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Posts Tagged ‘Vietnam travel guide’

It’s hard to find anywhere in Vietnam that is as diverse, colorful, and easy-going as Hoian. For hundreds of years, it has remained the same, sitting on the banks of Hoian river, with its ancient mossy roofs and peaceful pace of life.

If you interest, you can click: Vietnam travel and tours

Hoian is an extremely safe for solo traveller like me and you won’t be lonely in this ancient city. I like to roam the streets, try dozens of foods or sit for hours in a small café to watch people across streets, and activities. Wander around one of the local markets to shop for leaf hats, wooden clogs, silk, sand pictures, embroidery items, bamboo flutes, and other handicrafts and souvenirs. After a fun day of activities, savor such delightful Vietnamese cuisine as fresh local seafood, noodle soup, and prawn pancakes, which are served at a variety of restaurants.

Overview from Cua Dai Bridge in Hoian

Follow the river, and head down to Cua Dai bridge to enjoy the sun and the wind, visit Tam Thanh fishing village on the coast of centre Vietnam. Riding about an hour south from Hoi An (42 kilometers from Hoi An) along the coastal road, I arrived in Tam Thanh village, the Mural village of Tam Thanh now is a home to some quaint mural village, which tell stories about ordinary villagers and their way of life in the mountains and coastal regions of the country. Coastal people are always generous, they will spend hours showing you around the village. They will show you every mosaic on the walls, tell you about their boats, the sea, the net and their family.

You can see more:

The beauty of Hoian in the flood season

Early morning – Hoian ancient town

Road into Tam Thanh Village

Tam Thanh explodes out of pastoral sepias into pinks and blues, yellows and deep violets. The main street is a regular kaleidoscope where every house has its own unique color and character. Murals of local people decorate the larger walls and smaller paintings trail down the alleyways inviting visitors to explore.

With the tagline ‘art for a better community,’ the mural village project has started an important discourse in Vietnam about the accessibility of art in everyday life regardless of one’s socioeconomic background. Inspired by Korean mural villages, the Tam Thanh Mural Village is a joint initiative by the Korean Community Art Exchange Program and the Vietnamese People’s Committee of Quang Nam Province to bring art to the people.  The murals are meant to reflect the local culture, people, and nature. With the blessing of the local people, the volunteer artists have been able to turn garden-variety construction into a cohesive work of living art.

On the other than that, I loved the beach here which is the home to untouched seaside, local villages, and amazing countryside landscapes. That is a great place to just sit down, chill and relax with a bicycle ride around the beautiful Tam Thanh Mural village. If you like, you may stay one night here to avoid the crowds of beaches in Hoian and Danang. Tam Thanh Beach Resort and Spa will provide nice accommodation with the natural living by the peaceful of beach. Offering the view of Tam Thanh beach, a-step-to-the-beach restaurant, front beach bar, swimming pool with sea view, spa services are completely near by.

Explore natural landscapes that have retained their untamed beauty!
_Lucas_

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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.

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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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E-visa (electronic visa) is an official document permitting entry into and travel within a country. Applicants obtain their visas via e-mail after entering required information and making payments by a credit or debit card. Now, it is considered to be the most convenient way to apply a visa for tourist comparing to traditional sticker (from Embassy) or popular way in many countries now – Visa On Arrival (stamping on arrivals).

According to many official newspaper in Vietnam, on 22 November, Vietnam’s National Assembly overwhelmingly approved a plan to allow foreign tourists to apply for electronic visas (e-visas) starting on February 1, 2017.

Under this program, tourists will be able to apply online for 30-day, single-entry e-visas by paying a non-refundable application fee online.

The Vietnamese government is working to decide which nationalities will become eligible for the program and which Vietnamese border gates will allow foreigners to enter by applying online.

Vietnam’s foreign tourist arrivals jumped by a quarter in the first ten months of 2016, hitting eight million, according to figures from the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism. At the end of this year, we have had ten million tourist arrivals. It is an unexpected number for Vietnamese tourism industry and it is the main reason for government to invest more and more in tourism industry. E-visa will be the first program of developing our tourism in 2017. The government had allocated 200 billion Vietnamese Dong ($8.97 million) to speed up the implementation of visas through an electronic visa application system which is slated to go into effect in January 2017 or latest in February of 2017.

Earlier, on 1 September of 2016, Vietnam extended visa exemptions to tourists from the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) as well as Russia, Japan, South Korea, Denmark, Norway, Poland, Sweden, Belarus, the U.K., France, Germany, Spain and Italy.

If you have traveled to Australia, New Zealand, Cambodia, Myanmar, and Turkey or obtained an India ETA visa, you may be familiar with the process. The goal is to make entry into Vietnam easier, and less costly to increase tourism. Fees for the future E-visa have not been established. But I think that it will be the same with a total cost of a fully Visa on Arrival (VOA) around 45 USD for one month single entry visa (USD 10 Visa Approval Letter, USD35 for stamping fee at immigration counter at international airports). However, with E-visa, you will not have to find a agent to receive a Visa Approval Letter and wait at the airport for stamping fee or filling Visa Form. You will do everything on your laptop and receive a full E-visa from government via e-mail after 3 working days then you just have to print it out to present at Immigration staff at international airport in Vietnam. E-visa is not new in SEA but only Cambodia and Myanmar use this way to support tourist. Cambodia is very successful with E-visa before. I believe that our website and process will nearly the same with the way our neighbor doing. You can see more detail about Cambodia E-visa at this official link: evisa.gov.kh

I hope that Vietnam will be attractive destination for traveller all over the world in 2017 with the thoughtful attention and reasonable investment from the government. E-visa is the one of many long-run programs from government to supporting tourists to Vietnam in 2017. We will keep updating information of E-visa for all of you.

If you interest, please follow our relevant the topic at: Indochina tours Vietnam

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Arrive in Hanoi, you are now considering where to chill out in several days here. You are often recommended by family and friends to the most popular attractions like Ho Chi Minh Complex, Temple of Literature, Museum of Ethnology and do not miss the Old Quarter with Sword Lake inside it… However, if you need a new way of exploring Hanoi and its local life, a tour to craft village nearby Hanoi is not a bad choice. Let me introduce some to you, here are list of top 3 craft villages without entrance fee that you will regret not knowing earlier. Tours of Indochina

Bat Trang ceramic village

 

“I wish I could marry you/ I will buy Bat Trang bricks to build our house” is a nice folk song showing the great honor to Bat Trang ceramic and pottery quality. For people who are familiar with this famous product, they are not surprised to know these high quality ceramic and pottery products are exported worldwide including dishes, vases, bowls, cups and many other kinds of ceramic.

The village was documented to be established since the 14th and 15th century at the bank of Red river, however, local people state that this may appear earlier. Its own history was told in two different ways. The first one tells that under the reign of Ly dynasty in 1100, when the nation was in peace and development, there were 3 scholars who returned from their mission trip to China, brought along the ceramic craft industry learnt there and taught this job to Bat Trang people. In the second story, when King Ly Cong Uan relocated the capital city in Hanoi in the 10th century because of its good location for trading and commercial. There are many businessmen, crafters from nationwide coming to settle down in Bat Trang village for their business. In this area, there was a lot of white clay so many potters came and built the kilns here. Gradually, Bat Trang has changed from a normal ceramic and pottery village into a famous one until now.

If you are curious to know the way workers make these ceramic by hand, let’s come and join them for only 13 kilometers south east of the Old Quarter.To get there, you cross the Chuong Duong Bridge, turn right at the end of the bridge and go straight ahead until you see the sign leading to Bat Trang village. The other way which is quite interesting is to take a bus no. 47A from bus stop close to Dong Xuan Market. Right at the stop for your car or motorbikes, you will be greeted by many women who offer you a short class in their houses of making the pottery and paint the ready-made products after that. The price for 1 person is from 40 000 VND for making a stuff with the help of the owner and pay 20 000 VND more for a painted product to bring home. Be aware that this is a manual job with clay and colors so you should wear casual clothes for your comfort. If you find it too difficult to complete your creative product, do not hesitate to ask for their help. After you finish making your ceramic stuff, it’s time to shop around in the porcelain ceramic market nearby while waiting for your product to be dried.

This market is a paradise of ceramic including ceramic tile painting, flower vases, tea pots and cups, bowls, plates, spoons, even ceramic animals like dogs, cats, ducks. The price is very reasonable comparing to exported products from the same brand name. Do bargaining for some great deals while shopping. I guess you do not need to leave without any souvenirs.

One other choice for someone who love peace and tradition, go deeper into the village, you can meet many big ancient houses making ceramic and their more unique products than stores in the market. You also have chance to see the procedure of making the ceramic in which the potter must follow these stages: selection, land preparation and processing, create designs, create patterns, enameled and finally calcined product.  Experience traditional village life of Bat Trang is “Best bones, second skin, third “dac lo”. It means, the clay chosen must be of great quality to make the sustain product, then the technique to make the color must be skillful and last but not least, “dac lo” refers to the burning skill to release the best product after all. On the way out the market, you can see many nice cuisine with great flavor such as banh troi, banh chay, banh te (all are different taste of rice flour) or refresh yourself with sugar cane or coconut. Do not forget to come back to the first house to paint your ceramic and collect them home. I hope you can get your most creative hand-made gift after all.

Van Phuc silk village

 

Van Phuc Silk village or Ha Dong silk village is situated at the bank of Nhue River, 10 kilometers southwest of the centre of Hanoi, which is renowned for its traditional weaving and premium quality silk products since the ancient time. Van Phuc village has reputation for being the most ancient silk village providing the best silk in Vietnam for the past 1200 years. To reach this ancient village, you can travel on your own car/motorbike following Nguyen Trai road until reach the border of Ha Dong district then turn right for 3 kilometers or catch the public bus 02, 21 then walk 500m to the village.

For first-time tourists, you may feel surprised at its typical manner of an ancient village in the North of Vietnam with banyan tree, well, communal house, and the sound of power-looms everywhere. Walking on the main road in Van Phuc, tourists will be lost in the world of silk with various products like shirts, ties, crafts, dresses… made of silk available in the village. Vietnam travel packages

According to the history, there was a woman named A La Thi Nuong from Cao Bang who was skillful at weaving of Van Phuc village. She then brought the secret weaving technique from China to teach the villagers there. She was honored as tutelary deity of the village when she passed away.

Van Phuc Silk village became famous since the Ly dynasty. Until the reign of Nguyen, it was brought to Hue imperial citadel for royal costumes and became extremely precious handwork for a long period of time. From 1990, Van Phuc silk product was exported to many countries in the world for its high value. The special beauty of Van Phuc Silk stems from its smooth, light weight, and elegant appearance. Especially, one type of Van Phuc silk can make the wearer feel cooler in the hot weather and warmer in cold weather. Nowadays, to satisfy the various demands of customers, the producers have expanded their silk and garment goods like embroidered silk, wrinkled silk, double layers and more colors for silk products.

Walking along the “town of silk” which is so eye-catching and hustling, you may find yourself and friends the most suitable high quality silk products after the trip to Van Phuc village.

Dao Thuc Water puppet village

 

Water puppetry is one of the typical stage arts of Vietnam culture showing the intelligence, creativeness of farmers; being specialty of Vietnam wet-rice civilization. Water puppetry includes two basic components: Puppets and water.

Water puppets are seemed to be simple and rough sculpture-works, solid lines, poor colour, and zigzag movements; they evoke the general conception of human beings and other things to the audiences… However, the liquid feature and reflection of water creates the fickle. On water stage mirrors, everything becomes sparkle, flexible, changeable in front of the audiences’ eyes.

The water puppetry guild in Dao Thuc village, 10 kilometer from Dong Anh (Hanoi) is well-known for its water puppet performance both in Vietnam and abroad.

From Hanoi to Dong Anh, take highway no.3 then turn right for 10 kilometer, you arrive at Thuy Dinh – the name of water puppet stage in Dao Thuc village. This one includes 3 parts: Water pavilion – locating in the middle of the pond where the artists stay behind the scene to control the puppet; Stage – where the puppet characters perform whose shape is a square water stage of 4x4m and the space for audience is at the edge of pond.

According to history, the ancestor of the career was Nguyen Dang Vinh, under the reign of Le Y Tong (1735-1740). He was an artist performing art puppetry to serve the King. He came to the village and taught the Dao Thuc villagers how to perform water puppetry
and process to organize a show. A team often includes about 20 people: actor puppeteers, musicians playing flute, drums and vocalists.

When coming here, you will have a chance to be a real actor/ actress who have to stand under waist-deep water, be hidden behind bamboo screen blinds to perform. At first it seems a bit difficult and tiring, but you will certainly feel happy after experiencing that moment. While performing with the wooden puppet characters, singing is also important during a water puppet performance. The artist must understand a lot of the traditional folk tunes such as “cheo”, “tuong”,.. These puppets on the water are very versatile and lively. Melodies from the traditional folk bring a unique feature to national music. As usual, each show includes 10 – 15 skits such as fire crackers, flag raising, dragon dances, frog catching, swimming competitions and more in festivals.

If you can spend more time here, you should go to the village and see the artists make their wooden puppets which accounts for much of their time besides the farmwork and performance. These character are often carved to resemble famous figures in Vietnam legend stories and then lacquered to be water proof.

After the show, I believe that lovely melody, colorful puppets and skillful artisans will leave you the great impression of the traditional puppetry art of Vietnam.

Enjoy your trip !

 

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Dong Da Hillock Festival takes place annually on the 5th of the Lunar New Year in Hanoi. This festival is organized in memory of the King Quang Trung’s great merit – the national hero in the history of anti – Invaders. Travel Indochina Vietnam

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The statue of King Quang Trung in Dong Da Hillock

Dong Da festival in Hanoi

Dong Da now is also the name of the biggest district of Hanoi capital. Two centuries ago, Dong Da was a bloody battlefield where a farmer-Nguyen Hue with his brothers defeated 200,000 soldiers of the Qing coal invading army. Dong Da Hill became a glorious historical site of the Vietnamese nation. After, Nguyen Hue became King Quang Trung and one of the most famous national heroes in our history.

In the early morning of the 5th day, a historical event for the Procession commences at Khuong Thuong’s celebration and ends at Dong Da Hill. The Procession includes flags, a processional parasol, palanquins with a variety of colors, and the sounds of gongs and drums. In the festival there are a lot of games representing martial spirit. Among them, the Procession of ‘Thang Long fire dragon’ is the most interesting activities.

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Colorful Performances of dragon dance in Dong Da Hillock Festival

The main activity of this festival is the performance of young man recounting a part of the whole period of the war. the victory of King Quang Trung. The young man living at Khuong Thuong village and Dong Quang village will braid straw into shape the big dragon and decorated with areca sheath and paper mache. After that, a group of man with colorful traditional dress will perform martial arts with nunchakus and wooden sticks. This group will go around the fire dragon and show their martial skills. The mixture of heavy sound of big drums and the voice of young man performing martial arts make the atmosphere of festival be more excited and raise the patriotism.

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Young men in colorful dress are performing around “Thang Long Fire Dragon” – A symbol of victory

After the solemn ceremony, you can see traditional games and folk art performances such as lion dancing, dragon dancing, wrestling, human chess, and cock fighting. These traditional games are the most popular in Vietnamese festival. They are always attractive for many both of local people and tourists. You can find them not only on Dong Da Hillock Festival bus also on other big festival in our country. However, on Dong Da Hillock Festival these games will be performed with more colorful decorations and traditional dress. One more very unique thing of this festival which makes it be different from others is that there are many local women join in traditional games such as wrestling or human chess. These games are usually played by men on the other festival.

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Human chess in this festival is more colorful than others and there are many young women join in

Nowadays, this festival is not only for local people who living in Dong Da District but also for tourist from all over the world. Vietnamese government has recognized this festival as a national festival since 1954. Annually, senior officials of government will visit this festival and pray for a new year of country with well-being and the stable development.

Today, for Hanoi people, visiting Dong Da Hillock Festival is indispensable in the first days of the Lunar New Year. If you travel to Hanoi in our Lunar New Year, you should visit this festival to see another side of Hanoi which is more cultural and historical. Moreover, Dong Da Hillock is not far away from Old Quarter and you can visit it by yourself easily.

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Staying in Vietnam for more than 20 years, even me and many Vietnamese people sometimes still mistake in paying the bill.

As you can see in my topic about currency in Vietnam, there are too many zeros on our notes and it makes you easy to count the wrong number. In order to let you use your money wisely and avoid all of the confusion, this topic will help you determine some main note to use while staying in Vietnam.

The most popular foreign currency which is accepted in Vietnam is US dollar so we will do a little math as below. I make it as a picture so you can easy to save it in your phone and easy to check it when purchasing anything.

Money guideline

An update of this as the exchange rate in Vietnam has recently had a fluctuation! (20th Oct, 2015)

In this guideline, I’m not put the entire existing notes in Vietnam at the moment because most of the note lower than 10.000 dong is not common for visitors. You might find it make your confuse and you hardly buy anything with those notes.

The exchange rate is always fluctuated but in this year and maybe 5 years more, you still can apply this formula while travelling in Vietnam. If anything changes, we will keep you up to date.

Be a wise traveller!

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