Hot to trot

Though she’s never competed in an international beauty contest, 21-year-old model Huynh Thi Thanh Tuyen is confident she’ll do well at the 36th Miss Bikini International competition in China next month. Vietnam’s first Miss Bikini International contestant says she’s ready to win. “The judges will not be disappointed by the first representative from Vietnam,” she said. But Tuyen harbors no illusions about what the contest is all about. “I’ve never thought that I’m going to the contest for cultural exchange,” Tuyen said. “I’m coming to show myself off.” Tuyen said though the contest would be full of beautiful models, she believes that if she prepares thoroughly and does her best, she’ll win. While spending a lot of time choosing the right bikinis for the event, she’s also been designing her own shawl to wear. Though there is no traditional Vietnamese shawl, she’s decided to infuse hers with traditional Vietnamese emblems. “The … [Read more...]

Fashion show honors Vietnamese ao dai

A fashion night featuring the changes of Vietnamese ao dai over time will be organized in Ho Chi Minh City on August 26. Model Nguyen Thi May and Nhu Thao in Dinh Van Tho's designs Photo: VNE Titled “Time of memories”, the show will showcase designer Dinh Van Tho’s four latest collections including “ Hoai Niem Mot Thoi (Nostalgia)", "Ngau Hung Sai Gon (Spontaneous Saigon)", "Ngoc Vien Dong (Orient Pearl)" and "Giot Suong (The dew)".   Through his designs, Tho wants to raise people’s awareness of the national costume as well as the traditional values. The show will be directed by Long Kan who says that he wants to make the show a magical door to bring audiences back to the past and see the changes of the traditional costume. The event will see catwalk performances of local top models like Hoang Yen, Truong Thi May, Nhu Thao, Ngoc Thach and Ngoc Quyen along with music performed by local singers. The show will take place at ABC Ao Dai … [Read more...]

Student wins Cherry Blossom Beauty Pageant

Tran Thi Thuy Duong, 20, won the Cherry Blossom Beauty Pageant at the Hoa Binh Theatre on June 27 and along with it a cash prize of VND70 million (US$3,880). L-R: Miss Sportswear Hoang Thi Ngoc Han, Miss Evening Dress Tran Thi Thinh, runner up Duong Thi My Duyen, Cherry Blossom Beauty 2009 Tran Thi Thuy Duong, runner up Pham Thanh Tam, Miss Humanity Duong Kim Le Bao Tran, Miss Ao dai, and Most favorite contestant Tran Thi Ngoc Anh (Photo: An Dung)For the next year, the student of the Vietnam Australia Advanced College of Hotel Management will also be an ambassador for one of the organizers, Japan's Hisamitsu Company, in Vietnam.The two runners-up were 18-year-old Duong Thi My Duyen of Tien Giang Province and Hanoi singer Pham Thanh Tam. Each received VND35 million ($1,940).Tran Thi Ngoc Anh won the "Miss Ao dai" and "Most favorite contestant" voted by audiences via telephone. She received 5,108 votes in the latter contest.Hoang Thi Ngoc Han was named "Miss Sportswear", Duong Kim Le … [Read more...]

Preparations for Miss Universe contestant nearly complete

The Vietnamese designer Nguyen Cong Tri and ABC Ao Dai will take care of costumes for the Vietnamese contestant, Vo Hoang Yen, at the 2009 Miss Universe pageant over August 1-23. Designer Cong Tri will prepare 12 dresses for Yen for some selected events, while ABC will complete the ao dai for the traditional costume event. Discussing the dresses, Tri said: "Yen possess a good body and white skin, and all my designs for her at the pageant will probably make her more charming among the other contestants. "The highlights will be two evening dresses for the final night with my best design and best materials." Meanwhile, Dinh Van Tho, a spokesperson for ABC, said: "We will keep all the traditional beautiful designs on the ao dai for Yen, but we will also add some modern patterns and use new materials to make it fit modern fashion." All the designs will be finished before July 20 and Yen will introduce all of these to the local audiences via the media. Duc Tri is one of the most … [Read more...]

Mekong Delta beauty claims Miss Vietnam Oceans 2014

Dang Thu Thao of Can Tho City was crowned Miss Vietnam Oceans 2014 in the south central beach town of Phan Thiet on Sunday (May 25). The second-runner up was Le Thi Van Quynh of Hanoi and the first runner-up Le Thi Ha Thu of ttje central province of Thua Thien-Hue. The 19-year-old beauty is the first winner of the Miss Vietnam Oceans -- a pageant jointly organized by the Ministry of Natural Resources' Vietnam Environmental Protection Fund and the Vo Viet Chung Company. "I will try to enroll in Tay Do University's Financial and Banking Faculty and participate in environmental protection projects in Vietnam and abroad," Thao told Thanh Nien newspaper after being crowned Thao said she graduated from high school a year ago and has been working and saving toward her higher education ever since. Hailing from the Mekong Delta hub of Can Tho, Thao stands 1.71 meter (5 feet 7.32 inches) tall. Her measurements are 91 - 63 - 90 centimeters. A total of 29 beauties entered the final round … [Read more...]

Blazing meteors fizzle out fast

Many Vietnamese child actors have shone in their first roles only to fade into obscurity. Vu Long stars in the children’s series Kinh van hoa (Kaleidoscope) Hung Thuan’s role as An in the TV series Dat phuong Nam (Southern Land), directed by Nguyen Vinh Son and based on Doan Gioi’s novel Dat rung phuong Nam, was an instant hit with the viewing public. The then 13-year-old played a motherless boy who goes searching for his father, who works secretly for the revolutionaries. Made in 1997, Dat phuong Nam revived interest in Vietnamese films at a time when Hong Kong dramas dominated the local scene, and became the country’s first TV series to be exported when it was sold to the US in 2000. Another acclaimed first timer was Tran Thien Tu for her moving portrayal of Ngo, a 12-year-old girl who shares a white ao dai (traditional Vietnamese tunic), a touching gift from her impoverished mother, with her elder sister in Ao lua Ha Dong (White Silk Dress), directed by … [Read more...]

Korean actress to perform in HCMC friendship concert

South Korean actress Lee Yo Won will take part in a Ho Chi Minh City concert tiled "Love and friendship," held to celebrate the 18th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between South Korea and Vietnam. South Korean actress Lee Yo Won The show will take place at the Lan Anh music venue in District 10 on March 22. Joining Ms. Won onstage will be Korean violinist Park Eun Joo, singer Yang Yi Gu, the Yeca traditional music troupe; and Vietnamese singers including the Nam Dong Ke band, Minh Quan, and Doan Trang among others. The concert will be broadcast live on Vietnam Television's VTV9 channel. It will also be shown in South Korea by KBS World TV. Ms. Won will also meet with Vietnamese fans at Diamond Plaza in the city's District 1 before the performance on the same day The Korean actress was first introduced to the public in 1997 and stared in KBS's TV series "Kkokji" (Tough Guy's Love.) After taking a hiatus from acting to get married abroad, the actress returned … [Read more...]

‘Charming Vietnam’ to wow guests with fresh concepts

The annual culture, fashion and music show "Duyen Dang Viet Nam" (Charming Vietnam) is set to inspire guests this year with a bold, new concept and dynamic performances.  Miss Vietnam 2006 Mai Phuong Thuy, well known for her philanthropy, will help present scholarships on March 21 during the annual "Duyen Dang Viet Nam" (Charming Vietnam) show in Phu Yen Province Running March 20-21 in the south-central coastal city of Tuy Hoa, Phu Yen Province, this year's theme is "Nhip tho bien" (Breath of the Sea).  The charity event, organized by Thanh Nien Newspaper, Thanh Nien Media Corp., Phu Yen Province People's Committee, Vietnam Television, and Thuan Thao Jsc, is now in its 22nd year.   Director Nguyen Quang Dung will spearhead this year's Charming Vietnam, and promises audiences will be treated to a host of new features. Dung is renowned for his filmmaking including "Nu hon than chet" (Kiss of Death) and the recent "Nhung nu hon ruc ro" (Resplendent Kisses).  Composers Huy Tuan and Huyen … [Read more...]

Viewers treated to 4th ‘Miss Charming TV’

Contestants of the Miss Charming TV pageant gather onstage during the first final round this year in HCMC (Photo: Phan Thanh Tin ) The fourth "Miss Charming TV" competition officially kicked off December 20 in Ho Chi Minh City with 13 contestants from 12 TV stations nationwide vying for the title. The annual talent competition, sponsored by Vina Acecook, seeks outstanding female TV broadcasters, editors and program hosts. Over the course of several days, contestants have the opportunity to showcase their personality, talent, appearance, and ability to speak articulately in front of an audience. Demonstrating a passion for their careers and employers is also a must. On December 23, an ao dai (traditional Vietnamese tunic) show was held along with an introduction session in which contestants share personal details; introduce their TV station; and highlight the sightseeing and cultural activities where they live or work.  On December 26, the women will recount their most memorable career … [Read more...]

Japanese Ikebana Festival expected to attract 3,000 visitors

The Hanoi Times - Ikebana, the Japanese art of flower arrangement, will be displayed at the 2nd Ikebana Festival o­n December 5th at the Van Mieu Quoc Tu Giam (Temple of Literature), Hanoi. The festival is to celebrate Hanoi's 10th anniversary of being recognised as a City for Peace by UNESCO and the 76th anniversary of Japanese Independence Day. The cultural event brings the message of solidarity, friendly relations, and comprehensive cooperation between Vietnam and Japan during the past 30 years. Flower arrangements by Eikou Sumara, o­ne of Japan's top Ikebana artisans, will be showcased together with the Ikebana work of 10 Vietnamese artists. Visitors will also have chance to learn how make simple Ikebana. The festival will also display flower collections by Vietnam's leading photographers, traditional Japanese Kimonos and Ao dai (traditional Vietnamese tunics), and a Japanese tea making ceremony. The event is expected to attract more than 3,000 visitors. BTAT … [Read more...]

Russia wins Mrs. World 2009

Mrs. Russia Victoria Radochinskaya was crowned the winner of the 2009 Mrs. World Pageant on November 22, outshining 76 other international competitors. The first runner-up was American Andrea Robertson, while the second runner-up was host Vietnam's Hoang Thi Yen. Mrs. Russia Victoria Radochinskaya (R) is crowned the winner of the the 2009 Mrs. World Pageanton November 22 in Vung Tau City. (Photo: SGGP) The pageant, held in the southern coastal province of Ba Ria - Vung Tau, attracted 76 candidates from countries and territories worldwide including two Vietnamese contestants, Hoang Thi Yen and Nguyen Thi Thu Ha. More than 2,500 spectators came out to watch the pageant at the Sports Event Hall of Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province and were treated to several performances by the competitors. During the opening of the final round, the women wore traditional Vietnamese costumes and sang a song accompanied by children. American actor Alan Thicke and Miss World Vietnamese 2007 Ngo Phuong Lan served … [Read more...]

Japanese flower art on show in Hanoi next month

Ikebana, the unique Japanese art of flower arrangement, will be showcased at an event in Hanoi early next month. Flower arrangements by Eikou Sumara, one of Japan's top Ikebana artisans, will be on display alongside the Ikebana work of 10 Vietnamese artists at the 2nd Ikebana Festival on December 5. Artists from Japan will also teach visitors how to make simple Ikebana. Vibrant flower collections, traditional Japanese Kimonos and Ao dai (traditional Vietnamese tunics) will also be presented as part of the event. The Ikebana shows will be supplemented with romantic traditional Japanese music. Expected to attract more than 3,000 visitors, the festival will be held at the Van Mieu Quoc Tu Giam (Temple of Literature) in central Hanoi. Ikebana is a minimalist and very disciplined art form focusing on line and shape. The arrangements often emphasize the plant's stems and leaves as much as the flower blossoms. Each arrangement may consist of only a minimal number of blossoms interspersed … [Read more...]

Photo collection of war’s end finds way back home

The Hanoi Times - An invaluable photo collection of a Vietnam in the dawn of its reunification day in April, 1975 has been handed back to the country by its creator, Swedish photographer Serenander Bengt. Bengt Thursday gave his whole collection, including 700 photos, 24 rolls of negative and an audio tape recorded during his time in Vietnam 34 years ago, to Ho Chi Minh City-based Tuoi Tre newspaper. "I'm really happy to hand my collection to Tuoi Tre," Bengt said. "They are the photos that record a key historical period of Vietnam so I want its people to keep them." The photo album includes hundreds of photos reflecting Bengt's journey across the liberated Hanoi, central cities of Hue and Danang where the people were awaiting for the news from the heated battle in Ho Chi Minh City. Bengt arrived in Hanoi o­n April 1, 1975 as the photographer for a group of Swedish filmmakers in Vietnam. "The streets in Hanoi at that time didn't have much traffic, o­nly bicycles and a few auto … [Read more...]

Foreign visitors bemoan lack of quality souvenirs

Vietnam-made souvenir products and their lack of variety, design and shoddy quality are discouraging millions of foreign visitors to Vietnam to spend while on holiday in the country. "A foreign visitor to Thailand spends up to US$500 each day for shopping but in Vietnam, they spend about $100 each day for local goods,"Le Dinh Tuan, chairman of the Managing Board of the Tan Hong Tourist Company said."Vietnam hasn't been able to tap the potential of this market," he said. "That is such a waste." Vietnam welcomed 2.48 million foreign travelers in the first eight months of this year which means local businesses could earn millions of U.S. dollars from international guests. Most foreign visitors to the country are interested in traditional handicraft products and are willing to spend money on items to bring them home as souvenirs. "There have been foreign tourists who stepped out of a sculpture store empty-handed but ordered items worth thousands of U.S. dollars from the store to be shipped … [Read more...]

Fashion TV signs 10-year promo deal

The Hanoi Times - Vietnam will be promoted as a tourist destination o­n global fashion network FTV under a VND1 trillion (US$56.1 million) 10-year deal signed with a jeans maker.Under the contract between the France-based network and Ho Chi Minh City-based clothing producer Viet Thang Jean (Vitajean), FTV will broadcast advertisements promoting Vietnamese tourism, food and fashion."We will promote the three industries in our programs to help foreign viewers learn more about Vietnamese fashion while exploring the country' beautiful destinations and traditional delicacies," Vitajean Director Pham Van Viet told Tuoi Tre newspaper. "Our country has enormous tourism potential with hundreds of resorts which are no less beautiful than those overseas," Viet said. "So we need to further promote our potential." Viet said advertising o­n international television networks was an inexpensive way to tell foreign viewers Vietnam had more to offer than its iconic pho (beef noodle soup) and ao dai (the … [Read more...]

Children’s painting contest kicks off

More than 1,000 school children from Ho Chi Minh City aged between four and 15 took part in the semifinal of the an annual painting contest at Ly Tu Trong Park in District 1 on April 5. Pupils from Nguyen Van To Elementary School create their entry Contestants of "Net Ve Xanh" (Green drawings) used computers, crayons, watercolors, oil, or clay to make paintings about their families, teachers, classmates and friends, the country's beautiful landscapes, or the friendship between peoples around the world.They painted on canvas, pottery, and ao dai (the traditional Vietnamese tunic)The finals of the computer and canvas categories will be held on April 12 and of the pottery and ao dai categories on April 19. The organizers said that around 200,000 students of elementary and high schools, charity centers, and schools for children with disabilities took part in the qualifying round. Out of them 18,000 were selected for the competition proper.Prizes will be given to winners on May 31 at Phan … [Read more...]

Martial Artist Represents Viet Nam at Miss International

Cao Thuy Duong, winner of Miss Talent at last year's Miss Viet Nam Sport pageant, will represent the country in the 48th Miss International beauty pageant in Japan and Macau from October 19 to November 8. Cao Thuy Duong wins Miss Talent of the Miss Viet Nam Sport in 2007. She will travel first to Japan and then to Macau to vie for the main title with 67 other beauties from around the world.Designer David Minh Duc has come up with a special ao dai (the traditional Vietnamese tunic) for Ms. Duong to wear on stage while Kelly Bui will provide the casual wear. She will also don evening dresses designed by Hoang Hai.The 21-year-old model, who is contracted to Elite Viet Nam, graduated from Yen Bai Province's Sport College and won a silver medal in Vovinam.Ms. Duong will perform this Vietnamese martial art at the pageant. … [Read more...]

Mrs. World Winners to Promote Chess Champs in Vung Tau

The first and the third runners-up at the 2008 Mrs. World, Colleen Francisca of Singapore and Zambrano Falcon Julisa Victoria of Peru, and Mrs. America Maureen McDonald will arrive in Viet Nam on October 15 to promote the World Youth Chess Championship to be held in Vung Tau this month.                Mrs. American Maureen McDonaldDesigner Vo Viet Chung will make ao dai (the traditional Vietnamese tunic) for the visitors, 1990 Miss Viet Nam Nguyen Dieu Hoa, actress Hien Mai, and other beauty queens who will also grace the event.Chung will also unveil his latest designs in satin, lace and veil based on Asian traditions, especially Vietnamese.The organizers of the competition also expect the 2007 and 2005 winners of the Mrs. World pageant, Diane Tucker of America and Sima Bakhar of Israel, to take part in the event.The ladies will meet the competitors in Vung Tau before leaving Viet Nam on October 26.  The championship will be held from October 19 to 31. Vung Tau will also host the 2009 … [Read more...]

Good girl gone bad

The loveable Tran Van Anh is now playing a devious and promiscuous bad girl on a hit TV show. A shot of Van Anh (C) in a scene from Bong Dung Muon Khoc. Model Tran Van Anh's radiant smile has become a popular magazine cover and commercial image due to her friendly "good girl" quality. But with her new role as a scheming seductress on the hit TV series Bong Dung Muon Khoc (Suddenly wanna cry), Anh has made sure she'll never be typecast. Before taking the role as her debut acting job, Anh turned down several opportunities to play virtuous, well-behaved girls. She says she didn't want to be pigeonholed as a boring actress that could only play innocent or meek girls. Bong Dung Muon Khoc, directed by Vu Ngoc Dang, is about a romance between Nam, a rich but good-for-nothing young man, and Truc, a pretty but illiterate and stubborn girl who sells books on the streets. By a twist of fate, Nam moves into Truc's house. Their diametrically opposed personalities and … [Read more...]

Miss South Korea candidates to don ao dai in Vietnam

The 52 beauty queens competing for Miss South Korea 2008 will sport traditional Korean and Vietnamese dress at fashion shows in Hanoi today to mark the 16th anniversary of Vietnam-South Korea diplomatic relations. The contestants and Miss Universe 2007 third runner-up, Korean Honey Lee, will show off traditional Korean Hanbok dresses , said the Republic of Korea Embassy in Hanoi. Several other Vietnam-South Korea cultural exchange programs are slated through Friday. Many will include the Miss Korea candidates wearing ao dai, the traditional Vietnamese tunic. Other art activities featuring South Korean artists will also be part of the celebration, the embassy said. Funds raised by the programs will be donated to charity. Reported by Thai Thanh Van … [Read more...]