Sunday, July 29, 2012

Views from Vietnam

Vietnam latest news - Thanh Nien Daily | Tourism industry doing Ha Long Bay no good

Tourism industry doing Ha Long Bay no good 
Last Updated: Thursday, July 26, 2012 02:10:00

endors on boats wait for a chance to introduce their goods to visitors on tourism boats at Ha Long Bay. Conflicts between service providers in the bay are spoiling the charm of the World Heritage site.
Since Ha Long Bay was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1994, tourism services have failed to improve and have actually worsened, officials said at a conference Tuesday.
The conference, held at Ha Long Town in Quang Ninh Province, gathered local and foreign participants to discuss new ways to preserve and develop the site, a Tuoi Tre said.
Many officials said hospitality practices on the bay needd to change.
Nguyen Van Tuan, head of Vietnam National Administration of Tourism, said tourism activities in Ha Long are nothing better than what was offered 15 years ago, and there were no new products.
“There’s still just the boring journey: welcome aboard, visit the bay, visit the caves, aboard again, and done.”
It takes ten four-star hotels in the town to earn what one hotel in Hanoi, the Metropole, takes in, which is around VND680 billion (US$32.6 million) a year, Tuan said in news website Dan Tri report.
“Tourism units have been ineffective,” Tuan said.
Moon Koyoo Kim, a tourism expert from South Korea, said Ha Long tourism products have not managed to promote any of the local cultural traits. He said there are many spots around the town that can be connected to the bay and keep tourists in the area for several days, instead the usual day and a half.
Katherine Muller Marin, chief representative of UNESCO in Vietnam, said her biggest concern was water pollution.
She said visitors at present can only enjoy waters of the bay after sailing several kilometers offshore.
Many tourists during their visit want to plunge into the water, but are discouraged by garbage and the dirty color, Marin said in the Dan Tri report.

more info -->>> Vietnam latest news - Thanh Nien Daily | Tourism industry doing Ha Long Bay no good

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Chuck Kuhn

Chuck Kuhn: Click "Collect Me" to help me win a New York City photo exhibition and a$25,000 cash grant: One Life Photography Competition    Just click on my Name then Collect Me,   Thank you

Monday, July 9, 2012

Vietnam wins many prizes at international film and TV festival | Look At Vietnam

Vietnam wins many prizes at international film and TV festival

July 10, 2012
LookAtVietnam – Vietnam won two first prizes at the 6th International Cinema, Television and Sports and Tourism Festival, which closed in Hanoi on July 7.

A scene from “Overcoming Ourselves”, which won the first prize for Vietnam.
This is a documentary about outstanding Vietnamese athletes.
Vietnam won prizes in all categories, including two first prizes for “Arieuping Festival of Pako People” and “Four Countries – One Destination.”
In feature film, discovery, game show, tourism advertisement and advertising categories, five prizes of the jury, four second and four first prizes were granted.
Vietnam won three prizes of the jury, for “Son Doong Report” of Quang Binh Province Radio and Television Station and “The Wedding of Dao People” by the Vietnam Television Station and “Tran Quoc Toan.”
Vietnam took three second prizes for “Saigon Yo,” “Spring on Bi Dup Mountain Top” and “A Moment in Ha Giang” and two first prizes for “Arieuping Festival of Pako People” by Ngoc Khanh Media and “Four Countries – One Destination” by the Center for Sports and Tourism Cinema.
In the documentary and scientific-technological film categories, three prizes of the jury, three second and two first prizes were presented. Vietnam won two prize of the jury for “Hanoi Flagpole” and “Tai Chi,” on second prize for “Discovering Ha Long Bay” and one first prize for “Overcoming Ourselves.”
The seventh festival is scheduled in Hanoi in 2014. This is a chance for Vietnam to introduce its sports and tourism development to international friends.
The 6th festival attracted film studios from 23 countries, with a selection of 145 films of seven genres (documentary, feature film, scientific-educational film, game show, cartoon, discovery, travel and advertising) from 25 domestic and 42 overseas studios.
Among international guests were big names in the world like ESPN (the UK), Eurosport (France), Shootv Sport Economy (Italy) or Les Films Neptune (USA).
N. Anh

Spain's most famous fiesta hit by economic downturn  | Look At Vietnam

Spain's most famous fiesta hit by economic downturn 

July 10, 2012

A bull pushes through a crowd at the entrance to the bullring during the second run of the bulls of the San Fermin festival, on July 8, 2012, in the Spanish city of Pamplona.

Spain’s most famous fiesta, the San Fermin bull running festival in Pamplona, is taking a hit from the economic crisis as revelers cut corners to save money.
The cobbled streets of the northern city are still packed with party-goers from around the world, drawn by the carnival atmosphere and the chance to be chased by half-ton bulls every morning.
But hotels report lower occupancy rates, and sales in restaurants and bars are down.
Instead, many people choose to eat homemade food and drink sangria and beer bought in supermarkets in the streets during the nine-day festival that began on Friday.
Luis Armendariz, manager of the Cafe Iruna, a Parisian-style spot once frequented by Ernest Hemingway that overlooks the central Plaza de Castillo, said he expects sales during the festival to be down by 15-20 percent over 2011.
This San Fermin festival looks set to be the worst for business since Spain’s economic crisis erupted in 2008 with the collapse of a property bubble that has sent the unemployment rate soaring above 24 percent, the 48-year-old added.
"We have really felt an impact. There are fewer people but what really affects us is the street drinking," he said as he stood behind the counter of the cafe, jammed with dancing revellers wearing traditional white and red garb.
The historic centre of Pamplona, the capital of the region of Navarra, was full of people carrying plastic bags full of bottles of beer and sangria, which they swilled from plastic cups as they stood in groups.
Many people held picnics of sandwiches and other snacks while sitting on the ground in squares across the city.
Israel Jimenez, 26, and Rafael Gonzalez, 23, two soldiers from the southwestern city of Seville, said they were eating store bought food because prices at bars and restaurants shoot up in Pamplona during the festival.
But they said they were still willing to open their wallets to have a good time.
"We will think about the crisis tomorrow. But you have to live the day and be happy here because that is why we came here," said Jimenez as he sat on bench alongside his friend in front of the Cafe Iruna.
Pamplona city hall predicts about half a million people will flock to the city of 200,000 residents over the nine days of the festival, roughly the same as turned out in other years.
Hoteliers are less optimistic.
The Navarra Hospitality Association predicts hotel occupancy in Pamplona during the fiesta, which dates back to medieval times, will be down by around 10 percent over last year.
Fewer people stay overnight and those who do come are saving cash by staying for fewer days, with most checking in for just two nights, said the association’s secretary general, Nacho Calvo.
"There is a lack of promotion of the festival on the part of the government. The festival is very famous but you have to maintain the brand. And that is not being done," he said.
With Spain under pressure to rein in its public deficit, the budget for the San Fermin festival this year was slashed by 8.0 percent over 2011 to 2.4 million euros ($3.0 million), its fourth straight annual decline.
Pamplona officials are banking on the festival — made famous worldwide by Hemingway’s 1926 novel "The Sun Also Rises — bringing in more than 70 million euros in tourism earnings this year.
Bars are allowed to remain open until 6:00 am during the fiesta and the event accounts for up to a third of total annual sales at some establishments in the centre of the city.



July 10, 2012
Quang Tri hosts ‘National Traditional Boat Race 2012’
The ‘National Traditional Boat Race 2012’ took place on the Thach Han River in the central province of Quang Tri on July 8.
The book’s cover. (Image:
The competition marked the 65th anniversary of ‘War Invalids and Martyrs Day’ (July 27) and the 40th anniversary of the ‘81 Day and Night’ vigil of Quang Tri Citadel.
More than 200 participants from provinces including Kien Giang, An Giang, Binh Thuan, Da Nang, Quang Tri and Hai Duong joined in the event. Competitors took part in categories of 1,000, 500 and 200 meter races.
The competition will be open until July 10.
Book about Party General Secretary Nguyen Van Cu published
A book entitled ‘Nguyen Van Cu – Outstanding Leader, Exemplary Communist’ has recently been published by the National Political Publishing House – Truth to mark the 100th birthday of the late Party General Secretary (1912-2012).
The 856-page book includes more than 70 writings by Party and State leaders, scientists and Nguyen Van Cu’s relatives, featuring the revolutionary life and career of the late Party chief.
Nguyen Van Cu was born into an intellectual family on July 9, 1912 in Phu Khe commune, Tu Son ward, Bac Ninh province and began taking part in revolutionary activities at the age of 15. He was elected as the General Secretary of the Indochina Communist Party Central Committee (now the Communist Party of Vietnam) in 1938. An excellent example of a true communist, he was absolutely loyal to the Party and faithful to the people. As a Party leader, he left many valuable lessons about the spirit of criticism and self-criticism in Party building.
Nestle runs healthy life photo contest
VnExpress electronic newspaper and Nestle are holding a nationwide photo contest ‘Song vui khoe xua va nay’ (Live well and happy: Now and Then) from now until August 11.
The contest aims to feature impressive moments of physical and spiritual activities of Vietnamese people during the past century and to raise people’s awareness of a healthy and happy life.
The organizers want photographers to share their best shots and new angles of some daily life activities. The total value of the contest is VND50 million consisting of two first prizes worth VND10 million each, one second prize worth VND8 million, two third prizes worth VND5 million each and three consolation prizes worth VND2 million each. Furthermore, there are six weekly prizes worth VND1 million each voted by the newspaper’s readers.
Photographers are allowed to send a single photo or a collection of maximum ten photos (in black and white or color) with clear and specific captions. Entries with artists’ personal information should be sent to
Vietnam-Japan festival takes place in HCM City
A Vietnam-Japan Festive Day took place in Ho Chi Minh City on July 8 to promote cultural exchanges between the two countries.
The event featured an exhibition of documents and pictures on Japan, its culture and its people as well as information about studying in the East Asian country.

Participants learnt how to make Japanese kites and boxes, origami paper folding and enjoyed contemporary music played on traditional Japanese instruments by Aki and Kunio, a duo playing koto and acoustic guitar.
The Vietnam-Japan Festive Day was organised by the Consulate General of Japan in Ho Chi Minh City in collaboration with the Ho Chi Minh City Youth Cultural Centre.
Similar cultural events were held in Hanoi, Hoi An and Da Nang and all were welcomed by a wide range of people.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Photos of Vietnam from train window

Photo taken from train Hanoi to HCMC, traveling very fast. Temperature 90 degrees inside train. Opening small window in train to capture these Vietnam photos

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Persian Love Story Hanoi

Persian love story told by belly dance

July 3, 2012
LookAtVietnam – A romantic story from “One Thousand and One Nights” told by the body language of belly dancing has made debut at Hanoi’s Au Co Theatre.
Five years since belly dancing was imported into Vietnam, belly dancing has been only performed at small stages, with single performances. This is the first time a belly dance show, entitled “Love Story of Aladdin,” was performed on the big stage of Hanoi, from June 29.
The show is contributed by 50 dancers from the LifeArt dancing troupe, one of the first and the leading belly dance centers in Vietnam.
“We hope to bring belly dancing to the audience to help them further understand this art,” said dancer and choreographer Ngoc Han.
The show in pictures:

The Persian King, played by Tong Toan Thang, organizes a competition to choose his son-in-law.
Palace maids dance at the ceremony.
The princess, played by Thu Trang, dances with palace maids.
Many princes make offer of marriage…
but the princess only like handsome and honest Aladdin, played by Vu Thanh Tuan.
Aladdin is arrested and sent to jail. A witch, played by Bao Ngoc, comes to rescue him.

In a Persian market-day, dancers show off belly-dance techniques on Drum music.
Child dancers of LifeArt play small monkeys.

A flute player at the Persian market-day.

Fan Veil dance to celebrate the wedding of Aladdin and the princess.

Compiled by Thanh Van

Monday, July 2, 2012

Khmer Pagodas Architecture

The typical architecture of the Khmer pagodas

July 3, 2012
For the Khmer ethnic people in the Southwestern region, pagodas are considered a special cultural and spiritual space imbued with strong religious faith.
As they hold an extremely important position in the Khmer culture, the pagodas are built magnificently, featuring the typical cultural identity and becoming invaluable cultural heritage of local people.
Buddhism plays a very important role in the daily lives of the Khmer people

Walls surrounding the main hall are made of pieces of ceramics

Doi (Bat) pagoda is home to the only huge bat species in Vietnam

Khmer pagodas have unique architecture with colourful tiles and intricate patterns

Snake heads on pagoda roofs are finely designed
and painted bright yellow

The image of the snake is commonly used
in the Khmer’s pagoda architecture

The staircase to the main hall is decorated
with intricately designed bas-reliefs

Pictures of Buddha’s life have high humanitarian values

A solemn service at a Khmer pagoda

VOV Online/LookAtVietnam