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Construction begins today on a VND$5 trillion (US$313 million) tourism project occupying a 254-hectare area in the northern province of Ha Tay, with work scheduled to be completed in late 2010.

Investor Tuan Chau Ha Tay Joint Stock Company said that the namesake tourism complex, located adjacent to the historic Thay Pagoda, would comprise a five-star hotel, a villa resort, an international meeting center, three golf courses, a trade center, a cultural area, and other entertainment facilities.

The company’s director, Edward Minh Chi, mentioned that the high-end hotel and villa area will offer tourists 500 rooms each, with an additional 1,000 luxury apartments on site.

Another outstanding feature of the Tuan Chau Ha Tay project is a three-story trade center covering 180,000 square meters, representing the largest trade center of its kind in the country.

The three golf courses include an eighteen-hole course for advanced golfers, and a practice course and mini-course for amateurs.

All courses, designed by renowned international golf course architect group
Thompson Perrett & Lobb, are outfitted with light systems to enable night play.

The investor expects the tourism complex will increase the number of visitors to Thay Pagoda from 30,000 to 1 million people per year.

The bulk of tourists who currently travel to Ha Tay Province visit the Huong (Perfume) Pagoda, Thay Pagoda and Tay Phuong Pagoda, three ancient architectural sites steeped with cultural and historical significance.

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