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Preserving the Mekong Delta’s floating markets

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Traders purchase and sell fish at the Quảng Lợi lagoon’s Ngư Mỹ Thạnh floating market. VNA/VNS Photo Hồ Cầu

The Mekong Delta’s famed floating markets, where local speciality produce is sold on boats, provide a unique scene that draws both local and foreign visitors.

Researchers say that the floating markets were established to meet local goods distribution and consumption needs in the area where road traffic is less developed.

In addition, the markets also illustrate the southerners’ custom of buying, selling and travelling on the river.

Nhâm Hùng, a cultural researcher, said that floating markets represented the cultural features, tourism specialties, and the pride of the land and people of the Mekong Delta.

Cái Răng floating market (Cần Thơ City) was voted as one of the 10 most impressive markets in the world by the British travel magazine ‘Rough Guide’. VMA/VNS Photo An Hiếu

Among the floating marketplaces in the delta, Cái Bè in Tiền Giang Province and Cái Răng in Cần Thơ City are the most popular sites for visitors to the southwest region.

According to a poll conducted by Cần Thơ’s Department of Culture, Sports, and Tourism, the floating market is a must-see attraction for more than 70 per cent of visitors to the city.

Lê Thanh Phong, vice chairman of the Mekong Delta Tourism Association, has been to many floating markets worldwide and has observed the distinct appeal of Cái Răng, a typical floating market of the Mekong Delta.

Phong has noticed that the trading in this market is not only a reenactment or performance for visitors but also the locals’ actual lives. The market demonstrates the delta inhabitants’ authentic and vibrant cultural character, intriguing tourists.

Ba Ngàn floating market in Ngã Bảy town, Hậu Giang Province, features a wide variety of fruit and other local delicacies. VNA/VNS Photo Duy Khương

Frequent visitor to the Cái Răng floating market Đặng Thu Hiền was charmed by the local cuisine and culture.

“Listening to the lively sounds on the river in the early morning while enjoying a bowl of hot hủ tiếu (noodle soup), a cup of bà ba sweet soup, and grilled banana cakes is an amazing experience,” she said.

“By visiting the highland markets in the Northwest and the floating markets of the Mekong River Delta, I learned more about the lives, customs, and habits of the people in each region.”

Culture preservation and tourism

Floating marketplaces in the Mekong Delta continue to exist, playing a part in economic activity and serving as a tourist draw despite numerous changes and the diversification of purchasing, selling, and exchanging commodities over time.

However, many experts, management organisations, and businesses are concerned with how to sustainably protect and enhance the value of the floating markets, while expanding tourist experiences.

Foreign tourists taste pineapple, a signature fruit of floating markets. VNA/VNS Photo An Hiếu

Associate Professor Đào Ngọc Cảnh of Cần Thơ University said he believed that while tourism resources are vital, they are merely the “raw materials” for making high-quality products.

“Without a skilled chef, it is impossible to prepare a delectable dinner, even if the ingredients are great, likewise for tourism. Based on understanding the needs and preferences of tourists, appealing and competitive tourism products must be developed via investment and inventiveness,” he said.

Taking the example of the Cái Răng floating market, Cảnh said that it was established in the early 20th century and had since become one of the most well-known floating marketplaces in the world.

However, Cảnh argued that floating market tourism services and products must be continuously enhanced to match social development and satisfy tourists.

“If floating market tourism is merely exploited without investment, it will eventually become monotonous,” he said.

He suggested establishing a floating market tourist service centre with the functions of inspecting and supervising tourism services, ensuring civilised tourism business, ensuring security, and organising tours connecting the Cái Răng floating market with nearby tourist attractions.

Tourists enjoy their breakfast of hủ tiếu (noodle soup), a famous dish at the Cái Răng floating market. VNA/VNS Photo Thanh Liêm

Cảnh also said that for floating market tourism products to become increasingly diverse, it was necessary to develop all types of services to sell speciality produce and souvenirs on land and retail boats, thereby providing customers with a selection from which to choose.

The establishment of a supply chain for floating market tourism products, mainly fruit, food, and souvenirs was also needed.

In addition, it is necessary to encourage locals to participate more in tourism services, such as taking tourists to the floating market by boat and selling fruit, food, beverages, and local delicacies.

“These services must be supervised and invested in properly,” he said.

Trần Thị Bích Thủy from the National Institute of Culture and Arts in HCM City said that floating markets in the Mekong Delta played a vital role in the economic, cultural, and social life of southern residents.

She added that the country’s development required the transformation of the floating market for it to continue to exist and develop while preserving traditional culture.

Thủy suggested that some typical floating markets be selected, combined with craft villages and restaurants, to form a complex that is both an eco-tourism destination and an area to explore and enjoy Southern cuisine.

She added that the local authorities needed to strengthen communication and raise community awareness about tourism development associated with the conservation and promotion of cultural heritage.

“It is important to realise that cultural heritage is the foundation for promoting sustainable tourism development while creating favourable resources for the conservation and promotion of heritage, including the floating market’s cultural heritage,” she said.

With the right vision and management, the spectacular floating markets in the Mekong Delta will provide a place for locals to earn income and a unique tourist experience for many decades to come. VNS

Source: http://ovietnam.vn/travel/preserving-the-mekong-deltas-floating-markets_333946.html

Travel

Hanoi to impress visitors through beautiful gifts, tourism photos

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To create a breakthrough in tourism promotion, and contribute to the rapid and sustainable development of Hanoi’s tourism industry, the Department of Tourism of the capital city has launched a gift design contest and a tourism photo competition.

Hanoi to impress visitors through beautiful gifts, tourism photos hinh anh 1Thang Long Imperial Citadel (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi – To create a breakthrough in tourism promotion, and
contribute to the rapid and sustainable development of Hanoi’s tourism
industry, the Department of Tourism of the capital city has launched a gift design
contest and a tourism photo competition.

The two contests aim to select photos and products that meet
the artistic criteria, show a typical, rich and diverse culture, tourism
resources, tourist attractions, historical sites, festivals, traditional craft
villages, and the culinary culture of Hanoi for dissemination and promotion of
the capital city’s tourism to both domestic and international tourists.

Entries should show the difference and diversity in
materials and colours, and be friendly to the environment, safe to human
health, and not deformed or changed by the climate and weather. The
organising board prioritizes products that use available materials, are local
traditional crafts and convenient for mass production, and have high
applicability and reasonable prices.

All professional and amateur photographers, artisans,
painters, designers, organisations, enterprises and individuals can participate
in the contest held from June 1 to July 31.

The organising board will present awards and display works
from September to October.

All individuals and organisations can find out detailed
information about the contests’ rules on the website of the Department of
Tourism (http://sodulich.hanoi.gov.vn) and on the mass media. Entries can be
sent to the Hanoi Department of Tourism’s headquarter at 11B Cat Linh street,
Dong Da district.

The capital city is making every effort to revive its
tourism after more than two years of the COVID-19 pandemic.

About 8.61 million tourists, including some 211,300
foreigners, visited the city between January and June, nearly tripling the
figure in the same period last year.

The city’s total tourism revenue in the first half of 2022
amounted to approximately 25.2 trillion VND (1.08 billion USD), more than three
times the figure in the first six months of 2021.

Local hotels rated 1-5 stars recorded an average occupation
rate of over 30% during the period, up 6.11% year-on-year.

The capital city, home to 24 recognised tourist
destinations, is offering a series of enticing products to attract tourists
given its reopening of the local tourism industry. These include night tours at
Hoa Lo Prison and Thang Long ancient citadel; a northern mountainous wet market
programme at the Vietnam National Village for Ethnic Culture and Tourism in Son Tay
township; and the Hanoi City Tour by double-decker buses. 

In addition, Hanoi has also launched many tourism
exhibitions, trade fairs, and festivals.

Hanoi to impress visitors through beautiful gifts, tourism photos hinh anh 2Tourism gifts (Photo: VNA)

It is striving to welcome and serve 9-10 million visitors
in 2022, including 1.2-2 million international visitors. Total revenue from
tourists is expected to reach 27-35 trillion VND.

By 2023, the city is planning to welcome and serve 12-14
million visitors, including 2.5-3.5 million foreign visitors, earning a
total revenue from 42 to 55 trillion VND.

It eyes to welcome over 30 million visitors, including 7
million foreigners, by 2025, according to the municipal Party Committee’ draft
conclusion on tourism development for 2016-2020 and following years. The
visitors are expected to spend more than 130 trillion VND while in the capital.

To that end, Hanoi plans to expand new tourism products
based on the potential of each area, in a bid to gradually resume all tourism activities
this year in an important step to develop the tourism sector sustainably after
the pandemic.

Culinary and heritage tourism as well as MICE, a type of
tourism combining meeting, incentives, conferences and events will be promoted
in inner districts while spiritual and agro-tourism will be developed in
suburban areas.

Such types of tourism including resort and health tourism;
community and spiritual tourism will be prioritised in rural areas of the city.

The municipal People’s Committee has designed seven main
tasks and solutions to develop tourism in adaptation to the new normal, with an
emphasis on ensuring safety for both destinations and visitors.

The city will strive to devise unique tourism products to
meet visitors’ demand, and improve quality of tourism products and destinations
linked with heritage sites, relics and craft villages.

Seminars will be organised to train local residents at
destinations in knowledge and skills relating to serving tourists. Training
classes on community-based tourism will also be held in some districts at the
same time.

Hotels and resorts in inner and suburban areas are
encouraged to implement promotion programmes as well as services tailored to
satisfy tourists’ demand for short vacations./.

Source: https://en.vietnamplus.vn/hanoi-to-impress-visitors-through-beautiful-gifts-tourism-photos/232197.vnp

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Vietnam’s cultural heritage space to run in Hoi An

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An exhibition of Vietnam’s cultural heritage space will open in Hoi An city, the central province of Quang Nam, from July 8 to 13.

Vietnam’s cultural heritage space to run in Hoi An hinh anh 1Trang An landscape complex in Ninh Binh province (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi – An exhibition of Vietnam’s cultural
heritage space will open in Hoi An city, the central province of Quang Nam,
from July 8 to 13.

A total of 160 photos on display will introduce UNESCO-recognised
heritages, national special relic sites and intangible heritages in Vietnam
such as the Dien Bien Phu battlefield in Dien Bien, Hung Temple in Phu Tho,
water puppetry, and Binh Dinh martial arts.

Green tourist destinations and a trend of environmentally
friendly tourism will also be featured.

In another part of the exhibition, visitors will be treated to images of and items from traditional craft villages across the country.

Every day during the course of the event, an exchange programme
spotlighting folk art and culture is scheduled.

As an activity to welcome the Visit Vietnam Year 2022 hosted
by Quang Nam under the theme of green tourism, the exhibition will go online
from July 12 at http://trienlamvhnt.vn./.

Source: https://en.vietnamplus.vn/vietnams-cultural-heritage-space-to-run-in-hoi-an/232175.vnp

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Exploring Bat Trang pottery museum in Hanoi

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The pottery museum in Bat Trang ancient pottery village forms part of the Centre for the Quintessence of the Vietnamese Craft Village and is about 15km from the heart of Hanoi. The museum houses myriad cultural and historical values from the village.

Source: https://en.vietnamplus.vn/exploring-bat-trang-pottery-museum-in-hanoi/232129.vnp

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