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You are having some leisure time in Hanoi to discover the city on your own without tour guide and wondering where to spend your time, the Vietnamese Women’s Museum is highly recommended

 Vietnam Women's Museum

Vietnam Women’s Museum

Personally, I suppose that the Vietnamese Women’s Museum is one of Hanoi’s most overlooked museums and is also one of its best. The museum was reopened in 2010 after a period of 4 years of renovations. Located at 36 Ly Thuong Kiet Str,  just a few minutes walk from south end of Hoan Kiem lake. You can visit the museum from 8.00 am till 17.00 pm, everyday except Mondays. Once entering this museum, you will find out that it is very well organized with total three main galleries which present three main themes including: Women in Family, Women in History and Women’s Fashion. Indochina travel Vietnam

Traditional clothes of Woman in Vietnam

Clothes of Woman in Vietnam

With at least 02 hours at this place, you will have chance to learn more about Vietnamese traditional cultures, marriage customs of different ethnic groups, childbirth as well as family life. Some are interested in Vietnamese unique traditional women’s clothing while other may deeply impressed by the role of women in the defense of the nation. Exhibits are described in Vietnamese, English and also French then it is easy to explore the museum on your own or with your tour guide.

Ao Dai and Ao Yem

Ao Dai and Ao Yem

Entrance fee is VND 30,000, all in all this museum is really worth visiting while in Hanoi!

 

Festivals in MYANMAR

Myanmar is a veritable land with full of colorful festivals and special events, mostly cultural and religious, all are always pleasurable. Most festivals are celebrated nation-wide all over the country. As Myanmar traditionally goes by 12 month lunar calendar, the dates of festivals and culture events are determined by the lunar New Year. Once you come and experience the festivals, you will not forget that moment. Myanmar also have festivals all around the year, at least one in each month of the year.

(PART I)

Ananda pagoda festival (Bagan):

Symbolizing the limitless wisdom of Buddha, there is a month long sanctified festival for the temple Ananda, the most beautiful one out of 2000 holy monuments in Bagan, Myanmar. It is usually falls on January every year. The busiest day of the festival is on the full-moon day of the lunar month. Villagers and pilgrims around Bagan roll in the sacred site of Ananda for the consecration.

Ananda pagoda is one of the most famous pagodas in Bagan. Built by King Kyansittha of the Bagan dynasty in late 11th century, it is also rated as the most aesthetic and artistic structure in Bagan. The temple’s name means the endless wisdom of Buddha. The pagoda festival is held annually on the full moon of Pyatho (January). This annual festival has been around for more than 2,000 years and even now people from surrounding villages come to the festival by the traditional way in bullock carts. They also stay the whole 7 days duration of the event, camping under the spreading acacia trees around pagoda. There are stalls too, selling everything from daily necessities to cosmetics and food stalls of course. The festival ends with the traditional donation ceremony for the monks on the full moon day of Pyatho.

This is also the best time to see not only the ritual of Buddhists but the festival is also meant for social gathering, reunification, propagation and perpetuation of the religion that is Buddhism. During the festival, walk around in sea of vendors and shops that sell traditional Myanmar food-staff and enjoy the local atmosphere in locality.

  • Date: usually starts the first week of January
  • Location: Bagan
  • Duration: 15 days
Ananda pagoda festival

Ananda pagoda festival

Kachin New Year festival (Manaw – Kachin State):

Kachin is one of the states which has a delightful festival known as Manaw, one of the largest ethnic races of Myanmar, live in the northern part of the country. The Kachin state is the roof of the country inhabited by the different Kachin races of Jainphaw, Azi, Rawang, Lashi, Mashu and Lisu. The land is swept by chill breezes blowing from the Himalayas and the streams with crystal clear and icy water of melted snow. The races dwell in villages by rivulets or in valleys or on the hill tops, each with their own language, customs and culture. Every year in January, the Kachins hold a Manaw ( traditional commemorative festival) to welcome in the Kachin New Year. Manaw simply means “festival” in the Kachin (Jinpaw) language, and is a gathering to celebrate the harvest, New Year, or a wedding with feasting and dancing. The traditional Manaw poles decorated in Kachin motifs are at the centre of the festival compound where the dancers dance around to show of gratitude to their ancestral spirits and their wish for a bright future. All the visitors are warmly welcomed to join the dance.

Kachin, the hill people or the Scots of Myanmar, celebrate Manaw festival. It is one of the most popular festivals in Myanmar. The festival is usually held in January. This festival has been held for more than three decades. Manaw festivals is the celebration of the New Year, Victory in battles, reunion of the tribes etc. Everybody in town joins the spiritual dance lined up behind one another.

The traditional Manaw poles are decorated in colourful Kachin motifs and are centered in the middle of the festival ground. All who came to the festival wear their best traditional costume and the main feature of the festival is dancing around the erected Manaw poles, quite similar to the totem poles of North American Indians. Manaw festival is held in Myitkyina and Putao in Kachine State.

  • Date:   Around first week of January
  • Location: Myitkyina, Kachin State.
Kachin New Year festival

Kachin New Year festival

Naga festival (Chin State):

Numerous Naga tribes spread throughout the north-western hills of Myanmar. Most of the Naga are from the Chin State. But the festival place falls in the Sagaing Division, next to the Chin State. The places where the Naga inhabit are Khamti, Lashe, Lahel, and Nanyun in the Sagaing Division. There are 64 clans of the Naga tribe. Naga New Year festival is one of the most breathtaking and exciting events among many festival in Myanmar. The Naga is one of national races who live in Naga land. Their annual New Year festival is celebrated in the mid of January and participated by about 30 Naga clans. Naga national group gather at one of their towns to celebrate their New Year. Dressed in their finery of breads, feathers, fur, bear and tiger, they parade into town after walking several days over mountain and through valleys. One can also enjoy the unique songs and dances that may never be seen before. To all visitors, Naga New Year festival is a different world and amazing land to be visited and observed. Indochina tours Myanmar

  • Place:  Chin State
  • Time:   During January of every year, depends on Lunar calendar
Naga festival

Naga festival

Naga festival

Naga festival

Naga festival

Naga festival

Maha Muni Pagoda Festival (Mandalay):

The pagoda festival celebrates  on 14th Waxing Moon day and 15th full moon day of Tabodwe in Mandalay. The coldest month in Myanmar and during the festival, devotees light bonfires and cook huge pans of sticky rice with ginger, coconut and sesame to offer monks at the Maha Muni pagoda. In other parts of the country, sticky rice is cooked as a celebration of the harvest and distributed within communities.

Glutinous rice (which is a delicacy) contests are also held on the pagoda’s platform. A variety of incense sticks are burnt for the Myanmar Buddha image on the full moon day. During this festival thousands of people from all over the country make the pilgrimage to the Mahamuni Pagoda. The temple is always the center of activities and during this festival it explodes with energy. Locals from far and near come to pay homage and respect to the Buddha image and enjoy the festival. Many street vendors sell, Thanakha, Myanmar made toys, Mandalay food and many more. It is very crowded in the pagoda’s compound.

  • Place:  Maha Myat Muni Pagoda, Mandalay, Mandalay Division
  • Time:   During February / March, depends on Lunar Calendar
Maha Muni Pagoda Festival

Maha Muni Pagoda Festival

Maha Muni Pagoda Festival

Maha Muni Pagoda Festival

Maha Muni Pagoda Festival

Maha Muni Pagoda Festival

Maha Muni Pagoda Festival

Maha Muni Pagoda Festival

Shwedagon Pagoda Festival (Yangon):

It is one of the wonders of the world today, was believed to have built over 2005 years ago where Buddha’s relics were enshrined. The festival is usually held on the full moon day of Tabaung which is being in March. Many people in the country contributes funds for the repairing and a great number of people pay homage every day. There are many festivals throughout the year. The pouring water to the sacred Bo-tree, the overnight weaving contest for the yellow robes, the donation of golden leafs in a buck and many others are unnoticed festivals in each occasion. The traditional snacks and local products are displayed and sold in many stalls along the side ways to Shwedagon pagoda. It is worth moment for visitors to see how bustling Myanmar people enjoy their holiday and how they participate in religious activities of festivals. The renovation works were greatly done and the escalator on the western stairway and the elevators in all others are beautifully forced and the elevators in all others are beautifully forced and the spires are rebuilt. Even the campy is renovated with modern techniques. Visitors from all over the country enjoy the festival at such a time. They come to donate offertories

  • Place: Yangon, Yangon Division
  • Time: During February / March, depends on Lunar Calendar
Shwedagon Pagoda Festival

Shwedagon Pagoda Festival

Shwedagon Pagoda Festival

Shwedagon Pagoda Festival

Shwedagon Pagoda Festival

Shwedagon Pagoda Festival

Pindaya Shwe Oo Min Pagoda festival (Southern Shan State):

Well known for its extensive limestone caves over million of years ago. Shwe Oo Min cave pagoda festival is as well celebrated on full moon day of Tabaung, starts a week before full moon day. Thousands of devotees from villages around the area come to pay homeage to the images of Buddha in the cave. There are some 6,000 Buddha images and interesting stalagmites.

  • Place: Pindaya, Southern Shan State
  • Time: During March
Pindaya Shwe Oo Min Pagoda festival

Pindaya Shwe Oo Min Pagoda festival

Kakku Pagoda Festival (Taungyi, Sounthern Shan State):

Annualy, Kakku pagoda festival is also held on full moon day. The devotees come from Pa-O village to the pagoda for praying respect and enjoy the days under very huge banyan trees surrounding the pagodas. There are over 2,000 ancient pagodas in Kakku pagoda compound. The Pa-O people dress up their best costume and getting to know each other while others come by their bullock carts to the festival.

As it is, all the people of the region arrive by the thousands, dressed in their traditional costumes. Some come in bullock carts while others arrive by more modern conveyances, on the village tractor. But the most interesting time to visit this place is to get there before dawn of the full moon day of Tabaung where the Pa O people in all their finery come with gaily decorated trays bearing morning food offerings.

  • Place: Kakku region, near Inle Lake, Shan State
  • Time: During March
Kakku Pagoda Festival

Kakku Pagoda Festival

Myanmar New Year Festival (Nation Wide):

The most famous festival of Myanmar is the Thingyan Water Festival, which is held from 13 April to 16 April every year. Thiangyan water festival, the greatest and the merriest, celebrated all over the country which goes together with Myanmar New Year. It features water throwing by the way of relieving of the intense heat of the season and washing away the sins of passing year. It is believed that water festival washes away sins and welcomes the New Year. The water festival represents the most popular, raucous and colorful celebration of the year for more than 120 million people who will abandon any thoughts of work and bring their nations to a standstill. People around the country gather together again and visits pagodas, offers and pay homage to the monks, play traditional games and celebrate with their joyous spirit.

Young and not-so-young people have great fun throwing at one another, teasing, singing, dancing and shouting during the festival. If you take part this festival, you will feel really awesome. But Thingyan is not all for fun and play. It is also a time for performing meritorious deeds. Some do religious deeds at monasteries. As a whole, during Thingyan period everything becomes dear. After playing around and having fun throughout the country, the city-dwellers welcome the New Year on the 17th by cleaning the floors of the pagodas and monasteries, washing old and aged people’s hair, helping to cut them their nails. Some offer free food and drinks for everyone who visits the pagodas, some make other donations. If you can be here with us, you will never forget the true joy.

  • Place: Countrywide
  • Time: April 13 to April 16 every year
Myanmar New Year Festival

Myanmar New Year Festival

Myanmar New Year Festival

Myanmar New Year Festival

 

  1. My country’s territory has a shape of a narrow ‘S’ letter. It is in Southeast Asia on the eastern edge of the peninsula known as Indochina. Its neighbors include China to the north and Laos and Cambodia to the west. The narrowest point of Vietnam is located in Quang Binh province and it is only 40.3 kilometers wide.
  2. In English or other languages, our country’s name is spelled as one word, Vietnam. However, in Vietnamese, our original name includes two words – Viet Nam. Viet is the name of the people, which covers the 54 different ethnic groups in my country. Nam means the South. Viet Nam means the Viet people living in the South of Asia.
  3. Our flag consists of a golden star with five points to represent farmers, workers, intellectuals, youth and soldiers. The red background pays tribute to the bloodshed during the wars. We passed over 17 wars to protect our Independence during our long history. There are two famous victory against French (in First Indochina War) and American (in Vietnam War). Now, our country is one of the most peaceful countries in over the world with good foreign policies and friendly people.Ceramic road in Hanoi
  4. Our capital Hanoi celebrated the 1,000th year anniversary in 2010. In fact, the duration is over four times as many as the whole history of the USA.
  5. In some countries or religious, they believe in Adam and Eva. In our country, we believe that we were born from Lac Long Quan (Dragon Lord) and Au Co (Fairy). Nowadays, Vietnamese people still are ‘the children of the Dragon and the Fairy’. Tours indochina Vietnam
  6. When you visit our ancient Hanoi, you will be heard about our story about a legend turtle living on Hoan Kiem Lake (Lake of Returned-Sword). In 15th century, this lake was named Hoan Kiem Lake after the legend of Emperor Le Thai To, which is somehow similar to the story of King Arthur and the Lady of the Lake’s. During the war against the Minh aggressors, King Le Thai To was given a legend Sword by the Golden Turtle God. After 10 years of continuous struggling, the King finally defeated the Chinese and reclaimed the nation’s independence. While boating on this lake, a large turtle came towards him and immediately grabbed the sword with its mouth and submerged. The king mourned the loss of such a valuable sword, yet could not find either the turtle or the sword. After that, King Le Thai To named the lake Ho Hoan Kiem or Lake of the Restore Sword after this episode. In fact, this turtle was not only on fairy story but also real and just gone in 19th January 2016. Before, scientists just found only 4 living ones in all over the world.

    Guom Lake in Hanoi

    Guom Lake in Hanoi

  7. About more than 35 million people dominating approximately 40% of all Vietnamese around the world share the same family name Nguyen. Nguyen ranks the 4th in the list of the world’s most common surnames, only after Li or Lee (with more than 120 million people), Zhang (100 million), and Wang (92.88 million).
  1. Motorbikes are the most common form of transport, and riders are fined by the police if found without a helmet. This law was passed on 1/1/2008. The lowest penalty for ‘forgetting’ your helmet is 150,000VND (nearly USD 7). Do not forgetting your helmet if you want to discover Vietnam by motorbike. It is ‘safe’ for your life and also for your travelling budget.
  1. If you are reading this blog with a cup of coffee, I guess that it may be come from my country. After looking at below information, I believe that you will check around your kitchen. Vietnam owns about 20% of the coffee market share, and is the second largest producer in the world (after Brazil). Besides, Vietnam is also the largest exporter of cashew and pepper, and the second largest of rice (after Thailand). This is some amazing data:
  • Cashew: 260,000 tons
  • Pepper: 118,000 tons
  • Rice: 8.1 million tons
  • Coffee: 1.5 million tons
  1. Regarding rice, boiled rice is the most popular food in our country. It is severed in every main Vietnamese meal. However, ‘Pho’ (Noodle) is the most famous food in my country and is also the second most popular food.

    Noodle soup

    Noodle soup

  2. When cooking a pig, the entire animal is used including the blood and innards. One of our famous food made from fresh blood is ‘Tiet Canh’.

    Tiet Canh is a horror food

    Tiet Canh is a horror food

  3. You should avoid touching or taping the head of other’s head. Children may be exceptions. However, sometimes, children will still feel uncomfortable when you taping or passing their head. As some Asian country, in Vietnam, this behavior will show that you are looking down or disrespecting the older one. Moreover, we believe our head is a house of intelligence and soul and it need protecting. Please do not try to touch or tap other’s people even when you have good intention.
  4. Football is the most popular sport in my country and our rival opponent is Thailand team. After the unforgettable moment of our historical victory against Thailand in Final match of ASEAN Football Federation Cup (2008), all of Vietnamese people go out and sing national song over-night in the center of Hanoi. We celebrated for the first football cup in our sport history for a long time. Next year, our futsal team will join men’s futsal world-cup tournament for the first time.

    2013-4-1-vietnam2008

    Football is the most popular sport in our country. Unluckily, we just had only one cup in international tournaments (AFF CUP 2008)

  5. Vietnam is a country of festival with 8902 festival per year. This number includes official and unofficial festival. It may be a good potential for our tourism development. However, they was still not controlled and invested well.
  6. Vietnam is a developing country but our rate of unemployment is one of the lowest of all developing countries in the world. Besides, we are 150th member of WTO from 2006 till now.

Despite not being processed by the top chefs in expensive restaurants, the dishes below still captured the hearts of a lot of tourists in the country and internationally thanks to the delicious, attractive but not least unique part, its creation. Indochina tours Vietnam

1. Banh My

Mixed bread Vietnam’s National Geographic Magazine also (USA) voted to the list of foods most attractive streets in the world.

Banh My is a delicious food

Banh My is a delicious food

Sandwiches or burgers Vietnam-style breads or Saigon as a kind of bread made of wheat drives conventional (and possibly rice flour). This bread comes from the French baguette bread brought into Vietnam. In the arranger, who Saigon processed into bread baguette characteristic of Saigon with a shorter length, about 30-40 cm. Loaf and further processed meat, become familiar as to become more popular dishes of Saigon. Depending on the components inside that’s sandwiched sandwiches with different names.

Bread is a quick meal the morning (and evening) for international students, students and workers because there are reasonable price. Depending on each locality in Vietnam but sandwiches can be used as a substitute for breakfast, or as a quick snack at different times of the day.

2. Banh Khot

Banh Khot is one of the world’s most delicious food in the poll at the Street Food Festival takes place at the Singapore International Banh Khot 2013. Vietnam is the cake of rice flour, there’s shrimp, fried and served with raw vegetables, fresh peppers, usually served with sweet dipping sauce, very little shrimp paste sauce (shrimp paste or fish sauce is not sour shrimp).

3. Banh Xeo

One of the most delicious dishes Vietnam 40 CNN poll.

Banh xeo is a favourite food of People

Banh xeo is a favourite food of People

Pancake is a cake, with yellow feature crispy outer layer of dough, inside, it’s like the price, beans, meat, shrimp in a circle and then be folded into a semicircle.
Pancake often served with sauce and vegetables. Through years of development, pancakes each region are different as in the North pancakes also beans and taro root. Southern pancakes are served with sweet and sour sauce, the sauce is also Hue broth with both committing barbecue.

Vegetables with pancakes is also very rich, including lettuce, broccoli, lettuce, perilla, basil, bay leaves, eating pancakes .. When people use vegetables with pancakes package then dipped into sauce to enjoy. The mix of a variety of flavors to help pancakes always taste left much to eat, it helps the pancakes become an indispensable dish on the big party in the countryside.

 4. Banh nep

Sticky rice wrapped outer shell banana coconut milk has been mixed up when baked up crispy and delicious eating fat. Not only is this dish baked banana chan up fragrant coconut milk, along with roasted sesame rustic delicacies made this southern favorite at Congress Street Food (World Congress Street food) organization 05 in Singapore at the end of last month.

Banh-nep-nuong-la-chuoi

5. Pho

Situated at the beginning of Hang Trong Street, noodle shop is only open from 5 pm until 8 pm is more range out of stock. More than two dozen low plastic chairs, the old-fashioned bowl bowl, put a pot of water heated over charcoal, boiled meat dozen bags and a basket of noodles, furniture shops have only so simple. Regular patrons for years to eat so few people remember the bartender asked and only referred to as “noodle shop undiminished”. Unique names that have since become sticky food “identity” of the shop: customers a bowls, chopsticks other hand blow hup collapse, though bowl with hot hands, it still must … undiminished.

Vietnamese Beef Noodle Soup

Pho is a famous in Hanoi

Not many choices such as beef, chicken, noodle wine sauce … “trap” the only true type Hanoi pho as writer Nguyen Tuan wrote, beef noodle soup is cooked enough pieces encrusted with crispy, fatty piece bucket, bread smooth chewy noodles, chopped green onions and scallions. This weekend afternoon prone to addiction clients ate two bowls of pho sitting coloring.

Cambodia becomes popular destination in Southeast Asia for travelers all over the world. Therefore, many of our clients and friends asked for suggestions to make their trip in Cambodia smooth. To fulfill all of your questions, in this writing, we will provide some useful advice with hope that you will have memorable time in this beautiful country. Indochina tours Cambodia

Siem Reap in Cambodia

Siem Reap in Cambodia

1. What to bring

  • Photocopies of your passport. You should keep your original passport in safety box at your room and just bring passport photocopies for outside activities.
  • At least two passport-size photographs of yourself
  • US dollar is widely accepted in Cambodia. You should bring some small notes for small expenses (tipping, souvenirs, street food, etc.) Besides, ATMs are available in all major tourist centres and provincial capitals. Credit cards are accepted by many hotels and restaurants in larger cities
  • A folding umbrella or lightweight rain poncho if you plan to visit during the rainy season (May to October)
  • Zip lock bags. They are cheap, disposable, and keep all kinds of things fresh and dry. Also, should keep eyes on your belongings at crowded areas and kindly do not bring valuable things or too much cash outside.
  • An adventurous spirit.

2. What to wear

The weather in Cambodia generally falls under two categories: the wet season (May to October) and the dry season (November to April).

Lightweight, loose-fitting, cotton clothing is recommended for the dry season, when the weather is hot and humid. Visitors may wish to pack long pants and long-sleeved shirts for hiking, trekking, or outdoor activities. A hat and sunglasses may be useful for when walking around under the sun.

Traditional closthes of woman in Cambodia

Traditional closthes of woman in Cambodia

During the rainy season, visitors may want to bring a light rain poncho (plastic ponchos can be purchased cheaply in Cambodia) or a sturdy umbrella. A light jacket or cardigan will come in handy during the months of December and January, when temperatures are at their coolest.

3. Tipping When visiting outdoor temples, including those of Angkor Wat, shorts and T-shirts are acceptable. Shoes and hats are generally removed at the entrance to pagodas. For visits to the Silver Pagoda, which is within the Royal Palace grounds. visitors are asked to dress more formally. Gentlemen are required to wear long trousers and ladies should wear long trousers or long skirts and keep their shoulders covered.

When traveling, tipping etiquette can be a real mystery, but stress not.  In Cambodia, there is no fixed amount; tipping is all up to the individual and how your satisfy with the service is. If the service or delivery is low, then definitely not a penny handed. Presumably if the staff ( guide/waiter/driver/chambermaid…. ) makes your travel/stay a memorable one with extraordinary services, let’s view the following references:

  • Chamber maid: US$1-US$1.5 per night
  • Waiter: US$0.5 – US$2 depend on the small or the big meal
  • Guide: US$3 – US$5 per person (in group of 1 person to 5 people), US$1 – US$3 per person (in group of more than 5 people)
  • Driver: US$3 – US$6 per day
  • Bell Captain: US$0.5 – US$1 per luggage up/down.
  • Taxi driver: US$0.5 or round up the payment. If it is a long journey, then tip like driver.

The suggested amount bases on my experience in travel industry and some online references.

Happy travelling! 

 

Table statistics the cheapest cities to visit

Table statistics the cheapest cities to visit

The famed Trip Adivor site has recently named Hanoi as top of the world cheapest city to travelers after a survey made from 4 criteria. From expertise and experiences over the years, the 2 last criteria are nominated by our team, Indochina Voyages.

* Accomodation/hotels: This most critical concern is well mentioned when Hanoi offers a wide ranges of hotel from 2-5 star ratings while alomost all of the locations are city central or walking distance to the city focal points. Its also help as a right base for many day or several package tours out of Hanoi as Halong Bay, Hai Phong, Ninh Binh, Mai Chau, Perfume Pagoda and a lot other traditional handicraft villages dotted along the Red River Delta.

The hotel from 2-5 star ratings in Hanoi

The hotel from 2-5 star ratings in Hanoi

* Meals: As from the survey for 3.5 days with lunches and dinners, the cost is so competitive in compared with the rest of the list, if it is not said the cheapest. This statistic is counted for having meals in quite good scale restaurants BUT keep in mind that Hanoi is a world famous street-eats city which provide so many eating expriences, diversified foods and of course, with yummy tastes. Expenses for these places are much cost saved than the number appeared on the table.

Locals are enjoying their favourist street foods

Locals are enjoying their favorite street foods

* Sightseeing fee: Beside some of the public monuments, historical sites which are open free to travelers, most of the museums, sightseeing places in this city offer a charge of 0.5 cent up to $2. You can see the cost is so thrilled to make a busy city tour at wishes.

A corner of Hanoi

A corner of Hanoi – source internet

* Taxi fare to get a round in a day: Considerably cheapest in compare with those countries in the Asean block, taxi is also part of the fun of your travel in this crazy driven traffic when you can have the peace of mind and watch the amazing traffic show in the streets. To minimize any scam might happen, my tips for the good taxi and to be well self-protected as below:

– Get the reputable ones as Hanoi taxi (04.38.53.53.53), Mai Linh taxi (04.38.222.666), Thanh Nga taxi (04.38.215.215) and Thanh Cong taxi (04.32.57.57.57). The two last is the best with cost, while the car is a bit smaller.

– Provide the taxi driver with a fix address and if possible, have taxi-ordered from your hotels, restaurant or the establishment you are about to leave.

– Take a photo once you are in. Photo should be with the Taxi brand and its number, mostly appeared to the top right of the car. This help to warn the taxi driver to serve you right.

Taxis are always available in Hanoi

Taxis are always available in Hanoi

* Hair Cut and Hairdresser: From my research and experiences, this is quite a good chance to save your $ while you can experience a different ambiance for your new hair-cut…in the open street side. Your travel  partner can also have a good photo of you to boast with friends at home of a new experience that Hanoi had offered. Price for these haircut ( male client ) is ranging from $1.5- $2. For the indoor hairdresser (serve female client ) a hair cut is ranging from $6- $9  plus a hair wash and blow of $2- $3.

Price for these haircut ( male client ) is ranging 1.5$- 2$

Price for these haircut ( male client ) is ranging 1.5$- 2$

* Bia Hoi: This last but not least, a real culture of Hanoi in the last several decades but started to be well-known by travelers around the world. A bia hoi cost around 0.3 cents and you can order some local snacks to go with your beer. You will be amazed at the crowd but fun of these places while immerse yourself with the local ambiance of the Bia Hoi corner has to offer.

A bia hoi cost around 0.3 cents in Hanoi

A bia hoi cost around 0.3 cents in Hanoi

If you find more reasons, feel free to contribute with us and we are very happy to talk and share our Hanoi to you, maybe we can sit down in a street-side coffee shop and enjoy Hanoi the way we want…

IV blogging team

 

History of Ao Dai

The meaning of “Ao Dai” in English is “ long shirt”, simply describes how it looks like. But not only a kind of clothes it is, Ao Dai carries timeless stories along with the Vietnamese history.

8

Vietnamese women in Ao Dai with lotus flowers

Back to  18th century, when Vietnam was under the domination of Chinese,  the Lord Nguyen Phuc Khoat (1714-1765), who was aware of the importance of reserving the national cultural identity, decreed that men and women had to wear same style of clothes: “Men and women wear hard collar, short sleeves shirt . Sleeves can be wide or narrow.  The seam should be well made from armpit down, not opened. Men are allowed to not wear round collar, narrow sleeves shirts for convenience at work…”. Then started the history of Ao Dai. When appearing, it has the shape of Ao Dai nowadays but it is much statelier and does not show off the curves of the female body. It is made from thick and heavy fabric. Travel Indochina Vietnam

The first Ao Dai

 

Until 19th century, Ao Dai had become popular all over Vietnam and become traditional costume of Nguyen Imperial. Although color options were limited to muted blacks or browns with peasants, in high  higher class version, the 5-paneled long shirt was available in various colors.

The Nam Phuong Hoang Hau ( Southern Queen) in Royal Costume

The Nam Phuong Hoang Hau ( Southern Queen) in Royal Costume

In 1858, French began colonizing Vietnam, marking a new page in history. Ao Dai gradually affected by the Western Style. 1930, for the first time a female painter named Cat Tuong in Hanoi launched new designs  combine traditional Ao Dai with the Western dress of the French. The new gown was formed with 2 elegant panels reaching to the ground and fit the wearer’s body using pins and a nipped-in waist. Its collar, flaps and sleeves were influenced by the Western style as well. This type of Ao Dai was known as Ao Dai Le Mur, named after the the designer in French. But the design was only a hot trend among artists, and became old-fashioned after a short period.

Ao Dai Le Mur

Ao Dai Le Mur

In 1950s,  there was a tailor in Saigon sought to create a new structure for the Ao Dai. The result was the “raglan,” a sleeve based on Western fashion techniques which eliminated the clumping of material under the arms of the Ao Dai, bringing it a step closer to its current form-fitting style.

Raglan Ao Dai in 1958

Raglan Ao Dai in 1958

The Ao Dai stepped onto the political stage when Tran Le Xuan, wife of Ngo Dinh Nhu, Chief Political Adviser of Ngo Dinh Diem, President of South Vietnam’s First Republic, donned its first décolleté version to promote her New Woman Movement. The picture of the Dragond Lady in her Ao Dai with a bateau neckline and snug upper body on the TIME magazine cover became a new fashion icon for Southern women.

The Dragon Lady in her Ao Dai

The Dragon Lady in her Ao Dai

Over decades, it was not until the late 1980’s when the Renovation reforms pulled the country out of economic hardship, the Ao Dai was resurrected and is now one of Vietnam’s defining national symbols.

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Ao Dai nowadays

If you want to know more about Ao Dai in details, you’re welcomed to the Ao Dai Museum at 206/19/30 Long Thuan, Long Phuoc Ward, 9 District, HCMC every day except Monday from 8.30am to 5.30pm.
Tel: 0914 726 948 – 0914 912 982

Website: baotangaodaivietnam.com

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