What The Papers Say Jul-Aug 2014

(No.6, Vol.4,Jul-Aug 2014 Vietnam Heritage Magazine)

Wildlife for sale outside national park
Thanh Nien News, 3 June
A restaurant in Tam Dao in northern Vinh Phuc Province engaged in advertising the flesh of an endangered lizard was fined VND750,000 (US$35) for caging and showing the lizard on the sidewalk for advertising purposes. A kilogram of the lizard sold for VND700,000.
The lizard was said to be trapped in the nearby jungle. A squad of police officers and forest rangers went to the restaurant and seized the 4.2 kilogram lizard. But the fine was too low, according to experts. Vietnam’s conservation policies listed the lizard among animals whose trapped, caged and commercial trade must be prohibited.
On the menus of the restaurant and those nearby, wild squirrels, deer, and civets were also shown. Meanwhile, cages packed with turtles, lizards and bamboo rats lined several streets in Tam Dao. The sellers said the animals had been all trapped in the jungle.

More ivory siezed
vietnamnews.vn, 11 June
Customs officers from the Anti-Smuggling Department under the General Department of Vietnam Customs and the Tan Son Nhat Airport Customs Division seized 77 elephant tusks allegedly transported from Nigeria in early June.
The tusks, weighing 110 kilograms, worth around VND4.4 billion ($207,600), were sent as personal items from Nigeria, via Doha, and then to Tan Son Nhat Airport in Ho Chi Minh City.

Consulting service for alternative orientations
Thanh Nien News, 12 July
The ICS Centre launched Vietnam's first consulting service for Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals and Transsexuals (LBGT) in 11 July in Ho Chi Minh City.
The service offers consultations to LGBT people about how to talk to their parents about their sexuality, commonly called ‘coming out’, and deal with possible reactions from their parents and other family members. According to ISEE, Vietnam has 1,65 million LGBT people, or three percent of the population aged from 15 to 59.

Riots hurt tourism
thanhniennews.com, 12 June
A business group has urged Vietnam to relax its visa procedures following a dip in tourism that followed anti-China riots in May,
Despite ‘significant growth’ in visitor arrivals in the first four months of this year, the riots reversed the trend, according to the findings of a midterm report presented in early June in Hanoi by the Vietnam Business Forum (VBF), a consortium of international and local business associations and chambers of commerce.
Hotels have seen many tour operators cancel trips through the end of June and many multinationals have continued to restrict travel to Vietnam, the report said.
To lure back frightened tourists, the VBF proposed that ‘visa-exemptions [be] expanded to include countries that can potentially account for significant tourism revenue, such as EU member states, the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, and Taiwan.’

Free beach trip
thanhniennews.com, 20 June
Nearly 200 passengers of a VietJet Air flight on 19 June found themselves at the wrong airport, some 140 kilometres away from their destination.
Their hour-long flight was supposed to take them from Hanoi to Dalat, but it somehow ended up in Cam Ranh Airport near the central beach town of Nha Trang.

Bamboo house wins prize
thanhniennews.com, 19 June
A Vo Trong Nghia architect has received the AR House Awards in London in June, on behalf of the company he founded, Vo Trong Nghia Architects, and its Japanese partners, Masaaki Iwamoto and Kosuke Nishijima.
The prize of £10,000 (17,000) is given by the UK's Architectural Review for the best one-off house.
The winning house includes five separate prismatic blocks, each of which contains a tree planted on its roof. The design beat hundreds of other buildings for the award.
It was finished in April, on 350 square meters in Ho Chi Minh City's Tan Binh District and was the first in Vietnam built with a bamboo framework.

That explains a lot
vietnamnews.vn, 20 June
Nationwide health check-ups for coach and taxi drivers have been carried out on more than 127,000 drivers so far, and uncovered 400 cases of heroin abuse.
Some 1,300 also failed to meet health criteria for commercial transport, according to the latest report from the Directorate for Roads of Vietnam.
In a move to improve the quality of public transport, the Ministry of Transport required transport firms across the country to work with local health centers to conduct check-ups on coach and taxi drivers.


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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