Tourism parks and entertainment centres in Ho Chi Minh City have made significant investments to attract visitors during the Tet (Lunar New Year) festival, which begins on January 31.

Suoi Tien Cultural Tourist Park in District 9, for example, has spent 35 billion VND (1.7 million USD) to build a giant garden with traditional varieties of flowers, bonsai, and fruit and bamboo trees of various kinds and sizes.

Designers and carpenters worked to create an 11,000-sq.m area that depicts the cultural and daily aspects of the life of people in various regions of the country.

It has hundreds of model houses, rickshaws, and daily-life objects made of bamboo, wood, and clumps of rice, straw and grass.

Many traditional dishes, cakes, liquor, and handicrafts will be both displayed and sold.

There is also a playground for traditional games that take older people back to their childhood.

Music and dance and food related to ethnic groups will be seen at several spots around the park.

"Through our unique products, we hope both local and foreign visitors will discover and enjoy slices of Vietnam's history, culture, and lifestyle in different regions," Dinh Van Vui, a member of the park's managing board, said.

She and her 500-strong staff hope to welcome 40,000-50,000 visitors a day during the first week of Tet holiday.

Binh Chanh district's Labour Cultural House in cooperation with its partners will organise traditional music and programmes to usher in the New Year.

The first show, titled Xuan Yeu Thuong (Beloved Spring), begins this weekend, featuring circus, puppet, music, song and traditional dance performances.

It will also include dozens of excerpts from popular cai luong (reformed opera) plays in praise of the country, its history and culture, such as Rang Ro Vietnam (Brilliant Vietnam) and Nu Tuong Co Dao (A Female Commander).

Cai luong artists from the Tran Huu Trang Theatre, one of the region's leading traditional art troupes, will be featured.

"I'm sure both urban and rural visitors will find inspiration here," said young talent Vo Minh Luan of the Tran Huu Trang Theatre, who will appear with veteran cai luong stars, including Bach Long, on stage.
Luan and his colleagues will tour around the city, performing for migrant labourers at industrial parks and export processing zones who cannot go back to their hometowns during the longest and most important annual festival in the country which values homecoming and family reunion.

Sponsored by the city government, their shows will be free every night through the holiday period.
District 11's Dam Sen Tourist Park will invite more than 1,500 disadvantaged children to join its special music and song programme on the first day of the Lunar New Year.

The event will offer free food and drinks while s ongs about children and their dreams will be performed.-VNA