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8 Sport of kings CUSTOMS









10 Rice race FOOD

12 The cake that makes the holiday special MOUNTAIN SOCIETIES

14 Hmong rock fences in Ha Giang PHOTOGRAPHY

16 Hanoi - Traces of the old days TRAVEL

20 Con Dao - Serenity & Tranquillity MUSEUM

24 The ‘idiot’ protecting the jewel’s soul RELIGION

26 A little help starting a family ADVERTORIAL

30 Vinpearl Danang Resort & Villas - The jewel in the crown

32 A taste of treats to come

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Cover photograph: The performance of Tứ Phủ (Four Palace), by Director Viet Tu, worshipping the Mother Goddess, at the Worker’s Theatre in Hanoi, early 2016 Photo: Pham Hoai Nam 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: tapchidisanvietnam@gmail.com; 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: bachcatprco.ltd@gmail.com Contact in the US for subscription and advertising: 2628 Sturla dr. San Jose, CA 95148

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


Vietnam Heritage

Vietnam Heritage



A traditional boat racing, Ly Son Island, Quang Ngai Province, takes place from 4th – 7th every first lunar month. This year, the festival falls on 28 January to 3 February, 2017 Photo: Ngo Cong Hoang

Sofport Kings




Illustration by Duc Lai

Chickens have been domesticated and grown by humans for a long time. And with that, cock fight as a game appeared, becoming a heated, alluring sport that reflects characteristics of many regions and nations.

ock fights existed in India, China, Persia and other eastern countries. When General Themistocles (514-449 BC) of Athens marched into Persia and saw a cock fight, he ordered his troops to halt and watch. They saw ferocity and determination in the bird. The Athenians learned some specific tactics and moral lessons from these gladiators, which helped them in subsequent glorious conquests. Cock fights were then introduced to Athens to honour Greek power and prowess. Later, from a kind of patriotic and religious attraction, people became passionate about them. Cock fights quickly spread out all around Greece, Asia Minor and Sicily. The best fighter cocks were bred in Alexandria, Delos, and Tanagra and Rhode. The Romans disparaged this ‘Greek entertainment’ at first, but were then unable to resist it, and so it became not only a famous sport in Rome but also a subject of gambling that made many rich or broke overnight. From Rome, the game spread north to all over Europe. Despite being banned by the Church, it was popular in Spain, France,




The Netherlands, Germany, England and their African and American colonies. Not only the common people loved it, but so did the nobility.. In 1519, King Henry VIII of England ordered a cock fight stage to be built in front of his White Hall in London so he could watch the fights for himself. Unlike single fights seen in the east, in the western countries, each fight involves a predetermined number of fighting pairs. The person who owns the most winning cocks is determined the winner. There are two very brutal and bias-prone ways of conducting a fight. One is to let a certain number of cocks into an arena and let them fight until only one is left standing which is the winner (the way preferred by the nobility). Or, 8 pairs fight to determine 8 winners, which will go to the next rounds to select 4, then 2 and finally 1 winner. This way is prevalent in Wales and Northern Europe. In the 15th century Europeans discovered America. They introduced chickens to the new continent. In the 18th Century, the game became very popular here. Many famous presidents of the United States such as George Washington, Thomas


Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln were cock fight fans and accomplished fighting cock breeders. In Argentina, the cock fight is popular everywhere. Many countries of Central America have big fighting cock breeding centres which organize regular events, drawing huge crowds. In Vietnam, the cock fight as a sport is a part of folk culture. It appeared early and attracted people from all walks of life. During the Early Le period (980 – 1009) it was a frequent game in the royal court. In 1285, in his famous Call to the Armed Forces for the fight against Mongolian aggressors, Prince Tran Quoc Tuan of Hung Dao warned his soldiers, ‘Do not indulge in cock fights. Cock spurs can’t be used as a weapon to pierce the enemy’s armour!’ Cock fights are conducted all year long, but the most heated take place during the big festive events and New Year’s. Although often misused by some people for the purpose of gambling and quick profit, cock fighting in Vietnam is essentially a healthy, attractive sporting activity and a traditional cultural feature, which is full of fun and should be maintained. n


Rice race



huong Village stands on a bank of the mild Day River, in Phuong Trung Commune, Thanh Oai Prefecture of Hanoi. It used to be famous for the palm leaf hats that the villagers made for queens and princesses of many generations of kings. The village’s traditional palm leaf hat trade is still preserved today. Chuong is also famous for the ‘Chuong village festival’ that takes place every 10th of the 3rd lunar month (which is April 16 this year), with a Rice Cooking Contest and traditional games, such as human chess game, lion dance, etc. The festival’s centerpiece is, of course, the rice cooking contest, soaked in the spirit of North Vietnamese folklore. The folks believe that the contest was first organized during the time of the Hung Kings (258 BC) by a talented general named Phan Tay Nhac, in order to train his soldiers to make food in extreme conditions.

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Villagers in Chuong compete to demonstrate that they can make rice under any condition Some villages of North and MidVietnam do have a rice cooking contest Ha Noi in their festive occasions that shows their local specialty, such as cooking in a boat, cooking while nursing a child, or cooking while walking. The contest at Chuong normally has four teams, each consisting of 3 village girls in Northern traditional festive dresses. They must get a pot of rice well-cooked within 23 minutes. After the announcement, a drum roll signals the countdown. The girls quickly clean the rice and put it in 2 pots. The pots are hung on two ends of a bamboo stick and a girl holds the stick on her shoulder and walks around a circle 1.5m in diameter. The other two hold a burning straw wisp and follow a

pot, heating it from below. The winner is the team whose rice is ready first. If two or more teams have their rice done at the same time, then the team whose rice tastes the best wins. Sometimes, the rules at Chuong contest get even tougher. The teams have to cook and nurse a baby and herd a toad inside the circle at the same time. Winner is the team that finishes cooking first, while making sure the baby is happy and the toad doesn’t get out of the circle. The local elders say that the circle symbolizes heaven; the toad brings rains. So keeping the toad inside the circle means praying for good weather, favorable for crops. A Chuong contest can be masculine, too. Each male contestant sits alone in a small boat with rice, water, firewood and a pot at the ready. After the signal, the men paddle towards a finish line, cleanse the rice, make a fire and cook. The one who reaches the finish line first with his rice well-cooked wins. n




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The cake

that makes the holiday

special BY LE VAN

12 •





he sticky rice square cake (bánh chưng) has been a traditional and irreplaceable cake of the Vietnamese people at Tet for a long time. It has been and will always be present in the culinary and spiritual culture of Vietnam. It can be said that the cake is both specific and close to Vietnamese daily life. Nowadays, under the strong impact of modern life, many national traditions have sunk into oblivion; yet there remains an everlasting tradition of the cakes in the great Lunar New Year Festival of the Vietnamese people. It is not an overstatement that bánh chưng is the soul of the Vietnamese Lunar New Year. Each family has to have bánh chưng on its ancestral altar to express gratitude to its ancestors and homeland.

FOOD Studying the cake and legends related to it during Tet holidays is also an ideal way to acquire a vast knowledge of the cultural values bequeathed by our ancestors. Legend has it that bánh chưng was invented by the prince of the 18th Hung King in a contest held to look for a new king. According to this legend, bánh chưng symbolizes the Earth. It also reminds the next generations of the ancient traditions as well as the primacy of the cake. Besides this, it emphasizes the important role of rice in our life. Close as is the cake to the Vietnamese people, it is very special to foreign people, because nowhere else in the world is bánh chưng made. By the same token, bánh chưng cannot be mistaken for any other. Bánh chưng is an irreplaceable dish of the Vietnamese people on the occasion of Tet, which is made from very simple and basic ingredients such as sticky rice, green beans, half-lean, half-fat pork and phrynium leaves. However, it is not easy to make a pleasing and delicious cake. When making bánh chưng, we should use Dien Bien’s sticky rice because it is the most delicious in Vietnam. The sticky rice must be soaked in water; after that we wait to dry and add a little salt to give the cakes a moreish taste. Green beans and pork (half lean and half fat) are the stuffing. For pork, we should

Therefore, referring to bánh chưng means not only food but Rice cakes also interesting memories in have a long many steps such as preparing stuffing, wrapping, and boiling and glorious the cake. tradition How cosy and happy it is for all family members to prepare and boil bánh chưng around the warm fire in a piercing cold of the days near Tet! It can be said that it is one of the happiest moments in a year, because they have enough time to tell one another the past stories and are ready for a new year with the best wishes. That is the reason why it is said that money can buy lots of the cakes, but can’t buy warm moments in the Tet holiday, which are contained in each cake wrapped by one’s own family. On the occasion of Tet, bánh chưng is an evidence of the loyalty and great gratitude of the Vietnamese to their ancestors. After being worshiped in honour of the ancestors, the cake is divided so that people can savour it. When taking off the wrapping of bánh chưng, the green colour of the cake strikes our eyes first. When biting off the first bit of the cake, we can feel its softness. The longer we chew it, the more buttery taste we enjoy, because of the green beans and pork. No words can describe fully the delicacy of bánh chưng as well as the wonderful feelings of eaters when enjoying it. It is the reason why it has become a traditional and irreplaceable cake of Vietnamese people. Opposite, top: A family decorating house and making bánh chưng to welcome Tết holiday, Binh Duong Province. Photo: Nguyen Van Dzung

Opposite, bottom: Wrapping and boiling bánh chưng in early of 20th century. Photos: The archive of NAT

choose half-lean, half-fat pork to make bánh chưng with the greasy stuffing. More interestingly, bánh chưng is wrapped in phrynium leaves that will make the rice green after being boiled. Binding the cake firmly with dried bamboo strings is also an extremely important step. In terms of cuisine, one of the most special and unique features of the cake is the blend of phrynium leaves, sticky rice, green beans and local characteristics in the stuffing of this cake. It can be affirmed that all of them make a difference in the shape, colour and taste of the cake. More wonderfully, each cake is full of love.

In early the 12th lunar month, the atmosphere of Tet can be already felt here and there in rural areas and the vicinities of big cities. Perhaps, peasants here are the ones to feel the presence of Tet before anyone else, because of all their tasks from taking care of vegetables, fruits, grass, flowers to fattening pigs and poultry for Tet’s sake. And in the days near Tet, the atmosphere is more animated and joyful in the streets full of people and markets full of colourful flowers. But when Tet officially knocks at the door, everyone stops working. At that moment, the warm and happy atmosphere covers every family. On the ancestral altar, bánh chưng is an irreplaceable dish because it has become a specific tradition of the Vietnamese people for so long. Therefore, wherever they go, they always turn their minds to their native land to see the Lunar New Year in and to worship the green sticky rice square cake. n DECEMBER 2016 - JANUARY 2017



• 13


Photo: Hoang Manh Cuong

Photo: Tran Dinh Thuong

Photo: Vu Chien

14 •









ong Van Rocky Plateau, a UNESCO’s Ha Giang ‘Global Geopark’ is about 2,356km2 in area, surrounded by steep earthen mountains, 1,000-1,600m high, separated by deep valleys and fast streams. Due to its peculiar soil content and rugged landscape, Dong Van Rock Park has many natural wonders such as Ma Pi Leng Pass and Quan Ba Twin Hills.Due to its peculiar soil content and rugged landscape, Dong Van Rock Park has many natural wonders such as Ma Pi Leng Pass and Quan Ba Twin Hills. UNESCO highly appreciates the cultural peculiarities of the 17 ethnic minorities with a total population of 250,000 living on Dong Van Rock Plateau, considering them very distinct. Having been here since time immemorial, these groups possess much precious heritage, such as Dong Van Old Town, Vuong House, Lung Cu Flag Pole. The Dong Van people have accumulated rare agricultural arts such as cultivating plants and vegetables on rocky soil where nothing seems to be able to grow. The skill of farming in rock cavities is a National Intangible Heritage and currently presented for UNESCO to be recognized as a World Intangible Heritage. Another interesting feature of lifestyle on this ‘rocky desert’ is that people use rocks to build fences separating dwellings, paddies, cattle pens and grazing spaces of different households, clans, and villages. Visitors to Dong Van will be amazed to see rock fences, old and new, everywhere they go. The Hmong are one of the earliest ethnic groups that have the custom of building rock fences, and theirs are the most well-built. Starting at the age of 6, Hmong boys follow their mothers to carry rocks to an assigned place, preparing new fences. Before building a new fence, the host family hast to prepare a feast for the clan and neighbours and consecrate to the tutelary god. Most Hmong men know how to build a rock fence. Of course, the quality of the fence depends on the builder’s skills and experience A good builder can quickly figure out the place and position for every rock. No bonding material is used to build these fences. They may look simple and craggy, but it takes a lot of skill and dexterity to build them. Hmong rock fences come in all sizes and shapes such as circle, square, diamond etc. depending on what they enclose. Some even build a heart-shaped fence just for fun. At the base of a newly built fence, they often plant vines and flowers. In spring these plants blossom, mesmerizing visitors from other lands. It may take a month or years to build a fence, depending on the height, thickness, length and the purpose of the fence. The fences surrounding a household dwelling are the strongest and highest, because they are designed to protect people and their property from wild predators and evil spirits. Built with bigger and harder rocks, they have thick base and grow thinner toward the top. This kind of fence is usually 1.5 - 2m tall. Today, although many roads on Dong Van Rocky Plateau are concrete convenient for transportation of building materials to remote villages, the Hmong still preserve their custom of building rock fences as a unique feature of their tradition. n

Clockwise from left: Rocky fences, Dong Van Rocky Plateau in spring, 2014; An ethnic family building a rocky fence, Dong Van Rocky Plateau, Ha Giang Province, 2015; Dong Van Rocky Plateau in spring DECEMBER 2016 - JANUARY 2017



• 15





n our ‘Instagram age’ when every day, millions of photographs are instantly uploaded to websites and almost as quickly forgotten, it is a joy to pick up and leisurely thumb through an album of old black-and-white pictures. It is a particular joy when that album blows away the mists of time and shows you captured instants of the past life of a city you know and love. Although I have lived in Vietnam for twenty years, I cannot claim to know Hanoi well, having only visited it on a number of business trips that hardly reaches double figures. After an absence of ten years, I went back last year and was struck by the large numbers of skyscrapers that have sprung up. Yet, the old Hanoi with its thousand-year history is still there. I stayed near the Temple of Literature and walked the ancient streets shown in this book. For those with a love and nostalgia for past times and of that grand old dame named Hanoi, this is a tome to seek out. There is more text here than you generally get in a book of this kind. Many of the photographs need to have their context explained and clarified. There is a very good introductory essay on the long history of Hanoi, among other things lamenting the fact that besides the great exception already mentioned of the Temple Of Literature, very little remained even at the time of these snaps that is more than two hundred years old. The credits at the back make it clear the English has been vetted by native speakers and they have done a good job making it read clearly throughout. I shall now proceed to give you a section by section overview of the book.


Street and municipal markets will always be the best place to experience the essence of a place — the character of the local people and the nature of their economy. All the more fascinating to see markets at moments frozen in time of a hundred years ago and more. That young flower girl in the picture there probably grew old, become a mother and then a grandmother; perhaps even I have brushed shoulders with her descendants on a Hanoi street. It is interesting to

16 •




PHOTOGRAPHY learn that the nickname for Hanoi in the past was simply ‘The Market’. The sellers and buyers may be attired and look differently now, but it was the same bustling activity as in today’s Vietnamese markets. We see goods back then were carried to market on strangelooking wooden barrows and also balanced atop the seller’s head. As now there was a separate area for live chickens due to, as we are told, the foul smell. Also in this section, we see wooden boats moored alongside the Red River near the Dormer Bridge, vital for the inflow of agricultural produce and merchandise to the markets. There are also sellers using quaint old buses to get to market.


Partly due to a recent ‘renovation’, this is the area of Hanoi that best maintains its old character. Each of the thirty streets were occupied by craftsmen from various villages or some by the Chinese specialising in certain businesses such as gold, silver, dyeing, and silk. We see most of the houses were of earthen walls and bamboo roofs. Only the Chinese had houses of brick. The actual number of guilds was not a constant thirty-six but changed from time to time. This section

provides many snapshots of Hanoi forbears tending their shops, producing goods and transporting them through the bustling narrow streets.


Sadly, the French levelled the Hanoi citadel in 1894. Only the flag tower, the North Gate and a few buildings inside the citadel remain today. Thus the photographs and drawings shown here are of enormous value. It seemed quite like the Hue Citadel, which of course, we can still see. There are the high walls, the gates, store house and dwellings of high officials, as well as shots of the Royal Palace and of the King himself amidst his entourage.


This section shows Hanoians of yesteryear at their everyday toil. Captured in 1884, a middle-aged woman sits weaving at a large wooden loom. We learn that people used to make their living fishing from the many Hanoi lakes. Rice husking kept many busy. Blacksmiths and turners turn out their wares. As today, people are making conical hats in their yards. There are oil pressers, parasol and umbrella makers, wood carvers, painters and decorators, embroiderers, people transporting goods by wooden wheel barrows and rickshaw carriers of people. Add to this scholars commissioned to write letter an calligraphic art, itinerant shoe

menders and cobblers, makeshift tea shop owners, street barbers, street musicians and even those who worked as human chess pieces!


This is the largest of Hanoi’s lakes, so called as it lies west of the river. The French called it ‘Grand Lac’ As evidenced here by many pictures of old temples and palaces, this was a gentrified and royal area. However many commoners made their livings here fishing, cultivating lotus flowers on the waters and a snap of the ancient ‘Cau Giay’




• 17



(Paper Bridge) leads us on to the many paper-making villages that were once around the lake, taking their raw material from the waterside trees. We see the stages of paper making from the stripping of bark, pulping, ovens for the boiling of the mash, and softening by dumping in ponds. Coming from a paper-making town myself, I found this intriguing. Finally, there is a shot of the people of Buoi (Pomelo) Village, which held an important local market


The heart of Hanoi was and remains the Lake of the Restored Sword (Hoan Kiem).It is amazing to see the famous temple on the small island (Ngoc Son) used to be accessed by a bamboo plank bridge more suited, as is the quote by a Frenchman, ‘to a light-footed goat than the heavy steps of Europeans’. There were more pagodas around the lake. There is a picture of a large beautiful one, sadly razed by the French to make way for the post office. Hanoi’s first theatre near the lake ‘Les Varietes’ is also depicted, along with a long gone bandstand in a nearby square. Another sad loss, we learn was the magnificent ‘Cercle Nautique’, a lovely colonnaded building in the form of a

18 •



pleasure boat that once stood at the water’s edge and served as a popular cafe.


The last section comes closer to our times. It is basically about what the French did to try to convert Hanoi into a Paris of the Orient. (‘What did the Romans ever do for us?’ is a famous anti-colonial comic cry from ‘Monty Python’’). Well, here we see with their knack for flair and elegance, that the French brought some very fine administrative buildings, hotels and cafes, libraries, pharmacies and theatre, not to mention a power plant, improved water treatment facilities and the railway. The streets with horses, rickshaw pullers and early motor cars look very quiet compared to today’s hectic rush. All in all, for those interested in seeing how Hanoi looked and how its people lived in the early era of photography, this book is very good value for money. If you live in Hanoi or on your next visit, you will walk her streets with different eyes and you may even imagine you see one of two of those ghostly personages you glimpsed in the book.


Hanoi: Traces of the Old Days is published by Lao Dong Publishing House in collaboration with Artbook. Artbook Book Store: Ho Chi Minh City: 1B1 Nguyen Dinh Chieu St., Dist. 1, Tel : (848) 3910 3518 / 3910 1794 43 Dong Khoi St., Dist .1, Tel : (848) 3822 0838 158ED Dong Khoi St., Dist .1, Tel : (848) 3827 9745 46 Le Loi St., Dist.1, Tel: (848) 35021559 / (848) 38257831 War Remnants Museum, 28 Vo Van Tan St., Dist. 3, Tel : (848) 6684 9277 Quang Nam Province: 166 Tran Phu St., Hoi An, Tel: (84) 510 3910 225 114 Tran Phu St., Hoi An, Tel: (84) 5103 800 225. Ha Noi Capital: 30 Ta Hien St., Hoan Kiem Dist., Tel: (844) 3266 8583 53 St. Dinh Tien Hoang, Hoan Kiem Dist., Tel: (844) 32668569 Cover price: VND 350,000


100 BEST W WORKS ORKS SELEC SELECTED TED FR FROM OM THE C CONTEST ONTEST displayed March, will be displa yed till 30 M arch, 2017 aatt Danang Museum Museum of Cham SSculptutre culptutre No.2, No .2, 2 Thang Thang 9 Street, Strreet, eet Danang eet, Danang City Cittyy w www.vietnamheritage.com.vn ww.vietnamheritage.com.vn









Serenity & Tranquillity BY ESTELLA KHA



Con Dao District, Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province, includes 16 small and big islands, Con Son or Con Dao Island being the largest. The total area is 76 km² and it is 185 km from Vung Tau City and 230 km from Ho Chi Minh City. The peaceful and pristine beauty of Con Dao allows one to avoid the noise, pollution and bustle of modern life. The cool breeze and fresh air make one feel relaxed. The atmosphere is ideal for walking or riding a bicycle or scooter to explore the mysterious island. The town is so calm and quiet as your roll along next to mossy fences, old houses, old French villas and historical relics, down the long and winding road along the blue sea, with big, ancient trees casting their shade in the street. Do not forget to go to Con Son Market to discover local culture and enjoy local specialities.

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Malabar almond trees, recognized as Heritage Trees, casting their shade over Ton Duc Thang St, Con Dao. Photo: Vu Dung


Con Dao Prison: Awarded the title of Special National Relic in 2013, the prison system here was the largest prison in Vietnam. Con Dao Prison was established in 1862 and lasted until Reunion Day, 1975. French colonists ruled Con Dao for 92 years (18621954). Then, they handed over Con Dao Prison to Saigon in 1955. It includes many prisons, labour basements and tiger cages. Thousands of patriotic and communist soldiers were tortured until 1970, when this ‘hell on earth’ was revealed and shocked the world with its gruesome tortures. More than 40 years have passed since the reunion day, but its atmosphere is still blanketed by a dull colour of painful memories. Hang Duong Cemetery: Built in 1992 and covers 20ha. This is the largest cemetery in Con Dao, where thousands of prisoners were buried. Among 1,913 graves in the cemetery are 793 which have specific names and addresses. The rest are anonymous. Hang Duong Cemetery is always crowded with visitors. Many of them come to the cemetery to pay tribute to the heroine Vo Thi Sau’s grave, the youngest prisoner under death sentence at Con Dao. Making a visit to the cemetery at night is the frequent activity of local people. It is believed that midnight is the moment that the living and the dead can be connected through the mind. Top: Heroic Vo Thi Sau Statue at Hang Duong Cemetery. Photo: Vu Dung Bottom: Con Dao Prison. Photo: Le Thang My

Con Dao Beach Photo: Huynh Lam

Now there are three boats cruising from Cat Lo Port, Vung Tau City to Ben Dam Port, Con Dao Island. Boats CD09 (VND150,000) and CD10 (VND200,000) depart from 5 p.m. and arrive at Con Dao Island about 6 a.m. in the next day and vice versa. Boat CQ-03 (VND390,000 a seat and VND590,000 a Con Dao bed) departs from 8 a.m. and arrives at Con Dao Island at 4 p.m. and vice versa. Working with many partners and supporters, International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) implements a large and diverse portfolio of conservation projects worldwide. Combining the latest science with the traditional knowledge of local communities, these projects work to reverse habitat loss, restore ecosystems and improve people’s well-being. Since 2014, Vietnam-based IUCN has been running a Marine turtle Conservation Volunteer Programme in Con Dao National Park, Nui Chua National Park in Ninh Thuan Province and Hon Cau Marine Protected Area in Binh Thuan Province to raise community’s awareness of marine turtle conservation. DECEMBER 2016 - JANUARY 2017



• 21


Con Dao Beach Photo: Le Thang My


SPLENDID BEACHES: It is difficult to pull out yourself away from the crystalclear sea while admiring the spectacular paintings of white sandy beach, mountains, sky and lush forest. If you are feeling lazy, you can spend the day sunbathing and swimming or enjoying the five-star services of a wide range of beautiful resorts. However, if you get on the large road and turn to a rough track, it will surprise you. Find the way to Dam Trau Beach, located outside the Con Dao National Park, or cross over the forest’s trail to Ong Dung Beach or Suoi Nong Beach. These are considered pristine beaches which have yet to be discovered by many tourists. SNORKELLING AND DISCOVERING CORALS: Do not forget to try snorkelling to see schools of fish swimming around colourful coral reefs. FISHING: Book a fishing tour on the immense blue sea. Fishing at day, or squid fishing at night and enjoy delicious seafood. CON DAO NATIONAL PARK: The Park is one of 2,203 wetlands of international importance and the first marine Ramsar in Vietnam. The park’s total area is nearly 20,000 ha, consisting of 6,000 ha of terrestrial and 14,000 ha of marine habitat. It is home to 144 species of animals and 1,321 species of sea creatures, including 37 species listed in the Vietnam Red Data Book. The park is an ideal place for those who love climbing, trekking, discovering nature and sightseeing. It is an interesting experience when encountering animals in the forest, rare orchids, huge old trees and pristine beaches. Fishing on Con Dao

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TURTLE TOURS: Con Dao is the home of sea turtle. There are 17 beaches that have reported sea turtles hatching. Several large spawning areas include the sand flats on Bay Canh, Hon Cau, Hon Tai and Hon Tre Islands. The sea turtle nesting season in Vietnam lasts from April to October. It is an emotional experience to stay overnight to watch the turtle mothers giving birth and gain new awareness of sea turtle protection specifically and environment protection in general.

Top: A mother vích, green sea turtle, giong back the sea after laying eggs at Con Dao National Park. Bottom: A baby turtle coming back the sea at Con Dao National Park. Photos: Nguyen Hai Van/IUCN Viet Nam VIETNAM HERITAGE





One man’s labour of love to honour his birthplace


ight after its opening for visitors in early 2009, the Coi Nguon Museum on Phu Quoc Island many call the ‘Jewel’ attracted curiosity and the attention of historians and culturologists as well as tourists from all over the world. Visiting the museum, many are astonished to see so many over 2,000-year-old relics left by those who inhabited this 600km2 island, which is 50km from the mainland. Its website says that the museum has seven collections, most notably the one with 2,645 stone, ceramic, porcelain, bronze and fossilized wooden items dated from 15th to early 20th centuries, according to the Vietnam Relics Preservation Centre of UNESCO. The next most remarkable one has hundreds of items related to traditional trades of Phu Quoc Island, such as stilted houses, household utensils, tools for fish sauce making, seafood harvesting and pepper cultivating. One of the rarest relics is the fossilized moss from the ‘Phu Quoc Sea and Forest’ collection which contains sea bull bones, whale bones, wild boar tusks, shells and corals. All the collections are stored in a five-storey building on a high ground, the top of which opens the whole panoramic view of Phu Quoc town, sea and forests. In the 1.5ha premises of the museum, many of the rarest and most iconic animals of Phu Quoc such as sea eagles, falcons and especially cow-licked dogs are conserved and nourished.

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Mr Huynh Phuoc Hue, the general manager of Coi Nguon Museum Photo: Le Thanh Binh

The impressive museum building that houses thousands of valuable items inside may make one think that its owner is a rich man or a lucky heir. In fact, the owner of this invaluable property, named Huynh Phuoc Hue, used to be a poor student, considered by many as an ‘idiot’. Mr Hue was born in 1973 at Phu Quoc. After high school, he attended BA courses in Saigon. When asked by friends about his homeland Phu Quoc, he often didn’t know what to say. Embarrassed, he began collecting information and materials about Phu Quoc. Meticulously copying news pieces, book chapters, research and journal articles, Hue has acquired an ‘asset’ of 300 pieces of material about Phu Quoc in Vietnamese, Chinese, English and French. He combined and edited these materials, adding his own firsthand experiences and in 1997, finished his book ‘Phu Quoc’s potentials, the past and the present’. After the book became a tourist guidebook to Phu Quoc, Mr Hue applied for a guide job at a tourist company. The job took him to all the nooks and crannies of the island. He finds his homeland even richer and more beautiful than whatever written and known until now. Taking guests around the island, he picked up and brought home sea shells that caught his eyes. One day he came up with an idea of opening a gallery to exhibit what he had collected. He went on collecting everything he thought beautiful or precious. ‘Seeing

MUSEUM me collecting things that nobody cared about, many called me an idiot,’ Mr Hue recalls. Hue spent his spare time to turn his pieces of sea shells, pebbles and wood into cute little souvenirs. And so, on a beautiful day after his wedding, the islanders dropped their jaws seeing that the ‘idiot’ spent VND30 million he got as wedding present to open the Coi Nguon Gallery to exhibit his ‘rubbish’ and the little things he made. As his items sold well, especially the aged ones, Mr. Hue turned passionate about collecting antiques. Hearing any rumour of someone having found a broken piece of pottery or a stone axe, he would go find the person and buy the piece at any price. After five years of tireless and passionate work, he has amassed a collection of thousands of items. In 2006, Dr Dang Van Bai (then head of the Department of Cultural Heritage of the Ministry of Culture, Sport and Tourism) happened to drop by his gallery. The collections here surprised Mr Bai, and he suggested Mr Hue to establish a museum to preserve and promote the valuable heritage of Phu Quoc. He spent the next three years completing and documenting the relics and classifying his collection into topical ones. In 2009, the Coi Nguon Museum, one of 9 private museums at the time, was opened. Coi Nguon Museum 149, Tran Hung Dao, Neighborhood 7, Duong Dong Town, Phu Quoc, Kien Giang Province Tel: (077) 3980-206 www.coinguonphuquoc.com

Above: Some objects displayed at the museum Bottom: The facade of the museum Photos: Le Thanh Binh




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Altar of Guan Gong

A little help


Facace of Guan Gong Temple


uan Gong Temple is one of the typical cultural heritages of the Minh Huong Chinese community at Thu Xa Street, Nghia Hoa Commune, Tu Nghia District, Quang Ngai

Province. The temple was built in 1778 under Tay Son rule. The construction was finished only in 1821. In 1983, the Temple was recognized by the Ministry of Culture and Information as a National Historical and Cultural Heritage site. The temple is structured in the ‘Frontal Holy, Rear Buddhist’ style, with Guan Gong statue, placed in the central edifice, accompanied by Guan Binh and Chau Thuong at his sides. The rear edifice is dedicated to South Sea Avalokitesvara, Ksitigarbha, Cunidihi and a picture of Bodhidharma crossing a river. On the left is a group of statues of the Heavenly Queen, Thousand-Mile Sight, Thousand-Mile Hearing, and the Lady of the Nine Heavens. On the right are the statues of Kim Dau and 12 midwives. According to folklore, Kim Dau Ladies and the 12 midwives are the deities who preside over feminine fertility. The Kim Dau Ladies, namely Van Tieu, Quynh Tieu and Bich Tieu, are the Goddesses of conception. The 12 newborn children carried by the 12 midwives include 6 good ones and 6 bad ones. Whether the child is good or bad, a boy or a girl, depends on how much benefaction the parents have accumulated.


Altar of 12 midwives

Sometimes, the Kim Dau Ladies are represented by a single statue of a woman with a book in her left hand and a pen in her right. She can look up in the book to see if the child will be a boy or a girl. But the sex can be changed with sincere prayers. Since time immemorial, the Vietnamese have believed in Kim Dau Lady’s help. According to the local 80-year-old Mr Tran Dat, ‘In the past, medical care was not so advanced. To have a healthy pregnancy, people prayed to Kim Dau Lady or Thien Thai Lady. If their wish came true, they began to believe in the Ladies.’ Therefore, not only the locals of Quang Ngai, but people from other places such as Hanoi, Quang Nam and Ho Chi Minh City also come here to pray. He added, ‘People come to Guan Gong Temple to beg for a child. The offerings include 13 betel leaves, 13 areca fruits, 12 little candles, 1 big candle, fruits and a vase with flowers. Add a red thread if you beg for a boy or a green thread if you wish a girl’. Discussing the thread colours, the local 69-year-old Mr Tu Quang Tuan said, ‘It has been always so. Nobody can explain. Perhaps our ancestors did some telepathy and were told that red meant a boy and green meant a girl. And they just followed the instruction.’ Also according to Mr Tu Quang Tuan, the child-begger must write down the name and age of both the spouses on a paper and put on the Lady’s altar together with the offerings. If the couple had failed to have a child for a long time, they should also submit the date of their wedding and the date the bride was received at the in law house. The beggers must call the names of all the deities. The ritual

order is as follows: The offerings are arranged on the Lady’s altar. The host represents the two families to light the big candle for the Quang Lady. The spouses begging for a child Ngai come to stand on two sides of the host, name themselves and ask for permission to light the candles for the midwives. The host says the prayers, while the spouses kneel and pray silently. As the candles burn to a half, the host kowtows once more. The ritual ends with a bell toll. As their wish is granted, meaning the wanted child is born, the spouses come back to the temple to thank the Lady. There are no rules set for the offerings. They offer what they promised when begging. Ms Nam, who takes care of charitable work at the temple said, ‘They are very happy to have conceived a child and are ready to make any offering they can, such as a chicken, a full food tray, sticky rice and pudding, a barbecued pig ... Those not so wealthy can offer betel quids, fruits and vegetarian foods. To sincere hearts the Lady would grant everything. But as a child is conceived, the parents must offer thanks. That’s a must. Just burn Her some incense and that will do too.’ Apart from granting children, the Lady does many other things. Pregnant women who don’t feel well can come and ask Her for the pregnancy to be without problems. A family having problems with a newborn child can also come to ask the Lady for a thread to bind on the child’s wrist. n DECEMBER 2016 - JANUARY 2017



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UNESCO brings worry along with honour BY HA NGUYEN

Controversy, misunderstanding accompany cultural heritage status


elight has come at the end of the year as UNESCO recently tagged the practices related to the Vietnamese belief in the Mother Goddesses of the Three Realms to be included in the list of intangible cultural heritage items of humanity. The Practice of Mother Goddesses of three Realms is the eleventh item of Vietnamese culture awarded with an UNESCO status and protection since 1993. Mother Goddesses of Three Realms’ practice has been a tradition in the country and it reflects spiritual needs of local people as well as daily wishes for health, wealth and fortune. The Three Realms are said to originate from the legendary, mysterious figures of Lieu Hanh, who was a nymph who descended to earth and lived as a Buddhist nun; Au Co, who was an immortal mountain fairy and gave birth to the Vietnamese ancestors; and Vuong Mau, who was the legendary Mother of Saint Giong. The Realms represent deities of heaven, water, and mountains and forests. These have stayed closely with historical and mythical legends in the 4,000 years of Vietnam’s development. The belief’s practice has been conducted continuously in almost all northern provinces since the 16th Century. The worship of Mother Goddesses in general is said to be part of the tradition among Vietnamese people of showing respect to their mothers. According to the Department of Cultural Heritage’s director Nguyen The Hung, the practice of Mother Goddesses provides a

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basis for social relations, connecting members in the communities. ‘The worship of Mother Goddesses contributes significantly to the appreciation of women and their role in society’, he said. One of the dominant activities of the belief’s practice is ‘hau dong’ or ‘to mount the medium’, a ritual in which practitioners become mediums and carry out actions controlled by deities in the human world. Practitioners include temple guardians, ritual priests, spirit mediums, mediums’ assistants, musicians, disciples and lay adherents. The guardians take care of the temples, offer daily incense and flowers to spirits, instruct worshippers and pilgrims in ritual acts and play an active role in organising spirit possession rituals and festivals. Priests perform ceremonies, which involve conveying the wishes of the devotees and communities to the Mother Goddesses and spirits through prayer and petition sheets. Male and female spirit mediums are initiated before performing the spirit possession rituals at the temples. Each spirit possession ritual consists of five 36- spirit incarnations, and each spirit has its own costume, dance, songs and offerings. Throughout the spirit possession rituals, a band of musicians perform the songs for spirits. Following the UNESCO status, however, a fresh controversy has broken out in the press as well as on social networks. Many misunderstood that hau dong had been recognized as a UNESCO heritage item, which helped to create the impression that superstitious variations of hau dong are not ‘indecent’ any more.


The performance of Tứ Phủ (Four Palace), by Director Viet Tu, worshipping the Mother Goddess, at the Worker’s Theatre in Hanoi, early 2016 Photos: Pham Hoai Nam

The superstitious versions of hau dong are popular around the country when people are trying to make use of the belief to do business and make profits, which is not controlled by market elements and creates huge waste for the social economy. Wrongful practice of the belief causes negative perception of Vietnamese traditions and culture among younger generations as well. Dr Le Thi Minh Ly, director of the Centre for Study and Promotion of the Belief of the Mother Goddesses of Three Realms said the recognition by UNESCO was aiming to preserve cultural values of the belief as well as attempts by the communities that practice the belief traditions through succeeding generations. Ly, who is also a member of the National Committee for Cultural Heritage, said: ‘The primary value that made UNESCO honour the Mother Goddesses of Three Realms practice was the custom of worshipping the deities representing nature, including land, water, fire and flora.’ Other figures that have been worshipped together with the deities were legendary figures or real historical figures and this helped to show the appreciation of Vietnamese people towards the contributions of the predecessors to the country. The honour was given thanks to the compound performance art that is comprised of music, songs, dance, costumes, musical and performing instruments as well as traditions of areca nut chewing, wine offering, incense burning, and gestures performed by the practitioners of the belief. Practice of the faith was conducted in an order similar to a professional play that is performed in single stages with a harmony of gestures, music, lyrics, rituals, costumes and instruments. The belief’s practice also showcases skillful crafts of sculpture in worship buildings, tailoring and embroidery, and wood and terracotta carving. ‘So far, the UNESCO status was not to honour the belief itself, but to award the creativity of the communities as well as the preservation of the belief’s practice for almost five centuries,’ Ly said. Ly recommended building up measures to prevent unexpected consequences from misunderstandings of UNESCO’s recognition of the Practice of the Belief of Mother Goddesses of Three Realms. She added that authorities should clarify to the public the real values that UNESCO honour and prevent the misuse of the belief’s practice. Ly also wanted an education campaign for the public as well as a scheme to get worshippers to educate each other about the real values of the belief and its practices. n DECEMBER 2016 - JANUARY 2017



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The jewel in the crown



a Nang, the biggest seaside city, set on the vast coastline of Central Vietnam, is fairly praised by international travel magazines for its beauty. Watch the sparkling waves from the open sea tirelessly wash the 35 km long sandy shoreline set against lavishly green mountains and ocean front esplanade loses it’s end behind the horizon line. This beauty unfailingly strikes one with splendour and serenity. After a swift 15 minutes taxi ride through broad boulevards and urban hi-rises in the city center, all looking bright new and built yet yesterday, then along the sweeping seafront, I open the door to the terrace of the Panoramic view deluxe room in luxurious Vinpearl Danang Resort & Villas. The grandeur of the twelve hectare panorama of resort premises fully covered with spreading deep green palm trees and frangipani at their full bloom is mesmerizing. Five blue lakes of swimming pools in their shade, framed with broad ivory band of sandy beach, all set against an overwhelmingly vast blue and uninterrupted continuum of the ocean makes me speechless.

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The main building with 4 wings under tiled roofs built in elegant noble –looking classic colonial style and 39 oceanfront villas not fade at the backdrop of splendid sea vistas but match them impressively. The luxurious accommodation, featuring 200 rooms with modern five star ++ amenities boast elegant interiors with charming flair of Art Deco and fine colonial décor. The latter delights the eye with exquisite dark wood furniture in decorative whorls, king beds, sophisticated lamps and lightning fittings, cosy long chairs and spacious terrace-like balconies with hypnotizing sea vistas, one is never tired of. Open air corridors and passes with a sea breeze strolling through are designed to enjoy the full panoramic views of the spectacular surroundings including the iconic verdant Marble mountains, on which resort rests its back in the best traditions of Vietnamese feng shui. The site features an ancient marble craftsmen village nestled at its feet, old and mysterious pagodas hidden in caves, a glass elevator to bring the visitors on their top at a blink of an eye and is believed to serve a locust of rejuvenating Qi- energy.

Among indoor exquisite facilities are 5 outdoor swimming pools. One of them comprises 1.035 sq.m of blue water, placed amidst the blossoming frangipani groves, state of the art fitness center and chic Vincharm Spa with extensive menu of exotic treatments. The sweeping private sandy beach with calm waters and gradual descent from shallow to deep is absolutely worth of at least 2 days long indulgent swim. The one of the best seaviews Central Vietnam can offer as the backdrop will certainly inspire even total late –risers to awake at the sunrise and take a morning swim of the century, then enjoy a rejuvenating outdoor yoga or tai chi sessions with resort masters and maybe even to undertake hours long walk along the endless seashore. The “on spot full day gastronomic cruise”- all day dining buffets served in the chic restaurant on the ground floor is included in to the stay at the resort and features nearly a hundred of dishes each, embracing Vietnamese authentic cuisine, fresh seafood galore, Japanese rolls and sashimi and

Italian food corner. The colorful full board that very few guests would manage to resist or treat with moderation, boasts a bright palette of Vietnamese specialties like exotic rice cake delights from Hue the ancient capital famous for its high cuisine and traditional New Year rice pie “banh chung” which causes a strong addiction in those who catch the zest of its taste. Not to mention, baked and grilled fish, local and freshest seafood, excellent pho soups, many sorts of cheese and tropical fruits on display. In addition to direct access to the pristine beach, the resort offers easy access to the iconic Marble Mountains and three UNESCO world heritage sites including Hue Ancient Capital, Hoi An Ancient Town, and My Son Sanctuary. With it’s unique location and perfect feng shui, impressive and harmonious architecture, excellent gastronomy, an array of activities and facilities meant for total relaxation and indulgence to Vinpearl Da Nang has everything and more to turn one’s stay into ultimate seaside escape and a memorable stay full of luxury and indulgence. n

VINPEARL DANANG RESORT & VILLAS Truong Sa Street, Hoa Hai Ward, Ngu Hanh Son District, Danang City - Tel: (0511) 3938220 - Website: www.vinpearl.com DECEMBER 2016-JANUARY 2017



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A taste of treats to come




n coming to the end of a year, it is time to start thinking of what new and different things one can do in the new year. The Sofitel Plaza Hotel in H.C.M.C. is never one to rest on its laurels and is always ready to sail into uncharted waters. I went along to this great temple of Franco-Vietnamese taste to chat with the culinary wizard that the hotel acquired in 2016, Chef Marko Rankel, and to get a preview of the special menu he has created for New Year’s Eve. Actually, the menu premiered on December 1 and will run throughout January. Also, as Marko explained, it is not his creation, but a corroborative work with his team. His method is to simply put forward his general vision of the dishes and then get creative input from his colleagues. He says he generally gets a result of around eighty per cent of what he originally envisages. The Saigon Plaza is a fine place to extend your knowledge of the French language. Have any of you ever heard of an ‘amuse bouche’? It is basically what the Spanish call a ‘tapa’, something to chomp on while waiting for the first platter to come. Marko informed me that in some parts of France it is known as an ‘amuse gueule’ which somewhat shocked me as I was taught that gueule was coarse language; equivalent maybe to ‘gob’ in English. Anyhow, three small pieces of finger food arrived with a palette of three different coloured sauces to dip them in, along with a basket of assorted breads. Each course came in the nouvelle cuisine style, colourful and complete with sauce and balsamic reduction squiggles and framed by a large square plate. All ingredients are flown in from France except for the vegetables. First came a combined terrine of duck and goose with winter truffle jelly, smoked pear and almond salad. Now the meal gained some liquidity as we were served a dish with contrasting hot and cold elements, which was the lobster bouillabaisse with oyster tartar, grilled eel and lemon foam—an amazing combination which only a highly creative mind could compose. Following this, a sweet note was added to the culinary symphony with an orange sorbet. Then it was back to the scrumptious savoury tastes as we tucked into scampi and scallops poached in saffron with truffle and a ricotta cheese-stuffed Chinese dumpling; a fine imaginative example of an Asian European fusion creation. The adventure continued with something new for me — Wagyu beef. Those cows thought they had it made in life with all those massages and free beer! Little did they know there is no such thing as a free beer, I mused as I had a piece of one for lunch. Such amazing texture and taste. The aftertaste lingered on my palate until well into the afternoon. It came marinated in truffle fondue with green and white asparagus, warm olives and tomato salad and mushrooms. All this was rounded off by a golden vertical tube of golden chocolate tapering at the top. It came accompanied by a trilogy of apple-based creations. The chocolate on its own reminded of Saigon’s iconic Bitexco tower minus the heliport platform.

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Mention can be made here too of other treats to be tempted by at the Sofitel. The ever-popular buffet restaurant The Mezz will be introducing a once-a-week Seafood Buffet early in the new year. The Boudoir lounge is always an ideal place to enjoy afternoon light eats or an early evening cocktail. Another tip is that the Christmas hampers will also be available for the SinoVietnamese New Year and make excellent gifts for Vietnamese friends and business associates. All in all, this innovative menu served in an elegant restaurant with a warm and comfortable decor in the company of dear friends and family would be a great way to say goodbye to 2016 or to welcome in 2017. Furthermore, I advise you to be ‘toujours a la vedette!’ or in plain English, to keep an eye out on the Boulevard Le Duan for more exciting surprises throughout the New Year. There is an ancient proverb which runs, ‘Out of Africa there is always something new’. This little dictum equally applies to the ‘Sofitel Plaza Saigon’. n

The New Year’s eve seT course meNu is priced at vND 1,850,000++ for a six course menu/wine pairing vND 1,100,000++ per person 31 December 2016 from 7 p.m. at L’olivier restaurant sofitel saigon Plaza hotel, 17 Le Duan Boulevard, District 1, ho chi minh city, tel: (08) 3824-1555









ntending to create a rich, diverse exhibition environment for visitors, especially for school children, Ho Chi Minh Museum had organized the outdoor educational experience ‘Chairman Ho Chi Minh’s childhood in cultural ambience of Hue.’ Taking place from 26 to 30 September 2016 at Ho Chi Minh Museum, Hanoi, it is a continuation of previous educational programs which help the public to explore and experience the region around the old capital, rich in of traditional cultural values. Hue has a special place in Chairman Ho Chi Minh’s youth. The 10 years 1895 – 1909 spent in Hue were a very important period for young Nguyen Tat Thanh – Nguyen Ai Quoc – Ho Chi Minh. It was this time and this place that forged his patriotism, which urged him to go abroad looking for a way to save the country and the people. Hue cherishes the images of His youth and preserves the sanity of memories of how Chairman Ho Chi Minh’s childhood was nourished here. ‘Cultural ambience of Hue’ is a fresh breeze for the school age, with lively, fun learning activities such as Mid-Autumn lantern-making, palm leaf hatmaking, painting Sinh village drawings, Chinese literacy learning. It restores the settings of the old Duong No Village (now in Phu Duong Commune, Phu Vang District of Thua Thien Province) where little Nguyen Sinh Cung


(Childhood name of Chairman Ho Chi Minh) began his first lessons of Chinese literacy, scraping his first characters to learn how words reflect people. The program has folk games with a lot of motor skills practice such as tug of war, blind man’s bluff, and figurine kneading. Also, Hue Features Restaurant is here to offer typical Hue items of food for the public to enjoy. The exploration experience series in 2016 has lifted the interaction between the Museum and the public to new heights. The new program proved to be innovative and effective in teaching the kids about the life, legacy and moral example of Ho Chi Minh. Having experienced the ‘Cultural ambience of Hue,’ Nguyen Nhat Linh of class 6A5, Nguyen Tri Phuong secondary school, Ba Dinh District, Hanoi said, ‘I am happy and proud to be here with my peers to play folk games, eat Hue food, practice writing Chinese characters and paint folk art. The program taught me a lot about Chairman Ho Chi Minh and traditional cultural features of the Vietnamese people.’ It is anticipated that in 2017, beside the existing educational programs in the exploration space on themes ‘Uncle Ho’s tire sandals’ and ‘The revolutionary Pac Bo,’ Ho Chi Minh Museum will continue introducing outdoor educational programs with new content and on a new scale. We respectfully thank the public and hope that they will remain by our side in future journeys.

Opposite: An overview of the Hue cultural ambience

Clockwise from top, left: Learning how to make tò he

(toy figurines); Experience of wearing Hue royal costumes; Enjoying Hue food; Making Hue conical hats

Contact information: Place : 19 Ngoc Ha St., Ba Dinh, Hanoi Tel: (84.4) 38463752 - 38463757 Website: ww.baotanghochiminh.vn Booking: Bureau of Education – Ho Chi Minh Museum Tel : (84.4) 38455435 – 176,178 Mobile: 0912 464974 / 0973 869595




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Ngoc Lu bronze drum, Dong Son civilization, 2000-2500 years ago


national treasure is a precious relic that carries messages from the past, the quintessence of rich, diverse and unique Vietnamese culture. This is the first time the Vietnam National Museum of History will exhibit the ‘National Treasures of Vietnam’ at the Vietnam National Museum of History on January 10, 2017 at no. 1 Trang Tien Street, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi to the public. According to Dr. Nguyen Van Cuong, Director of the Vietnam National Museum of History, this is a special event. Previously the national treasures have been shown separately in topical exhibition, but this time, these invaluable national relics are showcased to provide a panoramic view of the history of Vietnam as a nation, from the Dong Son Era 2,000 years ago to the time of the establishment of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam. Some, such as That Khe antiques, show the dawn of our history, when our people began the process of building and defending our own nation and civilization. Others such as royal seals show different

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Jar with a swan image, indigo enamel, early Le era, 15th century

Van Ban pagoda bell, Tran era, 13th-14th centuries

eras of different dynasties. The exhibition this time presents two items recently recognized by the National Council of Heritage, namely the Nation Handing Down Seal related to the Nguyen Dynasty’s legacy of expanding the territory and unifying administration system, and a Tran Era’s 8-petaled ceramic vase, a masterpiece that demonstrates the innovative mind and skills of the Viet people in this period of long strides of development in military (3 times defeating the Yuan aggressors), economics and culture. Beside the antiques, the exhibition also introduces to the public the artefacts related to the nation’s destiny in the fight for independence, the establishment of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam and the struggle for the country’s unification. These include the famous ‘Call for nationwide resistance’ and the ‘Prison diary’ authored by the world-celebrated


cultural icon, Chairman Ho Chi Minh. ‘In this exhibition, the Vietnam National Museum of History will be innovative in accentuating the values and meanings of the showcased items to visitors by lay-out, light design, and 3-D illustrations, providing detailed documentary clips about the process of research and evaluation and X-ray images of pattern designs to emphasize the unique values of each item.’ Other relics, which cannot be included in the exhibition due to their tremendous sizes and weights such as a 6th century Champa King’s stele, or the Nam Giao stele where Nguyen Kings conducted a ritual asking Heaven for good weather and crops will be shown comprehensively in images and texts.

Vietnam National Museum of History 1 Trang Tien St, Hanoi 216 Tran Quang Khai St, Hanoi Tel: (04) 3824-1384 www.baotanglichsu.vn


Falling in love with




lat concrete roads took me through tunnels penetrating hills, vast rice fields, Japanese houses scattered below the mountains, peaceful towns and clear streams flowing by green moss and shiny rocks. Leaving behind the crowds, modern landmarks and splendid landscapes of Osaka and Kobe, I headed for rural areas in Kansai regions. Huge modern constructions always gain the admiration of many people at first, but lovely little things or ancient things always linger on your mind for a long time.

Himeji CastLe, Hyogo PrefeCture

Himeji Castle completely deserves to be recognized as a World Cultural Heritage Site and National Treasure of Japan. A huge majestic wooden castle, resplendent in its pure whiteness, looked like a bird swinging on the sky. It is so impressive in every detail from the clean long moat, wooden drawbridge, the gates, the tiles decorated with fish which are believed to protect it from fires, the curving fan of stone walls, the long white-plaster walls, the trimmed garden and more than 1,000 sakura trees. To encounter the Main Keep, I had to penetrate 21 gates, some with traps. The gates are low and dark with the aim of hitting the

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Himeji Castle. Photo provided by the management board of Himeji Castle

careless heads of enemies. Besides, the owner is very smart to use the conflict of the dark and light, and the visual impacts to lead the enemies to go out of the castle. 997 murder holes are equipped to defend the castle. However, no enemies have conquered this castle yet. Externally, the Main Keep appears to have five floors. However, it actually has a 7-floor configuration, including six internal floors and a basement. Visitors are instructed to see hidden windows and doorways allowing escape, warrior hiding places, weapon racks and platforms installed for monitoring and firing on attackers. Certainly anyone also needs to lean on gods to find the strength, brave warriors included. There is a small shrine at the top. On the walls, you can see the six-petal nail covers used for decoration and covering nail heads. Observing carefully, you can see small wooden plugs with a variety of shapes on the beams. These proved that the owner is not only a good soldier, but also an artist. Looking at the miniature backbone of the Main Keep, I admired their talent. The tall pillars and stone walls at the base are one of the secrets to protect the castle from earthquakes. After 45 years of restoration, the more than 400-year-old castle still keeps its original shape and beauty through the time.

someN museum, Hyogo PrefeCture

Next I came to the Somen Museum for lunch. A big tent was raised in front of the museum and served a summer dish – somen noodles. Bundles of noodles are dropped into cold flowing water. Everyone then tries to catch the noodles as they flow by. It was a fun way to enjoy ‘Nagashi Somen’ with chopsticks. Somen noodles are served simply with sauce, ginger, wasabi, green onion and many kinds of tempura. Very cool and delicious, the noodles are firm. If you can’t eat somen noodles in summer, you can buy some in the shops and enjoy at home. Somen was created in the 1880’s in Japan and is manufactured in a limited period from October to the following April, because the process of making Somen depends mostly on the weather. The Somen’s secret is the process of ripening and stretching, which is repeated several times. At the demonstration corner in the museum, an old worker showed me how to thin and elongate the noodles from 6mm to 1.3mm in diameter and from 50cm to 1.4m in length. The 2nd floor introduces the history and culture of Somen with figures, panels and audio visual material.

KiNosaKi oNseN – Hot sPriNg toWN, Hyogo PrefeCture

As the sun went down behind the mountains, my coach went to the hotel Onishiya Sushoen in Kinosaki Onsen Town, which near the Sea of Japan. Onsen in Japanese means ‘hot spring’. Volcanoes bring to Japan a valuable resource, the hot spring, which is believed can soothe tense and tired muscles. There are plenty of hot springs scattered through the country. Most of them are concentrated in the countryside. So it is not difficult to find an onsen where you can soak your body in warm water and enjoy breath-taking landscape. Onishiya Sushoen features a traditional Japanese hotel with a tranquillity garden ornament at the lobby decorated with trimmed trees, rocks, sand, water and colourful koi fish. The garden can be viewed from most of the rooms which are furnished with tatami mats, Shoji sliding doors and futon for a Japanese accommodation style. The hotel treated me with a Japanese Kaiseki dinner which satisfied my senses of sight, smell and taste. Japanese cuisine has such a refined quality that it is recognized as an art form. The dishes are served on trays in small portions and great care in decoration. The cook seems to calculate the value of nutrition carefully in a meal, including seafood, meat, vegetables, soup, rice and fruits. Spices are not used very much, so as to make diners feel the freshness of ingredients completely. Wearing yakuta, a kind of kimono, I went to the onsen in the hotel to experience bathing with naked people. I was really shy. But, I thought, it would be such a pity if I did not dare to try something new when travelling in a foreign country. After taking off their clothes, everyone looked the same anyway. Then the only thing to do was soak my body in warm water and let it heal my muscles and mind.

From top: Wax statues depicting process of making somen in ancient times at the Somen Museum. Photo: Tu Anh. A Japanese Kaiseki dinner at the Onishiya Sushoen Hotel. Photo: Tu Anh. At the Kinosaki Onsen Town. Photo: Pinterset.

in japan, every season has its own attraction. spring, from march to may, has sakura (cherries) flowers blossoming from south to North. summer, from april to august, has the lush of trees. autumn, from september to November, has momiji (maple leaves) turning from green to red and yellow from North to south. Winter, from December to february, has snow.


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TRAVEL Matcha. Photo: Pinterset

motoise KoNo sHriNe, miyazu City, sHira

I could feel an invisible power as soon as I got to the Torii Gate, a typical symbol seen at the shrines, at the Motoise Kono Shrine where the god of the sun was enshrined. It is believed that when you go through the Torii Gate, you step into a holy place of the gods. Shintoism and Buddhism are two main religions in Japan. There are more than 80,000 shrines in this country, most of them attached to a story of gods and featuring their original unique architecture. Motoise Kono Shrine is a wooden ancient shrine built in the style of Japanese traditional Shinto architecture. The shrine is decorated very elegantly and located in a large area covering with old trees. You have to go to its garden to listen the natural music from bamboo connected to the ground. The beautiful sound is produced from water dropping into an underground cave. This place is very tranquil. From this shrine, you can take a ropeway to Kasamatsu Park to enjoy a gorgeous mountain and sea view from the air.


I walked to Kamogawa, a famous river in Kyoto, to visit Fushimi Inari Shrine, which has over 10,000 red Torii gates offered by entrepreneurs, arranged in rows stretching over a 4km road leading to the shrine. Worshiping at Fushimi Inari Shrine is said to bring prosperity in business and bountiful harvests. The ancient city of Kyoto, steeped in over a thousand years of history, lies in a valley surrounded by mountains. The tourist mecca is famous for a majority of ancient historical relics and beautiful natural scenes during four seasons. Kyoto comprises 2,000 ancient shrines and pagodas. Kyoto will bring you back to Japan in the 19th century with ancient wooden Japanese restaurants, stone lanterns, bamboo sliding doors, umbrellas, kimono, wooden clogs and performances by geishas. Going through poetic streets, I found the way to Fukujuen, a tea shop in Kyoto, which is located in an alley covered with high lush trees in the front and a row of cherry trees along the channel behind. It is a nice place to enjoy matcha which is a trendy drink recently Motoise Kono Shrine. Photo: Tu Anh

40 •


loved all over the world. Matcha is premium green tea powder from Japan used for drinking as tea or in recipes. Matcha has been used in the traditional Japanese tea ceremony for hundreds of years. Nutritionists said that matcha is a ‘super food’. It has 137 times more antioxidants than regularly-brewed green tea. One cup of matcha is equivalent to 10 cups of regularly brewed green tea in terms of nutritional content. Sipping my matcha made by a Japanese instructor, it tasted bitter on my tongue, but after that, only the light sweetness lingered in my mouth. Matcha is usually served in a beautiful ceramic bowl decorated with seasonal flowers in Japan. Flowers are drawn outside and inside the bowl with the aim of letting the drinker enjoy the flower blossoms while drinking tea. Matcha and Mochi, a Japanese cake, is a perfect couple. However, Matcha also blends with other ingredients in perfect harmony. In Kyoto, there are plenty of Japanese ancient houses used as restaurants, with impressive large garden ornament and geisha performances. The garden changes its appearance during each of the four seasons. In summer, a balcony floor built right above the Kamogawa River provides a perfect dining space for authentic Japanese dishes, as the breeze from the river adds to the elegance. It is a memorable afternoon at the restaurant Ganko Takasegawa Nijoen, with good food, the sunset and mallards bathing on the river. Time went so fast and I had to go home with nice, unforgettable memories of Japan, a developed country careful not to ruin the beauty of nature and its unique traditional culture. Although expenses are high in Japan, many people are ready to spend money on high quality products ‘made in Japan’, because they get what they pay for. Japan gives you purity, fresh air and poetic sceneries in every nook and cranny. A pebble in a spring, a tree in the street, a flower, a lake, a forest, a mountain, a house, a shrine, a castle, a building … all of them have a soul that makes Japan become really unique. It is a place where you come once, then return home with a remembrance and after that come back again. Come to Japan to find balance in the modern bustling life. n Road leading to Fukujuen, a tea shop in Kyoto. Photo: Tu Anh

The Luxury Villa and Bungalow designed in unique style - a mix of wild nature and modernly topped with coconut leafs, closed to nature and harmoniously combine ocean views, and garden view, a gorgeous spa center together with diverse services. Pampered relaxation in the resort & spa make your stay refreshing and invigorating.

Let Aroma Beach Resort & Spa be your home of lively sensation ! Address: Quarter 5, Phu Hai Ward, Phan Thiet City, Binh Thuan Province Tel: + 84 (0)62 3 82 82 88 Fax: + 84 (0)62 3 82 81 11 Email: reservation@aromabeachresort.com


133A Nguyen Dinh Chieu st, Ham Tien, Phan Thiet, Binh Thuan Tel: (062)3743481 / (062)3743482 sales1@bunkhoangmuine.com / sales2@bunkhoangmuine.com

The Gift Of Nature




Emeralda Resort Ninh Binh

Van Long Nature Reserve, Ninh Binh Province Tel: (030) 3658-333

Hanoi Daewoo Hotel 360 Kim Ma, Ba Dinh Dist., Hanoi Tel: (04) 3831-5000

Emeralda Resort Ninh Binh has a promotion, ‘Winter Wonder’ at VND2,950,000 per room per night for weekdays and VND3,400,000 per room per night for weekend. The prices include breakfast and dinner. It runs till 20 February, 2017.

Lang Co Beach Resort

463 Lac Long Quan St, Lang Co Town, Hue Tel: (054) 3873-555

Lang Co Beach Resort is running a three night’s stay at VND2,500,000 per room for two persons with breakfast. The price includes service charge and VAT. The promotion is valid till 14 February, 2017.

Dalat Edensee Resort & Spa

Tuyen Lam Lake, Dalat Tel: (064) 3831-515

Dalat Edensee Resort & Spa offer a ‘Lunar New Year 2017 Package’ from 27 January to 5 February, 2017. It costs VND6,500,000 per room for two nights in a Mimosa Superior Room with breakfast, dinner, baking class for children and shuttle bus from/ to Dalat centre. The price includes service charge and VAT.

FOOD PROMOTIONS Fortuna Hanoi Hotel 6B Lang Ha St, Ba Dinh Dist, Hanoi Tel: (04).3831-3333

Café Promenade, at the Hanoi Daewoo Hotel, will serve a Vietnamese and International buffet in January at VND 550,000++. There will be more traditional Tet dishes added to the menu. Also, Lakeview Sky Lounge at the hotel offers guests a special promotion to enjoy unlimited selected drinks at VND396,000 ++. InterContinental Hanoi Westlake 5 Tu Hoa St, Tay Ho Dist., Hanoi Tel: (04) 6270-8888

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Pullman Hanoi 40 Cat Linh St, Dong Dan Dist., Hanoi Tel: (04) 3733-0688 La Cheminee Restaurant, at the Pullman Hanoi, has Italian buffet dinner at 6.30 p.m. every 3rd Friday of the month (20 January and 17 February, 2017). The buffet includes a wide selection of Italian delights with ingredients imported from various regions of Italy. The menu is prepared by Italian Executive Chef Filippo Morelli. VND540,000++. Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi 15 Ngo Quyen St, Hanoi Tel: (04) 3826-6919 A special Tet menu will be served at Spices Garden, at the Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi, from 16 to 27 January. The set dinner costs VND1,200,000. Diners can enjoy the hotel’s delectable Tet Eve dinner on 27 January at VND2,300,000. Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi also will hold a three-day Tet market at the hotel from 19 to 21 January with more than 20 vendors selling traditional Tet specialties and handmade handicrafts. Sheraton Hanoi Hotel 11 Xuan Dieu St, Hanoi Tel: (04) 3719-9000

InterContinental Hanoi Westlake has Sunday Brunch on 8, 15 and 22 January with delectable Tet dishes. The prices start from VND 1,100,000. The hotel also holds a Tet market from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. on 14 January with a range of cultural activities including food stalls and traditional crafts. Free entry. Melia Hanoi Hotel 44B Ly Thuong Kiet St Tel: (04) 3934-3343

From 9 January to 11 February, Fortuna Hanoi Hotel will introduce to diners a favorite Chinese dish in New Year, Yee Sang salad, cooking with 27 ingredients. Yee Sang or Yu Sheng means property and longevity. It is believed to bring luck to everyone during Tet. The act of tossing the salad together is said to usher in the abundance and wellness for the coming year. The prices start from VND520,000++ to VND980,000++

VND825.000++ without drinks VND1,170,000++ including wine.

El Patio Restaurant, at the Melia Hanoi Hotel, serves a wide range of seafood every Friday and Saturday with the prices starting from


To celebrate the New Year, chefs of the Oven D’or Restaurant, at the Sheraton Hanoi Hotel, will prepare lunch and dinner buffet from 18 to 31 January, 2017. Lunch: VND650,000++ including one abalone soup. Dinner: VND1,100,000++ including one abalone soup, free flow lobster and foie gras. Caravelle Saigon 19 - 23 Lam Son Square, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City Tel: (08) 3823-4999 Foie gras will be served at Café de l’Opera, at the Caravelle Hotel, from 9 to 19 January. There will be Foie Gras Terrine with pineapple compote; Foie Gras Espuma with ginger brioche crumble; Foie Gras Mousse with cherries and Seared Foie Gras with orange. VND189,000++ single preparation and VND729,000 + + for four.

VALUE FOR MONEY Lunar New Year Buffet Dinner of Asian, Western and traditional Tet delicacies will be served at Restaurant Nineteen on 27 and 28 January. The prices start from VND890,000++ to VND1,490,000++. Park Hyatt Saigon 2 Lam Son Square, Dist.1, Ho Chi Minh City Tel: (08) 3824-1234

Park Hyatt Saigon offers a perfect ambience for those who meeting friends in the evenings at After 5 on the terrace of Square One Restaurant. Beers start at VND40,000++, cocktails at VND110,000++ and food at VND 50,000++. Open: 5:05 p.m. until late. Also, Opera Restaurant, at the Park Hyatt Saigon, has Sunday Brunch with a range of fresh imported seafood from noon to 3 p.m. at VND 1,488,000++ including free flow Prosecco, house wines, soft drinks, beer and cocktails and VND1,988,000++ including free flow Bollinger champagne, house wines, soft drinks, beer and cocktails. InterContinental Saigon Hotel Corner Hai Ba Trung St & Le Duan Blvd, Dist.1, Ho Chi Minh City Tel: (08) 3520-9999

Vietnamese traditional Tet delicacies as well as other international cuisines will be available at Market 39, at the InterContinental Saigon Hotel, from 28 to 31 January. Monday to Thursday: VND1,150,000++ and Friday to Sunday:

VND1,250,000++. Besides, diners can come to Basilico Restaurant at the hotel in the weekend to enjoy grilled food with a wide range of seafood, meat and sausages. BBQ Weekend Dinner at VND1,000,000++ on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Also, Yee Sang Salad, a popular dish believed to bring luck and prosperity to everyone during Tet, will be served at YuChu Restaurant at the hotel from 16 to 31 January. Yee Sang will be made with salmon, fresh aromatic herbs and kumquat juice. Starting from VND888,000++ a set menu or VND388,000++ a dish. Sheraton Saigon Hotel & Towers 88 Dong Khoi St, Dist.1, Ho Chi Minh City Tel: (08) 3827-2828 Saigon Café Restaurant at the Sheraton Saigon Hotel & Towers introduces a wide array of Vietnamese traditional food to welcome the Year of the Rooster 2017 from 26 to 31 January. There are also international stations with mouth-watering food. The menu also filled up with sweet Vietnamese desserts such as mu gon, Vietnamese tapioca with mung bean sweep soup, sticky rice with custard topping, and Vietnamese Tet traditional candies. Dinner: 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., VND1,400,000++ including free flowing house wine, draft beer, coffee and tea.

Pullman Saigon Centre 148 Tran Hung Dao St, Dist.1, HCMC Tel: (08) 3838-8686

Pullman Saigon Centre has ‘Daily Themed Buffet’ at VND768,000++. Monday and Tuesday local vegetables and tasty meats in Mexican style; Thursday and Friday: an exploration of spicy Thai cuisine; Wednesday and Saturday are for seafood lovers.


Indochine Palace

105A Hung Vuong St, Hue Tel: (054) 3936-666 www.indochinepalace.com

Li Bai Restaurant at the hotel offers a selection of Yee Sang dishes which are believed to bring diners lots of luck during the whole year. It is available from 27 January to 15 February from VND168,000++ per dish. Lunch: 11 a.m. – 2.30 p.m. and dinner: 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Majestic Hotel Saigon 1 Dong Khoi St, Dist.1, HCMC Tel: (08) 3829-5517 Majestic Hotel Saigon prepares buffet dinners at its hotel on lunar New Year ’s Eve 27 January, 7 p.m. till midnight. VND1,999,000 at the Prima AB Hall, VND2,499,000 at M.Bar and VND499,000 at the Serenade Restaurant. There will be a lot of activities to welcome the New Year in festive atmosphere including live music, dragon dance, dancing, games and lucky draw. Those who book before 2 January, 2017 will get a 10 per cent discount. Buy 10 ticket get one free.

The second prize of the Golden Spoon Contest 2016 was handed to Indochine Palace Hue (The Creative Dishes Prize). The contest is an annual cooking competition for professional chefs throughout Vietnam and provides an arena for cooks to showcase their skills, techniques and styles. The award is a motivation for culinary staffs of Indochine Palace Hotel to raise standards and satisfy guests’ expectations at the hotel. nnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn

Rates may be subject to 5-per-cent service charge and 10-per-cent VAT if there is no statement to the contrary.




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‘Forever with the Capital’ Till 3 January, 2017 The exhibition ‘Living Forever with the Capital’ is on at Thang Long–Hanoi Cultural Heritage Conservation Centre till 3 January, 2017. It displays the documents, artifacts and photographs from the Hanoi Museum and the Thang Long–Hanoi Cultural Heritage Conservation Centre during the French war (19451954). Thang Long–Hanoi Cultural Heritage Conservation Centre, 19C Hoang Dieu St, Ba Dinh Dist., Hanoi.

Through the looking glass Till 16 January, 2017 The exhibition ‘Scry’, including lacquer paintings on glasses, of artist Phi Phi Oanh is on display till 16 January at the Manzi Art Space, 14 Phan Huy Ich St, Hanoi. Free entry. ‘Scrying’ is the act of divination through focused gazing into a glass or reflective medium. In this exhibition, magnifying glasses are used to view the lacquer skins. For this series of paintings, the dimensions of the skins emulate that of a touch tablet screen. Using this visual trope, through lacquer painting, the artist loosely reflects on contemporary imagery— that which new technologies such as drones, digital, satellite, and nanotechnology can visualize. They too are a kind of looking glass through which we can grasp our surrounding and material world. Going ‘bananas’ Till 31 January, 2017

installations give a question on the notion of his own ‘status’. Nguyen was born in Ho Chi Minh City, raised in the United States from the age of 4 and has been living in Vietnam for twenty months. MUSIC

Get Happy 11 January, 2017

‘Happiness concert’ will be on at 8 p.m. at Hanoi Opera House with conductor Honna Tetsuji, violin soloist Bui Cong Duy and artists from the Vietnam National Symphony Orchestra. The program includes pieces music by Otto Nicolai, Johann Strauss, Fritz Kreisler, P.I Tchaikovsky and Maurice Ravel. Ticket prices: VND 200,000, VND350,000 and VND500,000 at Hanoi Opera House, 1 Trang Tien St, Hoan Kiem Dist., Hanoi.

Nutcracker 15 January, 2017

Classical ballet ‘The Nutcracker’ directed by Pham Anh Phuong and performed by 50 dancers of the Vietnam National Opera and Ballet at 8 p.m. on 15 January at Hanoi Opera House, 1 Trang Tien St, Hoan Kiem Dist., Hanoi at the prices starting from VND300,000 to VND700,000.

Voxhortus 19 January, 2017

A night of concert and ballet ‘Voices of Spring’ with artistic director Pham Anh Phuong is shown at 8 p.m. on 19 January at Hanoi Opera House, 1 Trang Tien St, Hoan Kiem Dist, Hanoi. Ticket prices: VND 300,000, VND400,000 and VND600,000. Part 1: A concert with conductor Le Phi Phi and artists from Vietnam National Opera &Ballet. Part 2: Classical ballet ‘Les Sylphides’ with music of Frederic Chopin, Choreographer Mikhail Fokine and dancers from Vietnam National Opera & Ballet.


Vietnam/Korea food fest Till 22 January, 2017

The entertaining and interactive exhibition with the theme ‘Bananas’ of overseas Vietnam Trong Gia Nguyen till 31 January at the L’Espace, 24 Trang Tien St, Hanoi. Free admission. With a pejorative connotation, in English the term ‘bananas’ refers to an Asian-originated person who has broken the link with the cultural identity of his/her parents. The image of the banana highlights the fact of being ‘yellow on the outside and white on the inside’. In English, ‘bananas’ refers to an unbalanced person, in other words, a madman. Like this fruit, his 44 •



includes decorations of giant lanterns, performance by artists from Vietnam and foreign countries, K-POP cover dance contest and 200 booths selling Vietnamese and Korean dishes. Ticket: VND80,000

Heaven’s Kitchen serving up blessings 2 February till the end of April, 2017

The Huong Pagoda festival at Huong Son Commune, My Duc District, Ha Tay Province, 60 km from Hanoi, is Vietnam’s longest-running festival. It starts in the 6th first lunar month till the end of third lunar month. This year the festival falls from 2 February till the end of April). Every year, tens of thousands of pilgrims and visitors come to petition the gods for luck, wealth and happiness in the numerous pagodas scattered around a mountainous area. A visit to the pagoda includes a boat ride through winding streams and hours of mountain-climbing. The main pagoda, Thien Tru (Heaven’s Kitchen), was built in 1686. The most popular destination is Huong Tich Cave, which contains a great many altars honouring a variety of deities. There will be crowds of people and hawkers in the pagoda; beware of scams such as over-priced drinks and demands for big tips from the boatwomen.

NGHE AN PROVINCE Sunflower Fest Till 5 January, 2017

The first sunflower festival takes place in Nghia Dan Dist, Nghe An Province from 25 December to 5 January. Nearly 60 ha of sunflower cultivations are expected to promote the local tourism industry’s development. The festival gives visitors more space to contemplate sunflower blossoms, attend a beauty contest, souvenir exhibition and play folk games.

NAM DINH PROVINCE The Vietnam-Korean Giant Festival 2016 is running till 22 January at LePARC shopping mall, Phap Van St, Hoang Mai Dist, Hanoi. The event


Good luck market 4 February, 2017

Vieng Market is held only once a year, on the 8th of the first month in the lunar calendar (4 February), in Trung Thanh Hamlet, Kim Thai

EVENTS Commune, Vu Ban District, Nam Dinh Province. Trading is expected to begin at midnight and go into the morning of 4 February. Goods for sale include plants, agricultural tools, meat and antiques, but the goods are not really the point: a transaction at Vieng Market is reputed to confer luck for both sides for the entire new year. According to market tradition, sellers don’t ask exorbitant prices and buyers don’t bargain. However, the market has changed a lot; nowadays, true antiques are rare and bargaining - and even arguments—are seen.

HUE Kingly loot Till 5 January, 2017

‘Royal Treasures of the Nguyen dynasty’ is on display at the Hue Royal Antiquities Museum till 5 January. The symbols for the legitimate and supreme power of the Nguyen emperors such as various precious seals, golden books, swords and hats are included. They are items for royal daily life or stationery in the Nguyen royal palaces delicately made in diversified types and with precious materials such as gold, silver and jade. They reflect the subtle sense of art and the rich spiritual life of the Nguyen emperors. Hue Royal Antiquities Museum, 3 Le Truc St, Hue. Open: 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.

QUANG NAM PROVINCE Festival for Mother 9 March, 2017

Ba (Lady) Thu Bon, the female spirit considered the Mother of Quang Nam Province, will be honoured by a festival held at Duy Tan Commune, Duy Xuyen District, Quang Nam Province, from the 12nd second lunar month (9 March). The celebrations include boat races, a palanquin procession and folk games.

Quan The Am Festival 14 to 16 March, 2017

The Quan The Am Festival will be held at Quan The Am Pagoda at the foot of Kim Son mountain belonging to Ngu Hanh Son Mountain chain at Son Thuy Commune, Hoa Hai Ward, Hoa Vang District, 8 km from the centre of Danang City. The festival consists of a religious ceremony featuring flower offerings and prayers, and cultural activities such as performances of folk songs and classical opera, games of chess, music, painting, carving, a lion dance, and lanterns on the Truong Giang River. The festival runs from 17, 18 and 19 third lunar month (14 to 16 March).



The games children play Till 15 January, 2017

An art exhibition by Vietnamese artist Nguyen Da Quyen and Danish Christopher Skouenborg on the theme, ‘Games of Childhood’ is showcased till 15 January, 2017 at Xua Restaurant, 69 Ngo Tat To St, Binh Thanh Dist., Ho Chi Minh City. The artworks feature mixed media, acrylic and photography.

‘Prolonged Interventions’ Till 22 January, 2017

The exhibition, themed ‘The Prolonged Interventions’, by artist Le Phi Long is on till 22 January at The Factory Contemporary Arts Centre, 15 Nguyen U Di St, Thao Dien Dist, Dist.2, Ho Chi Minh City. Free entry. The exhibition includes photographs, installation and video documentary. These artworks explore both Le’s fascination with sites and his preoccupation with the overwhelming presence of waste in both urban and rural environments. The photographic series ‘Hidden Future’ is documentation of a site-specific project that Le produced as part of a larger environmental endeavour called ‘Clean up the Beach’, organized by Open M Corp. In this project, Le juxtaposes the natural wonder of Ly Son, Quang Ngai Province, Vietnam, with the waste of human life, posing the question of ecological repercussions of modern consumer attitudes.

Additionally, to celebrate lunar New Year, there will be Tet flower markets from 20 January to 27 January, 2017 at Gia Dinh Park, Hoang Minh Giam St, Tan Binh Dist.; 23 Thang 9 Park, Le Loi St, Dist.1; and Le Van Tam Park, Hai Ba Trung St, Dist.1. Of particular note, there will be flower floating markets in Dist.7 and Tau Hu Canal in Dist.8 from 12 January, 2017.

Glorious flowers 25 to 31 January, 2017

The 720m-Nguyen Hue Flower Street will be opened from 25 to 31 January. Its theme is ‘The city named President Ho Chi Minh—glorious inspiration’ describing Ho Chi Minh City as a dynamic, civilized, and modern city. This year, the event will bring more beautiful unique flowers from other countries. The flower show is one of the events receiving the highest expectations of people during Tet holidays and attracting more than a million of visitors.

Annual fireworks display 1 January, 2017


‘Gone through love’ 19 January, 2017

A concert and contemporary dance ‘Gone through love’ will be performed at 8 p.m. at HCMC Opera House, 7 Lam Son Square, Ben Nghe Ward, Dist.1, HCMC. The prices start from VND200,000. The first part will play contemporary artworks of Vietnamese artists. The second is the contemporary dance ‘Gone through love’ choreographed by Nguyen Phuc Hai and Nguyen Phuc Hung. The dance was introduced in July 2016 and highly appreciated by the experts and audience. OTHERS

Spring has sprung

The annual spring flower festivals in Ho Chi Minh City will be held at Turtle Lake, International Square, Dist.1 and Tao Dan Park, Truong Dinh St, Dist.1 from 22 January to 6 February, 2017.

To welcome the New Year, there will be a performance of fireworks show at 0.00 a.m. on 1 January, 2017 at Saigon River Tunnel, Dist.1, Ho Chi Minh City and Dam Sen Cultural Park, Dist.11, Ho Chi Minh City.

Cool pool Till 20 May, 2017

Come to Saigon Soul Pool Party every Saturday till 20 May, 2017 at the largest pool in Saigon of New World Hotel. The party has beverages and mouth-watering dishes. Also, the atmosphere will be stirred up with world-class DJs. New World Saigon Hotel, 76 Le Lai St, Ben Thanh Ward, District 1, HCMC. Ticket: VND150,000




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VND 3,500,000

VND 2,550,000

VND 2,500,000

VND 3,000,000

VND 2,500,000

VND 1,500,000

VND 1,550,000

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VND 2,500,000

New collection of leather bags for the holiday season at Shin Shop

VND 2,500,000

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53 Nguyen Du St, Dist.1, HCM City mobile: 0909 352 369 VND 2,550,000

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VND 1,500,000

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VND 600,000

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(TELEPHONE CODE: 020) Sapa is a former French hill station in northwestern Vietnam, in Lao Cai Province, near the Chinese border. A number of minority cultures including the H’mong, Dao and Tay live in villages in the countryside around Sapa. HOTELS, RESORTS Note: Prices at many hotels depend on occupancy and change daily Cat Cat View Hotel 46 Fan Xi Pang St, Sapa, Lao Cai Province Tel: (020) 3871-946 www.catcathotel.com Cha Pa Garden Boutique Hotel & Spa 23B Cau May St, Sapa, Lao Cai Province Tel: (020) 3872-907 www.chapagarden.com Chau Long Sapa Hotel

U Sapa Hotel

8 Cau May, Sapa Tel: (020) 3871-996 www.uhotelsresorts.com RESTAURANTS Buffalo Bell Restaurant 25 Cau May St, Sapa, Lao Cai Province Tel: (020) 3873-455 Delta Restaurant 33 Cau May St, Sapa, Lao Cai Province Tel: (020) 3871-799 Fansipan Restaurant 23 Cau May St, Sapa, Lao Cai Province Tel: (020) 3871-556


(TELEPHONE CODE: 033) With around 1,600 islands and islets in the Gulf of Tonkin, Halong Bay, about 170 km east of Hanoi, is well known for its limestone seascape. Overnight boat trips out of Halong City are a popular way to see it. HOSPITALS

Asean Halong Hotel Hau Can St, Bai Chay Ward, Halong Tel: (033) 3640-034 www.aseanhalonghotel.com Halong Hidden Charm Hotel Block 22D, Tuan Chau Villas, Halong Tel: (033) 3842-360 www.hiddencharmhotel.com.vn Halong Palace Hotel 1, Block 20 Dong Hung Thang, Hoang Quoc Viet St, Bai Chay Ward, Halong Tel: (033) 3619-819 www.halongpalacehotel.com Halong Plaza Hotel 8 Ha Long St, Bai Chay Ward, Halong Tel: (033) 3845-810 www.halongplaza.com Heritage Halong Hotel 88 Ha Long St, Bai Chay Ward, Halong Tel: (033) 3846-888 www.heritagehalonghotel.com.vn Mường Thanh Halong Hotel No.7, Block 20, East of Hung Thang, Bai Chay Ward, Halong Tel: (033) 3812-468/ (033) 3819-777 www.muongthanhhotel.vn Novotel Ha Long Bay 160 Ha Long St, Bai Chay Ward, Halong Tel: (033) 3848-108 www.novotelhalongbay.com Saigon Halong Hotel Ha Long St, Bai Chay Ward, Halong Tel: (033) 3845-845 www.saigonhalonghotel.com StarCity Halong Bay Hotel

Bai Chay Hospital Gieng Day Ward, Halong Tel: (033) 3846-557 www.benhvienbaichay.vn 24 Dong Loi St, Sapa, Lao Cai Province Tel: (020) 3871-245 www.chaulonghotel.com.vn Holiday Sapa Hotel 16 Muong Hoa, Sapa, Lao Cai Province Tel: (020) 3873-874 www.holidaysapa.com Mường Thanh Sapa Hotel 44, Ngu Chi Son, Sapa, Lao Cai Province Tel: (020) 3887-766 www.muongthanh.vn Royal Hotel 54B Cau May St, Sapa, Lao Cai Province Tel: (020) 3771-131 www.royalsapahotel.com Topas Ecolodge Thanh Kim Ward, Sapa, Lao Cai Province Tel: (04) 3715-1005 www.topasecolodge.com Victoria Sapa Resort and Spa Xuan Vien St, Sapa, Lao Cai Province Tel: (020) 3871-522 www.victoriahotels.asia


Halong Tourism 1 Halong St, Halong Tel: (033) 3846-272 Quang Ninh Tourism Company Ha Long St, Bai Chay Ward, Halong Tel: (033) 3846-350 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: se@syrenacruises.com www.syrenacruises.com HOTELS, RESORTS

Note: Prices at many hotels depend on occupancy and change daily

\ Reu Island, Bai Chay, Ha Long, Viet Nam Tel: (033) 3556-868 www.vinpearl.com RESTAURANTS

Co Ngu Restaurant Halong St, Halong Tel: (033) 3511-363 Jumbo Vietnam Floating Restaurant 119 Le Thanh Tong St, Halong Tel: (033) 3624-888 Sea Food Restaurant Halong St, Halong Tel: (033) 3845-822

Halong Gold Restaurant Halong St, Halong Tel: (033) 3845-142


Emeraude Café 6A Le Thanh Tong St, Hon Gai, Halong Tel: (033) 3849-266 www.emeraude-cruises.com Royal International Gaming Club and Villa Bai Chay, Halong Tel: (033) 3848-777


Traditional Medicine Hospital Cot 8, Hong Ha Ward, Halong Tel: (033) 3838-113 Vietnam-Sweden Hospital Thanh Son Ward, Uong Bi Commune, Halong Tel: (033) 3854-037 www.bvubqn.tk

Vinpearl Halong

Note: Prices at many hotels depend on occupancy and change daily Catba Princes Hotel 168 Halong St, Bai Chay Ward, Halong Tel: (033) 3846-058 www.starcityhalongbay.com In the centre of Halong, StarCity Halong Bay Hotel offers 152 wellequipped rooms, with many breathtaking views of Halong Bay Tuan Chau Island Holiday Villa Halong Bay 303 Nui Ngoc, Cat Ba Island, Hai Phong City Tel: (031) 3888-899 www.catbaprinceshotel.com Catba Sunrise Resort Cat Ba Island, Hai Phong City Tel: (031) 3887-360 www.catbasunriseresort.com

Tuan Chau Island, Halong Tel: (033) 3842-999 www.holidayvillahalongbay.com

Avani Hai Phong Harbour View 12 Tran Phu St, Ngo Quyen Dist., Hai Phong Tel: (031) 3827-827 www.avanihotels.com




• 47

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




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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



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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





Note: Prices at many hotels depend on occupancy and change daily

Acupuncture Institute 49 Thai Thinh St, Dong Da Dist., Hanoi Tel: (04) 3563-1069 Hanoi French Hospital 1 Phuong Mai St, Ba Dinh Dist., Hanoi Tel: (04) 3577-1100 International SOS Clinic 1 Dang Thai May St, Tay Ho Dist., Hanoi Tel: (04) 3934-0666

Hilton Hanoi Opera Hotel 1 Le Thanh Tong St, Hanoi Tel: (04) 3933-0500 www.hanoi.hilton.com Mövenpick Hotel Hanoi 83A Ly Thuong Kiet St, Hanoi Tel: (04) 3822-2800 www.moevenpick-hotels.com/hanoi

Thuy Tran Otolaryngology Clinic 6 Do Quang St, Cau Giay Dist., Hanoi (6/61 Tran Duy Hung Avenue) Tel: (04) 3556-6124 www.taimuihongthuytran.com Vinmec international hospital 458 Minh Khai St, Hai Ba Trung Dist, Hanoi, Tel: (04) 3974-3556 AIRLINES Air France 1 Ba Trieu St, Hoan Kiem Dist., Hanoi Tel: (04) 3825-3484 Qatar Airways Hilton Hanoi Opera Building, M floor, 1 Le Thanh Tong St, Hoan Kiem Dist., Hanoi Tel: (04) 3933-6767 www.qatarairways.com Singapore Airlines 17 Ngo Quyen St, Hoan Kiem Dist., Hanoi. Tel: (04) 3826-8888 Vietnam Airlines 25 Trang Thi St, Hoan Kiem Dist., Hanoi Tel: (04) 3823-0320 TRAVEL

Amega Travel Hancorp Plaza, 72 Tran Dang Ninh St, Cau Giay Dist., Hanoi Tel: (04) 3783-3570 www.amegatours.net Buffalo Tours 10th Floor, 70-72 Ba Trieu St, Hoan Kiem Dist., Hanoi Tel: (04) 3828-0702 www.buffalotours.com Emeraude Classic Cruises 46 Le Thai To St, Hanoi Tel: (04) 3935-1888 www.emeraude-cruises.com Exotissmo 3rd Floor, 66A Tran Hung Dao St, Hoan Kiem Dist., Hanoi Tel: (04) 3828-2150 www.exotissimo.com Topas Travel 52 To Ngoc Van St, Hanoi Tel: (04) 3715-1005 www.topastravel.vn

50 • V I E T N A M


Pullman Hanoi 40 Cat Linh St, Hanoi Tel: (04) 3733-0808 www.pullman-hanoi.com Sheraton Hanoi Hotel 11 Xuan Dieu St, Hanoi Tel: (04) 3719-9000 www.sheraton.com/hanoi Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi 15 Ngo Quyen St, Hanoi Tel: (04) 3826-6919 www.sofitel-legend.com RESTAURANTS Au Lac do Brazil II 6A Cao Ba Quat St, Ba Dinh Dist, Hanoi Tel: (04) 3845-5224 Green Tangerine 48 Hang Be St, Hoan Kiem Dist., Hanoi Tel: (04) 3825-1286 www.greentangerinehanoi.com Serving French food with a Vietnamese cuisine Hoa Vien Brauhaus 1A Tang Bat Ho St, Hai Ba Trung Dist., Hanoi Tel: (04) 3972-5088 www.hoavien.vn The restaurant has been famous for its production of Czech beer Le Tonkin Restaurant 14 Ngo Van So St, Hoan Kiem Dist., Hanoi Tel: (04) 3943-3457 www.letonkinrestaurant.vn Serves Vietnamese food


Infostones Bookshop 41 Trang Tien St, Hoan Kiem Dist., Hanoi Tel: (04) 3826-2993 Thousands of magazines and books by hundreds of publishing houses worldwide SHOPS

Craft Link 43 and 51 Van Mieu St, Hanoi Tel: (04) 3843-7710 Ha Dong Silk 102 Hang Gai St, Hanoi Tel: (04) 3928-5056



Tan My Embroidery 66 Hang Gai St, Hanoi Tel: (04) 3825-1579 Viet Culture 1 Trang Thi St, Hanoi Tel: (04) 3934-7417 Mekong Quilts 13 Hang Bac St, Hoan Kiem Dist., Hanoi Tel: (04) 3926-4831 www.mekong-quilts.org

FURNITURE/ INTERIOR Dome Au Co 9 Au Co St, Hanoi Tel: (04) 3718-5866 Dome Yen The 10 Yen The St, Hanoi Tel: (04) 3843-6036


Ba Dinh Square 36A Dien Bien Phu St, Ba Dinh Dist, Hanoi Ba Dinh Square, where President Ho 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. Hanoi Opera House 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 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: (04) 6287-06 04

Opening hour: 8 a.m. to 11.30 a.m. and 1.30 p.m. to 5 p.m. Free entrance Ho Chi Minh Museum 19 Ngoc Ha St, Ba Dinh Dist., Hanoi Tel: (04) 3846-3752 www.baotanghochiminh.vn Open: 8 a.m. to noon (Monday and Friday), 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (other days) Entry fee: VND25,000 Imperial Citadel of Thang Long 12 Nguyen Tri Phuong St/ 9 Hoang Dieu St, Ba Dinh Dist., Hanoi Tel: (04) 37345427 www.hoangthanhthanhlong.vn 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 Tel: (04) 3824-1384 www.baotanglichsu.vn 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 Vietnam Fine Arts Museum 66 Nguyen Thai Hoc St, Ba Dinh Dist., Hanoi Tel: (04) 3733-2131 www.vnfineartsmuseum.org.vn Open 8.30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Entry fee VND20,000 ($0.95) Vietnam Military History Museum 28A Dien Bien Phu St, Hanoi www.btlsqsvn.org.vn 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: (04) 3756-2193, www.vme.org.vn 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: (04) 3825-9936 www.womenmuseum.org.vn Open 8 a.m. to 4.30 p.m. Closed on Mondays Entry fee VND30,000 ($1.43)



(TELEPHONE CODE: 030) Emeralda Resort Ninh Binh Van Long Reserve, Gia Van Commune, Gia Vien Dist., Ninh Binh Province Tel: (030) 3658-333 www.emeraldaresort.com Ninh Binh Legend Hotel Tien Dong Zone, Ninh Khanh Ward, Ninh Binh City. Tel: (030) 3899-880 www.ninhbinhlegendhotel.com


(TELEPHONE CODE: 038) Muong Thanh Song Lam Hotel 13 Quang Trung St, Quang Trung Ward, Vinh, Nghe An Province Tel: (038) 3737-666 www.songlam.muongthanh.vn

Imperial Hotel 8 Hung Vuong St, Hue Tel: (054) 3882-222 www.imperial-hotel.com.vn Indochine Palace Hotel 105A Hung Vuong St, Hue Tel: (054) 3936-666 www.indochinepalace.com 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



Note: Prices at many hotels depend on occupancy and change daily Bao Ninh Beach Resort Ha Duong, Bao Ninh, Dong Hoi City, Quang Binh Province Tel: (052) 3854-866 www.baoninhbeachresort.com.vn Sun Spa Resort My Canh, Bao Ninh Commune, Dong Hoi City, Quang Binh Province Tel: (052) 3842-999 www.sunsparesortvietnam.com TRAVEL

5 Le Loi St, Hue Tel: (054) 3837-475 Email: resa@la-residence-hue.com www.la-residence-hue.com 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: (052)3677-678 www.oxalis.com.vn


(TELEPHONE CODE: 054) Hue is a city on the Perfume River in lowland central Vietnam and was the capital of the Nguyen dynasty from 1802 to 1945. Many imperial structures remain. They were named part of UNESCO World Heritage in 1993. Hue is also known for its particular cuisine.

463 Lac Long Quan St., Lang Co Town, Phu Loc Dist, Thua Thien Hue Province Tel: (054) 3873-555 www.langcobeachresort.com.vn Pilgrimage Village Boutique Resort & Spa 130 Minh Mang Road, Hue Tel: (054) 3885-461 www.pilgrimagevillage.com

Vedanā Lagoon Resort & Spa Zone 1, Phu Loc Town, Phu Loc Dist., Hue Tel: (054) 3681-688 www.vedanalagoon.com RESTAURANT

Thien Tam Vegetarian Restaurant 110A Le Ngo Cat St, Thuy Xuan Ward, Hue Tel: (054) 3898-220 www.thientamrestaurant.com Thien Tam Vegetarian Restaurant features a Hue garden house with a simple design and a serene atmosphere. The restaurant serves a variety of Hue vegetarian food, from royal to local dishes, at a reasonable price. The menu has many choices, with prices starting from VND45,000 per dish. The restaurant also serves as an art playground for Hue artists. Guests have chance to get their portraits drawn by the owners at a reasonable price. Vegetarian cooking classes are also available. The restaurant is about 1-2 km from Tu Duc tomb



Note: Prices at many hotels depend on occupancy and change daily Diamond Sea Hotel 232 Vo Nguyen Giap St, Son Tra Dist., Danang Tel: (0511) 3939-777 www.diamondseahotel.com Grand Mercure Danang Lot A1, Green Island, Hoa Cuong Bac, Hai Chau Dist., Danang Tel: (0511) 3797-777 www.accorhotels.com/7821 Green Plaza Hotel 238 Bach Dang St, Danang Tel: (0511) 3223-399 www.greenplazahotel.vn Sitting along the Han River, the four-star hotel boasts elegance and unique accommodations in Vietnamese design and a stunning view of river, mountain and city

Sandy Beach Non Nuoc Resort Danang Vietnam 255 Huyen Tran Cong Chua St, Ngu Hanh Son Dist., Danang Tel: (0511) 3961-777 www.centarahotelsresorts.com/cdv Vinpearl Luxury Danang Truong Sa St, Hoa Hai Ward, Ngu Hanh Son Dist., Danang Tel: (0 511) 3968-888 www.vinpearl.com MUSEUM Danang Museum of Cham Sculpture 2, 2 Thang 9 St, Danang Tel: (0511) 3572-935 www.chammuseum.danang.vn Open 7.15 a.m. to 5 p.m. Entry fee VND30,000 ($1.43)


(TELEPHONE CODE: 0510) A major port town from the 15th to 19th centuries, Hoi An has well preserved vestiges of Vietnamese, Chinese and Japanese cultures. The buildings are now often used for tailor’s shops. The old town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Hoi An is a little over 30 km south of Danang, on the central coast. HOTELS, RESORTS Note: Prices at many hotels depend on occupancy and change daily Anantara Hoi An Resort 1 Pham Hong Thai St, Hoi An, Quang Nam Province Tel: (0510) 3914-555 www.hoi-an.anantara.com Aurora Riverside Hotel & Villas 242 Cua Dai St, Hoi An City, Quang Nam Province Tel: (0510) 3924-111 www.aurorahoian.com Hoi An Silk Village 28 Nguyen Tat Thanh Str, Tan An Ward, Hoi An City,Quang Nam Province Tel: (0510) 392-1144 www.hoiansilkvillage.com

Pullman Danang Beach Resort Vo Nguyen Giap St, Khue My Ward, Ngu Hanh Son Dist., Danang Tel: (0511) 3958-888 www.pullman-danang.com

Hotel Royal Hoi An, Mgallery Collection 39 Dao Duy Tu St, Hoi An, Quang Nam Province Tel: (0510) 3950-777 www.mgallery.com

Alba Spa Hotel 29 Tran Quang Khai St, Hue Tel: (054) 3828-444 www.albavietnam.com

Novotel Danang Premier Han River 36 Bach Dang St, Hai Chau Dist., Danang Tel: (0511) 3929-999 www.novotel-danang-premier.com

Kiman Hotel & Spa 461-463 Hai Ba Trung St, Hoi An, Quang Nam Province Tel: (0510) 3920 430 www.kimanhoianhotel.com

Hue Riverside Boutique Resort & Spa 588 Bui Thi Xuan St, Thuy Bieu Dist., Hue Tel: (054) 3978-484 www.hueriversideresort.com

Samdi Hotel 203-211 Nguyen Van Linh St, Danang Tel: (0511) 3586-222 www.samdihotel.vn

Sunrise Hoi An Beach Resort Au Co Road, Cua Dai Beach, Hoi An, Quang Nam Province Tel: (0510) 3937-777 www.sunrisehoian.vn


Note: Prices at many hotels depend on occupancy and change daily

Hotel Saigon Morin

30 Le Loi St, Hue Tel: (054)3823-526 www.morinhotel.com.vn



• 51


Lac Long Quan St, Cua Dai Beach, Hoi An, Quang Nam Province Tel: (0510) 3927-927 Email: info@pgr.com.vn www.palmgardenresort.com.vn River-Beach Resort & Residences Hoi An 5 Cua Dai St, Hoi An Tel: (0510) 3927-888 www.river-beachresort.com

Champa Island Nha Trang Resort & Spa 304, 2/4 St, Vinh Phuoc, Nha Trang Tel: (058) 3568-888 Email: sales@champaislandresort.vn www.champaisandresort.vn 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 Best Western Premier Havana Nha Trang Hotel 38 Tran Phu St, Nha Trang, Khanh Hoa Province. Tel: (058) 3889-999 www.havanahotel.vn Cam Ranh Riviera Beach Resort & Spa


Hoi An Centre for Cultural Heritage Management and Preservation 10B Tran Hung Dao St, Hoi An Tel: (0510) 3862-367 www.hoianheritage.net Open daily 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.



AVANI Quy Nhon Resort & Spa Ghenh Rang, Bai Dai Beach, Quy Nhon, Binh Dinh Province Tel: (056) 3840-132 www.avanihotels.com/quynhon

Hoang Ngoc (Oriental Pearl) Beach Resort & Spa

Alexandre Yersin Museum Pasteur Institute, 10 Tran Phu St, Nha Trang, Khanh Hoa Province Tel: (058) 3822-406


(TELEPHONE CODE: 062) Sitting on the coast about 200 km north of Ho Chi Minh City, Phan Thiet is a beach city with many resorts and hotels.

152 Nguyen Dinh Chieu St, Ham Tien Ward, Phan Thiet City, Binh Thuan Province . Tel: (062) 3847-858 Email: info@hoangngoc-resort.com www.hoangngoc-resort.com Muine Mud Bath & Spa

Note: Prices at many hotels depend on occupancy and change daily Northern Peninsula Cam Ranh, Khanh Hoa Province Tel: (058) 3989-898 Email: info@rivieraresortspa.com www.rivieraresortspa.com

Michelia Hotel 4 Pasteur St, Nha Trang, Khanh Hoa Province Tel: (058) 3820-820 www.michelia.vn


Suoi Nuoc, Muine, Phan Thiet City, Binh Thuan Province Tel: (062) 3836-888 Email: info@bluebaymuineresort.com www.bluebaymuineresort.com



InterContinental Nha Trang Hotel 32-34 Tran Phu St, Nha Trang Tel: (058) 3887-777 www.intercontinental.com

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

Aroma Beach Resort & Spa

133A Nguyen Dinh Chieu St, Ham Tien Ward, Phan Thiet City, Binh Thuan Province Tel: (062) 3743-481 Email: sales1@bunkhoangmuine.com www.bunkhoangmuine.com

Quater 5, Phu Hai Ward, Phan Thiet City, Binh Thuan Province Tel: (062) 3828-288 www.aromabeachresort.com With 52 authentic Vietnamese rooms and bungalows, the hotel offers a breathtaking panoramic view of the blue sea

Muine Ocean Resort & Spa 10 Nguyen Dinh Chieu St, Ham Tien Ward, Phan Thiet City, Binh Thuan Province Tel: (062) 3741-616 www.muineoceanresort.com

Bamboo Village Beach Resort & Spa

Muine Bay Resort

38 Nguyen Dinh Chieu St, Ham Tien Ward, Phan Thiet City, Binh Thuan Province Tel: (062) 3847-007 www.bamboovillageresortvn.com

Quarter 14, Mui Ne Ward, Phan Thiet City, Binh Thuan Province Tel: (062) 2220-222 Email: info@muinebayresort.com www.muinebayresort.com

Mường Thanh Grand Nha Trang Hotel 6 Duong Hien Quyen St, Vinh Hoa Ward, Nha Trang, Khanh Hoa Province Tel: (058) 3552-468 www.nhatrang.muongthanh.vn


(TELEPHONE CODE: 058) On the central coast, Nha Trang is a city originally known for beautiful beaches but these have lately been found to suffer from pollution due to modern life, development and tourism, like other popular resort areas in Vietnam. It has large numbers of foreign tourists, island-hopping, scuba diving, sightseeing and lounging on the beach. HOTELS, RESORTS Note: Prices at many hotels depend on occupancy and change daily HERITAGE

Khanh Hoa Salanganes Nest Company 248 Thong Nhat St, Nha Trang, Khanh Hoa Province Tel: (058) 3822-472 yensaokh@yensaokhanhhoa.com.vn www.yensaokhanhhoa.com.vn

Diamond Bay Resort & Spa Nguyen Tat Thanh Blvd, Phuoc Ha, Phuoc Dong Dist., Khanh Hoa Province Tel: (058) 3711-711 www.diamondbayresort.vn

Note: Prices at many hotels depend on occupancy and change daily

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Sunrise Nha Trang Beach Hotel & Spa 12-14 Tran Phu St, Nha Trang, Khanh Hoa Province Tel: (058) 3820-999 www.sunrisenhatrang.com.vn Vinpearl Luxury Nha Trang Hon Tre Island, Nha Trang, Khanh Hoa Province Tel: (058) 3598-598 Email: info@vinpearlluxury-nhatrang.com www.vinpearl.com Vinpearl Resort Nha Trang Hon Tre Island, Nha Trang City, Khanh Hoa Province Tel: (058) 3598-188 Email: info@vinpearlresort-nhatrang.com www.vinpearl.com


Blue Bay Muine Resort & Spa

Ocean Dunes Resort 1 Ton Duc Thang St, Phan Thiet City, Binh Thuan Province Tel: (062) 3822-393 www.oceandunesresort.com.vn Sandunes Beach Resort & Spa 5 Quarter, Mui Ne Ward, Phan Thiet City, Binh Thuan Province Tel: (062) 3748-868 Email: info@sandunesbeach.com www.sandunesbeach.com

DIRECTIONS DALAT, BINH DUONG, HO CHI MINH CITY Saigon Mui Ne Resort 56 - 97 Nguyen Dinh Chieu St, Ham Tien Ward, Phan Thiet City, Binh Thuan Province Tel: (062) 3741-044 www.saigonmuineresort.com.vn

Dalat Edensee Resort Tuyen Lam Lake, Zone VII.2, Dalat, Lam Dong Province Tel: (063) 3831-515 www.dalatedensee.com Monet Garden Villa

Seahorse Resort & Spa

Asiana Airlines 39 Le Duan St, Dist.1, Ho Chi Minh City Tel: (08) 3822-8710, (08) 3829-3038 British Airways 170-172 Nam Ky Khoi Nghia St, Dist.3, Ho Chi Minh City Tel: (08) 3930-2933 Cathay Pacific Airways 72-74 Nguyen Thi Minh Khai St, Dist.1, Ho Chi Minh City Tel: (08) 3822-3203

Km 11 Nguyen Dinh Chieu St, Ham Tien Ward, Phan Thiet City, Binh Thuan Province. Tel: (062) 3847-507 reservation@seahorseresortvn.com www.seahorseresortvn.com

3 Nguyen Du St., Dalat City, Lam Dong Province Tel: (063) 3810-826 www.monetgarden.com.vn


(TELEPHONE CODE: 0650) An Lam Saigon River

Sea Links City Resort & Golf Km 9, Nguyen Thong St, Phu Hai Ward, Phan Thiet City, Binh Thuan Province Tel: (062) 2220-088 www.sealinksbeachhotel.com Victoria Phan Thiet Beach Resort & Spa Phu Hai Ward, Phan Thiet City, Binh Thuan Province . Tel: (062) 3813-000 Email: resa.phanthiet@victoriahotels.asia www.victoriahotels.asia MUSEUM Cham Culture Exhibition Centre Song Mao intersection, Phan Hiep Commune, Bac Binh Dist., Binh Thuan Province; Tel: (062) 3641-456. Open: 7.30 a.m. to 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Friday. Free entrance


(TELEPHONE CODE: 063) Dalat, founded in 1893, has Frencharchitecture, pine forests and a perpetually cool climate. It is in the southern Central Highlands, about 300 kilometres from Ho Chi Minh City. HOTELS

Note: Prices at many hotels depend on occupancy and change daily Ana Mandara Villas Dalat Resort & Spa

Japan Airlines 88 Dong Khoi St, Dist.1, Ho Chi Minh City. Tel: (08) 3821-9098 Jetstar Pacific Airlines 112 Hong Ha St, Tan Binh Dist., Ho Chi Minh City Tel: (08) 3955-0550 Philippine Airlines 2nd Floor Saigon Royal Building 91 Pasteur St, Dist.1, Ho Chi Minh City Tel: (08) 3827-2105

Trails of Indochina 10/8 Phan Dinh Giot St, Tan Binh Dist., Ho Chi Minh City; Tel: (08) 3844-1005 Email: dosm@trailsofindochina.com www.trailsofindochina.com Transviet Travel Travel House, 170-172 Nam Ky Khoi Nghia St, Dist.3, Ho Chi Minh City Tel: (08) 3933-0777 www.transviet.com.vn HOTELS Note: Prices at many hotels depend on occupancy and change daily Eastin Grand Hotel Saigon

Qatar Airways 1-5 Le Duan St, Dist.1, Ho Chi Minh City. Tel: (08) 3827-3888 21/4 Trung St., Vinh Phu Ward, Thuan An Dist., Binh Duong Province Tel: (0650) 3785-555 Email: rsvn.sr@anlam.com www.anlam.com


Columbia Asia Gia Dinh International Hospital 1 No Trang Long St, Binh Thanh Dist., Ho Chi Minh City. Tel: (08) 3803-0678 FV Hospital 6 Nguyen Luong Bang St, Dist.7, Ho Chi Minh City Tel: (08) 5411-3500 Stamford Skin Centre 254 Dien Bien Phu St, Dist.3, Ho Chi Minh City Tel: (08) 3932-1090 Email: info@stamfordskin.com www.stamfordskin.com AIRLINES

Air France 130 Dong Khoi St, Dist.1, Ho Chi Minh City Tel: (08) 3829-0981

Le Lai St, Dalat, Lam Dong Province Tel: (063) 3555-888 reservation-dalat@anamandara-resort.com www.anamandara-resort.com From VND3,150,000 ($150)

Emirates Airlines 170-172 Nam Ky Khoi Nghia St, Dist.3, Ho Chi Minh City Tel: (08) 3930-2939

Exotissimo 261/26 Phan Xich Long St, Phu Nhuan Dist., Ho Chi Minh City Tel: (08) 3995-9898 www.exotravel.com Saigon Tourist 45 Le Thanh Ton St, Dist.1, Ho Chi Minh City. Tel: (08) 3827-9279 www.saigon-tourist.net

All Nippon Airways 115 Nguyen Hue St, Dist.1, Ho Chi Minh City Tel: (08) 3821-9612 American Airlines 69 Ba Huyen Thanh Quan St, Dist.3, Ho Chi Minh City. Tel: (08) 3933-0330

Royal Brunei Airlines 787 Tran Hung Dao St, Dist.1, Ho Chi Minh CityTel: (08) 3924-5100 Singapore Airlines 29 Le Duan St, Dist.1, Ho Chi Minh City Tel: (08) 3823-1588 Thai Airways International 29 Le Duan St, Dist.1, Ho Chi Minh City Tel: (08) 3829-2809 United Airlines Suite 708 Sun Wah Tower, 115 Nguyen Hue St, Dist.1, Ho Chi Minh City.Tel: (08) 3823-4755 Vietnam Airlines 115 Nguyen Hue St, Dist.1, Ho Chi Minh City. Tel: (08) 3832-0320 Vietjet Air 8Bis Cong Truong Quoc Te, Dist.3, Ho Chi Minh City Tel: (08) 3827-0123 www.vietjetair.com TRAVEL

Asiana Travel Mate 113C Bui Vien St, Dist.1, Ho Chi Minh City. Tel: (08) 3838-6678 www.atravelmate.com Buffalo Tours 81 Mac Thi Buoi, Dist.1, Ho Chi Minh City Tel: (08) 3827-9168 Email: travelagency@buffalotours.com www.buffalotours.com.vn Buffalo Tours operates in Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia and Laos. The Buffalo Tours portfolio caters to all types of tours.

253 Nguyen Van Troi St, Phu Nhuan Dist., Ho Chi Minh City Tel: (08) 3844-9222 Email: Info@eastingrandSaigon.com www.eastingrandsaigon.com Hotel Majestic 1 Dong Khoi St, Dist.1, Ho Chi Minh City. Tel: (08) 3829-5517 www.majesticsaigon.com.vn InterContinental Asiana Saigon Corner Hai Ba TrungSt. & Le Duan Blvd, Dist.1, Ho Chi Minh City Tel: (08) 3520-9999 www.intercontinental.com/Saigon Kelly Hotel 42-44 Thu Khoa Huan St, Dist.1, Ho Chi Minh City. Tel: (08) 3823-3364 www.kellyhotel.com.vn An elegant and cosy hotel with good service. Within walking distance to Ben Thanh market, Independence Palace and several museums. Vietnamese food is served at reasonable prices. Lotte Legend Hotel Saigon 2A-4A Ton Duc Thang St, Ben Nghe Ward, Dist 1, Ho Chi Minh City Tel: (08) 3823-3333 www.lottehotel.com Park Hyatt Saigon 2 Lam Son Square, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City Tel: (08) 3824-1234 www.saigon.park.hyatt.com




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DIRECTIONS HO CHI MINH CITY, VUNG TAU Rex Hotel 141 Nguyen Hue St, Ben Nghe Ward, Dist.1, Ho Chi Minh City Tel: (08) 3829-2185 www.rexhotelvietnm.com Renaissance Riverside Hotel Saigon 8-15 Ton Duc Thang St, Ben Nghe Ward, Dist.1, Ho Chi Minh City Tel: (08) 3822-0033 www.renaissance-saigon.com

Vatel Saigon Bistronomique-Lounge 120 Bis Suong Nguyet Anh St, Ben Thanh Ward, Dist.1, Ho Chi Minh City Tel: (08) 5404-2220 www.vatelsaigon.com BARS & CAFÉS

Elle Cafe 45 Ngo Duc Ke St, Bitexco Financial Tower, Ho Chi Minh City Tel: (08) 6291-8769

Sofitel Saigon Plaza

Caffe Molinari 5 Le Duan St, Dist.1, Ho Chi Minh City Tel: (08) 3910-6903 Email: molinari@vnn.vn www.caffemolinari.com

17 Le Duan St, Dist.1, Ho Chi Minh City Tel: (08) 3824-1555 Email: h2077@sofitel.com www.sofitel.com Windsor Plaza Hotel 18 An Duong Vuong, Dist.5, Ho Chi Minh City Tel: (08) 3833-6688 www.windsorplazahotel.com

Beef No.1 Restaurant 1 Hoang Viet St, Ward 4, Tan Binh Dist., Ho Chi Minh City Tel: 0935891818/ 0919898253 Chit Chat Restaurant Hotel Equatorial Ho Chi Minh City, 242 Tran Binh Trong St, Dist.5, Ho Chi Minh City Tel: (08) 3839-7777 www.equatorial.com New daily menus for lunch and dinner buffets, all served in a relaxing atmosphere. Eight live cooking stations with over 60 varieties of mouth-watering domestic and international dishes. A meeting place to enjoy delicious house-made pastries and cakes and a cup of coffee from selected premium blends. Au Lac do Brazil I 238 Pasteur, Ward 6, Dist.3, Ho Chi Minh City Tel: (08) 3820-7157

Doma Vina Co., Ltd 50C Tran Binh Trong St, Ward 5, Binh Thanh Dist., Ho Chi Minh City Tel: (08) 3550-0558 www.papercraft.com.vn Dong Gia Enterprise 114 Xuan Thuy St, Thao Dien Ward, Dist.2, Ho Chi Minh City. Tel: (08) 6296-0147 www.dong-gia.com Handed by crafts from Vietnam 47 Dong Khoi St, Dist.1, Ho Chi Minh City Tel: 0908 447 282 IPA Nima 85 Pasteur St, Ben Nghe Ward, Dist.1, Ho Chi Minh City, tel: (08) 3824-2701 IPA Nima is well-known for its bags. Lu's Handmade 240 Ly Tu Trong St, Ben Thanh Ward, Dist.1, Ho Chi Minh City Facebook: Lu's Handmade

Lemongrass Restaurant 4 Nguyen Thiep St, Dist.1, Ho Chi Minh City Tel: (08) 3822-0496 www.bongsencorporation.com

Tropic Shop 89 Dong Khoi St, Ben Nghe Ward, Dist.1, Ho Chi Minh City Tel: (08) 3822-3714 www.ofcvn.com/tropic

Mam Son Restaurant 35 Ton That Thiep St, Dist.1, Ho Chi Minh City Tel: (08) 3915-3653 Tandoor Restaurant 39A-39B Ngo Duc Ke St, Ben Nghe Ward, Dist.1, Ho Chi Minh City Tel: (08) 3930-4839 www.tandoorvietnam.com


SHOPS Authentique Home 113 Le Thanh Ton St, Dist.1, Ho Chi Minh City. Tel: (08) 3822-8052 71/1 Mac Thi Buoi St, Dist.1, Ho Chi Minh City. Tel: (08) 3823-8811 www.authentiquehome.com


54 • V I E T N A M

Sax N’ Art Jazz Club 28 Le Loi St, Dist 1, Ho Chi Minh City Tel: (08) 3822-8472 www.saxnart.com

COOKING CLASSES Mint Culinary School 778/45 Nguyen Kiem St, Phu Nhuan Dist., Ho Chi Minh City Tel: (08) 3844-5500 Email: sales@vca.com.vn www.vca.com.vn


Saigon Cooking Class 74/7 Hai Ba Trung St, Dist.1, Ho Chi Minh City Tel: (08) 3825-8485 www.saigoncookingclass.com GALLERIES

Artists Long & Ngoc Gallery Grand Hotel (at the lobby), 8 Dong Khoi, Dist.1, Ho Chi Minh City TeL: (08) 2246-6839 Mobile: 0908 229 708 Email: ngoclongfineart@yahoo.com Apricot Gallery 50 Mac Thi Buoi St, Ben Nghe Ward, Dist.1, Ho Chi Minh City Tel: (08) 3822-7962 Craig Thomas Gallery 27i Tran Nhat Duat St, Dist.1, Ho Chi Minh City. Mobile: 0903 888 431 Email: cthomasgallery@gmail.com www.cthomasgallery.com 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: (08) 3824-8284 www.galeriequynh.com 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: (08) 6294-7059 www.san-art.org Opening: 10.30 a.m. to 6.30 p.m. every. Closed on Sunday and Monday Tu Do Gallery 53 Ho Tung Mau St, Ben Nghe Ward, Dist.1, Ho Chi Minh City Tel: (08) 3821-0966 www.tudogallery.com Opening: 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. everyday 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 Le Lai St, Ben Thanh Ward, Dist.1, Ho Chi Minh City The original market was located on the bank of the Ben Nghe River by the old Gia Dinh Fort. In 1859, when the French invaded Saigon and overtook Gia Dinh Fort, Ben Thanh Market was destroyed. It was rebuilt shortly after and remained standing until it was moved to its present location in 1899. Now, 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. MUSEUMS

Ao Dai Museum 206/19/30 Long Thuan St, District 9, Ho Chi Minh City www.baotangaodaivietnam.com Open daily, closed on Monday from 8.30 a.m. until 5.30 p.m. The entry ticket is VND100,000 for adults Fine Arts Museum of Ho Chi Minh City 97A Pho Duc Chinh St, Nguyen Thai Binh Ward, Dist.1, Ho Chi Minh City Tel: (08) 3829-4441 www.baotangmythuattphcm.com Open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Closed Mondays

Fito Museum 41 Hoang Du Khuong S, Ward 12, Dist. 10, Ho Chi Minh City Tel: (08) 3864-2430 www.fitomuseum.com.vn Open daily from 8.30 a.m. till 5.30 p.m. Ticket: VND50,000 The first museum of traditional Vietnamese medicine Ho Chi Minh City Museum 65 Ly Tu Trong St, Ben Nghe Ward, Dist.1, Ho Chi Minh City Tel: (08) 3829-9741 www.hcmc-museum.edu.vn 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: (08) 3822-3652 www.dinhdoclap.gov.vn Open daily, 7.30 a.m. to 11.30 a.m., 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Southern Women Museum 202 Vo Thi Sau St, Dist.1, Ho Chi Minh City. Tel: (08) 3932-7130 The History Museum 2 Nguyen Binh Khiem St, Ben Nghe Ward, Dist 1, Ho Chi Minh City Tel: (08) 3829-8146 www.baotanglichsuvn.com 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: (08) 3930-5587 Email: warrmhcm@gmail.com Open daily 7.30 a.m. to midday and 1.30 p.m. to 5 p.m.


(TELEPHONE CODE: 064) A popular beach resort town for residents of Ho Chi Minh City, Vung Tau is about 128 km southeast of HCMC. It can be reached either by road or by a 90-minute hydrofoil boat

DIRECTIONS CON DAO, CAN THO, CHAU DOC, PHU QUOC from HCMC. Sitting on a peninsula that sticks out into the East Sea, Vung Tau does not have the most beautiful, or cleanest, beaches in Vietnam but can act as a quick getaway from the buzz of the city. HOTELS, RESORTS

Note: Prices at many hotels depend on occupancy and change daily Grand Hotel Vung Tau 2 Nguyen Du St, Ward.1, Vung Tau Tel: (064) 3856-888 www.grandhotel.com.vn Muong Thanh Vung Tau Hotel No 09, Thong Nhat St, Ward 1, Vung Tau. Tel: (064) 3835-567 www.vungtau.muongthanh.vn Kieu Anh Hotel 257 Le Hong Phong St, Ward 8, Vung Tau. Tel: (064) 3584-179 www.kieuanhhotel.vn Palace Hotel 1 Nguyen Trai St, Ward 1, Vung Tau Tel: (064) 3856-411 www.palacehotel.com.vn Petrosetco Hotel 12 Truong Cong Dinh St, Ward 2, Vung Tau. Tel: (064) 3624-748 www.petrosetcohotel.vn Petro House Hotel


Six Senses Con Dao Dat Doc Beach, Con Dao Dist., Ba Ria - Vung Tau Province Tel : (064) 3831-222 www.sixsenses.com/resorts/ con-dao/destination


(TELEPHONE CODE: 0710) Can Tho is the largest city in the Mekong Delta, about 170 km southwest of Ho Chi Minh City, and acts as the area’s economic, transportation and cultural centre. Sitting on the Mekong River, Can Tho is popular for its nearby floating markets, canals and rivers that can be explored by boat. HOTELS, RESORTS

Note: Prices at many hotels depend on occupancy and change daily Victoria Can Tho Resort Cai Khe Ward, Ninh Kieu Dist., Can Tho Tel: (0710) 3810-111 www.victoriahotels.asia


(TELEPHONE CODE: 077) Phu Quoc Island, off the southern tip of Vietnam in the Gulf of Thailand, has some of the most beautiful beaches in the country. White-sand beaches, scuba diving around coral reefs or exploring the protected jungle. Accessible by either the Rach Gia hydrofoil boat or a 50-minute flight from Ho Chi Minh City. Modest family-owned bungalows on the beach to fivestar resorts. HOTELS, RESORTS Note: Prices at many hotels depend on occupancy and change daily Chen Sea Resort & Spa Phu Quoc, Centara Boutique Collection Bai Xep, Ong Lang, Cua Duong, Phu Quoc Island Tel: (077) 3995-895 www.centarahotelsresorts.com

Eden Resort Phu Quoc Cua Lap Hamlet, Duong To Ward, Phu Quoc District, Kien Giang Province Tel: (077) 3985-598 www.edenresort.com.vn La Veranda Resort

Tran Hung Dao St, Ward 7, Duong Dong Town, Phu Quoc Island Tel: (077) 3982-988 contact@laverandaresorts.com www.laverandaresorts.com MUSEUM Coi Nguon Museum 149 Tran Hung Dao St, Duong dong Town, Phu Quoc, Kien Giang Province Tel: (077) 3980-206 www.coinguonphuquoc.com

MUSEUM 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


(TELEPHONE CODE: 076) 63 Tran Hung Dao St, Ward 1, Vung Tau Tel : (064) 3852-014 Hotline: 0961.085.869 Email: info@petrohousehotel.vn www.petrohousehotel.vn The Coast Hotel

300A Phan Chu Trinh St, Ward 2, Vung Tau City Tel: (064) 3627-777 Email: info@thecoasthotelvungtau.com www.thecoasthotelvungtau.com MUSEUM

White Palace 6 Tran Phu St, Ward.1, Vung Tau City Tel: (064) 3852-605 Open daily 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.


Note: Prices at many hotels depend on occupancy and change daily Victoria Chau Doc Hotel 1 Le Loi St, Chau Doc Town, An Giang Province Tel: (076) 3865-010 resa.chaudoc@victoriahotels.asia www.victoriahotels.asia From VND3,169,000 ($149) Victoria Nui Sam Lodge Vinh Dong 1, Nui Sam, Chau Doc, An Giang Province. Tel: (076) 3575-888 resa.nuisam@victoriahotels.asia www.victoriahotels.asia MUSEUM

An Giang Museum 11 Ton Duc Thang St, My Binh Ward, Long Xuyen City, An Giang Province Tel: (076) 3956-248 Open hour 7a.m. to 11a.m. and 1.30 p.m. to 5 p.m. Closed on Monday Entrance fee: VND42,000 ($2) DECEMBER 2016-JANUARY 2017 I


• 55


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


An entry in the Directions section is either editorial or advertising








To advertise, and be certain that your entry appears, please contact

Ms. Thuy Phuong


Mobile: 0969 47 3579


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

WHAT THE PAPERS SAY According to a police investigation, in 2014, Thao found out that her boyfriend, who was living in Vung Tau City, had been involved in a romantic relationship with another woman.

Driver suspended for eating noodles while taking wheel Tuoi Tre News, 5 December

Editors punished over fish sauce story scandal Tuoi Tre News, 6 December

Vietnam on Monday punished two editors of a leading Vietnamese language newspaper which had earlier been fined for publishing what authorities said were false reports on toxic fish sauce. Deputy Chief Editor of Thanh Nien newspaper Dang Ngoc Hoa and managing editor Vo Van Khoi had their press cards revoked by Vietnam's Information and Communication Ministry. This comes after Thanh Nien was fined for reporting on a food scare that received widespread coverage mid-October. The ministry said the cards were withdrawn because the two had been punished by the newspaper following the fish sauce scandal. In Vietnam, fish sauce is consumed daily by most of the country's population of 93 million - as a dipping sauce, marinade or in soups.

'Mentally ill’ woman tried to inject a child with HIV Tuoi Tre News, 5 December

A police investigation into a Vietnamese woman who hired a hit man to inject HIV-infected blood into the child of a love rival has been suspended after she was found to be suffering from depression. However, suspicion has been raised on the validity of the results, as Thao was released from hospital, where she was subject to compulsory mental assessment, just two months after the suspension of the investigation, on the grounds that her illness no longer existed. Thao lives in Hanoi and is a branch manager for the northern region of a company based in Ba Ria-Vung Tau.

58 • V I E T N A M



A long-haul bus driver has been suspended by his company after a video surfaced of him eating instant noodles while steering the vehicle in south-central Vietnam last week. The driver has been identified as Ho Thanh Dan, driving from Da Lat, a popular tourist resort town in Lam Dong, to Hanoi. The video clip spread out on social networks, lasting more than a minute, showing Dan taking the wheel and enjoying a bowl of instant noodles with chopsticks at the same time. He was seen eating the noodles using both hands while controlling the bus with his forearms. Transport officials in Lam Dong said that Tai Thang had suspended the driver as soon as it was informed of the footage.

Refinery permitted to dump wastewater into sea Tuoi Tre News, 2 December

The administration of the northern province of Thanh Hoa will allow the operator of a soon-to-launch refinery to discharge the facility’s wastewater directly into the sea. The Nghi Son Refinery & Petrochemical LLC has been licensed to release a total of 241,428 cubic meters of wastewater into the ocean off Hai Yen Commune. The refinery is the operator of the underconstruction Nghi Son refinery, located in the Nghi Son Economic Zone in Thanh Hoa. Under the permit granted by the Thanh Hoa administration, the company is allowed to dump an average of 2,250 cubic meters of wastewater per day.

Pollution shrinks VN GDP by 5% Viet Nam News, 29 November

Each year, environmental pollution causes Viet Nam an economic loss of 5 per cent of its gross domestic product (GDP) and the figure is expected to rise. Violations of environmental regulations


have been recorded at some 80 per cent of industrial parks in Viet Nam, according to the General Statistics Office. Firms with foreign direct investment (FDI) account for 60 per cent of the total enterprises that exceed waste discharge standards. Another study on business environmental behaviour, by the Central Institute for Economic Management, shows that 23 per cent of foreign-invested firms discharged waste exceeding the allowable standards.

Vietnam's central bank denies rumors of currency change English vnexpress.net, 2 December

The State Bank of Vietnam has issued an official statement to the public, denying a currency change and saying such rumors were based on false information. Rumors of the currency change have swept social media platforms in recent days with the intention of inciting people to hoard gold and foreign currencies, causing chaos and anxiety among the public, said the central bank in the statement. The central bank has also warned people to stay vigilant against such false information to avoid personal economic losses and ensure national monetary security. The dong has been under notable pressure since last month with global investors flocking to the greenback in the belief that Presidentelect Trump’s pledge to pump more money into the U.S. economy will strengthen the dollar.

Vietnam to slap higher fines on public urination English vnexpress.net, 28 November

People who urinate in public will be fined $44-$133 from 1 February next year, according to a new government decree. Public urination is nothing strange in Vietnam, where there is an acute shortage of public toilets. Data from Hanoi’s Department of Construction shows that the capital has 340 public toilets, but two thirds are located in residential areas and only 100 are situated along streets or at entertainment facilities. Ho Chi Minh City faces the same problem with only 200 public toilets serving the needs of its 10 million residents and the 5 million foreign tourists that visit the city each year.

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Vietnam Heritage Dec 2016-Jan 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 Dec 2016-Jan 2017  

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

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