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Hai Van Pass

Hai Van Pass in Da Nang city has been listed among the 10 most beautiful drives in the world, according to a recent article published by Travel + Leisure magazine.

Hai Van Pass has been dubbed "one of the best coast roads in the world" by Jeremy Clarkson, former host of British motoring show Top Gear. The website also recommends that those travelling along the route take the road slow as conditions can become a slightly foggy.

Running for a total length of 20km, the pass has become one of the most popular destinations for visitors to snap photographs, with over 52,000 photos taken at the site uploaded to Instagram.

The global list is based on analysis provided by Pentagon Motor Group (PMG), which searches more than seven million Instagram hashtags in order to uncover the world's most stunning routes.

As part of PMG’s research, they discovered that the Great Ocean Road in Australia is the most beautiful road trip in the world, followed closely by the Big Sur in the United States and Jebel Hafeet in the United Arab Emirates. 

Vietnam extends condolences to Indonesia over sunken submarine

Minister of Foreign Affairs Bui Thanh Son on April 26 sent a message of condolences to his Indonesian counterpart Retno Marsudi over the sunken submarine KRI Nanggala-402.

Indonesia’s Antara News Agency reported that KRI Nanggala-402 became untraceable on April 22 during live torpedo training exercises off the Indonesian holiday island of Bali.

The 40-year-old submarine was found split into three pieces on the sea bed after five days of search efforts. All the vessel's 53 crew have been confirmed dead./.

HCM City cancels fireworks celebrating National Reunification Day

Chairman of the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee Nguyen Thanh Phong on April 26 cancelled the fireworks display celebrating the South Liberation and National Reunification Day (April 30) and May Day (May 1) holiday, to prevent any spread of COVID-19 given the complex of the pandemic in neighbouring countries and the world.

The city leader asked the Department of Culture and Sports to review preparations for other activities to mark the special occasions, with pandemic prevention and control measures to be strictly implemented.

He also requested that local departments, agencies, and localities remain vigilant in fighting the pandemic, while working hard to control illegal immigration, thus ensuring safety during the holidays and also the upcoming general elections.

The city has gone 73 days without any community transmission of COVID-19. It remains at risk of an outbreak, however, due to complex developments of the pandemic in Thailand and Cambodia.

Held every year on this occasion, 15-minute fireworks displays had been planned at five venues on April 30./.

Top legislator holds working sessions with NA committees

National Assembly Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue on April 26 held working sessions with the NA’s Committee for Social Affairs and Committee for Legal Affairs.

At the working session with the Committee for Social Affairs, the top legislator lauded the committee for its initiatives during the 14th tenure, saying it has taken the lead in consulting the public.

He asked the committee to review the legal framework on the organisation and operation of the legislature and its agencies, as well as delegations of NA deputies and People’s Councils.

The committee should draw up a project to improve its operational quality and efficiency across spheres, he said. 

During another working session with the Committee for Legal Affairs, Hue attributed successes of the 14th NA to contributions of the committee.

He also stressed the need to have a long-term strategy in law building in order to ensure the leading role of the NA in legislative activities, and a synchronous legal system./.

No COVID-19 cases logged on April 27 morning

Vietnam documented no COVID-19 infections in the past 12 hours to 6am on April 27, making the nation’s tally unchanged at 2,852 cases, according to the Ministry of Health.

The health ministry’s Medical Examination and Treatment Department said that, a total 2,516 COVID-19 patients have been given the all clear. The death toll remains at 35.

Among those under treatment, 13 have tested negative for the virus once, 15 twice, and 20 thrice.

There are 38,919 people having close contact with confirmed cases or entering Vietnam from pandemic-hit regions under quarantine at present, including 518 at hospitals, 23,409 at concentrated facilities, and 14,992 at home.

According to the ministry, a total 259,736 frontline workers nationwide received COVID-19 vaccine shots as of 4 pm on April 26.

In a bid to live safely with the pandemic, people should strictly follow the Ministry of Health’s 5K message: khau trang (facemask), khu khuan (disinfection), khoang cach (distance), khong tu tap (no gathering) and khai bao y te (health declaration)./.

Localities intensify COVID-19 prevention measures ahead of holidays

Increased pandemic prevention measures have been noticed in cities and provinces nationwide, as the Reunification Day (April 30) and Labour Day (May 1) holidays approach.

Strict fines are imposed on people without facemasks in public places in Ho Chi Minh City, the local authorities said in an urgent direction issued on April 26.

Accordingly, public-awareness-raising communications on COVID-19 and pandemic prevention and control measures have been ordered, with restrictions in place for mass gatherings. Those involved in organising illegal entries in the city also face strict punishments.

The same day, Vice Chairman of the Hanoi People’s Committee Chu Xuan Dung emphasized a high risk of new outbreaks during and after the upcoming holidays at a meeting of the municipal Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control on April 26.

He urged the active implementation of pandemic measures that prioritise early detection, quick quarantine, and effective treatment. Wearing facemask is a must in public areas and on public transport vehicles; and events that gather a large number of people are restricted.

The capital will continue its vaccination drive correctly, safely, and efficiently, according to Dung.

Also on April 26, Minister of Health Nguyen Thanh Long had a working session with the Can Tho People’s Committee, asking the Mekong Delta city to soon complete its national-level COVID-19 treatment hospital and prepare for complicated developments of the epidemic in the future.

For the work to be done, he assigned the Can Tho General Hospital to collaborate with localities and the Can Tho University of Medicine and Pharmacy.

Can Tho also needs to establish a 400-bed COVID-19 treatment hospital in Phong Dien district that is capable of accommodating up to 800 beds when necessary, the minister underscored./.

13th National Party Congress’ outcomes informed to Japanese Communist Party

Head of the Party Central Committee’s Commission for External Relations Le Hoai Trung on April 26 chaired a teleconference to inform the Japanese Communist Party (JCP) on the outcomes of the 13th National Party Congress.

Attending the meeting on the Japanese side was Vice Chairman of the Presidium of the JCP and head of its International Department Ogata Yasuo.

Trung thanked the JCP Central Committee and JCP Chairman Shii Kazuo for extending congratulations on the success of the congress and the re-election of Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong.

He briefed the Japanese side on outcomes of the congress as well as main contents of the congress’ documents regarding various issues such as socio-economic development, Party and political system building, Vietnam’s foreign policies and future development orientations.

Trung underlined that the congress has an important significance, with the continued application and development of the Marxism-Leninism and Ho Chi Minh thought. It set the goal of developing the country to 2025 and 2030 with a vision to 2045, he added.

He said that Vietnam continues implementing the consistent foreign policy of independence, self-reliance, multilateralism, diversification of external relations, active and proactive integration into the world, maintenance of a environment of peace and stability, thus enhancing the country’s position and prestige on the international arena.

Trung affirmed that the Communist Party of Vietnam attaches importance to the traditional friendship with the JCP as well as the Vietnam-Japan relations, while expressing his hope that the two Parties and countries will continue to strengthen their partnership in the new situation.

He proposed a number of specific orientations and measures to promote the relations between the two Parties and nations in the near future.

For his part, Ogata Yasuo once again congratulated the CPV on the success of the 13th National Party Congress, saying the information of the congress’ outcomes to the JCP shows the Party, State and people of Vietnam’s appreciation for the JCP as well as the friendship between the two countries' people.

He agreed with Trung’s proposal on the promotion of bilateral relations, expressing his belief that under the leadership of the CPV, Vietnamese people will successfully implement the congress’ Resolution and gain new achievements in national reform and socialism building, thus playing a positive role in consolidating peace, security and development in the region and the world.

At the meeting, the two sides also discussed a number of regional and international matters of shared concern./.

Miss H’Hen Nie in the hot seat at Miss Universe Vietnam 2021

Miss Universe Vietnam 2017 title holder H’Hen Nie has been selected to join the panel of jury at the Miss Universe Vietnam 2021.

H’Hen Nie will join Vo Thi Xuan Trang, principal of John Robert Powers school, and Dr Le Diep Linh, doctor of anthropology, to judge contestants at the Miss Universe Vietnam 2021, said organisers of the beauty pageant.

H’Hen Nie, who was crowned Miss Universe Vietnam 2017, was one of the five final contestants at Miss Universe 2018. She has actively taken part in social activities and inspired young girls to live a healthy lifestyle.

The beauty queen is considered to be a suitable figure in the hot seat who can provide expertise, connect and assist contestants in performing their role throughout the contest.

The announcement of the jury was made several days before current Miss Universe Vietnam title holder Nguyen Tran Khanh Van leaves for Miss Universe 2021, one of the big four major international beauty pageants.  

For the Miss Universe Vietnam 2021, organisers said they are receiving applications from April 23 to September 8, 2021.

Contestants will be selected in many localities across the country, including Hanoi, Long Hai, Vung Tau, Da Lat, Bao Loc, and Ben Tre.

The final round will take place in Long Hai, while Ho Chi Minh City will play host to the semi-finale and finale of the contest.

Dong Hoi boosts night-time tourism through walking street

The inauguration of a pedestrian street in Dong Hoi city in the central province of Quang Binh on April 23 is anticipated to diversify tourism products, accelerate service and trade activities, and develop a strong night-time economy moving forward, according to local authorities.

The walking street is scheduled to open to residents and visitors from 6 p.m. to midnight on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays, and public holidays in the streets of Phan Boi Chau and Dong Hoi, with the total length of the sight spanning approximately one kilometre.

The inauguration of the pedestrian street will be part of a series of other activities which are being held within the framework of Dong Hoi Culture and Tourism Week 2021.

After being suspended for a year due to the impact of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) epidemic, the occasion is set to be held between April 23 and May 2, with plenty of cultural, culinary, and artistic activities taking place, such as a street carnival, a traditional boat racing on the Nhat Le river, a Bai Choi singing festival, art performances, and traditional folk games. 

Hoang Thi Thanh Nhung, vice chairwoman of the Dong Hoi City People's Committee, said the city has now completed all necessary infrastructure and decorated the pedestrian street area. This has been done whilst ensuring the safety of all residents and visitors who can come to enjoy a unique cultural space at night, especially to mark the occasion of the upcoming Reunification Day on April 30 and May Day (May 1) holiday.

Vinh Phuc: wartime bomb moved out of residential area

The Military High Command’s sapper force in the northern province of Vinh Phuc on April 25 moved a bomb weighing 340 kg from a residential area in the province’s Vinh Yen City to a safe place.

The bomb, measuring 40cm in diameter and 125cm in length, was found 2.5m underground on April 20 when workers dug the foundation of a house on Ton Duc Thang Street.

Locals living in the dangerous area with a radius of 500m around the spot where the bomb was unearthed were evacuated to safe areas. During the process of transporting the bomb, people living along the route were also evacuated to ensure safety.

Businesses, organisations, and temporary markets nearby were asked to close on the day the bomb was moved./.

Tien Giang takes measures to supply water to more households

The Mekong Delta province of Tien Giang has taken measures to supply water for daily use to more households in areas affected by saltwater intrusion to ensure no one has to buy water at high prices.

For its eastern region, which includes the districts of Go Cong Dong, Go Cong Tay, and Tan Phu Dong and Go Cong Town, it has drilled seven borewells at a cost of more than 10 billion VND (434,000 USD), according to the province’s Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.

It undertook 23 projects for installing pipes to carry water from pumping stations in My Tho City to areas in the east without tap water. 

The eastern region now has 198 water pumping stations with a capacity of 98,640cu.m a day that supply 17,804 urban households and 118,266 rural households.

At the beginning of this dry season, which lasts between December and May, the province had finalised plans to set up 103 public water supply sites to provide free water to 6,516 families living in the east in rural and remote areas, outside sea dykes, along the coast, near estuaries, and in fields that do not get tap water and have difficulty getting water for daily use.

It has so far set up 41 of them to supply 1,400cu.m a day, and will set up the rest when the situation worsens.

It has instructed coastal districts to strengthen advocacy about storing freshwater appropriately and using it carefully.

In the islet district of Tan Phu Dong, which is severely affected by saltwater intrusion during the dry season, 1,500 of the 11,800 local households do not get tap water.

But 12 pipes with a total length of 24.2 kilometres have been laid to supply water to the three coastal communes of Phu Dong, Phu Tan and Phu Thanh this year.

The district has also set up five free public water supply sites to benefit households in Phu Tan Commune.

It has pumped water from rivers when the salinity is below 2 grammes per litre into ponds for storing it.

These have helped resolve the shortage of water, Bui Thai Son, Secretary of the district's Party Committee and Chairman of its People’s Committee, said.

Fireworks to be held in Vietnam on Reunification Day

Firework displays will be organised in many provinces and cities to welcome Reunification Day and May Day Holiday.

A firework display will be held in six locations in Hanoi from 9 pm to 9.15 pm on April 30. High altitude fireworks will be held at Hanoi Post Office in Hoan Kiem District and the Flower garden in Son Tay Town. Low altitude fireworks will be held at the Headquarter of Hanoi Moi Newspaper, Thong Nhat Park, My Dinh National Stadium and Van Quan Lake.

Quang Ninh People's Committee announced that low-altitude fireworks for 15 minutes will be held at Cam Pha, Ha Long and Dong Trieu. Cua Lo Town in Nghe An Province and Quang Tri Province will also hold a firework display to launch the sea and island tourism season 2021.

Vo Trong Nam, deputy director of Ho Chi Minh City Department of Culture and Sports said the city will hold firework displays at four locations, including Saigon River Tunnel, Landmark 81 Building, Dam Sen Park, and Can Thanh Commune, and Can Gio District.

A series of cultural and sports events will be held in Ho Chi Minh City to celebrate Reunification Day and May Day. Ho Chi Minh City authorities encouraged individuals and businesses to fly the national flag during the holiday.

Ha Long beach to open soon

A beach in Ha Long City in the northern province of Quang Ninh will be opened on May 1.

The artificial beach, the first public one in Ha Long City, is 900 metres long and nearly 100 metres wide, running along Tran Quoc Nghien Road. 

Tran Quoc Nghien Road connects to other famous tourist sites like Quang Ninh Museum, Library, October 30 Square and Ha Long Flower Park.

People in the Hon Gai area often come to local unlicensed beaches or beaches in the Bai Chay area for swimming. With the high demand of the public, Ha Long authorities decided to open a beach in the Hon Gai area.

The beach is part of a VND680 billion (USD29.56 million) project to upgrade areas around Tran Quoc Nghien Road. Of this funding, VND100 billion has been used for the beach investment.

Ha Long authorities are seeking public opinion for the name of the beach based on the three proposals Ha Long, Hon Gai and Hong Gai.

According to Nguyen Ngoc Son, vice chairman of Ha Long City People’s Committee, most of the surveyed opinions have preferred the name Hon Gai so far.

Job market shows strong signs of recovery

Vietnam’s job market showed strong signs of recovery in the first quarter of 2021, opening up various opportunities for workers, especially highly-skilled workers.

The labour market has been steadily recovering since early in the year, according to data from Adecco Vietnam, with the number of job openings in March rising 40% against January. Growth in job applications was 26%.

Sectors seeing an increase in hiring demand in the quarter included Engineering and Manufacturing, Energy, IT, E-commerce, Electronics, Semiconductor Design, Civil Engineering, and Industrial Construction.

The combination of global supply chain shifts and the positive impact of free trade agreements will offer new prospects for Vietnam’s economy into the future, leading to a significant increase in employment opportunities and hiring demand, said Nguyen Thi Thu Phuong, Adecco Hanoi’s Recruitment Manager.

In Ho Chi Minh City, the labour market in Q1 was livelier than in the same period last year, according to the municipal Centre for Human Resources Forecasting and Labour Market Information (FALMI).

Its figures show that there were over 44,000 job vacancies and nearly 19,500 jobseekers in the southern economic hub during the period, increasing local human resources demand by 13.14% year-on-year. The majority of vacancies (70.38%) were in the services sector, followed by industry (29.51%) and agriculture (0.11%).

The centre forecasts that the city will need between 68,600 and 73,500 workers, mostly in the fields of IT, electronics and electricity; mechanics and automation; healthcare and medicine; accounting and auditing; finance, banking and securities; real estate; and tourism, lodging and catering services.

Adecco Hanoi Office Director Nguyen Thu Ha explained three main reasons contributing to the current situation. The first is the Government’s successful efforts in virus prevention and containment, she said. Second, businesses have gradually ramped up their operations and are eager to bounce back after a period of economic stagnation. Third, in terms of psychology, people now are better able to take care their health and cope with coronavirus anxiety.

FALMI said that demand for trained workers in HCM City made up 85.72% of the total, including 22.19% for university graduates or higher.

Commenting on the labour market outlook for 2021, Andree Mangels, General Director, Adecco Vietnam believed that the recovery of the economy and the global trends of digitalisation will open up opportunities for skilled workers.

A recent survey from the Adecco Group on shifts in workplace expectations in the post-pandemic world indicate that 82% of participants appreciate the strict hygiene regulations at work.

Other noticeable expectations among workers are flexibility (80%), adequate facilities for remote working (79%), investment in technology (77%), financial support policies (77%), and regular updates on business plans and performance (75%).

Various activities prepared for Reunification Holiday in Quang Ninh

About 18 cultural activities will be held in Quang Ninh Province during the coming Reunification Day Holiday.

This is a part of the 27 events to stimulate the tourism industry in Quang Ninh from April 30 until mid-May. Some of the highlights are the opening of Hon Gai Beach and Ha Long-The Gathering of Wonders Show.

Ha Long Carnival also returns and will be held on Tuan Chau Island on April 30, Hon Gai on May 1 and FLC Ha Long Resort on May 2. Former Miss Vietnam beauty queens will join the street performance along with various well-known singers and artists. A fireworks display will be held at three locations.

Along the Tran Quoc Nghien Street are the martial art show, I Love Ha Long photo exhibition, street music, kite flying contest and other activities. Some other summer events in Quang Ninh are Three Regions Circus Gala 2021 in Cam Pha City, Tay Ethnic Culture Day in Tien Yen District and the 60th anniversary of Ho Chi Minh's visit to Co To Island.

Tourism firms that participate in the stimulus programme have also offered various discounts. Quang Ninh is expecting 500,000-550,000 tourists for the Reunification Holiday.

Pham Ngoc Thuy, director of Quang Ninh Department of Tourism said, "We have worked with other parties to ensure the human resources and equipment for the programme. We have also inspected hotels and other facilities where the main events will be held to keep the prices stable and to ensure a pleasant holiday for visitors."

Vietnam should be cautious about reopening doors to international tourists: McKinsey

Vietnam should not take risks and reopen its doors and border gates to international tourists until the country reaches herd immunity through widespread Covid-19 vaccination, according to global management consulting firm McKinsey & Company.

Many opinions have thrown their support behind the proposal to reopen doors to boost travel and trade, while the firm said in its recent report that Vietnam should ensure there are no locally-transmitted Covid-19 cases and should not allow free travel until the country reaches herd immunity.

 

Following this method, Vietnam’s tourism sector can recover in 2024 thanks to the domestic tourism segment, which regained its growth momentum last year after social distancing was lifted. The travel demand will continue to accelerate and recover quickly, according to the firm.

Local tourists who are not allowed to take foreign trips will alter their plans and opt for tours in Vietnam and spend more money than they did in 2019.

Vietnamese visitors spent US$5.9 billion on tourism in foreign countries in 2019. This is a big chance for local tour operators to tap the local tourism market, according to the report.

The consulting firm also suggested tourism firms offer more luxurious tours to tourists and reduce the prices of their products to stimulate travel. The reduction should not be a long-term solution, said McKinsey & Company.

The firm also presented some solutions to help Vietnam and other countries maintain the status of having no new locally-infected Covid-19 cases during their recovery process, including taking the domestic travel demand into account, considering setting up prices, applying digital technology and offering new experiences to tourists.

Besides, tour operators should also grasp information about the travel demands of international tourists and meet safety regulations to be ready to serve foreign visitors before Vietnam reopens its doors.

Those who organized illegal exit on NA chairperson’s flight to stand trial next month

The HCMC People’s Court will hold the first-instance hearing early next month for eight people who had earlier helped nine people travel to South Korea on a flight transporting a delegation of the then National Assembly (NA) chairperson in late 2018.

Among the eight accused, three were indicted for allegedly organizing the illegal exit from Vietnam, comprising former director of GVA Company Le Thi Lieu, an ex-official of a magazine under the Ministry of Planning and Investment Tran Thi Tuyet and former director of TD Vietnam Education Consulting and Training JSC Luong Manh Hung.

Five others were charged with allegedly mediating so that the nine could go abroad, the local media reported.

On August 6, 2018, the NA’s Foreign Affairs Committee asked the Ministry of Planning and Investment to make a list of enterprises accompanying the NA chairperson to China and South Korea. The Ministry of Planning and Investment assigned the Foreign Investment Agency and the Investment Promotion Center-North Vietnam to do the job.

The schedule changed and the delegation visited only South Korea from December 4 to 7, 2018.

However, nine people of the delegation did not return to Vietnam after the trip. Six of them were helped by Lieu and her accomplices to illegally escape to South Korea.

In early 2018, Lieu made contact with Hoang Anh, a resident of Nghe An who was living in Germany, and discovered that many residents in Hoang Anh’s hometown wanted to travel to South Korea for work. Through Trinh Bang Dung, Hoang Anh introduced Lieu to some of these people, who had to pay US$10,000 each to be taken to South Korea.

The accused agreed that Dung would collect US$11,500 each to earn profit.

After hearing the Ministry of Planning and Investment’s news, Lieu directed her employees to prepare dossiers and complete procedures so that she and her customers could be a part of the NA’s delegation.

She asked her customers to wear formal clothes and learn information about the companies they represented. Once in South Korea, under the pretense that they had to meet their partners or go shopping, they took back their passports and stayed on to look for jobs.

According to investigators, Lieu earned more than VND700 million from these people.

Sapa woos tourists with big stimulus programs

The People’s Committee of Lao Cai Province in collaboration with the Sapa Tourism Association has launched a big tourism stimulus campaign to attract more visitors to the northern mountainous region.

The program, themed Huong Sac Lao Cai (The Beauty of Lao Cai), received a positive response from some 100 tourism businesses, including hotels, homestays, car agencies and tourist spots in Sapa town in Lao Cai Province.

Discounts offered by all the units range from 20%-70% and will go on from April 10 to December 31, the local media reported.

Trinh Xuan Truong, chairman of the People’s Committee of Lao Cai Province, said that this is the largest-scale stimulus program to ever be implemented by Lao Cai to date.

The committee, along with Lao Cai’s Department of Tourism, will accompany districts and towns as they organize various programs and extraordinary tourism activities imbued with the highland’s cultural identity throughout 2021, painting a colorful and attractive picture of Lao Cai and offering a rich experience for tourists.

Pham Cao Vy, chairman of the Sapa Tourism Association, expects the program to be a hit among tourists, helping local tourism, especially tourism businesses make a quick recovery and flourish.

So far, Lao Cai’s tourism stimulus program has been receiving positive feedback as booking rates toward the end of April across Sapa alone have reached 80% and up to 100% for the upcoming holidays of April 30 and May 1.

Aside from the unprecedented discount program, lots of exciting events and festivals will be held throughout 2021 to give tourists an unforgettable experience in Sapa.

UK education and technology on roadshow in HCMC

The British Consulate-General in HCMC in collaboration with the British University Vietnam, NashTech Vietnam and Study in Wales on April 23 organized the “UK Education and Technology Roadshow” in HCMC, following its success in Hanoi, Danang and Haiphong.

The double-decker bus visited four universities--the University of Greenwich Vietnam, the University of Science – Vietnam National University HCMC, the Hong Bang International University and the University of Economics and Finance HCMC.

More than 1,200 students in the city had the opportunity to learn about studying in the UK and the skills needed for future work from two Chevening alumni: Nguyen Thi Phuong Nghi (Master of Philosophy in Therapeutic Science at the University of Cambridge) and Ton Nu Tuong Vy (Master of Education and International Development at the University College London).

The UK Government’s Chevening Scholarships Officer was also present at the roadshow to provide more information about the scholarship such as the selection criteria, the number of scholarships per year and the benefits of being awarded the prestigious scholarship.

Besides, the roadshow also provided information about studying in the UK and tips to choose suitable programs based on the strengths and interests of students.

In case students prefer to study in Vietnam, there are also domestic programmes to pursue recognized UK degrees, which can offer value for their future career paths.

British technology company NashTech also spoke about job opportunities at the company as well as the desirable skills employers look for in an international working environment.

Speaking at the event, British deputy consul general in HCMC Sam Wood said education, technology and skills training are key pillars in the UK and Vietnam bilateral partnership.

“I hope that the students in HCMC learned more about joint-training programmes, scholarships and career opportunities after graduating. Whether you want to acquire world-renowned valuable skills in the UK, or receive a UK-recognized degree in Vietnam, the UK has it for you,” Wood said.

Chevening is the UK government’s international awards programme aimed at developing global leaders. Funded by the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office and partner organizations, Chevening offers full coverage for a one-year Master's degree at any university across the UK.

Music performance to be held in complete darkness in HCMC

A special music performance will be held in complete darkness at the SOUL Live Project Complex in HCMC on April 25, enabling the audience to focus entirely on the experience provided by music and the word.

“Music In The Dark” promises to be an evening where music has more emotional power because all visual distractions will be eliminated.

Studies show that some 70% of all the body’s sensory receptors are located in the eyes. Therefore, when listening to music in the dark without any stage effects, the audience can explore the purity of sound.

In the dark, music becomes the only language. Listeners may find it unfamiliar at first but music will gradually touch every corner of their soul in a surprisingly enchanting way.

The main highlight of the event is the performers’ vocals as an amazing instrument capable of conveying a wide range of emotions. Whether as a solo or in combination with another voice or all together as a choir, the human voice has incredible power.

This concert features vocal students, teachers and ensembles, both accompanied and unaccompanied, from the Soul Music & Performing Arts Academy’s Faculty of Music. With the theme of “HOME”, the songs offer diverse forms of vocal music for different combinations of voices.

This is the fourth year that “Music in the Dark” is being organized. The event also serves as an opportunity for the community to support charitable causes, including assistance for blind people.

The concert is not suitable for children under 10 years of age and begins at 7 p.m.

20 streets in Thu Duc City named after historical figures, famous people

A road naming ceremony of 20 arterial streets and new residential areas in Thu Duc City after historical figures and famous people was held at the Thu Thiem new urban area yesterday under the witness of leaders of HCMC and Thu Duc City and delegates.

Speaking at the event, Chairman of the Thu Duc City People's Committee Mr. Hoang Tung emphasized that this was considered as a meaningful activity to express respect and commemorate the great contributions by historical figures to the revolutionary cause of the Party and the country.

The event contributes to the implementation of urban and administrative management and creates favorable conditions for organizations and individuals in the economic, cultural and social transactions in Thu Duc City.

According to Mr. Nguyen Thien Nhan, former Secretary of the Ho Chi Minh City Party Committee and Head of Ho Chi Minh City's delegation of National Assembly deputies, the event was also a great honor for families as well as deep gratitude for the previous generations who had made great contributions to the fight, construction and defense of the country.

Besides, the street naming ceremony aims to mark the 46th anniversary of the Liberation of Southern Vietnam and National Reunification Day (April 30, 1975-2021).

Accordingly, 20 streets in Thu Duc City were named after famous and historical figures namely To Huu, Tran Bach Dang, Nguyen Thien Thanh, Bui Thien Ngo, Tran Van Sac, Nguyen Dinh Thai Ly, Ho Thi Nhung, An Tu princess, Luu Dinh Le, Tinh Trieu, Bach Dong On, Pham Van Ngon, Dang Binh Thanh, Dang Dinh Tuong, Duong Lam, Duong Thanh, Tran Quy Kien, Tran Duc Thao, Nguyen Thi Thich and Nguyen Thi Diep. The street naming is based on Resolution No. 86 / NQ-HDND dated December 9, 2020 of the People's Council of Ho Chi Minh City on the addition of street names and road naming in HCMC.

Attending at the ceremony were former Secretary of the Ho Chi Minh City Party Committee, Head of Ho Chi Minh City's delegation of National Assembly deputies Mr. Nguyen Thien Nhan; alternate member of the Party Central Committee, member of the Standing Committee of the Ho Chi Minh City Party Committee, Secretary of the Thu Duc City Party Committee Mr. Nguyen Van Hieu; Vice Chairwoman of the People's Committee of Ho Chi Minh City Ms. Phan Thi Thang;
Deputy Secretary of the HCMC Party Committee, Chairman of Thu Duc City People's Committee Mr. Hoang Tung along with family members, relatives of historical figures and famous people whose names are given to street names in Thu Duc City. 

HCMC to hold culture-art activities to mark National Reunification Day

Ho Chi Minh City has planned a series of culture and arts events to celebrate the upcoming National Reunification Day (April 30) and International Labour Day (May 1).

According to Vo Trong Nam, Deputy Director of the municipal Department of Culture and Sports, a photo exhibition on Vietnam’s border areas at Lam Son Park in District 1 will kick off activities on April 26.

On April 28, an exchange with witnesses of the Ho Chi Minh Campaign is scheduled. The campaign liberated the south of Vietnam, paving the way for the country’s independence and reunification after 21 years of separation.

There will also be ceremonies to bestow the Hero of People’s Armed Forces title upon recipients and to announce the Prime Minister’s decisions on recognising Can Gio district as a new-style rural area and Thach An commune as an island commune under the administration of HCMC.

The department’s pop music centre will hold a special concert on the evening of April 29, while the local Police High Command’s brass band will perform on the evening of April 30, both on District 1’s Nguyen Hue walking street.

A host of activities are also set for May in celebration of President Ho Chi Minh’s 131st birthday on May 19.

Vietnamese publisher releases internationally-famous books

After making an effort to purchase copyright, the Youth Publishing House released a series of books for children along with the National Geographic Kids’ scientific book series.

These books with good content and design not only bring vivid knowledge to children helping them to learn more about the world around them but also are a way to nurture reading habits for families.

The Youth Publishing House has translated books into Vietnamese. For the first time in Vietnam, five volumes of the National Geographic Kids scientific books including Human Body; What Would Happen?; Explorer Academy; Do not read at midnight have been released.

The books with coherent presentation of scientific information, accurate and interesting illustrations are very interesting ensuring that readers will not miss any knowledge. Along with that are the images beyond small readers’ understanding. After reading, small readers will build up a useful mind map by themselves, with outstanding scientific knowledge retention.

Another set of scientific books including eight books to be released on this occasion is My Science Castle. The eight books are about animals to plants such as how eggs hatch into chicks; Why do whales migrate; Why does the seed sprout in the spring; How tadpoles turn frogs; How do our bodies work; Is black bear dangerous; How do caterpillars turn butterflies.

The book series is the first adventure in natural history sharing with readers the amazing world of science with its up-to-date knowledge, eliciting curiosity, curiosity and desire to explore for each child. The stories are attractive from beginning to end, clarifying all questions of children. The book 'How our bodies work' will answer them: How do we smell and taste food? How do we hear and look? Why do we have teeth? What is the skeleton for? Why do we have muscle? Why do we have skin? How does the brain work?

The book sets including Horrible Histories, Horrible Science, Horrible Geography, The Knowledge has published more than 40 titles and more books will be released as predicted. They are designed to get children interested in science by concentrating on the trivial, unusual, gory, or unpleasant.

Most small readers are excited about science after reading these series of books such as Horrible Science, Horrible Geography, and Horrible Geography.

Parents can’t miss books of Om Books publisher such as Wait for Your Turn, Never Give Up, I am not scared, Let’s Shake Hand, Is Daddy Coming Back in a Minute?

Restaurant reported on overpriced bill
 
In response to a tourist’s report about being overpriced in a seafood restaurant sited in Nha Trang City of Khanh Hoa Province, Acting Chairman of Nha Trang City People’s Committee Nguyen Sy Khanh announced that he has directed related state agencies to verify the matter and impose punishment when necessary.

Accordingly, on April 23, 2021, a tourist with the Facebook account Van Le visited a seafood restaurant named Thap Ba 86 (located at the address of 29 Pham Van Dong Street of Nha Trang City).

After listening to the recommendations from the restaurant, Van Le decided to order 3 seafood dishes, with the price ranging from VND200,000 to 420,000 per kilo (approx. US$8.7-18.3). The whole meal was captured and posted on Review Du Lich Nha Trang Forum. This meal was bill VND1,460,000 in total ($63.6).

The tourist annoyingly said that he had already asked for the detailed price of each seafood kind before ordering, yet in the end he was still billed illogically. Among them, the price of sweet snail was the most unacceptable, at VND1.8 million per kilo ($78.4).

Explaining the situation to the local authorities, Nguyen Van Luong – the restaurant owner – first confirmed that the discussed bill was from his restaurant. He further stated that sweet snails in his restaurant have diverse sizes, some of which are extremely large and unique in the city (18-19 snails per kilo). This leads to such a high input price of VND1.2 million a kilo ($52.3). Therefore, the retail price mentioned above is not at all overpriced.

He also displayed the bills of other customers as an illustration, one of which was over VND9 million ($392) for a meal including 2.4 kilo of sweet snail.

Van La said that he had visited the People’s Committee of the ward where the restaurant was sited right on that day, but had been instructed to contact the special tourism-support hotline of the province instead, since this organization was not authorized for such matters.

However, Nguyen Thi Le Thanh, Deputy Director of Khanh Hoa Province Department of Tourism, shared that the concerned tourist did not report the case to the above hotline.

HCMC focuses on tourism advertising plan

The tourism sector of Ho Chi Minh City will focus on promoting safe tourism destinations and services, including shopping, healthcare, agriculture and resort.

To create more new and attractive tourist products, the Ho Chi Minh City Department of Tourism established survey teams to connect new products and tours, tourism routes on the Liberation of Southern Vietnam and National Reunification Day (April 30) and May Day (May 1) as well as for other holidays in the year.

Besides, the Ho Chi Minh City Department of Tourism planned to develop new mid-term and long-term tourist products to meet the needs of domestic and foreign tourists. Ho Chi Minh City also focuses on attracting travelers from provinces and cities nationwide to Ho Chi Minh City and vice versa.

On the same day, Quang Binh, Thua Thien-Hue, Quang Nam and Da Nang in collaboration with the Ho Chi Minh City Department of Tourism launched the “Back to the miraculous heritage domain” program to promote and attract tourists to experience the beautiful landscapes of four provinces and cities. The program aims to recover the tourism industry after the significant impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Accordingly, the contents were released at a brief meeting between the Municipal Department of Tourism and press agencies about tourism stimulus programs and the development of HCMC in the coming time yesterday.

Ca Mau-Nam Du-Phu Quoc high-speed boat route to be resumed

Phu Quoc High Speed Boat Joint Stock Company (Phu Quoc Express) will resume operation of Phu Quoc high-speed boat in Ca Mau-Nam Du- Phu Quoc route on the Liberation of Southern Vietnam and National Reunification Day (April 30) and May Day (May 1).

Particularly, the maritime tourism routes of Ca Mau- Phu Quoc, Ca Mau- Nam Du, Nam Du- Phu Quoc, Phu Quoc- Ca Mau, Phu Quoc-Nam Du, Nam Du- Ca Mau will operate daily from April 29 to May 3.

From May 4 to August 15, Ca Mau- Phu Quoc, Ca Mau- Nam Du and Nam Du- Phu Quoc routes will operate on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays, and routes of Phu Quoc- Ca Mau, Phu Quoc- Nam Du, Nam Du- Ca Mau will operate on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays.

Earlier, the Phu Quoc High Speed Boat Joint Stock Company put the Phu Quoc high-speed boat into operation on Ca Mau-Nam Du- Phu Quoc route in July 2020.

That is the first sea-island tourism route of Ca Mau Province, contributing to the tourism development of Ca Mau Province. However, the route was suspended due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

50% Vietnamese travelers are willing to travel in May and June 

The newly launched “insight snapshot” by Outbox Consulting show that 50% of local travelers are intending to travel in May and June, among them, 40% are more interested in sightseeing and cuisine.

Summer is considered as one of the most important travel seasons of Vietnam tourism. In the current context when the country is making effort to contain Covid-19 pandemic while boosting economic growth, the success of this peak tourist season will be decisive for the recovery of Vietnam's tourism industry.

The insight snapshots entitled “Vietnamese Travel Behaviors – Summer 2021”  conducted by Outbox Consulting shows that half of those surveyed are willing to travel this summer, especially in the coming May and June. Over 30% all travelers start looking for travel information three to four weeks before their trip and social media is the main source of information for their trips.

Covid-19 has changed the behavior of tourists almost completely.  According to the survey, price is the most important factor affecting decision-making at a destination, accounting for 30% of all mentions.

Travelers of Gen X (aged 41 to 56) and Gen Z (aged 18 to 24) consider price as the most important factor when choosing a travel agent. Meanwhile, Millennials (aged 25 to 40) tend to be more generous when traveling as they take more into account the travel agent’s reputation, customer service and feedback from friends/relatives about tour quality. 

In addition, service quality and safety account for over 30% of all mentioned factors determining travelers’ satisfaction at a destination. Also, the research showed that 42% independent travelers book accommodation first before any other services.

Contrary to the fussy tour selection trend of Gen Z and Millennials, travelers of older generation seem to be more reckless in choosing a tour. They don't need up to a month to plan where to travel. While the younger generation of tourists, aged between 18 and 40, tend to be pickier about their destination as they  usually take about one to two months to decide where to travel.

“Du Lich Viet, Vietravel & Saigontourist are three most popular travel agents  trusted by package-tour travelers,” the Outboxs’ insight snapshot showed.

Unlike conventional long-format analysis reports, the “insight snapshot” displays important information prominently to help readers easily get an overview of research results and focus on data. It is considered an initiative of Outbox Consulting to help both individuals & businesses in the tourism industry understand Vietnamese in terms of who they are, their travel preferences, travel motivations, and their behaviors during the planning and booking for a trip in summer 2021.

USAID-supported forest service project generates US$120M for Vietnam annually 

The eight-year project increases transparency, efficiency and effectiveness in payment for forest environmental services.

A forest service project, funded by the US Agency for International Development (USAID) in 2012-2021, enables Vietnam to generate roughly US$120 million per year.

The USAID Vietnam Forests and Deltas project on climate change program that costs US$31.4 million and implemented by Winrock International helps Vietnam’s transition to climate resilient and low-emission sustainable development, according to the US Embassy in Hanoi.

The news was released on April 22 to mark the completion of the project and launch the new USAID Sustainable Forest Management project and USAID Biodiversity Conservation project with the attendance of Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) Ha Cong Tuan and USAID Acting Mission Director Bradley Bessire.

The project supported MARD to successfully implement the Payment for Forest Environmental Services (PFES) system at the national scale.

The project supported the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) to successfully implement the Payment for Forest Environmental Services (PFES) system at the national scale.

The annual earnings of approximately US$120 million help finance the management of roughly six million hectares of Vietnam’s forests.

The PFES system contributes to increasing incomes and living standards for hundreds of thousands of people living in the mountainous areas who receive payments to protect forests.

The project also helps MARD expand the PFES system to increase its transparency, efficiency and effectiveness through application of electronic payments in disbursing funds and enhancement of monitoring and evaluation.

In addition, the project trained about 350,000 people on climate change adaptation, forest management and livelihoods development and helped over 200,000 people implement climate change risk reduction practices in the Mekong and Red River Deltas.

Over more than eight years of implementation at the national level and in the provinces of Quang Ninh, Nam Dinh, Son La, Thanh Hoa, Nghe An, Lam Dong and Long An, the project achieved significant results, receiving wide recognition from the government of Vietnam, local communities, and other related stakeholders.

Airlines urged to tighten COVID-19 preventive measures

The Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam (CAAV) have issued a telegram urging both airports and airlines to strengthen their supervision over passengers wearing face masks in terminal areas, especially during Reunification Day on April 30 and May Day on May 1, along with the upcoming summer season.

This move comes following several passengers flouting rules regarding the wearing of face masks in quarantine areas at airports, despite regulations being put in place, thereby increasing the risk of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) epidemic spreading via aviation hubs.

The CAAV has therefore requested that all airports and airlines remind passengers in the terminal area to strictly abide by regulations regarding wearing face masks as a means of preventing the potential spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Airlines have been urged to refuse to transport passengers who fail to fill in medical declaration forms and those who disregard epidemic prevention rules, while strictly punishing individuals who violate these rules.

At present, local airlines have entered the peak season in terms of meeting the growing travel demands of passengers during the upcoming holidays with the number of travelers anticipated to see a 40% increase compared to the same period from last year.

Source: VNA/VNS/VOV/VIR/SGT/Nhan Dan/Hanoitimes