The 22nd Southeast Asian (SEA) Games started on Dec. 5 and will run until Dec. 13 in Vietnam, the host of the event for the first time since 1959. The sports performed during the SEA Games are mostly being held in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, but also spread across venues in 11 cities and provinces.
Surely, the athletes, officials and supporters from Brunei, Cambodia, East Timor, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand should not miss the chance to discover the traditional charm and rare beauty of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.
Vietnam possesses some sublime natural beauty such as the Red River Delta in the north, the Mekong Delta in the south, divine beaches along the coast, green rice paddies on the coastal strip, and high mountains with dense forests inland.
In the midst of its rapid economic development and liberalization, Vietnam has preserved its rich civilization and highly dignified culture that is very impressive for overseas visitors. For many years, Vietnam has been well known for its traditional, exotic cuisine as well.
So, even though one may be welcomed by long queues and bureaucratic procedures at Hanoi's Noi Bai airport or Ho Chi Minh City's Tan Son Nhat airport, remember that there are various picturesque sights for you to discover as well as interesting things to experience including the many bicycles and tricycles in the city.
Best of luck to the Indonesian team and enjoy the magnificent country of Vietnam.
LYNDA SOETITO Jakarta