Talk Around Town (02-08-2009) Ghost stories: vacation treat or bad influence? by Trung Hieu "Have you read the book Villa of Dracula?" my nephew Duc Anh, a fifth-grade student, asked his friend Bi yesterday. The two boys then traded a couple of books of ghost stories that they bought on Dinh Le Street, known as Ha Noi’s "Street of books". Many young pupils are rushing to book stores to get the latest collection of ghost stories to while away their summer vacation. "Over the last nine months we had to struggle through our textbooks, so this is a time for us to relax in our own worlds, with characters that are half real, half illusion," says a young schoolgirl while looking for ghost stories in Book Street. In many book stores, like Tien Phong book shop, book stores on Dinh Le, Nguyen Xi, Lang and Pham Van Dong streets, there is an infinite quantity of horror books to attract young readers. Ghost stories are stocked on separate shelves where they are easy to recognise. These books … [Read more...] about Ghost stories: vacation treat or bad influence?
Why bad luck
VietNamNet Bridge - Vietnam is the second biggest rice exporter in the world, the fifth largest tea exporter and the fourth biggest shrimp exporter. But the country has met major difficulties when entering large markets. April was a month of bad luck for Vietnamese farmers and exporters. In early April, thousands of tons of watermelon from the central region was stuck at the Tan Thanh border gate as it could not be sold to Chinese merchants. Some days ago, local newspapers reported that 50,000 tons of onion were left unsold in Soc Trang province as Indonesia stopped buying the product. More recently, 30,000 tons of rice planned for China across the border gate was stuck at the Lao Cai border gate. In Africa and the Middle East, the firm position of Vietnam’s rice has been threatened by the appearance of Indian and Pakistani rice. In the EU and China, Vietnam has to struggle with two new rivals – Myanmar and Cambodia. Tea exports have also faced big barriers as … [Read more...] about Vietnam’s farm produce dogged by bad luck
Editor’s note: Lani Nguyen, who has traversed 20 countries during her eight years of working in Vietnam’s tourism industry, writes to Tuoi Tre News from Italy, pointing out three drawbacks that she believes commonly make tourists dissatisfied with their trips in Vietnam. Vietnamese tourism is facing a difficult time at the moment. The main reason that many people have mentioned is that stealing and scamming destroy experiences of tourists in Vietnam. This is truly a big issue and Vietnam is trying to work on this, albeit quite slowly. However, things need to be seen and analyzed from different perspectives – this approach is especially true in the case of debates on tourism, which is always known as multifaceted and complicated. While there are many factors that can influence the satisfaction level a traveler has about a certain destination, they are mainly categorized into two groups, namely expectation and experience. These factors give tourists a 50 percent … [Read more...] about Tourism worker explains why foreign travelers find Vietnam trips disappointing
One day in late 2010, I was treating my kids to ice cream at a shop in Hanoi’s Hoan Kiem District. We were new to Vietnam and, as usual, I liked the posted price: 10,000 dong per scoop, or less than 50 U.S. cents. Vietnam: such a deal! When the woman behind the counter charged us 15,000 dong per scoop, I pointed to the sign behind her – and she, in turn, pointed to the little handmade sign in front of the cash register with the new price. Her colleague spoke serviceable English: “The price of everything is going up.” That, in retrospect, proved to be an understatement. Vietnam’s inflation rate soared to higher than 20 per cent in the middle of 2011, and remained in double digits through the first few months of 2012, the highest cost-of-living increase in Asia. Since then, Vietnam’s authorities have won praise for policies that helped bring inflation back to single digits. Keeping it under control, authorities say, remains a top priority for 2013. But … [Read more...] about What kind of luck will the Snake bring?
Fortune telling has for centuries been an indispensable part of life in Vietnam. But people don't just want to know about their future for the sake of knowing. It is widely believed in Vietnam that you can actually influence your destiny. The fortune teller's job entails advising clients on how to avoid bad omens and make the most of good ones. This is why it's customary for Vietnamese to consult fortune tellers before important life events, be it choosing a new house, a life partner, wedding dates, when to have a baby, open a business and even funeral dates. The most popular type of horoscope is perhaps tử vi, which foretells your career, wealth, relationships and health based on your sex and the time and place you were born. According to common usage/interpretation of tử vi, one's life is composed of certain pre-defined conditions that can't be changed (it works like privilege) and conditions that could be influenced by the choices we make (something like free … [Read more...] about Should fortune telling in Vietnam become a thing of the past?