Cruise ship passengers enjoy Ha Long visit during Tet; Row your own sampan at Mekong Delta’s Gao Giong Park; Chinese visitors keep northern border gates busy on first day of lunar year; HCM City receives fewer visitors over Tet as tour prices rise
Three cruise ships carrying nearly 1,700 foreign guests docked at Ha Long Bay on the second and third days of the Lunar New Year (on Tuesday and Wednesday). The Azamara Quest brought with it 660 tourists from France, the US, the Netherlands and Canada. The ship anchored at Cai Lan Port while Costa Allegra and Minh Hoa Princess cruise ships took more than 1,000 passengers to the bay.
Before Ha Long Bay, these cruise ships docked at Tien Sa Port in Da Nang during the Tet (Lunar New Year) holiday. Saigontourist Travel Service Co. took these guests to world heritage sites at Hoi An, My Son Cham Tower complex and Hue. The Da Nang tourism authority said they received more than 4,500 foreign cruise ship tourists in January 2009.
Row your own sampan at Mekong Delta’s Gao Giong Park
One of the largest tourist sites in the Mekong Delta, the 1,700-ha Gao Giong Ecotourist Park is an area of natural beauty and tranquillity. The park offers visitors the chance to relax in hammocks under the shade of cajuput trees or to catch fish from nearby canals. Tourists can also take a quiet stroll through the woods or climb a watchtower standing 18m tall for a spectacular panoramic view of the area.
Boat trips are also available in a sampan, a type of rowboat. Guided sampan tours last around 45 minutes accompanied by a female guide wearing a traditional ao ba ba (a type of blouse). Tourists can try rowing the boat themselves.
Situated about 20km from Cao Lanh Town, Gao Giong becomes a “green oasis” from August until October every year when the Mekong River floods the region. People visiting the park at this time will experience this unique weather and have an opportunity to enjoy specialties such as ca linh (a species of freshwater fish).
Chinese visitors keep northern border gates busy on first day of lunar year
Some 700 Chinese tourists entered Viet Nam through a border gate in Lao Cai Province on the first day of the Lunar Year (on Monday). The Lao Cai-based Binh Minh Travel Agency said they organised tours for more than 3,000 Chinese tourists who entered Viet Nam through border gates in the north on the first four days of the Lunar New Year.
HCM City receives fewer visitors over Tet as tour prices rise
Visitors to HCM City during the Tet holidays dropped by 20 to 25 per cent this year compared with 2008. Meanwhile, tour prices increased by 20 per cent over other times of the year, according to figures from the Nguoi Lao Dong newspaper.
The Dam Sen Park in District 11 received some 250,000 visitors during the first three days of the Lunar New Years (from Monday to Wednesday). Suoi Tien Tourism Park in District 9 welcomed some 300,000 visitors, including Overseas Vietnamese from Thailand, Cambodia and India, over the same period. This equalled last year’s figures.