18 Feb HCM City keen to flaunt history, culture
Ho Chi Minh City, the country’s dynamic economic hub, is rarely considered a cultural centre but is actually filled with wonderful architecture and a wealth of culture.
It has in fact found a place on UK travel website Culture Trip’s list of the world’s 12 best cities for culture in 2019.
Ranked fourth, the city is described as an affordable destination with a buzzing cultural scene to match, making it perfect for cash-strapped millennial travellers.
It has 172 recognised relics and 97 heritage sites that have been compiled for recognition, most of them being archeological sites, architectural relics and historic buildings, according to the HCM City Monuments Conservation Centre.
Two archeological sites recognised as national-level relics are Giong Ca Vo in Can Gio District and the Hung Loi ceramics kiln in District 8.
Renowned architectural and historical relics include the Saigon Central Post Office, Notre Dame Cathedral, Ben Thanh Market, Giac Vien Pagoda, Giac Lam Pagoda, Cu Chi Tunnels, Nha Rong Wharf, and Rung Sac Guerrilla Base.
There are nearly 1,000 century-old pagodas and temples, including the Linh Son and Sac Tu Truong Tho pagodas.
Đờn ca tài tử, a genre of folk music popular in the south, has been recognised by the UN cultural agency UNESCO as an intangible cultural heritage of humanity.
Other intangible cultural heritages in the city include the Nghinh Ông (Whale Worship) festival, Tết Nguyên Tiêu (first full moon of the Lunar New Year) and traditional craft villages such as Trung My Tay carpentry village, An Hoi bronze casting village, and Thu Duc ochna farming village.
Cultural and heritage tourism
More and more tourists are eager to explore the history-filled city.
Bui Ta Hoang Vu, director of the city Department of Tourism, said cultural heritage is a vital resource for tourism.
“Tourists nowadays seek to experience authentic traditional cultures and customs.”
The development of cultural and heritage tourism would help attract more visitors and make them stay longer, he said.
Only 40 out of the 172 recognised relics in the city attract tourists and find a place on city tours while the rest remain completely off the beaten track.
One of them is the War Remnants Museum, one of the most popular tourist destinations in the city and 10th in the latest TripAdvisor Travellers’ Choice awards for museums around the world.
It received around 1.2 million visitors last year, with foreigners accounting for 75-80 per cent, Chau Phuoc Hiep, deputy director of the museum, said.
A visit to the War Remnants Museum would offer you an in-depth insight into the history of the Viet Nam War, he said, adding it is one of the authentic and unique heritage tourism products in the city.
According to Nguyen Ngoc Hau, a tour guide at Vietnam Adventure Tours, most foreign visitors are curious about the Viet Nam War and interested in its history.
The War Remnants Museum and Cu Chi guerrilla warfare tunnels are a must-see for visitors who want to learn more about the war.
The city planned to spend VND 700 billion ($30.22 million) to preserve cultural heritage sites and historic buildings in 2019-2020, he said.
Read more at: https://english.vietnamnet.vn/fms/travel/217934/hcm-city-keen-to-flaunt-history–culture.html