Uong Bi builds itself up as Buddhist tourism destination

Uong Bi City in the northern province of Quang Ninh is striving to turn itself into a spiritual tourism destination. One of its major draws is Yen Tu Mountain, where more than 700 years ago, King Tran Nhan Tong left his royal palace to lead an ascetic religious life and founded the Truc Lam Zen sect, a unique Buddhist culture of the Vietnamese people.

uong bi builds itself up as buddhist tourism destination
Uong Bi City has focused on forming local tourism brand

Promoting strengths

To promote tourism development, Uong Bi City has strengthened information dissemination through advertising and publications introducing its tourist sites. The city has also issued a code of conduct, “Proud to be a citizen of Uong Bi City”, in order to imbue residents with awareness of accepted behavior and politeness and thus contribute to a friendly image for visitors.

Uong Bi has organized conferences and seminars and invited experts to discuss tourism products based on the city’s characteristics, potential and advantages. The city has also arranged familiarization visits for tour operators (famtrips) to survey tourist destinations and organized festivals and issued priority policies for a number of eco-tourism and resort development projects.

Nguyen Van Thanh, deputy chairman of the Uong Bi City People’s Committee, said that in addition to natural resources, landscapes and monuments, human resources are required to promote tourism development. The city has cooperated with local training centers, such as Ha Long University and Foreign Trade University’s Quang Ninh Campus to open training courses for tourism workers. The city has also guided tourism businesses to recruit graduates from local universities in order to provide the tourism industry with qualified human resources, while encouraging investment in potential tourist destinations.

At the same time, Uong Bi has raised capital to upgrade its road system and build accommodations, restaurants, hotels, commercial centers, parks, and entertainment areas. To date, the city has 114 accommodation facilities, including Legacy Yen Tu with 133 rooms, a 95-room pilgrimage area, four two-star establishments, seven one-star facilities, and five restaurants certified to serve tourists.

The city has promoted the application of scientific and technological advances to develop high-quality agricultural products and support the “One Commune, One Product” program in order to meet shopping needs and stimulate visitor spending.

uong bi builds itself up as buddhist tourism destination
Yen Trung Lake – the most favorite destination for tourists

Forming local tourism brand

To build a brand for the local tourism industry, Nguyen Van Thanh said the locality will continue to strengthen management and supervision of festivals and tourism activities, as well as speed up the progress on expanding and developing the complex of Yen Tu monuments as per a 2013 Prime Ministerial Decision.

Every year, from January through three spring months, thousands of visitors flock to Yen Tu Mountain to attend a festival commemorating Buddhist King Tran Nhan Tong, worship Buddha and contemplate the scenery in spring.

The walkway from the foot of Yen Tu Mountain to the top is about 6,000m long and rugged. It takes visitors about six hours to climb thousands of stone steps weaving through the wild forest to reach the top.

The city will continue to strengthen information dissemination on festivals associated with tourism promotion activities on the media; propagandize the masses, tourism businesses and organizations to build a civilized environment in festivals; open more training courses for employees in the tourism industry; and encourage people to participate in community tourism activities.

The city has also coordinated with other localities to develop a spiritual tourism route in the northeastern coastal region associated with the Tran Dynasty, and expand the Yen Trung Lake eco-tourism area.

In the first 11 months of 2019, Uong Bi welcomed more than 1.87 million visitors, including 219,481 international tourists.

Duc Long