VIET NAM – First in the series, my travel experiences in ASEAN countries.
ASEAN countries offers an easy access to some of the most vibrant, breathtaking landscapes and diverse culture in the world. There is an endless list of itineraries for you to choose from adventure travel, leisure, medical or wellness and religious tourism packages including mountain, beach, nature, wildlife, culture, heritage, pilgrimage, health & wellness festivals and celebrating life at high-end resort holidays.
Each ASEAN member NTO provided latest update on the subsequent country’s tourism potential, summarized as under:
The S-shaped peninsula borders with China, Laos and Cambodia, and faces the East Sea. The country’s two major deltas of the Red River and Mekong as well as 4 distinctive mountainous zones, each possess its own unique features in the forms of vast green fields, waterfalls, beaches and thousands of islands.
While Ha Noi is the capital of Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh City is the most populous place with a total population of Vietnam recorded 95.5 million. Hanoi is the melting pot of North Vietnam culture dotted with impressive temples and old buildings that sketches the old charm of Vietnam. https://tourism.hanoi.gov.vn/
The Noi Bai International Airport at Hanoi is the main international point of arrival and the road journey from the airport takes about 3 hours to arrive the World Heritage Site: Ha Long Bay.
The venue of ATF 2019 – Ha Long (meaning Descending Dragon) Bay comprises of 1960 islets, clustered around an area of 1,533 sq.kms., each hammered through a process of nature’s forces of erosion through wind and water since 500 million years.
Today, some 200 overnight cruise liners ply the bay area and more boats offers day trip around the core of the Bay encircled by about 775 islets in an area of 334 sq.kms. Athena Group (including its luxury Signature Cruises featuring plush suites with balcony) and Indochina Sails has earned high repute for its immaculate services. On board the cruise liners, we sail around a cluster of islands in varying size in different geometrical shapes, which emerge from the emerald green seawater in the forms, some named as Incense Burner Islet and Fighting Cock Islet. www.athenacruise.com, www.indochinasails.com
There are Day-Cruise ships and also Floating Restaurant boats – one that we had experienced was the Princess Cruise Ship – the venue for the festive gala evening “Vibrant Ho Chi Minh City” (HCM) hosted by HCM City Department of Tourism. Local cuisines was served while a colorful traditional dance, music performance and basket making afford a cultural indulgence into Vietnam. The hosts offered a personal Invitation to the forth coming International Travel Expo (ITE 5-7 September 2019, Saigon Exhibition Center, HCM).
The ATF 2019 Host Country Viet Nam was recently awarded the “Asia’s Leading Destination 2018” and “Asia’s Best Golf Destination 2018” by World Travel Awards and World Golf Awards respectively.
Viet Nam recorded the highest growth among ASEAN countries and achieved 20% increase in tourism arrivals in 2018. The country earmarked “Visit Vietnam 2019 – Nha Trang, KhanhHoa” to promote the nation’s cultural and coastal assets. Vietnam recorded a total of 15.5 million tourists in 2018 and target ETA 18 million tourists – a rise of 17.5%.
At the Press Briefing the VNAT announced the launching of Mobile Web Form App, which will provide Viet Nam tourism info on fingertips www.vietnamtourism.gov.vn/english
At the ATF TRAVEX 2019, over 50 exhibiting companies along Viet Nam corridor included the Athena Group (Ha Long Cruises), FLC Hotels, Grand Ho Tram Strip HCM, Emic Hospitality, Hoi An Express.