It is one of the ancient citadel’s Spring Festival activities, not only to welcome the new season but also the new year. It’s also an activity to pay tribute to Vietnamese people’s ancestors, who expanded the country southward, with the historic marriage of Princess Huyen Tran to the then King of Champa.

Phan Thanh Hai, Director of Thua Thien-Hue province’s Department of Culture and Sports, said that Princess Huyen Tran, along with the then King Tran Nhan Tong were the essential driving force to the establishment of the long stretch of land of Thuan Hoa – Phu Xuan – Thua Thien-Hue.

She was revered by people, having fulfilled both her duties to the country and being kind to the common people. 

Princess Huyen Tran put her country first, and her love second. She obeyed her father King Tran Nhan Tong, and his elder brother Tran Anh Tong to wed the King of Champa, so as to establish peaceful ties with the southern neighbour back in the 14th century. The King of Champa offered the then Dao Viet O and Ly counties as a wedding gift, a thousand-mile stretch of land that embraced today’s Hue. She has been worshipped by many generations until today.

In other activities, hundreds of thousands of visitors flocked to central provinces during the first days of the Lunar New Year, marking a boom in tourism during the Tet Festival.

Almost 140,000 tourists landed in the south central coastal province of Binh Thuan in the first week of the lunar year, an increase of 64.7% compared to the same period last year, contributing revenue of VND310 billion (US$13.2 million).

According to the province, the number of customers increased day by day, with the highest number touring Phan Thiet city’s Ham Tien-Mui Ne, Tien Thanh-Ham Thuan Nam and La Gi areas on January 23. 

Many of them enjoyed different activities such as driving quad bikes on Bau Trang’s sand dunes; sand surfing at Mui Ne and swimming at Hon Rom Beach. Others visited Po Sah Inu Towers for Cham ethnic minority people’s culture and took photos at Ong Dia Reef while others enjoyed local delicacies at many seafood restaurants along the beautiful beaches.

During Tet, hotels and resorts also organised their own activities for tourists such as wrapping and cooking bánh chưng (square sticky rice cake), writing calligraphy, folk games and outdoor BBQ parties.

The provincial tourism department expected that in 2023 when Binh Thuan hosts the National Tourim Year, about 6.5 million visitors, up to 10% of them foreigners, will come to their land.

At the same time, Binh Dinh also welcomed thousands of tourists to the province’s best-known sites such as Ky Co Beach, Eo Gio Strait and Quang Trung Museum.

According to Tran Van Thanh, director of Binh Dinh Tourism Department, visitors were mainly from Central Highlands provinces, Binh Duong, HCM City, Hanoi and some northern provinces.

The number of visitors was around 150,000 on January 20-26, an increase of 12% over the same period in 2022, bringing in revenue of VND122 billion (US$4.8 million).

During Tet, Binh Dinh hosted a number of festive events such as music and dance performances, spring fairs and fireworks and the 234th anniversary of the Ngoc Hoi-Dong Da Victory to celebrate the new year holiday.