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Last update: 16:58 | 02/05/2017

Displaced residents offered money to build new homes

Capital city authorities are encouraging displaced residents to accept money to build new homes instead of moving to State-built resettlement areas.

 The move comes amidst a plethora of problems with site clearance and residents expressing concerns over the low quality of resettlement houses offered.  

Although no detail was given on how the funding would be calculated, officials said the move would benefit both sides.

In the coming time, the city hopes to complete site clearance for 2,700 projects, including 52 key ones.

Total land acquisition will be nearly 6,000ha, and it will affect 80,000 households.

To meet this target, the city authorities need VNĐ60 trillion (US$2.64 billion) for land compensation and arranging resettlement area for 19,000 households.

Since site clearance is key to speedy implementation of projects, the authorities are feeling the pressure of meeting the set target.

Previously, investment in resettlement projects was often made by State agencies or some State-owned enterprises in the form of investment in technical infrastructure, social infrastructure and urban-development construction such as in the urban areas of South Trung Yên, Phú Diễn and Trần Phú.

In order to invest in resettlement houses, Hà Nội authorities need an estimated capital of VNĐ40 trillion from now to 2020. This exceeds the previously set resettlement budget, so raising the funds will be a difficult, slow process.

Despite being accorded top priority, the scheme to build houses to sell to residents has proved highly ineffective.

In a candid assessment, Prof. Đặng Hùng Võ, a property expert, said that no matter what the investment form, the quality of resettlement houses has been poor, the State offices’ management capacity was weak, and construction delayed well beyond the schedule.

Fearing the poor quality of resettlement housing, many residents have hesitated to move, creating the paradox of several complexes standing abandoned while many lack accommodation.

In this situation, the idea of assisting residents with money is seen as a “good measure” to speed up the progress of site clearance and reduce the pressure on resettlement housing.

Phạm Sỹ Liêm, deputy chairman of the Việt Nam Construction Association, said the plan would create favourable conditions for both residents and city authorities.

Instead of building resettlement housing, the city would construct a commercial centre that brings money to the city budget for investing in other projects.

Additionally, the work of site clearance would become easier for district authorities, he said.

Nguyễn Hữu Lợi’s house was on land earmarked for a ring-road project ( Ngã Tư Sở-Ngã Tư Vọng).

Lợi’s family had traditionally been businesspeople, so he said he would use the compensation to build a residential house with a shop area on the ground floor.  

With many people having a home-based business as their main source of income, they welcomed the measure to be given money to build a new house on their own, instead of moving to a resettlement complex built with State Budget funds, reported Đấu thầu (Bidding) newspaper.

Nguyễn Sỹ Bảo, director of the Project Management Unit of Hà Nội Civil and Industrial Construction Investment Joint-stock Company, said over 40 per cent of households related to the ring-road project had agreed with the solution.

However, many did not accept the offered compensation of VNĐ6.8 million/sq.m.

Trần Đông Dực, Head of Cầu Giấy District’s Site Clearance Board, said the measure to give support money for residents to build their own houses made sense given that the city was experiencing a shortage of land for resettlement housing.  

Liêm said the most important aspect of the new measure is that the compensation should be based on market prices, ensuring equal benefits to all residents.

New drama for children to open this summer

IDECAF Stage, one of HCM City’s leading private drama troupes, is preparing to stage a new play aimed at young audiences this summer vacation. 

The play, Hoàng Tử- Công Chúa và 9 Vị Thần … Bị Bắt (Princes- Princesses and 9 Gods … Were Attacked), features five sons and daughters of God of the Sun and God of the Moon who face challenges to protect  the jungle, animals and people from the Dark. 

The work, which is about bravery, self-respect, honesty and friendship, also contains messages to encourage young people to work together to fight negative things.    
IDECAF spent more than VNĐ250 million (US$12,000) on the production.

“Our actors will show off their talent in music, dance, pantomime and circus tricks,” said Vũ Minh, the play’s director, a young talent in theatre.

Minh has worked with costume designers and theatre specialists to add realistic elements to his play through beautiful clothes, accessories and interior design suited to the work’s theme.

He has also invited composer Cao Minh Thu to write new six songs in electronics and dance music to use in the play.   

“Our stage will include light and sound effects,” Minh added. 

Minh’s staff, including veteran actors Thành Lộc, Bạch Long, Hữu Châu and Mỹ Duyên, spent several weeks to create a new style on stage by adding attractive features.

"Performing for children improves my soul and skills. I love watching my little fans enjoy and discover life and love and themselves through my art," said Meritorious Artist Lộc, who has more than 30 years of experience working in theatre.  

Hoàng Tử- Công Chúa và 9 Vị Thần … Bị Bắt is part of Ngày Xửa Ngày Xưa (Once Upon a Time), a theatre programme created for children which IDECAF began in 2000. 

The programme’s artists have offered a total of  29 plays with more than 500 free performances for several thousand young children and teenagers, including disadvantaged children who live at open houses and shelters around the city.  

“Through our programme, we want to provide young audiences with new concepts and techniques in drama. We also hope to foster love of the theatre among youth,” said Lộc, one of the programme’s founders.

Hoàng Tử-Công Chúa và 9 Vị Thần … Bị Bắt  will be staged at 28 Lê Thánh Tôn Street, District 1, at 8pm every weekend from May 20 to July 30.

Tickets are available at the theatre’s box office.

Artistic áo dài show entertains Huế residents

Vietnamese national costume áo dài still hasn’t lost its appeal despite the strong influence of modern fashion styles, and this was evident at a recent áo dài fashion show.

The show was held in Huế on Sunday evening as part of the Huế Craft Village Festival.

Thousands of people of different ages flocked to the city’s iconic bridge Trường Tiền Bridge, where the show’s stage and stands for the audience were erected, to enjoy the much-awaited costume performances.

Months ago, Huế residents heard of the áo dài collections that showcased copies of paintings by Huế artists, both alive and deceased. These late painters included the country’s prominent silk painter Tôn Thất Đào, well-known romantic style painter Đinh Cường and self-trained painter Bửu Chỉ.

This combination of áo dài and Huế’s beloved painters led to a new concept of performing arts, enthralling both fashion designers and local audiences.

"It was really challenging to work with painting themes on áo dài, particularly the silk paintings by late artist Đào," designer Hiền Đặng, who chose to work with paintings by famous late painter Tôn Thất Đào, said.

"His paintings were inspiring but they had an unusual structure, making it hard to copy on the áo dài flaps," she said.

Meanwhile, the audience was extremely excited to see the paintings being presented for the first time ever on the beloved costume. The wait, however, challenged people’s patience.

Their patience though paid off as young local girls dressed in purple áo dài and white conical hats walked out from the centre of the bridge, accompanied with light and music, which charmed the audience. Notably, purple is the typical colour of Huế.

Songs by late composer Trịnh Công Sơn, also a Huế native, and live performances on the violin, Vietnamese two-string fiddle and pear-shaped lute led to an upbeat ambience during the presentation of collections showcasing the paintings of Tôn Thất Đào and Đặng Mậu Tựu at the beginning and Đinh Cường, Bửu Chỉ at the end of the show.

Models wearing áo dài walked on the bridge and moved around the flower plants to come nearer to the audiences, making it seem as if the beautiful girls were walking in a peaceful, colourful garden.

"It was a good show. I felt that it was very good for an áo dài show. It was all very nice and the music was lovely," Nguyễn Văn Lợi, a local, said.

Before and during the show, traffic on the bridge and at the crossroads at its southern end was blocked, with the empty roads decorated with Vietnamese conical hats and fresh flower plants, transforming the entire area into an open grand stage.

However, the decorations had their drawbacks, as the plants were arranged in density and some reached till the models’ waists. "Part of the beauty of the áo dài is its flap, but the plants blocked the view," a designer, who took part in the show but did not want to be named, said.

Further, many collections were unable to show their printed painting copies because of the plants, including the collection by designer Chula, a Spanish man working in the field in Hà Nội.

The density of the plants and the steep road from the end of the bridge to the crossroads also led to chaos as those who had booked seats in the rear could not see the models from behind and attempted to move to the front for a better view.

Hearing aids presented to 1,000 patients in central region

A total of 1,000 hearing aids have been presented to deaf patients in the central region as part of a programme co-organised by the VinaCapital Fund, Starkey Hearing Foundation, Da Nang Volunteer, and Hoan My hospital.

Specifically, 600 hearing aids were provided for poor people in Da Nang city on May 1, while 400 are being presented to those living in other central provinces on May 1-2.

In 2017, the programme is expected to give 500 more deaf aids to those in need in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi, raising the total number of gifts presented this year to 1,500.

Through the programme, the VinaCapital Fund and Hoan My hospital want to share responsibility with the community in care for people’s health.

Vietnamese sea-island charms honoured in Hungary

A show highlighting the beauty of Vietnam’s sea and islands took place at the Corvinus University in Budapest of Hungary on April 29, attracting hundreds of 

Co-organised by the associations of Vietnamese expatriates and students, the event displayed hundreds of photos and documents on the history of Vietnam’s sea and islands as well as the country’s sovereignty over Hoang Sa and Truong Sa archipelagos.

It introduced visitors to the maritime potential of the Southeast Asian country, which boasts more than 3,000 islands and a coastline spanning over 3,260 km.

Speakers of the event noted that China’s illegal construction and militarisation of artificial islands in the East Sea not only have negatively impacted security and safety of navigation and overflight in the region but also have hindered Vietnam from tapping its sea and island tourism potential. 

A number of presented studies requested China to restrain from such activities and respect international law.

The event also included a musical concert, a fashion show and a food festival.

OVs in Ukraine pay tribute to homeland martyrs

The Vietnamese community in Ukraine and the Buddhist sangha in Kharkov city, on April 30, organised a requiem for Vietnamese soldiers who laid down their lives to defend the national sovereignty.

At the event, both Vietnamese and Ukrainians in Kharkov offered incense to pay tribute to the martyrs. 

Head of the association of Vietnamese expats in Ukraine Tran Duc Tua said the requiem is an annual activity of the association aimed at reminding younger generations of their origin and the martyrs’ noble sacrifice.

A participant of the event, Professor Valentin Yakusik from the National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy, who has been to Vietnam, said the ceremony pays respect to not only the fallen soldiers but also Vietnam’s history.

Art performance in Quang Tri marks National Reunification Day

An art performance was held in the central province of Quang Tri’s Hien Luong-Ben Hai special national historical relic site to celebrate the 42nd anniversary of the Liberation of the South and National Reunification (April 30, 1975-2017) and the 45th anniversary of the liberation of Quang Tri (May 1, 1972-2017).

The event was jointly held by the provincial Party Committee and People’s Committee, Vietnam News Agency (VNA) and Nhan dan (People) Newspaper.

Themed “Quang Tri – the Memory of a River,” the 100-minute performance re-enacted the 81 day-and-night struggle of the Quang Tri people against the US enemy who threw about 328,000 tonnes of bombs to the area, killing a huge number of Vietnamese soldiers. 

It told the story of the Ben Hai and Thach Han Rivers with the pain of north-south separation, the great happiness of reunification, and the sacrifices of soldiers and locals during the struggle.

Quang Tri liberation campaign and heroic struggle to defend Quang Tri ancient citadel, together with the victories on other battlefields, paved the way for the 1975 General Offensive and Uprising that liberated the south and reunited the entire country.

Participants also had a chance to talk with historical witnesses, including Nguyen Xuan Ly, head of the civil defence group of Vinh Giang commune in Vinh Linh district, the unit specialising in rowing soldiers, food and weapons to the south battlefields and Con Co island.

At the event, VNA General Director Nguyen Duc Loi presented 800 million VND (35,176 USD) to the Quang Tri fund for supporting contributors to the revolution in orderto build 10 charity houses for the needy in the province.-

Hai Phong: Do Son tourism festival begins

The Do Son beach tourism festival opened on April 30, marking the beginning of the peak tourism season in the northern city of Hai Phong.

The festival was kicked off with a musical concert gathering popular singers such as Minh Chuyen, Tung Duong and Trong Tan.

Following the concert was a series of sport events, including the Hai Phong women’s beach volleyball championship and a boat race at sea.

Recently, the Do Son tourism area has attracted a number of large-scale resort and entertainment centre projects, notably the Him Lam resort worth 5 trillion VND (220 million USD) and the FLC Do Son complex of eco-villas and tourism services worth 5.3 trillion VND (233.2 million USD).

Tourist attractions crowded during holidays

Domestic and foreign visitors flocked to tourist attractions across Vietnam during the April 30-May 1 holidays.

The central province of Thua Thien-Hue welcomed 280,000 tourist arrivals to its Complex of Monuments on April 30 and May 1, of whom 68,000 are foreigners, up 25 percent year-on-year.

As of April 30, the complex had served more than 1 million visitors, earning 110 billion VND (4.8 million USD) from selling tickets and services.

Meanwhile, many tourists chose beauty spots in the northern province of Hai Duong.

On April 29-30, its Dao Co (Stork Island) welcomed around 7,000 – 8,000 tourists, while 7,000 people visited the Con Son-Kiep Bac special national relic site.

Historical relic sites in the northern province of Dien Bien were also attractive to holiday-makers.

According to statistics from the local tourism sector, more than 20,000 people visited the Dien Bien Phu Battlefield relic sites.

The Dien Bien Phu Victory Museum also served nearly 4,500 tourists on April 29 and nearly 16,000 arrivals on April 30.

Tourist attractions in the southern province of Bac Lieu also saw an increase in the number of visitors during the holidays.

$35m road coming to aid development of new HCM City urban area

Ground was broken last Saturday HCM City’s District 2 for a road parallel to the HCM City – Long Thành – D?u Giây Expressway.

The road on the right of the expressway, will be 20m wide, run 3.4km from the Mai Chí Th? Road and the Ð? Xuân H?p Road, and cost VNÐ808 billion (US$35 million) and take two years to build.

Three bridges with a combined length of 600m will be part of the project.

The new road is expected to reduce traffic congestion at the An Phú roundabout in District 2 and create favourable conditions for the development of the Th? Thiêm New Urban Area.

The construction will be carried out by the Ti?n Phu?c Real Estate Joint Stock Company and Nam R?ch Chi?c Limited Company under the build-operate-transfer (BOT) model.

“The road will help complete the infrastructure for the development of District 2, especially the Th? Thiêm New Urban Area, as well as speed up urbanisation of HCM City,” deputy chairman of the city People’s Committee, Lê Van Khoa, said at the groundbreaking ceremony.

American foundation brings gift of hearing to Vietnam

Nearly a thousand needy people with hearing loss living in the central region of Vietnam received the gift of hearing from the Starkey Hearing Foundation at a ceremony held on May 1.

VinaCapital hosted the Vietnamese hearing mission at the Hope Village in the coastal city of Danang where literally hundreds of needy were reconnected to their families, communities, and the world.

Starkey Hearing Foundation's team of audiologists in collaboration with the Danang Volunteer Club and Hoan My Hospital and staff fit the people with complimentary, customized, state-of-the-art, digital hearing devices.

 american foundation brings gift of hearing to vietnam hinh 1 The team also trained them and their families on how to operate the hearing devices.

Giving a person the ability to hear has an immediate positive impact on that person's quality of life and a compounding effect on the world, said Megan Baiocchi, of the Starkey Hearing Foundation in a speech at the ceremony.

About Starkey Hearing Foundation

Starkey Hearing Foundation, an American public charity founded by William F. Austin, gives the gift of hearing to people in need in the US, Canada and around the globe.

Disabling hearing loss affects more than 360 million people globally, including 32 million children, yet many do not have access to the hearing devices that improve lives and promote understanding.

The foundation focuses on hearing health care, education, and support. It has cared for more than 1.1 million patients cumulatively and provided 1.9 million hearing devices in more than 100 countries.

Trade Union protects Vietnamese guest workers

The Trade Union, whose role is protecting the legitimate rights of working citizens, has been pushing to support Vietnamese workers overseas.

Each year, Vietnam sends up to 90,000 people to work abroad. Currently, about half a million Vietnamese people are working legally in 40 countries and territories. Vietnamese guest workers who send home US$2 billion annually contribute greatly to the economic development of their families and of their homeland.
Protecting workers

The Law on Vietnamese Guest Workers which took effect in 2007 requires better protection of overseas workers amid Vietnam’s international integration. The 2012 Law on Trade Union underscores the role of the Union in counseling workers about work contracts, helping to resolve disputes, representing workers in lawsuits, and participating in labor-related cases.

The Trade Union has organized seminars on migrant workers, joined the Network of Information for Migrant Workers, and amended laws and regulations to better protect the rights of migrant workers and the trade union.

In July 2016 the Vietnam General Confederation of Labor and the Asia Foundation jointly implemented the project on strengthening the protection of Vietnamese guest workers. Trade Union branches provide information and counseling for those who are prepared to work overseas and job opportunities for those who have returned home. Workshops have been held to raise awareness of policy makers and relevant agencies about the issues facing workers. 

Filip Graovac, the Asia Foundation's Deputy Country Representative in Vietnam, said “More importantly, we realize that local authorities, particularly VGCL's local network for staff holding leadership positions at ward and commune people's committees, can play a critical role in community-based communicators and counselors for safe migration. This is because they are the first stepping point on the recruitment process. However, their role is generally only focused on administrative procedures as they are not instructed or equipped with specific skills to provide pre-departure education for local communities."

Greater role

Despite recent efforts, the majority of guest workers cannot access trade union organizations, posing a major challenge for the Vietnam General Confederation of Labor. 

Dang Quang Dieu, Head of the Confederation’s Department of Social and Economic Policy and Emulation, suggested the establishment of a support network for people who wish to work overseas. 

“We will provide people with training courses and detailed information on the most credible centers or businesses for exporting workers,” said Mr Dieu.

Le Thi Kim Ngan, Head of the Law and Policy Department of the Quang Ngai provincial Confederation of Labor, said “Quang Ngai province has 75 full-time trade union officials. In the near future, we will select trade union cadres at communal level to give counseling on knowledge and skills needed to work overseas.”

Vietnam will take greater steps to protect the rights of migrant workers by signing memoranda of understanding with countries that receive workers and preparing to join the 1990 International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families. Sending people to work abroad is a major policy of Vietnam to help reduce poverty and improve the quality of labor. The policy’s success partly depends on the trade union’s protection of the rights of Vietnamese guest workers. 

Can Tho city promotes traditional amateur singing

Can Tho city is home to more than 1,000 singers, who are members of 170 clubs.

Local administration’s incentives and the artists’ efforts have helped promote Don Ca Tai Tu (traditional amateur singing), which is recognized by UNESCO as Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humankind. 

The Tay Do Theatre, Culture and Sports Center of Cai Rang district, and the Can Tho Culture and Art school has performed Don Ca Tai Tu in Cai Rang floating market and Ninh Kieu wharf on Saturday and Sunday morning since last September. 

The sweat melodies echoing in the early morning on the mighty Mekong River attract tourists and comfort local traders. This performance has become a “typical tourism product” of Can Tho.  

Tourist Thanh Huyen said “It’s good and relaxing to enjoy the program we like without paying entrance fees. Such programs should be organized for the young people to understand the origin of Don Ca Tai Tu.”

The southern folk singing has been taught to foreign students of Can Tho University since 2005. 

Lecturer Le Dinh Bich with his talent and passion for Don Ca Tai Tu has won the heart of foreigners. He transcribed the musical notes of Hò, X?, Xang, Xê, and C?ng into seven notes of a western musical scale. 

Bich said “I teach Australian, French, and Japanese students about the beauty of the Lower Mekong River. All my students enjoy this part and they also want to learn Vietnamese musical instruments.”

Veteran amateur singer Hai Duc in Cai Rang district with his unique three-string fretted lute and trader-singer Ly Hung in Cai Rang floating market have been tireless in handing down the art of Don Ca Tai Tu to the young people in their communities.

The Can Tho City’s Culture Center is opening a training of trainer course for 30 amateur artists, who will then teach Don Ca Tai Tu to others. 

Emeritus Artisan Kieu Nga, Deputy Director of Culture Center in Thot Not district, is keen on teaching the amateur singing to the younger generation.

She said “The more Don Ca Tai Tu is educated at school, the younger our successors are. We are looking for people who can help teach school students how to sing Don Ca Tai Tu.”

Can Tho city has issued a project on preserving and promoting Don Ca Tai Tu until 2020, motivating local singers to continue their singing career and others to pursue the musical legacy of their predecessors.

Exhibition on 1975 victory opens in Can Tho

A photo exhibition entitled “The Great Spring Victory 1975 in Mekong Delta” has opened in the Mekong Delta city of Can Tho.

The event is part of preparations for the 42ndanniversary of the liberation of southern Viet Nam and national reunification, the 131st May Day and the 127th birth anniversary of late President Ho Chi Minh.

On display at the exhibition are 120 photos that captured the historic moments of the country and introduced economic and social activities in the region after the liberation.

The show seeks to remind city dwellers of the indomitable soldiers who sacrificed their lives for the resounding victory of the Ho Chi Minh era and the socio-economic progress in the city in the 42 year since the war.

On the occasion, a thematic display of farming equipment used in the Mekong Delta during the resistance war is also organized, with over 250 items and photos.

The event runs until August 15.

Nearly 4.3 million int’l guests visit VN

About 4.28 million foreign tourists visited Viet Nam in the first four months, representing a year-on-year surge of 30.3%, according to the General Statistics Office (GSO).

Of the figure, about 3.5 million foreigners travelled by air (up 32.6% against the same period last year); 610,000 others came by road (up 11.1%); and the rest arrived by sea (up 77.6%).

The agency reported an increase in tourist inflows from key markets with 1.27 Chinese visitors (61.1%), 701,000 Korean visitors (up 35.1%) and 261,000 Japanese visitors (up 6.6%).

In the reviewed time, Viet Nam welcomed 747,000 European visitors, posting a year-on-year growth of 25.5% while the number of American tourists rose 9.1% to nearly 230,000.

The total revenue of accommodation and restaurant sales increased by 11.3% to VND 153.4 trillion, topped by Quang Ninh, Dong Nai, Ho Chi Minh City, Ha Noi, and Binh Duong./.

Creating investment and development mechanisms for Ho Chi Minh City

The Prime Minister has issued Decree 48/2017/ND-CP stipulating a number of specific financial and budgetary mechanisms and policies for Ho Chi Minh City.

Accordingly, the State prioritises investment in budget and other financial sources for socio-economic development so that Ho Chi Minh City can continue upholding its role as a socio-economic centre of the region as well as the whole country.

The city is eligible for advance payment from the state budget or borrowing sources to hold auctions of land use rights, after which refunding the budget or repaying the loan.

The Government prioritises ODA funds and preferential capital sources for Ho Chi Minh City to invest in programmes and projects relating to urban infrastructure and the environment.

In addition to budget capital, the city can decide or submit to authorities for decisions on mobilising investment in the forms of public-private partners (PPP) such as BOT, BTO, BT, etc.

Outstanding workers honoured during Workers’ Month

The 2017 Workers’ Month, which runs through May, has been launched by trade unions at all levels with many practical and meaningful activities targeting labourers across the nation.

Bac Ninh Province has honoured 30 local workers who have been recognised with excellent performance and results in labour and production emulation movements during the launch for the 2017 Workers’ Month.

The Bac Ninh Labour Confederation also awarded 1,000 gifts to workers living in particularly difficult circumstances and those who suffered from labour accidents, while praising and rewarding 122 outstanding individuals and 40 collectives who organised creative activities in implementing the Workers’ Month

* Phu Tho Provincial Labour Confederation recently held a meeting which drew the participation of 17 enterprises with more than 1,000 workers, in which 17 grassroots trade unions exchanged advantages and disadvantages in organising support activities to care for workers in the time to come.

* Dong Ha City Labour Confederation (Quang Tri Province) reviewed the five-year implementation of the Workers’ Month in the city. Over the past five years, the workers’ months have supported the construction of 12 houses for families of workers with housing difficulties at a total amount of VND360 million. The grassroots trade union has admitted new members, while lobbying for the establishment of trade unions at 41 non-state enterprises.

* Quang Binh Provincial Labour Confederation paid working visits to labourers in the province to inspect their living and employment conditions and encourage them to work effectively.

* During the Workers’ Month, Vietnam Electricity Trade Union organised three missions to visit and present gifts to union members and labourers in its 13 units in the northern, central and southern regions, as well as those who are working on key projects in remote areas with a total amount of nearly VND1 billion.

* The 2017 Workers’ Month launching were also held in Ba Ria-Vung Tau, Ha Nam and Thanh Hoa, with financial support presented to labourers to assist them in building new houses and hundreds of valuable gifts given to disadvantaged workers.

Hue imperial relic site attracts over one million visitors

Over one million tourists visited the Hue imperial relic site in the central province of Thua Thien-Hue in the first four months of 2017, according to Director of the Hue Monuments Conservation Centre Phan Thanh Hai.

Revenue from tickets sale and other services reached VND110 billion (over US$4.8 million), he added.

Notably, during the four-day national holiday from April 29 to May 2, over 280,000 visitors, including 68,000 foreigners has registered to visit Hue.

Visitors from the Republic of Korea topped the list of foreign tourists to Hue on this occasion, followed by France, the US, the UK, Thailand Germany, the Netherlands, Austria, Italy, and Canada.

According to Hai, the holiday also coincided with the six-day traditional craft festival in Hue city. Featuring a space to honour artisans and craft villages, an exhibition on the Nguyen Dinh Chieu pedestrian street by Huong River’s side is a highlight of the event.

It is showcasing notable products and technical know-how to the public and offering visitors a chance to make traditional crafts themselves under artisans’ guide.

On display are products from a wide range of crafts, including embroidery, pottery, wood carving, and conical hat and paper flower making.

As part of the craft festival, a fashion show featuring the traditional Ao Dai (long dress) presented alongside paintings from various local artists, took place on the Trang Tien Bridge and Le Loi Street, drawing significant attention from locals and tourists

The imperial relic site was recognised by UNESCO as a World Cultural Heritage site in 1993.

The centre is building a dossier for UNESCO submission in 2017 to seek for the site to be recognised as a world cultural heritage for the second time with regard to cultural landscape.

This year, the centre strives to welcome 2.5 million tourists and rake in VND260 billion (US$11.4 million) in revenues.

2 brothers from Hanoi headed to chess champs in Iran

Two young chess prodigies from Hanoi have lifted off from Noi Bai International Airport and are on their way to Shiraz, Iran for the Asian Junior Under-20 Chess Champs set to transpire May 3-11.

The two brothers, Tran Tuan Minh and Tran Minh Thang are seeded Nos. one and six at the champs, respectively. The tourney draws the participation of 51 athletes from India, Kazakhstan, Vietnam and Iran.

Rare cat released into wild in Ca Mau

The local government and forest rangers in the Mekong delta province of Ca Mau encouraged a man to release a rare cat into the wild in Dam Doi town.

Following the newspaper report about a 3 kilogram rare cat caught by resident Vo Quoc Bao in Dam Doi town and some people proposed to buy, local administrators and forest rangers advised him to let it into the forest. 

Phan Hung Dung, head of the legislation board of the forest ranger, said that the animal is included on the list of endangered animals at risk of extinction. Locals are prohibited from catching it as per the law.

Bien Hoa opens walking street

The People’s Committee of Bien Hoa city has just put into operation a 600- meter walking street.

It is located in Nguyen Van Tri Street of Bien Hoa in the Dong Nai province and the first walking street is launched in the city.

Visitors will be able to enjoy souvenir & coffee shop, folk game, culinary space and art performance in the street. Additionally, pedestrians can connect to the Internet via free Wi-Fi.

The opening day welcomed thousands of visitors.

At present, the walking street opens on every Saturday and Sunday night.

134 students honored national best historical student 2017

Vietnam History Development Fund under Vietnam Association of Historical Sciences (VAHS) yesterday held a solemn ceremony in Hanoi to praise and award to 134 outstanding students.

This is an annual activity of Vietnam History Development Fund aiming to actively contribute in encouraging the teaching and learning history in all schools, training young historians for the country as well as developing Vietnam’s history.

Among 134 the best students, six outstanding students from Quang Ninh, Vinh Phuc, Hanoi, Nghe An, Lang Son and Phu Tho province received the first prizes.

The organization board awarded six first prizes, 49 second prizes and 79 third prizes for the students at the 2017 national historical contest. 

According to historian Duong Trung Quoc, the award has been launched since 2012 and to date, around 1,031 students nationwide have been honored.

Hue traditional craft festival wraps up

The biennial Hue Traditional Craft Festival wrapped up on May 1, ending four festive days in the ancient capital city of Hue.

Speaking at the event, Nguyen Dang Thanh, Vice Chairman of the Hue city People’s Committee highlighted that the seventh festival was a successful one. 

He said the festival honoured the quintessence of Vietnamese craftsmanship, enhanced business efficiency of traditional crafts while speeding up cooperation in multi-faceted fields, especially promoting socio-economic development and branching out craft products along with tourism.

The festival affirmed its brand as well as prestige among local people, tourists and artisans across the country, he added.

This year event drew the participation of 327 craftsmen from 40 villages. For the first time, the festival saw the attendance of some craft villages located miles away from Hue like Nam Cao and Mai Chau weaving villages in from the north provinces of Thai Binh and Hoa Binh, My Thien pottery village in the central province of Quang Ngai and other pottery villages from the Mekong Delta province of Vinh Long.

Thirty-four artisans from Japan, China and the Republic of Korea took part in the event.

The festival was nailed with such key activities as Ao dai (traditional long dress) fashion show on the city’s iconic Truong Tien bridge, exhibition honouring artisans and traditional crafts at Ly Tu Trong park, balloon festival, Hue cuisine festival and activities to popularise tourism of some connecting localities on Nguyen Dinh Chieu walking street.

The event is touted as a highlight in the heritage journey in the central region, making contributions to promoting regional tourism growth.

Second Proof of Concept competition kicks off

Climate change mitigation is the key topic of the second Proof of Concept (PoC) competition recently launched by the Vietnam Climate Innovation Centre (VCIC).

The contest, sponsored by the World Bank (WB) and the Ministry of Science and Technology, was organised following the success of the first event which saw 18 businesses winning awards of innovation start-ups fighting against climate change in 2016.

Speaking at the launching ceremony on April 28, Pham Duc Nghiem, VCIC deputy director highlighted that young enterprises and start-ups play a crucial role in mitigating climate change’s impacts on the environment by creating environmental-friendly, clean products, services and technologies and nudging them closer to people.

Innovation products, services and business models joining the second PoC should be in following categories: effective energy, sustainable agriculture, water management and purification, renewable energy technologies, information and technology and other technologies related to climate change.

Through the competition, start-ups and young businesses will receive international training models developed by experts from the WB and the US’s leading incubator centres as well as call funds amounting to 75,000 USD for the development, deployment and extension of a product or service.

Vietnamese abroad celebrate southe liberation anniversary

Vietnamese communities abroad recently organised activities, including meetings and sports competitions, to celebrate the 42nd anniversary of the liberation of South Vietnam and national reunification (April 30) and the 131st anniversary of May Day (May 1). 

In Prague, the Czech Republic, the Vietnam table tennis tournament attracted nearly 20 players from Prague, Plzen clubs and several amateur ones from other cities and provinces. Finalists will be chosen to compete with Vietnamese nationals from Poland, Germany, Hungary, Norway, France and Slovakia at the Vietnam friendly table tennis championship slated for June 3 in Budapest, Hungary. 

Meanwhile, the Vietnamese community in South Chungcheong province’s Asan city and several Vietnamese students’ associations held a football tournament with eight teams comprising workers and students from Asan and adjacent localities. 

South Chungcheong province is home to nearly 10,000 Vietnamese, including around 4,000, mostly students, workers and Vietnamese brides. 

On the occasion, the Vietnamese Association in the UK, the Vietnamese Business Association and the Vietnamese Student Association in the UK co-organised Charity Golf Day attracting 75 amateur golfers. 

Proceeds raised at the event will be used for the Vietnamese community’s activities in the UK, including the second Vietnamese Football Cup scheduled for July 30, the Mid-Autumn Festival for children and Lewishham school.

Meanwhile, a meeting celebrating the occasion took place in Macau, China on April 30.

Speaking at the event, Nguyen Van Phong from the Vietnamese Consulate General in Hong Kong and Macao recalled milestones of the country during the war, affirming that the Spring Victory 1975 is a glorious chapter in history during the national construction and defence. 

He extended congratulations to more than 20,000 Vietnamese workers in Macau on the festive day, and hailed their contributions to the home country over the past years. 

Vice Chairwoman of the Vietnam Fellow Countrymen Friendship Association in Macau Nguyen Thi Tuan introduced unique characteristics of Vietnamese culture, including dances and folk songs.

Since its establishment in January 2013, the Vietnam Fellow Countrymen Friendship Association in Macau currently records around 2,000 members. It regularly holds music shows as well as raises fund for disaster victims in Vietnam’s central region, the poor and soldiers in Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelago.

OV community in Moscow organises charity concert

A music programme title “For the future 2017” was held by the charity fund “Voice from the heart” on May 1 at the Hanoi – Moscow complex (Incentra) in Moscow capital of Russia to help disadvantaged children and women. 

Pham Van Anh, a founding member and a representative of the charity fund, reviewed the fund’s activities during the past year. 

The charity fund presented gifts to needy children and families, as well as children and women who are domestic violence victims in Moscow. 

It also coordinated with a charity group in Vietnam to build houses for children in the northern province of Ha Giang. 

Pham Van Anh thanked the Vietnamese community in Moscow for their support to the fund and its activities.

Established in 2011, the charity fund “Voice from the heart” has helped many disadvantaged children to go to school.

Big markets in Lang Son prove negative to avian flu test

Following quick avian flu tests in the northern province of Lang Son, negative results were recorded at the biggest market of Gieng Vuong and That Khe market – the nearest to the border with China. 

According to Chu Nguyen Thach, deputy head of the provincial Department for Animal Health, at each of the wholesale markets, 30 random samples were taken from chickens on sale for avian influenza A (H7N9) virus and results were announced after two hours.

With training from experts of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Association (FAO), the department’s vets can conduct the test themselves.

The quick-testing kit is set to be used in Lang Son for six weeks on various types of poultry.

In 2013, the A/H7N9 virus was found in animals and people in China, according to the World Health Organisation. This strain of avian influenza leaves infected people severely ill. 

Most of the cases of human infection with the A/H7N9 virus came after recent exposure to live poultry or potentially contaminated environments, especially markets where live birds were sold. This virus does not appear to transmit easily from person to person.

The A (H7N9) virus has to date not infected either poultry or people in Vietnam.

In the first three months of the year, 487 incidences were reported in China, including 99 fatalities, according to the Ministry of Health.


Displaced residents offered money to build new homes, New drama for children to open this summer, Artistic áo dài show entertains Huế residents, Hearing aids presented to 1,000 patients in central region