B: Vassilis Spiliopoulos of Greece emailed us on January 7 to say “This is the first reception report I send this year! I listened to Voice of Vietnam at 7280 khz at 19:54 UTC. Very nice Vietnamese music! And good propagation with some noise. SINPO is 44454.”
A: Eddy Prabowo of Indonesia reported listening to a program on January 6 on the frequency of 7315 kHz. He rated SINPO at 43444. He logged in to our channel via webSDR SC- Brazil, and monitored in Jakarta, Indonesia, using an Android smartphone. He noted: “Strong signal strength. Found minor atmospheric noise and minor fading, the audio relatively disturbed by a co-channel of a Chinese station in the background.”
B: I’m reading an email from Richard Nowak of the US. He wrote “best wishes for a Healthy, Happy and Prosperous New Year! I enjoyed the show on January 8 on 7315 kHz listening with a Hallicrafters S-40A hooked up to an outdoor active loop mounted at 6 meters. Reception was 35333, decent reception.”
A: Commenting on our Sunday Show, Richard wrote: “The great Sunday Show covered traditional folk singing, improvisational singing, men challenging women in singing, a very special house that’s 100 years old, and the 4th generation of the family living in the house. An interview about traditional singing and Xam performance in almost every corner of the village and in a temple were discussed. I enjoyed the Sunday Show on traditional folk singing.”
B: In an email to VOV Richard Lemke of Canada, wrote: “Thanks for reading my messages during the past year 2017. I enjoyed the last two years, monitoring 7315 kHz. A fun time receiving your shortwave souvenirs, exploring Vietnam on shortwave and through Radio.”
A: Gerry Neumann of England said: “I will keep very happy memories of my recent visit to the studio of VOV, and the friendly welcome I received from you. I want to thank you very much for the calendar and New Year card that you sent me, and I wish everyone in the English section a very Happy 2018, good health, happiness for you and your families and another successful year of broadcasting.”
B: Thank you, dear listeners, for your compliments. We wish all of you and your families good health and success in the New Year. We hope you’ll continue to listen to VOV for many more years.
A: Some of our listeners told us about unusual weather in their countries this year, such as extremely freezing cold in China and some states of the US. Vietnam is experiencing a winter with longer cold spells and lower temperatures than previous years. Now the daytime temperature in Hanoi is 12 degrees Celsius, dropping to around 6 degrees Celsius at night.
B: Average temperatures will be 10 to 12 degrees Celsius in the delta around Hanoi until the end of this week, 6 to 9 degrees Celsius in most mountain areas, and below 3 degrees Celsius at higher altitudes. On Mau Son peak in Lang Son Province, temperatures have already dipped as low as four degrees Celsius. The north-central and central regions are expecting continuous downpours.
A: This cold snap combined with drizzle and low visibility has caused difficulties for many people. The bad weather has worsened traffic congestion in Hanoi, for example.
B: Vietnam is a tropical country, so the cold combines with high humidity and rain to produce a cutting chill. Expats say 8-10 degrees Celsius in Hanoi feels as cold as sub-zero temperatures back home. Here we mainly drive motorbikes, so to stay warm we need many layers of clothing – warm sweaters and good jackets. A raincoat is a must if you don’t want to get soaked by the freezing rain.
A: The freezing cold and snow of northern Vietnam is rare in a tropical country. The town of Sa Pa in the northern province of Lao Cai, a major tourist attraction, draws an even bigger crowd whenever there is a snowfall. Last year, thousands of tourists flocked to the town to enjoy the sight of snow blanketing the mountains, terraced fields, and houses. At an altitude of over 1,900m Sa Pa has temperatures that can dip as low as minus two degrees Celsius, forming ice 10-20cm thick.
B: If you think there’s no snow in Southeast Asia, think again! Sa Pa is famous for its terraced rice paddies, terrific hiking trails, and ancient ethnic villages in the mountains. When winter comes, it’s one of the likeliest places in Vietnam to have snow. For the best chance of realizing your dream of a snowball fight, plan your visit for late December or January, when temperatures can go as low as minus 3 degrees Celsius.
A: Fansipan Mountain is worth a side trip if you are in Sa Pa. Seeming to float above the clouds, the summit is 3,150 metres above sea level. That makes it the highest mountain in Indochina. Trekking Mount Fansipan takes a minimum of three days to get to the peak and back. It will require planning and preparation, the support of local porters and tour guides, and a readiness to tackle terrain that is rugged, wet, and often cold.
B: A cable car system now makes it much easier to reach the summit and everyone can now experience the breathtaking scenery from Mount Fansipan’s peak. The cable car takes 15-20 minutes and costs 33 USD. There’ll be plenty of photo opportunities both in the cable car and at the summit. When this Letter Box is posted on our website, I’ll include some photos of Mount Fansipan blanketed with snow in the early days of this winter.
A: Shivendu Paul, President of the Metali Listeners’ Club, sent Season’s Greetings and best wishes for the New Year 2018 to all staff and listeners of Voice of Vietnam. He said of his club: “We listen to your programs regularly. We hope in the year 2018 your programs will be even more informative and joyful. And relations between your station and our listeners will be even friendlier.”
B: Mr. Paul reminded us that World Radio Day is held every year on February 13th. This year’s theme is “Radio and Sports”. He suggested we celebrate this day with a listeners’ quiz and listeners’ survey.
A: Last year the Voice of Vietnam Radio and UNESCO’s Hanoi Office co-hosted a ceremony to mark World Radio Day 2017 in Hanoi with the topics “Radio Is You” and “Media Promotes Gender Equality”. In attendance were listeners, representatives from local radio and television stations, and lecturers and students from various academies of journalism around the country.
B: Acting Chief Representative of the UNESCO Office in Vietnam Susan Vize said “Radio is still the most dynamic, reactive, and robust medium in forming and transforming us through information, entertainment, and audience participation. Having a radio means you’re never alone.”
A: Shivendu Paul told us that his club will celebrate World Radio Day 2018 with a seminar, an exhibition, and a quiz for club members and students. At your request, Mr. Paul, we’ll send some VOV materials to make your celebration more colorful.
B: This week we acknowledge letters from Siddhartha Bhattacharjee and Miss Pallavi of India, Matteo Donnini of Italy, Fouad Larhzizer of Morocco, Sutomo Huang of Indonesia, and Maksim Mikhaylichenko of Russia. We’ll send you all QSL cards to verify your reports.
A: We welcome your letters at English Section, Overseas Service, Voice of Vietnam, 45 Ba Trieu Street, Hanoi, Vietnam. Our email address is [email protected]. Thank you for listening. Please join us again next Wednesday for another edition of Letter Box. Goodbye.
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