Solutions proposed to build tourism trademark for Hanoi

Last weekend, a Facebook rant by the mother of a 15-year-old boy against the way he was treated by the police aroused a lot of sympathy and condemnation. Photo: Facebook She said her son was playing his violin on the pedestrian street around Hoan Kiem Lake, when the police rudely stopped him, because he had no permission to play music for money. She said she could not accept the way the police shouted at him made him panic and cry. Her post was quickly and widely shared on Facebook and other social networks, and several online newspapers published her allegations as well as the reactions of netizens, sympathising with the son’s plight and criticising the police. However, two days later, the mother posted again, retracting her previous post and apologizing to the police for making unsubstantiated allegations. Following this, many people deleted their responses and some of the online publications deleted their stories as well. It is not surprising that stories about the bad behaviour of public officials and celebrities gain greater traction and get strong responses from the public, mostly of stringent criticism. But this latest episode, which is only one among many, highlights the ways in which social networks are being mined for information, superseding actual news publications. It is sad, but true that many reporters, particularly with online publications, use Facebook and other social sites as a major source of information. Why is this sad? Given the preeminence of online social networks in the digital age, using…... [read more]

VietNamNet Bridge – Six months after being introduced, the online registration of foreigners’ accommodations in Viet Nam has yielded effective results, according to police authorities and hotels. Foreigners take a selfie at Ha Noi’s Hoan Kiem Lake on New Year’s Eve 2016/2017.  The online registration has been used since mid-February, allowing those who host or provide accommodations for foreigners residing in Viet Nam to create accounts on the websites of immigration management offices of provincial and municipal police forces. They can then update the information - name, gender, nationality, date of birth and passport numbers - of the foreigners staying with them or at their accommodations upon their arrival. Nguyen Hoang Thai, a receptionist at the Splendid Hotel on Hang Hanh Street in Ha Noi, said the online registration was convenient for both the hotel and guests. Tran Quoc Tuan, service manager of the Apricot Hotel on Hang Trong Street, said the internet-based residence registration saves time, labour and travel cost by precluding the need to go in person to the ward police station to report on foreign clients’ check-in and check-out. Caption Tran Trung Kien, vice head of Hang Trong Ward Police, said the ward located in a busy downtown area in Ha Noi gets registrations of about 1,500 foreigners daily. Police have instructed and encouraged accommodation units to use the online registration, Kien said. Major General Bach Thanh Dinh, vice director of Ha Noi Police, told Ha Noi Moi (New Ha Noi) newspaper that the implementation of the…... [read more]

The streets and markets are a frenzy of shoppers picking the freshest foods, best clothes and new home accessories. Colourful and festive items are displayed in the stores and the clatter of bargaining fills the air. These are all on top of the anticipation among the little ones as they count down to the festive fun and the thrill of receiving Lì Xì. When they receive special red envelope with their Lì Xì, the children show respect by clasping both hands and bowing. I am also fond of Tết because it is when people set aside time for their family and friends. They visit relatives on both sides of the family and pay respect to the different generations. Vietnamese living abroad or away from their hometown try to make a special trip back to mark this holiday. Now I know Giao Thừa is an important moment of the Tết. Giao Thừa represents the passage from the old to the new for the Vietnamese. During Giao Thừa, they bid farewell to the past and welcome the New Year and the new opportunities it brings. For this reason, every home makes offerings to pray for a good new year. Prior to Tết, the home altars are cleaned thoroughly and the brass candle sticks and incense burners polished until they gleam. Rod Ward (dressed as Thần Tài- Fortune God) celebrating Tet with colleagues An offering table is set in anticipation of the Giao Thừa on the eve of Tết. Offerings include fruits and…... [read more]

Ms Azran participated in a protest movement against the US during the war in Vietnam. She arrived in Vietnam in the 90s to witness the country after the war. This is also the period she began to devote her love to Vietnam, especially Hanoi, and over the past 18 years, unforgettable memories have nurtured her love for the capital each and every day. Her swanky and noble look will be the first impression of anybody who meets Ms Azran for the first time. With a smiling face, Raquelle says that she considers Hanoi to be one of the most beautiful places in the world. Ms Azran loves Hanoi for its simplicity, intimacy and antique feel. Especially, Vietnamese people in general and Hanoians in particular play an important factor in nurturing her soft spot for the city. Asked why she has become closely associated with Hanoi over the past 18 years, and Vietnam considers as her second homeland, she says, it is firstly important to become familiar with the language, daily dishes and people around you. Every time setting foot in Vietnam, she feels like returning home. For Raquelle, Hanoi is part of her life. The landscape and sounds of the city have run through her veins. She is proud to say that she knows Hanoi like the back of her hand. Without hesitation, she talks about Hanoi like a tourist guide. “I love all different kinds of Vietnamese food. Spring rolls are wonderful. I like eating sticky rice for breakfast.…... [read more]

Summer, to some extent, is the most glamorous season in Hanoi. You can hear cicadas repeating the same sound for hours. Many people who first come to Hanoi hate this annoying sound. But for people living in Hanoi, they will miss it if summer comes without what they call “the orchestra of Hanoi”. More than once during my childhood I had searched high and low for a cicada to keep in my bedroom as a pet. This was one of my unforgettable experiences. At this time of year you can see the gorgeous flamboyant flowers everywhere. These flowers are a sign of summer - time for students to have a short break and for people to travel to the sea or the mountains to escape the heat of the city. There are many songs written about summer that make reference to cicadas. Famboyant flowers and students on summer vacation remind me of my childhood. The mix of red flowers, the old streets, French architecture and the lakes make Hanoi a very special place. Ice-cream and sugarcane juice are the delicious, cooling flavours of summer time. You can find them on every streetcorner in Hanoi and try them. They will give an instant chill indeed! Usually during summer, Hanoians walk around the lakes such as Hoan Kiem Lake, West Lake or Truc Bach Lake to avoid the heat. Wandering around the lakes you can see people sitting around, eating and drinking till late at night. Finding a cool breeze is a…... [read more]

According to historical sources, the ancient streets have been the true core of Thang Long-Hanoi since its foundation over a thousand years ago. Ancient architecture The ancient streets form a triangle, with the top at Hang Than street and the base on the axis of Hang Bong, Hang Gai, and Cau Go streets; the eastern side is a section of the Red River Dyke and the eastern side runs along Hang Cot, Hang Dieu, and Hang Da streets. Before the French colonial period, all these streets looked the same and were laid out in an order similar to that of a chessboard and most of them were named after the goods manufactured or sold there. For example, Hang Duong means Sugar Street, Hang Bac - Silver Street, and Hang Bo is Bamboo Basket Street. The tube houses along these streets are very long and narrow and sometimes connected to another street at the back. All of them are arranged similarly with their front rooms serving as a shop leading to a small open courtyard, which is usually decorated with ornamental rocks, little goldfish ponds, potted plants and flowers. The back rooms are the living quarters with a dining room and the bedrooms. Most of these houses are covered with small tiles which have the characteristic feature of: two walls of the gable being built so that they are higher than the roof, resembling a staircase with two funny pinnacles. Ancient houses in Hang Dao street Most of these houses are…... [read more]

I am amazed at how many times the cab driver honks the horn and at how the motorcycle riders driving past us do not seem the least bit bothered by the blaring sound of it. I try to count the number of karaokes I see, but I soon abandon, for there must be one appearing every other minute. Come to think of it I might as well have tried to count the number of 'cafes' or 'pho' stands on the way, just to realise how futile a task this would be. People are going about their daily routine in this tumultuous city as a couple of friends and I make our way, packs on our backs, to our hostel. The dorms are exactly the way the travel guide depicts them, clean but humid, comfortable yet noisy, this is no surprise, I knew what to expect travelling on a low budget. Heading out to enjoy the traditional North Vietnamese 'pho', we go over a few stands but all of them seem to be full, we end up going to the first one with some free sitting stools. After a disastrous ordering experience, we receive a bowl of what we think must be 'pho', we were in for a treat; our first meal turns out to be a cow stomach and bamboo shoots noodle soup. I manage to finish it, my two friends look at me with puzzled looks on their faces, full bowls in their hands and a grumbling in their…... [read more]

The signs of campaigning for modernization can be seen in the rapid development of commercial projects such as Hanoi's Royal City, Vincom Village, Indochina Plaza and the continued construction of skyscrapers like the Lotte building on Dao Tan. The face of Hanoi is undoubtedly undergoing a drastic transformation but this transformation is not without its challenges. To stimulate growth and development, Hanoi is inevitably focused on solving its infamous traffic problem. Anyone who travels around the city can see that the existing infrastructure is struggling with the heavy burden placed upon it by the growing number of motorbikes, buses, trucks and cars. The population of the city is growing, as more and more Vietnamese people leave their rural towns and villages and swarm to Hanoi in search of new beginnings and opportunities. With a growth in population comes a corresponding rise in traffic. This is leading to severe traffic congestion on the road, not to mention an increase in air pollution. All of these problems are combined to lower the quality of life in the city and disrupt the economic development that Hanoi authorities aspire so desperately for. Air quality is already commonplace and Hanoi certainly does not want to find itself dealing with the levels of air pollution that plague many urban areas of China. With such grand ambitions, Hanoi authorities have already made preparations to remove infrastructural limitations. The rapid construction of flyovers at some of Hanoi's biggest intersections is part of their plan. For instance, a flyover…... [read more]

Australian ambassador to Vietnam Allaster Cox said political leadership in both Australia and Vietnam has put climate change at the top of the agenda. There is much that ordinary people can do to help the environment. Earth Hour symbolises this commitment to working together, he said. He also suggested that in the face of the global economic downturn people should save both money and the environment by cutting back unnecessary costs - such as turning lights off when not in use, or installing energy efficient light bulbs and other electrical appliances. At 8.30pm on Saturday, March 28, Hanoi ’s icons will join some of the most prominent landmarks in the world, such as the Burj Dubai, the Eiffel Tower and Sydney Harbour Bridge, by switching off their lights. In Hanoi, lights will go out at Hoan Kiem Lake, The Huc Bridge, Ly Thai Tho’s statue, Ngoc Son Temple, the Opera House and Turtle Tower.... [read more]

The flower festival takes place yearly to coincide with the New Year. Thousands of people gathered around Hoan Kiem Lake in Hanoi to enjoy the flower displays, with blooms such as such as marigolds, gladiolas and tulips, and soak up the New Year’s atmosphere. *** Many big streets in Ho Chi Minh City, such as Nguyen Thi Minh Khai, Dien Bien Phu, Vo Thi Sau, Ly Tu Trong, Dong Khoi, and Le Thanh Ton were crowded with people. Thousands of spectators gathered in the centre of the city to watch music and dance performances and the sparkling street lighting. *** Thousands of citizens and visitors flocked to the centre of Da Lat City to welcome New Year. At the centre of the Flower City, a ‘tortoise tower’ made with thousands of daisies was laid, as a symbol of Hanoi’s Hoan Kiem Lake, attracting a large number of visitors and leaving them with deep impressions of the nation’s capital. *** In the central province of Quang Nam, the Saigontourist company held a New Year’s gala for more than 1,000 international guests who are on a visit to Hoi An. A five-star cruise ship, the Costa Classica, carrying 2,000 passengers and crew on board docked at Tien Sa port on January 1. Visitors from Italy, Spain, the UK and Germany visited Ngu Hanh Son (Marble Mountain), the Ancient Capital of Hue, the Hoi An Ancient City and the My Son relic site. *** The Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism in the…... [read more]

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