NANNING, July 3 (Xinhua) -- A sea route for tourism between southern China and Vietnam has resumed after being closed for two years.
The route, connecting China's Beihai to Vietnam's Ha Long Bay, is the only tourist route by sea connecting the two countries.
More than 200 tourists returned to a port in south China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region on Tuesday night after a five-day journey.
The past two years have been spent building docks for liners while in port.
Initially, one liner will sail every four days, with more ships expected to be operational in the future. New routes to other southeast Asian countries, such as Singapore and Malaysia, are also expected to open.
"Tourists had to choose land access to travel to Vietnam in the past. But the resumption of the sea route offers a new option," said Ye Qiang, president of Beihai Guicheng International Travel Agency.
"The sea route is conducive to promote cooperation between China and Vietnam, and inject impetus into bilateral tourism markets. I hope more sea routes will open in the future," said Nguyen Cong Toan, a Vietnamese tour guide.
The China's Beihai-Vietnam's Ha Long Bay sea tourism route opened on April 30, 1998. It was the first transnational sea tourism line of China, with more than 500,000 tourists from home and abroad having traveled along the route.