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The 15th International Travel Expo Ho Chi Minh City 2019 will be held this year on 05-07 September at the Saigon Exhibition & Convention Center (SECC). Buyers and sellers will enjoy three days of heavy trading, attended by up to 35,000 visitors on the last day, while some buyers and hosted media will have the options to attend one of the three chosen Post Show Tours, namely first the Can Gio Mangrove Forest outside of Ho Chi Minh City (1 day), second a city tour of Cho Lon or China Town (1 day), and third a tour to Thanh Hoa (3 days, 2 nights) in the north of Viet Nam.

Especially to Thanh Hoa it is worth going, because it is a new developed tourist destination some 157 km south of the Vietnamese capital of Ha Noi. Thanh Hoa is a large province south of the mountainous Hoa Binh Province and north of Nge An Province, all areas that straddle along the famous Ho Chi Minh Trail and where the land starts to narrow until down south to Ho Chi Minh City. Actually, Thanh Hoa is the site for the ancient Dong Son civilization, where brilliant bronze kettle drums were produced during the prehistoric period. The places that will attract tourists are the scenic Ma River, Sam Son Beach, the Ho Citadel and the Lam Son Vestige Zone.

The Ma River is the most important river in Thanh Hoa, having its source from Ba Vi Mountain on the border of Laos and Viet Nam, partly goes along Thanh Hoa Cityand then rushes to the sea at the Cua Hoi river mouth. The river is fed by many waterfalls and irrigates the fertile rice fields along its way.

Sam Son Beach is 16 km to the east of Thanh Hoa City and stretches 3 km along the sea, well-known as the most beautiful sandy beach in the north of Viet Nam. On the mountain nearby, the Doc Cuoc Temple faces the ocean and was built at the end of the Le dynasty in the 17th century. From here, tourists can watch the beautiful seaside and Sam Son town with its hotels and resorts. There can also be visited the Cock and Hen natural stones.

Further up the Ma River is the citadel of the Ho dynasty, built in 1397 by Emperor Ho Quy Ly and located in the Vinh Loc district. The site is called Tay Do or West Capital, but the people call it the Ho Citadel. The wall was built with stones, five meters high and three meters wide. There remain the vestiges of the ancient imperial palace and two peacocks at the entrance. In front of the palace is a lotus lake. To finish the citadel, thousands of laborers had to work day and night.

Another vestige zone not to be missed is Lam Son some 50 km west from Thanh Hoa. It was the native country of Le Loi, a national hero, who finally drove out of Viet Nam the Ming Chinese troops in the 15th century. Le Loi was an offspring of the local mandarin and became the leader of the rebellion, which after ten years of fierce battles was won against the Chinese. In 1428 it was ordered to reconstruct the stronghold Lam Kinh, which was then considered as the imperial capital of the Le dynasty. There is also the Vinh Lang stele next to the palace. It is four m high and 2 m wide erected on a big stone turtle and describing Le Loi’s interesting biography.

For further information, please go to www.itehcmc.com

Written by Reinhard Hohler, Chiang Mai