For some residents of southwestern China's Radish Village, very little has changed in the decade since a devastating earthquake nearly levelled their ancient homes. The tiny hamlet is one of several in Sichuan province that decided to preserve the destruction as a memorial to the disaster that left 87,000 people dead or missing when it struck on May 12, 2008. But there is one major difference: among the debris in Radish Village, life goes on. Vegetable gardens quilt the spaces where homes once stood. Survivors grow greens and other crops among the rubble to supplement their meagre income. An abandoned ruin. Collapsed homes double as hog pens. Bees buzz through empty window frames and into rooms open to the sky, where elderly survivors tend to their hives. The honey is one of several products locals hawk to tourists wandering the village's quiet footpaths. As an early morning mist breaks, women in the traditional blue robes of the local Qiang minority group set up tables full of … [Read more...] about Life among the ruins: Chinese village 10 years after quake
Break up 1 year anniversary
Words, particularly names, can have a great power. As the title suggests, this newspaper is written, edited and printed in Astana. The name of this city, as most of our readers know, means "capital" in Kazakh. The name was suggested by President Nursultan Nazarbayev and has now become one of the brands strongly associated with the Republic of Kazakhstan. But what about "Kazakhstan" itself? There was a discussion a year ago about the President’s proposal to consider renaming the country "Kazakh Yeli". The great monument on Independence Square in Astana actually bears that name. And "Kazakh Yeli" actually means "the land of Kazakhs" or "Kazakhland". Just as Deutschland, Poland, Finland and Thailand is a simple description of who, mostly, lives in each country. In fact, "Kazakhstan" has exactly the same meaning as "Kazakh Yeli", but in Persian (with "stan" meaning land). So where did this name of the sovereign state, which has been a member of the United Nations for the last 23 … [Read more...] about Why celebrate 550 years of Kazakh statehood?
Most people in the 1,000-year-old Bat Trang Village have been making ceramics since their childhood, including Tran Do, who began throwing clay when he was 10. Do has been polishing his skills for 40 years and is now master of 70 different kinds of pottery glaze, most of them secret. He is considered a magician of earth, water and fire, the three components of the craft. Do was born in 1957 into a family with a history including 18 generations of potters. He not only upholds the family tradition, but is believed to bring them added glory. Do celebrated the 1,000th anniversary of Ha Noi by designing an exhibition of 1,000 pieces of his life's work. The exhibition Tran Do's Pottery - Looking Back and Experimenting conveys the beauty of Bat Trang pottery by using both traditional and innovative techniques. Do's work features ancient glazes, such as the celadon green of 11th century Viet Nam, the brown of the Ly dynasty, the deep blue of the Mac dynasty - and the multi-colours of the later … [Read more...] about Thang Long’s ceramics master breaks the mold
Lai Chau breaks up many drug trafficking rings Police forces in the northwestern province of Lai Chau have uncovered a number of drug trafficking rings and seized thousands of synthetic drugs. Since August 2013, local police have recovered more than 17,400 pills from four separate smuggling rings. Lai Chau Provincial Police Department Deputy Director Colonel Le Van Bay said most perpetrators are local, Son La, or Lao Cai residents collaborating with Lao smugglers transporting drugs from the infamous Golden Triangle. In early August, police in Lai Chau's Than Uyen district caught red handed 29-year-old Son La resident Mua A Ky carrying 6,600 synthetic pills from Laos to Lao Cai province. Ky confessed buying drugs from a Lao man named Mua A Su to sell to the Chinese national Ly A Po at the Lao Cai border gate. On September 17, police arrested 45-year-old Giang A Hang attempting to smuggle 5,968 pills hidden in his motorbike. More than 4,000 pills were seized when local police raided the … [Read more...] about Blind boy sees light after five years
The Hanoitimes - Tourism and travel companies are enjoying a boom in foreign tour bookings for the holiday period. Tran The Dung, deputy director of the The He Tre (Young Generation) Tourism Company, said the number of tourists booking trips abroad since November had increased by 43 per cent on the previous month, and that they had jumped by 10 to 15 per cent year-on-year. Saigontourist Travel Service Company (Saigontourist) said 7,000 tourists had booked 30 differert tours abroad for Christmas and New Year, 8 per cent higher than last year's holiday season. Nguyen Song Dien Ha from the Vietravel Company said more than 2,100 tourists had booked foreign holidays with his company and that he expected about 2,000 holidaymakers to sign up for domestic tours over Christmas and the New Year. Meanwhile, around 1,000 tourists have booked foreign trips with Ha Noi Redtours Company, up 10-15 per cent on the same period last year. Nguyen Cong Hoan, Ha Noi Redtour deputy director, said … [Read more...] about Year-end boom for tourist industry