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
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
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
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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