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Sep 21 2011

Secrets of mummies in Vietnam

secrets of mummies in vietnam

VietNamNet Bridge – Behind mummies’ hundred-year sleeps are great secrets. In Vietnam, many ancient tombs have been unearthed, revealing unique embalmment methods.

Dong Nai: 200-year-old mummy unveiled

The Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism of the southern province of Dong Nai has announced the discovery of a mummified woman in an ancient tomb in Cau Xeo commune in Long Thanh district on September 16, 2011.

The department was excavating an ancient tomb site for clearance, to facilitate construction of the Ho Chi Minh City-Long Thanh-Dau Giay highway road, when they unearthed the 200-year-old mummy.

The excavation team was led by Professor Pham Duc Manh from the HCM City University of Social Sciences and Humanities and renowned archeologist Do Dinh Truat. The mummified remains of the woman as well as its coffin have been preserved and brought to the museum.

Scientists said that the tomb had a secretive rectangular chamber. The tomb was 8.5 meters long including its wall and 4.5 meters wide. The coffin was shaped like a semicircle. It was adorned with a floral patterned cloth and the mummy was wrapped in cloth of a lotus leaf print.

After studying the structure of the tomb chamber and the coffin, archeologists came to the conclusion that the mummy was of noble birth during the Nguyen Dynasty.

Archaeologists will now conduct further research on the mummy along with medical experts from the University of Medicine in HCM City.

Mummy of the later Le dynasty in Nam Dinh

On April 1, 2011, building workers discovered five tombs while building a road in Lien Bao commune, Nam Dinh province. Four of the five tombs are modern, with coffins being worm-eaten. The last tomb has special structure.

The tomb was excavated on September 15 by experts from the Nam Dinh Museum and Dr. Nguyen Lan Cuong, Secretary General of the Vietnam Archaeology Association. The excavation was finalized on September 17.

This is the smallest composite tomb discovered in Viet Nam so far, Nguyen Lan Cuong, said deputy general secretary of the Vietnam Archaeology Association.

The outer coffin was 107cm in length, 36cm in width and 40cm in height, while the inner coffin was 94.5cm in length, 27.3cm in width and 33.4cm in height. The compound was said to consist of lime, molasses, sand and charcoal with a piece of cloth used to enclose the contents.

Archaeologists found a skull and bones, affirming their thought that it was an exhumation tomb. Based on initial studies of the relics unearthed, Cuong supposed that the tomb was built around 300 years ago in the later Le dynasty (1533-1788).

This is the first time researchers have identified oil used to embalm the body. The archaeology crew took the oil and specimens in for research: the bones were put in an oblong earthenware container for reburial and brought to the regional cemetery, while the coffin was displayed at Nam Dinh Museum.

Ancient tomb destroyed in Hung Yen

In late 2007, a private company named Phuc Nga destroyed an ancient tomb in Yen My district, Hung Yen province. According to workers who were involved in destroying the tomb–this ancient tomb was built by a compound of oyster shells, lime, stone powder, etc. The company hired a dozen of workers and used drilling machines to work for three days to break the tomb.

There was a red coffin inside the tomb. The coffin was covered by liquid of over 50cm high. When the coffin was opened, the fragrance of perfume spread over a vast area.

There was the body of an old man inside the coffin. The man is around 1.60m tall. He looked like being buried for not a long time. His hairs and eyebrow were untouched. His skin was soft and ruddy. The mummy was covered by many layers of cloths and wore a long pair of booths.

Believing that the mummy was buried with gold and jewelries, people cut off cloths and clothes of the mummy to seek gold. They took many items buried with the mummy, including hundreds of ancient coins.

The body was then buried in a ready-made tomb build by the private firm. However, the ready-made tomb was built to contain bones while the body was intact, so workers broke off bones to put the body into the tomb.

According to locals, this is the tomb of a duke of the Le dynasty. The public was very discontented over the case.

Mummy in perfume in Hanoi


Ancient coins burried with the mummy in Hung Yen province.

This ancient tomb was also destroyed by a group of people without permission of the authorities. This tomb was discovered in April 2005 in a peach garden in Nhat Tan, Hanoi.

The tomb had three layers. The outer layer is 1.5cm thick, made by mortar, molasses, sticky rice powder and do paper. The second layer is the outer coffin, made of wood, 9cm thick. The coffin is made by canary wood of 10cm thick. The mummy was a man of 60 years old. The mummy was covered by cloths and soaked in perfume. The mummy was exposed by workers before archaeologists arrived.

The mummy was buried with three pillows, a pair of boots, four silk blouses, 10 brocade blouses, 9 ao liem (blouse for the dead), two cloth bags. Items show that the mummy is a rich man in the late 18th century. The mummy was buried at the Nhat Tan Cemetery in May 2005.

The ancient tombs in Hung Yen and Hanoi are two among many ancient tombs that were destroyed by poorly-educated people.

Le Ngoc

May 05 2011

Foreign tourist arrivals continue to rise

foreign tourist arrivals continue to rise

VietNamNet Bridge – More than 460,000 international visitors traveled to Viet Nam in April, a 6.3 per cent rise against the same month last year, according to the General Statistics Office (GSO).

This brought the total number of foreign arrivals during the first four months of the year to more than 1.9 million, a year-on-year increase of 10.5 per cent.

Despite the recent earthquake and tsunami, Japanese visitors to Viet Nam still numbered 177,000, surging 21 per cent against the previous year’s same period.

Viet Nam also saw remarkable increases in the numbers of tourists from China, up 20 per cent, US arrivals rising by 6.8 per cent, South Koreans by 6.6 per cent, French tourists by 6.3 per cent and Australian visitors 5.7 per cent.

A strong brand name would be established for tourism in Viet Nam during the next four years to promote the country’s attractions, said director of the Viet Nam Administration of Tourism (VNAT) Nguyen Van Tuan.

The administration planned to hire a consultancy firm to carry out the strategy, he said, adding that this was the first time promotion would be conducted by a professional agency.

Chairman of the Viet Nam Society of Travel Agents (VISTA) Vu The Binh said efforts to create a Vietnamese brand should focus on what was unique about the country. He said he believed one thing Viet Nam could be proud of was its spectacular landscape.

Binh said it was also important to identify potential markets. To date, Viet Nam’s traditional markets were people from Northeast Asia and Western Europe, but another promising market was the country’s own region of Southeast Asia.

In countries such as Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore, people from within the region accounted for 70 per cent of visitors while in Viet Nam, the figure was not even close to 20 per cent, he said.

“A strong and effective brand name requires close co-operation between authorities and hotels, airlines and tourist companies,” said Saigontourist Marketing Manager Doan Thi Thanh Tra.

“Such co-ordination can help create attractive tourism services and products, a key factor for the success of our hospitality industry.

“A brand name will not work if foreign tourists cannot book air tickets or hotel rooms are not easily available,” she added.

Tourist companies were attempting to build their-own brands to attract more international tourists, she said.

The tourism industry aims to welcome 5.3 million foreigners and serve 30 million local tourists, earning VND110 trillion (over US$5 billion) from tourism revenue this year.

Source: VNS

Apr 05 2011

Economic recessions always leave aftershocks on consumers: expert

economic recessions always leave aftershocks on consumers expert

VietNamNet Bridge – Even after the national economy recovers from recession, consumers will not restore the consumption habits they once had in the pre-recession period. Companies cannot apply the same marketing strategies in the post-recession period to restore their business.

There are always winners and losers in a recession: expert

FAST500 reports shows health and vitality of private businesses


At the ceremony to release the FAST500 report, the report of the 500 fastest growing enterprises in Vietnam, Professor John Quelch, who is well known as a mater of marketing art, now Dean of the China Europe International Business School CEIBS,  and former Associate Dean of Harvard Business School, shared his interesting findings about consumption trends in the 21st century in the post-recession period.

Consumers will think carefully when spending money

Economic recession causes unemployment and makes people’s income decrease. As a result, they have to be more frugal.

People will cut down the consumption volume and shrink their demands for products and services in both quality and quantity. He related that Tide, a well known detergent brand in the US, provides a wide range and hierarchy of products. It has a product with the words “standard detergent” on the packs, which means that the detergent is of good enough quality to clean clothes, but has the price lower than other higher class products. It is clear that consumers can choose to use this kind of detergent to save their money.

Price and quality are always the two things which have direct impacts on purchase decisions. In difficult periods, consumers can be easier about quality, but they will be very choosy about the prices.

Consumers will spend more time hunting for cheap products and compare the prices of similar products, listen to “consultancy channels” (families, colleagues or friends). Instead of going shopping whenever they like, consumers will reduce how often they shop and try to buy products for discount prices during sales promotions.

In a recession period, people cannot ignore brushing their teeth, or people cannot advise others to brush their teeth once a day instead of two times a day. They still have to purchase essential goods, but it is clear that consumption behaviors change considerably in the recession period.

Consumption tendency cannot be restored

A question has been raised whether or not consumers will restore consumption habits they had before the recession. The answer is “no.”

According to Professor John Quelch, a Deloitte’s survey showed that 26 percent of US consumers will not consume as much as they did in the pre-recession period. As for Avon, only 13 percent of people said they will restore their consumption habits. Meanwhile, Ford said it cannot return to the peak production age it once had in the past.

The research of the professor has pointed out that there are four main tendencies in consumption habits of consumers after the recession. Consumers tend to look to simplify consumption, consume responsibly,  serve themselves, and make online purchases.

Young consumers, for example, decide to choose one brand because the enterprise is committed social responsibility or makes contributions to solving global problems. Wall Mart in the US or Tesco in the UK, for example, are encouraging manufacturers to declare the carbon volume used in the manufacturing process and show the figures on the packs. This allows consumers to easier to make decisions when seeing the figures on the packs.

Online consumption will develop more strongly than ever because recessions give people more time to work on computers and surf websites, allowing them to discover the facilities computers and websites can bring.

Finally, the marketing expert stressed that in order to succeed in doing business, CEOs should not simply sit in their offices. They should spend time going to the markets and watching them. They also need to discuss with their staff and listen to input from clients.

Pham Huyen

Mar 17 2011

Japan’s tsunami shaking Vietnam’s tourism industry

japan%e2%80%99s tsunami shaking vietnam%e2%80%99s tourism industry

VietNamNet Bridge – The earthquake and tsunami in Japan has led to a series of tours to Vietnam having been canceled. Meanwhile, Vietnamese travel firms say no traveler has called to cancel tours to Japan.


The spokesman of the national flag air carrier Vietnam Airlines on March 14 said “the earthquake and tsunami in Japan has affected the flights from Japan to Vietnam.” A lot of tours to Vietnam have been canceled. Right after the national calamity occurred, Vietnam Airlines flights departing from Japan were delayed. It is expected that the number of passengers who fly from Japan to Vietnam will decrease in the time to come.

The spokesman said that “the natural calamity will badly affect the air carrier’s revenue, since the Vietnam-Japan air route always brings the highest turnover among international air routes.”

Vietnam Airlines also said that “the unstable electricity and fixed telephone line supply in Japan has caused difficulties to people in following procedures for the flights.” Vietnam Airlines plans to not collect fees from the passengers who change schedules for the flights from Japan to Vietnam.

Meanwhile, Vietnamese travel firms have confirmed that a lot of Japanese travelers have canceled tours.

Tien phong newspaper quoted representative of TNT-JTB, a joint venture of a Vietnamese and a Japanese travel firms, which has office in HCM City, as saying that “the travel firm’s tour guides, referring to schedules, automatically go to the airport to pick up travelers, though they do not know if Japanese travelers will come or not.” The representative said “the travel firm cannot contact the Japanese partners to update information about the trips of Japanese travelers, who booked tours.”

“To date, we still cannot calculate how many Japanese travelers have canceled tours. But, we are sure the number is very high. Most of our tour guides failed to fetch Japanese travelers from the airport,” he said.

He also revealed that a lot of TNT-JTB’s Japanese clients decided to return to Japan sooner than they had planned.

Nguyen Thanh Son, a senior executive of Apex travel firm, complained that eight of the 10 tours slated for last weekend were canceled. He said that “Apex has successfully contacted the Japanese partners.”

“However, we are still waiting for the information from the Japanese partners about if the groups of 400 and 500 Japanese travelers, who booked tours to Vietnam in April and May, would cancel the tours,” Son said.

In 2010, Vietnam received nearly 450,000 Japanese tourists. Japan is now the third biggest inbound tourism market just after China and South Korea. In the first two months of the year, 92,000 Japanese tourists came to Vietnam, increasing by 130 percent in comparison with the same period of the last year. Japanese are considered high income travelers who have high spending level in Vietnam. Therefore, the reduction of Japanese travelers in the upcoming months will badly affect Vietnam’s tourism

Regarding outbound tours, travel firms in HCM City say they have no tours to Japan at the time when the earthquake and tsunami occurred. However, they are worried that thousands of Vietnamese travelers, who have booked tours to Japan to attend the cherry flower festival, may cancel the tours. The departure has been scheduled for the end of March or early April.

“No traveler has canceled tours to Japan, but travel firms are still updating information,” said Tuyet Mai from DI Fiditour, affirming that Vietnamese people have not traveled to Japan yet on Dau tu, because it is now not the cherry flower season.

“April is the highest season of traveling to Japan, because cherry flowers blossom in this month, which really attracts travelers. The tours to Japan in this month have been fully booked. However, due to the earthquake, we still cannot contact the partners. I think tours will be delayed until everything becomes stable,” Mai said.

As for Saigontourist, Vo Anh Tai, Director of the company, said no tour cancellation cases have been reported, because the Japanese cities which Vietnamese travelers plan to visit were not affected by the natural calamity.

Representatives of DL Vietran said “the earthquake and tsunami stricken areas are located in the northeast of Japan. Meanwhile, tourism cities such as Tokyo, Osaka or Kyoto are located in the south. Therefore, he does not see high possibility of tour cancellation.”

C. V

Mar 14 2011

Japan faces escalating nuke threat, meltdowns may occur

japan faces escalating nuke threat meltdowns may occur

Japan is facing an escalating nuclear threat on Sunday as the country’s top government spokesman warned that radioactive meltdowns may have occurred in two reactors of the Fukushima nuclear power plant.


The No. 3 reactor at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant is seen in this still image taken from NHK news program on March 13, 2011. Tokyo Electric Power Co., the utility supplier, notified the government early Sunday morning that the No. 3 reactor at the No. 1 Fukushima plant had lost the ability to cool the reactor core. The reactor is now in the process of releasing radioactive steam, according to top government spokesman Yukio Edano.   (Xinhua/NHK)

“We are acting on the assumption that there is a high possibility that one has occurred” in the No. 1 reactor of the quake-hit plant, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano told a press conference on Sunday while being asked whether or not meltdowns had occurred.


“As for the No. 3 reactor, we are acting on the assumption that it is possible,” he said.


The latest reports of Japan’s Sankei Shimbun said that pressure has been successfully released at the No. 3 reactor of the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant following the injection of fresh water.


Tokyo Electric Power Co.(TEPOC), operator and owner of Fukushima nuclear plants, said early on Sunday that a sixth reactor at the nuclear power plants has lost its ability to cool the reactor core since Friday’s quake.


The No. 3 reactor at Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant lost the cooling function after No. 1 and No. 2 reactors at the No. 1 plant and No. 1, No. 2 and No. 4 at the No. 2 plant had suffered the same trouble.


At an emergency press conference early Sunday, Edano said the reactor is releasing radioactive steam after the malfunction occurred.


An explosion occurred at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant Saturday, destroying the roof and the walls of the building of the No. 1 reactor’s outer container.


Four people were injured at the power plant, but radiation levels dropped quickly after surging for a while following the blast.

The top government spokesman warned that 114 people are still staying within a 10-km radius of Fukushima No.1 nuclear power plants and 180,000 in the 20-km evacuation zone.


All inhabitants have been evacuated from a 3-km radius of the No. 2 plant, and authorities have begun evacuating more than 30,000 from a 10-km zone around the plant, he added.


On Saturday, authorities expanded the evacuation zone from a 10-km radius for the Fukushima nuclear plants to a 20-km radius.


Kyodo News reported Sunday that 19 more people were found to have been exposed to radiation, in addition to the three exposure cases recorded Saturday.


Tokyo Electric Power Co. has notified Japan’s nuclear safety agency that the radiation level at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant has exceeded the legal limit.


The Japanese authorities on Sunday upgraded the magnitude of the earthquake which hit the country’s northeastern and eastern regions Friday to 9.0 from 8.8, Kyodo News reported, citing the Japan Meteorological Agency.


So far, the number of people who have died or remained unaccounted for after the quake have exceeded 2,000, the police said. The official death toll was around 700, Kyodo News said.


In Fukushima Prefecture alone, 1,167 were unaccounted for and well over 600 corpses had been found in both Fukushima and Miyazaki prefectures, said the report.


There are also tens of thousands of people that local governments have been unable to contact, police and local officials said.

Japanese Defense Minister Toshimi Kitazawa said Sunday that Prime Minister Naoto Kan has instructed the defense ministry to increase the size of Self-Defense Forces for quake relief operations from 50,000 to 100,000 troops.


While the country continues to grapple with the widespread damage from the massive earthquake, countries across the world have also offered a helping hand to it.


A total of 50 nations and regions have promised to provide with relief support, and offers from over 70 specialist rescue services from around the globe have been received by Japan.


A 15-member Chinese rescue team arrived at Tokyo’s Haneda Airport Sunday for quake relief operations.


The Chinese International Search and Rescue Team (CISAR) brought with them 4 tons of materials and equipment for search and rescue, power supply and telecommunication.


The rescuers will immediately head for quake-hit areas to search for survivors from Friday’s great earthquake and ensuing tsunami.


VietNamNet/Xinhuanet

Mar 14 2011

Phu Yen to host National Tourism Year in 2011

phu yen to host national tourism year in 2011

The Vietnam National Administration of Tourism and the central province of Phu Yen’s People’s Committee March 10 hosted a press briefing in Ho Chi Minh City to introduce the National Tourism Year in 2011.


Under the title “Exotic beaches and islands”, Phu Yen province with other six co-hosting province and cities in the south central coastal region have prepared a string of 30 cultural, sports and tourism events during the year in the co-hosting provinces and cities.

Binh Thuan international yacht racing, the Da Bia mountain climbing competition, the International Firework Exhibition in Da Nang, Vietnam -South Korea cultural exchange, the fifth Nha Trang sea festival, and ASEAN folk music festival will be on the list of out-standing cultural events in 2011 in Phu Yen.

Moreover, Phu Yen operated on March 10 two official websites: www.dulichquocgia-phuyen2011.vn and www.visitvietnamyear-phuyen2011.vnto promote Vietnam’s tourism.

The event officially kicks off on April 1 in Tuy Hoa City of Phu Yen. The event coincides with the 400th anniversary of the founding of the central province of Phu Yen.

Phu Yen is the first locality to implement National Tourism Year between 2011 and 2017, aiming to drawing the Vietnamese tourism map.

After Phu Yen, Thua Thien-Hue, Hai Phong, Lam Dong, Thanh Hoa, KienGiang, Lao Cai will follow to host other National Tourism Years.

Source: SGGP

Mar 11 2011

Overpowering dollar free market isn’t so difficult

overpowering dollar free market isn%e2%80%99t so difficult

VietNamNet Bridge – The dollar free market has been stagnant for the last several days since management agencies have been applying drastic measures to control the market.  Contrary to previous thoughts, it turns out that it is not so difficult to control the free market.


Foreign exchange dealers do not like… small change

Ha Trung street, the biggest foreign exchange center in Hanoi, has become less crowded and more quiet in the last few days. It is because all the foreign exchange agents on the street have unanimously halted transactions. At noon on March 8, usually the busiest time of the day, all the officers of foreign exchange shops were seen sitting and chatting on the sidewalk and the street. The shops were lit, but there was not a single visitor.

The currency transactions are frozen on the street. Previously, one just needed to call the shops to ask about the dollar price or even negotiate the transaction of large volumes of money of up to tens of thousands of dollars. However, on March 8, no one answered the coming calls, and mobile phones of the owners of the gold and foreign exchange shops were turned off.

It is quite a surprise for Hanoians that the “foreign currency street” in Hanoi has stopped transactions. Why do the foreign exchange agents have to stop transactions if most of them have operation licenses as agents that collect foreign currencies for commercial banks?

The problem that if authorized exchange agents strictly follow the regulations set up by the central bank and commercial banks, they will not make profit. “It will be unprofitable to collect small change. And Hanoi will not need so many foreign exchange agents just to collect small change,” said a man who works for a big agent in Hanoi.

The man said that the situation has become so tense that foreign exchange agents have to stop transactions to listen to the news.  These days management agencies are continuously taking inspection tours to control the transactions at foreign exchange agents. In fact, such tours occurred many times before, but the inspections were not too harsh and did not frighten foreign exchange agents. However, everything is quite different now.

Market control taskforces, banking inspectors and the police have been joining forces to control the transactions at foreign exchange agents. Last week, leaders of the State Bank of Vietnam had a working session with the Ministry of Public Security to discuss what needed to be done to control the free market.

Meanwhile, commercial banks said that their foreign exchange agents have halted transactions because they are listening to the news about performance of the dollar.

A banking expert told VietNamNet’s Vietnam Economic Forum that foreign exchange agents themselves now dare not take on dollars in big quantities, because they cannot anticipate where the dollar price will go.

It’s necessary to remove black market

In fact, many gold shops and foreign exchange shops have operation licenses to work as agents for commercial banks. However, the license is just the “mask” under which they carry out “black market’s transactions”. The foreign exchange shops have big capacity which allows them to trade hundreds or even tens of thousands of dollars at once.

On paper, these foreign exchange shops collect foreign currencies for banks. However, in fact, they do not apply the exchange rates quoted by commercial banks, while they apply the exchange rates set by themselves.

A question has been raised that whether such a network of foreign exchange agents should be allowed to exist. In principle, the agents can act as the “arms” of commercial banks which can help banks to attract more foreign currencies to the banks, especially from tourists. However, analysts say that such a network has become unnecessary when banks themselves have been trying to set up more and more transaction points and branches. Especially, with modern international payment methods, tourists now do not rely much on such networks.

Mar 11 2011

At least 24 dead, 207 injured in SW China quake

at least 24 dead 207 injured in sw china quake

At least 24 people were killed and 207 others injured in a 5.8-magnitude earthquake that jolted Yingjiang County in southwest China’s Yunnan Province around noon on Thursday.

Graphics shows a 5.8-magnitude earthquake hits Yingjiang County in southwest China’s Yunnan Province on March 10, 2011, according to the China Earthquake Networks Center. (Xinhua/Zhang Liyun)

The earthquake has toppled 1,264 houses or apartments and left 17,658 others seriously damaged, mainly in the county seat near the border with Myanmar, said Zhao Yunshan, director with the county government’s press office.

More than 127,100 people have been evacuated to nearby shelters, an official with the Ministry of Civil Affairs said late Thursday.

Over 80 percent of the homes in Lameng Village, the epicenter, collapsed during the quake, but no serious casualties but only a few slight injuries were reported in the village, Zhao said.

Four students were among those killed, he said, without giving further details.

The epicenter, with a depth of 10 kilometers, was monitored at 24.7 degrees north latitude and 97.9 degrees east longitude, according to the China Earthquake Networks Center(CENC).

Witnesses said people were buried under debris and part of a supermarket and a hotel caved in.

The tremor triggered a power outage but telecommunication service remained normal in Yingjiang, according to Wei Gang, head of the county government.

Rescuers work at a collapsed building after a 5.8-magnitude earthquake hit Yingjiang County in southwest China’s Yunnan Province, March 10, 2011. The earthquake has left at least 14 people dead and 157 others injured. (Xinhua/He Haiyan)

The earthquake, the largest of more than 1,200 minor tremors over the last two months in the region, is believed to have caused serious damage and loss, said Liu Jie, a director with the earthquake forecast department in the China Earthquake Networks Center.

Altogether seven aftershocks, measuring up to 4.7 degrees on the Richter Scale, has jolted the county since the first tremor.

Between 1991 and 2008, eight earthquakes registering higher than 5 magnitude on the Richter Scale hit the county, about 700 kilometers west of provincial capital Yunnan, said Chen Jianmin, director of China Earthquake Administration.

A Magnitude-5.9 earthquake struck the county in August 2008, leaving three people dead and 106 injured, said CENC researcher Sun Shihong.

Nearly 1,000 soldiers have been sent to join the rescue operation.

Provincial governor Qin Guangrong called upon relevant authorities to save injured people, evacuate disaster-hit residents and calculate casualties and economic losses.

The provincial disaster-relief and civil affairs authorities have launched an emergency response plan.

The National Committee of Disaster Reduction, Ministry of Civil Affairs and Yunnan’s provincial government have dispatched 9,700 tents, 13,000 quilts, 13,000 clothes and other materials to the quake-hit region.

State-level and provincial authorities have sent working groups to Yingjiang.

VietNamNet/Xinhuanet

Mar 11 2011

Travel firms decry lack of port as more cruise ships arrive

travel firms decry lack of port as more cruise ships arrive

Local tour operators serving foreign cruise ships have reported a strong rise in cruise passenger arrivals, but the lack of a capable terminal for such vessels will hinder the development of this tourism segment.


Saigontourist, Viet Excursions, and OSC Travel among others said they are happy with the steady increase in cruise ship arrivals this year, but only medium-sized cruise ships can make port calls in HCMC, while bigger ones have to dock at faraway cargo seaports.

Phan Xuan Anh, chairman of Viet Excursions, said his company was serving many ships in the first quarter of this year, such as Queen Elizabeth, Queen Marry 2, Arcadia and Artemis, with each of them carrying 1,500 to 2,500 guests.

“The good sign is many ships are making regular trips to the country. Our guests not only stay onboard such ships as usual, but many of them now choose to stay at high-end hotels. The business for this year is much better,” he said.

Saigontourist Travel Service Co. is also a strong player in catering to cruise ships. The company expects to serve nearly 20,000 cruise passengers in the first quarter of this year, up 5% year-on-year, but the growth would accelerate since this May, and may reach a three-year high rate of 20% for the whole year, the company said, said an executive of the company.

This year has also seen several cruise ships making their first trips to HCMC, like Princess Daphne, Pacific Venus, and Bremen, said Doan Thi Thanh Tra, marketing manager of Saigontourist.

“The number of port calls is higher and tourists’ stay longer than in the past. We will serve more guests in the coming months,” Tra said.

However, tour operators said the country still lacks special-use cruise passenger terminals and services to meet the higher demand of tourists.

Anh of Viet Excursions said big cruise ships like Queen Marry 2 cannot dock at Saigon Port in the center of HCMC as the low clearance of the Phu My Bridge blocks their passage. Therefore, the ship has to dock at Phu My Port in the neighboring province of Ba Ria-Vung Tau, and Viet Excursions has to transport tourists from the port to HCMC by car.

Tra of Saigontourist said that some big ships had decided to go to the central city of Danang because the ships cannot drop anchor at ports in HCMC.

“It pushes up the cost. HCMC still lacks shopping and other services for the visitors,” Tra said.

Source: SGT

Mar 07 2011

Sea Festival to take place in Nha Trang Town

sea festival to take place in nha trang town

VietNamNet Bridge – The fifth biennial Sea Festival 2011 will be held in Nha Trang from June 11-15 with Truong Sa (Spratly) Archipelago as highlight.


According to the Khanh Hoa Province People’s Committee, the festival will include a photo exhibition of the Vietnamese islands, a music show, a film screening and a conference on the Truong Sa District.

Artists from France, Korea, China, Cuba, and Russia will all perform during the event.

The festival will also include a celebration of bird’s nests, a provincial beauty pageant and a Made-in-Vietnam Goods Fair on Nha Trang, Doc Let and Bai Dai beaches.

In addition, the festival will include many environmental activities, including a scientific conference on preserving Nha Trang Bay and a citywide trash pick up.

According to the organizers, the biennial festival is aimed at promoting the province’s traditional cultural values and tourism industry.

Nha Trang is one Vietnam’s most popular tourist destinations.

Source: Thanh Nien

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