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One of the best ways to take in the local culture of Laos is to join a half-day cooking class led by talented Laotian chefs. The traditional food seems to be strange but soon becomes more impressive than ever because you have the opportunity not only to taste it but also to prepare it.

Related: full day in Luang Prabang

Getting a real taste of Laos with a cooking class is never a bad idea for food and culture lovers. If you are seeking for amazing places to experience the culture of food during your visit in big cities in Laos, this article is written for you.

Normally in the South East Asia countries, the most well-known cooking classes come from Thailand as a heaven of street food or Vietnam for its stunning cuisine which is so popular around the world. However, Laos food is proud to bear unique features that you can hardly find anywhere outsides comparing to its neighbors.

A typical Laos meal with sticky rice, lam (pork stew) and fresh veggie with herbs

A typical Laos meal with sticky rice, lam (pork stew) and fresh veggie with herbs

“Fresh” is the most distinctive feature of Laos cuisines. Having a chance to enjoy a meal in this country, you will find it surprising that Laos meals always serve a big quantity of fresh raw vegetables and herbs making the dish green and low in fat.

One more difference that you will find it so much fun is Laotian believe that: “sweet makes you dizzy; bitter makes you healthy” so sweet flavor is considered as the most unwanted for almost dishes, meanwhile, the bitter taste can be found frequently for using mint and dill which are favorite green herbs for Laos eat.

Another distinctive characteristic of Laos food or Laos eating habit is that food is traditionally eaten with sticky rice using your fingers. The habit must be the result of the fact that food is served at the room temperature.

Although Laos has a diversity of food culture among regions due to being influenced by its neighboring countries, there are must-try dishes that you find in a cooking class:

+ Laap: a traditional Lao food made from chopped meat, chicken or fish

+ Sticky rice/ Glutinous rice

+ Tam som: a spicy papaya salad made with chilies, lime juice, peanuts, garlic and paa daek

+ Mok Pa: herbed fish steamed in banana leaves

And now the below great cooking classes will add to your list of culinary experience in South East Asia for three most famous cities in Laos: Luang Prabang, Vientiane & VangVieng

1) Bamboo Tree | Luang Prabang 

  • Highlights:

Since having been established in 2014, the Bamboo Tree Restaurant and Cooking class is a highly recommended school in town.

From the cute name “bamboo”, you may discover that bamboo is used in so many ways in this cooking class. Not only your kids but also you will find so amazing to join in bamboo games: making bows and arrows by bamboo, walking on bamboo sticks; creating bamboo objects/souvenirs like weaving, making coaster; preparing a bamboo meal then eating in a bamboo bowl and watching a musician play a bamboo instrument for a traditional song while dancing by bamboo. All makes the authentic and cheerful bamboo experience for the single travelers, couples, the whole family with children and your group of friends. You can see more: Indochina tours Laos

Bamboo experience workshop in the Bamboo Cooking Class

Bamboo experience workshop in the Bamboo Cooking Class

Following the same process of a typical cooking class that you meet across Asian countries, Bamboo Tree’s friendly and professional chefs will take you to the local market not to buy for a fixed set menu but to choose your own favorite dishes among a list of available 20 dishes of the cooking school. Many tourists admitted that they fall in love with laap and mok pa that they prepare by themselves under the clear and detailed instructions step by step from the sister chefs.

Such a great treat after your fun cooking time

Such a great treat after your fun cooking time

  • Location: the farmhouse is located on the outskirt of Luang Prabang, surrounded by the rice valley and the forests making the whole place a chilled site for relaxing and cooking
  • Time: Morning time: 08:30 – 13:30 and Evening time: 16:00 – 20:30
  • Price: 60 – 65 USD

2) Madam Phasouk Cooking Class| Vientiane

  • Highlights:

Madam Phasouk cooking class is a family run class guided by Ms. Phasouk who had a 15-year experience as a cooking teacher at a hotel. People get amazed to know Ms. Phasouk is a brilliant and successful lady who can speak not only Laos, English but also Russian and French.

The experience of being welcomed at a local home like your family rather than a professional cooking school attracts many tourists coming back.

After being picked up by Ms. Phasouk at your hotel, you can start the session by visiting a wet market to get familiarized with various Laos ingredients and buy the necessary ones to fit your diet whether you are a meat lover or a vegetarian then you are fully ready to come to her home to prepare such an enjoyable meal.

Fresh vegetables and herbs you can find in any wet market of Vientiane

Fresh vegetables and herbs you can find in any wet market of Vientiane

Ending the cooking class with a delicious meal and cultural stories, you can also bring home a note of recipe that Madame Phasouk prepares for you so that you can make Laos food when back to your country to treat your beloved like a real Laotian.

  • Location: a small house near Mekong River
  • Time: Lunch starts at 09:30 and Dinner starts from 15:00
  • Price: 20 – 30 USD

3) Cooking Class at Organic Farm | Vang Vieng

  • Highlights:

Vang Vieng is a famous stop-over point for backpackers & adventurers on their trip from Vientiane to Luang Prabang so finding a cultural place for food lovers is quite limited. However, you can still go cycling or a tuk-tuk out of town to the Organic Farm to do a cooking class using ingredients from the farm.

The relaxing surround area of Organic Farm

The relaxing surround area of Organic Farm

The farm is proud to promote the use of organic products by natural materials and traditional method to plant without chemicals. Before starting the cooking class, you can choose to explore their organic farm with a lot of fun activities to maintain or build up the farm: digging the new flower bed, goat milking, making a bamboo bench, feeding baby animals or plant mulberry trees for a healthy drink…

All class cooking ingredients used from the organic farm

All class cooking ingredients used from the organic farm

With a maximum of 4 people join in the cooking class, you will have a chance to master making a meal of 3 main dishes and 1 dessert by Mr. T – the owner’s informative instruction. A warm and cozy welcome place is actually an ideal hub to escape the busy party place in Vang Vieng. If your time permits, why not trying to relax for a night and become a real farmer here?

  • Location: just 5 km from the town and facing the rafting area of Nam Song River
  • Time: Anytime is welcome
  • Price: From 23 USD

 

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I got the chance to back to Da Nang and Hoi An early this month and as usual, the taste of central food never disappoints me. For somebody who never been to Da Nang and Hoi An before, I hope you can try these dishes when having chance to visit the lovely destinations. Those who had the chance to tase these dishes, I hope my photos reminds you a bit about not about the food, but also about the beautiful memories during your Vietnam tour packages.

No. 1: My Quang – Vietnamese Turmeric Noodles

This dish is actually named after the Quang Nam province. Before 1996, Da Nang is the the provincial

city of Quang Nam province, but then the government decided to separate the province to Quang Nam province and Da Nang became the municipality (the highest – ranked

cities in Vietnam, centrally-controlled and have the advantages about infrastructure, science and technology development, higher education, large population and convenient transportation). Fortunately, the taste of the special dish never changes and now we can enjoy the authentic My Quang in many local restaurants in Da Nang.

The main ingredient of My Quang is the noodles. It is made from rice – fresh and smooth, similar to the Pho in Hanoi but the structure of the noodle is thicker. The original meat toppings have river shrimp, boiled eggs, pork, adding fresh herbs (spring onion, corianders and basil) and roasted peanuts. Some restaurants have the menu with fish or chicken instead of pork. It is deserted with the special broth, but not like the other type of noodles with all the ingredients in the broth, just a bit of broth that suitable for the hot weather in Da Nang. The bowl is served with a dish of fresh vegetables from lettuce, sliced banana flowers, baby chrysanthemum greens and cress. A sesame rice cracker also served as a snack, or you can break to small pieces and mix it with the noodles. Optional to add chili or the special fish sauce for more flavor. Try a bite and it feels like a smooth dance of flavors in your mouth.

There are many restaurants in town you can order this dish, but for me I tried it in Ba Mua restaurant near the Da Nang airport – Add:  95 Nguyen Tri Phuong street. Highly recommended with fast services, Good flavor and the many options on the menu, though the beverages is not really excellent (Sugar cane or passion fruit juice are suggested). The price is reasonable 30.000 VND per a bowl of My Quang.

My Quang Ba Mua

My Quang Ba Mua

No. 2: Banh trang cuon thit heo (Fresh spring rolls with pork)

This dish brings to you the fresh and cool feeling in the summer. You probably know about the boiled spring rolls in many restaurants in Hanoi or Saigon, but here in Da Nang I bet you can have a truly different feeling about the spring rolls.

Plan your Da Nang tours with us

This dish simply the boiled pork served with vegetables, rolled in the fresh rice paper and dip into the sauce. But the local chef knows how to turns the simple ingredients into a beautiful dish. The pork must be the belly with three parts: the lean meat, a bit of fat and the skin. It is boiled in water just in the right time, not overcooked cause it needs to be moist and tender. The boiled pork then cooled down and sliced, served on the plate. The vegetables that are served in this dish includes cucumber, pineapples, plantain – all julienned, along with the other herbs – corianders, mint, basils, etc. and lettuce.

The most special thing of this dish is the sauce. It is made from the special fish sauce paste that can be found in Da Nang – Quang Nam, mixed with crushed chili, garlic and pineapple and lime juice. The smell might be quite strong at first, but the interesting part is waiting.

When eating this dish, first step is put the dry rice paper on the plate, then spread a wet fresh rice paper, a slice of boiled pork, the other vegetables, roll them tight then dip in to the sauce. What a great combination and the fresh and cool feeling will help to blow away the heat in the summer.

One tips for those who doesn’t like the pork skin and fat – you can special require the lean meat only, and replace the strong smell sauce by the normal fish sauce, but it is highly recommended to taste the authentic one like a local.

The dish can be found in many restaurants in Da Nang and Hoi An. The address that is highly rated by the locals is the Quynh Dai Loc – 176 Nguyen Hoang, Nam Duong, Hai Chau, Da Nang.

the fresh Banh trang cuon thit heo Da Nang

the fresh Banh trang cuon thit heo Da Nang

No. 3: Banh Dap (The “Hit” Cake)

The dish named after the action people have to do before eating. Don’t worry because you don’t have to hit somebody to get the cake ;). It is the delicate combination between the fresh rice paper and the grilled rice paper, added onion oil (sliced onion fired in oil until yellow/brown and has special fragrance) in between.

Before eating, you simply “hit” the cake vertically and slightly so the two type of rice paper stick together, then dip it in to the sauce made by the special fish sauce mixed with chili oil and roasted crashed peanuts.

This is a simply dish and the local people eat it as a light snack. In a more luxurious version, it can be served with the BBQ pork or shrimp floss. Lucky me my friend took me to a very local restaurant (actually it is not a restaurant but just a family shop that sell one and only dish – Banh Dap) but it taste really good. Enjoy the peaceful view to the Ly Ly river, chatting with the friendly local aunt and take a short nap on the hammock, it must be one of the best moments during my trip.

Bánh Đập – the simple and homely dish

Bánh Đập – the simple and homely dish

What are your favorite dishes? It would be great to hear your sharing.

If you’re an avid traveler? Are you looking for some stunning beaches for the summer holiday? Or even a heaven with different various kinds of local food at a reasonable price? The answer to all of this question is Da Nang, of course! Don’t hesitate to check it out. Da Nang will not leave you disappointed.

Plan your Da Nang tour at CLASSIC CENTRAL VIETNAM 5D-4N

Take a break from the white sand beaches

Actually located in the central region, midway between Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, Da Nang looks like a lonely planet with its stunning, isolated beaches, peaceful vibe and some of the friendliest people in Vietnam. The best time to visit and enjoy the sea is the summer, from April to September, try to avoid October and November unless you want to see heavy rains even tropical storms every day.

Voted as one of the world’s most luxurious beaches by Forbs Magazine, Da Nang beaches acquire a reputation for travelers from all over the world. There are leading types of accommodation along the beaches. Besides swimming and chilling on the beaches, it also offers various choices of activities such as fishing, water sports or even taking wedding photos.

Joining yoga in Danang beaches

Joining yoga in Da Nang beaches- source: internet

Renting a scooter to discover more complete

The street in Da Nang is pretty much pedestrian friendly so moving around on a scooter is a good idea. Motorbike and scooter rental services are always available in the most hotels and guest houses here.So you can be easily able to get one, discover every small corner and enjoy the peaceful vibe. Son Tra peninsula (monkey mountain) or Linh Ung pagoda are two places that have made a strong impression on visitors when they paying a trip to Da Nang by motorbike. If Son Tra is a lonely mountain with a fairy tale behind, Linh Ung is a symbol of local people that will protect a city from typhoons and natural disasters. Riding along the beach road as far as you can, you will fall in love immediately with rustic charm on two sides and prominent location and have a chance to see some monkeys.

See more: top 5 destinations for holiday deals to Vietnam

Making some nice memories together on motorbike

Making some nice memories together on a motorbike

Take a foodie tour

It is often said that: “the world is an opened book”. If you don’t dare to take the first walk, it seems that you just see the cover of it. For me, life is either an adventure with the variety of having fun and unforgettable experiences or nothing. Culinary takes the essential role in any trips. It is the culture, tradition and the one that reflects quintessence of its very own land and people. Vietnam is home to many kinds of delicious food and each city has its own cuisine’s culture. If you’re riding a motorbike as above or walking on foot and getting tired or hungry, why don’t you take a break and let’s try the local food here? From My Quang (especially Quang Noodle with frogs) to Cao Lau, chicken rice or bánh xèo (sizzling cake), it will be absolutely easy to find an available restaurant at any time of the day. With a reasonable price, nothing can beat the street food here. You’re such a softie when coming to this place.

Those mouthwatering food are waiting for you

Those mouthwatering food are waiting for you

There are 3 popular mountain resorts in Vietnam: Sapa, Dalat and here Ba Na Hill. This place was discovered over a century ago by the French and now, it is the famous entertainment complex. You have to take a cable car to the top which is around 1500 meters above sea level. Up there, you will explore French village, pagoda, amusement park, French garden and some Europe architectures from different regions. The view from above is extremely amazing. When you arrive up there, a new world seems opened in front of you. The entertainment complex is an ideal choice if you come with your children. The temperature will go down in the evening so don’t forget to bring your jacket.

Enjoy lemon tea in CauRong bridge

If you’re a big fan of lemon tea in St. Joseph’s Cathedral, Hanoi, let’s try it again on the sidewalk in the evening next to “Cau Rong” Bridge. There are tons of riverfront bars, restaurants, and cafes offering terrace seats that overlook Vietnam’s longest bridge. If you visit Da Nang on Saturday and Sunday evening, The Dragon Bridge will show you a dazzling display of lights, fire, and water in 2 minutes that no first-time visitor to Da Nang should miss out on. What is better than taking a seat on the charming little coffee shops or booking a boat tour in order to both enjoy this special show and relax on your own.

 

Peach blossom, or Hoa Dao is not only a flower but it has become an integral part in the life of Hanoi people, especially when the Lunar New Year is around. As a traditional feature, every family in Vietnam would buy one or some types of flower that appear only in Tet; if in the South of Vietnam, yellow apricot flower is the most common, in the Northern part, people usually purchase Hoa Dao for adornment. The main reason for this difference is the characteristics of the plants. While peach trees grow well in cold weather, orchid flowers just can survive and bloom in tropical lands with lots of sunshine.

Around one week before Tet approaches, everyone seems to hasten be in a rush so that all the work can be finished once a new year comes. As busy as that, however, hardly any family can neglect to clean their houses neatly, to put on some decorations and especially to buy a pretty peach blossom tree. Hanoi people usually have a saying that “Spring arrives when Hoa Dao starts to blossom” and Spring represents for Tet. This flower may be simple but when the tree is in full blossom, its bright color provokes such a bustling and exciting feeling. Normally, there are two kinds of peach blossom tree or this flower comes in two colors: red (Dao Bich) and pink ( Dao phai), in which the former is more popular. There are also two ways to display the flower, putting a whole tree in a pot or just taking a big branch and arranging in a vast.

hoa dao

Peach blossom comes in vividly red color with double petals

This is a time-honored tradition but no one knows exactly since when people considered Hoa Dao a symbol of Tet. It is said that from a long time ago, there were two Gods called Tra and Uat Luy residing in a giant peach blossom tree and had a power to frighten ghosts and devils and prevent the villagers from being disturbed by them. For that reason, people had a strong belief that by bringing the peach blossom home, peculiarly in Tet, they would drive away the devils and bad fortunes. As time passes by, people were no longer convinced by that story, still, they appreciated Hoa Dao and saw it important for their life. These days, Hoa Dao is thought to be a demonstration of novelty, proliferation and development. Hence, it can deliver health, peace and luck for people when a whole new year comes. Tet is also a special time for families and friends to gather after one year of hard-working, wishing each other all the best. Therefore, peach blossom is a token of happiness and cosiness.

cho-hoa

People flock to see the traditional peach blossom market in Hanoi

If you pay a visit to Hanoi in Tet period which varies from year to year, normally around January and February, you can easily catch a sight of Hoa Dao in everywhere: private houses, schools, hospitals or other public areas. Ordinarily, people purchase Hoa Dao two or three weeks ahead of the New Year Eve. In Hanoi, Nhat Tan village is famous for being a cradle of peach blossom with many fine craftsmen. Growing peach tree is such an art that it has been passed from one generation to others.

Vuon dao nhat tan

A view from Nhat Tan Village where you can seek for the most genuine and pretty peach trees in Hanoi

Also, Nhat Tan flower market is well-known for its variety of flowers from different regions throughout the country. Peach trees from mountainous areas such as Lang Son, Mau Son, Moc Chau, etc. are brought to Hanoi and they are preferred by people here. Another major flower market that sells Hoa Dao in Tet is the area around Hang Luoc Street (Combs Street), Hang Ngang, Hang Dao Street in the old quarter. These flower markets are not only a place that people can procure themselves a peach blossom tree but they draw hundreds of visitors every year coming to admire and take photos.

Hai dao

A woman who has just collected the flowers and is about to bring to the market

The image of Hoa Dao is too familiar to people that it even becomes a major subject in poems and songs. In along with Chung Cake or Lucky Money, Hoa Dao is more than a decoration stuff, its vivid beauty and profound meaning is a big part in Vietnamese life whenever Tet comes.

 

Wedding, where the two people or a couple are united in marriage, is always a special ceremony. Each country/culture/ethnic groups/religions have a different way to celebrate this day.Vietnam is known as a multi-culture with the diversify of different 54 ethnic minorities. Each group has its own way to celebrate the wedding, and the modern weddings are also changing nowadays with more flexibility. Even the Vietnamese people or the Kinh people, are the majority ethnic group that comprising 86 % of the population, living in the different region has the very  different ways to celebrate the wedding.

Although the long periods of Chinese domination and influence have placed the Vietnamese culture, and with many difficulties during the decades of war, Vietnamese people nowadays has been keeping the traditional culture for the weddings, that are shown in the attire, the engagement, the main wedding, the food, etc. Today let’s see how Vietnamese prepare and what the bride and groom have to do in their most important day of their lives.

Before the Wedding: the Engagement

In the past, under the feudalism, parents have the right to choose the partners for their children. An engagement ceremony usually occurs months before the wedding, with the arrangement of the parents and extended family. Sometimes children were consulted, but it was nearly always the parents’ final decision. The bride and groom haven’t got the chance to meet until the day of their engagement.

To more get information, you can view: Indochina travel

However, things have changed significantly in the last few decades. Vietnamese women and men now can have their own decision for who they date, and marry based on love rather than arranged marriages. The engagement nowadays usually been arranged only one day before the wedding. The date and time usually be picked up carefully. On this day, the groom’s family will come to bride’s family with round lacquered boxes known as betrothal presents. It composes of areca nuts and betel leaves, tea, cake, fruits, wines, jewelry and other delicacies which covered with red cloth and carried by unmarried girls or boys. The number of boxes depends on the wealthy of the groom’s family, but it must be even numbers (3,5,7 or 9).

Ăn hỏi của cô dâu chú rể Kim Ngân - Công Cường

Bride and groom in the Engagement day

The engagement plays an important part and can not be skipped. It is the time the parents and closed relatives of groom and bride meet and talk in person and discuss how to do the things properly on the next day. The bride usually wears traditional Vietnamese Ao Dai in red, while the groom wears Ao Dai for men or suit.

The Wedding

On the wedding day, young couples have tended to choose a hotel to celebrate, especially in big cities. Invitation cards are sent one or two weeks before the wedding date. Relatives and guests of both groom and bride attend the wedding wear nice clothes but it does not have to be too formal. The bride and groom can choose the theme and style they want to decorate and in the high season (usually in Autumn and Spring), they need to book the services months before.

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Wedding Ceremony is organized at the hotel profesionally

Guest brings along an envelope with the money inside and give it directly to the bride and groom, or put in in a red box on the welcome table. The money is reffered as a gift and symbol of prosperity, health and happiness, and will help the young couple in setting up a new start for themselves independently after the wedding.

The guests then enjoy the well-prepared food with the traditional dishes such as the sticky rice, boiled chicken, rice, soup,  seafood, etc. The menu varies depends on the local region but food are usually well prepared and served.

If the bride or groom’s house is large enough to celebrate the wedding at home, guests will be invited to their homes for the meals.  House is specially decorated in the traditional way with main colors in red. The number of guests can up to 300-400 people so each family need to ask for help from their relatives and neighbors to welcome them.

After the party, groom’s family will transfer to bride’s family with the cars decorated with flowers. Groom usually wear suits and bride wear the white dress in Western style on this day. The groom first has to come to the bride’s ancestors, then both of them stand or knee down in front of the alter and burn incense sticks, then asking permission to bless their marriage and their future family. The couple then bows to the bride’s parents giving thanks for raising them, then they bow each other to show the respectation.

During that time, relatives and guests enjoy the teas, sweet and snacks. They sing the happy songs about love for bride and groom. The couple has to walk around to greet and say thanks to the guests for their attending. The parents of groom then ask the permission of bride’s parents to let them marriage and allow their daughter to become their daughter in law. Usually, Mom of the bride will give her daughter the jewelry before saying goodbye to their beloved little girl.

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Wealty family hires luxury cars for the wedding

The couple then transfers to groom’s house to repeat the same procedure. Usually, bride’s dad and some closed relatives and friends come along with the bride. When in the groom’s home, parents of the groom and bride’s dad will give them advice about marriage and family to the couple. Mother in law also give the bride the gift box with jewelry with hope it will bring luck and prosperity.

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Mother in law give jewelry to the bride

Due to Western influence, the wedding now usually follows the concept of exchanging wedding rings and giving the kiss in front of guests, then taking photos with the guests.

After the Wedding

The guests leave with good wishes for the couple. The wedding usually occurs for 2 days, and then the bride and groom can have a honeymoon trip or not, due to their interest and work timetable.

New husband has to come back to his wife’s home and stay for 1-2 days before the wife moves into their husband’s family to live with their parents in law, or move to the new place to start the marriage life.

If you have a chance to be invited to a Vietnamese wedding, it would be very interesting to learn and understand Vietnamese in further. And don’t forget to bring the lucky money for the bride and groom.

During your journey to Mekong Delta in the South of Vietnam, there is one the most famous flooded forests that leaves a great impression on any tourists’ mind: Tra Su Mangrove Forest or Tra Su Cajuput Forest in An Giang Province, just 25 km southwest of Chau Doc City.

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With an area of 850 hectares, Tra Su Forest is home to an ecosystem of cajuput trees living in dusty paths and a submerged mangrove forest where you can find a wide variety of colorful birds and other animals: storks, bats, snakes, turtles …

Normally, the local boatmen and tour guides advise tourists to visit this enchanted paradise in the high water season from August to December when the whole area is covered by the cajuput forest allowing boats to ride around there. But from my own experience, traveling to the Mekong Delta and the Vietnam tours from Australia should be from November to January for the most pleasant weather conditions with less rain than other time of the year.

 

Tra Su mangrove forest is a flooded forest ecosystem formed by the construction of a special dyke system in An Giang province, belongs to 3 communes: Van Giao, O Long Vy, Thoi Son (Tinh Bien district, An Giang province), only 10 km from Vietnam – Cambodia border. Being directly affected by floods in the Mekong River annually, Tra Su forest plays an important role to prevent unusual flooding: when the flood level increases, the long roots will partially absorb the flood water and the vast area of mangrove forest may weaken the storm and flood. Apart from being a huge air-conditioner to provide the clean atmosphere for the whole area, this is also an ideal shelter of 140 types of flora, 70 species of birds, 11 types of animals, 25 species of reptiles, and 23 kinds of fish making the forest a nature lover’s dream.

In addition to the rich natural resources, Tra Su forest also has its own unique cultural elements from the community living along the forest with many traditional handicrafts such as brocade weaving, thot not sugar making, melaleuca oil distillation, bee honey keeping or fishery for living or tourism activities. Having a chance to visit Tra Su forest, tourist will be surprised by the surprising peace but the lively life that not every place has.

I came to Tra Su in the late afternoon of mid-December and immediately fell in love with the stunning landscape dyed in warm sunshine and painted in green duckweed.

The journey at Tra Su forest may start from getting on the big motorboat for up to 20 people which departs from the entrance of forest and moves along the cajuput forest for tourists to admire vast greenery including lotus and water lilies before they get it off and be transferred to a small rowing wooden boat, which sails you through green duckweed and deep into the forest for around 30 minutes. On the small boat of only 3 people, the boatmen will sail you very slowly for your opportunities to catch the most memorable photos of floating on a living carpet of green water where sometimes we must remind ourselves that we are not on the real road but a waterway.

When the sun hides away behind the tall cajuput trees is also the time to pass a plenty of water birds storks nesting in the specialized forest. I told myself to stop breathing for a while to keep the silence of the natural lives here because I am afraid that they will fly instantly when knowing our presence in their habitat.

For the best wildlife photographs, luck and patience is the most important thing with the help of a good camera. When a bird looks like it is taking a rest, descending or about to do something exciting, be ready with the burst mode to catch the bird in movement.

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Soon the small boat finished its round, my wish was to sit in boat for the whole day to keep the most romantic sceneries in my eyes.

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When reaching the stopping point, we can choose to stop at the 25 meter high watchtower to see the deeper view of the whole immense forest and the birds coming home after a busy day, enjoy the unique drink of the Khmer Seven Mountain called sweet “thot not” drink and hunt the fabulous moment of the sunset and the dawn here.

If visitors would like to try the great specialty of the locals, the tents on the edge of the forest is a nice stop for you to be served the South River’s best food such as roasted fish grilled fish, chilli salted fish, fried fish wrapped in lotus leaves, grilled crab dip, tamarind casserole in the space.

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Endowed with peace and tranquility, Tra Su Forest will certainly become a unique and attractive destination for tourists who love the beauty of nature so do not hesitate to give it a try and share with me your nice photos.

Happy traveling!

 

Since late November, people in Hanoi starts to feel the weather changing. Sometimes there is a heavy rain and the temperature decrease 10 Degree Celcius in just a few hours. There are some special dishes that familiar with local people in the winter that we would like to introduce to you today. For those who would like to discover the new things, you might want to taste these dishes. They might be not the taste of everyone, but it’s worth to try if you want to experience like a real local people with Indochina tours

  1. Che Troi Nuoc ( stuffed sticky rice ball served with sweet syrup)

It’s not easy to exactly describe this dish. There’s also no official name for it in English, but it is a dessert that similar to the Tangyan of Chinese. The word ‘troi nuoc’ means floating on the water. In a small bowl, there are two balls with the same size of the egg, made from glutinous rice flour mixed with a small amount of water to form balls, one stuffed with the green bean paste, another with black sesame. The balls are bathed in a sweet brown liquid made of water, sugar and grated ginger roots, garnished with peanut and coconut milk.  The liquid is always kept warm in low heat.

This dish is perfect for a light dessert or a snack in the mid-afternoon on a cold rainy day. You can find the famous food stall that serving this dishes in the Old Quarter at No. 1, Bat Dan Street.

8 món ăn vặt nóng hôi hổi giúp bạn chống chọi với đợt rét đậm đầu tiên của mùa đông - Ảnh 11.

2. Banh Duc

This dish is kind of weird with Westerners. In a large bowl, slow-cooked non – glutinous rice flour or corn flour is served with savory ingredients such as ground pork, grilled ground shrimp, mushroom, fried onions, fried tofu, Vietnamese coriander, sesame seeds, salt, peanuts, lime juice and soy sauce or fish.

Local people can eat this dish throughout the day – for breakfast, lunch or as a snack. It is the favorite dish special for the elder because of the soft texture and mild flavor. The best place to taste this dish is at a small stall in the alley of Le Ngoc Han Street.

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3. Grilled Corn and Sweet Potato

You can find these simple dish almost anywhere in Hanoi. Just simply the fresh corn or sweet potato, grilled on the hot charcoal but its good smells seduce local people in the cold and dizzy winter night. The sellers might have another job at the daytime and in the evening, they spend some hours on the street for extra income. They serve the people who have to work late or on the night shift. It’s only 30-50 cents for a corn or potato, but in the freezing day, people seem to be closer when sitting around the fire to enjoy the sticky, hot and sweet grill corn or sweet potato. What a healthy snack for a beautiful sleep in the winter night!

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