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Archive for April 16th, 2010|Daily archive page

Saigontourist offers 100 new tours

In Uncategorized on April 16, 2010 at 4:33 pm

Saigontourist offers 100 new tours

QĐND – Friday, April 16, 2010, 22:14 (GMT+7)

Saigontourist has unveiled 100 new domestic tours to mark Liberation Day (April 30) and May Day, and signed up 1,300 customers for them.

Tours to the Hung Kings Temple and Tam Dao, the resistance base at Tan Trao, and the north eastern region have been the most popular.

To mark the inauguration of the Can Tho Bridge (April 24), the company has launched new tours to the Mekong Delta. A four-day trip to Cai Be – Vinh Long – Can Tho – Bac Lieu – Ca Mau features river cruises to floating markets like Cai Be, Cai Rang and Ca Mau to take in the lifestyles of local residents and buy river specialities.

The company also offers a tour to Chau Doc – Rach Gia – Phu Quoc departing on April 30.

Source: VNA

Source: QDND

Coastal city draws the crowds

In Uncategorized on April 16, 2010 at 4:33 pm

Coastal city draws the crowds

QĐND – Friday, April 16, 2010, 22:12 (GMT+7)

Vung Tau is well known as one of southern Vietnam’s most popular tourist destinations thanks to enjoy beautiful sunsets, white sand beaches and numerous water activities.

The coastal city has the perfect mix of landscapes, people and culture, including three record-holding sites.

Located at the top of Mount Nho (Small), the lighthouse was inaugurated on August 15, 1862 immediately after France occupied three southeastern provinces. It is one of the longest-standing lighthouses in Vietnam.

In 1913, the lighthouse was moved from 149m above sea level to its present elevation of about 170m.

Built in a classic old-fashioned style, the lighthouse still maintains its original features and technical components. Its round, white tower reaches 18m into the sky. Ships up to 55km out to sea can see the structure’s beacon thanks to the 500W of power which lights up a huge system of prisms and triangular pieces of glass that shine though its lamp shade.

The beacon rotates at a rate of five rounds per minute. From just about everywhere along the coastal Vung Tau road, two rays of light can be seen alternately brightening the dark sky. Before electricity was brought to the structure, the light system worked thanks to a system of springs that had to be wound up every three hours.

The lighthouse is connected to the onsite residence by a solid curved tunnel. The French style, two-storey house was built at the same time as the lighthouse. A well was not practical because of the high elevation, so rain supplies the house with the water it needs year-round. A garden of su (apocyna) flower trees provides fragrant shade for the surrounding buildings.

In the last ten years, the lighthouse has proven to be a popular tourist destination, attracting numerous visitors to Vung Tau city everyday. Its magnificent architectural construction and its historical value are the main draws.

“It is a special construction in the city and Vietnam,” said Tuan Anh, an architect.

“Its French design clearly remains unchanged, although time has made its mark here in other ways. The preservation has left the lighthouse more attractive,” he said.

“I have been to the city several times, but the lighthouse is still a must visit destination.”

The station was built as part of the French line of defence. It was designed in a straight line at varying heights from the northwest to the southeast of Mount Lon (Big) and Mount Nho (Small) for the purpose of creating a secure corridor for the French-ruled gateway in the southeast.

The cannon station, which is the largest in Indochina, is divided into three main areas. Twenty three cannon were built at the Cau Da Cannon Station, the Mount Lon Cannon Station and the Tao Phung Cannon Station. Cau Da has four cannon pointing towards the beach and was constructed following the shape of the mountain.

The wide view and firing range it provided was advantageous for the soldiers. The Cau Da cannon are located in a beautiful landscape, which has recently begun to see gradual urban development.

Mount Lon like Cau Da, was tasked with controlling the entire gulf of Genh Rai , the gateway to Sai Gon. A system of torpedoes and gunning shelters are still here undamaged. A statue of Jesus stands at the foot of the Tao Phung Cannon Station, which was built to control the sea areas in Long Hai and Phuoc Tinh districts. The Vung Tau cannon station has the biggest collection of old guns in Indochina and is recognised as a national historical monument by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism.

The Jesus statue was built in 1974 after careful preparation of its design and model.

It is a large-scale artistic piece that melds harmoniously with the natural landscape and Vietnam ‘s modern architecture. It demonstrates a deep sense of religion and national character.

The 32m tall statue is the tallest in Vietnam and is said to be one of the tallest in the world.

Although the statue is made of reinforced concrete with a stone interior, it was sculpted very artistically. Jesus’s face, position and clothing appear very lively and natural. The letter Tho (Longevity) from the Han Chinese script decorates Jesus’s robe.

A spiral staircase climbs through the centre of the statue. A system of windows allows light to bounce off the statue’s metal halo to radiate through the interior.

After climbing the 133 stairs, visitors exit onto the statue’s shoulders and sleeves for a panoramic view of the city and an enjoyable sea breeze.

The statue was built on a concrete platform. The front of the platform is decorated with a relief adapted from The Last Supper by the famous Italian painter Leonardo da Vinci.

“I was really satisfied when I made it to the top of the statue, where I had a panoramic view of the surrounding area. It’s so beautiful, with views of the ocean, mountains, the city centre and fishing villages,” said Thuy Hang, a visitor from Hanoi.

“It’s a treat after all my efforts to climb these stairs – I feel like I am at the top of the world,” she added. “Standing on the statue, I also feel like I am on a ship running between a myriad of waves.”

Source: VNA

Source: QDND

Quang Binh offers yet more stunning discoveries

In Uncategorized on April 16, 2010 at 4:32 pm

Quang Binh offers yet more stunning discoveries

QĐND – Friday, April 16, 2010, 22:13 (GMT+7)

Fifteen new caves and three new species have been discovered in the central province of Quang Binh by an expedition from the UK’s Cave Research Association.

The discoveries were made during the team’s return visit to Son Doong in March.

Explorer Howard Limbirt told the Lao Dong (Labour) newspaper that three caves, called Ken, Tu Lan and To Mo, were found in Minh Hoa district and have been added to the global list of GPS maps and the 12 others were discovered in the UNESCO-listed Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park.

These are unexpected achievements for the professional circle, said an expedition spokesperson, adding that these caves are very important to geomorphology and the geology sector.

The expedition said that they also found a species of fish that swims against the waterfall’s currents in Tu Lan cave but they have not yet been able to identify it.

According to the expedition, Son Doong cave, which was first found and named by local explorer Ho Khanh and previously held the record as the biggest cave in the world, with a height of 150m and width of 200m, has now set new records.

The team found a new chamber in the cave that is the largest of its kind in the world with a height reaching 200m and up to 250m at some spots. A giant wall, which is more than 200m high, was also discovered and took the team more than two days to explore using ropes.

The wall in Son Doong cave can now be analysed by scientists to evaluate the age of the cave, said an expedition spokesperson.

Also at Son Doong cave, the scientists found two primitive forests, one at the cave’s mouth and the other at an opening further inside the cave. They also detected three new species in the forests including one fish, one spider and one myriapod.

They also came across the fossil of a carnivorous animal, a species of beautiful stone mushroom and numerous stone balls formed from pure limestone.

Explaining why Son Doong cave is the world’s biggest, Limbirt said that the cave lies in a giant limestone formation and was created over millions of years by erosion from floods. It took almost 12 months to measure, study and calculate the data to work out this simple explanation, said Limbirt.

Source: VNA

Source: QDND

Phan Thiet to host balloon festival

In Uncategorized on April 16, 2010 at 4:32 pm

Phan Thiet to host balloon festival

QĐND – Friday, April 16, 2010, 22:12 (GMT+7)

Balloonists from 30 countries and territories are expected to take part in an international festival to be held at the southern province of Binh Thuan later this year.

Chien Thang company is planning for teams of balloonists to do test flights over the sand dunes in Mui Ne in preparation for the 1,000th anniversary celebrations of Thang Long-Ha Noi.

To celebrate the anniversary of the city’s liberation (on April 19), a balloon contest will be held in Phan Thiet on April 24-25, enabling the organisers to find out about the conditions for the international balloon festival in Mui Ne.

Source: VNA

Source: QDND

Garment exports soar in first quarter

In Uncategorized on April 16, 2010 at 4:32 pm

Garment exports soar in first quarter

QĐND – Friday, April 16, 2010, 22:13 (GMT+7)

Garment exports are expected to reach the target of 10.5 billion USD this year, as growth of 12.3 percent in the first three months of this year suggests that the industry is on the path to recovery from the global recession.

Exports totalled 2.16 billion USD in the first quarter, according to the General Statistics Office.

Signs are positive for a growing number of orders in the second quarter, said Vietnam National Textile and Garment Group (Vinatex) general director Le Tien Truong.

With the IMF forecasting global growth of over 2 percent this year, purchasing power has returned in such major markets as the US, Japan and EU, creating favourable conditions for the garment sector. Exports of jackets and shirts have increased both in terms of quantity and value to all three markets, especially to the US, with average prices rising by 2-3 percent compared to last year, according to Vinatex.

Clothing makers have been active in finding new markets in the Middle East, Africa and Eastern Europe , Truong added.

Many garment makers have rushed to step up production, many having already received orders through the end of the third quarter and some even for the end of the year, confirmed the Vietnam Textile and Apparel Association (Vitas).

The number of orders this year will certainly be higher than last year, said Vitas chairman Le Quoc An, and many exporters have found buyers willing to pay 10-15 percent more than before the economic downturn.

More favourable foreign exchange policies this year would help the association’s member companies expand production even more effectively, An added.

Garment makers have also been proactive in securing sources of imported materials, helping stabilise costs, said Truong and Vinatex has been promoting the use of domestic materials.

Vinatex deputy general director Le Trung Hai said the industry was already able to meet 25-35 percent of domestic fibre demand, and this could rise to 70 percent by 2011, once the Dinh Vu fibre factory in Hai Phong’s Dinh Vu Industrial Zone begins operations, with a capacity of 600 tonnes of polyester fibre per day.

The area under cotton cultivation nationwide last year reached 9,000ha, three times the figure in 2007, and would increase to 16,500ha this year, Hai said.

The garment industry is targeting exports of 16-18 billion USD per year by 2015, with more fashionable and higher value-added products, according to Vitas.

Source: VNA

Source: QDND

Traffic fines increase by up to 200 pct in 2-tier plan

In Uncategorized on April 16, 2010 at 4:31 pm

Traffic fines increase by up to 200 pct in 2-tier plan

QĐND – Friday, April 16, 2010, 22:13 (GMT+7)

HCM City will distinguish between its urban and rural areas for deciding the amount of fines motorists have to pay for violating road rules under a recent Government decree that has increased the fines.

The decree, which takes effort on May 20, allows HCM City and Hanoi to increase the fines by 40 to 200 percent from current rates, but requires them to distinguish between urban and rural roads.

A 36-month pilot programme in the two cities will see much higher fines imposed in urban areas for the same offences. Authorities in the two cities are, however, divided over the issue with many saying making the differentiation is hard.

Nguyen Xuan Tan, deputy director of the Hanoi Department of Transport, said it would be difficult to exactly differentiate between urban and rural areas.

Tran Chi Dung, director of HCM City’s Department of Planning and Architecture, said Cu Chi, Hoc Mon, Binh Chanh, Nha Be and Can Gio districts are considered rural.

But a District 12 People’s Committee leader disagreed saying the demarcation is not clear.

He cited the instance of National Road 22 (from An Suong fly-over to Ba Diem intersection), pointing out that one side it is in District 12 and the other, in Hoc Mon district, making it difficult for the traffic police to decide on the amount.

The city Department of Transport plans to soon hold a meeting with the concerned agencies to discuss the issue but it has yet to decide the date.

Source: VNA

Source: QDND

Encroachment threatens Hanoi lakes

In Uncategorized on April 16, 2010 at 4:31 pm

Encroachment threatens Hanoi lakes

QĐND – Friday, April 16, 2010, 22:13 (GMT+7)

Illegal encroachment is threatening many water reservoirs used for agricultural production in Hanoi.

Hundreds of cases of illegal encroachment have been reported across Hanoi. In many cases, people have been filling in parts of these reservoirs with sand and concrete to create new land, which is then sold illegally to make a quick profit.

Concerns have been raised over the lack of action taken by local authorities to stop people from encroaching into reservoirs. Areas such as Chuong My district have witnessed widespread illegal encroachment of reservoirs.

The deputy director of Day River Irrigation Company Nguyen Van De, said the company has sent a proposal to the People’s Committee of Chuong My district to deal with the issue of illegal encroachment at reservoirs, but they are yet to receive a response from the local authority.

In the area of Dong Suong Reservoir in Chuong My, violations are still taking place despite the fact that district authorities have been informed about the problem.

“All we can do is to make a report about the violations and send it to the district authority,” he said.

Nghiem Xuan Dong, head of Hanoi’s Irrigation Branch, said that encroachment of reservoirs will only increase in the coming time, as violators can make quick and substantial profits from their illegal activities while authorities are slow in tracking down and punishing violations.

“People involved in these violations can easily hire some workers to fill up parts of these reservoirs to create a lot of land that they then sell for several hundreds of millions of dong,” said Dong.

According to Nghiem Xuan Dong, many of these reservoirs are also sold and run down.

“In good condition and without encroachment, these reservoirs could supply water to all of the city’s agricultural land, yet they actually meet only 60 percent of demand,” said Dong.

Source: VNA

Source: QDND

Project improves macroeconomic policy supervision

In Uncategorized on April 16, 2010 at 4:31 pm

Project improves macroeconomic policy supervision

QĐND – Friday, April 16, 2010, 22:13 (GMT+7)

A project designed to enhance capacity of macro-economic policy advisory, evaluation and supervision agencies was launched in Hanoi on April 15.

The beneficiaries of the project include the National Assembly’s Committee for Economics, the Party Central Committee Office, the Government Office and the National Committee for Financial Supervision.

The project is carried out from 2010 to 2014 with a total funding of 4 million USD, of which 3.6 million USD will be granted by the UN Development Programme (UNDP).

It will hold training courses for the staff, conduct studies and dialogues on policies, and strengthen coordination among the targeted bodies. As part of the project, 10 seminars and dialogues, 14 research projects, seven training courses and an overseas fact-finding tour will be organised in 2010.

Both Chairman of the NA Committee for Economics Ha Van Hien and UNDP Country Director Setsuko Yamazaki emphasised the importance of the improvement of macro-economic consultation, examination and supervision capacity, describing it as a key to the success of Vietnam ’s economy.

Source: VNA

Source: QDND

Vietnam stands side by side with Cuba: President

In Uncategorized on April 16, 2010 at 4:30 pm

Vietnam stands side by side with Cuba: President

QĐND – Friday, April 16, 2010, 22:15 (GMT+7)

The Vietnamese Party, State and people always stand side by side with Cuba, as it has done to support and help Vietnam with all their hearts, said State President Nguyen Minh Triet.

President Triet made the statement while receiving visiting Sen. Lt. Gen. Alvaro Lopez Miera, Chief of the General Staff of the Cuban Revolutionary Armed Forces, in Hanoi on April 16.

The Vietnamese leader expressed his admiration at achievements of the Cuban people obtained in overcoming difficulties to push forward the cause of national construction and development. He added that not only the Vietnamese people, but also the progressive people all over the world share their admiration for Cuban revolutionary heroism.

He expressed his belief that the visit would contribute to boosting the traditional friendship, solidarity and comprehensive cooperation between the two Parties, States and people, including the armed forces.

Sen. Lt. Gen. Alvaro Lopez Miera stated that the current visit is a good opportunity to learn from the experiences of the Vietnamese people’s armed forces. He praised the progress Vietnam has made since his last visit ten years ago and expressed his determination to contribute to tightening relations between the two armies and speeding up bilateral cooperation programmes.

Source: VNA

Source: QDND

35th anniversary of Ninh Thuan’s liberation celebrated

In Uncategorized on April 16, 2010 at 4:30 pm

35th anniversary of Ninh Thuan’s liberation celebrated

QĐND – Friday, April 16, 2010, 22:15 (GMT+7)

A ceremony was held in Ninh Thuan on April 16 to mark the 35th anniversary of the province’s liberation day (April 16, 1975 – April 16, 2010).

On addressing the event, Vice State  President Nguyen Thi Doan praised the remarkable achievements recorded by Ninh Thuan province in recent years. She called for the provincial authorities, armed forces and people in Ninh Thuan to strengthen their solidarity and fully tap into the province’s potential to turn Ninh Thuan into a powerful marine-based economic centre, as well as a centre of tourism, culture and clean energy for the country.

Ms Doan highly valued the great contributions Ninh Thuan had made during the past revolutionary periods and the current process of national development.

On the occasion, the State leader also presented the Labour Order, second class, to Ninh Thuan province in recognition of its socio-economic achievements over the past few years.

Since its liberation 35 years ago, Ninh Thuan has turned itself from a poor province into a prosperous province, with rapid economic growth and improved living standards.

Last year, the province recorded a GDP growth rate of 7.3 percent, earned an average income per capita of VND10 million/year, and contributed more than VND540 billion to the State budget. The province’s export turnover reached US$60 million, while its poverty rate dropped to 12 percent.

Source: VOV

Source: QDND