First int’l balloon festival to be held in Binh Thuan

More than 50 pilots and aerial experts from 12-14 countries will join the first Vietnam International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta (VIHABF 2012) in the south central province of Binh Thuan from August 29-September 3.

Between 20 and 30 colourful balloons of different shapes and sizes will be carrying national flags of the participating countries. Interestingly, among them were balloons shaped like a golden cat and golden pig from Vietnam, and ice-cream sundae from the US, and a ripe orange and cartoon elephant from Europe.

The highlight of the event will be a grand gala dinner featuring lantern effects by the balloon teams to celebrate Vietnam National Day on September 2.

Ngo Minh Chinh, Head of the provincial Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism, said VIHABF promises to be a prominent cultural event in Vietnam this year, which is expected to attract large crowds of both local and foreign spectators.

The festival illustrates the progress the province and the country have made towards international integration and also promotes local and foreign investment, Chinh said.

Hang-gliding, aircraft and traditional kite demonstrations and performances will take place from 8.30am-17pm every day during the festival, and musical shows will be held at night.

A marine tourism trade fair and a photography exhibition featuring the province’s green sea, white sand and yellow sun will be organized as part of the festival.

The VIHABF is expected to take place annually in April.