Saigoneer

Saigon’s New Airport to Cost $4 – 5.6 Billion

Yesterday, the Transport Ministry held a seminar on the development plan for Long Thanh International Airport which is set to replace Tan Son Nhat by 2020, TuoiTre reports. With a total investment of US$4 billion in its current design, the ministry warned that the cost could rise significantly if the project is expanded.

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The Sad Story of Da Lat’s Disappearing Pine Trees

Known as “the city of a thousand pine trees,” unregulated deforestation and development have taken their toll on Da Lat’s forests and pine tree population.

There was once a time when many of Da Lat’s thoroughfares were lined with tall, majestic pine trees.

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Vietnam May Embrace Cars After All

Japanese companies, some of Vietnam’s largest investors, are playing an interesting game these days.

For the most part, Japan has taken on the role of older brother to Vietnam, supporting the development of the country’s major infrastructure (bridges and tunnels) and transportation (subways and urban rail networks) projects.

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Hitachi Selected to Build Vietnam’s First Urban Railway

Japanese mega-corporation, Hitachi, has announced their winning bid to build Vietnam’s first urban railway in Saigon. The $381 million project is slated to begin operation in 2018.

Under the contract, Hitachi will provide trains, ticketing machines, communications and signaling systems in addition to a 5-year maintenance contract after the line is operational.

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Call for Submissions: Ho Chi Minh MEGA City

If you love Saigon, it’s time to grab your camera and take some shots of the city! The photo book, “TP. Ho Chi Minh MEGA City,” is currently being assembled and the authors are seeking submissions.

Check out the information below to better understand the project and see how you can play a vital role in its creation:

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Morning Links: France to Help Vietnam to Develop its Urban Railways

Good morning, Saigon. Here's a roundup of what's making headlines: 

- Vietnamese stocks at 5 year high (Bloomberg)

- Authorities released 205,000 fish into newly cleaned Saigon canals (Tuoi Tre)

- Vietnam's sea tourism has yet to be developed (VietnamNet Bridge

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Saigon Announces Plan for Waterway Development

Well, Saigon is really trying to cover all the bases for its 2020 rebirth. Another massive project has been proposed to redevelop Saigon’s 1,000km of rivers and canals at a cost of more than $500 million. The city hopes that this will boost tourism, and that its waterways will become Saigon’s main attraction.

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Vietnam to Invest $287 million in a Taller, Stronger Population

It seems like everyone wants to be a little bit taller (and a baller) these days. A recent report revealed that Vietnam’s neighbors are not only taller, but enjoy a faster growth speed amongst their populations. To win the ‘war on short’, the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism has announced a $287 million plan to raise Vietnam’s average height by 4cm.

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City Center Overhaul to be "Harmonious"

For those skeptical about the recently announced changes to the city center, Nguyen Trong Hoa - Director of the Ho Chi Minh City Institute of Development Studies and one of the plan’s authors – explains that unlike previously overambitious plans, the new one is measured and harmonious. Take this with a grain of salt, of course, but at least the city is aware of why previous plans failed and are taking a more cautious approach this time around.

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Airport for Mui Ne in the Works

Saigon might not be the only one who’s getting a shiny new airport - developers have submitted plans to the Phan Thiet central government to construct a $270 million regional airport. Russians, rejoice!

The airport, scheduled to open in 2017, will span around 500 hectares and will be located in Thien Nghiep – a coastal area near Mui Ne Beach. According to Vietnam Airlines Corporation (VNA), the airport is part of the grander picture of connectivity between Saigon and Nha Trang:

“The development of Phan Thiet airport should be considered in the context that there are also many other transport methods to the area, including road, sea, railway, and high-speed railway between Saigon and Nha trang.”  

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How Saigon Plans to Avoid the 'Car Age'

“A developed city is not one in which the poor get around by car but one in which the rich get around by public transit” - Enrique Peñalosa, former mayor of Bogotá.

It seems like every time I’m stalled in traffic, cars and buses are to blame. Nimble motorbikes can easily navigate hectic traffic patterns (and drive on sidewalks) and buses get a pass since they’re the city’s only form of public transportation (and their numbers are fairly static). In a city designed without cars in mind, their increasing numbers are becoming a serious obstacle for the flow of traffic. But, while some curse cars, others are buying them at a record rate – the number of new cars sold in the first quarter of this year was higher than the total sold in 2012. Can Saigon complete its public transportation network fast enough to avoid “the age of the car”?

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