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Down on the farm

In Vietnam Tour on January 10, 2010 at 3:01 am

Down on the farm

QĐND – Saturday, January 09, 2010, 19:55 (GMT+7)

Intrepid travelers across Vietnam are stepping out of their stuffy offices and fleeing the noisy, crowded city for a taste of life on the farm.

Farm Tours in the Mekong Delta have taken off, with weary city dwellers opting to enjoy the quiet, space and freshness of the rice paddies alongside local farmers.

More than 250 kilometers southwest from Ho Chi Minh City, is An Giang Province’s Long Xuyen Town, a busy commercial hub along the Hau River, a major Mekong distributary. But a 20- minute ferry ride across the river, reveals the peaceful farming village of My Hoa Hung Islet, a popular destination for tourists wanting a taste of the simpler Vietnam.

On the ferry ride approaching the village, the water is peppered with fish cages and the shoreline dotted with rice paddies and fruit and vegetable orchards by which local residents make their livings.

Farm tourists walk with local farmers through the shaded paths of the orchards and accompany them on the water to help breed and catch fish. Farmers teach the visitors proper cultivation technique and let them do the fishing, hoeing and plowing themselves. Tourists have even been known to get their hands dirty handling manure at the mango and cherry orchards.

Chau Van Ly, deputy chairman of Vietnam Farmers’ Union’s An Giang branch, said tourists liked to contribute during their travels by breaking a little sweat farming rice.

Thanh Tung, a representative from An Giang Province’s Farm Tour Management Board, said all farming families selected to host the specialized tours were trained to speak English.

And the homes that accommodate the travelers have also been upgraded for comfort, he said.

“Taking care of our plants and wandering the islet is pretty exciting for tourists,” said Dinh, head of one of the farm tour host families.

After a “hard day’s work,” tourists can relax and enjoy the quiet atmosphere by wandering the islet’s orchard lined paths in the afternoon. They can also drop into street-side restaurants to enjoy cheap local snacks like fertilized duck eggs. They’ll also be served large home-cooked meals at their host families’ houses.

Not far from My Hoa Hung is Tinh Bien District’s Van Giao Commune, an ethnic Khmer community in the foothills.

At Van Giao, farming tours offer travelers the chance to enjoy traditional Khmer music, said Thanh Tung from the Farm Tour Office.

He said the trips were extra exciting if they coincide with local Khmer weddings, festivals, or other community events.

Tourists in Van Giao can also visit brocade weavers and household factories that make lap xuong (Chinese sausage), banh canh (southern pork noodle soup), and mam (fermented fish sauce).

If tourists visit An Giang during high-tide, they can help harvest bong dien dien (sebania sesban flowers), also known as Egyptian peas, and water lilies. Local residents use the plants to make special dishes.

Source: TN

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Vietnam to participate in MITT

In Vietnam Travel on January 10, 2010 at 3:01 am

Vietnam to participate in MITT

QĐND – Saturday, January 09, 2010, 19:55 (GMT+7)

The General Department of Tourism sent Public Document No 05/TCDL-TTDL on January 8th to involved agencies and businesses, instructing them of preparations for Vietnam’s participation in the 17th International Tourism Fair (MITT).

MITT will take place in Russia between the 17th and the 20th of March.

Vietnam will participate in the event with a pavilion titled “Vietnam – hidden charm” aimed at promoting and introducing the country’s beauty, it’s people, and Vietnam’s  tourism potential to both Russian and international visitors.

According to officials, the main themes in the pavilion will include the 1000th anniversary of Thang Long-Ha Noi, voting for Ha Long as one of the world’s new natural wonders, the unique Vietnamese cultural heritages, the spectacular tourist destinations in Vietnam, along with its products and services.

Source: HNM

Translated by Thu Nguyen  

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“What do you know about Vietnam?”

In Vietnam Travel on January 10, 2010 at 3:00 am

“What do you know about Vietnam?”

QĐND – Saturday, January 09, 2010, 19:55 (GMT+7)

2010 will see numerous celebrations held across Vietnam. These include the country’s 65th national day, the 80th anniversary of the Communist Party of Vietnam, the 120th anniversary of President Ho Chi Minh’s birthday, the 35th anniversary of the liberation of southern Vietnam and national reunification and the 1,000th anniversary of Thang Long-Hanoi. This year Radio the Voice of Vietnam (VOV) will also mark its 65th anniversary. To mark the occasion, VOV will launch a writing contest called “What do you know about Vietnam?” for all its listeners overseas and the Vietnamese community abroad.

– First prize will be a free week-long trip to Vietnam 

– Second prize is a free 5-day trip to Vietnam

– Third prize is a free 4-day trip to Vietnam

There will also be 10 consolation prizes, each equivalent to VND1 million or US$60.

The 5 questions will be:

01. Name Vietnam’s outstanding achievements in 2009 in areas such as economics, diplomacy, social welfare and poverty reduction.

02. When Vietnam took up its position as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council during the 2008-2009 term, what contributions did it make to the UN Security Council, especially during the two months the country chaired the council? 

03. How many sites and art forms in Vietnam have been recognized by UNESCO as tangible and intangible heritages of humanity and what are they?

04. In 2010, Hanoi will celebrate its 1000th anniversary and the 11 years since UNESCO recognized it as a city for peace. What do you know about Hanoi and what do you think are the factors that helped Hanoi to win the title “the city for peace”?

05. What have been the new features and developments at Voice of Vietnam Radio over the last few years?

Please include your full name, age, address including email if any and occupation in your entry.

The time for receiving entries will be from March 1st to June 30th, 2010. You will find the answers in our radio programs. Voice of Vietnam Radio wishes you every success.

Source: VOV

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