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The first river tour of HCM City will begin tomorrow, Jan 22, taking tourists from Bach Dang Wharf in District 1 to the Painter Village in District 7. This is part of the city's effort to to diversify tourism products.

The tour is one of several river tours on the Sai Gon River that the city tourism authority has surveyed recently. Last year, the city's tourism department and travel agencies made fact-finding trips up the Sai Gon River to Dong Nai Province. The tourism department was also asked to develop river tours from HCM City to neighbouring provinces, the Mekong provinces of An Giang and Cambodia.

Spring Fair in Ha Noi



Spring Fair 2011 featuring 900 pavilions with products of 600 enterprises will open between January 20 and 31 at the Viet Nam Exhibition and Fair Centre, 148 Giang Vo Street.

The fair will include daily goods for Tet such as confectionaries. food, beverage, garments and textiles, jewellery, cosmetics, footwear, ornaments and household utensils as well as specialties such as ruou can (wine drunk from bamboo pipes from a jar) from Hoa Binh, Nam Roi pomelo, Bo Ha orange, Ha Giang tea and Hai Hau rice. Ceramics and handicraft products from across the country will also be exhibited.

Saigontourist welcomes cruise liner

Saigontourist Travel Service received 300 cruise passengers, most of them from Australia, on board the Portugal's Princess Daphne cruise ship during their two-day tour of HCM City-Cu Chi-My Tho. This was the first time Princess Daphne came to Viet Nam.

After docking at Sai Gon Port, the visitors travelled to HCM City, Cu Chi tunnels and My Tho city in the Mekong province of Tien Giang. They attended entertainment activities and saw the daily life of local people through shopping at Ben Thanh Market, watching puppet shows, visiting Nam Son lacquer workshop and enjoying the cuisine of the Mekong Delta.

In 2010, Saigontourist received more than 60,000 visitors from the UK, France, Germany, Italy, and Spain. The company also promotes cruise tourism among travellers in Viet Nam.

Air Mekong resumes Da Nang flights

Private carrier Air Mekong announced its resumption of scheduled services to Da Nang from January 20. The resumption of the service aims to provide more seats during the peak season for domestic air travel. Air Mekong had to suspend its Da Nang service in early December, about two weeks after the carrier started this service, because of low seating capacity on its nine-seat Bombardier CRJ-900 aircraft.

The carrier has also decided to open two daily flights between HCM City and Buon Ma Thuot and Pleiku from January 26.

Flower festival in District 7

Phu My Hung Flower Festival 2011 will be opened on January 26 at The Crescent Zone in Phu My Hung urban area in HCM City's District 7, presentingVietnamese craft of growing flowers. The week-long festival is expected to attract more than 500 enterprises displaying flowers, fruits and Tet products.

One of the highlights of the event is the flower contest Hoa Dong Co Noi (Country Flowers and Grass) for growers and gardeners to enter. The festival also includes a flower-garland releasing festival to pray for happiness and good luck by the lake of The Crescent Zone.