Beauties go to town

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 Miss Nicaragua, a journalism student, said she is totally in love with Hoi An, especially the vivid lanterns

This year's Miss Earth contestants wrapped up their outdoor activities in the beautiful towns of Hoi An and Nha Trang early this week.

The contest now moves to the Vinpearl Resort where the finale will take place on December 4.

During the pre-contest fanfare, the girls were divided into two groups. One stayed at Nha Trang's White Sand Resort and the other was whisked away to Hoi An's Palm Garden Resort.

They spent their days planting trees, practicing yoga, riding bicycles, visiting orphans and spreading the message of environmental protection.

On November 22, more than 60 contestants bicycled along Hoi An's beautiful boardwalk, firing up thousands of locals and tourists in one of the world's most charming towns. During their bike tour, the ladies stopped in at the Tan Ky antique house, Hoa Nhap Fine Arts Store and Cau Pagoda.

The beauties also participated in a community clean-up effort along with students from a local Middle School. Miss Vietnam, Miss Poland and Miss Japan wrapped up the morning by planting trees at the Kazik Park.

While touring Quang Nam Province, the girls were moved to tears by the plight of the kids at the Orphans and Disabled Children's Center. During their visit, the beauty queens delivered VND50 million worth of medicine.

At the beachside town's White Sand Resort, 25 contestants rose early to watch the daybreak over Doc Let Beach. Their day continued with yoga sessions, water sports and a quick tour of the town's pagodas.

What they enjoyed most at the resort were the fragrances of a Cham herbal therapy session that helped them relax their bodies and minds.

It was twilight when the real party began.

After taking part in a gala dinner at the Palm Garden Resort, the ladies began a parade through Hoi An's streets at 6 p.m. When the town shut off its lights (in observance of Earth Hour) the ancient town came alive in the exquisite glow of hundreds of lanterns that the town is famous for.

Contestants like Miss Ireland, Miss Nicaragua, and Miss Switzerland remarked that they had never expected to encounter such an amazing town in Vietnam. The ladies took out their cameras and spent the night snapping away to commemorate the special evening.

They also had a wonderful time playing folk games.

Complimenting the lantern display was a musical and cultural show called Dong Vong Hoi An (Hoi An's Echo). Larissa Ramos (Miss Earth 2009) said that she was very pleased to see the show conveying an environmental message even as it showcased Vietnamese culture.

Ramos and Vietnamese representative Diem Huong ended the show by reading Hoi An's green message to the world.

Nguyen Cong Khe, chairman of the Thanh Nien Media Corporation and head of the organizing board for the Miss Earth 2010 contest, donated VND500 million to the Quang Nam provincial Fund for the Poor to provide relief to flood victims.


Nguyen Cong Khe (R), chairman of the Thanh Nien Media Corporation, donated VND500 million to the Quang Nam provincial Fund for the Poor to provide relief to flood victims


Miss Norway cries when visiting disabled orphans outside Nha Trang


Tourists in Hoi An were fascinated by the sight of international beauties

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