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Mark Zuckerberg vacations in Facebook-blocked Vietnam

December 27, 2011 | 10:10 am

Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook CEO

For the holidays, Mark Zuckerberg went where Facebook is not allowed to go: Vietnam.

The Facebook founder vacationed in the communist state, arriving sometime around Dec. 22. Zuckerberg sightings almost immediately began to ricochet around the Web.

VnExpress reported that Zuckerberg was granted a two-week tourist visa to Vietnam on Dec. 16.

He and girlfriend, Priscilla Chan, visited the "Hanoi Hilton" prison in Hanoi on Thursday, according to local news websites.

The Dan Tri website quoted Tran Ngoc Bich, a tour guide at the prison, reporting that Zuckerberg and Chan joined a group of about 10 tourists who were "also very excited at seeing this talented young man."

A report on the VnExpress news website claimed Zuckerberg visited a shop that sells mobile phones on Thursday afternoon, but that his bodyguards would not let fans take photos with him.

The happy couple spent Christmas Eve in Ha Long Bay, local official Trinh Dang Thanh told Associated Press. And Christmas Day they spent at an ecolodge in the northern mountain town of Sapa.

Zuckerberg rode a water buffalo there, reported Le Phuc Thien, deputy manager at Topas Ecolodge. Presumably the buffalo had a gentler fate than the bison who had the misfortune of encountering Zuckerberg.

Vietnam blocks access to Facebook and other websites. But young people in Vietnam bypass censors to use the service.

Facebook does have a representative in Vietnam who told one news outlet that he had not been informed about Zuckerberg's visit.


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 Photo: Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg at Harvard University on Nov. 7. Credit: Brian Snyder / Reuters