The northern port city of Hai Phong is preparing for a busy May after making plans to host both a major flower festival and a ceremony recognising its Cat Ba archipelago as a special national relic site.

Vice Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee Le Khac Nam released the information at a press conference on April 22, adding that activities to mark the 59 th anniversary of the Hai Phong Liberation Day (May 13) will also be held during this time.

The Flame-red Flower Festival will celebrate Royal Poinciana , the city’s most distinctive and popular flower. It will be held from May 9-11 and include a wide range of activities, such as art performances, a trade, tourism and cuisine fair and a boat race.

These activities will allow the port city to promote its image and boost tourism.

Meanwhile, photos highlighting the beauty of Cat Ba will be displayed at the event to celebrate the archipelago’s certification as a nationally important area.

Hai Phong will also introduce the bio-diversity potential and advantages of Cat Ba archipelago in the run-up to canvassing for the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) to officially recognise Cat Ba as a World Natural Heritage Site in 2014.

Located some 45 kilometres east of Hai Phong and 150 kilometres southeast of Hanoi, Cat Ba covers more than 17,000 hectares of land and 9,200 hectares of sea. It is already recognised by UNESCO as a World Biosphere Reserve, as it boasts tropical rain forests on limestone islands, mangrove forests, coral reefs, beaches and cave networks. It is home to some 2,320 types of fauna and flora.

The Royal Poinciana has been voted among the five most beautiful flowering trees in the world. It is also known by the names Gulmohar, Peacock Flower and Flame of the Forest.-VNA