The opening art program is scheduled for December 26 in the heart of Trang An Scenic Landscape Complex, situated in Hoa Lu District, Ninh Binh Province, Nguyen Manh Cuong, director of the provincial Department of Culture and Sports, announced at a press conference on Friday.

Cuong emphasized that the show will be the first of its kind at the complex, which was designated as a World Cultural and Natural Heritage Site in June 2014 by UNESCO, integrating rivers, mountains, music, light, and projection mapping technology.

Boats dock at Trang An Boathouse at Trang An Scenic Landscape Complex in Ninh Binh Province, northern Vietnam. Photo: Linh To / Tuoi Tre News

Traditional and contemporary arts, dance-art calligraphy, and a storytelling narrative will highlight the history and culture of Hoa Lu, Vietnam’s ancient capital, as well as the cultural essence of regions across the country.

Cuong mentioned that 200 local boatwomen, who transport visitors to Trang An Scenic Landscape Complex daily, have been rehearsing for half a month to participate in the program, using boats as stages. 

A stage built on the water is also under construction, with stakes being driven to support its structure.

Phuong Hoang Mountain (Phoenix Mountain), which is behind Thuy Dinh, has a shape that resembles a phoenix spreading its wings. Photo: Linh To / Tuoi Tre News

During its six-day span in Ninh Binh City and Hoa Lu District, the second Ninh Binh-Trang An Festival will feature major events like the southern cultural heritage program on December 28, the north-central region and Laos-Vietnam cultural exchange on December 29, and the closing ceremony on December 31 at the same underwater stage as the opening function.

The festival will include performances by the Udomxay province art troupe from Laos and artists from various cultural regions of Vietnam. 

Boats carry tourists at Trang An Scenic Landscape Complex in Ninh Binh Province, northern Vietnam. Photo: Linh To / Tuoi Tre News

Most activities during the fest are funded by private sources.

In 2022, the first edition of the fest garnered significant attention, demonstrating the potential of Ninh Binh Province’s rich natural and cultural heritage, which it has leveraged to attract filmmakers. 

Tourists take a boat tour at Trang An Scenic Landscape Complex in Ninh Binh Province, northern Vietnam. Photo: T. Dieu / Tuoi Tre