Ho Chi Minh and Hoi An Cities among ASEAN's best tourist destinations

Monday, 13/02/2023 16:07
Two Vietnamese cities, Ho Chi Minh City and Hoi An, have been listed among the Top 6 ASEAN destinations winning TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice Best of The Best 2023 Awards, reported Vietnam News Agency.
Ho Chi Minh City is well known for its historic French colonial architecture (Photo: VNA) 

According to the official website of ASEAN, asean.org, voters valued the locations of countries for natural beauty, cultural and historical landmarks, adventure activities, and phenomenal cuisines.

The website noted that UNESCO-recognised World Heritage Site of Hoi An is a historic city that was once a popular trading port from the 15th to 19th centuries in central Vietnam.

On every 14th day of the month Hoi An city turns off its electric lights and illuminates the night with lit paper lanterns. (Photo: VNA) 

Located in central Quang Nam province, Hoi An is a bustling city with a population of approximately 120,000 and is a popular tourist destination for backpackers and adventurers seeking to explore the city and the nearby array of attractions.

The city is notable for its many man-made marvels. On every 14th day of the month the city turns off its electric lights and illuminates the night with lit paper lanterns.

“With so many things to do and try in Hoi An, it is no wonder that this quaint seaside town earned the number two spot on the TripAdvisor Traveler’s Choice Best of the Best 2023,” it shared.

Located in southeast Vietnam along the Saigon River, Ho Chi Minh City is well known for its historic French colonial architecture. The southern metropolis is also famous for its many attractions, including the Jade Emperor Pagoda, the Notre Dame Cathedral, Binh Tay Market, and the Mariamman Hindu Temple.

Voted by actual travelers, the awards were bestowed on 25 worldwide destinations, with three ASEAN destinations in the top five and six overall in the list of 25.

Other destinations to make the list were Siem Reap of Cambodia, Chiang Mai of Thailand, Panay Island of the Philippines, and Lombok of Indonesia.

Earlier, Hoi An and HCM City had been also ranked among the world's 25 trending destinations by the TripAdvisor Traveler’s Choice.

Vietnam Airlines resumes Hanoi-Kuala Lumpur route

Vietnam Airlines has officially resumed the Hanoi – Kuala Lumpur route with four flights a week on Monday, Thursday, Friday, and Sunday, reported Vietnam News Agency.

The restoration of the route from Hanoi to Kuala Lumpur will complete the aviation links between Vietnam and Malaysia.(Photo: VNA) 

On this occasion, the national flag carrier has launched a promotion with tickets costing only from 4,644,000 VND (nearly 197 USD) for a round trip (taxes and fees included) on this route.

Preferential tickets are being offered from now to March 26, 2023. Passengers can buy tickets on the airline's website, mobile application, official ticket offices, and agents of Vietnam Airlines nationwide.

The airline is currently operating 11 flights per week on the Ho Chi Minh City - Kuala Lumpur route. The restoration of the route from Hanoi to Kuala Lumpur will complete the aviation links between Vietnam and Malaysia.

Passengers arriving in Malaysia now no longer need to present vaccination status certification or COVID-19 test certificate.

In 2019 before the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, Vietnam Airlines served more than 220,000 passengers between Vietnam and Malaysia.

Since Vietnam reopened its border, Vietnam Airlines has resumed most of its international routes with more than 600 flights per week, equivalent to 70% of the pre-pandemic level.

First Da Nang Asian Film Festival to showcase strength of Vietnamese cinema

The inaugural Da Nang Asian Film Festival (DANAFF) will take place in the coastal city from May 9-13, showcasing a selection of outstanding Asian and Vietnamese cinematographic works that exhibit humanistic values, new discoveries, and unique artistic expression, reported Vietnam News Agency.

The announcement ceremony of the Da Nang Asian Film Festival (DANAFF). The event aims to encourage new Vietnamese and Asian cinema talents and introduce new, high-value works to the public. (Photo courtesy of DANAFF organisers) 

The festival, organised by the Vietnam Film Development Association (VFDA) in collaboration with the Da Nang City People's Committee and other foreign partners, promises to be a celebration of the finest in Asian and Vietnamese cinema.

Among the foreign partners participating in the organization of DANAFF is the Network for the Promotion of Asian Cinema (NETPAC), a renowned organisation dedicated to promoting and supporting Asian cinema globally.

According to the organisers, the event aims to encourage the new Vietnamese and Asian cinema talents and introduce to the public the new, high-value works in content and art of Asian and Vietnamese films and selected films of world cinema. It is expected to be held annually in the following years.

DANAFF will be attended by Asian and international movie stars, famous Vietnamese filmmakers and artists, international and domestic VIP guests and young filmmakers whose works are featured.

The five-day event will include various major events, including the opening and closing ceremonies, the screenings of in-competition films, the screenings of the films by famous partners and guests of world cinema and the Talent Incubator workshop.

Particularly, the Talent Incubator workshop includes the basic acting class instructed by lecturer Lydia Park from South Korea and the advanced acting class instructed by lecturer Tsuyoshi Sugiyama from Japan.

Director Phan Dang Di, an independent filmmaker who has won many awards at the International Film Festivals and the founder of Autumn Meeting, will lead the workshop. The castings to select students to participate in the workshop will be conducted in March 2023 in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City and Da Nang.

The in-competition section is divided into two categories; Asian Film Awards, including feature-length films from cinemas in the Asia-Pacific region produced from January 2021 to January 2023, and Vietnam Film Awards, seeing the competition among eight to ten Vietnamese feature films produced from January 2021 to January 2023.

The Asian Film Award category is decided by the Asian Film Jury, while the Vietnamese Film Jury selects the winners of the Vietnamese Film Awards. The awards of both categories consist of the grand prize for best film, special jury prize, director award, actor award, actress and screenplay award.

Two additional awards without prize money are the NETPAC Award for Best Vietnamese Film, decided by the NETPAC Jury, selected in the Vietnamese Film Competition and the audience’s choice award for the favourite Vietnamese film.

DANAFF is calling for submissions until February 20th, 2023. Further information can be found at www.danaff.vn or www.vfda.vn/danaff.

Ha Long Bay an idyllic seaside places to watch sunrise, sunset: Travel+Leisure

US magazine Travel+Leisure has named Vietnam’s Ha Long Bay among the four idyllic seaside places across Asia to watch sunrise and sunset, reported Vietnam News Agency.

Sunrise in Ha Long Bay (Photo: halongbay.com.vn) 

According to the magazine, UNESCO World Heritage site Ha Long Bay, with more than 2,000 limestone islands, is a tourism mecca in Asia.

It recommends that the best way to avoid the bustle is to dodge the day trips and do a two-night cruise. This will allow visitors to take in clusters of islands too far for day-trippers or overnighters to get to, and allow them to surrender to the rhythms of the sea and the sun.

“Once afloat you can watch both sunrise and sunset from the deck—its ascent over the Gulf of Tonkin and denouement behind the slew of islands, bays and iconic limestone outcrops. Then wait a while longer… because it’s the blue hour, that twilight time between dusk and darkness, when the locals believe Ha Long Bay is at its most beautiful,” the magazine said.

Other three places Travel Leisure recommends for sunset and sunrise watching in Asia are Romblon Island in Philippines, Kuakata Beach in Bangladesh, and Kenting National Park in Taiwan (China)./.

Compiled by BTA