Tam Cốc a leader in the tourist field

June 08, 2024 - 09:43
With the annual Golden Colour of Tam Cốc – Tràng An Tourism Week being organised, now is one of the best times to visit Ninh Bình, just less than two hours away by car from central Hà Nội.

By Lê Hương

Tranquil Tam Cốc in the northern province of Ninh Bình has been lately more bustling than ever, with thousands of visitors flocking to enjoy its beautiful river, majestic mountains and clear blue skies. The paddy fields here are starting to ripen and turn yellow and seem to somehow sparkle in the warm golden sunlight.

With the annual Golden Colour of Tam Cốc – Tràng An Tourism Week being organised, now is one of the best times to visit Ninh Bình, just less than two hours away by car from central Hà Nội.

A particular highlight of Tam Cốc Tourism site is the huge 'painting' which has cut into a rice field.

Mục Đồng Thổi Sáo shows a boy herding a buffalo while playing flute, spanning over one hectare in total. It's a stunning sight, attracting tourists from far and wide. It is the third time the field has been turned into a work of art.

“It requires more advanced techniques compared to the images of previous years. We received guidance from experts who provided us with instructions on transforming the rice field," said Chu Văn Trinh, a local farmer.

FIELDS OF GOLD: 'Mục Đồng Thổi Sáo' picture cut into the rice field as seen from above. VNA/VNS Photo Đức Phương

Đào Hải Yến, a visitor from Nam Định said the picture showed the eye-catching beauty of the rice fields, creating a refreshing atmosphere that calls for a return visit.

“Through the picture, local people pray for a peaceful life, and a bountiful harvest,” she said. “The image portrays a lively boy riding a sturdy buffalo amidst vast fields, surrounded by lush greenery, symbolising the longing for harmony with nature.”

According to Hoàng Thanh Phong, director of Tam Cốc – Bích Động Tourism Site, each year they strive to create a unique product to differentiate and draw in tourists to visit.

“The picture holds the promise of being distinctive and appealing,” he said. “It contributes to the beautiful landscape and nature of the ancient capital region, while also reaffirming Ninh Bình Province's commitment to preserving and transmitting the globally significant values of Tràng An heritage.”

ADVENTURE TOUR: Visitors explore a cave through a karst mountain on the Ngô Đồng River. VNA/VNS Photo Đức Phương

Tam Cốc is dotted with lush mountains and rice fields, as well as the serene Ngô Đồng River and has been voted among the five most beautiful paddy fields in Việt Nam by Business Insider.

“I’m impressed with the natural landscapes here,” said Luke Vicent, a tourist from France. “I climbed up a mountain here and could see the picture cut onto the rice field. I will return with my family.”

The best time to visit is at the end of May and the beginning of June every year, when the shimmering rice fields are like a brilliant golden carpet winding along a romantic river through endless rows of trees. Karst mountains of thousands of mysterious shapes, full of verdant vegetation, create a picture that is surely one of the highlights of the nation's rich tourist map.

“We are developing various new forms of tourism in events, sports, community, agricultural experiences, river cruises, and much more.”

Bùi Văn Mạnh, director of the province’s Tourism Department

Alongside its aesthetic beauty and immense geological value, Tam Cốc contains traces of human history from tens of thousands of years ago, which were the formations of what became the capital Hoa Lư in the 10th century.

By the 13th century, the Trần kings relied on the rugged mountains here and rivers to build palaces and create a hold-out against invading forces. King Trần Nhân Tông (1258-1308) became a monk here before going to Yên Tử [in Quảng Ninh Province] to found the Trúc Lâm sect, with its strong Vietnamese cultural identity.

Official commitments

Addressing the opening ceremony on June 1, Trần Song Tùng, deputy chairman of the province’s People’s Committee [administration] said the tourism week was an important annual event in a series of activities to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Tràng An Landscapes Complex, a UNESCO World Cultural and Natural Heritage Site.

SERENE: The site has attracted many foreign tourists. VNA/VNS Photo Minh Đức

“The event will contribute to promoting and introducing Ninh Bình tourism and services,” he said. “At the same time, it shows that Ninh Bình is a unique, safe, friendly and attractive destination.”

The tourism week, lasting until June 8, includes many cultural and artistic activities. Visitors can experience many unique cultural and religious activities, see the rice fields, try wet rice farming, explore traditional handicraft products, and join a Tam Cốc Golden Season photography tour.

Bùi Văn Mạnh, director of the province’s Tourism Department, said the locality was focusing on developing cultural-historical tourism, wellness and eco-tourism.

“We are developing various new forms of tourism in events, sports, community, agricultural experiences, river cruises, and much more,” he told Việt Nam News.

Mạnh said the tourism sector had used and developed the unique culinary cultural values ​​of the province, as well as taken advantage of traditional and modern cultural products, such as books, newspapers, literary scripts, films, photos, fashion, cultural exchange events, and sports.

“We have also paid much attention to developing products and services to build the nighttime economy,” he said.

The transportation system and infrastructure have developed dramatically in recent years, especially the tourist transport network to key tourist destinations.

However, Mạnh said there were still many challenges: the infrastructure system and tourism technical facilities are not synchronised, with a lack of 4-5 star standard hotels, entertainment, guest support, shopping areas, night markets, and walking streets.

“The number of tourists is increasing rapidly but tourism revenue, spending, guests numbers, and length of stay of guests in Ninh Bình are still low and not commensurate with our potential and advantages,” he said.

AERIAL VIEW: Múa Cave Mountain is a popular destination in Ninh Bình Province. VNA/VNS Photo Đức Phương

In 2023, the province welcomed 6.6 million visitors, an increase of 77 per cent on the previous year. Revenue reached US$256 million, twice as much as in 2022.

In the first 6 months of this year, Ninh Bình welcomed over 6.26 million visitors, including over 700,000 from overseas, up by 38 per cent over the same period in 2023.

The local tourism industry set a goal this year that it would welcome 7.5 million visitors, including 900,000 international visitors. By 2030, it hopes for 12 million tourists, including 2 million from abroad.

The provincial tourism industry has been strengthened, especially by promoting the region on social networks.

“Tourist areas and destinations regularly organise attractive cultural and artistic activities, in which many types of services and landscapes are renewed,” Mạnh said. “Many units have keenly grasped the current travel trends of young people, developing eco-tourism, experience and discovering products.” VNS

Models in an áo dài collection by designer Thạch Linh inspired by Ninh Bình's localities at a fashion show in Ninh Bình City on September 9, 2023. The province aims to develop night tourism products like art shows. VNA/VNS Photo Hải Yến