Saturday, April 11, 2015

From Russia no love: ruble slump squeezes SE Asia tourism - All Vietnam

The ruble’s sharp decline is exacting a toll on Southeast Asian tourism as Russians think twice about doubling their budgets for their next beach holiday in Vietnam, Thailand or Cambodia.

A Thai street vendor waits for customers at Patong beach in Phuket
A Thai street vendor waits for customers at Patong beach in Phuket
(Photo: reuters)
The rouble fell 43 percent last year against the dollar, hurt by plunging oil prices and Western sanctions imposed over Moscow’s role in the Ukraine political crisis. A Russian tourist now needs to fork out as much as 140,000 rubles ($2,479) for a trip to Vietnam, including plane tickets and accommodation, up from 60,000 rubles last year, a state-run Vietnamese newspaper estimated. For those who do make it to Vietnam, they are buying instant noodles instead of eating out, local media reported.
Russians account for billions of dollars in tourism revenue in Southeast Asia and rank second after Chinese travelers in number. Food menus in Russian are ubiquitous in Phuket. Street vendors in Vietnamese beach towns have picked up Russian words. In 2013, when Russian tourist arrivals in Vietnam more than doubled, national carrier Vietnam Airlines launched direct flights linking Moscow with the former U.S. airbase in Cam Ranh near the popular coastal town of Nha Trang.
In January-to-March, some 95,800 Russians visited Vietnam, down 27 percent from a year earlier and the first quarterly fall since 2012. Cambodia’s Tourism Ministry counted nearly 18,300 Russian tourists in the first two months of 2015, down 51 percent. Thailand drew 1.6 million Russian tourists in 2014, down 8.6 percent. Arrivals slumped 46 percent in January this year. In the same month, Russian visitors to the Philippines dropped 12 percent.
“Russian tourists have been steadily declining in Thailand since last year particularly because of the depreciation of the rouble,” said Surapong Techaruvichit, president of the Thai Hotels Association. “Destinations that have traditionally been popular with Russians, including Phuket and Pattaya, have been hit hard.”

From Russia no love: ruble slump squeezes SE Asia tourism - All Vietnam

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Photos: Behind the curtain of the water puppetry stage — Talk Vietnam

Photos: Behind the curtain of the water puppetry stage

VietNamNet Bridge – Working behind the curtain, appearing on the stage for just a few seconds to say hello and thank-you to the audience before each performance, water puppetry artists still have to be made up even though they cannot be seen.

Water puppetry is a unique folk art of Vietnam, favored by foreign tourists.
The audience cannot see the face of the artists. They only see the wooden puppets on the water. The artists always hide themselves behind the bamboo screen.
But they still have to do make-up before each show to appear before the audience to bow for several seconds. These photos were taken behind the screen at the Thang Long Water Puppetry Theatre (57 Dinh Tien Hoang, Hanoi).
The theatre serves over 1,000 foreign visitors each day.
The theatre has about 40 artists, divided into two groups. During the shows, artists have to stand in the water so they wear protective clothes and rubber gloves.
Previously, artists did not have rubber clothes so they had to dip their bodies into water, even in winter.
Ms. Vo Thuy Dung, 28, said she followed her mother, who has retired, to work at the theatre. She is seven months pregnant but she still works.
The theatre chooses 14 popular plays to perform every day. These players are selected from over 400 folk plays.
“Artists must have both control techniques and know how to transfer emotions into puppets,” an artist said.
The theatre has participated in many international art festivals in more than 20 countries.
Behind the screen during a performance.
When the show ends, the artists quickly remove the rubber outfits to dress traditional costumes to appear on the state to greet the audience.
The 20-minute break between each show is the time for the artists to learn from experience.
Some actors find a place to take a nap to prepare for the next show.
This is a puppet repair man named Le Quang Minh, 49. He has worked for the theatre for more than 22 years.

Thang Long Puppetry Theatre was founded in 1969 with the first name Kim Dong puppet troupe. It was renamed Thang Long – Hanoi Puppetry Theatre in 1975. From a group of nine artists and poor facilities, the theatre now has 22 artists, 15 musicians and 5 technicians.

Photos: Behind the curtain of the water puppetry stage — Talk Vietnam

Monday, March 16, 2015

Vietnamese hackers allegedly steal 50,000 accounts — Talk Vietnam

Vietnamese hackers allegedly steal 50,000 accounts

More than 50,000 accounts of customers of Vietnam’s state-run telecom giant VNPT were stolen and leaked on the Internet over the weekend, company spokesperson Bui Quoc Viet said on March 15.

The accounts, including personal information and login credentials, belong to customers of the VNPT branch in the southern province of Soc Trang, Viet said.

“Hackers targeted the software used to look up customer information hosted on an old server that is being replaced at VNPT Soc Trang,” he elaborated.

Viet did not comment on the culprits behind the attack, even though Security Daily, a Vietnamese-language Internet security website, reported on Saturday that a hacker outfit called DIE Group has claimed responsibility.

It may be a Vietnamese hacker group, Security Daily said.

DIE Group has posted the stolen accounts on their Facebook page, saying they are from “more than 10,000 mobile phone and landline accounts of VNPT,” according to Security Daily.

The login section on the VNPT Soc Trang website is seen in this screenshot taken in Ho Chi Minh City on March 16, 2015.
The login section on the VNPT Soc Trang website is seen in this screenshot taken in Ho Chi Minh City on March 16, 2015.
Security Daily said on its website that the real number of stolen accounts could be as many as 50,000, which was later confirmed by the VNPT media person.

The stolen accounts include the name, address, phone number, username and password that can be used to log in to the customer service section on the VNPT Soc Trang website.

“Hackers can use such information to log in and launch other attacks using the authorized access,” Security Daily warned.

“The leaked information can be a gold mine to spammers and swindlers.”

VNIST JSC, the operator of Security Daily, said the incident suggests that there are dangerous security holes in the VNPT system, which makes it vulnerable to hackers.

“Thanks to such vulnerabilities, hackers may be able to steal most of the information, including the system administrative accounts, from VNPT databases,” the company said.

The vulnerability was fixed on Saturday, VNPT deputy general director Pham Duc Long told tech website ICTnews the same day.

“VNPT has strengthened security in its entire network to ensure customers that their private information is safe,” Long was quoted as saying.

The attackers said on Facebook that they had decided to leak the stolen information online after “receiving no response from VNPT about our discovery of their security holes.”

DIE Group, however, did not reveal the usernames and passwords of the stolen accounts for fear that they may be used by other hacker groups, according to their Facebook status.

VNPT, fully known as the Vietnam Posts and Telecommunications Group, is a telecommunications company owned by the Vietnamese government.

The Hanoi-based company boasts more than 60 million mobile phone subscribers, nearly 10 million landline phone subscribers and “dozens of millions of Internet users,” according to its website

Vietnamese hackers allegedly steal 50,000 accounts — Talk Vietnam

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Celebrating International Women’s Day a luxury for these women (pics) — Talk Vietnam

Celebrating International Women’s Day a luxury for these women (pics)

While many women are pampered with flowers and gifts on International Women’s Day, March 8, from their loved men, others are too busy eking out a meager living simply to survive and support their family.

One of the virtues Vietnamese women are endowed with is wholehearted devotion and sacrifice for the sake of their family, particularly for their husbands and children.   The deeply moving stories below highlight such a virtue.
One of the virtues Vietnamese women are endowed with is wholehearted devotion and sacrifice for the sake of their family, particularly for their husbands and children. The deeply moving stories below highlight such a virtue.
Female cyclo rider

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Nguyen Thi Tro and her husband, Le Van Bi, who went fishing on the Huong (Perfume) River in the central province of Thua Thien-Hue, were relocated to Phu Vang District, some 10 kilometers from the provincial capital of Hue, some years ago.

Bi switched to riding cyclos to support his wife and two kids.

However, misfortune befell the poor family as the husband was diagnosed with a serious liver disease in 2013.

Tro then took on the breadwinning role and decided to ride her husband’s cyclo for a living.

Nguyen Thi Tro is pictured riding her cyclo at noon. Photo:  Tuoi Tre     Tro (right) and her young son scavenge for snails for their meals. Photo:
Nguyen Thi Tro is pictured riding her cyclo at noon. Photo: Tuoi Tre Tro (right) and her young son scavenge for snails for their meals. Photo:
Tuoi Tre

Cyclos are used to refer to bicycle taxis that are a sort of pedicab having one or two passengers in a seat in the front and the driver pedaling in the rear.

The woman herself is also suffering from rheumatism and a large tumor on her back.

As Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper reporters gifted her a bouquet, she said it was the first she has ever received on International Women’s Day.

Tro (left) and her son are shown making votive papers for some additional incomes. Photo:  Tuoi Tre     The woman makes sure her son is kempt and ready for school. Photo:  Tuoi Tre
Tro (left) and her son are shown making votive papers for some additional incomes. Photo: Tuoi Tre The woman makes sure her son is kempt and ready for school. Photo: Tuoi Tre
Tro (left) said this is the first bouquet she has received on International Women’s Day. Photo: Tuoi Tre

Female garbage scavengers

Le Thu Suu, 56, and her sister-in-law rode their carts carrying heaps of rubbish through streets which glitter with bouquets and gifts intended for women on their special day.

She and her husband rented a shabby room in District 12, Ho Chi Minh City.

Suu left her hometown in the northern province of Vinh Phuc and began collecting scrap and garbage in the southern metropolis seven years ago.

The weather-beaten woman also rides carts with as much as 200 kilograms of wares each day to earn some additional incomes.

A  Tuoi Tre  reporter is seen presenting a bouquet and gifts to Le Thi Suu (right) after she arrived home from half a day scavenging for garbage on March 6, 2015. Photo:
A Tuoi Tre reporter is seen presenting a bouquet and gifts to Le Thi Suu (right) after she arrived home from half a day scavenging for garbage on March 6, 2015. Photo:
Tuoi Tre

Le Thi Dong, 47, who lives in a rented room near Suu’s, has also scavenged for garbage for several years to provide for her ailing husband and growing children in her hometown.

The emaciated woman, who weighs over 30 kilograms, is sometimes on the brink of collapse at the dumping grounds, but pushes herself to stand up at the images of her husband and children waiting at home.

Two middle-aged women support entire family

For years, Nguyen Thi Mai Lan, 56, and her sister, Tram Anh, have been supporting and taking meticulous care of their 85-year-old mother, who suffers diabetes and senile dementia, and their paralyzed 91-year-old father.

Chaos sometimes breaks out in their plain apartment in District 1, Ho Chi Minh City when their three mentally-ill younger brothers, who have depended totally on the two women for care for many years, have tantrums.

Without sufficient medicine, the men would grow furious, hurt themselves, and threaten to kill the entire family.

Lan remains unmarried while Anh is divorced.

The latter runs a small clothing stall in District 3, which is the entire family’s livelihood.

Devoted young wife

Tran Thi My Hanh, from the Mekong Delta province of Ben Tre, is tending to her husband, whose body has been wasted away with a terminal-stage cancer, at the Ho Chi Minh City Oncology Hospital.

Hanh’s mother passed away when she was only three and her father followed his wife some years later.

She toiled hard to support herself and her younger brother.

In 2008, Hanh got married to a young man who lived nearby and they were happily blessed with two kids.

Some years later, her husband was diagnosed with cancer but she could not afford long-term treatment.

During a talk with Tuoi Tre reporters two days ahead of the women’s day, the young woman could not hold back her tears at the grim prospect of losing her husband soon to the sinister illness.

A  Tuoi Tre  reporter is pictured gifting a bouquet to Tran Thi My Hanh (center), who is tending to her terminally-ill husband (lying) at the Ho Chi Minh City Oncology Hospital. Photo:  Tuoi Tre
A Tuoi Tre reporter is pictured gifting a bouquet to Tran Thi My Hanh (center), who is tending to her terminally-ill husband (lying) at the Ho Chi Minh City Oncology Hospital. Photo: Tuoi Tre

Celebrating International Women’s Day a luxury for these women (pics) — Talk Vietnam

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

6,200 hospitalized for fighting during Vietnam’s Tet holiday — Talk Vietnam

6,200 hospitalized for fighting during Vietnam’s Tet holiday

More than 6,200 people were hospitalized nationwide from February 15 to 22, the first eight days of the Tet (Lunar New Year) holiday that ended on Monday, for treatment of injuries caused by fights, the Ministry of Health reported the same day


>> 35 die per day over 9-day Tet holiday in Vietnam

Of these people, 15 died due to their critical condition, the ministry said.

Dong Nai, Dong Thap, An Giang and Kien Giang Provinces in the southern region are among the localities that had the most people hospitalized after fighting during the period.

Such fights were triggered by different causes, including conflicts after traffic collisions, assaults under the influence of alcohol, and quarrels during gambling, the ministry said.

The Hue Central Hospital’s Trauma and Orthopedics Center reported that it received 35 patients who were victims of fights from February 15 to 22.

On February 22 alone, as many as 15 such patients were hospitalized, the most of this kind on a single day in many years, the hospital said.

Dr. Ha Van Tam, director of the Tan Chau Town General Hospital in the southern province of An Giang, said five patients with injuries due to fights were taken to the hospital on February 20 and one of them, a man named T., has died.

T. had been stabbed with a knife after leaving a drinking party where he and another man had a row. The attacker was one of the members of the party, according to T.’s relatives.

Dr. Bui Van Te, director of the An Giang Province Central General Hospital, also said his infirmary received more than 10 patients who were victims of fights that resulted from feuds erupting among drinking companions or among gamblers.

A total of 284 such patients were taken to many hospitals in the province from February 15 to 22, local health authorities reported.

This figure was much higher than that during previous Tet holidays, they said.

Similarly, the Kien Giang Province General Hospital received about 10 victims of fights per day during the holiday, said Dr. Nguyen Tien Dung, of the hospital’s emergency department.

The number of people who suffered injuries brought about by assaults from drinking companions was higher than in the previous Tet, Dr. Dung said.

6,200 hospitalized for fighting during Vietnam’s Tet holiday — Talk Vietnam

Monday, February 16, 2015

Tet flower street in Vietnam’s southern province to offer air balloon view — Talk Vietnam

Tet flower street in Vietnam’s southern province to offer air balloon view

Visitors to the annual flower street held in celebration of the Lunar New Year, or Tet in Vietnamese, in a southern province will be able to view it from above the sky with a maiden hot air balloon service to be inaugurated tonight, February 16.


Two big air balloons will be in service to allow visitors to enjoy the beautiful flowers from 30 meters above the ground, according to Tran Dang Ninh, director of the Tran Bien Temple of Literature, the organizer of the event in Dong Nai Province, around 40km from Ho Chi Minh City.

“Each balloon can serve three to four passengers, and a journey lasts for five to seven minutes, enough time for visitors to take aerial photos,” Ninh was quoted by Dong Nai newspaper as saying.

The hot air balloon will be controlled by a foreign professional crew.

The Tran Bien flower street is running from February 16 to 24, or the 28th day of the current lunar year to the sixth day of the next one at the Temple of Literature in the provincial capital city of Bien Hoa, according to the newspaper.

This is the third time Dong Nai organizes the flower street. The event this year is held under a series of activities to celebrate the 300th anniversary of the foundation of the Tran Bien Temple of Literature.

Built in 1715, Tran Bien is one of several such temples in Vietnam that honor Confucius, along with sages and scholars.

Themed “Dong Nai Spring,” the 1.2km street features models and decorations that reflect the province’s history, culture, and people.

Visitors to the VND11 billion (US$512,629) event will also be treated to many music and culinary activities.

The Ho Chi Minh City street flower, now in its 11th year, will also kick off tonight in the city’s downtown. This year’s flower street, themed “Vietnamese Identity and Spirit,” will run for seven days.

Today is the 28th day of the lunar year, meaning the Vietnamese Tet, the country’s largest public holiday, is only three days away.

Below are some photos taken at the Tran Bien flower street by Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper.








Tet flower street in Vietnam’s southern province to offer air balloon view — Talk Vietnam

Sunday, February 15, 2015

The Museum of Ethnology holds joyful activities to celebrate Tet

The Museum of Ethnology holds joyful activities to celebrate Tet

(VOVworld) – The Museum of Ethnology in Hanoi has cooperated with Lao Cai province to hold ethnic folklore music shows and games during the traditional lunar new year festival.

People play tug-of-war at the Museum of Ethnology in a spring festival
People play tug-of-war at the Museum of Ethnology in a spring festival
The festival will introduce cultural characteristics of the Mong, Dao, Nung, and Bo Y in Lao Cai province and their festivals like Gau Tao, pan-pipe dance by a “Thang Co” hotpot, and ritual and wedding dances of the Dao. Visitors to the Museum can play various folk games of the Tho, Si La, San Chay, Dao, and Mong.

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Prestigious teachers write calligraphy words of good luck for people
Prestigious teachers write calligraphy words of good luck for people
Artisans from northern provinces of Bac Ninh, Hai Duong, and Hai Phong will perform puppetry, make To He, print Dong Ho paintings, write calligraphy, and produce earthen firecrackers.

During the 4th and the 5th day of the lunar new year, visitors will experience unique games by ethnic people in Lao Cai and other traditional activities in the north and a firework display

The Museum of Ethnology holds joyful activities to celebrate Tet — Talk Vietnam

Friday, February 6, 2015

Sapa – focus of tourism sector in 2015

Sapa – focus of tourism sector in 2015

(VOV) -The Lao Cai provincial’s People Committee on February 6 announced a number of noteworthy tourism events in 2015.

This is a golden opportunity for domestic and foreign visitors and travel agencies to update information on ideal destinations in Lao Cai.

The reproduction of Lao Cai markets in Hanoi from February 6-15 is the first highlight of tourism events in 2015.


The following events include Upper Temple Festival, the spiritual tour along the Red River, Sapa Cultural Week, Bac Ha Horse Race, Vietnam Mountain Marathon 2015, and mountain bike tours 2015.

Particularly, the Sa Pa Culture-Tourism Week held in Sa Pa town, Sa Pa district is expected to lure a large number of tourists during holidays. During the week, new tourism products will be introduced such as specialised tours, night at Sa Pa love market, flower display along the roads, street festical and a photo exhibition.

Speaking at the press conference in Hanoi, Director of Lao Cai provincial Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism Tran Huu Son said that last year, the number of tourists travelling to the province increased thanks to the opening of Noi Bai-Lao Cai expressway.

He hopes that new tourism products including eco and village tours will help domestic and foreign tourists enjoy a very good time in a best destination in Vietnam.

Sapa – focus of tourism sector in 2015 — Talk Vietnam

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Manila says China starts dredging at another reef in disputed waters

Manila says China starts dredging at another reef in disputed waters


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An alleged Chinese land reclamation project on what is internationally recognized as the Johnson Reef in the East Sea, the Vietnamese term for the South China Sea. Photo credit: AFP/JIJI

China has started dredging around the disputed Mischief Reef in the South China Sea, a Philippine navy commander said on Thursday, signalling Beijing may be preparing to expand its facilities in the area.

Last year, Chinese President Xi Jinping tried to set Southeast Asian minds at ease over the country’s regional ambitions, but Beijing’s reclamation work in the Spratlys underscore its drive to push claims in the South China Sea and reassert its rights.

China has already undertaken reclamation work on six other reefs it occupies in the Spratlys, expanding land mass five-fold, aerial surveillance photos show. Images seen by Reuters last year appeared to show an airstrip and sea ports.

China has claims on almost the entire South China Sea, which is believed to have rich deposits of oil and gas. Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Vietnam and Taiwan also have claims on the sea where about $5 trillion of ship-borne trade pass every year. Vietnam calls the waters the East Sea.

Rear Admiral Alexander Lopez, commander of the Philippine military’s western command, told reporters on Thursday a Chinese dredging ship was spotted at Mischief Reef, about 135 km southeast of the island of Palawan.

“We don’t know what they plan to do in Mischief,” he said. “They have long been doing that, only that it was Fiery Cross that got a lot of attention because that was on a bigger scale.”

IHS Jane’s said in November images it had obtained showed the Chinese-built island on the Fiery Cross Reef to be at least 3,000 meters (1.9 miles) long and 200-300 meters (660-980 ft) wide.

Lopez did not say when China started the dredging work or give any details on the extent of reclamation at Mischief Reef, saying only the work had been “substantial”.

Surveillance photos that were taken of Mischief Reef last October showed no reclamation work in the area.

The photos, seen by Reuters, showed two structures, including a three-storey building sitting on an atoll, equipped with wind turbines and solar panels.

China occupied Mischief Reef in 1995, building makeshift huts, which Beijing claimed provided shelter for fishermen during the monsoon season. But, China later built a garrison in the area, deploying frigates and coast guard ships.

In 2002, Southeast Asian states agreed with China to sign an informal code of conduct in the South China Sea to stop claimant states from occupying and constructing garrisons in the disputed Spratlys.

Last year, the Philippines and Vietnam protested China’s reclamation work as a violation of the informal code.

North of Mischief Reef, China on Thursday defended the actions of a coast guard vessel in the Scarborough Shoal after the Philippines accused it of ramming three fishing boats.

China’s coast guard sent a dinghy to drive them away and slightly bumped one of the fishing vessels,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said at a daily news briefing in Beijing.

“We ask that the Philippines strengthen education and indoctrination of its fishermen to prevent such incidents from happening again.”

A Philippine military spokesman, Colonel Restituto Padilla, described China’s action as “alarming” saying the local fishermen were trying to seek shelter due to bad weather.

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Allowance for poor for upcoming Tet

The Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee has announced a plan to offer each poor household in the city VND850,000 (US$39.8) as an allowance on the occasion of the upcoming Tet (Lunar New Year) holiday, which will fall on February 19.
>> Highest Tet bonus in HCMC is $21,400
The Vietnamese southern hub currently has 29,106 poor households. Under the current poverty threshold, a resident is considered poor if his or her income is less than VND16 million ($749) per year.
In addition to poor households, elderly people who are at least 80 years old and people who regularly receive social welfare will also enjoy an allowance of VND850,000 per person.
War invalids, sick soldiers, revolutionary senior officials, women with the title of “Vietnamese Heroic Mother”, and some other subjects will be given support ranging from VND960,000 ($45) to VND2.5 million ($117).
Meanwhile, civil servants at State administrative agencies in the city and employees at the SOS Village in Go Vap District will be given VND1.2 million ($56.2) per person, according to the plan.
Financial support for all the above groups for Tet is higher than last year, according to the People’s Committee

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Careers with the highest incomes in VN — Talk Vietnam

Careers with the highest incomes in VN

VietNamNet Bridge – Pilots, air traffic controllers, and oil and gas officers have some of the highest incomes in Vietnam.


A report released recently by Vietnam Airlines showed that in 2013, the pilots working for the air carrier received VND74.8 million a month. The figure was VND4.5 million lower than 2012 and VND6.7 million than 2013.

However, the salary is still considered “sky high” if compared with other careers, especially civil servants who receive less than VND10 million a month.

While pilots are believed to be workers who have the highest income, air stewards hold the most “admired” job, while stewards are called “sinecurists” because they are not required to have higher education, but still can earn VND18-19 million a month.

Becoming pilots and stewards is the dream of many women under 30 and men under 40.

Labor experts pointed out that the salary paid by air carriers is not the only source of income for stewards. They can also make money with the legal trading of goods across border gates.

The incomes of oil and gas companies’ officers are also high. In 2013, a worker at PetroVietnam, the national oil and gas group, received VND16.2 million a month, the highest pay level among the 17 state-owned economic groups and general corporations.

Air traffic controllers rank third in the list of admired jobs. quoted sources as saying that an air traffic controller can earn VND15 million a month.

However, like pilots and air stewards, air traffic controllers are listed as a “dangerous career” because their operations can affect the lives of many people.

Human resource officers, technical and financial service providers have also seen their incomes increase rapidly in recent years.

In HCM City, sales and marketing are the best-paid jobs. Salary Guide 2014, a report of Adecco, showed that human resource development in Vietnam has potential for higher incomes in the future.

In general, the salaries paid to chief officers are much higher than that paid to the normal workers in the same business field.

A report from the Vietnam National Tourism Administration (VNAT) showed that a foreign CEO working for high-end hotels in Vietnam can receive $10,000-15,000 a month, or VND210-320 million. It is estimated that there are some 5,000 3-5-star hotels in Vietnam.

In the banking sector, the CEOs of the top 10 joint-stock banks can earn up to $1 million a year on average, or VND21 billion. The CEOs of some big banks earn VND4.8-7 billion a year, while other high-ranking bankers earn VND2 billion a year on average.

Chi Mai

Careers with the highest incomes in VN — Talk Vietnam

Monday, January 19, 2015

Young woman’s social enterprise revitalises do paper-making trade | VXArtNews

VietNamNet Bridge -Do (poonah) paper, used to make the famous folk painting Dong Ho, has been given new vitality thanks to an art project created by a young NGO employee, Tran Hong Nhung.

Visitors learn how do paper is produced during a Dance of Paper workshop.
Visitors learn how do paper is produced during a Dance of Paper workshop.
For Nhung, who works for a German NGO in Ha Noi, her connection with the traditional handmade paper in northern villages was fate.

The endeavour, a company selling modern products made out of do paper and hosting workshops on the handicraft, began four years ago. Nhung helped a Vietnamese-German friend learn more about Vietnamese calligraphy, which is often beautifully featured on the paper. The duo accumulated a lot of knowledge about the papermaking process and its long history.

“I was worried by the critical fact that there are only a few households in the North that still do this craft, but on a very small scale,” Nhung said. “It is impossible to preserve authentic calligraphy if we can’t preserve our traditional papermaking.”

After a time, Nhung’s friend became disinterested and the project was put on hold. But in 2013, Nhung decided to return to it because she didn’t want to waste the effort they had already put in.

To devote more time for her “spiritual child”, as she calls it, Nhung started working part-time at the NGO.

On her journey toward preserving do paper, Nhung teamed up with two young people, Duong Hoang Linh and Nguyen Hong Nhung, who became the project’s art designer and technical adviser, respectively.

With her business mindset coming from a Foreign Trade University bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree on Business Management in France, Nhung, CEO of the project, said she thinks the key to preserving the paper-making is to increase the amount of products made with the paper.

“Like any other farmers, the do tree growers just care about economic benefits. Once the paper is being used widely, the demand for raw materials will increase, and growers definitely will invest more in this kind of plant,” Nhung said.

Using modern designs for do paper products can increase consumption of the material, Nhung said. So she and her teammates aimed to create products with both traditional and contemporary features.

In January 2014, the group officially launched their product line, including notebooks, matchboxes, photo albums, postcards and calendars. They use typical Vietnamese images, such as street vendors or a tangled mass of power lines, to adorn their unique products, which are available in many souvenir shops in Ha Noi, HCM City and Hoi An.

Stable income

The products not only helped create more demand for do paper, they created a stable income for the project so it could expand.

Product line: Some of the do-paper notebooks created by Nhung and her team. - Photos courtesy of Zo Project
Product line: Some of the do-paper notebooks created by Nhung and her team. - Photos courtesy of Zo Project
“Before the market would accept our products, we all had to spend our own savings for this ‘spiritual child,’” Nhung said.

She also held workshops that gather young people and expats living in Ha Noi to learn about do papermaking and its history.

“I’m very happy to see most of my workshops’ attendees and project’s volunteers are young people,” Nhung said. “It’s the young people who are working to preserve traditions.”

In March last year, Nhung also started Vu Dieu Cua Giay (Dances of Paper), an art event where young artists can showcase their works created from do paper.

Sponsored partly by the Danish Embassy in Viet Nam’s Cultural Development and Exchange Fund (CDEF), the event not only encouraged artists to use the traditional paper more, but also helped do paper makers understand the importance of their job.

“The do paper makers were quite excited, because none of them could imagine their paper being used in such creative ways,” she said. “The event seemed to give them more meaningful reason to continue their job.”

Nhung said she intends to turn her two-storey rental house into an art space displaying artworks and products using do paper.

She has kept in close contact with artisans in Dong Cao Village in Bac Ninh, currently the only village in Viet Nam producing the paper. Nhung said she hoped to connect different papermaking villages so they could exchange their experiences and preserve the traditional craft.

The project recently won a Social Enterprise Support Programme award for 2014, and earned a US$10,000 grant. The award seeks out and gives support to social enterprises during critical development periods to enhance their effectiveness and social impacts.

With the grant, Nhung and her team will invest in new products and research.

In the summer, Nhung will travel to northern mountainous provinces to learn about the regions making the materials, and make a proposal on the long-term economic benefits of do trees.


Young woman’s social enterprise revitalises do paper-making trade | VXArtNews

Friday, January 16, 2015

Vietnam, Cambodia reach 2015 anti-crime plan — Talk Vietnam

Vietnam, Cambodia reach 2015 anti-crime plan


Scene at the talk between Vietnam’s Ministry of Public Security and Cambodia’s Ministry of Interior. Photo: VNA

Vietnam’s Ministry of Public Security and Cambodia’s Ministry of Interior have signed a plan on their cooperation in 2015 following talks between the two ministers in Phnom Penh on January 16.

During the talks, Minister of Public Security Tran Dai Quang and Cambodian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior Sar Kheng agreed on measures to fight hostile forces’ plots and attempts aimed at undermining the traditional friendship between the two countries and harming national security and social order in each country.

They said the two sides will jointly work to combat criminal and economic offenders, especially those engaging in the trafficking of drug, women and children, cross-border smuggling by road and air, and criminals on the wanted list.

They consented to ensure security and order in border areas and the development triangle as mentioned in a joint statement of Vietnamese, Cambodian and Lao Prime Ministers during the eighth summit of Vietnam – Cambodia – Laos development triangle in Vientiane, Laos on November 25, 2014 and a joint statement reached at the second Cambodia-Laos-Vietnam ministerial meeting on anti-crime cooperation in Vietnam on July 29, 2014.

The same day, meeting with Cambodian Prime Minister Samdech Hun Sen later, Minister Quang informed the host of the outcomes of his talks with the Interior Minister.

He expressed his belief that the Cambodian people will reap more successes on their path to prosperity.

PM Hun Sen voiced his hope for stronger bilateral cooperation to ensure security and order, defeat all undermining plots and activities by hostile forces, prevent terrorism and fight all kinds of crime.

Vietnam, Cambodia reach 2015 anti-crime plan — Talk Vietnam

US eases trade and travel restrictions to Cuba — Talk Vietnam

(VOVworld) – New travel and trade rules between the US and Cuba took effect on Friday, as part of the implementation of last month’s agreement on re-establishing diplomatic ties.

A sign shows the departure times for flights to Cuba at Miami International Airport on December 19, 2014. (Photo: Getty Images)
A sign shows the departure times for flights to Cuba at Miami International Airport on December 19, 2014. (Photo: Getty Images)
The new rules will allow Cubans to access US telecommunications, construction, and financial services and allow Americans to travel to Cuba without approval from the US Office of Foreign Assets Control.

US eases trade and travel restrictions to Cuba — Talk Vietnam

Sunday, December 21, 2014

President confident in prospect for Vietnam-Cambodia ties — Talk Vietnam

President confident in prospect for Vietnam-Cambodia ties — Talk Vietnam

Vietnam and Cambodia have plenty of rooms to further their ties, President Truong Tan Sang told Rasmei Kampuchea, the largest daily in Khmer language in Cambodia ahead of his visit to the country on December 23-24.

The front page of the daily published on December 21 covered an interview with the President by its Editor-In-Chief Pen Samitthy.

The Vietnamese President said his visit aims to further deepen the traditional friendship and cooperation between Vietnam and Cambodia, meeting aspirations of the two peoples.

In the coming time, he expressed wish for facilitating visits at all levels to raise mutual understanding.

Both countries should strengthen cooperation across tourism, telecommunications, banking, oil and gas, industry and agriculture, towards achieving a trade value of 5 billion USD in 2015 as agreed, he said.

He added that science-technology, education, health care and culture also need due attention.

Vietnam will provide more scholarships for Cambodian graduates and post-graduates studying in the country, he promised.

He suggested raising awareness of younger generations about the tradition of bilateral ties and working on land border demarcation for a borderline of peace, friendship, cooperation and development.

On regional and international arena, the two countries should offer mutual support within the Cambodia-Laos-Vietnam development triangle, the Ayeywady – Chao Praya – Mekong economic cooperation strategy, the Greater Mekong Sub-region, ASEAN, and the United Nations, he said.

He noted that history recorded all difficulties that had been jointly surmounted by the two countries and sacrifices they had made for each other for their national independence and freedom, saying these are invaluable pride that need to be handed down to next generations.

The President said the political and diplomatic ties between the two countries have been deepened basing on the mutual trust and understanding.

Economic, trade and investment cooperation was given top priority in the bilateral connection while that in security and defence received a lot of attention.

Affiliation in education, training, healthcare and culture has been unceasingly boosted, the President told the paper.

He noted that the two countries’ cooperation within multilateral mechanisms has been strengthened over the past times.

In the end of the interview, the State leader expressed his full belief that the bilateral friendship and coordination across the board will go forward with great strides.-VNA

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Vietnam travel agencies join Cambodia Sea Festival

Vietnam travel agencies join Cambodia Sea Festival
Posted: 14 Dec 2014 02:18 AM PST
An art performance at the festival (Photo: VNA)
Vietnamese tourist companies joined foreign partners at the third Sea Festival held in Cambodia on December 12-14.
The festival took place in the coastal city of Koh Kong , about 250km southwest of the capital Phnom Penh, with the aim of developing the local marine tourism
Tens of thousands of visitors were drawn to the event which covered a food expo, a trade fair, a workshop on climate change, art performances, and sports events.
The first Sea Festival was held in the port city of Sihanoukville in 2011 and the second in Kep city last year.
The three cities are home to beaches listed among the most beautiful coasts in the world.
Tourism is one of the economic spearheads of Cambodia with the stable growth of 15-20 percent, making great contributions to the domestic gross production.
In January-October, Cambodia welcomed 3.6 million foreign tourists, a year-on-year rise of 6 percent. Vietnam topped the list with about 630,000 arrivals.
Last year, the country greeted 4.2 million overseas visitors and earned 2.6 billion USD in revenue.-VNA

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Typhoon Hagupit locates 570 kilometers of Song Tu Tay Island — TalkVietnam

The National Hydrology Meteorology Forecast Center reported that at 7pm yesterday, super storm Hagupit was centered 570 kilometers of Song Tu Tay Island of Vietnam’s Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelago east northeastwards, at 13, 6 degrees north latitude and 119 degrees east longitude with its strongest wind speed near the center at level 8, gusted up to level 9- 10.


(Photo: the National Hydrology Meteorology Forecast Center )
By 7pm today, the typhoon is predicted to be located 190 kilometers of Song Tu Tay Island, at 13, 2 degrees north latitude and 113, 8 degrees east longitude. The strongest wind will reach at level 6- 7, near the center gust up to level 8- 10, sea rough.

In next 24- 48 hours, the storm Hagupit will move west southwestwards at maximum speed of 20 kilometers an hour; and then it will be weaken into tropical low pressure. By 7pm on Thursday, Hagupit will be at 12, 1 degrees north latitude and 109, 7 degrees east longitude in Vietnam’s territorial waters from Khanh Hoa to Ninh Thuan. The strongest wind near low pressure zone will meet level 6- 9.

Because of the influence of storm and a cold front, East Sea will have strong wind of level 6- 10, sea rough, which will cause heavy rains in the south and central coastal provinces on Thursday

Typhoon Hagupit locates 570 kilometers of Song Tu Tay Island — TalkVietnam

The world community supports Vietnam’s fight against HIV/AIDS — TalkVietnam

The Chairman of the National Steering Committee on HIV/AIDS, drug abuse and prostitution, Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam, has met Ambassadors and heads of international organizations who have sponsored Vietnam’s HIV/AIDS control efforts.


At an annual reception in Hanoi on Tuesday, the Deputy Prime Minister said he hoped for even more support for Vietnam: “Compulsory detoxification centers will comply with recommendations by international organizations for protecting patients’ rights. It’s important to help them reintegrate into the community after detoxification. I call for international support in financing and also in conducting constructive and humanitarian dialogues.”

International donors praised the government’s achievements in the fight against HIV/AIDS and drug abuse and pledged more support in helping Vietnam confront the challenge.

The world community supports Vietnam’s fight against HIV/AIDS — TalkVietnam

Monday, December 8, 2014

Top 10 famous bridges in Vietnam — TalkVietnam

The Vietnam Record Centre (Vietking) has announced Top 10 famous bridges that attract domestic and foreign visitors and photographers.

Long Bien Bridge (Hanoi)

Long Bien Bridge was designed by world renowned engineer Gustave Eiffel, who was also the designer of the famous Eiffel Tower in Paris. It was constructed between 1899 and 1902 and first opened to traffic in 1903. At the time it was then the only bridge spanning the Red River connecting Hanoi and Haiphong port city.


The 116-year-old bridge spans three centuries and is considered an important and central part of Hanoi’s development and history.

The steel structure witnessed the withdrawal of French troops from Hanoi and welcomed Vietnamese soldiers to liberate the capital in 1954. It was also severely damaged by fierce American bombardments during wartime.

Vinh Tuy Bridge (Hanoi)

The bridge partly opened to traffic in September 2009 after the construction of key parts completed, helping ease traffic jam in Chuong Duong bridge and connecting roads.


As one of the seven bridges spanning over the Red River in the master plan of the capital city by 2020, Vinh Tuy bridge has been recognised as a high-quality project to celebrate the 1,000 th anniversary of Thang Long-Hanoi.

The bridge is 15 kilometres long with 3.7 km-river-spanning section.

Pa Uon bridge (Son La province)


Pa Uon bridge, located in the northern mountainous province of Son La, has the main pillar of 98.6m high, the highest one in the country and Southeast Asia.

The bridge is put into operation in August 2010.

Bai Chay Bridge (Quang Ninh province)

The main bridge is 903m long and 25.3m wide, with a clearance height of 50m, allowing 50,000-tonne vessels to pass through.


Spanning the Cua Luc Straits in Ha Long City and connecting Bai Chay with Hon Gai, the bridge facilitates traffic on National Highway No. 18, which links Ha Long City and Hanoi, and is expected to boost the economy of not only Quang Ninh but also the northern port city of Haiphong and Hanoi.

It was put into use in December 2006.

Cau Rong (Dragon) Bridge (Danang City)

Cau Rong (Dragon) Bridge on the Han River in Danang features 166 metres of undulating steel in the shape of a giant fire-breathing dragon flying towards the East Sea.


The main span of the 37.5m-wide bridge is bookended by two 128m side sections, with the dragon’s head and tail on each end of them. The whole structure weighs 8,164 tonnes and stretches 666m in length.

With unique aesthetic and creative characteristics, the bridge won the Diamond Award in the 2014 Engineering Excellence Awards (EEA) in the structural systems category.

After opening to traffic in March 2013, the Dragon Bridge has become one of Danang’s symbols and key tourist attractions.

Thuan Phuoc Bridge (Danang City)

Thuan Phuoc Bridge, the longest cable-stayed bridge in Vietnam, includes four lanes, a main span of 650 meters and two approaches of 600 meters each.


The bridge was constructed with a total invested capitalisation of VND1 trillion.

It ensures 27 meters of clearance for vessels on the river below and safety in strong storms and floods.

Thi Nai Bridge (Binh Dinh province)

Thi Nai Bridge in the central coastal province of Binh Dinh is the longest cross-bay bridge in Vietnam, spanning nearly 7km.


Nestled amidst the mystical beauty of Thi Nai Lagoon and Phuong Mai Peninsula, Thi Nai Bridge links the city of Qui Nhon to Nhon Hoi Economic Zone. It is not solely for transportation purpose but serves as an enticing tourist spot in Binh Dinh province.

Phu My Bridge (Ho Chi Minh City)

Phu My is the largest cable-stayed bridge in Ho Chi Minh City, linking District 2 and District 7 with a capacity of 100,000 vehicles per day.


The cable-stayed part over the Saigon River is 705 m long (380 m main span) and 27.5 m wide, supporting six traffic lanes: two in each direction for motor-vehicles, one for motorbikes and bicycles and a 1,5 m-wide pavement for pedestrians.

It has total investment capitalisation of VND2.076 billion.

My Thuan Bridge (Vinh Long province)

My Thuan is a cable-stayed bridge over the Mekong river, connecting Cai Be District of Tien Giang province with Vinh Long City in Vinh Long province.


It was developed in a joint venture between the governments of Australia and Vietnam. The bridge was the largest overseas assistance project undertaken by the Australian government costing AUD1 million.

It was built by Bilfinger Berger and completed in 2000.

Can Tho Bridge (Can Tho City)

Can Tho is a cable-stayed bridge over the Hau (Bassac) River – the largest distributary of the Mekong River in the southern city of Can Tho. The bridge has six lanes measuring 23m in width, with 4 lanes for traffic and two for pedestrians.


Inaugurated in 2010, Can Tho Bridge is the longest main span (550m) bridge in Southeast Asia, with construction cost of VND4.842 trillion (roughly US$342.6 million), making it the most expensive bridge in Vietnam

Top 10 famous bridges in Vietnam — TalkVietnam