Digital projects helps preserve Hue historical monuments

Digital project helps preserve Hue historical monuments. The Prime Minister approved an Adjusted Planning Framework for the Complex of Hue Monuments from 2010-2020 in June 2010, laying grounds for the province’s preservation work. As the result, more than 170 relics have been preserved, repaired and restored so far, including Ngo Mon (Meridian Gate), Dien Thai Hoa (Palace of Supreme Harmony), Hien Lam Cac (Pavilion of Radiant Benevolence from On-High), The Mieu (Complex of the Temple for the Worship of the Nguyen Emperors), Cung Truong Sanh (Truong Sanh Royal Palace), Dan Nam Giao (Esplanade of Sacrifice to the Heaven and Earth), Tomb of King Gia Long and Chua Thien Mu (Celestial Lady Pagoda).

DIGITAL PROJECTS HELPS PRESERVE HUE HISTORICAL  MONUMENTS:  A data digitization project has been implemented in the Complex of Hue Monuments in the central province of Thue Thien – Hue to improve the management and preservation of Tu Duc Tomb and An Dinh Palace. The project is a partnership between the Hue Monuments Conservation Centre, and two US firms – CyArk and Seagate Technology. Accordingly, all the data and images capturing Tu Duc Tomb and An Dinh Palace will be turned into photo-real 3D models to help enhance the efficiency and accuracy of the research, conservation, and restoration of Hue Monuments.

Director of the Hue Monuments Conservation Centre Phan Thanh Hai said CyArk and Seagate Technology are leading providers of data storage solutions in the world and this is the first time they have worked on an important cultural preservation project in Vietnam. Technologies provided by Seagate enable CyArk to store, protect and process safely the relevant data that it collects, he said.

To implement the project, CyArk conducted aerial surveys by unmanned aircraft drones, terrestrial laser scanning known as LiDAR, and field observation at Tu Duc Tomb and An Dinh Palace. CyArk will produce 3D models and architectural drawings to aid the Hue Monuments Conservation Centre in the conservation and management of the site.

Seagate and CyArk will support each other both in the field and the office with their data-storage solutions. Hai said the effectiveness of this project is not only reflected in the aspect of advanced storage technology to help manage, preserve Hue’s relic sites with 3D models and promote cultural values of the complex but also helps popularize knowledge of history, culture and architecture to people, especially youths, thus raising their awareness of protecting the national cultural heritage sites.

The digital preservation project also helps promote the global prominence value of Tu Duc Tomb – the relic site that has important cultural significance for Vietnamese people, he added. The Complex of Hue Monuments site has suffered from the effects of wars, as well as modern development and expanding human settlements. In addition, climate change and natural disasters such as floods are other potential problems for the long-term management of the monuments.

The central province of Thua Thien-Hue has put many efforts to preserve and restore relics of the UNESCO-recognized Complex. The province has allocated over 1.46 trillion VND (64.24 million USD) for funding the relic preservation and restoration between 1996 and 2017, including 933 billion VND (41 million USD) for the 2010-2017 period.

The Prime Minister approved an Adjusted Planning Framework for the Complex of Hue Monuments from 2010-2020 in June 2010, laying grounds for the province’s preservation work. As the result, more than 170 relics have been preserved, repaired and restored so far, including Ngo Mon (Meridian Gate), Dien Thai Hoa (Palace of Supreme Harmony), Hien Lam Cac (Pavilion of Radiant Benevolence from On-High), The Mieu (Complex of the Temple for the Worship of the Nguyen Emperors), Cung Truong Sanh (Truong Sanh Royal Palace), Dan Nam Giao (Esplanade of Sacrifice to the Heaven and Earth), Tomb of King Gia Long and Chua Thien Mu (Celestial Lady Pagoda).

The Hue Monuments Conservation Centre has carried out several studies to learn about ancient brick flooring, wells, and history of each monument inside the complex. It has also collected royal decrees of the Nguyen Dynasty, produced publications on royal records and heritages and made archives of Nha Nhac (Royal court music) – intangible heritage recognized by UNESCO  in 2003. The centre has been supported by international foundations, institutes and organizations from Japan, the US, France, Germany, and Poland, which provided funding for the conservation and training for its staff to improve their capacity. Japan has provided aid for relic conservation in Hue since 1990.

The first large-scale project with Japanese funding, 100,000 USD, was to restore the Ngo Mon – the main gate to the Hoang Thanh (Imperial City) and a symbol of Hue. A team of experts from Germany helped restore frescos in An Dinh Palace while those from Poland have supported the province in white ant prevention and restoration of To Mieu Temple Complex.

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Japanese Bunraku puppetry theatre in HCMC

The Japan Foundation Centre for Cultural Exchange in Việt Nam will present a performance of traditional Japanese bunraku puppetry theatre in HCM City

The Japan Foundation Centre for Cultural Exchange in Vietnam will present a performance of traditional Japanese Bunraku puppetry theatre in HCMC in mid-July to mark 45 years of Vietnam-Japan diplomatic ties. The 20-minute performance will include an excerpt from Date Musume Koi No Higanoko (The Red-Hot Love of the Greengrocer’s Daughter), a bunraku masterpiece based on a real story that occurred during the Edo period about 300 years ago.

The performances in HCM City will start at 3pm and 7pm on July 12 at Thế Giới Trẻ Theatre at 125 Cống Quỳnh Street in District 1. The program is not recommended for children under 12 years old. The Japan Foundation Centre will also organize two other shows at the Vietnam Youth Theatre in Hanoi on July 14. Free tickets will be available at the center from July 7.

HISTORY: Bunraku’s history goes as far back as the 16th century but the origins of the modern form can be traced to the 1680s. It rose to popularity after the playwright Chikamatsu Monzaemon (1653-1724) began a collaboration with the magnificent chanter Takemoto Gidayu (1651-1714), who established the Takemoto puppet theater in Osaka in 1684. Originally, the term Bunraku referred only to the particular theater established in 1805 in Osaka, which was named the Bunrakuza after the puppeteering ensemble of Uemura Bunrakuken (植村文楽軒, 1751–1810), an early 18th-century puppeteer from Awaji, whose efforts revived the flagging fortunes of the traditional puppet theater.

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Hung King museum

Part of the Hung Temple Historical Relic Complex, Hung King National Museum in Viet Tri city, boasts a unique architecture and embodies Vietnam’s glorious history. The museum is a source of pride for Vietnamese people.

HUNG KING MUSEUM. VOV.VN – Part of the Hung Temple Historical Relic Complex, Hung King National Museum in Viet Tri city, boasts a unique architecture and embodies Vietnam’s glorious history. The museum is a source of pride for Vietnamese people. Built-in the late 1980s, Hung Vuong Museum is a popular destination. Its design is based on the Vietnamese people’s ancient philosophy that the earth was square and the sky was round. Covering nearly 1,000 square meters, the 2-story museum recalls a legend concerning Banh Chung (square sticky rice cake) and Banh Giay (round sticky rice cake).

The museum has nearly 700 original objects and thousands of reproductions which reveal Vietnam’s history from the stone age to the national construction period of the Hung Kings, the Hung Kings’ Temple, and the Hung Kings worshiping rituals. The museum welcomes thousands of visitors a day. It is most crowded on the Death Anniversary of the Hung Kings on the 10th day of the third lunar month.

Nguyen Thi Van Anh, Head of the Guide Team at the museum says she and her colleagues always do their best to teach visitors about Vietnam’s cultural and historical heritage. She said, “The Hung Kings Temple is a worshipping place for Vietnamese people. When they visit the Temple, they never miss a chance to also visit Hung Vuong Museum where many precious items are kept.” Museum visitors see production tools and other objects of the Vietnamese people in each historical period.

Nguyen Thu Huong, a visitor from Hanoi, says: “All Vietnamese people know the legend of Lac Long Quan-Au Co. Thousands of objects at the museum, impressively descended by the guides recall the legend. Visiting the museum and the Hung Kings Temple, I’m so proud of our national history.”

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Phan Thiet airport is under construction

Phan Thiet Airport, construction,

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has requested the Ministry of Transport and relevant agencies to push approval of planning adjustment for a multibillion-dollar airport in south-central Vietnam, a crucial step to having work begin for the megaproject.

The order, announced by the Government Office on Friday, came after the premier had a working session in Binh Thuan Province on May 31, with the construction of the Phan Thiet Airport high on agenda. Phan Thiet Airport, estimated to cost more than VND10 trillion (US$440 million) in its first phase, is planned to be located in the eponymous city, the capital of Binh Thuan, some 210km east of Ho Chi Minh City.

Planning for the airdrome was announced in 2014 and has recently been revised. The adjusted planning is pending approval from the transport ministry before being submitted to higher authorities. Accordingly, the airport will be developed to meet the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) reference code of 4E, instead of the lower 4C as initially planned.

Under the revised planning, the airport is expected to span 19,200 square meters, compared to 5,000 square meters in the original plan, capable of serving two million passengers a year. The facility will feature a 3,050-meter runway, compared to the previously proposed 2,400-meter airstrip.

The new design also seeks to make the airport tarmac capable of housing two Code E aircraft (A330, A340, B777, B747) and four Code C planes at a time. According to the new zoning, Phan Thiet airport will be divided into two respective areas for civil and military aviation services, and a shared area for dual purposes.

Planning for the airport has been upgraded to allow the facility to meet the demand of such air routes as Noi Bai – Phan Thiet, Van Don – Phan Thiet and Cat Bi – Phan Thiet, using Code E aircraft. The adjustment of airport planning was conducted by the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam (CAAV) and the Aviation Design and Construction Consultant Company.

Construction is expected to cost VND10,272.9 billion ($452 million) for the first phase ending 2020, and another VND332.5 billion ($14.63 million) is needed for the next phase ending 2030. According to the CAAV, the whopping investment will be funded by two sources, with a private entity expected to develop the civil aviation area under the BOT (build-operate-transfer) scheme, and the defense ministry to take charge of the military zone through the BT (build-transfer) scheme.

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Lang Co town – A quiet retreat for summer escapes

The small Lang Co town in Phu Loc district, Thua Thien – Hue province is located on the root of the imposing Hai Van mountain range. Endowed with over 10km long beach sloping gently to the pure water sea to shape an arc with the long and beautiful sand, Lang Co is a quiet note for summer escape.

NDO – The small Lang Co town in Phu Loc district, Thua Thien – Hue province is located on the root of the imposing Hai Van mountain range. Endowed with over 10km long beach sloping gently to the pure water sea to shape an arc with the long and beautiful sand, Lang Co is a quiet note for a summer escape. Lang Co possesses a distinctive charm every season of the year. In summer, Lang Co treats visitors with mild air, blue beaches, and golden sand, far different from the sweltering heat in other central places.

In autumn, the town is coated with fog and clouds. In winter, when Lang Co is less visited by holidaymakers, the beach and forest are brought back to their pristine beauty. In spring, the town is fuelled with the vitality of fishermen hauling in bumper catches on their first trips to sea in the Lunar New Year. But visiting Lang Co at any time of the year, tourists can enjoy a quiet retreat and feel the harmony between humans, sea and earth. It is said that if you haven’t visited Lap An lagoon, then you haven’t visited Lang Co yet.

The lagoon is one kilometer from the beach. With one side facing the grandiose Bach Ma mountain range and the other facing Lang Co bay, Lap An lagoon is a blend of green forest, hills and deep blue sky. On bright sunny days, the lagoon’s surface shines like a mirror reflecting the shadow of the mountains. The lagoon is at its most stunning at sunset when the sun gradually goes down behind the Bach Ma mountain range. The sunset brings a fascinating purple coat to the scenery. White storks cover the sky on their way to their shelters. Small fishing boats float on the lagoon while fishermen wait for a good haul at the end of the day.

The local fishermen are open-hearted and friendly. Most of them have lived in Lang Co town for generations and have earned their living from the abundant marine resources of the lagoon. Harvesting oysters, which are proudly dubbed as “heavenly pearl” by the locals, have brought a better life for the fishermen. The harvest and farming oysters in Lap An is rather simple. Fishermen utilize blown-out rubber tires, which are cleaned thoroughly in order to make floating oyster cultivation cages on the lagoon. The breeders collect oysters every day and sell them at the markets. The oysters have a rich, sweet and a little bit salty taste.

In the evening, when the wind calms down and blows gently, it is a perfect time to take a ride to the Hai Van mountain pass and admire the beauty of Lang Co from above. Although the road to the mountain pass is quiet, there are many sharp bends, thus the journey is not recommended for new riders. Looking from above, Lang Co bay looks like jade shining amid the forest and mountains. Its green mountains, tropical forests, smooth white sand and crystal clear waters never fail to lure visitors. It is not surprising that Lang Co was voted as one of the world’s most beautiful bays by the Worldbays Club in May 2009.

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Ca Mau cape set to become eco tourism center

Ca Mau cape in the southernmost province of Ca Mau is set to become a major eco-tourism centre for visitors to the Mekong River Delta by 2025, according to a Prime Minister-approved master plan for the development of Ca Mau Cape National Tourism Site towards 2030.

NDO – Ca Mau Cape in the southernmost province of Ca Mau is set to become a major eco-tourism center for visitors to the Mekong River Delta by 2025, according to a Prime Minister-approved master plan for the development of Ca Mau Cape National Tourism Site towards 2030. The plan also sets a target that by 2030, the site will meet the national tourism criteria and secure its status as a National Tourism Site.  

Under the plan, the core zone prioritized for tourism development will cover Mui, Kinh Dao Tay, Kinh Dao Dong, Rach Tau Dong, Rach Tho, and Khai Long hamlets as well as Dat Mui Commune of Ngoc Hien District, with a total area of about 2,100 ha. The area will be facilitated with services and entertainment centers, with ecological resorts built in the mangrove forest. The Ca Mau Cape cultural and tourist park, ecological sites, community-based and craft villages, and Khai Long tourism complex will also be built in the area. The master plan also makes it clear that the construction and development of the facilities must comply with the law on forest protection and development, environmental protection and biodiversity.

The Cape of Ca Mau belonging to Ngoc Hien District in Ca Mau Province and lies 118 km away from Ca Mau City. This is a unique spot of Vietnam Tourism not only its especially location, but also the only place in Vietnam where one can see the sunrise in the East and sunset in the West. The Cape of Ca Mau was discovered at the end of the 17th century and a residential area of three ethnic groups Viet (Kinh), Hoa, and Khmer. Here are many beautiful islands such as Hon Tuong, Hon Sao, Hon Kho, Hon Lon, Hon Doi Moi, etc. Hon Khoai Island is the largest 4m2 where you can find the most romantic lighthouse in the Gulf of Thailand.

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Visa exemption for european visitors

Tourists from the UK, France, Germany, Spain and Italy will enjoy visa exemptions for the next three years until June 30, 2021 when travelling to Vietnam.

VISA EXEMPTION FOR EUROPEAN VISITORS / NDO/VNA – Tourists from the UK, France, Germany, Spain and Italy will enjoy visa exemptions for the next three years until June 30, 2021 when traveling to Vietnam. The country first offered visa waivers for citizens from the five European countries in July 2015. The policy has been updated annually and would have expired at the end of June.  

The continued visa exemption is expected to push up the development of the Vietnamese tourism sector. The number of tourists from these countries to Vietnam soared in recent years, from 720,000 in 2015 to 855,000 in 2016, and 1.5 million in 2017. Vietnam is among countries with the strictest visa policy in Asia. The country currently offers visa waivers to visitors from 24 countries and territories, including the ASEAN member countries. The country has tried to improve the situation with an e-visa policy which is now available to people from 46 countries.

The government is also considering a proposal from the Vietnam Tourism Association on the extension of the period of stay from 15 to 30 days and the expansion of visa exemptions for more countries. In the first five months of this year, foreign arrivals to Vietnam reached 6.7 million, up 27.6% annually, according to the General Statistics Office. The number of European visitors rose by 11.8% year-on-year, including those from France (13.1%), the UK (9.6%), Germany (8.5%), and Italy (18.3%).

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Sheraton Danang Resort new package

The five-star Sheraton Grand Danang Resort is situated on the tranquil stretches of the white sand Non Nuoc Beach over an area of 17.3 landscaped tropical acres. Some 20 minutes from both Danang International Airport and Hoi An Ancient Town - UNESCO Heritage Site, the resort’s harmonious balance of stately grandeur amidst a picturesque natural landscape of green and blue offers a unique destination, where couples, families, as well as business and solo travelers can relax and feel at home with nature.

The Sheraton Danang Resort, a stylish and scenic beachfront destination on Vietnam’s central coast, is inviting guests to relax and reconnect with each other this summer, with a wide range of activities and experiences. Vietnamese residents and foreign ex-pats seeking a beachfront break this summer can now book the resort’s Local Resident Package.  

Available from VND5,800,000++ per night for a minimum two-night stay, this offer includes a credit of VND1,000,000 per day to use at the resort’s F&B outlets or spa, plus a late 3 p.m. check-out. The five-star Sheraton Grand Danang Resort is situated on the tranquil stretches of the white sand Non Nuoc Beach over an area of 17.3 landscaped tropical acres. Some 20 minutes from both Danang International Airport and Hoi An Ancient Town – UNESCO Heritage Site, the resort’s harmonious balance of stately grandeur amidst a picturesque natural landscape of green and blue offers a unique destination, where couples, families, as well as business and solo travelers, can relax and feel at home with nature.

More info and website: The Sheraton Grand Da Nang Resort. Source: The Saigon Times

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Mui Ne fishermen show

New Fishermen Show is an interactive portrait of Kinh and Cham ethnics inspired by fishing village in Phan Thiet in 1762.

Mui Ne fishermen show is an interactive portrait of Kinh and Cham ethnics inspired by a fishing village in Phan Thiet in 1762. Mui Ne fisherman show unfolds the legend of a whale skeleton drifted to the Phan Thiet sea. The body sacredly honored as South Sea General was worshiped at Van Thuy Tu temple by Phan Thiet people in their annual sea festival.   

The soul turned into a fisherman living with village people, supporting and saving village men at sea. In this legend, the audience will follow the fisherman seeing the daily hard work life of local fishermen with the fish market at dawn and the beauty of sweat droplets on the salt field.

The fisherman lost his way to the Cham village sacred dance respecting Shiva God at Poshanu tower. He found his love, a Cham lady for a romance on flying sand dune of Mui Ne and in Kate festival with lively ginang drum and saranai trumpet.

Deeply touched by village women singing in vain for a peaceful journey of their husbands, the fisherman saved the village men at sea in a severe dark storm. To pay respect to this savory, Phan Thiet people tribute God of Whales with a traditional praying song at Van Thuy Tu Temple. The show closes with a belief of protection from the sea and opens up a rich and fruitful life for all the village people.

Mui Ne Fishermen Show is the only show in Vietnam where professional contemporary dancers and local musicians using traditional instruments with live singing, together with flying equipment, LED screen, flying sand dune, ox and cart, all bring alive Mui Ne Phan Thiet fishing village culture.

An audience can both experience local culture and enjoy world-class art performance. Mui Ne fishermen show should be a “must” for someone living or traveling in Mui Ne Phan Thiet.

Source and reservations: Fishermen Show Seagull.vn

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Cham ethnic traditional pottery

One of the outstanding characteristics of the Cham ethnic traditional pottery making is the technique of making pottery without turntables, and open firing with straw and fire-wood.

CHAM ETHNIC TRADITIONAL POTTERY: The Ministry noted that during the planning and documenting process, Ninh Thuan provincial Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism and the Vietnam National Institute of Culture and Arts Studies – Ho Chi Minh City branch will conduct surveys and studies, and invite localities with a rich heritage of Cham ethnic traditional pottery to participate in their research. One of the outstanding characteristics of the Cham ethnic traditional pottery making is the technique of making pottery without turntables or pottery wheels and open firing with straw and fire-wood. They are unique products bearing many historical cultural marks of the ethnic minority group.

Cham ethnic people use their skilled hands to create a variety of products in different designs, serving the needs of daily activities, beliefs, and religions, while expressing the creativity and cultural identity of the Cham ethnic group. They include water containers, rice containers, reliefs, decorative lamps, and statues of Apsara and Shiva. The traditional pottery crafts of the Cham ethnic group in Binh Thuan and the art of pottery making of Cham ethnic group in Bau Truc village, Phuoc Dan town, Ninh Phuoc District, Ninh Thuan Province were recognized as national intangible cultural heritage.

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