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Archive for the ‘Travel Vietnam’ Category

5. Thien Mu Pagoda – Hue City

Thien Mu Pagoda – Heaven Fairy Lady Pagoda is the most ancient pagoda in Hue city. It is situated on Ha Khe hill, on the northern bank of the Perfume River, in Huong Long village, 5 kilometres from Hue city, which is easy to reach from the city centre.

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Heaven Fairy Lady Pagoda in Hue

Heaven Fairy Lady Pagoda  is based on a legend of local people. Long time ago, an old strange woman appeared on the hill where the pagoda is located today and told to local people that a Lord would come and build a Buddhist pagoda for the country’s prosperity. Then, she disappeared suddenly and no-one saw her later. After that, Lord Nguyen who was a devotee and always expected to make country be more prosperous, listened the story. Right after, he decided to buil Heaven Fairy Lady Pagoda as the old stanger told and believed that the stranger woman was a embodiment of Buddha to remind him what he should do for his locals’ belief and country’s prosperity . With this mysterious history, the pagoda has attracted a great number of tourists from inside and outside of the nation to come and explore the legend themselves.

One of very famous tourism activities which no tourist want to miss in Hue is boarding a Dragon boat on Perfume River to visit Thien Mu Pagoda.

6. Tran Quoc Pagoda – Hanoi: 

Another beautiful and ancient pagoda from Hanoi – the capital of Vietnam – the center of Vietnamese culture and history. Tran Quoc Pagoda in Hanoi is the oldest temple in the city, with more over 1,450 year old. It was built in the sixth century under the reign of Emperor Ly Nam De (544 to 548).

The main part of this pagoda located at Kim Nguu Islet – Westlake. You will have to across to bridge to reach the pagoda. However, When founded, the temple was named Khai Quoc – Founding State and was located on the banks of the Red River.  Because of flood and invasion of the Red River, in 1615, it was re-built and located at the Kim Ngu Islet of West Lake where it is located nowadays.

Tran Quoc

Tran Quoc- source: internet

There are many monks living at this pagoda and teach the Buddhism to public. Besides, here are many Buddhist symbols at Tran Quoc Temple. The eight-wheeled wheel symbolizes Buddhism as it symbolizes the Noble Eightfold Path. At Tran Quoc Pagoda, there are many lotus statues. Symbols for purity of mind, body and speech. The lotus also represents enlightenment and accomplishment. The stone walls at the side of the temple are many carvings of lotus flowers etched in stone. The carvings depict the beauty of nature in Vietnam.

7. Giac Lam Pagoda – Ho Chi Minh: 

After the most ancient pagoda in Hanoi – the capital of Vietnam, we will visit the most oldest pagoda in Ho Chi Minh City – Giac Lam Pagoda. It was bulit in 1744. The name “Giac Lam” means “Feel the Woods Temple”. Why it has this name? There is many reasons to explain for this special name. However, there are two reasons which you can realize righ after you entering through the main gate of this pagoda. All of small temples. statue and main architecture of this pagoda was made from valuable wooden. Another reason is that this pagoda is surrouned by garden full of tall trees. Especially, there is a tall Bodhi tree – the symbol of Buddhism.  This tree came Giac Lam Pagoda on June 18, 1953 and nowadays, it is considered as a symbol of Giac Lam Pagoda.

Giac Lam pagoda

Giac Lam pagoda- source: internet

8. Chua Ngoc Hoang – Jade Emperor Pagoda. 

This temple is dedicated to various gods, Taoists and Buddhists of the China-Vietnamese culture and especially to the Jade Emperor, the Supreme of Taoism God. The facades of the Jade Emperor Pagoda are brick painted in pink without greater interest, major architectural and artistic attractions are the tiles and sculptures of roofs and above all, the doors of the temple carvings, authentic works of art and unique style Yin-Yang of the roofs.

To decorate the Pagoda of the Jade Emperor, the Cantonese community was inspired by many Buddhist legends and myths. The doors are carved with figures of men and gods, in the interior of the temple, in the room of 10 hell have the representation of the 1000 torments and flanking the main sanctuary, the giant demon guardians of 4 meters in height.

This pagoda was originally known with the name of Pagoda Ngoc Hoang, but it was renamed in 1984 as Pagoda Phuoc Hai Tu, a name which it retains to this day.

To get more information, you can click:  Southern Vietnam Discovery

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Hue has long been famous for its historical vestiges inside the ancient city namely as Imperial Citadel, Thien Mu Pagoda, Kings’ Tomb of Khai Dinh, Minh Mang, Tu Duc. However, if you have chosen to extend your trip up to 2-3 nights in this peaceful city, here are several traditional villages on the outskirt of Hue that you can embark on only for a day trip to discover more about its own stunning cultural values.

If you get further information about Hue, you can click: Indochina tours Vietnam

  1. Thanh Toan Village

Thanh Toan Village is 8 km east of Hue city in Thuy Thanh commune is one of the most beautiful villages in Hue. This village has become popular for tourists due to its beautiful roads, peaceful rural landscape and specifically the tile-roofed bridge named Thanh Toan which is an ancient architectural monument of extreme value in terms of history and culture.

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Thanh Toan Bridge linked the two halves of the village

As locating not far from the city, tourists can visit this village by bike to leave the hustle and bustle of the city life behind. On the way, it is possible to cross beautiful rice paddy fields and meet friendly local farmers that both make Thanh Toan village an ideal and peaceful place to visit.

Having reached Thanh Toan village, visit Thanh Toan Bridge built in 1776 is one of the top memorable things. Considered as the sister bridge of Hoi An’s famed Japanese bridge, this bridge is classified as a rare relic and to have high artistic value in types of ancient bridges in  centre Vietnam because of its tiled-roof architecture.

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The relaxing moment on the Thanh Toan Bridge

Beside the bridge is the village market which is small but offers everything that worths to see. Tourists will be immersed in a space of culinary specialties like Hen rice (baby clam with rice), fish-pancakes and a wide variety of rice noodles. On the other side of the bridge is a showroom displaying agricultural tools: plows, harrows, sickles, scoops, and rice mills where adults and children can both experience the daily activities of local people as well as taste sample local food.

  1. Sinh Village

Located in Phu Mau commune, about 9 km to the east of Hue, Sinh Village is regarded as the homeland of Hue folk paintings as this village has made folk paintings for the central region for more than 400 years.

Making paintings is not a professional job of the local people in Sinh Village because the farmers make use of their time during crop intervals to create these beautiful fine arts. The peak season of Sinh folk paintings is from the 10th lunar month to the next February and Sinh paintings are mostly used during the traditional lunar New Year festival and in some special worshipping ceremonies. Locals buy Sinh paintings to practice their belief and religion by hanging them at the ancestors’ altar or decorate their house. The main topics that Sinh paintings express are characters, objects and animals which are peaceful and harmonious with the locals’ real life.

Image result for sinh village in hue

Image result for sinh village in hue

While Dong Ho folk paintings in the North (Hanoi) have just four or five main colors, Sinh paintings have more depending on the artists’ imagination. The five main colors of Sinh paintings represent the five elements of the earth: metal, wood, water, fire, and earth and these colors are made from natural materials found in the jungle of the West Hue. Papers used are made from clam shells taken from Tam Giang lagoon. The shells are ground into powder, mixed with glue, and then pasted on paper to make shell paper.

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Visitors to Sinh Village can get a chance to make their own painting, from printing to hand coloring. After your “masterpiece” is completed, it is rolled up in a bamboo tube to be protected. It is certain that Sinh paintings are the favorite souvenirs for tourists who pay a visit to Hue.

  1. Thuy Bieu Village

Thuy Bieu village is an ancient village situated on the southern bank of Perfume River. Merely 7km from Hue city centre, Thuy Bieu is a hidden gem of untouched nature and culture and is mostly famous for its mild sweet Thanh Tra, a special kind of pomelo with refined fragrance and green skin. Its local name is Thanh Tra or “green tea citruit” as its flesh is juicily light green.  When spring comes, the village is filled with its aromatic white flower and when autumn comes, it is time for locals to collect the ripe pomelo. Locals even celebrate “Thanh Tra Festival” that is as important as “Cherry Blossom Festival” in Japan every spring.

Image result for thuy bieu village

Despite all ravages of wars and time, Thuy Bieu still remains intact which can be seen by its rustic settings of small cottages hidden in large luxuriant gardens, long gates and fences carved out of ornamental trees. All are typical of Hue countryside as many hundred years ago. The local villagers earn their living mainly by rice cultivating, gardening and handicraft making so visiting Thuy Bieu Eco village, just walking into famous gardens for growing Thanh Tra, visitors can immerse themselves in the cool atmosphere and the peaceful countryside of Hue land. Do not forget to taste the sweet, fragrant and cool favors of the renowned Thanh Tra pomelo when you in Thuy Bieu.

You can choose to do a cycling around the village to visit some handicraft families such as the incense making family, the joss paper making family and the paper painting family to discover the daily life of local people while they are working strenuously with joy and enthusiasm. The other interesting activity that attracts tourists to Thuy Bieu is a cooking class for anyone loves cuisine. You may be guided by the professional chef to Thuy Bieu local market and spend time to stroll around & buy necessary foods for cooking class.  After preparing a local lunch by yourself under the instruction of our chief, you cannot wait to taste the Hue traditional dishes that you have prepared.

Image result for thuy bieu village

I believe you may find my suggestions helpful for your free day in Hue. Happy traveling!

 

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Highly recommended destinations with great weather Hoi An, Vietnam

The beaches of Hoi An and Danang deserved in the list with good weather expected throughout the month. Average temperatures remain high at 30 °C and most of the days sunny and dry.

Nha Trang, Vietnam

Nha Trang is likely to be at its the best of the weather of the year with yellow sunshine, blue sky, and white sand that also at peak season of domestic traveling.

Koh Samui, Thailand

Koh Samui in August is the right time, right place. Most days are long and generally sunny, with 29°C temperatures and a comfortable level of humidity between 61% and 88%. The wind is mostly from the west and stirs up a few waves on that side of Samui, making it good for sailing. The popular east-coast resort towns still enjoy placed 28°C, perfect for swimming with young ones on their summer holidays.

August is good for beach relaxation

August is good for beach relaxation

Fairly good choice

Phnom Penh & Siem Reap, Cambodia

Although the rainfall is almost at its peak, the showers tend to be short and intense, lasting for a few hours rather than all day. In the countryside, there is more lush and green, and water levels on the Tonle Spa Lake are high, making it possible to visit the flooded forests and floating villages by boat. The average temperature is a comfortable 26-27°C.

Pakse, Laos

Despite the wet weather all over in Laos, southern highlights of the 4000 Islands remain accessible by boat, with the region’s waterfalls (unsurprisingly) at their best. The Khone Phangpheng, the Mekong River biggest waterfall with stunning scenery is worth taking.

Khone Phapheng falls

Khone Phapheng falls – Source: internet

Be prepared with hit or miss

Halong Bay, Vietnam

The months of July – August often see sporadic hurricanes and storms, which may render cancellation and delay of your trip. In those cases, you can switch around by visiting another destination in the North of Vietnam and visit Halong Bay later (such as Sapa, Hoa Binh or Ninh Binh). These storms will not last longer than 3-4 days. However, the massive sales of cruises in low season is interesting for who doesn’t mind the weather.

Chiang Mai, Thailand

Rainfall across much of Thailand is at its peak in August, with Chiang Mai and the north typically receiving their heaviest rainfall of the year. In the more rural northern regions, such as Nan and Chiang Kham, the rain can make traveling around fairly difficult. Temperatures continue to drop slightly although humidity levels will remain high at average 26-30°C.

Luang Prabang, Laos

High probability of rain and showers increasing in severity. Along with overcast skies, humidity levels can reach 85% in August and temperatures in Luang Prabang range from 25-30°C.

In the more remote regions, such as Phongsali and Muang Sing the heavy rain can make traveling around fairly difficult and tracks may become unpassable, with the risk of landslides in some areas. If it’s ‘off the trail’ it’s best avoided in August.

Be avoid

Phuket, Thailand

Rain can be expected almost every day on the islands of Koh Chang and Koh Kood, and the west coast beaches of Phuket, Khao Lak and Krabi will also be experiencing their wettest month of the year.

Mondulkiri, Cambodia

In the more rural north-east regions, such as Ratanakiri and Mondulkiri the heavy rain can make traveling around fairly difficult and tracks can become unpassable. If it’s ‘off the trail’ then it’s best avoided in August.

Landslide cut down a road in rural area

Myanmar

Rainfall will start to lessen towards the end of the month, however, wherever you travel in Myanmar you should expect heavy rains.

Temperatures remain high (averaging highs of 27 – 30°C) and the beaches on the west and southern coast are now closed with road travel across much of the country difficult, in many cases impossible.

To get more detail information, you can click: Travel Indochina

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A large, prosperous coastal city, Quy Nhon boasts a terrific beach-blessed shoreline and grand boulevards. Its seaside appeal and tidy, litter-free streets make it the kind of place that affluent Vietnamese couples choose to retire to, spending their final days ocean-gazing and promenade-walking

If you are looking for a beach and you willing to get off the beaten track will enjoy Quy Nhon, a lively and pleasant coastal city in Bình Định Province in central Vietnam, virtually half way between the popular cities of Nha Trang and Hoi An. The city is known for its beautiful surroundings, Cham temples, and nearby beaches.

Easily reached by plane, bus and train, it’s surprising that more people don’t choose to spend more than the absolute minimum in Qui Nhon. It has a noteworthy beach in its own right, without any of the hustle or crowds. Visitors will have opportunity of breathing the pure fresh air from the sea, mountains and forests, feeling the caress of sea breezes and hot embrace of tropical sun, watching the skilled  craftsmen hand making beautiful artifacts, and tasting the peculiar specialities. But first and foremost they will be pleased with the warm welcome from the local folks.

Quy Nhon is certainly a good spot to sample some fresh seafood, but for most foreign visitors the city’s attractions are less obvious

Vast sapphire skies and fresh ocean breezes draw visitors to Quy Nhon, where you can enjoy empty beaches and the area’s rugged natural beauty. The public beach is immaculate and so far, development directly on the beach has been limited to only a few hotels and resorts on the south end of the strip. Besides, tourists who explore Eo Gio, Ky Co beach, Trung Luong and near by fishing villages discover both serenity and excitement.

To get more experience about Quy Nhon beach, you can click: Indochina travel Vietnam

Ky Co beach is arguably the most impressive beach in the region. Located 25km from down town, Ky Co is special because it bends like a sickle. Backed by mountains on three sides, the beach faces the deep blue sea. Visitors can travel here by boat, admiring the rocky and picturesque coastal landscape on the way. Another option is to reach Eo Gio (Windy Straight) by motorbike and board a small boat to Ky Co beach. We come here to swim in the crystal water, relax on the beach and enjoy seafood. There are also some caves to explore. Pineapple Beach offers colourful coral. Eo Gio is also worth visiting, blessed with a harmonious landscape of rocks, sky, cloud and water.

Ky Co Beach is nestled snugly in Nhon Ly Commune, 25 kilometers northeast of Quy Nhon City

Ghenh Rang ( Rang Rapid) is one of the most spectacular natural gifts bestowed upon this city. Lying 3km south down town, Rang Rapid consists of a series of rocky walls set near the sea. Ghenh Rang is a work by Mother Nature with a cluster of stones running along the seaside and undulating rock mountains, forming caves, dales with white sand on one side and the emerald sea of rustling waves on the other. After dark the rocks appear even more mysterious. Set below high mountains, the rocks and sea shine silver in the light of the moon and stars twinkle in the clear dark sky. These all creates a pristine Ghenh Rang, a charming spectacular and romantic painting.

Ghenh Rang is one of the most attractive destinations in Quy Nhon, located 3km south east of the city

Another natural marvel is known as the Queen Beach – a rocky beach covered with large rocks in strange rounded shapes. Visitors like to walk barefoot on these rocks, which resemble giant eggs. The colors are striking-white, red, grey or patterned…This rocky beach has an otherworldly beauty.

Hungry from exploring Quy Nhon’s spectacular landscape, visitors will enjoy this region’s famed fresh seafood and local dishes. The town has lots of cafés where you can relax, watch the sea and recharge in preparation for your next adventure.

Trung Luong

Eo Gio

Eo Gio

Trung Luong

Trung Luong beach

Enjoy fresh coconut while visiting Trung Luong – Quy Nhon Beach

Eo Gio is the best place to take photos

Beach at down town of Quy Nhon city

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Half of the boiling summer has gone in Northern Vietnam and I believe that you all have well enjoyed your beach relaxation for your summer vacation. It is about time to start to farewell the summer and welcome the most expecting time of the year: Autumn for stunning harvesting time of the year. If you have not popped up any ideas yet, let’s follow me with these beautiful golden rice places in North Vietnam, both in the delta area and the mountainous one.

  1. Tam Coc – Ninh Binh Province

Tam Coc has long been famed as the enchanted site for a boat trip through the emerald waterway. From Hanoi, this is also the closest place among the sites that I would like to introduce which can be done within a day for only 120km. Though it is popular for many tourists to Vietnam but your trip is not fulfilled without visiting at the right time of harvesting season since early May each year.

On the boat trip by the local boat men, you will be sailed from this surprise to the other excitement by the breath-taking scenery here. I guess you can’t keep your “WOW” when enjoying the yellow color of a huge natural carpet of rice in the summer breeze, the color of pure greenish-blue Yen stream and the blue cloudlessly shining sky. Also, the journey passing by imposingly ancient rock mountain that leads you to Ca, Hai & Ba limestone grottoes which are adorned with glistening stalactites will create an unforgettable picturesque scenery.

  1. Mu Cang Chai – Yen Bai Province

If the photo shoots of harvesting rice season in the delta area is not enough for your passion, now we will move further to the mountainous area of Vietnam to indulge yourself in the amazing beauty of the national heritage site. Mu Cang Chai is a rural district in Yen Bai Province, 290 km away from Hanoi and is emerging as an ideal place for a large number of foreigners instead of only Vietnamese as before. To reach this heaven on earth, you will pass by the most dangerous pass in North Vietnam: Khau Pha Pass.

No matter what time of the year you choose to travel here, there will always be amazing scenery to watch, but the best time to visit these beautiful lands is during the grain season from mid-September to early October when you will be absolutely thrilled by the majestic beauty of this golden sea of rice. There are three most attractive stops that can’t be ignored to catch the most mind-blowing beauty namely as: Che Cu Nha, La Pan Tan and De Zu Phinh villages.

Looking down from the top of hills, tourists can see awe inspiring terraces fields stretching along the mountain side till the bottom of steep valleys that looks like streams and rivers, making it the natural masterpiece of giant rice staircases leading to heaven. Besides the amazing rice fields, you may also have chance to see a plenty of local life moments by H’mong & Thai ethnic peoples. The rustic lifestyle of these tribal people together with the breath-taking nature surroundings makes Mu Cang Chai one of the top destinations for any authentic experience lovers.

  1. Sapa – Laocai Province

Sapa, 350  km to the North West of Hanoi is always an attractive tourist destination all year round that can be undeniable: in winter, white snow falls (occasionally) covering mountains, in spring plum flowers blossom in the warm sunshine, in summer peaches are ripe and in autumn the rice blooms in sunshine.

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Unlike other places in Vietnam that can have two crops a year, there is only one crop per year in Sapa starting from June to October. Therefore, to see the most beautiful scenery in Sapa, tourists are highly recommended to come here when the rice fields are ready to be harvested with lovely smell of new rice since late August to September.

In the ripe rice season, tourists can embark on the greatest trekking route along the Cat Cat Village, down the Muong Hoa Valley, go around the Lao Chai, Tavan Village or standing from the top of the mountain at Ta Phin Village for gorgeous golden grain fields and scattered       stilt houses of H’mong, Red Dzao and Tay, Zay peoples. Nothing is more perfect than seeing the whole valley painted in various shades of green and yellow and dotted with bright colors of red or indigo of traditional costume worn by farmers working on the rice paddy fields. Why don’t you try it on for this autumn?

  1. Bac Son – Lang Son Province
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Panorama of Bac Son Valley from Na Lay mountain

Only 160 km from Hanoi to the North East, Bac Son Valley is located in the heart of Bac Son District of Lang Son Province which is also a paradise of ripe rice season in July attracting tourists from all parts of the world. To get more information, you can click: Indochina travel Vietnam 

Rice fields in Bac Son have been rated as “A rare green field of the planet” on the tourism website whenonearth.net for its amazing and unique features. The reason is that this valley owns incredibly high mountains which are about 500-1200 meters high. These mountains, together with the valley’s rice fields, create a great scenic landscape that you can only see its best after climbing on top of Na Lay mountain which is about 600 in height above sea level. From here, you are absolutely amazed by the stunning 360-degree scenery of mountains, villages, rivers and farms.

The pristine beauty of Bac Son Valley also changes in different time of a day. In the morning, the valley becomes dim because of the thin layers of fog cover on the slopes of limestone mountains. At sunrise, smog disappears and the first beautiful sunlight begins to brighten up Bac Son Valley. At dawn, the sun gradually hides itself behind limestone mountains, which creates a wonderful beauty for this destination.

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You will be surprised to see this picturesque scenery of diferent colors from lush green to brown yellow

After sunset, Bac Son Valley becomes more sparking by the light of daily schedule in houses on the foot of limestone mountains. At any time, Bac Son Valley also offers a taste of tranquility and serenity for visitors’ soul.

    5. Hoang Su Phi – Ha Giang Province

Hoang Su Phi of Ha Giang Province is one of the most spectacular but least-travelled areas in northern Vietnam (300 km from Hanoi) – with mountains covered in lush rice terraces. The harvesting time of Hoang Su Phi is a little later than in Sapa or Mu Cang Chai, from September to end of October is the best moment for photographers.

 

Beautiful rice terraces are stretching along this area but the best place to have the nice shoots is Nam Ty, San Sa Ho, Ban Luoc, Thong Nguyen. The rice tree itself is taller than in Mu Cang Chai and the terraces is also at higher altitude.

Hoang_Su_Phi_terraced_fields_in_rainy_season_12

These rice fields are not only a highlight to atract tourism, but are the home and the food supply for many of Vietnam’s ethnic minorities like Mong, La Chi, Dao and Nung, giving it a diverse appeal. Though the system of rice cultivating is somewhat traditional with simple tools, the aged-old knowledge of taking care of rice fields has maintained its fertile ground artfully, making Hoang Su Phi become the most wanted site for dream explorer and an ideal destination for hiking tours, trekking tours and photography tours with homestay experience at local houses of the hill tribes. It is not superlative to call Hoang Su Phi the magnificent work of local people.

Tips for your stunning photos:

To have a safe and fun trip with a fruitful photo hunting, you should remember these tips:

  • Due to the different period of rice planting, the harvest time is varied among places that noted clearly above for each site. Therefore, choosing the right time will bring you a collection full of colors: from lust green to dark yellow and even the dark brown color.
  • Choose suitable clothing when traveling to the rural mountainous area, including thin jacket, walking shoes and hat to keep your greatest physical condition.
  • Do not forget to prepare your battery and backup memory card as the photo chance is endless. Choose the colorful clothes and scarf to make you beautiful in any moments.
  • Be respectful to the local culture. Bring along some snacks and candies for you and for kids and never spoil them by giving money.
  • Ask the locals for their advices on the best spots for sightseeing and you may have off-the-beaten-track that you will never know.

Now more than never, do not hesitate to take a trip to Vietnam’s Northeast and witness the art and beauty of the most wondrous rice fields in the world. Wish you the best harvesting season in Vietnam trip!

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When you look at the S-shape map of Vietnam, the highest spot in the North West area which is marked by a red dot is Sin Ho, Lai Chau province.

Beautiful Sin Ho

Beautiful Sin Ho- source: internet

Lai Châu Province is unlike any other area of Vietnam. Not only is it the most sparsely populated are in Vietnam but it was also once a semi-independent White Tai confederation known as Sipsong Chu Thai. This was absorbed by France into French Indochina in the late of 19th Century and subsequently became part of Vietnam following Vietnamese independence in 1954.  This is reflected in the great cultural diversity seen today. Lai Châu has long been the poorest province in Vietnam and also the least developed.  The scenery of some of the most stunning sceneries you can see in all of Vietnam. The epic limestone mountains stretch out in every direction, many are lined with ancient forest, valleys are planted with rice, corn or neat little tea plantations. Located 60 km west of the town of Lai Chau, Sin Ho has the north border next to Yunan – China, the south is Tua Chua district, the east is Phong Tho district and the west is Muong Te district. If you have a chance to wander around by motorbike, it is even a more amazing and unforgettable experience to see the rice terraces or to catch a glimpse of the “cloud sea” in sunset/sunrise.

The cloud ocean in the sunrise

The cloud ocean in the sunrise- source: internet

Beside the spectacular views of the mountainous area, the highlight of Sin Ho is the weekend local market. Most of the local residences living around the town will join in the Saturday market, but Sunday is more attractive as it seems plenty of hill tribes from other villages gather here such as Red Mong people from Mo Village, Dao people from Phang Xo Lin Village or Phu La people from Pu Sam Cap town which is located quite far from Sin Ho and takes nearly one day for transporting.  They come here to sell and exchange handmade goods with the traditional bags behind their back. This market is colorful with the unique dresses, delicious and authentic food presented each ethnic minority.

local people are trading goods

local people are trading goods- source: internet

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Sunday market- source: internet

Over the recent years, Sapa is seemingly becoming worldwide known for its beauty and diversified culture which lead to the fact that a lot of travelers wish to explore here. With aim to guide guests to another similar but less touristy destination, I am thinking of putting Sin Ho to our classic itinerary. That would be really unique!

Firstly, you need to catch a night train to Lao Cai as the normal way to travel to Sapa then start the tour in the morning. However, it is highly recommended to be on the train on Thursday night then you will be able to see the market on Sunday.

Day 1 – Lao Cai – Lai Chau: Drive up past the Silver Fall to the scenic road QL4D, through the Hoang Lien Son National forest, the Heaven Gate and especially Tram Ton Pass (Vietnam highest road on 1900 meters)

Day 2 – Lai Chau – Sin Ho

Day 3: Sin Ho – Sapa

Another remarkable point is visiting spectacular Putaleng Cave system which we will have another article on this coming soon. Keep update our newest blogs of Indochina Voyages Travel

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Are you boring with touristic attraction around Hanoi and Old Quarter? Are you a real trekker? Do you want to find some new challenge during your time in Hanoi? If your answer is YES, you are reading the right post.On this post, I want to introduce a new places for both of local and foreign tourists – Ham Lon Moutain. As on my title, this is the highest places in Hanoi and is considered as the roof of Hanoi. It is located only 50 km from Hanoi’s Old Quarter towards North Thang Long – Noi Bai expressway. the way is very easy for motor-bikers to reach this places. It will just take you approximately one hour. Therefore, you can conquer this mountain on day or you can stay longer if you want to watch the sunset and sunrise on the mountain. Besides, on the foot this mountain, there is a large lake and is very suitable for you to camp over-night and have BBQ at night.

Camping area at the bottom of Ham Lon - the roof of Hanoi

Camping area at the bottom of Ham Lon – the roof of Hanoi

One more interesting information about this moutain is that there are many prosfessional trekker and young tourists who pracatice to conquer the Fansipan – the highest mountain in Indochina. That’s why it aslo has another nickname:” Fansipan inside Hanoi”. The highest point of this moutain is 462m.

To get more information, you can click: Indochina tours Vietnam

Every name has a meaning but after 3 times travelling to this places, I did not know why the local people call this moutain “Ham Lon”. In English, Ham Lon is “Pig Jaw” !??!! Most of local people just know that this name was considered as official name of this mountain for a long time and no one can understand why their grandparents call this moutain as “Pig Jaw”.

There two main path to touch the top this moutain. However, after 3 times conquer this moutain, I found that there are at least 6 paths to reach the top but for the first time, you should follow 02 main paths which there are many trekers choose. One path is very easy and suitable for biking. If you are professional biker, you can try. However, I have to remind that you are a real professional biker who try conquering high moutain before. With this path, you just start the foot of the mountain and make it all the way to the top through a fairly flat trail, of which the entire climb can take about two and a half hours. Visiting the Nui Bau Lake right at the start of the trail can give one a relaxing mood and get ready for the fight to the steep. Please to remind that you if you get lost, please to scream out and will someone will raise their voice to get back to you and you can follow their voice. However, this is the only way to find the support from other trekking groups because there is not any instruction board. If you feel unsafe with this trip, you can pay for some local people on the foot of moutain, then they will go with you for the whole day. It will cost you around 200,000 VND (around USD 10) for a whole day with local guide who can not speak English. One more note about this path is that it will covered by many bushes, so you should wear clothes covering all of part of your hand and knee. If you wear tank-top or short clothes, you will be hunted by bushes. On the first time, I wore short clothes and I had to pay for this with many scratches on my skin. The bushes on this moutain is not normal because I had tingle on my skin for a month. It seems be very dangerous for your skin. These below picture will show you how beautiful the easy path is

Easy

Most of tourists will choose the easy route to reach the top.

Yellow reeds along the easy route

Yellow reeds along the easy route- source: internet

Nice picture was taken on the easy route with full of yellow reeds along the path.

Nice picture was taken on the easy route with full of yellow reeds along the path – source: internet

The difficult route is a option for tourists who have greater taste for adventure and discovery. I love this path but you will need some trekking equipments. You will have to cross small streams or through the bushes, the biggest slippery stones ever. Besides, there are some deep chasm, so climbing gear will be very useful. You will have no standard route here, climbers who prefer to reach the top this way will have to create their own road. It will take you about four to five hours to reach the peak at 462m through this route. Please to note that you should not try this way if you do not have any trekking experiences before. On this route, you can hire a local guide without speaking English but the price can be higher around at 300,000-400,000 VND for a whole day. In my personal opinion, if you decide to choose thi route, you accept a challenge and will not have to be based on any guide. For me, this route give me a special survival experiences. After that time with this route, I decided to discover other routes when I travel to Ham Lon. As I mentioned, I think that now, I can go to the top with 6 routes. Now, if I have free time at the weekend, I will go with my best friend to relax and free stress with this moutain. One more fun fact that I got lost once time and it took me 6,5 hours to reach the top. I feel worried a little bit but it was really memorable experience for us because we went into old forest and need the assistance of army man to back to easy route.

Difficult route is suitable for adventure/ trekking lovers

Difficult route is suitable for adventure/ trekking lovers

When you reach the top of Ham Lon Moutain,  you will see a fairly flat area and you can camp here to over-night or have lunch with BBQ there.

View from the peak of Ham Lon

View from the peak of Ham Lon

Please to remember collect all of rubbish after your camping and bring all things from Ham Lon Moutain after your trip. There are many younger camp on this area and throw many rubbish. It is really a shame.

I suggest you to get top through difficult route and get down the foot of mountain with easy path. I hope that you will have special and memorable experiences as I did with the roof of Hanoi.

 

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