Cook to perfection: Binh Dinh lady chef and the best Vietnamese pancake

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restaurants. But foodies who love this crispy pancake-like dish never mind going deeper into My Cang, a small village 20 kilometers from the city downtown, to visit a little restaurant which they believe is serving the best banh xeo in the whole country. Ly Thi Thu, who runs the place, is now 77 years old. Thu, better known among regulars as Mrs. Nam, is extremely picky. She is the closest thing to a celebrity chef in the village. "When I began to make banh xeo, I thought I had to make it really different to attract customers," Nam recalled. "I set my own rules, and still follow them strictly. For my ingredients, I only buy the natural pink shrimp living in local rivers. If there's no shrimp, I stop selling that day," Nam said. She grinds rice at home to make the pancake mixture using a simple yet powerful hand-operated stone grinder. The restaurant doesn't have a name or a signboard. Locals and tourists refer to it as "Bánh xèo tôm nhảy bà Năm" -- Mrs. Nam's pancake shop with … [Read more...]

Central coastal provinces attract visitors during Tet holiday

The central Quang Nam province, home to two UNESCO-recognised world cultural heritage sites of Hoi An ancient town and My Son Sanctuary, welcomed over 83,000 tourists during the nine-day Lunar New Year holiday. The total figure represented a year-on-year increase of 11%. Foreign visitors numbered around 35,000. Meanwhile, central Quang Ngai province saw a record number of visitors – 3,500 - to its Ly Son island, a new tourist destination during the holiday. Ly Son island is well known for relics related to naval soldiers from the Nguyen Dynasty who were assigned with missions to patrol and protect Hoang Sa (Paracel) archipelago. The relics include Hoang Sa Bac Hai flotilla memorial and exhibition house and empty tombs for soldiers who died at sea. The island hosts an annual boat racing festival between the fourth and eighth day of the Lunar New Year to wish for peace and prosperity for the people and to commemorate ancestors and Hoang Sa (Paracel) soldiers who protect the … [Read more...]

Former national champ called up to lead team for Davis Cup tie

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Former national champion Do Minh Quan (Photo: sggp.org.vn) The Vietnam Tennis Federation has called players to prepare for the coming international events. Former national champion Do Minh Quan, who is undergoing a training course to become a coach in the US, will join the five-member men's team. The 10-time national champion will take charge as the captain of the team for the Davis Cup Asian Zone 3 matches in April. The squad will also include Vietnam's top player Ly Hoang Nam, who performed superbly in the second round of the Australian Open's junior championships in January. Six female players will also be called at the same time. They will have a long-term training course to prepare for the Southeast Asian Games in Singapore this June.-VNA … [Read more...]

Central coastal provinces attract visitors during New Year holidays

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Visitors tour Hoi An ancient town (Photo: VNA) The central Quang Nam province, home to two UNESCO-recognised world cultural heritage sites of Hoi An ancient town and My Son Sanctuary, welcomed over 83,000 tourists during the nine-day Lunar New Year holiday. The total figure represented a year-on-year increase of 11 percent. Foreign visitors numbered around 35,000. Meanwhile, central Quang Ngai province saw a record number of visitors – 3,500 - to its Ly Son island, a new tourist destination during the holiday. Ly Son island is well known for relics related to naval soldiers from the Nguyen Dynasty who were assigned with missions to patrol and protect Hoang Sa (Paracel) archipelago. The relics include Hoang Sa Bac Hai flotilla memorial and exhibition house and empty tombs for soldiers who died at sea. The island hosts an annual boat racing festival between the fourth and eighth day of the Lunar New Year to wish for peace and prosperity for the people and to commemorate … [Read more...]

Art & Entertainment News 25/2

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Vietnamese photographer listed in famous photo book Nick Ut, whose "Napalm girl" picture shocked the whole world, has been listed in a photo book "Behind Photographs" of Tim Mantoani. American photographer Tim Mantoani tracked down the talent behind some of the world's most iconic photographs and got them to sit for portraits. According to a famous website International Business Times, he used a soon-to-be-extinct photographic medium – the 20×24 Polaroid. Over a five-year period, he took large format Polaroids of more than 150 photographers. Nick Ut’s photo has received a number of prestigious awards such as the Pulitzer and World Press Photo and is one of the 100 influential photos in the 20th century. Longest-ever Tet cake made The Yakasa-Saigon-Nha Trang Hotel in Nha Trang city, the central coastal province of Khanh Hoa, has set a new record for its giant-sized traditional Tet cake, which is 40 metres in length, as part of the activities to celebrate the … [Read more...]

Mekong flower town enjoys growing fame

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Sa Dec Town has specialised in flowers for more than a century. Today, Dutch knowhow is developing this longstanding tradition. "People from a planet without flowers would think we must be mad with joy the whole time to have such things about us," wrote Iris Murdoch. The aliens that Murdoch wrote about would go into a state of permanent delirium if they visited Sa Dec Town in the Mekong Delta at any time of the year, I thought as I walked about in the town, feeling a bit delirious myself at the sight of so many beautiful flowers. Sa Dec is to the south of Viet Nam what Ha Noi is to the north, with its famous flower villages like Ngoc Ha, Nghi Tam, Quang Ba and Nhat Tan, and what Da Lat, the City of Flowers, is to the central region. While it might not be as much in the floral spotlight as its northern and central counterparts, Sa Dec's beauty had been recognised more than 100 years ago by the French who called it the "Le jardin de la Cochinchine" or "Garden in Cochinchina". … [Read more...]

Quan to return to VN for Davis Cup

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The Viet Nam Tennis Federation has called players to prepare for the coming international events. Former national champion Do Minh Quan, who is undergoing a training course to become a coach in the United States, will join the five-member men's team. The 10-time national champion will take charge as the captain of the team for the Davis Cup Asian Zone 3 matches in April. The squad will also include Viet Nam's top player Ly Hoang Nam, who performed superbly in the second round of the Australian Open's junior championships in January. Six female players will also be called at the same time. They will have a long-term training course to prepare for the Southeast Asian Games in Singapore this June. VNS … [Read more...]

Exhibitions on Hoang Sa, Truong Sa to be held abroad

An exhibition on historical and legal evidence strongly proving Viet Nam's sovereignty over Hoang Sa and Truong Sa archipelagoes in Binh Thuan province in 2014 - Photo: VNA

VGP – Viet Nam plans to show historical evidence proving its sovereignty over Hoang Sa and Truong Sa archipelagoes abroad in 2015, according to Deputy Minister of Information and Communications Truong Minh Tuan. The first exhibition is expected to open in the Czech Republic which recognized the Vietnamese community as a minority group in 2013, followed by other exhibitions in the US, France and other European countries, he added. Last year, the Ministry received the world atlas, published in Brussels in 1827, affirming Viet Nam’s sovereignty over the two archipelagoes. Also in 2014, exhibits asserting Viet Nam’s possession of Hoang Sa and Truong Sa archipelagoes were displayed throughout the country, including Ly Son and Phu Quoc islands. The past exhibitions drew the great participation of both locals and foreigners, said Deputy Minister Tuan. According to the Vietnamese Foreign Ministry, before and after the end of the Second World War, the issue of … [Read more...]

Vietnam sports 2015 expects new wind from young generation

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Many major regional and international sporting events will come in this year, such as the 28th ASEAN Games and the primary tournament for Olympic Games 2016. Accordingly, Vietnam has high expectations of the younger generation like Thach Kim Tuan, Phan Thi Ha Thanh, Quach Thi Lan, Nguyen Thi Anh Vien, Ly Hoang Nam and the country targets to collect more and more medals in two sport festivals. In order to harvest the best achievements, Vietnamese talent athletes need to try their best. This is a list of Vietnamese young talent athletes, who are expected to win medals in the 28th SEA Games: 1. Weightlifter Thach Kim Tuan Top Vietnamese weightlifter Thach Kim Tuan experienced an extremely successful year in 2014 with series of 11 new records at home and abroad, including three gold medals and two records at the World Youth Weightlifting Championships; one silver and two records at the 17th Asian Games; one gold and two silver medals at the World Weightlifting Championships; and three … [Read more...]

Social News 15/2

HCMC lauds good medical workers 113 teams and individuals of medical clinics in Ho Chi Minh City were lauded for their achievements in the patriotic emulation movement for 2010-2014. The municipal Department of Health held a meeting on February 12 to appraise 26 teams and 87 individuals for their good performance in the health sector’s emulation movement. At the meeting, the Department also launched the patriotic emulation movement for the next period from 2015 to 2020. The movement will focus on following Uncle Ho’s teaching that a good doctor must be a good mother to fight negative acts in treatment and examination. The movement also aims to improve curing and treatment quality, strengthen capability for district medical clinics to reduce overloading in big hospitals and implement the Ministry of Health’s programs. Da Nang flyover work to continue during Tet The Trung Nam Group installed the final span to complete the second flyover at the three-level stack … [Read more...]

Social News 14/2

Home ownership extensions rejected The Ministry of Construction has rejected a proposal from the People's Committee of central Da Nang City to allow foreigners buy and own houses for up to 70 years instead of the present 50. It said this was in line with the Land Law of 2013 and the amended Housing Law. In a related movement, the ministry gave the green light to a city plan requiring buyers of social housing to make the payment in one installment. According to the People's Committee, a one-time payment enables investors to quickly recover capital and re-invest. The amended Law on Housing, which takes effect on July 1, is expected to attract more foreigners to come to live and work in the country. Quang Binh police seize firecrackers The Transport Police Department recently cracked down on illegal firecracker smuggling, catching nearly 150 kilograms of firecrackers being smuggled in Quang Binh Province. The Traffic Police patrolling the National Road No 1 discovered the smuggled … [Read more...]

Ha Nam’s trade villages busy for Tet

Trade villages in the northern province of Ha Nam are bustling with activity for the upcoming Lunar New Year (Tet) festival. The most famous of the craft villages numbering hundreds are Dam village and Phu Van flower village in Phu Ly city, and Dai Hoang village in Ly Nhan district. Dai Hoang is an ancient village in the Hoa Cau commune of Ly Nhan district. It is known for its famous poached dish served in clay pots, which is highly sought-after during Tet. The braised fish, which has "solid meat but soft bones", is a village specialty. According to v illagers, the fish must be cooked in earthenware pots from central Nghe An or Thanh Hoa province to make the dish correctly. The juice added to the pot must be made from ground freshwater crab following a recipe passed down through generations. Specifications are even made about the cooking fire; the wood should be sourced from longan trees to ensure the unique flavour resulting from a half day of simmering. The key is to mix … [Read more...]

Photos: Peach flowers and kumquat trees beautify Hanoi streets

This flower vendor sells bundles of peach flowers for VND10,000-VND30,000.  Ms. Nguyen Thi Than, who has 2,000 peach trees in Dai Mo (Nam Tu Liem District), said this year her family will incur losses as the trees have bloomed early.

VietNamNet Bridge - Two weeks before the lunar New Year the weather is very warm, causing peach flowers to blossom early. Gardeners in Nhat Tan village, Hanoi’s most famous peach flower village, have suffered losses and are worried they will not have peach flowers to sell during Tet holiday since the trees have bloomed very early. Mr. Tran Van Hoang in Tu Lien has 1,000 kumquat trees. He has sold over 30% of the trees, at prices of VND300,000 to VND1 million ($15-$50)/tree. According to kumquat growers in Tu Lien Ward, this year the price for kumquat tree will increase by 10-15% compared to last year due to a supply shortage. The trees are divided into three types: small ones at VND400,000-VND600,000; medium trees at VND1.5 million ($70) and big ones at VND5-6 million. VNE … [Read more...]

Art & Entertainment News 12/2

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Late musician Trinh Cong Son tops copyright fee earner in 2014 Late musician Trinh Cong Son topped the nation's musicians in copyright fees in 2014, earning more than VND100m for his music, the Vietnam Centre for Protection of Music Copyright (VCPMC) said. VCPMC deputy director Nguyen Thi Luu said that, as of January, 3,116 musicians had signed with the centre, which collected a total of VND67bn on their behalf in 2014. "We found it hard to collect music copyright fees in 2014 because many organisations did not want to pay," said musician Pho Duc Phuong, who is the centre’s director. The centre attracted considerable coverage for its repeated attempts to have organisers of the Khanh Ly live show pay copyright fees. There was also a row when the song "Because I Miss You", by South Korean singer Jung Yong Hwa, of Rock CNBLUE, was covered by a Vietnamese singer without permission or payment. The centre is upgrading application software to better manage copyright protection in … [Read more...]

Three condemned to death for smuggling 11kg of heroin in Vietnam

>> Police break up largest drug ring in Vietnam’s Mekong Delta

A Vietnam court on Monday handed down death sentences to three of the six members of a drug trafficking group that illegally traded 31 bricks of heroin, or roughly 11kg. Ngo Thanh Ly, 42, Phan Dinh Lap, 39, and Vu Thanh Trung, 42, received the capital punishment at their hearing opened by the People’s Court of the central province of Nghe An. Ly and Lap were local residents while Trung hailed from the northern province of Nam Dinh. Three others got life sentences: Tran Thi Hoai Thanh, a 28-year-old woman, and two men, Hoang Trong Duong, 43, and Hoang Van Tien, 35. All three are local residents. According to the indictment, from May to July 2013, the six bought heroin many times in Nghe An and then transported it to Ho Chi Minh City for sale. Lap was in charge of finding heroin supply, while Ly took on transport and Trung dealt with customers. By July 2013, when the ring members were arrested, the total amount of heroin they had traded was 31 bricks, or roughly 11 … [Read more...]

Ly Hoang Nam aims to compete in Roland Garros

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VietNamNet Bridge – Ly Hoang Nam will train to compete in several international tournaments to collect points for an official berth in the junior championship of the upcoming Roland Garros, the second Grand Slam of the year. The national No 1 remains at the 70th position in the world junior rankings, with 336.88 points after having lost seven points. "I am afraid that these points are not enough to win a berth at the Roland Garros. I have to bag more points from upcoming events to make sure I have my ticket to the clay court tournament," Nam said. The tennis player is set to take part in the Chang Thailand ITF, from March 2 to 7 in Nonthaburi, and the Sarawak Chief Minister's Cup (I) Junior Tennis Championships, from March 17 to 23 in Malaysia. The Vietnamese set a target of advancing to at least the semi-final rounds in both events. The Roland Garros is scheduled to begin on May 24 in Paris. Earlier, Nam earned his second round slot in the junior Australian Open. VNS … [Read more...]

Social News 8/2

Bach Mai Hospital to remain open during Tet The Ha Noi-based Bach Mai Hospital, one of the central hospitals in the country, will for the first time operate as usual during Tet (Lunar New Year) Festival. PhD Duong Duc Hung, head of the hospital's general affairs and planning department, has said that the hospital will operate four consulting rooms to receive patients during the nine-day Tet holiday. In the renal department, all health staff will work as usual to ensure that none of terminally-ill patients suffer body swelling due to a long wait for treatment or shortage of drugs. The hospital will also open one more emergency room, mobilise four health staff teams and arrange ten more beds. Doctors and nurses will be on duty round-the-clock on these days, Hung said. Patients who wish to be discharged from the hospital will be served as usual. The hospital's board of managers will have a hotline number 096 985 1616 to receive and resolve any complaints about the service quality and … [Read more...]

Underground water in rural areas becoming polluted

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VietNamNet Bridge – Scientists have warned that underground water in rural areas near industrial zones is becoming seriously polluted and depleted. According to the General Department of Environment (GDE), underground water resources provide 35-40 percent of total running water with exploitation output of 20 million cubic meters per day. Underground water is the only source of daily-use water for residents in rural areas, where the national clean water programs still cannot reach. The recent GDE monitoring reports showed that organic pollution (NH4+, NO3), heavy metal and microorganisms have been found in underground water samples in many localities. The situation is especially serious in the northern delta, where the ammonium concentration is 23.3 mg per liter, much higher than the permitted level. In Hai Ly Commune of Hai Hau District in Nam Dinh province, the ammonium concentration was found to be 441 times higher than the permitted level. The polluted water was also … [Read more...]

Art & Entertainment News 7/2

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Old Quarter exhibit recalls Hanoi's rich past An exhibition is highlighting daily life of the past in Hanoi's Old Quarter. More than 100 photographs and artefacts will be on show from February 2-15, giving an insight into life in the 36 streets of the Old Quarter during the late 19th-early 20th centuries. Highlights include an exploration of the area's unique architecture and traditional two-wheeled carriages that once plied the narrow streets. Historian Duong Trung Quoc said the exhibition would help visitors better understand the significance of the Old Quarter in Hanoi's history. The precinct is undergoing major redevelopment, succumbing to expansion pressures of modern Hanoi. Chef club debuts in central city The city's tourism association has debuted its Chef Club with the participation of 250 head cooks from hotels and resorts in the city. The club will host regular competitions and cuisine festivals for chefs to show off their skills and promote local food. School … [Read more...]

EVN puts power demand growth at 12.6% in Tet months

The Saigon Times Daily Duong Quang Thanh, deputy general director of EVN, gave the forecast at a meeting with the Ministry of Industry and Trade in Hanoi yesterday. Despite the strong growth, Thanh said EVN would mull solutions to guarantee sufficient power supply during the holiday, according to VietnamPlus. The State utility has prepared backup power facilities and upgraded transmission lines to ease overloads and prevent outages during Tet. EVN reported that the nation’s total commercial power supply neared 10.9 billion kWh last month, rising by 12.6% year-on-year. Of the volume, supply for industry and construction grew 12.9% to 6.1 billion kWh, and for administering agencies and households soared 24.5% to more than 3.7 billion kWh. The corporation commissioned the first 622-MW generator of Vinh Tan 2 thermal electricity plant last month and plans to put into use the first generator with a capacity of 80 MW at Mong Duong 1 thermo-power plant by the end of the first … [Read more...]