The northern province of Quang Ninh is not only popular with visitors for its landscape, notably UNESCO-recognised world heritage Ha Long Bay, but is also attractive thanks to its ample spiritual tourist areas.

The province is home to over 620 historical, cultural and tourist attractions. Of these, there are three special national relics: Ha Long Bay, Yen Tu historical relic in Uong Bi city and Bach Dang historical relic in Quang Yen town.

Additionally, the locality houses a number of classic relics that include the royal tombs of Tran Kings, Cua Ong temple, Tra Co communal house, Cai Bau pagoda, Truc Lam Giac Tam Zen monastery and Long Tien pagoda.

Such spiritual tourist areas draw visitors from across the country, especially during spring festivals. It offers them a chance to learn about the culture and beauty of Quang Ninh and its people.

Early each year, such places are flooded with strolling visitors. Yen Tu relic attracts millions of tourists each festive season. The figure can amount to tens of thousands on peak days.

The Uong Bi municipal People’s Committee said the number of domestic and foreign pilgrims to Yen Tu grows each year, jumping from 40,000 in 2006 to over 2.2 million in 2011. It is estimated that a total of 3 million tourists will visit the site in 2012.

Like the popular Yen Tu relic, the Tran dynasty complex in Dong Trieu district, which boasts a system of historical sites including An Sinh temple, royal tombs of Tran Kings, Ho Thien, Ngoa Van and Quynh Lam pagodas, is undergoing renovation to bring into full play its potential as a spiritual tourist destination.

In recent years, with support from central and local authorities and departments, many of the artifacts within district relic sites have been restored and upgraded using State budget, making them more beautiful.

According to travel agencies, despite emerging tourism ventures in MICE and ecological tourism, spiritual tourism is a growing trend that they are aiming at.

Spiritual tourism is often associated with national culture and history in harmony with religious faith and righteousness. It leads people to the good, which is the reason to its popularity with travellers.

Apart from learning the history, culture and unique architecture of the tourist attractions, spiritual tourism helps visitors experience tranquility in their soul./.VNA