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Travelling the ‘áo dài’ way

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Nguyễn Tuấn Khanh wears an ‘áo dài’ in Thủy Xuân incense village in Huế City. Huế was one of his favourite destinations in his Việt Nam tour with the traditional long dress. Photos courtesy of Nguyễn Tuấn Khanh

Thanh Hà

A young traveller with a love of the Vietnamese national dress áo dài, Nguyễn Tuấn Khanh combined these elements on a remarkable journey in which he travelled 8,000km throughout the country wearing the traditional long dress and made the photo album Tự Hào Áo Dài Việt (Proud of Vietnamese Áo Dài).

“Travelling is my passion and in my blood. I am interested in trekking, camping and travelling by motorbike,” Khanh told Việt Nam News.

“I and some friends made a plan to tour through Việt Nam in 2020 as a milestone of our youth. However, we could only do it this year for various reasons.”

They wanted to discover Việt Nam’s nature and culture and record all their memories on camera. In their list, the ancient royal capital city of Huế was a must. Photos taken in Huế were made more beautiful with the traditional áo dài.

Nguyễn Tuấn Khanh waves a flag at Cape Đại Lãnh in Phú Yên Province. 

“Then I thought I should wear áo dài in other cities and provinces too. So the traditional costume became my special companion in my memorable trip,” said Khanh, who was born in Bà Rịa Vũng Tàu and lives in HCM City.

The 24-year-old took three sets of áo dài: a classical one in black, a grey áo tấc (an old-style five-flap dress with large sleeves) and an innovative, more modern one.

The group started from HCM City to the Central Highlands, the Central region, and the North. On their return, they drove along the coastal route of the Central area.

Over 40 days, starting from late June and ending in August, Khanh visited Hội An, Huế, Quảng Ninh, Hà Nội, Điện Biên and Hà Giang among 40 other cities and provinces.

“I love the black one the most because of its traditional style. Moreover, in my home town in Long Sơn Commune, Vũng Tàu City, the black áo dài has its special position in the local populace’s spiritual life and culture,” said Khanh, who is a part-time tour guide and event planner.

“The black áo dài is an indispensable costume in every family in Long Sơn, especially for those who follow the Ông Trần religion. It is a must-wear costume on holidays and Lunar New Year for local residents, and souvenirs for tourists visiting our land.”

Nguyễn Tuấn Khanh stands at Việt Nam’s boundary marker at Indochina’s tri-border area in Kon Tum Province.

Every night, Khanh made a plan for the next day, choosing places to visit. He then prepared his áo dài and placed it on top of the backpack so that he could easily take them out and change whenever he wanted to take a photo.

“I visited the most exciting and impressive places and unique venues to take photos with the áo dài,” he said.

“Normally, it was easy to take photos. Just pose and click, and then here you are. But I also tried to take pictures from risky positions like the peak of a mountain or the top of a steep slope. Wearing áo dài to get to these places was challenging, but I made it.”

Despite having two years to prepare, Khanh and his friends still met many problems. They faced scorching weather in Quảng Ngãi, slippery slopes in Điện Biên and a dangerous suspension bridge in Đà Lạt. They also experienced big storms and landslides and even got lost.

“Despite many challenges, we finally reached Điện Biên Province’s A Pa Chải Village, which is the westernmost point of Việt Nam. We also admired Mù Cang Chải’s terraced fields, a national heritage site in Yên Bái,” Khanh said.

“No words can describe them, and no photo can show how stunning and peaceful they were. Difficulties and fatigue seemed to disappear. It was worth all the trouble to be there.”

Nguyễn Tuấn Khanh stands at Tà Lài Spillway in Đồng Nai Province.

Việt Nam was so beautiful that he changed his plan. Initially, he planned to tour for 30 days, but he extended it to 40 because there were so many must-visit places he needed more time.

Khanh said the photos and videos he posted on Facebook each day received great feedback.

“People were impressed with the magnificent scenery. They felt touched seeing a young man in the áo dài proudly waving the national flag in many heritage sites and cultural spots,” he said.

Nguyễn Tuấn Khanh is seen on a balcony in Hội An ancient town.

Many people offered financial support to Khanh for his journey, but the money was used to buy gifts for children in Tà Lài Commune, Đồng Nai Province, and a centre for orphans in HCM City when he returned home.

Weeks after his trip, Khanh is still excited and has bigger plans with the national costume.

“I always feel happy and proud wearing the long dress. I believe my photo tour across the country will inspire people, especially the young, to respect, love and use the áo dài more often, not only on holidays,” he said.

“I hope my photos help publicize the nation’s beauty, cultural values and positive energy, encouraging people to do more to discover Việt Nam. I will wear the áo dài and travel to more places, and if there is a chance, I will bring my dresses across the border to tell people that ‘Việt Nam’s áo dài is so beautiful!’”

Nguyễn Tuấn Khanh is on the unique Dinosaur Backbone Mountain in Mù Cang Chải, Yên Bái Province.

Earlier, Khanh’s graduation photo collection also went viral. To celebrate his graduation, Khanh wore his graduation clothing and checked in at different cities and provinces such as HCM City, Vũng Tàu, Đà Nẵng, Hà Nội, and Đà Lạt.

“Saying has it that ‘A day on the road gains you a basket full of wisdom’. It is true in my case. After each trip, I earned valuable treasure of new knowledge and experience,” he said.

“I get to understand new cultures and customs, savour delicious foods and make new friends. I can also publicize our country’s beauty, spread positive energy and encourage people to travel.” VNS 

Khanh on Khau Cốc Chà Pass in Cao Bằng.

Khanh checks in at the well-known Đồng Pagoda in Quảng Ninh Province.

He visits Hà Nội’s St. Joseph’s Cathedral. 

Khanh and local children by Nho Quế River in Hà Giang.

Here he is in front of a royal building in Huế’.

He pictures the exceptional prismatic-shaped cliffs in Phú Yên.

Khanh next to the railway station in Đà Lạt.

Source: http://ovietnam.vn/travel/travelling-the-ao-dai-way_339227.html

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Vietnam serves 2.95 million international tourists in 11 months

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Nearly 597,000 foreigners have visited Vietnam in November, up 23.2% month-on-month, bringing the total number of international tourists to the country in the first 11 months of this year to 2.95 million, according to the General Statistics Office (GSO).

Vietnam serves 2.95 million international tourists in 11 months hinh anh 1International tourists explore Dong Nai Culture-Nature Reserve by bicycle. (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi – Nearly 597,000 foreigners have visited Vietnam in
November, up 23.2% month-on-month, bringing the total number of international
tourists to the country in the first 11 months of this year to 2.95 million,
according to the General Statistics Office (GSO).

The total figure is 21.1 times higher than that of the same
period last year, but down 81.9% compared to the number of 2019 before the COVID-19 pandemic broke out.

In the period, the number of international tourists travelling
to Vietnam by air accounts for 88.9%, 11.1% by road, and 0.03% by sea.

Vietnam serves 2.95 million international tourists in 11 months hinh anh 2Foreigners visit Ho Chi Minh City (Photo: VNA)

The country was estimated to earn 536.3 trillion VND (21.6
billion USD) from accommodation and catering services, up 56.5% year-on-year, while
revenue in the travel and tourism industry was estimated at 22.9 trillion VND, a
4.1-fold increase compared to that of the same period last year.

Recently, the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism launched
an email system, the first of its kind, to promote Vietnamese tourism at
https://mail.vietnam.travel./.

Source: https://en.vietnamplus.vn/vietnam-serves-295-million-international-tourists-in-11-months/244659.vnp

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Hanoi tourism enjoys successful year despite difficulties

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Despite impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of tourists to Hanoi has so far surpassed the target for the whole year, thanks to the city’s efforts to provide attractive and high quality products.

Hanoi tourism enjoys successful year despite difficulties hinh anh 1Tourists at Hoan Kiem Lake of Hanoi (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi
(VNA)
– Despite impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of tourists to Hanoi has so
far surpassed the target for the whole year, thanks to the city’s efforts to provide
attractive and high quality products.

In late November,
Hanoi is full of visitors who enjoy Da quy (daisy) flower season in Ba Vi
National Park, and tours in Thang Long Imperial Citadel or Hoa Lo Prison. This
manifests the strong tourism recovery and development of the capital city – Asia’s
Leading City Break Destination 2022 by World Travel Awards (WTA).

The year of 2022
started with many difficulties for the city due to the pandemic. However,
the gap period enabled the city to prepare for the new normal period, with a
series of products introduced in the beginning of the peak tourism season on
the National Reunification (April 30) and May Day holidays, shortly after
Vietnam fully opened the tourism sector.

Outstanding products in the period include the launch of Son
Tay ancient fortress pedestrian zone, the upgrade of the pedestrian zone along
Trinh Cong Son street, and the cycling tour to explore Bat Trang ancient
pottery village.

Various activities were also held during the 31st Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games 31) in the city, leaving a strong imprint of a
safe, friendly and attractive destination on domestic and foreign visitors.

Alongside, the city Department of Tourism held many training
courses to improve the quality of human resources and enhance the
public awareness of developing community-based tourism.

According to Graham Cooke, the founder of World Travel
Awards, tourism in Vietnam and Hanoi in particular has recovered strongly with
the promotion of its values and identity as well as some breakthroughs.  

In May, the US travel website TripAdvisor placed Hanoi in
the 13th position in the 25 most popular destinations in Asia in
2022. It also included the city in the best 25 places for food lovers in 2022.

Director of the Hanoi Tourism Department Dang Huong Giang
said that the titles showed the attractiveness of the city tourism, and a
chance for the city to affirm its position, image and trademark in the world
market.

Hanoi tourism enjoys successful year despite difficulties hinh anh 2Some designs to be showed at the Ao Dai Festival of Hanoi, which is slated for December. (Photo: VNA)

This year, the city aims to welcome 7-8 million domestic tourists
and 1.2-2 million foreigners. But so far the city has received 17.02 million
visitors, over 5 times higher than that in the same period last year, including
1.27 million foreigners.

To continue its recovery trend, the city has planned a
number of activities in the rest of the year with a focus on luring more
foreign tourists.

In December, Hanoi will organise an Ao Dai (traditional long
dress) festival with the participation of many famous designers and models.
This is one of the most important events of the city tourism, which also
includes a parade of about 700 women wearing Ao dai.

At the same time, the city will also design more products
meeting the demand of foreign visitors, including golf and MICE tourism.

Communications will be promoted to popularise tourist
destinations and new tourism products of Hanoi via traditional methods, TV
channels at home and abroad, websites and social media sites like Youtube and
Facebook, under the themes ‘Hanoi – Travel to Love’ and a safe and attractive
tourist destination.

The city will collaborate with embassies and representative offices abroad and
the Airports Corporation of Vietnam and carriers to hold tourism promotion
events at major markets, as well as welcome delegations of foreign reporters
and travel companies in Hanoi.

Hanoi is working to improve the quality of tourism products at heritage and
relic sites and craft villages, and compile introduction in five foreign
languages of English, French, Chinese, Japanese, and Korean.

Some experts held that due to strong urban development,
people have high demand for relaxation at the weekend. Therefore, Hanoi should
foster farm tourism and tap into natural values to promote relaxation and
exploration tourism.

From a remote area, Ba Vi district has emerged as a bright spot of tourism
thanks to its optimisation of local natural conditions and special cultural
identities of the Muong and Dao ethnic minority groups./.

Source: https://en.vietnamplus.vn/hanoi-tourism-enjoys-successful-year-despite-difficulties/244652.vnp

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Ecotourism – new wave for Ba Ria-Vung Tau

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The southern province of Ba Ria-Vung Tau, which has been known for Con Dao Islands and many beautiful beaches, is working to promote ecotourism, bringing new experiences to visitors in its agriculture and rural areas.

Ecotourism – new wave for Ba Ria-Vung Tau hinh anh 1Ba Ria-Vung Tau province is working to promote ecotourism, bringing new experiences to visitors in its agriculture and rural areas. (Photo: baobariavungtau.com.vn)


Ba Ria-Vung Tau –
The southern province of Ba Ria-Vung Tau, which has been known for Con Dao Islands and many beautiful beaches, is working to promote ecotourism, bringing new experiences to visitors in its agriculture and rural areas.
 
 A number of models that combine agricultural production with tourism have been formed in the locality over the past time, Chairman of the provincial Farmers’ Union Mai Minh Quang said, adding that such models offer both clean agricultural products and closed-loop tourism services.
 
 The models have helped to raise the income of local farmers, while contributing to attracting more tourists to the province, he said.
 
 Suoi Giau Agriculture and Fisheries Cooperative in Suoi Rao commune, Chau Duc district, is an example, which has raised fish in natural lakes and turned them into weekend retreats for local holidaymakers since 2019.
 
 After a hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the cooperative has reopened since August, welcoming more than 100 visitors on weekends, said its Chairman Tran Duc Nghia, noting that the number reached up to 700 last National Day holidays (September 2).
 
 Located at the foot of the Ky Van mountain range in Long Hai township, Long Dien district, the An Binh eco-resort, which is under construction, is also expected to be a new attraction.
 
 Le Thi Nga, a representative from the resort, said the project promotes the values of natural resources and landscapes, traditional culture and cuisines, and even local production methods, thus contributing to protecting natural resources and creating stable jobs for local residents.
 
 After the COVID-19 pandemic, agriculture-based tourism has been proliferating in many Vietnamese cities and provinces, including Ba Ria-Vung Tau, helping it materialise the strategy of green, sustainable tourism. 
 
 With a coastline of more than 300km and beautiful sandy beaches and renowned Con Dao Islands, the southeastern province has substantial strength to develop a brand of sea and island tourism.
 
 In the 11-month period from January to November this year, Ba Ria – Vung Tau welcomed around 12 million visitors, equal to nearly 350% of the yearly plan and up 248% from the same period last year, according to the provincial Tourism Department.  The outstanding result is attributable to the province’s efforts to upgrade and diversify its tourism products and services.   
 
 Director of the provincial Department of Tourism Trinh Hang said the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism predicted it won’t be until 2025 that tourism nationwide can regain the momentum of 2019 pre-pandemic numbers.
 
 However, given the positive signs recorded so far this year, Ba Ria – Vung Tau could regain pre-pandemic numbers and revenue levels in 2023, he added.

According to leaders of the province Tourism Department, to achieve sustainable development and maintain its reputation as a key destination in the national tourism map, Ba Ria – Vung Tau has always attached importance to building and maintaining a civilized, safe and attractive environment for tourism. All localities in the province have implemented specific and practical measures to ensure that every visitor feels that Ba Ria – Vung Tau is really a civilized, safe and friendly destination./.

Source: https://en.vietnamplus.vn/ecotourism-new-wave-for-ba-riavung-tau/244589.vnp

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