Viet Nam's first ever international tea festival will be held in the northern province of Thai Nguyen in November, it has been announced.
The five-day festival's main events will be an international seminar on tea, a four-day tea culture festival, a "Miss Tea-land" beauty contest.
There will also be a photo exhibition on Thai Nguyen and its people, an international tourism and trade fair, a rural market featuring the region's specialities, a street festival, martial arts performances, human chess, boat racing contests, and eco-tours.
The festival venues will be the Museum of the Culture of Viet Nam's Ethnic Groups, Dinh Hoa Safety Zone Historical Relic, Coc Lake Tourist Site, and the tea-growing areas of Tan Cuong, La Bang, and Diem Mac.
Nguyen Thi Le Thu, director of the province's Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism, said tea producers and importers from 10 countries including China, India, Russia, Japan, and the US were expected to attend the event. Also attending would be representatives of 30 traditional tea-growing villages and companies from around the country.
The festival would not only be an occasion to introduce Vietnamese tea culture and products to international visitors, but also a chance for domestic and international tea businesses to compare notes, she said.
It would enable investors to tie up with local farmers to growing and processing tea.
An estimated 440,000 visitors, 40,000 of them from abroad, were expected to attend.
Viet Nam is the world's fifth biggest tea exporter, shipping to 110 nations and territories. Last year its exports topped 132,000 tonnes worth US$194 million, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.
Thai Nguyen, well-known for its green, aromatic, and black teas, is the country's second largest producer after Central Highland Lam Dong Province. — VNS