16/11/2016 14:24 GMT+7 Email Print Like 0

Nghinh Ong Festival – Unique cultural identity in Kien Giang

Kien Giang, November 15 (VNA) – The Nghinh Ong (whale worshipping) Festival opened in Lai Son commune, Kien Hai district, the Mekong Delta province of Kien Giang on November 14 as part of the “National Tourism Year 2016 - Phu Quoc - Mekong Delta”.

Huynh Hoang Son, Chairman of Kien Hai People’s Committee, said the Nghinh Ong Festival aims to honour the solidarity of fishermen at sea in fishing and safeguarding the country’s sovereignty over sea and islands.

The festival is a cultural identity of the coastal locality, which has been preserved and passed through generations, contributing to enriching the country’s culture.

This is also a chance for Kien Hai district to introduce cultural values, natural resources and typical tourism products, as well as its beautiful natural landscapes and maritime economic potentials.

Through the festival, Kien Hai district expects to leave a strong impress on tourists both at home and abroad, while encouraging local people to join hands in developing tourism, and promoting tourism cooperation with other areas and regions across the country, said Son.

According to the official, boosting sea-based tourism in parallel with protecting maritime resources is seen as a pillar in the district’s socio-economic development strategy.

The two-day festival includes various traditional activities, including rituals to invite Gods, peace-praying and requiem ceremonies.

An exhibition highlighting the legal and historical evidence proving Vietnam’s sovereignty over Hoang Sa (Paracel) and Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelagoes kicked off on the same day.

Within the festival’s framework, a number of activities will also be organised, including a trade fair, sport events and music performance.

Kien Hai is part of the Rach Gia-Kien Hai tourism area, one of the four major tourist regions of Kien Giang, along with Phu Quoc, Ha Tien-Kien Luong and adjacent areas and U Minh Thuong and surrounding areas.

In the Rach Gia-Kien Hai area, visitors can see cultural and historical relics and unique architectural works of Kinh, Hoa and Khmer people as well as untouched natural landscapes.

Meanwhile, Phu Quoc, known as a “pearl island”, has received investment to become a high-end tourist destination. Along with long green mountains and attractive beaches as well as a diversity of fauna and flora species, Phu Quoc also has 26 islands in different sizes.

Ha Tien-Kien Luong border area is attractive to visitors for its beauty spots such as Mui Nai, Hon Trem, Hang pagoda, Binh San mountain, as well as caves and Hai Tac and Ba Lua archipelagoes.

U Minh Thuong Natural Park, belonging to the Kien Giang World Biosphere Reserve system, is home to 254 floral species, 32 fauna species, 188 kinds of birds, and 64 fish species, many of which are listed in the Red Books of Vietnam and the world.

As part of efforts to tap its tourism potentials, Kien Giang has focused on developing its infrastructure, including Rach Gia and Phu Quoc airports, and Rach Gia, Bai Vong and Duong Dong seaports.

The province plans to connect Phu Quoc and Hon Tre islands with the national power grid, while upgrading infrastructure in other destinations and promoting the value of cultural and historical sites such as Phu Quoc prison and Phat Quang pagoda.

According to Tran Chi Dung, Director of the provincial Department of Tourism, the locality has so far attracted 271 projects in the four major tourism regions with a total investment of about 232 trillion VND, 179 of which have been licenced.

Kien Giang is also taking steps to develop tourism sustainably, he said, adding that the province expects to welcome 6.8 million tourists in 2020, or an increase of 9.5 percent annually in the number of visitors, including 450,000 foreigners.