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Centuries-old Bo Da pagoda stuns pilgrims

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Visiting pagodas on the first days of the Lunar New Year is a deep-rooted tradition of Vietnamese people. The hundreds-year-old Bo Da Pagoda in the northern province of Bac Giang is rich in historical and cultural values.

Centuries-old Bo Da pagoda stuns pilgrims hinh anh 1The pagoda covers a large area, consisting of three main zones: a garden, a main worshipping hall, and a tower garden. (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi – Visiting pagodas on the first
days of the Lunar New Year is a deep-rooted tradition of Vietnamese people. The hundreds-year-old
Bo Da Pagoda in the northern province of Bac Giang is rich in historical and
cultural values.

Lying on Phuong Hoang (Phoenix) Mountain and facing the Cau River, Bo Da, also
known as Duc La, Pagoda is among the most major centre of Truc Lam Zen
Buddhism.

The pagoda was built in the 11th century, under the Ly dynasty but
badly damaged during wars in subsequent centuries. Not until the Le dynasty
under King Le Du Tong (1705 – 1728) was the pagoda reconstructed and more or
less retains the shape it has today.

Compared to other pagodas in northern Vietnam, Bo Da is unique for its
architecture.

It appears to be a closed complex from the outside yet features hundreds of
compartments that all open into one another on the inside. The special structure
provides visitors with a sacred, secluded refuge from the outside world.

“Bo Da pagoda is
remarkable for its feng shui characteristics, architecture, woodblocks,
guardian god statues, and the largest tower garden in Vietnam,” said Venerable
Thich Tuc Vinh, who is abbot of Bo Da Pagoda.

The pagoda covers a large area, consisting of three main zones: a garden, a
main worshipping hall, and a tower garden.

The main worshipping hall was built upon typical architecture of Northern Vietnam’s
pagodas with eight doors and the Luc-shaped (Chinese word for number 6) entrance.

The thousand-year-old
tower garden is located outside the worshipping hall, encircled by an old brick
wall. Inside 97 towers is the bone-ash and sarira of 1,214 monks and nuns. This
tower garden is regarded as the largest and most beautiful of its kind in
Vietnam.

What makes the pagoda special is that it is a place of worship not only
Buddhism but also Confucianism and Taoism, which is called “Tam giao Dong
nguyen” (or three religions harmonising as one).

The pagoda is also home over 2,000 Sutra woodblocks, arranged in eight
bookcases. To date, hardly any of them have ruined.

The Bo Da pagoda was recognised as Vietnam’s special national relic site in
2016./.

Source: https://en.vietnamplus.vn/centuriesold-bo-da-pagoda-stuns-pilgrims/247415.vnp

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New products, services needed to reach tourism targets

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To realise the targets of attracting 110 million tourists and earning some 650 trillion VND (27.5 billion USD) in revenue this year, Vietnam is recommended to develop more products and services to offer new experiences to visitors.

New products, services needed to reach tourism targets hinh anh 1Visitors to Hanoi on a bus tour (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi – To realise the targets of attracting 110 million tourists and earning some 650 trillion
VND (27.5 billion USD) in revenue this year, Vietnam is recommended to develop
more products and services to offer new experiences to visitors.

The
VNDirect Securities JSC held that the aviation and tourism industries will
record breakthrough growth from 2023 thanks to the strong recovery of
international markets.

The
number of foreign arrivals in Vietnam is predicted to completely return to pre-pandemic
levels by next year 2024 and be equivalent to 118.9% of the 2019 figure, before the COVID-19
broke out, a year later, the Lao dong (Labour) daily reported.

The
UN World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) recently also forecast the international
tourist number may reach 80 – 95% of pre-pandemic levels in 2023.

The
Vietfoot Travel company said the country’s tourism sector, including travel and
event planning firms, will have opportunities to bounce back and soon regain
its 2019 growth trend.

Vietnam
welcomed 871,200 international arrivals in January. It targets 8 million foreigners for this year.

New products, services needed to reach tourism targets hinh anh 2Foreign tourists visit the Old Quarter of Hanoi by pedicab. (Photo: VNA)

Despite
a surge in the tourist number since the year’s beginning, the sector is still
facing difficulties and challenges.

Lao
dong quoted General Director of the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism
Nguyen Trung Khanh as saying that due to impacts of the global economic recession
and domestic socio-economic changes, travellers’ purchasing power has decreased
and they tend to curb spending on middle- and high-end services.

To
achieve the set targets, many experts recommended the sector develop new products
and services, diversify and improve the quality of services, and increase
experiences to meet tourists’ demand.

They
added travel businesses should also increase communications and promotion
activities, stay updated with market trends, and ensure security and safety of
destinations. It is also necessary to enhance tourism connectivity among
localities to attract more domestic and international visitors./.

Source: https://en.vietnamplus.vn/new-products-services-needed-to-reach-tourism-targets/248002.vnp

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Unique products needed to boost HCM City’s tourism

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Ho Chi Minh City’s tourism sector is continuing to recover strongly and posting many impressive results. The city’s efforts in improving product quality and creating new offerings have given the sector a boost, but limitations remain that need to be addressed for the city to become an appealing destination, especially for international visitors.

In the heart of modern, bustling Ho Chi Minh City, the Museum of Traditional Vietnamese Medicine boasts an older appearance. For more than ten years, the museum has offered an interesting experience to visitors, showcasing a collection of more than 3,000 precious artifacts relating to traditional Vietnamese medicine from the Stone Age to the present.

However, there are few opportunities for visitors to engage in activities to learn about traditional medicine or receive health advice. The museum is therefore not widely known among visitors to the city.

“One district, one tourism product” is the new mantra from Ho Chi Minh City to expand tours and offerings. 20 districts have announced typical tourism products so far.

However, while there are unique and well-known destinations such as Cu Chi Tunnels and various monuments and attractions in the city centre, newly-launched products are only prominent in certain areas. 

Insiders liken travel resources to baking ingredients. Ho Chi Minh City has many ingredients, but there is a shortage of bakers and few ways to make delicious cakes, or unique tourism products. 

Analysts have suggested that the city adopt a clear development strategy and goals and position itself as a must-see destination based on unique offerings and key brand values, so that it is not simply a transit point./.

Source: https://en.vietnamplus.vn/unique-products-needed-to-boost-hcm-citys-tourism/247973.vnp

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HCM City’s tourism products among top unique tours in Vietnam

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As a result of Ho Chi Minh City’s unceasing efforts to diversify tourism products, several has been listed among the top 20 unique tours promising interesting experiences for travellers in Vietnam.

HCM City’s tourism products among top unique tours in Vietnam hinh anh 1Travellers in a Vespa tour in HCM City (Photo: VNA)

HCM City – As a
result of Ho Chi Minh City’s unceasing efforts to diversify tourism products, several
has been listed among the top 20 unique tours promising interesting experiences
for travellers in Vietnam.

The list was announced by the
Vietnam Record Organisation (VietKings) last month.

Among them, a tour gives travellers
a chance to try working as a physician and learn about traditional medicine at
the Museum of Traditional Vietnamese Medicine in District 10.

The private museum, opened by the FITO
Pharma Co.Ltd, features more than 3,000 precious objects related to traditional
medicine of Vietnam, including herb slicers and grinders dating back some 2,500
years, a collection of books with over 100,000 pages in total written in Han (Chinese)
and Nom (old Chinese-like script of Vietnam), and hundreds of valuable
remedies.

Another tour in the list is a dining-in-the-dark journey at Noir Restaurant,
where tourists can enjoy delicate tastes and structures of dishes completely in
the dark with services provided by well-trained visually-impaired waiters and
waitresses.

It brings about not only dining
experiences but also a chance for exchange between the abled and the disabled.

Nguyen Thi Anh Hoa, Director of the HCM City Tourism Department, said that
since 2022, the southern metropolis has reaped success in the programme
developing one typical tourism product for each district. The department has also
been striving to reform products so that the city can become a must-visit
destination.

Efforts have proved fruitful, she
noted, adding that HCM City now boasts more than 60 tourism products, including
30 new ones of local districts and Thu Duc city./.

Source: https://en.vietnamplus.vn/hcm-citys-tourism-products-among-top-unique-tours-in-vietnam/247958.vnp

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