Da Nang seeks place on world tourism map

The central city of Da Nang should recognise where it is on the world tourism map and the role the administration can play to boost the tourism industry, said economist Tran Du Lich at a seminar on Saturday.




A view of Ba Na hill in the central city of Da Nang. 


The seminar, titled: Developing Da Nang into an international centre of tourism and service industries, drew the participation of 300 participants from the US, Japan, Germany, Singapore and Viet Nam.

"Da Nang is at the centre of many tourism destinations and world heritage sites, including Hoi An, the My Son Sanctuary, the Hue Monument Complex and Phong Nha-Ke Bang.

The city should develop a master plan to facilitate high quality tourism, not just the number of visitors," Lich said.

"The city has to answer questions about how to make visitors stay longer, using entertainment, shopping and other attractions. The city's tourism industry should think about how to encourage tourists to spend more during their vacations," Lich suggested.

Vice chairman of the city's People's Committee, Huynh Duc Tho, said the seminar was a chance for experts and managers to discuss how to turn the city into an international tourism destination.

"We wan to become an international destination by using our beautiful beaches, mountains and pristine nature reserves in the Son Tra peninsula," Tho said.

"The city has seen big changes after we turned the slums into resorts and hotels that face the ocean. However, we have yet to reach our full potential," he said.

Robert Day, vice president and director of Planning and Landscape at WATG, said Da Nang was already Viet Nam's third largest city and was still rapidly developing.

"There have been several conferences helping to define how, what and where Da Nang and its hinterland should grow. But Da Nang's land area and potential is far too big to have one blanket approach to tourism over the entire city and its hinterland," Day said at the seminar.

"There is a real need to develop distinct tourism zones within the city to cater for different market segments. Being a true city, Da Nang also has the physical space to provide most of the required accommodation and other amenities anticipated for this central region."

Peter Dyder, general manager of Indochina Capital, said the city should increase international airlift.

"One area that is impacting airlift and the arrival of new carriers from new destinations is airport landing fees. The cost for an airline to land in Da Nang is more than double that of comparable destinations. This is prohibiting airlines flying to Da Nang as they can not make adequate profit to justify the route," Dyder said.

He also said the visa process needed to be simplified.

"To obtain a visa in a foreign country such as Australia, the US or UK costs about US$100 per person. A family of four adds up to $400 on visas alone, enough to make them reconsider coming to Viet Nam," he said.

According to a report by the World Tourism Orgnisation and World Travel and Tourism Council, Viet Nam could increase international arrivals by 8-18 per cent if it implements the visa on arrival system.

Dyder suggested the city should create more international standard tourist attractions and events like the Iron-Man Triathlon or even the Da Nang Formula One race weekend.

Don Lam, CEO of Vinacapital, said Da Nang should improve service quality and prioritise tourism development activities.

He said tourists had nowhere to go after 10pm in the city, while the marketing budget for tourism was too low.

Amir Ahmad Mohamad, general manager of Hoang Anh Gia Lai Plaza Hotel Da Nang, said the city was yet to develop into an international entertainment centre to lure tourists during long vacations.

He said tourism and marketing promotion were still poor, while Da Nang was just known as a destination for domestic visitors, not like Hoi An.

Speaking at the conference, director of the Viet Nam Institute of Economics Tran Dinh Thien pointed out that the city still lacked the qualities to make it a livable city.

"Sea tourism is our main attraction, but mountains, forests, crafts and adventure tourism are not promoted enough. This is the reason why tourists who visit the city just enjoy seafood on the beach for three or four days," Thien said.

"It has no city centre in the tourism sense, and there aren't many entertainment centres for people to spend around the beach resorts and hotels."

According to the latest report, the city welcomed 3 million tourists in the first three quarters this year, earning VND7.8 trillion (US$371 million).

The city has 22,000 tourism workers, but 40 per cent of them are unskillful.

Da Nang has attracted 60 investment projects in tourism property, including 13 FDI projects, with total capital of $4 billion.

Cultural corner maximizes Lam Dong’s tourism potential

The Central Highland province of Lam Dong in co-ordination with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is set to build “Da Lat-Lam Dong corner” in some Vietnamese embassies abroad in 2015.

Local authorities asked relevant agencies to collect photographs, pictures, publications and documents, DVDs to assist Vietnamese embassies in realizing the plan.

The scheme is designed to promote the image of Lam Dong province, its culture and architectural heritage to foreigners and create more investment cooperation and trade promotion opportunities.

Lam Dong is projected to increase number of tourists to Da Lat city next year by participating in cross-cultural exchanges and tourism fairs in some regional and world nations.

Hoi An tourists explore farming in Cam Chau

Cam Chau village, a suburb of Hoi An home to more than 1,200 people, has created a tour for visitors interested in Vietnamese farming and wining and dining.

Cam Chau is the area's second farm destination after the market-garden village of Tra Que. It is only 5km from the old city of Hoi An.

Visitors can work on rice and vegetable farms and fish with local people. Afterwards, they can relax over cuisine prepared from locally produced foods. Visitors can also listen to folk music performances.

Museum of ancient homes opens in Quang Nam

A museum focusing on ancient architecture, the Vinahouse Space, has just opened in the central province of Quang Nam's Dien Ban District. It hosts what is believed to be the biggest old house in Viet Nam.

The museum features 18 ancient Vietnamese homes and 12,000 exhibits spanning 11,000sq m. It holds five national records from the Viet Nam Book of Records, including biggest old house in Viet Nam and two of the oldest houses.

The oldest building in the museum was built 200 years ago with 108 wooden columns.

Stork Island listed as national relic

The Dao Co (Stork Island), located in Thanh Mien District in the northern province of Hai Duong, has been named a national relic, local authorities have said.

The official naming ceremony will be organised in mid-November.

Travel operators plan to establish tours in the area, including visits to Dong Temple, Tranh Temple and Khuc Thua Du Temple, as well as Hong Phong water puppetry village.

One- and two-day tours will be arranged to visit Dao Co and other beautiful sites nearby.

Italian daily likens Phu Quoc Island to “paradise”

Italian newspaper "La Repubblica" has written about the most beautiful beaches in Vietnam, especially those in Phu Quoc island.

It describes Phu Quoc as a small paradise and an ideal place for visitors, especially Italian people during winter, with primeval beaches, beautiful landscape and competitive prices.

It takes a short time to travel to Phu Quoc by air or canoe from Ho Chi Minh City, the paper wrote.

Tourists can discover the island by many ways, such as riding bike or motorbike, scuba diving, and visiting islands like An Thoi or historical relics like Phu Quoc prison.

The paper asserted that visitors should not miss Mui Ne during their journey to discover the most beautiful beaches in Vietnam. Mui Ne has favourable weather condition, nice hotels, and long and unpolluted beaches as well as fresh seafood dishes.

La Repubblica also introduced to readers other beautiful beaches in Con Dao and Danang.

Tourist arrivals slide in October

International arrivals to Vietnam in October dipped 11.1% compared to the same period last year, according to the latest statistics released by the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism.

So far this year, traffic from Finland plummeted by 59%, followed by Russia (down 32%), Thailand (28%), Taiwan (21%), China (19%) and Sweden (15%).

The number of holiday-makers to Vietnam by sea plummeted overall by 90%, while those travelling by air and sea routes fell by 15% and 64%, respectively.

The Environmentally and Socially Responsible Tourism Capacity Development Programme (ESRT) also surveyed over 3,000 visitors who travelled to Hue, Danang, Hoi An, Ha Long and Sapa – the five major tourist attractions in Vietnam.

The results of the survey showed the number of visitors on return holiday to these five places was very low, standing at a meagre 6%.

The survey suggests that more marketing need be done to raise the image of the nation to international groups, in order to get their enthusiastic support to promote tourism to Vietnam.

Both domestic and international visitors reported they were eager to recommend Vietnam as a must see travel destination, however international tourism agencies and groups are still lukewarm on the making the suggestion.

Tourists are keen on organising tours by themselves and bypassing travel agencies. Nature, landscape and atmosphere were the most important determinants for their stay in the country, the survey shows.

Binh Thuan receives 2.8 mln arrivals in nine months

In the nine months leading up to October, the number of tourists arriving in the southern province of Binh Thuan jumped 10% on-year to 2.8 million, grossing VND4,406 billion in revenue.

The figures were released by Ngo Minh Chinh, Director of the Binh Thuan province Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism at a recent ceremony celebrating 19 years of the tourism industry in the province.

Over the past 19 years, Binh Thuan has overcome many difficulties to become a national tourism spot, Chinh said

In 2014, the nation’s tourism industry is facing many challenges. The road construction expanding Highway 1A in Binh Thuan is making it difficult for tourists to travel and there is substantially increased competitiveness among resorts in coastal provinces.

The locality targets to receive 4.5 million arrivals in 2015, earning VND7,500 billion in revenue from the tourism industry. It is striving to become a safe, friendly and good-quality destination for tourists, Chinh said.

Thirty individuals and enterprises were honoured at the ceremony for their great contributions to the development of the local tourism industry.

First tourism department debuts in Ho Chi Minh City

Ho Chi Minh City inaugurates a Department of Tourism, the first of its kind nationwide, on October 23 to enhance management in the field.

The new department was separated from the municipal Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism, which now becomes the Department of Culture and Sport.

Under a decision issued earlier this month by Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee, the Department of Tourism will undertake activities related to state management on tourism, such as the assessment of applications for international travel business licenses and the evaluation of the rankings for accommodation establishments.

The department will work with relevant departments and sectors to draw models and measures to ensure social security and safety for tourists, and promote environmental protection efforts in the city’s tourist sites.

Ho Chi Minh City is one of the nation’s tourist hubs, making up 47% of the country’s tourism revenues, said Vice Chairwoman of the municipal People’s Committee Nguyen Thi Hong.

In the first seven months of this year, the city welcomed nearly 2.4 million foreign tourists, a year-on-year increase of 9.1%. The sector earned VND52 trillion (US$3.3 billion) in revenue, up 8.5%.

Three Vietnamese museums cited in top 25 of Asia

TripAdvisor, the world’s largest travel website, has named three Vietnamese museums – the Museum of Ethnology, the Women’s Museum and the War Remnants Museum – in the top 25 most attractive museums in Asia.

Travellers’ Choice awards honour top travel spots in Asia based on the valuable reviews and opinions from TripAdvisor travellers. Award winners were determined using a methodology that took into account the quantity and quality of reviews for museums in Asia, gathered over a 12-month period.

All three museums had been previously awarded Travellers Choice Awards in 2013.  

The Vietnamese Museum of Ethnology placed fourth this year, up two steps from a year earlier. The Vietnamese Women’s Museum ranked sixth, up five, and the War Remnants Museum was 11th, down six.

Exhibit highlights betel and areca chewing bond

The Women's Museum in the south-central province of Ninh Thuan on Tuesday opened an exhibition about the custom of betel and areca chewing of Vietnamese ethnic minorities. Photos and various objects make up the exhibition.

The traditional custom of chewing betel and areca shows the bond between husband and wife and the love among brothers. People chew betel or areca at traditional ceremonies such as weddings, as well as in daily life. The exhibition will close at the end of next month.

Vietnamese adventurer shares travel experiences in Europe

Vu Dang Quang Tung, nicknamed Michael Jo, interacted with other adventure lovers in Vietnam on Saturday about his journeys across Europe.

His travels are described in his photo book that has generated a lot of interest in the country's libraries over the last few days.

The photo book, entitled Jo Du Ky – Chau Au 30 ngay dem (Jo's Traveller's Notes-Europe 30 Days and Nights), published by the Youth Publishing House, tells about Tung's rich experiences and the difficulties he faced during his 30-day trip covering several European countries such as France, Germany, Hungary, Austria, Italy and Spain. He faced several challenges in countries where he didn't know the language and the topography well.

The interaction be held at the Goethe Institute situated at 56-58 Nguyen Thai Hoc Street in Ha Noi at 6.30pm, with the participation of Japanese lacquer artist Ando Saeko.

At the event, the Youth Publishing House offered special discounts on all its books that are sold at the Goethe Institute.

The event aims to encourage the public to travel and explore new cultures, and to understand better the culture of the Vietnamese people when they are exploring new adventures.

An active member of the forum otofun.net that is dedicated to oto car lovers in Hanoi, Tung is known for his traveller's notes on his journeys in Bali (Indonesia), the Republic of Korea, Hong Kong, Laos and Japan.

Thanh Hoa province prepares for tourism year

The north-central province of Thanh Hoa will upgrade transportation infrastructure and accommodations in preparation for hosting the 2015 national tourism year, heard a conference in Ho Chi Minh City on October 24.

Vuong Van Viet, the province's deputy chairman, said there were many ways to reach Thanh Hoa from other cities. The drive from Hanoi's Noi Bai International Airport on the express highway takes one hour and 45 minutes. Tho Xuan Airport currently offers two flights a day to HCM City and will soon explore flights to cities of Da Nang and Buon Ma Thuot, in addition to installing an automatic control system and signal system for night flights next month. The construction of another terminal will begin next month, upgrading the airport into a reserve airport for Noi Bai International Airport.

The province also plans to upgrade National Highway 45, which connects the world heritage site of Thanh Hoa's Ho Dynasty Citadel to Ninh Binh province's Trang An landscape complex.

Pham Duy Phuong, deputy director of the province's Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism, said the province had attracted 66 tourism projects with total registered capital of 23.28 trillion VND. Thirty of them were already licensed and under construction.

The province currently has 16,000 people working in the tourism industry, 72 percent of whom are well-trained.

Thanh Hoa has around 672 accommodations offering 14,000 rooms. The province expects to increase the number of rooms to 17,200 by 2015 and 37,700 by 2030.

Six activities will be organised under the instruction of the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism to mark the Visit Vietnam Year. These include a world heritage festival in March, a photo exhibition and chanting festival in April, national and international sports events in May and a food festival in June.

Thanh Hoa will host the opening and closing ceremonies for the national tourism year in March and December, in addition to holding the 50th anniversary ceremony of the Ham Rong victory, an international stone sculpture camp and a sea tourism festival.

The other 15 cities and provinces with world heritage sites will also organise activities as part of the national programme. The cities are Hanoi, Da Nang and HCM City. The provinces are Phu Tho, Quang Ninh, Bac Giang, Bac Ninh, Ninh Binh, Nghe An, Ha Tinh, Quang Binh, Thua Thien Hue, Quang Nam, Gia Lai and Lam Dong.

Thanh Hoa hopes to turn tourism into a key economic sector by 2020 and draw as many as 650,000 international visitors and 17 million domestic travelers by 2030.

Revenue from tourism is expected to reach 158.6 million USD in 2015 and 1.2 billion USD in 2030. The province will need estimated investment capital of 340 million USD by 2015 and 480 million USD in 2016-2020 to achieve these goals.

The tourism sector also aims to provide jobs for 67,200 people next year and 180,900 by 2030.

Singapore launches tourism campaign to attract Vietnamese

The Singaporean Tourism Board (STB) yesterday launched its "The new fun is Singapore-made" promotion campaign in HCM City, hoping to attract more Vietnamese tourists to the island.

A fresh perspective on experiencing fun in Singapore is presented through a four-part series of short films with popular emcee Vu Anh Tuan.

The films highlight the "new fun" and activities that travellers to Singapore can look forward to during their vacation there beyond popular attractions like Orchard Road and Marina Bay Sands.

Through them, Vietnamese travellers will be able to identify with their preferred holiday theme – whether shopping, entertainment, attractions, or dining.

"We would like to bring a new look in different and unique angles for a familiar but fun and amazing Singapore" Edward Koh, STB's executive director Southeast Asia and international group planning, said.

Vinh Airport welcomes one millionth passenger

Vinh Airport in the central province of Nghe An hosted a ceremony to welcome the one millionth passenger on October 24, an event marking its growth and dynamic role in the development of Nghe An and the north central region at large.

In proximity to National Highway 1A, the north-south railway system, Cua Lo port and border gates bordering Laos, Vinh Airport is becoming crucial to regional trade and transport with 20 daily flights to and from Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi, the central city of Da Nang and the Central Highlands province of Dak Lak’s Buon Me Thuot City, plus four weekly flights to Vientiane, capital of Laos.

The airport is predicted to handle 1.2 million passengers this year.

Under a recent expansion plan worth 800 billion VND (38 million USD), Vinh airport will increase its annual capacity to 2 million passengers.

The Ministry of Transport is working with Nghe An authorities on a master plan to 2030 for Vinh Airport, aiming to turn it into an international airport that will open up new economic prospects for the region.

Bright prospects for Phu Quoc Island’s development

Phu Quoc Island, dubbed the Pearl Island, in the southern province of Kien Giang expects to see a new boost to its socio-economic development with the planned launch on November 1 of two international air routes connecting the island and Singapore and Cambodia’s Siem Reap.

Accordingly, the national carrier Vietnam Airlines will run two flights a week between Phu Quoc and Singapore by A320 aircraft from November 2 and three flights a week between Phu Quoc and Siem Reap by ATR-72 planes from November 18.

Representatives from Korean Air and Hanjin Travel company of the Republic of Korea recently visited Phu Quoc to study possibilities for a direct air route linking the island with the Republic of Korea’s Incheon city.

In addition, Kien Giang province and the Ministry of Transport have approved a project worth more than 1.2 trillion VND to build an international sea port in Duong Dong town, with a capacity of 105,000-190,000 passengers per year by 2020 and 350,000-550,000 passengers a year by 2030.

In line with the plan to turn Phu Quoc into a special administrative-economic zone and an international tourism hub, various key infrastructure projects are underway on the island.

The island is now connected to the national electricity grid. A road system around the island is also about to be completed, thus helping facilitate the travel of locals and tourists.

Vice Chairman of Phu Quoc People’s Committee Huynh Quang Hung said many tourism projects, including several upscale hotels and resorts, are being implemented on schedule, while a number of international groups have also come to survey the business environment on the island.

According to Phu Quoc Island’s investment and development management board, the island has to date licensed 112 investment projects. They cover 4,850 hectares of land with the total capital of more than 135 trillion VND (6.43 billion USD).

As of now, 18 projects worth 6.85 trillion VND have begun operating, contributing importantly to the rapid development of the island.

Located on the Vienam-Cambodia-Thailand marine economic corridor, Phu Quoc island district covers more than 589sq.km with a population of over 96,940. It comprises 27 islands with Phu Quoc being the largest.

As a tourist hub in Kien Giang, Phu Quoc, dubbed the Pearl Island, has also earned reputation worldwide. Phu Quoc Airport welcomed more than 5,600 flights with as many as 666,000 passengers in the first eight months of 2014.

Over the past eight years, Phu Quoc’s economy has seen a strong development towards tourism and services, with average growth of 26 percent a year and per capita income of 82 million VND a year.

Hanoi keen on promoting tourism

Hanoi is undertaking maximum efforts to promote its tourism potential on domestic and international promising markets with a view to attracting more tourists to the city.

The international markets include countries in the Middle East and ASEAN, the Republic of Korea, Russia, and Japan.

The city actively made use of international fairs to promote tourism, such as the conferences organised by the Japan Association of Travel Agents (JATA) and the Council for Promotion of Tourism in Asia (CPTA) in Japan, and the Asian Network of Major Cities in the 21 st century (ANMC21) in Russia.

Hanoi also organised domestic conferences, welcomed fact-finding tours and press delegations to the city, and participated in a number of tourism-related events in Vietnam, including the 2014 Vietnam International Travel Mart (VITM 2014) and the Ho Chi Minh City International Travel Expo 2014 (ITE-HCMC 2014).

Additionally, municipal tourism authorities are seeking to cooperate with well-known tourism websites, such as Trip Advisor and Smart Travel Asia, as well as several Russian television channels.

So far, the capital city has welcomed more than 2 million international tourists this year. By the end of 2014, this figure is expected to reach 3 million.

Delta localities join hands to woo tourists

The Mekong Delta provinces of An Giang and Kien Giang and Can Tho city have clinched a cooperation agreement on diversifying tourism products in order to attract more tourists to the region, the Saigon Times Daily reported.

Under the agreement, the three localities will map out their own programmes and then build a strong linkage of these products for tourists to enjoy when they tour the localities and the region.

The three localities will also join forces to organise a series of tourism events to support local travel agencies to promote their products and services.

In addition to tourist product diversity, An Giang, Kien Giang and Can Tho will set up a steering committee for tourism growth with the participation of representatives from the governments of these localities.

Experts said the three localities share many similarities but they have strong advantages in developing original tourist products of their own.

For example, An Giang province is famous for craft villages and pilgrimage venues while Can Tho has earned a reputation for its floating markets.

Kien Giang is home to conservation sites, beautiful beaches on Phu Quoc Island and an annual festival highlighting Khmer culture.

Target visitors of the Mekong Delta are those from Hanoi, HCM City as well as Cambodia, Laos and other parts of Southeast Asia.

Statistics of the Mekong Delta Tourism Association showed that the region attracted nearly 11 million visitors as of the end of May, up 9 percent year-on-year and the number of foreign arrivals making up over 803,000 of the total.

Tourism revenue of the region exceeded 2.5 trillion VND in the period, a year-on-year rise of 27 percent.

Delta localities join hands to woo tourists

The Mekong Delta provinces of An Giang, Kien Giang and Can Tho have clinched a cooperation agreement on diversifying tourism products in order to attract more tourists to the region.

Under the agreement, the three localities will map out their own programs comprising of special products and then build a strong linkage of these products for tourists to enjoy when they tour the localities and the region.

The three localities will also join forces to organize a series of tourism events to support local travel agencies to promote their products and services.

In addition to tourist product diversity, An Giang, Kien Giang and Can Tho will set up a steering committee for tourism growth with the participation of representatives from the governments of these localities.

Experts said the three localities share many similarities but they have strong advantages in developing original tourist products of their own. For example, An Giang Province is famous for craft villages and pilgrimage venues while Can Tho has earned a reputation for its floating markets. Kien Giang is home to conservation sites, beautiful beaches on Phu Quoc Island and an annual festival highlighting Khmer culture.

Target visitors of the Mekong Delta are those from Hanoi, HCMC as well as Cambodia, Laos and other parts of Southeast Asia.

Statistics of the Mekong Delta Tourism Association showed that the region attracted nearly 11 million visitors as of the end of May, up 9% year-on-year and the number of foreign arrivals making up over 803,000 of the total. Tourism revenue of the region exceeded VND2.5 trillion in the period, a year-on-year rise of 27%.

Vietnam heritages on show

Around 100 photos depicting the heritages of Vietnam are on display at the HCMC National University in HCMC’s Thu Duc District until this Saturday.

The exhibits were selected from the over 4,400 entries submitted by 477 contestants of the Vietnam Heritage Photo Awards online contest.

The Vietnam Heritage Photo Exhibition 2014 highlights stunning landscapes, sculptures, fine arts works, and intangible heritages like folk music, traditional festivals and religious rituals.

Vietnam Heritage magazine organized the photo contest for both amateur and professional photographers to show their love to the country’s heritages, and encourage them to discover, preserve and promote natural and cultural values.

An award ceremony for the winning entries will be held at the Reunification Palace in downtown HCMC on November 23 to mark the Vietnam Heritage Day.

A glimpse of Japanese culture

A Japan – Vietnam cultural exchange festival will be held at the HCMC Youth Cultural House this Sunday for Saigonese to get an insight into the cultural diversity of Japan.

There will be various cultural and arts activities at Japan Day 2014, including the performance by ninjas from the Edo Wonderland Nikko Edomura which is home to legendary ninjas of Japan, a karate martial art show and the art of making Japanese tea.

Visitors will have a chance to take part in a Japanese-language singing contest and try many traditional costumes like Yukata, Shibuya and Harajuku. They will be guided how to cook Sukiyaki, a traditional specialty of Japan.

Many Vietnamese singers will come to entertain audiences.

Book on administrative paperwork introduced

HCMC General Publishing House has released a book about administrative paperwork written by Pham Phuong Thao, former chairwoman of the HCMC People’s Council.

The “Chuyen o phuong” book tells the daily stories of civil servants and at ward-level agencies in the city. For instance, Thao said a chairman of a ward and his deputy have to sign on 2,000 documents a day.

This Saturday, the publishing house will begin its eighth book week at 62 Nguyen Thi Minh Khai Street for customers to buy books priced at VND10,000, VND15,000 and VND20,000 a book. The house will also knock 25-50% off hundreds of books at the event.

Over 140 old paintings on display

The HCMC Fine Arts Museum is exhibiting a collection of more than 140 oil-on-canvas paintings collected by the museum since 1987.

The collection features works of renowned artists graduated from the Indochinese Fine Arts College and Gia Dinh Fine Art College in the early 20th century like Nguyen Sang, Nguyen Phi Hoanh, Diep Minh Chau, Vo Lang and Nguyen Van Anh. Also on display are pieces by gifted painters in 1954-1975 such as Nguyen Cao Thuong, Huynh Phuong Dong and Nguyen Thanh Chau.

The exhibits are about war times, daily life of Vietnamese people after 1975 and landscape as well as portraits.

Over the past 27 years, staffs of the museum have traversed a lot to find the best works for show to art lovers. The paintings on display highlight the arts development in southern Vietnam in general and HCMC in particular.

Since 2008, the HCMC government has provided a total of VND10 billion for seven State-run museums to collect valuable works.

*Little Flowers, a solo exhibition of mixed media paintings on do paper by Hanoi’s artist Nguyen The Hung, will open today at the Saigon Sofitel Plaza in HCMC’s District 1.

Hung was inspired by Osho’s discourses on Zen Buddhism when he painted the works which feature nature, life on earth and humanity. The paintings also reflect the diversity of ethnic group minorities in Vietnam and their traditional cultures.   

Hung was born in a northern province of Vietnam in 1981. He graduated from the Vietnam University of Fine Arts in Hanoi in 2009.

The exhibition will run until November 30 at the Sofitel Saigon Plaza, 17 Le Duan Boulevard in HCMC’s District 1.