Aquatic adventure in Tam Coc is wondrous

11:58 PM |
Travel Vietnam Blog
Tam Coc Tourism Site - Photo by An Bui

Halong Bay, one of the seven wonders of the natural world, is a hard act to follow that is for sure.

Twenty-four hours after our stay there we visited Tam Coc and the three caves along the Ngo Dong River.

We arrived tired and grumpy and we expected to find it the ugly sister of the North East but the reality could not have been further from the truth. During our time there my boyfriend and I experienced a whole new definition of natural beauty.The first thing which warmed us to Tam Coc was the fact that getting to the caves involved an aquatic adventure.

The only way to reach the caves is via a three hour round-trip by boat, where skippers maneuver the oars with their feet instead of hands (which takes some getting used to).The caves are sold as the main attraction but they were outshone by the vibrant scenes we paddled past – rural life, vast limestone columns and rice fields with vivid green shoots. 

 We stopped in silence to watch kingfishers, woodpeckers and starlings at play, and marveled at the hundreds of butterflies and dragonflies which zigzagged by. Aside from the caves there is plenty to do. After a delicious lunch along the banks of the river we opted to explore Ninh Binh by scooter. In a few hours we saw the surrounding areas including the ancient capital of Vietnam (Hoa Lu) and the country’s largest National Park, Cuc Phuong. It was only when our camera memory cards became full that we realized it was time to go home. Our brief experience, packed as it was with beauty and wildlife, is a small illustration of the amount there is to see and do in this small corner of Vietnam.


Source The Saigon Times.vn
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Ho Dynasty’s history on display in Thanh Hoa

11:56 PM |
Opening a series of activities to welcome the world cultural heritage recognition for the Ho Dynasty, the Thanh Hoa Provincial Museum has put about 500 items relating to the Ho Dynasty Citadel, Ho Quy Ly and the Ho Dynasty on display, reports VietnamPlus.

On display are photographs, books, literature, newspapers, magazines, scientific analysis and research by both domestic and foreign academics. The documents include four main themes of the Ho Dynasty Citadel, Ho Quy Ly, the Ho Dynasty and the Ho Dynasty Citadel’s recognition by UNESCO as a world cultural heritage last year.

Among the collection are documents written in French before 1954. Among the exhibits are photos of the citadel from the air as well as the camp where the stone masons lived during its construction, plus the book La Province De Thanh Hoa by French scholar Le Proton.

The exhibition is to allow the public access to the Ho Dynasty Citadel relics and the cultural history of Thanh Hoa Province and to meet demands from researchers.

Located in Vinh Tien and Vinh Long Communes in Vinh Loc District, the Ho Dynasty Citadel measures 870 meters by 883 meters and was built in 1397. The citadel’s construction was supervised by the Tran Dynasty’s top mandarin, Ho Quy Ly, who later occupied the citadel when he took the throne by force in 1400 and changed the country’s name from Dai Viet to Dai Ngu.

Also known as the Tay Do Citadel, the ancient building is famous for being strategically located where it could be easily defended. The citadel is protected by a mountain range to the north, while the Ma River runs to the west and the Buoi River to the south, creating a huge natural moat.

However, now almost all of the citadel’s main structures have been seriously damaged due to the ravages of time, while only the wall and four main entrances are still well preserved.

Although the Ho Dynasty only lasted from 1400 to 1407, Emperor Ho left a significant legacy. He is credited for pioneering the circulation of the first banknotes in Vietnam, expanding the network of schools and promoting the use of the Vietnamese Nom ideographic script.


Source The Saigon Time.vn
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Sen Cafe – rustic corner in city

11:55 PM |
During the gloom of early rainy season, sipping bitter coffee and admiring the raindrops in a peaceful space as the classic melodies play out, the rich come to celebrate life, the poor dream of changing their destiny, with the crime and horrid pollution in the city a mere dream as you relax in comfort. This is Sen Cafe in Binh Thanh District.

The decor is traditional style mixed with modern design but it is cozy and peaceful with its wooden windows, wooden table sets, red-tiled walls, bamboo clusters, devil’s ivy lianas, old ceramic vases and retro lamps hanging around blending in with the base color of brown.

We must also mention a small lotus pond where guests can admire the beauty of the national flower. Many rocks are arranged together like installation artworks studded small stream, with the pond under the shade of some willow trees and lotus flowers.

Sen Cafe is also home to flowers such as orchids, daisy, cockscomb scattered around the venue. The soothing music is also another pleasure for guests there with piano or guitar melodies, letting guests chill out.

The cafe serves fruit juices, smoothies, tea, and coffee from the three regions, with Western and Asian dishes. Sen Cafe is at 6/1 Nguyen Huy Tuong Street.



By My Tran
Source The Saigon Times.vn
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Bizarre yet tasty dishes in Vietnam

11:54 PM |
Some expats living in Vietnam confessed that they have tried strange local dishes and gradually fell in love with the flavors. After all, sampling new dishes is a way to understand the customs and traditions of the country in which they are living. Here are the stories of five expats in Hanoi who have strong stomachs and have tried several strange dishes that the even locals fear to eat.

Self-cooked dog meat
Sean Cogills still remembers the first time he tried dog meat: it was not at a restaurant but at home prepared by himself.

Waking up after his 23rd birthday, Sean wandered around a market on Bach Dang Street and came across a dog meat stall. Curious, he asked to buy a block of meat for VND50,000 (US$2.5). He even remembered to get some vermicelli to complete the dish.

At home, Dale started to boil the meat and used the spices available . Unexpectedly, the broth turned out to have a strange green color and stinky smell!

“I brought a dish of dog meat out to eat at the balcony. I thought I would think a lot about the dog I used to play with during my childhood back in Ireland. But no, I was still busy vomiting as my home-cooked dish was so disgusting,” said Sean.

After that failed culinary trial, Sean had a second chance to try the dog dish in a restaurant and loved the flavors.

“It is like pork but chewier. Although not a daily dish, it is something to try. As people often say ‘When in Rome, do as the Romans do’,” Sean said.

Feeling a heartbeat in the throat
“The heart thumps, and gets stuck in my throat for a while before I wash it down with some strong wine,” recalled Luke Poulson, about eating a famous snake dish from Le Mat village.

This English DJ, who has lived in Vietnam for two years, has no better word to describe the dish than ‘bizarre’.

However, he still loves snake meat, which he finds tastier than chicken or pork, thanks to its strong flavor. Another of Luke’s favorites is pork intestines, which are similar to the pork sausages he often has back his hometown in northern England.

Luke finds Vietnamese cuisine surprisingly creative, while most of the food in England or European countries is processed and canned.

“In England, even the chicken does not look like a chicken as it has lost its head!” he said.

Blood flavored soup
“The first time I swallowed a spoon of tiet canh (raw blood soup), I felt like I was licking blood off my face after being beaten,” said Michael Vong, a Malaysian businessman.

That was his initial feeling after being taken to eat the special dish for the first time. Gradually, however, Michael started to like the flavors of the soup when served with herbs and peanuts.

He reveals he spots a good street food stall by checking the crowd. The more packed it is, the tastier the food it serves. Many Vietnamese friends also complimented Michael on his good culinary knowledge, some even said he has become more local than them.

But Michael says he was recently advised not to eat his favorite soup dish by his wife, who believed it would make him more violent.

“My wife probably just watches too much Twilight,” he said.

You are what you eat
Having lived in Vietnam for 5 years, Australian Malcolm Duckett is a fan of street food. He is averse to western food like KFC, and McDonalds and has a fear that his favorite street food stalls will have to make way for these big franchises in the near future.

Malcolm finds the most delicious Vietnamese dishes on the street rather than in restaurants. He explains that each stall only serves one dish like sticky rice, escargot or rice porridge and the seller, also the cook, has become a master of that dish.

Malcolm says he likes the Vietnamese conception of ‘You are what you eat’.

“My girlfriend is a dancer and she loves grilled chicken legs. Maybe eating rice porridge made from innards will help my stomach get better,” reasoned Malcolm.

Pork kidneys are soft and sweet
Although animal intestines are inedible in the US, Dale Watkins fell in love with the Phnom Penh noodle and kidney soup at first bite.

“The pork kidney has a very special taste, which is soft and sweet. The noodles are chewy. I love to eat to soup with spicy satay,” said Dale.

Dale used to take his foreign friends to try this dish without revealing to them what was inside. They all loved the soup even though they later found out they had tried pork innards.

After three years of living in Vietnam, Dale finds the Vietnamese proudest of their traditional dishes than any other nationals.

“Any Vietnamese meeting me for the first time ask what dishes I have tried,” said Dale.

“People here identify themselves with a special dish of their hometown. It is a remarkable part in your culture.”


Source Tuoi Tre News
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Danes fund contemporary art project

11:49 PM |
Ten projects of contemporary art and cultural performances will get financial support from the Danish Vietnamese Cultural Development and Exchange Fund (CDEF).

Established in 2006, CDEF has recently approved the projects with a total funding of US$61,000 with a view to promoting Vietnamese artists as well as cultural exchange activities between Denmark and Viet Nam.

Three projects by artists including Phan Y Ly, Truong Que Chi, Ngo Thanh Phuong, Nguyen Trinh Thi and Ea Sola make up more than a half of total budget.

Ly's project entitled Visually Devised Theatre will be granted US$5,200 exploring the power struggle between men and women. It is a theatre performance that brings together theatre and visual arts to explore the theme of feminism.

Another theatre performance by Chi is a dream about a blind bird. Chi will get $3,600 for the solo performance. Through personal stories about experiences or unreal space of thought, the performance questions the relationship between women and the surrounding world.

A Singular Voice – the Contemporary Journey of Ea Sola in Viet Nam 1991 – 2012 is a presentation contributing to the appreciation of artistic innovation and the critical examination of contemporary and traditional dance and music in Viet Nam.

It presents two major contemporary music and dance works, Drought and Rain and The White Body. The project will get $15,000 along with other activities including seminars and discussions on the development of contemporary dance and music in Viet Nam.

Erasable by Phuong is an experimental art programme that combines contemporary dance, music, visual arts and audience interaction. The performance will involve the participation of the audience, helping them to gain a better understanding and a friendlier view towards contemporary art. Phuong will be granted $7,100.

Indie-documentary maker Thi's The Artist is a video installation and film project combining performance art, video art and cinema. Thematically, Thi is to continue with her deep interests in the history and development of the artists' role and position in Vietnamese society. The video will be funded about $5,000.

Others getting profit from the fund include Yxine Film Festival ($5,000), Ha Noi Grapevine - a group promoting contemporary art ($5,000), Ha Noi Recitals music project between Vietnamese and Danish composers ($8,600), the Crescendo Voice Echoes - a public art project ($3,000) and Cinema Bookshelf ($3,600).


Source VNS
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Russian tourists visit central region

11:49 PM |
Nearly 800 Russian tourists have visited central coastal cities and provinces since early this year, Vice Consul to Da Nang Anton Golubev, confirmed yesterday.

"We expect that there will be more and more Russian tourists visiting the central region during the summer holidays," he said.

"Hoi An City and Da Nang's beautiful beaches are major destinations for visitors in coming years."

Russian tourists, who flew to Da Nang via six chartered flights from Irkutsk, Novorsibirk and Krasnoyarsk, joined familiarisation (FAM) trips in Hoi An, Nha Trang and Phan Thiet City.

As scheduled, there will be one chartered flight from Russia to Da Nang every 10 days and the central city will host a total 12,000 Russian tourists visiting its heritage sites this summer.


Source VNS
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Rare documents of world cultural heritage on show

11:48 PM |
A collection of Vietnamese and French documents consisting of newspaper and research on the Ho Citadel are on display in central Thanh Hoa Province's Library.

The 500-piece collection includes literature and art works of Vietnamese and foreign scholars published before 1945.

The collection gives a panorama of the Ho Citadel, Ho Quy Ly dynasty (1400-07) and publications about the citadel when UNESCO recognised it as a world cultural heritage site in June 2011.

Valuable French photos of the Ho Citadel taken from the air by the Indochina Military Airbase, the stone exploitation of Vietnamese workers for the citadel construction, and a book entitled La Province de Thanh Hoa have been considered the most unique resources for study.

The exhibition is one of a series of cultural festivals held in the Ho Citadel as part of the June ceremony to receive official certification of a world culture heritage site.

The ceremony will be held at the Ho Citadel's Heritage Preservation Centre in Thanh Hoa on June 16


Source VNS
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Vietventures's business trip in EU 03.2012

10:10 PM |

Travel Vietnam Blog
Vietventures's business trip in EU 03.2012

Travel Vietnam Blog
Vietventures's business trip in EU 03.2012

Travel Vietnam Blog
Vietventures's business trip in EU 03.2012

Travel Vietnam Blog
Vietventures's business trip in EU 03.2012

Travel Vietnam Blog
Vietventures's business trip in EU 03.2012

Travel Vietnam Blog
Vietventures's business trip in EU 03.2012

Travel Vietnam Blog
Vietventures's business trip in EU 03.2012

Travel Vietnam Blog
Vietventures's business trip in EU 03.2012

Travel Vietnam Blog
Vietventures's business trip in EU 03.2012


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Vietventures 12th End Year Party 2011

10:06 PM |
Travel Vietnam Blog
Vietventures 12th End Year Party 2011

Travel Vietnam Blog
Ms. Hong - Managing Director

Travel Vietnam Blog
Vietventures 12th End Year Party 2011

Travel Vietnam Blog
Vietventures 12th End Year Party 2011

Travel Vietnam Blog
Vietventures 12th End Year Party 2011


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Loc An Beach, Vung Tau 2011

8:29 PM |
Travel Vietnam Blog
Loc An Beach, Vung Tau 2011 - Photo by Logan Bui

Travel Vietnam Blog
Loc An Beach, Vung Tau 2011 - Photo by Logan Bui

Travel Vietnam Blog
Loc An Beach, Vung Tau 2011 - Photo by Logan Bui

Travel Vietnam Blog
Loc An Beach, Vung Tau 2011 - Photo by Logan Bui

Travel Vietnam Blog
Loc An Beach, Vung Tau 2011 - Photo by Logan Bui

Travel Vietnam Blog
Loc An Beach, Vung Tau 2011 - Photo by Logan Bui

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Mekong Delta Tours 2011

8:27 PM |
Travel Vietnam Blog
Mekong Delta Tours 2011 - Photo by An Bui

Travel Vietnam Blog
Mekong Delta Tours 2011 - Photo by An Bui

Travel Vietnam Blog
Mekong Delta Tours 2011 - Photo by An Bui

Travel Vietnam Blog
Mekong Delta Tours 2011 - Photo by An Bui

Travel Vietnam Blog
Mekong Delta Tours 2011 - Photo by An Bui

Travel Vietnam Blog
Mekong Delta Tours 2011 - Photo by An Bui

Travel Vietnam Blog
Mekong Delta Tours 2011 - Photo by An Bui 


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Muine Beach Village 2011

8:23 PM |
Travel Vietnam Blog
Muine Beach Village 2011 - Photo by An Bui

Travel Vietnam Blog
Muine Beach Village 2011 - Photo by An Bui

Travel Vietnam Blog
Muine Beach Village 2011 - Photo by An Bui

Travel Vietnam Blog
Muine Beach Village 2011 - Photo by An Bui

Travel Vietnam Blog
Muine Beach Village 2011 - Photo by An Bui


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Halong / Ky Son / Duong Lam Tour

8:21 PM |
Travel Vietnam Blog
Halong / Ky Son / Duong Lam Tour

Travel Vietnam Blog
Halong / Ky Son / Duong Lam Tour

Travel Vietnam Blog
Halong / Ky Son / Duong Lam Tour

Travel Vietnam Blog
Halong / Ky Son / Duong Lam Tour

Travel Vietnam Blog
Halong / Ky Son / Duong Lam Tour

Travel Vietnam Blog
Halong / Ky Son / Duong Lam Tour

Travel Vietnam Blog
Halong / Ky Son / Duong Lam Tour


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Cooking class in Saigon

8:17 PM |
Travel Vietnam Blog
Cooking class in Saigon - Photo by Logan Bui

Travel Vietnam Blog
Cooking class in Saigon - Photo by Logan Bui

Travel Vietnam Blog
Cooking class in Saigon - Photo by Logan Bui

Travel Vietnam Blog
Cooking class in Saigon - Photo by Logan Bui

Travel Vietnam Blog
Cooking class in Saigon - Photo by Logan Bui


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Bai Tram Beach, Phu Yen

8:13 PM |
Travel Vietnam Blog
Bai Tram Beach, Phu Yen - Photo by Logan Bui

Travel Vietnam Blog
Bai Tram Beach, Phu Yen - Photo by Logan Bui

Travel Vietnam Blog
Bai Tram Beach, Phu Yen - Photo by Logan Bui

Travel Vietnam Blog
Bai Tram Beach, Phu Yen - Photo by Logan Bui

Travel Vietnam Blog
Bai Tram Beach, Phu Yen - Photo by Logan Bui

Travel Vietnam Blog
Bai Tram Beach, Phu Yen - Photo by Logan Bui

Travel Vietnam Blog
Bai Tram Beach, Phu Yen - Photo by Logan Bui


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