The Guinness World Records granted the recognition on Friday to the art work, which is a brainchild of Canadian artist Benjamin Von Wong and Zero Waste Saigon (ZWS), a non-profit which aims to help people reduce their waste with 11,000 followers. The sculpture stands 3.3 meters (10 ft 9 in) tall, 8 meters (36 ft 2 in) long and 4.5 meters (14 ft 9 in) wide. The parting of the sea, allowing people to walk through, aims to impress on them the mind-boggling reality of staggering amounts of plastic being dumped in the ocean. While plastic straws might not be the biggest problem, they are ubiquitous and a daily use item that people can easily relate to, Von Wong had told VnExpress International at the opening of the Strawpocalypse project last month. It is predicted that by 2050, there will be more plastic than fish by weight at sea, according to a 2016 report released by the World Economic Forum and the Ellen MacArthur Foundation. The number of straws employed at the project were measured by using a luggage scale and an excel spreadsheet. Two independent witnesses were present for the count and de-count, according to Guinness World Records. The collection of straws needed for the art work was made possible by ZWS’s big cleanup events in Hanoi, Saigon, and the popular beach towns Nha Trang, and Vung Tau at the end of last year. The two month cleanup attracted hundreds of volunteers, mostly 15 to 24 years old, who used sticks,… [Read full story]
By Xuan Binh  February 19, 2019 | 02:17 pm GMT+7 Nguyen Quang Hai at AFF Cup 2018, where Vietnam won the title. Photo by VnExpress/Duc Dong Vietnamese defender Nguyen Quang Hai has been named one of players to watch ahead of AFC Champions League playoffs. Hai’s team Hanoi FC will play against China’s Shandong Luneng in the playoffs of AFC Champions League Tuesday and the organizers have highlighted his talents. “One of the rising stars of Asian football, Nguyen Quang Hai has excelled at the international level over the past year and was inspirational in helping Vietnam secure their second AFF Cup when they won the 2018 title,” AFC writes on its website. Hai helped Vietnam reached the last eight of Asian Cup earlier this year and will surely light up the AFC Champions League with his talent, it says. Other notable players on the to-watch list are Graziano Pellè (Shandong Luneng), Sharul Saad (Perak FA) and Patric (Sanfrecce Hiroshima). Shandong Luneng, Hanoi FC’s opponent this afternoon, have many quality players in their squad, including Italian Graziano Pellè, who scored 16 times last season and helped his team qualify for this tournament. They also have Belgian midfielder Marouane Fellaini, who moved to the club from Manchester United in January. Recently, Nguyen Quang Hai’s goal against Yemen was picked by fans as the AFC Asian Cup 2019’s goal of the tournament. In the first qualification round of the ongoing tournament, Hanoi FC beat Bangkok United 1-0 to advance to the next… [Read full story]
By Tuan Hoang  February 19, 2019 | 11:59 am GMT+7 A screenshot from the movie trailer, starring actor Tran Thanh and actress Ninh Duong Lan Ngoc. Rom-com “Cua Lai Vo Bau” (Win Back My Pregnant Wife) has become the highest grossing Vietnamese movie of all time. In the two weeks since its release the movie has raked in VND176.5 billion ($7.59 million), beating the VND170 billion ($7.35 million) collected by the 2017 rom-com “Em Chua 18” (Jailbait). It was also the fastest Vietnamese movie to hit the VND100 billion mark, taking just six days. Directed by Nhat Trung, the movie hit local theaters in the first day of Lunar New Year Festival (February 5) its collection on the opening day was VND15.8 billion ($680,000), the highest single-day figure for a Vietnamese movie. It tells the story of a mechanic named Trong Thoai, who tries to win back his pregnant wife when she has an affair with another man. Actors Tran Thanh, Ninh Duong Lan Ngoc, and Anh Tu starred in the leading roles. In the past six years, five movies have crossed the VND100 billion mark in Vietnam.
February 19, 2019 | 10:30 am GMT+7 Hotel de la Coupole, MGallery by Sofitel in Sa Pa town has acquired a luxurious interpretation of local culture by famed architect Bill Bensley. The five-star hotel, developed by the Sun Group, has Bensley, known as the ‘king of exotic luxury resorts, tell an evocative story of the culture and life of ethnic minority people in the northwestern mountains of Vietnam. Hidden amongst the emeraldhillsof the “cloud city”, Hotel de la Coupole, MGallery by Sofitel, the first international five-star hotel in Sapa (Lao Cai Province), looks like a palace. This French-style hotel has imprints of the traditional cultures and styles of the hill tribes inhabiting the northwest. The vibrant colors, patterns and textures of the hotel’s interiors are inspired by the hill tribes living in the mountainous areas of Sapa. There are lampshades in the shape of tribal girls’ hats while patterns on the luxurious carpets remind people of the brocade patterns on the skirts of the tribal women. Even on the edges of the mirror in the bathroom, you can see a very familiar northwestern decoration. The antique cupboard features Vietnamese pagodas and rustic pottery. Every corner of Hotel de la Coupole, MGallery by Sofitel has an enchanting mix of French haute couture and Vietnamese hilltribestyles. At Chic, a French restaurant with haute couture-inspired decoration, you will be immersed in an authentic Vietnamese experience by the bamboos from northwestern villages and brocade patterns on the high walls. Locally-produced brocade fabric has been… [Read full story]
Wolves and Palace ease into FA Cup quarter-finals The Saigon Times Daily Wolverhampton Wanderers’ Ivan Cavaleiro celebrates scoring their first goal at Ashton Gate Stadium, Bristol, Britain February 17, 2019 – PHOTO: REUTERS LONDON (REUTERS) – Wolverhampton Wanderers’ impressive season continued as they moved into the quarter-finals of the FA Cup with Ivan Cavaleiro’s first-half goal sealing a 1-0 victory at Championship (second-tier) club Bristol City on Sunday. Portuguese Cavaleiro slotted home clinically in the 28th minute after great work by Matt Doherty and it was enough for Wolves to reach the last eight for the first time since 2003. After a mass exodus of Premier League clubs in the previous two rounds, Wolves continued a good weekend for the big boys which saw Manchester City, Brighton & Hove Albion, Watford and Crystal Palace all send lower-league opposition packing. Palace were far too good on Sunday for third-tier Doncaster Rovers, with first-half goals by Jeffrey Schlupp and Max Meyer securing a 2-0 win to send Roy Hodgson’s side into the last eight for only the second time in 24 years. Schlupp ran through to fire home in the eighth minute and Meyer’s effort on the stroke of halftime deflated the hosts who had hoped for a first-ever run to the last eight. In the day’s other fifth-round tie, Swansea City recovered from a halftime deficit at home to fellow Championship outfit Brentford to win 4-1 at the Liberty Stadium. Bersant Celina’s free kick rebounded off the post and in off… [Read full story]
By Nguyen Quy  February 18, 2019 | 01:07 pm GMT+7 Three Vietnamese women and a man have been charged with trafficking meth and ecstasy in Cambodia. Local newspaper the Khmer Times reported that Nguyen Thi Le, Bui Thi Lo, Truong Thi Mai, and Ha Vo Khong were working in a Vietnamese-owned casino in the Cambodian border city of Bavet. It quoted a senior police officer as saying the anti-drug police arrested the four last Friday following a tip-off from an Israeli man who had been part of their alleged drug network and was arrested on February 3. The police said a raid on their rented apartment in Bavet Kandal village in Svay Rieng Province netted two large packages of meth weighing nearly half a kilo, 40 ecstasy pills, a scale, and five phones. “They were drug distributors, and had been selling drugs to users gambling in casinos and night clubs on the Cambodian-Vietnamese border,” the officer in charge of the anti-drug operation said. The suspects are being held pending their trial. If found guilty, they face up to 10 years in prison. Vietnam and Cambodia signed a memorandum of understanding on cross-border drug crime enforcement in 2017 after Cambodian anti-drug officials visited Hanoi to seek funding for a drug rehabilitation center in Sihanoukville.
A report by The Atlantic said that when Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un meet in Vietnam on February 27-28, the North Korean leader will be able to see what awaits his country if he decides to denuclearize. Vietnam today presents a vastly different image to the world compared to over 40 years ago, when the country stepped out of two long wars with France and the U.S that had devastated its economy. Vietnam now celebrates American culture: Apple’s iPhones are sought-after, Facebook widely used and cinemas packed whenever a Hollywood blockbuster is released. By initiating economic reforms in 1986, Vietnam has become one of the fastest-growing economies in the world. Last year, the country’s GDP grew by 7.08 percent, highest in a decade, and its trade surplus reached a record-high of $7.2 billion. With the upcoming meeting in Hanoi, the White House appears to be trying to illustrate what is on offer if Kim cooperates: a country that fought a war against the U.S. but is now a fast-growing economy and a regional ally, The Atlantic said. Meanwhile, news channel CNBC commented that Vietnam and China are two communist governments that North Korea has long studied, as these countries have integrated into the world economy by successfully transforming from a centrally managed economic model to a market economy. Vietnam’s gradual path to development appeals to Kim, ratings firm Fitch Solutions said in a January report. Hanoi has been open and maintains a “relationship-building” quality with the world that is… [Read full story]
By Phan Anh  February 16, 2019 | 01:00 pm GMT+7 South Korean soccer coach Park Hang-seo smiles during a game at the Asian Cup 2019 in Dubai. Photo by VnExpress/Anh Khoa South Korean coach Park Hang-seo has ‘undeniably’ boosted the image of his country among Vietnamese citizens. A survey of 1,000 Vietnamese citizens done last month by Hankook Ilbo and Korea Times looked at perceptions of South Korea after Park became coach of the national men’s football team in 2017. It found 73.8 percent of the respondents viewed the country positively, an increase of 9 percent over last year. Notably, 70 percent of respondents in their 40s had a positive view, an increase of 22 percent from last year. “[Park] did something that no corporate leader or leader in other fields have done. What’s surprising is that he did it alone within a year,” Korea Times quoted Nguyen Thanh Huyen, a professor at the University of Social Sciences and Humanities of Vietnam National University in Hanoi, as saying. She also said that Park’s impact on the Vietnamese public was “undeniable.” While there were different factors that could have affected Vietnamese perception on South Korea, for example, South Korean President Moon Jae-in’s visit to Vietnam last March or the influx of Korean tourists and investments into the country, Huyen emphasized that Park’s arrival was the “real, sole factor.” Ever since coach Park Hang-seo began leading Vietnam’s national men’s football team two years ago, the team has made history with numerous achievements… [Read full story]
The event, which opened Thursday at the Ho Chi Minh City Museum of Fine Arts as part of the Maris Art Project Asia Tour, showcases paintings in the Maris art style, a version of sand paintings blind people can appreciate. The main theme of the exhibition this time is world peace. Most of the works are of national flags and there are also simple objects like flowers and zebras. At the exhibition Thursday, dozens of blind people were helped by volunteers to go around. This style is created by Takahashi, which is the first painting method in the world to help visually impaired people feel colors and images with their sense of smell and feeling. In Maris, the brightness of colors is determined by the size of sand grains and specified in the Maris world standard table (invented in 2009 and patented in Japan). The size of sand grains represents the color brightness while the scent of sand shows color. Sand and rock grains are divided into 10 sizes representing the different level of color brightness in a painting. The grains are attached to a canvas and soaked in herbal oil, helping blind people envisage the content through the scent. For instance, purple is associated with lavender, and orange with the smell of the orange fruit. A student was touching a painting of a flag. Photo acquired by VnExpress Many were excited at being able to “view” pictures with their hands and nose. Thanh of Binh Thanh District said: “When I… [Read full story]
Nguyen Chanh Phuong, vice president and general secretary of the Ho Chi Minh City Fine Arts and Wood Processing Association (HAWA), said the furniture segment for small urban houses is abuzz in Vietnam, with its main customers being young adults born between 1980 and 2000. Unlike the previous generation, who preferred simple but durable furniture that could last 100 years, young people prefer to buy comprehensive interior packages based on their own aesthetic views, he explained. They see furniture as things that serve their needs and not assets to be passed down, and so products only need to last about 10 years, he said, pointing out this was why furniture makers like IKEA have been so successful. “There is a lot of opportunity arising from this group of customers alone. I estimate they only account for 15 percent in terms of number of buyers but account for 30-40 percent of spending.” Industry insiders said the market is seeing rapid growth in raw materials production, design and manufacture of furniture, and one can now find all types of international “fashionable” wood varieties from Germany, the U.S., France, Japan, Canada, and New Zealand. According to Tavico, the company operating the distribution centre, Vietnam’s furniture market is currently worth $4 billion, and is expected to grow to $5-7 billion by 2025. Nguyen Quoc Khanh, HAWA chairman, said not only is the scale growing but also Vietnamese are increasingly demanding higher quality products. “I think ‘strong and durable’ is not the Vietnamese style; it… [Read full story]