Saigon a big lure for international travelers in 2019

Saigon a big lure for international travelers in 2019

Vietnam’s commercial hub, Ho Chi Minh City, figures prominently this year among travel plans of vacation enthusiasts around the world.  The city, which received more than seven million foreign arrivals last year, comes third on the list of top 10 trending global destinations this year, based on data collected by Kayak. Kayak is a popular travel booking site that allows people to look for cheap flights and hotels for holidays. A Kayak survey found a year-on-year surge of 49 percent…

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Heroic folk tale inspires Vietnamese designer’s latest collection

Heroic folk tale inspires Vietnamese designer’s latest collection

Ha has used traditional embroidery techniques to depict images from Thanh Giong, a popular folk story about a war hero in Vietnamese history. These images were originally painted by artist Nguyen Tu Nghiem. In the folk story, the boy Giong grows in size to be a giant hero, who rides on an iron horse leading the Van Lang kingdom (ancient name for Vietnam) to victory against northern invaders (Han Chinese). Brocade fabric with natural colors created by the Ta Oi ethnic minority…

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Artisan sustains legacy of clay statue making in northern Vietnam

Artisan sustains legacy of clay statue making in northern Vietnam

Clay statues have been a traditional type of toys in Vietnam, and are popular during the Mid-Autumn Festival and Lunar New Year. They are usually figurines of animals like turtles, birds and people in traditional clothes.  Today they have lost their popularity, and Phung Dinh Giap, 67, and his wife Nguyen Thi Dieu are among the last artisans to still make them. “The technique of making these figurines is simple, but the entire process, from preparing the materials to completing the…

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Young Hanoi craftsman helps preserve traditional music

Young Hanoi craftsman helps preserve traditional music

Dao Xa in Dong Lo Commune, Hanoi’s Ung Hoa District, was designated as a craft village for the production of traditional musical instruments such as erhu, zither and two-chord guitar three years ago, but visitors here can hardly see any musical instruments or hear music. Nguyen Ngoc Tua, chairman of Dong Lo Commune, says despite being named a traditional craft village, Dao Xa has less than 10 craftsman and they make few instruments. Duong Minh Cuong’s is the only family…

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Hanoi café wheels into a new level of recycling

Hanoi café wheels into a new level of recycling

Located in a small alley off Hang Tre Street in Hanoi’s Old Quarter, 95 percent of the items at the Hidden Gem Coffee are recycled. The coffee shop has four floors and each has a distinctive design. Nguyen Van Tho, the owner, explained that the name of the café represents its core value. “It comes from the teaching of my grandmother that we should not hastily throw anything away, but consider it carefully, and maybe we can discover its unexpected values.” Tho’s motivation in…

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