What The Papers Say June-July 2016

(No.4, Vol.6,June-July 2016 Vietnam Heritage Magazine)

People cast votes
Thanh Nien News, 22 May

Vietnamese people on 22 May cast their votes to choose representatives for the 500-seat National Assembly and People’s Councils at all levels for the 2016-2021 term. The election began at 7 a.m. and ran without pause until 7 p.m.
It was organized and supervised by the National Election Council, chaired by Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan, chairwoman for the current National Assembly.
According to the council, of the 870 candidates for seats in the National Assembly, 197 were nominated by the central government and 673 nominated by local governments. There are only 11 self-nominated candidates. In Vietnam, the voting age is 18 but one has to be at least 21 to run for office.

Hop-on hop-off tourist bus service
Thanh Nien News, 24 May
Hop-on hop-off, a city bus service that is popular in many places around the world, has made its debut in Ho Chi Minh City after a six-month trial period.
With a ticket that costs VND199,000 ($8.8) and is valid for 24 hours, tourists can get off at any destination around the downtown area like Ben Thanh Market and Independence Palace.
A tour of the Cho Lon area, a.k.a Chinatown, in District 5, including Thien Hau Pagoda and Binh Tay Market, costs another VND100,000 ($4.4) if bought in combination or VND149,000 if bought alone.
The buses, which ply from 8 a.m. to 8:30 p.m., are equipped with Wi-Fi and audio guides in English, French, Korean and Spanish.

Hanoi restaurant causes bikini row
Tuoi Tre News, 12 May
Social media was abuzz after a Hanoi restaurant caused a stir with what seemed to be a new uniform for its female wait staff.
On 8 May, photos and videos surfaced on social media that appeared to show waitresses at a restaurant in Cau Giay District wearing bikinis while serving drinks and food to diners.
Local Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism has expressed its dismay at the incident, saying it has sent a delegation to work with the restaurant and impose appropriate penalties on the owner.
The incident is the second of its kind in just a matter of days. Last week, a staff member at an electronics store, also in Hanoi, was fined 40 million ($1,786) by the department for running an advertising campaign which flouted Vietnamese cultural customs.
The electronics store, received a fine on 6 May over promotional activities involving young women hired by the store to wear bikinis.

Hotline to support tourists
Tuoi Tre News, 25 May
Authorities in the north-central Vietnamese province of Quang Binh recently announced a hotline to improve service to tourists.
The hotline includes two phone numbers, (052) 3833399 and (052) 3503399.
Besides accepting feedback regarding local tourism services and ensuring security for visitors, the hotline is also intended to support lost-and-found cases and answer questions related to tourism.

34 fishermen rescued near Hoang Sa Island
Viet Nam News, 6 May
The Regional Maritime Search and Rescue Co-ordination Centre No 2 (MRCC Da Nang) rescued 34 fishermen from a sunken fishing ship off the Hoang Sa Islands (Paracels) of Vietnam in early May.
The crew members from Quang Nam Province were all healthy and uninjured.
The fishing ship was rammed by a Chinese ship near the island around midnight on Tuesday.
The captain said the ship was hit on the side and flooded with water. The crew had to escape on emergency boats. They called for help from other fishing ships nearby, as well as sending an SOS to the rescue centre.

Online passport application cuts down on waiting time
Viet Nam News, 10 May
The online passport application system has made administrative procedures simpler and reduced waiting times and overcrowding at government offices.
HCM City’s Immigration Management Office revealed that time taken for issuance has shrunk to eight days from 15.
After completing the form online, applicants have to go to the office to have their photos taken and attached electronically to the forms.
They can choose to have their passport sent to their home or office and will be told when they can get it.
Online applications account for more than 80 per cent of around 1,100 applications submitted every day.
The applications can be made at http://xnc.catphcm.bocongan.gov.vn.

Fishermen, locals suffer in wake of fish deaths
Viet Nam News, 11 May
Local residents whose diets rely on seafood and fishermen living along the coast from Ha Tinh to Thua Thien-Hue have been suffering mass fish deaths that occurred in the regional coast in early April.
They have relied on seafood in light of recent reports of meat and vegetable contamination, but the fish deaths ended their last hope for safe food. Those families had to change their diet from seafood to meat.
The avoidance of eating seafood has resulted in a sharp plunge in fish sales at local markets, both big and small. When news of the fish die-off broke, marine fish traders encountered many losses.
Families that run restaurants on local beaches have also complained about losses, as they have received no guests for almost a month. They went nearly bankrupt over the fish deaths.

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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