The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism is working with various related departments to launch a promotional campaign to vote for Ha Long Bay as one of the seven natural wonders of the world.
The coming months till November will see hectic activities to promote Ha Long Bay across the country.
The programs include “Ha Long Bay in the heart of Hanoi”, children photo and painting contests on Halong and a bike trip across national heritage sites in which 300 volunteers will participate.
According to information on the website www.new7wonders.com, the Seven Natural Wonders of the World will be announced on November 11.
Ha Long Bay is the only heritage site in Vietnam to be selected on the shortlist of 28 wonders and recommended for the 7 natural wonders of the world.
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Source: The Saigon Times
Ha Long Bay in Quang Ninh province has attracted more than 2.5 million visitors over the past 11 months.
Ha Long Bay has been listed among the top ten destinations by boat, according to the world’s leading tourism magazine, Lonely Planet in the UK.
Visitors can sit in the boats to discover the beauty of Ha Long Bay, and paddle a kayak to visit small caves and grottos. Ha Long Bay currently has nearly 500 tourist boats and attracts millions of visitors each year.
Other destinations in the list include the fjords in Norway, the Amazon River in South America, Franklin River in Australia, Quetico Provincial Park in Canada, backwaters of Kerala in India, Milford Sound in New Zealand, the Greek islands, Disko Bay in Greenland and the Galapágos Islands in Ecuador.
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The People’s Committee of northern Quang Ninh Province is considering tightening regulations for boats staying overnight in Ha Long Bay, with vessels not meeting standards banned from operating, said deputy chairman of the committee Dang Huy Hau.
The regulations will clearly define the number of lifejackets on board, minimum motor power, and captain’s qualifications.
Hau said that local authorities had inspected 135 of the 151 tourism ships staying overnight on the bay. All of the inspected ships had the correct permits for over-night stays and most of them met safety regulations.
However, some of fire fighting equipment and pumps on some boats did not meet the necessary capacity. Some boat cabins were in poor condition and lacked lifejackets, he said.
The remaining 16 ships will be checked in the next ing days.
“Local authorities will establish a specialised team to regularly supervise all vessels spending nights on the bay,” said Hau.
Tourists, especially foreigners, will receive safety information.
The committee will also redefine safe anchorages.
“We will limit the number of vessels spending nights on the bay to about 50 a night,” said Hau.
Reducing the density of ships will make inspections easier, and help keep maintain a safe distance between ships, he said.
Hau added that after the fatal sinking that left 12 tourists dead on February 17, the number of tourists visiting Ha Long Bay had remained unchanged, and many tourists, including foreigners, were still happy to stay overnight.
At present about 400 ships operate on the bay and about 150 ships anchor overnight with more than 1,200 tourists, according to initial statistics provided by the committee.
International tourists return to Ha Long Bay
The number of tourists visiting Ha Long is getting back to normal after a slight decrease, Ha Long Bay’s Management Board has announced.
On Thursday, the Italian Costa Classica cruise ship brought around 2,150 Chinese tourists and sailors to the bay.
The tourists will take a 6-day tour around Vietnam after a 5-day tour around the bay, according to Saigontourist, the company authorized to receive the cruise.
The Portugal Princess Daphne with 500 Australian tourists will also arrive on March 2.
Last week, a tour boat sank, killing 12 people. All tour boats with night-stay services have been checked and put back to operation.
The UNESCO-recognized natural heritage site of Hoi An town, in the central province of Quang Nam, welcomed and gave a gift to the fourth millionth visitor of 2010.
The town government gave this special gift to Amelia, a native from Australia, on December 7.
he Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism (MoCST) sent an offical document to Việt Nam’s representative bodies in oversea about the campaign to vote for Hạ Long Bay as a new world’s natural wonder.Accordingly, during the final voting stage, Hạ Long Bay has continously been among destinations earning highest voting rate.
Thus, the MoCST proposed the Việt Nam’s representative bodies, Embassies, media agencies, economic and cultural organisations, pupils and students associations and Vietnamese communities in oversea to put active effort into promotion of Hạ Long Bay, calling for international votes.
Furthermore, The MoCST also sent to these bodies many pictures, documents of Hạ Long Bay as well as instruction for voting steps.
The final voting result will be informed in November 2011.
Hạ Long Bay (Bay of the Descending Dragon), around 165 km from Hà Nội, covers more than 1,550 sq.km with 1,969 islands, including a protected area covering more than 430 sq.km dotted with 755 limestone and schist islands believed to be between 250 and 280 million years old. The bay has been recognised as the world natural and geographical heritage site by the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO)
Hạ Long Bay is becoming increasingly attractive to foreign tourists who can travel there by roads or waterway. To vote for Hạ Long bay, twice recognised by the UNESCO for its landscapes and geological values, please visit the website www.new7wonders.com/nature/en/vote_on_nominees.
On Dec 2nd, a Conference on “Tourism Development Cooperation in national key areas in Hai Phong and Quang Ninh” was held by the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT) and Hai Phong People’s Committee in Hai Phong. The conference attracted the participation of more 30 tourism enterprises, managers, tourism experts who came to look for best solutions in tourism potentials exploitation of localities.
Mr. Nguyen Manh Cuong, Deputy General Director of VNAT said potentials and strengths of Hai Phong and Quang Ninh tourism have not been fully developed in coastal area of the North because the number of international tourists visiting these provinces are low, especially in Hai Phong.
The limitation of Managing and Zoning activities did not satisfy the demand of tourism development. Furthermore, tourist products are short of diversity and unique, tourism potentials exploitation and development cooperation between the 2 provinces as well as other localities also are limited.
At the Conference, many representatives proposed Hai Phong and Quang Ninh should enhance 5 linkings including exchanging experiences in managing and zoning activities, focusing on tourism development zoning, carrying out overall zoning for Cat Ba, Ha Long and Bach Dang river areas…to develop local tourism.
Moreover, these localities should aim to develop traffic infrastructure, to upgrade and expand key routes linking Hai Phong-Quang Ninh, Hai Phong-Do Son or to exploit sea-tourism routes namely Ha Long- Hai Phong, Ha Long- Cat Ba- Do Son……
In addition, Hai Phong and Quang Ninh should cooperate to attract tourists through various means of transport including land, sea, air and railway, or exploit strengths of tourist products, coordinate with tourism companies to survey and develop new tourist routes as well as pay attention to train local tourism workforce.
Vestiges of prehistoric human settlements and two historic seaports have been discovered by archeologists in Bai Tu Long Bay
in the northern province of Quang Ninh.
Traces of prehistoric peoples have been found at Ang Gia Cave in Thang Loi Commune and at Hoi Cave in Ban Sen Commune, including stone tools and fossilised remnants of burned wood, animal bones, and a large number of shells of Melania (a kind of freshwater snail) and of Cyclophorus (mountain snail).
Two stone tools were also recovered from the bottom of a stream, suggesting they were left in the process of tool-making.
Many of the shells of the freshwater snails show evidence of having their ends broken to extract the meat, said Prof Trinh Nang Chung, head of the excavating team.
The two newly discovered caves were used by prehistoric people when the area was not separated from the mainland by the sea, Chung said, suggesting that the people might be from the Soi Nhu Culture, vestiges of which were earlier found in Ha Long and Bai Tu Long bays.
They lived there about 10,000 years ago, Chung said.
Traces of two seaports from the Tran (1225-1400) and Le (1428-1788) dynasties – designated the Map Tai Port and Dau Su Port – were found in Ngoc Vung and Minh Chau communes, respectively, along with a large quantity of ceramic pieces in blue and white glaze, with some thought to have been imported from abroad.
The seaports were believed to belong to the Van Don port system, which was first established in 1149 and in use between the 12th and 18th centuries, at first for trade with ships from other Southeast Asian countries, and later with China, Japan, and the Middle East. The two main ports in the system, the Cai Lang and Cong Cai ports, were located on Van Hai Island.
Traveling to Quan Son Lake in My Duc, Hanoi, tourists will be impressed with scenery of wild nature of the lotus lake with the mountains mirroring on the water.
The lake, about 50 kilometers southeast of Hanoi, consists of nearly 100 limestone mountains with diverse plants and historical and cultural sites. It looks like miniature of Ha Long Bay, a world attraction to tourists.
The lake, on the route to Perfume Pagoda and Kim Boi mineral stream, is an ideal place for rest, recreation and convalescence. Nature lovers can enjoy the pleasure of sightseeing, yacht cruising, island discovery and fishing.
The first destination is the ferry of Giang Noi lake, one of the three big lakes in Quan Son. Standing on the bank, tourists can see the limestone mountain ranges reflecting on the surface of the lake.
Quan Son tourist site has a surface of nearly 3,000 hectares and includes the communes of Hop Tien, Tuy Lai, Hong Son and Thuong Lam.
Visitors to Quan Son can go yachting on the 850-hectare lake which contains historical relics from the period of Vietnam’s resistance against the French.
If they prefer mountain climbing, they can take a boat to some of Quan Son’s most famous limestone mountains: Independence, Fruit and Flower Mountain, Trau Bac (Silver Buffalo), Hon Me (Fascinating Mountain), Da Bac (Silver Rock), Nui Ban Co (Chess Mountain) and Nui Chim (Bird Mountain).
On Hoa Qua Son (Mountain of Fruit and Flowers) they will have the opportunity to explore dense forests of orange, lime and mango trees and, if they come in Spring, they can even enjoy the breathtaking view of a whole plum forest in full bloom.
At Thung Mo in Hop Tien Village and Thung Cong in Hong Son, there is even a biology garden for visitors who are interested in rare medicinal plants and herbs and also bonsai plants.
The most striking cultural trait of Quan Son tourist site is its ability to keep its traditional village life almost intact, with their various cultural customs and festivities.
Pagodas are another spiritual aspect of life in Quan Son as proven by numerous pagodas scattered around the area. Among them Ham Long, Linh Son, Ngoc Linh Ban Long and Thung Phat pagodas are the most well-known.
In Quan Son tourists can also enjoy good food with dishes prepared from freshly caught fish, shrimps, crabs and a specialty of the area: mountain snails.
To serve tourists Quan Son is having 80 iron boats, one motorized boat, five residences and authorities in My Duc District are now focusing on developing better systems of communication and of electricity and water supplies, to make Quan Son one of the most attractive tourist sites in Vietnam.
Holiday ideas around the world
After bringing us the likes of Simon Cowell, Osama Bin Laden, Jordan and Jedward, the Noughties are almost over. But what were the Destinations of the Decade – stunning new places that are now firmly on the tourism map – and what will be the holiday hotspots of the Twenty-Tens/Oh-tens/Teenies/Tenties/Tenners? Here are some predictions from the experts:
The trend of the decade: Staycations
“Of the many holiday destinations British travellers have turned to in the past decade, our own backyard, the UK, has fared especially well as its appeal broadened,” according to Simon Tregoning of Classic Cottages.
“The profile of Cornwall, in particular, has grown since 2000 partly due to a rash of new attractions, from the Eden Project to high-profile celebrity restaurants like Fifteen: Cornwall, while Newquay has become synonymous with Britain’s new found passion for surfing.
“New air links have made Cornwall more accessible for residents across the country, and an increase in accommodation options – from the green to the ultra-luxurious – mean everyone is catered for, and at a higher standard than ever before. Long live the staycation!”
The short break of the decade: Unknown Italy
“As people worked longer hours throughout the decade, they felt the need to get away more frequently – and short breaks consequently exploded in popularity, with Italy leading the way,” says Kirker Holidays’ Ted Wake.
“Although Venice, Florence and Rome remain the classic choices, the likes of Sicily and the art cities of northern Italy – such as Bologna, Mantua and Ravenna – have enjoyed a steady rise in visitor demand. Just when you think you’ve seen every great Italian town or city, there’s always another one to seek out.”
The short/mid-haul holiday of the decade: Morocco
“Ten years ago the short break really took off: and, after Paris and Madrid, the exotic appeal of Marrakech suddenly registered. Just three hours away existed a cultural vortex – a land of souks, sorcerers, spas and sun, and a very cost-effective one at that,” explains Steve Diederich of The Best of Morocco.
“Beyond Marrakech lay similar jewels; packed into a relatively small country were ski resorts and high mountains, beaches, first-class golf-courses, Berber villages and the most scenic of desert-scapes.”
The ski resort of the decade: Kicking Horse, in British Columbia
Kicking Horse Mountain Resort started life as Whitetooth Ski Area, run by local volunteers in the town of Golden. In 1999 it was bought and hugely upgraded, reopening in Dec 2000 under its new name.
Back then, few people knew of it but “today Kicking Horse has worldwide renown for its powder, challenging skiing and 4,133ft vertical drop, second in Canada only to Whistler Blackcomb, and also as a fine option for beginner or intermediate skiers”, says Richard Rice of Ski Safari.
“Bring on the next decade, too: there’s newly a ten-year, $300 million development plan in place to expand Kicking Horse by 1750 acres.”
The safari of the decade: Botswana’s Okavango Delta
In the 1990s, the Okavango was still split up into the Moremi Game Reserve and a number of hunting areas – and tourism to the Delta was relatively small.
According to Chris McIntyre of Expert Africa the last decade has seen a steep change: “Southern African safaris are no longer the poor relation of East Africa trips, and the Okavango has turned from a backwater to the continent’s ultimate safari destination.
“From 2000 onwards, small, often fabulous lodges began arriving in areas previously reserved for hunting: gradually, over the last decade, we’ve seen many of these change to be photographic concessions, where hunting is no longer practiced. Safaris are now firmly established in the Okavango as a much more humane money-spinner.”
The adventure destination of the decade: Vietnam
“Options for the traveller to Vietnam have expanded dramatically in the past decade, explains Peter Crane from Explore.
“There have been vast improvements in the transport and hotel infrastructure, while enterprising locals have introduced an array of ways to see their destination: now there are luxury junk cruises around the incredible karst scenery of Halong Bay, tribal homestays and trekking in the North and Central Highlands, cycling holidays along the Mekong Delta, cookery schools in Hanoi and Hoi An and all sorts of volunteering trips.
“Combine these with beautiful landscapes, beaches, popular cuisine and a tropical climate, and it’s a winning combination. The icing on the cake is that Vietnam has consistently offered excellent value for money.”
The Latin America trip of the decade: Oaxaca State, Mexico
“During the past decade, more and more people have been discovering Mexico’s rich interior, heading beyond the commercial beach resorts to find colonial cities, elegant architecture, culinary treats and congenial people – all elements which can be found in the state of Oaxaca,” says Lloyd Boutcher of Sunvil Traveller.
“In the city of the same name, live performances take place in the main square, chic boutique hotels offer first-class accommodation and grasshoppers fried in chili make for unusual meals. In the country, Zapotec rugs are hand-loomed as they have been for centuries and the tombs of Monte Alban offer arguably Mexico’s best archaeological site. It’s easy to see why enquiries for travel to Oaxaca have risen so steadily over the past decade.”
Travel trends for 2010
“With the Mugabe era likely to end in the next few years, Zimbabwe’s tourism industry is poised to bounce back, and the good news is that its environments are generally in great shape,” according to Chris McIntyre of Expert Africa.
“The wonderful national parks are all situated on land that’s difficult or impossible to farm, so they remain largely untouched, while much of the game is apparently in good shape, too – even if a few areas have had high levels of hunting.
“Recent news has been very encouraging: an apparent upsurge of visitor numbers in 2009, and now a much less unstable, dollar based economy. Once an effective protection plan is re-installed and development returns to the country’s people, I can see it taking off fast in tourism terms. Zimbabwe used to have vastly more visitors than either Botswana or Namibia – and it can do so again.”
“After years of civil unrest and conflict, stability has been restored in Colombia – and mainstream tourism seems likely to follow,” says Explore’s Peter Crane.
“Most emblematic of the country’s new era is the city of Medellin: once famed as the home of Pablo Escobar, it’s now a vibrant tourism stop, as new museums, parks and direct flights to Florida attest. All around are new options, however: from plantation stays and jungle trekking to eco-beach retreats and even medical tourism.
“Officials have boldly estimated 30 per cent annual increases in visitor numbers and it’s easy to see why: put simply, Colombia is the one Latin American destination with every kind of landscape – from beach to mountain, rainforest to plantation.”
India for skiing
“While the likes of Japan, Mongolia and Chile are likely to emerge as viable ski destinations in the coming ten years, and Russia will host the Winter Olympics in 2014, we feel that India’s slopes will be the hottest draw of the next decade,” notes Richard Rice of Ski Safari.
The Kashmir paradise of Gulmarg is already well-established as a resort, but now there’s talk of Doodpathri and Aur at Pahalgam following suit, and of New Zealand-style heli-skiing at Sonamarg. Tourism is always involving in India – with ever-improving flight services from the UK – and skiing seems likely to be the next big sector.”
Scandinavia – Noel Josephides
“Scandinavia remains Europe’s last great wilderness, offering dramatic and diverse scenery, excellent food, warm and welcoming people, surprisingly good summer weather and an unexplored, untouched appeal,” explains Noel Josephides of Sunvil Holidays.
“It is good value – the pound has held up comparatively well against the Swedish and Norwegian currencies, unlike the euro – and it’s so close: flights to Stockholm for example are just 2.5 hours from London. From a short-haul perspective, Scandinavia seems the obvious choice for the discerning traveller in the twenty-tens.”
“Lots of the potential new destinations for the next decade are places that are currently marginal for tourism due to restricted access. North Korea, Zimbabwe and Iran are all ripe for more mainstream tourism if they see internal changes in the coming decade – and especially Burma,” according to Derek Moore of AITO.
“This may not necessarily mean a change in regimes but an awakening to the potential earnings of tourism. Burma has a fascinating Buddhist tradition, pagodas stretched down the dreamlike Ayeyarwady, miles of beaches and the cultural idyll of Mandalay. Despite such unlimited potential for visitors, it will open up slowly, perfect for small tour operators rather than mass market operators.”
“Perfect for discerning travellers balancing a sense of adventure with an urge for warm sunshine, the southern and eastern shores of the Mediterranean will prosper as a short break and longer-stay destination in the next decade,” in the opinion of Ted Wake from Kirker Holidays.
“Recent infrastructure improvements and the emergence of high-quality, often quirky accommodation in the likes of Syria, Jordan, Lebanon and Israel amount to an unforgettable cultural experience.”
(Water Gulf where the dragon land) is an inlet of the western coast of the Gulf of Tonkin in northeastern sea area of Vietnam, including the sea islands of Ha Long City, Cam Pha Town and part of Van Don island district.
Is the center of a large area there are many factors at similarities in geology, geomorphology, landscape, climate and culture, with Bai Tu Long Bay northeast of Cat Ba Island and the southwest, Ha Long Bay is limited to an area of about 1.553km ² including 1960 islands, mostly limestone islands, which are the core of the Bay area of 334km ² clustered dense 775 islands. Tectonic history of the limestone geology of the Bay has undergone about 500 million years to the ancient geographical circumstances are very different; and Karst evolution fully experienced over 20 million years with a combination of factors such as thick limestone floors, hot and humid climate and tectonic processes improve the overall slow. The combination of environment, climate, geology, geomorphology, Ha Long Bay has made to become clustered biodiversity of forest ecosystems, including closed moist tropical evergreen rain and marine and coastal ecosystems banks with more sub-ecosystems. 14 plant species endemic and about 60 endemic species of animals have been detected in thousands of plant and animal populations in the Gulf residents.
In 1994 the core of Ha Long Bay was recognized as a UNESCO World Natural Heritage with aesthetic value, and re-recognize the 2nd value Premier global geological-geomorphological in 2000. Together with Vietnam’s Nha Trang bay, Halong Bay is one of 29 Bay Club is the world’s most beautiful bays ratings and officially recognized in July 2003
Below pictures about Halong Bay :
Sunrise on the Halong bay
Bo Nong cave
The Kissing Cocks – nice symbol of Halong bay
Sung Sot cave – Stalactite cave largest in Halong bay
Halong bay view at the top
Sunset on Bai Tu Long bay
Welcome to discovery Halong bay – Vietnam !