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Vietnam news in brief - March 3
Huy Anh 15:51, 2024/03/03
Read the Hanoi Times for more updates about the country.

Vietnam's Son Doong - one of the world's best caves 

 Son Doong Cave in Quang Binh Province. Photo: quangbinhgo.com

Son Doong Cave in the central coastal province of Quang Binh is one of the 10 best caves in the world, according to the British travel magazine Time Out. In the February 2024 issue, Son Doong Cave was ranked sixth out of the 10 best caves after Mammoth Cave in the US, Škocjan in Slovenia, Waitomo Caves in New Zealand, Marble Cathedral in Chile and Blue Grotto in Italy.

Son Doong Cave is one of the largest natural caves in the world. It is 9 km long, with a maximum height of 200 m and a maximum width of 160 m.

Cruises to Vietnam recover, bringing more international tourists

The US cruise ship Amazara Journey arrived at Ho Chi Minh City's Saigon Port on March 2, bringing some 700 passengers from the US, Europe, and Australia to Vietnam. The visitors will tour the city and depart for Danang on March 5. On March 19 and 20, Vietnam is expected to welcome several international cruises to Nha Trang, Danang, Ha Long, Hue, and Ho Chi Minh City.

According to Saigontourist Group, the company has catered for more than 30,000 foreign tourists to Vietnam, an increase of 15% over last year. It predicts that the number of international arrivals via cruises will grow by 10-15% year-on-year in 2024, thanks to the easing of visa policies and improvements in infrastructure, facilities, and product and service quality.

Johannesburg restaurant hosts Vietnamese food event for locals

Obento, a local restaurant in Johannesburg, South Africa, held an event on March 2 to showcase Vietnamese food culture to a large number of local and expatriate residents of the city.

According to restaurant owner Ling Chiu, she was inspired by Vietnamese food during her two-week trip to the country in December 2023. She expected the event would give locals a chance to try something out of the ordinary.

Xanh SM launches service in Savannakhet, Laos

 Xanh SM e-cars in Savannakhet, Laos. Photo: VinFast

Electric ride-hailing firm Xanh SM (Green-Smart-Mobility), a member of the Vingroup conglomerate, has launched its services in Laos' Savannakhet province, after debuting in the capital Vientiane and its suburb Vangvieng. The company will initially operate 100 VinFast VF 5 Plus vehicles painted in the company's brand colour of cyan.

As part of the opening, Xanh SM is offering two promotional codes with a 100% discount to each new passenger from 1 to 10 March. Passengers who book at least three trips a day will receive 100 promotional codes at 50% discount from 11 to 17 March.

Vietnam to become second largest rice exporter to Taiwan (China)

Vietnam has overtaken Thailand to become the second largest rice seller to Taiwan (China) in 2023, according to the Vietnam Economic and Cultural Office in Taipei. Last year, Vietnam exported more than 37,000 tonnes of rice worth nearly US$21 million to Taiwan, up 82.5% in volume and 107.5% in value from the previous year.

Vietnamese rice accounted for 32.2% of the Taiwanese market in volume and 24% in value. The largest rice exporter to Taiwan was the US, with 38,300 tonnes worth $31.3 million.

Six national hospitals to become international: Prime Minister's plan

Six hospitals in Vietnam will be upgraded to international standards by 2050, according to a plan for the development of Vietnam's medical centers recently released by the Prime Minister. According to the plan, three hospitals in Hanoi will be upgraded, namely Bach Mai General Hospital, Viet Duc Hospital and the military-run 108 Hospital.

The upgrading of domestic hospitals is aimed at meeting the growing demand for healthcare, providing better services to Vietnamese, and attracting more foreigners for treatment.

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