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Tân Lạc District develops sustainable tourism




Houses on stilts of Mường people are located on hillsides in Vân Sơn Commune, Tân Lạc District. VNA/ Photo Thanh Hải

Thanh Nga

As one of the four ancient ethnic Mường regions and the cradle of the famous Hoà Bình culture, the unique culture and peaceful landscape of Tân Lạc District is an important resource to help the district develop sustainable tourism.

Tân Lạc is an ideal destination for those who both love Mường culture and want to enjoy a peaceful life away from the hustle and bustle of cities.

Located at the gateway of the northwest region, about 100km from Hà Nội, the district has a large, fresh and airy space with preserved traditional values such as Mo Mường — a popular ritual ceremony which has become the unique cultural heritage of the Mường ethnicity, Mường gongs and many unique traditional handicraft products such as hand-loom weaving, knitting, cần wine (rice wine stored in a big jar and drunk with long bamboo stems) and folk festivals.

Along with that are 11 scenic spots, archaeological relics at the provincial and national levels as well as spiritual sites such as Bụt, Mường Chiềng and Nam Sơn caves.

The ancient Hòa Bình area consists of four Mường regions arranged in the order of “first is Bi, second is Vang, third is Thàng and fourth is Động”, in which Mường Bi is the largest and richest. Today, the land of Mường Bi is Tân Lạc District, the land of rich valleys with rice fields, gardens, and fruit trees.

The highland area of Tân Lạc includes Vân Sơn, Ngổ Luông and Quyết Chiến communes adjacent to the primaeval forest area. On hot summer days, the weather here is very cool. The people here are honest, kind and still preserve the ancient Mường culture.

Overcoming the mists on the winding road, the valley of Vân Sơn, or Lũng Vân, gradually appears with natural landscapes and a fresh, cool climate.

Located at an altitude of 1,200m above sea level, surrounded by Trâu, Có and Tiên mountains, Lũng Vân is surrounded by clouds all year round. It is also known as the “valley of clouds”.

With the beautiful natural landscape and endless terraced rice fields, in recent years, the commune has opened several homestays to serve tourists.

Hà Thị Thậm, owner of Hải Thạn homestay in Chiến Hamlet, Vân Sơn Commune said: “When the COVID-19 pandemic was basically under control, in the past few months, my homestay welcomed many groups of tourists. They are satisfied with the resort space, cool climate and the friendliness, enthusiasm and hospitality of the local people. For some international guests, they are very impressed with adventurous trekking routes, discovering the mysterious beauty of Nam Sơn Cave.”


Hà Thị Thậm, owner of Hải Thạn homestay, prepares accommodation for tourists. VNA/ Photo Thanh Hải

We also had the opportunity to visit Lũy Ải Village, Phong Phú Commune — one of the ancient Mường villages. Our first impression is the peace of houses on stilts hidden under the shady trees, and the peaceful arches with beautiful flower trellis.

But perhaps the attraction and retention of tourists when coming to Lũy Ải is the cultural identity that is expressed right in the words and voices of the people here, visitors will always receive greetings with a friendly smile.

Inside the traditional wooden houses, every object has its own story, associated with the traditions of the family and the village. It can be seen in the Mường gongs set on the wall, the traditional costumes worn exclusively for the festival and the bundle of bamboo poles at the foot of the house ready for bamboo dances.

It is a pleasure to go to a place where all doors are open to welcome and the people are hospitable, willing to go with you to the forest to pick bamboo shoots, or the stream to catch fish and gather together for a warm meal.

In addition to Lũy Ái Village, Tân Lạc has many destinations with national cultural identity.

The Đà River reservoir, or Hòa Bình Lake, area in Suối Hoa Commune is planned as the core region of the province’s  national tourism, with great potential for developing various types of eco-tourism, convalescence and cultural tourism.

Ngòi Village in Suối Hoa Commune is one of the lakeside villages with pristine caves. Although it is only a small village, it is still considered one of the most beautiful villages of Hòa Bình like a “hidden gem in the rock”.

We immediately felt the clear, pure and cool atmosphere of green trees covering the whole village, right next to it is a huge clear lake sparkling in the sun and surrounded by majestic mountains.

The village still retains the original features with the houses on stilts roofed with palm leaves preserved according to the culture of the Mường.

We immersed ourselves in the cool water of Hòa Bình Lake and played games at the floating water park here.



A homestay in Ngòi Village, one of the lakeside villages in Tân Lạc District. Photo

According to Đinh Sơn Tùng, head of the Culture and Sports Department of Tân Lạct, the district actively invests in order to maintain and constantly promote the good cultural traditions of the ethnic communities in the area.

With the available potential and strengths, Tân Lạc promises to be a successful destination for investors in the fields of eco-tourism development, resort tourism and experience tourism, associated with the development of commercial services and clean agriculture.

These days, Hòa Bình Province is expected to attract more tourists as it is one of the localities in the country hosting the ongoing SEA Games 31.

It is ready to host the mountain biking on May 14-17 and road cycling on May 19-22 with the participation of about 400 athletes and officials.



HCM City museums seek to digitize, widen reach




Digitisation helps the museum reach a wider audience, promotes cultural heritage values and increases interaction between the museum and the public. VNA/ Photo

HCM CITY — Most museums in HCM City are in the process of restoring, upgrading and rearranging their display systems after long closures imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The news that the War Remnants Museum, Southern Women’s Museum, History Museum, Áo Dài Museum and HCM City Museum were ready to welcome international tourists was widely welcomed last month. 

The War Remnants Museum in District 3 has been one of the most popular draws in the city for international. 

In 2019, the museum welcomed about 3000 people a day, more than 70 per cent of them international tourists. Now, despite the pandemic situation having eased, the number of visitors has dropped to as low as 100 a day. 

Nguyễn Trần Tâm Hà, deputy director of the War Remnants Museum, said that to welcome international visitors back, they were focusing on upgrading its thematic galleries. 

The museum is also collaborating with the United States on the topic of post-war remedial action that future visitors can learn about.

The Southern Women’s Museum in District 3 has also renovated its infrastructure to create a more modern space. Its exhibition areas are being rearranged with more attractive content and themes.

Museum director Nguyễn Thị Thắm said that they now meet the criteria for epidemic prevention to welcome international guests. The museum also plans to organise more cultural activities to enrich visitors’ experiences.

“In the near future, the museum will coordinate with travel agencies and restaurants to organise culinary events that will allow visitors to enjoy special southern dishes. We also want to open the Áo Dài show every weekend.” 

Digitising data

Besides enlarging its physical collection, the HCM City Museum of History is digitising data on existing artefacts and deploying AI and virtual 3D technology for future development. 

Visitors to the HCM Museum of History can now read in depth information about any artefact by using touchscreens or scanning a QR code on their mobile phones.

Deputy director Nguyễn Khắc Xuân Thi said they were trying to become a “smart museum”, following the general worldwide trend. They were also working to introduce more cultural heritage education programmes and student tours. 

Several performances featuring water puppetry and bội singing have been scheduled for the near future. Further information about these will be posted on the museum’s social media channels such as YouTube and Facebook, Thi said. 

Many experts believe that digital transformation is a new step museums should take to become more and more attractive, especially to young people.

Thắm, director of the Southern Women’s Museum, said that digitisation will help visitors interact with artefacts at a deeper level.

Furthermore, when emergencies like pandemics occur, it is essential that museums organise online exhibitions, he said.

Digitisation not only helps the museum reach a wider audience and promote cultural heritage values, it also increases interaction between the museum and the public, he added. — 


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Closing ceremony to send farewell to remember



Lê Hương

Artists are in a rush to prepare for a magnificent art show to end the SEA Games 31 at Hà Nội’s Mỹ Đình Indoor Athletics Palace to send a warm farewell to regional friends, according to organisers.

Nguyễn Tuyết Hoa, Marketing Manager of the Việt Nam Opera & Ballet Theatre, said the art show at the closing ceremony on May 23 would be completely different from that in the opening ceremony.

“We will make the closing as a music gala with a long-lasting echo, feelings and inspiration, and send the warm greetings of the hosts Việt Nam to neighbouring friends,” she said.

Stage ready for the closing ceremony. Photo Cccourtesy of organisers

The stage will be built with modern equipment such as an led screen and the most up-to-date technology system. The closing ceremony will take place at 8pm for 90 minutes and will be broadcast on VTV channels.

The theme of the show will be “Converge and Shine”.

“During the two-year pandemic, most sport and art activities were stopped,” Hoa said.

“The SEA Games 31 in Việt Nam is a big convergence, where regional athletes flock. They have competed and shined during the past two weeks. The closing ceremony will be the moment to praise and spread their spirit.”

With that theme running through, the art show will open with a dance with traditional conical hats by Dance Group 218, which expresses technology combined with traditional Vietnamese features.

Images of the capital Hà Nội will be represented at the show to say goodbye to athletes: a Thăng Long – Hà Nội holy land with talented people symbolising the strength of the country; a sparkling city with romantic and peaceful moments; beautiful girls wearing áo dài (traditional long dress); and flower sellers in the streets.

“We will review the most moving moments of the sports teams, volunteers and organising members, and the sweat, tears, injuries and smiles of the victories,” Hoa said.

 “The Farewell” will highlight distinctive Vietnamese culture performed by 100 Quan họ (love duet) folk singers, who will sing ancient songs of Bắc Ninh,

According to director Hoàng Công Cường, the whole team of 90 artists include various noted names such as Văn Mai Hương, Uyên Linh, Đông Hùng, Khánh Linh, Dương Hoàng Yến, Bảo Trâm, Phạm Anh Duy and Hà Nhi.

Director Hoàng Công Cường in a rehearsal for the show. Photo courtesy of the director

The host flag will be handed over to Cambodian representatives. After that, artists from Cambodia will have a performance of “Cambodia Welcoming and Blessing” to introduce their country, people and culture.

The performance will include the Rose Dance, White Pigeon contemporary dance, and the song “Cambodia Welcoming and Blessing.”

Artist Thanh Hiền, producing manager of the opening and closing ceremony, said Cambodian artists would transmit a message of regional integration, connecting international friends and looking forward to the next SEA Games.

The palace has a stage of 800sq.m and an led screen of 580sq.m. Some 200 tonnes of equipment will be prepared to serve the show.

“The whole team of 400 people will spare no effort to offer a high-quality show with the best sound and light effects,” Cường said.


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Hà Nội Cuisine Festival opens



Lê Hương

HÀ NỘI — The Hà Nội Cuisine and Handicraft Villages Tourism Festival has opened to visitors in Lê Quang Đạo Street in Nam Từ Liêm District (opposite the F1 track) to entertain SEA Games visitors.

The event gathers hundreds of handicraft villages, artisans and food suppliers in the city and throughout the country.

The festival introduces the top dishes of the city and some neighbouring localities, typical handicraft villages, which offer tourism services, and demonstrations of traditional handicrafts.

The event introduces the best dishes of the capital. — Photo Hoàng Lân

Bamboo booths host cuisine spaces offering popular dishes such as rice pancakes, shrimp cakes, coffee, young rice cake, and tea scented with lotus from the West Lake.

Handicraft shops introduce notable villages like Vạn Phúc Silk Village, Bát Tràng Ceramic Village and Sơn Đồng Wood Craft Village, where visitors can listen to guides explaining the village production processes.

“This festival aims to advertise the images and destinations of Hà Nội’s tourism and introduce local cuisine to both domestic and foreign visitors,” said Nguyễn Thị Mai Anh, deputy director of Hà Nội Investment, Trade and Tourism Centre, at the opening ceremony on Friday night.

The event highlights the importance of cuisine and handicraft villages as tourism products to contribute to the local economy and preserve intangible heritage, she said.

Hà Nội has been considered a hub of delicious dishes, which represent the creativity and talent of local residents.

She said that the city had been voted as a city with alluring cuisine by various international travel magazines.

Hà Nội hosts more than 1,350 handicraft villages, many of which are popular destinations for tourists.

The festival will last until May 23, and is part of a series of activities to advertise the capital as a safe, friendly and attractive destination. —


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