Memories of Thang Long via trade villages

Ben Thanh Tourist is offering a four-day and three-night tour to Hanoi and Halong every Thursday in a series of special tours to celebrate 1,000 years of Thang Long- Hanoi. Thang Long, the former name of the Vietnamese capital from the Ly Dynasty, was founded in 1010 when Ly Thai To relocated the royal court. The Dai La Citadel, as it was originally known, subsequently changed its name to Thang Long and then Hanoi. A traveler makes a tea cup at Bat Trang Pottery Village - Ảnh: Hien Nguyen Half of the tour is for visiting attractions in Hanoi and neighboring provinces, especially Bat Trang Pottery Village, Dong Ho Folk Painting Village and Dong Ky Carpentry Village for tourists to witness the skills of the craftsmen. Of the villages, Bat Trang is the most popular attraction. Located by the Red River, the village is popular for being an ancient pottery handicraft village and for retaining unique Vietnamese culture in the 21th century. Most of Bat Trang's pottery products are … [Read more...]

Art & Entertainment News Headlines 12/3

Vietnamese dancers present classical ballet Dancers from the Viet Nam National Opera and Ballet (VNOB) will perform at the Ha Noi Opera House on Thursday night. The performance, called Sac Mau Tinh Yeu (Colours of Love), will also see the participation of VNOB's director and People's Artist Pham Anh Phuong and British conductor Graham Sutcliffe. The first part of the performance features compositions by Ludwig van Beethoven, Wolfgang A Mozart, Charles Gounod, Erich W Korngold, Gioachino Rossini and Gaetano Donizetti. The second part will present the Graduation Ball, a ballet performed for the first time in Sydney, Australia, 74 years ago. It is one of the first major, classical professional ballets that has been performed by many troupes worldwide. Last year, VNOB dancers rehearsed the ballet for the first time under the guidance of renowned Australian ballet dancer Colin Peasley. The one-act ballet will last 40 minutes and will be performed to the music of Johann … [Read more...]

25 beauties enter final round of Kinh Bac pageant

At the final night, contestants will show their beauty in Ao Dai

Nhan Dan Online - Twenty-five girls will vie for the title Kinh Bac's most beautiful in the final round of the Kinh Bac beauty pageant, scheduled to be held on March 12 in Bac Ninh province by the provincial People's Committee. The contestants are selected from 120 entrants from across the Kinh Bac region, an old name which refers to present-day Bac Ninh and Bac Giang provinces and their neighbouring districts in Hung Yen and Lang Son provinces and Hanoi. On the final night, the entrants will walk in several different outfits: Ao Dai (Vietnamese traditional long dress), swim suit, prom dress and 'tu than'', a four-panel dress for Quan Ho (love duet singing). The top five will then enter a question and answer round to find out the winner, who will earn a ticket to the 2014 Vietnam Beauty Contest. Prior to the final night, the finalists are working to study the cultural values and rich traditions of the region, by offering incenses to King Duong Vuong at his temple, visiting … [Read more...]

Dong Ho folk painting contest launched

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Nhan Dan Online - The children's painting contest 'I Draw the Country' was launched in Hanoi on May 16 by the Association of UNESCO Clubs in Hanoi and the Heritage Inns. The contest is open to children between the ages of four and nine in kindergartens and primary schools across the country. Compeition entrants can use any medium to create their own original paintings on size A3 paper based on the theme of one of the ten original Dong Ho folk paintings, which were announced by the organising board. Children are encouraged to use bright colours, particularly the four basic colours of Dong Ho paintings, including black, green, yellow and red. Each contestant is allowed to send up to three entries to the Heritage Inns, 115/9 Nui Truc Alley, Nui Truc Street, Ba Dinh district, Hanoi before July 16. A awards ceremony and an exhibition to honour the 30 best entries will be held on August 10. The first prize winner will be presented a certificate of merit and cash prize of VND 5 million … [Read more...]

The last horn-fan maker of Vac village

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Going to Vac village in Thanh Oai district, Hanoi, visitors will only see bird cages and paper fans. They do not know that this ancient village used to be very famous for its special product - horn-fans. Today, only one couple in the village makes horn-fans. Mr. Le Van Thu, 68 and Ms. Tran Thi Cong, 61 are now the only horn-fan makers in Vac village. "My grandfather made horn-fans. My mother presented a horn-fan to President Ho Chi Minh. Now only I and my wife make horn-fans. My children have turned to produce bird cage to earn higher income. I also have to make bird cages to earn some extra money," Mr. Thu said. There are 16 steps to make a horn-fan. A horn fan usually has 17 blades, which are made from bamboo which was soaked in water for around one month to fight wood-eaters. Bamboo blades are joined together. The next stage is 'dong nhai' or using small flower-shaped steel pieces to fix blades. After that, bamboo blades are decorated by buffalo horn pieces. "Buffalo … [Read more...]

Trade Village Tourism in Vietnam: Increasingly Appealing to Foreign Tourists

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For recent years, traditional trade village - based tourism in Vietnam has become more and more appealing to tourists, especially foreign ones. Long-standing values, handicraft creation techniques and direct involvement in the production process are among those inspire tourists to discover. This is also tourism promotion and development policy of many nations in the world. Unique tourism product Traditional trade villages in Vietnam were born a very long time ago and have undergone development together with historical events of the nation. A lot of famous trade villages have well maintained their values ever since establishment, such as Bat Trang ceramic village (in Gia Lam, Hanoi); Phu Lang ceramic village (in Phu Lang commune, Que Vo district, Bac Ninh province); Dong Ky wood carving village; Dong Ho folk painting village (in Thuan Thanh district, Bac Ninh province); Nga Son mat village (in Thanh Hoa province); Non Nuoc stone carving village (in Da Nang); Chau Khe jewelry making … [Read more...]

Vietnamese Folk Painting Exhibition Opens in HCMC

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An exhibition of Vietnamese folk paintings used to decorate homes for Tet is taking place at the Ho Chi Minh City Fine Arts Museum (97A Pho Duc Chinh Street, District 1) from now until February 28. One popular print of Dong Ho folk painting is known as "Mouse wedding". More than 170 paintings will be displayed, illustrating a variety of subject matter including worship, satire, history and daily life. Organizers hope that the paintings will give audiences an opportunity to learn about the culture, land and people of Viet Nam. Inspiration for Vietnamese folk paintings usually stems from a strong desire to live a life of comfort, prosperity and happiness. A documentary film about the Dong Ho Folk Painting Village in Bac Ninh province, 30km to the east of Ha Noi, will also be screened at the exhibition. Master folk artist, Le Dinh Nghien, will also be on hand to display his skill at printing and drawing until February 8. … [Read more...]

Historian writes about Nguyen Dynasty

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Artist and historical researcher Mathilde Tuyet Tran has recently published a book in French and Vietnamese on the Nguyen kings. She explains to Luong Thu Huong why she stopped painting to focus on studying Vietnamese history. Having studied economic administration in Germany alongside spending more than 20 years working for German administrative bodies and the office of the European Union in Belgium, Mathilde Tuyet Tran is also a renowned artist and historical researcher. She recently published a bilingual book (in French and Vietnamese) entitled Dau xua - Tan Man Lich Su Nha Nguyen (Ancient Mark - Fragmented History of the Nguyen dynasty), revealing little-known facts about the last feudal dynasty in Vietnamese history. Inner Sanctum: You have stopped painting to focus on studying history. Why so? I've been interested in art since a young age. At the age of 14, I participated in a small exhibition held at an art gallery by the Artists Association in Sai Gon. However, I eventually … [Read more...]

Social News 15/1

S.Korea firm to sue workers for loss-causing strike Striking workers at a South Korean-invested firm in HCM City will be sued for losses caused to the company. Some 800 workers at Carimax Sai Gon Ltd. Co. went on strike January 3 after the company declined to pass on a mandated rise in minimum wages. Company officials said on January 12 that workers who failed to carry out their duties for five consecutive days would be sacked and sued for losses incurred by the company. Carimax said trade union intervention had failed to resolve the strike. The government decreed last year minimum wages would rise by VND250,000-400,000 (USD11.9-USD19) a month, depending on region, from January 1, 2015. But on December 27, the board of directors at Carimax said that because of 2014 losses, the pay rise would be determined according to each worker's attitude, capability and experiences. It also declared the Tet bonus would be 90% of a worker's monthly wage, but if workers went on strike, the … [Read more...]

Bat Trang pottery village crowded with Tet shoppers

Shoppers choose the dishes at Bat Trang pottery village in Hanoi (Photo: SGGP)

As Tet nears, Bat Trang pottery village in Hanoi’s suburban district of Gia Lam becomes very crowded with streams of shoppers who come to buy ceramic products. Bat Trang pottery market in the village opens all year round with a moderate number of visitors in normal days and a bit higher at the weekends. More foreigners visit the village than local people in normal months and most of the visitors mainly do sightseeing. The village has been packed with shoppers in year-end months. Dyke roads from Long Bien and Chuong Duong bridges as well as other paths leading to the village have been overcrowded with vehicles in recent days. Bus route Long Bien-Bat Trang has been overloaded. People from Hanoi and surrounding provinces such as Hung Yen, Hai Duong and Bac Ninh pour in the village to buy the dishes, cups, flower vases, etc…since early morning to nightfall. Several shoppers come from other provinces across the country. On the occasion of a trip to Hanoi to visit his … [Read more...]

The best experiences in Hanoi

Anyone who grew up with Hanoi would immediately recognize the activities of youthful vitality and love of life. If you want to get back to that time once again, you should try some following suggestions.

The Hanoitimes - Wandering around Hanoi's Old Quarter or gathering with friends, sipping a cup of lemon tea on the sidewalks are unforgettable memories for people who have ever been to Hanoi at least once time. Apart from landscapes and historic sites of thousand years old, the unique little corners of the city also impress much on tourists. Staying up late in Hanoi … [Read more...]

Are VN handicrafts losing their soul?

Cultural danger: Visitors study ceramic vases at Van Lang University. Experts say handicraft items made in Viet Nam predominantly feature styles from Western countries, China, South Korea and Japan. - VNS Photo Van Dat HCM CITY (VNS) - Local experts in fine arts and culture are concerned about the preservation of Vietnamese cultural identity in handicrafts and applied arts in the era of globalisation. Participants at a two-day workshop on the applied arts and Vietnamese cultural identities held yesterday at Van Lang University agreed that patterns on handicrafts made in Viet Nam predominantly featured styles from Western countries and China, South Korea and Japan. … [Read more...]

Best places to visit in Hanoi

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The Hanoitimes - From long ago Hanoi has become a familiar destination of foreign tourist arriving in Vietnam. It maybe that the old town in the heart of capital or the traditional villages surrounding suburbs. Van Mieu - Quoc Tu Giam Built in 1070 under King Ly Thanh Tong Quoc Tu Giam is a place of worship Confucius, the Confucian sages and now Quoc Tu Giam from Chu Van An, mentor and moral importance of education Vietnam. After nearly 1000 years of history, Van Mieu Quoc Tu Giam still damn old with many architectural features of the era, is one of the historical sites and culture typical of the most important capitals and country. Today, Van Mieu - Quoc Tu Giam is not only a place of tourists visiting the country, but also is familiar destination for many foreign tourists. One Pillar Pagoda One Pillar Pagoda was built in 1049, under the reign of King Ly Thai Tong, originally called "Dien Huu Tu", which means being long command. One Pillar Pagoda is not only tied to … [Read more...]

Symbols over the Red River

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Except for Long Bien bridge over the Red River, which was severely damaged by fierce American bombardments during wartime, fulfilling its great role of transportation during the past century and becoming a cultural heritage, newly built, modern bridges seem to be lacking the architectural creation that would make them works of art. Pham Thanh Tung, an architect in Hanoi, made this statement in his article posted on www.baotintuc.vn, saying that when he was at primary school at the end of the 1950s, his neighbouring childhood friends knew by heart and avidly read the simple and memorable poems about Long Bien Bridge, with their images of leisurely travelling vehicles and people. At that time, Hanoi only had the Long Bien Bridge, which connected Bo De pier (Gia Lam district) to the ancient streets of Hoan Kiem district. … [Read more...]

Three Vietnamese tours attract foreign visitors

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(VOV) -Aiming to further attract foreign tourists to Vietnam, the country's tourism sector has launched a number of exciting tours that evoke the pleasures of travellers. 1. The Quang Tri UXO Tour Foreign tourists will have a chance to witness a landmine destruction mission in Cam Lo district of the central province of Quang Tri. It was co-organised by the Norwegian-funded project Environment and Neutralizing the Effects of the War (RENEW) and the Vietnam Backpackers Hostels. … [Read more...]

Old music and art becomes popular again

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Many people in Vietnam enjoy music and art from all over the world.But, what about Vietnamese art and music?There are plans to show people in the country more about their own art and music.Many people are interested and some are even learning the old songs and music that their grandparents once told them about. By Trung Hieu … [Read more...]