National Geographic magazine has ranked Viet Nam's Ha Long Bay sixth in a list of the world's 10 best sailing cruises.
Ha Long Bay. (Photo: VNN)
This UNESCO World Heritage site is best explored by a cruise on a junk."
The list also included the Nova Scotia and Labrador Tall Ships cruise in Canada; US Washington state's San Juan Islands; a Pirate Cruise of the Grand Cayman Island; the Star Clipper to French Polynesia; a Junk Cruise in Andaman Sea, Thailand; the Seychelles Islands; a Dhow Cruise through the Strait of Hormuz, Oman; Lamu Island, Kenya and the Evia Island Cruise, Greece.
Last month, the Lonely Planet magazine also introduced the Ha Long bay as one of the world's top ten best boat journeys.
Central region helicopter tours offered
Da Nang-based Vitours has launched new helicopter tours around destinations in central Viet Nam, taking in sites in Da Nang, Cham Island in Quang Nam Province, Ly Son Island off Quang Ngai and Con Co Island off Quang Tri.
Vitours offers four tours, including the half-day Da Nang city tour, the one-day tour from Da Nang to Cham Island and My Son Tower Complex, the one-day tour from Da Nang to Con Co Island, and the one-day tour from Da Nang to Ly Son Island.
The half-day Da Nang city tour for groups of 16 to 19 people costs from US$340 to $375 per person. The company has also launched chartered flights for tourists.
Locals snatch up package tours
More than 27,200 local tourists have bought promotion tours this year, twice the number last year, prompting the Tourism Stimulus Team 2010 to ask the national tourism agency and more airlines to create promotion programmes for 2011.
Tran The Dung, deputy head of the team, said that prices of package tours to familiar destinations like Da Nang, Hue, Hai Phong, Ha Noi, Can Tho and Buon Ma Thuot had been slashed by 30 per cent to 35 per cent.
Viet Nam Airlines has lent a helping hand by slashing prices by half, while several travel service providers have marked down prices by 5 per cent to 10 per cent.
Up to 26 travel companies in HCM City have joined the Tourism Stimulus Team 2010 to promote discounted tours. They include Saigontourist, Ben Thanh Tourist, V.Y.C Travel, Youth Tourist, Fiditourist, Lua Viet, Young Generation Travel Co, Ltd, Peace Tour and SPSC Tour.
Da Nang to host firework contest
The central city of Da Nang will host an international fireworks contest from April 29-30 2011. Four foreign teams from South Korea, China, Italy and the UK are expected to participate in the event.
According to a plan announced by the city authorities, the UK team (Jubilee Fireworks Company), the South Korean team (Hanwha Group) and the host Viet Nam (Da Nang City's team) will perform on the first night. The second night will see fireworks set off by the Italian team (Parente Fireworks A&C SNC Group) and the Chinese team (Panda Fireworks Art Display Co Ltd.)
Quang Nam tourist complex gets nod
Quang Nam Province plans to license a US$4 billion complex to the south of Hoi An. Genting VinaCapital's Nam Hoi An project will feature a five-star hotel, a resort, villas, 2,500 houses and a casino. Genting VinaCapital is a joint venture between Malaysian resort developer Genting and Vietnamese fund manager VinaCapital.
Previously, the province had cancelled the licence issued for the $4.15 billion Dragon Beach eco-resort in Dien Ban District after its US developer failed to pay the advance amount and carry out some other tasks as agreed.
Golf complex opens in Hai Phong
Tourists travelling to the northern port city of Hai Phong will have another option now that the first phase of the Song Gia Resort Complex in the province's Thuy Nguyen District has opened.
Covering 130-ha, the first phase includes a five-star 60-room hotel, a 27-hole golf course, a driving range and golf academy, as well as serviced townhouses and luxury villas.
The second phase of the resort that will cover 530-ha will include a landscaped park, resident suites, a trade centre and a nursing house, and is expected to be completed in 2015.
The complex is being built and managed by South Korea's Hyundai Amco – a construction affiliate of Hyundai Motor Company.
"With experience in managing leading golf courses, including the Haevichi in Korea, we will offer the best services, which are deserving of such a leading golf course in Viet Nam," said Seok In-young, a member of the Hyundai Amco directorial board.
VietNamNet/Viet Nam News