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Amazing caves lure more holidaymakers to central province



Tien Cave, which is one of the most popular caves in the central province of Quang Binh, was explored by the British Cave Research Association for the first time in 1994, and officially put into service in 2015.

Amazing caves lure more holidaymakers to central province hinh anh 1Inside Hang Tien Cave (Photo:  Oxalis Adventures-Ryan Deboodt/VietnamPlus)

Quang Binh Tien Cave, which is one of the most popular caves in the central province of Quang Binh, was explored by the British Cave Research Association for the first time in 1994, and officially put into service in 2015.

Located in Phong Nha – Ke Bang National Park, it is the last and the largest of its kind in the Tu Lan cave system with amazing stalactites resembling terraced fields. Sun rays shining through the cave create an abundance of plants, making Tien Cave truly a unique and majestic picture of nature.

It is a dry spiral cave connected to Tu Lan cave and lies about 100km from Phong Nha cave.

Tien cave is located amidst large mountains and dense forests, so before reaching the cave, visitors will have to cross the forests and streams, then walk along the trails.

Its name stems from mystery. Legend has it that fairies from the heaven descended to this land, and were so busy sightseeing they forgot their way back. Cao Quang people discovered this place centuries ago and make it a sacred place to carry out important rituals in their spiritual life, including praying for rain and peace. The sacred and mysterious factors retain this scenic beauty’s ancient and wild characteristics.

With a total length of nearly 3 km, Tien Cave consists of two branches, Tien 1 and Tien 2, separated by a primeval forest with many ancient trees.

Due to the geological structure, both branches are divided into sections. The ceiling of the cave is 30-100 metres high. On the ceiling and the walls of the cave are colourful and unique shapes.

The entrance to Tien 1 branch is very wide, dome-shaped with a height of nearly 70 metres and a width of 50 metres. The most impressive feature of Tien 1 branch is stalactites lying on top of one another like terraced fields.

The floor looks like undulating waves and on rainy days it appears to be covered with a layer of fine sand stretching beside the stalactites.

Particularly, thanks to the sunlight shining inside, the flora in Tien 1 branch develops quite well, contributing to the creation of a colorful picture of nature.

Along with Tien 1 branch, Tien 2 branch is called “unknown paradise” in the mountainous area of Cao Quang commune. This is the last of the Tu Lan cave system, outside the premises of the world natural heritage site of Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park. It has a length of 2,519 metres with the deepest place lying 94 metres under the ground.

The entrance to the branch is quite narrow, only 1.5 metres, with a height of about 3 metres. The main arch of the cave is about 400 metres long and nearly 30 metres high.

The most striking feature of Tien 2 is the strange stone fringe pattern on the ceiling. Many patterns have beautiful stalactite walls.

Currently, the Tien Cave discovery services include a day tour, a two-day-and-one-night tour, and a series of tours to Tu Lan cave in Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park.

The services are only available from November to the end of August. Monsoon rains in September and October suspend the provision of the services.

Quang Binh boasts rich tourism resources for Vietnam and Southeast Asia. It is home to the UNESCO World Heritage Site Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park and the world’s largest cave Son Doong.

The province also has the longest coastline in Vietnam, with beautiful beaches and special seafood. It was chosen as a site for the Hollywood blockbuster movie “Kong: Skull Island”, enabling Quang Binh to attract more tourists from all parts of the world./.



Travel demand to surge during coming holidays



Outbound tours are preferred by Vietnamese travellers for the coming holidays starting on April 29, according to travel agents and tour operators.

Travel demand to surge during coming holidays hinh anh 1Tourists at a beach in Da Nang City (Photo: VNA)

HCM City
– Outbound tours are preferred by Vietnamese
travellers for the coming holidays starting on April 29, according to travel
agents and tour operators.

Working people will enjoy five consecutive days off from April 29 to May 3 to
celebrate the commemoration of the Hung Kings (the nation legendary founders)
that falls on April 29, the National Reunification Day on April 30 and
International Labour Day on May 1, which has prompted a surge in tour bookings.

Tran Phuong Linh, marketing and IT director of BenThanh Tourist, said some
customers can arrange to extend their holiday to nine days for long-haul
outbound destinations.

BenThanh Tourist reported an increase of 30-40% in tour bookings for the coming
holidays compared to last year.

Tours to Hong Kong and Taiwan have been fully booked one and a half months
ahead of the Reunification Day and International Labour Day holidays, Linh

Saigontourist is offering more than 200 inbound and outbound tours for the

The company expects to serve more than 100,000 leisure and MICE (meeting,
incentive, convention, exhibition) customers.

Nguyen Nguyet Van Khanh, marketing director of Vietravel, said more than 3,000
customers have booked tours for the Reunification Day & International
Labour Day holidays, with outbound tours accounting for 70% of overall tour

Thailand, Cambodia, Singapore, Malaysia, the Republic of Korea, Japan, Taiwan
Island, and Dubai are favourite destinations, Khanh said.

Nguyen Minh Man, marketing and communications director of TSTtourist, said
domestic tours to islands and beaches as well as tourist destinations in the
Central Highlands, and central and northern regions were mostly chosen for the
coming holidays.

The company expects to serve 2,000 customers during the holidays, Man said.

The Vietnam Railways Corporation (VNR) will operate additional 52 train
services between April 28 and May 3 to meet rising travel demand for the

In the north, it will add 22 train services connecting Hanoi with Lao Cai, Hai
Phong, Thanh Hoa, Vinh, Dong Hoi, and Da Nang.

In the south, it will add 28 train services connecting Ho Chi Minh City with Da
Nang, Quang Ngai, Quy Nhon, Nha Trang, and Phan Thiet.

It will also run two more trains connecting Hanoi and HCM City during the


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HCM City looking to recover int’l tourist market



Ho Chi Minh City posted strong socio-economic recovery last year after a long period of grappling with COVID-19, with its tourism sector recording rapid and impressive growth.


The city’s tourism sector began to prosper following the Government’s decision to reopen borders and welcome international visitors from March 15, 2022.

It welcomed nearly 3.5 million foreign visitors last year and over 31.5 million domestic travellers.

Total tourism revenue exceeded 130 trillion VND (equivalent to over 5.5 billion USD) for the year.

Despite this recovery and the city proving to be among the most popular destinations nationwide, there remain a host of concerns.

Despite these obstacles, HCM City is maximising efforts to recover the international tourist market.

The city is focusing on investment to create new tourism offerings, upgrade tour packages, and promote tourism activities.

Though the tourism sector failed to reach its goals in 2022, results were still much more positive than in the previous year.

HCM City expects to welcome 5 million international visitors this year.

Though this goal is relatively modest compared to pre-pandemic levels, the local tourism sector is working to improve entry and visa policies as well as air and road transport links, and to promote tourism activities to welcome back a large number of foreign holidaymakers./.


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Unique beauty of Hang Pagoda in Trà Vinh



A panoramic view of Hang Pagoda. — Photo

Lâm Giang

As a province with many ethnic Khmer people living, Trà Vinh Province has a distinct beauty expressed through its unique architectural works.

Among the famous landscapes and monuments in the province, Hang Pagoda is a must-visit destination.

The pagoda, also called Kompông Chrây Pagoda, was established in 1637. It is 5km from Trà Vinh Town.

The 2ha-pagoda is completely covered in green forest.

It is called Hang (Cave) Pagoda because the western side gate, facing National Highway 54, is built like a system of three caves. The middle gate is a large cave, and the two sides are small caves. All three gates are solidly built with 12m thick walls, creating the feeling of standing in the gate like a cave.

The arched pagoda gate is an artistic architectural work that distinguishes Hang Pagoda from the rest of the Khmer pagodas in the province. It contains a deeply religious and historical value.

The cave gate is a ‘relic’ showing that Trà Vinh Khmer Theravada Buddhism has a certain inheritance of Brahminism because, in the old days, Brahmin monks often lived quietly in dark and deserted caves.

There are rows of ancient trees at the pagoda’s gate. — Photo

The main hall of the pagoda was built on high ground, with many steps leading up, decorated with many patterns and motifs. The roof of the main hall is composed of many overlapping layers, on top of which is a majestic tower.

Inside the main hall are two rows of tall columns, and in the middle of the hall is the altar of Shakyamuni Buddha.

Opposite the main hall is a population of 12 animals arranged in an arc shaped like a boat.

Like other Khmer pagodas, Hang Pagoda is not only a place of worship and belief but also a place of learning, moral education, and preservation of the traditional art and culture of the Khmer people.

In the pagoda, there is a fairly large school and about 20 small stilt houses for the Khmer in the area to come to pray and practice here.

The main hall of Hang Pagoda. — Photo

The properties of Hang Pagoda cover an area of about 7ha. It is really a primaeval forest with many endemic plant species such as bamboo, rare wood trees. They are crammed into many different layers, which are very valuable in terms of the biosphere and are a natural source of genes for future generations.

Another attraction of this pagoda to visitors is the wood carving workshop that has been operating for nearly 30 years, with many products that are famous in the Vietnamese fine art market and a strictly protected “bird sanctuary”, home to many different kinds of birds and bats.

Since the beginning of the twentieth century, the forest on the properties of Hang Pagoda has been inhabited by many bats and crows. At night they go out to look for food. During the day, they hang from the branches of the trees.

However, after that, not many bats were left for unknown reasons.

From the 1990s onwards, the forest of Hang Pagoda has become home to many kinds of birds. The pagoda sets out very strict regulations on protection of birds and trees in the forest, creating a peaceful natural environment for flocks of birds to live. There are nearly tens of thousands of birds of all kinds. Most are white storks, ivory storks, red-necked storks and herons.

Hang Pagoda is home to many birds and bats. — Photo

Loved and protected by people, more and more birds have arrived in the pagoda. They make their nests even in the newly planted bonsai area in front of the main hall and the monks’ house.

Visiting Hang Pagoda, visitors will have the opportunity to witness the monks of the wood-carving workshop to create unique artworks from tree roots.

Wood-carving artists at work at Hang Pagoda. — Photo

During nearly 30 years of operation, the art wood-carving workshop has produced thousands of works of different sizes. All works from the workshop are imbued with the traditional visual arts of the Khmer ethnics.

After visiting the workshop, tourists stroll around the pagoda. In the morning, the birds soar to the sky, spreading to find food in the fields and rivers nearby, creating a noisy atmosphere for the whole forest.

Trà Vinh boasts about 150 pagodas of the Khmer and nearly 60 pagodas of other ethnic groups. 

Visitors feel like they are lost in the “Land of Buddha”, being immersed in the unique spiritual and cultural space of the Khmer with unique ancient architecture of their pagodas.

For tourists who love to learn about spiritual culture, Trà Vinh is the ideal choice. VNS


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