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Archive for July 25th, 2010|Daily archive page

Cliff climbs add adventure to Dalat tour

In Uncategorized on July 25, 2010 at 7:19 pm

Cliff climbs add adventure to Dalat tour

QĐND – Sunday, July 25, 2010, 21:7 (GMT+7)

Keren Taub and Alex Keagel from Israel got the buzz they wanted from their adventure tour in Dalat. Using ropes they had climbed down cliffs and the wet rock face of a waterfall, before diving into the icy cold pool at the base.

It was  really nice to abseil down the rocks,” Keagel told the Daily after he leapt into the rock pool at Datanla waterfalls about 5km from the Highland city.

He said he was really nervous at the beginning of the adventure tour, but excitement had gradually taken over and he overcame his fears.

Most tourists feel the same way Taub and Keagel did, when they look at the vertical cliff face they have to climb down.

They feel slightly safer though, when the travel companies in Dalat give them a short course on basic climbing skills and prepare them for any mishaps on the way down.

Tran Tuan Hiep, a trainer from travel firm Highland Holiday, says it is important for people to know how to maintain their balance during the rope-assisted climb down, but it’s crucial that they know how to regain their stance if they slip. Abseiling is not as easy as it sounds.

Staying calm is the best advice for climbers, as it will help them think clearly if they encounter a problem.

At the end of the climb, as a kind of trophy for scaling the waterfall, participants are given shorts and a printed T-shirt.  

A one-day cliff and waterfall adventure costs VND600,000 (US$31.5) per person for a group of two to five guests and VND400,000 (around US$21) per person for a group of at least six people. The price also covers transfers between hotel and the area where the adventure begins, and sandwiches for lunch.

Book a cliff and waterfall adventure by contacting travel companies in Dalat. Hotel staff in your hotel should be able to help.

Source: VietNamNet/SGT


Source: QDND

Favourite islands for summer holidays

In Uncategorized on July 25, 2010 at 7:19 pm

Favourite islands for summer holidays

QĐND – Sunday, July 25, 2010, 21:7 (GMT+7)

Islands with beautiful and peaceful beaches under a sky blue and bright sun have always been a tourist attraction during the summer season.

Cat Ba Island, Hai Phong City

Located along the southern end of Ha Long Bay and 30km away from the northern city of Hai Phong, Cat Ba Island, is known as an ideal place in the North during the summer holidays.

Visitors can take boat cruises from Ha Long Bay to Cat Ba island. They also travel from the Ben Binh seaport in Hai Phong city to the island by boat, or they can visit Cat Hai tourist site before taking a ferry boat to the island.

On the island, tourists can hire a boat to explore the beautiful sights on the island. They can also anchor the boat wherever they want to swim or to enjoy the natural beauty of the area. Sport fans can also hire kayak boats to explore the island themselves.

Quan Lan, Quang Ninh


Quan Lan, in Bai Tu Long bay of Quang Ninh province, is one of several islands with a natural beauty.

From Ha Long Bay and Hon Gai island, visitors can travel to the island by boat. You can hire a canoe to travel along the sea before landing on Quan Lan island.

Besides the long white sandy beaches, the island has an old temple which was built in the 17th century. The temple is still in good shape with ancient architecture.

Cu Lao Cham Island, Quang Nam


Cu Lao Cham Island, an island commune of Hoi An town in the Quang Nam province, has become a popular destination for visitors because of its beauty and a bio-diversity.

From the ancient town of Hoi An, visitors can take a tour costing somewhere between VND 250,000 to VND 350,000 to explore the island or hire a canoe to travel to the island in a short time.

Tourists can take part in various activities such as diving, snorkeling to enjoy the beauty of the corals. On beautiful beaches, you can swim and enjoy a variety delicious seafood.

Cu Lao Cau island in Binh Thuan


Cu Lao Cau of Binh Thuan province is considered as one of the most pristine islands. It is also famous for a ‘museum’ of stones with different shapes.

From Phuong The commune in Tuy Phong district, visitor can hide a fishing boat to travel to the island. They also hide a canoe to go to the island.

Visitors will be interesting in swimming, fishing and walking on the island. You can buy and cook sea food on the island. However, tourists should prepare water and foods in advance because the island is so pristine and lacks of necessary facilities.

Con Dao island in Ba Ria – Vung Tau


In recent years, the Con Dao Island at Ba Ria Vung Tau province is a favourite place for tourists during the summers.

Beautiful sights such as the blue seas, the green mountains and the fresh air, as well as long sandy beaches have attracted visitors.

Visitors can hire a motorbike to explore the islands themselves. They can also visit historical sites such as the Hang Duong cemetery, the grave of hero Vo Thi Sau, and the Hoang Phi Yen shrine.

Visitors also have an opportunity to enjoy famous island dishes from various local restaurants.

Source: Tuoi Tre

Translated by Duy Minh

Source: QDND

Ba Vi day trip offers respite from scorching city summer

In Uncategorized on July 25, 2010 at 7:19 pm

Ba Vi day trip offers respite from scorching city summer

QĐND – Sunday, July 25, 2010, 21:7 (GMT+7)

When a small group of my friends decided to head out of the city one summer day to try to escape the scorching heat, we didn’t have a destination, just an idea. So I suggested we go to Suoi Hai Lake, just 70km northwest of Ha Noi.

After an easy one-hour road trip, the loud noise and heat of city life seemed to have subsided.

Suoi Hai Lake, at the foot of Ba Vi Mountain, is a reservoir that was built in December 1958. It has a 4km-long system of main and supporting dams to reserve water from the Yen Cu and Cau Rong springs, giving the lake its name of Suoi Hai (Two Springs). The water from the lake irrigates 7,000ha of farmland.

When we arrived at the lake, we decided to take a motorbike tour around it. The road was smooth and surrounded by eucalyptus forests. We were refreshed by the cool breezes and, along the way, saw many people fishing on the bank.

There are a number of islands in the lake, and we even saw a boat full of tourists on the lake. After asking around, we came to the Suoi Hai Service Centre, which we had previously passed on our way. A woman in the centre told us that there were boats available around-the-clock to take tourists to the islands or cruise around the lake. The fares are reasonable. To get to the largest island, it only cost each of us VND30,000 (US$1.5), while hiring a private boat to go around the 90ha reservoir costs VND300,000 ($15), and you can stop at any island of your choice.

The four of us decided to get a boat and take a tour around the lake. We were not disappointed by the decision. As we glided on the water, stunning scenes opened up before our eyes. The islands, the clear water, the trees and the meadows of grazing cattle had the look of a fairy wonderland. Wild birds, such as teals, coots and cranes, swam around the boat, imparting an even more romantic air to the scene.

“Each season brings with it a different colour to the lake, but it is beautiful all year round,” said boat captain Vo Van Tan, as we set foot on an island. We were welcomed by the sweet smell of litchi and green grass. Local farmers have planted fruit trees on every island and tourists are allowed to pick and enjoy the fruits.

“The lake is a perfect weekend spot to spend time with your family,” said Nguyen Thi Loan, owner of a coffee shop on the island. “We mostly get visits from groups of students who came here for one-day picnics”.

Besides hiring a boat, you can rent a canoe at a very affordable VND15,000 per hour ($0.75) and row yourself around the lake. You can also go horseback riding around the lake or into the eucalyptus forests, or take a dip in the cool water of the lake.

If you want to stay for more than a day, accommodation is available at VND60,000 ($3) to VND120,000 ($6) per night. You can choose rooms at a conventional guesthouse or stay in one of the stilt-houses.

Last year, a $200 million resort was planned at the lake by PetroVietnam Premier Recreation, but environmental activists and local residents raised concerns with the plan, which was revised and is now in its first stage of construction.

“The first phase will be completed in 2012,” said the deputy head of Ba Vi’s culture department, Nguyen Viet Giao. It will change the face of Suoi Hai Lake, as most of the 14 islands will be taken over by resorts, golf courses, hotels and restaurants.

“The current plan has received agreeable nods from residents,” said Giao. “In two years, tourism will give Ba Vi’s economy a considerable boost, and people’s living standards will therefore be improved.”

In other words, in just two more years, weekends at Suoi Hai Lake won’t be the same. Come now and enjoy the serenity while it lasts.

Source: VietNamNet/Viet Nam News


Source: QDND

Host Vietnam leads int’l Taewkwondo tournament

In Uncategorized on July 25, 2010 at 7:18 pm

Host Vietnam leads int’l Taewkwondo tournament

QĐND – Sunday, July 25, 2010, 21:3 (GMT+7)

Host Vietnam ranked first at the Vietnam Open International Taekwondo tournament, which closed in Ho Chi Minh City on July 23, after its three teams won 26 golds in both the official and junior championships.

The Vietnam national team 2 made the biggest success with 15 gold medals, seven silvers and 13 bronzes.

The Vietnam national team 1 also recorded an excellent achievement, winning 11 golds, four silvers and four bronzes. The Vietnam national team 3 bagged three golds, eight silvers and eight bronzes.

Young artists from the Republic of Korea has managed to showcase their power in the art by winning five golds, six silvers and 14 bronzes, ranking second in the tally.

Thailand, also sending three teams to the event, ranked third with six golds, 12 silvers and eight bronzes while three teams from Taiwan-China brought home three golds, three silvers and 18 bronzes.

The three-day tournament, the 18 th of its kind so far, drew 200 artists from the RoK, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, France and Monaco, plus host Vietnam.

They competed in demonstration and combat with 16 categories in the official championships and 20 categories for the junior event.

Source: VNA

Source: QDND

Liem keeps standing in check

In Uncategorized on July 25, 2010 at 7:18 pm

Liem keeps standing in check

QĐND – Sunday, July 25, 2010, 21:7 (GMT+7)

Le Quang Liem maintained his second place position after he drew against Arkardij Naiditsch during the Sparkassen Chess Tournament’s seventh round on Thursday in Dortmund, Germany.

Liem is currently ranked 55th in the world and has been looking strong in the tournament, while Naiditsch is ranked 51st and is the nine-time Sparkassen Chess Tournament winner.

However, Naiditsch was unable to establish an effective offensive against his 19-year-old Vietnamese opponent.

The Dortmund-based grandmaster went for the kill when he took Liem’s pawn, but his Vietnamese opponent was quick to retaliate.

However the open nature of the position led to quick exchanges, which eventually finished in a draw. The game finished on move 35.

After each side was awarded a half point, Liem remained in second place, while Naiditsch stayed in fifth.

Azerbaijan’s Shakhriyar Mamedyarov made headlines on Thursday after he won a decisive match. After a rough couple of rounds, where he dropped at least 1.5 points, Mamedyarov roared back with an impressive win against Peter Leko of Hungary. Mamedyarov earned as many points as Liem, but the Vietnamese grandmaster remained in second place due to his sub-index standing.

Russian Vladimir Kramnik and Ruslan Ponomariov of Ukraine ended their match with a draw on Thursday. Ponomariov currently leads the tournament with 4.5 points.

The eighth round of the tournament at the Schauspielhaus Theatre will host Liem vs Mamedyarov, Leko vs Kramnik and Ponomariov vs Naiditsch.

The Sparkassen Chess Meeting is an elite chess tournament held every summer in Dortmund. It is one of the four majors on the chess tournament circuit along Corus, Sofia and Linares.

Dortmund is an invite-only event, and only the strongest grandmasters are welcomed. The exception is that one slot at Dortmund is awarded to the winner of the annual Aeroflot Open in Moscow, a tournament that anyone with an Elo of at least 2,550 is welcome to enter. Vietnamese Liem was invited this year after his impressive victory at the Aeroflot competition in February.

The annual tournament is usually played in a round-robin or double round-robin format. This year’s double round-robin games will be concluded tomorrow, July 25.

Source: VietNamNet/Viet Nam News


Source: QDND

Minh gets set to defend Taiwan title

In Uncategorized on July 25, 2010 at 7:18 pm

Minh gets set to defend Taiwan title

QĐND – Sunday, July 25, 2010, 21:7 (GMT+7)

Nguyen Tien Minh had no time to relax after winning his first title of the year at the Australia Grand Prix on Sunday, as he heads off to defend his crown at the Taiwan Grand Prix Gold which begins on August 3.

As the defending champion, Minh has been seeded No 1 and is prime candidate for the US$200,000 and 7,000 bonus points available.

The huge bonus means the Vietnamese world No 6 will be forced to face a number of powerful rivals, many of whom stand in the top 20 global rankings, such as Kuncoro Sony Dwi (No 7) and Simon Santoso (No 8) from Indonesia, Boonsak Ponsana of Thailand (No 9), Malaysian Wong Choong Hann (No 14) and Yu Hun from Hong Kong (No 18).

However the Vietnamese two-time Olympian is now confident following his Australian victory, saying that it was a major fillip before going to Taiwan.

“It was an important win. Apart from the $3,750 cash, I took 5,000 points to strengthen my 6th place in International Badminton Federation (IBF) ranking,” he said.

“I’m happy with my current form. It has helped me regain my confidence following my unexpected loss in the last 16 of the Asian championship in April”

It is also a strong motivation for him to improve his performances ahead of other international tournaments including the world championship later this month in Paris.

The August 23-29 event will lure all the world’s leading players as it is one of the most prestigious tournaments of the year. However, Minh, despite his high ranking, has never been successful in major competitions such as the Olympics, world and Asian games.

Here he will be accompanied by another Vietnamese, Nguyen Hoang Nam, in the men’s singles event.

In the women’s pool, Le Ngoc Nguyen Nhung, the first Vietnamese woman Olympic Games athlete in Beijing 2008, will be the sole representative in the singles.

In the doubles, Nhung will pair with Thai Thi Hong Gam in the women’s while two male pairs of Nam/Huynh Nguyen Khang and Duong Bao Duc/Pham Cao Hieu will feature in the men’s event. Gam and Duc will represent Viet Nam in the mixed doubles.

Despite registering for the championship, the other Vietnamese players, excepting Minh, are unlikely to progress.

The IBF will announce their final play schedule and draw on August 10. A lucky draw would allow a player to avoid some of the competition’s strongest players until deep into the tournament.

Source: VietNamNet/Viet Nam News


Source: QDND

Storm Chanthu claims 10 lives in north

In Uncategorized on July 25, 2010 at 7:18 pm

Storm Chanthu claims 10 lives in north

QĐND – Sunday, July 25, 2010, 21:2 (GMT+7)

Tropical storm Chanthu has left 10 dead and four injured when it caused heavy rains, flash floods and landslides in northern mountain provinces, according to the National Steering Committee on Flood and Storm Control.

Ha Giang was the hardest hit province, with 7 locals reported dead, followed by Cao Bang (2) and Lao Cai (1).

The storm, which was downgraded to a low pressure system on July 22, also caused huge damage to houses, roads, bridges and rice and subsidiary crops in these provinces.

In Yen Bai alone, 132 houses were flooded and 22 others were severely damaged. Heavy downpour also submerged 18ha of rice and subsidiary crops and 5ha of fishponds. 

In Bac Giang province, 10 communes were completely isolated and more than 44,100ha of rice and subsidiary crops were submerged.

The National Steering Committee on Flood and Storm Control has asked the northern mountain provinces to keep a close watch on further developments of heavy rains and evacuate people living in the low-lying areas.

As rain continues to pour down and floodwaters in major rivers keep rising, the committee has asked the designated provinces to mobilise stand-by forces to work around the clock to protect the dyke system.

Chanthu was the second storm hitting the East Sea this year. The first, Conson, killed one when it made landfall last weekend.

Source: VOV

Source: QDND

Tertiary education highlighted in environmental protection

In Uncategorized on July 25, 2010 at 7:17 pm

Tertiary education highlighted in environmental protection

QĐND – Sunday, July 25, 2010, 21:3 (GMT+7)

Universities must take the lead in environmental protection, said an international workshop in the Mekong delta province of An Giang on July 23.

At the workshop on the awareness of environmental protection demand and the role of tertiary education, representatives from universities of Japan, the US, Thailand, Singapore, the Philippines, New Zealand and Cambodia joined institutes and universities from 14 provinces of Vietnam. They emphasised the responsibility of the community in environmental protection and expressed concern over poor awareness of environmental issues in developing nations.

Prof. Dr. Kensuke Fukushi from Japan’s Tokyo University said that sustainable environmental protection must be based on sustainable science with education being the most important activity.

The Ben Tre university introduced its experiences in building an environment website using folk songs to educate about environmental protection and how to cope with climate change.

Prof. A. Prem Ananth from Thailand spoke of the model of solid waste management with 3R (Reduce, Reuse, Recycling) technology which has been effectively used by the Philippines and Malaysia in collecting and recycling and by India in classifying solid wastes.

To reduce environmental pollution and effectively cope with climate change, the participants put forward solutions to promote communication in the community, mobilise the participation of both the political system and the community and expand various forms of education through various entertainment activities.

Source: VNA

Source: QDND

Black boxes ordered for heavy trucks, coaches

In Uncategorized on July 25, 2010 at 7:17 pm

Black boxes ordered for heavy trucks, coaches

QĐND – Sunday, July 25, 2010, 21:3 (GMT+7)

The Transport Ministry has ordered the installation of a “black box” aboard heavy trucks and coaches from July next year.

The decision follows the successful trial of a “black box” on a coach travelling from Ha Noi to northern Lang Son Province.

The device helped detect driver transgressions.

The “black box” records the vehicle’s speed, when its doors open and close as well as its route.

The technical data it provides will help police understand the causes of traffic accidents with information about speed and braking.

The Public Security Ministry’s General Police Department chief Cao Xuan Hong said “data” from the “black box” would be used to both punish traffic violations and investigate the cause of traffic accidents.

The “black box” is linked to a satellite and the data will be transmitted via the Internet to authorised agencies to monitor.

Put off the road

Deputy Transport Minister Le Manh Hung said the device was easily installed and the Ha Noi-Lang Son trial showed it was highly secure and drivers could not interfere with it.

The ministry would now work with the relevant ministries and agencies to issue a decree guiding the instalment of the device this month so it could be installed in all coaches and trucks on schedule, he said.

Coaches and trucks without the “black box” would be put off the road and registry offices would not grant certificates for these vehicles.

Heavy trucks and coaches travelling routes of 500km and upwards will be required to carry device as of next July; the deadline for vehicles travelling routes of 300km upwards is July, 2012.

The cost of the “black box” and its installation has yet to be revealed.

Truck driver Nguyen Thanh Nam said that although he did not have any information about the “black box” he was willing to install the device as required. “I will install it to avoid being punished,” he said.

Source: VietNamNet/Viet Nam News


Source: QDND

Ha Noi plans to start cleaning-up its rivers

In Uncategorized on July 25, 2010 at 7:17 pm

Ha Noi plans to start cleaning-up its rivers

QĐND – Sunday, July 25, 2010, 21:7 (GMT+7)

The Ha Noi People’s Committee, in co-ordination with the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, plans to invest about VND2 trillion (US$104 million) in waste-water treatment plants along the Nhue-Day river.

The money will also be used to dredge the riverbeds and upgrade the rivers’ dykes over the next five years.

The committee also said that it would now be compulsory for new industrial parks in the city to have waste-water treatment facilities, while existing parks must begin treating their waste by the end of this year.

Pollution studies are being conducted on the Nhue and Day rivers. Pham Van Khanh, deputy director of the Ha Noi Natural Resources and Environment Department, said water samples had been taken at 56 out of 104 sluice gates along the rivers. Inspections have also been tightened. In the first six months of the year, the department fined 27 of 46 industrial firms inspected a total of VND353 million ($18,400) for violating environmental regulations, he said.

Earlier this month, the Ha Noi People’s Committee asked relevant agencies to clean up the banks of the To Lich and Nhue rivers which pass through the districts of Cau Giay, Hai Ba Trung, Ba Dinh, Thanh Xuan, Hoang Mai and Thanh Tri.

The rivers have become choked with rubbish. An initial survey showed that nearly 20,000cu.m of domestic waste had been dumped on a 11,400-metre stretch of the To Lich River. Meanwhile, the banks of the Kim Nguu River are also littered with rubbish.

Floodwater from Ha Noi mainly drains into the To Lich, Nhue and Day rivers.

* West Lake’s water to be kept clean

A waste water treatment station will begin construction this year in Tay Ho District’s Nhat Tan Ward to restore and improve the water quality of West Lake, Ha Noi People’s Committee has announced.

The station, located in area of more than 16,000 sq.m, is worth about VND600 billion (US$31 million).

It would handle 15,000 cu.m of waste water daily thanks to using the biological activated sludge method. Construction is scheduled to finish in the next two years.

Source: VietNamNet/Viet Nam News


Source: QDND