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Archive for October, 2015

Quan Ho Bac Ninh is folk songs created by a King comunity (there are 54 ethnic groups in Vietnam, and King is the most pupular group) concentrating mainly in Kinh Bac region (provinces of Bac Ninh and Bac Giang). This is a kind of art composed by the elements of music, lyrics, costume, festival, etc.

Quan Ho folk songs are delivered from generation to generation through oral and have the most melodies in Viet Nam’s folk-song genres. Quan Ho folk songs are always performed voluntarily in groups of male or female. Each group usually has four to six people who are named by order such as “Second Sister”, “Third Sister”, “Fourth Sister”, or “Second Brother”, “Third Brother”, “Fourth Brother” and so on. Indochina travel
Quan Ho folk songs exist in a cultural environment with their own social customs. The first is friendship custom among Quan ho villages. From the friendship custom, a special social custom appears among Quan ho groups. It’s friend-making custom. Each Quan ho group from one village makes friends with another group from another village following the principle that male groups make friends with female groups and vice versa. With the friendship-partner villages, men and women in Quan ho groups from these villages are not allowed to marry each other.
In performance, the outfits of Quan ho are distinctive. The female costume includes non thung quai thao (the large round Quan ho hat) and scarf for wrapping the hair, camisole, tunic, skirt, scarves tied about the waist and slippers. The male costume includes turban, umbrella, shirt or robe including undershirts and long tunics with five pieces, trousers and slippers.
One particular characteristic of Quan ho singing is the teaching and dissemination through “sleepover” custom. Boys and girls from 9 to 16 or 17 years old, invite each other to sleep over in their host’s house to learn Quan ho singing techniques. Male and female singers combine and practice their voices in pairs in order to have a unified timbre for performanc

Please enjoy a famous song named “Ba Quan – Moi Trau”:

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Do you know which destination I am talking about? A paradise island – Koh Rong Samloem.

 Samloem Paradise Island

Samloem Paradise Island

I’m not a big fan of beaches but  I am always looking for the newest hidden gem and I have found the gateway to the two beautiful Koh Rong and Koh Rong Samloem islands, paradise in Cambodia. Travel Indochina

While Koh Rong is very underdeveloped and it’s not the cleanest place, the island is constantly under construction, but it has a certain charm lacking in a lot of the very developed Thai islands, Koh Rong Samloem is peaceful and beautiful beach place. It’s very deserted and so far, everything else is sand, sea and hammocks. This made my decision easy to explore Koh Rong Samloem.

Koh Rong island

Koh Rong island

After one flight from Siem Reap, I had a quick stop in Sihanoukville. Through my travels, I kept hearing negative things about Sihanoukville. That doesn’t sound like my kind of town. Just one night staying to take early ferry next morning.

The island is a peaceful getaway destination which is much more tranquil

The island is a peaceful getaway destination which is much more tranquil

Two hours from the coastline of Silhanoukville, the untouched Koh Rong Samloem, where is one of those places that you want to run out and tell the world about, but at the same time keep your own little secret and uninhabited beaches await me.

Saracen bay at main island

Saracen bay at main island

Landing at Saracen bay, I’ve never seen a beach so breathtakingly beautiful. The clear blue waters swirled across the white sands in a snaking pattern that formed tiny circular sandy islands and warm water pools. With just a smattering of low key accommodation, the island is still very underdeveloped, and its pristine beauty is completely unspoiled by tourism. There’s not a lot going on the island except a really gorgeous beach and the opportunity to disconnect from real life. The sea glowed with a range of blue hues under the glorious warmth of the sun and the entire coastline was quiet, except for the soft lapping of the waves on shore. Cambodia travel packages

Relaxing time on white sand beach

Relaxing time on white sand beach

...and beautiful sunset

…and beautiful sunset

 

My only hope is that the serene beauty of this destination does not get ruined and overrun; isn’t affected by the rumble of multiple boats turning up each day to ferry across dozens of passengers; doesn’t succumb to the ugly of waste and other eyesores as a result of booming tourism.  I am longing to return here for a few glorious days next year.

If you’re looking for some ‘me myself and I time’, this is the perfect place to be!

Koh Rong Samloem island Map

Koh Rong Samloem island Map

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Before traveling, besides packing everything you need for your trip, you also need to make sure you have the best health condition that allows you to enjoy your entire trip without getting tired by visiting your doctors to get the best advice as possible.

Certainly no one wants to get sick when being on their holiday but what would happen when you need health care when you are traveling in Hanoi, Vietnam?  You should visit a doctor for sure but what are the best hospitals for foreigner in this city?

Generally, hospitals in Vietnam and in Hanoi are divided into 2 types: Public hospitals and Private hospitals.

The Public Hospitals in Vietnam are familiar for Vietnamese people for their reasonable price service but the facilities at these hospitals are quiet poor and they can’t reach Western or North America Standard.  Most of doctors and medical staff at this hospital don’t speak English so it would be not convenient for foreigner.

On the other hand, the Private Hospitals in Vietnam are pretty good. Some hospitals are staffed by doctors from the USA, Japan and France, as well as Vietnamese doctors who have trained overseas.

The Vinmec International Hospital

The Vinmec – A Private Hospital in Hanoi

Hereunder is a list of the best private hospitals/clinics with foreigner doctors that you may consider to visit when you need medical help on your vacation. The following list is referred from US Embassy ‘s website:

Hanoi Family Medical Practice
Van Phuc Diplomatic Compound
298I Kim Ma Street, Hanoi
Tel: 04-3843-0748
Fax: 04-3846-1750
24hr emergency: 0903-401-919
Email: Hanoi@vietnammedicalpractice.com
Website: vietnammedicalpractice.com
Psychologist: Douglas Holwerta: 0128-347-2454

International SOS Clinic
51 Xuan Dieu Street
Tay Ho District, Hanoi
Tel: 04-3934-0666
Fax: 04-3934-0556
Hotline: 08-3829-8520 (for whole Vietnam)
Email: vncommunication@internationalsos.com
Website: internationalsos.com
Contact: Ms. Alison Cannon, Clinic Manager

Hanoi French Hospital
1 Phương Mai Road
Dong Da Distrist, Hanoi
Tel: 04-3577-1100
Fax: 04-3576-4443
Emergency: 04-3574-1111
Email: administrator@hn.vnn.vn
Website: hfh.com.vn
Contact: Mr. Truong Kieu Nghi, Customer Services Manager

VINMEC International Hospital
458 Minh Khai Street
Hai Ba Trung District, Hanoi
Tel: 04-3974-3556
Fax: 04-3974-3557
Hotline: 04-3974-3558
Emergency: 04 3974-4333
Email: info@vinmec.com
Website: vinmec.com
Contact: Ms. Nguyen Thi Thu Thuy, Customer Services Manager

Important information: Vinmec is a private, for profit hospital.  Full payment will be required at the time services are provided. 

Bumrungrad International
(Representative Office Only)
136G Tran Vu Street
Ba Dinh District, Hanoi
Tel: 04-3715-3717/18
Hotline: 090-446-8689
Email: hanoi@reference.com
Website: bumrungrad.vn
Contact: Ms. Nguyen Thanh Phuong, Director

Viet Duc Hospital
40 Trang Thi Street, Hanoi
Tel: 04-3825-3531
24hr Emergency: ext. 300; general info: ext. 365
Fax: 04-3824-8308
Hotline: 0914-950-458
Email: bvvd@fpt.vn / vduh@fpt.vn
Website: vietduchospital.edu.vn
Clinics 1C: 04-3828-9852
I.C.U Department: 04-3825-3531 (Ext. 413)

In general, the fee for health care service at these private hospitals would be a little high however, if you have a travel insurance when traveling, it would save you a lot when you need medical help.

Have a safe and sound trip!

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Hagiang – the very north tip of Vietnam attracts me with its spectacular natural scenery, charming rice terraces and also the unique culture of different ethnic groups here. And, the best way to discover and learn more about their culture is visiting their fair market where people from all groups in their own unique costumes selling and buying product that they use daily. Sunday market in Dong Van Town is definitely the destination you are looking for in Hagiang. Indochina tours Vietnam

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The fair takes place every Sunday, people of different ethnic minorities living in surrounding areas excitedly come to the market for exchanging goods. or just to have fun, together established a unique fair on Dong Van Rock Plateau. If you have chance to visit the ancient town of Dong Van in the weekend, you will see that the tiny and quiet town becomes noisier and much more crowed on Sunday, like a colorful festival with different traditional costumes of Dzao, H’mong, Lo Lo, Tay, Giay people. Some of them have to walk to the market from 3am, pass the way of tens of km to join the market.

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The unique features of Dong Van Sunday market are products that people bring to the market for exchanging, agricultural products are the main goods. You will see some special vegetables, corn and even pigs, chicken, cows. I was deeply impressed by “lon cap nach” – a small pig that people carry under their arm. Different from other markets in the plain areas, ethic people visit Dong Van fair is not only for selling and buying things but also to meet each other, personally I found it like a small festival of ethnic group where they have fun even when sometimes they have to bring their goods back home after the fair

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Actually, word cannot describe my feelings about this unique fair and the only way to know is to visit and join it yourselves. Visit Hagiang, admire the amazing rice terrace fields, try the homestay experience with an ethnic family, enjoy a cup of their corn wine and join the Dong Van Sunday fair.

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You might hear that there’s really not many things to do in the city proper and it’s totally true. But if you love the peaceful time in Cambodia and you prefer to have more time to relax while experience Khmer’s Cultural or you are tired of busy city like Siem Reap, this city is completely fit for you.

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The symbol and the protected god of the city – Stick God, an old general.

To get to Battambang, it’s better to start from Siem Reap by car or by boat, both are fine as the distance is not too far and the road has much better conditioned than taking this trip from Phnom Penh. Tours Indochina

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Staying in Battambang, you will feel a peaceful in your mind as all of things are happening slowly and you can spend hours in a nice and cozy coffee shop. If it rain, it even make the time in Battambang more emotional.

To get your leg more active, you can try a bamboo sliding train in this city. It would be really funny when you get on a platform made by bamboo and call it “train”. And when two “train” meet each other on the rail, you can show your gallant to step aside, pick up your train to clear the path.

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The bamboo sliding railway. Only one!

Another place is Ek Phnom, an substantial early-11th century Angkorian-era temple ruin built as a Hindu temple under the ruler Suryavarman I. The temple is in rough condition, consisting of prasats on a platform with some Hindu themed carvings in pretty good condition. Cambodia travel packages

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Most of the temple is damaged by war and time.

In front of it is Wat Ek Phnom, a modern Buddhist pagoda, sits picturesquely next to the ruin and a small lake. The river road drive to Ek Phnom from Battambang passes through some absolutely beautiful countryside, along a palm lined Stung Sangker river and through several small villages.

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This is an interesting mixed between Hindu and Buddhism but the giant Buddha wasn’t finished.

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The Buddha Statue is so mystical and powerful

At night, the finest circus in Cambodia located in this town can be easy to help you entertain yourself and you can walk around for many local foods and beer garden!

This could be a good comma for your trip in Cambodia and let you have more time to think about life.

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