Relocation guru Nguyen Van Cu, dubbed ‘a lamp genie’, and his 12-member team are relocating the main hall of Dieu De Pagoda in the central province of Thua Thien-Hue 18 meters backwards.
The job is aimed at preserving the ‘Long van khe hoi’, also known as ‘Cuu long an van’ (Nine dragons hidden in clouds) picture.
In the picture, five dragons hidden in clouds were painted on the ceiling of the main hall and four others on four pillars reaching up to the ceiling.
The relocation process includes many stages. Firstly, workers dug deeply into the foundation of the Dai Hung hall and constructed a plinth beam.
They later used a hydraulic cylinder system to lift the entire structure of the main hall by some 20 centimeters.
|A hydraulic winch which is used to pull the main hall. Photo: Nhat Linh / Tuoi Tre|
The hall was put on wooden bars, which are placed on rollers.
Some other wooden bars are kept fixed on the ground by nails.
In addition, two large pulling machines and four hydraulic winches are connected to the main hall by large cables.
The system helps pull the main hall backwards.
According to Cu, director of Nguyen Van Cu subsidence and leaning handling company in Ho Chi Minh City, the main hall, weighing some 1,000 metric tons, is pulled by some four meters per day.
“The most difficult job is to preserve the ‘Long van khe hoi’ picture, also the ceiling of the main hall, and three Buddha altars during the relocation.
“We have weighed carefully and arrived at the safest relocation solution,” Cu noted.
|Wooden bars are put under the main hall. Photo: Nhat Linh / Tuoi Tre|
Venerable Thich Hai Duc from Dieu De Pagoda said the pagoda invited Nguyen Van Cu to relocate the main hall of the pagoda after the authorities of Thua Thien-Hue Province asked Cu to survey and come up with a plan to relocate a French-style mansion at 26 Le Loi Street in Hue City.
In 2018, due to the serious deterioration of the Dai Hung main hall of Dieu De Pagoda, many agencies considered lowering the ceiling of the hall and sending it to the pagoda’s museum for preservation.
However, after fielding opinions, the pagoda decided to abandon this plan.
The ‘Long van khe hoi’ picture is more than 10 meters long and nearly 11 meters wide.
|A hydraulic cylinder system is used to elevate the hall. Photo: Nhat Linh / Tuoi Tre|
The Vietnam Guinness Book of Records in March 2008 recognized the picture as the most ancient and biggest ceiling mural in Vietnam.
The picture is believed to be drawn by artist Phan Van Tanh in 1953.
However, no document proves the information, according to experts.
Tanh is also the painter of the ‘Long van khe hoi’ picture on the ceiling of the Tomb of Emperor Khai Dinh in Thua Thien-Hue Province.
|Relocation guru Nguyen Van Cu directs the relocation. Photo: Nhat Linh / Tuoi Tre|
|Workers put rollers between every two wooden bars to relocate the main hall. Photo: Nhat Linh / Tuoi Tre|
Ho Chi Minh City youth celebrate 25 years of Harry Potter in Vietnam
A series of activities were held at Nguyen Van Binh Book Street in Ho Chi Minh City on Sunday to mark the 25th year since the first Harry Potter book, a best-selling series by British author J.K. Rowling, was released in Vietnam.
The Tre (Youth) Publishing House, which owns the copyrights for the novel series in Vietnam, hosted numerous events including interactive games, trivia and drawing contests.
Making its debut 25 years ago, the novel quickly became a firm favorite among young Vietnamese readers.
|Young people pose for a photo with accessories from Harry Potter books, a best-selling series by British author J.K. Rowling, at Nguyen Van Binh Book Street in Ho Chi Minh City, September 25, 2022. Photo: T.T.D. / Tuoi Tre|
|Young fans attend a quiz during a series of activities held at Nguyen Van Binh Book Street in Ho Chi Minh City to mark the 25th year since the first Harry Potter book, a best-selling series by British author J.K. Rowling, was released in Vietnam, September 25, 2022. Photo: T.T.D. / Tuoi Tre|
Many Harry Potter lovers expressed their joy during the celebration on Sunday.
“To me, Harry Potter is not just a novel, it’s another world that anyone can be immersed in,” said Le Hoang Phuong Vy, a girl from District 7 who claimed to have read the series since she was still in elementary school.
During the celebration, the Tre Publishing House also introduced the illustrated Vietnamese edition of the ‘Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix’ – the fifth novel in the world-famous series.
|The illustrated Vietnamese edition of the ‘Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix,’ the fifth novel in the world-famous series, is introduced at Nguyen Van Binh Book Street in Ho Chi Minh City, September 25, 2022. Photo: T.T.D. / Tuoi Tre|
|Young fans cosplaying as characters in Harry Potter books, a best-selling series by British author J.K. Rowling, pose for a photo at Nguyen Van Binh Book Street in Ho Chi Minh City, September 25, 2022. Photo: T.T.D. / Tuoi Tre|
Domestic destinations remain popular following peak summer season in Vietnam
The domestic tourism market in Vietnam remains bustling following the peak summer season with autumn-winter tours to popular mountainous destinations in the northwest and northeast regions.
As many autumn-winter tours to foreign countries are not yet favorable following the COVID-19 pandemic, travelers in Vietnam have decided to visit the country’s northwest and northeast provinces to admire the beauty of nature.
Some of the popular choices include Mu Cang Chai District in Yen Bai Province, home to magnificent terraced rice fields, and Moc Chau District in Son La Province, famous for the beautiful buckwheat blossom.
The number of bookings for tours to mountainous localities in northern Vietnam has been increasing, according to local travel agents.
A representative of Vietravel said that more than 6,500 visitors have booked the company’s tours to such destinations.
At Saigontourist has also sold their tours to about 6,000 customers, meeting 60 percent of its target for this travel season.
To meet this demand, travel companies have focused on tailoring new products for the autumn-winter season, which include high-quality services and new experiences for visitors.
According to a representative of TST tourist, the firm’s clients often seek tours to South Korea, Japan, or the United States during this time of the year.
As overseas travel is not yet convenient in the current context, domestic tourism continues to be the choice of local travelers.
To seize this opportunity, travel agencies across the country should form close cooperation to introduce their services to a wider range of tourists, said Lai Minh Duy, general director of TST tourist.
Pham Ngoc Thuy, director of the Department of Tourism in northern Quang Ninh Province, stated that the province is focusing on preparing for the autumn-winter tourism after the peak summer season.
In addition to popular destinations such as Yen Tu and Ha Long Bay, the locality is promoting new places like Dong Trieu, known as the original homeland of the Tran Dynasty, Binh Lieu, Mong Cai, and Uong Bi, Thuy elaborated.
The autumn-winter travel season often runs from September to October.
150-year-old French consulate edifice in Ho Chi Minh City opens to public on European Heritage Days
The Consulate General of France in Ho Chi Minh City on Saturday again opened its door to visitors for one day as part of the European Heritage Days.
The 150-year-old building welcomed visitors who were required to register in advance and divided into small groups for 30-minute tours from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm within the day.
The tours took visitors to the special architectural spaces inside the Consulate General, the artworks and furniture of the Nguyen Dynasty (1802–1945) displayed at the venue, and a 1.5-hectare park home to ages-old trees.
The visitors also had the chance to try specialties from France.
|A visitor takes a picture of an eight-piece folding screen displayed on the wall of the large living room at the Consulate General of France in Ho Chi Minh City on September 17, 2022. Photo: Huynh Vy / Tuoi Tre|
According to French Consul General in Ho Chi Minh City Emmanuelle Pavillon-Grosser, the European Heritage Days was initiated by the French Ministry of Culture in 1984 and has been celebrated around the world thanks to its success.
The annual event offers opportunities to visit buildings, monuments, and sites, many of which are not normally accessible to the public.
|French Consul General in Ho Chi Minh City Emmanuelle Pavillon-Grosser (L, 2nd) introduces the statue of Marianne, the symbol of France, displayed at the Consulate General of France in Ho Chi Minh City on September 17, 2022. Photo: Huynh Vy / Tuoi Tre|
|French Consul General in Ho Chi Minh City Emmanuelle Pavillon-Grosser sits at the French-style banquet table in the large dining room at the Consulate General of France in Ho Chi Minh City on September 17, 2022. Photo: Huynh Vy / Tuoi Tre|
Visiting the French consulate for the first time on Saturday, art researcher Ngo Kim Khoi said having the building open to visitors is a good way to educate about heritage and culture, as it is not easy for the public to have the opportunity to set foot in the 150-year-old edifice.
|Art researcher Ngo Kim Khoi admires an artwork by renowned Vietnamese artist Nguyen Gia Tri during his visit to the Consulate General of France in Ho Chi Minh City on September 17, 2022. Photo: Huynh Vy / Tuoi Tre|
In 2008, the Consulate General of France in Ho Chi Minh City welcomed more than 1,300 visitors on the occasion and a bigger number the next year.
|Visitors take pictures at the corridor while visiting the Consulate General of France in Ho Chi Minh City on September 17, 2022. Photo: Huynh Vy / Tuoi Tre|
|The small living room with original cement floor tiles from 1872 at the Consulate General of France in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Huynh Vy / Tuoi Tre|
|A green space inside the Consulate General of France in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Huynh Vy / Tuoi Tre|
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