|The Azalea Festival is held annually at Sun World Fansipan Legend complex in Sapa , which was created by Sun Group |
When April arrives in the Hoang Lien mountain range in the far north of Vietnam, the precipitous slopes are covered in azalea flowers of all colours – white, purple, yellow, red, pink – all blooming together, stretching all the way to the peak of Fansipan, the highest mountain in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia.
|Sun World Fansipan Legend strives to be a valuable window into the local customs and traditions of the Hill Tribe communities who have lived around Fansipan since the days of yore. |
This native species is deservedly the star of its own show, the Azalea Festival which will be held annually at Sun World Fansipan Legend, a tourism complex created by Sun Group, the premier developer of luxury tourism and entertainment projects in Vietnam, and located in Sapa, the gateway town to Vietnam’s northwest, a mountainous realm of unsurpassed beauty.
Visiting the Azalea Festival, tourists can also discover more about the cultural activities of northwestern Hill Tribes, such as the Red Dzao and Hmong ethnic groups, who all live in villages dotted around the Hoang Lien mountain range.
These indigenous tribes have their own ritualistic dances, folk games, and traditional forms of music, all of which are depicted vividly at Sun World Fansipan Legend, helping visitors a chance to discover more about the local way of life before they ride by cable car to “the Roof of Indochina” or tour the environs of Sapa in the Muong Hoa Funicular.
If arriving in Sapa in July, visitors will also be able to soak up the vibrant festival atmosphere of the Northwestern Cultural Space and Culinary Festival. In particular, at the food court, visitors have a chance to taste dozens and dozens of traditional dishes such as thang co – a hearty stew made from horse meat!
If that sounds a bit intense, you can snack on a Sapa-style sausage or grilled pork. All of these classic dishes can be enjoyed with a small glass of ruou (a special liquor made from rice and herbal ingredients).
|Making banh chung, an inevitable part in Vietnamese families' Tet holiday |
Visitors can also try their hand at cooking banh chung (a square, savoury sticky rice cake) or grinding a sticky rice dumpling – a custom of the H’mong ethnic people during their own New Year Festival. The distinctive wedding rituals of the Red Dao ethnic people are also recreated on Saturdays and Sundays during the festival. But whatever day you visit, there are always many more activities that showcase the fascinating traditions of these ethnic groups.
Realising that Sapa is the gateway town not just to the geographic wonders of northwestern Vietnam, but also the myriad distinctive cultures in the locality, Sun World Fansipan Legend strives to be a valuable window into the local customs and traditions of the Hill Tribe communities who have lived around Fansipan since the days of yore. Sun World Fansipan Legend’s approach to hosting traditional festivals and showcasing the local culture has been lauded by many industry observers. First and foremost, festivals, and vibrant local cultures are a great magnet for attracting tourists.
|A typical food festival in Vietnam's northwestern region |
From another perspective, by promoting the traditional cultural values of the Hill Tribe communities, Sun World Fansipan Legend is also helping to preserve them at a time when even remote parts of Vietnam are modernising rapidly.
Danang also flying the flag for tradition
Meanwhile in central Vietnam, Sun World Danang Wonders has also been proactive in showcasing local traditions through the hosting of regular cultural events, such as the Lantern Festival, Tet Holiday Festival, and Spring Flower Festival. One might argue it is even more important to showcase traditional values in a city such as Danang, which is modernising rapidly.
While many visitors will wish to visit Sun World Danang Wonders and Asia Park to ride the Sun Wheel (one of the five highest Ferris wheels in the world), the Monorail (the most modern monorail system in Vietnam), or Queen Cobra (the largest hang glider ride in Vietnam), Sun World Danang Wonders wishes to create traditional festivals that will whisk local tourists back to their childhood while introducing age-old Vietnamese traditions to foreign guests.
From downtown Danang, tourists can go to Sun World Ba Na Hills, where they can find many tributes to French culture. It was, after all, the French who first developed Ba Na as a retreat. Visitors today will be greatly intrigued by Debay Wine Cellar, first constructed in a deep tunnel in 1923.
The wine cellar runs 100m deep and is always kept at an ideal temperature between 16 and 20 degrees Celsius. Outside you can admire a replica French village of epic proportions and be forgiven for thinking you were actually in France itself! Besides, Sun World Ba Na also hosts regular cultural festivals throughout the year, not just to celebrate Vietnamese culture but also many other global traditions.
Traditional yet modern
Part of the challenge for each of the Sun World complexes in Vietnam has been to strike a balance by featuring traditional features but also contemporary touches, too. At Sun World Halong Complex in the northeast of Vietnam, visitors can enjoy exhilarating rides and some of the world’s top gaming systems visitors, but they can also experience many Vietnamese traditions, too.
For example, during the Tet holiday (Lunar New Year), they will be able to admire a wonderful flower festival, play folk games, try their hand at writing parallel sentences or browse for something to read on special "book streets," a typical Tet activity in Vietnam.
|The yellow apricot festival, a symbol that spring is approaching in many parts across Vietnam |
By successfully blending modern entertainment facilities with traditional festivals in some of the country’s most beautiful and popular destinations, thanks to the Sun World complexes, visitors can explore the age-old culture of Vietnam, while also experiencing the modern, dynamic, and fun side of this fascinating country.
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