Vietnam's ancient town to light up main attractions with solar power

By VnExpress   October 21, 2016 | 11:35 pm PT
Vietnam's ancient town to light up main attractions with solar power
Street lanterns win the hearts of many tourists to Hoi An. Photo by VnExpress/Tran Viet Anh
The $147,000 project uses funding from the German government.

Hoi An, the much loved ancient town in central Vietnam, has started a new project to use solar power for its major attractions, with funding from the German government.

The $147,000 project will set up solar panels at the one-hectare (2.5-acre) Hoai River Square to provide a 55 kWh source for sound and lighting systems at street arts programs, entertainment centers, street lanterns and the iconic 400-year-old Japanese bridge nearby, officials said.

The German government will cover 90 percent of the cost, while Hoi An and its German twin city Wernigerode will chip in the rest.

Once a popular trade port in the region, Hoi An is now one of the most peaceful, greenest towns in the country, drawing tourists to its picturesque wooden houses, pagodas, street-side eateries and hundreds of tailor shops.

A travel forum run by U.S. magazine USA Today described Hoi An as one of 10 most beautiful places in Southeast Asia, a place where one can find “tranquility and timelessness.”

“Best Day on Earth,” a new book from the UK travel publisher Rough Guides, listed Hoi An’s full-moon festival among the world’s most extraordinary travel experiences for the hundreds of lanterns that glow along alleys and river banks around town.

The solar power project is hoped to help the city develop sustainable tourism that is suitable with its strategy to become an eco-friendly destination.

Hoi An received two million tourists in 2015 and aims to attract 2.2 million this year.

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