|Dragon-like: Artists perform at the Ha Long Carnival held in northern coastal city of Ha Long. The show gathered thousands of audience and kicked off summer holiday season in the city. — Photo disanxanh.vn
QUANG NINH (VNS)— The attraction of Quang Ninh Province as a place to visit and live in was highlighted yesterday as a mass art show inaugurated the Ha Long Carnival.
The gathering of 2,700 artists and residents in downtown Ha Long also set off this year's summer holidays in the northern province.
Called Converging Quintessence-Spreading Smiles the show included art performances on stage and dynamic street performances by amateur and professional artists from Viet Nam, Thailand and Chinese Taiwan.
Addressing the opening ceremony, Dang Dinh Hau, Deputy Chairman of the Province's People's Committee and head carnival's organising board said: First organised in 2007, the Ha Long Carnival has delivered different and fresh experiences to visitors each year. It has become a new, unique tourism trademark of Quang Ninh.
He said that this year, the carnival hopes to charm visitors with the province's culture, history, creativity and friendliness of its people. This would emphasise that the province was a place that is worth domiciling in, he said.
Yesterday's art show ended with a 15-minute fireworks display that entertained everyone present.
In the coming week, an array of other art and sports events will be held, including circus performances, beach volleyball tournaments, bike racing and badminton matches, as also a photo exhibition titled Quang Ninh – My Beloved Land.
Officials said the event is part of activities marking the 40th anniversary of National Reunification anniversary (April 30), the 140th anniversary of the International Labour Day (May 1) and 125th birthday of President Ho Chi Minh (May 19).
It also celebrated recognition of Ha Long Bay as a new World Wonder of Nature.
"Local tourism firms have spared no effort in improving the programme, enhancing service quality and promoting consumption," said Doan Manh Linh, an official with the province's Culture, Sports and Tourism Department.
Do Dieu Linh, director of the Muong Thanh Quang Ninh Hotel, said they were offering 40 per cent discounts on their room rates, buffet promotions and other services to domestic guests and students.
The hotel has also upgraded its swimming pools, entertainment centres and tennis courts, he said.
The Novotel Hotel, meanwhile, is offering a 50 per cent discount of room rates and Sai Gon Ha Long has refurbished its interiors and launched summer services including sightseeing tours to Ha Long Bay, Van Don and Co To islands.
The Bai Tho Tourism Service Co. said it has mobilised seven ships to serve tourists around the bay, and the Diamond Cruise Company said it was offering new ecological tours.
The Marine Plaza is hosting dozens of food stalls and restaurants with the capacity of serving up to 2,000 customers.
Nearly 200 souvenir and delicacy stalls are also open from 4 to 11pm everyday.
The Tuan Chau Resort has opened several restaurants by the beach. It will also invite artists from the Viet Nam Circus Federation and singers from different parts of the country to perform on the beach.
"The department has taken several measures to clean up the city's environment and promote the carnival in order to draw more tourists to the province, not just for the event, but all year round," Linh said. — VNS