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Posts Tagged ‘becomes’

Retired vehicle becomes tourist attraction

In Uncategorized on December 16, 2010 at 9:39 am

Retired vehicle becomes tourist attraction

QĐND – Sunday, December 12, 2010, 22:2 (GMT+7)

No longer a public transport means, xích lô in HCM City has stepped down. But it should live on as a symbol of the municipal tourism.

In his masterpiece Truyen Kieu (The Tale of Kieu), Nguyen Du—one of the greatest poets of all time in Vietnam—used the phrase “tri qua mot cuoc be dâu” to mean dramatic changes over the time. Be (sea) and dâu (mulberry) denotes a contrasting pair stemming from a classic reference which emphasizes how drastic life can change when in place of a former azure sea has been fields of mulberry.

Nguyen Du’s adage may be applicable to xích lô, a man-powered, three-wheeled vehicle popular in big cities in Vietnam. In Saigon, xích lô used to be ubiquitous as a public transport means. In fact, it was once so popular it could be considered one of the symbols of the city. But “sea” has turned into “mulberry fields.”

Xích lô originates from a French word, cyclo. Archives differ in how and where the three-wheeled vehicle was invented. In Vietnam, the vehicle is believed to be first introduced in the 30s of the previous century. Xích lô’s gradual emergence and firm foothold in the country entailed its inexpensive cost of building and high maneuverability further spurred by the local abundant labor force.

In Saigon, xích lô marked its heyday in the 60s and early 70s when the three-wheeled vehicle rivaled taxis and buses for the top slot in the overall hierarchy of public transport system. After Vietnam’s reunification in 1975, xích lô continued to be a favorite public transport means in this southern city. During the period of subsidy when motorized vehicles and fuel were scarce, the man-powered xích lô proved to be very useful. It can be said that during the time, the bicycle was the number-one individual transport means and xích lô was among the top choices for public transport in Saigon. Many Saigonese, especially housewives and old people, opted for a xích lô. Otherwise, they had to resort to their bicycles which would require a lot of their own sweat instead of the xích lô driver.

As Vietnam broke away from the planned economy to embrace the market mechanism, per capita income has improved substantially. When motorized vehicles and fuel have been no longer rare, xích lô has given way to taxis and buses.

Unfortunately, during its time of existence, xích lô drivers in Saigon also built up notoriety and were associated with reckless driving and overcharging. What’s more, given the new conditions of the urban lifestyle and worsening traffic jams, the three-wheeled vehicle was no longer an appropriate public transport means.

The real reclusive time for xích lô came several years ago, when HCM City authorities decided to ban the vehicle on top commercial streets in Saigon. The list of these restricted areas has been extended so much so that the vehicle has been virtually banned in the city downtown.

Although xích lô has lost its ubiquity, it does exist. In Saigon, groups of xích lô are still seen rolling on the streets, particularly during the tourism season. Despite the ban, xích lô du lch, or xích lô for tourists, is allowed in HCM City’s center if organized by authorized tour operators. Many tourists, particularly those from the West, are excited at traveling on board a xích lô. Some have even tried to manipulate the vehicle on its back seat themselves.

Man-powered public transport means are still in use by the hospitality industry in cosmopolitan cities, for instance New York and Singapore, as Saigon Stories has personally witnessed. Therefore, there should be no objection to similar things in Hanoi and HCM City. In this regard, xích lô for tourists should be allowed to make Vietnamese cities more attractive to tourists from afar.

The process in which the three-wheeled vehicle has stepped down as a common public transport means has some side effects, though. So far, the majority of xích lô drivers has quit the job while those who still remain are mostly elderly people.

Who will replace them when they finally retire?

Source: SGT, VietnamNet


Source: QDND

Beauty Tran Thi Hue becomes PEPFAR’s goodwill ambassador

In Uncategorized on November 15, 2010 at 3:59 pm

Fiditour becomes official agent of Laos Airlines

In Uncategorized on November 8, 2010 at 8:52 am

Hitler becomes major Berlin tourist attraction

In Uncategorized on October 22, 2010 at 7:54 am

Hitler and the Germans,” an exhibition in Berlin’s German Historical Museum which investigates the society that created Hitler, has seen more than 10,000 visitors walk through its doors since opening on Friday.

Rudolf Trabold, a spokesman for the museum, said there were 4,000 visitors to the exhibition on the first day alone.

People visiting the exhibition said they had waited as long as 1-1/2 hours to get in.

Ravi Nair, a 73-year-old Indian visitor, said: “I had to queue for about an hour but it was worth it. The exhibition should help people in democratic countries realize that their vote is very valuable.”

Copies of Adolf Hitler’s book Mein Kampf (My Struggle) are pictured at the media preview of Hilter und die Deutsche Volksgemeinschaft und Verbrechen (Hitler and the German Nation and Crime) at the Deutsche Historisches Museum.

Trabold said Hitler and the Germans was so popular because it was “the first exhibition to explain how a man who lived on the margins of society for 30 years, in Vienna’s men’s hostels, could become an almost mythical leader of the German people.

“We are all affected by Hitler, so it speaks to all of us and helps Germans and foreigners to come to terms with the past.”

Inge Lonning, a 72-year-old tourist from Norway said: “I thought the exhibition was very impressive. I wanted to see it because I experienced the German occupation of Norway as a small child, so it’s not just history for me.”

But not everyone was convinced there was something new to be learned from the exhibition.

“So much has been done about this period over the years, it was like, I knew this and I knew that,” said Canadian Julien Cayer, aged 28. “I thought I’d find something new but I didn’t.”

There has been widespread concern in the German media that the exhibition could become a magnet for neo-Nazi admirers of Hitler, but Trabold said that although there had been some right-wing extremist visitors, they had not caused any problems.

Source: SGGP

Nepalese teen becomes world’s smallest man

In Uncategorized on October 14, 2010 at 2:28 pm

World’s shortest teen Nepalese Khagendra Thapa Magar wears a suit as his home in Pokha. AFP

POKHARA, Nepal (AFP) – A Nepalese teenager whose tiny stature has made him a celebrity in his homeland entered the record books as the world’s shortest man on Thursday as he celebrated his 18th birthday.

Khagendra Thapa Magar, who stands just 25.8 inches (65.5 centimetres) tall and weighs 5.5 kilos (12 pounds), takes over from 24-year-old Edward “Nino” Hernandez from Colombia, who is almost two inches taller.

A team of adjudicators from the Guinness World Records met Magar this week and conducted exhaustive checks on his claim to the record in the picturesque Himalayan town of Pokhara in central Nepal, near the village where he grew up.

“An 18-year-old from Nepal has today been named the new world’s shortest man by Guinness World Records adjudicators who flew to the country to measure him,” the London-based organisation said in a statement.

“At two feet 1.8 inches, Khagendra Thapa Magar has been officially recognised as the shortest man in the world, snatching the title from 24-year-old Edward ‘Nino’ Hernandez from Colombia who has held the title for just five weeks.”

Magar, the son of a fruit seller from rural Nepal, who dreams of marrying and travelling the world in his wife’s handbag, will receive his official Guinness World Records certificate in a short ceremony on Thursday.

He has met the prime minister on several occasions, been named a tourism ambassador and hit headlines across the world when he travelled to New York and London last month on a publicity drive.

His family had previously laid claim to the record for Nagar, but the teenager needed to reach his 18th birthday before being officially recognised as the smallest man.

In Pokhara, a lakeside town popular with tourists, shouts of recognition greeted the teenager wherever he went this week, and Magar’s father said his son was enjoying the attention.

“Khagendra may be small, but his size has earned him a big name,” Rup Bahadur Thapa Magar told AFP.

“People are always so nice to him. They come up and ask to have their photograph taken with him. It makes us feel that he is loved, and he likes it too. Khagendra is a true blessing from God.”

Magar senior, who runs a fruit shop in the family’s village in central Nepal, said he did not know what caused his son to stop growing.

But reports say that the teenager suffers from primordial dwarfism, a condition that typically reduces life expectancy to as little as 20 years.

“He was so tiny when he was born that he could fit in the palm of your hand, and it was very hard to bathe him because he was so small,” said his father.

“Sometimes it made us sad when he was growing up because we thought he would never be able to do normal things like ride a bike or drive a car, but now he is so popular, and that has made us happy.”

Magar rarely speaks himself, but in a rare conversation with journalists in Pokhara this week, the teenager said he wanted a remote-controlled car for his birthday — and that he would rely on his future wife for transport.

“I’m hoping to marry in two years’ time, when I am 20,” he said. “I’ll sit in my wife’s handbag and travel the world with her.”

Last month Magar travelled to New York as part of a publicity trip organised by Ripley’s Believe It or Not curiosity museum, where he posed alongside a life-sized figure of the tallest man in history — the 8-foot-11-inch American Robert Wadlow.

He also travelled to Italy earlier this year where he met He Pingping of China, who was the world’s shortest man until his death in March. The pair appeared together in a television show.

Guinness World Records says the shortest man ever is thought to be Gul Mohammed from India, who was said to have measured just 22.5 inches, although this was never independently verified.

As his big day approached, Magar’s father said the family intended to mark the day by sharing a birthday cake with relatives and the dozens of journalists who have gathered in Pokhara.

“It will be the biggest and happiest day of our lives,” he said. “We are simple people and this is a huge responsibility for us, but it also makes us very happy. We are glad that we are able to make Nepal proud.”

Source: SGGP

Paula becomes Cat. 2 hurricane, threatens Cancun

In Uncategorized on October 13, 2010 at 8:07 am

A strengthening Hurricane Paula roared toward Mexico’s resort-dotted Yucatan Peninsula late Tuesday as authorities ordered evacuations on two small islands.

The storm was expected to hit the islands of Cozumel, Isla Mujeres and Holbox as it passed just off Yucatan’s southern coast Wednesday morning, officials said.

The hurricane smashed homes and forced schools to cancel classes in Honduras early Tuesday, then grew into a Category 2 storm with top sustained winds of 100 miles per hour (160 kph) on its way to the Yucatan, the U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami said.

Moving north at near 9 mph (15 kph), Paula’s center was expected to pass just to the east of Cancun, then decrease in forward speed after that, the center said. It said the hurricane could get close to western Cuba by Wednesday night or early Thursday.

Fishermen try to secure a boat as before the estimated arrival of hurricane Paula to Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula, Tuesday, Oct. 12, 2010

The center warned that preparations to protect life and property should be rushed to completion.

Authorities of the Caribbean state of Quintana Roo state, where Cancun is located, ordered the evacuation of 1,500 residents of Isla Holbox and 60 fishermen from Isla Contoy. The evacuees were taken to the town of Kantunilkin, on the Yucatan peninsula.

More than 1,800 tourists remained on Cozumel late Tuesday after authorities suspended all sea transportation. City officials said three shelters were available on the island but that only a family of six had arrived at one of them Tuesday night.

Quintana Roo state prosecutors said in a statement that a U.S. man drowned when he went swimming in heavy surf near his hotel. Mickey Goodwin, a 54-year-old Texas resident, ignored warnings and red flags alerting the dangerous waves, prosecutors said.

In Cancun, 15 flights were canceled Tuesday and seven international flights for Wednesday would be canceled, Cancun airport commander Jose Chavez said.

Dozens of boat owners in Cancun hauled yachts and other vessels to shore, while sea tour operators canceled reservations. At least one company, Transbordadores del Caribe, canceled ferry trips from Playa del Carmen to the resort island of Cozumel south of Cancun, though others were still operating while the still-mild weather.

Armando Galmiche closed down his water-skiing tour business in Cancun and canceled 15 reservation he had for Tuesday afternoon.

“It’s already low season for tourism and, with this hurricane, things are going to get worse,” he said, lamenting the loss of revenue.

Along Cancun’s popular strip of night clubs and discotheques, workers took down billboards and other large objects ahead of heavy winds.

Peter Bruin, a 25-year-old tourist from Rotterdam, Netherlands, was taking a stroll along the city’s hotel zone, unaware that a hurricane was heading to Cancun.

“I hadn’t heard anything but I’m not afraid,” Bruin said. “It will be my first hurricane experience.”

Early Tuesday, heavy rains and high winds destroyed 19 homes in northeastern Honduras, said Lisandro Rosales, head of Honduras’ emergency agency. Officials closed schools along the country’s Atlantic coast and some airports were reported closed.

Tuesday afternoon, the hurricane was centered about 85 miles (135 kilometers) south-southeast of Cozumel.

Paula was expected to dump from 3 to 6 inches (8 to 15 centimeters) of rain on Honduras, northern Belize, eastern portions of the Yucatan Peninsula and parts of western and central Cuba.

The government of Mexico issued a hurricane warning for the country’s Caribbean coast from Punta Gruesa north to Cabo Catoche, including the island of Cozumel. Warnings are issued when hurricane conditions are almost certain to occur.

A hurricane warning also was in effect for Cuba’s westernmost province of Pinar del Rio.

Forecasters warned of possible flooding and landslides and suggested residents avoid fishing trips or water sports.

Source: SGGP

Dong Xuan Market becomes a tourist site

In Uncategorized on October 13, 2010 at 4:02 am

Dong Xuan Market becomes a tourist site

QĐND – Thursday, September 16, 2010, 20:25 (GMT+7)

The Dong Xuan Joint Stock Company, in conjunction with Hoan Kiem District’s People’s Committee in Hanoi, is planning to launch a tour to explore old streets and go shopping at the Dong Xuan Market, as part of activities towards the 1,000th anniversary of Thang Long–Hanoi, with an aim to attract more tourists to the city.

At present, the company is checking all stores for the quality and prices of goods as well as sellers’ behavior and attitude.

In addition, a large hall will also be built at the market to show short films about histories of Hanoi’s old quarters and the market.

Over the years, the market, one of the biggest in Hanoi, has become a place to preserve cultural values and helps reflect the life of the people in old-time Hanoi.

Source: HNM

Translated by Duy Minh

Source: QDND

Dengue fever becomes complex in areas

In Uncategorized on October 13, 2010 at 3:53 am

Dengue fever becomes complex in areas

QĐND – Sunday, October 10, 2010, 20:48 (GMT+7)

Despite a 6.3 percent drop in the number of people infected with dengue fever over the same period last year, the disease has been growing more complex in different areas since the beginning of this year.  

According to the Department for Preventive Health and the Environment, by early October, Vietnam had around 80,000 cases of dengue fever and 59 people died of the disease, 9 percent higher than last year’s death toll.

As in previous years, dengue fever is often seen in southern provinces but the central and central highland regions have now become “hot” spots” for the disease.

The number of infected people in some central and central highland provinces is more than 21,600, up 168 percent compared to the same period last year.

It is worth noting that the number of patients with more serious problems has increased sharply due to the widening circle of the disease; a dengue fever epidemic broke out in the northern region last year.

Source: VOV/VNN

Source: QDND

Model Ha Anh becomes UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador

In Uncategorized on August 19, 2010 at 11:23 am

Supermodel Vu Nguyen Ha Anh has been accredited as the Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Vietnam from August 2010 to July 2012.

Vu Nguyen Ha Anh at an August 18 ceremony in Hanoi held by UNICEF to announce her as a Goodwill Ambassador of the organization (Photo: Vnexpress)

The supermodel will focus on anti-discrimination related to children living with HIV/AIDS, raising young people’s overall knowledge of HIV/AIDS prevention, mobilizing communities in improving traffic safety and requiring children to wear helmets, encouraging social and cultural changes related to breastfeeding babies and importance of mother’s milk for children and choosing a gender for a baby.

Ha Anh, 28, studied and worked as a model in the UK before returning home and become a famous model.

She represented for Vietnam in the 2006 Miss Earth Pageant and won the first runner-up title in the sub-competition of Miss Talent.

Ha Anh is the second Vietnamese people to hold this honor after former football star Le Huynh Duc and joins the ranks of 270 UNICEF’s goodwill ambassadors including stars and famous people around the world.

Source: SGGP

Measures put in place as pig disease becomes widespread

In Uncategorized on August 14, 2010 at 3:22 pm

Measures put in place as pig disease becomes widespread

QĐND – Saturday, August 14, 2010, 20:50 (GMT+7)

Localities are urgently tightening control of the transport and slaughtering of sick pigs in an effort to contain the blue-ear pig epidemic, which has spread to 21 provinces across the country.

The HCM City Municipal People’s Committee on August 13 urged key corporations and cattle processors to speed up the purchase, slaughtering and delivery of safe pork in the face of the spreading of the blue-ear pig disease.

It also asked the designated agencies to stockpile safe meat to ensure an adequate supply of pork products on the market after the epidemic wanes.

Farmers are running into difficulties with the purchase price of pigs having fallen dramatically to VND22,000/kg. Facing a big loss, they are not interested in investing in new pig herds, which could result in a serious shortage of safe meat on the market when the epidemic is contained.

The Municipal People’s Committee instructed its departments and districts to enhance the dissemination of information about the epidemic and preventative measures. It asked farmers, abattoirs and consumers not to hide outbreaks or purchase, sell and transport sick animals, or dispose of them in public places.

The committee also called for a tight control of transport and sales of animal products, especially pork, at street meet stalls, inter-provincial bus stations, wholesale markets and entrance gates to prevent products of unknown origin from penetrating the city.

Also on August 13, Long An province – a gateway to HCM City – declared the blue ear pig disease in Chau Thanh district. It warned the disease could spread rapidly to neighbouring communes and buffer zones, including Tan Chanh, Tan An, Phuoc Tuy, Nhut Ninh, Duc Tan, Anh Vinh Ngai and Binh Tam communes.

The provincial People’s Committee asked Chau Thanh district and Tan An city to establish taskforces to assist farmers in culling sick pigs.

The province banned the trading, slaughtering and transport of pigs and related products within the epidemic-affected areas. It has required the provincial Animal Health Department to quarantine outbreaks, disinfect farms, cull dead or sick pigs, and increase patrols at markets and gates to the province.

Local quarantine agencies have set up checkpoints along major arteries to the province, put up signposts at high-risks areas, and sterilized the means of transport coming into and going out of the affected localities.

Since the first case was detected in Tan Tan city on July 16, 2010, the porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PRRS) virus has attacked 61 communes, with 5,500 pigs infected.

In Dong Nai province – another gateway to HCM City, the provincial Animal health Department announced on August 13 that the disease has spread to Bac Son and Song Trau communes in Trang Bom district bordering Vinh Tan commune in Vinh Cuu district where the first case of infection was confirmed on July 29.

Bac Son and Vinh Tan communes have culled more than 2,000 sick pigs, however, Vinh Tan now has about 3,000 pigs testing positive for the PRRS virus.

On a fact-finding tour the same day, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Cao Duc Phat asked the provincial Animal Health Department to separate healthy animals from sick ones, cull all infected pigs, disinfect farms and apply the commercial breeding model.

Dong Nai has the largest number of pigs in Vietnam, about 1.4 million.

In the central coastal province of Khanh Hoa, blue-ear pig disease outbreaks have been confirmed in 36 communes of six districts and cities. Local animal health agencies have culled more than 1,300 sick pigs testing positive for the PRRS virus. Thousands of other pigs are under strict surveillance.

After declaring the epidemic on August 12, Khanh Hoa has established checkpoints along roads to Cam Ranh town and Khanh Son district where the disease has not yet been detected.

Across the country, the epidemic has spread to 21 provinces, namely: Nghe An, Cao Bang, Soc Trang, Tien Giang, Lao Cai, Long An, Binh Duong, Bac Lieu, Quang Nam, Dong Nai, Binh Phuoc, Da Nang, Vinh Long, Khanh Hoa, Dak Lak, Hau Giang, Lam Dong, Tay Ninh, Ba Ria Vung Tau, An Giang and Dong Thap.

Source: VOV

Source: QDND