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Hoi An to launch new tourist products

In Uncategorized on January 12, 2011 at 7:11 am

Hoi An to launch new tourist products

QĐND – Saturday, January 08, 2011, 20:41 (GMT+7)

Some new and interesting tourist products have been launched by Hoi An City from the beginning of this year in order to improve tourism promotion and attract more visitors to the famous tourist site in Central Vietnam.

The city also continues to improve the quality of tourism services and products, such as eco-tourism in villages, islands, scuba diving, yachting, and others. In particular, the city will introduce a new kind of tourism, “boating on the streets during flooding”, in the coming time.

This year, the city will also erect information kiosks to help visitors learn more about and explore local tourist sites.

During the first days of 2011, thousands of domestic and foreign tourists rushed to Hoi An to celebrate the new year. At present, the weather in the city is fine.

Source: TT

Translated by Duy Minh

Source: QDND

Hoi An Town exempts entrance fee

In Uncategorized on January 8, 2011 at 4:17 am

               Hoi An Ancient Town

The Hoi An People’s Committee announced the exemption of entrance fee to Hoi An Ancient Town for Vietnamese Heroic Mothers, wounded soldiers, handicapped people, journalists, children and students below 16 years of age.

The local authorities are also offering a 50 percent discount on entrance fee to students and soldiers.

Town authorities are also further considering reducing the entry fee for diplomatic delegations, scholars and researchers.

Source: SGGP

Hoi An gives gift to the fourth millionth visitor

In Uncategorized on December 16, 2010 at 9:50 am

The four millionth visitor, Amelia (C), receives a gift from the Hoi An authority

The UNESCO-recognized natural heritage site of Hoi An town, in the central province of Quang Nam, welcomed and gave a gift to the fourth millionth visitor of 2010.

The town government gave this special gift to Amelia, a native from Australia, on December 7.

Hoi An has sold tickets for package tours of the town since 1995.  Seventy percent of the money raised from the ticket price is used on restoring and preserving historical and ancient relics.

UNESCO appreciates this money as it aids then in many areas of restoration and preservation.

Nearly VND200 billion (US$100,000) has been collected from selling tickets and VND144 billion has been given to the preservation fund.

Source: SGGP

Life Heritage Resort Hoi An hailed as one of Asia’s top ten resorts

In Uncategorized on November 7, 2010 at 1:53 pm

Guitar Hawaii, something to feel about Hoi An Ancient Town

In Uncategorized on May 7, 2010 at 12:39 pm

Along the coastal street from Danang City to Hoi An Ancient Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Center, luxury resorts stand side by side while others are under construction. Suddenly, a big sign stands on the right showing a foreigner playing guitar with a Vietnamese band at café Guitar Hawaii.

The café is located near An Hoi Bridge, which is a few steps from the Japanese Bridge –the symbol of the ancient town. Guitar Hawaii opens every night bringing to customers a warm and comforting atmosphere.

A singer performs at Guitar Hawaii Café (Photo: Tuong Thuy)

Nguyen Huu Tam, 34, the Guitar Hawaii owner, studied music at the Hue University of Arts in the ancient capital of Hue after high school in his home town of Hoi An. In 1997, he became a well-known guitarist among higher education students across the country since his student band Co La (Strange Grass) won the consolidation prize in the 1997 National Unplugged Music Contest. Co La was also voted as the most impressive band in that student competition.

Now, Guitar Hawaii offers friendly space for guests to enjoy music. International visitors have known this café and some have come to sing, accompanied by owner Tam and the bandsmen.

Tam says he opened the café to firstly satisfy his own passion for music.

Not limited to just a few kinds of music, the band and singers perform different types. In addition to moving love songs by late renowned Trinh Cong Son are gentle and swanky works by Cung Tien, beautiful songs by Pham Duy. The audience can also hear Blue, Rock ‘n’ Roll, Flamenco and internationally popular songs.

The scene that a foreign tourist plays guitar at this café has become familiar as this happens frequently. The quiet ancient town welcomes many international tourists everyday, and this makes Hoi An’s Tam able to believe that his choice of running this business is a sound decision.

Tam says his passion for music inspired him to make a Hawaii guitar, and he plays it to bring something new and surprising to the audience.

Hoi An Ancient Town was named a World Heritage Site in 1999 by UNESCO. It is an exceptionally well-preserved example of a South-East Asian trading port dating from the 15th to the 19th century. Its buildings and its street plan reflect the influences, both indigenous and foreign, that have combined to produce this unique heritage site. Hoi An is 30 kilometers south of Danang City.

Source: SGGP

Hoi An’s little towns serve up tasty treats

In Uncategorized on May 3, 2010 at 3:22 am

Hoi An’s little towns serve up tasty treats

QĐND – Sunday, May 02, 2010, 21:32 (GMT+7)

The UNESCO World Heritage listed town of Hoi An is known for its centuries-old streets, lanterns, tailors, Chinese temples, beaches and the Hoai River, which snakes its way through the emerald patchwork of paddy fields before discharging itself into the ocean.

But one equally important, but often overlooked cultural foundation is starting to gain traction with those in the know. The food from this central coast tourist centre is winning a reputation as some of the best in the country; and some of the cheapest.

Cam Nam Village, just a stones throw from the heart of Hoi An’s Old Quarter, typifies the sort of gastronomical experience available to people not afraid of straying from the uninspired menus of the lollipop cute cafes dotting the river’s banks.

This tranquil spot, at the lower section of the river, is home to dozens of little restaurants. The one thing they all have in common is that they all serve great local rustic fare.

Three of the most common local dishes served up to punters are: banh dap (smashing rice paper), hen xuc banh trang (clams served with crispy rice paper) and che bap (sweet corn soup).

Banh dap or smashing rice paper derives its name from the action needed to produce the dish. It is made from two pieces of rice paper – the first piece is crispy, the second is wet. To join them together, they must be smashed on to the table.

The two freshly joined pieces are then draped in oil cooked with onions and served with nuoc mam, a pungent fish sauce.

That’s it. A seemingly simple rice paper with contrary tastes: sweet and salty, crispy and soft.

Hen xuc banh trang is a combination of clams and crispy rice paper. The clams are fished up from the HoaiRiver, which runs through Cam Nam village.

The clams are boiled and then fried with dozens of fragrant vegetables and spices, including onion, spring onion, pepper, chilli, ginger, sugar water and peanuts.

When the clams are ready, crispy rice paper is set on the table, which is also used as a spoon for the dish.

Finally the desert: che bap (sweet corn soup). Hoi An’s sweet and sticky corn is perfect for this soup. Locals swear that one bowl is not enough and visitors that return are the first in line, ready for another helping.

Whether this is true or not is a matter of conjecture. What is true, is that no trip to Hoi An is truly complete without sampling the culinary spectacles that small village’s like Cam Nam have to offer.

Source: vietnewsonline

Source: QDND

Hoi Ky Village: a window into Vietnam’s past

In Uncategorized on April 19, 2010 at 2:06 pm

Nestled along the romantic O Lau River in north-central Quang Tri Province, the 500-year-old village of Hoi Ky remains a national treasure of Vietnamese heritage.

The small community, situated in Hai Chanh commune, was once home to 60 households along the riverbank. Courtyards shaded by banyan trees created a nostalgia for residents, reminding them of a time when their ancestors founded the new land.

But as the centuries passed, the little village was subjected to the ravages of war and little was done to preserve its unique character. While it continued to stand, signs of dilapidation increased. Later, as the country began to recover from the devastation of wartimes, new businesses moved into the area, looking to raze much of what was left of the old village.

Today, the very existence of the ancient homes is in jeopardy and local officials say that more preservation efforts are urgently needed to save this precious part of Vietnam’s history.

Ornate heritage homes

The antique house built in T-shape is 121 years old.

The antique house of local resident Duong Van Khanh Manh, called Tich Khanh Duong, was built in 1889 during the reign of King Thanh Thai. The home is now 121 years old and Mr. Manh is part of the fourth generation to live in the house and carry on the tradition of ancestor worship.

The house has a width of 12.3 meters, a length of 9.5 meters, and is divided into three sections built in T- shape. A total of 18 doors are also divided into groups of three to create balance in the home. In addition, there are four alternating tiled roofs and nine graded ones comprising over 10 thousand tiles. The house is supported by 48 pillars made of jack fruit wood (forest jack), with each pillar measuring 30cm in diameter.

In the center of the home is an altar, complete with a horizontal lacquered board inscribed with the words “Tich Khanh Duong” in Chinese characters. Antique fixtures such as bronze urns, incense bowls, candlesticks and flower vases adorn the worshipping area, and on either side of the altar there are four scrolls of Han characters intended to educate future generations.

 Roughly translated, the scrolls convey a message of hope for descendants to live a life of piety, develop good virtues and be worthy of carrying on the family name into eternity.

Nearby is the house of Madam Duong Thi Huong, called Duc Luu Quang. The home’s name means “the passing on of virtues,” and was built more recently in 1931. It covers 60 square meters and also contains a central alter area.

 The worshipping area is divided into two, and in the middle is an inscribed couplet written in Chinese characters. It translates roughly as: Enjoy blessings from ancestors; four generations of descendants will prosper; the clan will achieve eternal glory through blessings.

 Also located in the home is a horizontal lacquered board inscribed with the words “Tu dai dong duong” (four generations under one roof). According to this ancient concept, a house with four successive generations living in it, is a blessed one.

Urgent preservation efforts needed

Today, the ancient village of Hoi Ky is at risk of being completely destroyed in the name of modernization and urban development.

Mr. Cap Xuan Ta, head of the local Culture and Information Department, said, “Only the village of Hoi Ky still contains many antique houses of high cultural value. Sadly, most of them have not been repaired and staff  have not received proper training on how to preserve them optimally. Hence, much of the cultural architectures has been [negatively] affected.”

Across the O Lau river, meanwhile, the ancient village of Phuoc Tich in Thua Thien-Hue Province has already been recognized by the State as a National Heritage site. Each year, Phuoc Tich attracts hundreds of tourists who come to visit and study the village, contributing to the development of tourism in the area.

Many people believe that if the village of Hoi Ky were properly assessed, restored and invested in, the village could not only become an ideal tourism stop, but also regain its former glory as an important piece of Vietnamese history.

Source: SGGP

Hoi An struggling to balance progress, preservation

In Uncategorized on April 14, 2010 at 5:32 am

Over the past two decades, Quang Nam Province leaders and experts have sought measures to preserve the ancient town of Hoi An while continuing to draw visitors. But so far, none of the proposed solutions have proved effective in saving the town from continual dilapidation.

Disagreement over how to preserve the ancient town of Hoi An while developing eco-tourism in the area has left authorities at a loss (Photo: SGGP)

Since Hoi An was recognized by UNESCO as a World Cultural Heritage in 1999, it has become a well-know tourist destination in Vietnam’s central region and receives tens of thousands of domestic and foreign visitors annually.

During peak times, the ancient city welcomes over 3,200 tourists a day, 80 percent of which are foreigners.

Hoi An is thus a great financial boost to Quang Nam Province, contributing to total turnover of VND28 billion (US$1.5 million) annually from tourism to the area.

But with a focus on attracting more profits rapidly, many locals have rushed to destroy ancient, culturally valuable homes to create more space to carry out business.

Rather than investing in restoring vulnerable architecture and heritage, many businesses have bought several old homes located close together and simply torn down their walls to create one large area from which to conduct business.

Experts say that with this approach, Hoi An is in danger of one day losing its unique cultural value all together.

Unsatisfied residents

Nineteen ancient, privately owned houses in need of restoration in Hoi An have so far been renovated, with town authorities subsidizing VND800 million ($42,000) for each one.

However, the total cost of refurbishing each house is estimated at around VND1 billion ($52,000), meaning residents must put up the remaining money themselves.

For those whose homes are located in busy tourist areas, the restoration costs are considered worth it as families can profit from home-run businesses.

Yet for 13 other households whose culturally significant homes need renovations but are not located in high-traffic areas, the restoration costs are simply not worthwhile.

Hence, even though local officials have offered to pay up to 75 percent of refurbishment costs, the residents have refused, saying that even with the subsidies they would be left at a financial loss.

Hoi An town thus continues to seek solutions to sustainable development while keeping its original charm and character intact.

Le Van Giang, chairman of the Hoi An Town People’s Committee, said the ancient town should keep striving to develop into an environmentally friendly destination rich in cultural heritage.

Professor Hoang Dao Kinh, deputy chairman of the Vietnam Association of Architects, agreed, saying Hoi An should be built into a tourist-friendly eco-city.

Source: SGGP

Hoi An Ancient Town hosting festive week

In Uncategorized on March 24, 2010 at 5:42 am

Hoi An City – home to Hoi An Ancient Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Center – will organize a week of culture and tourism events on Mar. 21-28 to celebrate the 35th anniversary of the city liberation (Mar. 28).

The Ancient Town, a favorite destination for international tourists, will take center stage during the festive week.

A foreign tourist tours Hoi An Ancient Town by cyclo (Photo: Tuong Thuy)

The events will include a meeting, a parade, shows of traditional songs, competitions of decoration, a march of flower-decorated carriages and a camping, according to organizers.

Also included in the week are a gala entitled “Melody of the Time”; a gathering of writers, artists and outstanding athletes; women-football, coastal volleyball and net-knitting competitions and a fishing village festival.

Hoi An, in the central province of Quang Nam, will switch its lights off from 8:30 to 9:30 pm on March 27 to respond to the Earth Hour 2010 campaign.

Hoi An Ancient Town is an exceptionally well-preserved example of a South-East Asian trading port dating from the 15th to the 19th century. Its buildings and its street plan reflect the influences, both indigenous and foreign, that have combined to produce this unique heritage site.
Hoi An is 30 kilometers south of Danang City and stands on the banks of Thu Bon River, which made the town a trading port in the old days.

Source: SGGP Bookmark & Share

120 Japanese tourists visit Hoi An

In Vietnam Travel on March 22, 2010 at 4:09 pm

120 Japanese tourists visit Hoi An

QĐND – Monday, March 22, 2010, 21:37 (GMT+7)

The ancient town of Hoi An held a cultural night on March 20th to receive 120 tourists from Japan.

The Japanese tourists traveled to Vietnam on a direct flight between Japan and Da Nang and then were taken to Hoi An by Han River Tourism Company.

All Japanese visitors were very interested in the peaceful and glamorous night of the ancient town. They were drawn to the old architecture, flower garlands and colored lanterns casting colourful lights and Vietnamese traditional music performances. They took a lot of photos and became very surprised when they were taken to Cau pagoda with a Japanese-style bridge.

Deputy Director of the Hoi An Cultural Center, Nguyen Thi Nhung said that the number of international tourists to Hoi An is increasing and the center has so far received a number of contracts from tour organisations for tourists from Japan, Taiwan (China) and Germany.   

Source: TT

Translated by Thu Nguyen

Source: QDND