Welcome to your UN Mission to Vietnam

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SUMMARY : The UN has sent you on a secret mission to the Cham Islands* of Vietnam east of the ancient port city of Hoi An. In its waters is a 15th century shipwreck** discovered by fishermen who found some of its loose ceramics floating into their nets. So far this is the oldest shipwreck to be found off the coast of Vietnam and even more rare are its contents, blue and white ceramics made in the Red River Delta that rival those of the Chinese Ming.

Unfortunately, as more people find out about the wreck, looting has become inevitable. Thankfully, the ship is 70 metres deep, making it difficult to plunder without expensive equipment and experience.

DIRECTIVE : Your task is simple but not easy. Now that private companies with money have joined the excavation, it is imperative that the ship's contents be identified, documented and secured for study before it has a chance of being sold into private hands and lost forever. After all, this is our World Heritage. No one will want to cooperate with you though as the UN has no enforcement powers. Nevertheless, do what you can.

Be careful as this is dangerous work due to the amount of money involved. Thus, all communication between you and the UN are encrypted. In this site are the seven (7) letters from your UN colleagues currently stationed in Vietnam. Decode them to find your actual mission.

*In 2009, Cu Lao Cham (aka Cham Islands) were recognized by UNESCO as a World Biosphere Reserve. Cu Lao Cham consists of 8 islands: Hon Lao, Hon Dai, Hon Mo, Hon Khoi, Hon Kho Con, Hon La, Hon Tai, and Hon Ong. Hon Lao is the main and only inhabited island.

If this is the first time you are learning about Vietnam and this mission, please take 12 minutes to go through this primer on Vietnam.

**This Mission is based on a real shipwreck: Read more about it here and if that has piqued your interest, continue on The Wreck Detectives by BBC..