Monday, March 31, 2014

Vietnam Airlines to join Vietnam Int’l Travel Mart — TalkVietnam

National flag carrier, Vietnam Airlines, has announced its continued participation in this year’s upcoming – Vietnam International Travel Mart (VITM) – set to take place in Hanoi from April 3-6.

At the event, Vietnam Airlines will be launching a variety of special offers and deals on ticket prices at highly discounted fares and introducing tour packages for the summer of 2014 in addition to staging some highly entertaining game shows.

Along with these activities to promote its products, a seminar to provide travel agencies with updated and useful information on the airlines policies, air routes and ancillary tourism products will be held

Vietnam Airlines to join Vietnam Int’l Travel Mart — TalkVietnam

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Thai protesters restart anti-gov’t operation — TalkVietnam

Thousands of Thai anti-government protesters flooded streets in the capital Bangkok on March 29 to force Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra to step down.

This was the first mass rally staged since protest leader Suthep Thaugsuban announced in late February to end a weeks-long operation that paralyzed the capital, known as ” Bangkok shutdown.”

Protesters started marching from their main rally site at the Lumpini Park to the Royal Plaza . They reiterated their request for the government to transfer power to an appointed provisional council, which will put forth anti-corruption reforms.

Thai protesters restart anti-gov’t operation — TalkVietnam

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

HCM City to host TELEFILM 2014 — TalkVietnam

The Vietnam International Exhibition on Film and Television Technology (Telefilm 2014) is coming to Ho Chi Minh City on June 5-7.

The annual event, organised by Vietnam Television, aims to introduce TV programs, advertising services, latest equipment and solutions.

Domestic and foreign broadcasters and service providers will showcase state-of-the-art technology, products and services, and meet and network with thousands of visitors and hundreds of other participating companies.

The event provides a good chance for Vietnamese broadcasters and service providers to explore modern technology and equipment from global partners.

There will be seminars on TV, film and advertisement film production, and exchanges between leaders of State management agencies and businesses.

HCM City to host TELEFILM 2014 — TalkVietnam

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Northern crafts village named country’s oldest — Talk Vietnam

A village in northern Vietnam recently won the Vietnamese record as the country’s oldest crafts village which remains in operation.

Also known as Ha Dong silk village, Van Phuc silk village, located in Ha Dong district, some 10 km from downtown Hanoi, recently earned the record from the Vietnam Records Organization (Vietkings).
Also known as Ha Dong silk village, Van Phuc silk village, located in Ha Dong district, some 10 km from downtown Hanoi, recently earned the record from the Vietnam Records Organization (Vietkings).
The 1,000-year-old village has made the country’s premium silk, which was presented to the kings in the old times.

The silk was also selected to represent Vietnamese crafts at the international fairs in Marseille and Paris in 1931 and 1932 respectively. It was also considered by the French as the Indochina’s premium silk.

Known for its traditional silk weaving techniques, the village’s hallmark Ha Dong silk has long gained a firm foothold on the local market and has also been exported to several other countries.

785 households, or almost 60% of Van Phuc village’s population remain engaged in silk weaving.

Each year, the village produces some 2.5 to 3million m2 of silk, which earn them some VND27 billion (US$1.27 million), or 63% of the village’s revenues.

The village currently boasts more than 1,000 silk weaving machines and employs some 400 seasonal workers from neighboring provinces.

The village is now lined with over 100 silk shops, which offer tourists, particularly foreigners an excellent choice for gifts. The silk can be sewed into stunning “ao dai” (traditional Vietnamese long gowns) or other costumes.

The Van Phuc silk has earned the “Thang Long gold trademark” from 2011 to 2013.

The village is also chosen by the Hanoi People’s Council among the capital’s seven hallmark crafts villages to be preserved.

Traditional crafts in a number of villages across Vietnam have now faced “extinction” due to the shrinking market

Northern crafts village named country’s oldest — Talk Vietnam

Hue preparing for Festival 2014 — TalkVietnam

The Hanoitimes – The organisers of Hue Festival 2014 has announced the ticket prices for various events which will start from April 12.


Tickets for the opening ceremony held at Ngo Mon Gate on April 12 cost VND300,000 (USD14) and the closing ceremony at Gia Hoi Park on April 20 at VND200,000. The Ao dai (traditional long dress) pageant on the nights of April 14 and 17 will be charged at VND300,000, while the art shows at Dai Noi (Hue Imperial Citadel) and An Dinh Palace have a same price of VND100,000.

Meanwhile, visitors will have to pay VND2 million to join the Dem Hoang Cung (Royal Night) with a banquet.

The International Food Festival will also be held from April 15-19 at Phu Xuan Park. Phan Tien Dung, head of the local Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism, said over 100 booths will be set up, offering dishes from various countries such as Vietnam, Laos, Thailand, Singapore, Japan, South Korea and China.

There will also be many free shows performed by domestic and international artists from 35 countries. The authorities of Hue City hope to attract 200,000 tourists to the festival which was created based on the theme “Cultural Heritage with Integration and Development

Hue preparing for Festival 2014 — TalkVietnam

Overseas Vietnamese want to bridge Vietnam-US cooperation — TalkVietnam

Deputy Foreign Minister and head of the State Committee for Overseas Vietnamese (OV) Affairs Nguyen Thanh Son is undertaking a visit to the US and Canada to meet with OV communities.

During the trip, from March 10-27, Son hopes to further strengthen the cooperation between Vietnam and the two countries.

While in the US, the official held several meetings with OVs residing in the cities of New York, Houston and San Francisco as well as other districts of California, where hundreds of thousands of Vietnamese Americans are living.

Son met with entrepreneurs, local authority leaders and social operators in Houston. Many of the OVs expressed their hope that the Vietnamese Government will facilitate them to invest more back their homeland.

Representatives from several enterprises said they hope the committee will protect their interests and support them in completing administrative and legal procedures, allowing them to devote more time and energy to investing in Vietnam.

Several members of the communities said they are willing to serve as a bridge between US firms and those in Vietnam.

During a working session held between Son and the management boards of the Houston Sea Port and George Bush International Airport, it was stated that there is demand for a direct air route between Houston and Vietnam as well as maritime transport routes between their seaports.

The official said following his US visit, the State Committee for Overseas Vietnamese Affairs will continue working with relevant ministries and sectors to foster comprehensives cooperation between Vietnam and the US.-VNA

Overseas Vietnamese want to bridge Vietnam-US cooperation — TalkVietnam

Monday, January 20, 2014

Fears of Bangkok Shutdown.

New fears in Bangkok shutdown

The political standoff in Bangkok shows no sign of slackening off as security forces warn of new threats.

The Bangkok Post reports that the army has raised the alert over the possibility of more violence at anti-government protests after intelligence found weapons and explosives are being moved into Bangkok.

The warning has raised further concerns over the political conflict, which is turning increasingly violent.

The People's Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC) was targeted on Friday and Sunday with two grenade attacks,

On Friday, one PDRC supporter was killed and 39 others wounded after a grenade was thrown into a throng of protesters while they marched as part of the protest group's "Bangkok shutdown".

The army has so far not backed a police call for an emergency government decree.

"The situation has not yet escalated to the point where we must get involved," Army Gen Prayuth said.

At least 20 Bangkok roads have been closed or partially closed by the demonstrations.

The Tourism Authority of Thailand is monitoring the situation and says there is no threat to the safety of tourists.
Tuesday, January 21, 2014 

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Hue Festival 2014, let's go

Hue Festival 2014 to welcome 100,000 int’l visitors
Hue Festival 2014 to welcome 100,000 int’l visitors

hue festival, saigontourists, new tours

Hue Festival 2014's organization board expects to be received around 100,000 international visitors, up 20 percent over 2012.
So far 45 art troupes from 35 countries and five territories from around the world have registered to participate in the biennial Hue Festival in Hue City of Thua Thien-Hue Province scheduled to take place from April 12-20.
The event will also see agreements concerning development and co-operation of culture and tourism in the ASEAN +3 Ministerial Meeting on Culture and Fine Arts from April 16-21.
The provincial authorities will upgrade transportation infrastructure by air, land and sea; control sudden increase in price during the festival; offer promotion programs and new tourist products and tours to traditional handcraft and new tourism complexes to attract more visitors.
The numbers of tourists to Thua Thien-Hue have constantly increased. The province received 2.6 million holiday makers in 2013 and is expected to welcome 2.8-3 million tourists, including 1.2-1.3 million foreign visitors in 2014.
Indonesian travel agencies explore central region
Representatives from Indonesian travel agencies and media from Solo, Jogyakarta, Semarang, and Makasar will begin familiarisation trips to Hue, Hoi An, My Son and Da Nang on January 10.
The trips, which are organised by Singapore's SilkAir and Hue-based Asiana Travel Mate, seek to connect world heritages sites, including My Son Sanctuary, the Hoi An ancient town and Hue, with Indonesian sites.
SilkAir, the regional wing of Singapore Airlines, opened direct flights from Da Nang to new destinations in Solo, Jogyakarta, Semarang and Makasar last year, with four flights weekly to each destination.
These are the first familiarisation trips to be held in the central region to boost tourism between the region and new destinations in Indonesia.
Fiditour caters to 110,000 MICE tourists in 2013
The number of MICE (meeting, incentive, conference and exhibition) tourists Fiditour served last year totaled around 110,000, up 28% from the previous year.
Tran Thi Bao Thu, marketing and communications manager at Fiditour, said that the firm welcomed many MICE groups of up to 300-5,000 tourists last year. Tourists often chose well-established destinations like Hanoi, Halong, Danang, Nha Trang, Mui Ne, HCMC and Vung Tau.
In the outbound segment, groups traveling overseas were smaller with 55-100 people each and traveled to Bali, Berlin and Singapore normally to attend international conferences and exhibitions.
Last year Fiditour also recorded good growth in MICE tours from foreign countries with many groups of 100-300 tourists each from Australia, Japan, Singapore, Poland, the Netherlands and France.
“Late last year, we had a MICE group of over 600 people traveling to Danang. The number of MICE tourists is growing well and currently accounts for over 60% of the firm’s total number of tourists,” Thu said.
In related news, a group of 240 people of different nationalities who are mainly doctors and medical experts will be in HCMC on January 8-10 to attend the fourth international conference on intervention in congenial heart diseases, according to Saigontourist Travel Service Company.
Saigontourist is in charge of arranging programs for groups coming to HCMC to attend the conference such as conducting meetings with big hospitals in the city.
Saigontourist launches new tour to Vung Chua
Saigontourist Travel Service Company has just opened new four day tour program from Ho Chi Minh City to Vung Chua-Yen Island in Quang Binh province. Tour was started
from January 7.
Accordingly, Saigontourist will welcome visitors departing from Ho Chi Minh City to Quang Binh province every Sunday morning.
Taking this tour, visitors will travel to five tourist destinations such as Vung Chua, Phong Nha, Quang Tri, Hue and Da Nang.
Besides, the visitors will have an opportunity to visit several famous tourist spots such as Phong Nha cave, Hoi An ancient town, Hien Luong Bridge, Ben Hai River, Quang
Tri citadel, La Vang Church, Thien Mu Pagoda, Tu Duc Mausoleum and highest statue of Buddha in Vietnam.
The organizers also hold solemn ceremonies in order to commemorate General Vo Nguyen Giap in Vung Chua-Yen Island, where late General laid for rest , including visiting General’s grave and offering incense.
Four day tour costs from VND 4.16 million per a person. 
Hanoi plans to attract 3 million foreign visitors in 2014
The capital city of Hanoi plans to welcome 3 million foreign tourists this year with a hospitable and safe environment for both visitors and enterprises.
At a talk on the capital’s tourism development in Hanoi on January 8, Director of the municipal Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism To Van Dong vowed all possible changes to make Hanoi live up to its reputation as an attractive destination.
Specifically, the Ba Vi – Suoi Hai area will be transformed into a national tourism park while projects redeveloping the popular Giong festival space and increasing community-based tourism to Ba Vi will be completed.
Areas around Ngoc Son temple, Sword Lake, Hoa Lo Prison and the Temple of Literature will have better infrastructure and tourist services.
The department is asking for 50 hectares of land near Nhat Tan – Noi Bai highway to build a display space for Hanoi traditional craft products.
The sector will also work and spend hard to popularise images of the city. A tourism promotion unit will be run by the municipal People’s Committee, instead of the department.
The cost to promote tourism in Hanoi stands at a modest 1 USD each person, while in Ho Chi Minh City, the figure is 2.5 USD. That compares to Thailand, Singapore and Malaysia which boast respective spending of 10, 16 and 20 USD per person.
Nguyen Bich Dung, Sunway Hotel Director of Business and Marketing suggested the sector team up with global airliners to launch direct flights to Hanoi.
In the recent past, Hanoi has launched a hotline to deal with complaints by tourists and kept a close watch over tour guides and transport.
Last year, the city greeted 2.58 million foreign arrivals, up 22.9 percent year-on-year, generating 38.5 trillion VND (1.83 billion USD) in revenue – or 14-15 percent of its gross domestic product.
Phu Yen launches website to draw Russian tourists
The central Phu Yen provincial Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism has launched a Russian language tourism website at
The website, established on the foundation of the Vietnamese version, includes main columns introducing tours, hotel services, news, destinations in Phu Yen, information about Phu Yen tourism and a photograph library.
Over the past two years, Phu Yen has seen increasing numbers of Russian tourists coming to the province. The provincial tourism sector defined Russia as a strategic market because the demands and tastes of Russian tourists are well suited with the existing infrastructure condition and tourism products.
The launching of the website is expected to contribute to promoting the potential, strengths and landscapes of Phu Yen to attract more Russian tourists.
The province is endowed with bountiful natural resources, which underpin the development of tourism - a key sector set to spearhead the provincial growth plans. Local tourism potential is based on its natural and cultural resources.
Phu Yen boasts a diverse landscape of mountains, rivers, lagoons and fertile plains with nearly 200 kilometres of shoreline along Vietnam's curving south-central coast.
The province’s system of islets, islands, rock fields, lagoons and bays is unique, with the most famous ones being Xuan Dai bay, O Loan lagoon, Ganh Da Dia (Da Dia Cliff), Hon Chua and Hon Lao Mai Nha.
Phu Yen is also home to several hundred relics, including 18 nationally recognised historical, cultural, art, archeological and architectural sites and natural charms. Local feasts, villages and authentic foods are also valuable to tourism development.
Provincial capital city Tuy Hoa offers a good base for exploring the beaches, bays and offshore islands up and down the coast, with an ancient tower to see and a large seated Buddha on a hilltop just north of the city. The nearby Vung Ro Bay features a deep-sea port and a forest reserve in its surrounding hills home to a number of rare and exotic plants and animals.
The province’s overall social-economic development plan to 2020 set a target to turn Phu Yen into a big tourism and services hub in the region and the country as a whole.-

New Computer Virus Vietnam (CryptoLocker is the virus name)

Experts warn about new computer virus
VietNamNet Bridge – Government agencies and computer users in Viet Nam were warned of the potential loss of data on computers affected by the emerging computer virus CryptoLocker.

VNCERT, computer virus, CryptoLocker, computer end-users
The Viet Nam Computer Emergency Response Team (VNCERT) on Thursday issued an alert noting that hackers using the virus are targeting "tens of millions" of computers in the country.
The team, a subsidiary of the Ministry of Information and Communications, said CryptoLocker is an especially insidious form of Ransomeware malware, which was first detected in the wild in September 2013.
The virus restricts access to infected computers and requires victims to pay a ransom of US$100-$300 or more within 72 hours in order to regain full access, it said.
What makes CryptoLocker so hard to crack is the strong encryption method it uses to lock down the user data on the hard drive.
If the ransom is not paid on time, the virus deletes the decryption key that is needed to decrypt all the files on the PC.
The malware lands on PCs in the same way as other malware does, and a few sensible precautions can help minimise the chances of suffering a CrytoLocker attack.
"Computer users should regularly copy their data to a backup hard disk. As soon as they recognise any signs of remote encryption, they should turn off the computer," said VNCERT's expert Ha Hai Thanh.
Antivirus software will help, but the best defence is to avoid opening attachments and to back up your files, he noted.
According to a recent report by VNCERT, at least 1 million Vietnamese computers have been exploited by foreign botnet networks to deliver more than 3.33 billion spam messages per day, and they could also be used to attack national information technology systems.
VNCERT recently discovered that international networks saw the involvement of computers with Vietnamese IP addresses, including Zeus botnet, with 14,075 Vietnamese IP addresses, and Sality, Downadup and Trafficconverter, with a further 113,273.
The networks' spyware not only destroyed information technology systems but also stole confidential documents from agencies and organisations.
Computer end-users in Viet Nam lose a combined US$400 million per year due to malicious programmes and computer viruses, according to Viet Nam's leading Internet security firm Bach Khoa Internetwork Security Centre.
Source: VNS

Ngo Thanh Vietnamese Model one of Top 50 beautiful women in the World

Actress Ngo Thanh Van among top most beautiful women
VietNamNet Bridge - Vietnamese model, actress and singer Ngo Thanh Van has been selected as one of the top 50 beautiful women in the world by website World Actuality.

ngo thanh van
Information about Ngo Thanh Van in World Actuality.

ngo thanh van
Ngo Thanh Van.

Ngo Thanh Van was honored at the 10th position. She overcame many world-famous names to enter the top 10 together with Adriana Lima, Candice Swanepoel, Eva Mendes ...
Ngo Thanh Van is the sole representative of Vietnam named in the rankings. The website described Veronica Ngo Thanh Van, aka NTV virus, as a stunning Vietnamese model/actress/singer, successful in everything she does with outstanding natural beauty.
The top ten includes model Idda Van Munster (Aid Dapo) from Bosnia, followed by super model Irina Shayk – the girlfriend of world’s famous footballer Christiano Ronaldo, model and actress Madaline Ghenea from Romania, Priyanka Chopra – the king of beauty from India, Jin Mei Xi – Chinese hot girl, US actress Megan Fox, Ada Aimee De La Cruz – Miss Dominica, model Rim Saidi from Tunisia, and model Sara Sampaio from Portugal.
ngo thanh van
Idda Van Munster from Bosnia.
World Actuality is a website specializing in international news aggregated from multiple sources. This site organizes poles on the most beautiful women in the world, the world's best photos, and the most attractive places... They did not announce the criteria of the poll.
Ngo Thanh Van said she is extremely happy and proud to hear the news...
Ngo Thanh Van was just awarded the "Best style of the year" by a famous magazine in Vietnam.
In June 2013, singer Ho Quynh Huong won the title "The Sexiest Vegetarian Celebrity" of Asia 2013 of PETA Asia - Pacific (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals).
T. Van

Saturday, January 11, 2014


Same-sex weddings officially permitted in Vietnam
VietNamNet Bridge - From November 12, the weddings of people of the same gender will be no longer banned in Vietnam.

Same-sex weddings, gays, lesbians
A gay wedding in Ca Mau.

In 2012, two weddings of a gay and a lesbian couple were held in the southern provinces of Kien Giang and Ca Mau.
The local authorities intervened and imposed a fine on them, given that the weddings were "contrary to the habits and customs of Vietnam" and the Law on Marriage & Family of Vietnam, which bans marriage between persons of the same sex
However, according to Decree No. 110/2013/ND-CP which took effect on November 12, marriage between people of the same sex has been rejected from the banned cases of marriage. It means that the organization of wedding parties between people of the same sex (without marriage registration) will not be illegal any more and they will not have to pay fine.
The gay couples will have the right to live together and organize weddings.
In the case the local authorities appear to sanction or make intervention, they can take this Decree to protect their legitimate interests.
Mot The Gioi

3 Saigon River Tours suspended

Three Saigon river tours suspended
Visitors buying river tours to Binh Quoi, East-West Highway and District 9 Ornamental Garden on scheduled boat and canoe services of Binh Quoi Tourism Area will not be able to depart as such boats have yet to find out a mooring area on Bach Dang Wharf.

Saigon river tours, river tour, binh quoi
The Saigon River.

Saigontourist Travel Service Company, the major organizer of the river tours departing from Bach Dang Wharf, informed it had just received the announcement from the boat operator that the scheduled tours to the aforesaid venues and Binh Quoi have been suspended. Meanwhile, tours heading to Cu Chi and the Mekong Delta are still in operation as normal, Saigontourist said.
This unexpected suspension has affected several visitors who have booked tours to Binh Quoi.
“We have yet to get the new departure schedule as the boat operator has to wait until the new announcement comes out,” said Doan Thi Thanh Tra, marketing and public relations manager of Saigontourist.
In the meantime, Nguyen Thanh Nghia, director of the boat Saigon Restaurant in charge of managing many medium and small vessels and motor boats of Binh Quoi, said that when the three tours could resume operation remained unknown.
Among the aforesaid boats, only the boat Saigon Restaurant remains operational as it is still allotted a site at Bach Dang Wharf near Nguyen Hue Boulevard to anchor.
“As it is very difficult and time-consuming for us to ask for permission to arrange the mooring area for boats to pick up visitors, we’ve decided to suspend the tours for now,” Nghia said.
Identifying river tours as the key tourism products of the city, the local authorities have assigned Saigontourist Holding Company as the parent company of many enterprises such as Saigontourist Travel Service Company and Binh Quoi Tourism Area to act as the major developer of river tours.
Source: SGT

Eyes on the sea in Truong Sa Archipelago

Eyes on the sea in Truong Sa Archipelago
The lighthouse on Truong Sa Lon Island and 8 others in Truong Sa Archipelago are not only beacon for ships passing at night, but also confirm the sovereignty over the sea and islands of Vietnam. These lighthouses are never turned off, because they are lit up by the patriotism of soldiers in Truong Sa.
One day we visited the lighthouse station on Truong Sa Lon Island where we met Vu Sy Luu, a native of Hai Phong, who has worked at the lighthouse for 20 years. Luu is now the head of Truong Sa Lon Island’s lighthouse station.
The man with a small and thin figure and suntanned skin shared with us his and others silent work in the lighthouse station. In 1993, Luu was one of the first soldiers who was sent to Truong Sa Archipelago to station the lighthouses.
At that time, the whole system of lighthouses in the archipelago was lit by batteries so the lamps sometimes flickered like the tip of a cigarette. Furthermore, the conditions were so poor that the lighthouse workers like Luu had to do all the maintenance by themselves. However, the tremendous difficulties during that period did not discourage them.
At present, the living conditions at the lighthouse have improved, but their job is still very hard. The lighthouse is equipped with a system of lamps using solar power, however, to keep it ‘lit’, the lighthouse workers have to work all day and night in an extreme environment. They have regular contact with battery acid and toxic substances.
Whether sunny or rainy, calm or stormy, in any circumstances or conditions, the lighthouse is never turned off. That is the rule, because it is the rhythm and the life of the island.
The job of the lighthouse workers contains silent sacrifices. They regularly clean and conduct maintenance on the lighthouses in extreme climatic conditions, while regularly training to be ready to protect the lighthouses when necessary.
Because of the sea water, the lighthouses are often rusty. The lamps can short circuit if not maintained regularly. In the burning sunlight and rough wind, the workers have to climb up the lighthouse for maintenance. At that height, it is easy to have an accident at any time.
When we prepared to leave the lighthouse station on Truong Sa Lon Island, Luu said: “Our work is only with these lighthouses” that made us understand that they are silently sacrificing their youth to make the lighthouses illuminate forever over the sea of their country.
lighthouses, truong sa, paracels
The lighthouse on Truong Sa Lon Island is 25m high so ships, about 18 nautical miles away, can see the light. The lighthouse lamp is regularly maintained.
 lighthouses, truong sa, paracels
The light house is built with the octagonal shape, looking to the East Sea.
 lighthouses, truong sa, paracels
The lighthouse is not only a beacon for ships passing at night, but also confirms the sovereignty over the sea and islands of Vietnam.
 lighthouses, truong sa, paracels
The spiral shaped stairs of the lighthouse is paved with granite.
lighthouses, truong sa, paracels The lighthouse lamp is regularly maintained.
 lighthouses, truong sa, paracels
The lamp of the lighthouse has rotation cycle of 6 times/minute.
 lighthouses, truong sa, paracels
The lighthouse workers on Truong Sa Lon Island have to climb in the lighthouse to perform maintenance.
 lighthouses, truong sa, paracels
A system of batteries provides energy for the lighthouse on Truong Sa Lon Island.
 lighthouses, truong sa, paracels
Besides the task of guiding ships, the lighthouse workers are responsible for observing and taking notes of marine activities in the sphere of control of the lighthouse station.
 lighthouses, truong sa, paracels
Along with grid electricity, a system of solar power is used on the island.
 lighthouses, truong sa, paracels
Different kinds of vegetables are grown by the lighthouse workers on Truong Sa Lon Island.
lighthouses, truong sa, paracels 
Relaxing during free time.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Thailand's tourism on High Alert

Thailand's tourism sector on high alert

Thailand's tourism industry is warily watching the ongoing street demonstrations in Bangkok and other parts of the kingdom, as the first signs emerge of a drop in forward bookings.

Forward bookings from Australia are among those below trend expectations, although Sugree Sithivanich, deputy governor for marketing communications of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), said overall forward bookings were still positive, with an increase of 2.2% for December and 14.2% for next month.

Despite the escalating political tension, TAT is still confident that the country will achieve its 2013 projection of 26.1 million foreign tourist arrivals thanks to a continuing flow of visitors from Europe - particularly Russia - and the Americas.

So far, 34 governments have issued mid-level warnings to their people planning to travel to Thailand. New Zealand was the latest to announce such a warning.

Four people have died in Thailand's worst political turmoil since the 2010 rallies that ended in violence.

In its regular updates on the crisis, TAT said volatile situations remain in the areas surrounding Government House and the Parliament and the Metropolitan Police Bureau.

All 14 roads leading to the two locations were closed to traffic, and tourists should avoid these areas, TAT said.

Historical attractions, theme parks, shopping malls, hotels, restaurants, local markets, temples and river tours were open and operating as per normal, the tourism authority added.

Suvarnabhumi Airport has advised air travellers of possible heavy road traffic and a lack of taxis resulting from the protests in Bangkok

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Cyclone, hurricane, typhoon: different names, same phenomenon — TalkVietnam

They may have different names according to the region they hit, but typhoons, hurricanes and cyclones are all violent tropical storms that can generate 10 times as much energy as the Hiroshima atomic bomb.
The typhoon that devastated the Philippines, wiping out entire towns with a death toll that could soar well over 10,000, is the Asian term for a low-pressure system that is called a hurricane in the Atlantic and northeast Pacific and a cyclone in the South Pacific and Indian Ocean.
But meteorologists use the term “tropical cyclone” when talking generally about these immensely powerful natural phenomena, which are divided into five categories according to the maximum sustained wind force and the scale of the potential damage they can inflict.
Super Typhoon Haiyan, which is now heading towards Vietnam, was a category 5 typhoon – the highest level – when it hit the Philippines, with maximum sustained winds estimated at 315 kilometres (196 miles) an hour, and gusts reaching 380 kilometres an hour, according to Japan’s meteorological agency.
The winds are reported to be the strongest ever measured, and Haiyan could wrest the title of most powerful cyclone on record from Super Typhoon Tip, which ravaged Japan in 1979.
The Philippines endures a seemingly never-ending onslaught of deadly typhoons, earthquakes, volcano eruptions and other natural disasters.
Every year, some 20 super storms or typhoons hit the country, of the 80 or so that develop above tropical waters annually.
Cyclones are formed from simple thunderstorms at certain times of the year when the sea temperature is more than 26 degrees Celsius (79 Fahrenheit) down to a depth of 60 metres (200 feet).
Sucking up vast quantities of water, they often produce torrential rains and flooding resulting in major loss of life and property damage.
They also trigger large swells that move faster than the cyclone and are sometimes spotted up to 1,000 kilometres ahead of the powerful storm. The sea level can rise several metres.
These powerful weather formations can measure between 500 and 1,000 kilometres in diameter and have a relatively calm “eye” at the centre.
They weaken rapidly when they travel over land or colder ocean waters.
Cyclones are closely monitored by satellites, and specialised centres around the world – in Miami, Tokyo, Honolulu and New Delhi – track the super storms’ trajectories under the coordination of the World Meteorological Organisation.

Cyclone, hurricane, typhoon: different names, same phenomenon — TalkVietnam

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Photos feature Vietnamese cultural heritage — TalkVietnam

The exhibition, opened on November 8, honours the best of the 6,016 entries submitted to the 2013 Heritage Photo Awards.
It is also intended to mark Vietnam Cultural Heritage Day on November 23 to encourage community participation in cultural heritage preservation.
The awards ceremony will be held at HCM City’s Thong Nhat (Reunification) Palace on November 21.
Sixteen provinces and cities across the country have planned similar photography exhibitions between now and February 28, 2014.
Here are some photos from the Hanoi exhibition:
Terraced Fields in Mu Cang Chai by Vu Chien
Terraced Fields in Mu Cang Chai by Vu Chien
Dawn on Son Ca Island by Nguyen Xuan Chinh
Dawn on Son Ca Island by Nguyen Xuan Chinh
Champa Symbol by Do Huu Tuan
Champa Symbol by Do Huu Tuan
Well: Soul of the Countryside by Nguyen Xuan Chinh
Well: Soul of the Countryside by Nguyen Xuan Chinh
Ninh Binh during the Festive Season by Nguyen Phung Chi
Ninh Binh during the Festive Season by Nguyen Phung Chi
Giac Lam Pagoda by Nguyen Phung Chi
Giac Lam Pagoda by Nguyen Phung Chi
Bikes in Craft Village by Nguyen Huu Thanh
Bikes in Craft Village by Nguyen Huu Thanh

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Vietnam makes big leap in non-dollarization — TalkVietnam

Vietnam vows to reduce the foreign currency deposit ratio to 15 percent by 2015 and stop the dollarization by 2020.
According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), an economy is listed as the dollarized economy when the foreign currency deposit ratio in it accounts for 30 percent or more of the total money supply,
According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), an economy is listed as the dollarized economy when the foreign currency deposit ratio in it accounts for 30 percent or more of the total money supply,
As such, Vietnam has been listed as unofficial dollarized economy. This means that though the dollar is not considered a legal currency in circulation in Vietnam, people still make transactions with dollars and keep dollars as their assets.
A report showed that in 2000-2003, the foreign currency deposits accounted for 28-30 percent of the total money supply. The ratio sometimes reached 32 percent.
According to Dr. Le Xuan Nghia, Head of the Business Development Institute, the State Bank kicked off the program on fighting against the dollarization in 2011, striving to stop the dollarization by 2020.
The first thing the State Bank did was raising the required compulsory reserve ratio for foreign currency deposits, which aimed to enlarge the gap between the local currency and foreign currency deposit and lending interest rates.
This has forced commercial banks to lower deposit interest rates and raise the lending interest rates in the dollar. As a result, the dollar has become no longer attractive in the eyes of people.
Having realized that it is not profitable to keep dollars, people and businesses tend to convert their dollar into dong. Meanwhile, commercial banks have also found it more profitable to lend in dong than in the dollar.
The State Bank has also released the decisions aiming to reduce the foreign currency positions of commercial banks, lowered the ceiling foreign currency deposit interest rates. Especially, it has requested state owned enterprises to sell 100 percent of the foreign currencies they earn from exports to commercial banks.
The comprehensive measures taken by the State Bank have brought satisfactory achievements. The foreign currency deposits had decreased from 19.5 percent in 2011 to 14.6 percent of the total mobilized capital, while the foreign currency deposits ratio on the total money supply had decreased from 15.84 percent to 12.36 percent.
The ratio of outstanding loans in foreign currencies had dropped from 20 percent to 17.5 percent of the total outstanding loans.
By the end of August 2013, the ratio of foreign currency deposits on the total money supply had reduced further to 11.82 percent. Commercial banks and businesses, which were the foreign currency lenders and borrowers, have become the sellers and buyers. This has helped reduce the foreign currency outstanding loans to 11.5 percent, while the dong outstanding loans had increased by 10.4 percent over 2012.
The dollarization reduction has helped put the foreign currency market under the State Bank’s control.
The State Bank once had to devaluate the dong sharply by 9.3 percent on February 2011. However, over the last two years, the dong/dollar exchange rate has been stabilized at VND20,828 per dollar, while the trading band has been staying firmly at one percent (the buy and sale prices quoted by commercial banks could be 1 percent higher or lower than the interbank exchange rate announced by the State Bank).
Kim Chi

Friday, November 1, 2013

Current population in Vietnam touches 90 million — TalkVietnam

According to the General Office of Population and Family Planning under the Ministry of Health, the population in Vietnam will touch 90 million on November 1, 2013.
The population in Vietnam will touch 90 million on November 1, 2013
The population in Vietnam will touch 90 million on November 1, 2013
Vietnam is the 14th most populous country in the world and the third in Southeast Asia. The General Office of Population and Family Planning says the projection takes into account factors such as the country’s birth and death rate and the figure is very important for family planning tasks across the country.
If the current birth rate that sees each woman having an average of two children remains static, the population will probably be on track and target and hit 110 million by 2050 with 18 percent of elderly people over the age of 65. This would be an ideal population structure.
This indicates that Vietnam is entering a period known as ‘golden population structure’, meaning that every two or more people are working, with only one dependent family member.
This is a good opportunity for boosting socio-economic development as the country has around 63 million people of labor age and every year there will be one million laborers.
The period of ‘golden population structure’ only takes place once in the demographic history of each nation and will continue for 30-35 years. This is a unique opportunity in which the most favorable demographic structure possible can promote the process of industrialization and modernization in Vietnam.
Accordingly, in order to take full advantage of the ‘golden population structure’ to boost the economy, it is necessary to have good policies to enhance benefits for the young labor force and increase the number of jobs requiring highly-qualified and highly productive labor.

Current population in Vietnam touches 90 million — TalkVietnam

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Australians among those dead in Mekong plane crash

Australians among those dead in Mekong plane crash

Six Australians are reported to be among those killed in a plane crash in southern Laos.

All 44 people aboard a domestic flight were killed when the plane crashed while attempting to land at a popular tourist town.

The Lao Airlines plane came down in the Mekong River.

Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade confirmed there were six Australians on board, including a family of four from New South Wales.

The aircraft crashed in bad weather just before it was due to land at Pakse airport, an airline official quoted by the Bangkok Post said.

The plane was on a flight from the Lao capital Vientiane.

The national airline of Laos operates domestic as well as international services to countries such as Cambodia, China, Thailand, Vietnam and Singapore.

It operates 14 aircraft, including two ATR 73-600 of the type involved in the crash.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Six Australians are reported to be among those killed in a plane crash in southern Laos.

All 44 people aboard a domestic flight were killed when the plane crashed while attempting to land at a popular tourist town.

The Lao Airlines plane came down in the Mekong River.

Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade confirmed there were six Australians on board, including a family of four from New South Wales.

The aircraft crashed in bad weather just before it was due to land at Pakse airport, an airline official quoted by the Bangkok Post said.

The plane was on a flight from the Lao capital Vientiane.

The national airline of Laos operates domestic as well as international services to countries such as Cambodia, China, Thailand, Vietnam and Singapore.

It operates 14 aircraft, including two ATR 73-600 of the type involved in the crash.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Tropical storm Nari, to hit Vietnam & Cambodia

Tropical storm Nari, which made landfall in the Philippines on October 12 and is approaching Vietnam, is forecast to bring torrential rain to 13 of Cambodia’s 24 cities and provinces from October 16-18.
The Ministry of Water Resources and Meteorology has issued a warning to fishermen and cruise ships of possible rising water levels in the Mekong River.
Over the past four weeks, floods have taken the lives of 122 people and affected 1.5 million others across the country.
It damaged 250,000 hectares of rice fields and more than 400 kilometres of roads in 20 cities and provinces nationwide.
As many as 22,000 families have evacuated to higher land.-VNA

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Vietnam’s population hits 90 million — TalkVietnam

VietNamNet Bridge – With nearly 89 million people, Vietnam has become the 13th most populous country in the world and 3rd in Southeast Asia.
The information was released by Deputy Minister of Health - Mr. Nguyen Viet Tien - at the conference reviewing 10-year implementation of the Population Ordinance, which took place on Tuesday in Hanoi.
The information was released by Deputy Minister of Health - Mr. Nguyen Viet Tien - at the conference reviewing 10-year implementation of the Population Ordinance, which took place on Tuesday in Hanoi.
According to Tien, although the growth rate decreased (an increase of one million annually) in recent years, the population density was quite large, up to 267 people per one square kilometer, adding Vietnam to the group of countries with the world’s highest population density.
In addition, the gender imbalance at birth is still a big issue. Hung Yen province in northern Vietnam has the highest gender imbalance ratio at birth of 130.7 boys/100 girls. The desire to have a son to “worship the ancestors and take care of the” is still quite common in Vietnamese families.
According to Professor Nguyen Dinh Cu, from the Institute of Population and Social Affairs, the percentage of pregnant women who know ahead of the sex of the fetus in 2012 increased to more than 81 percent. The Population Ordinance bans prenatal sex selection but the ratio of gender imbalance at birth increased steadily. Thus, the violation of the regulations on gender issues was quite popular.
Besides, Vietnam is in the golden age of population but the quality of human resources, the quality of the population is limited. The rate of people who can read and write high is high but the training level is low. Less than 15 percent of the population (aged 15 and over) are technically trained.
Hence, the Ministry of Health has established the Population Law Drafting Committee to amend a number of issues, such as donation, selling of sperm, eggs, embryos, surrogate pregnancy, consultancy services of sex selection at birth, sex selection, etc.
According to Professor Nguyen Dinh Cu, the Population Law should be adjusted in the direction of tightening the regulations on abortion, the conditions for abortion.
Le Ha

Vietnam’s population hits 90 million — TalkVietnam

Monday, September 9, 2013

DPM visits worst affected flood area — TalkVietnam

Posted: 08 Sep 2013 10:43 PM PDT
Deputy PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc on September 7 visited Sa Pa district in the northern province of Lao Cai, one of the worst flood affected province.

Deputy PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc (center) visits and encourages victims of torrential rains, floods and landslides, Sa Pa district, September 7, 2013 - Photo: VGP/Le Son
Deputy PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc (center) visits and encourages victims of torrential rains, floods and landslides, Sa Pa district, September 7, 2013 - Photo: VGP/Le Son

The Government leader asked the local authorities to mobilize all resources to support victims to overcome the difficulties.
Mr. Phuc also proposed Lao Cai province rebuild landslide damaged roads and provide 200 tons of food relief to flood victims.
According to the National Steering Committee for Flood and Storm Prevention, as of September 7, torrential rains, floods and landslides in northern provinces have led to 25 deaths in which Lao Cai saw the highest number of casualties, with 10.
The floods also injured 16, destroyed 139 houses and submerged over 6,800 hectares of rice and other crops.
The total financial loss caused by the disaster is estimated at about VND39.2 billion.

Fire at Hanoi’s Puppetry Theatre — TalkVietnam

Fire at Hanoi’s Puppetry Theatre
Posted: 08 Sep 2013 10:18 PM PDT
VietNamNet Bridge – At around 8pm on September 8, an advertising billboard of over 8m long in front of the Thang Long Puppetry Theatre on Dinh Tien Hoang Street, Hanoi, suddenly blazed up. Fire covered the building, making dozens of foreign audiences panic.
The front of the theater was flaming, with a high column of black smoke. “Plastic from the billboard kept burning after it fell to the ground. Everybody was panicked and ran away. The neighboring stores closed for fear of fire,”Mr. Quyen, an employee of a hotel near the theatre recalled.
At the timeof the fire, about 30 actors and theater staff were welcoming the audience tothe show scheduled at 8pm. Discovering the fire, they both stamped the fire andtook the audience out of the theatre.
Mr. Bui DuyTan, an actor, said: “People initially panicked but then they calmed down when the fire did not spread into the theater.”
The theatre front after the fire.
The theatre front after the fire.
About 10-15minutes later, two fire trucks approached. The fire was under control afterabout 20 minutes. No casualties occurred and the adjacent houses were alsosafe. The inside area of the theater was almost unaffected. However, the advertising billboard covering the front of Thang Long Puppetry Theatre was burned down and the front side of the building was covered by black smoke.
The fire occurred on the evening of Sunday, adjacent to Hoan Kiem Lake, where hundreds of people were walking, causing traffic jam on Dinh Tien Hoang Street. Police of Hang Bac Ward said that the fire might be caused by an electrical short in the rains .
The Thang Long Puppetry Theatre has 3-5 shows per day, mainly for foreigners.
The theater director Meritorious Artist Nguyen Hoang Tuan, said the fire did not cause anysignificant damage. The show was canceled and the audience would be served inthe next show.
One hourafter the fire, the theater actors continued to prepare for the show next morning

Fire at Hanoi’s Puppetry Theatre — TalkVietnam

Friday, September 6, 2013

Tra Vinh: thousands of people burn incense on President Ho Chi Minh’s death anniversary — TalkVietnam

A ritual to mark President Ho Chi Minh’s death anniversary took place at his memorial temple in Tra Vinh City . The event attracted local people and youth and women’s union members. Mai Hong Quyen is one of them: “I have paid tribute to President Ho Chi Minh at his temple time and again in memory of his merit. He has set a bright example for us to follow in national construction and defense.”
The local women’s union on this occasion held a writing contest on stories about President Ho Chi Minh and their impact on members’ behaviors

Tra Vinh: thousands of people burn incense on President Ho Chi Minh’s death anniversary — TalkVietnam

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Indonesia 68th Independent Day-Vietnam

The Vietnam Union of Friendship Organisations (VUFO) and the Vietnam-Indonesia Friendship Association held a ceremony in HCM City on August 20 to mark Indonesia’s 68th Independence Day.
Participants highlighted the constant growth of traditional friendship and comprehensive cooperation between Vietnam and Indonesia over the past 60 years. As of last June, both sides have raised the relationship to a level of strategic partnership in the interests of each nation and for peace, stability, cooperation and development.
Two-way trade turnover between the two nations has increased considerably to reach US$4.6 billion last year, and is expected to hit US$5 billion by 2015 and US$10 billion by 2018.
Bilateral cooperation is also effective in other fields such as security, national defence, energy, food security, agriculture and fishery.
At the ceremony, Dalton Sembiring, acting Consul General of Indonesia to HCM City, expressed belief that bilateral relations will continue to grow and flourish in the new era, contributing to boosting socio-economic cooperation, cultural exchange and humanitarian work in the region, especially within ASEAN and the United Nations.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Typhoon hits Asia

Typhoon disrupts flights

Typhoon Utor, which has lashed the Philippines and Hong Kong in recent days, is now causing problems in other parts of Asia.

Malaysia Airlines had to reschedule flights from and into Kota Kinabalu and Hong Kong as Utor moved on from China's southern coast.

Budget airline AirAsia also cancelled several flights connecting Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok and Philippines to Hong Kong, Macau, Guangzhou and Shenzhen.

The weather condition also forced Hong Kong-based Cathay Pacific to cancel several flights.

A cargo ship sunk off Hong Kong during fierce storms.

Malaysia's meteorological department said Utor was the cause of heavy rain and high winds in Sabah in the past few days.

Considered the worst typhoon to hit the Philippines this year, Utor killed six people and displaced over 30,000 families, causing landslides and floods and disrupting power and communication links.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Father & Son coaxed from Jungle 40 yrs after Vietnam War

Father And Son Coaxed From Jungle 40 Years After Vietnam War

Ho Van Lang, found in the jungle of central Vietnam 40 years after he and his father fled the war.
Ho Van Lang, found in the jungle of central Vietnam 40 years after he and his father fled the war.
Four decades ago, Ho Van Thanh fled the fighting in his native Vietnam, disappearing into the jungle with his infant son, Ho Van Lang. This week, father and son emerged for the first time — an enfeebled Thanh carried in a stretcher, and Lang wearing only a loincloth made of tree bark.
According to the Vietnamese newspaper Dan Tri, Ho Van Thanh, now 82, was last seen in 1973 running into the jungle, after his wife and two other children were killed by a bomb or land mine near his home.
When Thanh and Lang, 42, were finally coaxed out of the jungle in Vietnam's central Quang Ngai province on Wednesday, they had been living 20 feet up in a treehouse, stocked with arrows and other makeshift hunting implements.
The Telegraph quotes a local Vietnamese newspaper as saying the elder Ho had fallen out of the habit of speech and that his son only knows a few words of the local dialect of the Cor ethnic minority. They used a homemade ax to chop down trees and survived partly on corn they cultivated as well as fruits and cassava roots from the jungle:
"But there were poignant mementos of their previous life.
"The father kept his soldier's trousers neatly folded in a corner [of the tree house]. Beside them was the little red coat his son was thought to have been wearing when they fled."
The father and son were discovered earlier when two people from a nearby village ventured some 25 miles into the forest looking for firewood.
When he fled 40 years ago, Thanh was reportedly fighting for North Vietnam (Since he lived in Quang Ngai, which was part of South Vietnam during the war, it seems likely that Tranh fought with the communist irregulars, known as the Viet Cong). He left behind another son, 6-month-old Ho Van Tri.
Tri, now in midlife, told local media that he'd tracked down his father and brother two decades ago, apparently briefly met with them, but was unable to persuade them to return to modern society.
Tri says that his brother's health is "fine, even though he looks thin," but that his father is "very weak".
Lang "doesn't understand much of what is said to him, and he doesn't want to eat or even drink water," says Ho Ven Bien, a relative who is looking after him.
"We know he wants to escape my house to go back to the forest, so we have to keep an eye on him now," Bien says.