Soon after the border gate opened at 6am, crowds of both Vietnamese and Chinese travellers queued up to go through cross-border procedures.
Immigration officers presented flowers to the first Vietnamese going to China and the first Chinese entering Vietnam and wished them a happy new year.
The first Chinese tourist group entering Vietnam, comprising 18 holiday makers from Sichuan, were welcomed by officials from Lao Cai province’s Department of Culture, Sport and Tourism and the province’s tourism association.
The same day, the border guard forces of Vietnam and China held several gatherings at the shared border gates in Lao Cai to jointly celebrate the Lunar New Year festival. Such Tet gatherings have become a tradition cherished by both sides for many years.
Lao Cai province was the destination of more than 4.3 million travellers in 2018, including 720,000 foreign tourists.