Da Nang International Fireworks Competition (DIFC) will be held annually instead of biennially, and last from 2 days to 2-3 weeks, on the occasion of the anniversary of the city’s liberation.
Only 100 km from Hanoi, Ba Khan is a new destination in Hoa Binh province.This site is also suitable for sightseeings,excursions or picnics in the summer days.
The Raglai prefer to build their stilt houses on high land areas near a water resource. Each hamlet has several stilt houses and the villagers are of the same clan. Traditionally the Raglai perform a ritual to find suitable land on which to build a stilt house. The mistress puts…
Some says that The Lim is derived from the local singing and dancing festivals and considered as homage to the old love story of Truong Chi and My Nuong. The Lim is also dedicated to people living at old villages around the Lim mountainous region and at the two banks of Tieu Tuong River.
An autumn morning, we visited Bidoup Nui Ba National Park in Da Lat City, one of the five largest national parks of Viet Nam. Established in 2004, the park has its name combined from Bidoup Mountain, the highest mountain on Lam Vien Plateau, and Ba Mountain, the highest one in Da Lat City. Early in the morning, a car of the park was…
The Can Cau market is not as spacious as the markets found in Sa Pa Town or Bac Ha District, but it attracts people from all over due to the…
Nestled under the foot of hills in Quan Ba District in Ha Giang Province, Lung Tam Village attracts many travelers from near and far owing to its astonishing landscape and serenity and Mong ethnic minority women in colorful attire.

The hospitality of ethnic minority children and adults warms visitors who put on three or four jackets and traverse hundreds of kilometers of winding roads and in cold weather to the village. There, they are welcomed by friendly smiles and greetings of locals, particularly lasses.


What surprises visitors to the village is that the Mong women do not need to wear shawls and jackets in such a harsh weather, as their clothes made of linen help keep them warm from the bitter cold in the mountainous region.

“Linen is like an air conditioner as it cools our body in summer and keeps us warm in winter,” a Mong lass says.

She furthers that is why the Mong people have chosen brocade linen as the main material for dresses for many generations and preserved the tradition of weaving this cloth until on January 19.

It takes some 41 steps to weave a piece of cloth. In brief, people have to dry the flax, take out the fiber, crush and boil it in ash and wax water before threading yarn on a loom. A finished cloth needs to be washed for about ten times and rubbed with beeswax until it becomes smooth and silky.


Local women are not only good at weaving but also master in textile dyeing with a unique technique and skills hardly seen in other parts of the country.

The brocade craft tradition at Lung Tam Village used to be on the verge of extinction when the mass production of clothes with much cheaper prices from China flooded the local market. But it has been restored since 2001 and provided job for more than 120 people.

Local women now can diversify their brocade products and make not only dresses but also shirts, skirts, iPad and pillow covers and tablecloth.

With eco-friendly material, unique patterns and colors, the artwork of Lung Tam artists are preferred by foreign tourists, especially Japanese and European visitors.

Source: SGT
H’Mong minority ethnic group in the northern upland province of Son La celebrates the New Year a month earlier than the country’s traditional Lunar New Year, or Tet. When mist and freezing temperatures pervade the northern upland, young native people start the spring festival with many folk games and activities…
Tuesday, 17 February 2015 11:07

Experience in a hamlet in Mekong Delta

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The majority of Vietnam’s expatriate community live in one of the country’s three largest cities – Hanoi, HCMC, or Danang. They are generally only rarely exposed to the smaller villages that lie in between, where the roads are often shoddily paved, there are no indoor dining venues, and ear-splittingly loud traditional music blares distortedly from roadside “cafes”. Many may think these villages are as backwards and “small-town” as civilized Vietnam gets, but there is a whole world of rural life that often passes under the radar of expats: the giant network of hamlets, extremely small and secluded communes that make up a large part of Vietnam’s countryside and account for a huge percentage of the Vietnamese provincial community.


I had a chance to experience one of the communities firsthand several weeks ago. I was visiting my friend, Thanh, in the small town of Hoa An in the Mekong Delta’s An Giang province. This morning I visited happened to fall on the same day as Thanh’s friend’s birthday celebration, and she asked me if I wanted to accompany her to the party. Her friend, she told me, lives in the small hamlet of Xeo Tram, which is technically part of the village but which is secluded from the larger community.


We set out from Thanh’s house that afternoon on a motorbike, we waved through the greenery-lined streets of Hoa An. The road in centre of the village was bumpy and full of potholes, but as we rode further out the concrete became even worse. Eventually the road ceased to be paved at all, and we were riding on a dusty ad, oftentimes, muddy trail. After several more minutes we reached the entrance to the hamlet. One could easily tell where the hamlet actually began because the two-way dirt road we had been driving on turned into a clay path only wide enough for two people and barely two motorbikes, but certainly not a car.


As we rode slowly along, squeezing past a group of little girls on bicycles, I could not help but admire the hamlet’s quaint and bucolic beauty, although Xeo Tram is one of the poorer hamlets in Vietnam. On either side of the path the sun beat down on the dry scrubland the hamlet was built on, and obviously impoverished thatched roof houses lay on either side of the path every 15 metres or so. Small fenced-in areas containing pigs, chickens, and other livestock jutted out from behind many of the houses.


There were no stands selling cigarettes or small food items like those that little footpaths of many towns in Vietnam, nor were there any inns or other businesses of any kind; the hamlet was purely residential. It seemed that the only form of entertainment for the residents of the hamlet was socializing with neighbours, an idea confirmed by the fact that many of the shaded concrete areas in front of the houses were filled by groups of three to ten people. They were sitting on the ground or lounging in hammocks, laughing and taking in spirited Vietnamese while sipping iced tea. Thanh told me many of the people had rarely left the hamlet and very likely have seen a foreigner before, which explained why I was started at intently by every eye we passed.


The path split off into any avenues, which I guessed would be home to more of the same I had observed on the hamlet’s main street. The hamlet was small – I would later find out it contained only 252 people – and we reached our destination very quickly. Like we had seen in front of some of the other houses in the hamlet, the gathering was a casual affair. Because it was somewhat of a special occasion, there were several plastic tables set out, and the attendees sat on the ground around the tables. Thanh and I took seat at one of the tables next to a slim middle-aged man with green-tinged teeth and piercingly black eyes who was wearing a matching T-shirt and slacks outfit reminiscent of a nurse’s scrubs. The other guests did not know any English – I think Thanh and I were the only ones within a three mile radius who did – but after the initial awkwardnessof not being able to communicate with anyone but Thanh wore off I began to greatly enjoy the laid-back and neighbourly atmosphere of the party.


I was fascinated by the secluded and isolated nature of the hamlet, and I asked the man – with help of Thanh’s translation – how, if at all, the town kept in touch with current events and other news from outside the world. He told me that, although the hamlet does not have access to the internet, it receives newspaper, which are regularly distributed and contain valuable information that keeps the people of the hamlet informed. Families, who usually own televisions, also have access to several news stations.


The news channels available include for dedicated to international broadcast corporations, such as CNN, and 52 regional stations, which are more localised and only available in the provinces they are produced in. In many more developed areas, where people have access to a huge amount of news sources, the news is often ignored. To make sure this same phenomenon does not occur among the citizens of the hamlet, it employs someone to, once a day, walk around the paths of the hamlet with a loudspeaker and “broadcast” the news.


A loudspeaker that literally blares the news into residents’s homes is a method of news delivery that people cannot simple ignore. It is direct method of news delivery rather than a passive method such as a newspaper or even TV news, so it is a good way to ensure that all of the hamlet’s citizens have at least some worldly awareness. I was touched by this sentiment because, along with the other things I had observed in the hamlet that day, it reinforced the idea that the hamlet’s hamlet’s citizens take care of each other and their well-being. Unlike a typical Western society, in which there is a thin veneer of communal spirit covering the true impetus for most public action – looking out for Number 1 – the hamlet’s community seemed to be genuinely symbiotic.


My experience at the hamlet was strange, to be sure. I felt like an outsider because I was the onle Caucasian around and the only one who could not speak the common language. It was also an extremely enlightening experience. I had seen a side of Vietnam I, and many other expats, am not often exposed to, and I had been enchanted by the quaint and rustic beauty of the hamlet and its citizen’s mindset that money is not needed to create a functional and loving community.

The Guide

THE BEAUTY OF PHONG NHA CAVES CAN ONLY BE REACHED BY AN EXACTING TREK OVER MOUNTAINS AND DOWN THROUGH VALLEYS, BUT THE REWARDS ARE WELL WORTH THE EFFORT My trip to Phong Nha in central Quang Binh province took place about a year after I moved to Hanoi. I was living with four housemates, one of whom worked in the…
THE STORY BEHIND “THE ROAD OF HAPPINESS” WHICH ZIGZAGS THROUGH THE HIGH MOUNTAINS OF THE NORTHERN PROVINCE OF HA GIANG, IS AN EPIC TALE OF SACRIFICE AND HUMAN SPIRIT One of the most popular destinations for travelers over recent years has been Ha Giang, for its magnificent beauty of terraced fields, forests, mountains, and Dong Van’s stunning karst plateau, with…

A new show combining Cheo (traditional opera) and Water Puppetry is currently being staged daily between 5.30 and 6.30pm at the Ha Noi Cheo Theatre, 15 Nguyen Dinh Chieu Street.
Entitled "Long Thanh Dien Xuong" or the Thang Long Citadel Singing Show, the act features folk dances, traditional opera, Xam singing (folk music performed by blind beggars), and Chau Van (chamber singing performed through trance rituals in honour of Mother goddesses), which are either illustrated through or mixed with Water Puppetry.
















Monday, 19 January 2015 16:18

Phuoc Tich Ancient Village

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Located on the bank of leisurely O Lau River, far about 30 kilometers from center of Hue city, Phuoc Tich village, Phong Dien commune is the symbol of architecture of the central region and famous for traditional pottery.

Built in 1470 under the reign of King Le Thanh Tong, the village was recognized as a national relic by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism in 2009. Being associated with Hue’s royal music (nha nhac), the ancient village of Phuoc Tich has been recognized as part of the world’s intangible cultural heritage by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). Phuoc Tich Ancient Village is famous for the ancient architecture and design of its many old houses and temples.

More than 500 years of existence, through the wars and the devastation of nature, Phuoc Tich village still preserves the ancient beauty of a traditional Vietnamese village.


The village’s first name is “Phuc Giang”, expressing the desire a land near river with happiness and wealth. Under Tay Son era, “Phuc Giang” was changed into “Hoang Giang” to commemorate the family setting up the village.  In the reign of Gia Long King, the village was renamed to Phuoc Tich, hoping to accumulate happiness and virtue.

One of special stop to visit at Phuoc Tich may be Cay Thi Temple, which is about 700 years old. The temple preserves harmonizing features of Vietnamese and Cham architecture, with linga and yoni ruins.

Being well-known nationwide for the craft of making pottery, the beauty of Phuoc Tich pottery products is solid, sleek and sophisticated.


The goods have a dark red colour of baked clay, which have been used mainly by Hue families. Some pottery wares of Phuoc Tich Village were used by kings in the Nguyen Dynasty.Between 1989 and 1995, the pottery craft of Phuoc Tich seemed to come to a standstill.

The ancient “ruong” houses, where preserve and display antiquities of Phuoc Tich create the unique Phuoc Tich.

Another unique trait of Phuoc Tich is the structure of “community house”. The houses were built with a typical architectural style of three compartments and two lean-tos, an ancient gate, two rows of green tea bushes and a brick-covered courtyard, most of which remain undamaged despite having gone through so many wars throughout the years.

Source: VIR
PHAN RANG BOASTS MANY HEADS OF SHEEP BUT THEY’RE NOT THE ONLY ATTRACTION IN THIS SUNBURNT LAND. One day, when I was surfing on Facebook, I came across some images of thousands of sheep grazing on grass in a gaint open field. The caption said it was in Vietnam, which made me wonder whether there we actually had this many…
TYING THE KNOT IS CERTAINLY STRAIGHTFORWARD IN VIETNAM As autumn gives way to winter in Vietnam it is the season for wedding bells. I’ve been to my fair share of weddings throughout Vietnam, from the cities to the countryside, and there is always one commonality: excess and ostentation.   “When…
Last modified on Wednesday, 14 January 2015 16:26
Situated on the southern shore of the Red River Delta, Trang An is a spectacular landscape of limestone karst peaks permeated with valleys, some of which are submerged, and surrounded by steep, almost vertical cliffs.

The property also includes Hoa Lu, the old capital of Vietnam in the 10th and 11th centuries AD, as well as temples, pagodas, paddy-field landscapes, with villages and sacred sites.

Its four best features are

1. Mixed natural and cultural heritage


Trang An Scenic Landscape Complex is the first site in Vietnam to receive UNESCO mixed natural and cultural heritage world recognition.

The Ninh Binh provincial People’s Committee will hold a three-day celebration on January 22-24, 2015 at Bai Dinh Pagoda in honour of the event, to include the award presentation ceremony. 

The complex spans a total area of 12,000 hectares. It symbolizes the magic, mystery and majesty of the natural world.

2. Most caves in Vietnam


With 48 caves, Trang An now has the most caves in the country. Each cave with its different name is attached to a story such as Sinh, Dia Linh, Ba Giot, Nau Ruou and Quy Hau.

The longest cave is 2km. Every cave connects to each other, forming a circle. Tourists visit the caves by boat.

3. Most unique tree in Vietnam


The 1,000-year-old Cay Thi in Khong temple is considered the most unique tree in the nation.

Tourist must sail by boat through 13 majestic caves that spread 13 km to Khong temple.

4. Most spectacular bird sanctuary


The Thung Nham bird sanctuary spanning an area of 334.2 hectares consists of 46 kinds of birds, some of them are listed in the Red Book of endangered species.

Source: VOV
Blankets of cloud and midst covering mountain ranges and beautiful valleys in winter entice both domestic and foreign travelers to the northwestern region of Vietnam. The region is also attractive to those whose have adventured the mountainous region once or several times as it always offers something new and exotic to experience in different seasons of the year. From Hanoi,…
Thursday, 25 December 2014 14:42

Da Chong mountain in Ninh Thuan

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Nui Da Chong (Da Chong Mountain) is one of the must-visit destinations in the central coastal province of Ninh Thuan as the peaceful place is renowned for many boulders with distinctive shapes.

The mountain is called Da Chong because it is created by natural arrangement of many spectacular huge rocks with different shapes and sizes surrounded by greenery. The mountain is beautified by pristine white-sand Ninh Chu Beach in the east and paddy fields and vineyards in the west.

The mountain is dotted by pagodas, temples, and giant Buddha statues, including Thien Vien Truc Lam Vien Ngo (Truc Lam Vien Ngo Temple Complex), Trung Son Pagoda and Trung Khanh Pagoda.

Source: SGT
Sung La village, located on Dong Van plateau in the northern mountainous province of Ha Giang, became a popular tourist destination after it was featured in the 2006 film Chuyen Cua Pao (Pao's Story). Chuyen Cua Pao, which won a Golden Kite award in 2005 and was presented at the Cannes Film Festival in France in 2007, depicts the life…
Ha Long Bay and the Son Doong cave have been named among the top 10 of the most breathtakingly beautiful places to visit on the planet by the global travel website GlobalGrasshopper.

In the list for 2015, Ha Long Bay in northern Quang Ninh province ranked third while the Son Doong cave in central Quang Binh province, in the seventh place.

Located 165 km from Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam, Ha Long Bay is an area comprising 1,600 islands and islets.

The majority of these land masses have not been touched by humans and have managed to retain their beauty since their creation. It is this that enabled it to be listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site, GlobalGrasshpper said.

Meanwhile, located approximately 500km south of Hanoi, the Son Doong cave, the largest in the world, is more than 200m wide, 150m high, and about 9km long. It houses a jungle and a river, and could fit a 40-storey skyscraper within its walls.


For centuries, men have mulled upon the existence of hollow Earth – a theory that states that the Earth is hollow. If hollow Earth did exist, than the Son Doong cave would be a testament to its existence. The cave is so large that humans exploring them would look like ants. The Son Doong cave is evidence of the world’s beauty, inside and out, the website said.

Source: VNA
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