|Binh Thuan vibrant during the Tet holidays|
|15:08' 07/02/2009 (GMT+7)|
VietNamNet Bridge – Despite the forecast that tourism will decline this year, Binh Thuan was busy and vibrant during the Tet holidays, not only at resorts and tourist sites but also at traditional cultural sport festivals and religious sites, which have attracted an increasing number of visitors.
Elated in cultural sport festival
A boat race with 300 strong competitors, which took place on January 27 (the second day of the lunar New Year) on Ca Ty River in the central city of Phan Thiet, attracted more than 10,000 visitors. The peaceful Ca Ty River came alive as the intensive competition roused the enthusiasm of visitors and competitors during the New Year holiday. Maurice, a tourist from France, said that he was really excited to see the festival for the first time.
Moreover, the atmosphere in the city was jubilant on the morning of January 29 as 250 athletes raced over Mui Ne sand dunes. The men ran 2,900-meters, the distance for women was1,900-meters and there was a 4,900-meter course for professional athletes. The exciting race in the endless golden sands under the blazing sunlight of spring is an experience unique to Phan Thiet and more than 12,000 visitors shouted for joy as the winners crossed the line.
In the fresh air in the morning of the seventh day of the lunar New Year, (February 2), thousands of residents and tourists visiting Ta Cu Mountain Pagoda were eager to watch the 13th Ta Cu Mountain trekking contest of more than 100 athletes from HCMC, Binh Phuoc, Dong Nai, Lam Dong and Dak Lak provinces. The athletes were required to trek 2,300-meter-natural stone ladder to the top of Linh Son Truong Tho.
In addition to these three traditional familiar contests the city lured visitors with other animated contests such as water-skiing, sand dune climbing and mountain trekking on Linh Son Tu.
City busy tourists on Tet holidays
About 38,000 tourists visited Binh Thuan Province during January and until February 3 (the ninth day of the lunar New Year), of which 15% were international tourists according to an announcement from the provincial Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism. Ham Tien-Mui Ne resort remains an attractive destination for international tourists and the hotels were at full capacity during the holidays.
Religious attractions also were very busy with pilgrims and visitors. Nui (Mountain) Pagoda welcomed more than 20,000 visitors, 15,000 of them using the cable cars, and Ong Pagoda also saw almost 12,000 pilgrims. Other attractions such as Thay Thim palace, Hang Pagoda and Phat Quang Pagoda attracted large numbers of visitors as well.
The natural landscapes of Ba Waterfall and Mua Bay (drizzling rain) Waterfall attracted about 10,000 tourists from HCMC and the southern provinces. Over 1,000 tourists form Russia, Germany and France went to Hoa Thang sand dune in Bac Binh District to enjoy the picturesque landscape of a beautiful coastal region.
Tourists spent VND45 billion during the Tet holidays, forecasting successful tourism development for the province.
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