With his wispy goatee, fishbone earrings, Maori tattoos and barrel torso, Phuong Mai Binh doesn’t look like your typical Ho Chi Minh City tour guide. Then again, his tour isn’t exactly typical. “There are four million scooters in this city,” Mr. Mai Binh shouted over the throaty roar of his motorcycle engine, “but there are only a handful of these!” He grinned and knocked on the gas tank of the dark gray Ural M67 motorbike he was straddling, and to which I was quite comfortably attached, seated in a sidecar bolted to its frame.  

Sunday's Golden Jubilee National Day Parade was a melding of old and new. It was both a nostalgic look-back at Singapore's roots as well as a celebration of how far the nation has come in 50 years. A sea of red and white filled the Padang, where the first post-independence National Day Parade was held in 1966. Some of the 26,000 people there began trickling in as early as 3pm and waited under the sun until the Parade started at 5.40pm. As Members of Parliament filed to their seats, local pop quartet The Sam Willows kicked off the parade with a folksy rendition of 1998 National Day song Home.

A company in the south-central province of Khanh Hoa has received the green light from local authorities to earmark part of the beach in the provincial capital of Nha Trang for tourists and locals to swim at night. 

Koh Kut and Koh Mak, two up-and-coming tourist destinations in this eastern province, will see a steady supply of electricity for the next three decades after they were hooked up to the national grid. The Provincial Elictricity Authority officially flipped the switch on an underwater power cable linking the two islands to the mainland on Tuesday. PEA governor Sermsakul Klaikaew said the 50-kilometre cable, with maximum capacity of 22 megawatts, would be more than enough to feed power to residents on Koh Kut and Koh Mak for the next three decades.

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