by Gia Locø
Retirees set up library
Few passersby would assume that the tiny village of Quang Ninh in Tan Ninh Commune is a bibliophile's dream.
Fifteen years ago, three retired teachers spent part of their monthly pensions to set up a free library in the village, located in the north-central coastal province of Quang Binh.
Nguyen Viet Trung, head of the village's Retired Teachers Board, says that their children who work in larger cities and other provinces had donated old and new books as well as newspapers to the library. National and provincial libraries have also contributed materials.
Nguyen Ngoc Thu, the main librarian, says the books have been checked out at least 10,000 times since their opening.
Duong Van Hung, who visits the library every week, says he reads books on planting and breeding techniques in order to improve his skills.
Besides the library, the Retired Teachers Board have formed outdoor reading sites along the village's inner roads.
Local resident Nguyen Dinh Thuoc says that 15 newspapers are placed at the sites which have chairs for anyone who wants to stop by. One person is in charge of bringing the newspapers from the library at 1pm and then taking them back.
Live music daily at City school
Students and lecturers at Ton Duc Thang University in HCM City's District 7 are treated every day to live classical music, played by their fellow students in the lobby of a building at the school.
Student Nguyen Huu Bao says he plays to help him relax after studying. The university's four lecturers purchased the piano after seeing other pianos set up in lobbies at schools they visited in other countries.
Students lead Hoi An tours
The HoiAn Free Tour, a group of university and college students, has been offering free bicycle tours since 2011 to explore the historic town's countryside, including Kim Bong Carpentry Village, Cam Thanh Water Coconut Village and Tra Que Vegetable Village.
The students' objective is to help foreign tourists and practise their language skills.
Free tours are provided on Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday each week for groups of 10 tourists each. Forty-five students from the universities of Duy Tan, Foreign Language and Economics in Da Nang and one student from Phan Chau Trinh University in Quang Nam Province provide the tours.
Foreign tourists pay bicycle and local ferry fees.
Le Tuong Vy of Da Nang Foreign Language University, a member of the group, says the tours have helped her polish her language skills in English, French and Chinese.
As of April, the HoiAn Free Tour website was ranked fifth on a list of 80 tours in Hoi An on the well-known travel site Tripadvisor.com. — VNS