Travel Travel

20/04/2019 - 11:58

Get enchanted at the International Hot Air Balloon Festival

Endowed with the Citadel, rivers, mountains, lagoons, as well as beautiful and charming paddy fields, Hue is an ideal destination for the international hot air balloon festival get launched.

The hot air balloon festival is always a magnet to visitors. Photo: Nhat Long

At the 2019 Hue Traditional Craft Festival, visitors and locals will once again get to enjoy the sight of the colorful giant hot air balloons in unique shapes flying in the sky of the ancient capital. This is the third time the international hot air balloon festival being held in Hue, becoming one of the major activities in this year's Traditional Craft Festival. According to the organizers, it will last for 3 days (from April 27 to April 29, 2019) with the presence of 10 hot air balloons in all kinds of curious shapes such as heart, octopus, chicken, etc., from the Netherlands, Japan, Korea, Thailand and Vietnam.

Having participated in many international hot air balloon festivals in Southeast Asia, Asia and around the world, Ms. Vo Ngoc Ha, Director of Ballooning Media Ltd., the organizing agency, affirms that there is no better place to organize the international hot air balloon festival than Hue. As a testimony to this, when invited to participate in the event, the pilots were very excited because they were particularly impressed with Hue’s landscape.

Hue is blessed with the ancient citadel, the Huong river, mountains and forests, paddy fields, lagoons and the sea from afar, all creating a colorful, exquisite picture. After taking part in the festival, many pilots consider Hue’s landscape even more beautiful than Bagan, where hot air balloons from many countries usually gather. They believe that Hue can absolutely become the host city for a world-class festival of this kind.

According to Ms. Vo Ngoc Ha, to create an opportunity for everyone, especially young people, to learn about the operation of hot air balloons, as part of the event there will be exchange activities between young people and the pilots. This will give them an opportunity to better understand the interesting aspects in the operation of one of the first flying vehicles that man ever invented, as well as to hear the pilots share about their lives, their trips and the memorable experiences they had when flying hot air balloons in many festivals around the world.

A highlight of this year's festival is the light festival taking place on the evening of April 27. This will be an enchanting combination of sounds, lights from the balloons and the dreamlike Hue citadel. On this occasion, the organizers will coordinate with the fan page Love Photography Hue to organize a marathon photo contest with the theme “Touching the dream” to find nice photos showcasing the beauty of the landscape, people and heritage of Hue when viewed from the hot air balloons.

Due to strict safety requirements, it is not easy to organize such a world-class hot air balloon festival in Vietnam. According to information provided by the organizers, all of the hot air balloons participating in this year’s festival meet European standards, and the pilots have had more than 10 years of experience.

Riding a hot air balloon is sometimes more difficult than flying an airplane since its control system is mainly mechanical and the pilot must estimate the wind’s speed and direction to make necessary adjustments and land on the right place. Therefore, in Vietnam, only Mr. Le Trong Nghia possesses an international license and has enough experience riding hot air balloons.

Ms. Vo Ngoc Ha also said that to organize a festival with 10 hot air balloons flying in the sky is not simple, because such an event costs a huge amount of money, at least from 1 to 1.5 billion VND. In addition, it also depends on the reputation of the organizing agency.

At present, not many businesses in Vietnam realize this event is a golden opportunity to promote their image as well as to contribute to making our homeland known to people from other countries. As a result, there are not many organizations cooperating with Ballooning Media Ltd. Due to limited funding, the company is still unable to equip high quality large-sized LED screens to help visitors and the public enjoy the festival better.

“We wish many businesses join hands with us, so that in the future, Hue can organize top notch events, with not merely 10 but maybe 20, 30 or even 50 hot air balloons,” said Ms. Ha.

By Quang Phong