Mui Ne Beach : Phan Thiet : Hon Rom : Khe Ga : Mui Dien : Vietnam
Mui Ne Beach : Phan Thiet : Hon Rom : Khe Ga : Mui Dien : Vietnam
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Phan Thiet during the holiday season

Guinness-Records Holders
Enjoy the New Year in Mui Ne

20.01.06 Swiss couple Emil and Liliana Schmid, owners of three Guinness records, spent New Years in Mui Ne after traveling for nearly 21 years by car. Emil and Liliana left Montreal on October 16, 1984. They took six years in North America, more than three years in South America, three and a half years to travel across Europe, three and a half years in Africa, almost a year in Australia and three years in Asia. The couple has travelled about 600,000 kilometers, over 7,760 days. The couple is now in Hanoi, and still traveling in the same vehicle.

Strong Waves and Floods
to Greet the New Year

20.01.06 The Binh Thuan province hydrometeorology station is warning that floods caused by rough seas will hit the province close to Tet at the end of January. Waves were also a serious problem a few months ago when damage displaced 330 families. Binh Thuan’s Department of Agriculture and Rural Development suggests using sandbags and embankments to limit the damage.

Tet in Mui Ne - Phan Thiet

19.01.06 In Western Countries like the USA, the "holiday season" is over after January 1. Not so in Vietnam. Here the holiday season is extended for another month or more as families prepare for Tet, the lunar new year. Contrary to popular misunderstanding, Tet is not a single-day affair. Traditionally an entire month-long festival is celebrated from the 15th day of the twelfth month to the 15th day of the first month, but the first 3 days of the new year are the most important. The first day of the new year falls on January 29 this year. Click Here to read more.

Natural Resources Abound in Binh Thuan

13.01.06 A new oil field, Su Tu Nau (Brown Lion), has been discovered off Binh Thuan province in the group of Su Tu (Lion) oil fields at block 15.1. It is the seventh oil field to be discovered off the coast of Binh Thuan, with other potential sites still being explored. The Su Tu oil field sits in the Cuu Long sedimentary basin. Neighboring Su Tu Den has yielded 90,000 crude oil barrels per day since 2003.

Binh Thuan officials plan to establish a 4,000-5,000 ha oil and gas refinery which will be partly built on the mainland and on Phu Quy island. Research is underway to also build a gas-fueled power plant in the province.

Drought and Deluge

10.01.06 Tuy Phong District authorities in North Eastern Binh Thuan Province have asked provincial authorities to help relocate 122 families and assist 1190 people in the district. Their lives have been disrupted and their home destroyed by floods that have also spread disease and pollution. The unusually high levels of rain at the end of the rainy season came after a year of severe drought.

Meanwhile, to the South West, the province is spending 70 billion VND ($4.4 million USD) to supply water to an area vulnerable to desertification. Water will be pumped from a local river into Hoa Thang and Hong Phong wards in Bac Binh commune, near the White Sand Dunes.

Another project to protect soil and water resources and stay the current trend of desertification is also underway on a trial basis in Hong Phong ward. The dunes area has limited rainfall and no underground water sources, rivers or streams.

The project is financed by the UNDP Global Environment Fund and began in April 2005. Its completion is scheduled for April 2008. If the project is successful, it will be introduced to other areas in the province that are prone to drought.

New Film Reveals Struggle
with Landmines in Vin Hao

28.12.05. A new film, 'Song Trong So Hai’ (Live in Fear), based on a documentary called ‘Tay Dao Dat’ (The Digger), is a true story about the life of people who have cleared landmines after the war.

The original documentary was produced in 2001 and directed by Bui Thac Chuyen. The events take place in Vinh Hao commune, Tuy Phong district, Binh Thuan province (near Ca Na Beach).

The screenplay ‘Live in Fear’ by Bui Thac Chuyen and Nguyen Thi Minh Ngoc has been selected by Japan’s NHK Television for financial support. NHK has provided 40% of the total investment capital of the film (up to VND 3.5 billion).

The main character (his name is changed to Tai in the feature film) was affiliated with the S. Vietnamese army, and thus was "re-educated" after the war. He and his wife live in a land full of landmines. Many people in the area make their living by selling scrap pieces of bombs and mines. Although the government warns them not to clear the mines without permission, many continue on their own. If the land is not cleared, it can not be used for farming. The film details their struggle to clear the land of mines on their plantation for over a decade, in an attempt to dig out a better life. The film is currently undergoing limited release, but eventually will be sent to some international film festivals.

It is unknown how many unexploded ordnances may still be present in Binh Thuan province, though accidental deaths continue in recent years as farmers and children playing in the fields still come upon them. Individuals still collect and sell scraps from bombs and mines, which is of course extremely dangerous.

Places where it is likely to encounter ordnances include coastal waters off Khe Ga lighthouse, the area surrounding "Whiskey Mountain" (a former American military outpost--now hosting a quarry and communications tower) NorthEast of Phan Thiet, and the abandoned airfield and French/American military base LZ Betty, SouthWest of Phan Thiet.

Landmines are a terrible weapon which continue to kill innocent people decades after wars have ended and peace treaties signed. More than 30 years after the end of the previous war, people are still dieing from its weapons.

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