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Sa Pa ‘love market’ set to rekindle pursuit of the heart

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Sa Pa ‘love market’ set to rekindle pursuit of the heart

Playing the Khen panpipe and dancing is a custom of the H’mong people. Photo by To Ba Hieu.


The ethnic H’mong romance exchange will be revived in mountainous town Sa Pa, starting this weekend.

The event, expected to attract hundreds of local artists and craftspeople, will take place from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. on November 28 and December 5 at No. 2 Fansipan Street of the resort town in northern Vietnam’s Lao Cai Province.

It is aimed at presenting and promoting indigenous cultural values, as well as helping young local generations and tourists learn about the town’s traditional ‘love market”.

Locals from across the town are expected to bring baskets of corn and rice as well as dogs and chicken to the fair.

Young men and women will dress in colorful and vivid traditional clothing for the event, exchanging messages of love and endearment via dances, panpipe playing, songs, and traditional games.

The culturally distinctive H’mong’s “hai pu” (bride dragging) custom, similar to a man proposing to a woman, will also feature at the event.

Specifically, young couples usually take their time getting to know each other. When both partners feel ready for love, they would set a date when the young woman is to be dragged to the man’s house. The young man can choose any location he wishes to drag his future bride, assisted by friends or brothers. When the time comes, he takes her hand and tells her he wants to drag her home.

The chosen woman, though having previously promised herself to him, offers up resistance. The man and his friends then carry her off “by force”, though without inflicting harm.

At his house, the woman remains in a separate room, guarded by one of the man’s cousins who tries to persuade her to get married. After three days, if she says “yes”, the family of the man would deliver some wine to the woman’s house to seal the union.

If, however, the woman says “no”, she will return home safely.

Traditionally, the man later delivers an amount of money to her home as a fine payment, along with some food shared with her parents. They then share a glass of wine, symbolizing their future alliance.

Visitors at the event can indulge in round sticky rice cakes, local donuts, seven-color sticky rice, and thang co, which is traditionally made from the meat and offal of horses or buffaloes.

Ha Van Thang, head of Lao Cai Province’s Culture, Sports and Tourism Department, said Sa Pa is expected to welcome 1.2 million domestic and foreign visitors this year, a big decline against the 3.5 million last year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Sa Pa is a top travel destination in Vietnam with major attractions like the Mount Fansipan, nicknamed “roof of Indochina”, terraced rice fields, Muong Hoa Valley, and a Gothic stone church at its center.

Source: https://e.vnexpress.net/news/travel/places/sa-pa-love-market-set-to-rekindle-pursuit-of-the-heart-4198185.html

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Idyllic life on far-flung Tho Chu Island

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Residents of Tho Chu Island in the southwestern tip of Vietnam have to move to various parts of the island to avoid storms during the annual monsoon season.

Tho Chu is one of eight islands in the namesake archipelago in Kien Giang Province, 100 kilometers from Phu Quoc City and an important base to protect Vietnam’s territorial waters. The local administration has established a route by boat ‘Tho Chau 09’ (ko hieu) to help naval personnel and visitors travel from Phu Quoc to Tho Chu Island.

Tho Chu is one of eight islands in the namesake archipelago in Kien Giang Province, 100 kilometers from Phu Quoc City and an important base to protect Vietnam’s territorial waters.

The island has 2,000 inhabitants mostly in the Bai Dong and Bai Ngu areas. They earn a living by farming fish. Violent winds and storms during the monsoon force them to move back and forth between the two places, hence the nickname ‘wind escape island.’ Photo courtesy of Nguyen Van.

The island has 2,000 inhabitants mostly in the Bai Dong and Bai Ngu areas. They earn a living from fishing and aquaculture.
Violent winds and storms during the monsoon force them to move back and forth between the two places, hence the nickname ‘wind escape island.’

Starting in the ninth lunar month, people live in Bai Ngu to avoid northern winds. In the fourth lunar month they move to Bai Dong to avoid southern winds. The photo was taken in the seventh lunar month and so boats and floating raft houses are all in Bai Dong.

Starting in the ninth lunar month, people live in Bai Ngu to avoid northern winds. In the fourth lunar month they move to Bai Dong to avoid southern winds.
The photo was taken in the seventh lunar month and so boats and floating raft houses are all in Bai Dong.

A small market near a hydro-meteorological center on the way to Bai Dong mainly sells fishing tools, especially squid jigs.

A small market near a hydro-meteorological center on the way to Bai Dong mainly sells fishing tools, especially squid jigs.

Fishing does not only serve as a means of livelihood but a favorite pastime of people living in Tho Chu Island. Friendly anglers are willing to teach inexperienced visitors how to catch fish. Photo courtesy of Nguyen Van.

Fishing not only serves as a means of livelihood but also a favorite pastime of people living on Tho Chu Island. Friendly anglers are willing to teach inexperienced visitors how to catch fish.

Tho Chu’s fishermen farm fish in cages, mainly white-flesh cobia. Cobia is preferred to other fish for its taste and soft flesh. Visitors can go to one of the many eateries on the island to try a cobia hotpot with Vietnamese noodles and veggies.

Tho Chu’s fishermen farm fish in cages, mainly white-flesh cobia. Cobia is preferred to other fish for its taste and soft flesh. Visitors can go to one of the many eateries on the island to try a cobia hotpot with Vietnamese noodles and veggies.

Kids fool around in the afternoon tide. Photo courtesy of Nguyen Van.

Kids fool around in the afternoon tide.

Unlike other tourist destinations in Phu Quoc, Tho Chu with its geographical importance in terms of defense and security remains a peaceful isolated island occasionally visited by volunteers.  Visitors can lose themselves in the tranquil picturesque island with green trees and blue seas while riding a motorbike from Bai Ngu to Bai Dong. Along the coast, one can see native tropical island plants such as sea poison tree and tree heliotrope.

Unlike Phu Quoc, Tho Chu with its geographical importance in terms of defense and security remains a peaceful isolated island.
Visitors can lose themselves in the tranquil picturesque island with green trees and blue seas while riding a motorbike from Bai Ngu to Bai Dong. Along the coast, one can see native tropical island plants such as sea poison tree and tree heliotrope.

Làng biển cuối trời Tây Nam của Tổ Quốc

 
 

Idyllic life on far-flung Tho Chu Island

Làng biển cuối trời Tây Nam của Tổ Quốc

Morning on a raft in Tho Chu Island. Video by VnExpress/Huynh Nhi.

Source: https://e.vnexpress.net/news/travel/places/idyllic-life-on-far-flung-tho-chu-island-4222713.html

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Da Lat aims to welcome more than 4 million visitors in 2021

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The resort city of Da Lat in the Central Highlands province of Lam Dong aims to welcome more than 4 million visitors, including 150,000 foreigners in 2021, according to the provincial Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism.

Da Lat aims to welcome more than 4 million visitors in 2021 hinh anh 1Paddling swan boats on Xuan Huong lake is an interesting experience for visitors to Da Lat city. (Photo: nhandan.org)


Hanoi –
The resort city of Da Lat in the Central Highlands
province of Lam Dong aims to welcome more than 4 million visitors, including
150,000 foreigners in 2021, according to the provincial Department of Culture,
Sports and Tourism.

In 2020, the city’s tourism sector was affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and it
failed to meet its goal of serving 7.8 million visitors, including over 580,000
international tourists.

Only 4 million vacationers, including 120,000 foreigners, visited Da Lat last
year, down 44 percent from 2019.

The city saw the arrival of around 70,000 holiday-makers during the three-day
New Year 2021 holiday, signalling positive signs for the city’s tourism sector
in the coming year.

Lam Dong province now has
more than 2,540 accommodation facilities with over 29,400 rooms, 47 travel
companies and transport providers./.

Source: https://en.vietnamplus.vn/da-lat-aims-to-welcome-more-than-4-million-visitors-in-2021/194937.vnp

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Tourist arrivals to Hue monuments slump in 2020

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Tourists visiting Hue monuments in the central province of Thua Thien-Hue sharply fell to over 1 million last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, resulting in revenue of more than 106 billion VND (4.6 million USD), down 72.62 percent year on year.

Tourist arrivals to Hue monuments slump in 2020 hinh anh 1In the Hue Imperial Citadel (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi – Tourists visiting Hue monuments in
the central province of Thua Thien-Hue sharply fell to over 1 million last year
due to the COVID-19 pandemic, resulting in revenue of more than 106 billion VND
(4.6 million USD), down 72.62 percent year on year.

The figures were released by the Hue Monuments Conservation Centre on January
17.

Service revenue slumped by 75 percent to 4.9 billion VND.

The
central province is expected to become a cultural, tourism and health care
centre in Southeast Asia by 2030, and a festival city of Asia by 2045.

e is also set to become one of the country’s hubs in the fields of
science, technology, multidisciplinary education and training, and national
defence-security.

During the
2021 -2025 period, Thua Thien-Hue will work to earn the status of a
centrally-run city and complete the expansion of Hue city before 2022 as
planned./.

Source: https://en.vietnamplus.vn/tourist-arrivals-to-hue-monuments-slump-in-2020/194913.vnp

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