What The Papers Say Oct-Nov 2014

(No.9, Vol.4,Oct-Nov 2014 Vietnam Heritage Magazine)

Ho Chi Minh City to add rowboat tours to downtown canal
www.thanhniennews.com, 27 September
Ho Chi Minh City plans to introduce rowboats to allow tourists to travel an attractive portion of the Nhieu Loc-Thi Nghe canal, starting this December.
Ten boats managed by the Saigon Boat Company will be rowed along the canal between the Saigon Zoo and Vinh Nghiem Pagoda.
A one-way trip will take around two hours and each boat will be able to carry 20 passengers, Thoi Bao Kinh Te Saigon Online reported.
The boats will run every day from early morning to 11 p.m.

Endangered primate returned to wild
Thanh Nien News, 2 October
Forest rangers in the central city of Danang released an endangered douc langur to a nature reserve on Thursday.
The douc was previously discovered by Phan Van Quy, a local farmer, in a forest in Hoa Vang District. He then handed over the douc to the Hoa Vang District Forest Protection Division, which in turn took care of the animal and released it to the Son Tra Peninsula Nature Reserve.
The douc langurs are regarded among the most beautiful primates in the world. All three species are endemic to Indochina. The three species are the red-shanked douc langur (Pygathrix nemaeus), black-shanked douc langur (Pygathix nigripes) and gray-shanked douc langur (Pygathix cinereus).

Lumberjacks aim saws
at downtown allée
www.thanhniennews.com, 3 October
Ho Chi Minh City plans to clear a majestic allée of nearly 100 mahogany trees on Ton Duc Thang Street to make way for a bridge connecting Districts 1 and 2.
Ton Duc Thang is considered one of the most beautiful boulevards in Vietnam's southern metropolis, thanks largely in part to its massive canopy of trees.
The Thu Thiem 2 bridge will connect a new development area on the opposite side of the river to the city’s centre. It will empty out precisely where the trees stand.
The plan has stricken many city dwellers with nostalgia and misgivings - particularly since the city abruptly cleared the heart of District 1 of trees in July to make way for the country's first subway station.

Vietnam airport offers free Wi-Fi, resumes sleeping pods
www.thanhniennews.com, 6 October
The Ministry of Transport has allowed Vietnam Airlines Tourism Company (VATC) to resume sleeping pods at Hanoi’s Noi Bai International Airport after the service was suspended more than two months ago.
Meanwhile, the airport has supplied free Wi-Fi at the terminal and furnishing an additional of 500 trolleys to serve increasing passengers.

Bringing trail biking to Vietnam
tuoitrenews.vn, 22 September
Since 2008, the first few trail bikers in Vietnam have cherished their dream of taking the fledging sport to international competitions, and part of their dream has now been fulfilled, with the launch of the country’s first practice course.
The newly-built 3,000m² course in Ho Chi Minh City’s Binh Tan District meets 70 percent of the international standard.

Antiques excavated in Truong Sa affirm Vietnam’s sovereignty
tuoitrenews.vn, 26 September
The Vietnam Institute of Archaeology reported that it has found a number of artefacts dating back to the 18th and 19th centuries in the Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelago, off central Vietnam’s Khanh Hoa Province, which help affirm the country’s sovereignty over the islands.
The institute said at a conference that its excavation, which began in late June, was conducted on several islets, including Truong Sa Lon, Nam Yet, Phan Vinh, and Son Ca.
The new findings help consolidate those from previous excavations conducted in 1993, 1994, and 1999.
They also serve as concrete evidence that Vietnamese people in prehistoric times owned the archipelago, and have fished in the seas around it ever since.

Vietnam locations among
TripAdvisor’s top Asian
tuoitrenews.vn, 5 October
Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City and Hoi An have been listed among the top 25 destinations in Asia by travel website TripAdvisor.
Hanoi was ranked second, while Ho Chi Minh City and Hoi An Ancient Town placed 9th and 14th, respectively.

Biodiversity conservation centre opened
vietnamnews.vn, 1 September
A rescue and conservation centre was opened in Hoang Lien National Park in the northern mountainous province of Lao Cai in the end of August.
Nguyen Quang Vinh, director of the Hoang Lien National Park, said the establishment of the centre was particularly important since the park was given an ‘A’ rating - the highest rating possible - by the Global Environment Fund for the value of its biodiversity.
The 30,000ha park was recognised by the ASEAN Secretariat as a regional heritage site in 2006.
The park is surrounded by a buffer zone of 38,724ha, which borders a number of communes in the northern province of Lai Chau.

Authorities step in to save old trees
vietnamnews.vn, 4 September
The Hanoi People's Committee has asked Hanoi Urban Railway Management Unit to try to avoid chopping down many old trees to make way for a future metro line.
In August, Le Huy Hoang, deputy director of the unit, caused a public outcry when he revealed that more than 30 huge, ancient trees in Kim Ma Street in Ba Dinh District would have to go to make space for the line from Nhon to Hanoi Railway Station.
The trees took more than 40 years to grow to their present size.
Hoang said his unit was working with a contractor for a detail solution for moving the trees to Hanoi Railway Station in October if approved by the city authority.

Old Quarter to get new food street
Vietnamnews, 15 September
A plan is being studied to establish a one-stop food street for vendors in the Old Quarter area of Hanoi.
It is the first phase in a comprehensive project by the Hoan Kiem District People's Committee to transform the Old Quarter area into a more attractive destination to all visitors - foreigners and Vietnamese.
Many did not even know there was such a variety of stalls and restaurants hidden away in the network of streets. Hanoi has also been ranked among Asia's 10 greatest food cities by CNN Travel.

Course helps protect endangered
vietnamnews.vn, 22 September
The Frankfurt Zoological Society's Vietnam Primate Conservation Programme will host an eight-day training course for students at the city's Teachers' Training College.
The annual course aims to raise awareness about endangered primate protection in Vietnam's central and Central Highlands regions. Students will visit Kon Ka Kinh Park in Gia Lai Province, home to 250 grey-shanked douc.
Vietnam is one of 30 countries in the world with a population of grey-shanked douc. About 1,000 animals live in forests in Binh Dinh, Quang Nam, Quang Ngai, Gia Lai and Kon Tum provinces.

Campaign to educate older
men about rhinos
vietnamnews.vn, 23 September
Population Services International in Vietnam and the wildlife trade monitoring network TRAFFIC launched a communication campaign in September that aims to reduce demand for rhino horn among middle-aged men.
The campaign, entitled Strength of Chi (Will), states that success, masculinity and good luck flow from an individual's internal strength of character – not a piece of rhino horn.
It will target urban men aged between 35-50 in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City through integrated channels, including outdoor, in-store and digital billboards, mobile messaging and testimonials through mass media.

Project helps promote
non-fired brick usage
vietnamnews.vn, 24 September
The Prime Minister has approved a project to promote non-fired brick (NFB) production and utilisation.
The project aims to help Vietnam reduce greenhouse gas emissions by gradually cutting down on the use of fossil fuels and good quality soil for brick making, while increasing the production, sales and utilisation of NFBs.
In the decade following project completion, direct and indirect CO2 emissions will be reduced by an estimated 383 ktonnes and 13,400 ktonnes.

Ancient ceramics found at sea
Vietnam News, 8 October
Fragments of ceramic ware and stone statuary ware from an old shipwreck have been found on an ancient ship found under water near the islet of An Binh, 3km from Ly Son Island in the central province of Quang Ngai.
Experts believed the ceramics are from the 13th and 15th centuries.
The province has not yet decided to lift the 700-year-old shipwreck out of the water. An international conference on shipwrecks will be held in the province from 14-16 October .

Bac Ninh to restore old
quan ho houses

Vietnam News, 9 October
The Culture, Sports and Tourism Department of Bac Ninh Province has invested VND12 billion (about $570,000) to restore two quan ho (love song duet) houses.
These houses were originally used as places for quan ho artists to gather for training and performances or to receive fellow singers from other villages.
Replicas of the seven-component ancient-style house, the two houses are being built in Van An Ward in Bac Ninh City, and in the Lung Giang Hamlet in Lim Town in Tien Du District.

More Champa relics discovered
Vietnam Net English, 8 October
The Binh Dinh Museum has announced the discovery of more than 600 items during a recent archaeological excavation of Champa ruins at Thu Thien Thuong Village, Binh Nghi Commune, Tay Son District.
The museum is home to two valuable items from the Champa culture, found in 1989. They are an embossment of the god Mahishamardini and a round stone altar that looks like the bronze drum of the ancient Vietnamese.
Central Binh Dinh Province has the largest number of Champa vestiges in the country, with 14 Cham towers.

Rare plant species discovered
Vietnam Net English, 9 October
Vietnamese scientists at Xuan Lien Nature Reserve have discovered a new floral species, which is named Aristolochia xuanlienensis, in Thanh Hoa Province.
Scientists said that the newly-found plant belongs to Aristolochiaceae family. It is the unique of its kind so far in the world.
The scientists also found three more species which had never ever been recorded in Vietnam, including Lindernia megaphylla PC, Kailarsenia lineata R.Br, and Didymocarpus pupureobracteatus Smith.

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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