sapaTwo famous tourist attractions in Sapa district of the northern mountainous province of Lao Cai have been listed in Vietnam Records Book, according to the Lao Cai provincial Department for Culture, Sports and Tourism.

They are O Quy Ho pass, known as the longest one in Vietnam, on Highway 4D running through the Hoang Lien Son mountain range. The 50-km lies on the way from Lao Cai to Lai Chau provinces.

The Vietnam Record Book Centre (Vietkings) also enlisted the terraced field in Vu Lung Sung hamlet, Trung Chai commune, as the most beautiful one with a record number of 121 steps.

A ceremony will be held on November 2 to present certificates of Vietnam Record to these two tourist attractions on the 110th anniversary of Sa Pa Tourism Year.

Earlier, Lao Cai nominated three tourist attractions, including the largest terraced field area in Muong Hoa Valley in Lao Chai, Ta Van and Hau Thao communes, covering 935.42ha. But they have not yet been listed in Vietnam Record Book.

Lao Cai expects one-millionth tourist by October end

The northern mountainous province of Lao Cai expects to welcome the one-millionth tourist this year during a festival celebrating the 110th anniversary of Sa Pa , the province’s renown resort town, slated for October 25 – November 3.

A wide range of activities will be held during the event, including an exhibition highlighting Sa Pa and its journey to become a national tourism urban centre, and an international conference on preserving cultural heritage of mountainous ethnic groups in combination with developing sustainable tourism products in the context of globalisation.

A Sa Pa street carnival and a programme to discover Fansipan, the highest peak in Indochina , and a fireworks display will also take place within the framework of the event.

On this occasion, a ceremony to announce the recognition of terraced rice fields in Sa Pa as a national landscape site will be held on November 2.

As of the end of September, the number of visitors to the province reached 956,290, a year-on-year increase of 13.9 percent, representing 95 percent of the set target for 2013.

Buckwheat flower season kicks off

Buckwheat flowers in the northern mountainous provinces have begun to bloom along terraced fields, roads and in villages. The small, light-pink flowers turn to a light purple colour several days after blooming, resembling a vast pink painting.

In Ha Giang, Lao Cai and Cao Bang provinces, the fragrant flower’s peak of blooming is by the end of October and beginning of November.

Ha Giang has the largest areas of buckwheat flowers, mostly in Hoang Su Phi, Xin Man, Pho Bang, Pho Cao, Sung La, Dong Van, Lung Cu and La Me.

In Lao Cai, buckwheat flowers are planted in Si Ma Cai, Bac Ha and Muong Khuong; in Cao Bang, they are seen in Tra Linh and Trung Khanh.

Thai people hold New Rice Festival

Kin Lau Khau Mau, known as Thanksgiving or New Rice Festival of the ethnic Thai people, will be held tomorrow. The event will take place in Muong So Commune in Lai Chau Province’s Phong Tho District.

The annual festival is an occasion for ethnic Thai to give thanks for a bumper harvest and a chance for boys and girls to meet each other.

Highlights at the festival include cutting young paddy to make green rice flakes as an offering to the gods of water, land and sky.

The festival has folk games like nem con (a con, a colourful fabric ball, is thrown through a ring hung on a 15-20 m high bamboo pole) and tug of war.

Visitors are invited to eat green rice flakes and other traditional Thai dishes such as grilled stream fish and sticky rice.

Holland showcases culture

The Holland Village event, organised by the Consulate General of the Netherlands in HCM City, will be held in the September 23 Park in HCM City from October 22 -31.

The event introduces the culture and customs of the Netherlands to Vietnamese and foreign visitors in HCM City, including typical houses, windmills, flowers, handicrafts and fine-art products. Visitors can enjoy other activities, including music, traditional cuisine and games.

Tra Su cajeput forest in full bloom

Now is an ideal time to visit the Tra Su cajeput forest in An Giang Province as the 850ha submerged forest is more beautiful during the annual flood season in the Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta, which normally occurs between July and November.

Located in Tinh Bien District’s Van Giao Commune and about 200km from HCM City, Tra Su is the most famous submerged forest in the western region of the Hau River, a tributary of the Mekong River.

The only way to go deeper into the forest is by using a boat. In the forest’s areas where there are many lotuses, water lilies and water hyacinths, the scenery looks like a romantic painting.

The forest can be seen from a watchtower equipped with a telescope. From the tower, visitors see a vast green spread of cajeput trees and birds perched on trees.

AdventureVietnam unveils new Vietnam walking tour

AdventureVietnam, one of the leading specialists on tourism, just unveiled a two-week Vietnam Walking Tour throughout outstanding destinations of Vietnam.

Tourists will arrive in Hanoi and will explore this beautiful city, with its dozens of little handicrafts shops. Trip highlights include Halong Bay, Sapa, Hue, Hoi An and Ho Chi Minh city and its surroundings.

This special adventure tour engages the mind, body and spirit of travellers. The beauty of our tour is the flavours of firsthand knowledge and authentic, unique, sophisticated service handled by local active travel experts.

A guaranteed minimum of two for departure at any given day, all departures are accompanied by an English-speaking tour guide.

The Vietnam package tour is priced from $1,531 per person, valid until September 31, 2014, on a twin-sharing basis, including domestic economy flights, 13 nights’ accommodation, most meals, porters, airport transfers and sightseeing tours. $153 voucher for the two first travellers who book this trip.

“In response to market demand, our set departure offering will enable our travel partners and their clients the opportunity to book adventure tours on a predictable and affordable basis. If you book, we guarantee you are going,” said David Nguyen, sales and marketing director of AdventureVietnam.com

“On this walking vacation, you’ll enjoy full amenities at our exceptional lodgings and relish the local cuisine from gourmet dinners to the simplest picnic lunch. Each day of our Vietnam walking tour is a unique experience,” Nguyen added.

AdventureVietnam.com is Vietnam’s premier adventure travel company, offers travellers a one-of-a-kind adventure in Vietnam and the Mekong region.

“It is not just a trip, it is an unforgettable experience which engages your mind, body and spirit. Adventure Vietnam trips combine soft adventure with unparalleled cultural immersion in unique and exotic places. Choose your dream trip from our extensive portfolio of private, small group departures, self-guided adventures or ready-to-book private itineraries for once-in-a-lifetime celebrations,” the company said.

Three places in Quang Nam and Lao Cai recognised as national relic sites

One historical relic in central Quang Nam province and two geographical sites in northern Lao Cai province have been awarded national relic site status by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism.

The two sites in Lao Cai are Thien Long Cave in Tan Van Chu commune, Bac Ha district, and Sapa’s terraced rice fields in Lao Chai, Ta Van and Hau Thao communes, Sapa district. The third national relic site is the site of the Organisation Committee of Military Zone 5’s Party Committee in Tra Tan commune, Bac Tra My district, Quang Nam province.

The ministry asked people’s committees at all levels in the two provinces to take responsibility for managing and protecting the three national relic sites in accordance with the law on cultural relics.

HCM City’s insect market packed at weekends

A place commonly known as the insect market by many Saigonese due to its bustling trading activities over the past 15 years lies in District 5 surrounded by Thuan Kieu, Tan Hung and Hong Bang streets.

The market sells many kinds of food for ornamental fish and birds such as crickets, locusts, worms, long-tailed grass lizards, and even packed dried feed. Moreover, magpie-robins and many kinds of birds are also sold at the market.

The market opens from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. and is a popular venue for those who feed ornamental fish and birds and has customers from all over the southern and central regions.

The following photos depict the market’s atmosphere during a weekend morning.

Seminar promotes the opening of Da Lat – Singapore air route

A seminar was held in Singapore on October 21 to promote investment in the opening of an international air route from Da Lat to Singapore.

Nguyen Xuan Tien, President of the central highland Lam Dong provincial People’s Committee emphasized that the province will create favourable conditions for travel companies and businesses to develop the international travel market for the benefit of goods transfer through Singapore to the third countries.

The province will co-ordinate with relevant agencies to speed up the implementation of entry and exit procedures for tourists and facilitate the transport of goods through Lien Khuong airport under the terms of preferential treatment.

Vietnamese ambassador to Singapore Tran Hai Hau affirmed that businesses from Singapore and Lam Dong province have great potential for closer cooperation in trade and investment. Vietnam and Singapore have recently lifted their relationship to the strategic partnership with a view to boosting economic cooperation in all fields, and implement the Connectivity Framework Agreement.

Ambassador Hau emphasized that this is a good time for Singaporean businesses to promote cooperation with Lam Dong province. The Vietnamese embassy in Singapore will do its utmost to promote cooperation between the two business communities of Singapore and Lam Dong.

Jung Young Soo, advisor to CJ Group – a logistic firm in Singapore said that it is ready to cooperate with Lam Dong in the opening of an international air route from Da Lat to Singapore.

At the seminar, Chief Executive Officer of Centurion Investment Management Limited also introduced an international golf course project called The Dalat at 1200 which is expected to open in 2015.

The air route will open up opportunities for Lam Dong to boost trade and tourism cooperation with Singapore in particular and the Southeast Asia region in general.

Source: SGT/SGGP/VNA/VNS/VOV/ND