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Hot air balloons to liven up Huế festival



HÀ NỘI — A hot air balloon festival will entertain locals and tourists at the Festival Huế 2022 between June 25 and 30.

Titled “Balloon Festival – Huế Former Citadel From the Sky”, the event, which is jointly organised by Thừa Thiên-Huế Tourism Department and Hexa Media, aims to create a fresh and unique tourism product to make Huế a premier festival city in the country.

The fourth of its kind, the hot air balloon festival will take place at Hàm Nghi Yard on August 23 Road inside the Huế Citadel, where 20 balloons will be on show.

Half of the smaller balloons will be stationary at one site while 10 larger ones will soar along the Hương River or to the east towards lagoons and Thuận An Sea.

Hot air balloons will liven up Huế Festival 2022. — Photo Lê Huy Hoàng Hải

Tickets to see the stationary balloons will be VNĐ170,000 (US$7.3) per person, while a flight will cost VNĐ5 million per person including insurance.

The balloons will be controlled by professionals with international certificates, according to the organisers.

“This is the fourth time such a balloon festival has been organised in Huế but the first time we have co-operated with Hexa Media Company,” said Nguyễn Văn Phúc, director of the department. “We hope with the investment, this year’s balloon festival will bring a fresh experience to visitors.”

“Especially when the pandemic is now controlled, this will be a golden chance for tourists to visit Huế and experience a high-end tourism product that is still rare in Việt Nam – balloon flights,” he said.

Nguyễn Thanh Bình, deputy chairman of Thừa Thiên-Huế Province People’s Committee, also head of the Huế Festival 2022 Organising Board, said the balloon festival is expected to be warmly received by tourists and locals.

“This will be a good chance to advertise Huế Festival 2022 and Thừa Thiên-Huế tourism destinations not only on mass media but also on social networks through beautiful photos and clips from the sky,” he said.

The event is accompanied by an EDM Night of Lights music show on June 26 in An Định Palace gathering famed rappers like Bình Gold, Dương Adward, Châu Dương, Young Uno and popular DJs like Mike Hào and Tilo.

A Media Trip for leading tourism inspirers like KOLs and travel bloggers including Lý Thành Cơ, Lê Hà Trúc, Lỗ Hữu Đức Anh, actor Bình An, stylish Monsimi, Vlogger Hachi Hachi (Ngô Huy Hà), photographer Vũ Bảo Khánh, tiktoker Melon, Dương Vũ and Hukha (Hà Thị Thu Huyền) will last between June 20 and 26 in the city.

“We hope to bring participants a chance to experience traditional and contemporary cultural festivals of the former citadel, to experience tourism products that are popular in the most unique way,” Phúc said.

Various tourism enterprises have joined to host the Media Trip like Silk Path Grand Hue, Alba Wellness Valley by Fusion, Vedana Lagoon Resort & Spa, and Pilgrimage Village – Boutique Resort & Spa.

The Huế Festival will open at 8pm, June 25 at Ngọ Môn Square with an art show, which will be followed by art shows of domestic and foreign troupes at nights on June 26-29; a street festival at 4.30pm on June 26-28; a beer festival at 5.30pm on June 26 by Carlsberg; a music show themed Trịnh Công Sơn composer at 8pm, June 27; a traditional art show at 7am on June 28; a royal music show at 8pm, June 29 and a closing ceremony at 7.30pm, June 30.

Street cuisine festivals; community áo dài (traditional long dress) festival; SUP race; and a Rock Festival are among various additional events during the Huế Festival 2022. — 



Vietnam’s Ha Long Bay-Cat Ba Archipelago recognized as world heritage



The United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) added Vietnam’s Ha Long Bay – Cat Ba Archipelago to the World Heritage List on Saturday night (Vietnam time).

UNESCO announced the new inscription of the Vietnamese site to the list at the 45th session of the World Heritage Committee in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, at 9:39 pm (Vietnam time) on the same day.

Ha Long Bay – Cat Ba Archipelago is Vietnam’s first inter-provincial UNESCO-listed world heritage site.

Cat Ba Archipelago in Hai Phong, a major port city in northern Vietnam, is the largest limestone archipelago of the country. It includes over 360 islands, including Cat Ba Island to the south of Ha Long Bay.

The archipelago had earlier been recognized by UNESCO as a world biosphere reserve, the government news site reported.

Ha Long Bay in neighboring Quang Ninh Province was named by UNESCO as a world heritage site twice in 1994 and 2000.

Lan Ha Bay in Cat Ba Archipelago in Hai Phong City, northern Vietnam. Photo: Ngo Tran Hai An / Tuoi Tre

Lan Ha Bay in Cat Ba Archipelago in Hai Phong City, northern Vietnam. Photo: Ngo Tran Hai An / Tuoi Tre

The Ha Long Bay – Cat Ba Archipelago cluster boasts a rich diversity of island and ocean ecosystems, reported Thanh Nien (Young People) newspaper.

The newly-recognized world heritage site is home to various rare animals and plants, and houses the country’s largest maritime forest with an area of more than 17,000 hectares.

In September 2016, the prime minister allowed the Hai Phong City administration to work with authorities in Quang Ninh Province to plan the nomination of Ha Long Bay – Cat Ba Archipelago as a world heritage site.

Ha Long Bay – Cat Ba Archipelago was added to the World Heritage List due to the beauty of its natural landscapes, including charming vegetation-covered limestone islands, breathtaking limestone islets, and impressive karst formations.

Ha Long Bay - Cat Ba Archipelago is Vietnam’s first inter-provincial UNESCO-listed world heritage site. Photo: Tien Thang / Tuoi Tre

Ha Long Bay – Cat Ba Archipelago is Vietnam’s first inter-provincial UNESCO-listed world heritage site. Photo: Tien Thang / Tuoi Tre

Before the new addition, Vietnam was home to eight UNESCO-recognized world heritage sites.

Among them are Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park in Quang Binh Province, Ha Long Bay, the Hue Imperial Citadel City in Thua Thien Hue Province, Hoi An Ancient Town and the My Son Sanctuary in Quang Nam Province, Thang Long Imperial Citadel in Hanoi, the Citadel of the Ho Dynasty in Thanh Hoa Province, and the Trang An Landscape Complex in Ninh Binh Province.

The 45th session reviewing the sites nominated for the World Heritage List was attended by Associate Professor Dr. Le Thi Thu Hien, head of the Department of Cultural Heritage under the Vietnamese Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism, and Ambassador Le Thi Hong Van, head of the Permanent Mission of Vietnam to UNESCO.

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In Vietnam, woman helps disabled husband fulfill wish of organ donation



The wife of a disabled man in Hanoi who was declared dead from a brain hemorrhage donated his organs to save the lives of others, according to his wishes.

D.T.B., 43, passed away but his heart, liver, and two kidneys still survive in the bodies of others, Hanoi-based Viet Duc University Hospital said on Wednesday.

N.T.H., B.’s wife, said she and B. got married in 2008 and have raised their son and daughter together despite obstacles and difficulties.

B. worked as a cargo transporter and H. as a rice farmer, scrap trader, and domestic helper to make ends meet.

Her family lived in a nine-square-meter house before recently moving to a larger home.

H. has been undergoing thyroid disease treatment at an oncology hospital over the past eight years. However, the disease developed into thyroid cancer last year.

While receiving treatment at the hospital, she was informed that her husband had collapsed while resting after work.

B. was rushed to the General Hospital of Agriculture where doctors found that he had suffered brain hemorrhage and his heart had stopped beating.

H. hurriedly returned home to see her husband for the last time.

Suppressing the pain of losing her husband, H. requested that his organs be donated, according to her deceased husband’s wishes.

According to H., B.’s dream of donating his organs was ignited after watching a report on organ donation in 2009 and deciding he wanted his organs to be used to help other continue their lives.

Despite her family’s protest, H. had B.’s body transported to Viet Duc University Hospital where his organs were donated.

“Whenever someone told me that he would hurt, I smiled and replied that was his wish. He left but still did good things for life,” H. shared.

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Vietnam’s Mekong Delta to host first trail race in November



An Giang Province in southern Vietnam is set to host a trail running competition on November 22 this year at the Cam Mountain tourist area, located in the province’s Tinh Bien Town.

The provincial Center for Investment and Trade Promotion and the administration of Tinh Bien jointly held a press conference on Thursday to announce the Cam Mountain Trail 2023, the first trail race in the Mekong Delta region.

The tournament is co-organized by the Victoria Chau Doc Hotel, the Victoria Nui Sam Hotel, Vietrace365 JSC, and the management board of the Cam Mountain tourist area.

The Cam Mountain Trail is expected to promote physical activity habits and the trailing running trend in the area as well as across the country.

Le Trung Hieu, director of the provincial Center for Investment and Trade Promotion, said the event will enable An Giang to promote its tourism, cultural customs, and local specialties, aside from spreading a positive message to keep a healthy lifestyle.

Running enthusiasts from beginners to athletes are welcomed to take part in the sports event, which offers runners 5km, 10km, 21km và 42km races through stunning landscapes including lush forests, mountain passes, and tourist attractions.

Some trails of the upcoming Cam Mountain Trail 2023. Photo: Courtesy of organizer
Some trails of the upcoming Cam Mountain Trail 2023. Photo: Courtesy of organizer

The participants are required to finish their races starting from delta areas to the top of Cam Mountain within 7-8 hours.

The first finishers of the mentioned-above distances will be awarded medals and the respective sums of VND3 million (US$124), VND4 million ($165), VND5 million ($206), and VND7 million ($290).

Up to now, around 1,000 runners have registered to join the trail race, according to the organizer.

Since the Cam Mountain Trail 2023 is the first of its kind in the delta, the organizer limits the number of runners in the competition at some 1,300 only. 

The figure will be revised up in the next few years if local lodging facilities are able to offer their services to more runners.

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