The 2015 Sa Pa Culture and Tourism Week opened on April 30 in Sa Pa town, northern Lao Cai province, amid the cheerful celebrations marking the 40th anniversary of national reunification.

The event is being held by the People’s Committee of the Sa Pa district and the Lao Cai provincial Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism, with a view to promoting the beautiful local landscapes and diverse cultures.

Visitors can immerse themselves in the vibrant atmosphere of the “festival in the clouds”, a cultural gathering in Mong Cat Cat village and a farmers’ day programme.

Young volunteers are willing to guide visitors at information stalls according to the organisation board, while local authorities have taken strong measures to prevent price hiking.

Sa Pa is famous for natural sites such as Ham Rong Mountain, Silver Waterfall, Rattan Bridge, Bamboo Forest and Ta Phin Cave.

In recent years, the Sa Pa district has concentrated on developing ecological tourism and community-based tourism, promoting tours which explore the special cultural features of local ethnic groups.

In 2014, Lao Cai welcomed over 1 million visitors. Sa Pa, in particular, served more than 700,000 tourists, a year-on-year rise of 30 percent.

This year, the province hopes to welcome more than 1.2 million vacationers.

The 2015 Sa Pa Culture and Tourism Week, which will run until May 3, is expected to serve 50,000 holiday makers.

The launching ceremony drew over 20,000 visitors to admire pyrotechnic and art performances.-VNA