The 5th Asian Beach Games (ABG5), which officially ended in Da Nang on Monday night, proved to be a great success. This continent-level event has left a deep impression of a civilised and friendly city on both the participating contestants and the invited guests from both home and abroad.
Being given the opportunity to host such a large-scale event is a great honour for Da Nang. However, the city faced numerous difficulties during its preparations for the event, due mainly to the delays in receiving funds from the State budget and the unexpected bad weather. In particular, because the event took place between 24 September and 3 October, the time period fell into Viet Nam’s rainy and stormy season when the mid-central region, including Da Nang, are likely to be affected by natural disasters every year.
Finally, it is entirely praiseworthy that the city overcame its significant difficulties to try to ensure the success of ABG5.
Light showers rained down on the athletes and invited guests attending the opening ceremony of ABG5, which took place on 24 September. However, municipal People’s Committee Chairman Huynh Duc Tho confidently affirmed that, according to Viet Nam’s time-honoured beliefs, such light rain occurring at the beginning of any important event is in turn a sign of good luck.
Thereafter, light rain squalls alternating with scorching sunshine occurred alternately during the 10-day event but that did not dispirit the participating contestants. Instead, such unfavourable weather conditions inspired the competitors to practise harder to deliver their best possible performances. Also, thousands of spectators from both home and abroad, especially those from the city, enthusiastically cheered the contestants during the competitions.
During their stays in Da Nang, both the participating contestants and the invited guests from 35 foreign countries experienced unforgettable moments as they took leisurely strolls to explore the beauty of the local beaches and the bridges spanning the Han River. Also, they were offered numerous attractive tours to such local tourist attractions as the Linh Ung Pagoda on the Son Tra Peninsula, the Marble Mountains, and the Ba Na Hills Resort, plus exciting trips to the Hue Citadel, and Hoi An and My Son Sanctuary in Quang Nam Province.
ABG5 was also a good opportunity for these international friends to learn more about traditional Vietnamese culture, as well as to enjoy various specialities from the city and the province, including cao lau noodles and ‘banh trang thit heo’(pork and vegetables wrapped in soft rice paper).
The success of ABG5 was mainly attributed to good luck, the city’s beautiful landscapes, its modern traffic infrastructure, and the high level of consensus amongst local residents, plus the material and spiritual support from the national and municipal authorities, and the locals.
The event has helped to advertise the image of Da Nang to international friends, and that of Viet Nam as a whole, as well as to attract more foreign visitors to both. ABG5 also lays a firm foundation for the city to host even larger events at both continental and global levels in the near future.