Tourist arrivals to Lao Cai up 25 percent in seven months
Update: Aug 11, 2014
Over the January-July period, the number of tourists to the northern mountainous province of Lao Cai topped 800,000, up a whopping 25 percent thanks to the locality’s tourism stimulus drive for 2014, reported the provincial Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism.

Lao Cai’s transport system, including roads and railroads, is offering better convenience to visitors. In particular, Noi Bai – Lao Cai expressway that opened to traffic recently has halved the time to travel from capital Ha Noi to Lao Cai.

Throughout the rest of this year, Lao Cai will offer more discounts of at least 30 percent on tourist services, waive or reduce entrance fees at several tourist spots.

It will launch a Red River spiritual tour starting from Phu Tho through Yen Bai to Lao Cai, a night festival of coloured lanterns and a street show slated for September in Sa Pa, an international marathon tournament on September 20-21, and eight new tours from September 8.

The province now registers 450 lodging facilities with over 5,400 rooms, not to mention home-stay services in the districts of Sa Pa and Bac Ha, popular destinations for community-based tourism.

It has so far lured more than 10 new developments in upscale hotels and resorts worth up to tens of millions USD.

Between now and 2016, the locality plans to invest over 200 billion VND (10 million USD) in tourism infrastructure.

Lao Cai is said to be one of the most interesting and beautiful areas in Southeast Asia. Located about 300 kilometres from the capital city, the province is blessed with an abundance of scenic spots and a treasure chest of biodiversity.

Home to about 27 ethnic minority groups, Lao Cai possesses many special cultural and historical sites, such as the 110-year-old popular resort town of Sa Pa, which is named by Australia’s travel magazine Lonely Planet as one of the top ten walking sites in the world for tourists.

The US-based Travel and Leisure Magazine has listed Sa Pa’s terraced rice fields as one of the seven most magnificent examples in the world.