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Posts Tagged ‘town’

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

Authorities set to turn Cam Ranh town into city

In Uncategorized on January 8, 2011 at 4:06 am

On December 23, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung signed decision No 65/NP-CP, turning Cam Ranh Town into a city, which is in the central province of Khanh Hoa.

                      Cam Ranh international airport

Cam Ranh has a population of around 130,000 households and covers an area of more than 30,000ha.


The city has a deep-water bay with many beautiful beaches and it is some 30km away from the coastal city of Nha Trang.


The Khanh Hoa People’s Committee has approved a planning project to develop Cam Ranh. This will start now until 2025.


In addition, Cam Ranh airport became an international airport with the opening of an official direct air route linking Cam Ranh and Vladivostock in Russia last December.


The national aviation sector invested more than VND200 billion in building a new terminal, air traffic control station, a modern runway lights and other facilities in Cam Ranh Airport. The capacity of the new terminal doubles the old one which was only capable of loading 300 passengers per hour.


Khanh Hoa has currently two big cities including Nha Trang and Cam Ranh, and a town called Ninh Hoa.

Source: SGGP

Rains bring new misery to China mudslide town

In Uncategorized on August 12, 2010 at 7:21 am

ZHOUQU, China (AFP) – Fresh heavy rains on Thursday brought more misery to a town in northwest China devastated by mudslides that have already killed more than 1,100 people, with new floods leaving more missing.


Thousands of soldiers and rescuers were battling to clean up roads blocked by cascades of mud and sludge unleashed by storms overnight, complicating the task of getting food, water and medicine to those in need.

A woman offers a child something to eat amid the rubble of landslides that have devastated the northwestern Chinese town of Zhouqu. AFP

So far, 1,117 people have been confirmed dead in the disaster in Zhouqu, a town nestled in the mountains of Gansu province. Another 627 residents went missing at the weekend, and three more disappeared overnight, state media said. “The rain has had an impact on rescue work. It’s hindering the distribution of drinking water,” Han Huiping, a 25-year-old firefighter from a nearby town working on the relief effort, told AFP. “We’re worried.”


Soldiers and residents said heavy rains fell for about four hours overnight, turning one of the main streets in Zhouqu into a small river and flooding army tents on the roadside leading into the disaster zone.


Workers used diggers to clear the massive avalanche of mud and rocks that effectively split the town in two at the weekend as rain fell early Thursday. The peaks surrouding the town were shrouded in dark clouds.


The shortest route into Zhouqu from the provincial capital Lanzhou, mainly being used by relief crews, was blocked, the official Xinhua news agency reported.


Some shops in town had run out of drinking water well before noon, but new supplies appeared to be trickling in, an AFP correspondent witnessed.


“We’re really worried, but there is nothing much we can do,” said one villager who asked not to be named.


The bad weather was expected to continue at least through Friday.


The water level in the Bailong river, which cuts through Zhouqu, was higher on Thursday and flowing more quickly, an AFP correspondent saw. State media said the level had risen by three metres (six feet).


Troops were using excavators and explosives to clear blockages in the river and drain a barrier lake created by the rubble that, if it were to burst, could bring further destruction to areas already levelled by the torrent of mud.


Officials insisted Wednesday the risk had been minimised.


“The danger of the barrier lake collapsing suddenly has been basically eliminated,” the vice-minister of water resources, Jiao Yong, told a press conference in Beijing.


Provincial authorities have nevertheless evacuated areas near the lake, the official Xinhua news agency reported.


The mudslides levelled an area five kilometres (three miles) long and 300 metres wide, Xinhua said. Floodwaters up to three storeys high have submerged half the county.


Fears of an outbreak of water-borne disease mounted, with corpses still unclaimed and residents living in the rough without proper sanitary conditions. Army crews in chemical suits repeatedly sprayed disinfectant in the area.


Tons of garlic and Sichuan pepper, which some experts believe to be helpful in the prevention of certain ailments, have been sent to Zhouqu, the local health bureau said, according to the China Daily.


Doctors were encouraging relatives to cremate the remains of their loved ones as soon as possible to prevent health problems, but traditional burials are preferred in the area with a population that is one-third Tibetan.


Nearly 800 medical workers — also concerned about how the high summer temperatures could affect the precarious public health situation — have been dispatched to the scene, state media said.


Loudspeakers in town broadcast messages instructing residents how to protect themselves from disease. So far, no major problems have been reported.


The mudslides are the latest in a string of weather-related disasters, as China battles its worst flooding in a decade. More than 2,100 people were left dead or missing and 12 million evacuated before the Gansu tragedy.

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Source: SGGP

Dalat City likely to become low-carbon model town

In Uncategorized on July 26, 2010 at 3:19 pm




Dalat City likely to become low-carbon model town


QĐND – Monday, July 26, 2010, 21:37 (GMT+7)

The hilly resort city of Dalat in Lam Dong Province will likely be selected as a low-carbon model town by the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) community, said an official of Asia Pacific Energy Research Center.


Weerawat Chantanakome, senior team leader of the center, told the Daily on the sidelines of an energy forum held in Dalat on Tuesday that Tianjing City of China will be the first city to be selected as a low-carbon model town by late this year. 


“…and Dalat City in Vietnam also has many characteristics to be possibly selected as one of the low-carbon towns in APEC communities in the future,” he said. 


He explained that an APEC low-carbon model town project is being executed to encourage the creation of low-carbon communities in urban development plans and to share best practices for making such communities a reality. 


Chantanakome said a feasibility study for the project to select low-carbon model towns among APEC is being conducted between 2010 and 2012 with total budget of some US$500,000. Then, the project will be widely implemented within the next five years, 2012 to 2017. 


“We are working to finalize criteria for selecting low-carbon model towns among APEC, and I think Dalat is more possible to become a low-carbon model town because it does not have many skyscrapers, not so many high technologies,” he said. 


APEC has 21 members spanning in four continents, including the most advanced economies like the United States, Japan, and economies in Southeast Asia like Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam. 


He said the low-carbon model town project was mentioned in a declaration of APEC’s energy ministers June this year for the regional cooperation on low-carbon paths to energy security, focusing on cooperative energy solutions for a sustainable community. 


On the sidelines of the energy forum on Tuesday, the Daily also talked to some scientists about the targeted renewable energy development among ASEAN countries in the future. 


Weerawat Chantanakome of the Asia Pacific Energy Research Center said that ASEAN members aimed at using 15% of renewable energy by 2015 compared to the present ratio of around 10%. 


To do so, “we need to increase the ratio by at least one percentage point per year,” he said. 


Meanwhile, Pham Khanh Toan, Head of Vietnam Energy Institute, said that Vietnam still needs more favorable mechanisms to develop renewable energy. 


Although ASEAN aims high for renewable energy, renewable energy in use in Vietnam still accounts for less than 3%, so it should be feasible for Vietnam to reach around 10% by 2015, he said. 


Cao Hung Cuong, manager of CDM Project Department of PetroVietnam Finance Corporation, said that the development of clean energy projects in Vietnam such as hydropower, wind, and solar power among others should be further promoted. 


However, Cuong was concerned that the pricing policy for electricity from CDM projects did not encourage the development of such projects in the country.


Source: VietNamNet/SGT


Source: QDND

Brazilian mayor: Floods have flattened entire town

In Uncategorized on June 24, 2010 at 4:36 am

Torrential waters flattened a small town as floods raged through two states in northeastern Brazil and the death toll was expected to surpass 44 as rescuers searched Wednesday for hundreds of people reported missing.


Mayor Ana Lopes said the entire town of Branquinha, population 12,000, will have to be rebuilt in a different location. Television footage showed a train station washed away, its tracks ripped from the earth. Cars lay overturned and strewn along a riverbank. Dazed people wandered about streets littered with couches, chairs and mountains of mud.


A humble Roman Catholic Church with a rose-colored facade was one of the few buildings to survive — but it was surrounded by the rubble of nearby homes.


Storms last week dumped a month’s worth of rain on parts of neighboring Alagoas and Pernambuco states, near the point where Brazil juts farthest east into the Atlantic.


The Civil Defense Department said in a statement that 29 deaths had been reported so far in Alagoas, while 15 were reported dead in Pernambuco.

In this photo released by Agencia Brasil, a broken bridge stands in a swollen river after heavy rains in the city of Barreiros in Pernambuco state, Brazil, Wednesday, June 23, 2010.

At least 120,000 people were driven from their homes by the rains, but many found shelter in schools, churches or with family members.


In May 2009, flooding in the same areas killed at least 44 people and displaced 380,000.


Lopes said Wednesday that she would ask the federal government for help in obtaining land farther away from the Mundau river, which left its banks and sent powerful torrents of water through Branquinha. She also held out hopes for finding most of the 600 people reported missing, mostly from her town and another nearby.


“We hope that the people who are missing are found as quickly as possible, but it is still possible to believe that more people have been killed,” she was quoted as saying by G1, the news portal for Globo television.


Rains lifted early Wednesday, allowing rescuers to more easily reach the affected areas, but showers returned by afternoon. Officials said the areas prone to flooding had been evacuated to avoid more deaths.


The Civil Defense department of Alagoas said 200 soldiers were using planes, boats, helicopters and trucks to reach the hardest-hit areas. Tons of food, medical supplies and blankets arrived in the state capital and were being distributed. Heavy machinery was used to remove destroyed homes, while search dogs scoured areas where survivors or more bodies might be found.


A fire department spokeswoman in Maceio, the capital of Alagoas, said there were no reports yet of survivors found, but also nothing to indicate the missing were dead. She spoke on condition of anonymity, per department rules.


On Tuesday, Civil Defense officials said they believed most of the missing were safe — just unable to notify relatives of their status because there was no electricity and phones were knocked out.


Roads were erased by flooding and bridges torn in pieces, hampering search and rescue efforts and making aid delivery more difficult. The federal Transportation Ministry announced emergency funds of $40 million to begin immediate repairs.


The administration of President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva announced it was sending $56 million in food, medicine and other aid, and air force planes had already delivered about 10 tons of supplies to some of the worst-hit areas, officials said.


In the city of Palmares, in Pernambuco, residents complained of no support.


“I lost everything. I and my four sons don’t have a home. The little one, 4 years old, broke his arm in a current when he was thrown against a wall,” Ana Claudia da Silva, washing mud from her clothes in a public plaza, was quoted as telling the newspaper O Globo newspaper. “All I have today is this umbrella, a bucket and dirty clothes.”


Mechanic Ronaldo Claudino, who took six families into his home, told the newspaper that the only effort at support he saw in Palmares were two tanker trucks carrying fresh water, but they did not stop for thirsty citizens in his neighborhood.

“We don’t have anything to eat, to drink. We don’t even have money,” he said. “And, if we had it, there would not be anything to buy.”

Source: SGGP

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

9 dead as suspected rebels attack Philippine town

In Uncategorized on April 13, 2010 at 9:34 am

Suspected Muslim rebels wearing police and military uniforms detonated bombs and opened fire Tuesday in a southern Philippine city, triggering clashes that killed at least nine people, officials said.


The attack began with a series of simultaneous bomb blasts that hit a sports center, near a Roman Catholic cathedral and the residence of a local judge on Basilan Island, a militant stronghold where rebels and troops have repeatedly clashed, marine commandant Maj. Gen. Juancho Sabban said.

A Philippine armoured personnel carrier is pictured patrolling the streets in Isabela city, on the troubled southern Philippine island of Basilan.

He said at least three marines were killed and one was wounded by snipers while trying to secure the provincial capital of Isabela city after the blasts. Four civilians and two police officers also were among the dead, Basilan police chief Tony Mendoza said.


“The marines did not know where the snipers were firing when they were ambushed and that led to the death of three marines,” Sabban told The Associated Press.


A regional military commander, Lt. Gen. Benjamin Dolorfino, said the attackers were disguised in police and military uniforms. They set a vehicle on fire and fired at anyone “who looked like military or police” as they fled the scene, Mendoza said.


Security forces were in control of Isabela and the city was cordoned off, Sabban said.


“We are advising the civilians to stay calm and not to panic and let the security forces cordon the area,” Sabban said.


Troops took one suspected attacker into custody, he said.


Muslim rebels have been fighting for a separate homeland in the predominantly Catholic nation for decades. Predominantly Muslim Basilan province, about 550 miles (880 kilometers) south of Manila, is home to the al-Qaida-linked Abu Sayyaf group, notorious for kidnappings and bomb attacks over the last two decades, and the separatist Moro Islamic Liberation Front, which has a cease-fire with the government while negotiating for autonomy.


Sabban said it was not clear who was responsible, but the Abu Sayyaf and the Moro rebels cooperated in past attacks on civilians and security forces on Basilan.


One of the bombs was attached to a motorcycle, a tactic that has been used by Abu Sayyaf and Moro rebels in the past, Sabban said.


In February, militants raided a Basilan village, killing 11 people, including four children, in the wake of the recent killing of an Abu Sayyaf commander and the arrest of two key members. Government forces had been told to be on alert for reprisal attacks.


U.S.-backed offensives have considerably weakened the Abu Sayyaf, which has more than 390 fighters, but the government still considers the group a major security menace.

Source: SGGP

Quake survivors rebuild dreams in Haiti tourist town

In Uncategorized on March 25, 2010 at 4:02 am

Among the cracked colonial houses and shattered dreams that litter the beautiful Haitian beach resort and carnival city of Jacmel, a resilient people dare to hope as they rebuild for the future.

Youths walk through a street lined with rubble from buildings that collapsed in the earthquake in the Fort Nationale neighborhood of Port-au-Prince, Wednesday, March 24, 2010. (AFP Photo)

Disaster struck just as Haiti, a popular jet-set destination in the 1960s and 1970s for rich Americans and Europeans, was beginning to get back on the tourist map after years of political turmoil.


A Conde Nast Traveller piece in September boasted of its “ravishing natural assets, thrilling history, and magnetic culture,” and there was talk of opening up direct flights from Miami to Jacmel, the jewel in Haiti’s tourism crown.


The January 12 earthquake ended all that, killing more than 220,000 people, leaving 1.3 million homeless and relegating Haiti to near the bottom of anyone’s travel list.


Jacmel was hit particularly hard. Almost 500 people out of a population of 40,000 perished. The quake struck during the southern city’s vital January-March carnival, devastating the local economy.


“During the carnival period we normally make enough money for the rest of the year, for our children, for our families,” said Jules Andre, an artisan who fashions the exquisite papier-mache masks and decorations Jacmel is famous for.


Locals, who call themselves Jacmellians and are fiercely proud of the city’s reputation as Haiti’s cultural heart, had created a safe atmosphere here that was in marked contrast to the crime-ridden streets of the capital.


The city was largely unaltered from the 19th century when wealthy coffee merchants lapped up luxury in their mansions, looking out over wrought-iron balconies forged in Spain and France.


But many facades now lie in ruins and it is hard to imagine that this haven of relative tranquility, less than three hours by car or a 15-minute hop by plane from Port-au-Prince, will ever be restored to its pre-quake splendor.


A quarter of Jacmel’s 700 hotel rooms were destroyed and some establishments, like the optimistically named Peace of Mind, were completely flattened.


Other attractions did emerge unscathed. At Cyvardie beach, turquoise Caribbean waters lap a natural lagoon ringed by soft white sand. A death-defying drive into the hills reveals Bassin Bleu, a secret world of stunning waterfalls and shady rocks to plunge from.


“Jacmel is very important for tourism because we have a lot of places to visit, the architecture, nice beaches, nice people,” said Georges Metellus, who grew up here and runs an art foundation for children.


“My dream is to see Jacmel as I knew it before, to see a lot of tourists come, to rebuild our beach communities, our houses.”


Unlike the painfully slow progress that is hard to measure in the capital, Jacmel is making strides down the road to recovery, harnessing all its Jacmellian spirit to dream that a future is still possible.


Energized by an ambitious young mayor who has created cash-for-work programs, teams in green hard-hats busily clear the river-beds where debris was dumped after the quake.


Culture ministry officials say they still hope those Miami flights will one day roll in and that Jacmel can add substantially to the 25,000 tourists it saw in 2009.


For Annie Nocenti, an American journalist and filmmaker who teaches in Jacmel at the Cine Institute, where students have collaborated on remarkable post-quake film clips, the key is safeguarding the architecture.


“The draw of the tourism was because of these beautiful buildings. If they don’t restore at least those facades, that’s really going to hurt tourism here.”


Jacmel residents reacted furiously when the local authorities put red dots on all the buildings they wanted to tear down because they were considered structurally unsafe.


“There’s a certain paranoia that someone is going to take advantage of the leveled areas to put in monster hotels,” said Nocenti. “I doubt it because who would invest in Haiti right now considering there has just been an earthquake.


“The local economy has been devastated. It’s going to take years to get people to feel safe enough to come to Haiti again,” she said, pointing out that the rich weekend crowd from Port-au-Prince had deserted Jacmel’s beaches.


Bayard Jean-Bernard, a 28-year-old student at the Cine Institute who worked as a tour guide before the quake, said the spirit of Jacmel was dying without the carnival, which was canceled because of the disaster.


“We like to have that feeling, we like to have that atmosphere. We are missing this atmosphere this year.”

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

The beauty of Meo Vac mountain town

In Vietnam Landscapes on March 9, 2010 at 8:51 am




The beauty of Meo Vac mountain town


QĐND – Monday, March 08, 2010, 21:7 (GMT+7)

The quiet town of Meo Vac lies at the heart of the Meo Vac mountain border district in Ha Giang province.


The isolated town is located in a valley surrounded with the rocky mountains inhabited mostly by H’mong ethnic people.


It does not take much time to wander around the peaceful town but exploring it takes quite a while.


The forest and the fields stand in perfect harmony with the H’mong residential area and the administration offices and public works.


Source: VOV


Source: QDND