Vietnam is agog with preparations for Tet, the Lunar New Year and the country’s biggest festival next Saturday, which include cannon shots, pig races, a flower festival, artworks, and much more.
It will also hail a tourism festival which will be in full swing by then, running for the first 10 days of the year.
In the central Gia Lai province, a racecourse for pigs will open as a symbol of the upcoming Year of the Pig.
Elephants and horses will be taken in parade through the province’s Dien Hong Park, which will also host traditional games like catching pigs blindfolded.
In Ho Chi Minh City in the south, a flower festival opened in Tao Dan Park Monday featuring 7,000 ornamental plants grown by local horticulturalists and others from Thailand, Taiwan, Malaysia, Singapore, and the Republic of Korea. It will run till the 24<SUP>th</SUP>.
The city’s Saigon Zoo and Botanical Gardens has spent VND2 billion (US$125,000) to construct models of 11 world and Vietnamese wonders like Angkor Wat, Egypt’s pyramids, and the UNESCO-recognized Ha Long Bay in northern Vietnam.
The Dam Sen Water Park has upgraded its Jurassic Park featuring mechanical dinosaurs that walk about and shriek. New features include winged dinosaurs swooping downwards and collapsing trees amid storms and volcanoes.
The Dam Sen Cultural Park has built a new VND1 billion ($62,500) labyrinth made of glass, which, its developer promises, will create a sensation of being **** in midair.
The park will also display Wednesday two giant glutinous rice cakes each weighing two tons.
Fifty people will bake the cakes, to cost VND100 million, which will be offered free to 30,000 visitors Sunday.
A new VND1.5 billion ‘ghost castle’ and 62 miniature world wonders costing VND3.5 billion will also amaze visitors.
Suoi Tien Entertainment and Cultural Park in HCMC’s district 9 has inaugurated a “palace complex” comprising artificial mountains, unicorns, a great hall, 18 statues of goddesses of fortune, and a statue of the Mitreya Buddha sitting peacefully on a golden boat.
Other novel structures include a VND5 billion ‘kingdom for children’ with over 20 games imported from Japan and China and a VND2.5 billion Fun House.
In Hanoi, a national-level exhibition featuring flowers, wine, and cau doi (couplets), is being held at the Vietnam Culture and Art Exhibition Center where it will run until Wednesday.
Visitors can taste free traditional liquor made from rice, fruits, tree leaves, corn, and other farm produce, and enjoy quan ho (a folk music originating in Bac Ninh province) and a wide selection of rural specialties from northern provinces.
A large number of foreign tourists are expected to visit Vietnam during this traditional holiday.
Doan Thi Thanh Tra, deputy head of the marketing-planning section of Saigontourist, a major state-run tourism firm, said 3,900 international tourists were expected to arrive from the 17th to 20th [1st to 4th of the Lunar New Year].
Other tourism firms like Fiditourist, Ben Thanh Tourist, and Apex each said they expected to receive 1,000-2,500 foreign visitors.
Ho Chi Minh City, Da Nang city, and others are looking forward to welcoming six 5-star cruise liners including the Costa Allegra, Marina, and Nautica, each with 200-800 international tourists.
Source: Thanh Nien, Tuoi Tre, Nguoi Lao Dong – Compiled by A.N.O.N