More than a dozen colorful big balloons are set to fly high on Tuyen Quang skies next month, as the province gets ready to host an international hot air balloon festival to create momentum for tourism and economic recovery from the devastating impacts of COVID-19.
Organized by Ballooning Media Co, in cooperation with the Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism, the five-day event will feature at least 20 hot air balloons from March 30 to April 3, and is expected to draw hundreds of spectators to the mountainous province.
Through the festival, the province hopes to put its name on the tourism map and promote its culture and natural sceneries. While more popular cities like Hanoi and Phu Quoc are foreseen to welcome the most crowds when the borders fully reopen on March 15, Tuyen Quang — which lies just 140 kilometers from the capital city — takes pride in its rich history, colorful culture and unspoiled landscapes.
“Our main goal is to develop tourism in Tuyen Quang, and give both domestic and foreign visitors an amazing experience up in the skies on these gigantic balloons,” a representative from Ballooning Media told Vietcetera.
The organizers have already conducted test flights of hot air balloons at Nguyen Tat Thanh Square earlier this month to make sure the province is completely prepared for the international event.
Visitors will have the chance to ride on the balloons. According to Ballooning Media, tickets for tethered balloon rides will cost $7 per person, while free-balloon rides will cost about $200 and should be booked in advance. The hot air balloons will be operated by expert pilots from Thailand, Japan, Malaysia and Holland.
Nguyen Van Hoa, deputy head of the province’s tourism department, told Vietnam News that the festival is a great opportunity for foreign visitors to explore and learn more about the province. He added that tourism development should be one of the breakthrough goals in the 2020-2025 period.
Tuyen Quang, home to less than a million people, relies mainly on construction, agriculture and fishery. It has yet to fully tap its tourism potential, but the province is showing promise as the perfect base for trekking and camping, with mountain ranges rising 2,000 meters above sea level. It’s also an ideal destination for history buffs, given the province’s prominence as the revolutionary base of Vietnam in 1945 and the dozens of historical monuments that signify its storied past.
Other spots worth visiting in Tuyen Quang include the mysterious cave of Song Long, Tat Ke-Ban Bung Nature Reserve, Khuoi Nhi Waterfall, My Lam Mineral Stream, and the Na Hang Ecotourism Area.