Ha Nam named Asia's leading regional cultural destination

By Hoang Phong   September 9, 2023 | 05:09 pm PT
Ha Nam named Asia's leading regional cultural destination
A part of Tam Chuc pagoda complex in Ha Nam Province in northern Vietnam. Photo by Ngan Duong
Ha Nam Province, home to Vietnam's largest pagoda complex, was voted "Asia's leading regional cultural destination" for the first time by travel insiders and tourists at the World Travel Awards.

The Hanoi-adjacent northern Vietnamese locality surpassed four other rivals, George Town in Malaysia, Kathmandu Valley in Nepal, Taitung in Taiwan, and Varanasi in India, to win the title.

Ha Nam, around 60 kilometers to the south of Hanoi, remains largely off the Vietnamese tourist map's beaten-path, but it is home to ancient pagodas and traditional craft villages.

Covering an area of 5,100 hectares, Tam Chuc Pagoda in Ha Nam, Vietnam's largest, lies on the banks of the eponymous 600-hectare lake, described as a mini-version of UNESCO heritage site Ha Long Bay, complete with limestone karst mountains rising out of the still waters.

The pagoda complex is always overcrowded during the Lunar New Year holiday.

This year, it was also voted Asia's leading cultural tourist attraction at the 2023 World Travel Awards.

Phu Quoc, Vietnam's largest island off the southern province of Kien Giang, was named Asia's leading luxury island.

The World Travel Awards, launched in 1993, acknowledges excellence in the travel and tourism industry.

The annual awards are based on votes cast by travel industry professionals and the public.

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