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Yang Bay attracts tourists in search of natural paradise

In Uncategorized on October 29, 2010 at 4:47 pm




Yang Bay attracts tourists in search of natural paradise


QĐND – Friday, October 29, 2010, 23:19 (GMT+7)

Yang Bay in the central province of Khanh Hoa is famed for its pristine beauty, expansive forests, and glassy waterfalls – in fact the superlatives go on and on.


Duong Le Na, an overseas Vietnamese from the US and her friends recently decided to travel to the site. When they arrived at Yang Bay she was beside herself with joy.


“On the stone steps of the gentle slope we started our journey to Yang Bay waterfall. The fresh air the cool water, I’m in ecstasy,” she wrote in an e-mail to a friend. ‘


“The quite beatitude is broken by the roaring of the waterfall. The waterfall feeds into several small lakes below, of which the deepest is 16m. My friends and I immediately drived into the water to enjoy the coolness. We are all in agreement that this is the most beautiful place on earth,” Na wrote.


Yang Bay means “heaven’s waterfall” in the language of the Gia Rai people, one of the 53 ethnic groups in Vietnam .


The river begins at a spring some 2km higher up in the mountains. It plunges down several waterfalls into a one-metre deep crystal clear pool.


The two other major waterfalls in the area are Yang Khang and Hocho. After a refreshing dip, visitors can relax in a natural hot spring.


Yang Bay waterfall is also famed for the “lithophone” that has been erected – iron wires fastened to the cliff that play as the water passes over it.


Gia Rai residents are proud of their musical ability and are only too happy to entertain visitors. They play traditional instruments such as the chapi, t’rung, tacung flute, taleploi clarinet and the dan da (stone instrument).


Situated in Khanh Vinh District’s Khanh Phu Commune, Yang Bay waterfall forms part of the 57ha Yang Bay Tourism Park .


Locals put on a variety of activities to entertain tourists, such as pig racing and crossbow shooting. There is also a 4,500sq. m bear farm. Visitors can also feed crocodiles.


Na’s friend Ken Jones was particularly taken by the crocodile farm. “Feeding the crocodiles was fun but terrifying,” he said.


Na meanwhile fell in love with the orchid gardens.


“I have lived far from my homeland for more than 30 years. I can’t believe how beautiful and pristine this place is,” she said.


After the orchid gardens Na and her friends listened to locals playing the dan da and t’rung, which consists of five to seven pieces of bamboo of varying length that are tied together with two parallel cords. It can be rolled up. When played it is hung from a metal frame. The musician strikes the bamboo with two to four rods. The sound of the t’rung is reminiscent of running water.


“At the end of the evening, we relaxed by a campfire and sampled local culinary delicacies such as grilled crocodile and steamed bamboo filled with minced pork. Ostrich is another popular local dish,” said Na.


To get to Yang Bay from Nha Trang City you must pass through Dien Khanh town and several villages.


Yang Bay reserve occupies 570ha and is famed for its virgin forest. It is known as Gia Rai in the local language.


Entrance tickets cost 30,000 VND for adults and 15,000 VND for children. English speaking tour guides cost 100,000 VND per hour, while Vietnamese language guided cost 50,000 VND per hour, said tourism official Hoang Van Khanh, who works for Khotoco Co.


The 800m tree-lined path to the centre is a festooned with flowers and creepers. The foot weary can catch an electric bus for 10,000 VND.


For those wanting to take a dip in Yang Khang Waterfall, swimming costumes can be hired for 60,000 VND to 70,000 VND. Floats cost 5,000 VND.


Just under a kilometre away is the Hocho Waterfall.


Yang Bay welcomes thousands of visitors each year.


“We plan to invest billions of dong in Yang Bay . We want to build a mud bath and a high-end resort,” Khanh said with a smile surveying the beautiful countryside. “Then more people will be able to enjoy the nature and the loveliness of the reserve.


Source: VNA


 


Source: QDND

Hanoi sets up a reserve fund for victims of natural disasters

In Uncategorized on August 6, 2010 at 3:21 pm




Hanoi sets up a reserve fund for victims of natural disasters


QĐND – Friday, August 06, 2010, 20:47 (GMT+7)

The Hanoi People’s Committee has allowed the Northern Foodstuff Corporation and the Hanoi Trade Corporation to disburse in advance VND 100 billion in reserve goods and foodstuff for emergency aid to people in natural calamity-hit areas during this year’s stormy and rainy season.


The sum, drawn from the city’s financial reserve fund, will be used to buy rice, instant noodles or dry provisions, candles and drinking water for people in the regions hit by natural disaster in the city.


The Department of Industry and Commerce and related agencies are in charge of the scheme to ensure stable life for local people in the stricken areas.


Also the Department of Industry and Commerce has a responsibility of supervising of the use of the reserve fund for the right purposes and ensure the refund is on time.


Source: Dantri


Translated by Mai Huong


Source: QDND

Natural disasters caused heavy losses in life and property

In Uncategorized on August 1, 2010 at 7:18 pm




Natural disasters caused heavy losses in life and property


QĐND – Sunday, August 01, 2010, 21:10 (GMT+7)

The first and second tropical storms in July, Conson and Chanthu, caused great losses of human lives and resources, and seriously impacted production and the daily lives of the local people.


The General Statistics Office (GSO) says that the natural disasters have left 40 dead and missing and caused a total of VND1,300 billion in property damage. The northern port city of Hai Phong suffered most, with a material loss of about VND1,200 billion.


According to a preliminary report by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD), more than 100 houses collapsed and about 1,900 more were partially damaged, while nearly 13,000 hectares of rice and other crops were damaged or washed away.


Each year, about 750 people are killed or go missing in Vietnam due to natural disasters, and an estimated 1.5 percent of the nation’s GDP in property is lost. Functional agencies need to increase their forecasting and warning capacity for floods and storms and make more joint efforts in responding to natural disasters.


The Central Steering Committee for Flood and Storm Prevention and the National Committee for Search and Rescue should draw up flexible plans to help local people cope with natural calamities to minimise human and material losses.


Source: VOV


Source: QDND

Japan helps VN raise capacity in natural disaster control

In Uncategorized on July 1, 2010 at 6:22 pm




Japan helps VN raise capacity in natural disaster control


QĐND – Thursday, July 01, 2010, 21:19 (GMT+7)

The Japanese Government will help Vietnam raise capacity in coping with natural disasters caused by climate change through a programme worth 2 billion JPY (22 million USD), according to the Japanese Embassy in Hanoi.


Documents on the programme were signed in Hanoi on June 30 by Japanese Ambassador to Vietnam Sakaba Mitsuo and Natural Resources and Environment Minister Pham Khoi Nguyen.


The Japanese embassy’s press release said the programme is under the framework of the Japanese Government’s non-refundable aid and it will focus on improving the rain and flood forecast and warning system in Vietnam ’s northern region.


Ambassador Sakaba said he hope that through the strategic cooperation relations between the two countries, particularly the programme, the two sides would join hands to implement activities to cope with global climate change and Vietnam would strengthen its mechanism on natural disaster control to protect people’s lives.


Japan has actively assisted Vietnam in strengthening its disaster control capacity through the provision of loans and non-refundable aid and technical cooperation.


As one of the countries hardest hit by climate change, the Vietnamese Government considered natural disaster mitigation as an important issue in socio-economic development. The nation’s strategy in natural disaster control and mitigation till 2020 has set a target of raising capacity of meteorology forecast.


Source: VNA


 


Source: QDND

Deforestation ravages national parks and natural reserves

In Uncategorized on June 28, 2010 at 12:51 pm

Vietnam’s natural forests have severely deteriorated in recent years. To protect forests at 17 national parks and 40 natural reserves on over the country, the State spends hundreds of billions of dong annually. However, forests are still in grave danger.

 

Deforestation tools left by lumberjacks who ran away (Photo: SGGP)

Sai Gon Giai Phong reporters recently toured around Yok Don National Park in Buon Don District of the Central Highlands province of Dak Kak, following Y Wen, a local expert on the park.


Upon entering area 458, which features the highest reserves of forest remaining in the Yok Don Park, reporters said they saw dozens of stumps of Narra Padauk, a valuable wood with good flavor and beautiful veins.


The Drang Phok Forest Management Station tasked officials to watch the area closely for illegal lumber operations.  When the last tree fell on June 4, lumberjacks finished slaughtering it within less than an hour, after officials left their mission for lunch, Y Wen told reporters.


Halfway up the mountain, Y Wen stopped walking, listened attentively and said that he could hear the sounds of power-saws on the other side of the mountain.


He rushed to take the reporters to the top of the mountain, where they witnessed many lumberjacks cutting down trees. The woodcutters ran away, leaving three “bleeding” stumps of Narra Padauk together with power-saws, carving tools, water cans and clothes.


Y Wen said that it took a week for officials to transport fallen timber to the station and if there were no security guards on duty, then lumberjacks would soon take the bounty away.


From Forest Management Station No.3, reporters were guided by another local man named Thanh. Along a red soil path leading to Dak Lau Dam, they saw dozens of valuable trees reduced to stumps.


At Phat Waterfall, a host of trees have been found cut down.


Travelling along the upper reaches of the Serepok River, reporters said they found tens of places where lumberjacks had gathered wood.


At night, groups of woodcutters noisily cut down and transport trees along the riverbanks, Thanh said. The precious lumber would be transported to the other side of the river and then carried to Buon Ma Thuot City.


According to the Yok Don National Park’s Management Board’s figures, since the beginning of the year, officials have uncovered and handled about 280 cases of deforestation and seized over 500 cubic meters of illegally downed trees.


However, an official from the park management board revealed that this was just a small number compared to total. The Yok Don Park alone sees 1,500 to 2,000 cubic meters of lumber cut down every month. At this rate, the national park will run out of all precious woods in next five to ten years, he said.

Hard to protect

Precious lumber seized at Drang Phok forest management station in Dak Lak Province (Photo: SGGP)

In the northern central region, 94,000 hectare Pu Mat National Park in Nghe An Province has 11 forest management stations.


 A park official said that since the beginning of the year, about 100 cases of deforestation have been uncovered, revealing nearly 100 cubic meters of precious woods seized by lumberjacks and 100 hectares forest land occupied by local farmers.


Hoang Van Huu, another official, said that local residents have cut trees down for timber while the lumberjacks have transported the precious woods with rafts along Khe Thoi and Khe Luong streams to Con Cuong District.


It has been difficult for forest management officials to control the situation as a station usually has just two officials to watch over 5,000 hectares of forest, he said.


Reporters said they were amazed to find that only 100 meters from Huu’s station is mountainous village of Phong, where about 80 of 120 rooftops are made from precious woods with plenty of excess lumber laying on floors and lining pathways around the houses.


At Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park in Quang Binh Province, the deforestation has also been severe. Khe Cat on the Ho Chi Minh Highway, Trooc and Xuan Son Ferry Station are considered “hot spots” of illegal lumberjacking and transporting of precious woods.


The most sophisticated area is Bo Trach District, where hundreds of local residents inconsiderately invaded the forest to take away tens of cubic meters of precious woods in April.


Officials blame the heavy flow of transport trucks hauling illicitly obtained lumber, beginning in the late afternoon each day, on a lack of personnel tasked to watch over these vast areas.

Source: SGGP

Hydroelectric plant killing natural treasure

In Uncategorized on March 31, 2010 at 10:52 am

Located more than 50 kilometers south of Da Lat City in Lam Dong Province, Pongour Waterfall was once considered the most majestic natural treasure in the southwest Highlands jungle. But due to the recent construction of the Dai Ninh hydroelectric dam, the magnificent waterfall has all but dried up.

Several years ago, the imposing Pongour waterfall was considered a natural treasure.  (Photo: Khanh Huy)

From 40 meters above, massive amounts of water once gushed down into a large swirling pool, mimicking the sound of thunder, especially in the rainy season.


The 13th and last king of the Nguyen Dynasty, Bao Dai (1913-1997), called the waterfall Nam thien de nhat thac (The most imposing waterfall in the South).

The province tasked the Dat Nam Tourism Company with managing, investing in and developing Pongour Waterfall tourism since 1998.


But in 2007, the Dai Ninh Hydroelectric Plant blocked the flow of Da Nhim River to keep water for its reservoir.


As a result, Pongour has run dry since 2008 while nearby Gougah and Bao Dai waterfalls now flood during the rainy season.


Since the dam began blocking the water, tourism in the area has also been seriously affected.

The once-majestic Pongour Waterfall in Lam Dong Province is now completely dry after a hydroelectric dam was built upstream. (Photo: SGGP)

Every year, during the full moon of the first lunar month, the Pongour Waterfall Festival takes place featuring musical performances by Highland ethnic minorities.

 

The traditional event attracts large masses of local and foreign visitors. In previous years, more than 10,000 people would turn out for the festival.


However, in the past three years, the event has attracted only around 6,000 tourists each year.


Earlier, ticket revenue from the waterfall festival was around VND1 billion (US$50,000) a year. However, the company earned just VND300 million ($15,000) in 2008 and 2009, said the director of Dat Nam Tourism.


To bring back the waterfall and the tourists who flock to see it, Dat Nam Tourism recently asked the province to build a dam that would serve to keep the waterfall active. The VND3 billion ($150,000) reservoir is intended to retain water at night and let water flow down the falls during the day.


Construction of the dam is hoped to finish in time for the next waterfall festival in the first lunar month


Another dam linked to the Da Nhim hydropower plant has also left the Lien Khuong Waterfall dry. The nearby Cam Ly Waterfall, meanwhile, which authorities want closed, has been polluted for several years.

Source: SGGP

Vietnam to ban raw natural resource exports: Party chief

In Vietnam Economy on October 25, 2009 at 5:32 pm




Vietnam to ban raw natural resource exports: Party chief


QĐND – Sunday, October 25, 2009, 20:49 (GMT+7)

Vietnam will impose a ban on selling raw natural resources and focus on processing them, Communist Party Secretary General Nong Duc Manh said Wednesday.


“In the world, poor countries typically sell their natural resources while rich ones buy and process them [for re-selling], Manh said at a National Assembly meeting in Hanoi, “It’s time for us to focus on processing.”


Vietnam is shipping many of its resources abroad. For example, crude oil is one of the country’s top export earners. Crude oil shipments in the first nine months of this year valued US$4.77 billion, just after garments’ export turnover. Meanwhile, the nation currently imports almost all of its oil products.


Pham Khoi Nguyen, Minister of Natural Resources and Environment, said, “Ten years ago, no country wanted to engage in mining in Vietnam. But now, many are ready to explore mines in the country and then ship it back home. This is because they are expecting a crisis in natural resources in the near future.


Source: Thanh Nien, Tuoi Tre


Source: QDND Bookmark & Share

Ha Long Bay: one of the world’s natural wonders

In Vietnam Travel on October 10, 2009 at 2:10 am




Ha Long Bay: one of the world’s natural wonders


QĐND – Thursday, October 08, 2009, 21:54 (GMT+7)

The Vietnam National Administration of Tourism said on October 8 that Ha Long Bay has been ranked as one of the 150 most beautiful natural wonders in the world by the French leading e-magazine, L’Internaute.


An article portraying Ha Long Bay – a world natural heritage, was published in September in the Voyager (tourism) column of L’Internaute magazine.


The article noted that apart from its thousands of charming islands and beautiful caves, Ha Long Bay is also home to a wide biodiversity that includes eco-systems like mangrove forests, coral reefs and tropical forests.


The Bay, which was twice recognised by UNESCO for its landscape and geological value, has advanced to the final stage of a campaign to vote for the world’s seven new natural wonders by the NewOpenWorld.


It currently ranks 4th out of the 28 successful landscapes in terms of votes.


Vietnam is making an effort to promote and preserve the Bay in a bid to encourage the community, especially friends across the world to vote for it.


Source: VNA


Source: QDND

Ha Long Bay rises up natural wonder chart

In Vietnam Travel on September 14, 2009 at 12:13 pm

Ha Long Bay, Quang Ninh Province, September 14 has risen to 4th in the global vote for new seven natural wonders of the world, an idea by NewOpenWorld, after falling to 27th at the beginning of September.








Ha Long Bay

Jeju Island, Republic of Korea, is currently first, followed by second and third placed Yushan Mountain, Taiwan, and the Sundarbans mangrove forest, Bangladesh and India.


Standing at bottom of the list are Fundy Bay, Canada, and the Grand Canyon, the US.


At the 2009 East Asia Tourist Forum in Republic of Korea’s Gangwon Province on September 8, Quang Ninh Province officials called on international friends to vote for Ha Long Bay.


Related articles:
Ha Long Bay slides to 27th in ‘natural wonders’ list


Source: SGGP

Phong Nha-Ke Bang ecotrail offers many natural wonders

In Uncategorized on December 15, 2008 at 4:34 pm

Hanoi (VNA) – Nature creates amazing things. Take, for example the spring named “Suoi Nuoc Mooc” in the world heritage site of Phong Nha-Ke Bang, where columns of water rise up wonderfully, seeming to defy gravity before making their way to the nearby Chay River .

These days, this long-hidden charm of “Suoi Nuoc Mooc” spring has gained wider public exposure, thanks to the creation of an ecological trail leading to it, established thanks to funding from Germany agencies, including DED, BMZ, GTZ, KfW, and the support of local residents.

The creation of the trail was part of a project called “Nature conservation and the sustainable management of natural resources in the Phong Nha-Ke Bang region”, which aims to encourage local residents to become involved in efforts to improve their living standards, while still protecting local natural resources.

To that goal, residents living in areas surrounding Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park , who used to rely on illegal logging in the region, have been provided with soft loans and provided with the necessary skills to arrange and run tourist services.

Launched earlier this year, the project is being carried out in 146 hamlets and villages in the region, bringing practical benefits to almost 60,000 locals.
The project, with a budget of just under 17.6 million EUR is expected to have the finances to run until 2015.

Developers of the “Suoi Nuoc Mooc” spring trail also have high hopes of satisfying those who wish to explore the diverse Phong Nha-Ke Bang ecosystem, which is named as one of the world’s top 200 biodiversity centres and boasts two bird sanctuaries.

Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park boasts more than 2,600 species of flora, 735 vertebrate species, and 369 insect species, of which 116 floral species and 129 animal species are listed in the Vietnam and world red books of endangered species, as well as 28 floral and faunal species that are threatened with extinction globally.

During a recent field-trip to Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park , Birgit Wendling, counsellor in charge of cooperation and development for the German Embassy in Hanoi , said her country has granted more than 1 billion EUR since 1999 to assist Vietnam in the fields of education, management of natural resources, environmental protection and health care.

She revealed that the total budget for Vietnam this year is 117 million EUR.-