More than 300 ancient artifacts from Southeast Asian nations are being displayed at the Vietnam History Museum in Ho Chi Minh City.
On show are a Buddhist wood painting from Laos, silver bowls from Cambodia, jewellery and swords from Malaysia, and ceramics dating back hundreds of years.
The exhibition, which opened on April 24 and will last until December, highlighted common features among people in Southeast Asia, as well as their cultural identity.
Delta Khmer pagoda renovated
The main hall of Pitu Khosa Rangsay, one of the most beautiful Khmer pagodas in the Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta, has been inaugurated in Can Tho City after four years of construction.
The three-storied hall covering 800sq.m was built at a cost of VND12 billion (US$576,900). It was funded by Buddhist followers at home and abroad.
The walls inside the hall are decorated with many relief figures of Buddha, Khmer goddesses, dragons and phoenixes created by many well-known artisans from southern provinces.
Ha Long Bay to be officially named world wonder this week
A ceremony to officially announce Ha Long Bay as one of the new world’s natural wonders will be held at Hanoi’s My Dinh stadium this Friday, according to the information from the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism at a press conference Tuesday.
Nguyen Van Tinh, head of the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism's International Relations Department, said the stadium will feature a miniature of Ha Long Bay with water, mountain and boat replicas at the ceremony to show off the grandiosity of the heritage.
Tinh affirmed there is only one event for the purpose this Friday evening. Another activity at Ha Long Bay next Tuesday night is just a festive event and acts as part of the Ha Long Carnival.
Funds for the ceremony will be mobilized from the society. However, the real figures from sponsors are yet to be revealed.
Earlier on November 11 last year, Ha Long Bay was named among the world’s seven new wonders of nature, according to the global poll conducted by New Open World Corporation, an associate of the New 7 Wonders Foundation.
Da Nang to host music gala
Top singers and dancers of Viet Nam will gather in a music gala at Da Nang's Tien Son Sports Centre on Saturday.
The event, entitled Sea and Beauty Women, will feature the best songs with top famous Vietnamese singers, including Tung Duong, Uyen Linh, Thu Minh, Ha Anh Tuan, Phuong Linh, and Tran Thu Ha.
The music gala will also witness the appearance of 2008 Miss Viet Nam Thuy Dung; top models Ha Anh, Vo Hoang Yen, Duong Yen Ngoc and Viet Nam's Next Top Models Hoang Thuy, Huyen Trang and Tuyet Loan.
Proceeds from tickets sales at the gala will help fund heart surgery for underprivileged children and disabled people.
At the event last year, VND4 billion (US$190,000) was collected for the disabled and underprivileged people of Da Nang.-
Thai singer joins local voice in duet single
Tata Young, Thai talented singer who attended music festival SoundFest with South Korean band Big Bang in Ho Chi Minh City on April 14, has just joined local singer Thanh Bui who finished at top 8 Australian Idol 2008 to release a duet single.
Titled “Tinh Ve Noi Dau – Where Do We Go,” the single which was born after the duo had a performance together at SoundFest tells of a love story of a couple overcoming difficulties towards happiness.
The song was written by Thanh Bui and musician Duong Khac Linh and performed in both Vietnamese and English. It has been released online in Vietnam and will be broadcast on TrueVisions, one of Thailand's leading cable satellite television operators.
“Tinh Ve Noi Dau – Where Do We Go” is also expected to be aired on Asia-wide music channels like Channel V and MTV Asia.
According to MTV Vietnam, the pair is finishing a music video version of the song.
“As Asian artists, we want to cooperate and go beyond the boundaries between the countries in the region,” Thanh Bui said. “We hope artists will join hands together to bring our music to the world.”
The singer also confirms that he and Tata Young will continue to work together in further projects.
Website follows Vietnamese writers
An English-language website introducing latest works by Vietnamese best-selling fiction and non-fiction writers has been released by the Chibooks Literary Agency.
So far, the first established literary agency in Viet Nam has presented modern literature works by authors Duong Binh Nguyen, Bui Anh Tan, Ho Anh Thai, Tran Thu Trang, Vu Dinh Giang, Nguyen Ngoc Tien, Phan Hon Nhien, and others.
The agency also has scheduled to release the Chinese-language version of the website as well as a social network introducing Vietnamese literature.-
Hair stylist to give live show
Hair stylist Tuan Ha Lan will mark his 20-year experience in hair creation with a live show, titled The Story of Hair, at Da Nang's King Palace on September 2nd Street this Saturday.
Tuan, who won the Golden Scissors title for the best hairdresser in Viet Nam in 1998, will show off his latest collection of hair styles during the live show.
The 41-year-old will also demonstrate hair fashions on stage along with a musical performance of Vietnamese pop singers and a fashion show.
In a hair-styling performance in 2008, he took only 58 seconds to complete a hair style, which got him recorded in the Viet Nam Guinness Book as the fastest hair-stylist in Viet Nam.
Famous children book author opens reading club
Local best-selling writer for children Nguyen Nhat Anh has just opened a reading club named Kaleidoscope in District 1 in Ho Chi Minh City on the occasion of the World Book and Copyright Day on April 23.
The club sponsored by the namesake bookstore of the writer aims to create a playground for book lovers who cannot buy books to access their favorite works with low cost.
Working as a normal library, the club requires readers wanting to join the club to register and pay a small fee to get membership card to borrow books. Around 30 readers have become the club’s members so far.
The venue now has 500 book titles including world’s famous books as well as Anh’s hits like “Toi Thay Hoa Vang Tren Co Xanh” (I Saw a Yellow Flower on the Green Grass), “La Nam Trong La” (Leaf Inside The Leaves), the series “Kaleidoscope,” “Thien Than Nho Cua Toi” (My Little Angel) and “Cho Toi Xin Mot Ve Di Tuoi Tho” (Give Me A Ticket Back To Childhood).
“We want to create chances for young readers to access world’s classic writings as well as the latest ones. The Kaleidoscope Club will continuously update its library to bring quality books to its members,” Anh said.
Also on the opening day, the writer handed over around 500 of his books to several high schools and a library in the city.
Jazz band offers free street performances
Jazz trio Phu Sa consisting of infamous saxophonist Quyen Thien Dac, percussionist Le Quoc Hung and guitarist Vu Ngoc Ha will continue their weekly street performances on the pavement in front of the Music Publishing House, 61 Ly Thai To Street at the weekend.
During the performances that take place from 4-6pm on Saturdays, and from 9-11am and 4-6pm on Sundays, the trio will present various famous international jazz pieces as well as their own compositions featuring Vietnamese folk melodies.
Their shows will be held every weekend until May 6.
Electronic duo Jeans Team to debut in capital
The Berlin-based electronic duo Jeans Team will make their debut in the capital on May 12.
Jeans Team has been smashing out floor-filling dance music with complex pop-structures for the best part of 20 years. Their massive hit Keine Melodien became part of the sound of a German generation. The team has performed at numerous major festivals and recorded seven albums.
Supporting the duo will be DJ Metro Tokyo, flying from China for his first ever performance in Viet Nam, as well as Berlin native and Ha Noi favourite DJ Cybersnack (S.M.P), supplied by Synergy Music Productions.
Organised by CAMA in collaboration with Beijing's FakeLoveMusic, the Berlin duo's show will take place at the American Club, 19 Hai Ba Trung Street.
Tickets are VND150,000 in advance or VND200,000 on the door, with a 50 per cent discount for those holding a valid Vietnamese student card. Tickets are available now from CAMA ATK, 73A Mai Hac De Street.
Japanese DJs to perform at cafe
Japanese DJs A-1, Samurai, and Sing02 will perform at Thi Cafe on April 30, playing different genres of music like hip hop, Japanese, and others.
The performance will begin at 9 pm at the cafe at 24 De Tham Street, District 1. Tickets cost VND200,000 and will cover drinks.
YanTV concert set to rock the City
The youth-focused television channel YanTV and Music Faces Entertainment will present a concert featuring Vietnamese pop and rock stars at the Stage 126 in District 1 on May 4.
Van Mai Huong, Le Hieu, Pham Anh Khoa, Tra My, and groups 365 and X5 will be among those performing at Feel the Beat.
Tickets for the concert, costing VND150,000-300,000, are available at YanTV, 125/20 Hoa Hung Street in District 10; Music Faces, 90 De Tham Street, District 1; and Stage 126 at 126 Cach Mang Thang Tam Street, District 1.
‘Oliver Twist' to be staged at Opera House
Charles Dickens's Oliver Twist will be performed on stage at the HCM City Opera House from May 2-5.
Directed by Paul Stebbings, it will feature performers from the British TNT Theatre.
Tickets, costing VND600,000 – and 300,000 for students – are available at the venue at 7 Lam Son Square, District 1.
Non-white boats banned in Ha Long Bay from May
A ban on ‘non-white’ boats in Ha Long Bay will take effect from May 1, according to a written directive by the Quang Ninh Department of Transport.
The department insists in the document that only boats with a proper white coat can carry passengers in Ha Long Bay.
In January, travel agencies in the bay, one of Vietnam’s most famous travel destinations, were required to re-paint their tourist boats white to create a fresh new look for this UNESCO World Heritage site.
Many have protested the instruction ever since, saying authorities in the northern province of Quang Ninh had simply forced them to whiten the boats, while they should have first consulted tour operators about the re-painting instead.
“We don’t want to do this re-painting but it is a directive, so we have to obey,” Ngo Quang Dao, a tourist boat owner, said.
“They will ban us from operating if we refuse to re-coat our boats.”
A white coat is only suitable for large steel ships, Pham Van Hoa, a local boat firm director, says, adding that it is going to fade very quickly on Ha Long Bay boats, which are all made of wood.
The re-coating not only costs travel agencies money but it also comes at the expense of the traditional cockroach-wing color of the boat hulls, another director says.
Ha Long Bay was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1994, in recognition of its outstanding and universal aesthetic value.
The World Heritage Committee additionally recognized the bay for its striking geological and geomorphological significance six years later.
It was recently chosen as one of the world’s 7 new natural wonders in a global vote that ended last November.
Vietnam will celebrate this event on Friday and Tuesday in Hanoi and Quang Ninh, respectively.