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The tomb that became a monument

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A new kind of hook


Place of gods and kings

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A star is born in mattress village

A will for silk


Fiery blossom about to wither RELIGION


A scary day trip to the realm of the underworld


A turn of love amongst urban fuss


The tomb that became a monument

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An old haunt - The Saigon art museum



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Keeping the heart warm FESTIVAL

Fish-catching festival in a primeval forest DIRECTIONS


Cover photograph: Views at the Le Van Duyet’s shrine Photo by Kieu Anh Dung

Published by the Cultural Heritage Association of Vietnam

Publication licence No: 1648/GP-BTTTT from the Ministry of Information and Communications of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam for the English-language edition of The Gioi Di San (The World of Heritage) magazine Editor-in-Chief: Le Thanh Hai; Public Relations Director: Bui Thi Hang Managing Editor: Kha Tu Anh; Sub-editing: Erik Johnson; Assistant: Van Thanh Nga, Nguyen Dang Khoa; Designer: Thanh Mai; Contributing Photographers: Nguyen Ba Han, Hoang Quoc Tuan, Hoang The Nhiem, Huynh Van Nam, Le Hoai Phuong, Nguyen Anh Tuan; Ngo Nguyen Huynh Trung Tin; Nguyen Ba Ngoc Correspondent: Pip de Rouvray; Advertising and Circulation: Green Viet Advertising JSC Email: &; Thuy Phuong 0969 47 3579 Hanoi Advertising and Subscription: The He Moi MHN Viet Nam Co.Ltd, Mr Song Hao: 0903 476 999 Nha Trang Advertising and Subscription: Bach Cat Co. Ltd,; 22/6A Bach Dang Str. Nha Trang City Tel: (58) 360 7070 Fax (58) 387 0099, Email: Contact in the US for subscription and advertising: 2628 Sturla dr. San Jose, CA 95148

Vietnam Heritage Magazine

4th Floor, 1/1 Hoang Viet St., Ward 4, Tan Binh District, Ho Chi Minh City Tel: (84-28) 38 118846

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Vietnam Heritage is published monthly, produced in Vietnam and printed at Army Printing House No 2. © All rights reserved.

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Vietnam Heritage

Vietnam Heritage



Summer occupation

Kids spend their summer time on fishing boats collecting seaweed around Chuon lagoon in Phu An commune, Phu Vang district of Thua Thien province. They bring home boatfuls of seaweed for their parents to make organic fertilizer. Many kids from about 300 households dwelling around the hundred ha lagoon are involved in this work. Photo: Nguyen Xuan Huu Tam



A will for BY HUE PHONG




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ith deep love for Hue veteran painters, Minh Hanh and her fellow designers held a catwalk night in April showcasing Vietnam’s traditional ao dai with copies of paintings of the artists printed on the

costume’s flaps. The successful show entertained locals in the former imperial capital and has sparked a call for help to the family of a late artist. It was a Sunday night when thousands of people of different ages flocked to the city’s iconic bridge. Traffic on Truong Tien Bridge, where the show’s stage and stands for the audience were erected, was blocked before and during the show. The empty roads were decorated with hanging conical hats and fresh flower plants, transforming the entire area into an open grand stage. With those decorations, models wearing the national costume walked out and around, looking just like they were walking in a peaceful, colourful garden.


Above: A Hue girl by Ton That Dao Photo Vietnam Fine Arts Association. Left: Collections showcased at the ao dai night. Photo: Hue Phong

The combination of ao dai and Hue’s beloved painters led to a new concept of performing arts, enthralling both fashion designers and local audiences. The show was the much-awaited costume performances in the city, as months ago, Hue residents heard of the special ao dai collection. Songs by the late composer Trinh Cong Son, also a Hue native, inspired the catwalks for the first collection of the show. Designer Hien Dang introduced her collection with the costume flaps printed with copies of paintings by late artist Ton That Dao. Many among the audiences showed excitement watching the collection, but actually, they did not know who the late artist was. This reflected the oblivious condition towards the country’s prominent silk painters. ‘It is really painful to see excellent paintings on silk left forgotten,’ Hien said and determined that her collection would not remind people of the heritage but would create a call for

help from the media. Born in 1910 to a family that had royal connections and bore Confucian traditions, Ton That Dao showed strong keenness for painting during childhood. In 1932, Dao was accepted to the Indochinese College of Arts, the only art academy in Indochina set up and run by the French. He graduated in 1937 and started teaching painting in several schools in Hue. He also painted on silk at that time. Thanks to his talent and prestige, Saigon’s government assigned him to form Hue College of Arts in 1957. He was also the first rector of the college that today exists under the name of Hue University of Arts. Before he passed away in 1979, Dao was teaching hundreds of painters. He was also a prominent silk painter in Vietnam, leaving behind more than 100 paintings. His outstanding works included Sông Hương núi Ngự (Huong River and Ngu mountain), Thiếu nữ Huế (A young Hue girl) and Sen trắng (White lotus flower). J U N E - J U LY 2 0 1 7






Family poverty has placed a priceless collection of paintings by Dao in jeopardy Dao also painted with oil and canvas. He won a lot of art competitions in Hanoi, Hue, Saigon, Thailand, Japan and the Vatican. The French and Vatican had awarded him with medals for his contribution of art. However, Dao’s family could not enjoy his success after he died. His first son was bedridden, and he had an unemployed wife, a paralyzed son, and a daughter. Another of Dao’s sons died young in the US and his daughter lives in the US with earnings enough for only herself. Lien Phuong, daughter-in-law of the artist, said none of his descendants have enough knowledge to protect the paintings. ‘We can't afford enough for conservation,’ she said, adding that she and her daughter are the only healthy persons in the family; they are experiencing a hard life taking care of other two paralyzed people, and trying to earn a living at the same time. ‘It's painful to see my father's heritage going to ruin. But selling them all would be offensive.’ Phuong also has no legal base to donate the paintings to an art institute or a museum in an attempt to keep the artwork conserved. About 40 among 100 works by the artist are left in Hue. Some are preserved at private museums both in the country and abroad. Some others wander somewhere else in the world, as museums came to borrow them and they have never returned them, according to Phuong.

Designer Hien Dang, Dao’s daughter-in-law Lien Phuong, and Dao’s granddaughter Hang (left to right) wear ao dai printed with his paintings at the show. Photo Nguyen Quy

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At Dao’s home, the paintings hanging on the walls include valuable paintings of Sông Hương núi Ngự, Vườn xuân (A Spring garden), Chân dung cụ già (Portrait of an old man), and Phong cảnh thôn quê (Countryside scene). Dao painted these in the country’s history difficult period from 1945-1965. All the paintings are in bad condition. Some are encased in frames turned almost to dust because of woodworms. In others, the silk itself is tattered and fading or covered in thick layers of dust. Designer Hien said she spent almost a


month working on the photographs capturing the paintings due to shady and low resolution. ‘The paintings absorb humidity and become vague. It was really hard for photographers to capture them,’ she said. But this suggests the critical ruin condition of these rare paintings. Losing them would mean losing part of the country’s silk painting history. Many of Dao’s former students have raised calls for the noble lecturer’s works. But local culture authorities seem to be reluctant to respond. Meanwhile, Dao’s descendants live largely from donations and the small earnings their daughter earns as a librarian. The city department has proposed a museum road in Hue that would embrace multiple museums, including the key one – Hue Museum of Arts. This museum is expected to adopt Dao’s

The painting Sông Hương núi Ngự by Ton That Dao. Photo Hue Phong.

paintings and connect them to skilled researchers around the world for their help. However, for almost a year now, the project has stood still and only the project sections with investment from the private sector go on. The ao dai fashion show seems to be the first ever move conducted in Hue to memorise and honour the outstanding painter Dao. By listing his paintings in the must-to-do of the reprinting paintings on the costume flaps and allowing the collection with his paintings to appear the earliest in the show, the designers have reminded the art community in Hue particular and in Vietnam in general that Dao is always in art history. He had served as a prestige pioneer and the younger artist generations should look to the protection over the priceless paintings.n J U N E - J U LY 2 0 1 7



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A new kind of hook



A poor fishing village now reels in tourists with graffiti art

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Photo: Hoang Trong Dung

Photo: Le Tho


ver peaceful, Tam Thanh village of Tam Thanh Commune, Tam Ky City, Quang Nam Province suddenly became famous after about 70 graffiti paintings appeared on house walls in the village. Most of these pictures, each occupying a whole wall of a house, depict kids playing, routine activities of a fishing village. The 20 artists include some South Korean artists, Tam Thanh villagers, volunteers from the Gyeongbuk Province of South Korea and Da Nang University of Foreign Languages. Speaking to the media, Tam Thanh villagers say that the very first graffiti paintings were touching and made them feel warm. Having become a ‘graffiti village’, they are very enthusiastic, with images of their native land getting so fresh and lively. From a purely fishing village, Tam Thanh became a ‘graffiti village’ just in 22 days, with only $100,000 investment under the ‘South Korean - Vietnamese community art exchange project’, a collaboration between the People’s Committee of Tam Ky Township and The Korea Foundation since June 2016. Since then, the always quiet and modest Tam Thanh Village became busy under waves of tourists coming and going. The pictures they take with Tam Thanh graffiti are flooding the Internet. And then Tam Thanh became even more attractive when rumors spread that

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Photos: Le Tho

this place also has a beautiful white sand beach, hospitable people with big hearts, and local food is just mouth-watering. It’s very safe to bathe in the water near the pristine Tam Thanh Beach. Bathers are also served morning glory fried with garlic, raw sardine with vegetables, steamed groupers, and grilled noble scallop by the locals. Very early morning on the beach full of warm aromas and colors, the people of Tam Thanh are already busy scooping scallops, pooling nets and gathering the previous night’s catch from boats. It’s heartwarming to watch these daily seaside routines with a red half-disk behind them. There are guest houses and resorts right on the beach, which are very convenient for those who choose to stay longer at this lovely place.n


Quang Nam

HCM City

Less than 1km from Tam Thanh is Ha Thanh 2 Village, which has fish sauce traditional trade. The owners of fish sauce houses of Thanh Loan and Ngoc Lan are very nice to visitors and always ready relate the trade village’s history and show how fish sauce is made. Tam Thanh village is 7km to the East of Tam Ky Township.

Tam Ky township is about 70km to the South of Da Nang on National Highway 1A) and 45km to the southwest of Hoi An. It has a population of 140,000. The 100km2 area contains 2 national heritage sites: Ky Anh tunnel in Tam Thang Commune which is a relic of the revolution, and the shrine of Confucius at Phan Boi Chau Street, Tan Thanh Commune, a relic of architecture and art.

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Thien Mu Pagoda Photo: Nguyen Van Loi


Place of gods and kings BY NGAN HA

downtown Hue, a part of the Hue complex of old n 1558, talented military chief named Nguyen THE HOLY citadel relic site, a world cultural heritage. Hoang got Le King’s permission to be the Historians suspect that by asking to be defender of the Thuan Hoa region, which PAGODA commissioned to the Thuan Hoa frontiers, Nguyen included Quang Binh, Quang Tri and Thua THAT SAW Hoang had already planned for his family line to Thien Provinces. On a trip to survey the new land, become regal one day. So, in 1600, as the Trinh family he saw the hill at Ha Khe and found that it resembled 400 YEARS usurped more and more royal power; he secretly a dragon’s head raised above the curves and coils of seceded from the court. This is considered the time Perfume River, which, in turn, looked like the OF WARS Vietnam was partitioned into the Outer and Inner dragon’s body. countries. A local reported to him; one night, an old Just a year after becoming the Lord of the Inner Country, Nguyen lady appeared on Ha Khe Hill and imparted, ‘A true lord will come here to establish a pagoda and cumulate the essence of Hoang built the magnificent Thien Mu Pagoda. He began heaven and earth to build a stronger Vietnam.’ So, Nguyen instituting Buddhism as the national religion of the Inner Country. After Nguyen Hoang died in 1613, his descendants, although Hoang gave orders to build a pagoda on Ha Khe and named it preoccupied by wars with the Trinh family to the North of Gianh ‘Heaven Lady Pagoda’. That is the legend of the famous century-old Thien Mu pagoda River (in today’s Quang Binh Province,) continually expanded Thien of Vietnam, published on the website of the Center for Preservation Mu Pagoda and strengthened Buddhism in the Inner Country. Among the 9 generations of Nguyen Lords, perhaps Nguyen of Hue Old Citadel. Thien Mu Pagoda is about 4km to the West of present-day Phuc Chu (1691-1725) was the one who made the most additions to

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PAGODA Tu Nhan Tower (later renamed Phuoc Duyen) and Thien Mu Pagoda. Historical texts show that during Hanoi Huong Nguyen Prayer Hall. He also authored the 1710 – 1714 period, the lord ordered a casting of Hue eulogies praising the exquisiteness of Thien Mu the big bell and built big structures such as Heaven’s Pagoda, carved them on two big stelae and put King Edifice, Great Bear Edifice, Preaching Hall, the them near the pagoda gates. In 1862, King Tu Duc Library, the Monks’ Hall, and the House of Zen. He renamed the pagoda to Linh Mu, meaning the also authored the eulogy of Buddhist philosophy HCM City Holy Lady. carved in the big stele on the back of a turtle. The devastating storm of 1904 seriously In Nguyen Phuc Chu’s time Thien Mu Pagoda was damaged many structures of Linh Mu. Huong the biggest and most magnificent in the Inner Country, according to the Center for Preservation of Hue Old Nguyen Prayer Hall was completely ruined. In 1957, the pagoda underwent a general renovation using modern building materials. Citadel. Having been through so many additions, restorations and In 1788, having defeated the Nguyen of the Inner Country and the Trinh of the Outer Country, the military genius Nguyen Hue renovations and being always crowded with visitors and tourists, ascended to the throne as Emperor Quang Trung. This emperor, Thien Mu Pagoda nevertheless retains its harmonic tranquillity. Through so many wars, the pagoda managed to preserve the who fascinated many world researchers, according to the Center for Preservation of Hue Old Citadel, ‘had once come to Thien Mu to canopy of age-old trees above it, the flowers around it, and so many relics with historical and artistic value such as statues of make offerings to Mother Earth.’ In 1802, Nguyen Anh, a descendant of Lord Nguyen Hoang, Dharmapalas, Ten Royalties, Maitreya, and carved words of wisdom. The place of contemplation and meditation of generations of exterminated King Canh Thinh, son of Emperor Quang Trung Emperor, to establish the Nguyen Dynasty, which lasted until 1945. kings and highest priests on the bank of Vietnam’s most romantic Historical texts show that many of the 13 Nguyen Kings, river, soaked in the quintessence of historical and cultural traditions, Thien Mu has always been one of the top destinations for Buddhist, especially Kings Thieu Tri and Tu Duc, revered Thien Mu Pagoda. In 1844, King Thieu Tri ordered the building of the 21m high researchers, artists, photographers and tourists.n


A star is born in mattress village



Mr. Nguyen Viet Nam

village in Thua Thien in Hue Province gets its name from the craft product that the village has turned out for thousands of years. Today, its craft is experiencing a successful transformation into the market economy.

The mattress attachment

In the 16th century, people from Dang Ngoai (the northern region of old Vietnam) followed the Nguyen Lords (1558-1777) to conquer the southern land that later became Dang Trong (the southern part of old Vietnam). Many settled down in the basin of the O Lau River, which separates Thua Thien Hue and its neighbor Quang Tri. They formed several villages, including Pho Trach. Like the nearby villages, they developed wet rice agriculture to feed the villagers until they found another plant to help distinguish the village. Near the village’s paddy fields, the villagers found small marsh ponds, a unique topographic feature. Inside the ponds, the only plant that could grow well naturally was the grey rush plant. Generation by generation, the villagers figured out how to use the plant for daily needs until they consolidated their experiences to have the plant knitted to make mattresses. They invented a pedal-driven wooden hammer designated to flatten a bundle of the stems at the same time. Local farmers harvested the mature plants and flattened the stems with a hammer before drying them in the sun. Then they started knitting the dry stems to make mattresses and this became the village’s tradition. They had several kinds of mattresses, including those made for beds, for floors to

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mattresses rather than the be used as carpets, and for baby cradles. Thanks to the air that remained in the rush ones that have a flattened stems, the mattresses were rustic, laidback look. comfortably soft while laying or sitting on Only Hue residents prefer them. They also had amazing features – being rush mattresses for babies cool during summer and warm during winter. now. Sales of other The mattresses were also washable and each products have declined, was durable for at least two years. The resulting in lowered mattresses had another wonderful feature, income for locals and in younger which was the ability to absorb water–thus many keeping babies dry during the time before generations have quit the craft for another means of industrial baby diapers. For centuries, rush mattresses produced living. in the village were available in every home in central region of Vietnam, serving all ages. The village’s name became Pho Trach Dem, with the word dem going behind the village official name. Dem means ‘mattress’ in Vietnamese. ‘A long time ago, the name Pho Trach Dem replaced the village official name. No one knows Pho Trach, but everyone knows Pho Trach Dem,’ said Nguyen Thi The, an elderly person in the village. Customers are trying on Nam's rush hats In its heyday, the village had An elderly artisan said that only nostalgic hundreds of skilled artisans working on the rush knitting craft and the village road was rural customers continue to consume the always busy with traders who came for the village’s mattresses produced in the village. The village’s half millennia-old craft faces its mattresses, according to elderly The. Another elderly man said he found the extinction. mattresses comprised the main income for locals in generations and every child grew up Star of the village with the desire to become a skillful mattressLast April, the former imperial capital city making artisan. The heyday, however, did not of Hue introduced new items that have never last. Modern consumers prefer industrial seen at previous versions of the biennial event

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A Nam’s rush toy

Nam’s rush bags, a environment friendly choice for shoppers

called Hue Craft Village Festival. Audiences took turns to have a look at a stand showcasing items, including key rings in different shapes of fish, Santa Claus, Doraemon, the 12 Zodiac animals and the Dharma Wheel of Buddhism; also everyday items like sofa mats, lanterns, tissue boxes and desk lamps. ‘This is the first time these items have been available at an event designated for craftsmanship, but it gained unexpected applause from audiences,’ said Nguyen Viet Nam, the stand holder. ‘I sold out of the packages prepared from my workshop to display at this event. Audience interest amazed me, particularly for items that seem odd in the modern era.’ Nam is the star of the Pho Trach Dem Village and the items showcased at the stand were his innovative products made from rush mattresses. Nam has a long story that reflects the links between the craft and him as a fate and much devotion. Last year, he

returned to the village after almost six years working far from home to earn a living. Nam describes the coming back as a return of love to the craft. He turned the family’s living room into a workshop and started working on designs that he made up himself during the time he lived in Quang Binh. At first, he categorized his designs into easy and hard. With the ‘easy’ list, which included products that do not require complicated knitting skills, Nam bought mattresses made by local artisans and cut them out into pieces in a size that he needed for making products. Nam himself did the knitting work to make items that are hard to make. ‘I was born on a mattress. Thus, I learnt the craft techniques since I was a little child,’ he said. ‘Knitting is nothing hard for me, but I use it for tough designs. With items that could be used cut mattress pieces, I bought mattresses from locals to help process them.’ Nam now has almost 150 samples that he

made on his own, including household items, key rings and toys for kids in the shape of cars, planes, and trains. Nam determined that only creativity would work, as traditional handicrafts cannot compete with industrial mass products; thus, a transformation into creative items would yield a market breakout for the village’s craft. But this is not the first time Nam invested his efforts to equip the village’s traditional products to be a market trend. During 10 years working as the deputy head of the village’s agriculture co-operative, Nam organised a team of experienced artisans in the village to produce handbags, sofa mats and hats using the knitting technique. The products became popular in local markets before the market segment was overwhelmed by trendy fabric hats and plastic bags. Nam failed to rescue the cooperative’s knitting workshop and he left the village in 2010. Far away from home, Nam always felt homesick, both for his wife and daughters and for the beloved craft. Designing work helped Nam kill the homesickness. Nam’s comeback is just right in time. Trendy organic consumption has made consumers eye handmade products, especially those made from natural materials like the rush plant. A supermarket specializing in organic husbandry and agriculture products imports Nam’s bags for its shoppers. He is also contracted by shops and craft outlets in Hue, Da Nang and HCM City as a sole supplier for creative rush plant knitting items. Nam is busier and busier and more contracts mean the sale of rush mattresses. In the context, he is a truly star of the village. n

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years ago, Mr Pham Van Dao left Xoi Chi village to earn a living for his family. Quite a while afterward, he returned with glassblowing skills. He immediately opened a glass kiln and passed down the trade secrets to his descendants. Having mastered the trade, they established their own business. Gradually, Xoi Chi became a busy trade village producing glass cups, bottles, and lamp bowls. At peak seasons such as near to Lunar New Year, trade at Xoi Chi was heated by merchants from Ha Noi and adjacent provinces. 1985-1995 was the golden time of glass trade at Xoi Chi. Surrounded by purely farming villages, 85 per cent of Xoi Chi villagers engaged in the glass trade. Having established a business, the next most important job of the

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Nam Dinh

HCM City

owner is to build a glass-melting kiln. It is usually built by the owner himself using the best clay. An average kiln is 1.2m high and 1m wide. While waiting for the kiln to dry, the owner and dozens of workers wash waste glass so that the product they will make will be bubble-free. The washing is very low-tech; they wash the glass in a huge tank the way housewives wash vegetables. The glass bought from waste collectors for about VND1,000/kg is then classified by colour. Next, they put glass of the same colour into the kiln and ignite the pit-coal. About 6 hours later, when the temperature in the kiln reaches 1,800oC, the glass begins to melt. At this time, workers use a special iron pipe to scoop the glass out at one end and then blow the pipe from the other end. Filled with the air from the worker’s lungs, the red-hot glass slowly swells like a blooming flower and takes the shape of bottles, vases, cups, lamp bowls etc. depending on the mould. ‘Just scoop and blow. Sounds so simple, but it is not, not at all. To make a good product that looks good, the worker needs a lot of experience and skills. Most importantly, the amount and speed of the air flow has to be measured correctly,’ Mr Pham Cong Linh, great grandson of Mr Dao said. To make a 30-liter decanter, a worker has to scoop about 5kg of red-hot glass and blow continuously for 10 minutes. The product having taken the desired form, the worker waits for it

At a glass kiln, Xoi Chi Village, Nam Dinh Province Photos: Trinh Thu Nguyet

to get below burning temperature, and then covers it with thatch to cool down slowly for 12 hours, making it more durable. The finished product should have a correct form, smooth surface, be free of bubbles, and have a regular thickness. Working constantly beside a white-hot kiln, the workers are always drenched in sweat, even in cold winters. They work on batch after batch of glass until the kiln is broken. They take a few days off waiting for the new kiln to be built, and then get back to work again. Every day, each kiln consumes 700-800kg of waste glass, producing about 1000 products. The cheapest piece is worth a few hundred dongs, the highest-priced ones may be up to VND300,000. Since the year 2000, every year, several Xoi Chi glass kiln owners quit the trade. The village currently has only three glass kilns. A kiln owner told us the main reason for people quitting is that cheap industrial glass products are flooding the market. To face the challenges, the remaining glass makers at Xoi Chi constantly reduce cost, improve quality and diversify their product. Facing tough competition in sales, the remaining Xoi Chi glass kiln owners said, ‘No matter how much sweat and pain it takes, we are determined to move on with our forefathers’ trade.’ The fate of Xoi Chi trade village and its hundreds of workers is shared by the other remaining glass-making villages of Vietnam.n J U N E - J U LY 2 0 1 7



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Da Nang

HCM City

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id-Vietnam, the land of poplars growing on white sand of endless shores by the vast blue sea, and especially Danang, the modern yet scenic city on Han River has a host of vestiges and uniquely beautiful sites. Danang is 960km to the North of Ho Chi Minh city on 1A National Highway. Among those, the site of Non Nuoc at Ngu Hanh Son (Five Fingers Mountains) is not to be missed. Ngu Hanh Son belongs to Hoa Hai Commune, Ngu Hanh Son District, 6km to the south of Danang. The place was discovered in the early 19th Century by King Minh Mang in one of his incognito trips. For centuries, Ngu Hanh Son has been considered the ‘Most Spectacular Site under the Southern Sky.’ With five peaks of Metal, Wood, Water, Fire and Earth that look like a palm of Buddha, according to the Five Matter Theory in the philosophy of Ying and Yang made systematic by Confucius, this is the center of the universe, emanating the pith of heaven and earth. Ngu Hanh Son hides beneath it a chain of fabulous caves miraculously designed by natural tectonic activities. The Cavern of Hades is the most otherworldly magnificent of them all.


With a VND15,000 ticket, one walks the Ying-Yang Bridge to cross Nai Ha River and gropes one’s way into the realm of Hades. The path is now dim, and dark, with a whistling flow of chill air. Bats hover or hang on the ceiling, screeching eerily, covering many with goose bumps. Deep inside the cave, there is a large natural hall with a statue of Ksitigarbha, the Bodhisattva of Hell, sitting at the center, as he is the Judge and the Lord of the underworld. On the left behind him are marble statues of the Keepers of the nine levels and the twelve gates of Hell. The cavern splits into two big branches, one leading to heaven and the other to hell. The underworld is the realm of dead souls. Here people’s deeds are accounted by the Jurors and judged by Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva. Good souls will be freed and sent to

Heaven, while the bad souls will be sent down to Hell. Good and bad are determined by a Scale of Justice that never fails. By the laws of the underworld, felons, no matter who they were, will then be punished as convicted. Then they take the ‘gruel of oblivion’ before being reincarnated. There are 12 gaol gates guarded by 12 Keepers. The entrances are tight, some even require one to bend sideway to get through, and then it swells out where sinners are kept. Visitors will see reliefs and sculptures depicting the buffalo head – horse face or tiger head – bear face demons performing gruesome punishments such as slicing at a drum beat, boiling in oil, holding on to spikes, burning, disemboweling, cutting out eyes and ears and tongue, etc. In the flickering light, one really feels as if they have strayed into hell! Unlike the dark and chilling hell, the path to heaven gets brighter as it ascends Along the path, one sees many statues and paintings depicting deities and bodhisattvas such as the Eight Fabulous Ones, Avalokiteśvara, Xuanzang and his disciples on the way to obtain sutras, Shakyamuni Buddha, and scenes of ultimate happiness in the realm of Nirvana. The scenes between hell and paradise are quite impressive to visitors, awaking in them many thoughts and emotions as they enter the area. According to Buddhist legends, Nai Ha River is divided into two parts, one of life and one of death. The water in Nai Ha River is blackish and fetid, with a lot of crocodiles, poisonous snakes and other hungry predators waiting for a bite. Those who did good deeds while alive will be lead peacefully by Dragon Bodhisattva across the bridge. On the contrary, the greedy, cruel ones will be chased by ferocious dogs and pushed into the water for the predators to feed on. The unique and spectacular Realm of the Underworld at Ngu Hanh Son, with folk tales and legends surrounding it, has become a great destination for tourists who come to explore the site of Non Nuoc.n J U N E - J U LY 2 0 1 7



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Mr Le Huy Cam donating money to Mrs Hai

Mr Le Huy Cam and performers from the Trung Vuong Elementary School at a his show

t’s not too much of an exaggeration to say he is hope for souls that suffer. Perhaps even calling him an incarnation of a Bodhisattva in a comment on his Facebook wall is not a blasphemy. To me, he is a special man. When I told him so, and he just smiled, ‘Please don’ makes me feel uncomfortable.’ He is Le Huy Cam, a music teacher, composer, musician, and painter. He is a true artist with simple and sincere manners that command even more admiration. My heart churns and clogs reading his notes, ‘After a few raining days, Dalat turns foggy, cold and windy this evening. Wandering aimlessly on the streets, I saw two tiny souls shriveling in a corner. I asked, “Where are you from?” “Dam Ron”. “Why come here?” “It’s the hunger. It’s even hungrier at home.” “Are you cold?” “Yes”. What can I say? Only gave them a little something. Uncle’s arms are not long enough to embrace the whole world. The thin voices with cute minority accent still tinkling in my ears, “Tank you vely match...”’ ‘Uncle’s arms are not long enough to embrace the whole world,’ but is that so? The deepest depths of that big heart have enough warmth for orphaned fates, enough sympathy for all the misery and sufferings of life, to

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ONE DALAT MAN COMBINES ARTISTRY WITH CHARITY TO SERVE THE PEOPLE ‘choose a joy each day,’ as it’s sang in a song of Trinh Cong Son. He does it all silently. In the fussy life where everyone seeks material satisfaction or vain fame, he just wants to be a tiny hyphen, a messenger who brings some good news. Unlike noisy charity organizations with

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extra agendas that occupy news headlines, he has gathered a few artists, along with children of Dalat, making a volunteer group to find and help those in need without any intermediary. I asked him, ‘Doing charity work in your own way like this, aren’t you afraid that it would be misinterpreted?’ He smiled unassumingly, ‘I give cash to the elderly, because they need it on rainy days. Since I don’t know how to drive a motorbike, I walk from house to house whenever I have time. I can’t carry much. Nobody does it this way, so people may say this and that. But I am sure the friends who do this with me have no question or objection, because they know me. That’s all I need.’ People often see him in the streets talking affectionately with elderly peddlers of lottery tickets and handing them gifts and small amounts of cash. They see him with sick ones and those whom life has let down to instill them hope. They see him tossing and turning on his artistic passions. They see him dedicating his whole self as a music teacher. And that is unmistakably him. In his simple house in a modest neighborhood hidden in a tiny alley near downtown, Le Huy Cam the Dalat citizen exhausts and refills his heart and mind with musical notes and paintbrushes.

PEOPLE Born in 1960, having gone through the good and bad, he chose loneliness for a companion, as he puts it. Writing, composing and painting are the ways he keeps his diary of thoughts and feelings. In those tunes and brush strokes, Dalat is a dreamy, tender place. The slow, soft pace of life on the hill slopes day by day has built up his Dalat character. Dalat, the realm of dreams and love. His love is also simple, melted in the nature and the people of the land. He shared, ‘Everything comes naturally, without intention or premeditation. The music and paintings seem to have been there, deep down inside me and subconsciously ingrains themselves into my work. With a surge of emotions, the tunes and images come out of nothingness so vividly that all I have to do is put them down on paper...’ Perhaps his empathy and compassion, simple and quiet, toward people also came the same way. ‘I am a Buddhist. Among the twelve teachings of Bodhisattva (who is a Buddha, but doesn’t return to heaven, but instead

remains in the world to relieve human sufferings,) one is about being charitable. That’s beyond my reach, because I too earn every day’s meals. Now, when friends entrust me, as a long time Da Lat city dweller, with helping those who are deeper in troubles than I am, how can I decline? Having connected to people I never knew before, I found them nice and lovely. Orphaned kids treat me like a father, a teacher. The elderly peddling lottery tickets take me for a son. As a lonely man, I lacked all that, so this charity work is like an exchange of affection.’ A bit of affection, given away to receive back. I felt a hidden sigh. Having studied at Lasan Tech, a first-tier school of Da Lat before 1975, he didn’t become an engineer as his parents wished. ‘It was the profession that chose me, not the other way,’ he said figuratively about his ‘career’. From a technical university student he became a musician, then a music teacher. ‘As I teach the kids music, they teach me serenity and love.’ he discovered. Having finished the directing

courses at the School of Drama and Cinematography, he organized the ‘Love’ music gala night to raise money to support lonely elders during New Year’s Eves. ‘Charity work is not supposed to be a fashion for wealthy crowds to cruise around and spray their leftovers on the poor. To the needy, the amount of money you give is not as important as the warmth of attention and care that makes them feel they are not forgotten in this cold world.’ There is grace in everything. The tunes of ‘love’ he wrote in the city slums sink so deep, so softly. They touch so many hearts, and awaken them to give him a hand to light up human existence. Le Huy Cam, the multitalented artist with a compassionate heart, goes on everyday with his mission of conveying the message of hope by voluntary charity work, quiet, like an underground current. And I believe this tireless underground current will never be exhausted.n

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The tomb that became a monument


Clockwise from top: Views at the Le Van Duyet’s shrine


nce the grave of a scurrilous rebel, the final resting place of Le Van Duyet is revered all over the South. None of other tombs in the whole area of Saigon – Gia Dinh can compare to the one of Le Van Duyet in size, impressiveness and healing power, and none is so fervently worshipped and taken care of. Before 1975, the tomb’s triple gate with two palmyra trees on its sides was chosen to be the symbol of Saigon (and of South Vietnam), just as Phuoc Duyen Tower at Thien Mu Pagoda stands for Hue and Mid-Vietnam, and Single Pillar – Dien Huu Pagoda stands for Hanoi and North Vietnam. Occupying an area of 18,500m2, standing on a knoll right next to Ba Chieu Market, the Lord’s Tomb faces four streets: Dinh Tien Hoang, Phan Dang Luu, Trinh Hoai Duc and Vu Tung. The premises is surrounded by a 500m

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long, 1.2m high wall with four gates opening to four directions, built in 1948. The Triple Gate was built the next year, opening to Vu Tung Street. Behind this gate are the stele pavilion, the tomb, and the temple, in that order. With brick walls and double-tile roofs, the stele pavilion looks like a shrine. The stele is made of slate with carved Chinese text, eulogizing the merits and legacy of Le Van Duyet. At the end, the text mentions his wife Lady Do Thi Phan and Lord Phan Luong Khe (Phan Thanh Gian) who is also worshipped in the temple. All these structures are built with Lindera myrrha mix in the bonding material. The reliefs on the two screen walls, though simple, are especially interesting. Mr Tran Van Sung, the chief Tomb Keeper, describes it thusly: the front side of the front screen shows an eagle crouching on a tree, ready to swoop down on a monkey trembling in fear. That was the power of Le Van Duyet over the Siamese. The backside of this screen depicts two tigers, J U N E - J U LY 2 0 1 7



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father and son. The father in jumping position, with his front paws on a rock face, is looking back toward the son behind him. The scene shows the affectionate love of Le Van Duyet in his final days for his adopted son. The relief on the back screen depicts a dragon crouching in a cloud, a symbol for nobility, in simplistic style. The screen has two handles on the sides in the form of ‘leaves turning into dragons’. According to Mr Tran Van Sung, the leaves turning into dragons motive was quite popular and used by in the old times by artists to decorate wooden beams beneath temples’ roofs. The tomb contains two graves, the general’s and his wife Lady Do Thi Phan’s. Both the graves look like half an egg covering a big rectangle slab, lying in parallel. The graves are protected by a thick rectangle flat wall, which opens at the front to a square with an incense burner. Behind the graves is the ‘Lord’s Sacred Shrine’ for worshippers to pray to Le Van Duyet and conduct other rituals. The shrine consists of the front, the middle and the main edifices, with East and West corridors on the sides. The edifices, separated by a small open-air space, have curved roofs on top of strong beams connected by simple tenons. Carved wood and stones and ceramic inlay soften the solemnity of the tomb. Born in 1760 at Tra Lot River Fork (Cai Be, Dinh Tuong, now Tien Giang Province,) he followed Lord Nguyen Anh in victory and defeat, even to Cambodia and Laos. In May 1802, as Lord Nguyen Anh ascended to the throne, Le Van Duyet became a founder of the dynasty. Later, asked by the King about the successor choice, Le Van Duyet opposed to the King’s idea of deposing the elder line (of Prince Canh, who died at 22) to establish the junior line (Nguyen Phuc Dam, later King Minh Mang.) King Minh Mang resented him for this. Furthermore, he practiced his right not to kowtow the King, granted by King Gia Long, every time he

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Clockwise from top, left: Rituals for the death anniversary of Le Van Duyet


went to King Minh Mang’s audiences. He used his ‘behead first, report later’ right to behead military chief Huynh Cong Ly, father of a beloved concubine of the King, thus driving the King mad. After he died, King Minh Mang removed the position of military head of Gia Dinh, renamed it Phien An, and appointed Bach Xuan Nguyen as province chief and Nguyen Van Que as province treasurer to govern it together. These two men mistreated the men he trusted, causing Lieutenant Le Van Khoi (Le Van Duyet’s adopted son) to rebel, kill the two men, and seize Phien An fortress in 1835. It took the King’s army two years of siege to take down Phien An. All 1,831 people inside were executed. Minh Mang decreed to level Le Van Duyet’s grave and carve a stone stele saying ‘This is where eunuch Le Van Duyet expiated his crimes.’ In 1841, as he ascended to the throne, King Thieu Tri reinstated wrongly treated meritorious men, including Le Van Duyet. The man’s tomb in Gia Dinh was built bigger, and his shrine renovated.n


HCM City

Besides the tomb of the lord and his wife, there are also graves of their two maids outside of the tomb’s premises. One is on Trinh Hoai Duc Street, and the other on Dinh Tien Hoang Street (inside Ho Chi Minh City’s cadre school.) On Dec 6, 1989, the Ministry of Culture named the tomb a National Relic of Culture and History.

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An Old Haunt

The Saigon Art Museum



ay back in 2011, I wrote an article for one of the first editions of this magazine about a visit to The Saigon Art Museum. Back then, I discovered quite a dreary collection of art works and I practically had the place to myself. I ended my piece with an appeal for renovation and pleading with the powers that be to have some civic pride and establish an art museum worthy of a major world city. Lo and behold, coincidence or not, a few months later work began on a large new building to extend the place. Recently, relatives with solid backgrounds in art came to visit me and I had the chance to accompany them to see the museum for the first time in six years. The first indicator that the People's Committee are serious about promoting the art museum to all came with the entrance ticket. It is priced at a mere VND10,000. All perhaps but poor students might well consider contributing more with a drop of a few notes into the donation box. There was now a steady trickle of visitors coming through the gates. Once inside I discovered that the place has increased by leaps and bounds! What has not changed is the attraction of the buildings themselves. The architecture is eclectic Chinese, Vietnamese and French with wooden shutters, winding staircases, artdeco windows and an antique wooden lift with wrought iron

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railings. There is also a charming courtyard with three tiers of open air corridors around it. You can also buy art here. There are commercial galleries out at the back of one of the three large buildings. The middle of these three buildings was housing an exhibition by a contemporary artist on the day we visited. He had around forty works on display, all of them a variation on a theme, quite abstract and in vivid colours. Many artists I have noticed tend to do this and I understand if they have work likely to sell well this is good for them, but it looked more like a production line than a show of art. The building to the right as you enter is the one where you learn about and enjoy contemporary Vietnamese art and that of the twentieth century. As my kinsman Albert pointed out, you can see the influence of European and especially French art. One picture looks definitely a Miro and another had a Magritte-like train emerging out of nowhere. Albert was bemused that is so difficult to find a Western history of art book in Vietnam and there was certainly none in the museum shop. The third building was marked as antiquity but we are talking of hundreds of years rather than thousands. No oil and canvass here, but works of art in more durable materials such as stone, wood, brass and ceramics. There are a lot of religious (Buddhist) works here. This section also takes you back in history to the times of the Khmer, the Cham, Oc Eo civilisation and the early settlers. I wondered why there were no paintings in this museum which predate the twentieth century. ‘The French must have carted it all off,’ said Albert. That being the case, it is high time since some of it were returned to its rightful place here. My relative Albert took many great photographs that day and the examples shown here should give you a good picture of what to expect should you visit Saigon's Art Museum. The city now has an Art Museum to be proud of and worthy of your attention. The Fine Arts Museum Ho Chi Minh City is conveniently located near the Ben Thanh Market at 98A Pho Duc Chinh St, District 1, HCMC. Entrance VND10,000, open 9.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. daily. n J U N E - J U LY 2 0 1 7



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Keeping the heart warm



ade of palm leaves, ‘tơi’ coats have been used everywhere throughout the country. Good at shielding people from rains and scorching sun, they are also warmly mentioned in folklore. The coat is so simple that almost everybody in the countryside can make it. A few palm leaves are splinted together into a single piece, and a few pieces ‘roofing’ on top of one another on an adjustable frame will complete a coat. The coats ae also used by quick-witted Vietnamese for many other purposes: as a make shift tray for lunch in the fields, or as a mat for siesta under a tree, or as a scarecrow. Being such an intimate companion in life of Vietnamese people for ages, the coats inevitably appeared in folk art and literature as a heartfelt nostalgic symbol, for example in the verses of folklore ‘My mother used to wear it in her time / It protected her from the sun, the rains and storms...’ About 40 years ago, a 7-year-old boy, I still saw many folks wear toi coats as they worked the fields, although nylon coats were already available. Once I covered myself with an old man’s tơi coat under a cold drizzling rain, and it felt so warm.

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Rain coats from old-time Vietnam are more deeply cherished than their modern counterparts

Rice farmers wearing tơi coats in Thach That Dist., Hanoi. Photos: Nguyen Dinh Thanh

Since 2000, I have travelled a lot but have never saw anyone in a tơi coat again. I had thought improved material life made the Vietnamese abandon the old tơis. And then I was really surprised when I read that farmers in Hanoi suburbs and Nghe An and Ha Tinh provinces still wear it as they go out to the fields. One newspaper even reported that villagers of Yen Lac village, Quang Loc Commune (Ha Tinh Provincce) and some villages of Thanh Chuong District, Nghe An Province still make tơi coats as a traditional trade. The media says that they keep on making these coats because it protects them well from the sun, and in Ha Tinh and Nghe An the earth is scorched in summer, especially in July and August. The folks in these provinces make the coats during the months of February to August every year. A person can make 4-7 pieces a day. A tơi coat is sold for VND30,000-VND50,000. Ao tơi coats are on display at: Cham Islet Museum: Cu Lao Cham, Tan Hiep District, Hoi An City , Quang Nam Province. Tel: 0235.3936.111 Vietnam Museum of Agriculture 148 Tan Son Street, But Son, Hoang Hoa District, Thanh Hoa Province.Tel: 0166 960 8898

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Located on Gem Island, Eden Resort Phu Quoc stands out irresistibly with its vast green space, distinct and romantic design, and is especially known for fishing and coral diving services.

ea sites are usually the first idea when someone plans for a leisure trip. There, one can not only fill the lungs with salty air that awakens senses and be caressed by tender breezes, but also stay and relax in classy resorts. Phu Quoc has long been a famous destination for domestic and foreign tourists. With beautiful beaches, pristine spots of untouched nature, this pretty island has left its mark in so many souls. If you come to Phu Quoc, the best place to stay would be, of course, Eden Resort Phu Quoc. In an over 18,000m2 premises, with its romantic and sophisticated architectural style, Eden Resort Phu Quoc truly is the place to relax, the refuge from the fuss and stress of everyday life. To satisfy the needs of tourists, especially during the peak season, Eden Resort Phu Quoc has increased the number of rooms to 166. Understanding the desire of seaside holiday makers to be with the sea at all times, Eden Resort Phu Quoc is designed and arranged in such a way that most of its rooms have a view of the vast blue expanses Remarkably, Eden Resort Phu Quoc also provides free fishing and coral diving services plus boat transport. What could be more thrilling than to fish like a fisherman or to be among the brightly colourful world under the water of Phu Quoc? The 2017 summer program from 15 March to 30 November at Eden Resort Phu Quoc comes with an irresistible discount package. For only VND3,970,000 per room for two nights in a Deluxe Garden View Room including two complimentary tickets to Vinpearl Land, roundtrip airport transfers.

EDEN RESORT PHU QUOC Cua Lap village, Duong To Commune, Phu Quoc District, Kien Giang Province Phone: (0297) 3985 598 | Hotline: 0907 469 846 Email:

Hanoi Sales Office: 47-49 Le Van Huu St., Hai Ba Trung Dist., Hanoi Tel: (024) 3936 5109 | Email: HCM Sales Office: 111D Ly Chinh Thang St., Ward 7, Dist. 3, HCMC Tel: +(028) 3526 5599 | Email: J U N E - J U LY 2 0 1 7



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A garden of eden by the sea


Aroma Beach Resort and Spa



aving just had one new experience of an aroma, I received a text message inviting me to another one. I never knew before that the small of a whole roasting dog was actually quite pleasant, just as most roasts are. My daughter had warned me that members of my sister-in-law with whom we were spending a public holiday had slaughtered a dog, but this had not prepared me for this sight and smell as I sat out resting in the courtyard of my sister-inlaw’s dragon fruit farm house. Then there was a buzz on the phone and I read a message saying that as I was already in the vicinity and would I like to experience the delights of ‘The Aroma Beach Resort and Spa’ at Phan Thiet? A more idyllic setting for a seaside sojourn you could not wish for. The creation of a promontory makes for a secluded yellow

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sandy beach. The resort slopes down a bank at an angle of around forty degrees, making it steep enough as well large enough to warrant a buggy to take you and your baggage to your room. These rooms are housed in bungalows villas, suites and superior suites. The last two categories have their own indoor or outdoor Jacuzzis. All the accommodation is of mock stucco walls with thatch and bamboo roofs giving you the feeling of living in a rustic village of yesteryear. The location is near the ancient Cham towers of Poshanu and is not actually in Mui Ne, but just before, in Phu Hai ward of Phan Thiet City. All of this is set in among the most beautiful of tropical gardens. Each section of the resort is named after the flower which prominently grows around it. There is jasmine, lemongrass, plumeria, peppermint,frangipani and nenuphar

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(water lily). This, of course, along with the empty bird cages placed among the trees attracts the bird life. Very prominent and tame enough for you to get up close are the rufous-bodied hoopoes with their regal crest of feathers on their heads, which always appear in pairs with their long curved bills picking out the worms on the lawns. Seated out on my upper floor balcony, I was also entertained by a beautiful slinky lizard half way up a coconut tree below me. One might think the hotel takes its name from the fragrances of its abundant flowers, but there is more to it than that. In the room, there was an oil burner with a small candle to vaporize the oil. There is an oil for everyday of the week - lemongrass, rose, sweet orange, peppermint, ginger grass, cajuput and lavender. We had to call reception for it, but a staff member was round in a jiffy,had everything lit and our


room was smelling as sweetly as a spa for the rest of the evening. Here I have to commend the friendly and well- trained staff. They will not let you carry a bag for half a metre! This hotel is all about relaxing and restoring body and soul. Fittingly, there is a spa centre with full massage services,sauna and steam bath and you work out at the fully equipped gymnasium next to it. For shoulder exercise, there is even a mini-golf course. If you do not want to take a dip in the vast blue ocean, there is a full-length swimming pool by the beach. The kids are well-catered for, as there is a paddling pool for them and a bamboo see-saw, swings and a springy set out on a lawn and under shady trees. The Tansy Restaurant, serving Vietnamese,Asian and European delights have an outdoor area where you can enjoy a romantic evening. We sat there for breakfast. The beach is a working one-not

just for holiday makers. We thought we were starting the day early but we watched as fisher folk in basket boats landed their first haul of the day. A beach holiday can be a bit boring, but there is plenty to do outside near the hotel and in BinhThuan Province. Within walking distance, there is the Sand Sculpture Exhibition with works on Vietnamese and World fairy tale themes by artists from thirteen different countries and there is a cultural show in an open air theatre called ‘The Fishermen Show’. A taxi ride will take you to the Poshanu towers, a relic from one of the world's most amazing cultures. The hotel also organises excursions. There is a day trip to the nineteenth century Co Thach Pagoda set in a grotto high on a hill above a coloured pebble beach and there a half day trips to the Ke Ga (Chicken Coop) lighthouse on an islet reached by canoe or

basket boat and to the famous white dunes of Mui Ne. Vietnam can be noisy, hectic and hard work even for the tourist. If you want to spend a few quiet days in a rustic setting but with all modern comforts and the possibility of some rewarding activities, this could be the place for you. The gardens are sheer paradise, but luckily apple trees cannot grow here and the lemongrass wards off snakes. Also I was with the wife, so no woman here led me into temptation - just blue sky, yellow sand and greenery! The Aroma Beach Resort and Spa Quarter 5, Phu Hai Ward, HanThiet City, BinhThuan Province Tel:(0252) 3828-288 Email: Website:

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The sea smells of sweet plumerias in Cam Ranh Riviera Beach Resort & Spa



ha Trang South, stretching from breathtakingly spectacular Long Beach up to modern hi-tech structured Cam Ranh Airport, has recently turned into a promising chic Riviera of the line of bright new luxury resorts being placed in the oases of white sands with sparkling waters with Cam Ranh Bay as a backdrop. The bay impresses one from a plane window by the full spectrum of the blue and deep emerald bead necklaces of islands and islets framed in gold ,with the sandy bottom shining through the shallow waters. The touchdown in Nha Trang is very possibly one of the most spectacular ones in the whole country, at any hour of the day. The plane descendsdown the vast blue continuum of the sparkling sea at sunny daytime and lifts the sadly-departing up, high above the resort city by night with a myriad of city lights; the brightly lit and never-ending Nha Trang

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esplanade and garlands of lamps from the 2-km longcablecar line from the mainland to the island. Nha Trang South welcomes visitors with blooming bougainvilias in bunches and lines embellishing the median strip of the road .The owners of brand new Cam Ranh Riviera Beach Resort & Spa, where I was heading, could not have chosen a better name for the property, as it catches the very vibe of the surrounding seascapes. So does the resort main building, all white, light and contemporary designed with a gentle hint of sea cruise liners. The spacious lobby, opened to the cooling sea breeze, serves as a gateway to the CamRanh Riviera Beach Resort’s vast premises, which comprise 10 hectars of lush tropical terra verde running right into the blue sea. While sitting in the lobby lounge, one can watch through a huge ‘screen’ of panoramic nonframed windows the tops of verdant coco-trees rolling in deep green waves, the still silver water of the upper pool and the lines of white

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villas hiding in the shade of young bamboo groves and out farther into the unterrupted spaces of the ocean. A short walk down the stairs and a stroll through an expansive restaurant where full-board buffets are included in the ‘boarding pass to the resort’ are being held all day long with short breaks, and one finds one’s self at the doors into the tropical green corridor to the ocean. On the way to the 200 m-wide private beach there are more surprises deserving closer attention: a huge lotus pond in full bloomwith a chorus of frogs on duty, and butterflies and birds performing whirling dervish dances on neatly kept lawns. Green lawns are also grown on the curved roofs of Ocean View and Beach Front Villas to put them in perfect harmony with floral surroundings. The coco groves change into whiteplumeria alleys leading to an infinity pool all alive with anaquaerobic session. The interiors of the Ocean View Villa I was assigned to are simply striking and can be described as ‘over the top’, with great work clearly revealed throughout. An impressive 115 m²,featuring a two-level main room in white , chestnut, light silver and ultramarine blue colors, ornate wooden screen, closet room and

huge bathroom with attached open-air shower and a steamboat of a bathtub.Add a private garden, a blossoming tree stretching its branches above the shower and throwing flowers at one’s feet, private pool framed with exotic greenery growing and floating in a little nearby pond. The resort is truly expansive, with exquisite accomodations, featuring 226 rooms, ranging from elegant Deluxe Sea View Rooms featuring private glass ‘ship decks’ of balconies, elegant studios and suites to top end Beach–Front and Ocean View villas. The private sandy beach in the Nha Trang area looks sensational. Calm waters with light waves in the afternoon and a gradual descent from shallow to deep promise a swim of the century. All the elements to ensure and provide memorable pleasuresfor the guests’ free time such as a chic and cozy spa center, a modern gym with state-of-the-art equipment, an open-air night cinema, and a wide array of health-boosting and animation programs are definitelyhere. With over 30 hotels and resorts in Vietnam visited and reviewed during my long stay in the country, I did actually keep my calmbefore impressive facilities and interiors of Cam Ranh Riviera Beach Resort & Spa, but I surrendered to the images of kids hunting for frogs at night in the garden, flying butterflies, dancing birds, frogs peering into the spa through windows and watching you from the pools edge while you are enjoying a late nite driftnhamaydienkhi, handsome macho men and granddaddies playing poolball like toddlers.The lady all in gold , with red manicure and chic swimming suit all of a sudden jumping in the sea riding the seahorses for a good 30 minutes dealt the final blow. Verdict: Exceptional. Impossible to remain impartial in this review. Cam Ranh Riviera Beach Resort & Spa Northern Peninsula Cam Ranh, Khanh Hoa Province Email: Tel: (0258) 3989-898

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amassed a collection of over three dozen works of various sizes, depicting the grassroots revolutionary movement of the Vietnamese in vibrant, detailed paintings. Mederos’ work aimed to demonstrate the solidarity that the Cuban people felt for the Vietnamese people, rather than to glorify war. Over the years, his paintings and posters of the war have been displayed by anti-war organisations and in art galleries around the world.


‘Nature and Nostalgia’ 9 June to 23 July

The lacquer painting ‘Nature and Nostalgia’ will be organized from 9 June to 23 July at L’Espace, 24 Trang Tien St, Hoan Kiem Dist., Hanoi. The exhibition includes artworks of Dang Thu Huong, Ly Truc Son, and Nguyen Thi Que. They are the first generation of the Vietnamese School of Fine Arts and explored the oriental art of sanded lacquer in the 1990s. The war brought them closer to nature and inspires them with simple subjects: flowers, people, and the countryside. The charm of their works resides in the sparkling of the lacquer and its red, black, silver and gold palette. Revolutionary Art Till 12 June

There is an exhibition at 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Work Four Room, 24th floor, Packexim Building, lane 15, An Duong Vuong St, Tay Ho Dist., Hanoi, till 12 June. The exhibition displays 18 archival prints of the paintings/posters created between 1969 and 1972 by the late celebrated Cuban Graphic Artist René Mederos and art pieces by five contemporary Vietnamese artists including Le Quy Tong, Nguyen The Son, Nguyen Nghia Cuong, Pham Khac Quang and Giang Nguyen. In 1969, René Mederos (1933-1996) was sent by the Cuban government to Vietnam to paint scenes of the war in both North and South Vietnam. Mederos travelled with soldiers and villagers along the Hồ Chí Minh Trail, living and working with the Vietnamese community. He returned to Vietnam in 1972, and once again painted images of the Vietnamese resistance. During his two trips to Vietnam, Mederos 36 •



Art from the collective Till 15 June Nha San Collective is pleased to introduce the artworks of by Dang Viet Linh (1993), Nguyen Dinh Phuong (1989), Linh Cam (1994), Nguyen Duc Huy (1995) and Nguyen Van Thuy (1982). In the previous one and a half years, this group of young artists have been working directly under the instruction of artist Nguyen Huy An. The exhibition is on till 15 June at 15th Floor, Hanoi Creative Building, 1 Luong Yen St, Hanoi. This program sets the goal to promote a young, new generation of artists in contemporary arts. Through introducing fresh faces in the art scene, the program aims to reveal a greater variety of concerns and perspectives of life for the public and the art community. A place for children and children-atheart Till 30 June ‘Fantitastisch’, by six artists from the Art Foundation of Saxony-Anhalt, is on 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. till 30 June at the Goethe Institut, 56-58 Nguyen Thai Hoc St, Ba Dinh Dist., Hanoi. The artists have set themselves the task of designing beautiful and useful objects for young explorers. Child-sized furniture, including bookshelves, tables and stools invite kids to paint, draw and play. They can make their own stuffed animals and textile products by hand; a backpack can be turned into a toy; those who prefer can make themselves comfortable in the cosy reading corner. With this exhibition, the Goethe Institute wants to promote an understanding of education that promotes creativity and artistic discovery. Children and adults are playfully introduced to the works and products of the artists to help them shape a space for their own creativity.

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Arto Italiano Till 2 August

On an occasion of the 71st Anniversary of the Italian Republic, the Embassy of Italy in Hanoi and the Vietnam Museum of Ethnology, are glad to present – for the first time ever in Asia – the exhibition ‘Raffaello: opera omnia’ till 2 August at the Vietnam Museum of Ethnology, Nguyen Van Huyen St, Cau Giay Dist, Hanoi. Ticket: VND40,000. Opening hours: 8.30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Closed on Mondays. The exhibition includes 35 digital artworks of one of the most prominent Italian painters of the XV-XVI century: Raffaello Sanzio. Visitors will be taken along a journey of celebrated harmony of colors, lines and characters belonging to different eras and worlds and through the unique refined beauty that made the Italian Renaissance renowned worldwide. DANCE

Hanoi gets ‘Swagger’ 11 June The contemporary dance – hip hop ‘In the Middle’ by Swaggers will be showed at 8 p.m. on 11 June at the Youth Theatre, 11 Ngo Thi Nham, Hanoi. Ticket: VND100,000 to VND450,000. The show is choreographed by Marion Mottin and displays all expressive possibilities of the body, as well as the feelings and emotions of the dancers. Seven female hip hop dancers of Swaggers with elegant and sensual dance moves will bring a journey of finding the inner balance that we seem to have forgotten.


‘The Journey of Music’ 9 June

Concert ‘The Journey of Music’ with conductor Igor Sarmientos will be shown at 8 p.m. 9 June at the Ho Chi Minh Opera House, 7 Lam Son Square, Dist.1, Ho Chi Minh City. Tickets: VND200,000 to VND550,000. This will be the Vietnam premiere, which has the special melodies from Latin American by Jorge Sarmientos, Dimitri Shostakovich, Alberto Ginastera and Alfredo Rugeles.

EVENTS The concert will have the participation of Russian pianist, Igor Chystokletov, who won a remarkable prize at the Lom Music Festival in Bulgaria in 1988.

Hanoi Rocks 24 June

The International Music Festival will be held at 4.30 on 24 June at the L’Espace, 24 Trang Tien St, Hoan Kiem Dist., Hanoi. The event will start with three talented groups from Hanoi, including ‘HUB’, ‘Xanh 8+1’ and ‘B52’, who will feature original pop-rock compositions in Vietnamese. Then, Puzzle, a well-known Franco-Vietnamese band from Hanoi, will perform songs from the French-language repertoire. Free entry.


Ticket: VND100,000 to VND450,000. For more information please see Hanoi section.


‘Night Lullaby’ 17 June

The famous opera ‘The Magic Flute’ by the great composer W.A.Mozart will be back to the stage again at 8 p.m. 30 June and 1 July at the Ho Chi Minh Opera House, 7 Lam Son Square, Dist.1, Ho Chi Minh City. Ticket: VND400,000 to VND800,000. The play has the performances of director David Hermann, conductor Tran Nhat Minh and artists from HBSO Opera, Ballet and Symphony Orchestra.

A contemporary dance, ‘Night Lullaby’ will be held at 8 p.m. 17 June at the Ho Chi Minh Opera House, 7 Lam Son Square, Dist.1, Ho Chi Minh City. Tickets: VND200, 000 to VND550, 000. The show is choreographed by Nguyen Phuc Hai and Nguyen Phuc Hung who are well known for many successful contemporary dance works in recent years. Their works always impress with the emphasis on thinking and the intricate interior of man in modern life. This time, Nguyen Phuc Hai and Nguyen Phuc Hung will combine with dancer-choreographer Sung A Lung, who won the Gold Medal at the ‘Young Talent Choreographer Competition’ in 2016.

The Magical Flute 30 June and 1 July


Keep your cool Till 24 June


1,000 paper cranes 9 June

A hip hop night, ‘Sadako’, will be performed at 8 p.m. 9 June at Idecaf, 28 Le Thanh Ton St, Dist.1, Ho Chi Minh City. Ticket: VND150,000 to VND200,000. With ‘Sadako’, Valentine Nagata-Ramos revives a Japanese tragedy. According to one legend, anyone who folds 1,000 paper cranes will see his wish fulfilled. Sadako Sasaki, a young victim of the atomic bomb of Hiroshima, was only able to make 644 origamis before being swept away by her leukemia at the age of 12 and buried by his classmates with the remaining 356 cranes that they folded for her. This piece is an opportunity for the FrenchJapanese dancer to make a journey into her mixed origins by combining hip hop and Japanese dance theatrical art of butoh, and to invite audiences to accompany her again on the tortuous path of childhood, between pain and hope.

The music will be composed by Tran Vuong Thach, who famous for writing in dance and movie scores.

Saigon Soul Pool Party is an ideal place in Ho Chi Minh City to beat the heat. The party runs every Saturday till 24 June at New World Hotel, 76 Le Lai St, Ben Thanh Ward, Dist.1, Ho Chi Minh City. Ticket: VND150,000 A wide range of beverage and mouth-watering dishes is waiting for you. Also, the performance of world-class DJs will be on hand.


HCMC gets ‘Swagger’ 10 June

The contemporary dance – hip hop ‘In the Middle’ by Swaggers will be showed at 8 p.m. on 10 June at Ho Chi Minh Opera House, 7 Lam Son Square, Ben Nghe Ward, Dist.1, HCMC.

AROMA BEACH RESORT & SPA Quarter 5, Phu Hai Ward, Phan Thiet, Binh Thuan Province. Tel: (0252) 3828-288 Aroma Beach Resort & Spa is offering the ‘Package to discover Mui Ne’ at VND2,650,000 per room per night in Aroma Village Garden View Room with breakfast, a lunch or dinner, a White Sand Dune tour, two spa coupons valued at VND200,000/ coupon. The price includes service charge and VAT. Surcharge is VND300,000 per room per night on Friday and Saturday. The package is valid till 31 October and is not applicable on 1 and 2 September.

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undreds of people with all kinds of traditional fishcatching tools rush down to a lagoon to hunt for fish under the boisterous cheering of thousands of others on the banks. Every now and then, a joyful shout announces a catch, expressing exultation and soliciting the crowd to join the fun. That is the atmosphere of the fishcatching festival, also called ‘Let out the water to catch the fish’, which takes place around a 20ha lagoon within a 65ha

primeval forest at Tra Loc Village, Hai Xuan Commune, Hai Lang District of Quang Tri Province. Quang Tri is a northern province of Mid-Vietnam, made famous as the demilitarized zone (17th latitude) during the Vietnam War. The annual activity, conducted every year for centuries, has no fixed date but usually takes place after the summer harvest, around the end of the 6th lunar month. Farmers in the commune jointly organize the festival to celebrate a good

harvest, pray for future good crops, and at the same time have fun and clean the lagoon. The fish-catching fest is one of the best childhood memories of the people of Tra Loc, and of Hai Lang District in general. On this day, even those who now live far away also remember to come home to join the fun. Taking part in the festival are people of all ages from all walks of life. The caught fish are normally given as a present to friends and relatives, or sold cheaply to tourists just for fun, and as a token of luck. n

The 65ha forest surrounding Tra Hanoi Loc Lagoon is an extremely Quang important ‘green lung’ in the Tri middle of an endless white sand desert, preserving valuable botanical species of sandy ecosystems. That’s why the forest, HCM City full of wildlife including weasels, squirrels, and all kinds of birds has been cherished and protected by local people for centuries. In 2006, the local government turned Tra Loc Forest and Lagoon into an ecotourism zone. The tourist destination is about 6km to the southeast of Quang Tri city. Visitors can enjoy lotus blossoms in the pond and Tra Loc local food, and learn about a forest ecosystem in the midst of a desert.

38 •



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Syrena Cruises

Hung Thang new urban area, Bai Chay, Halong. Tel: (033) 3847-043 Hanoi Sales Office: Syrena Tower, 3th Floor, 51 Xuan Dieu St, Hanoi Tel: (04) 3719-7214 Email:

Lapaz Hotel & Resort

Tuan Chau Island, Halong Tel: (033) 3842-999

Vinpearl Halong

DIRECTIONS Chi Minh declared Vietnam’s independence in September 1945, is a complex of historic sites.

Cot Co Tower

28 Dien Bien Phu St, Ba Dinh Dist, Hanoi Cot Co Tower, the so-called Flag Tower, is now part of the Vietnam Military History Museum complex. The Tower was built in 1950, under the Nguyen Dynasty, with the help of French engineers. The tower has 36 flower-shaped windows. At the top of the tower flies the flag of Vietnam.

66 Nguyen Thai Hoc St, Ba Dinh Dist., Hanoi Tel: (024) 3733-2131 Open 8.30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Entry fee VND20,000 ($0.95)

Hanoi Opera House

Vietnam Military History

1 Trang Tien St, Hoan Kiem Dist, Hanoi Designed by a French architect along the lines of the Paris Opera House, it is embellished with wonderful Gothic statuary. For many decades, Hanoi Opera House has been a centre for theatre, traditional music and dance, symphonies, traditional and classical music. This, the largest theatre in Vietnam, was completed in 1911.

Hoa Lo Prison

‘La Maison Centrale’, the prison on Hoa Lo Street in Hanoi, was built by the French in 1896 and became the place where generations of Vietnamese freedom fighters were held.


St Joseph’s Cathedral

Reu Island, Bai Chay, Ha Long, Viet Nam. Tel: (033) 3556-868

HAI PHONG CITY Avani Hai Phong Harbour View 12 Tran Phu St, Ngo Quyen Dist., Hai Phong. Tel: (031) 3827-827


Emeraude Classic Cruises

46 Le Thai To St, Hanoi Tel: (024) 3935-1888


3rd Floor, 66A Tran Hung Dao St, Hoan Kiem Dist., Hanoi Tel: (024) 3828-2150

Topas Travel

52 To Ngoc Van St, Hanoi Tel: (024) 3715-1005 SIGHTSEEINGS

Ba Dinh Square

36A Dien Bien Phu St, Ba Dinh Dist, Hanoi. Ba Dinh Square, where President Ho

Tel: (024) 3824-1384 Open 8 a.m. to 4.30 p.m. Closed every first Monday of months. Entry fee VND40,000 ($1.82) for adults and VND10,000 ($0.48) for children

40 Nha Chung St, Hoan Kiem Dist., Hanoi Fresh missionaries built this cathedral in the late 19th century. The small but beautiful panes of stained glass were created in Paris in 1906. Also of note is the ornate altar, with its high gilded sidewalls. MUSEUMS

Hanoi Museum

2 Pham Hung (next to Vietnam National Convention Centre), Me Tri Commune, Tu Liem Dist., Hanoi Tel: (024) 6287-06 04 Opening hour: 8 a.m. to 11.30 a.m. and 1.30 p.m. to 5 p.m. Free entrance

Vietnam Fine Arts Museum

Museum 28A Dien Bien Phu St, Hanoi Open 8 a.m. to 11.30 a.m. and 1 p.m. to 4.30 p.m. Closed on Mondays Entry fee VND30,000 ($1.43)

Vietnam Museum of Ethnology

Nguyen Van Huyen St, Cau Giay Dist., Hanoi Tel: (024) 3756-2193, Open 8.30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Closed on Mondays Entry fee VND40,000 ($2)

Women’s Museum

36 Ly Thuong Kiet, Hanoi Tel: (024) 3825-9936 Open 8 a.m. to 4.30 p.m. Closed on Mondays Entry fee VND30,000 ($1.43) TRAVEL

Imperial Citadel of Thang Long

12 Nguyen Tri Phuong St/ 9 Hoang Dieu St, Ba Dinh Dist., Hanoi Tel: (024) 37345427 Open: 8.30 a.m. to 11.30 a.m. and 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. (Closed on Mondays) Entry fee: VND30,000

Vietnam National Museum

of History 1 Trang Tien St, Hanoi. 25 Tong Dan St, Hanoi.

Resort & Spa 588 Bui Thi Xuan St, Thuy Bieu Dist., Hue. Tel: (0234) 3978-484

Imperial Hotel

8 Hung Vuong St, Hue Tel: (0234) 3882-222

Indochine Palace Hotel

105A Hung Vuong St, Hue Tel: (0234) 3936-666 The hotel is surrounded by lush green gardens that make it an outstanding landmark in Hue and give the city the feel of a resort. This luxurious, international standard hotel is created to appeal to Vietnamese and international visitors to Hue.

La Residence Hotel & Spa

5 Le Loi St, Hue Tel: (0234) 3837-475 Email: Step back in time to Art Deco's golden age with a stay at La Residence Hue Hotel & Spa, MGallery by Sofitel. Nestled along the fabled Perfume River overlooking the former Imperial Citadel, La Residence is a one-of-a-kind masterpiece with luxurious cultural and culinary experiences. This former governor's residence with 122 guestrooms and suites offers visitors a warm hospitality and a chance to relive the pleasures of a bygone era.

Lang Co Beach Resort

Oxalis Adventure Tours

Phong Nha Commune, Son Trach Village, Bo Trach Dist., Quang Binh Province. Tel: (0232)3677-678



Century Riverside Hotel Hue

Ho Chi Minh Museum

19 Ngoc Ha St, Ba Dinh Dist., Hanoi Tel: (024) 3846-3752 Open: 8 a.m. to noon (Monday and Friday), 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (other days) Entry fee: VND25,000

Hue Riverside Boutique

463 Lac Long Quan St., Lang Co Town, Phu Loc Dist, Thua Thien Hue Province Tel: (0234) 3873-555

Hotel Saigon Morin

30 Le Loi St, Hue Tel: (0234)3823-526


(TELEPHONE CODE: 0236) 49 Le Loi St, Hue Tel: (0234) 3823-390 Email: Century Riverside Hotel Hue, with its 135 rooms, is located in a vast area of 20,000 square meters. It is surrounded by a garden full of fruit trees, various kinds of flowers and a green pasture. Hue Century Riverside Hotel lies by the side of Truong Tien Bridge and the bank of the romantic Huong River.

Vinpearl Luxury Danang Truong Sa St, Hoa Hai Ward, Ngu Hanh Son Dist., Danang. Tel: (0236) 3968-888

Danang Museum of Cham

Sculpture 2, 2 Thang 9 St, Danang Tel: (0236) 3572-935 Open 7.15 a.m. to 5 p.m. Entry fee VND30,000 ($1.43)

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Anantara Hoi An Resort

1 Pham Hong Thai St, Hoi An, Quang Nam Province. Tel: (0235) 3914-555

Aurora Riverside Hotel & Villas

242 Cua Dai St, Hoi An City, Quang Nam Province. Tel: (0235) 3924-111

Hoi An Silk Village

28 Nguyen Tat Thanh Str, Tan An Ward, Hoi An City,Quang Nam Province Tel: (0235) 392-1144

Champa Island Nha Trang

Resort & Spa 304, 2/4 St, Vinh Phuoc, Nha Trang Tel: (0258) 3568-888 Email: With architecture reflecting nearby Po Nagar temple, Champa Island Nha Trang offers exquisite cuisine and many entertainment services that promise a memorable stay in Nha Trang

Cam Ranh Riviera Beach Resort & Spa

Hotel Royal Hoi An, Mgallery Collection 39 Dao Duy Tu St, Hoi An, Quang Nam Province. Tel: (0235) 3950-777

Quater 5, Phu Hai Ward, Phan Thiet City, Binh Thuan Province Tel: (0252) 3828-288 With 52 authentic Vietnamese rooms and bungalows, the hotel offers a breathtaking panoramic view of the blue sea

Bamboo Village Beach Resort & Spa

38 Nguyen Dinh Chieu St, Ham Tien Ward, Phan Thiet City, Binh Thuan Province. Tel: (0252) 3847-007

Blue Bay Muine Resort & Spa

Km 9, Nguyen Thong St, Phu Hai Ward, Phan Thiet City, Binh Thuan Province Tel: (0252) 2220-088 MUSEUM

Cham Culture Exhibition Centre

461-463 Hai Ba Trung St, Hoi An, Quang Nam Province Tel: (0235) 3920 430

Palm Garden Beach Resort and Spa

32-34 Tran Phu St, Nha Trang Tel: (0258) 3887-777

Mường Thanh Grand Nha Trang Hotel

Lac Long Quan St, Cua Dai Beach, Hoi An, Quang Nam Province Tel: (0235) 3927-927 Email:

6 Duong Hien Quyen St, Vinh Hoa Ward, Nha Trang, Khanh Hoa Province Tel: (0258) 3552-468


Hon Tre Island, Nha Trang City, Khanh Hoa Province Tel: (0258) 3598-188 Email:

Hoi An Centre for Cultural Heritage Management and Preservation

10B Tran Hung Dao St, Hoi An Tel: (0235) 3862-367 Open daily 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.

(TELEPHONE CODE: 0256) AVANI Quy Nhon Resort & Spa Ghenh Rang, Bai Dai Beach, Quy Nhon, Binh Dinh Province Tel: (0256) 3840-132 MUSEUM

Suoi Nuoc, Muine, Phan Thiet City, Binh Thuan Province Tel: (0252) 3836-888 Email:

Hoang Ngoc (Oriental Pearl) Beach Resort & Spa



Ana Mandara Villas Dalat Resort & Spa

Vinpearl Resort Nha Trang


Alexandre Yersin Museum


Song Mao intersection, Phan Hiep Commune, Bac Binh Dist., Binh Thuan Province; Tel: (0252) 3641-456. Open: 7.30 a.m. to 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Friday. Free entrance

Northern Peninsula Cam Ranh, Khanh Hoa Province Tel: (0258) 3989-898 Email:

InterContinental Nha Trang Hotel

Pasteur Institute, 10 Tran Phu St, Nha Trang, Khanh Hoa Province Tel: (0258) 3822-406



Aroma Beach Resort & Spa

Quang Trung Museum

Block 1, Phu Phong town, Tay Son Dist., Binh Dinh Province. Tel: (056) 3580-320 Open 7 a.m. to 11.30 a.m. and 1.30 p.m. to 5 p.m. Entry fee VND10,500 ($0.50). Free for children under six HERITAGE

Km 11 Nguyen Dinh Chieu St, Ham Tien Ward, Phan Thiet City, Binh Thuan Province. Tel: (0252) 3847-507

Sea Links City Resort & Golf

Kiman Hotel & Spa

40 • V I E T N A M

Seahorse Resort & Spa

I J U N E - J U LY 2 0 1 7

152 Nguyen Dinh Chieu St, Ham Tien Ward, Phan Thiet City, Binh Thuan Province. Tel: (0252) 3847-858 Email:

Muine Mud Bath & Spa

133A Nguyen Dinh Chieu St, Ham Tien Ward, Phan Thiet City, Binh Thuan Province. Tel: (0252) 3743-481 Email:

Le Lai St, Dalat, Lam Dong Province Tel: (0263) 3555-888 From VND3,150,000 ($150)

Monet Garden Villa

Muine Ocean Resort & Spa

10 Nguyen Dinh Chieu St, Ham Tien Ward, Phan Thiet City, Binh Thuan Province Tel: (0252) 3741-616

Muine Bay Resort

Quarter 14, Mui Ne Ward, Phan Thiet City, Binh Thuan Province Tel: (0252) 2220-222 Email:

3 Nguyen Du St., Dalat City, Lam Dong Province Tel: (0263) 3810-826


DIRECTIONS Windsor Plaza Hotel

18 An Duong Vuong, Dist.5, Ho Chi Minh City. Tel: (028) 3833-6688 GALLERIES

Asiana Travel Mate

113C Bui Vien St, Dist.1, Ho Chi Minh City. Tel: (028) 3838-6678

Buffalo Tours

81 Mac Thi Buoi, Dist.1, Ho Chi Minh City. Tel: (028) 3827-9168 Email:


261/26 Phan Xich Long St, Phu Nhuan Dist., Ho Chi Minh City Tel: (028) 3995-9898

Saigon Tourist

45 Le Thanh Ton St, Dist.1, Ho Chi Minh City. Tel: (028) 3827-9279

Trails of Indochina

10/8 Phan Dinh Giot St, Tan Binh Dist., Ho Chi Minh City; Tel: (028) 3844-1005 Email: HOTELS

Eastin Grand Hotel Saigon

Apricot Gallery

50 Mac Thi Buoi St, Ben Nghe Ward, Dist.1, Ho Chi Minh City Tel: (028) 3822-7962

Craig Thomas Gallery

27i Tran Nhat Duat St, Dist.1, Ho Chi Minh City. Mobile: 0903 888 431 Email: Open: 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. Closed Mondays and Sundays

Galerie Quynh

Level 2, 151/3 Dong Khoi St, Dist.1, Ho Chi Minh City. Tel: (028) 3824-8284 Tuesday to Saturday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Sàn Art

48/7 Me Linh St, Ward 19, Binh Thanh Dist., Ho Chi Minh City Tel: (028) 6294-7059 SIGHTSEEINGS

Notre Dame Cathedral

Cong Xa Paris Square, Dist.1, Ho Chi Minh City Built in 1877, and the Cathedral opened to the public in 1880. The bricks used to build this marvellous structure were shipped from Marseilles.

Ben Thanh Market

253 Nguyen Van Troi St, Phu Nhuan Dist., Ho Chi Minh City Tel: (028) 3844-9222 Email:

Park Hyatt Saigon

2 Lam Son Square, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City Tel: (028) 3824-1234

Rex Hotel

141 Nguyen Hue St, Ben Nghe Ward, Dist.1, Ho Chi Minh City Tel: (028) 3829-2185

Sofitel Saigon Plaza

Le Lai St, Ben Thanh Ward, Dist.1, Ho Chi Minh City Ben Thanh market is a trade centre and a favourite tourist destination, offering a wide range of Vietnamese handicraft, fresh fruits and local specialities.

Chinatown – Cho Lon

It was set up at the end of the 18th century when the Minh Dynasty in China was overthrown. Chinatown has many shops and private workshops. The most interesting places are Binh Tay market, Soai Kinh Lam fabric whole-sales market, the street of herbal medicine located on Hai Thuong Lan Ong and Thien Hau Temple on Nguyen Trai Street.

Ticket: VND50,000 The first museum of traditional Vietnamese medicine

The Coast Hotel

Ho Chi Minh City Museum

65 Ly Tu Trong St, Ben Nghe Ward, Dist.1, Ho Chi Minh City Tel: (028) 3829-9741 Open daily 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Independence Palace

135 Nam Ky Khoi Nghia St, Ben Thanh Ward, Dist.1, Ho Chi Minh City Tel: (028) 3822-3652 Open daily, 7.30 a.m. to 11.30 a.m., 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

300A Phan Chu Trinh St, Ward 2, Vung Tau City Tel: (0254) 3627-777 Email: MUSEUM

Southern Women Museum

202 Vo Thi Sau St, Dist.1, Ho Chi Minh City. Tel: (028) 3932-7130

The History Museum

2 Nguyen Binh Khiem St, Ben Nghe Ward, Dist 1, Ho Chi Minh City Tel: (028) 3829-8146 8 a.m. - 11.30 p.m. and 1.30 p.m. - 5 p.m. Tuesday to Sunday. Closed on Monday

War Remnants Museum

28 Vo Van Tan St, Ward 6, Dist.3, Ho Chi Minh City. Tel: (028) 3930-5587 Email: Open daily 7.30 a.m. to midday and 1.30 p.m. to 5 p.m.



White Palace

6 Tran Phu St, Ward.1, Vung Tau City Tel: (0254) 3852-605 Open daily 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.



Can Tho Museum

1 Hoa Binh St, Tan An Ward, Can Tho Tel: (0710) 3820-955 Open: Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday (8 a.m. to 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.); Saturday and Sunday (8 a.m. to 11 a.m. and 6.30 p.m. to 9 p.m.). Closed on Friday. Free admission



Palace Hotel

1 Nguyen Trai St, Ward 1, Vung Tau Tel: (0254) 3856-411

Petrosetco Hotel

(TELEPHONE CODE: 077) Eden Resort Phu Quoc Cua Lap Hamlet, Duong To Ward, Phu Quoc District, Kien Giang Province Tel: (077) 3985-598 MUSEUMS

12 Truong Cong Dinh St, Ward 2, Vung Tau. Tel: (0254) 3624-748

Petro House Hotel 63 Tran Hung Dao St, Ward 1, Vung Tau Tel : (0254) 3852-014 Hotline: 0961.085.869 Email:

Coi Nguon Museum 149 Tran Hung Dao St, Duong dong Town, Phu Quoc, Kien Giang Province Tel: (077) 3980-206


Fine Arts Museum of

Ho Chi Minh City 97A Pho Duc Chinh St, Nguyen Thai Binh Ward, Dist.1, Ho Chi Minh City Tel: (028) 3829-4441 Open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Closed Mondays

Fito Museum

17 Le Duan St, Dist.1, Ho Chi Minh City Tel: (028) 3824-1555 Email:

41 Hoang Du Khuong S, Ward 12, Dist. 10, Ho Chi Minh City Tel: (028) 3864-2430 Open daily from 8.30 a.m. till 5.30 p.m.

For Subscription

please call Phuong: 0969473579 or email: Six issues Vietnam: VND294,000. Asia & Europe: $42. America & Africa: $48 . J U N E - J U LY 2 0 1 7



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A 1. B aD inh S quare Ba Dinh Square


rison 2. H oa L oP Hoa Lo Prison


Stt Joseph Joseph’s Cathedral 3. S ’s C athedral


ouse Opera House 4. Hanoi O pera H


Cot Co Tower 5. C ot C oT ower


Women’s 6. W omen’s Museum


7. H oC hi M inh Museum Ho Chi Minh


8. IImperial mperial C itadel of T Citadel Thang Long hang L ong






9. V ietnam National National Museum of History Vietnam History F3 10. V ietnam M ilitary H istory Museum D2 Vietnam Military History illar 11. O ne P One Pillar


ausoleum 12. H oC hi M inh M Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum


13. Ngo on T emple Ngocc S Son Temple


14. Dong Da H ill Hill


15. Dong X uan M arket Xuan Market




An entry in the Directions section is either editorial or advertising To advertise, and be certain that your entry appears, please contact

14 1 4


Ms. Thuy Phuong Mobile: 0969 47 3579


Ba Trieu...................E3, E4 Bac Son.........................D1 Bach Dang.....................F2 Bach Mai........................E4 Bat Dan..........................E2 Bich Cau........................C2 Buoi................................A1 Cat Linh..........................C2 Cha Ca....................E1, E2 Cua Bac.........................D1 Cua Dong.......................D2

Da Tuong.......................E3 Dang Tat.........................D1 Dao Duy Anh.................D4 Dao Duy Tu.............E1, E2 Dien Bien Phu................D2 Doc Ngu.........................A1 Doi Can.............A1, B2, C2 Duong Thanh.................E2 Gam Cau........................E1 Giai Phong.....................D4 Giang Vo.....A3 ,B3 ,B2,C2

Hai Ba Trung.....E2, E3, F3 Ham Long......................E3 Han Thuyen....................F3 Hang Bac.......................E2 Hang Bo.........................E2 Hang Bong.....................E2 Hang Buom....................E2 Hang Can.......................E2 Hang Chuoi....................F3 Hang Cot........................E1 Hang Da.........................E2 Hang Dao.......................E2

Hang Dau.......................E1 Hang Ga.........................E2 Hang Gai........................E2 Hang Khay.....................E2 Hang Khoai....................E1 Hang Ma.........................E1 Hang Quat......................E2 Hang Trong....................E2 Hang Chieu....................E1 Hang Luoc......................E1 Hao Nam........................C2 Hoa Ma...........................F3

Hoang Dieu.............D1, D2 Hoang Hoa Tham............... ....................A1, B1, C1, D1 Hoang Van Thu..............D1 Hoe Nhai........................E1 Hung Vuong............D1, D2 Huynh Thuc Khang........A3 Kham Thien.............C3, D3 Kim Ma..............A2, B2, C2 La Thanh.................B3, C3 Lang Ha..........................B3 Nguyen Chi Thanh.........A3

Le Dai Hanh...................E4 Le Duan............D2, D3, D4 Le Hong Phong.............D2 Le Lai..............................F2 Le Thai To.......................E2 Le Thanh Tong...............F3 Le Van Huu....................E3 Lieu Giai........................A2 Lo Duc......................F3, F4 Lo Su..............................F2 Luong Ngoc Quyen.......E2 Luong Van Can..............E2



4 4 2 2 2 3 3 2 4 2 2 2




12 1 11

15 8

7 5 10 13 3


Ly Nam De..............E1, E2 Ly Quoc Su....................E2 Ly Thai To.......................F2 Ly Thuong Kiet........E3, F3 Mai Hac De..............E3, E4 Ngo Quyen.....................F3 Ngo Si Lien....................D2 Ngo Thi Nham................E3 Ngoc Ha.........................C1 Ngoc Khanh...................B2 Nguyen Canh Chan......D1 Nguyen Cong Hoa.........B2

Nguyen Dinh Chieu............ .................................E3, E4 Nguyen Du..............D3, E3 Nguyen Huu Huan........ F2 Nguyen Khuyen.............D2 Nguyen Luong Bang.....C3 Nguyen Thai Hoc....C2, D2 Nguyen Thuong Hien......... ........................................D3 Nguyen Van To..............E2 Nha Chung.....................E2 Nha Tho.........................E2

Nui Truc..........................B2 Pham Dinh Ho................F3 Pham Ngu Lao...............F3 Phan Boi Chau.......D2, D3 Phan Chu Trinh..............F3 Phan Dinh Phung..........D1 Phan Huy Chu................F3 Pho Duc Chinh...............F3 Pho Hue...................E3, E4 Phu Doan.......................E2 Phung Hung............E1, E2 Quan Su..................E2, E3


Quan Thanh...................D1 Quang Trung...........E2, E3 Quoc Tu Giam...............D2 Son Tay..........................C2 Thai Phien......................E4 Thanh Cong...................B3 Thanh Nien....................D1 Tho Nhuom.............E2, E3 Thuy Khue.......................... ....................A1, B1, C1, D1 To Hien Thanh...............E4 Tong Dan........................F2


Ton Duc Thang..............C3 Tran Hung Dao................... ...........................D3, E3, F3 Tran Huy Lieu................B2 Tran Khanh Du...............F3 Tran Khat Chan..............F4 Tran Nguyen Han..........F2 Tran Nhan Tong......D3, E3 Tran Nhat Duat..............E1 Tran Phu........................D2 Tran Quang Khai............F2 Tran Qui Cap.................D2


Tran Quoc Toan......D3, E3 Tran Thanh Tong............F3 Tran Xuan Soan................. .................................E3, E4 Trang Thi........................E2 Trang Tien................E2, F3 Trieu Viet Vuong......E3, E4 Trinh Hoai Duc...............C2 Tue Tinh.........................E3 Yen Phu..........................E1 Yersin..............................F4 Yet Kieu..........................D3


Palace 1. IIndependence ndependence P alace


Notre Cathedral 2. N otre Dame C athedral


Vietnam History 3. V ietnam H istory Museum


Fine Arts Museum 4. F ine A rts M useum of of Ho Ho Chi Chi Minh Minh City City E4 E4 Ho Chi Minh City 5. H oC hi M inh C ity Museum


6. Southern Southern Women Women Museum


7. War War Remnants Remnants Museum


8. Ben Ben Thanh Thanh Market Market


9. T Tao Park ao Dan P ark


Post Office 10. P ost O ffice


Zoo oo 11. Z


12. Nha Nha Rong Wharf Wharf


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3 Thang 2..........A2, A3, B2 Alexandre De Rhodes........ ........................................E2 An Duong Vuong....A4, B4 Ba Le Chan....................D1 Ba Huyen Thanh Quan...... ........................................C2 Ban Co...........................B3 Ben Chuong Duong........... .................................D4, E4 Ben Van Don...........D4, E4

Bui Thi Xuan..................C3 Bui Vien...................C4, D4 Cach Mang Thang Tam..... ......A1, B1, B2, C2, C3, D3 Calmette.........................E4 Cao Thang.....................B3 Chu Manh Trinh.............F2 Co Bac.....................C4, D4 Co Giang............. ...C4, D4 Cong Quynh............C3, C4 De Tham........................D4

Dien Bien Phu..................... A3, B2, C2, D1, D2, E1, F1 Dinh Tien Hoang............E1 Do Quang Dau...............C4 Do Thanh.......................B3 Doan Cong Buu.............C1 Doan Nhu Hai..........E4, F4 Dong Du.........................F3 Dong Khoi................E3, F3 Hai Ba Trung....................... ...........................D1, E2, F3 Hai Trieu.........................F4

Ham Nghi.................E4, F4 Han Thuyen....................E2 Ho Hao Hon...................C4 Ho Tung Mau...........E3, E4 Ho Xuan Huong.............C2 Hoa Hung.......................A2 Hung Vuong...................A4 Huyen Tran Cong Chua..... ........................................D3 Huynh Thuc Khang........E3 Huynh Tinh Cua.............D1 Ky Con.....................D4, E4

Ky Dong...................B2, C1 Le Duan...................E2, F2 Le Hong Phong.................. ...........................A2, A3, A4 Le Lai.......................C3, D3 Le Loi..............................E3 Le Quy Don....................D2 Le Thanh Ton...................... ...........................D3, E3, F2 Le Thi Hong Gam............... .................................D4, E4 Le Thi Rieng............C3, D3

Le Van Sy.......................B1 Luong Huu Khanh.........C3 Ly Chinh Thang.......C1, C2 Ly Thai To......................A3 Ly Tu Trong......................... ...........................D3, E3, F2 Ly Van Phuc...................E1 Mac Dinh Chi...........E1, E2 Mac Thi Buoi..................F3 Mai Thi Luu..............E1, F1 Nam Ky Khoi Nghia............ ...................C1, D1, D2, D3

N N N N .. N N .. N .. N N

1 3 2 3 .. 2 1 2 3 1 .. 3




6 4 11 11

7 2

10 10




9 8


1 2 12

Ngo Duc Ke....................F3 Ngo Thoi Nhiem ....C2, D2 Ngo Van Nam.................F2 Nguyen Binh Khiem.............. .....................................F1, F2 Nguyen Cau...................D1 Nguyen Cong Tru............... .................................D4, E4 Nguyen Dinh Chieu............ ......B3, C2, C3, D2, E1, F1 Nguyen Du..............D3, E3 Nguyen Hue.............E3, F3

Nguyen Khac Nhu.............. .................................C4, D4 Nam Quoc Cang.....C3, C4 Nguyen Phi Khanh.........E1 Nguyen Sieu...................F3 Nguyen Son Tra................. .................................B3, C3 Nguyen Tat Thanh..........F4 Nguyen Thai Binh............... .................................D4, E4 Nguyen Thai Hoc....D3, D4 Nguyen Thanh Y............E1

Nguyen Thi Dieu............C2 Nguyen Thi Minh Khai........ .................................B3, C3 Nguyen Thien Thuat........... .................................A3, B3 Nguyen Thong........B2, C2 Nguyen Thuong Hien........ .................................B2, C3 Nguyen Trai.............B4, C4 Nguyen Trung Ngan......F2 Nguyen Trung Truc........E3 Nguyen Truong To.........E4

Nguyen Van Cu..............B4 Nguyen Van Thu......E1, F1 Pasteur................................ ...............D1, D2, E2, E3,E4 Pham Ngoc Thach.........D1 Pham Ngu Lao........C4, D4 Pham Viet Chanh...........B3 Phan Ke Binh..........E1, E2 Pho Duc Chinh...............E4 Phung Khac Khoan.......E2 Suong Nguyet Anh........C3 Thach Thi Thanh.....D1, E1

Thai Van Lung................F3 Thi Sach.........................F3 Thu Khoa Huan.......D3, E3 To Hien Thanh................A1 Ton That Dam..........E3, E4 Ton Duc Thang..............C3 Tran Binh Trong......A3, A4 Tran Cao Van.................E2 Tran Dinh Xu...........B4, C4 Tran Hung Dao.......C4, D4 Tran Minh Quyen...........A3 Tran Nhan Tong.......A3, A4

Tran Phu.........................A4 Tran Quang Dieu...........B1 Tran Quang Khai.....D1, E1 Tran Quoc Thao......C1, D2 Tran Quoc Toan......C1, D1 Truong Dinh............C1, C2 Tu Xuong.......................C2 Vinh Vien........................A3 Vo Thi Sau........C2, D1, E1 Vo Van Tan..............C3, B3 Vuon Chuoi..............B2, B3 Yersin..............................D4


Erosion continues province Viet Nam News May 11



The southern province of Dong Thap on Wednesday extended its state of emergency as the erosion worsened, with a section of the riverbank covering some 600m affected so far. A section of the Tien riverbank was reported to have been eroded by 150m over the last few days, since the last state-of-emergency declaration last month. Dong Thap authorities said a deepening riverbed, with several spots believed to range from seven to more than 20m in depth, was causing this large-scale erosion. River erosion has been repeatedly occurring in the area since last month, triggering a state-of-emergency declaration on April 28 when some 227 households were believed to be in danger due to the erosion.

Vietnam takes action to save primates Viet Nam News May 12

Viet Nam will strive to combat the hunt and illegal trade of primates by 2025, with the goal to reducing hunting by 70 per cent. It will also work towards building three rescue centres to save and release primates back into the wild. National parks and sanctuaries that are home to rare and endangered primates are also urged to use spatial monitoring and reporting tools to prevent hunting.

Posting children’s photos online is now illegal Tuoi Tre News May 31 Vietnam’s new Law on children takes ef-

46 • V I E T N A M



fect on June 1, stipulating that children have irrefutable rights over their privacy, and that anyone who publicizes their information without their consent is breaking the law. The protection of the privacy of children consists of their personal information, medical records, photos, personal identification and school records. It will now be a breach of the law by parents or guardians to reveal such information without the consent of children aged seven or above. With the law introduced by local media prior to taking effect, Vietnamese parents are concerned that they will no longer be able to share cute photos of their children on social media.

Vietnam’s north-south expressway to displace 2,100 families English VNExpress June 7

At least 2,100 families are going to be relocated and more than 8,000 others will also be affected by ground clearance for the first half of the planned north-south expressway connecting Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. The government said in a recent report to the legislative National Assembly that around 3,523 hectares (8,705 acres) will need to be cleared to make way for the first half of the north-south expressway in the next three years. It said compensation and support for the affected families will cost an estimated VND13 trillion ($573.5 million) from the state budget.

Hanoi mulls replacing decadesold iconic trees English VNExpress June 3

The Department of Construction has requested a study on Hanoi's African mahogany trees in order to devise a plan to cut down and replace them. For now, the department has proposed felling the trees that are rotten or hollowed out first. Eventually, all African mahogany trees in the city should be replaced with new kinds of trees that suit the city better, the department has said. The large evergreen trees can live for over 100 years and have been providing shade for generations of Hanoians. Hanoi currently has over 4,000 African mahogany trees, which line main roads. Many

J U N E - J U LY 2 0 1 7

of the trees have also been trimmed in preparation for the upcoming rainy season.

Hanoi sweats through hottest day in decades English VNExpress June 3

Temperatures in Hanoi hit a scorching 40 degrees Celsius, or 104 degrees Fahrenheit, on Friday, the highest temperature this summer and one of the hottest days in the capital’s history. The heat wave is forecast to continue until early next week and may become more intense. Burning temperatures have also been reported in the nearby provinces of Hoa Binh, Lang Son and Vinh Phuc, as well as some parts of central Vietnam.

Vietnam struggles to preserve biodiversity Viet Nam News May 6

Preserving biodiversity in Viet Nam was the main topic of discussion at a workshop yesterday in Hanoi. The Forest Inventory and Planning Institute under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development emphasised the need for a strategic framework and action plan for the period of 2018 to 2022, building a legal framework for biodiversity corridors in Viet Nam. Marine protected areas and mangroves in Viet Nam are smaller than in other nations so biodiversity corridors will help develop biodiversity.

Government extends visa-exemption policy for five countries’ citizens Viet Nam News June 7

The Government has agreed to extend the visa exemption policy for citizens from the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Spain and Italy. The policy, which ends on June 30 this year, will be extended until June 30, next year. Accordingly, citizens from the abovementioned countries will not have to apply for visa if their stay in Viet Nam does not exceed 15 days. This is the second time the Government has extended the policy which took effect from July 1, 2015.


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Vietnam Heritage June-July 2017  

A monthly magazine in English covering Vietnam's natural and cultural heritage and its conservation. Published under the auspices of the Vie...

Vietnam Heritage June-July 2017  

A monthly magazine in English covering Vietnam's natural and cultural heritage and its conservation. Published under the auspices of the Vie...