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{mosimage}The Hoi An ancient town ? a UNESCO recognized world heritage site in central Vietnam ? has launched the first stage of a plan to refurbish the famous Chua Cau (Bridge Pagoda), an official said Monday.

{mosimage}A total of 3.16 million foreign tourists visited to Vietnam in the past 11 months, a 19.5 percent year-on-year increase. The rise made it possible for the tourism industry to surpass the 3.2 million tourists target for 2005, as it is expected to welcome between 3.3 and 3.4 million foreign visitors for the whole year, said Pham Tu, Deputy General Director of the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT).

{mosimage}Visitors to the "Hoi An night", part of Vietnam's cultural heritage festival 2005 in Hanoi, vowed to visit Hoi An ancient town, a world cultural heritage site recognised by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO). 

{mosimage}HCM City Peoples? Committee to hold design contest for Can Gio eco-tourism area. Can Gio district is 50 km southeast of HCM City centre. It covers an area of 457 ha, and houses 63,000 residents, who mainly earn a living  through aquaculture.

{mosimage}A cultural programme featuring Ha Noi?s Old Quarter will be organised from Nov. 29-Dec. 1 to honour the historical, cultural and architectural values of the capital city.

{mosimage}Vietnam's Central Highland ethnic minority people's Gong culture has been recognised as a world intangible cultural heritage by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO).

{mosimage}Saigontourist hotels nationwide will discount room charges by 10 percent for Vietnamese residents returning home from Dec. 1, 2005 to Jan. 31, 2006 for the Lunar New Year Festival, which falls on Jan. 29, 2006.

{mosimage}The Nippon Maru Ship for the Southeast Asian Youth Programme 2005 (SSEAYP) anchored at Saigon Port in Ho Chi Minh City on November 23, begin a four-day visit to Vietnam. This is SSEAYP?s eighth visit to Vietnam.

{mosimage}The French Government has pledged to grant 2.5 million euros to help preserve the Cham Museum in the central city of Da Nang. The fund aims to help increase the museum?s capacity to restore and preserve objects. The donation is part of a project being conducted in the 2005-2008 period to develop Vietnamese museums.

{mosimage}Vietnam has treasures of various kinds in tangible and intangible cultural heritage. However, the preservation and promotion of particularly intangible culture heritage is in an ever greater need at the present.

{mosimage}A four-star hotel for tourism students? internships will be built in the central province of Thua Thien Hue. To this end, the provincial Tourism Department reported the Luxembourg government has granted 80,000 euro. The hotel is expected to be put into operation in April of 2006.

{mosimage}The 2005 Vietnam?s Cultural Heritage Festival opened in Hanoi on Monday night with the participation of Party and State leaders and senior officials, representatives of foreign embassies in Hanoi, and artisans across the country.

{mosimage}Viet Nam?s Cultural Heritage Festival 2005 opened in Ha Noi on Nov. 21 in order to mark the country's Day of Cultural Heritage  (Nov. 23) and highlight its unique heritage value.

{mosimage}The Central Highlands province of Lam Dong granted a license for a 188 billion VND investment project to build a bio-tourism and convalescent village in Da Lat city, at a meeting with domestic and foreign investors in Ho Chi Minh City on Nov. 21.

{mosimage}HCM City, in the first eleven months of this year, welcomed more than 1.8 million foreign tourists, an increase of 29 percent compared to the same period last year and equivalent to 101 percent of the 2005 target.