Vietnam Travel in Brief 20th May

HCM City set for southern food fest

Dam Sen Tourist Park in HCM City will host the 2011 Food Festival of the South on May 27- 29.

The annual event will feature typical southern floating markets, including a fruit market and food market, and lifestyles of people living in the Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta.

There will also be traditional art performances, folk games, baking competitions, and cooking and vegetable shaping.

Food brands and specialities from Hue and the southern and Central Highland provinces will be introduced to visitors.

More than 60 booths will serve food from HCM City and neighbouring provinces at the park in District 11.

Hoi An coconut grove proves popular

Water coconut groves in Cam Thanh Commune, around 3km from the old town of Hoi An, has become a popular tourist destination.

Visitors here can take a leisurely bicycle ride through the forest, watching farmers pick leaves from the trees for making roofing materials and handicrafts.

Boats are always available to carry visitors along the canals to pick nuts for a cool drink.

People who want to relax in a fresh atmosphere can bring fishing rods, choose a suitable place, and enjoy the sunset over the Thu Bon River.

Those preferring open spaces can row a boat out to the river or cast a net with the help of local fishermen.

Da Nang flight numbers on the rise

Vietnam Airlines is operating two extra flights a day to Da Nang from both HCM City and Ha Noi since Phu Bai Airport in Hue closed last week for a month for maintenance.

Jetstar Pacific has had to suspend its two daily flights between HCM City and Hue. The low-cost carrier has four daily flights from HCM City and two from Ha Noi to Da Nang.

Visitors to Hue can take a bus departing Da Nang Airport 100km away. Forty luxury buses have been arranged to transport passengers between Da Nang and Hue. A trip costs VND130,000 (US$6.3).

German cruise ship Bremen visits

Saigontourist Travel Service Co welcomed 750 passengers on board the Bremen when the cruise ship operated by Germany’s Hapag-Lloyd Cruises paid its maiden visit to HCM City on Tuesday.

During their two-day stay, the tourists went around HCM City and visited the Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta city of My Tho.

They will visit other destinations in the country like Da Nang, Hai Phong, Ha Long and Ha Noi before leaving for Hong Kong next Monday.

Saigontourist said it will receive thousands of cruise passengers coming aboard the SuperStar Virgo when it berths in HCM City on June 7, 14 and 30.

Zen tourism blossoms in Viet Nam

With a 2,500-year Buddhist tradition and more than 10 million Buddhists, Viet Nam can become an attractive destination for Zen tourism.

As a distinct school of Buddhism, Zen was first documented in China in the 7th century and was well developed in Viet Nam under the Ly (1009 – 1250) and Tran (1225-1400) dynasties.

Zen tourism has developed in Viet Nam with tours to pagodas and pagoda festivals that enable tourists to visit Buddhist architectural works, observe and participate in activities of Buddhist priests, enjoy and admire characteristics of Zen arts like flower arrangement, tea ceremony, bonsai and vegetarian food.

There are around 120 pagodas available for Zen tourism in Viet Nam, including Dau in Bac Ninh, Tran Quoc in Ha Noi, Truc Lam – Tay Thien in Vinh Phuc, Tu Dam, Thien Mu and Tu Hieu in Hue, and Tu An, Giac Lam and Giac Vien in HCM City.

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