May 9, 2022
HANOI – Tuần Châu Island in Hạ Long City in the northern province of Quảng Ninh is not only a famous tourist center but also a successful host of regional and international sporting events.
This year, the island is again chosen to host several competitions, including handball, beach volleyball and triathlon (swimming, running, cycling) during SEA Games 31, which officially takes place from May 12 to 23.
With the beautiful space and the best preparations, Tuần Châu International Tourism Complex promises to help the tournament be a great success while promoting Quảng Ninh tourism.
SEA Games 31, themed “For a Stronger Southeast Asia”, will be held in the capital Hà Nội and 11 neighboring provinces and cities, including Hạ Long.
All efforts of provincial and local authorities, enterprises, organizations and individuals have been mobilized to prepare facilities and equipment for the Games and to ensure social security and road safety, according to organizers in Quảng Ninh.
Advertising campaigns to promote local tourism have also been strengthened.
According to Đinh Hữu Chung, vice-director of the Tuần Châu group, host of the beach volleyball, handball and triathlon events, the preparations for the Tuần Châu events have been completed.
“It is an opportunity for Tuần Châu and Quảng Ninh in general to promote unique and impressive tourism products to international friends,” he said.
The Provincial Party Committee requested agencies and units to organize tourism programs for sports delegations to help athletes and coaches have an exciting experience in the locality, especially in Tuần Châu Island.
During the Games, Quảng Ninh is the second most used venue after Hà Nội. The province will host handball, chess, women’s football, indoor volleyball, Chinese chess, beach volleyball and triathlon, scheduled for May 6-22, with more than 1,400 athletes.
The Tuần Châu Group has invested VNĐ25 billion ($1.1 million) in upgrading sports facilities for competitions at the Games. There will also be a wide range of street food available.
The beach volleyball competition will take place in the center of the island’s beautiful man-made beach.
With 40 sports and 526 events, the Regional Games will attract approximately 10,000 participants, including athletes and officials from 11 Southeast Asian countries: Brunei, Cambodia, East Timor, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Việt Nam.
The biennial event was originally scheduled for late 2021 but was delayed due to the pandemic. The organizing committee encountered many difficulties in the preparations, and many athletes did not have the opportunity to compete regularly and often trained abroad.
Thanks to the close leadership of the Vietnamese government and coordination between ministries and sectors, preparations are on track.
Heads of Southeast Asian sports delegations said they appreciated the host country’s preparations during a recent on-site visit.
“Since Việt Nam announced the official date of SEA Games 31 at the end of 2021, the country has made tremendous efforts and preparations are in full swing to meet the deadlines,” said Anthony Lee, director of the National Olympic Council of Singapore.
He believes that the regional sporting event will experience smooth and efficient navigation.
Beauty of a ‘pearl island’
Tuần Châu is a terrestrial island located southwest of Hạ Long Bay, connected by land and sea to the city of Hạ Long. Like other parts of the north, the island has four distinct seasons. It also has a beautiful natural setting including pine trees, lakes and a beautiful beach.
The island has a wonderfully rich archaeological history, and the remains of ancient people who lived in the area 3,500 to 5,000 years ago have been discovered there.
On an area of 400 ha, Tuần Châu has about 1,500 inhabitants. The total area of the island will be expanded to 675 ha. It has both land and sea transport.
It is about 18 km from National Road 1, an important artery of the robust Hà Nội – Hải Phòng – Quảng Ninh economic triangle.
Its name Tuần Châu is a combination of lính tuần (patrol boat) and tri chau (district chief) because in feudal times the royal army set up a guard post to patrol and defend the border from here.
The late President Hồ Chi Minh visited the island in 1957, 1959 and 1962. He encouraged local people to make the island a “shining pearl”.
Before 1999, Tuần Châu was a poor neighborhood where fishing with rudimentary tools was the only means of subsistence. There was neither electricity nor drinking water. Local trails were unusable for mechanical transport.
Realizing the potential of the island, the company Âu Lạc Ltd (the Tuần Châu Group) built a road connecting the island and the mainland in February 1999, fulfilling the long-awaited dream of the islanders.
The group has also invested trillions of đồng in world-class transport infrastructure, hotels, restaurants and entertainment areas, including the Tuần Châu International Marina, the largest man-made harbor in the world (as recognized by the Việt Nam Guinness Book of Records).
To diversify tourism, it has also invested in world-class entertainment services and tourist infrastructure, such as the 4-star Tuần Châu Holiday Villa Resort with nearly 1,000 luxury rooms, the Tuần Châu International Amusement Park , a 3,000 m² area for tourist helicopters from Hà Nội to Hạ Long, an artificial paradise beach stretching 10 km, an outdoor performance stage, a dragon and sculpture park and a golf course.
The island has become a shining pearl in the UNESCO Heritage Site Hạ Long Bay, and is now poised to shine even brighter as the host of several competitions of the 31st SEA Games. VNS