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Ancient craters on ‘mysterious volcanic island of Lý Sơn’




TREASURED ISLAND: Lý Sơn and its geopark were formed by volcanoes from the prehistoric age. It is a ‘natural museum’ of volcanic activities. VNA/VNS Photo

 The ancient craters formed after millions of years of geological tectonics bestow a unique natural beauty on the coastal area along the central province of Quảng Ngãi, particularly the tourist island district of Lý Sơn.

Experts see Lý Sơn and its geopark, formed by volcanoes from the prehistoric age, as an extremely rare “natural museum” of volcanic activities.

Located off the northeast of Quảng Ngãi City, the island covers an area of ​​about 10 sq. km with over 22,000 inhabitants. It has many strengths in geological, cultural and agricultural production and is a famed tourist destination.

The area currently has traces of 10 craters, of which three are located on the seabed. Research by experts from the Việt Nam Institute of Geosciences and Mineral Resources shows the volcanic cluster in Lý Sơn and its vicinity reveal many types of rock and lava typical for different eruption modes during the Quaternary period.

It is also home to the Hoàng Sa (Paracel) Flotilla, which protected the Hoàng Sa and Trường Sa (Spratly) archipelagoes four centuries ago. Every square metre on the island is imbued with the culture of its ancestors, who protected the sea hundreds of years ago.

“Lý Sơn island’s structural rocks from the late Holocene age are divided into five categories from young to old stratigraphic units,” according to research by Hà Quang Hải and Hoàng Thị Phương Chi from the Faculty of Environment, National University, HCM City.

In their research, the two experts explain the geomorphology is characterised by high-up cinder cones in the island having a funnel mouth, and basaltic flow forming a low cover at the foot of volcanoes. Marine terraces and beaches are mainly composed of calcarenite, and coral reef rocks are distributed around the island.


GEOLOGICAL WONDER: The vestiges of Giếng Tiền crater in the west of Lý Sơn. This crater is hundreds of metres  wide and 40m high, dating back about 1 million years. Photo

 Significant destruction of marine waves into the volcanic slopes and basalt flows forms interesting landforms along the island, such as sea cliffs, sea caves, rocky coasts, and stone towers.

“The most attractive is the Hang Cau – Chùa Hang cliff, which reveals a volcanic structural cross-section and the stratigraphic relationship between pyroclastic rocks overlaid on calcarenite layers,” the researchers said.

The ancient craters of Hang Cau and Chùa Hang erupted about 9-11 million years ago, creating the island’s foundation today.

The geological tectonics created original landscapes on the island, which are rare anywhere else in the world. Among the beautiful sites are Hang Cau, Tò Vò Arch, Giếng Tiền and Thới Lới craters, which have significant scientific and tourist value.

Many other scientific studies on the geological conditions of Lý Sơn have highlighted the “dual crater” on the top of Thới Lới mountain, praising it as one of the most attractive landscapes for tourism development in the island district.

The crater has a stunning lake on top of the mountain that erupted about a million years ago, with a diameter of 0.35km and a height of 149m. 

Along the coast of Quảng Ngãi, a series of volcanic sedimentary rocks stretching for kilometres through the city of Quảng Ngãi and areas near districts of Sơn Tịnh and Bình Sơn have become amazing check-in destinations for tourists.

In 2015, Quảng Ngãi established Lý Sơn-Sa Huỳnh geopark to conserve the rich biodiversity and geological, cultural and historical values of the island. The park covers the island and adjacent coastal areas in Bình Châu and Bình Hải communes, Bình Sơn District, with Lý Sơn as its core.

In late 2019, the province’s authorities submitted dossiers to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation asking for the recognition of Lý Sơn as a UNESCO geopark.


RUGGED COAST: Tò Vò Arch, an attractive destination in Lý Sơn. The geological tectonics created original landscapes on the island, rare anywhere else in the world. Photo

 Community tourism 

Economic development focusing on tourism is one of the key targets of Lý Sơn, according to the district authority.

Lý Sơn will give priority to tourism when allocating resources for socio-economic development, said Đặng Tấn Thành, vice chairman of the district People’s Committee.

According to Thành, the local economic structure is shifting towards sustainability and a larger proportion of the trade-service sector. Tourism has been earmarked for breakthrough development, becoming a key economic sector in Lý Sơn.

The district has targeted raising the share of the tourism-service sector in the local economy to 60 per cent. In comparison, agriculture will account for 30-35 per cent and industry-handicrafts the remaining 5-10 per cent.

The authorities plan to focus on completing the district’s development master plan, which will be the basis for attracting investment over the next five years.

To this end, the locality has built a new central market and developed a diverse and affordable homestay network, dining, and transport services meeting the demand of locals and tourists to the island.

It is now tapping its tourism potential by conserving local relics, creating spiritual tourism, promoting historical and scenic sites, and protecting the environment by constructing a waste treatment plant. 

“Lý Sơn is exploiting its potential to develop this economic sector, and community-based tourism is a way to preserve and promote the value of relics and heritage on the island,” said a report from the website of the district People’s Committee.

A new model of community tourism titled ‘Kỳ Bí Đảo Núi Lửa Lý Sơn’ (Mysterious Lý Sơn Volcanic Island) promises to open up a new direction for the development of professional and sustainable tourism.

The model takes advantage of agricultural activities, especially harvesting onions and garlic, traditional fishing, culinary activities and tours to mysterious destinations on the volcanic island.

It also makes use of secret stories about Lý Sơn’s nature, culture and people stirring up the imagination of visitors.

Through this new model, tourists will have a broader view of the island’s geological and historical development and be amazed at experiences in the fields of onions and garlic, which are so typical of the area.

More than 120 tourism enterprises and units, including those from restaurant services, hotels, homestays and transportation companies, have joined the model. 


PARADISE: The natural beauty on the tourist island district of Lý Sơn. VNA/VNS Photo

 Participating tourism businesses and agencies will be supported in promoting their image and guided on how to do professional community tourism.

Developed by the Quảng Ngãi Province’s Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism, the University of Social Sciences and Humanities under the National University in HCM City, and Lý Sơn District People’s Committee, the model is expected to fully exploit the potential of the island and improve the quality of tourism.


TWISTED ROCK FORMATIONS: An ancient crater in Ba Làng An Cape is about 30m wide. Here, the ecological topography extends to the surrounding area with many basalt fields. Photo

 Bùi Văn Tiến, deputy director of the culture, sports and tourism department, said it would accompany the People’s Committee of Ly Son in strengthening the development of the model in local areas as well as throughout the country and abroad.

“We will let visitors know about Lý Sơn as a wild, interesting, clean and beautiful destination,” Tiến said. VNS



Vietnam serves 2.95 million international tourists in 11 months



Nearly 597,000 foreigners have visited Vietnam in November, up 23.2% month-on-month, bringing the total number of international tourists to the country in the first 11 months of this year to 2.95 million, according to the General Statistics Office (GSO).

Vietnam serves 2.95 million international tourists in 11 months hinh anh 1International tourists explore Dong Nai Culture-Nature Reserve by bicycle. (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi – Nearly 597,000 foreigners have visited Vietnam in
November, up 23.2% month-on-month, bringing the total number of international
tourists to the country in the first 11 months of this year to 2.95 million,
according to the General Statistics Office (GSO).

The total figure is 21.1 times higher than that of the same
period last year, but down 81.9% compared to the number of 2019 before the COVID-19 pandemic broke out.

In the period, the number of international tourists travelling
to Vietnam by air accounts for 88.9%, 11.1% by road, and 0.03% by sea.

Vietnam serves 2.95 million international tourists in 11 months hinh anh 2Foreigners visit Ho Chi Minh City (Photo: VNA)

The country was estimated to earn 536.3 trillion VND (21.6
billion USD) from accommodation and catering services, up 56.5% year-on-year, while
revenue in the travel and tourism industry was estimated at 22.9 trillion VND, a
4.1-fold increase compared to that of the same period last year.

Recently, the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism launched
an email system, the first of its kind, to promote Vietnamese tourism at


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Hanoi tourism enjoys successful year despite difficulties



Despite impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of tourists to Hanoi has so far surpassed the target for the whole year, thanks to the city’s efforts to provide attractive and high quality products.

Hanoi tourism enjoys successful year despite difficulties hinh anh 1Tourists at Hoan Kiem Lake of Hanoi (Photo: VNA)

– Despite impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of tourists to Hanoi has so
far surpassed the target for the whole year, thanks to the city’s efforts to provide
attractive and high quality products.

In late November,
Hanoi is full of visitors who enjoy Da quy (daisy) flower season in Ba Vi
National Park, and tours in Thang Long Imperial Citadel or Hoa Lo Prison. This
manifests the strong tourism recovery and development of the capital city – Asia’s
Leading City Break Destination 2022 by World Travel Awards (WTA).

The year of 2022
started with many difficulties for the city due to the pandemic. However,
the gap period enabled the city to prepare for the new normal period, with a
series of products introduced in the beginning of the peak tourism season on
the National Reunification (April 30) and May Day holidays, shortly after
Vietnam fully opened the tourism sector.

Outstanding products in the period include the launch of Son
Tay ancient fortress pedestrian zone, the upgrade of the pedestrian zone along
Trinh Cong Son street, and the cycling tour to explore Bat Trang ancient
pottery village.

Various activities were also held during the 31st Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games 31) in the city, leaving a strong imprint of a
safe, friendly and attractive destination on domestic and foreign visitors.

Alongside, the city Department of Tourism held many training
courses to improve the quality of human resources and enhance the
public awareness of developing community-based tourism.

According to Graham Cooke, the founder of World Travel
Awards, tourism in Vietnam and Hanoi in particular has recovered strongly with
the promotion of its values and identity as well as some breakthroughs.  

In May, the US travel website TripAdvisor placed Hanoi in
the 13th position in the 25 most popular destinations in Asia in
2022. It also included the city in the best 25 places for food lovers in 2022.

Director of the Hanoi Tourism Department Dang Huong Giang
said that the titles showed the attractiveness of the city tourism, and a
chance for the city to affirm its position, image and trademark in the world

Hanoi tourism enjoys successful year despite difficulties hinh anh 2Some designs to be showed at the Ao Dai Festival of Hanoi, which is slated for December. (Photo: VNA)

This year, the city aims to welcome 7-8 million domestic tourists
and 1.2-2 million foreigners. But so far the city has received 17.02 million
visitors, over 5 times higher than that in the same period last year, including
1.27 million foreigners.

To continue its recovery trend, the city has planned a
number of activities in the rest of the year with a focus on luring more
foreign tourists.

In December, Hanoi will organise an Ao Dai (traditional long
dress) festival with the participation of many famous designers and models.
This is one of the most important events of the city tourism, which also
includes a parade of about 700 women wearing Ao dai.

At the same time, the city will also design more products
meeting the demand of foreign visitors, including golf and MICE tourism.

Communications will be promoted to popularise tourist
destinations and new tourism products of Hanoi via traditional methods, TV
channels at home and abroad, websites and social media sites like Youtube and
Facebook, under the themes ‘Hanoi – Travel to Love’ and a safe and attractive
tourist destination.

The city will collaborate with embassies and representative offices abroad and
the Airports Corporation of Vietnam and carriers to hold tourism promotion
events at major markets, as well as welcome delegations of foreign reporters
and travel companies in Hanoi.

Hanoi is working to improve the quality of tourism products at heritage and
relic sites and craft villages, and compile introduction in five foreign
languages of English, French, Chinese, Japanese, and Korean.

Some experts held that due to strong urban development,
people have high demand for relaxation at the weekend. Therefore, Hanoi should
foster farm tourism and tap into natural values to promote relaxation and
exploration tourism.

From a remote area, Ba Vi district has emerged as a bright spot of tourism
thanks to its optimisation of local natural conditions and special cultural
identities of the Muong and Dao ethnic minority groups./.


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Ecotourism – new wave for Ba Ria-Vung Tau



The southern province of Ba Ria-Vung Tau, which has been known for Con Dao Islands and many beautiful beaches, is working to promote ecotourism, bringing new experiences to visitors in its agriculture and rural areas.

Ecotourism – new wave for Ba Ria-Vung Tau hinh anh 1Ba Ria-Vung Tau province is working to promote ecotourism, bringing new experiences to visitors in its agriculture and rural areas. (Photo:

Ba Ria-Vung Tau –
The southern province of Ba Ria-Vung Tau, which has been known for Con Dao Islands and many beautiful beaches, is working to promote ecotourism, bringing new experiences to visitors in its agriculture and rural areas.
 A number of models that combine agricultural production with tourism have been formed in the locality over the past time, Chairman of the provincial Farmers’ Union Mai Minh Quang said, adding that such models offer both clean agricultural products and closed-loop tourism services.
 The models have helped to raise the income of local farmers, while contributing to attracting more tourists to the province, he said.
 Suoi Giau Agriculture and Fisheries Cooperative in Suoi Rao commune, Chau Duc district, is an example, which has raised fish in natural lakes and turned them into weekend retreats for local holidaymakers since 2019.
 After a hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the cooperative has reopened since August, welcoming more than 100 visitors on weekends, said its Chairman Tran Duc Nghia, noting that the number reached up to 700 last National Day holidays (September 2).
 Located at the foot of the Ky Van mountain range in Long Hai township, Long Dien district, the An Binh eco-resort, which is under construction, is also expected to be a new attraction.
 Le Thi Nga, a representative from the resort, said the project promotes the values of natural resources and landscapes, traditional culture and cuisines, and even local production methods, thus contributing to protecting natural resources and creating stable jobs for local residents.
 After the COVID-19 pandemic, agriculture-based tourism has been proliferating in many Vietnamese cities and provinces, including Ba Ria-Vung Tau, helping it materialise the strategy of green, sustainable tourism. 
 With a coastline of more than 300km and beautiful sandy beaches and renowned Con Dao Islands, the southeastern province has substantial strength to develop a brand of sea and island tourism.
 In the 11-month period from January to November this year, Ba Ria – Vung Tau welcomed around 12 million visitors, equal to nearly 350% of the yearly plan and up 248% from the same period last year, according to the provincial Tourism Department.  The outstanding result is attributable to the province’s efforts to upgrade and diversify its tourism products and services.   
 Director of the provincial Department of Tourism Trinh Hang said the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism predicted it won’t be until 2025 that tourism nationwide can regain the momentum of 2019 pre-pandemic numbers.
 However, given the positive signs recorded so far this year, Ba Ria – Vung Tau could regain pre-pandemic numbers and revenue levels in 2023, he added.

According to leaders of the province Tourism Department, to achieve sustainable development and maintain its reputation as a key destination in the national tourism map, Ba Ria – Vung Tau has always attached importance to building and maintaining a civilized, safe and attractive environment for tourism. All localities in the province have implemented specific and practical measures to ensure that every visitor feels that Ba Ria – Vung Tau is really a civilized, safe and friendly destination./.


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