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Hoian news and blog, travel news, events about Hoi An Vietnam.

Hoi An - Vietnam New Food Capital

posted May 25, 2018, 2:17 AM by Mai Hoa NGUYEN   [ updated May 25, 2018, 2:18 AM ]

Hoi An has recently been recognized as Vietnam’s new food capital by the World Association of Chef Societies. The ancient town, already best known for peaceful streets and mossy houses, is now a culinary destination of Vietnam.

Locals and visitors to Hoi An are willing to join a long queue in front of the Ms. Phuong bakery to buy a loaf of bread. Ms. Phuong’s bread has been named the best bread in the world by chef Anthony Bourdain, who ate with US President Barack Obama in a Bun Cha (Pork pie noodle) small restaurant in Hanoi in May 2016.
Tran Thi Thu Trang, a customer at Ms Phuong bakery said, "I have visited Hoi An several times. I like the local cuisines like Quang noodle, and Cao Lau, but I like bread in Ms Phuong bakery the best. Its taste and flavor are special. The bakery is always crowded. Sometimes it takes me half an hour to get a loaf of bread.”

Cao Lau noodle, chicken rice, fried hen, and corn sweet soup are also popular food in Hoi An. The diverse local cuisines attract visitors and also globally-recognized chefs. That might be the reason for Hoi An to host the annual International Food Festival.

Thomas Gugler, President of the World Association of Chef Societies said more work needs to be done. "I think the nature in Hoi An is fantastic. This helps Hoi An to be recognized internationally and well-known. The infrastructure in public areas should be more shaped up, more clean, and higher standard of food safety. The food here is fantastic", Mr. Thomas Gugler noted. 

Trinh Diem Vy, Director of the Hoi An Food Event Company, learned to cook local traditional dishes when she was young. She has opened a number of restaurants to introduce Hoi An food. In 1996, she was the first person in Hoi An to open a Vietnamese food cooking class which drew many foreigners. During her work, Vy has met many foreign chefs, gained experience from them, and introduced them to Hoi An cuisine.

Ms. Vy said, “Hoi An food is easy to be accepted by foreigners. Hoi An has pure local food and fusion food thanks to its exchanges with foreigners, its people, climate and location.”

Hoi An was a famous commercial port in the 17th and 18th centuries. Trade exchanges have enriched local culture and the culinary in particular.

Nguyen Van Son, Vice Chairman of the Hoi An Municipal People’s Committee, outlines a plan to develop cuisine into a special tourism product.

“Hoi An will focus on ensuring the quality of ingredients, which must be clean, fresh and have clear origins. We are preparing to establish the Hoi An Chefs’ Association and connect it with fishermen and farmers in order to reduce intermediary costs, helping farmers to sell their products directly to processors”, said Mr Son. 

The city also plans to upgrade its infrastructure and train its chefs in a professional manner as an effort to ensure Hoi An food tourism remains attraction.
Source: VOV5

My Son Tower Needs Urgent Restoration

posted May 25, 2018, 2:15 AM by Mai Hoa NGUYEN   [ updated May 25, 2018, 2:16 AM ]

Tower B3, one of the rare architectures remaining in the complex of temples at My Son sanctuary is in danger of collapse and needs urgent reinforcement and restoration, according to head of the management board of the sanctuary Phan Ho. 

The tower at the world cultural heritage site in the central province of Quang Nam is seriously degraded with a lot of cracks, Ho said, adding that it is one of the towers with the highest risk of collapse.

Tower B3, which is 9.45 metres high, was erected in the late 10th century to worship God Ganesha – the son of God Shiva. It is located in the southwestern corner of the sanctuary and built on a low hill surrounded by the Khe The stream.

Like other buildings in the sanctuary, the tower faces floods, wind and rain, high humidity and high temperature differences between rainy and sunny seasons, so degradation is inevitable. 

Restoration measures carried out by Polish experts previously helped the tower stand firm to this day. However, they could not prevent the tilting process. Currently, the tower is leaning toward the southwest at 3 degrees and its body has many cracks.

Given the situation, the management board of My Son sanctuary has reported to the provincial Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism and proposed measures to consolidate the tower.

My Son Sanctuary is located in a hilly landscape in Duy Phu commune, Duy Xuyen district, about 70km southwest of central Da Nang city and 40km from Hoi An city – another UNESCO heritage site in Quang Nam.

It comprises eight groups of 71 monuments built throughout the 7th -13th centuries.

Source: VNA

Quang Nam Welcomes UNESCO Status for Bai Choi Singing

posted May 25, 2018, 2:12 AM by Mai Hoa NGUYEN   [ updated May 25, 2018, 2:13 AM ]

A ceremony was held in Hoi An, the central province of Quang Nam, on May 7 to receive a certificate from UNESCO recognising Bai Choi singing, a popular folklore style of singing in central Vietnam, as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. The ceremony featured a parade with the UNESCO certificate held up high and performances of Bai Choi singing, attracting thousands of visitors.

Earlier, the recognition of Bai Choi singing was made during the 12th session of the UNESCO Inter-governmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage in Jeju, the Republic of Korea (RoK), on December 7, 2017. The folk singing genre is popular in the central provinces of Quang Binh, Quang Tri, Thua Thien-Hue, Quang Nam, Quang Ngai, Binh Dinh, Phu Yen and Khanh Hoa, and Da Nang city. 

Bai choi is often seen at local spring festivals and resembles a game, using playing cards and village huts.
quang nam welcomes unesco status for bai choi singing hinh 0 The stage for Bai choi performances encompasses nine cottages, each containing five or six ‘players’. One of the cottages, the central house, contains a troupe of musicians and instruments. A deck of playing cards is split in half, with one stack distributed amongst the players, and the other placed in the central house. The cards are stuck onto bamboo poles and erected outside the cottages. 

The game singer delivers a flag to each cottage, all the while singing Bai choi, and then draws a card from the central house. Whoever holds the card closest in value to the game singer’s card wins. The Bai choi songs are about festivals, daily life and work, and are accompanied by musical instruments. The game and songs were developed by Mandarin Dao Duy Tu (1572-1634) to help locals protect their crops.

According to the Inter-governmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage, Bai Choi is an important cultural activity in Vietnamese villages and communes, meeting the demand for entertainment and arts of the community. Bai Choi songs are moral lessons, demonstrating patriotism, connectivity in the community and living experience of people. The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism recognised Bai Choi as national intangible cultural heritage during 2014-2016. 

Apart from Bai Choi, the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity includes other 11 Vietnamese heritage – the traditional practice of “Tho Mau Tam Phu” (Worship of Mother Goddesses), tug-of-war game, which is also played in Cambodia, the RoK and the Philippines, Nghe Tinh province’s Vi-Giam folk singing, Don ca tai tu (amateur singing in southern Vietnam), Hung King worship ritual, Xoan singing of Phu Tho province, Giong festival and Soc temples in Hanoi, Ca Tru (ceremonial singing), Bac Ninh province’s Quan ho (love duet singing), the space of Gong culture in the Central Highlands and Hue's royal court music.

Source: VNA

Hoi An Promotes New Travel Products

posted May 25, 2018, 1:25 AM by Mai Hoa NGUYEN   [ updated May 25, 2018, 1:26 AM ]

Hoi An town in Quang Nam province is attractive for its unique and ancient culture. Recently, Hoi An has launched a number of new tourism products such as “Night in the ancient town” to give visitors a new experience.

Hoi An streets are particularly exciting  after the sun sets. Along the scenic Hoai River are stalls selling local souvenirs and handicraft products. These include colorful lanterns, toy figurines made by Thanh Ha pottery artisans, silk items, and local cuisines like noodles, rice cakes, and sweet soup. Walking through Hoi An’s narrow alleys at night induces a feeling of profound peace.

Dan Phuong, a visitor from Da Nang city, said she visits the Hoi An night market at the weekend just to mingle in the crowd under the colorful lights, walk along the river, and stop at a stall to sample Hoi An food. She said, “I’m not sure exactly why it is, but Hoi An inspires me so much that I visit the town quite often. I particularly like the night market where they offer delicious food and cute handicraft souvenirs. It’s very exciting and fun.”

Nguyen Van Son, Vice Chairman of the Hoi An Municipal People’s Committee said that nearly 9,000 visitors come to the Nguyen Hoang market every evening, which makes the area too crowded. Now the Tran Quy Cap night market has opened and expanded to Tieu La street. Mr Son said, “We have opened a new night market where artists perform Bai Choi folk singing and contemporary romantic songs hoping to reduce the overload at the old night market. Since it opened in early March, it has been attracting crowds of visitors. The business there has been very good. “

Hoi An also offers boat tours that take to the Bay Mau coconut forest in Cam Thanh commune. The forest, part of the Cua Dai mangrove ecological site, is up the Hoai river, 3 km from Hoi An. Yoon Young Joo, a visitor from the Republic of Korea, said, "Local people are friendly. The air is pure. It’s interesting to sit on a bamboo boat visiting the coconut forest. I love performances featuring the bamboo boats and fish net throwing by the locals. They are like performing artists.”

Most visitors to Bay Mau forest are foreigners. 70% of them are Koreans. The forest receives around 1,500 visitors a day during the week on holidays and special occasions, the number reaches 3,000. 85,000 people visited the site in the first two months of this year. Nguyen Van Son said, "We plan to recreate a revolutionary base in the Bay Mau coconut forest. The original military tunnels will be rebuilt to enable visitors to explore the base underground. We will also upgrade the pier and guest service facilities.”

Hoi An received approximately 3.5 million visitors last year.

Source: VOV

Hoi An Received the Top City in the World Award

posted May 24, 2018, 7:58 PM by Mai Hoa NGUYEN   [ updated May 24, 2018, 7:59 PM ]

Hoi An received the Top City in the World award voted for by Wanderlust magazine readers at a ceremony in the central province of Quang Nam on Saturday.

The ancient town defeated 970 tourist cities worldwide with a whopping 97.18% satisfaction rating, according to the U.K’s leading travel magazine which saw 3,000 of its readers vote in this year’s awards.

Pham Cao Phong (C), Secretary General of the Vietnam UNESCO National Committee, hands the certifi cate of ‘Hoi An – Most Favorite City’ voted by the U.K’s Wanderlust magazine to Le Van Giang, chairman of Hoi An City People’s Committee.

After the ceremony, there were many cultural and artistic activities such as a traditional music show, poem citing and folk games.

Hoi An was recognized as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1999. Its building and street plan reflects the influences, both indigenous and foreign, that have combined to produce this unique location.

The Top City category is part of the Wanderlust Travel Awards that includes various categories such as the Top Country, Top Airline and Top Airport.

The Wanderlust magazine, which was launched in 1993, has subscribers in 112 countries.

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