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Rediscovering Da Lat

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




Rediscovering Da Lat


QĐND – Wednesday, December 15, 2010, 21:7 (GMT+7)


Surrounded by gentle hills and scenic areas, the highland city of Da Lat is still home to intriguing beauty in spite of the growing population, the rise in modern architecture and the number of tourists, said Nhat Ha. 


I was a touch disappointed when my car first drove into Da Lat. The city doesn’t look or feel like the old European styled-mountain retreat I remember discovering 10 years ago. There are more nondescript modern buildings, and the multi-storeys which once dominated the capital city of Lam Dong province have retreated into the distance. 


Da Lat is synonymous with fragrant pine-forested hills, misty-wet mornings and French colonial-period villas – but have these sides of Da Lat now been crowded out by modernism? 


Oddly, it didn’t even seem that chilly. I remembered wrapping myself up in the cardigan, scarf and hat on the cool mornings and evenings 10 years ago. Had the trend of urbanisation warmed up the city? Or was global warming to blame? 


I checked into Ngoc Lan Hotel overlooking the city centre and Xuan Huong lake. I then dumped my bags and strolled down to a familiar spot from my past – the Artist’s Café by Da Lat Market. 


Iced coffees – compulsory in most of southern Vietnam – are less common in this mountain town. The temperature may have warmed by everyone at the Artist’s Café is sitting over a hot cup of coffee. The thick scent hung in the air and filled me with nostalgia. I ordered one and sat back remembering how I wandered the streets of Dalat stopping at the small cafes with such wonderful names – Lang Van Café (the Writers Café), Phuong Tim Café (Flamboyant Purple Café) of Pho Xuan Café (Spring Street Café). 


 


Such cafés in Da Lat are simple and unpretentious. Locals and tourists share a long bench while savouring the coffee and the pleasant atmosphere around  Xuan Huong Lake. The coffee shops are often crowded but always cosy and peaceful. It’s still the best way to start your day in Da Lat. As I sipped my coffee, I watched the customers come and go from the flower stalls where piles of beautiful roses and daisies slowly vanish.

Sometimes described as the City of Love, Da Lat is a popular spot for honeymooners – here and there you will see newly weds posing for photos. But the city also attracts artists, photographers, writers and poets, who all came to the scenic and serene town in search of inspiration. Indeed many artists have decided to stay and take up permanent residence in the town. 


The hill-station is a retreat town, a place to kick back and relax far from the worries of the world and the heat of the coastal plains. The fairytale land was quite literally a breath of fresh air for the French tourists. 


After my coffee I decided to rent a motorbike – VND100,000 a day – and drive to Lam Dong Museum. As I drove down Tran Hung Dao street, I noticed a number of villas which had been renovated or restored and now looked in mint condition. The brand new Da Lat Cadasa Resort is a particularly stunning structure, surrounded by vast gardens, pine trees and flowers. The resort features 23 charming French styled villas. Each has a different style, but generally they all bear the architectural hallmarks of villas from Normandy in northern France. 


After that, I decided to escape the confines of the city and drive out to explore the surrounding hills and valleys. Exiting the city, I passed the stunning Evason Ana Mandara Villas Da Lat Resort & Spa on Le Lai street, another picturesque resort boasting 17 restored French colonial villas scattered around 35 acres of parkland, with 65 elegantly furnished guestrooms in total. 


My rambling journey continued past thatched houses, coffee plantations and flower farms. I decided to pop into a plantation to see where my cup of coffee came from. The farmer was friendly and informative – and not because he thought I was here to buy beans wholesale!  


The tree-house contains cavern-style sitting rooms, a concrete giraffe tea room, and towering fish heads with guest rooms where you can stay overnight. Down the helter-skelter hallways and up the winding stair-ways you can find various cosy nooks and crannies set up as small sitting rooms with desks, chairs, and coffee tables. It has to be one of the most off-the-wall places to lodge in Asia.  


Like something conjured up by the Brothers Grimm, the garden is a weird grotto of aviaries, concrete toadstools and steel spiders webs. It is apparently Da Lat’s top tourist attraction. I stand in awe as hordes of Vietnamese and foreign tourists scramble around.  


Back by Xuan Huong Lake, I finally sit down to lunch at Thanh Thuy Café. The Vietnamese menu had a decent salad with blanched beef and a tasty snake fish hot pot filled with loads of local vegetables. 


I sat watching the young couples in swan boats pedal across the lake and the tourists browsing through the flower gardens around the lake. It was a pleasant spot and I realised although Da Lat has grown and lost some of its innocence and aesthetic appeal, it still serves its an original purpose as a mountain retreat far from the heat and the noise of Ho Chi Minh City or Hanoi. 


After I sated my appetite I pondered over what to do with my afternoon. Perhaps, I would sit again with another coffee! Nothing should be rushed in Da Lat, and life seeing to run apace with the slow drip-drip of the bitter black drop.

Source: VOV


Source: QDND

Da Nang receives more international air routes

In Uncategorized on November 1, 2010 at 8:11 am

Da Nang to build tourist village for foreigners

In Uncategorized on October 28, 2010 at 2:11 pm




Da Nang to build tourist village for foreigners


QĐND – Thursday, October 28, 2010, 20:45 (GMT+7)

The Da Nang People’s Committee agreed in principle on a project to build a luxurious eco-tourist village, named Lang Van.


The project, that will be invested in by Vinpearl Joint Stock Company, is a tourist complex, including hotels, villas, games and entertainment sections, a golf course, a sports arena, cable cars, a tourist wharf and other public facilities.


The investor pledged that they will concentrate their assets and efforts to finish the first phase in five years as the project is licensed by the authorities.


The tourist village to be built is located on the foot of the Hai Van passage in Lien Trieu District, Da Nang.


It will stretch along a beautiful sea strait that overlooks Da Nang Bay and connect with neighbouring localities with both roads and railways.


The investors unveiled that they will exploit the mountain and sea to develop eco-tourism there.


Da Nang City has long wanted to develop the area into a high-class resort for international-only tourist.


Source: DDDN

Translated by Thu Nguyen      

Source: QDND

Bringing folklore culture into schools in central Da Nang city

In Uncategorized on October 20, 2010 at 12:08 am




Bringing folklore culture into schools in central Da Nang city


QĐND – Tuesday, October 19, 2010, 22:14 (GMT+7)

The central city’s Da Nang education and training sector has had an initiative to bring folklore culture into schools in the city.


The sector promoted to collect and update folklore games on websites of schools. The model of “folklore culture day” was first held at Phan Chau Trinh high school.


In addition, schools also held folklore cultural activities during camps such as the youth with traditional culture, and festival towards to the capital’s millennium celebration.


Folklore songs were also taught at schools in Hoa Vang districts.


The city’s education and training sector also cooperated with agencies to make films about cultural and historical relics to provide to schools for screening for pupils.


Source: CPV


Source: QDND

Four countries to join Da Nang International Firework Contest 2011

In Uncategorized on October 14, 2010 at 2:45 pm

Four foreign teams from the UK, South Korea, Italia and China will take part in the Da Nang International Firework Contest 2011 from April 29-30, announced the People’s Committee of Da Nang City.

Accordingly, teams including Jubilee Fireworks of the UK, Hanwha of South Korea and the host city of Da Nang will compete with each other in the first night.

The last night will see firework displays by the Parente Fireworks A&C SNC of Italia and Panda Fireworks of China.

The competition themed “Han sparkling river” will be held along the Han River banks in Hai Chau and Son Tra Districts.

Spectators will also have a chance to enjoy music and dance performances and lantern floats during the event.

Source: SGGP

Da Nang holds tour of prison to help disobedient youths live better

In Uncategorized on October 14, 2010 at 2:31 pm

Da Nang City Committee of Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union, Da Nang War Veterans’ Association and Da Nang Police cooperated with each other to give nearly 300 disobedient youths, who have acts of stealing and disturbing the public order, and have been educated and kept under house arrest of the local authorities, a tour to prison on September 7. The city’s government hopes this treatment and educational method will help them to live better.

Da Nang’s disobedient youths visit Tan Hoa School No.3  (Photo: Sggp)

The delegation visited Hoa Son Detention Center and Tan Hoa School No.3 which is teaching and educating young people with bad behaviors of provinces and cities in the central region.

They visited detention rooms, accommodations, studying and working places of guilty persons. Varied changes and tones of feelings can be seen on their faces.

“The visit helped me to realize the value of life” said Nguyen Viet Hung, 17, who left school when he was in the 8th grade and addicted to online games. He has been placed under house arrest of the local authorities because of breaking the law.

“I addicted to online games after leaving school and then became a crime. I lost my future. I hope you will not lose your life and torment your friends, teachers and family” Truong Ba Lien, student of Tan Hoa School No.3, advised.

“The city’s government is always interested in you. I believe that you can choose the best things for your future, and will give up the bad and become a good citizen after this special visit” Danang Party Committee Secretary Nguyen Ba Thanh said at a talk with young people on the same day.

Source: SGGP

Storms and floods warning centre established in Da Nang

In Uncategorized on August 9, 2010 at 3:20 pm




Storms and floods warning centre established in Da Nang


QĐND – Monday, August 09, 2010, 21:37 (GMT+7)

A centre for early warning and management of storms and floods was established in the central city of Da Nang on August 9 to help the city improve its early-warning capacity and minimize damages as the storm season is coming soon.


The US$ 450,000 centre, funded by the US Pacific Command, covers more than 1,000 sq.m and includes a three-storey office block.


Phung Viet Tan, Vice Chairman of the Da Nang People’s Committee, said Da Nang is often hit by natural disasters that cause loss of life and property. The centre will help Da Nang take more initiatives in preventing storms and floods.


US Ambassador to Vietnam Michael Michalak said this is the US Pacific Command’s third charity project in Da Nang.


He said the US will continue providing early-warning equipment to seven central provinces to ensure the centre is operating well.


Source: VOV


Source: QDND

Da Lat holds seminar on literature’s role

In Uncategorized on July 15, 2010 at 1:04 pm

A seminar on literature reflection of Vietnamese reality was held in the resort town of Da Lat in the Central Highland Province of Lam Dong on July 12.

Mr. To Huy Rua, Member of Political Bureau,  Secretary of the Party Central Committee, Head of Central Propaganda and Education Department speaks at the seminar. (Photo: Sggp)

The seminar was attended by Mr. To Huy Rua, Member of Political Bureau, Secretary of the Party Central Committee, Head of Central Propaganda and Education Department, together with more than 200 researchers, scientists, press managers and literary teachers.


The State and Party encourages artists to maintain a strong attachment to the lives of real Vietnamese people and to look after the development of literature to ensure the continued production of valuable works, Mr. To Huy Rua said.


The government said it highly appreciated the role of literature has played in society, in terms of its contributions to the industrialization and modernization of the country, he added.


The seminars also received many reports made by researchers, such as “Realistic literature in the modern view” by Professor and PhD Tran Dinh Su; “Reflection, creativity and reality with the socialist and aesthetic ideal,” by Professor and PhD Mai Quoc Lien; “Today’s realistic literature and four generations of writers,” by Professor Phong Le; “Art literature and Press in life,” by journalist Phan Quang; “Literary morality,” by Porfessor Tran Thanh Dam and more.

Source: SGGP

New HCM City-Da Nang- Da Lat air route takes off

In Uncategorized on July 1, 2010 at 2:32 pm

The nation’s flag carrier, Vietnam Airlines, launched a new air route from Ho Chi Minh City to the central highland city of Da Lat and to the central coastal city of Da Nang on June 30.

Vietnam Airlines’ 8 th new route and its 35 th domestic one, will operate four flights a week on every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday.


Duong Tri Thanh, Deputy General Director of Vietnam Airlines said that this new route, along with the Da Nang to Buon Ma Thuot and Da Nang to Pleiku services, will help socio-economic development in the central and central highland regions.


 

Source: SGGP

Da Nang launches tourism programme

In Uncategorized on June 19, 2010 at 4:26 pm




Da Nang launches tourism programme


QĐND – Saturday, June 19, 2010, 20:51 (GMT+7)

A tourism programme called Da Nang-Summer Destination 2010 opened at the Pham Van Dong beach in the central coastal city of Da Nang on June 19.


The programme features interesting cultural and sport events including balloon flying, dragon boat racing on the seas and a painting contest for children to promote the image of Da Nang with exciting sea and forest discoveries.


The highlight of the programme is the 2010 Tourism in the Central Region festival with a number of competitions for hotel staff from the cities along the central region including Da Nang, Hoi An, Hue as well as others in Laos and Cambodia.


Tourism operators in the province will offer new tours including scuba diving, fishing with local fishermen and exploring the natural beauty of Son Tra, Ba Na and Suoi Hoa. Other sea sport activities like canoeing, parasailing, surfing and swimming also promise a dynamic atmosphere for visitors to Da Nang in the summer.


According to the organising board, most of the hotels are fully booked during this time.


To attract visitors to the city this year and ensure sustainable development of the city’s tourism industry in the next years, Da Nang has launched a promotion programme aiming to welcome 350,000 foreign and 1.1 million domestic visitors. The programme includes a promotion campaign called Impressive Vietnam- Grand Sale 2010, and a tourism promotion with preferential offers for tourists in many hotels and restaurants. It also introduces new tourism services and organises various cultural, sport and tourism events.


This programme is part of the country’s tourism promotion programme Vietnam-Your Destination 2010 , that focuses on further promoting the potential of major tourism destinations like Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Da Lat and the Mekong Deltal and penetrate international markets such as Thailand, Singapore, China and Japan.


The national programme runs training courses for tourist drivers, shop assistants and staff in hotels and restaurants across the country as well as conducting campaigns to make the cities and beaches clean and tidy.


Source: VOV


Source: QDND