10 things to do in HCM City

A group of South Korean actors, singers and artists from the band TWICE, JYP Entertainment, and the nationwide cable TV network and broadcasting company JTBC are making a video about the central province of Thua Thien Hue.  One scene in the video clip. Photo: Vietnamhuetourism.vn. The filming has been organized by the provincial Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism in cooperation with the Hanatour Service Corporation, one of the largest South Korean travel companies, to introduce the beauty and cultural heritage of Thua Thien Hue to the South Korean public. The video is being filmed at the UNESCO World Heritage’s the Hue Citadel, the Khai Dinh Tomb, the Huong River, with its charming natural scenery, and at exhibitions of ao dai (Vietnam’s traditional dress). The crew also filmed neighboring Da Nang and Quang Nam province. The video is an opportunity for the local tourism sector to promote tourism in the central region to attract more international tourists, especially South Koreans. South Korea topped the list of foreign visitors to Thua Thien Hue in the first half of this year, with over 97,000, accounting for 26 per cent of the total of 414,500, which was up 6.76 per cent year-on-year.  Acknowledging the increasing number of South Korean visitors, local investors and enterprises are paying greater attention to upgrading My An and Thanh Tan hot springs, which is a popular spot among South Korean and Japanese tourists. The department also has plans to invite South Korean experts to help local businesses select…... [read more]

Danang People’s Committee on Monday decided to open three new passenger transportation routes on the Hàn River, all beginning and ending at the Han River Port. Floating boat restaurants on Danang City’s Han River.  The first route, from Han River Port to Tran Thi Ly Bridge, Thuan Phuoc Bridge and back to the port, operates from 7.30am to 10.30pm daily, ending at 11pm on weekends and holidays. Route two departs from the port and stops at the Thuan Phuoc Bridge and Son Tra Peninsula before returning to the port, running from 7.30am to 5.30pm. The final route also takes in Thuan Phuoc Bridge before stopping at Sung Co Beach and Chao Islet before coming back to port from 7.30am to 5.30pm. To operate on the routes, boats must be certificated by Vietnam Register that they are qualified for travel in waters with waves of two metres and can travel on both river and sea. Each boat can carry 30 – 250 passengers. Boat crews must have licences and certificates. After the Thao Van 2 boat accident, the central city’s authorities have tightened management on the Hàn River. On June 4, 2016, the Thao Van 2 boat, carrying 56 people (three crew members and 53 passengers, including four Malaysians) capsized in the river between the Han Bridge and Thuan Phuoc Bridge just five minutes after leaving the pier. Fifty-three people were rescued and three died. VNS... [read more]

Floating boat restaurants on Da Nang city’s Han River (Photo: VNA) Da Nang (VNA) – The Da Nang People’s Committee on August 28 decided to open three new passenger transportation routes on the Han River, all beginning and ending at the Han River Port. The first route, from Han River Port to Tran Thi Ly Bridge, Thuan Phuoc Bridge and back to the port, operates from 7.30am to 10.30pm daily, ending at 11pm on weekends and holidays. The second one departs from the port and stops at the Thuan Phuoc Bridge and Son Tra Peninsula before returning to the port, running from 7.30am to 5.30pm. The final route also takes in Thuan Phuoc Bridge before stopping at Sung Co Beach and Chao Islet before coming back to port from 7.30am to 5.30pm. To operate on the routes, boats must be certificated by Vietnam Register that they are qualified for travel in waters with waves of two metres and can travel on both river and sea. Each boat can carry 30 – 250 passengers. Boat crews must have licences and certificates. After the Thao Van 2 boat accident, the central city’s authorities have tightened management on the Han River. On June 4, 2016, the Thao Van 2 boat, carrying 56 people (three crew members and 53 passengers, including four Malaysians) capsized in the river between the Han Bridge and Thuan Phuoc Bridge just five minutes after leaving the pier. Fifty-three people…... [read more]

The missile was fired eastward from the vicinity of Sunan in Pyongyang at around 5:57 a.m., according to South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS). "It passed through the sky over Japan" and fell into the North Pacific Ocean, the JCS said. It added the projectile, presumed to be an intermediate-range ballistic missile (IRBM), flew more than 2,700 kilometers at a maximum altitude of around 550 km. It was the North's 13th ballistic missile fired this year alone. The U.N. Security Council decided to hold an emergency meeting in New York later in the day on punitive steps. In a statement, the South Korean government strongly condemned the North for the latest missile launch and urged it to choose the path of denuclearization, not such a "reckless provocation."    South Korean President Moon Jae-in ordered his troops to demonstrate the capability for "strong retaliation" as his office Cheong Wa Dae immediately convened a National Security Council (NSC) session. Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha telephoned U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on the North Korea issue. They expressed "deep disappointment" over Pyongyang's move that went against potential talks. Top South Korean and U.S. military officers also discussed "military and strategic responses" to Pyongyang's move in a phone conversation. Gen. Jeong Kyeong-doo, chairman of South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff, and his American counterpart Gen. Joseph Dunford agreed to take related measures at the earliest possible date, which apparently include the temporary dispatch of U.S. strategic assets like long-range bombers…... [read more]

Endowed with a diverse, distinctive ecosystem together with the presence of many ethnic groups, Soc Trang can potentially develop diversified tourism models. To help the tourism sector fly, on August 2, 2016, the Soc Trang Provincial Party Committee issued Resolution 05-NQ/TU of the Provincial Party Executive Committee on Soc Trang tourism development to 2020, with a vision to 2025, with the goal of turning tourism into an important economic sector of the province in 2020. The following interview with Mr Trinh Cong Ly, Director of Tourism Promotion Centre and Chairman of Soc Trang Tourism Association, expands on this issue. Hoang Lam reports. Could you introduce the advantages of Soc Trang tourism? How has the provincial tourism industry effectively tapped these potential advantages? Tourism infrastructure has been improved. Many companies have boldly invested in expanding infrastructure and improving infrastructure quality in all aspects. Many new tourist attractions are put into operation such as Ho Nuoc Ngot Culture Exhibition Centre, Doi Temple Tourist Site, Tan Hue Vien Tourist Site and Dat Set Pagoda. The province has also placed an emphasis on creating garden-based tourism products and organised famtrips to tourist gardens to introduce homestay experiences, with popular destinations being orange gardens and tangerine gardens in Hung Phu commune (My Tu) and My Phuoc Islet where a garden and water-based festival is held on the fourth and fifth days of the fifth lunar month. To create favourable conditions for households to develop community tourism, the Soc Trang…... [read more]

Soldiers from the Japan Air Self-Defense Force set up PAC-3 surface-to-air missile launch systems during a temporary deployment drill at US Yokota Air Bace in Tokyo on August 29, 2017. Photo by AFP/Toru Yamamanaka Nuclear-armed North Korea fired a ballistic missile over Japan and into the Pacific Ocean on Tuesday in a major escalation by Pyongyang amid tensions over its weapons ambitions. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said it was an "unprecedented, serious and grave threat" and called for an emergency UN Security Council meeting. The last time a North Korean rocket overflew Japan was in 2009, when Pyongyang said it was satellite launch. Washington, Seoul and Tokyo believed it was a clandestine test of an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM). Pyongyang last month carried out two overt ICBM tests that appeared to bring much of the US mainland within reach for the first time and heightened strains in the region. At the time, US President Donald Trump issued an apocalyptic warning of raining "fire and fury" on the North, saying Washington's weapons were "locked and loaded", while Pyongyang threatened to fire a salvo of missiles over Japan towards the US territory of Guam. The latest missile was launched at around 2057 GMT Monday from Sunan, near Pyongyang, travelling "over Japan", the South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff said. It flew around 2,700 kilometres (1,700 miles) at a maximum altitude of around 550 kilometres. Guam is about 3,500 kilometres from North Korea -- although the missile was fired in an…... [read more]

World-famous Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh arrived in Da Nang in central Vietnam at around noon on Tuesday on a flight from Bangkok, the first return to his home country in a decade, according to a local media report. The Buddhist monk was stable and waved to followers as he left the airport, said Giac Ngo, the news website of the Buddhist Shangha of Vietnam. Photos of him sitting in a wheelchair at the airport were also published. The Zen Master has been in Thailand since December last year. He is expected to stay in Da Nang for several days before traveling to his hometown in the nearby Hue. Thich Nhat Hanh became a monk at the age of 23. He is considered the second most influential Buddhist leader in the West, after the Dalai Lama. In the 1960s he spearheaded a movement of Buddhists in South Vietnam that called for a negotiated end to the Vietnam War. He left in 1966 and has lived in France for years. Hanh has lived at Plum Village for decades, traveling regularly throughout North America and Europe to offer lectures on mindfulness and peace. His key teaching is that, through mindfulness, we can learn to live happily in the present moment - the only way to truly develop peace, both in one’s self and in the world. Remarkably, Hanh does not ask his Western followers to abandon their religion. He has returned to Vietnam three times - in 2005, 2007 and 2008 -…... [read more]

World-famous Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh arrived in Da Nang in central Vietnam at around noon on Tuesday on a flight from Bangkok, the first return to his home country in a decade, according to a local media report. The Buddhist monk was stable and waved to followers as he left the airport, said Giac Ngo, the news website of the Buddhist Shangha of Vietnam. Photos of him sitting in a wheelchair at the airport were also published. The Zen Master has been in Thailand since December last year. He is expected to stay in Da Nang for several days before traveling to his hometown in the nearby Hue. Thich Nhat Hanh became a monk at the age of 23. He is considered the second most influential Buddhist leader in the West, after the Dalai Lama. In the 1960s he spearheaded a movement of Buddhists in South Vietnam that called for a negotiated end to the Vietnam War. He left in 1966 and has lived in France for years. Hanh has lived at Plum Village for decades, traveling regularly throughout North America and Europe to offer lectures on mindfulness and peace. His key teaching is that, through mindfulness, we can learn to live happily in the present moment - the only way to truly develop peace, both in one’s self and in the world. Remarkably, Hanh does not ask his Western followers to abandon their religion. He has returned to Vietnam three times - in 2005, 2007 and 2008 -…... [read more]

Fried bamboo caterpillars being placed on a watermelon salad inside the kitchen of Insects in the Backyard, which says it offers the first insect-based fine-dining menu, in Bangkok. Photo by AFP/Lillian Suwanrumpha At a hip Bangkok diner, foodies with an adventurous palate tuck into a bug-based menu that includes watermelon salad sprinkled in bamboo worms, nachos with silkworm cherry tomato salsa and pasta made from ground crickets. Abundant and stacked with protein, insects have long been a favourite snack among Thai farmers. But they have often carried a negative image, perceived as "food for the poor" in a country with profound class divides. Now bugs are creeping onto the menu of some of Bangkok's high-end restaurants as the capital's gourmands leap on the latest global food trend with a sustainable agenda. Ratta Bussakornnun, a 27-year-old who works in the cosmetics industry, admitted she was initially sceptical as she sat for a meal recently at Insects in the Backyard, which says it offers Bangkok's first insect-themed fine-dining menu. Many wealthier Thais, she said, think of insects as "unappetizing and dirty". But by the end of her meal she was won over. "I just ate scallops topped with bamboo worms and a fish fillet with an ant egg sauce. It was delicious," she beamed, a gentle jazz track playing overhead in the dimly lit restaurant. "The food is well presented," she added. "This gives an impression of sophistication." The restaurant is located in Chang Chui -- an arty district in western Bangkok…... [read more]

Uber Technologies Inc is pulling a heavily criticized feature from its app that allowed it to track riders for up to five minutes after a trip, its security chief told Reuters, as the ride-services company tries to fix its poor reputation for customer privacy. The change, which restores users' ability to share location data only while using the app, is expected to be announced on Tuesday and rolled out to Apple Inc iPhone users starting this week. It comes as Uber tries to recover from a series of crises culminating in the ouster of Chief Executive Travis Kalanick and other top executives. Dara Khosrowshahi, the CEO of travel-booking company Expedia Inc is set to become Uber's new chief executive, sources have told Reuters. The location-tracking update is unrelated to executive changes, said Joe Sullivan, Uber’s chief security officer, in an interview with Reuters. Sullivan and his team of about 500 have been working to beef up customer privacy at Uber since he joined in 2015. "We’ve been building through the turmoil and challenges because we already had our mandate," said Sullivan, who is a member of the executive leadership team that has been co-running Uber since Kalanick left in June. An update to the app made last November eliminated the option for users to limit data gathering to only when the app is in use, instead forcing them to choose between letting Uber always collect location data or never collect it. Uber said it needed permission to always gather…... [read more]




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