed countries. To accomplish these goals, there should be changes in policies on destination marketing, improved visa facilitation, visa exemptions for more countries, and expansion of the e-visa program, he said. Extending visa exemptions to 30 days and offering a one-visa policy for the four countries in Indochina (Viet Nam, Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar), as well as more targeted marketing of destinations, would all contribute to a higher number of tourists and spending, according to Atkinson.

Source: http://bizhub.vn
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Ly Son Island night market

Ly Son Island have new night market

The island district of Ly Son, 30km off the coast of the central province of Quang Ngai, opened a night market for tourists on the island in May. According to Vice-chairwoman of the district’s People’s Committee, the night market located in front of Muong Thanh Ly Son Hotel in An Vinh commune. Huong said the market, which will run from 6pm until 10:30pm daily, will host 40 pavilions selling souvenirs, dried seafood and specialties of the island as well as an entertainment center. She said a lack of night entertainment and shopping service has hampered tourist attraction.  

Last year, Ly Son island and An Binh islet hosted more than 200,000 tourists. The island has 18 hotels, guesthouses and homestays providing accommodation for 1,000 tourists at present. The islanders of Ly Son offer local cuisine and garlic and onion farming experiences for tourists during a sea trip from Sa Ky port in summer. Ly Son and a vast coastal area of Binh Son district may receive Global Geo-Park recognition from UNESCO. It has been well-known as the ‘King of Garlic’ in Vietnam with 21,000 inhabitants, most of whom make their living from farming garlic and spring onions and fishing.

According to archaeologists, Ly Son Island is a dormant volcano. The terrain of the island was created from eruptions 25 to 30 million years ago, leaving landscapes with rocks, caves, cliffs, rock arches and a lake.

The island has abundant relics related to the Sa Huynh, Champa and Dai Viet (or Great Viet) cultures that existed on the island for thousands of years. Islanders still preserve the annual Hoang Sa festival to pay tributes to local men who enlisted in the Hoang Sa flotilla hundreds of years ago.

The flotilla was set up under the Nguyen dynasty to patrol the Hoang Sa (Paracel) and Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelagos and salvage goods from wrecks, catch fish and maintain a Vietnamese presence in the area. The festival, which includes a requiem for those who had died on the sea patrol missions, a procession of four supernatural creatures and the release of lanterns, has been recognized as the National Intangible Heritage.”

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Dalat entertainment show

ĐÀ LẠT — The first ever entertainment show for tourists will open soon in the Central Highland city of Đà Lạt

DALAT ENTERAINMENT SHOW — The first ever entertainment show for tourists will open soon in the Central Highland city of Dalat. The new show, called “Dalat – A Miracle Night”, is run by the CNT Company and can accommodate up to 400 people. 

It will offer various forms of theatrical entertainment, such as drama, music, comedy and dance, as well as circus shows, every Saturday and Sunday night. It will be performed at the present location of  April 3 Cinema, in Hoa Bình area, in downtown Dalat. The show will feature with 5D technology, which will allow audiences to use their senses of touch and smell.

April 3 Cinema and Xuan Huong Lake have for a long time been considered famous tourist spots in the city. They have been ingrained in the memories of both tourists and locals. They have also stood witness to various changes in the city. That’s the reason why the project is carried out there. The first performance will open on June 2. Dalat is the capital of Lam Dong Province and located 1,500m above sea level on the Langbian Plateau in the southern part of the Central Highlands region. First discovered by the French in the 19th century, the area has since been among the country’s most popular tourist destinations.

Read more: Dalat City. Lam Dong.
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Direct air route HCM City Zurich

Edelweiss, Switzerland’s leading leisure airline, announced it will open a direct air route between HCM City and Zurich this November, serving two flights per week as part of the carrier’s plan to expand its flight network in Asia.

Direct air route HCM City Zurich: Edelweiss, Switzerland’s leading leisure airline, announced it will open a direct air route between HCM City and Zurich this November. Serving two flights per week as part of the carrier’s plan to expand its flight network in Asia. This is the first direct air route between Vietnam and Switzerland, aiming to reduce travel times, stimulate tourism demands, and trade between the two countries.  

Some travel agents are preparing to launch online ticketing services to help passengers to purchase tickets easily. Edelweiss CEO, Bernd Bauer, said that Vietnam has become popular among Swiss people thanks to the attractive destinations on offer.

The airline expects to serve 10,500 passengers traveling from Switzerland to HCM City each year, earning a revenue of US$32 million per year. The new air route helps to bring tourists from Switzerland and Europe closer to Vietnam and provides a wide range of options for connecting flights from Zurich to other famous tourist attractions through the Swiss airline.

At present, Edelweiss is working with major travel operators in Vietnam to design tour packages for the new route between Vietnam and Switzerland. The predicted passenger growth for the route suggests an increase of about 10% per year over the next 3-4 years. According to the General Statistics Office, in the first five months of the year, more than 16,500 Swiss passengers arrived in Vietnam, up 4.2% against the same period last year. As a wealthy country, Switzerland’s tourists tend to spend more when holidaying abroad than visitors from other nations.

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Quan Ba – Ha Giang province

Quản Bạ is a rural district of Ha Giang province in the Northeast region of Vietnam

Quan Ba, a scenic district in northern Ha Giang province is a gateway to the Dong Van Karst Plateau Geopark. High rocks, small, deep valleys, winding roads, and unique local culture make Quan Ba a tourist attraction. Located between 1,000 and 1,600 meters above sea level, Quan Ba district comprises a township and 12 communes inhabited by 16 ethnic groups, 60% of them Mong, 14% Dao, and 11% Tay. Quan Ba is the only place in Vietnam that is home to the Pu Y ethnic group of 880 people.

The Tay live in stilt houses with palm thatch. The Dao build their mud house and grow wet rice at the foot of the mountains. The Mong live in the high mountains and mainly cultivate maize. The local traditional crafts are weaving, carpentry, and pottery. The Tay, Mong, and Dao in Quan Ba embrace a rich treasury of folk cultures with numerous legends, fairy tales, poems, and folk tunes.

Quan Ba is full of exceptional sites such as the Dong Van Heaven Gate, the Can Ty walls, Kho My Tung Vai cave, and Thach Son Than mountain. On the Dong Van karst plateau are two limestone peaks that evoke the shape of two female breasts that are associated with a Mong legend about a fairy named Hoa Dao (peach blossom) who fell in love with a Mong man. They got married and had a little boy.

Furious, the Jade Emperor forced Hoa Dao to return to heaven. Upon leaving the earth, she left her breasts to feed her baby. Later, her two breasts turned into two mountains that the locals dubbed “Fairy Mountain”. Nguyen Tuan Khoa, a photographer from Hanoi said “Tourists, passing through Quan Ba, stop to contemplate the beautiful landscapes and these two breast-like mountains. I have been here several times and each time I have been strongly impressed.”

In Quan Ba, tourists can explore ethnic villages and hamlets like Hop Tien village’s brocade weaving craft, or the Tày Cultural Village in Tam Son township. They can also listen to Then singing and Tinh zither music and attend the rite of passage to adulthood of the Dao, hear the prayers for a good harvest of the Nung and Tay, join the Gau Tao feast of the Mong, and observe the worship of the forest genie by the Pu Y.

The Quan Ba, Quyet Tien, Tung Vai, and Trang Kim markets sell local products and specialties. It would be a shame to stay in the area without sampling ethnic culinary specialties like corn alcohol, smoked pork, farm pork, cornflour, and black-legged chicken. Quan Ba has landscapes of striking beauty and meeting its ethnic minorities is an unforgettable experience.

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