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Ho Dynasty Citadel now World Cultural Heritage

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) on June 16 presented a certificate to Vietnam, officially recognising the Ho Dynasty Citadel as the World Cultural Heritage.
Eric Falt, UNESCO Assistance Director General for External Affairs and Public Information, delivered the honour to representatives of the Vietnam National Commission for UNESCO and Thanh Hoa province, where the 14th century citadel is located. Photo: DTiNews

The citadel, also known as the Tay Do, An Ton, Tay Kinh or Tay Giai citadels, was Vietnam’s former capital under the Ho Dynasty from 1400 to 1407.

Built in 1397 on an area of about 150ha, the structure was supervised by Ho Qui Ly, a top Tran Dynasty mandarin, who later took the throne in 1400 and moved the capital from Thang Long (the former name of Hanoi today) to the citadel.

The stone structure, one of very few fortresses of its kind in the world, has four arched gates facing north, south, east and west. Despite the passage of time, the four gates remain intact.

It was recognised by UNESCO as the World Cultural Heritage on June 27, 2011. According to the UN organisation, the citadel buildings "represent an outstanding example of a new style of Southeast Asian imperial city".

Addressing the ceremony, National Assembly Chairman Nguyen Sinh Hung congratulated Thanh Hoa province on having an ancient architectural work honoured globally.

“The Ho Dynasty Citadel, together with other world tangible and intangible heritages, will enrich the thousand-year-old civilisation of the Vietnamese nation, helping international friends further understand Vietnam and its people, and opening up new opportunities for tourism development and cultural research in the country,” said Hung.

He said that the recognition requires Vietnam to conserve and promote cultural values of the citadel and other heritage sites in line with the Vietnam Heritage Law and the UN Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage.

Thanh Hoa province, about 150km south of Hanoi, plans to pour more than US$1 million into the restoration of the citadel to make it an attractive destination for domestic and foreign holiday-makers.

It will launch two special tours of the citadel to introduce heritage tourism potential in the province.
Apart from the Ho Dynasty Citadel, Vietnam has six other natural and cultural heritages recognised by UNESCO: the former imperial capital of Hue, Ha Long Bay, Hoi An Ancient Town, My Son Sanctuary, Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park, and Thang Long royal citadel in Hanoi.

Cuisine Festival in Central Region to be organized

In the framework of the National Tourism Year of the North - Central - Hue 2012 Cuisine Festival in Central Region will be held by Viet Nam National Administration of Tourism, Viet Nam Hotel Association and the Thua Thien Hue Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism at Hue Sports Centre from June 28-July 1. 

The festival will have the attendance of 50 booths displaying local special foods of the Central coastal provinces and cities and other areas of the country. Coming to the festival, visitors will not only have a chance to enjoy local specialties, but also learn how to cook. 

Cuisine Festival in Central Region aims to promote cultural and culinary values, introduce images, tourist products, and attractive tourist areas of Central coastal provinces to domestic and int’l tourists, and exchange experiences to improve tourist service quality.

The festival contributes to lure more tourists visiting Central coastal provinces during National Tourism Year of the North - Central - Hue 2012.

In addition to the cuisine festival, there are also many culture, sports and tourism activities which will be taken place in Hue city during June, July, and August 2012.

Source: TITC

Lang Co-World Beautiful Bay Festival to take place

The Lang Co-the World Beautiful Bay Festival will be held in Hue on June 16-17 within the framework of the 2012 National Tourism Year of Northcentral Coastal Region.

The event aims to draw visitors to Bien Ngoc tourism area in Lang Co town, Phu Loc district to enjoy different activities, including a showcase of traditional products, local seafood and beer, cycle race, kite flying, tug of war and other folk games.

The annual event, organized by the Thua Thien-Hue provincial Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism and the Phu Loc district People’s Committee, is expected to advertise tourism potential and attract domestic and foreign investment.
(Source: VOV)

Imperial Citadel to become historical park

The Hoang Dieu Archaeological Site and the ancient Thang Long Imperial Citadel in Hanoi are to become a cultural and historical park to promote the global value of the 1,300 year-old relic site.

 The main gate to the ancient Thang Long Imperial Citadel Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung has just approved plans for the transformation.

Under the PM’s instructions, the master plan will preserve the architectural vestiges, artifacts and archaeological remains. It will also establish an architectural harmony between the landscape and the Ba Dinh Political Centre.

Covering an area of 45,380 sq.m., the proposed site is located inside the Ba Dinh Political Centre, next to the National Assembly House now under construction.

The Hoang Dieu Archaeological Site will be linked with the NA House and the Citadel relics by four gates on Hoang Dieu, Doc Lap, Hoang Van Thu and Bac Son streets to make it easier for visitors.

Source: VNA

HCMC to develop waterways for tourism

The HCMC tourism sector has developed a project to exploit short, medium and long-distant routes from the town to Mekong Delta Provinces, Cambodia, neighboring province of Dong Nai and districts in the city.

Running alongside Tau Hu and Kenh Doi canals, now completely dredged, is the Vo Van Kiet road that has contributed to improving the environment and bringing a beautiful look to the city with advantage for tourism waterway development.

HCMC has great potential to develop its waterways for tourism like other countries in the region. Water environment, environmental sanitation, landscapes along Ben Nghe, Tau Hu, Kenh Doi, Kenh Te canals have been improved. District 8 authorities will develop tourism, but preserve historical and cultural sites, and protect the environment, said Nguyen Thanh Chung, chairman of the district People’s Committee.

The district government will promote destinations such as Binh Dong Temple, Long Hoa Pagoda, floating market on Binh Dong pier, ancient and night streets.

According to experts and leaders of travel companies, the municipal authorities can develop short day tours presenting daily activities of local people along canals to international visitors. The local government should also create advantage for enterprises to build their own piers to pick up tourists.
HCMC has great potential to develop its waterways but it has very few products to meet the demand for this special tourism and lacks facilities like a fully planned waterway network, boats, harbors, and stopovers for tourists.

Travel companies lure with huge promotions

Travel companies are offering huge promotional programmes and discount incentives of upto 30-40 per cent to lure travellers during this difficult economic time.

According to Mr. Tran Doan The Duy, deputy director-general of Vietravel Company, people have tightened spending and spend less money on travelling. The market needs a tourism promotion campaign for this summer season. Vietravel has cooperated with local and foreign partners including airlines, restaurants, hotels and transport enterprises to launch a discount of 30-35 per cent on domestic tours and 20 per cent on foreign tours. The company expects to receive 70,000 local tourists and 40,000 international visitors this summer.

Vietravel has also launched a promotion called “Enjoy summer-drive car freely” from May 16 to August 13. Accordingly, customers will have chances to win gifts, Honda Vision motorbikes and a Kia Morning car.

Saigon tourist, the country's leading travel company has offered new travel packages such as budget IKO travel (economy) on tours from Ho Chi Minh City to Phu Quoc, Da Lat, Da Nang, Hoi An, Hue, Nha Trang, Tuy Hoa, Phu Yen, Hanoi, Ha Long, Hai Phong and Sapa.

The company has joined hand with Vietnam Airlines, VietJet Air and Saigon tourist hotel associates throughout the country to offer promotions to holiday makers who will have a chance to win cash prizes upto VND300 million (US$14,000), air tickets or other services worth VND3 million and above.

Last summer season saw a growth of visitors and a year-on-year increase of 35-40 per cent. However, the present difficult economic time has travel firms worried, especially the decrease in visitors during the April 30th holidays.

Tourist companies have to spend a large amount to build tourism promotional programmes to encourage people to travel.

The HCMC Tourism Association, Vietnam Airlines and other travel enterprises have cooperated to launch promotions in 2012 for domestic tours, said Nguyen Thi Khanh, deputy chairwoman of HCMC Tourism Association.

Source:  Saoigon-giaiphongdaily

Da Nang City welcomes 1 million visitors in first five months

Da Nang City welcomed one million visitors in the first five months of the year, an increase of 11 per cent over the same period last year, said Nguyen Phuc Linh, deputy director of the Da Nang City Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism.

During the first five months of 2012, about 313,000 international tourists visited Da Nang City, an increase of 19 per cent compared to the same period in 2011.

About 40,000 tourists visited Da Nang during the Da Nang International Fireworks Competition.

The city’s tourism sector reported a turnover of about VND2,330 billion, an increase of 37 per cent against the same period last year.

Da Nang City now aims to receive three million domestic and one million international visitors by 2015.

Every year, more tourists are coming to the annual Da Nang International Fireworks Competition, which has become an important event in the city.

Located in central Vietnam, Da Nang is the third largest centrally-run city besides Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.