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CNN International explores the richness of Vietnam’s traditional culture and how it is being kept alive in the age of modernisation in June’s “The Keepers”.

In Hanoi, CNN learns of how bamboo, an age-old symbol of strength and longevity, is still used by craftsmen to make Vietnamese bamboo zithers by hand. These same instruments are also used by the orchestra that performs for Hanoi’s “My Village”. Part dance, part cirque-de-soleil, the production features dozens of actors who perform acrobatics on stage with tall stalks of bamboo.

Next, the programme travels to Sapa, a small town in the mountains of northwestern Vietnam which was originally founded as a hill-station for French colonials. Toda visitors come to discover local handicrafts such as hand-woven clothing. With more tourists coming each year, CNN discovers how new hotels are being set up, including the Hotel de la Coupole, the first five-star hotel in this remote village, which aims to preserve local heritage.

Lastly, The Keepers travels to Hoi An, one of the country’s best-preserved ancient towns which also serves as the country’s culinary capital. The most famous local dish of cao lau, a bowl of noodles with grilled pork, is steeped in tradition.

CNN learns how authentic cao lau must be made with water from one town well and cooked with tree bark from an island off Hoi An. Here, the programme gets a tour of the city’s food scene with author, restaurant owner and local resident Trinh Vy.

CNN’s The Keepers will air on CNN International over the weekend of the 22nd June;

  • Saturday 22nd June at 0830 ET / 1330 BST and 1630 ET / 2130 BST
  • Sunday 23rd June at 2130 ET / 0230 BST
  • Monday 24th June at 0430 ET / 0930 BST
  • Tuesday 25th June at 1230 ET / 1730 BST