Old Vietnamese craftswomen make bamboo fish traps on the outskirts of Hanoi. Photo by Shutterstock/Thanh Chuong.
The program, entitled ‘The Keepers,’ will comprise a series of eight 30-minute episodes that will take global viewers on a special journey to meet Vietnamese artisans and craftsmen struggling hard to preserve traditional crafts passed through generations in a rapidly modernizing world.For instance, viewers will see how bamboo, an age-old symbol of strength and longevity and used in many of the country’s traditional handicrafts including baskets, lampshades, and locally-produced guitars called the Dan bau, is still used by craftsmen for handmade zithers.
Tuan Le, director of the circus show ‘My Village’ which has received critical acclaim at home and abroad since its debut in 2017, will share with CNN editors some backstage stories of his show, which features acrobats who perform stunts using tall bamboo stalks as props.
The program will also look at the growing number of hotels, including some top luxury establishments, in Sa Pa, a hill town around 300 kilometers (186 miles) from Hanoi, which are accommodating a tourism boom.
The northern highlands resort town of Sa Pa was originally founded as a hill-station in the early 1900s. Today, it’s still one of the country’s biggest tourist destinations with many visitors coming to enjoy its beautiful scenery and explore the local culture, not to mention handicrafts produced by many ethnic minorities who live in the mountainous region.
The program will also introduce the food scene in Hoi An Town, a UNESCO heritage site in central Vietnam. The most famous local dish is called cao lau, a bowl of thick rice noodles served with grilled pork. Its recipe is steeped in tradition: authentic cao lau is usually made with water from a specific town well and cooked with the ashes of tree bark from an island off the nearby coast.
Hanoi officials last month signed a memorandum of understanding with CNN for the channel to advertise Vietnam’s manifold attractions on social media and air documentaries on the popular cable news network for the 2019-2024 period.
Vietnam welcomed 7.3 million arrivals during January-May, up 8.8 percent from a year ago, putting the country on track to meet its annual target of receiving 18 million foreigners this year, according to the General Statistics Office.