Vietnam Travel in Brief 14/12
New sea tour to Phu Quoc Island
Hong Kong’s Royal Group will bring its five-star cruise ship, Jupiter Cruises, to Viet Nam for the Phu Quoc Island-Shihanouk Ville route, which will be available before Christmas.
This will be the first 5-star cruise service for Phu Quoc, a joint-service offered by Royal Group and Viet Nam’s Sea Star Corp.
The nine-story Jupiter Cruise is 178m long, 22m wide, and has around 400 cabins. It can serve 1,000 passengers at once, offering conference rooms, restaurants, bars, karaoke, shopping malls, and beauty and entertainment services.
The Sea Star Corp and Royal Group plan to build a tourism port in Phu Quoc. Currently Jupiter Cruises will have to anchor in Duong Dong, 2km offshore of Phu Quoc Vietnam.
Tet preparations begin
Ho Chi Minh City will host the annual Nguyen Hue Flower Street Festival as part of the Tet (Lunar New Year) holiday, which will include entertainment and charity events.
The festival will feature the Banh Tet (glutinous rice cake) fest and fireworks displays, said Saigontourist Holdings Co., the organiser of the event. Nguyen Hue, Le Loi and Dong Khoi streets will be decorated with lights from December 18 to January 1, and from January 18 to February 14 for the Lunar New Year celebrations. Fireworks will be displayed at six locations on New Year’s Eve.
Tran Hung Viet, deputy general director of Saigontourist, said some 10,000 pieces of banh tet will be donated to the poor. Business community sponsorship money will also be given to charity. Saigontourist will spend more than VND10 billion (US$650,000) for the festival.
Hue attracts more cruise visitors
Thua Thien-Hue has welcomed 20,000 foreign cruise tourists so far this year months of the year, a four-fold increase over 2007. Most cruise ships docking at Chan May Port are luxury liners. The largest ship is the 5-star Queen Elizabeth II, which brought 2,000 tourists to the country.
The cruise ship Rhapsody of the Seas of the US Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines brought an additional 2,000 foreign tourists to the province. During the call at Chan May Port, foreign passengers visited attractions in Hue, Hoi An, and Da Nang Vietnam.
New spa resort in Binh Thuan
Princess d’Annam Resort&Spa has opened doors in Binh Thuan Province. The 9ha resort is a blend of styles that mixes the traditional, bold Eastern identity with the stunning and sophisticated opulence of French culture. Jean Philippe Beghin, the resort’s general director, said, "This style helps make a special impression on guests as soon as they set foot on the property."
More buses to Cambodia
The Ho Chi Minh City-based Sapaco Tourist Company began to increase bus tours between the city and Cambodia on December 4, the day the Viet Nam-Cambodia visa exemption for ordinary passport holders takes effect.
In HCM City, the company now operates seven buses every day to Phnom Penh instead of five previously, departing at 6am, 7am, 8am, 9am, 10am, 11.30am and 1pm.
In Phnom Penh, the seven buses leave for Ho Chi Minh City Vietnam at 6am, 7am, 8am, 9am, 11.30am, 1pm and 2pm.
In addition, Sapaco’s buses between Ho Chi Minh City and Cambodia’s Siem Reap now run daily instead of every two days.
Tourists hunt for war souvenirs
Visitors to the former battlefields in the central province of Quang Tri often buy valuable war keepsakes like identity tags, coins, zippo lighters, US coins and canteens from waste collectors.
Tran Ha, a reputed collector and provider of war objects for tourists in Khe Sanh Town, in the province’s Huong Hoa District, said the war souvenirs he sold were provided by waste collectors in the district.
(Source: VNE, URL:http://english.vietnamnet.vn/travel/2008/12/817484/)
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