The talent and skilled hands of foreign sculptors have turned a two-hectare empty lot into a wonderful sand sculpture park in Vietnam’s Phan Thiet city’s Phu Hai Ward.

The park is expected to become one of the landmarks in the south central coastal province of Binh Thuan, one that tourists, especially children, should not miss when visiting the region best known for beautiful beaches and sand dunes.

Tourists will be brought back to their childhoods as they are told famous fairytales at the Forgotten Land sand sculpture park, featuring 22 lively and interesting sculptures based on fairy tales of Vietnam and the world.

Fourteen sculptors from Japan, Singapore, the United States and other countries came to the province to use the local red sand and water to create sculptures with different shapes including a castle, huge dragon, rooster (the zodiac symbol for this lunar year) and many known characters such as Cinderella and Aurora from the story of Sleeping Beauty.

Moreover, sculptors of ancient architectural works such as Thien Mu pagoda in the central city of Hue are featured. Each of 22 sculptures average 10m in length, 5m in width and 3.5m in height.

Red sand for the sculptors is taken from the province’s large dunes which cover thousands of hectares, reach heights of 40 to 50m and are created by frequent sandstorms blowing inland from the coast. Strong winds will not blow sand from sculptures thanks to the techniques of the sculptors.

Sculptor Marielle Heessels from Holland said that this was the first time she had come to Vietnam.

The people and nature of Vietnam inspired her for sculpturing, Heessels said, adding that she wanted to tell many fairytales via sculptures. She said she hoped that the sculptures would be liked by local and foreign tourists.

Sculptor Leonardo Ugolinin from Belgium said he came to Vietnam for the second time to sculpt sand. He was very happy to perform the art in beautiful Phan Thiet city.

The sand in Phan Thiet is stickier than sand in other places and makes it easy to sculpt, he said. Sculptures will last about one year under normal weather conditions.

Nguyen Duc Hoa, vice chairman of the provincial People’s Commit-tee, said that the park was expected to help the province attract more foreign and local tourists.

“Sand sculpture is a popular art in the world, and colourful sand is an advantage of the province for sand sculpture,” Hoa said.

Like Australia and Japan, more and more festivals of sand sculpture would be held in the province, he added. The Forgotten Land sand sculpture park has been posted on Facebook by many people including local residents in the province to invite their friends to go with them to the park.

Nguyen Nhat Cuong, from the province’s Bac Binh District, brought his whole family to visit the park and said that the sculptures were “very impressive”.

Hoang Nhu Hue, also in Binh Thuan, said that the sculptures were very beautiful. “Through the talent of sculptors, they seem to have soul. I like the huge dragon at the entrance,” Hue said.

Le Anh Tuan, CEO of Vietsandart Company, said that since the park opened on Jan 29, around 1,000 tourists visited it every day. The company continues to make new statues. During the upcoming April 30 and May 1 holiday, a contest for sand sculptures by female sculptors will be organised.

The park plans to change the theme of its sculptures later this year. – Vietnam News/Asia News Network