Hue Court Music

 Hue Court Music has been popular in Vietnam for a long time, since early 19th century, under Nguyen Dynasty. It is a treasure of Vietnamese Culture. On November 7, 2003 Hue Court Music was recognized as World intangible Heritage. Hue Court Music is called Nha Nhac in Vietnamese.  

                                                                       Photo ST Internet

UNESCO appraised Hue Court Music in the following terms: It represents an elegant and refined music. It deals with the music performed in the imperial courts and on different anniversaries, religious festivals, and also on such particular occasions. 

Actually, the Court Music was applied since 13 century, but the art was renovated and got the peak improvement during Nguyen Dynasty in Hue capital city so that we call Nha Nhac Hue or Hue Court Music. 

                                                                    Photo ST Internet

According to old document there are 12 different ceremonies with particular music styles and instruments. There are six groups of music instruments, of which there are over hundred traditional music instruments. Nowadays, Hue Music Academy is the place preserves and teaches Hue Court Music. 

In fact, Hue Court Music was introduce to the world from 1950s by Vietnamese musician like Mr. Tran Van Khe, Mr. Nguyen Huu Ba. It is fantastic to have chance to enjoy Hue Court Music when you visit Hue city, especially at right time of festivals. Vietnamese people are proud of this UNESCO Heritage. 

Nha Rong or Rong House

Nha Rong or Communal House has spectacular architecture, where is the place for cultural gathering of Banar ethnic community. Rong House does not only help unite the villagers but also protect them from animal attack and flooding.
Rong Houses are seen in South Central Highland of Vietnam. The House function is similar to Viet's communal house in Northern Delta but Rong House is not the place for worshiping. Rong House is the place keeping village's treasures, and passing down village'codes for younger generation. It is also the place to discuss the village's affairs. Only men are allow to sleep overnight in Rong House.

                                                                    Photo ST Internet

Rong House is the proud of Banar community. It is the highest building in the village with the height of 12 m, the width of 8 m, and the length of 12 m. Some Rong Houses are even 18 m high. The huge thatched roof is supported by hard timber poles. All the beams and pillars attached by strong ropes that help the House stay firmly in storm or strong wind.

                                                                     Photo VN Express
Kon Tum province in Vietnam is home to numerous Banar villages. There are 260 Rong Houses in 260 villages in the province. Banar people preserve Rong House as the village's treasure because it is the heart of community culture. Travel and home stay in Banar Community you should not miss the chance to visit Rong House.

Vietindo Travel help you explore authentic Vietnam including home stay service and Adventure tours.


Drink Bia Hoi Hanoi

Walking along streets in Old Quarter Hanoi you often see "Bia Hoi Hanoi". It means Draft Beer, especially in hot season (May - October). The first time, the appearance of Bia Hoi was in 1890 in Hanoi from a French Brewery - the first one in Hanoi. At that time the capacity for Bia Hoi was only 150 liters a day.

                                Eric & friends drink Bia Hoi in Hanoi - Photo ST Internet

That first Brewery has been renovated and the name is changed for Habeco with the capacity of over 200 million liters of beer/ year. The head office of Brewery is at 183 - Hoang Hoa Tham street - Ba Dinh District - Hanoi city. The name Bia Hoi Hanoi is one of products made by Habeco, which is considered the best Draft beer at the moment.

The taste of Bia Hoi is fabulous and tasty, especially in hot season. Normally we see men only in beer shop, not women. Vietnamese love to chat with each other so that draft beer is not only a kind of drinks but also the reason for friends gathering. Bia Hoi is cheap and delicious, and also popular. Simply, we drink Bia Hoi and order snacks of dried or steam bean nuts, fried tofu, grilled dry squid....

                                 Mr. Le Huy Van, designer Bia Hoi glass in 1975 - Photo ST Internet

We like to enjoy Bia Hoi at open-air spaces like on street pavement, local market corner. The Beer glass is place on a plastic chair, and drinkers are also seat on low plastic chair.It is so fun. The time for drinking Bia Hoi is at noon time and late afternoon. It may last 30 mins - 3 hour, depending on short or long stories. At the moment of writing, one glass of Bia Hoi ( 300 ml) costs 45 cents or 10,000 VND.

The glass used for drink Bia Hoi is still the same style as in 1976 when it was first designed by a Vietnamese designer who graduated from an art school in Germany. The glass looks humble but durable and convenient for drinkers. It is also unique for drink Bia Hoi, not others. Drink Bia Hoi is an interesting aspect of Hanoi Culture. Foreign travelers also love to try Bia Hoi when they visit Hanoi.

                                     President Barack Obama drinks Hanoi Beer in Hanoi city 

Ethnic Markets in Far North Vietnam

Travel to Far North Vietnam, the immense mountainous area, you are not only attracted by spectacular landscape of mountain and valleys, lovely authentic foods, music and dances, terrace rice fields... but also interesting colorful local market gathered once a week
Ethnic groups normally gather in the market once a week, from Thursday to Sunday, depending on each district. They wake up early in the morning (3 -4:00 am) then the family including husband, wife, and their children walk to the market. They may use horse, or nowadays some use motor bike. It is so fantastic for them to see friends, relatives, and trading partners there.

                                                                  Photo Internet

They all dress up, choose the best home tailored clothes to show them off in the market, especially the teenagers who wish to look for life partner there, so that's why there are some love markets also. While ethnic women are fond of buying and selling products, men are excited to chat and eat with friends and trade partners. Children gather in other place for chatting or help mother sell home products. Self-sufficient is particular in mountainous regions so that weekend markets are ideal places for goods exchange. The followings are prominent ones we recommend.

Bac Ha Sunday market in Lao Cai is rated as one of top 8 attractive ethnic markets in South East Asia. Can Cau market in Lao Cai is gathered on Saturday, Dao San market (Lai Chau province ) on Thursday and Sunday, Dong Van Sunday market in Hagiang, Love market of Khau Vai in Ha Giang once a year (27 Mar, Lunar Calendar), Ta Sin Thang in Dien Bien province (once every six days), Coc Pai sunday market in Ha giang, Meo Vac sunday market in Ha giang.

Vietindo Travel help you explore colorful culture of ethnic groups and wonderful landscape of Far North Vietnam.


Stew pork with eggs

 Pork and egg are common food daily in Vietnam. There are several tens ways of cooking food from pork meat. In this article we are glad to introduce Stew pork with eggs. You can do it at home or order from local Vietnamese restaurant.

Ingredients for this dish include pork meat that not much fat, chicken or duck eggs, coconut juice, sugar, fish sauce, caramel, seasoning, salt and pepper. If you are familiar to spicy food, please add some chili and lemon grass. 

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You boil eggs, stew pork with fish sauce, and others for 30 mins till well-done, then ladle out the food onto the plate, then serve hot. The pork is soft and delicious with spices. 

Travel to Vietnam, normally, tourists eat food in Vietnamese restaurants, and they are served with several dishes called set menu. But when you need just a humble meal you choose a local food stall call "Com Binh Dan" or popular Vietnamese food, then you can find authentic Vietnamese daily food. 


Hat Xam folk songs

 Hat Xam or Xam Songs has a long history, since XIV century, under Tran Dynasty. It is said that the founder of this art is a royal prince who wish to express his tough life and admire beautiful ways of living and tradition. We take the day of 22 Feb Lunar Calendar as Hat Xam day. 

                                                                       Photo Hoang Diep

In the old day Hat Xam was normally performed by the blind who join in group of 2 - 5 persons gathering by local market, boat wharf, festival places, or crowded residential areas . People are fond of Hat Xam, for it has an emotional tunes that are in harmony with joyful rhythm of the percussion instruments and sweet sounds of string instruments like Bau and Nhi in Vietnamese. 

                                  Lady Ha Thi Cau, artist and master of Hat Xam - Photo Internet 

In the past people sang Hat Xam for making their living, like troubadours. Since XIV century to the mid of 20th century. Today professional artists, Hat Xam lovers, and clubs practice Hat Xam for their passion and preserve traditional  Folk art of Vietnam. 

Vietindo Travel can arange tour with Hat Xam show and holiday in Vietnam. 



Water puppet show in Vietnam

 Water puppet show is a Vietnamese folk art which has a long history of over one thousand years from the Red River Delta . It reflects wet rice civilization because it gives out the rural activities and folk tails concerning rural life also. It must - see show when traveling in Vietnam. 

                                                                        Photo Internet

The art of water puppet was born under Ly Dynasty (1010 - 1025) in Northern Vietnam. It is also called drama on water of which puppets are characters that are made of jack fruit timber. The artists who control puppets stand half-deep - body in water behind bamboo curtains. They use bamboo poles and strings to manage the puppet games. The games includes cultivating rices, harvesting rice, flooding rice field, fairy dance, phoenix dance, fox catch ducks, Le Loi King's story and holy tortoise...

                                                                      Photo Internet

The most outstanding puppet is Chu Teu, which has round face and funny smile giving humorous saying to audience. The waster puppet art is performed in the theaters, on the villages ponds and lakes at special occasions like village holidays or New year festival. 

Travel to Vietnam you can enjoy water puppet art in big cities like Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh city, Halong, Danang, or villages in countryside performed by artists or farmers. The ticket price is from 5$ - 10$ depending on class ranges. 


Travel Vietnam and it's neighboring countries

 Nowadays Vietnam is like one of the gates to South East Asia and Asia. There are about 10 international airports along Vietnam connecting to Vietnam's neighbors like Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, Myanmar, China and it does not take long by air with direct flight  to Malaysia, Japan, Korea, Indonesia, Philippines, India, Sri Lanka ....

                                                                        Photo Internet

When you travel in Vietnam, then wish to take more time for holiday in Asia you should ask for visa permission from Embassy Offices located in Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh city. It is quite easy to do it by yourself or the help from local tour operators if you don't have much time. 

You can travel from Vietnam to it's neighboring countries, normally, by air, or cross the border. or by international cruises. For example, from Hanoi capital city, by air, it takes 1h40 mins to Bangkok - Thailand, 3h00 to Singapore, 1h 45 mins to Yangon - Myanmar, 3h15 mins to Kuala Lumpur - Malaysia, 4h15 mins to Bali - Indonesia, 4h15 mins to Seoul - South Korea, 4h35 mins to Tokyo - Japan, 3h35 mins to Beijing - China, 4h00 Ho Chi Minh city - Bhutan, 3h20 mins to Bangladesh, 45 mins to Laos, 40 mins from Ho Chi Minh city to Phnom Penh - Cambodia. 

Vietindo Travel helps you explore charming Asia. Contact us for more in details. 


Lithophone or Dan Da

In Vietnam there are many kinds of ancient and traditional musical instruments that are unique.  Lithophone or Dan Da in Vietnamese is stone musical instrument set. Dan Da is a set of stone slabs of different sizes and shapes. 

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These stone slabs are found in South Central and South East Vietnam. A set of Dan Da consists of 3 - 15 slabs. The age of these slabs are dated back to 3,000 - 10,000 years. 

The first set of Dan Da of 11 slabs was discovered in 1949 in Ndut Lieng Krak in Dak Lak, and now are displayed in a museum in Paris. 

During 1980s and early 1990s we discovered more 200 stone slabs in provinces of Dak Lak, Dong Nai, Khanh Hoa, Lam Dong, Phu Yen. 

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Stone slabs are well kept as family's treasure, and played at grand ceremonies. The sound of the stone slabs is far resounding as the sound of forest and waterfall. 


Smoking Viet's tobaco or Thuoc lao

 Being different from cigarette, Vietnam's tobacco or Thuoc Lao has been become common drink for a long time. Thuoc Lao is widely planted in lowland and midland in Northern Vietnam. The farmers pick the leaves then slice into thin fibers, dry under the sun, then preserve in dry and cool place. 

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Traditionally Vietnam's men like to smoke Thuoc Lao as the start of telling a story when they meet each other and at joyful time. It is still uncertain why we call the tobacco Thuoc Lao. It may comes from Laos or planted first by a man named Lao few hundred years ago.

Normally, for a smoking man, he smokes 3 - 5 times a day. He smokes right after he wakes up in the morning, after meals, or chatting time. 

                                                                       Photo Internet

He use a small piece of Thuoc Lao, places on smoking pipe made of bamboo or ceramic smoking bow. Inside the pipe or smoking bow there must be certain amount of water that help soften strong tobacco. Because of the inside water it makes funny bubbling sound when he smokes.

                                                                      Photo Internet

Vietnamese women chew betel nuts and plant they also add a small piece of Thuoc Lao and lime paste. Nowadays smoking is not encouraged in Vietnam but traveling to countryside, remote villages, it is common to see bamboo smoking pipe in each family.   


Bonsai and Flower during Tet

 Tet is Lunar New Year in Vietnam. It comes one month after international New Year so that Tet is between the end of Jan and Feb. Vietnamese women love flower and men take more care of bonsai.

                                                                       Photo Internet

We buy different kinds flowers and bonsai or ornamental trees during our New Year. To buy much or less flowers, big or small bonsai it depend on home economy and favorite. From remote village to modern cities, ornamental trees and flowers are seen everywhere, in a humble thatch or luxury villas. The followings are examples with detailed meanings.

                                                                      Photo Internet

Peach blossoms in red color bring lucks and happiness to family, meanwhile yellow apricot blossoms give us prosperity. Kumquat bonsai bring us joy, luck, health, and longevity. Fig tree is a famous bonsai for business family, for it stands for prosperity and happiness. 

                                                                     Photo Internet

Beside above top four plants, kinds or flowers are good choice during the Tet or Vietnamese Lunar New Year such as Orchid, Daisy, luck and prosperous plant, Camellia, Poinsettia, Rosa Canina, Gerbera, and Daffodil flower

                                                             Photo Internet - Gebera 



Lunar New Year in Vietnam

 There are many holidays and traditional celebrations in Vietnam, but Tet or Lunar New Year is longest holiday in Vietnam. It arrives by the end of January to early February. 

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This is the time when people gather with family. People work and live in cities come back to their villages to pay respect to ancestors and enjoy New year with parents and relatives. They exchanges cheers and wishes with family, relatives, neighbors, friends, teachers... 

People have 7 - 10 days off work but the most important time is from Eve of New year to the 3rd day of Tet. Vietnamese prepare for Tet 2 weeks before it arrives, even 2 months in the old days. For example, they repaint their house, ancestor graves, buy food materials for making Tet's food and cakes, flowers and bonsai, clothing for children.

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There are many customs that followed by Vietnamese during Tet. We will show you in other articles. Most of restaurants closed during Tet. Travel during Tet is interesting for you to learn more our traditions at Lunar New Year


Travel by train in Vietnam

 The system network of rails in Vietnam is about 4161 km from North to South connecting 34/ 63 provinces. Travel by train regionally and nationally is another interesting choice during your holiday in our country.

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The first section of rail was built in the south between Saigon - My Tho city with the length of 70 km in 1881. Later on, the rail network was built to link North - Central - South Vietnam and regions in the North. 

                                                                Photo our partner

For travelers, they spent one night or half-day train to move from major cities to another like Hanoi, Hue, Danang, Nha Trang, HCM city, Ninh Binh, Nghe An, Quy Nhon, and Sapa. In fact, there are 260 rail stations in the whole network. Travel by train you will see more beautiful countryside, not meet traffic jam, interact with locals on train, save your money if the air tickets are expensive in high season, and enjoy train journey experience in Vietnam. 

                                                                        Photo our partner

If you travel from Hanoi - Ho Chi Minh city it takes you 29,5 - 40 hour by unification train. But, normally foreign tourists take 1/3 or 1/2 that journey to see more cities and heritages in Vietnam, then catch the train again or use other means of transport like air or bus. 

                                                                       Photo our partner

On the train there are air-conditioner, soft seat or sleeper, and clean. Rest room on 2 sides each coach. It is diesel train engine moving along 1 m wide rails. For us, it is fairly comfortable and interesting to travel by train. 

                                                                      Photo our partner

How to book train tickets in Vietnam? You can book online with travel agents with good travel advice  or Vietnam Rails, or right at stations. Vietindo Travel can help and consult train travel in Vietnam.



 Hanoi is capital of Vietnam, the second largest city, after Ho Chi Minh city. One of means of transportation is taxi beside public bus, motorbike taxi, rickshaw...There are grab taxi and ordinary taxi. In urban area of Hanoi there are couple tens of regular taxi firms. 

Money is paid in Vietnam Dong shown on meter placed on the right side of front seat. We introduce some taxi firm as the followings. At the moment of writing 1 USD = 23,300 VND. In average 1 km costs you 10,000 - 13,500 VND. 

Group taxi Hanoi with color of white and red strip. Tel : 024 - 38 26 26 26. The firm has 4 - 7 seat cars, brand Toyota.  

Mai Linh taxi has dominant color of green. Tel: 024 - 38 222 666. The firm has 4 - 7 seat cars, brand Toyota. 

G7 taxi has grey color with blue and red strips. Tel: 024 - 32 63 63 63

Thanh Nga taxi with grey color and blue strip and little square, brand. Tel: 024 - 38 215 215 


Vietnam's population

 According to latest census in 2020, total population in Vietnam is 97.58 million people, an increase of 1.1 million in compare to figure of 2019 or equivalent to 1.24%. Vietnam's population is ranked 15 in the world in number. 

                                                                  Photo Dan Tri

Vietnam has 54 minorities in which Viet group is the largest one with 86% total population. 

It is estimated that Vietnam's population will reach 104 million people. Population in rural area takes 63.2 %, and in city is 36.8%. The number of males are 48.59 million meanwhile the females are 48.99 million. The manpower is about 55.1 million of which 17.5 million workers work in agriculture and marine sector, 16.5 million in industry sector, and the rest of 19.4 million in service sector.

                                                                           Photo Internet

The unemployment rate is only 2.26% (2020). Vietnam has an area of about 330,000 sq km, of which 70% topography are midland and highland, 30% is delta including 2 largest Delta of Red River in the North  and Mekong River in the South so that the population density is also different among regions. 

                                                                              Photo Internet

In average 290 people live in one sq km but in Red river delta and eastern southern Vietnam the numbers are 1060 and 757/ sq km. In Northern midland and South central highland the numbers are 132 and 157/ sq km. 


Cross Vietnam's border

Vietnam is situated on Eastern side of Indochina peninsula. The country shapes S letter, stretches from North to South. It has border line of over 4550 km with China, Laos, and Cambodia. Vietnam is one of 5 countries ,in main land in South East Asia including Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, and Myanmar.

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Vietnam also has more than 100 international border so that tourists from neighboring find easy to get permission and access Vietnam. Roads and infrastructure from main border gates to big cities in Vietnam are quite good in order to meet the needs of traveling around Indochina and Asia by road.

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There is a huge number of tourists from China, Thailand, Laos, and Cambodia cross border and spend their holiday in our country. In additions, western tourists or people from other continents, who wish to explore countries in Indochina, can follow the road tour easily. They do it by themselves of book tour through a local tour operator. It takes a short time to get permission or visa at border (read visa permission regulations to those countries)

                                                                         Photo Internet
There is Asian Highway project (AH in short) connecting EU and Asia. From Vietnam we have trans-Asia roads to neighboring countries such as Hanoi - Thailand, Hai Phong - Mandalay, Vinh - Thailand, Ho Chi Minh city - Phnom Penh.  Travel by road around Vietnam and Asia you will get amazing experience of charming Asia.

How to cross street in Vietnam

 There are cities in Vietnam with busy traffic like Hanoi capital, Ho Chi Minh city. In Hanoi there are almost 6 million motorbike and over 7 hundred thousand cars (census 2019) so that traffic jam happens at main street intersections.

                                                                      Photo source Internet

For Vietnamese people they get used to crossing busy traffic streets but for foreign tourists you should know how to do.

It is the best advice that you you cross the street at the intersection when the traffic light turns green. You can follow the locals when they do cross the street, Vietnamese people are friendly. Make a sign by putting your arm in the air to make you more visible to the traffic. 

                                                                      Photo source Internet

If you cross the street outside the intersection you pay attention to left and right side first till feel safe then should walk ahead slowly but steady, not turn back, then the traffic flow will move around you. 

Don't be worry or afraid when crossing street in Vietnam. You will be familiar to it quickly. Happy traveling in our beautiful country. 


Ao Dai Dress for Viet's Men

 Ao Dai is long traditional dress in Vietnamese. There is Ao Dai style for women and for men. Viet men wear Ao Dai at special occasions such as Tet or Lunar New Year ceremony, wedding ceremony, community and family events, and attending conferences, ect. 

                                                                       Photo Mai Chau

Traditionally, fashion for men, besides Ao Dai costume combines with turbans, wooden sandals or shoes. In the past, normally, they wear black Ao Dai and white trousers but today there are multi- color and diverse motifs on men's dress. 

                                Presidents in Ao Dai at APEC hosted in Vietnam 2006. Photo AP

There are different characteristics between Ao Dai for men and women when we look into side cuts, collar, button line, shoulder, and flanks...Ao Dai is tailored from silk made in Vietnam. Ao Dai for Viet's men even has long history and now it is modified in colors and motifs to meet the modern taste. 


Muong ethnic group

 Muong ethnic group is one of 54 minorities in Vietnam. They live in midland and valleys in the North in provinces of Hoa Binh, Son La, Phu Tho, Thanh Hoa....According to census 2019, the population of Muong is around 1.45 million that ranks the 3rd largest group in Vietnam. 

                                                            Photo's Source TTXVN

The word of Muong in Vietnamese related to Mueang which means Cultivated Land. Muong people speak their language which is close relative Vietnamese. The group depends on wet rice cultivation in valleys and hill sides. Besides that they also plant kinds of fruits, corn, bean nuts, cassava, raise animal, and poultry. 

                                                                    Photo source: Internet

They have a long history, and rich culture. They live in thatched stilt house which shapes tortoise shell. They wear their traditional dress at special occasions like New year, wedding ceremony, or family and clan events... 


Vietnam Topography

 Vietnam is one among 11 countries in South East Asia including Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, Myanmar, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Brunei, Philippines, East Timor. 

                                                                          Photo Internet

Vietnam is situated on Eastern side of Indochina peninsula. The country shapes S letter, stretches from North to South. The country has border line with China in the North with the length of over 1400 km, borders with Laos in western side with the length of 2340 km, and Cambodia with border line of 1137 km. 

The eastern side of Vietnam is East sea. It has long coastal line which is 3260 km. The widest part is 600 km in the North, and narrowest part is 50 km wide - in central Vietnam. The country land consists of 70% mountain and hill, and the rest is Delta including Mekong River Delta and Red River one. Sea surface water is over million sq km on eastern and southern side. 

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Travel to Vietnam for a duration of 12 - 18 days you can explore lowland, sea, midland, and highland. Vietnam is beautiful landscape for visitor. 


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