American news channel CNBC listed central Vietnam among seven lesser-known destinations in the world to consider visiting post-Covid-19 crisis.
With Vietnam continuing to suspend international flights and halting entry for all foreigners, except special cases, as a measure to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus, CNBC urged its readers to visit the country once the pandemic passes.
It said though international tourists to Vietnam typically head north to Hanoi and Ha Long Bay or south to Ho Chi Minh City, central Vietnam, home to many UNESCO heritage sites and popular tourist destinations, is well worth exploring.
Central Vietnam has long been famous on the country’s tourism map for three UNESCO heritage sites – ancient town Hoi An, former imperial capital Hue, and My Son Sanctuary in Quang Nam Province – and popular beach city Da Nang.
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According to CNBC, several years ago, a small number of resorts bet travelers would be attracted to the sleepier parts of Vietnam. Anantara, a luxury brand from the Minor Hotels group, was one of them.
Minor Hotels opened Anantara Quy Nhon Villas in 2018 as the first five-star international hotel, in a part of Vietnam that received few international visitors, CNBC said.
Quy Nhon Town, blessed with a 42-kilometer coastline, dubbed the “Maldives of Vietnam,” is now a rising star on central Vietnam’s tourism map as a quieter, less touristy destination with a mostly fishing population heading out to sea in coracles to earn a living.
“Another attraction to the country’s interior is the colossal Son Doong Cave,” the channel said.
Son Doong in central Quang Binh Province is estimated to be between 400 and 450 million years old, but only “discovered” in 2009. The cave, with a total length of nine kilometers, was declared the world’s largest and opened to tourists in 2013, four years after members of the British Cave Research Association finished their exploration.
Now, Son Doong, part of Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park, a UNESCO heritage site, is a fast-emerging tourist destination in the country.
Traveler habits are changing as people across the world are bypassing big cities in favor of smaller destinations that attract fewer tourists, and outside activities like hiking and biking are drawing more interest than before, CNBC noted.
The channel also included other destinations worth visiting post-pandemic like Normandy in France, Kagawa in Japan, and Dandenongs in Australia.
Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc last week ordered relevant agencies to map out plans for Covid-19 vaccine passport implementation and reopening of international flights to soon help tourism and aviation sectors recover.
Vietnam has recorded 908 community transmission cases in its latest Covid-19 outbreak since Jan. 28. Most of the 13 affected localities have now passed many days without any domestic transmissions.
With the Covid-19 outbreak more or less contained, domestic air travel demand has returned to normal, with many cities and provinces, including Hai Phong, Hanoi, HCMC, and Quang Ninh, allowing tourism services to resume.