Social News 16/3

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Hoi An International Food Festival opens The Hoi An International Food Festival "Taste the World", the first of its kind, opened at An Hoi sculpture garden on March 14, attracting 12 chefs from 12 countries worldwide. During the week-long event, the chefs will demonstrate their cooking skills at 12 local restaurants, namely Cargo club, Morning Glory, Inflame club, Mango I, Mango II, Rice Drum, Seafood Garden, Vinh Hung, Seedlings, Mangorooms, Tam Tam and Hai café. The participating restaurants will be decorated and themed to the countries of the visiting chefs, who will prepare traditional dishes from their respective countries. The festival, a new tourism product of Hoi An in 2016, is expected to bring the local cuisine to countries and territories worldwide, thereby popularising the city, its land and people. The ancient city of Hoi An in the central province of Quang Nam was a renowned international trade port in the 17th century where ships from Japan, China, and European … [Read more...]

Ho Chi Minh City cracks down on illegally parked cabs, buses in ‘backpacker area’

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Authorities in Ho Chi Minh City have issued new regulations for taxis and passenger buses in the ‘backpacker area’ of District 1, an effort to eliminate unlawful makeshift bus stops and ensure traffic order and safety. The municipal Department of Transport has installed traffic signs prohibiting passenger buses from stopping along Pham Ngu Lao Street to wait for travelers to enter and exit. Between 6:00 am and midnight every day, drivers of cabs and passenger buses of less than 26 seats can only park their vehicles in specific spots, which are marked with white paint, and must not wait longer than five minutes for their passengers. Other coaches of 26 seats and over must pick up and drop off their travelers at a bus station in the nearby 23/9 Park. The new regulations are specifically aimed at reducing the risks of traffic accidents as well as congestion in the ‘backpacker area,’ home to a vibrant expat community in the downtown. Several transport … [Read more...]

Wind of change blows through HCM City

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The newly-appointed leaders of HCM City are determined to take drastic action to deal with the city's problems. Party Secretary Dinh La Thang and People's Committee Chairman Nguyen Thanh Phong, have begun to take action to deal with the city's problems. After being petitioned by a local resident to deal with crime, Thang instructed local police to address street robberies and theft over the next three months. HCM City Party Secretary Dinh La Thang "As a policeman what do you think when local people complain that they feel unsafe? This will also leave a bad impression on tourists," Thang said. He also said police officers failing to do their duty would be dealt with. Following Thang's orders, the municipal party committee on Friday launched a hotline to help people report issues related to the economy, culture, society and people' daily lives directly to the party secretary. Normally Thang answers the phone calls. If he is busy, the municipal party committee office's employees … [Read more...]

Hanoi, HCM City look to crack down on coaches, parking on pavements

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The illegal parking of coaches on streets in HCM City in order to collect and drop off passengers has been a headache for local authorities, but coach operators insist measures should be taken to create more favourable conditions for them. Tran Thuy Hanh, a local resident, told the Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper that coaches are encroaching on streets in the inner city, obstructing the view of pedestrians and motorists. Hoang Van Thai, of District 5's Tran Phu Street, complained that dozens of coaches park on the streets every day, and flocks of waiting tourists turn the street into a chaotic scene. Passengers even throw garbage and urinate on the street. In February, Secretary of HCM City's Party Committee Dinh La Thang ordered the installation of "no parking" signs for cars with nine seats or more on Nguyen Thai Binh and Le Thi Hong Gam streets in an effort to regulate traffic in the city. However, the coach operators still reportedly commit violations. In a recent meeting with … [Read more...]

Cities look to crack down on coaches despite their protests

HCM CITY (VNS) — The illegal parking of coaches on streets in HCM City in order to collect and drop off passengers has been a headache for local authorities, but coach operators insist measures should be taken to create more favourable conditions for them. Tran Thuy Hanh, a local resident, told the Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper that coaches are encroaching on streets in the inner city, obstructing the view of pedestrians and motorists. Hoang Van Thai, of District 5's Tran Phu Street, complained that dozens of coaches park on the streets every day, and flocks of waiting tourists turn the street into a chaotic scene. Passengers even throw garbage and urinate on the street. In February, Secretary of HCM City's Party Committee Dinh La Thang ordered the installation of "no parking" signs for cars with nine seats or more on Nguyen Thai Binh and Le Thi Hong Gam streets in an effort to regulate traffic in the city. However, the coach operators still reportedly commit violations. In a … [Read more...]

City plants no-parking signs on more streets

Le Anh Such signs are now found on the De Tham Street section between Pham Ngu Lao Street and Tran Hung Dao Street in District 1 and the section of Le Hong Phong Street between Nguyen Trai Street in District 5 to Ly Thai To Street in District 10. The department said many passenger transport firms regularly park their buses along the roads to pick up and drop off passengers, causing traffic congestion. Urban Traffic Management Unit No. 1 under the transport department is assigned to coordinate with the HCMC Tourism Promotion Center under the Department of Tourism to review and arrange pick-up and drop-off sites in tourist areas in the city so as not to affect traffic safety. They will have to regularly check areas under their management, especially in the downtown area, to propose appropriate no-parking and parking sites for vehicles. Earlier, the transport department planted no-parking signs for over-nine-seat buses on Nguyen Thai Binh and Le Thi Hong Gam streets in District 1 … [Read more...]

HCMC Party chief: No more delays in infrastructure projects

HCMC Party chief Dinh La Thang speaks at a meeting with the Ministry of Transport over the weekend - PHOTO: LE ANH

Anh Quan Thang was speaking at a meeting with leaders of the Ministry of Transport and leaders of HCMC government and agencies on Saturday. Bui Xuan Cuong, director of the HCMC Department of Transport, said Metro Line No. 2 linking Ben Thanh Market in District 1 and Tham Luong in District 12 has progressed slowly in the past two years due to design and investment changes. Lenders have agreed on an investment adjustment but the Law on Public Investment requires projects worth over VND10 trillion (around US$446 million) to be approved by the National Assembly (NA). To put the project on fast track, Cuong proposed HCMC seek the Government approval to invite tenders for the already-approved components of the project while waiting for the NA’s approval. Thang said Government and NA permission should be sought for the city to take charge of the metro project, or the city should ask the NA Standing Committee for approval, instead of having to wait for the legislature. As for … [Read more...]

Social News 23/2

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PM okays expansion of road to Cambodia The HCMC government has got the Prime Minister’s nod for a plan to call for investment to expand National Highway 22 that runs through the city and Tay Ninh Province and connects to Cambodia under the build-operate-transfer (BOT) form. In December last year, the city government wrote to the Prime Minister seeking approval for the investment plan as National Highway 22 is a major road that connects localities in the Southern Key Economic Zone of Vietnam and some other ASEAN nations but it is narrow. The city said National Highway 22 plays a vital role in fueling economic development in the Southern Key Economic Zone and facilitating cargo transportation from the southeastern and southwestern provinces to Cambodia and other ASEAN nations through Moc Bai border gate in Tay Ninh Province. Therefore, it is urgent to upgrade and expand the highway. The Prime Minister told HCMC to closely work with the Ministry of Transport, Tay Ninh and … [Read more...]

HCM City party chief targets traffic problems

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Newly-appointed Ho Chi Minh City’s Party Secretary and former transport minister Dinh La Thang has committed himself to resolving the southern city’s chronic traffic problems. Thang acted on a phone call by a member of the public complaining about the traffic jams caused by the illegally-parked coaches on Nguyen Thai Binh and Le Thi Hong Gam streets in District 1. He immediately asked the local department of transport to take action. According to the department, four transport companies in the two streets often park their coaches in front of their headquarters to wait for passengers, a situation that has caused constant congestion for many years. The department's vice director, Tran Quang Lam, said that they immediately worked with local police to solve the problem right after hearing instructions from the secretary. No-Parking signs have been set up and traffic police have been sent to keep the streets in order. No-Parking signs have been set up on Nguyen Thai Binh … [Read more...]

Hotels in Da Lat triple room rates to brace for flower fest

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A large number of hotels in Da Lat, the capital city of Lam Dong Province in the Central Highlands, have increased their room rates by anywhere from 100 to 250 percent, as tourists flock to admire the annual flower festival. Many tourists have complained that they have been unable to book rooms at reasonable rates to partake in the Da Lat Flower Festival, set to run from December 29, 2015 to January 2, 2016. Several hotels have announced that they either run out of rooms or simply adjusted their rates to a significantly higher price than usual, despite local authorities' commitment to prevent this situation from occurring. Prices have been found skyrocketing by 100 to 250 percent. Hoang Thao Hotel on Nguyen Chi Thanh Street, whose rates have been doubled, only has about two vacant rooms left. All rooms in Gia Khang Hotel on Bui Thi Xuan Street are fully booked between December 31 and January 1, 2016, although the rate has increased to VND1.139 million (US$50.57) per night, … [Read more...]

Bitexco assigned to design new bridges in city

Van Nam Vu Quang Bao, general director of Bitexco, told the Daily that it takes about six months to complete the designs of the bridges. He estimated the combined investment cost of Binh Quoi-Thu Duc and Binh Quoi-Rach Chiec bridges at VND4 trillion (around US$178 million). The city government has approved building the two bridges in the build-transfer (BT) format in line with a master zoning plan for road development in the city. The 426-hectare Binh Quoi-Thanh Da urban area will be developed for a population of 41,000-50,000 and have bridges spanning the Saigon River to connect to neighboring areas. Binh Quoi-Thanh Da urban area was zoned by Saigon Construction Corp. in 2007 to accommodate 30,000 citizens as well as 500,000 visitors and workers a day. However, due to rapid urbanization, the zoning plan has become obsolete and Bitexco is using it as a reference to map out a new development plan. Bao said Bitexco has completed a zoning plan, scale 1/2000, for Binh Quoi-Thanh … [Read more...]

Concert marks Vietnam’s War Invalids and Martyrs’ Day

: People’s Artist Tran Hieu and the MTV band

The monthly concert Giai Dieu Tu Hao (Melody of Pride) featuring revolutionary songs will be broadcast live on VTV1 channel on July 31, marking the 68th anniversary of Vietnam's War Invalids and Martyrs' Day (July 27). Meritorious Artists Hong Vy and Bich Viet, singer Thanh Lam, Duc Tuan, the MTV, the rock band Ngu Cung, the Oplus and among will join the show. The concert will present to Vietnamese audiences popular songs, such as Biet On Chi Vo Thi Sau (Showing Deep Gratitude to Young Heroine Vo Thi Sau) by musician Pham Duc Toan; Cung Anh Tien Quan Tren Duong Dai (We Go to the Battle Together), a work composed by Huy Du with lyrics written by Xuan Sach; Nhung Canh Chim Hong Gam (The Hong Gam Bird) by Pham Tuyen, praising heroine Le Thi Hong Gam of Tien Giang Province, who died in battle in 1970 when she was 19; Dang Dung Viet Nam (The Posture of Viet Nam), a popular song by music professor Nguyen Chi Vu with lyrics by poet Le Anh Xuan; and more. The organizers will invite … [Read more...]

Show to celebrate Invalids, Martyrs Day

Tribute: The boy band Oplus will perform composer Nguyen Duc Toan's Biet On Chi Vo Thi Sau (Grateful to Heroine Vo Thi Sau), a song in memory of a southern girl who sacrificed her life for the country when she was only 16. — Photo courtesy the Oplus

HCM CITY (VNS) — Viet Nam Television (VTV), in co-operation with its partners, will broadcast a special live programme next week to mark the 68th Day for Invalids and War Martyrs (July 27). The 120-minute program-me will feature dozens of young and veteran singers, dancers and music players from professional art troupes. There will also be performances in praise of the country, its history and traditional culture and lifestyle. Featured songs will be those recognised as canons of revolutionary music written by talented composers such as Huy Du, Pham Tuyen and Nguyen Duc Toan. The boy band Oplus will perform Toan's Biet On Chi Vo Thi Sau (Grateful to Heroine Vo Thi Sau), a song in memory of the southern young heroine Vo Thi Sau, who died for her country when she was only at 16. People's Artist Tran Hieu will sing along with the pop band MTV the new version of Cung Anh Tien Quan Tren Duong Dai (We Go to the Battle Together), a work composed by Huy Du with lyrics written by … [Read more...]

April 27-May 3: Friendship-Concert with German Children Choir in Hanoi

8:45 pm, everyday from Tuesday to Sunday until August 30   Le Club, Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi   15 Ngo Quyen street, Hoan Kiem district

8 pm, May 1 ATK 73a Mai Hac De street, Hai Ba Trung district A special night of experimental music with EVERYTHING making sounds but NO LAPTOP, featuring Lark Minkous, Vu Nhat Tan, and Sound Awakener Tickets: VND 50 000 at the door - VND 30 000 in advance Performance of African-American jazz diva Kathryn Farmer Friendship-Concert with German Children Choir 8 pm, April 27 Hanoi Opera House 1 Trang Tien street, Hoan Kiem district The Kinderchor der Staatsoper Unter den Linden Berlin, who have won several competitions, will have friendship concert together with host, Vinschool Along with solo performances from each choir, they will sing a Vietnamese song entitled 'Hoa nhịp con tim' (Join the Heartbeat together) and 'Let there be peace on earth' together. Tickets: VND200 000-VND 300 000 EXHIBITIONExhibition "Hanoi - a Living Museum" by Nguyen The Son Hanoi Old Quarter Cultural Exchange Center 50 Dao Duy Tu street, Hoan Kiem district Works on display … [Read more...]

April 13-19: Exhibition of Traditional Korean Paper Hanji

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The Electric Yard Dogs in April Norway Concert 2015 8pm, April 17-18 Hanoi Opera House 1 Trang Tien, Hanoi Norway Concert 2015 featuring the performance of Conductor Thomas Rimul; Violinist, Nguyen Thien Minh; Soprano, Dao To Loan; Baritone, Halvor F. Melien. Ticket prices: 200000, 350000, 500000 VND. All tickets available at Hanoi Opera House EXHIBITIONExhibition of Traditional Korean Paper Hanji Printmaking Dialogue Belgium (Wallonie-Bruxelles) – Vietnam Exhibition 2015 Vietnam Fine Arts Museum 66 Nguyen Thai Hoc Street The exhibition is a dialogue between artists of two cultures sharing common art values while interpreting various print mediums and subjects — a dialogue between traditional technique and contemporary art. The 1st International Watercolor Exhibition in Vietnam Hang Da Galleria 1 Hang Da Street, Hanoi The 1st International Watercolor Exhibition in Vietnam will feature more than 90 artworks by over 40 artists from UK, … [Read more...]

April 6-12: Hanoi Sound Stuff Festival 2015

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4 – 7 pm, April 11 Hanoi Opera House 1 Trang Tien street, Hoan Kiem district Program: Choir and Concert Performance of Symphony No. 9 in D minor, Op. 125 With the performance of: Conductor: Kitahara Yukio Orchestra: Vietnam National Symphony Orchestra (VNSO) Soloists: Sano Masahito (Baritone), Uehara Masatoshi (Tenor), Phuong Nga (Soprano), Phuong Uyen (Alto) Chorus: Japan and Vietnam Leader of Japanese chorus: Ms. Nakanishi Kumeko Tickets: VND200,000 - VND 350,000 - VND500,000 Hanoi Sound Stuff Festival Various venues in Hanoi: Day 1:2 – 11 pm, April 9 Manzi Art Space, 14 Phan Huy Ich street, Hoan Kiem district Day 2: 2 – 11 pm, April 10 Hanoi Creative City, 01 Luong Yen street, Hai Ba Trung district Day 3: 7 – 10.30 pm, April 11 Van Ho Exhibition Center, 02 Hoa Lu street, Hai Ba Trung district The festival will bring to Vietnam numerous talented sound artists and DJs from across the globe and several international … [Read more...]

EVENTS SCHEDULED FOR APRIL 1-10 (daily updated)

Film Screening "Vandal" Fri 10 Apr 2015, 8 pm L'Espace 24 Trang Tien, Hanoi You are invited to the film screening "Vandal" (France, 2013, 84 mins) directed by Hélier Cisterne. "A bold and charismatic film which expresses the concern for adolescent" - Le Figaroscope For more information about synopsis, please see L'Espace website (in French) or refer to the Vietnamese version of this post. Language: French with Vietnamese subtitle. Tickets Ticket price: 40 000 VND Special price for members of L'Espace and students: 20 000 VND Tickets are available at L'Espace. Berlin Club Night at Hanoi Sound Stuff Festival 2015 Fri 10 Apr 2015, 4 - 10.30 pm Hanoi Creative City, Nr.1 Luong Yen, Str., Hanoi In recent years, Berlin Club Nights have happened in India, Poland, Egypt and Brazil, a successful co-production between the Berlin club scene, the Goethe Institutes, visitberlin and German embassies. This year Berlin Club Night, at the invitation of the Goethe Institut, is the … [Read more...]

What’s on April 2015 (Daily updated)

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MUSIC AND PERFORMANCESHanoi-Performance of Music Theatre and Documentary Film Project "Arrival Cities: Hanoi Apr 4 and 5, 8 pm Hong Ha Theatre, 51 Duong Thanh Street Arrival Cities: Hanoi is a music theatre and documentary film project with the Vietnamese Swedish group The Six Tones, dealing with the dissolution of the relationship with tradition that urbanization brings. In the performance, multiple voices and perspectives create an expansive portrait of a city vibrant of memories from the Vietnamese countryside. Arrival Cities: Hanoi builds a narrative from the life story of Lưu Ngọc Nam, an actor and costume maker in traditional Tuồng theatre. His travels in the country, the home­sickness and his life long love for Tuồng theatre becomes the point of departure for a piece of music theatre set at the threshold between traditional and urban culture. The piece was premiered in Sweden in November 2014. Tickets are free and can be collected at Goethe Institute. A seminar in which … [Read more...]

American couple reports $9,000 loss in theft in Vietnam hotel

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Vietnamese police are probing a theft reported by a Vietnamese-American couple who claimed they lost a US$3,000 Rolex wristwatch and $6,000 in cash in a theft in their hotel room in a southern Vietnamese province. Senior Lieutenant Colonel Dinh Van Thanh, head of the Social Crime Investigation Police Agency under the Tien Giang Province Police Department, on Sunday said his unit had received a theft report from Thoi Hoang An, 28, of U.S. nationality, and his wife, 23-year-old To Vinh Huyen. The couple said they returned to Vietnam from the U.S. on January 30, 2015 and have since stayed in Room #105 of a hotel on Le Thi Hong Gam Street in Ward 6 in the province’s My Tho City. An reported to police officers that when he woke up in the room at about 7:00 am on February 28, he discovered his Rolex watch worth $3,000 had disappeared. At 11:00 am the same day, An realized $6,000 had vanished from his handbag left in the same room, too. After receiving An’s report, … [Read more...]

Fireworks displays and flower markets in HCM City

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HCMC will have eight fireworks displays to ring in the Year of the Goat on February 18 and three flower markets which will take place from now until February 18. The area near the Saigon River Tunnel in District 2, the Bitexco Financial Tower in District 1 and other six places around the city will be fireworks display venues. Three large flower markets will be held at Gia Dinh Park in Go Vap District, the September 23 Park and Le Van Tam Park in District 1. There are 125 other small markets around the city. Especially, Thu Duc and Can Gio districts will hold the most flower markets, at 19 and 16 respectively. Visitors can stay connected to the Internet thanks to free wifi at the spring flower festivals and Tet flower markets at Tao Dan Park, Le Van Tam Park, Gia Dinh Park, Le Thi Rieng Park, Phu Lam Park, Hoang Van Thu Park, Phu My Hung Urban Zone and Binh Dien Market and Binh Dong Wharf. During Tet Flower Street and Book Street on Ham Nghi Boulevard, this boulevard and … [Read more...]