Hanoi to Upgrade Tourism Industry with New Cultural Show

Daily News - Ha Noi: Oct. 31, 2017

The Quintessence of Tonkin, a new Hanoi-based show gearing up to debut in November 2017, is expected to give Hanoi’s cultural tourism industry a face-lift.

The ambitious spectacle will take place about 25km west of central Hanoi against the natural backdrop of the venerated Chua Thay Mountains. It will employ 250 performers—a mix of professional dancers as well as local farmers from the surrounding countryside—who will perform in a newly built auditorium large enough to comfortably seat up to 2,500 guests.

Quintessence-of-Tonkin-kingImage source: thequintessenceoftonkin

The monumental show, about 55 minutes long, will be done on a gigantic stage completely covered with a thin layer of water, allowing the performers to also showcase traditional Vietnamese entertainments, including water puppetry and dragon boat racing. Blending several elements of traditional music styles and incorporating a large-scale light show, the producers of the show are hoping it will become a sought-after cultural show for Hanoi-bound travellers.

Founder and producer of the show, billionaire Dao Hong Tuyen of the Tuan Chau Group has said that the new show “seeks to reaffirm Hanoi and Vietnam as world-class destinations for international tourists”.

Speaking at a press conference at the Sofitel Saigon Plaza on October 19, Tuyen said he first came up with the idea for The Quintessence of Tonkin, a name that refers to the Red River Delta region of northern Vietnam, six years ago. “I noticed there was no culture show, and nothing to show tourists what Vietnamese culture is all about.”

Quintessence-of-Tonkin-showImage source: thequintessenceoftonkin

Tuyen began a personal odyssey to examine culture shows all over the world, including Japan’s famous Kabuki theatre and exemplary performances in Las Vegas. “I talked to some professionals, and we agreed that we have all the ingredients for a great show: 4,000 years of history, beautiful scenery… this will showcase the best parts of the northern region.”

If the show is successful, Tuyen said he plans to produce similarly styled shows in the central and southern regions of Vietnam as well.

Bold Moves

The move is bold and yet unsurprising for Tuyen, a businessperson now famously known as the “Tuan Chau Island King” for his large and borderline-eccentric business ideas. The moniker was given to him in 1998 when his Tuan Chau Group spearheaded a monumental investment project into Ha Long Bay’s Quang Ninh Island. The investment transformed it into an urban entertainment island with dolphin and seal shows, laser shows and more.

Tuyen’s group currently owns 14 companies, encompassing 34 factories, amounting total assets to around US$2 billion. He is considered one of the wealthiest men in the country.

Tuan-chau-islandImage source: tuanchau-halong.com.vn

Recently, Tuyen made the news for proposing one particularly outlandish plan: developing a 15,000-hectare megacity, called “New City”, in Cu Chi District. If developed, the project would be larger than both the Phu My Hung and Thu Thiem projects combined. Since proposing the idea in February, no further developments have been reported.

Tuyen has famously remarked, “I do things that people do not do, or do things that people think but can not do.”

A Rising Industry

Although the makers of the Quintessence of Tonkin hope to “reaffirm Hanoi and Vietnam as world-class destinations”, recent statistics show that more visitors than ever before are visiting the country.

The General Statistics Office of Vietnam reported that over 10 million visitors came to the country in 2016, a 26 percent increase from the previous year. In total, last year’s visitors brought in around US$18.3 million in revenue.

For the first seven months of 2017, the tally of foreign visitors reached 7.25 million, up 28.8 percent compared to last year.

In particular, Hanoi has done well attracting foreign visitors. Despite a lack of organised festivals like the Da Nang Firework Festival and the Dalat Flower Festival, Hanoi was recently ranked seventh on a list of the world’s fastest-growing tourism cities, according to the MasterCard Global Destinations Cities Index 2017.

The Quintessence of Tonkin seeks to become the city’s go-to cultural event, and will hold shows three times per week, starting at 7:30 p.m.

Banner image source: thequintessenceoftonkin

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