What The Papers Say Mar 2013

(No.2, Vol.3, Mar 2013 Vietnam Heritage Magazine)

Third holiday generosity
Lao Dong 14 January, page 1, 2013
Vietnamese working far away from home take many troubles to unite with their family at the Lunar New Year.
But due to economic downturn, only some were able to afford the traditional trip. Immigrant workers usually spend a lot on gifts for relatives and show off when they go home and are therefore very reluctant to go home when they have little money. The management of industrial parks and export processing zones in the city bought 6,000 tickets for workers but only 4,200 had registered for the ticket. Currently about 250,000 workers are working in the city’s industrial parks and export processing zones. 70 per cent of them are from other provinces.

Price outpaces demand for aluminum
www.tuoitrenews.vn, 23 January
Although Tan Rai, the country's first alumina plant, has already become operational and had its very first batches of products, experts close to the matter say the plant will be facing a paradox in which more product means more losses.
The $460-million facility is based in the Central Highlands province of Lam Dong, and operated by state coal and mineral group Vinacomin in a partnership with a Chinese company.
Dr Nguyen Thanh Son, director of Vinacomin’s management board of the coal projects in the Red River Delta said the $340 a ton price will surely mean losses for Tan Rai plant, as real capacity is too low.

Use it or lose it
Sai Gon Tiep Thi, 1 February, page 9
Ho Chi Minh City started a programme to conserve the city’s architecture in 1993. After five years, the programme proposed a list of 108 architectural sites of historical value that need to be conserved. But since the city did not give any conservation solutions, 30 per cent of the sites have disappeared, say architect Le Quang Ninh during a recent seminar.

Now, relics on the other hand…
Tien Phong, 26 January, page 8
The biggest worry facing cultural archivists at the moment is that relic conservation is being carried out in an off-hand manner, says architect Hoang Dao Kinh, an authority on heritage conservation, during a seminar on relic conservation held in January in Hanoi. The whole country is in a spree of upgrading relics, he adds.

Here come the waterworks
www.thanhniennews.com, 8 January
A water work of unprecedented scale – the first evidence of Ly Dynasty (1009-1225) was unearthed in January at the excavation pit at the Imperial Citadel of Thang Long in Hanoi.
Underneath the pit is a “thick layer” of Thang Long – Hanoi culture (0.5-4.2 meters deep) covering the period from the Ly Dynasty to the Nguyen Dynasty (1802-1945).
The water work, built entirely of typical square-shaped brick of Ly Dynasty and wooden pillars, could be a waterway for drainage service or a spiritual sign related to feng shui.

Brits like Hoi An
www.thanhniennews.com, 2 February
A leading travel magazine from the United Kingdom, Wanderlust, announced in January that central Vietnam’s historic town of Hoi An was ranked by its readers as their favorite city.
Hoi An achieved a 97.18 percent satisfaction rating from Wanderlust readers, based on their travel experiences between December 2011 and December 2012, beating out over 970 nominated cities.
Hoi An Town in the coastal province of Quang Nam, recognized by the UNESCO in 1999 as a World Cultural Heritage Site, finished second to Luang Prabang in Laos in the magazine’s poll two years ago.
Vietnam was ranked the ninth-best country to travel to by Wanderlust’s readers.

World Press is in the pink
www.thanhniennews.com, 17 February
Maika Elan, 27, has won first prize in the Contemporary Issues Stories category of the 2012 World Press Photo Contest, for her ‘The Pink Choice’ collection.
Elan, whose real name is Nguyen Thanh Hai, is the first Vietnamese photographer ever to win an award from the World Press Photo Foundation.
‘The Pink Choice’ is a series of 45 photos selected from over a hundred taken by the freelance photographer about 70 gay couples throughout Vietnam.

Different drum
english.vov.vn, 2 February
The face of a Dong Son bronze drum, believed to date back over 2,000 years,was found on January 31 by a local resident in Can Loc district of central Ha Tinh province.
The piece, unearthed at a depth of 1 meter, has a diameter of more than 40 cm, weighs about 5 kg and was carved with many patterns and sophisticated geometric designs.

Bird flu-again
english.vietnamnet.vn, 7 February
The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) issued in February an urgent warning about bird flu, after the deadly disease was recently detected in Tay Ninh Province, Southern Vietnam.
Tay Ninh borders Cambodia, where four out of the five A/H5N1 human cases were confirmed dead in January 2013.
It is of grave concern to officials that all the dead lived in areas that share borders with Vietnamese localities.

Really, you shouldn’t have
english.vietnamnet.vn, 8 February
U.S.-based Starbucks Coffee Company opened its first store in Vietnam at the New World Hotel in downtown Ho Chi Minh City in February.
The company is seeking retail spaces to open hundreds of stores nationwide.
Starbucks has launched a black coffee product suitable for Vietnamese coffee culture - Starbucks Asian Dolce Latte.

‘The Starbucks of Vietnam’ heads stateside
english.vietnamnet.vn, 20 February
Trung Nguyen, the most famous Vietnamese coffee brand, plans to buy roasters in the US and open cafes in Seattle, New York and Boston in 2013.
The existing 60 stores of Trung Nguyen nationwide have been serving Vietnamese-style coffee, Italian style espresso coffee and Turkish style coffee. Trung Nguyen plans to bring all the products to the US in his plan to conquer the market.

Following the tunes (“Spring comes to Muong Hum hamlet high up the mountains with heart-rocking distant singing…” ) of talented composer Nguyen Tai ...
In the heart of the darkness of Saigon's backpacker land,ambling along down raucous Bui Vien Street and wishing I had not come out without my ear ...
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