No More Wedding Banquets In Vietnamese Province Due To Diarrhea Outbreak

November 8, 2007 12:48 p.m. EST


John Concepcion – AHN News Writer

Hanoi, Vietnam (AHN) – Due to a nationwide outbreak of cholera and other food-borne diseases like diarrhea, health officials on Thursday said a northern Vietnamese province has banned wedding banquets in restaurants and hotels.

Nguyen Trong Quynh, chief of the provincial People’s Committee, said Thanh Hoa province had imposed a temporary ban on serving food at wedding parties and funerals.

Quynh said, “People can still organize parties with wine, tea, cakes and candies.”

“This is aimed at preventing the acute diarrhea outbreak in the province.”

Diarrhea has reportedly downed some 24 people in Thanh Hoa province, located some 70 miles south of the capital of Hanoi, with seven patients testing positive for cholera.

Aside from Thanh Hoa, ten other provinces and cities made it to the cholera epidemic list and they are: Hanoi, Ha Tay, Hai Phong, Vinh Phuc, Thai Binh, Phu Tho, Hung Yen, Bac Ninh and Hai Duong.

Diarrhea and cholera can be acquired through contaminated drinking water and food. About 1,000 diarrhea cases nationwide have been reported, with 15 percent positive for the cholera virus.

17:03′ 06/12/2006 (GMT+7)

VietNamNet Bridge – Maybach, Bentley and Aston Martin cars all have appeared in Vietnam. The biggest interest of Vietnamese playboys is not how expensive the cars are, but whether or not other people have the same models.


Vietnamese playboys only like original things – the things must be different to everyone else’s.


Soạn: HA 976865 gi đến 996 để nhn ảnh này
The Aston Martin Vanquish in Vietnam

Two years ago, the market witnessed Mercedes S-class ‘car fever’, when many of the 78 cars imported to serve the ASEM 5, including S500s and S600s, were sold as soon as they were available.

The attention of playboys later was drawn to BMW series 7. However, now the model, which is priced at $140,000, does not draw much attention from stylish buyers any more.


An A8 car has appeared in Hanoi, and it is equal to an S-class model or BMW series 7, if considering its brand name and originality.


Soạn: HA 976867 gi đến 996 để nhn ảnh này
Bentley Flying Spur on Hanoi’s streets

In early August, when popular people were busy arguing about the taxes imposed on imported used cars, the playboys heard about the appearance of an Aston Martin Vanquish in



The model is not priced less than $230,000 in foreign countries, so it must cost around $721,000 after tax in Vietnam, after the car owner has to pay the 90% import tax (on imported brand new cars), 50% luxury tax and 10% VAT.


After that, the topic of the playboys in Hanoi was the appearance of Bentley’s Flying Spur, a UK luxury car brand name. The price of the car, as quoted on Yahoo network, is $164,990.


Nevertheless, the Aston Martin Vanquish cannot be the No 1 car in Vietnam any more as a Maybach 62 has been imported to Vietnam. A Maybach 62 manufactured in 2006 has the price of $385,250.


Those foreigners who have been living in Vietnam for a long time may understand that the drivers of high-cylinder cars always drive slowly so that everyone can admire their cars. In addition, in Vietnam, the owners of luxury cars like hiding their faces.


That explains why in Vietnam, it is very difficult to know who the actual owners of luxury cars are.


Vietnamese playboys say they don’t like sports cars like Ferraris or Lamborghinis though they are as expensive as the most luxurious sedans, because they think that the sports cars do not have many useful features. In addition, the sports cars prove to be unsuitable to Vietnam’s roads. Therefore, the red Chrysler C6, which is currently favoured by European playboys, has not appeared in Vietnam. – USA
President Bush’s visit for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit, it was Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt’s turn to give a thrill the Vietnamese people.
See all stories on this topic


Two Vietnamese peasants who designed and constructed a helicopter out of an old Russian motor and spare parts, are now anxiously awaiting a license for its maiden flight while time is running out.


Tran Quoc Hai and Le Van Danh from southern Tay Ninh province’s Tan Chau district last year made news when they created a helicopter at a cost of VND300 million (US$18,750), and managed to “drag it off the ground” before local authorities impounded the invention.

It is illegal to own an aircraft in Vietnam.

Last August, defense ministry delegates inspected the helicopter and decided to issue a permit for a trial flight, but they said the test must be done no later than 31 December 2006.

Over two months have passed but a license has yet to arrive.

Hai said it was now practically impossible for him to test his craft even if he laid hands on a license from the defense ministry.

He explained he would then have to obtain permits from the local government and science and technology department among other agencies. There will simply not be enough time.

Not for sale

The helicopter first weighed around a ton but later the two inventors trimmed it down to 680kg. The new version now measures 11 meters in length, 2.3 meters across and 3.5 meters high.

The engine uses 60 liters of gasoline in eight hours and can reach 150 kilometers per hour during flight, somewhat similar to a car.

The vehicle has 300-horse power engine and once flew 3m off the ground, Vietnam News Agency last year quoted Danh as saying.

“This aircraft is not for sale,” Hai once announced.

Recently, he refused to sell the aircraft to Australian experts who were ready to pay hundreds of thousands of US dollars for exhibition purposes.

The helicopter is a unique and alien product in industrialized Australia, Hai, who understands English well, quoted the Australians as saying.

Others from Singapore, Poland, the US, England and Cambodia have made visits.

The duo has received all kinds of offers; a US delegation asked to provide technical assistance, a Cambodian team invited them to make aircraft in their country, the duo recently told VietnamNet.

The Wright brothers

Hai recalled his childhood home being next to a US military base in Tay Ninh’s Go Dau district.

“Seeing helicopters up and down everyday caused me to think why only the US had such vehicles.

One adult told me then that Vietnamese technology was not good enough to make aircraft,” he recalled.

Though Hai later became a student at a sport university, his passion for aircraft did not abate. He studied mechanics and searched the Internet for aircraft information in his free time.

He opened a welding shop, which allowed him to meet a prominent client with equal passion for flying machines.

Danh, a policeman-turned-farmer often visited the workshop to weld farm implements, and the two became friends.

After Danh complained about the hardship of spraying pesticides manually and expressed a wish to have a small aircraft to do the job, the duo embarked on the invention journey.

Though not related by blood, the two curious minds definitely think alike.

Source: VietnamNet, Tuoi Tre – Translated by Hoang Bao

HANOI — The game-show contestant was sweating.

The final question would determine whether she would win the round and walk away with the prize. “What animal is the bridge on the Mekong Delta named for?” a female host asked.

Before Trang, the contestant, could react, her rival blurted out the correct answer: monkey.

“I didn’t do too well,” Trang said glumly, a forlorn figure on a set bathed in bright lights and festooned with tinsel and colorful balloons.

Her pain will be broadcast to the nation when the game show episode airs later this fall. Talk about jeopardy: She is only 9 years old.

Vietnam is awash in television game shows. Its eight major television stations air more than 50 of them, many in prime time. There are programs geared toward children, or teens, or seniors. Some cater to niche audiences, such as the show that tests soldiers on military life — still revered in this nominally communist nation.

The game shows reflect Vietnam’s rapid economic development.

In the last decade, a middle class has emerged. Pit toilets are giving way to modern conveniences, cars are replacing motorcycles, and 90 percent of Vietnamese households have television sets. Game shows are helping to influence Vietnam’s first TV generation just like television transformed American culture in the 1950s.

In a society where education is seen as the way to economic freedom, Vietnamese say these TV programs serve as mass education. They are teaching people about world history, healthful living, and modern lifestyles.

Some Vietnamese see game shows also as a chance to get their 15 minutes of fame. Others hope that old friends or long-lost relatives will see them on TV and contact them. Many regard game shows as a kind of public IQ test.

“I want to test my intelligence,” said 9-year-old Trang, who acknowledged that her parents pushed her to sign up for the show “Fairy Garden.”

But there is also fear that the idiot box will live up to its name and that Vietnam will turn into a nation of couch potatoes.

“When TV has so many shows like that, it’s not good for the youth because they spend most of their time watching TV without doing anything,” said Nguyen Chau, a sociologist at Hanoi University of Foreign Studies. “They waste their youth.”

As in China, the government controls the TV stations here. Before game shows began taking off in the last few years, programming focused mainly on government announcements and dreary education-oriented fare.

The Communist government has been flexible with game shows because they don’t have political content. Private entrepreneurs have been allowed to produce the programs, and networks are buying licensing rights and importing games from the United States, Japan, and Europe.

Among the most popular: Vietnamese knockoffs of American shows such as “The Price Is Right” and “Wheel of Fortune.”

Every week, thousands of Vietnamese such as the Phams and Vus line up for a chance to play on television.

Pham Hong Nga, 32, and her husband waited four years before producers of “Sunday at Home” told them this summer that they might be selected soon. After that, the Hanoi couple never left the house together. They took turns going out at night so they wouldn’t miss a phone call. Nga, a mother of two, says she went to bed every night with her cellphone next to her.

The call finally came on a recent Thursday evening.

“I was so excited I couldn’t talk,” said Nga, who has since been preparing for the show by reading up on plumbing and cooking.

The prizes are a big draw. “Sunday at Home” offers housewares and appliances. Other game shows, such as “Fairy Garden,” give out books and scholarships.

One of the richest is “Ai La Trieu Phu?” or “Who Is the Millionaire?” Except that in Vietnam, the winner gets 100 million dong, or about $6,500 — about 10 times the average annual income.

No one has correctly answered the 15 questions to win that prize in the two years that the show has aired.

Television producers say that if people are hooked on game shows now, the genre, having started in Vietnam just a decade ago, will only get stronger.

Chau, the Hanoi sociologist, says the trend may be short-lived. Calling game-show watching a cheap, passive form of entertainment, he says people may favor other leisure activities as their incomes rise. 

October 16, 2006

VIETNAMESE police and army officials said today they had arrested a fraudster who claimed to be using telepathic powers to locate the remains of soldiers missing in action since the Vietnam War.


Dang Xuan Ba, identified as a middle-aged man from southern Dalat city, was detained after he charged grieving relatives money for locating what he claimed were the remains of their loved ones. In reality, the remains were animal bones he had planted, they said.

“He confessed to us that he has no telepathic skills for locating the soldiers’ remains,” said a police officer in central Quang Tri province, the scene of heavy wartime fighting during the Vietnam War.

“He had taken at least 15 million dong ($1195) from some families.”

Many Vietnamese troops who fell in Vietnam’s anti-French conflict and what is called here the American War were quickly buried with medicine glass bottles containing pieces of paper with their names and hometowns.

Some 300,000 Vietnamese soldiers remain missing in action from the Vietnam War, and several people claiming to be acting as spiritual mediums have risen to national prominence by helping families locate the remains.

Ba was arrested after he planted bones and papers falsely identifying the remains of Nguyen Huu Dien, who died in battle in 1968, said Senior Lieutenant Colonel Do Xuan Hiep of the Quang Tri army command.

He took relatives to locations he had identified “using his so-called telepathic skills”, and then apparantly planted the bones and bottles so locals could dig them up, Hiep said by telephone.

“He was arrested carrying animal bones and six glass containers with papers carrying the names and hometowns of martyrs,” he said.

Police said they were now checking how many more families Ba had cheated. 2006-10-09 11:33:20

    HANOI, Oct. 9 (Xinhua) — Vietnam will, under a draft decree, permit transgender people to undergo sexual transformation operation, from next January, according to local newspaper Saigon Liberation on Monday.

    Under the draft decree recently submitted to the government by the Vietnamese Ministry of Health, transgender people, whose psychological self differs from the social expectations for the physical sex they were born with (for example, a female with a masculine gender identity or who identifies as a man), and people having unclear gender identity, can undergo the operation. After the operation, they will have new gender identity.

    The draft decree also stipulates that people with clear gender identity, including gays and lesbians who deny heterosexual experience due to deviations in their lifestyles or behaviors, are not allowed to undergo sexual transformation operation.

    If approved, the decree will take effect on Jan. 1, 2007.

    Local media have recently quoted estimation of some local medical workers as reporting that 0.3-1 percent of Vietnam’s population of 83.1 million people are now gays and lesbians. Enditem 

Parinya Kiatbusaba or Parinya Charoenphol (born 1981), more popularly known as Nong Thoom, Nong Toom or Nong Tum, is probably the best-known kathoey (male-to-female transgendered person) in Thailand.
Parinya Kiatbusaba or Parinya Charoenphol (born 1981), more popularly known as Nong Thoom, Nong Toom or Nong Tum, is probably the best-known kathoey (male-to-female transgendered person) in Thailand.(Xinhua Photo)


A woman in central Vietnam was more than a bit surprised when she found her small child watching pornography instead of the music DVD her husband said they had been watching.

N.S, a man from central Vietnam’s Hue city, bought his Calitech DVD player in Ho Chi Minh City in 2003. Since then, it has been running smoothly…

But when N.S. and his small child were recently watching a music show on the DVD player, his wife called him into the other room urgently.

Hurriedly, he ejected music disk but did not to turn the DVD player off.

A short while later, he had forgotten about the DVD when his wife then scolded him for playing a porn film in front of their young child.

Confused, he found the player’s tray empty. But when he closed the empty tray in, the player automatically played a porn film.

He then dissembled the player and found that there was a VCD hidden above the tray.

He realized that when there is a disc in the regular tray, the player plays both the sneaky VCD and the regular simultaneously, though the player’s eye under the tray can only read the regular disc.

But when there is no disk in the tray to obstruct the tricky porn VCD above, the ‘eye’ reads the illicit VCD, thus playing the erotic movie.

Reported by Bui Ngoc Long – Translated by Hoang Bao


A 28-month-old Vietnamese baby who has not been taught even the alphabets is reading newspapers and books.

Dong Ngoc Han discovered last February that her son Pham Duc Thuan, born October 2003, could read when he began reading a signboard while walking along the road one day.

News of the strange child, who lives with his farmer-parents in Thuan An commune in the Mekong Delta’s Vinh Long province, spread bringing curious neighbors and xe om (taxi motorbike) drivers to gawk at him.

A Thanh Nien reporter visited the family this month and saw the baby reading a newspaper.

The child could correctly and fluently read a Vietnamese-language newspaper though his pronunciation sounded like a foreigner’s.

“My son is eager to read words he sees on television, newspapers, and books but he does not understand their meaning,” his mother said.

He is otherwise normal and, like all children, is fond of playing with others.

Other similar cases

But baby Thuan is not a unique case. Local media reported about three other babies in the country who could also read at an early age without having been taught.

They are Nguyen Hung Son, born February 2002, of Long Binh hamlet, Tra Vinh city; Nguyen Dong Quoc, born September 2002, of Tan Uyen district of Binh Duong province; and Nguyen Anh Tu, born April 2003, of Pleiku city in Gia Lai province in the central highland.

All of them began to read when they were around 30 months old.

Reported by Nhu Lich – Translated by Minh Phat