Cruise ship tourists arrive in Hue
The HCM City-based Saigontourist Travel Service Co provided services to more than 2,000 passengers and crew members of the SuperStar Aquarius which docked at Chan May Port in the central province of Thua Thien – Hue on December 31.
After they made a tour of Hue, the vessel left for Ha Long Bay on January 1.
The world heritage site also welcomed more than 300 passengers who came on board the cruise ship Seabound Pride on the same day.
Kien Giang park attracts anglers
U Minh Thuong (Upper U Minh), a vast wetland rich in fish and water birds in the Mekong province of Kien Giang, has become a tourist attraction, especially for anglers.
Declared a national park in 2000, the 21,100-ha U Minh Thuong has a 44-ha bird sanctuary with more than 70,000 birds and 500ha set aside for tourists to go fishing.
Tourists have to pay VND40,000 (US$2) for a ticket which includes admission to the fishing area, a rod, and bait, while an optional boat costs VND30,000. If they catch any fish, they can ask locals for help to cook them right there with locally-grown vegetables.
One of the few protected tropical mangrove forests left in the world, the park is home to over 250 species of plants, 200 insects, 24 animals, and 180 birds, many of them rare and some in the red book of endangered creatures.
Hue monuments free for Tet
Visitors to Hue will get free admission to all monuments in the world heritage town during the three days of Tet (Lunar New Year) on January 23, 24 and 25.
The monuments include the Imperial Inner City, An Dinh Royal Palace, and the tombs of emperors Khai Dinh and Tu Duc.
"This is an annual promotion to offer local residents and visitors a chance to better enjoy Tet," deputy director of the Hue Centre for Monument Conservation, Phan Thanh Hai, said.
On normal days foreign visitors pay VND55,000 for entry into the Imperial Inner City, while locals pay VND35,000.
More Viet kieu to return home
The number of Viet kieu (Overseas Vietnamese) coming back home through HCM City for Tet this year is expected to increase significantly, according to the deputy head of the HCM City Committee for Overseas Vietnamese, Tran Hoa Phuong.
He gave no figures but predicted a strong increase given the difficulty for people to book air tickets now despite an increase in the number of flights.
Last year during Tet around 400,000 overseas vietnamese arrived via the city's Tan Son Nhat Airport, according to the National Committee for Overseas Vietnamese.
Carrier offers cheap fare
New budget airline VietJetAir is offering seats priced at a mere VND250,000 on flights from Ha Noi to HCM City between January 10 and 23 hoping to persuade people from the north to celebrate Lunar New Year in sunny HCM City. The tickets can be booked at www.vietjetair.com from January 4 to 8.
The private carrier will also increase the number of daily flights between the two cities to three from January 10 to meet rising demand from local and international tourists during Tet.
Two million City folk go on holiday
Around 2 million people from HCM City and neighbouring provinces went abroad on tours through the city's Tan Son Nhat Airport and the Moc Bai border in Tay Ninh Province last year, according to figures from the city Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism.
South Korea was the favourite destination, followed by Singapore, Malaysia, Cambodia, Thailand, Hong Kong, and China.
Competitive prices, low air fares offered by low-cost carriers, promotion campaigns, and simplified customs formalities are all enabling more people to travel abroad than ever before. — VNS