Son Doong named among world's 10 most incredible caves

Monday, 09/01/2023 11:15
Son Doong Cave in the central province of Quang Binh has made its name into the list of 10 'most incredible caves in the world' compiled by Canadian magazine The Travel, reported Vietnam News Agency.
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Son Doong Cave is located in the Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park. (Source: VNA)

"Being 200m high and 175m wide as well as 9.4km in length, this cave is estimated to fit a 40-story New York skyscraper," it said.

Son Doong, located in the Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park, has captured international spotlight since it was opened to tourists in 2013.

"It requires two days of intense jungle trekking and river crossings to reach the entrance of Son Doong Cave," the magazine noted.

Oxalis Adventure operates the tour, with a four-day-three-night expedition to the cave costing 69.8 million VND (around 3,000 USD).

Only 1,000 visitors are allowed to explore the cave a year for environmental reasons, and the tour is available only between January and August.

Trekkers accompanied by a specialist go through unique underground rainforests, kayak in rivers both above and below ground and climb a 90-meter-high wall dubbed "The Great Wall of Vietnam" with ropes and ladders.

The other caves in the list are Vatnajokull Glacier Cave of Iceland, Naica Mine Cave of Mexico, Krubera Cave of Georgia, Glowworms Cave of New Zealand, Batu Cave of Malaysia, Marble Caves of Chile, Tham Lod Cave of Thailand, Reed Flute Cave of China, and Škocjan Cave of Slovenia.

Remittances boost HCM City growth

Ho Chi Minh City received some 6.8 billion USD in remittances last year, only a slight decrease compared to 2021 and accounting for 48% of foreign currency deposits at its credit institutions, reported Vietnam News Agency.

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Illustrative photo (Source: VNA)

This cash flow has contributed to generating foreign currency revenue, stabilising exchange rates, and spurring economic growth.

According to the State Commission for Overseas Vietnamese Affairs (SCOV), there are currently more than 5.3 million Vietnamese living and working in 130 countries and territories across the globe, of this group more than 2 million are from or have connections to HCM City. The southern economic hub also has more than 3,000 businesses invested by expatriates, whose combined capital totals 45 trillion VND (1.9 billion USD).

Head of the municipal chapter of the commission Phung Cong Dung said despite COVID-19-induced difficulties last year, the agency worked to organise seminars, conferences, and forums to link domestic and overseas communities. It also introduced expatriate business associations investment opportunities in many fields such as digital technology and high-tech agriculture.

Dung said to beef up remittances in both quality and quantity in the time to come, it is necessary to build related institutions and pay attention to legal matters involving overseas Vietnamese, including investment and citizenship.

Local authorities also need to come up with more policies that facilitate the group’s engagement in domestic commercial activities, the official added.

Work started on first public bike service station in Hanoi

The construction of the first station under Hanoi’s public bike service programme was started on January 9, reported Vietnam News Agency.

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Last year, the Hanoi People’s Committee approved a proposal by the city’s Department of Transport that allows Tri Nam Joint Stock Company to provide public bike service for a 12-month trial. (Photo: vtv.vn)

By January 20, about 10 bikes will be available at the station. People in the city will be offered a 10-day trial to experience the service before its official operation.

Last year, the Hanoi People’s Committee approved a proposal by the city’s Department of Transport that allows Tri Nam Joint Stock Company to provide public bike service for a 12-month trial. 

Under the proposal, the firm will provide 1,000 bikes, 50% of them electric, at 94 locations in the city.

The pilot project is set to cost over 30.3 billion VND (1.22 million USD).

The company will charge 10,000 VND for a 30-minute trip on electric bikes and 5,000 VND for the same duration on normal bicycles.

Full-day rent for the electric bike will be 120,000 VND and half of that for pedal bicycles.

Six downtown districts will be prioritised for the pilot project, namely Ba Dinh, Dong Da, Tay Ho, Hoan Kiem. Thanh Xuan, and Hai Ba Trung.

Labour export recovers strongly post pandemic

Labour export has recovered strongly from the COVID-19 pandemic, with nearly 143,000 workers sent abroad to work in 2022, more than 3 times the figure recorded in 2021, reported the Voice of Vietnam.

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Impressive growth: Nearly 143,000 workers have been sent abroad to work in 2022, more than 3 times the figure recorded in 2021.

The Department of Overseas Labour under the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs reported with the COVID-19 outbreak basically controlled in Vietnam and around the world in late quarter 1, markets were gradually opened, helping labour export to gather steam again.

Statistics show by the end of 2022, Vietnam sent 142,779 workers abroad, meeting more than 158% of the assigned plan and representing an annual rise of 316.8%.

Japan remains Vietnam’s labour export market, receiving about 67,300 guest workers. It is followed by Taiwan (China) with about 58,600 employees, the Republic of Korea with nearly 10,000 employees, Singapore with 1,822 employees, and China with 910 employees.

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Illustrative photo (Source: VNA)

There are a number of other markets that host a rising number of Vietnamese guest workers such as Hungary, Romania, Poland, Russia and Malaysia, according to the Department of Overseas Labour.

In 2023, the department said Vietnam has planned to send 110,000 workers to work abroad, focusing mainly on the traditional markets while gradually increasing the number of the workers to work in some European countries in new occupations with steady jobs and high incomes.

To achieve this goal, the department will step up the signing of labour cooperation documents with guest worker recipients, and at the same time promote the close collaboration between vocational institutions and service enterprises to improve the quality of labour resources to work abroad./.

Compiled by BTA

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