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Vietnam’s Hoi An to sparkle for New Year

Vietnam’s Hoi An to sparkle for New Year

Monday, December 29, 2014, 15:16 GMT+7

Hoi An City, which is home to the UNESCO-recognized Hoi An Ancient Town in central Quang Nam Province, is poised to organize a myriad of activities to usher in the New Year.

The city’s major streets, such as Bach Dang and Tran Phu, and nationally-recognized ancient houses have been turned into venues for diverse activities including demonstrations of weaving, embroidery and sewing, street art performances, “bai choi” (a folk game and form of art found in 11 provinces in the central region) from now until New Year’s Day, the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism said on its website on Sunday.

“Bai Choi,” which encompasses folk card playing and impromptu, sharp responses by the hosts, is under consideration for UNESCO recognition as an intangible world heritage.

From Wednesday afternoon, stalls offering delicacies and street food will also be opened at the above venues.

Other highlights include folk and modern dances performed by foreign troupes and flashmobs organized by local youth.

The sky over the city will glitter with pyrotechnic shows as soon as the clock marks the start of the new year.

The normally tranquil Hoi An Ancient Town – lying entirely in Minh An Ward of the city – will also wake up to street masquerades and dances which are expected to be joined by locals and tourists.

The province’s 1.7 millionth international tourist will be welcomed at 9:00 pm on New Year’s Eve at An Hoi Garden – the main stage.

Hoi An City is also slated to organize a ceremony at 8:00 am on January 1 to warmly receive the first tourist to the ancient town in the new year.

Quang Nam Province received nearly 3.7 million visits in 2014, a seven percent year-on-year rise and almost four percent higher than the target, officials reported at a meeting late last week.

The province expects to welcome over 3.85 million visitors next year.

In 1999, Hoi An Ancient Town was declared a world heritage site by UNESCO for being a well-preserved example of a Southeast Asian trading port from the 15th to 19th centuries, and for housing buildings with a unique blend of local and foreign influences.

Since then, the culturally rich town has been voted one of the top tourist destinations in the world by several major tourism magazines.

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