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Vietnam

THE MANY FACES OF VIETNAM
 
Vietnam is an amazing country that on a fairly small territory has stunning diversity and rich natural landscapes, traditions and customs, languages and dialects, gastronomic preferences. Travelling around this country is always a memorable adventure full of colorful events and impressions. 
CHOCOLATE RIVERS AND PURPLE CITIES 
To have a better understanding of Vietnam, let us go on an imaginary journey around the country; from the ancient temples in the north to the modern megalopolis of Saigon in the south. The magnificent Hoang Lien mountain chain populated by minor nations - the treasures of the original culture and traditions - near the northern border of the country continues on to the picturesque bay of Halong. Going 300 km further into the mainland you will find yourself in the capital of Vietnam – Hanoi. 

The city’s shady parks and turquoise lakes, the old pagodas and temples…here antiquity and the authentic Asia look mockingly at the hectic traffic of motorbikes and cars in the city streets. These sights will change to the unique blooming landscapes of Hue, the ancient capital of Vietnam, only in the matter of a night – if you are travelling by train, or one hour – if you are flying. 80 km from Hue there is the port city of Da Nang, the sea pearl of Vietnam with dozens of kilometers of snow-white sand beaches. 

Moving on to the south of the country you will soon find yourself in the ancient town of Hoi An which overwhelms its visitors by its authentic Asian character and unique atmosphere of peace and serenity. 

A few hours later you will arrive in the sea town of Niachang. Another 230 km heading the southern border will bring you to the endless coast of Phan Thiet. If you keep travelling southwards, you will plunge into the hustle and bustle of the modern megalopolis of Saigon. It is hard to believe but only after a 2-hour drive from the bourgeois Ho Chi Minh that is labeled the Asian Paris in European travel books, you will be surrounded by the beauty of Eastern Vietnam situated in the delta of the great river Mekong. The wooden boats scurrying up and down the channels and tributaries of the chocolate-colored river will remind you of the old films about steam boat trips on the river Mississippi. 

Our fast “journey” will not give you a full picture of the country of course, but it will help you feel its character and incredible versatility. 
Vietnam, with its many colors and faces, each time appears in a new light like goddess Guanyin, the patroness of Vietnamese Buddhists whose statues of hundreds faces and arms can be seen in the temples and pagodas of this amazing country. 

LIVING AS ONE FAMILY 
Amazing people live in this country. They are open, emotional, hospitable, hard-working and joyful. They compare themselves to the supple young bamboo which bends but never breaks. The key national feature of the Vietnamese – zest for life -originates from Buddhism which is practiced by the majority of the population. The Vietnamese perceive time and life in general very differently from the Europeans. Time in Christian culture is linear, with every personal achievement being a past stage in the life line; in Vietnamese culture it is cyclic, that is an end is always followed by a beginning: a new day, week, season, year, and a new life. 

It is not accidental that one of the sacred symbols of Vietnam is the lotus flower. The Vietnamese say that when we watch an open lotus flower full of life, in reality we see it dying and withering; but a dead lotus with its head bent down to the ground is the beginning of a new life because the new shoots are reaching for the sun. 

Sometimes the Vietnamese are shockingly nosey because it is in their blood to do all together, to share joys and sorrows with friends and family. They flock together like birds. 

This is not accidental. 
According to the myths, the people of Vietnam were born of a marriage of the Dragon Lang Long Quan and the mountain fairy bird Au Qo. The old story tells that this couple laid 100 eggs from which 100 children hatched; 50 of them went to the mountains with the mother, the other 50 inhabited the coastal flatland. This was the beginning of the Vietnamese nation. 

WITH THE FIRST SUN RAYS 
The Vietnamese language has six tones and is very melodious, it sounds like a bird’s twitter. The relevantly small territory of Vietnam offers several varieties of the language, from the hard, articulate Hanoi dialect to the gentle, flowing speech in central and southern Vietnam; the latter often deceives foreigners: even when people talk in a raised voice, the conversation sounds like a friendly exchange of niceties. This diversity of dialects has obviously reflected in the character and mentality of the population of three main country parts: central, northern and southern, which all formed in different climate and geography. 

The Vietnamese are a nation of early risers; at dawn all is bustling; people hurry to stadiums and parks for traditional morning exercise; street vendors with pots of wafting pho soup on yokes, with coffee cans and baskets full of baguettes are braced to meet the hungry clients on the narrow streets’ sidewalks. The lanes are filled with morning news and national songs coming out from the speakers. Whatever town you visit, a morning walk is a must if you want to learn the multicolored culture of Vietnam and the character of its people. 

STRIVING FOR PERFECTION 
Vietnam is the most ancient country of South-Eastern Asia, whose civilization history goes back 4 thousand years. This is a country of rich resources, bright tropical nature and heroic traditions of struggle for national independence. The chronicles of Vietnam write about 13 liberation wars that the Vietnamese have had to fight. Vietnam is positioned at the crossroads bringing together China and India – two great civilizations of the East which introduced Buddhism (the Thien or Zen or Dhian school), and later Hinduism into Vietnam. The Vietnamese have always tried to preserve their identity and national independence. In the 17th century European culture was brought into Vietnam; first by the Catholic missioners and merchants; then by the French colonizors who ruled in the country for about a hundred years. But the distinctive feature of the Vietnamese has always been the ability to perceive foreign culture and adapt it to their own conditions. 

The Vietnamese nation formed and developed not only in the constant fighting against foreign intruders, but also in the struggle with nature. Typhoons, flooding, droughts forced the Vietnamese to construct dams along the rivers, to dig out lakes, irrigation canals and mounds to stop the water from flooding the rice fields. At the same time, nature has generously gifted Vietnam with splendid landscapes and versatile country. There are 5 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Vietnam. 

WORLD HERITAGE 
The first UNESCO World Heritage Site was the Hue Citadel, which was the political, cultural and religious center of Vietnam. The old city, situated on the banks of the picturesque Perfume River, consists of the Capital, Imperial, Forbidden and Inner cities. Its palaces, temples, imperial tombs and fortresses stun the visitors by its elegant architecture style and noble beauty. 

In 1994 the list added Vietnam’s natural heritage site – the Ha Long bay in the gulf of Tonkin, with a unique landscape that includes about 3000 islands, rocks, cliffs and caves. The bay that the local people call the eighth wonder of the world, fascinates with its fanciful islands; each of them has a name. By the way, a curious story links the bay with the name of the Soviet cosmonaut German Titov. In 1962 German Titov and Ho Chi Minh were on a boat ride around the bay. Titov pointed at the islands and the Vietnamese leader eagerly named the islands: This island is Chicken, this one is Tea Kettle. One of the islands that the cosmonaut pointed at was nameless, so it immediately got the guest’s surname. Now it is the Island of Titov and there are plans to erect a monument to the space conqueror on the island. 

In 1999 two more objects were added to the World Heritage list: the old city of Hoian and the ancient My Son temple complex. The historical Hoian city is an example of a perfectly preserved 15-16th century trading port in South-East Asia. In the 20th century the river that connected Hoian with the sea changed its stream and the city lost its status of a port city, handing it over to Danang. Nevertheless, the city has preserved its original old architecture. The ancient My Son temple complex, located 30 km from Danang, is the architectural legacy of the ancient Champa kingdom whose lands spread out from the province of Ninh Binh in the central part of the country to the province of Ninh Thuan in southern Vietnam. The complex shows examples of ancient Champa architecture: wall fragments, columns, altars all adorned with ornaments and stone sculptures. 

In 2003 National park Phong Nha Ke Bang was recognized as the World Heritage Site and also the oldest in Asia. Its vast territory stretches up to the border with Laos; the park has a 65-km cave system with the underground river. In 2009 British explorers discovered the Son Doong Cave (The Cave of the Mountain River in Vietnamese), which was a sensational discovery. The cave is considered the largest in the world. The size of this gigantic underground palace catches the imagination. It is 150 meters wide and over 200 meters high. The cave has not been explored completely up to now. Vietnam yet has to reveal all its gorgeous natural and cultures legacy.
Paper submission
After the Plenary opening session, there will be 12 Technical sessions, which cover the following scientic topics
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Important date
Abstract submission: June 15th 2018
Abstract acceptance notification: July 15th 2018
3rd Circular: July 15th 2018
Early registration: July 15th 2018
Regular Registration: August 15th 2018
4th (Final Circular): September 15th 2018

Main convention schedule

Honorable Committee

Dr. Tran Hong Ha
Minister, Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment


Dr. Tran Quy Kien
Vice Minister, Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment

Dr. Nguyen Linh Ngoc
Vice Minister, Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment
Registration fee

Main Convention:
1. Early bird fee: Before Jul. 31st 2018
- USD 250 for regular participants
- USD 150 for students*

2. Regular fee After Jul. 31st 2018
- USD 300 for regular participants
- USD 200 for students*



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