City Mayor Alain Bocquet described how visitors are welcomed by a gate bearing Vietnamese passages about the festival, a national flag made from flowers, and a model of a Hanoi cyclo.
They can wander through four different photo exhibitions on Vietnam and the traditional clothes of its ethnic people, collated by French friends.
There are small “rice fields” for children at the city centre to explore Vietnam’s wet rice civilization.
At the opening ceremony, Mayor Bocquet said choosing Vietnam as the festival’s special guest was motivated by the 40th anniversary of Vietnam-France diplomatic ties.
Vietnamese Ambassador Duong Chi Dung hailed the Water Festival as a meaningful contribution to the 2013–2014 Vietnam-France Cross-Exchange Year.
He also met with city businesses to discuss the possibility of increasing bilateral cooperation on water technology and environmental protection.
The festival screened Daniel Roussel’s documentary on the two Vietnamese delegations’ diplomatic negotiations at the 1973 Paris Peace Accords.