What The Papers Say Sep-Oct 2014

(No.8, Vol.4,Sep-Oct 2014 Vietnam Heritage Magazine)

Endangered fish caught
Tuoi Tre News, 18 August
A sunfish was trapped in a fisherman’s net while he was fishing off central Vietnam’s Ha Tinh Province.
The fish, which measures 2.5m in dimensions and weighs over 500kg, was identified by locals as an ocean sunfish, or ‘Mola mola’, the heaviest known bony fish in the world, and is an endangered species.
The seaman donated the fish to the Vietnam National Museum of Nature for scientific research.

Saigon Tax Trade Centre
says goodbye

tuoitrenews.vn, 24 August
The Saigon Tax Trade Centre has a 134-year history of foundation and development, but it will bite the dust soon to give way to a skyscraper and part of a metro line station.
Found in 1880, Les Grands Magazins Charner (GMC), the old name of Saigon Tax Trade Centre, along with other French-style architecture including Ben Thanh Market, Notre Dame Cathedral, Saigon Central Post Office, and Hôtel de Ville de Saïgon (now the Ho Chi Minh City People's Committee headquarters), was considered a part of the glory of Saigon at that time.

New threatened plant
populations found
Tuoi Tre News, 31 August
Recent surveys have identified new populations of some threatened species in northern Vietnam’s Son La Province, including a critically endangered flowering plant, which only has some 50 individuals left in the world.
The findings came after the Center for Plant Conservation Vietnam (CPCV)’s two-week fieldwork in the forests surrounding the villages of Phieng Luong and Phieng Phoc in the province’s Moc Chau District earlier this year.
Among the findings, a major highlight was the discovery of three Magnolia grandis plants and five saplings of Magnolia coriacea. The Magnolia grandis is considered a critically endangered species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

22 bear paws seized
Tuoi Tre News, 1 September
Police in the central province of Nghe An are searching for the owner of 22 bear paws in a sack that was left behind by a man who ran away after he saw enforcement officials.
Forest protection unit and police in Thanh Chuong District said they are hunting for the person who was transporting the products.
On August 27, police in the area seized the paws after a passenger carrying a large bag got off a van coming in from Laos.

Intangible heritage recognized
cinet.gov.vn, 26 August
The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism announced 19 newly recognized national intangible heritage ‘items’ following an investigation and consideration.
The items belong to various genres, including language, folk performance, character, traditional craft and social customs and religion.
They include Nom character by Tay ethnic people, boi singing in central Binh Dinh Province, bai choi art in south-central provinces, Then ritual of Tay ethnic people, and stone sculpture in Danang.

Culture Ministry removes
foreign-style statues

english.vietnamnet.vn, 20 August
The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism has ordered that stone or cement-made statues of animals sourced from China or Europe be removed from their locations in front of doors of Buddhist temples, historical relic sites and offices.

Rising sea threatens central
english.vietnamnet.vn, 8 September
By 2020, provincial experts say, flooding in low-lying coastal areas will submerge over 306 km2. Hoi An will be hit hardest, with flooding predicted in more than 26 per cent of the city, followed by Dien Ban District with 26 per cent, Duy Xuyen District with 16 per cent and Nui Thanh District with 15 per cent.

Vietnam to have more heritage trees
english.vietnamnet.vn, 8 September
Seventy-two ancient trees across the country have been nominated for the Vietnam Heritage Tree title for both historical and cultural value.
The nominated trees are waiting for approval by the Chairman of the Vietnam Association for Conservation of Nature and Environment (VACNE).
If they get approval, the number of recognised Heritage Trees will reach 700.

Ca tru brought back from brink
Vietnam News, 28 August
Vietnam will ask the UNESCO to take the ancient North Vietnamese ca tru form of traditional singing off the list of endangered world cultural heritage.
After five years of training and encouragement, many young people are capable of singing in the traditional style. Several famous, elderly performers helped in the reconstruction.
Ca tru features a female singer accompanied by a small group of musicians. It has been popular for more than 500 years. The art genre was recognised as an Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding by UNESCO on October 1, 2009.

Quang Nam restores historic tunnel
Vietnam News, 28 August
The central province will funnel $176 million into restoring a historic national relic, the Ky Anh tunnel, 7km northeast of the province's capital Tam Ky city, in addition to a complex of commune houses, a tourism centre and infrastructure.
The three-stage project, scheduled for the 2014-25 period, will prioritise 14 items, spanning an area of 51.18ha.
The 32km tunnel, built in 1967, served as a home for local militia and guerilla forces during the fiercest period of the American War, from 1964-75.

Moon worship festival gets national cultural heritage tag
Vietnam News, 5 September
The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism has added the Ok Om Bok (moon worship to wish for a prosperous harvest) festival to the national intangible cultural heritage list.
The annual traditional festival, celebrated by the Khmer group in the southern province of Tra Vinh, is held on a full-moon night in the 10th lunar month at Ba Om Pond in Tra Vinh City.

Prehistoric human existence

www.thanhniennews.com, 8 August
Archaeologists unearthed a huge collection of rock items dating back more than 20,000 years from the Dong Van Geopark in Vietnam's northern highlands.
Experts from the Institute of Archaeology found the prehistoric tools during a 12-day excavation in Ha Giang Province.
The team discovered hundreds of crude stone tools in ancient stream beds and a cave. Some items showed signs of advanced grinding techniques, but others did not.
Dong Van was the only place in Vietnam to win UNESCO recognition as a global Geopark and the second in Southeast Asia, after Langkawi in Malaysia.

Face to face with bombing
www.thanhniennews.com, 6 August
The Quang Tri UXO Tour brings visitors to see with their own eyes how the war has lingered in Quang Tri's remote villages 40 years after it officially ended.
The province was a centre for American military bases during the peak of the Vietnam War and a principle battleground during the 1968 Tet Offensive.
An estimated 400,000 pieces of unexploded ordnance (UXO) remain buried across 480,000 hectares of land in Quang Tri.
UXO can be found in residential areas, gardens and even under the floors of houses.

Vietnam may grant visa waivers
www.thanhniennews.com, 28 August
Relevant agencies are seeking central government approval to waive tourist visa requirements for France, Germany, the UK, Spain, Italy, Australia, New Zealand, India and Canada.
Vietnam currently offers a 30-day visa waiver for tourists from the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) bloc (except for Bruneians, who receive a 14 day waiver). Visitors from Denmark, Norway, Finland, Sweden, Japan, South Korea and Russia get a 15-day waiver.

Vietnam authorities suspend cave tours
Thanh Nien News, 1 September
Adventure tours to Vietnam’s Son Doong Cave – the largest cave in the world – have been suspended, starting September 1.
Authorities in the north-central province of Quang Binh, where the cave is located, made their announcement following the conclusion of a one-year pilot tourism program involving a single vendor.
A total of 243 tourists explored the famous cave during the year.

Ban on sidewalk liquor sales
Thanh Nien News, 4 September
A decree has been drafted by the Ministry of Industry and Trade to propose a ban on the sidewalk sale of alcohol. The proposal includes a ban liquor sales to pregnant and breastfeeding woman and people who exhibited ‘signs of being drunk and/or diseased due to alcohol abuse’.
A ministry official said the draft document would be effective on banning alcohol sales in schools, governmental offices and hospitals, but it would have difficulty banning sales on the sidewalk, because street food a major part of the consumer culture.
According to the Ministry of Industry and Trade, Vietnam has consuming 2.02 billion liters of beer so far this year, a 6.5 percent increase over last year. The country ranked third in Asia in beer consumption after China and India.

China's new cruise creates
Thanh Nien News, 4 September
China’s new route for cruise ships to sail to the Paracel Islands has faced fierce opposition from Hanoi, one week after China welcomed a high-ranking member of the Vietnamese Communist Party to Beijing.
The opening of the cruise route violates the resolution on China-Vietnam maritime issues signed in October 2011 and the Declaration on the Conduct of the Parties in the South China Sea (DOC) in 2002, the Vietnamese foreign ministry spokesman said in the statement.
The Coconut Princess embarked on its maiden voyage to the islands on Tuesday from Sanya, a city popular with tourists in the southern island province of Hainan.

Mountain climber gets Asian record
Thanh Nien News, 5 September
The Asia Book of Records on Thursday officially recognized an 83-year-old man in Vietnam as the oldest person to climb to the top of Fansipan, the tallest peak in Indochina, according to the Vietnam Book of Records.
Huynh Van Rang of Binh Duong Province has climbed to the top of the 3,143-meter Mount Fansipan four times, in 2007, 2010, 2013 and 2014. He said the key to his flexibility and good health is moderate exercise and an appropriate diet.
Fansipan is dubbed ‘the Roof of Indochina’. It is located in the northwestern province of Lao Cai and is 9 km southwest of the town of Sapa, in the Hoang Lien Son mountain range.

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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