Hanoi Revitalizes Traditional Products to Entice Tourists

Visitors to Hanoi, especially those from abroad, are likely to find Quoc Oai, a district in the western suburbs of the city, an especially fascinating destination due to its historical and cultural significance.

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Quoc Oai District, located about 30 kilometers southwest of Hanoi, has attempted to revitalize traditional tourism products by investing in spiritual and cultural tourism and developing a new tour connecting Thay Pagoda, Tuan Chau tourist site in Sai Son Commune, and So communal house in Cong Hoa Commune.

 Thay Pagoda will be received the title “the Special National Monument of Thay Pagoda”. Photos: Mai Huong

On April 21 and 22, the district will host the “Thay Pagoda Cultural and Historical Tourism Journey in 2023” at the renowned national relic site of Thay Pagoda, and the Sai Son Mountain and Hoang Xa Cave area. This program promises to be an unforgettable experience, providing travelers with insight into the rich culture and history of the region.

The program’s opening ceremony, scheduled for April 21, will include activities such as “A Day to Explore Quoc Oai,” honoring various types of intangible cultural heritage in the region and introducing the capital’s cultural and historical tourist attractions. This event will provide a unique opportunity for people to explore the area and discover its fascinating history. Attendees will be able to learn about the area’s traditions and culture, as well as its rich history and its many tourist attractions. It will be an unforgettable day of exploration and celebration for all who attend.

Travel agencies are offering an exciting opportunity to explore cultural and historical tours with discounted prices and special promotions. Whether you’re a first-time visitor to the area or a seasoned traveller, these tours provide an enlightening experience that you won’t soon forget. With knowledgeable guides and exclusive access to sites and attractions, you can get the most out of your journey. So grab your coupons and take advantage of the great deals available!

Visitors to Thay Pagoda can experience a unique space showcasing delicious culinary specialties, products rated by the One Commune One Product (OCOP) program, as well as traditional local goods, handicrafts, and souvenirs. Immerse yourself in this one-of-a-kind atmosphere and explore the unique items that the pagoda has to offer!

As part of the program, there will be a ceremony to announce the recognition of the “Special National Monument of Thay Pagoda” and Sai Son Rocky Mountain.

A series of exciting activities will be held to launch the Thay Pagoda Festival from April 24th to 26th (the 5th to 7th day of the 3rd lunar month) and the public holidays from April 30th (National Reunification Day) to May 1st (International Workers’ Day). Get ready to enjoy an unforgettable experience during this special time!

According to Nguyen Duc Nam, the Head of the district’s Culture and Information Department, this year’s visitors to the annual Thay Pagoda Festival will have the opportunity to witness a re-enactment of rural daily life and production, as well as various folk games such as human chess, swinging, blindfolded pot-banging, and tug-of-war. Moreover, they are also invited to take part in traditional cultural and artistic performances, including water puppetry, gongs, and quan ho (love duet singing), which is recognized by UNESCO as an intangible cultural heritage.

 The major attraction of Thay Pagoda Festival is Quan ho singing performance. Photo: Thanh Hai/The Hanoi Times

These various activities are projected to help Quoc Oai welcome up to 500,000 visitors in 2023, the same as in 2019. During the first three months of 2023, the district saw a surge in tourism, with over 100,000 tourists, including more than 60,000 visitors to Thay Pagoda.

Mai Huong, a resident of Thanh Xuan District, loves to visit Thay Pagoda every year, making a total of four trips annually. Describing it as her favorite tourist destination, she expressed her admiration for the beautiful scenery it offers.

“My family and I often come back to this place due to its ancient architecture of the pagoda, its stunning scenery of mountains and caves, and the service facilities in the vicinity,” she told The Hanoi Times.

Huong declared that the journey from the central part of Hanoi to the historical landmark is brief, making it the perfect spot for family or friends to visit together.

 Mai Huong and her friends visit Thay Pagoda in March. 

The renovated infrastructure and captivating cultural activities regularly held at the relic site have helped Thay Pagoda and other tourist sites in Quoc Oai District to retain visitors like Huong’s family and draw in new ones.

The topography of Quoc Oai District is characterized by a semi-mountainous terrain that combines hills and mountains, providing many magnificent natural sites that are conducive to the development of cultural heritage tourism and ecotourism. With its stunning scenery, the district is an ideal destination for adventurers seeking to explore and experience the beauty of nature. Visitors can take part in activities such as camping, hiking, mountain biking, rock-climbing, and bird-watching, while also discovering the district’s unique history and culture. Moreover, the district offers a variety of eco-friendly accommodation options that allow visitors to fully immerse themselves in the local environment. With its combination of spectacular scenery and cultural heritage, Quoc Oai District is the perfect destination for travelers seeking a truly unique and unforgettable experience.

The district authority has dedicated its resources to constructing and cultivating remarkable tourist sites and attractions, such as health resorts and community-based tourist destinations in Dong Xuan and Phu Man communes. Furthermore, the district has initiated five models of agritourism development connected to historic sites in the communes of Cong Hoa, Tan Hoa, Sai Son, Dong Xuan, Phu Man, Hoa Thach, Phu Cat, and Dong Yen.

Hoang Nguyen Ung, Vice Chairman of Quoc Oai District People’s Committee, stated that the district has made considerable investments to enhance the infrastructure and parking facilities at the relics site, improve the lighting system, and create new tours to Thay Pagoda. By doing so, they aim to provide a more enjoyable experience for visitors who come to explore the area. Additionally, they have also implemented safety protocols to ensure that everyone remains safe and secure while exploring the area.

The district will not only offer a range of tourism products around the Day and Tich River areas, but will also establish a pilot system of electric vehicles at Thay Pagoda. This will provide visitors with an eco-friendly way to explore the area and its attractions. Furthermore, it will also help to reduce emissions and improve the air quality in the region.

“With the benefit of convenient transportation and a variety of tourism offerings, we aspire to make Quoc Oai District an alluring destination on the outskirts of Hanoi,” Ung emphasized, “in turn helping to make Hanoi a secure, friendly, high-quality, and attractive place to visit.”

Quoc Oai, along with other suburban districts of Thach That, Son Tay, and Ba Vi, is the focal point of the city’s plan to enhance the quality of tourism related to heritage, relics, and craft villages. By implementing this plan, the city hopes to attract more visitors and increase its appeal as a popular tourist destination. Additionally, this initiative will also benefit local residents by creating jobs and boosting the local economy.

In 2023, Hanoi is projected to accommodate 22 million visitors, representing an impressive year-on-year growth of 17.6%.