20 new homes were built in under a week in the disadvantaged communities of Huong Nha and Xuan Quang, both in the province’s Tam Nong District. The project, the Vietnam Big Build, is Habitat for Humanity’s largest event of the year. 210 international volunteers hailing from countries such as New Zealand, Japan and the US flew to Vietnam to help with the project. The newly-built houses measure 60 square meters, and will be provided with financial support amounting to VND45 million a year from Habitat for Humanity. HFH Vietnam’s country director, Kelly Koch, concludes that the project is a “great demonstration of Habitat’s mission in bringing people together to build strength, stability and self-reliance.”
394,200 hours it took Jimmy van der Kloet to find the right woman. Wed last month on the 15th, Jimmy met his wife Nguyen Thi Huyen on February 8, 2015 in Saigon. Accompanied by their puppy Xtin and still-unnamed kitten, all four are now starting a one-way adventure trip to growing up with a little advice from Winnie the Pooh: “Rivers know this: there is no hurry. We shall get there some day.”
8 legged-calf has been born in Tan Hong District in Dong Thap Province. Owned by Dinh Van Thanh, the unique calf has two forelegs and six contorted hind legs. Thanh’s wife, Nguyen Thi Bao Ngoc, believes that the calf’s extra legs are the result of genetic mutation. Fortunately, the calf is able to walk normally with ease and appears to be healthy, in spite of its peculiar appearance. This calf has had a sizable impact upon the local community, and attracts daily visitors from Thanh’s province and beyond. Thanh says that 50-60 visitors a day flock to their house in hopes of viewing the calf. Superstition surrounding the special calf has exacerbated the volume of people visiting. According to Thanh, visitors bring votive paper to burn with incense for the calf, and frequently ask the calf to help them win the lottery.
26,000 residents in Ho Chi Minh City are being relocated from District 8’s Doi (Twin) Canal in order to facilitate restoration efforts aiming to purify the waterway. Heavy contamination from household waste and garbage over the last several years has had a devastating impact on the well-being of the canal’s marine life, and has caused an unpleasant stench to blanket the surrounding area. The local authorities hope to restore the contaminated canal to its original state, but require the relocation of those inhabitants living on the southern bank of the nine-kilometer waterway in order to fulfill this aspiration.
7 million international tourists have visited Vietnam in the first nine months of the year, marking an increase of 25 percent year-on-year, reports the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism. Tourists from north-east Asia represented the fastest growing demographic of tourists visiting Vietnam. China and South Korea totaled 3.1 million, or 43 percent of visitors, to Vietnam so far this year. Total tourism revenue for this period was approximated at VND291.161 trillion, a 20.2 percent increase year-on-year.
20 air-monitoring stations are being prepared for installation in Hanoi. Nguyen Trong Dong, director of the city’s Department of Natural Resources and Environment, maintains that the installations will aid agencies in issuing timely air quality warnings to residents. The present shortage of the air-monitoring stations has been attributed to a lack of funds. According to the environment department, there are currently six air-monitoring stations in the city, but only two—one on Nguyen Van Cu Street and another on Phao Dai Lang Street—are operational. Nine of the new air-monitoring stations will be located at major intersections, while nine others will be situated in particularly crowded urban areas.
4 million USD has been awarded as the first jackpot prize of the ‘Mega 6/45’ computerized lottery, which made its debut in Vietnam in July. The prize was won by a farmer from the Mekong Delta province of Tra Vinh, who became the first jackpot winner following the 39th draw last month. The VND92,030,182,500 amount had accumulated after the 38 previous lottery draws failed to produce a winner for the initial VND12 billion prize. The winner will receive a sum of over VND83 billion after a 10 percent personal income tax deduction as required by Vietnam law, Vietlott says. Following this big win, the jackpot value has since been reset to the initial prize of VND12 billion.
135 year-old structure built by the French, the Saigon Tax Trade Centre, is in the process of being demolished to make room for a 40-storey office and hotel tower. Doan Hoai Minh, deputy director of Satra, investor of the project, said the multi-functional building, which has six basements and a helipad, will provide shopping, office and hotel services. The new building will also incorporate Ho Chi Minh City’s first metro line, which will connect Ben Thanh Market in District 1 to Suoi Tien Park in Thu Duc District. The project is expected to be completed in 2020, with work on the new building—the Saigon Tax Plaza—due to start early next year. City authorities maintain that the new building will preserve the general aesthetic of the old building in order to be in harmony with other historic buildings nearby, such as the Rex Hotel and the Opera House