Expat Vietnamese director sees ‘treasure’ in home country’s historical flicks

Vietnamese-American film director Victor Vu

A Viet Kieu (expat Vietnamese) director, dubbed a ‘wizard’ of horror movies, has fully envisioned a cinematic treasure-trove in his home country’s historical wealth, which he says must be tapped into. Despite stumbling in his first attempt to win over Vietnamese audiences in 2001, Victor Vu, a 41-year-old Vietnamese American, has been catapulted to fame in his homeland thanks to several local blockbuster thrillers over the past few years. A film director and screenwriter, Vu is widely known for covering a wide range of film genres and seamlessly shifting between horror, action, comedy, thriller, and romance. As one of the most prolific filmmakers in Vietnam today, Vu brought new life to the stagnant Vietnamese film scene when he entered the industry in the early 2000s. Since then, he has reaped resounding success. His films, including the critically acclaimed romance, 'Toi Thay Hoa Vang Tren Co Xanh' (Yellow Flowers on the Green Grass), have been embraced … [Read more...]

Tourists provided with free wifi service at Huong Pagoda Festival

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The Hanoitimes - After Hoan Kiem Lake, Huong Pagoda is the second area in the city of Hanoi, to launch free wifi service. The organising board of Huong Pagoda Festival said free wifi service will be provided for tourists during this year's festival, the longest-such event in Vietnam. The annual Huong Pagoda Festival, which is organised from the sixth day of the first lunar month to the third lunar month, is scheduled to kick off on February 13. Authorities of My Duc district in collaboration with relevant agencies tried their efforts in providing free wifi service in order to create the most favourable conditions for visitors to attend the festival. According to Vice Chairman of My Duc district’s People’s Committee Nguyen Van Hau, the organising board has set up plans to ensure traffic safety, social security and food safety during this year's festival. The board mobilises nearly 4,400 boats participating to provide services for visitors during the … [Read more...]

Khmer People Warmly Welcome New Year

These days, Khmer people in Kien Giang province are busy finishing their farming duties to prepare for the happy New Year. A bumper crop plus a better cultural life and widely implemented new countryside construction movement is giving a more prosperous life to people. With the highest Khmer population in Kien Giang province, Go Quao district organises many cultural and entertainment programmes for the ethnic group to join and welcome the New Year. In addition to organising visits to pagodas and policy-beneficiary families, Go Quao district organises folk arts for the people. Khmer temples organise many activities like sailing, boat racing, tug of war, volleyball and other folk games during the holiday. According to local Khmer people, this year’s Tet activities will be livelier than previous years because of more active new countryside construction movements. Mr Nguyen Viet Khoa, Head of Go Quao Ethnicity Committee, said that this year’s activities are more exciting … [Read more...]

Local football coaches reluctant to take on national team

Nguyen Huu Thang and Le Huynh Duc (left to right)

Despite the Vietnam Football Federation claiming it wants to employ a local coach for the national team, they may be forced to look overseas for help as several domestic candidates seem reluctant to take over the vacancy left by Toshiya Miura. Le Huynh Duc, coach of SHB Danang FC and coach Nguyen Huu Thang of Song Lam Nghe An are current favourites. Duc rejected the offer in 2012 while Thang has yet to give a definite answer. Nguyen Huu Thang and Le Huynh Duc (left to right) Coach Hoang Anh Tuan also said he had to consider whether he was a good fit given the heavy expectations from fans and the VFF. "It takes at least a year to build a suitable playing style," he said. "Vietnamese players are quick but have terrible stamina." Hoang Anh Tuan Deputy chief of the Vietnam Football Federation Doan Nguyen Duc, who also chairs the Hoang Anh Gia Lai Group and owns Hoang Anh Gia Lai-Arsenal JMG Football Academy, said if they were unable to find suitable candidate, they would again … [Read more...]

Hospitals prepare for rush ahead of new year holiday

HA NOI (VNS) — Hospitals across the country have prepared everything for medical examination and treatment of emergency cases before and during the Tet (Lunar News Year) holiday period. Duong Duc Hung, head of the Planning and Administration Office of Bach Mai Hospital, one of the busiest hospitals in the country, said that health staff were under a lot of pressure during the holiday given the increase of many illnesses from food and alcohol poisoning, traffic accidents, diabetes and high blood pressure. Figures from the hospital's Poison Control Centre said that the centre has received two or three cases of alcohol poisoning on average since early this year. Some suffered brain damages and were still in a coma. The number of patients would likely increase in the days near Tet due to the high consumption of alcohol. Hung said the number of patients who came in for check-ups and treatment was about 3,000 to 4,000 each day. This year, the hospital has prepared four more … [Read more...]

Image: Hanoi Old Quarter antique sellers usher out Lunar New Year


Hanoi's Old Quarter antique shops have thrown their doors open for Tet, offering discounts on rare and unique items to celebrate the Lunar New Year in an annual event that brings them much profit. The market, in Hang Ma, Hang Can, Hang Luoc, Hang Dong, and Hang Ruoi streets, runs for the last ten days of the Lunar Year, until February 7. Buying something of provenance is believed to bestow good fortune for the new year. Old coins and ceramics fetch hundreds of dollars, with rare finds possible for discerning collectors. Shopkeepers and stall owners regularly report their pre-Tet sale reaps them good profit. Dtinews … [Read more...]

Culture Vulture (03-02-2016)


POPS Worldwide is a leading Southeast Asia multi-platform digital entertainment studio. Its headquarters is in HCM City and it just launched a branch office in Ha Noi in January. Culture Vulture interviews Kevin Yee, POPS Worldwide's chief marketing officer about the potential of the digital entertainment industry in Viet Nam and how artists get involve and benefit from the network. POPS Worldwide opened a branch office in Ha Noi In early 2016 with Hop Am Gio programme featuring A-list pop singer My Linh. Why is it music and not another art genre? POPS Worldwide opened its branch office in Ha Noi in early 2016 with the Hop Am Gio programme with singer My Linh. Hop Am Gio is a new kind of music video in Viet Nam which all of the sound is recorded live on location including the singer's voice, music and natural sound. So, we needed a great singer like My Linh to satisfy the requirements for live recording. My Linh is also one of POPS Worldwide's most loved partners in Ha Noi. Do you … [Read more...]

Philippines sets $300 million tag for casinos outside Manila

The Philippines is open to issuing gambling licenses outside the capital of Manila and plans to require the minimum investment for new casinos at about $300 million to ensure world-class properties are in provincial cities and towns, its gaming regulator said. "There are areas which I think are very ripe for a casino," Cristino Naguiat, chairman of the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp., said in an interview, declining to disclose those locations. The agency is "open to giving out a casino license if it can help boost economic activity and if the people in the area want it. We’re developing a template to ensure that no one would be granted a license unless an investment commitment is made." The Southeast Asian country, which is aiming to compete with Macau and Singapore casinos amid plunging revenues, has already allowed four resorts being built in the 120-hectare seaside Entertainment City complex in the capital with a minimum investment of $1 billion each. Japanese tycoon … [Read more...]

Diversified activities to introduce ancient Tet festival in Hanoi

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The Hanoitimes - On the occasion of the upcoming Lunar New Year (Tet) holidays, Hanoi`s residents as well as visitors have a lot of opporturnities to learn about the traditional new year customs and rituals in many cultural places of the city. Participating in the "Vietnamese Tet 2016" programme that opened from January 29 at the Hanoi Museum, visitors were immersed in the space of the traditional ancient Tet with familiar images such as bamboo, peach trees, blueberries, old houses, village markets. With the scale of morer than 200 stores, the "Vietnamese Tet 2016" programme was arranged into several key areas for Hanoi's traditional craft villages, traditional craft businesses, Hanoi tourism, trees for Tet and folk games. The programme is divided into 3 stages including the main stage, traditional folk and modern stage. Besides, some other activities on the sidelines organised during the event such as talks, introduction and guide to prepare a traditional Tet feast. Director … [Read more...]

Festival features “Colours of spring from every corner of the country”

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(Cinet)- The springtime festival, themed 'Colours of spring from every corner of the country', will be held from ​February 10-15 (the third to eighth day of the first lunar month) at the Vietnamese Ethnic Groups Culture-Tourism Village in Hanoi. It is an annual event at the Vietnamese Ethnic Groups Culture-Tourism Village to reproduce unique festivals as well as traditional cultural identities celebrating Tet (Lunar New Year) of ethnic minority groups around the country. People who are exemplary heads of the villages and hamlets, intellectuals, artisans from the Mong, Thai, Dao, Tay, Nung, and Muong ethnic minority groups, 100 representatives for Vietnamese overseas along with 3,000 students from schools in Hanoi will join the festival. The festival will draw the participation of exemplary heads of villages and hamlets, intellectuals and artisans from various ethnic minorities. On the occasion, the Cham tower complex and Khmer pagodas will open to the public. The ethnic minority … [Read more...]

Da Nang: Various culture and tourism events in 2016

(TITC) – In 2015, with the chain of ebullient, unique culture and tourism events, Da Nang attracted 4.6 million visitor arrivals. Especially, this is the first time the city has welcomed over 1 million international visitor arrivals. Da Nang has also voted as one of the most attractive emerging destinations in the region by many international travel magazines and websites. In 2016, Da Nang continues to organize highlighted culture and tourism events, launch several new tourism products. Schedule of culture and tourism events in Da Nang in 2016 TimeEventLocationActivities 21 January – 15 February Binh Than Spring Celebration (Lunar New Year 2016) Da Nang City Art performances, galleries, exhibitions and fireworks to welcome Lunar New Year 30 January – 17 February Spring Flower Festival and Tet (Lunar New Year) Flower Market 29 March Park and 29 March Square Decorating, displaying flowers and ornamental plants, art … [Read more...]

Spin-off or sale? Yahoo turnaround plan in focus as earnings awaited


SAN FRANCISCO, Feb 2 - Yahoo Inc's plans to turn around its struggling core business are set to dominate its earnings report on Tuesday, with investors keen to see if CEO Marissa Mayer will push ahead with a proposed spin-off or entertain calls for a complete sale. The spin-off of its main business which includes its search engine and digital advertising units was flagged by Mayer in December after Yahoo abandoned efforts to sell its stake in Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, but the company has provided few details. On Monday the Wall Street Journal reported Yahoo planned layoffs of about 15 percent of its 11,000-strong workforce and would close unspecified units. A Yahoo spokeswoman declined to comment on the report, citing the quiet period ahead of earnings. Investors are also expected to zero in on any comments from Mayer on her plans to increase the company's advertising sales and improve its efforts on mobile platforms, where more users are spending their online time. Some … [Read more...]

Auchan vies for retail market space


French company Groupe Auchan has stepped into Vietnam's growing competitive retailing market through its arm AuchanSuper. The French group plans to open 15 more stores in Ho Chi Minh City and 20 in the north Adding to its three Simply Mart stores in Ho Chi Minh City, AuchanSuper will open 15 more, each with an area between 2,000 and 3,000 square metres. In the north, the retail giant has plans to open its first Simply Mart store in the Mipec Long Bien trade centre towards the end of 2016. By 2020, AuchanSuper aims to have 20 stores in the north. According to Philippe Deladande, financial director for Groupe Auchan, the group's total investment into Vietnam will be as high as €35-40 million ($38-44 million). To serve its expansion plan in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi, AuchanSuper is co-operating with two different partners. In the south of Vietnam, AuchanSuper has chosen RH Group as its local partner. This group has 20 years of experience in retail, and is responsible for developing … [Read more...]

Phu Quoc emerges as investment hub


Phu Quoc island has been thriving, turning itself into a tourism and investment hub in southern Vietnam thanks to many large-scale projects that have helped build its reputation among investors. The island, particularly Vinpearl Safari, is becoming more and more attractive to both domestic and foreign tourists According to Huynh Quang Hung, Deputy Chairman of the Phu Quoc People’s Committee, by the end of September 2015 approximately 140 projects, comprising an area of 5,110 hectares, had been instigated to develop the infrastructure on the island. Most of these million-dollar projects are owned by Vietnam’s leading conglomerates, such as Vingroup and Sun Group. Upon completion, these projects will transform the island into a major tourist destination and economic hub for Vietnam, and potentially for the whole Southeast Asian region. Vingroup, for instance, has invested in many projects on Phu Quoc island, including Vinpearl Land, Vinpearl Safari, Vinmec, Vincharm Spa, … [Read more...]

Paintings on Vietnam displayed in Kremlin Palace

Paintings on Vietnam theme are on display in Russia’s Kremlin Palace

The Hanoitimes - Twenty paintings featuring Vietnamese people and landscapes drawn by children in central Asia and Eastern Europe are on display in Russia’s Kremlin Palace. The drawings were selected from 356 submissions to a painting contest about Vietnam and Russia, which targeted children between 2 and 16 from Russia, Uzbekistan, Slovenia and Serbia. Among these pictures are "Forever Young" by 14-year-old Mamleeva Mila, "Mother and Children" by 16-year-old Ivanova Dapia, and "Happy Winter" by 9-year-old Nguyen Tuan Dat. The contest was organised by the Russia-Vietnam Friendship Association from October 2015 to celebrate the countries’ 65-year ties. Nine children won the competition and five of them won a trip to Vietnam. According to Regina Udarena, a member of the association, the contest has shown Russian children’s interest in Vietnam, a faraway land that not all locals know about. The young painters mostly looked for drawing materials in books and on … [Read more...]

FLC Quy Nhon golf course opens for play


FLC Group’s 18-hole golf course was officially opened in the south-central province of Binh Dinh on January 30, after more than five months of construction. FLC Group’s 18-hole golf course in Quy Nhon, Binh Dinh (Source: FLC) The course is part of the Nhon Ly resort and entertainment complex project in Quy Nhon City’s Nhon Ly Commune. Covering an area of 300 ha, the project has total investment capital of 3.5 trillion VND (159.1 million USD). The remaining parts of the project will be completed and put into operation in the second quarter of 2016. Asia’s most modern course is expected to attract thousands of domestic and international golfers to compete. It was designed by Nicklaus Design, the world’s premier golf course design firm, which has over 375 courses open for play in 36 countries, with another 45 under development. … [Read more...]

Hanoi cancels Phuc Tho Buffalo Fighting Festival


A buffalo fighting festival in Phuc Tho District has been cancelled this year because of controversy over concern it promotes cruelty to animals. Buffaloes fight in January Nguyen Khac Loi, deputy director of Hanoi Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism, signed the order banning the festival on January 27. The Phuc Tho Buffalo Fighting Festival attracted considerable local and international media attention last year when 76 fought, with the winning beast publicly slaughtered, ostensibly as an offering to deities, but the meat was sold at high prices. In response to widespread criticism about the cruelty of the event, the Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism, Hoang Anh Tuan, asked localities not to organize events that might incite violence. … [Read more...]

Hanoi opens Spring festival at Thang Long Citadel


The Hanoitimes - The traditional space of the ancient Lunar New Year (Tet) festival with commodities, pictures, costumes and worshipping space for Tet was officially opened at Hanoi’s Thang Long Imperial Citadel on January 29. A Spring festival includes numerous programmes as part of the activities to welcome the Lunar New Year (Tet) and celebrate the 86th founding anniversary of the Communist Party of Vietnam (February 3, 1930-2016). The highlight of the festival is an exhibition featuring the traditional space of the ancient Lunar New Year festival with commodities, pictures, costumes and worshipping space for Tet, the custom of asking "ong do" (scholars) to write calligraphic letters at the beginning days of the new year. During the event, exhibitions on Vietnamese heritages, flowers and ornamental trees, and new archaeological findings will be also organised. In addition, the traditional customs of Vietnamese during the Lunar New Year will be introduced at the … [Read more...]

Ear cake – a tasty dish of Phu Tho Province


VietNamNet Bridge – Ear Cake, a tasty food that is served every day by locals in Phu Tho Province, has that name because it has the shape of an ear. The cake is made from rice, with pork stuffing. Even though the recipe looks pretty easy, not everyone can make this wonderful cake. The first step, and also the most important one that defines the quality of the cake, is to choose the right type of rice which is soft and sticky at the same time. The rice is washed and soaked in water from two hours to half a day, before grinding it and making the dough. Then, start cutting the dough into small pieces and form the shape of each. People who are used to making this dish usually do this step so easily, making 10 identical pieces at a time. When the kneading is done, the cakes are put in the steamer for 30 minutes to 1 hour. The best way to savor Ear Cake is to eat it right away when it is still warm. Holding it in your hands and eat it slowly, you will find the taste of Ear Cake … [Read more...]