Quang Ninh welcomes first foreign visitors of Lunar New Year hinh anh 1Secretary of the provincial Party Committee Nguyen Xuan Ky (R) presents flowers and lucky gifts to the first guests and wished them health, happiness and success. (Photo: VNA)

Quang Ninh (VNA)
– The first foreign visitors of the traditional Lunar New Year arrived in Ha Long city in the northeastern province of Quang Ninh on January 25.

Secretary of the provincial Party Committee Nguyen Xuan Ky presented flowers and lucky gifts to the first guests and wished them health, happiness and success.

On the first day of the Year of the Rat, four groups of nearly 60 holidaymakers from France, Japan and Taiwan (China) came to Tuan Chau international port.

A tourist from Taiwan said she was very happy to be warmly welcomed in Ha Long, adding that she wants her family to have enjoyable experience at the world’s natural heritage site. 

Close to 10,000 visitors, mainly from Taiwan, the Republic of Korea, Japan, Canada and France, are expected to visit Ha Long on January 25, the first day of the Lunar New Year.

The same day morning, Vice Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Cao Tuong Huy welcomed the first overseas visitors at Van Don international airport.

All of the 120 passengers on the flight of the low-cost budget carrier Vietjet Air departing from Tan Son Nhat international airport (Ho Chi Minh City) to Van Don (Quang Ninh) received free tickets to visit Yen Tu relic site and Ha Long Bay.

Quang Ninh aims to welcomed 15.5 million visitors in 2020, including 6.5 million foreigners.

It is home to Ha Long Bay literally “descending dragon bay” - a must-see destination recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1994 and 2000.

The bay spans 1,553 square kilometres and includes 1,969 islands of various sizes. It features thousands of limestone karsts and islets in various shapes and sizes. The limestone in the bay has gone through 500 million years of formation in different conditions and environments. The geo-diversity of the environment has created biodiversity, including a tropical evergreen biosystem, oceanic and sea biosystem.

Ha Long Bay is home to 14 endemic floral species and 60 endemic faunal species.

In April 2019, US-based newspaper Business Insider made a list of 35 most beautiful natural wonders around the world, in which Vietnam’s Ha Long Bay claimed a place.

According to the news website, the beauty of Ha Long Bay makes it one of Vietnam’s top tourist sites. It also recommends that tourists see the UNESCO-recognised site’s awe-inspiring limestone towers by boat.

Previously, Ha Long Bay was ranked 14th in Business Insider’s list of the 100 most beautiful UNESCO World Heritages in 2018.

So far this year, Ha Long Bay has gained a lot of global titled. In July, the bay was listed among the world’s most beautiful sunrise spots by the Microsoft Network (MSN).

“What’s more memorable when you see the sunrise in Ha Long Bay, natural wonders with turquoise waters, majestic limestone mountains and lush tropical forests,” MSN wrote.

“What you need to do is take a boat tour on Ha Long Bay and wake up at 5pm to catch mild, romantic sunshine unexpectedly,” it added.

In August, British travel magazine Rough Guides included Ha Long Bay in its selection of the 100 most beautiful places to visit next year. 

In the Rough Guides to the 100 Best Places on Earth, the magazine describes “the scattering of limestone pinnacles jutting out of the smooth waters of Ha Long Bay”, around four hours east of Hanoi, as an “incredible sight”. The bay was the only Vietnamese destination in the list./.