|They like it here: Foreign tourists visit the Nha Trang Flower Festival at Phi Yến Park. Photo baokhanhhoa.vn
KHÁNH HÒA — The number of foreign tourists visiting the coastal city of Nha Trang for Tết (Lunar New Year) is expected to rise sharply this year, according to the Khánh Hòa Province’s Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism.
In January, the city welcomed 200,000 foreign visitors, an increase of 160 per cent compared to the same period last year.
Nguyễn Thị Lệ Thanh, the department’s deputy director, said the city and tourism agencies began organising a total of 67 cultural activities for the holiday last Thursday.
The city’s People’s Committee launched a Flower Festival at Phi Yến Park, where nearly 1,000 indigenous and foreign flowers, bonsai plants and trees, and ornamental fish and birds can be seen. It will be open until February 20 (or January 5 of lunar calendar).
On February 15 (Lunar New Year’s Eve), the province’s Cultural Centre will hold music performances, featuring tài tử, folk and pop music.
The centre will also organise bài chòi (folk singing combining music, poetry, acting, painting and literature) and street arts performances, as well as a human Chinese chess competition from February 16-March 2 (January 1-15 on the lunar calendar).
From February 13 to 20, the Khánh Hòa Traditional Arts Theatre will host free music and dance shows at its venue, the April 2 Square, and Po Nagar Chăm Tower to serve tourists and locals.
Meanwhile, local tourism agencies will organise traditional Tết activities like lion dances, calligraphy delivery and bánh chưng (square sticky rice cake) making.
New tours to handicraft villages will offer tourists opportunities to make Vietnamese traditional dishes and jams.
Thái Hồng Sơn, director of the Sputnik Tour Company which offers tours to Russian tourists, said: “We’ve received many orders for Tết, so we want to provide exciting and interesting tours and activities for tourists.”
Trường Văn Thọ, director of the city-based Vietnamtourism Charter Joint Stock Company, which brings Chinese tourists to the city, said the number of Chinese booking tours to Nha Trang for Tết has increased 20 per cent compared to normal days.
“Chinese tourists like Nha Trang for its cuisine, beautiful beaches and warm weather,” said Thọ, adding that they also want to discover Vietnamese culture.
The Nha Trang’s Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism has asked tourism agencies to only use tour guides who have certificates and ensure safety for tourists taking part in adventure activities.
The department has also asked local restaurants to monitor food safety, while stores have been told to sell products with clearly labelled sources of origin. — VNS
The Saigontourist Travel Service Company last Thursday welcomed and served 2,500 passengers from the Celebrity Constellation cruise ship, which anchored in Bà Rịa – Vũng Tàu Province. The tourists from the UK, France and the US visited HCM City, Mỹ Tho City of Tiền Giang Province, and Bà Rịa-Vũng Tàu Province.
According to Saigontourist, the company welcomed about 34,000 passengers of international cruise ships to Việt Nam before and during Tết holiday. The visitors took part in Tết activities and traditional games. — VNS
|Tree hugger: A foreigner in Nha Trang buys a kumquat tree for the Tết holiday. Photo baokhanhhoa.vn