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VIETNAM NEWS HEADLINES JUNE 22

Hanoi motorbike tour, Hoi An cooking class among top travel experiences in Asia
Hanoi motorbike tour, Hoi An cooking class among top travel experiences in Asia hinh anh 1
The Hanoi motorbike tour takes more than four hours. (Source: Tripadvisor)

Hanoi motorbike tour and Hoi An cooking class have been selected by readers of US travel site Tripadvisor as two of the 25 best travel experiences in Asia.
The half-day guided motorbike tour in Hanoi allows tourists to explore Vietnam’s capital city’s famous landmarks like Long Bien Bridge, Hai Ba Trung Temple, the Presidential Palace Historical Site and try some of the city's best street foods.

As part of the tour, visitors will have an opportunity to explore "Train Street", formed by railway tracks running alongside Dien Bien Phu and Phung Hung streets in the heart of Hanoi's Old Quarter, with residential buildings just a few feet away on either side.

Meanwhile, the five-hour cooking class, organised by Hoi An Eco Tours Discovery, is considered a fun and interesting way to experience the rural life in Hoi An, a popular tourist destination in Vietnam’s central Quang Nam province, and Vietnamese cuisine.
Participants will visit Cam Thanh fishing village, about five kilometers from Hoi An, where they will be taught how to use basket boats, a dispensable part of local fishermen, and experience a bamboo basket boat tour in Bay Mau nipa palm forest. After such eco-tour activities, they will be welcomed in the restaurant and participate in cooking around 2 hours with the chef. 

More service centres set up to support survivors of domestic violence

Two more One Stop Service Centres (OSSCs) on June 21 were officially launched in Ho Chi Minh City and Da Nang City to provide integrated and essential services supporting survivors of gender-based and domestic violence.

With financial contribution from the Government of Japan, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Vietnam contracted the Centre for Studies and Applied Sciences in Gender – Family – Women and Adolescents (CSAGA) to establish the OSSCs called “Anh Duong (Sunshine) House”, to detect and prevent violence and support survivors via the hotline 02433335599 operating 24 hours a day.

The OSSC model provides essential, comprehensive and integrated services to women and girls who are experiencing or are at risk of gender-based and domestic violence.

It provides a wide range of services, meeting international standards, including health care, psychological support, counselling, social welfare services, emergency shelters, police protection, legal and justice services and referrals.

All services are based on the survivor-centred principle, in which survivors are treated with respect and dignity, and assured of privacy and confidentiality.

The first OSSC model was opened in Quang Ninh province in April 2020 by the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs (MOLISA) with technical and financial support from UNFPA in partnership with the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA).

Earlier this year, MOLISA opened one in Thanh Hoa province with support from UNFPA in partnership with the Government of Japan.

The two centres have so far accommodated more than 450 women and children who are survivors of gender-based and domestic violence. Each centre receives more than 1,000 calls a month via the hotlines.

The two new OSSCs in HCM City and Da Nang are an attempt to try out a new model by CSAGA, while the earlier two are based on the social protection centres under MOLISA.

Those who are from other neighbouring provinces and cities can also receive services from the centres.

Party Inspection Commission disciplines individuals, collectives

The Party Central Committee’s Inspection Commission issued a disciplinary warning against the Standing Board of the Party Committee of the Vietnam National Coal – Mineral Industries Group (Vinacomin) for the 2015-2020 and 2020-2025 tenures, during its 16th meeting that took place from June 20-22.

The commission concluded that the board violated the principle of democratic centralism and working regulations, and showed a lack of responsibility along with lax leadership and supervision, letting the Council of Members and some individuals violate Party regulations and the State’s laws on production, business and investment.

Such violations have caused severe consequences, and negatively affected production and business, as well as the prestige of the Party organisation and the group as well.

Le Minh Chuan, Secretary of the Party Committee and Chairman of the Council of Members; and Dang Thanh Hai, Deputy Secretary of the Party Committee, member of the council and General Director; and Nguyen Ngoc Co, Deputy General Director, and former member of the Party Committee of Vinacomin, also received warnings.

Phan Xuan Thuy, member of the Party Committee and Deputy General Director, got a reprimand.

At the meeting, the Inspection Commission also looked into violations by the Standing Board of the Party Committee of the central province of Phu Yen (2015-2020 term), and by the Party delegation to the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee (2016-2021 tenure).

It gave warnings to the Standing Board of the Party Committee of the HCM City Construction Department, and the Standing Board of the Party Committee of the Office of the municipal People’s Committee (2015-2020 term).

Vo Van Hoan, member of the municipal Party Committee and member of the Party delegation to and Vice Chairman of the city People’s Committee, and former Secretary of the Party Committee and former head of the Office of the municipal People’s Committee, was reprimanded.

The commission proposed the Politburo consider disciplinary measures against the Party delegation to the HCM City People’s Committee (2016-2021 tenure) and Nguyen Thanh Phong, member of the Party Central Committee and deputy head of its Economic Commission, former Deputy Secretary of the HCM City Party Committee, and former Deputy Secretary of the Party delegation to and former Chairman of the HCM City People’s Committee./.

Vietnam, China promote youth friendship exchange

The Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union (HCYU) Central Committee and the Communist Youth League of China (CYLC) Central Committee on June 22 jointly organised the Vietnam-China Youth Friendship Exchange Programme 2022.

The two sides agreed that the HCYU and CYLC should bolster cooperation in youth work, economic development, education, press, communications and startups; and expand youth exchange in border localities.

Maintaining good relations between the two countries’ youth organisations will contribute to cultivating the traditional friendship between Vietnam and China, they said.

During the exchange, Vietnamese youth delegates gave presentations on the role of the youth union in accompanying and orienting young people to revive culture in the digital era; and in implementing the policy of promoting national digital transformation and developing the digital economy.

The Chinese side highlighted the role of the CYLC in enhancing its ability to serve and support young people, and ways to improve the capacity of youth organisations, and  introduced a city model friendly to youth development./.

86 trillion VND earmarked for transport infrastructure in Mekong Delta

Minister of Transport Nguyen Van The has confirmed that around 86 trillion VND from the State budget will be invested in developing an expressway system for the Mekong Delta region.

He made the statement while presenting a plan on transport infrastructure development investment for the Mekong Delta region at the Conference on Promulgation of the Mekong Delta Regional Master Plan and Investment Promotion for the 2021-30 Period, which opened on June 21 in Can Tho City.

The whole region at present has only 90km of expressways, in addition to another 30km under construction.

During this term, investment in an additional 400km of expressway in the region will be carried out, including the construction of a main axis connecting Ho Chi Minh City with Mekong Delta's Can Tho City and connecting Can Tho City with southernmost Ca Mau province, according to the minister. 

Another important highway will connect An Thu in Cao Lanh district in Dong Thap province with Rach Gia city in Kien Giang province.The  end of the expressway system will connect with Tran De port in Soc Trang province.

Court reduces prison sentence for former Hanoi Chairman Nguyen Duc Chung

The People’s Court of Hanoi on June 22 lowered the prison sentence for former Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee Nguyen Duc Chung in a case related to the purchase of Redoxy-3C to treat polluted lakes in the city.

Accordingly, Chung received a jail term of only five years instead of eight years declared at the first-instance trial after the court considered his work and fulfilment of all compensations.

Along with the prison sentence of five years for stealing State secrets, Chung will spend a total of 10 years behind bars.

Chung’s two accomplices, Nguyen Truong Giang, Director of Arktic Trading and Service Co., Ltd., and Vo Tien Hung, former General Director of the Hanoi Sewerage and Drainage One Member Limited Liability Company, also got reduced sentences.

Giang was sentenced to three years in prison instead of four and a half years, while Hung will serve two and a half years instead of four years.

According to the indictment, in 2016, the Hanoi People’s Committee directed units to tackle water pollution in local rivers and lakes by seeking advanced technologies.

Chung, in his capacity as Chairman of the Hanoi People’s Committee, selected the polluted water treatment technology of Germany's Watch Water Company, and placed an order for the production of Redoxy- 3C.

He then instructed Hung to buy the Redoxy-3C agent through Arktic, an intermediary company where Giang acted as director, with the intention of gaining personal profits.

Chung and his accomplices caused economic losses of over 36 billion VND (1.59 million USD) to the State. He was asked to compensate 25 billion VND to fulfill his civil liability.

Man arrested in Da Nang for smuggling endangered species

Police in the central city of Da Nang arrested a 33-year old man on June 22 for violating “regulations on the protection of endangered, precious and rare animals”.

Nguyen Duc Tai will be detained for four months pending an investigation into his role in a wildlife trafficking ring from Africa to Vietnam.

Local forces detected a container on July 17, 2021 and another on January 5, 2022 at Tien Sa Port, containing a total of 138.78kg of rhino horn, 3,108 kg of lion bones, 456.9 kg of ivory, and 6,232 kg of pangolin scales, valued at around 300 billion VND (12.9 million USD).

The manifests for the containers stated timber and cashew nuts imported from South Africa and Nigeria, respectively.

Police found evidence at Tai’s residence, and arrested the man on June 22.

Man jailed for abusing freedom, democratic rights

The People’s Court of Ham Tan district in the south central province of Binh Thuan sentenced a man to three years in prison on June 22 for “abusing the rights to freedom and democracy to violate the interests of the State, and the rights and legitimate interests of organisations and individuals” under Article 331 of the 2017 Penal Code.

According to the indictment of the provincial People’s Procuracy, Le Chi Thanh, 39, from Tan Duc commune, Ham Tan district, used his Facebook account of the same name to post articles and video clips containing distorted content.

Thanh was once a captain working at Xuan Loc Prison in the southern province of Dong Nai. However, he was then relieved from the public security force due violations of Ministry of Public Security regulations.

The articles and video clips published on his Facebook account violated the interests of the State, as well as the rights and legitimate interests of the People’s Court, the public security force, and individuals.

During the investigation, Thanh confessed his wrongdoings.

On January 14, the People’s Court of Thu Duc city in Ho Chi Minh City also gave Thanh a jail sentence of two years for “resisting on-duty officials”.

Third Make in Vietnam Digital Product Awards launched

The Make in Vietnam Digital Product Awards has returned for the third consecutive year, aiming to honour impact digital products contributing to the acceleration of e-government, digital economy and digital society in Vietnam.

It is an official award of the ICT industry annually held by the  Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC) to recognise enterprises with digital products designed, developed and produced in Vietnam that provide solutions to pressing issues currently facing the country, the MIC announced at a press conference on June 22.

Eligible nominees are Vietnamese or foreign-invested enterprises whose at least 51 percent of stake is owned by Vietnamese investors.

They will be awarded in four categories, namely best product in e-government, best product in digital economy, best product in digital society and most promising one.

Entries will be evaluated based on not only design and innovation but also their impacts on the acceleration of e-government, digital economy and digital society.

The MIC will help winning products gain access to a broader market, said Deputy Minister of Information and Communications Pham Duc Long.

Entries should be submitted via website https://makeinvietnam.mic.gov.vn/ no later than September 22./.

Workshop seeks to promote responsible tourism and wildlife conservation

Preventing tourists from buying ivory products and endangered wild species is essential, especially in the context that Vietnam has fully reopened its door to international tourists and the tourism industry is on the way to recovery, heard a workshop held in Hanoi on June 22.

The event, which was organised by World Wide Fund for Nature in Vietnam in coordination with Hanoi’s Department of Tourism and Hanoi Tourism Association, aims to provide knowledge about responsible tourism and wildlife conservation for 150 tour guides and travel operators.

Vietnam currently has 33 national parks, 57 nature reserves, 13 habitat conservation areas, 53 landscape protection zones and 9 biosphere reserves.

HCM City considers bicycle and pedestrian lanes on Hanoi highway

The Department of Transport of Ho Chi Minh City has requested relevant agencies to study the design of lanes exclusively reserved for bicycles and pedestrians on Hanoi Highway in Thu Duc city.

The new lanes will be designed to stretch from Rach Chiec bridge to Saigon bridge.

The city's Road Traffic Infrastructure Management Center was tasked to coordinate with other units to draw up a plan for the lanes.

The outcomes of related studies must be submitted to the department in July.

Hanoi Highway is the main route linking the center of HCM City to Thu Duc city and southern provinces like Dong Nai and Binh Duong.

Hue Festival 2022 revitalises pandemic hit tourism industry of Thua Thien-Hue

The central Thua Thien-Hue province has been drawing in tourists with this year’s version of the Hue Festival for 2022, promoting its image after two years of the COVID-19 pandemic, announced Nguyen Thanh Binh, Vice Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee.

The pandemic caused many small and medium travel firms in the province to close and forced many labourers and tour guides to seek other employment. However, with the reopening of the country’s tourism sector and the year-round activities of Hue Festival 2022, the number of visitors to the province increased sharply in April and May and should continue to rise. 

Nguyen Thuy Van, owner of Sunny homestay in Hue city’s Vy Da ward took advantage of the lockdown period to upgrade her accommodation, and was ready to welcome guests right away when restrictions were lifted. After tourism was re-opened, her facility has been fully booked on holidays and during events for the Hue Festival 2022.

The provincial Department of Tourism has worked with enterprises to organise a series of interesting events such as Hue Festival Day - Culinary Capital and the Hue Lotus Festival in June.

The hot air balloon festival is upcoming at the end of June, Hue Hip Hop Festival in July and the Hue Lion Dance Festival in September and the Healthcare Tourism Week in November. These activities provide a diverse set of events and a festive atmosphere in Hue.

Travel bloggers, influencers, and key opinion leaders (KOLs) are invited to join the events in a bid to lure more young people to the central province and its historic tourism products and cultural life of locals.

Nguyen Van Phuc, director of the provincial Department of Tourism (DoT), said it has collaborated with airlines from neighbouring countries to open more flights to bring tourists directly to Thua Thien-Hue.

The department also contacted the Hanoi UNESCO Travel Club to arrange charter trains from Hanoi to Hue city.

Thanh Hoa aims to attract more tourists from RoK

The north central province of Thanh Hoa has organised various activities to promote its tourism to international markets, including the Republic of Korea (RoK), with the aim of spread its image as a four-season tourist destination.

Among its major markets such as Japan, the RoK, China and Thailand, Thanh Hoa has paid special attention to the RoK – a leading partner of the province for years.

Pham Duc Tri, Vice Director of the province's Centre for Investment, Trade and Tourism Promotion, said that the RoK currently has the highest number of 37 investment projects in Thanh Hoa, and ranked second among foreign investors in terms of investment capital with about 1.62 billion USD, accounting for 26.5 percent of the total foreign-invested projects and 11 percent of total foreign direct investment (FDI) in the province.

Vice Director of the provincial Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism Vuong Thi Hai Yen said that tourist attractions in Thanh Hoa have been popular among Korean tourists. In order to continue to attract more visitors from the RoK, Thanh Hoa will actively join more tourism promotion events in the RoK in the time to come.

In September, the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism will organise a programme to introduce Vietnamese tourism in the RoK. Thanh Hoa will take advantage of the event to further popularise its tourism in the country by directly join the programme or sending publications and typical products to the event to introduce the province’s tourism potential, she said.

This year, Thanh Hoa will coordinate closely with the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism and the Vietnamese Tourism Ambassador in the RoK to organise activities to set up connections with Korean partners and hold famtrips for them in Thanh Hoa, Yen said.

Dak Nong works to strengthen ties with Cambodia’s Mondulkiri

The Central Highlands province of Dak Nong has made efforts to further foster its cooperation and friendship with the Cambodian province of Mondulkiri over the past years.

Located to the south of the Central Highlands region, Dak Nong shares a 141km border section with Mondulkiri.

The province has so far worked with the Cambodian side to organise numerous cultural and people-to-people exchange activities, including New Year visits, free medical check-ups, assistance to poor pupils and provision of medical supplies, food and necessities during the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

Since 2021, Dak Nong has provided Mondulkiri with aid worth over 1.7 billion VND (73,000 USD).

The two provinces have teamed up to speed up land border demarcation and marker planting; hold joint patrols to ensure security and defence along the shared border; and exchange information and support in building a borderline of peace, friendship, and mutual development.

Paris conference looks to help restart Vietnam - France tourism links

Thien Minh Group and Vietnam Airlines held a conference in Paris on June 21 with a view to boosting trade and tourism links between Vietnam and France after the COVID-19 pandemic was controlled.

Vietnamese Ambassador to France Dinh Toan Thang said the Southeast Asian country has long been an attractive destination for French tourists, and the full resumption of international flights since March 15 has led to a growing number of arrivals to Vietnam.

The reactivation of tourism is currently a major priority of Vietnam so as to contribute to post-pandemic economic recovery and growth, he said, noting that following the Government’s decision to fully restart trading and tourism activities, a large number of international tourists, especially French and other Europeans, are showing their intention to revisit Vietnam.

Pham Thi Nguyet, acting head of the marketing division of Vietnam Airlines, said the national flag carrier is taking the lead in restoring international flights and planning to resume its entire domestic and international flight networks in 2023.

Vietnam Airlines wants to join domestic and foreign travel companies to attract tourists back to Vietnam, she said, adding that it always views France as one of the five key markets.

Elodie Courzadet, director for business development at the Thien Minh Group, said the company, which provides experience tourism and hotel services in Asia, has received many orders and bookings for the year-end holiday.

Bac Lieu confirms cluster of COVID-19 infections in hospital

The general hospital of the Mekong Delta province of Bac Lieu confirmed on June 22 that 25 child patients have been infected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus, and a child has died of the virus.

The two-day-old baby suffered severe pneumonia symptoms, and test results showed the baby was positive for the virus.

Through tracing, the authorities found that on June 14, a 5-month-old boy in Tan Thanh commune had a fever and stopped breastfeeding. He was taken to a private medical facility but did not respond to the treatment.

Three days later the boy was transferred to the Bac Lieu General Hospital 16 where he tested positive.

Twenty-five other children at the hospital’s pediatric department have since contracted the virus through testing.

There are six patients on ventilators, a doctor told local media outlets, adding only few of the child patients have been vaccinated against COVID-19.

Vietnam tightens health quarantine against emerging diseases at borders

The Department of Preventive Medicine under the Ministry of Health has requested cities and provinces tighten health quarantine at borders amidst the complicated developments of dangerous and emerging diseases overseas.

In a dispatch to border localities, the Department of Preventive Medicine noted the COVID-19 pandemic has been on a downward trajectory in the world, but numbers of infections and deaths are still increasing in some regions.

In addition, other dangerous and emerging diseases such as polio, avian influenza and acute hepatitis of unknown etiology in children have been recorded in many countries worldwide.

The World Health Organisations has also confirmed more than 2,100 monkeypox cases recorded in 42 countries globally.

Notably, Singapore, an island state in Southeast Asia, recently confirmed a British flight attendant has contracted monkeypox – the first case in the state.

Four minor quakes subsequently hit Kon Tum in two hours

Four tremors with magnitudes of up to 3.2 vibrated throughout the mountainous district of Kon Plong in the Central Highlands province of Kon Tum early on June 22, the Institute of Geophysics reported.

According to the institute’s Vietnam Earthquake and Tsunami Warning Center, a total of four trembles occurred at 0:46 a.m., 0:58 a.m., 1:15 a.m., and 2:04 a.m., with magnitudes of 3.2, 1.8, 2.6, and 2.6, respectively, at a depth of around 8.1 kilometres.

Fortunately, these earthquakes did not pose any risk of disaster, the centre noted, adding that it was continuing to observe any related developments.

Since the beginning of the year Kon Plong has experienced dozens of quakes with magnitudes ranging from 2.4 to 4.1 on the Richter scale, causing no major danger.

Thuy Tien to join Miss World Karolina Bielawska at Malaysia beauty contest

Nguyen Thuc Thuy Tien, Miss Grand International 2021 winner, will participate in the grand final of Miss World Malaysia 2022 alongside Miss World 2021 Karolina Bielawska as special invitees to the event which is due to be held this August.

The pair will take part in a range of charity activities before attending Miss World Malaysia 2022’s final night.

This will mark the first time that the winners of two of the world’s biggest beauty pageants will meet at an event.

Thuy Tien was the first Vietnamese beauty to be crowned Miss Grand International.

Her great achievement and the stellar results of two other local representatives at Miss World and Miss Universe 2021 helped Vietnam surpass other strong nations in terms of beauty, including Venezuela and the Philippines, to come second in the "Country of the Year 2021" ranking, as recently announced by international beauty site Globalbeauties.

Logo design contest launched to mark Vietnam – Japan diplomatic ties

The Japanese Embassy in Vietnam has launched a logo design contest to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the establishment of Vietnam-Japan diplomatic relations in 2023.

The contest is open to all people, regardless of their nationality, age, or profession. Each applicant must only submit one entry which should be unpublished. Entries should be submitted via email to 50japan-vn@ha.mofa.go.jp by July 7 at the latest.

All submitted works must help viewers to visualise the Vietnam – Japan special bond, the similarity and closeness between the peoples of both countries.

The logo must also reflect the vigorous development of the relationship between the two countries, and the future of the ties over the next 50 years.

In September the organisers will announce winners of the logo design contest on the website and Facebook page of the Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Japanese Embassy in Vietnam, as well as other media channels. The logo will be used by the Japanese Embassy in a series of events to be held in future.

Tiara for Miss Universe Vietnam 2022 pageant unveiled

The organising board of Miss Universe Vietnam 2022 revealed a luxury tiara at a press conference held on June 20 that will be presented to the winning beauty queen at the competition.

The tiara, named "Vinawoman - Infinity", is adorned with three golden sapphires located in the centre which symbolise the prosperity of as a whole society.

Furthermore, it also contains 2,137 diamonds and 279 sapphires that come in various different sizes.

Furthermore, the two runners-up at the competition will also receive other tiaras.

Moving forward, the semifinal of Miss Universe Vietnam 2022 is scheduled to take place on June 21, while the final night will be held in Ho Chi Minh City on June 25.

North-South railway among top 10 sleeper train journeys worldwide

Vietnam’s Thong Nhat (Reunification) Express, also known as the North-South railway route, has been listed among the top 10 best sleeper train journeys globally, according to The Travel magazine of Canada.

The Canadian magazine reports Vietnam is a hugely popular country to visit among backpackers traveling around Southeast Asia.

“Given how long and narrow the country is, a sleeper train is a great way to get from the northern capital city of Hanoi to the southern city of Ho Chi Minh without riding on a motorbike,” says The Travel.

It notes that the sleeper train route is most suitable for budget travelers as it typically only costs around US$26 for a journey that lasts between 32 and 37 hours.

The magazine also reveals that passengers are able to choose from several seat classes, depending on how much they are willing to spend on a ticket. These include third class which has hard wooden seats, second class which has soft seats with access to an AC, second class sleeper which has six beds per compartment and AC, or first class sleeper which has four beds per compartment with AC.

Tennis ace Hoang Nam wins M15 Tay Ninh for third consecutive time

Vietnam’s leading tennis player Ly Hoang Nam successfully beat Digvijay Pratap Singh (India) to triumph in the men’s singles at the ITF Men’s World Tennis Tour M15 Tay Ninh professional tournament (Week 3) - Hai Dang Cup.

In the first set, Nam put in a poor performance and was ultimately defeated with a score of 6-4.

However, the local player turned the tide in the second set when he equalized the score, and overwhelmed the Indian player in the third set, clinching the title after nearly 3.5 hours of competition.

This is the title Nam has won three times in a row. The Vietnamese player earned 45 points to officially return to the top 400 of the ATP rankings.

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

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