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State Audit official named as deputy minister of health

Le Duc Luan, head of the Audit Policy and Quality Control Department under the State Audit Office of Vietnam, has been picked as deputy minister of health.

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh yesterday, February 3, approved a decision appointing Luan as deputy minister of health.

Luan, a 55-year-old native of the northern upland province of Yen Bai, joined the Audit Policy and Quality Control Department in January last year, the local media reported.

With this latest appointment, the Ministry of Health currently has four deputy ministers: Nguyen Thi Lien Huong, Tran Van Thuan, Do Xuan Tuyen and Le Duc Luan. The ministry is led by Dao Hong Lan.

Ceremony held to hand over work of President

The Presidential Office hosted a ceremony in Hanoi on February 4 to hand over work between former President Nguyen Xuan Phuc and Acting President Vo Thi Anh Xuan.

On behalf of the Political Bureau, Politburo member and Permanent member of the Party Central Committee’s Secretariat Vo Van Thuong attended and delivered a speech at the ceremony.

Phuc was assigned by the Party and State to hold the Presidency from April 5, 2021 to January 18, 2023. During the period, he heightened the sense of responsibility before the Party, people and nation, strictly observed the leadership of the Party, inherited and upheld the important achievements of his predecessors and with the joint efforts and consensus of the Vice President and the President Office’s staff, to lead and direct the effective implementation of the tasks and power in line with regulations of the Constitution and law, and missions assigned by the Political Bureau and the Secretariat of the Party Central Committee.

Speaking at the ceremony, Phuc clearly stated that, looking back the entire process of studying and working over the past more than 50 years, in any position, he has been always loyal to the Party, Fatherland and people; made every effort to study, work and train himself and completed all the tasks assigned by the Party and State.

He expressed his hope that under the leadership of the Party Central Committee, the Political Bureau and the Secretariat, headed by General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong, the entire Party, army and people would successfully accomplish the targets and tasks of national development set out in the 13th National Party Congress’s Resolution, striving to build a Vietnam of peace, unity, independence, democracy and prosperity and firmly heading towards socialism.
Speaking at the event, Politburo member and Permanent member of the Party Central Committee’s Secretariat Vo Van Thuong emphasised that Phuc was assigned by the Party, State and people with many important tasks.

In all circumstances and positions, Phuc carried forward the sense of responsibility and showed his revolutionary enthusiasm to fulfill the tasks, Thuong said, noting that during tenures, Phuc and the Party Central Committee and the Political Bureau led the entire Party, people and army to surpass difficulties, reaping important achievements.

The 13th Party Central Committee considered and agreed to let Phuc cease holding his positions, stop working, and retire per his wish and in line with regulations, Thuong said.

He expressed his hope that Phuc, with his experience, will continue contributing to the Party and the country, and giving ideas to incumbent officials, helping them complete their assigned tasks.

At the ceremony, Acting President Vo Thi Anh Xuan thanked Phuc for his support and assistance, and expected that with his brainpower and valuable experience, he will make more contributions to the Party, people and country.

Vietnam contributes to ASEAN’s consensus on important decisions

The Vietnamese delegation to the ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Retreat, led by Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son, has actively contributed ideas to creating ASEAN's consensus on many important decisions such as measures to improve the group's institution effectiveness, implement the five-point consensus on the Myanmar issue, and support Timor Leste.

The statement was made on February 4 by Ambassador Vu Ho, acting head of SOM ASEAN Vietnam, in an interview granted to Vietnam News Agency correspondents in Indonesia on the outcomes of the retreat.

Ambassador Ho said that the Vietnamese delegation not only discussed with other delegates to identify ASEAN's focuses and priorities, but also actively proposed many practical initiatives that are in line with the common concerns of other countries and the region.

Foreign Minister Son announced Vietnam's plans to organise activities to promote inclusive recovery in ASEAN, respond to climate change, energy transition, as well as a number of cooperation activities with partners such as the Republic of Korea Day in ASEAN, and ASEAN-China meetings on the implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC).

At the event, the Vietnamese official emphasised the meaning of a Community that truly serves the people and benefits the people. Accordingly, he suggested ASEAN pay more attention to cooperation and equitable and inclusive development in sub-regions, contributing to ensuring that people enjoy equitably the fruits of the Community building process.

Minister Son also raised Vietnam's view and stance on many issues that directly affect ASEAN and peace and security in the region.

According to Ambassador Vu Ho, Vietnam's opinions on the East Sea and Myanmar are assessed balanced and constructive, contributing to promoting the values of dialogue and cooperation, upholding international law, while promoting the spirit of solidarity and mutual assistance, and reinforcing ASEAN's principle stance.

He added that this ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Retreat put forward important orientations for the group’s activities in 2023.

Kien Giang implements 180-day IUU fishing combat drive
Kien Giang implements 180-day IUU fishing combat drive hinh anh 1
Raising fishermen's awareness on IUU fishing (Photo: VNA)
The southern coastal province of Kien Giang province is focusing on combating illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing in 180 days, from December 2022 to May 2023, to contribute to the country’s efforts to have the European Commission (EC)’s on Vietnamese seafood removed.

Vice Chairman of the provincial People's Committee Le Quoc Anh said that Kien Giang has concertedly and effectively implemented legal regulations on fisheries; paid attention to addressing shortcomings and limitations as recommended by the EC, and managing the sustainable exploitation and development of the fishery sector for the benefits of its people, thus contributing to enhancing the position, image and international responsibility of Vietnam in the implementation of international commitments and treaties in protecting the marine environment and ecosystems, and ensuring national defence and security, sovereignty over seas and islands, especially in the Southwestern sea.

Priority will be given to raise the awareness of locals, especially vessel owners, captains and fishermen, on regulations of the Law on Fisheries, the importance of IUU fishing combat, as well as consequences of the EC’s ‘yellow card’ and ‘red card’ warnings, Anh stated.

He asked authorised agencies to count the number of fishing vessels, complete the registration and installation of cruise monitoring equipment, and the granting of offshore fishing licenses according to regulations.

In addition, the provincial authorities have arranged personnel at the designated fishing ports to monitor and trace the origin of all of the catches that are unloaded at Tac Cau fishing port in Chau Thanh district, and An Thoi port in Phu Quoc city.

In 2017, the EC issued a "yellow card" warning against Vietnamese seafood exports after Vietnamese fishermen violated IUU regulations.

ASEAN Foreign Ministers' Retreat wraps up

The ASEAN Foreign Ministers' Retreat (AMM Retreat) wrapped up on February 4 in Jakarta, Indonesia, highlighting ASEAN's determination to promoting relations with regional and international partners on the basis of substance, equality, mutual respect and mutual benefit.

According to Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi, the meeting had substantive discussions on key issues, focusing on evaluating the implementation of ASEAN's Five-Point Consensus (5PC) on Myanmar; regional and international issues; and the relations between ASEAN and partners.

Regarding Myanmar, Indonesia, as the ASEAN Chair in 2023, mentioned the implementation of 5PC, emphasising that the consensus has important significance and demonstrates ASEAN's unity in solving issues related to Myanmar. 

ASEAN Foreign Ministers reaffirmed a unified approach to the implementation of the 5PC in order to settle the political crisis in the bloc’s member nation as well as to ensure humanitarian assistance programmes for Myanmar people, especially the Rohingya Muslims.

Regarding the theme of the meeting “ASEAN Matters: Epicentrum of Growth”, ASEAN member countries agreed on important contents to push towards positive outcomes, and mobilise resources to develop ASEAN Blue Economy Framework as well. 

On the implementation of the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific (AOIP) pillar, ASEAN FMs reaffirmed the importance of continuing to implement of Declaration of the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC) and the joint acceleration of the early completion of negotiations on a Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC) as soon as possible. 

Indonesia will host negotiations on the COC with the first meeting scheduled for March. The ministers also agreed to evaluate and review specific projects within the framework of AOIP, including trust building with partners and cooperation on the basis of mutual interests of parties.

Marsudi said the ASEAN member states all support Indonesia's intention to convene important events within the framework of the ASEAN - Indo-Pacific forum to implement the AOIP, adding that Indonesia looks forward to working closely with all stakeholders during the processing of assuming its role as the ASEAN Chair 2023.

Vietnam attends 26th Meeting of ASEAN Tourism Ministers in Indonesia

Deputy Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Doan Van Viet together with other tourism senior officials in ASEAN countries attended the 26th Meeting of ASEAN Tourism Ministers (M-ATM) that opened on February 4 in Yogyakarta, Indonesia.

Participants in the event that is part of the ASEAN Tourism Forum( ATF) 2023 heard a report and gave comments on the results of the 57th meeting of the ASEAN National Tourism Organisations, considered the agenda of M-ATM 3 (ASEAN plus China, Japan, and the Republic of Korea); M-ATM-India and M-ATM-Russia; and attended consultations with international organisations.

The meeting also reviewed and approved the Chairman's Statement and 26th meeting of M-ATM Minutes.

Speaking at the event, Deputy Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Doan Van Viet said that 2022 witnessed a rapid recovery of the regional tourism industry. Countries reopened borders and lifted travel restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

As a result, in the final months of 2022, the number of international visitors to the region increased rapidly, promoting the recovery of services, and contributing to job creation and overall economic growth.

During the transition time of the tourism industry, the ASEAN tourism cooperation mechanism has affirmed its importance in maintaining connectivity and close cooperation between ASEAN member countries, Viet said.

He highly appreciated the active coordinating role of the ASEAN Secretariat, Indonesia as ASEAN chair, and the national tourism agencies that have made great efforts to implement projects, plans, and targeted programmes, contributing to helping the tourism industry overcome many difficulties and challenges and achieve remarkable results.

Appreciating the project of the Intra-ASEAN Tourism Recovery Campaign, Viet said that many experts and organisations hel that neighbouring markets will be easier to recover and can become leverage to attract customers from distant markets again.

As one of the first countries to remove all entry requirements related to the COVID-19 pandemic from May 2022, Vietnam has actively promoted tourism promotion, especially towards the ASEAN market.

Last year, Vietnam welcomed about 3.5 foreign visitors, including about 920,000 visitors from ASEAN, accounting for about 45% of that in the pre-pandemic level.

Lao newspaper praises Communist Party of Vietnam’s leadership role

Pasaxon (The People), the official newspaper of the Lao People's Revolutionary Party, ran an article on February 3 on the occasion of the 93rd founding anniversary of the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV).

The article wrote every time when spring comes, in the jubilant atmosphere of the Lunar New Year, the Vietnamese people joyfully welcome the founding day of the CPV. Over the past 93 springs, the CPV has led its people to fight foreign invaders, gain independence and reunify the country, as well as in nation building and development, contributing to bringing a prosperous and happy life to the people.

Under the leadership of the Party, Vietnam has developed from a poor and backward country, and a colonised country to a developing country with middle income; and its role, position and reputation are increasingly enhanced in the international arena.

The article cited CPV General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong as saying that over the past more than 90 years, the Party has established, consolidated and increasingly improved its leadership role, strength and reputation with its own bravery, energy, wisdom and pioneering theories; in the right direction; by tireless efforts of the contingent of officials and party members; by an organisation of solidarity and; and with the wholehearted support and protection by the people.

In fact, since the founding of the Party, Vietnamese people have had a right and clearheaded leader, and therefore they have won various victories and made miracles in the twentieth century, General Secretary Trong said.

Prime Minister pays working visit to Binh Dinh

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh paid a working visit to the south-central coastal province of Binh Dinh on February 4, during which he inspected, and attended the inauguration ceremonies of some infrastructure projects in the locality.

In the morning, PM Chinh listened to a report on a project to upgrade and expand Phu Cat airport, which is being used for both civil and military purposes.

According to a draft master plan on the system of airports and airfields nationwide in the 2021-2030 period, with a vision to 2050, the Ministry of Transport proposed to increase the capacity of Phu Cat airport from 2 million passengers per year as designed to 5 million by 2030 and 7 million by 2050.

The PM requested the ministry to coordinate with relevant agencies and Binh Dinh province to soon complete the Phu Cat Airport planning dossier to be ready for approval right after the master plan gets the PM’s green light.

PM Chinh also attended a ceremony to open to traffic the Cat Tien - My Thanh section of the national coastal route.

The 115km coastal road through Binh Dinh, which connects those of Quang Ngai and Phu Yen provinces, has a total investment of around 9 trillion VND (383.8 million USD).  

The PM said that investment in upgrading and expanding the coastal route is very necessary to effectively exploit and use marine resources and coastal areas, thus serving socio-economic development of coastal localities, improving people's material and spiritual life, and strengthening defence and security in order to firmly protect the country's sovereignty.

Chinh also visited, and talked with people in the social housing area in An Phu Thinh apartment building, Nhon Binh ward, Quy Nhon city.

Currently, Binh Dinh has 7,000 social housing apartments, and is striving to have 20,000 more by 2025.

Chinh expressed his belief that if every locality can develop social housing like Binh Dinh, the country will complete the goal of building 1 million social housing apartments by 2030.

In the morning of the same day, PM Chinh visited the Becamex VSIP Binh Dinh Industrial, Urban, and Service Complex in Nhon Hoi economic zone, Canh Vinh commune, Van Canh district.

It is a cooperation project between the two provinces of Binh Duong and Binh Dinh, implemented by the Becamex IDC Corporation (Binh Duong) and VSIP Group.

The construction of the project, which consists of 1,000 ha for the industrial park and 425 ha for residential, commercial, service, and resettlement areas, has been started since September 2020. Once completed, it is expected to attract about 2 billion USD of investment in industrial production and create 120,000- 150,000 jobs.

Secretary of the Party Committee of Binh Dinh province Ho Quoc Dung said that the project is implemented in an especially disadvantaged commune and that the provincial authorities have created the most favourable conditions for the project, expecting that it will help attract investment and make breakthroughs to the province’s industrial production and services.

In the afternoon, Chinh attended the inauguration ceremony of Dong Mit reservoir in An Lao district.

The reservoir has a basin of 160.3 square kilometres with a capacity of nearly 90 million cubic metre. It has three flood water releasing gates and its main dam is 378m long, and 62m high. Work on the reservoir project started in February 2019 with a total investment of 2.14 trillion VND.

A total of 890 households and nine organisations had to relocate for site clearance.

The Dong Mit reservoir supplies water for irrigation of 6,742 ha, and helps reduce flooding for downstream areas, improve the ecological environment and prevent saline intrusion for downstream areas.

Speaking at the inauguration, PM Chinh asked Binh Dinh authorities to direct relevant units to have an effective exploitation plan, study and develop economic and tourism activities to exploit the potential and advantages of the reservoir.

Authorities must keep paying attention to ensuring stable production and life for affected households, he said.

He asked the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to continue coordinating with localities in the south central region to study solutions to ensure water security and sustainable socio-economic development for the coastal provinces.

The PM then visited the Dong Mit reservoir resettlement area in the new An Dung commune which is now home to 480 households of the H're ethnic group who moved to make room for the reservoir project.

ASEAN should maintain balanced, harmonious approach to partners: FM Son

Vietnamese Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son on February 4 emphasised the need for ASEAN to maintain a balanced and harmonious approach to its partners, promote the effectiveness and value of ASEAN-led mechanisms, and better the building of mutual trust and understanding for cooperation in response to emerging issues.

Addressing the  in Jakarta, Indonesia, Son said that initiatives in the region should come from the goodwill of cooperation, complementarity and reciprocity to ASEAN-led mechanisms, thus contributing to the common goal of peace, security, stability and development.

Sharing common concerns about unpredictable regional and international fluctuations, the Vietnamese minister stressed that ASEAN needs to maintain solidarity, self-reliance and flexible adaptation, strengthen internal resources, and promote its centrality.

He reaffirmed the importance of maintaining peace, stability, security and safety of navigation and aviation in the East Sea, emphasising the necessity for the group to strengthen its principle stance, and uphold international law and the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), towards a rules-based regional maritime order, and effectively protecting the legitimate interests of all coastal states.

On this occasion, Son announced Vietnam's plans to hold several meetings within the ASEAN-China framework on the implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC), as well as the Republic of Korea Day in ASEAN.

Regarding the Myanmar issue, he shared the view that Myanmar people should solve the Myanmar issue, and it is essential for ASEAN to effectively implement the five-point consensus to help the nation overcome difficulties.

He also expressed his belief that Indonesia, as the ASEAN Chair in 2023, and Redno Marsudi, as the Special Envoy of the ASEAN Chair on Myanmar, will be successful in leading the implementation of this consensus.

HCM City to subsidise eye surgery for fresh recruits

HCM City People's Committee has decided to subsidise eye surgery by up to 30 percent for fresh recruits facing economic difficulties.

Speaking at the meeting with chairman of the municipal people’s committee cum Chairman of the Military Service Council, Phan Van Mai, a representative of the police department Department said that nearly 300 new shortsighted recruits had registered to become policemen. Many of them are from low-income families who can’t afford eye surgery.

Director of the city's Health Department, Tang Chi Thuong, told the meeting that the eye hopital had agreed to reduce the cost of surgery by 30 percent, and with about 300-400 surgeries, the total cost will be from VND9-10 billion.

Talking about the funding issue, a representative from the city finance department said that this year, relevant units had involved families and other sources of funding to afford the eye surgery for the recruits. He proposed that localities and related agencies estimate the amount to submit to the municipal people’s council for approval of the total funding.

The city leader, Phan Van Mai, suggested that local administrators should listen to young recruits and their families from now until the day of the army handover to help them. Regarding the recruitment of young men to join the army, he requested that it be done openly and transparently on the basis of the law.

HCM City will recruit 4,739 male young citizens including 3,800 for military service and 939 for the public security services in 2023. The induction ceremonies will be carried out on February 8.

Villagers continue traditional rice cooking contest

In the quaint village of Thi Cam in Hanoi’s Nam Tu Liem district, a culinary tradition unfolds each Lunar New Year.

On the eighth day of the new year, residents gather to participate in a rice cooking contest. This time-honoured event symbolises hope and well-wishes for prosperity and happiness in the whole year.

In a tale steeped in legend, General Phan Cong of the 18th Hung King is said to have passed through Thi Cam village while leading his country to victory against the Chinese Shu dynasty. In a show of hospitality, the villagers gathered to offer rice to the victorious soldiers.

After his victory, Gen Phan Cong was said to have stayed back in the village, imparting farming knowledge to the locals. In a display of gratitude, each New Year the villagers hold a rice cooking contest in their communal house, commemorating the village's patron saint.

The competition begins with four young men sprinting towards the village's communal well to fetch water for their respective teams.

Esteemed village elders are the arbiters of this culinary showdown, evaluating the quality of the rice dishes produced by the four competing teams.

Good rice is soft and fragrant. When the pot's cover is lifted, the fragrance of the rice should waft in the air. The process takes about half an hour.

HCMC plans to expand four roads

Four major roads in HCMC’s Go Vap District that are deteriorating, frequently flooded and overwhelmed by a huge traffic volume could be expanded at a total cost of nearly VND5.9 trillion.

The government of Go Vap District proposed the road expansion plan to the HCMC People’s Committee at a meeting with the city’s vice chairman Vo Van Hoan yesterday, February 3, the local media reported.

The district proposed widening the 2.8-kilometer-long Thong Nhat Street from 4-9 meters to 25 meters. The expansion would affect 826 local households and need roughly VND3.25 trillion in investment. It is slated for completion in the 2025-2027 period.

The district also sought the HCMC government’s nod to upgrade Road No. 6 and rebuild a bridge leading to Doi hamlet in Ward 15, at a total cost of some VND885 billion. This road upgrade is expected to help the Doi hamlet residents reach Go Vap faster, instead of traveling to neighboring District 12 and then driving along the Ben Phan Bridge or the An Loc Bridge to enter Go Vap.

Besides, Nguyen Van Khoi Street, with a length of 850 meters and a width of 20 meters, needs expanding as well, the district said. The expansion would cost more than VND900 billion and affect nearly 200 households. The district also plans to widen this road in the 2025-2027 period.

In addition, a project to widen a Le Duc Tho Street section was approved in 2015 with a VND859-billion investment. As the investment is no longer appropriate, the district wants to adjust the project’s scale and increase its cost. The district proposed the municipal government add the project to the city’s 2021-2025 medium investment plan and allocate more funding to the project.

Speaking at the meeting, vice chairman Vo Van Hoan said it was urgent to widen Road No. 6 and rebuild the bridge to Doi hamlet. He also urged the district to implement the Le Duc Tho expansion project in 2023.

Unique architecture makes centuries-old pagoda special

Keo Pagoda, built in 1632 in the Le Dynasty, is one of the oldest in Vietnam where ancient architecture has been preserved.

Located in Vu Thu district, the northern province of Thai Binh, the pagoda initially included 157 compartments covering a total area of 58,000 sq.m.

It is surrounded by three lakes, one in the front and two at both sides, creating a beautiful surrounding.

Also known as Than Quang Tu (Than Quang Pagoda), Keo Pagoda worships Buddha and Duong Khong Lo, a monk of the Ly Dynasty (1009 - 1225), who founded the pagoda.

Duong Khong Lo was born in 1016 in Giao Thuy district, the northern province of Nam Dinh. He became a monk at 29. In 1061, after practicing Buddhism in India, he returned home and founded Nghiem Quang Pagoda. In 1167, King Ly Anh Tong renamed the pagoda Than Quang.

However, it was pulled down by a typhoon in 1611 and rebuilt in 1632.

The pagoda now has 128 compartments covering 2,000 sq.m. Despite several upgrades and repairs over the past 400 years, it retains its unique architecture dating back the 17th century.

The section for worshiping Buddha houses nearly 100 statues. At its rear is the area for worshiping the founder of the pagoda. Next to the section for worshiping genies is a well walled with 36 rock barrels which, according to legend, were used for polishing rice for those who built the pagoda.

The bell tower is the most outstanding feature of Keo Pagoda. It is 11.04m high and has a three-layered tile roof. On the first floor of the tower, there is a 1.2 meter-high stone plaque. On the second floor, there is a bronze bell casted in 1686 which measures 1.30m high and 1m in diameter. There are two smaller bells on the third and the upper floors which are 0.62m high and 0.69m in diameter, both casted in 1796.

In September 2012, the pagoda was designated as a special national relic. Keo Pagoda Festival was recognised as part of the national intangible cultural heritage in 2017 and the wooden bell tower of the structure, by the Vietnam Record Organisation (Vietkings), as the tallest of its kind in the country in 2007.

The festival is held annually from the 10th to 15th day of the ninth lunar month to honour the founder of the pagoda. In addition, a spring one takes place here annually on the 4th day of the first lunar month.

Keo Pagoda is not only a place of worship but also one to learn more about Buddhism and to explore the history and culture of Vietnam.

Ha Giang CDC’s former deputy head detained in Viet A case

Pham Thi Kim Dung, 55, former deputy director at the Center for Disease Control (CDC) in Ha Giang Province, has been prosecuted and detained for her alleged involvement in the Viet A Covid-19 test kit price gouging case.

The provincial police yesterday, February 3, also pressed the same charges against Hoang Thi Phuong, 45, an accountant at Ha Giang CDC, and Bui Van Tuyen, 38, vice director at the Ha Giang Pharmaceutical Company.

The local media reported that the trio was accused of violating bidding regulations and causing losses of billions of dong to the State budget while purchasing Covid test kits from Viet A Technology Corporation.

The local police earlier launched legal proceedings against three others at the Ha Giang CDC, comprising the center’s director Nguyen Tran Tuan, head of the finance division To Minh Hue, and head of the testing division Phan Thi Nga for allegedly receiving bribes in the Viet A case. The police later filed additional charges against them for allegedly violating bidding violations that caused serious consequences.

Peach blossoms - a symbol of Lunar New Year

Peach blossoms are viewed as a symbol of the Lunar New Year (Tet) and also form an indispensable part of every Vietnamese family, especially in the north of Vietnam, once the country’s biggest traditional festival comes.

The red flowers are believed to hold the essence of “ngu hanh” - the five basic elements (metal, wood, water, fire, earth) that can drive away evil spirits and bring about peace and happiness to people. Red is believed by many to be the colour of prosperity.

As they also symbolise growth, people arrange a branch of peach blossoms at home during Tet with the hope for a year of good health, prosperity, wealth, and joyfulness.

In addition, the beauty of the flower also represents the gentleness and gracefulness of girls of the northern region.

Not all people nowadays fully understand the meaning of peach blossoms, but adorning homes with trees or branches of peach blossoms has become a traditional custom practiced whenever Tet arrives.

Hoi An Ancient Town – attraction of Asia's leading cultural destination

Stepping into the ancient city of Hoi An in the south-central province of Quang Nam, visitors can deeply feel a diverse and artistic blend of typical architectural works from the Japanese, Chinese, Vietnamese and French cultures.

Located in the lower reach of Thu Bon River in the coastal plain in Quang Nam province, about 30 km south of Da Nang city, Hoi An has been known in the international market by various names such as Lam Ap, Faifo, Hoai Pho and Hoi An. The only Southeast Asian port-market in Vietnam and very rare in the world, Hoi An keeps almost 1,360 architectural relics intact. These include streets, houses, assembly halls, communal houses, pagodas, shrines, clan houses, ancient wells and tombs. They exhibit both Vietnamese traditional art characteristics and the convergence of eastern and western cultures.

The cultural and economic exchanges that occurred from the 16th to 19th centuries have left in ancient Hoi An most of the forms of Vietnam’s ancient architecture, grouping traditional national arts enriched with sketches of foreign arts.

Researchers hold that the ancient architecture in Hoi An was renewed in the early part of the 19th century, but the real starting point could be much earlier. The ancient architecture is clearest seen in the ancient quarter located inside Minh An ward, covering about 2 square km and housing most of the famous relics in Hoi An.

The streets in the ancient quarter are short, narrow and crisscrossing.

Architectural works there were mostly built from traditional materials, including brick and wood, and they are not higher than two storeys.

It is easy for tourists to recognise traces of the time not only in the architectural design of each construction but also everywhere else, from moss-covered tile roofs, walls, sculptures depicting a strange creature or an ancient story. It is a convergence of Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese and Cham artisans. Each construction still bears the cultural hallmarks of many nations. At present, Hoi An is still the dwelling place of thousands of residents, serving as a living museum in terms of architecture and urban lifestyle.

Through centuries, customs and practices, rites, cultural and belief activities as well as traditional foods of Hoi An are still kept and preserved along with generations of ancient street dwellers. The town also boasts a natural environment which is healthy and peaceful with small suburban villages engaged in crafts like carpentry and pottery.

On December 4, 1999, in Marrakech city of Morocco, the 23rd session of the World Heritage Committee of the UNESCO officially included Hoi An ancient town into the list of world’s cultural heritage sites.

It is honoured by many famous travel magazines. In July 2019, with 90.39 points, Hoi An was elected by the Travel and Leisure travel magazine as the most attractive city in the world that year. It is also the first tourist site in Vietnam honoured by the Google Doodle.

Son Tay ancient fortress citadel boasts historical, architectural values

The Son Tay ancient fortress citadel, covering 16 ha in Son Tay township, 40 km from the centre of Hanoi, not only bears historic value but also attracts attention for its unique architecture. Tourists are able to see the remains of the once famous and important military rampart.

According to historical documents, Son Tay Citadel was built in 1822 during the reign of Emperor Minh Mang (1791-1841) under the Nguyen Dynasty. It was built entirely of laterite, a material that meets the requirements of a defensive building and was available locally.

Through many ups and downs, Son Tay Citadel has retained its vestiges, demonstrating the construction techniques of defensive military works in Vietnam’s north.

With its long-standing and unique historical and cultural values, Son Tay Citadel has become a destination for students to visit and learn about patriotic traditions and heritage preservation.

The old citadel today impresses visitors with its serenity and calm.

The conservation of the citadel has received significant investment from the State and support from local people.

2022 marks the citadel’s 200 years of existence, and a series of attractive cultural, tourism, and sporting events have been organised to raise public awareness about heritage protection and preservation and to stimulate tourism demand.

Alluring destination for pilgrims in Tay Ninh province

Lying in the middle of a fertile plain, Ba Den Mountain covered with white clouds nearly year-round is one of three mountains in the Ba Den Mountain Relic and Cultural complex, which comprises Ba Den Mountain at a height of 986 metres above sea level, Phung (Phoenix) Mountain and Heo (Pig) Mountain.

Ba Den Mountain Relic and Cultural Complex in the southwestern province of Tay Ninh has become an attractive tourist destination awaiting pilgrims and lovers of culture and nature in recent years.

The 300-year-old Ba (Lady) Temple was built on the mountainside of Ba Den Mountain, a sacred place for Buddhists. It attracts thousands of pilgrims headed for the temple to pray for peace, good fortune and prosperity.

The busiest time of the year for pilgrimages is the first lunar month during the Ba Den Mountain Spring Festival and the 5th to 6th day of the fifth lunar month for Ba Den (Black Lady)'s birth anniversary.

Hoa Dong Temple, Hang Temple, Quan Am Temple and Trung Temple with distinct architectural styles are scattered around Ba Den mountainside.

Ba Den Mountain, dubbed the roof of southern Vietnam, is both an ideal weekend trekking destination and one that those on a holiday can explore during weekdays. It is not the easiest of treks, but it rewards visitors with heavenly views of floating clouds and unspoiled nature.

From the foot of the mountain to the Ba Temple, visitors can either climb up around 1,000 steps or take a cable car, which costs 7.50 USD for a return ticket. Tourists can get a panoramic view of a waterfall under the glistening sun, mysterious caves and the dense forest beneath from the cable car.

From the temple, a trail passes through lush forest, rugged roads, dark caves and streams before reaching the mountain peak at 986 meters above sea level. The crowning moment of this trip is sitting on a cliff that has been described as the “turtle’s head.”

Along with the Ba Den Mountain Relic and Cultural Complex, visitors to Tay Ninh province cannot miss the Cao Dai Tay Ninh Holy See, 5 kilometres away from Tay Ninh city, the headquarters of the Cao Dai religion known as Caodaism.

The giant, bright temple which was built in 1931 and officially inaugurated in 1955 is the most important shrine for the religion’s four million followers.

The Holy See, with its western and eastern architectural style, has become a popular tourist attraction in Tay Ninh. It is worth visiting during prayer sessions. The session at noon is most popular with tour groups, according to a local tour guide.

Source: VNA/SGT/VNS/VOV/Dtinews/SGGP/VGP/Hanoitimes


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Realtors who specialize in high-end real estate projects should think of adding social housing projects to their business strategies, because the projects ensure sustainability and stability for them.

No time to waste in building the offshore wind industry

Action on accelerating offshore wind power projects is urgently needed if the government is to meet its targets for the decade.

Traditional markets in HCM City deserted, degraded

Many of the traditional markets in Ho Chi Minh City are dilapidated due to a lack of investment in upgrades and are facing the issue of small traders withdrawing due to low customer footfall.

Vietnam targets end of malaria by 2030

Vietnam will provide training to medical staff and apply new techniques in the prevention, detection, and treatment of malaria.

Vietnam auto makers project bumpy years ahead

Car manufacturers are calling for the reinstatement of measures used during the pandemic in order to help boost flagging vehicle sales.

Vietnam’s fintech reaches new heights

VGP - Viet Nam's fintech has reached new heights and the newly introduced regulatory sandbox is further fueling its growth.

Moody’s upgrades ratings of eight Vietnamese banks

VGP - Moody's Investors Service, a leading provider of credit ratings, research, and risk analysis, has raised ratings of eight Vietnamese banks.

MOIT: electricity prices to be set by March 31

The Ministry of Industry and Trade (MOIT) has asked the Electricity of Vietnam (EVN) to negotiate with solar and wind power project developers and reach agreements about electricity prices prior to March 31.

Sapa mother fined for forcing her children to work

A woman in the northern tourist town of Sapa has been fined VND 22 million for forcing her two small children to sell products to tourists in the area.


Vietnam works hard to boost exports to Chinese market

Bamboo Airways wants to add VND10 trillion to charter capital

Bamboo Airways is planning to increase its charter capital by nearly VND10 trillion through a new share issue to restructure its debt and fund its business operations.

Vietnam's first community digital library to open in Quang Nam

The central province of Quang Nam's Tam Ky City’s first community digital library in Vietnam will open soon.

White List of certified websites released

The Authority of Broadcasting and Electronic Information under the Ministry of Information and Communications has announced on its website the White List of certified websites.


Japan invites Vietnam to G7 Summit, says deputy spokeswoman