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Da Lat to hold first cherry blossom festival

Da Lat will hold its first cherry blossom festival in January 2017.

A host of activities are planned, such as a light festival, a street festival in sculptured clay tunnels, a food festival, a golf tournament, and a photography competition on cherry blossoms.  

Cherry blossoms are a typical flower of the central highlands city, which will bloom in December and color the streets and Tuyen Lam Lake in pink for most of the winter.

Student to wander along the couple rows of cherry blossom. Courtesy: Thông Tin Đà Lạt
 This year Da Lat was ranked 52nd on a list of 52 Places to Go in 2016 compiled by the New York Times, where it was described as a cool alternative to the usual steamy Vietnamese destinations. The city boasts certain specialties, such as pine forests, avocados and artichoke tea, which are not grown elsewhere in Vietnam.

“The south-central highlands town, a former French colonial hill station with eternal spring weather, is an agricultural El Dorado, growing asparagus, strawberries, coffee, artichokes, roses and more,” the Times wrote.

In Lam Dong province, Da Lat is 1,500 meters above sea level with temperatures ranging from 18C to 25C. The city is accessible by air, with Vietnam Airlines, Vietjet Air and Jetstar Pacific hosting flights connecting Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Da Nang, Vinh, Can Tho and Hue.

The only road overwhelming cherry blossom in the city. Courtesy: Thông Tin Đà Lạt
Tourist arrivals in the first half of the year were estimated at 2.2 million, an increase of 11 per cent year-on-year. In the first four months tourist arrivals were up 60 per cent year-on-year.

Most tourists in the first four months came from China, Thailand, South Korea, Japan, Germany, the US, and Canada. Chinese tourists accounted for the most, with 16,000, up 150 per cent. Thai tourists were the next, with almost 7,000 arrivals, up 111 per cent, while those from the US totaled 5,000, a 43 per cent increase, and those from Germany 4,500, an increase of 300 per cent year-on-year.

A happy couple wandering under the cherry blossom tree. Courtesy: Thông Tin Đà Lạt
Mr. Hoang Ngoc Huy from the Lam Dong Provincial Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism, told local media that the city cannot solely rely on its natural beauty to make tourists stay for long periods. It has therefore added a range of different activities to keep tourists occupied, such as golf tournaments to attract South Korean and Japanese visitors and jungle, river and hill races to attract Europeans.

Mr. Huy believes the city is still at a disadvantage in attracting international tourists due to the limited transport options. There are no direct international flights to the city or railways or waterways linking Da Lat with other international tourism destinations in Vietnam. The only way to reach the city is by road. There would be more international tourists coming to the city, he said, if there were international flights connecting it with the world.

VET (theo cand.com)