Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Wind power in Vietnam

Just got this news:
Binh Thuan and the German agency will set a plan to develop wind power in the province from now until 2010, with a vision for 2020.
GTZ will supply equipment and management software as well as train technical experts for the province.

Binh Thuan is the first among Vietnam’s provinces with potential for developing wind power to sign such an agreement with GTZ.

Last Tuesday, the Ministry of Industry and Trade and GTZ had signed an agreement worth 1 million euros (US$1.4 million) to develop wind power in Vietnam.

What I am wondering about is, that I know at least two companies trying to establish wind energy in Vietnam and one failed already. There is apparently no real interest in supporting alternative energy. And why the hell GTZ needs one year to develop a PLAN instead of just building a wind park?

Saturday, July 25, 2009

La Veranda on Phu Quoc Island

Terrace at La Veranda

I am writing this blogpost while sitting in a white bamboostyle plastic chair, having a cappucino and enjoying the sea view. I am at the La Veranda Resort and Spa on Phu Quoc Island. Nearly everyone I know told me to go to Phu Quoc now, because in a few years the beauty of this island might be gone. So we took the plane (one hour flight) from Saigon to Duong Dong, landed smoothly with this old, but still well doing ATR planes.

La Veranda might be one of the most expensive hotels on the island, but we a0 had a package price and b)like to have some comfort (yes, we aren't backpackers anymore). The resorts is worth the money. Beautifully designed as a garden with bungalows hidden between all kind of tropical flowers, this place is exactly the kind of hotel we like for a short vaccation.

Sunset on Phu Quoc

What we like:
- the design of all the buildings and rooms is awesome. It's french colonial style, but ant it's best. Colors fitting as well as the smallest details like the elephant faces on the wall lights, the fresh flowers on the tables or he lemongrass smell in the toilet.

- the staff. If I would open a hotel on Phu Quoc, I would try to hire the La Verandas stuff. Overwhelming friendly and helpful, with good english skills and well trained. Nothing to complain about.

- the beach: its clean, safe, quiet (at least when we were there and the neighboring Eden bar was closed), the sea is not to roug and you habe a wonderful sunset.

- food: the prices are reasonable, that's what we were surprised of. 2 Dollars for a coffee is actually low for a hotel like this. The vietnamese food we had was delicious (Nuong Xo Ot). The breakfast buffet is good, nothing to omplain.

- the spa: .. we had several treatments. one hour body massage was included in the package and we had chosen the Vietnamese massage. One the next day we had a hot stone massage for my wife and a indian head massage and facial for me. The massage itself was ok, the stone were not too hot, the pressure was fine, nice ambient music (although it comes from a gettoblaster. The a/c was on, a bit too cold for me. The facial treatment feels good in general, you also get a arm massage and the upper part of your breast.

What we don't like:
There was only one thing we didn't like: We had a package price including a dinner, an one hour spa treatment and a half day excursion. The excursion was interesting and well operated. The spa treatment was good. The dinner was (under)average. Because my wife is a vegetarian, we asked for dishes without beef or pork, but all kind of fish and seafood is fine. What we got was a pineapple-squid salad as starter and 4 shrimps in tamarind sauce. We were a bit disappointed about the quality and taste. It was not but, but, as I said, just average, and we know they can do better.

Spa: Although the spa treatment was ok, it was not special. In the brochure they offer different types of oil, but ever asked us to choose. When I had my second treatment (the one I was extra paying for) they did not ask for anything, skin type, allergies, any special requests. The indian head massage wasn't better: I felt very uncomfortable sitting on the massage table getting a back massage instead of laying(I have some back pain, so sitting in a position like this is actually hurting me).

Summary: La Veranda is a beautiful place to stay, with a wonderful layout, nice rooms, delicious food for reasonable prices. The spa management has to improve, and even if you sell a package with a set menu you should not offer a lower quality of food for a included dinner.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Farming in phu my hung

recession even in vietnam: people start farming in phu my hung

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Solar Eclipse in Vietnam

Partial solar eclipse watched in Ho Chi Minh City

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Zing Promotion girls

Zing Promotion girls
Originally uploaded by thomaswanhoff
The Expo was ok. A lot of gadgets, TVs, some hard disks and even raids., usb-sticks and laptops. had a huge space there and made a lot of promotion. Most impressive was Vision Global, they showed a learning screen. Look at for more.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

SOLD!!! Canon XM2 Videocamera

For Sale: Canon DM-XM2 Mini-DV Camcorder, ¼″ 470K pixel 3CCD with pixel shift, Canon Professional L-Series Fluorite Lens, 20x optical zoom/100x digital zoom,
Optical image stabiliser, Direction accurate stereo microphone, Two-channel audio level manual control with VU meter, 2.5″ 200K colour LCD screen,
Sockets Include; Lanc, Headphone, Dc In, Microphone, Dv in/out, Av in/out/, USB, S-Video.
Accessories: extra battery pack, extra rhode microfon, Lowe Pro Camera Bag, XLR-adapter, used DV-tapes.

The camera is 2 years old and was used just ten times. I sell it because I don't use it anymore. It's not HD, but the XM2 makes great quality pictures, with great sound. You want a camera for semi-pro use? Then take the XM2.

Price: 700USD

Pay cash on delivery. I deliver for free in Ho Chi Minh City

Contact me 01223504593 or

Accessories: For sale: Canon XM2 Accessories

For sale: Lowe Pro Camera Bag

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Acoustic Cafe: Live music in Saigon aka HCMC

Live @acoustic bar
Originally uploaded by thomaswanhoff
The story behind this crappy picture: Acoustic Bar in Ho Chi Minh City is one of the best spots if you like live rock music. When we went there we really liked a band called Coconuts, with a lot of coversongs from Aerosmith to Police. Good singer, good covers. The houseband itself (started at 10pm) was good in music, but the singer was just horrible. He actually cannot sing, so he was more shouting in the mic. Really bad performance, we left early. But that might not be the case everyday, so if you like live music, you have to check this place out. Come early (8pm) to get a seat or table since most of them a pre-booked.
6E1 Ngô Thời Nhiệm, Phường 7, Quận 3, TP. Hồ Chí Minh
Điện thoại: (+084-8) 930 2239
Fax: (+084-8) 930 7941

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Vietnam: Visa on arrival?

Just got this news in:
The Vietnamese government has then officially announced that Vietnam will "soon" start to provide visa-on-arrivals at international airports and border crossing points for all international travelers. Vu The Binh, head of the travel department of the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT), officially gave the information to reporters. The implementation will take a few months to give time for the Customs Department to adapt its information technology system to accommodate the new system. VNAT and other concerned departments will then look at the new visa procedures.

Actually the visa problem is one of the biggest obstacles for tourism in Vietnam. although Germany is the largest trading partner in the EU, it's tourists are still needing a Visa in advance. No idea why it takes months, but, oh yes, that's Vietnam

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

charity for waste

Looking for a legitimate charity to donate 2nd hand gear; clothes, for men, ladies, kidswear mostly boys, & some toys, books etc
If anyone works for one, and has a car to pick up this gear one day this month fro - please reply to this email.

ok beeing a good person means get rid of stuff you dont want anymore. but doesnt include paying a taxi or minitruck. wow. these people are sooo good.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Banana Pub and Restaurant in Phu My Hung

There is a new so called Pub in Phu My Hung, which hopefully not a sign of a general change in this area.

Banana Pub and Restaurant is located in the Parkview Building, in the former Pat au Chou shop (same building as Tokyo Deli). They have a huge bar you can sit, a billiard table, dart, some tv screens and - beergirls. They also offer food, mainly western style, french fries with whatever. The salmon steak was not that bad, the chicken was under average. Beer is cheep, the girls (would not call them waitresses) doing there best (what includes sitting on you legs) to serve you.

What I like: When it's closed. (As I said, the salmon steak was ok, the beer was cold, and you might like it to sit outside in the early evening for people watching).

What I don't like: It's one of this sexpats bars, where older grey haired overweight westerners together with lonesome koreans gather to have what they call fun with vietnamese girls. I saw two men actually grabbing the girls butt, and they cannot complain, otherwise I am sure they get fired.

One day they were partying until 2.30am, the music was to hear all over the Parkwview B tower as well as the neighboring appartments and villas. (Disclosure: As neighbors we were really pissed to stay awake until early morning)

Open 10am to 12pm.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

What is cloud computing? Now it's a sales word

Has 'cloud-computing' lost its VC luster? | The Wisdom of Clouds - CNET News
A big part of the problem is the now almost unresolvable definition of cloud computing. How do you define the term? My own definition has shifted over the years, to where I use the term quite ambiguously. It's kind of like that famous old quote about pornography from the late Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart. The judge wisely noted: "I know it when I see it."

Indeed it is not easy to make a definition. Wikipedia says:
Cloud computing is Internet ("cloud") based development and use of computer technology ("computing").[1][2][3] It is a style of computing in which dynamically scalable and often virtualised resources are provided as a service over the Internet.[4][5][6][7] Users need not have knowledge of, expertise in, or control over the technology infrastructure "in the cloud" that supports them[8]

So James Urquhart made a nice statement on CNEt about how the definition is changing. It's worth reading it, especially for investors, because they are buying in everything what is labels cloud computing. As if there wasn't a internet bubble years before.

How to spread rumors...

I got through a email list this message:

A few days ago our 2 year old cat died of stomach cancer.
I' ve heard some stories about Whiskas biscuits causing cancer in dogs
and cats but I'd never really heard something concrete, and how on
earth can they keep it on the shelves if its so harmful!?

Yes, how can they keep it in the shelves? Maybe because this rumor is just not true? I can't believe that people are not ashamed to ask this publicly (and spread rumors with those postings). But the worst is, that instead of just thinking for some minutes or search in the internet, the rumor is spread first and others should do the work.

Wonder what they do if I post "I've heard some stories about Ms. XXXX that she steals and cheat, but I've never really heard something concrete..."

People just stop thinking when the next conspiracy theory is so close..

Friday, July 3, 2009

Dogs for sale in Saigon: Buy and see them die

Just want to bring attention to this article about the people seeling cute dogs in the streets in Saigon.

In Vietnam, the phrase “man’s best friend” has little value and dogs are seen as valuable currency and dinner.

In Ho Chi Minh City on Le Hong Phong Street in District 5, between Hung Vuong and Tran Phu, and on the corner of Nam Ky Khoi Nghia and Nguyen Thi Minh Khai are the two main locations that display dogs for sale.

Along the stretch of Le Hong Phong are shops crammed with cages displaying various dogs and cats. The animals, for the most part look healthy, but living conditions are grim, with several living in one cage.
.. read the full article