Local businesses in Norwich are jumping for joy after receiving a glowing review from an unlikely source – the boss of Vietnam’s flagship airline.
Duong Tri Thanh, CEO of Vietnam Airlines, hailed the Norfolk city as an ‘irresistible destination’ for tourists who should ‘not miss the opportunity to experience’ it.
Mr Thanh believes Alan Partridge’s hometown is on a par with Indonesia’s famous Komodo Dragon Island, which boasts coral reefs, volcanic hills and around 4,000 giant lizards.
But he says the fish and chips, winding cobbled roads and tudor buildings are just as impressive.
In a welcome message to passengers in the company’s in-flight magazine Heritage, the CEO said the UK city could easily hold its own against other top global destinations, such as his country’s capital city of Hanoi and the floating villages on the Mekong River Delta.
Mr Thanh said: ‘On their journeys to the world, passengers should not miss the opportunity to experience the wild island of Komodo dragons in Indonesia or the serene city of Norwich in the United Kingdom.’
Travel writer Quoc Kanh echoed Mr Thanh’s recommendations and said travellers must include Norwich which has ‘scenery is as a beautiful as a picture’ on their bucket list, along with the iconic Lombard Street in San Francisco and India’s Zanskar region known as ‘Moon Land’.
He praised the city as having ‘one of the finest roads in the UK’, referring to the cobbled Elm Hill, and for boasting the ‘second biggest monastery and second biggest spire in Britain’.
But what really makes Norwich special, according to the writer, is the more than 90-year-old restaurant, Grosvenor Fish Bar, famed for serving fish and chips fried in beef fat.
‘With its medieval beauty, Norwich also boasts a tender loveliness since canals and rivers flow through the city and the riversides and embellished with gorgeous flowers,’ he added.
‘Norwich captures many hearts with its old fashioned glamor and graceful charm.’
Why Norwich deserves the praise
In 2016 Norwich was voted as the ‘happiest city to work in the UK’ and the best place to live in 2018, while the year before 40 million people visited on a day trip.
It was hailed as England’s first UNESCO City of Literature in 2012.
Norwich Cathedral and Elm Hill
Writer Mr Kanh said: The cathedral is surrounded by gravel paths namely those leading to Timber Hill, Tombland and Elm Hill, voted as one of the United Kingdom’s finest roads lined with mostly intact and colourful buildings dating from the Tudor period’.
Grosvenor Fish Bar
‘If you want a taste of local cuisine, don’t forget to book a table at the city’s famed Grosvenor Fish Bar which serves one of England’s most famous dishes: ‘Fish and Chips,’ added Mr Kanh.
‘Noone living in Norwich doesn’t know the 90-year-old restaurant.
Mr Kanh: ‘If you are a fan of tranquility, Norwich is a good place to start. Its charm lies in its quietness and classical beauty’.
The Castle was built in 1067 when William the Conqueror ordered its construction so he could have a fortification in the city.
Norwich’s medieval trading hall was listed as must-see for travellers, along with its many outdoor markets.