Dossier seeking UNESCO title for heritage clusters replied

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UNESCO has responded to the scientific dossier seeking its recognition for the Complex of Yen Tu – Vinh Nghiem – Con Son, Kiep Bac Monuments and Landscapes as a world heritage site, according to the Cultural Heritage Department under the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism.

Dong pagoda in the Yen Tu historical relic (Photo: VietnamPlus)

UNESCO said the dossier meets all technical requirements outlined in the World Heritage Convention, the department said.

The dossier comprises 2,139 pages of original Vietnamese and their English translations, along with 101 diagrams and maps, 196 architectural drawings, 260 archaeological drawings, and 1,141 photographs, representing the historical, cultural, architectural, intangible, and tangible heritage values; and an overall management plan across the three northern provinces of Quang Ninh, Hai Duong, and Bac Giang.

This is the first heritage dossier in Vietnam within the series of 18 heritage clusters, featuring 32 inter-provincial relic sites with a vast area and complex mountainous terrain.

The complex cover of four clusters of special national historical relics: the Yen Tu historical relic and landscape area (Uong Bi city of Quang Ninh), the Tran Dynasty historical relic area (Dong Trieu township of Quang Ninh), the Tay (Western) Yen Tu relic and landscape area (Bac Giang), and the Con Son – Kiep Bac complex (Hai Duong).

A large number of relics and landscapes in the Yen Tu-Vinh Nghiem-Con Son Kiep Bac complex have been recognised as provincial or national heritage sites which boast a harmonious combination of natural landscapes and architectural structures with special values.

Besides, the complex holds great historical significance as it is the birthplace of Truc Lam – the Vietnamese Zen Buddhism founded by King-Monk Tran Nhan Tong (1258 – 1308). It was also associated with the formation and development of the Tran Dynasty (1225 – 1400).



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So long, Ha Long Bay

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After an unforgettable two weeks in the beautiful Ha Long Bay, Viet Nam, the Clipper Race fleet has embarked on its next race, setting sail towards Zhuhai, China in a short 600 nautical mile sprint – estimated to take just four days to complete.

Image: Parade of Sail

The departure from the International Cruise Port in Ha Long Bay was marked by a vibrant sendoff, complete with traditional lion and dragon dancers, rhythmic drummers, and a paragliding flare display, captivating both crew and onlookers.

A first time Host Port on the Clipper Race circuit, as the non-professional Race Crew bid farewell to Ha Long Bay, they will be left with a stopover full of memories.

During their stay in Quang Ninh Province, Race Crew have immersed themselves in Vietnamese culture, indulging in a diverse array of experiences, from exploring ancient caves to hiking mountain trails, mastering the art of crafting the renowned squid cakes of the region, and venturing out into the thousands of islets the area has to offer.

The warmth and hospitality of the Host Port has left crew members glowing about their stay in the province.

Image: Crowds line the docks to bid farewell to the fleet

Skipper Mike Miller, from PSP Logistics said: “I have had the most amazing experience in Ha Long Bay. The people, and the food has been more than I imagined. I am leaving here with fond memories and cannot wait to return again”.

The leaving ceremony was attended by dignitaries from Quang Ninh Province and Clipper Race officials, Mr. Nguyen Thanh Tung. Deputy Director of Quang Ninh Culture and Sports Department, Ms Nguyễn Huyền Anh is Deputy Director of Quang Ninh Department of Tourism.

Image: Ha Long Bay departure

Speaking at the leaving ceremony, Laura Ayres Managing Director of Clipper Ventures said: “I truly believe that this stopover has achieved all objectives. Race Crew have been to museums, walking tours and visited the mountains to meet the Dao people at the Ky Thuong commune, trying rafting, cooking, dancing and hiking.

Image: Departure ceremony

“They have eaten their way around the region – someone told me that Quang Ninh Province cuisine is like tasting the whole of Vietnam in one place. From Ha Long Skipper Josh going to the fish market and learning the traditional process of making Squid Balls, to Race Crew having a cook off making spring rolls and seafood pancakes.

“We have seen many cultural performances that have been breathtaking, my personal highlight that I expect many of you will share was the violinist at the Gala Prize Giving and her emotive performance of Hello Vietnam”.

With Zhuhai beckoning on the horizon, the crew leave well rested and well fed, ahead of Race 8: The Sprint to the city of a hundred islands.



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Halong welcomes all Clipper Race yachts

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Eleven teams of the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race, or Clipper Race, arrived in Halong City in the northern province of Quang Ninh today, February 20.

The “Halong Bay, Vietnam” sailing team poses for a group photo in Halong Bay, Quang Ninh Province – PHOTO: VNA

Qingdao, a Chinese boat with 20 crew members, was the first to dock at the Halong International Cruise Port.

The Clipper Race is a challenging competition divided into eight legs, featuring six ocean crossings. Halong City is one of the designated stopovers for Race 5 of this season.

About 400 sailors will be berthed at the port until February 27.

This season showcases 11 teams, including the Race 4 winner “Halong Bay, Vietnam.” The boat ranked third overall in its inaugural participation in the previous season.

Initiated in October 1996 in the United Kingdom, the Clipper Race has evolved into a prestigious sailing event attracting global entrepreneurs, celebrities, tourism experts, and social activists.

More than 50 renowned cities worldwide have served as stopovers for the race.



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World Yacht Race teams arrive in Vietnam’s Ha Long

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The first teams competing in the 2023-24 Clipper Round of the World Yacht Race on Sunday docked at Ha Long International Cruise Port in Quang Ninh Province, northern Vietnam.

World Yacht Race teams arrive in Vietnam’s Ha Long
A representative (in a white shirt) of Ha Long International Cruise Port in Quang Ninh Province, northern Vietnam gives flowers to the teams competing in the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race. Photo: N.Duong / Tuoi Tre

According to the organizer of the race, Ha Long Bay in Quang Ninh is on the fifth leg of the 2023-24 race, which includes eight legs with 16 individual races and six ocean crossings.

The remaining teams will come to Quang Ninh on Monday.

The teams will stay in the province until Tuesday next week.

The Clipper Round the World Yacht Race draws nearly 400 sailors aboard 11 sailing yachts with the ‘Ha Long Bay – Vietnam’ team from Quang Ninh Province representing Vietnam.

The ‘Ha Long Bay – Vietnam’ team is about to dock at Ha Long International Cruise Port in Quang Ninh Province, northern Vietnam. Photo: Courtesy of organizer

The Vietnamese team won the fourth leg of the race: the Marlow Roaring Forties challenge.

In the previous Clipper Round the World Yacht Race, the ‘Ha Long Bay – Vietnam’ team ranked third despite joining the race for the first time, contributing to introducing the UNESCO-recognized Ha Long Bay and tourism in Quang Ninh and Vietnam as a whole to the world.

“We have gone through a long, challenging journey but it is wonderful when we finish [the previous legs] and are welcomed right at the port,” Finney said.

“We celebrated on deck and hope to have more experiences in Ha Long.”

Members of the Qingdao team from China win the leg to Ha Long Bay in Quang Ninh Province, northern Vietnam. Photo: N.Duong / Tuoi Tre

Director of the Ha Long International Cruise Port Pham Van Hiep said the arrival of the teams of the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race in the port urged Vietnam to modernize its ports to serve international events.

The Clipper Race was launched in 1996 in the UK.

The race gathers entrepreneurs, celebrities, tourism experts, and social activists with global influence.

To date, more than 50 cities worldwide have been destinations for the race.



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Quang Ninh’s beauty introduced to Clipper Round World Yacht Race’s sailing teams

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Members of sailing teams competing in the 2023-2024 Clipper Round the World Yacht Race, have joined numerous sightseeing activities and cultural exchanges in Ha Long Bay of Quang Ninh province after docking at Ha Long International Cruise Port on February 18-19.

Quang Ninh’s beauty introduced to Clipper Round World Yacht Race’s sailing teams hinh anh 1
The Vietnamese sailing team named “Ha Long Bay, Viet Nam” (Photo: baoquangninh.vn)

Addressing a ceremony to welcome members on February 21, Vice Director of the provincial Department of Tourism Nguyen Thuy Yen said the Clipper Race is a special event, offering an opportunity for the locality to promote the image of Ha Long Bay and local destinations.

Quang Ninh is famous for its unique nature and culture and friendly people, and Ha Long Bay – a UNESCO-recognised World Natural Heritage, she said.

Quang Ninh’s beauty introduced to Clipper Round World Yacht Race’s sailing teams hinh anh 2
Leaders of Quang Ninh province and members of the Vietnamese sailing team pose for a group photo (Photo: VNA)

Yen expressed her hope that ship crews will experience wonderful moments in Ha Long, thus introducing the beauty of Ha Long to places they visit.

Through this race, Quang Ninh wishes to introduce and promote its tourism potential and destinations, as well as opportunities and investment projects in the province to potential investors, she added.

The Clipper Race was first organised in 1996 in the UK. Since then, almost 6,000 race crew from diverse backgrounds representing more than 60 nations have undergone training and taken part in the competition.

The race, drawing nearly 400 sailors aboard 11 sailing yachts, is divided into eight legs and 16 separate races, including six ocean crossings. They can choose to either complete the full circumnavigation or opt for one or multiple legs.

Ha Long Bay is on the fifth leg within the Asia-Pacific Challenge where sailors will take part in the race and different activities during the 10-day event. Before arriving at the Vietnamese destination, the boats departed from Coral Sea Marina Resort (Airlie Beach in Whitsunday, Australia”s Queensland state).

As scheduled, the boats will leave Ha Long Bay on March 2, continuing their journey to Jiuzhou Port (Zhuhai city in China’s Guangdong province).



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Quang Ninh welcomes Clipper Race sailing teams

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Quang Ninh Province on February 21 held a welcome ceremony for nearly 400 sailors on 11 sailing yachts from the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race, which recently reached Ha Long City.

Sailors are welcomed in Ha Long (Photo: NDO)

The Clipper Round the World Yacht Race 2023-2024 features eight stages, with 16 races and six ocean crossings. Ha Long is included in the fifth stage, called the Asia-Pacific Challenge.

The 11 racing teams have just sailed for 25 days, covering a distance of 4,515 nautical miles. This is the first time the sailing yachts have come to Ha Long Bay.

Speaking at the ceremony, Nguyen Thuy Yen, Deputy Director of the Quang Ninh Department of Tourism, affirmed that the inclusion of Ha Long Bay in the 2023-2024 Clipper Race is a special event and provides an opportunity for Quang Ninh to promote its natural heritage, unique culture, and friendly people to the crew members.

The teams arrived at Ha Long Bay on February 18, and they will have two weeks to visit and participate in various activities in Quang Ninh. They will then set off from Ha Long Bay towards Jiuzhou Port in Zhuhai City, Guangdong Province, China, on March 2.

To mark the occasion, Quang Ninh will organise a series of activities to boost its image and attract investors, including the showcase of OCOP products and local tourism destinations, investment promotion conferences, art performances, and more.



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Ha Long Bay, Vietnam team secures fifth place in homecoming

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The majestic islands of Ha Long Bay welcomed home its namesake yacht as it sailed into the port in fifth place during the latest leg of the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race. After a thrilling 21-day journey, Ha Long Bay, Viet Nam crossed the Finish Line at 17:40:26 UTC on 18 February, greeted by dignitaries and crowds and an awe-inspiring backdrop of natural beauty.

Image: Ha Long Bay, Viet Nam arriving on Friday 18 February

Throughout the race, the Ha Long Bay, Viet Nam team demonstrated unwavering determination, consistently pushing for a leading position among the fleet. Despite navigating through challenging patches of lighter winds and opting out of the Scoring Gate route, the team showcased remarkable resilience and strategic prowess.

Skipper Josh Stickland shared his thoughts on securing fifth place: “We were the fastest boat at times, and at others, the slowest, but to clinch a mid-fleet position is truly fantastic.”

For Sarah Nelson, a member of the team from the UK and a deep connection to Viet Nam, the race marked a poignant homecoming: “Having lived in Viet Nam for the past nine years, this journey feels like a return to familiar territory.”

Olaf Kaden, a circumnavigator on Ha Long Bay, Viet Nam, marvelled at the opportunity to explore the breathtaking landscapes of Vietnam”s iconic bay for the first time. “It’s a remarkable moment to witness the beauty of Ha Long Bay and embrace this leg of the Clipper Race.”

Image: Ha Long Bay, Viet Nam team arrives into port

As Ha Long Bay, Viet Nam team celebrates its achievements, the team will enjoy a stopover in its home port, enjoying everything the region has to offer.



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Teams receive a heroes welcome in Ha Long Bay

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Set against the breathtaking backdrop of Ha Long Bay”s majestic landscapes, Quang Ninh People’s Committee and Quang Ninh Tourism Department hosted a special Welcome Ceremony for the Clipper Race Crew.

Image: Clipper Race officials and dignitaries at the Welcome Ceremony

The event showcased the rich cultural heritage and warm hospitality that the region is renowned for. Attendees were treated to traditional performances, culinary delights, and in an experience that captured the essence of Ha Long Bay. 

Image: Traditional Dragon dancing at the Welcome Ceremony

The ceremony was hosted by Madam Hanh, Vice Chairwoman of Quang Ninh People’s Committee, Mr Nguyen Ngoc Son, Vice Chairman of Quang Ninh People’s Committee, and Ms Nguyễn Thuỳ Yên, Deputy Director of Quang Ninh Tourism Department, who led the festivities, extending warm greetings to Clipper Race officials, skippers, and crew.

The ceremony took place against the stunning Islands of Ha Long Bay in the background, and as the morning begun, all eyes turned to the stage where the skippers were honoured with floral tributes and a Champagne opening.

As part of the celebrations the crew were treated to traditional Dragon dancers, and drummers.

Image: Skippers on stage receiving their ceremonial flowers from Nadine Harris, Partnerships and Events Manager, and Madam Hanh Vice Chairwoman of Quang Ninh People’s Committee

Madam Hanh expressed her delight in hosting The Clipper Race in Ha Long Bay, underscoring the significance of the race in promoting international cooperation and showcasing the natural splendour of Vietnam’s coastal region, followed by Mr. Nguyen Ngoc Son emphasising the importance of maritime tourism in Quang Ninh’s economic development and gratitude to the Clipper Race organisers for working with Ha Long Bay as a Host Port.

Ha Long Bay, Viet Nam Skipper Josh Stickland said: “It is such an honour to be here and receive such a warm welcome from Ha Long Bay. I have been waiting a long time to get here, and the welcome from the people has been more than I imagined. The hospitality they have shown us all is really heart warming.

“It is a great to be able to experience the cultural dragon dancing, and sample the local food and beer”.

The ceremony finished in a celebration where the eleven teams were welcomed on stage to receive a flower garland, as a mark of welcome from the Host Port Partners.

Image: Washinton, DC team on stage receiving their flower garlands

The crew continued to bask in the afterglow of this welcoming event, with celebratory beers, and local delights.

Image: Traditional Dragon dancers at the Welcome Ceremony
Image: Crew enjoying the atmosphere
Image: Crew celebrating the culture



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Embracing Ha Long Bay: Race Crew experience best of Quang Ninh province

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As part of the Clipper Race’s stopover in Ha Long Bay, the Quang Ninh Online News offered Race Crew the chance to visit the pride of Ha Long Bay’s tourist hotspots on a walking tour.

Image: Race Crew enjoy the local delicacies

Best known for the beautiful bay, rock formations and emerald-green sea that the fleet is currently berthed in, the tour was a chance for proud locals to share some of the hidden gems of Ha Long that are easily reachable on foot.

The day began at the Quang Ninh Museum, an impressive architectural structure that shares the rich heritage of the province. Guided through the museum”s halls, artifacts and exhibits told stories of ancient civilizations, maritime trade routes, and the cultural tapestry that defined the region. From the towering limestone rock formations of Ha Long Bay to the bustling markets of Ha Long City, every corner of Quang Ninh has a tale to tell.

Image: Race Crew learning about the heritage of Quang Ninh province

Race Crew Chris Carroll from Qingdao said: “It has been enlightening to learn about the many different traditions and cultures. It is a fascinating place, and I am really pleased I have learnt more about it while here.”

Continuing the tour to near Bai Tho Mountain, the crew made a stop at the Duc Ong Tran Quoc Nghien Temple, a sacred site nestled at the mountain’s foothills. The temple was dedicated to honouring Hung Vu Vuong Tran Quoc Nghien, renowned as one of the province’s most talented generals. He was the son of Hung Doo Dai Vuong Tran Quoc Tuan, one of Vietnam’s revered heroes, listed among the 14 typical heroes of the nation.

Image: Ornate carvings at Duc Ong Tran Quoc Nghien Temple

Throughout the tranquil grounds of the temple, Race Crew enjoyed the ornate carvings and vibrant colours synonymous with Vietnam’s religious architecture.

The last part of the tour was a traditional Vietnamese lunch. Ha Long Bay is renowned for its unique gastronomy, and Race Crew got to taste local delicacies such as squid cakes and traditional dumplings.

Image: Race Crew try the local delicacies of squid cakes and dumplings

Race Crew Ciska Kruger from Zhuhai said: “The food was a wonderful experience. We tried the local delicacy of squid ball and dumplings, along with a lovely broth. It is great tobe given the opportunity to do this.”

Race Crew Han Van Roosmalen from Ha Long Bay, Viet Nam said:“I really liked this trip. Especially the very well thought out museum tour followed by the walking tour from the boulevard to the temples. The guides were very helpful and knowledgeable, having visited Ha Long Bay back in 1999 it was fascinating to see how much it has changed.”



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