LÀO CAI – The famed mountain town of Sa Pa in Lào Cai Province kicked off its first Snow Festival on Saturday, with the barometer showing 9 degrees Celsius.
Aiming to offer a real experience of the snow that sometimes falls in the town during the winter, 10 snow-making machines have been set up in the festival’s central area – the 19th-century Sa Pa Notre Dame Cathedral.
Photos and paintings about snowy Sa Pa are also on display at the festival.
Tourists to the town during this time will also have a chance to enjoy several performances featuring traditional dances and music of different ethnic groups living in the region.
The rich culture of the regional ethnic groups is also presented through folk games or demonstration of a Dao ethnic wedding held during the festival.
The complex process of dying the woven brocade of the Mông ethnic people have also been unveiled to tourists. Traditional costumes and handicraft made from brocade also are on display.
At the festival, tourists can indulge themselves with a wide range of local delicacies such as thắng cố (stewed horse meat), smoked buffalo, ethnic black range chicken, and cuốn sủi – a kind of street food made from flat noodles, beef and several other herb spices.
A variety of local agricultural and forestry products also can be found at the festival.
The Sa Pa Snow Festival aims to draw more tourists to the region. The festival is also a warm-up for the 2017 National Tourism Year – Lào Cai–Tây Bắc.
In 2016, the Lào Cai border province received nearly 3 million tourists, 32.5 per cent more than the previous year. The turnover from tourism reached VNĐ6.4 trillion (US$281.2 million). About 970,000 of these tourists travelled Sa Pa, bringing the turnover of VNĐ1,69 trillion ($74.2 million).
Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc on September 26, 2016 approved a masterplan for the development of the Sa Pa National Tourism Complex to 2030. – VNS
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