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“Free & easy” tours to thrive in 2021

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More independent trips, “free & easy” tours and guided small group tours will be high on travellers’ agendas for 2021, the HCM City Department of Tourism has said.

Visitors at Nguyen Hue Flower Street during the Lunar New Year (Tet) festival.(Photo: VNA)

HCM
City
– More independent trips, “free
& easy” tours and guided small group tours will be high on
travellers’ agendas for 2021, the HCM City Department of Tourism has said.

Staycations and luxury leisure vacations are also popular this year, the
department said in a report. Short-distance itineraries to the
southeastern region and Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta, following health and safety protocols,
are favoured by travellers.

Independent trips, including self-drive itineraries located near the city such
as Vung Tau, Da Lat and Phan Thiet, saw a rise in visitors during the Tet holiday.

Lai Minh Duy, general director of TST Tourist, said domestic tours could be
customised for each group or family, with socially-distanced and
mask-wearing guidelines.

Many Tet tours had been delayed until the Reunification Day holiday
on April 30, when COVID-19 outbreaks were expected to be contained by
that time, Duy said.

Travellers scrambled to cancel trips and get refunds for tours during
the Tet (Lunar New Year) holiday due to COVID-19 outbreaks in late
January, just a few days ahead of Tet.

Around 500 customers cancelled Tet tours worth a total of 6 billion VND (260,400
USD) at leading travel firms in the city. Most of them required full
refunds and refused to delay trips, firms said.

Travel demand during Tet was nearly at a standstill. During
the holiday, popular tourist and entertainment sites in the city such as Dam
Sen Park, Suoi Tien Theme Park, Van Thanh and Binh Quoi tourist sites were
closed to contain the spread of the virus.

Hotels in HCM City are now operating at occupancy rates of less than 10 percent,
according to the department. Many hotels prepared special F&B
programmes and offered promotions to meet rising demand during the Tet season
but were then affected by the new outbreaks.

As many as 29 hotels with a total of 2,053 rooms have been approved to
serve as hotel quarantine areas, and four more, with a total of more than
440 rooms, are waiting for approval from city authorities./.

Source: https://en.vietnamplus.vn/free-easy-tours-to-thrive-in-2021/196587.vnp

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Metropole Hanoi gets five-star rating from Forbes Travel Guide again

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Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi has been awarded a five-star rating – the top level of recognition from Forbes Travel Guide in its independent assessment of luxury hotels, restaurants and spas.

 

Metropole Hanoi gets five-star rating from Forbes Travel Guide again hinh anh 1Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi  (Source: Metropole)

Hanoi – Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi has been awarded a five-star rating – the top
level of recognition from Forbes Travel Guide in its independent assessment of
luxury hotels, restaurants and spas.

This is the second consecutive year Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi has had
its name in the rankings.

In Forbes Travel Guide’s review for 2021, Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi was praised as “a
supremely beautiful hotel, inside and out”.

Every corner is a compelling photo opportunity,
especially in the gleaming historic wing and all-white inner courtyard, the
review said.

According to the review, Metropole Hanoi has a strong sense of pride in its
Vietnamese heritage. Its staff dons an eye-catching array of ao dai costumes,
walls glow with local art and ceramics, and detailed explanations of Vietnamese
culture are sprinkled throughout the luxury hotel.

Situated at 15 Ngo Quyen street in Hanoi since its opening in 1901,
Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi draws deeply from a century of stories to weave
a rich, nostalgic guest experience in the heart of the Vietnamese capital.

Over the years, Metropole
Hanoi has checked in many an illustrious character, including novelist Graham
Greene, writer Somerset Maugham and movie star Charlie Chaplin.

Forbes Travel Guide, established in 1958, is the
oldest travel guide in the US, and is the creator of the original Five-Star
rating system for hotels. The guide’s ratings are among the most highly
respected in the hotel industry.

Its five-star rating is meant to designate “outstanding, often iconic
properties with virtually flawless service and amazing facilities”./. 

Source: https://en.vietnamplus.vn/metropole-hanoi-gets-fivestar-rating-from-forbes-travel-guide-again/197009.vnp

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Hanoi in freshwater mangrove leaf changing season

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Visitors to the capital city of Hanoi in March will be surprised by the vibrant colours of the leaves of freshwater mangrove trees (loc vung in Vietnamese) changing to red and yellow.

Hanoi in freshwater mangrove leaf changing season
Hoan Kiem Lake area in downtown Hanoi becomes glowing with the vivid colour of freshwater mangrove trees,  scientifically called Barringtonia acutangula. (Photo: VNA)
Hanoi in freshwater mangrove leaf changing season
Hoan Kiem Lake area in downtown Hanoi becomes attractive during the leaf changing season of freshwater mangrove trees.  (Photo: VNA)
Hanoi in freshwater mangrove leaf changing season
Yellow, red freshwater mangrove leaves stretch along Dinh Tien Hoang street in Hanoi’s inner district of Hoan Kiem. (Photo: VNA)
Hanoi in freshwater mangrove leaf changing season
Freshwater mangrove leaves show off their beauty. (Photo: VNA)
Hanoi in freshwater mangrove leaf changing season
Hanoi Post Office in the inner district of Hoan Kiem is coloured with freshwater mangrove leaves. (Photo: VNA)

VNP/VNA

Source: https://vietnamnet.vn/en/travel/hanoi-in-freshwater-mangrove-leaf-changing-season-716573.html

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Loc Yen old village, a country retreat

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Located at the foot of a mountain in Quang Nam Province, Loc Yen, labeled one of the four most beautiful ancient villages in Vietnam, offers visitors a “time travel” experience.

The hamlet situated in Tien Canh Commune, Tien Phuoc District, 40 kilometers to the southwest of Quang Nam Province’s central town was established between the 15th and 16th century with a total seven generations living in harmony. The sparsely populated area of 279 hectares is mostly covered with greenery of the paddy fields, mountain ranges, fruit trees and dotted with well-preserved old houses. During special occasions like national holidays, Loc Yen typically welcomes thousands of visitors who yearn for peace and fresh air offered by this hamlet. In September 2019, the village was recognized as a national relic and one of the most beautiful ancient villages in Vietnam.

The village, located in Tien Canh Commune, the central province’s Tien Phuoc District, was established between the 15th and 16th century with a total seven generations living in harmony.
The sparsely populated area of 279 hectares is mostly covered with greenery of the paddy fields, mountain ranges, fruit trees and dotted with well-preserved old houses.
During special occasions like national holidays, Loc Yen typically welcomes thousands of visitors who yearn for peace and fresh air offered by this village.
In September 2019, the village was recognized by the culture ministry as a national relic and one of the four most beautiful ancient villages in Vietnam.

Around an old house complex are fruit trees that not only produce a variety of fruit but provide ample shade for the dwellings.

Around the old house complex are fruit trees that not only produce a variety of fruits but provide ample shade for the dwellings.

There are eight old houses left in Loc Yen built 80 to 150 years ago. Their structures are typical of a houses called nha ruong, made of solid jackfruit wood pillars and beams. Their cultural value is critically acclaimed and deemed worthy of preservation.

There are eight old houses left in Loc Yen, built 80 to 150 years ago. Their structures are typical of a house called “nha ruong”, made of solid jackfruit wood pillars and beams. Their cultural value is critically acclaimed and deemed worthy of preservation.

The well-preserved interior of 82-year-old Dong Viet Mao’s home. According to the owner, the house is currently over 150 years old. Its roof used to be made of dried grass and replaced with clay shingles in 1981. Interior furniture like an altar closet inlaid with mother of pearl, wooden and bronze decorative items, and vermilion painted cards were bought in Chau O, central Quang Ngai Province, Mao noted.

The well-preserved interior of 82-year-old Dong Viet Mao’s home.
According to the owner, the house is currently over 150 years old. Its roof used to be made of dried grass and was replaced with tiles in 1981.
“Interior furniture like an altar closet inlaid with mother of pearl, wooden and bronze decorative items, and vermilion painted cards were bought in Chau O, Quang Ngai Province,” Mao said.

A pumpkin-shaped rafter carving in the middle of Mao’s house signifies prosperity. All carvings and reliefs were skillfully produced by craftsmen from Van Ha carpentry village, Tam Thanh Commune of neighboring Phu Ninh District.

A pumpkin-shaped rafter carving in the middle of Mao’s house signifies prosperity. All carvings and reliefs were skillfully produced by craftsmen from Van Ha carpentry village, Tam Thanh Commune of neighboring Phu Ninh District.

A mysterious auto rotating table made by Van Ha Village carpenters. Visitors can experience its magic quality by putting the back of the hands onto the 80 centimeter-in-diameter table then moving their body, turning their hands upside down or even telling the table to stop rotating.

A mysterious “auto rotating” table made by Van Ha Village carpenters.
It is said visitors can experience its magical rotation by putting the back of their hands onto the 80 centimeter-in-diameter surface, then think about a trajectory for the table, causing it to move. The table would even stop if instructed. Not all “experiments” show the same results, however.

Stone stairs leading to an old house appear wet and slippery in the rain but create a nostalgic feel and smell induced by a green moss layer. Elevated stone walls act as a border between garden houses and an embankment to help prevent soil erosion during rainy and flood season, considered a necessity in this half-mountain, half-plain area.

Stone stairs leading to an old house appear wet and slippery in the rain but create a nostalgic feel and smell induced by a green moss layer.
Elevated stone walls act as a border between garden houses and an embankment to help prevent soil erosion during rainy and flood season, considered a necessity in this half-mountain, half-plain area.

Large stone-paved steps with tea fences and fruit tree gardens on both sides.

Large stone-paved steps with tea fences and fruit tree gardens on both sides.

Stone footpaths skirting lush green paddy fields are ideal for a pleasure walk.

Stone footpaths skirting lush green paddy fields are ideal for a pleasure walk.

In 2017, Quang Nam People’s Committee approved Tien Phuoc‘s ecotourism development, with plain concrete roads now decorated with stone fences and colorful petite flowers.

In 2017, Quang Nam People’s Committee approved Tien Phuoc‘s ecotourism development, with plain concrete roads now decorated with stone fences and colorful petite flowers.

Bon bon fruit trees, which are native to Southeast Asia can be seen in almost every garden here. The fruit turns ripe in the eighth lunar month with a translucent sweet flesh under its skin.  In Quang Nam Province, the fruit has its own tale of being the savior of an emperor named Nguyen Anh and his retainers who ran from the enemy. This fruit had helped them get through the day during while hiding.  According to historic records, bon bon used to be a royal offering when in season.

Bon bon fruit trees, which are native to Southeast Asia can be seen in almost every garden here. The fruit turns ripe in the eighth lunar month with a translucent sweet flesh under its skin.
In Quang Nam Province, the fruit has its own tale of being the savior of Nguyen Anh and his retainers who ran from the enemy. Nguyen Anh later became the first emperor of the Nguyen Dynasty, Vietnam’s last royal family (1802-1945). This fruit had helped them get through the day while hiding.
According to historic records, bon bon used to be a royal offering when in season.

This type of fruit belongs to the same family as bon bon fruit, except that it turns red when ripe. The tree reaches 10 to 20 meters in height. Its flesh contains polyphenols and anthocyanins, packed with health benefits and antioxidants.

This type of fruit belongs to the same family as bon bon fruit, except that it turns red when ripe.
The tree reaches 10 to 20 meters in height. Its flesh contains polyphenols and anthocyanins, packed with health benefits and antioxidants.

Source: https://e.vnexpress.net/news/travel/places/loc-yen-old-village-a-country-retreat-4242008.html

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