Wednesday August 2, 2017

(VOVWORLD) - Hello and welcome to VOV’s Letter Box, a weekly feature dedicated to our listeners around the world.

A: First on our show today, we’d like to thank Mr. Fumito Hokamura of Japan for the many letters he has sent us. This week, he sent us reception reports for the programs on July 14th and 22nd on the frequency of 12020 Mhz and rated SINPO at 45343 and 35232, respectively.

B: Mr. Hokamura wrote: “I listen to VOV English programs every week. I have a dream. It’s a trip to Hanoi in the fall or spring. I want to drink Vietnamese coffee. Please take care during the hot summer days with their heat wave and heavy rain.”

A: Thank you, Mr. Hokamura, for your regular feedback on our broadcasts. We’ll send you QSL cards to confirm your reports. Hanoi has been hot these days despite occasional showers. The high humidity makes the hot weather in Hanoi more uncomfortable. In this weather, it would be good to drink an iced Vietnamese coffee.

Wednesday August 2, 2017 - ảnh 1 Cong Cafe, a popular coffee shop in major cities in Vietnam

B: Mr. Hokamura, we look forward to seeing you soon in Hanoi in the autumn or spring, the two best seasons of the year. In autumn, the weather is cool and dry and the temperatures are more tolerable ranging from 22 to 32 degrees Celsius. Spring is the season of flowers and festivals. You can explore Vietnam’s diverse culture at its many spring festivals.

A: This week we received both emails and letters from Mr. Richard Nowak of the US. Thank you for your frequent reception reports on VOV broadcasts and your Brooklyn Brewer stickers. Listening to the VOV broadcast on July 14, Richard wrote: “Discovery Vietnam was very interesting  about a province in southern Vietnam and 500 photos documenting Prime Minister Pham Van Dong’s revolutionary career and the diary of doctor Dang Thuy Tram returned by a US soldier after 35 years. I enjoyed tonight’s show. It was informative, educational, and fun.”

B: Mr. Nowak, regular feedback from you and other listeners around the world encourage us to continue and to improve our shortwave broadcasts. We look forward to hearing more from you.

A: Mr. Muhammad Shamim of India listened to our program on June 30 and July 12  from 16:00 to 16:30 UTC on the frequency of 7280 khz and rated SINPO at all 4s. He asked about bookstores in Vietnam.

Wednesday August 2, 2017 - ảnh 2 A book street in Hanoi

B: Bookstores in Vietnam are scattered along streets and down narrow alleys. Some shops cluster together on so-called book streets such as Dinh Le Street, Trang Tien Street, and Lang Street in Hanoi and Tran Huy Lieu Street in Ho Chi Minh City. Other shops are located in shopping centers and near schools, universities and research institutes.

B: Many bookshops display books on the sidewalk and sell books at highly discounted prices, from 30% to 50% off the publisher’s recommended retail price.

A: In bookstores, you don't have to waste your time bargaining. Books are sold at their marked prices. Sometimes  special discounts are available for those who buy  a large quantity or for frequent customers.  

A: Today, you can find English-language books at Xuhabasa, the Book Worm or Fahasa. These stores offer both new and secondhand books of contemporary fiction and nonfiction.

B: Wandering around Dinh Le or Trang Tien Street, you are more likely to find the English-language books you want than in other streets. A solid selection of large-format, colorful books on art, design, and architecture are available here.

A: Books that are old, out-of-print,  or have been sitting on the shelf for years can be yours for just 2 or 3 USD. A bargain, right? Be patient and you might find a rare treasures in one of these shops .

B: You can also find English-language magazines and newspapers in those streets. If you just want to read without buying, go to the American Centre, 1st floor, 170 Ngoc Khanh Str., Hanoi.  

Wednesday August 2, 2017 - ảnh 3Hanoi book street

 A: Last December,  the Hanoi Book Street was officially opened near Hoan Kiem lake/ It is a rendezvous where people can buy  books, talk to authors, and share their reading interests with others. On the 200-meter-long Hanoi Book Street, which runs from Hai Ba Trung to Ly Thuong Kiet street, are 16 booths that display publications and two stations that provide free Internet access to anyone who wants to search for information about books or the history of Hanoi. In the middle of the street is a place for meetings and new book signing.

B: Hanoi Book Street is a stimulating space for people to interact with books. There are books for children and adolescents and books on current affairs. Many publishing houses and booksellers gather in the book street to introduce their publications.

A: The two largest bookstore chains in Ho Chi Minh City are FAHASA and PNC (Phuong Nam Corp.)  At these bookstores, beside books, you can also find paper clips, pens, notebooks, maps and so on. Prices are fixed and labeled, so there’s no need to bargain.

A: Few book shops are equipped with an electronic inventory system to help you trace the book you want but most stores are easy to navigate and the staff is always eager to help you. Saigonbooks and Nguyen Hue Books are the biggest store. 

Wednesday August 2, 2017 - ảnh 4 Ho Chi Minh City book street

B: There’s also a book street in Ho Chi Minh City. Unveiled in January 201 opposite the Notre Dame Cathedral, Nguyen Van Binh Street is now home to 20 shops run by Vietnamese publishing companies like the Ho Chi Minh City General Publishing House, Tre Publishing House, Nha Nam, First News and the HCMC General Science Library, plus a number of smaller stalls and cafes. 

A: For some people, the highlight of the street is not the bookshops, nor the bargain bins but the tables of old and rare books, ranging from songbooks to classic Vietnamese novels. The city books live music performances and author talks for the street's weekend crowds.

B: A book street is not just a place to buy books it’s a place to meet people, to hang out and to take photos. With the colorful displays of foreign and Vietnamese fiction and non-fiction titles on show, it’s hard to resist buying a book, grabbing a coffee and escaping the craziness of Saigon for an hour or so.

A: We’d like to acknowledge letters and emails from Peter Ng of Malaysia, Mrs. Samrita Sukla, Bhaikan Hazarika of India, Andrew Kuznetsov of Latvia, Koichi Ikeda and Hayato Furukawa of Japan, and David Ansell and Grant Skinner of England. We greatly appreciate your feedback and comments on the technical aspects of our program. We’ll confirm your reports with QSL cards soon.

A: We welcome your feedback at: English section, Overseas Service, Radio the Voice of Vietnam, 45 Ba Trieu Street, Hanoi, Vietnam. Or you can email us at: You’re invited to visit us online at, where you can hear both live and recorded programs. Check out our VOV Media App available on both IOS and Android platforms to hear our live broadcasts. We look forward to your feedback on the mobile version of Once again, thank you. Good bye until next time.



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