It was quite a last minute decision for the team to attend this kite festival in Hanoi, Vietnam from 30th Apr to 3rd May. Our kite brother from Canada, Lam Hoac, informed us of the event near the end of February. There wasn’t much details available, given the stop/go nature of the event. It was called off in mid-March and then given the go-ahead again, due to the suitability of a event location. Final confirmations came in end of March and we are glad to be finally on our way to the first festival of 2016!
The festival was held to promote the residential-cum-commercial ecopark in the Hung Yen province, about 10km southeast of Hanoi city. Given the nature of the event, only a handful of overseas kitefliers are invited.
The team flew into Hanoi on the 29th Apr and met up with the rest of our friends from Germany, Malaysia, Indonesia and Canada. What’s unique for this festival is that all the overseas kitefliers were put up in swanky service apartments within the ecopark. Well, it’s not that we are particular about where we stay but it’s always interesting to live among the locals when attending overseas festivals. The apartment complex comes fully equipped with mini-marts, gym, pool, cafe and even it’s own emergency medical services and 24hr security while the surrounding areas are lined with restaurants. Makes for a really nice stay!
The kite festival is a 4 day event given that it coincides with the Labour day weekend holiday in Vietnam. The kite field (or ground) is a open plot of land about 10 minutes bus ride away.
While the venue it’s not the biggest in terms of size, it does have it’s quirks. The wind direction is primarily from the southeast direction and would only come about after lunch. Mornings are typically still and light/zero wind kites are about the only things that would take to the skies, while the smaller inflatables and traditional Vietnamese flute kites would be too heavy until wind picks up in the afternoon. When it did, the skies would be filled with the traditional and modern kites from the local kite clubs, as well as from the overseas kitefliers. On Sunday, the local clubs were out in force, with almost 200 local fliers from Vietnam with their flute kites!
We flew ballets in the afternoon, together with performances by Lam Hoac and local kiteflier Huy. Winds were erratic, given that it crests a highway behind the kite ground and the surrounding trees that adds to the turbulence. However, all the fliers put their hearts into getting the kite up into the air for the huge number of spectators that gathered to witness the event every day.
In all, it was a relatively small event and national TV coverage. It was fantastic to catch up again with old friends over dinner and coffee. We’d like to extend our heartfelt thanks to the sponsors, organizers Ms Thuy le Thanh and Mr Dao Duy Ha, our Canadian brother Lam Hoac and friends Bernhard, Leong, Danny, Azemi, Hazry, Huy, Helmi and Bagus for the company, fun, laughter and countless wefies before we could tuck into our lunch and dinners 🙂