|The “Whale worshiping” festival in Vung Tau
Rich and diverse in culture, arts, customs, and religion, Ba Ria-Vung Tau province has great potential for tourism development related to the region’s spiritual practices.
Visitors should not miss its many folk festivals that are closely associated with people living in coastal areas such as the Nghinh Ong or Whale Worshiping.
Taking place in the eighth lunar month annually, the Whale Worshiping festival is an important event for the local fishermen. The annual festival represents a chance for fishermen to show their respect for the whale and their gratitude for favorable weather conditions and a bumper catch.
"The festival dates back hundreds of years. It’s said that long ago a giant whale weighing 18 tonnes drifted to shore and the local fishermen enjoyed a year full of health with good weather and bumper catches. First organized 1817, the “Nghinh Ong Thang Tam” festival in Vung Tau is recognized as one of the fifteen biggest festivals in Vietnam.
The provincial authorities have focused on upgrading the local infrastructure and creating high-end recreational services to attract visitors for longer stays. Model craft villages and clean agricultural practices are among the features being pushed forward in order to better accommodate visitors to the province.
"We have completed a plan for cultivating the local tourism industry by 2025, with a vision extending to 2030. Under this plan, we will single out the core tourist products of each locality. We’ll cooperate with different localities across the province to create more attractions while setting up tours and programs to facilitate", said Trinh Hang, Director of the Ba Ria-Vung Tau provincial Department of Culture, Sports, and Tourism.