Foreign tourists flock to Nha Trang to celebrate Tet hinh anh 1Foreign tourists visit the Nha Trang Flower Festival at Phi Yen Park. (Photo:

Khanh Hoa (VNA) - The number of foreign tourists visiting the coastal city of Nha Trang for Tet (Lunar New Year) is expected to rise sharply this year, according to Khanh Hoa province’s Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism.

In January, the city welcomed 200,000 foreign visitors, an increase of 160 percent compared to the same period last year.

Nguyen Thi Le Thanh, the department’s deputy director, said the city and tourism agencies began organising a total of 67 cultural activities for the holiday on February 8.

The city’s People’s Committee launched a Flower Festival at Phi Yen Park, where nearly 1,000 indigenous and foreign flowers, bonsai plants and trees, and ornamental fish and birds can be seen. It will be open until February 20 (or the fifth day of the first lunar month).

On February 15 (Lunar New Year’s Eve), the province’s Cultural Centre will hold music performances, featuring tai tu, folk and pop music.

The centre will also organise bai choi (folk singing combining music, poetry, acting, painting and literature) and street arts performances, as well as a human Chinese chess competition from February 16-March 2 (the first to 15th day of the first lunar month).

From February 13 to 20, the Khanh Hoa Traditional Arts Theatre will host free music and dance shows at its venue, the April 2 Square, and Po Nagar Cham Tower to serve tourists and locals.

Meanwhile, local tourism agencies will organise traditional Tet activities like lion dances, calligraphy delivery and banh chung (square sticky rice cake) making.

New tours to handicraft villages will offer tourists opportunities to make Vietnamese traditional dishes and jams.

Thai Hong Son, director of the Sputnik Tour Company which offers tours to Russian tourists, said: “We’ve received many orders for Tet, so we want to provide exciting and interesting tours and activities for tourists.”

Truong Van Tho, director of the city-based Vietnamtourism Charter Joint Stock Company, which brings Chinese tourists to the city, said the number of Chinese booking tours to Nha Trang for Tet has increased 20 percent compared to normal days.

“Chinese tourists like Nha Trang for its cuisine, beautiful beaches and warm weather,” said Tho, adding that they also want to discover Vietnamese culture.

The Nha Trang’s Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism has asked tourism agencies to only use tour guides who have certificates and ensure safety for tourists taking part in adventure activities.

The department has also asked local restaurants to monitor food safety, while stores have been told to sell products with clearly labelled sources of origin.–VNA