The northern mountainous province of Lao Cai welcomed the first group of foreign tourists on February 16, the first day of the Lunar New Year (Tet) 2018.

The group comprised 32 visitors from Chinese provinces of Sichuan, Hebei and Jilin.

Representatives of the provincial Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism presented flowers to the guests and wished them a New Year of peace and happiness.

“I could feel the time-honoured friendship between the two countries upon my arrival in Vietnam. I want to celebrate Tet with Vietnamese people and make a tour around Lao Cai to see changes in local lives,” said Zhao En from Xichuan, China.

The same day, the northeastern province of Quang Ninh held a ceremony to welcome the first foreign tourists from France to Ha Long Bay – a world natural heritage site recognised by UNESCO.

According to the provincial Inland Waterways Department, Ha Long Bay expects to welcome 60,000 tourists during the first five days of the Lunar New Year, mainly from the Republic of Korea, China, China’s Taiwan, Northern America, and France.

The central coastal city of Da Nang also welcomed the first international flight of the lunar year on February 16, carrying 180 passengers from China’s Hong Kong.

According to the municipal tourism department, Da Nang greeted 236,863 foreign visitors in January 2018, a year-on-year rise 39.7 percent.-VNA