Vietnam's northern highlands province of Ha Giang, known for its dangerous mountain passes, was voted Asia's leading emerging tourism destination for first time at the 2023 World Travel Awards.
It beat nine other rivals to the honor, Bandar Seri Begawan in Brunei, Flores in Indonesia, Koh Kood in Thailand, Melaka in Malaysia, Morioka and Okinawa in Japan, Phnom Penh in Cambodia, Sumba Island in Indonesia, and Taipei in Taiwan.
A tourist sails kaykak on Nho Que River at the foot of Ma Pi Leng Mountain Pass in Ha Giang Province.
Ha Giang, situated on the northern border with China and around 300 kilometers from Hanoi, is notorious for its twisting, narrow roads and dangerous passes that are not easy for amateur travelers.
Most tourists opt for a motorbike ride to conquer the 350-kilometer-long Ha Giang loop that takes around three to four days depending on weather conditions.
Motorbike rental services have developed across Ha Giang, at the price of VND150,000 ($6.40) a day for a vehicle.
During the National Day holidays recently, Ha Giang had the country's highest hotel occupancy rate: 93%.
Earlier this year U.S. newspaper New York Times named Ha Giang one of the 52 best places to visit this year.
At the awards ceremony held in HCMC on Wednesday, Vietnam won 50 prizes in various categories.
The World Travel Awards, launched in 1993, acknowledge excellence in the travel and tourism industry, and have been described as the "travel industry's equivalent of the Oscars."
The annual awards are based on votes cast by travel industry professionals and the public.