Furama Resort Danang

Furama Resort Danang is an award winning beach resort offering 200 luxuriously furnished rooms and suites, each having a spacious and private terrace, overlooking the lush tropical gardens of the resort. The architecture displays a luxurious contemporary resort in a very natural setting. The resort is within a 2 hour drive from some of Vietnam's most stunning cultural heritage sights. However, the need to leave will not be felt by guests as the hotel's self-contained recreational facilities are there offering a great variety of land and water sport activities.


Restaurants & Bars

When the prestigious Epicurean Review magazine in the US named the Furama Resort Danang as Asias Best Resort Hotel, it singled out the Furamas standards of culinary and hospitality excellence. But that is just part of the story of this fabulous resorts restaurants and bars. Guests can enjoy a wonderful variety of Asian and international cuisines in romantic settings that take full advantage of their splendid location a stones throw from famed China Beach and the cool sea breezes of Pacific Ocean.


Both the interior and public areas are inspired by the French colonial period, rooms and suites feature polished timbers floor and fittings with plantation style shutters, ceiling fans and comfortable cane furniture. Each room or suite offers spacious and private terrace with views of either China Beach or the lush tropical lagoon pool.


Located on the famous China Beach in Vietnam, the Furama Resort Danang enjoys a superb beachfront location set amongst outstanding natural beauty. The Resort is within 2 hours drive of some Vietnam's most stunning cultural heritage sights, including the ancient sea port of Hoi An, the former Imperial capital Hue and the Holy Valley. Airport and city centre is a short 7 kilometre travel.

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Long Hai Beach Resort

The Goft Long Hai Beach Resort offering 110 luxurious rooms and suites create a Vietnam's Unique Tropical Leisure Beach Resort. Each room has private balcony, air-conditioning, well-equipped with IDD Call, multi-channel satellite television, scheduled movies, safe box, mini bar, tea & coffe-making facilities suitable for group of friends and family.


Restaurants & Bars

Our front-beach Heritage Restaurants will satisfy your appetite with the abundant seafood, as well with the delicious selection of Vietnamese, Asian & European cuisines blended masterfully for your Continental & American buffets, lunch and dinner under the fresh coastal breeze. Great ocean-view & and swimming pool looking, a warm welcome is awaiting you in the Dragon Swimming Pool & the Dragon Pool Bar, where you can enjoy with food & beverage specialties, refreshing drinks and live music by famous band's performance in the romantic atmosphere. At our Lylin Lobby Lounge, you also relax with various beers & soft drinks & wonderful music



Guest Services

Full Service Business Center Banquet & Meeting room well-equipped Medicare Currency Exchange Major Credit Cards acceptted Valet Parking Parcel & Postal Service Courier Service Shuttle to Ho Chi Minh city Bicycle for rent 24 hour - security service


Meetings & Conferences

Fully equipped with the lastest amenities, our meeting & conference facilities offer the perfect venue for any events. The elegant Sapphire Meeting Room, seating for up to 300 guests and the Ruby Function Room up to 30 guests, have been artistically designed to meet your international conference, seminar or social events, especially for M.I.C.E traveling programs. Our experienced & professional teams are always on 24-hour service to ensure your events smoothly and successfully.


Facilities At A Glance

Direct dial IDD telephone & internet access Safe Box in room Multi-channel satellite television Scheduled movie channel Nice private beach approx 250m long beach 2 Restaurant with seafood, Asian & European dishes Romantic Coffee Bar & Pool Bar Fitness center with Saunas, Jacuzzi and massage rooms Haidresser and Beauty salon Water sport activeties, Tennis court, Billard, Disco Bar, Karaoke... Kids Club and playground Daily laundry and dry cleaning service Gift shop.

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Pioneering Innovation

Recently named as a Typical Vietnamese Entrepreneur 2010,  Mr Takashi Fujii, Chairman and CEO of Dai-ichi Life Vietnam, tells about the insurer’s success and development targets for the future.

How did Dai-ichi Life Vietnam perform in 2010? 

Dai-ichi Life Vietnam has recorded spectacular results in the first nine months of the year, with new sales growth at around 51 per cent against the same period last year, which is almost double the industry’s growth rate, with new business premiums approximately equal to the total recorded in all of 2009. 

Most impressively, in the third quarter of 2010, new business premiums were nearly VND110 billion ($5.64 billion) putting us in the second position among the leading foreign players in Vietnam. After four years of operations, we are proud to serve over 510,000 customers through a network of 14,500 agents and employees. As part of our market expansion strategy, Dai-ichi Life Vietnam has entered other business partnership agreements with prestigious financial institutions and associates in Vietnam such as Eximbank and VNPost, marking our first step towards alternative distribution channel development in order to provide our advanced products to a broader customer base. 
Mr Takashi Fujii, Chairman and CEO of Dai-ichi Life Vietnam.
Another success I want to highlight is product innovation, as we continue to be a pioneer in the market. In May, we launched the “Protection Index Option” for customers with a “Universal Life” policy to help preserve their financial goals against the adverse effects of inflation. In July, we introduced the “Critical Illness Universal Life” package, covering 35 critical illnesses, the first of its kind in Vietnam. This embraces a medical funding concept to help ease customer concerns about the financial burden stemming from any unexpected critical illness and gives them flexibility for better treatment choice.

As one of 100 Typical Vietnamese Entrepreneurs in 2010, can you share with us your secrets in successfully leading Dai-ichi Life Vietnam? 

Our business philosophy is “Customer First”. We want to treat every customer as a client for life and to bring them sustainable values. I therefore focus on improving our “CARE” spirit when serving customers and encourage Dai-ichi Life Vietnam’s members to respect this in their daily activities.

I believe that human resources are the most important factor behind success. We also strive to maintain and develop a friendly and professional working environment for our staff and agents. Our mission in Vietnam is to provide the best-quality products and services to our customers. We constantly look to improve our human resources capabilities, product development and customer-centric approach to our valued customers to achieve this mission.

What qualities do you think are needed for a CEO in a foreign invested enterprise (FIE) in Vietnam to be successful? 

Every business has its own challenges. In the role of CEO, firstly, I think you should be passionate, determined and ready to take on challenges. Besides a deep understanding of the local market, its culture and its people, you should also build a strong and committed team, as human resources play a vital role in success. I faced a lot of difficulties upon taking up this position but I always do the  best I can. Everything has gone well so far and I appreciate the strong support of our parent company and all members of Dai-ichi Life Vietnam.

Many life insurers are finding and exploiting markets in large cities. Why does Dai-ichi Life Vietnam aim to develop the rural market, which is considered difficult to penetrate? 

We will continue our core strategy of focusing on large cities in order to provide the best insurance products and services to the growing urban middle class. But we also recognise that there are still a large number of rural households who have not had access to appropriate insurance. Our competitive edges - product innovation and a large network of 56 sales and general agency offices nationwide - will enable us to promote appropriate insurance coverage to various segments of the country. We will shape our effective rural-based business model, which we believe will be sustainable in the long run.

Is finding a new development model the way you have chosen to compete and improve your business strategies sustainably? 

Competition is always there in the market. I welcome healthy competition as it raises quality standards and benefits for consumers. Customers will make a choice on product and service quality. We have a long-term commitment to Vietnam, best described in our slogan “Lifetime Partner”. The alternative distribution channel model and expansion beyond the major cities provides us with huge opportunities to diversify and broaden our product offering to different segments in the country in order to meet the increasing and sophisticated financial needs of customers.

How do you view Vietnam’s life insurance market? What are the opportunities and your targets for developing next year and in the following five years?

For the life insurance industry, Vietnam’s market is still in its infancy. Figures from the Ministry of Finance show that only 5 per cent of the population has life insurance coverage, much lower than developing countries with a penetration rate of around one-third of the population. With a population of 85 million people, Vietnam represents a promising market with great potential. We should note the significant role of the government in improving the legal framework for market development and nurturing the dynamic life insurance sector. 

There are plenty of opportunities to grow. Since opening its door in Vietnam, Dai-ichi Life Vietnam has continued to build up our image to be closely associated with the country and Vietnamese people through our ongoing improvements in product and service quality, our well-trained staff and agency force, as well as our leading contribution to the community. With strong financial strength and support from more than a century’s experience of our parent company and our strong foundation in Vietnam, I am confident that Dai-ichi Life Vietnam will be more successful next year and the next five years will be even brighter.

Our target is to become the best life insurer in providing the best-quality products and services to Vietnamese customers. For next year, we will focus on the quality of our business. We always emphasise that customer satisfaction is a key competitive advantage and the foundation for our sustainable development here. 

Going forward, in the next five years, we will continue to develop suitable products to address the changing investment and financial needs of customers and develop our alternative distribution channel to broaden our product offerings to various customer segments. We also constantly develop and improve relevant skills and knowledge among our staff and agents. Focus will also be placed on enhancing our customer service quality to maximise customer satisfaction. 

Last but not least, we will continue to be a leader in corporate social responsibility by sponsoring and initiating various charity programs and social activities, especially environmental protection, education and healthcare.

Source: Huyen Thanh - Vneconomy.vn

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Bridging The Gap

There’s been a lot said since Prudential Insurance Vietnam announced its intention to buy back nearly one-third of the fund certificates of the Prudential Balanced Fund.

It is generally understood that when an investment fund decides to buy back its own fund certificates from the stock market that it is aiming first and foremost to narrow the discount between the share price and the net asset value (NAV). It’s a normal part of trading activity and a regular occurrence among investment funds.
The situation, however, is a little bit different at Prudential Balanced Fund (PRUBF1), as it last month registered to buy 15.85 million fund certificates from its holding company - Prudential Insurance Vietnam. For insiders, especially market analysts, the move was more than about simply cutting the discount gap.

PRUBF1 was established in December 2006 with an initial fund size of VND500 billion ($25 million).
The fund is managed by Prudential Vietnam Fund Management Company, an affiliate of Prudential Insurance Vietnam. Until December, PRUBF1’s NAV stood at VND8,401 ($0.42) per fund certificate while its market price ranged from VND5,900 ($0.29) to VND6,200 ($0.31). This makes the price of the fund certificate 27.6 per cent lower than the NAV.

An analyst and investment consultant from Bao Viet Securities Company, who has observed the recent trading activities of PRUBF1 and who wished to remain anonymous, told VET that PRUBF1’s price has increased about 34 per cent from October to December this year. “If there’s a bright side for an investment fund when deciding to buy its own fund certificates, it’s that the amount of certificates on the market will be reduced,” he said. “And, in theory, the buy-back decision helps to push up the price of the fund certificates and gets a positive response from investors in their buying decisions.” Beside Prudential Insurance Vietnam, Asiavantage Global Limited, another major shareholder of PRUBF1, has also registered to buy 1 million fund certificates and to sell 3.8 million fund units to restructure its portfolio.

Since 2008 a number of investment funds in Vietnam have seen their fund certificates being traded at a price below their NAV. The average discount has still been fairly high recently and reflects the difficulties hedge funds have faced when investing in Vietnam. Four domestic funds: Prudential Balanced Fund, Vietnam Securities Investment Fund (VF1 and VF4), and Manulife Fund have also found themselves in a tight spot with a high discount gap.

A large gap between the NAV and the share price is not something that fund mangers or the holding company wish to see. According to Mr Jack Howell, CEO of Prudential Insurance Vietnam, the company sees PRUBF1 as an attractive investment and, in line with the company’s long term investment objectives and strong commitment to the Vietnam market, aims to increase its holdings. “Although it is not the prime reason, obviously the public offer at a higher price than the market price implies a narrowing of the discount,” he told VET. “Over a longer term basis, we would expect the discount to be narrower than its current level.”

So a big question that investors are asking right now is whether Prudential Insurance Vietnam has to sell off assets to fund the bid for the 15.85 million fund certificates. With 50 million fund certificates of PRUBF1 in circulation, Prudential Insurance Vietnam needs around VND98.3 billion ($4.9 million) to buy 15.85 million at the public offer price of VND6,200 ($0.31) per unit. The answer is still to come, as Mr Howell preferred not to discuss it.

Liquidation pressure

On the other hand, a dramatic widening of the discount makes investment funds more vulnerable against aggressive hedge funds interested in speculation. It wasn’t the main reason, but the high discount was nonetheless an important factor in Indochina Capital Vietnam Holding Limited (ICV) liquidating last year. Earlier this year, two other funds - Dragon Capital’s VEIL and VGF - also faced the danger of liquidation for the same reason. Such events make domestic funds more cautious.

According to Mr Nguyen Viet Duc, Deputy Director of Saigon Hanoi Fund Management, domestic investment funds are yet to be attacked by funds with speculation in mind, not because they are operating effectively but because they are better protected by regulations than foreign funds. There is talk, however, that Saigon Securities Inc (SSI) is targeting PRUBF1’s fund certificates with the aim of gaining a controlling vote.

SSI’s trading activities over the past two months have consolidated with the information that it is monitoring PRUBF1’s situation. In August it registered to buy 2.5 million fund certificates from PRUBF1, then two months later registered to buy and sell 1.25 million. SSI is now one of the major shareholders at PRUBF1, as the Ho Chi Minh City-based company holds nearly 4.2 million fund certificates, or 8.36 per cent. A representative from SSI cited company policy when declining to comment on the matter.

Such rumours may turn out to be accurate or completely off the mark. But Mr Howell told VET that, “A successful public offer implies greater stability as its completion will enable us to have stronger ownership within the fund.” With the acquisition of 15.85 million fund certificates, the company is now holding nearly 34 per cent of the total. Such moves, to some extent, send a warning to parties and investors looking to take over PRUBF1. Mr Duc, meanwhile, believes that domestic funds with a defensive attitude also face negative impacts as investors don’t want to contribute their money to those funds.

Source: Hai Bang - Vneconomy.vn

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Exchange Rate Stabilization: AN ENDLESS STORY

The sudden fever of US dollar recently has rung a warning bell for the government’s policy on exchange rate control.

A gold and US dollar fever observed in the local market in recent days has caused many negative impacts. While there has been strong depreciation of the US dollar against most other currencies, the dollar has appreciated again in the Vietnamese market. In the free market, prices rose to above VND21,000 per dollar in early November 2010, while the official exchange rate has remained at VND19,500 for over a month. So, what are the causes and how can this be remedied?
The annual circle
At the peak of the US dollar escalation, there was a tendency to hoard US dollars. This occurs more when people believe in “upcoming” official exchange rate depreciation from the authority, as it has occurred in the past year.  That emotion has caused a psychological addiction to US dollars that has distorted the US dollar value in Vietnam.
Official statistics also shows that there has been a substantial fall in US dollar reserves in most commercial banks. In August 2010, the US dollar reserve rate in banks was lowered to three percent; in recent days, this has dropped to more than one percent; presently, this figure has fallen to almost zero percent. Meanwhile, according to the National Financial Supervisory (NFS) Committee, during October, credit activities in US dollars have risen by 52 percent since the beginning of the year while those in Vietnamese dong have only risen 14.6 percent.

Also signaling the extent of US dollar speculation is the strong increase in foreign currency deposits. At the end of September, total foreign currency deposits were VND40 trillion lower than total foreign currency loans; during only the first 15 days of October, this difference was lowered to VND20 trillion. So, within just a half month, total foreign currency deposits have increased by VND20 trillion (converted). “There has been a big increase in the demand for US dollars which has led to the increase of foreign currency prices. In addition, people are losing confidence on the possibility of stabilization by administrative bodies,” said Mr. Le Duc Thuy, Chairman of the National Financial Supervisory Committee.
The lack of effective control
At a press conference on November 4, 2010, Mr. Thuy said that the story originated from the low level of loan interest rates in US dollar against that of the Vietnamese dong. Businesses gave indications of intense foreign currency borrowing at the start of 2010, as borrowing principally in US dollars: their borrowing even exceeded demand.  This excess was resold to the market, causing an artificial supply and sometimes lowering the value of the US dollar even further than the price offered by banks. However, this situation is short-lived: in the long-term, all debtors must again buy dollars to repay loans as the artificial supply dries up.
In recent years, these fluctuations in the exchange rates have continuously repeated as the end of the year arrives. This cycle has caused many people to the question when this situation will end. There are currently regulations to control exchange rates, however, few seem to be effective. For instance, Circular No. 03/2010/TT-NHNN of the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) stipulates that the interest rate ceiling for deposits in US dollars of enterprises should be one percent. This regulation aims to restrict the potential of currency speculation. However, commercial banks are allowed to decide their own deposit US dollar interest rates for individuals, with rates reaching up to five percent per annum. Making use of this flaw, many institutions are still hoarding US dollars by personal accounts to benefit from the high deposit interest rates. In this case, Circular No. 3 fails.
Compounding the problems with the US dollar, Vietnam is one of the few countries to retain sovereignty over its own currency, with few controls over foreign currency exchange in its population. “Article 8 of the Ordinance on Foreign Exchange mentions that people are allowed to keep foreign currency. Thus, the law cannot prohibit profit-seeking behavior of someone holding foreign currencies, even if this deforms or destabilizes the market,” explains Nguyen Van Giau, Governor of SBV.
In need of transparency
There has been a repetitive cycle in Vietnam’s exchange rate for the past few years: starting from the US dollar fever on the free market, along with the scarcity of US dollar in commercial banks, to the concession of SBV to depreciate VND by several percentage points. As a result, when the black market boils, enterprises and individuals tend to hoard US dollars more because they believe that the exchange rate will surely be adjusted. On one hand, this behavior results in the pressure on SBV; but on the other hand, this results from the unclear policies of this agency.
The situation seems much better in other countries. Indonesia is a good example, said a financial expert. As explained by her, Indonesia incurred a similar situation two years ago, wherein there was a similar hoarding of US dollars. However, the Indonesian government took adequate measures during period of 2009-2010 to balance monetary and fiscal policies to reduce high inflation and to expedite economic growth. As a result, its currency has made stable increases against the US dollar. Indonesia made successful issuances of government bonds and there was an increase in foreign capital that entered the economy. Indonesia applied the credit default swap (CDS) measures very flexibly and enhanced transparency. Every month, the Minister of Finance and State Governor held press conferences to disseminate data regarding national debt, government expenditure, foreign currency reserves, inflation, and growth rates, which helped investor confidence and understanding, and hence empowered them to make informed decisions. 
A high level of transparency results in increased confidence and aids market stabilization. Yet, confidence should also come from people themselves. Mr. Le Xuan Nghia, the NFS Committee Vice Chairman raised the question: if people rush to buy US dollars, and they know the US dollar has devalued in most other countries, should they stop?
A right solution: short-term and long-term
There is a common solution to solve the US dollar fever, which is to increase the exchange rate. However, a representative from the National Financial Supervisory Committee said that the government thinks the time is not right to adjust exchange rates. “Leaders of the Asian Development Bank have also confirmed that the Vietnamese dong has not become overly weak due to the current devaluation of US dollar in most parts of the world,” Mr. Thuy shared.
Hence, the Government has been advised to further intervene to stabilize the market and to help meet foreign currency demand as people and businesses buy imported fuel, fertilizer, and equipment for production. Imports of luxury products should not be encouraged, while demand for commodities should be satisfied immediately.
According to Mr. Thuy, although there has been a sharp decline in foreign currency reserves of US$23 billion, the remainder kept by SBV is still much higher than levels in 2008. “The current reserve level is enough to stabilize the market. SBV is strong enough to make suitable interventions to stabilize the market if necessary,” said Mr. Thuy.
“On another hand, the Government plans to rationalize the interest rates in Vietnamese dong in a more flexible manner. SBV will utilize open-market transactions, other tools, and open-market interest rates to adjust interest rates in Vietnamese dong,” added Mr. Thuy. This, however, is a short-term policy. In the long-term, ordinance on foreign exchange should be reviewed and amended, aiming at reducing US dollar reserves, as advised by Mrs. Duong Thi Thu Huong, the former SBV Governor.

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Master Plan for ASEAN Connectivity: BUILDING BRIDGES

How ASEAN plans to pay for the dream of interconnected economies

At the 17th ASEAN Summit in Hanoi on October 28th 2010, the ASEAN Connectivity Master Plan was adopted with the strong consensus of all ASEAN leaders in order to create a better-connected ASEAN. The aim is to improve the competiveness of ASEAN as a whole by creating a smooth flow of goods, services, people and capital.

Thanks to this momentous start, the GDP per capita of ASEAN members is estimated to at least double by 2020, according to ERIA, a think-tank institution (see table 1). However, this ambitious plan still faces many hurdles.

This remarkable signing at the 17th summit in Hanoi is a fruit of many efforts made by all parties: varying from governments of member states, international financial institutions, dialogue partners, and the private sector.  
The establishment of an ASEAN Investment Fund last year supplied the initial capital of US$800 million to transform the plan into reality, although the capital requirement for a better ASEAN transportation network is much greater, estimated to reach US$596 billion during the period 2006-2015, according to calculations by ADB.

Significant financial resources and human capital will be required to implement the Development Master Plan for the whole of Asia. Between 2010 and 2020, Asia requires an investment of approximately US$8 trillion in overall infrastructure. In addition, Asia needs to invest approximately US$290 billion on specific regional infrastructure projects in transport and energy, where plans are already in the pipeline (2009 ADB and ADB institute paper).

“The master plan is very comprehensive” said ASEAN’s Deputy Secretary General, Mr. Pushpanathan Sundram, “we need to be very careful that everybody will benefit from ASEAN connectivity, not just the mainland countries, but also countries like the Philippines, Myanmar, Laos… and we need to be focused” DSG. Mr. Pushpanathan emphasized.

The physical transportation networks will include air, road, railway, maritime ports, logistics services, ICT, optical fiber networks, energy projects, trans-ASEAN gas pipelines, and special economic zones.

According to Mr. Kunio Senga, General Director of ADB’s Southeast Asian department: “This is the first time savings and reserves of ASEAN nations will be utilized for an infrastructure requirement.”

Concerns have arisen over how the implementation of the master plan can be fulfilled in such a limited timeframe, especially with an ambitious target of building a well- connected ASEAN by 2015.  Mr. Senga raised concerns over challenges in soft development aspects such as trade and investment facilitation. As Mr. Senga explains: “Investment and trade facilitation, cross-border transport facilitation has not progressed much.”

Looking at the significantly large amount of capital that Asia in general, and ASEAN members in particular, need to develop its intra-regional connectivity, Mr. Senga said that ABD itself could not provide the total amount of investment, neither could any financial institutions, or dialogue partners. The project will need to look at all possible financial sources: namely regional multilateral development banks, financial institutions, dialogue partners, national reserves, and last but not least, the private sector to participate and contribute.

However, Ms. Mari Elka Pangestu, Indonesian Trade Minister emphasized other challenges that should be addressed before the finance issue. “I think, money is available and is waiting for us… First and foremost, each country must have their own national connectivity plan, which will form a part of ASEAN. This is how ASEAN should formulate their design. Secondly, each country must have clear policies on infrastructure development, especially policy to make effective public-private partnership (PPP) modality… we need to have right policies and the right capacity in terms of human resources, project planning, proposal making, etc.,” she added.

In order to deal with the aforementioned challenges, ASEAN’s DSG., Mr. Pushpanathan stated that: “We are setting up coordinating committees on ASEAN connectivity.” The coordinating committee is expected to work closely with respective National Coordinators, government agencies, and relevant ASEAN sectoral bodies in the implementation of strategies and priorities put forward in the Master Plan.

As for the first phase of the plan, 15 flagship projects will be implemented by 2015. Of which, 6 projects will focus on improving infrastructure networks, 5 are institutional and the other 4 projects focus on improving people-to-people connectivity. Given that infrastructure projects require long-term investment, and that some of the Master Plan will be implemented beyond 2015, DSG Pushpanathan emphasized that some projects will be finished before 2015, one of them being the ASEAN single window project, which will be a great milestone to best facilitate trade.

Even when considering just the physical transportation networks, the ASEAN Connectivity Master Plan is an extraordinarily ambitious plan. Many authorities and experts have expressed private sector participation as a main financial source. The plan, however, will need proper promotion in order to attract private sector contribution. Mr. Dang Thanh Tam, Director of Tan Tao Group – a leading real estate developer in Vietnam, shared that as long as they are informed about the projects and understand the model of cooperation that can assure profitability, they will be willing to invest. Many other dialogue partners, such as Japan, China, and Korea have already announced their commitment in the master plan. When, and if, the master plan is complete, ASEAN together with East Asia will become the biggest business spaces on the world and will contribute greatly to the world economy


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Quang Noodle, So Good Speciality!

Knowing Vietnamese noodles can be extremely helpful, as “pho” is to Hanoi and beef rice noodles is to Hue, Quang noodles is very popular in Quang Nam and Da Nang.

Quang noodle soups differ than most normal noodle soups in that the soups have just enough broth to barely cover the noodles. Unlike other Vietnamese noodle soup bowls whose broth will cover the noodles almost completely, Quang noodle broth is barely enough to slurp during the meal. If you do not eat a Quang noodle bowl fast enough, the broth will generally quickly be soaked up by the noodles. Quang noodle soups are generally pork and dried shrimp broth based, although some regional and family recipes will use chicken and even duck. What makes Quang noodle soups unique is the richness of the broth, the lack of it and the crushed peanut toppings on the noodles.

The mystery of Quang noodle is in that pot above. This is ‘nuoc sot mi quang’ or Quang noodle sauce. This makes the stock slightly sweet and a smidgen spicy. This dish's ingredients include rice, vegetables and meat. After being soaked in water, the rice is ground to a fine powder and made into attractive smooth white noodles. Accompanying vegetables are water morning-glory, cress, young banana flowers and herbs. Especially, the famous Tra Que savory of Quang Nam Province will give the dish more flavour. You can use pork, chicken, fish, crab or shrimp to make the broth. If chicken is chosen, the meat is separated, seasoned and stir-fried while the bones are stewed. Finish the stock by adding cooked chicken meat.

There are many Quang noodle restaurants in Quang Nam and Da Nang. Each area is famous for one certain recipe. For example, Thanh Chiem Village in Dien Ban District, Quang Nam Province is known for shrimp noodle, while chicken noodle is at its best in Tuy Loan, Hoa Vang District, Da Nang City.

A traditional version says: “I make for you, darling, green tea and Quang noodles to express my feelings”. Thus, you can visit a Quang noodle kiosk in Danang City to enjoy the typical flavor of the soups, for instance: Ngan Quang Noodle at 108 Dong Da Street, Lu Quang Noodle at Ham Nghi Street, Vi Quang Noodle at 155 Trung Nu Vuong Street and so on.

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“Giò” – Vietnamese Dainty Morsel In Spring

On the Tet traditional tray of food according to Vietnamese culture, with traditional dishes such as Chung cake, chicken meat, spring rolls and so on, “giò” is one of the dainty morsels. Today, when “giò” almost become daily food and there are more various and attractive dishes on the tray, delicious dish of “giò” cannot be missed...

Fried pie

There are many types of “giò” such as: giò lụa (pork-pie), giò bò (beep dumpling), giò bì (pork and skin paste), giò mỡ (lean and fat pork paste), giò xào (fried pie), etc. Each type has a particular taste but the most important thing to make “giò” dish really attractive is that the fragrance of banana leaves and fish sauce combined in the piece of “giò”.

Giò xào (fried pie)

In all kinds of “giò”, fried pie is the easiest one to prepare, so families often make it themselves when Tet is coming. The main materials are parts of pork such as: ear, nose tongue, pork cheeks and “mộc nhĩ” (cat’s ear). The materials must be subjected to premilitary treatment, boiled through hot water, sliced, mixed with spices, pepper and fried.

After wrapping the fried pie, keep it in the refrigerator so that all the materials link together. The pie that is delicious must be wrapped carefully, raw materials must not be too dry and the dish will stir fragrance of the spices.

Giò bò (beep dumpling)

Beep dumpling

Also processed as fried pie, beep dumpling is often added for more fat so that it is not too dry. When cutting a piece of beep dumpling, it is slightly pink as the color of the beef. Especially, pungency and fragrance of pepper feature the typical characteristic of beep dumpling.

Giò lụa (pork-pie)

Pork is chosen to make pork-pie must be lean, delicious and fresh meat. It is continuously ground until the meat is fine. These days, the meat is ground by machine, which makes the process more quickly and helps to save the maker’s strength.

However, the pork-pie is make in the traditional way remains the delicious flavor that is different from the one ground by


machine, since the makers must use more strength so they take proper care of their product. Fish sauce for making pork-pie must also be tasty and fragrant. When being cut, the pie must has the color of ivory-white and the surface has some small holes, surely that the pie is so delicious!

Giò bì (pork and skin paste)

Pork and skin paste is a local specialty of Pho Xuoi (Hung Yen Province). It is also made from uncooked pork-pie and pork skin that are sliced, then wrapped into small ones like fingers. Pork and skin paste is delicious, it means that pieces of pork skin must be white, clean, boiled, cut into small ones and mixed with uncooked pork-pie. The piece of pork and skin paste is so crispy and crunchy.

In Vietnam, once try to taste these kinds of “giò”, it is certaintly that you cannot forget the tasty flavor and fragrance of the dainty morsels...

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Oriental Greens

Cabbages and greens are grown allover Vietnam and Cambodia.

Pak choi/bok choy
This perennial, green , leafy cabbage is
popular throughout South-east Asia .The ribbed , white stems are ju icy and crun c hy; the dark-green leaves are succulent and tasty. The tend er stems of small cabbages are often eaen raw with a dipping sa uce, or cut into strips and added to the Vietnamese table salad. The leaves, which are mostly composed of water, require little cooking and lose a lot of olume in the process. It is a good idea to cook the leaves and stems separately, as the stems take slightly longer. Generally, they are stir fried quickly to reta in their texture and flavour. These fresh cabbages are available in Asian stores and supermarkets. With its yellow  f lowers, long, slender stalks , and crisp leaves, the flowe ring cabbage (cai xanh) is much prized by Vietnamese cooks. It is picked to be eaten when in flower, so it is beautiful to behold as well as to taste . One of many Chinese cabbages, it is mild and tender,
mainly reserved for stir-fried dishes of Chinese origin. Sold tied in neat bundles, like pinach, flowering cabbages are available in most Asian markets. Choose crisp leaves and keep stored in the refrigerator for a day or two.

image Above: The stalks, leaves, and flowers of the flowering cabbage are all edible.

 Mustard greens
Also known as Chinese cabbage, mustard greens (cai tau) look a bit like a head of lettuce such as cos or romaine, except that the leaves wrapping the heart are thick stalks.  The
leaves are sharp and robust in flavour but, once blanched, they mellow in taste and lose some of their bitterness. Traditionally regarded as peasant fare, mustard greens are added to stir-fries and vegetable dishes in rural areas, oth erwise they are mainly used to wrap
food that is to be steamed. Fresh mustard greens are available loose, or in plastic bags, in Asian markets and will keep for a few days in the salad compartment of a refrigerator

 Preserved cabbage
In Vietnam , the tender hearts of  mustard greens (ea; man) are preserved in brine. Quite salty to taste,  preserved cabbage is used sparingly and is usually rese rved as a garn ish for soups and nood le dishes of  Chinese origin.

Chinese leaves
There are almost as many names for this member of the brassica family as  there are ways of cooking it. In the  West, it is generally called Chinese leaves, but it is also known as Chinese cabbage, Napa cabbage (mainly in the USA) or celery ca bbage. It is a cool season vegetable, most abundant from November through to April , but avai lable all year round . There are three common varieties wh ich all look similar,but differ in length , width and tightness of leaf. Chinese leaves have a delicate sweet aroma with a mild cabbage flavour that disappears completely when the vegetable is cooked. The white stalk has a crunchy texture, and it remains succulent even after long cooking. It is a very versatile vegetable and it can be used in stir-fries, stews, soups or raw in salads. It will absorb the flavours of any other ingred ients with which it is cooked be they fish or shellfish , poultry, meat  or vegetables - and yet retain its own characteristic taste and texture. Restaurant chefs blanch the vegetable in boiling stock, which enhances the flavour, before frying. Chinese leaves can be stored for a long tim e without losing their resilience. Keep in the salad compartm ent of the refrigerator and they will stay fresh for up to 10-12 days. Don't worry if th ere are tiny black specks on the leaves as this is quite normal and will not affect
the flavour.

Water spinach
Also called swamp cabbage or morning glory, this attractive leafy green vegetable (rau muong) is traditionally grown in swamps or ponds, near rivers and cana ls, although it does grow on dry land too. In Vietnam it is so popular it could be considered the national
vegetable. Unrelated to regular spinach,it does have a spin ach-like taste with crunchy stems and tender, light-green, arrow-shaped leaves. Sold in big bunches, water spinach
is often added to stir-fri es and soups, or it is simply st ir-fried by itself with garlic. In Vietnam, the hollow stem is often eaten raw, trimmed or curled and added to salads. When cooked , the stem tips stay firm, but the leaves rapidly become limp. Quite difficult to find outside Southeast Asia, water spinac h is available in some Asian markets and superma rkets .It is highly perishable and must be used promptly. High in flavour, water spi nach
provides a good measure of vitamins and minerals. Several variations are cultivated in Vietnam and Cambodia. Look for fresh bundles, which may be sold under the name kang kong in Asian and Chi nese markets.

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Traveling With Special Items

Airlines have seen it all. They have seen passengers transport every type of item – from tubas to scuba gear, parachutes to perishables - and they have rules in place for each and
every piece. Following those rules is critical if you want to board smoothly and arrive at
your destination on time.

To help you travel better with the possessions you simply must have at your destination,
here are some helpful guidelines from the Transportation Security Administration (TSA)
for transporting special items by airlines.
Please note that some airlines and other countries may have additional rules and restrictions on these particular items, so before you travel, check with your travel agent to obtain the most up-to-date information. Your travel agent can verify your airline's policies before you arrive at the airport, so you don't waste time trying to track down the info yourself.


Alcoholic Beverages
You cannot take alcoholic beverages with more than 70 percent alcohol content (140 proof), which includes grain alcohol and high-proof rums like Bacardi 151, in your carryon or checked luggage.
As for alcohol under 70 percent, you may take up to five liters per person in your checked luggage if it's packaged in a sealable bottle or flask.

Camping Equipment
Camp Stoves - You can bring these as carry-on or checked luggage only if they are empty of all fuel and cleaned so that there are no vapors or residue left - simply emptying the fuel container will leave flammable vapors, so cleaning is essential. Safest bet: ship the fuel containers to your destination ahead of time - passengers frequently have to leave them at the checkpoint because of fuel vapors.
Gasoline - You cannot bring any flammable liquids, including gasoline, in either your carry-on or checked luggage.
Aerosol insecticides - Hazardous aerosols, such as insecticides, cannot be transported in either your carry-on or checked luggage. Personal items like hair sprays and deodorants are allowed only in limited quantities.
Flares - You may not bring flare guns in either your carry-on or checked luggage. Knives  nd Tools - Pack knives and tools in your checked luggage. Sheath or securely wrap any sharp edges so that they do not injure baggage handlers and security officers.
Animal Repellants - You can bring chemical repellants in your checked luggage if t he volume is less than four ounces and its active ingredient is less than two percent (most
bear repellants exceed these limitations). Safest bet: buy these items at your destination
and leave them behind when your trip is over.
Compressed Gas Cylinders - Compressed gas cylinders are allowed in checked baggage
or as a carry-on only if the regulator valve is completely disconnected and the cylinder is
no longer sealed (i.e. the cylinder has an open end). The cylinder must have an opening to
allow for an internal visual inspection, and security personnel will not remove the seal or
regulator at the checkpoint.
If the cylinder is sealed (i.e. the regulator valve is still attached), the cylinder is prohibited
and not permitted through the security checkpoint, regardless of the reading on the
pressure gauge indicator.

Crematory Containers and Deceased Remains
You are allowed to carry-on a crematory container, but it must pass through the x-ray
machine. If the container is made of a material that prevents the screener from clearly
viewing what is inside, then the container will not be allowed through.
Crematory containers are made from many different types of materials, so it's difficult to
state for certain whether your particular crematory container can successfully pass
through an x-ray machine. Just in case, purchase a temporary or permanent crematory
container made of a lighter weight material such as wood or plastic that can be
successfully x-rayed.
You may transport the urn as checked baggage provided that it is successfully screened.
TSA will screen the urn for explosive materials/devices using a variety of techniques; if
cleared, it will be permitted as checked baggage only. Out of respect for the deceased, the creener may not open the container under any circumstance.
Some airlines do not allow cremated remains as checked baggage so please check with
your travel agent before attempting to transport a crematory container in checked

Currency, Coins, Precious Metals, or Valuable Jewelry
If you are carrying valuable items such as large amounts of currency, coins or jewelry,
ask the security officer to screen you and your carry-on luggage in private. This will
maintain your security and avoid public scrutiny. Ask to speak with a screening upervisor before you reach the metal detectors and tell them you would prefer to be
screened in a private location.

Firearms & Ammunition
You may only transport firearms, ammunition and firearm parts in your checked
baggage; these items are prohibited from carry-on baggage. When transporting firearms,
firearm parts or ammunition in checked baggage, you must declare them to airline
personnel during the ticket counter check-in process. The firearm must be unloaded and
in a locked, hard-sided container.
You should remain present during the screening and provide the key or combination to
the security officer if he or she needs to open the container. If you are not present, and the
security officer must open the container, the airline will make a reasonable attempt to
contact you; if they cannot, the container will not be placed on the plane.
You must securely pack any ammunition in fiber (such as cardboard), wood or metal boxes or other packaging specifically designed to carry small amounts of ammunition.
You cannot use firearm magazines/clips for packing ammunition unless they completely
and securely enclose the ammunition (e.g., by securely covering the exposed portions of
the magazine or by securely placing the magazine in a pouch, holder, holster or lanyard).
You may carry ammunition in the same hard-sided case as the firearm, as long as you
pack it as described above. Finally, you cannot bring black powder or percussion caps
used with black-powder type firearms in either your carry-on or checked baggage.

Hunting & Fishing Equipment
Hunting Knives, Spear Guns, Bow and Arrows - All are prohibited from carry-on
luggage and should be packed in checked luggage. All sharp objects should be sheathed
or securely wrapped to prevent injury to baggage handlers and security screeners.
Fishing Rods/Poles - Fishing rods are permitted as carry-on and checked baggage. But
before you travel, check with your air carrier to confirm that it fits within its size
limitations for carry-on items.
Tackle Equipment - Fishing equipment should be placed in your checked baggage, for
some tackle can be considered sharp and dangerous. Expensive reels or fragile tackle
(such as flies) can be packed in your carry-on baggage.

Knitting Needles, Needlepoint & Sewing
Knitting needles are permitted in your carry-on baggage or checked baggage. However,
security officers have the authority to determine if an item could be used as a weapon and
may not allow these items to pass through security. To avoid this from happening, bring
circular knitting needles made of bamboo or plastic and blunt scissors. In any event, be
sure to carry a crochet hook with yarn to save the work you have already done in case
your knitting tools are surrendered at the checkpoint
Most of the items needed to pursue a needlepoint project are permitted in your carry-on
baggage or checked baggage with the exception of circular thread cutters or any cutter
with a blade contained inside. These items must go in your checked baggage.

Lighters, Matches and Zippos
You cannot bring lighters (fueled or without fuel) in carry-on luggage or while going
through the security checkpoint, but you may bring up to four books of safety (non-strike
anywhere) matches in your carry-on baggage or on your person. For safety reasons, you
may not bring "strike anywhere" matches at all.
You may take up to two fueled Zippo lighters in your checked baggage if they are
properly enclosed in a DOT approved case. You can bring unlimited quantities of
unfueled lighters in your checked baggage. If you are uncertain as to whether your lighter
is prohibited, please refrain from bringing it to the airport.

Musical Instruments
You may bring musical instruments as carry-on or as checked baggage, but first check
with your airline prior to your flight to ensure your instrument meets the size
requirements for their aircraft. Security officers must x-ray or physically screen your
instrument before it can be transported on an aircraft.
As for specific instruments, pack brass instruments in your checked baggage and stringed
instruments as carry-on items, if they are within carrier size limitations.
If you have an instrument in your checked baggage, include short instructions (very clear
and understandable to someone with no musical background) for handling and repacking
your instrument. Make sure these instructions are easy to find on or near your instrument. Per TSA Screening Policy, you may carry one musical instrument in addition to your one
carry-on and one personal item through the screening checkpoint. Individual airlines may or may not allow the additional carry-on item on their aircraft, so check before you arrive
at the airport.

You may bring skydiving rigs with and without Automatic Activation Devices (AAD) as
carry-on or checked luggage. Typically, a rig will move through the checked luggage or
carry-on security screening process without needing physical inspection. However,
security officers have a duty to thoroughly inspect any item that raises suspicion. If
security officers determine that they need to open a rig to inspect it, you must be present
and will be allowed to assist. For this reason, skydivers should add at least 30 minutes to
the airline's recommended arrival window when they are traveling with their parachutes.
When checking the parachute in as luggage, pack the rig separately without any other
items in the bag. Additional items, if suspicious, could trigger an inspection of the entire
bag. Parachute owners may help security officers unpack and repack the rig.

Scuba Equipment
You may bring regulators, buoyancy compensators and masks, snorkels and fins as carryImpress on or checked baggage.
Knives and spear guns are prohibited from carry-on luggage and should be packed in
checked luggage. Sheath or securely wrap any sharp objects you pack in your checked
luggage to prevent them from injuring baggage handlers and security officers.
Sporting Equipment
Certain sporting equipment cannot be brought on-board an aircraft, but they may be
transported to your destination in your checked baggage. These items include: baseball
bats, cricket bats, hockey sticks, martial arts devices, golf clubs, pool cues, ski poles and
ice skates. Any sharp objects in checked baggage should be sheathed or securely wrapped
to prevent injury to baggage handlers and security officers.

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