HCM City-based travel agencies have unveiled special tours for foreigners who want to experience the atmosphere of the Lunar New Year or Tet.
Ben Thanh Tourist has launched a one-day tour to the Mekong Delta province of Vinh Long that will take visitors to Vinh Sang Tourist Park and people's houses in Vinh Long to take a look at rural life and Tet celebrations. It costs US$45 per person for groups of ten.
Saigontourist Travel Service Co has launched a tour called Celebrate Tet with Saigonese for five hours which will take in Cho Lon by cyclo, the flower market, and other tourist destinations in HCM City. Foreign guests can also join local people in making banh tet (the cylindrical glutinous rice cake) and have a meal with a local family. The tour is priced at $30 while a tour of My Tho costs $45.
The first Viet Nam Beer Festival organised by the Mekong Star JSC will attempt to break a beer drinking record in HCM City later this month.
On each day of the festival from January 21 to 23 at the Ministry Zone 7 Stadium, 5,000 guests are expected to come to enjoy the local and international beers, Vietnamese and western foods, DJs, and live music.
On the first night an attempt to break the Vietnamese record for the most people to offer a toast will be made.
Philippine carrier Cebu Pacific has added two more fights to its HCM City-Manila service, and plans to turn it into a daily service next Friday.
The additions take the number of flights a week to six.
The carrier carried around 30,000 passengers to and from Viet Nam last year, and expects to increase that number in 2011, Candice Lyog, the airline's vice-president for marketing and distribution, said.
The Cham Cultural Exhibition Centre in Binh Thuan Province will host a week of cultural events from January 30 to February 8 for Tet (Lunar New Year).
The highlights of the events will be an exhibition of costumes worn by Cham royalty, their crowns, seals, swords, and betel nut-making accessories.
Visitors can also see musical instruments and objects used by the Cham people in festivals, farming equipment such as buffalo carts and fish traps, stone jewellery, stone statues of Apsaras — the heavenly nymph of Hindu mythology – the gods Ganesa and Avalokitesvara, and a lion, linga-yoni, and documents written in the Cham language.
Rija Nugar (New Year Festival) and folk art performances will be held every night.
Saigontourist Travel Service Co has announced a four-day tour to Nha Trang from HCM City which includes a yacht tour in Nha Trang on board the four-star yacht King.
In Nha Trang, the yacht tour will start at the wharf in front of King Bao Dai's palace before cruising to Tre, Mun, Mot, Mieu, and Tam islands.
Visitors will cruise around Mun for swimming in the ocean, coral reef diving, and fishing before stopping at the Tri Nguyen Aquarium. Tourists on board the $1 million yacht can also request to stop at sights along the way.
The first batch of tourists will leave HCM City on January 22 and there will be one every Saturday. More information about the tour that will cost VND3.4 millon to 5.7 million is available at www.dulichtet.com . —VNS