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Three beauty spots among 50 best in Asia

Released at: 22:52, 29/06/2016

Three beauty spots among 50 best in Asia

Photo: Duc Anh

Condé Nast Traveler names Sapa, Hoi An and Ha Long on list of most beautiful places in Asia.

by Tuyet Minh

Sapa, Hoi An and Ha Long Bay have been listed among the 50 most beautiful places in Asia by Condé Nast Traveler, a global luxury travel magazine.

Tourism website Lifehack, meanwhile, pointed to Ha Long Bay and Sapa as two among seven reasons why tourists should take a holiday in Vietnam.

“The majestic islands of Ha Long Bay are perfect for both adventurers and casual tourists,” the website wrote. Quang Ninh province opened a cable car line in the bay on June 25, which was immediately certified by Guinness World Records as the largest in the world, with one cabin holding up to 230 people.

Along with the new cable car the province has also introduced the Sun Wheel, a Ferris wheel using Japanese technology that provides tourists with a view of the bay and surrounding area from a height of 215 meters. It can cater to 1,200 tourists an hour.

In the first half of the year Quang Ninh is estimated to have welcomed almost 6 million tourists arrivals with 1.9 million international tourist arrivals, a 9 per cent increase year-on-year. International tourist arrivals were up 30 per cent, and from more countries than previously.

Tourists from Northeast Asia, such as China, Taiwan, South Korea and Japan accounted for more than half. By 2020 the province targets welcoming 10.5 million tourists, with 4 million being foreigners. Revenue from tourism is expected to be VND30 trillion ($1.344 billion).

Lao Cai province is also making an effort to develop tourism in Sapa in particular and the province as a whole. The provincial people’s committee is planning to build the Sapa cultural park on 118 ha, in the style of Disneyland but with ecotourism and luxurious international-standard resorts.

In the 2016-2020 period Lao Cai province has a number of large projects on the drawing board, such as building three- to five-star hotels with a total of 6,000 rooms and shopping and conference centers with total investment of VND10 trillion ($448.3 million).

The travel website TripAdvior ranked An Bang Beach, 3 km from Hoi An ancient town in central Quang Nam province, in the Top 25 beaches in Asia. By April 11 there were 1,248 ratings on TripAdvisor regarding the beach, of which 581 people, or 46.55 per cent, judged it “excellent” and 463, or 37 per cent, thought it “good”.

TripAdvisor itself described the beach as “lovely” and suggested the best time to visit is from May to September. One visitor to the beach in April wrote that it was the best beach she has ever seen. “The bike ride was wonderful, through rice paddies and very, very flat. When we got to the beach at about 9.30am we were surprised at how uncrowded it was.”

Travel website Roughguides, meanwhile, voted Vietnam as the best place to travel alone this year. “You’re bound for an interesting experience no matter how or where you travel in Vietnam, and journeying alone is one of the most rewarding ways to explore this beguiling country,” it wrote.

International tourist numbers to Vietnam stood at over 4.7 million in the first half of the year, a 21.3 per cent year-on-year, figures from the General Statistics Office (GSO) show.

Domestic tourists numbered 32.4 million. Total revenue was VND200.339 trillion ($8.9 billion), 22.1 per cent higher than in the same period of 2015. International tourist arrivals in June were 700,446, down 7.5 per cent down against May but up 29.8 per cent year-on-year.

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