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 


 

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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. 

                                                                    Photo Internet

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.

                                                                            Photo Internet

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

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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.

                                                                      Photo Internet

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.



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GET TAXI IN HANOI

 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 



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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. 


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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.

                                                                          Photo Internet

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.

                                                                        Photo Internet
 
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.
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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. 

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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. 

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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... 

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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. 

                                                                          Photo Internet

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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Travel to Vietnam by seaway

 Beside traveling to Vietnam by Air you can choose some international cruises that help you travel along Vietnam and countries in Asia such as Malaysia, China, Hong Kong, Singapore....

                                                                     Photo ST internet

You may reach Vietnam in the North, Central, or the South. There are international ports from North to South Vietnam as the followings : Cai Lan port in Quang Ninh province - Chan May port in Thua Thien, Hue - Tien Sa port in Da Nang - Nha Trang port in Khanh Hoa - Vung Tau port in Ba Ria, Vung Tau - Saigon port in Ho Chi Minh city.

There are cruisers bringing international tourists to Vietnam like Super Star Virgo, Costa Romantica, Dimond Princess, World Dream, Celebrity Millennium, Celebrity Xcruises....Normally land tour in each place has duration of 2 - 3 days.

International cruises help you explore the best highlights of Vietnam, must-go-place in Asia.  

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Get to Vietnam by Air

 International travelers can get to Vietnam by air, cruise, bus, and train. But mostly tourists travel to Vietnam by air from all continents. They can land in the North, Central, or South Vietnam depending their tour itinerary or where they come from.


At the moment of writing, Vietnam has 22 operating civil airports of which 10 are international ones allocated in three parts of the country so that it is open choice for you to choose where is the first region of your holiday. 

In the North Vietnam: Noi Bai Airport in Hanoi - Cat Bi airport in Hai Phong - Van Don airport in Quang Ninh.

In the Central region: Phu Bai airport in Hue - Vinh Airport in Nghe An - Danang airport in Danang

In the South: Tan Son Nhat airport in Ho Chi Minh city - Can Tho airport in Can Tho city - Phu Quoc airport ON Phu Quoc Island - Cam Ranh airport in Nha Trang. 

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Visa to Vietnam

 Most of visitors to Vietnam need a visa to enter the country. Visas are exempted for the citizens of the countries which have signed a bilateral or unilateral visa exemption agreement with Vietnam. 

Exemption of entry visa to Vietnam (Aug 2018)

Citizens from following countries are exempted entry visa to Vietnam, for Bilateral Visa Exemption Agreement. Duration of stay is from 15 - 90 days depending on different agreements. 


Afghanistan - Albania - Algeria - Angola - Argentina - Armenia - Azerbaijan - Bangladesh - Belarus - Brazil - Brunei - Bulgaria - Cambodia - Chile - China - Côte D'lvoire - Colombia - Costa Rica - Croatia - Cyprus - Czech - Denmark - Dominican - Ecuador - Egypt - El Salvador - Estonia - Finland - France - Germany - Hungary - India - Indonesia - Iran - Iraq - Israel - Italy - Japan - Kazakhstan - Korea (People's Democratic Republic - Korea (Republic) - Kyrgyzstan - Kuwait - Laos - Liberia - Macedonia - Malaysia - Malta - Mexico - Moldova - Mongolia - Montenegro - Morocco - Mozambique - Myanmar - Nicaragua - Norway - Pakistan - Panama - Paraguay - Peru - Poland - Philippines - Romania - Russia - Serbia - Seychelles - Singapore - Slovak - Slovenia - South Africa - Spain - Sri Lanka - Sudan - Sweden - Switzerland - Tanzania - Thailand - Tunisia - Turkey - Ukraine - United Arab - United Kingdom - Uruguay - Uzbekistan - Venezuela. /  http://lanhsuvietnam.gov.vn 


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LANGUAGE IN VIETNAM

 Vietnam has 54 minorities and about 90 languages but Vietnamese is official one in the whole country. After we got independence in September, 1945, Vietnam no longer use French and Chinese Mandarin officially. 

                                                                       Photo Internet

Today, English is the first foreign language taught in school and university. Beside that we also introduce French, Chinese, Korea, Spanish, Portuguese, German, Japanese, Russian, Italian, and others in our education system.

                                                                           Photo Internet

Tour guides are fluent those languages. Numbers of staff are enough to serve over 18 million foreign tourists coming to Vietnam in 2019. 

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Best time to Visit Vietnam

 Our country, Vietnam, consists of 3 main regions. They are North, Central, and South. You may ask when you should take the best time to travel to Vietnam. The following information is an advice for you.

In the North, the climate is divided into 4 seasons including spring, summer, autumn, and winter. It is dried and cool season during Oct - April so that 70% foreign tourist love to come to Vietnam this time. In addition, there are more festival during the time, especially in the spring falling by early Feb till April. The weather is little cold during December - February. Summer in the North is hot and humid during May - August. 

                                                                                  Photo Internet 

In the South Vietnam, from Danang Southward, it is warm all year round so that you can come and feel nice at any time with your activities on wonderful beaches. Some provinces in the Southern Highland  are cool all year round like Dalat, Ban Me Thuot, Pleiku...where tourism concerns with nature and cultural activities.

The longest holiday in Vietnam is Lunar New Year arrival at Feb. People takes 7 -10 days for the holiday or cozy time with family and relatives.  

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Fried Minced pork with Cốm

Fried minced pork with Com or Cha Com is one of popular food in Hanoi. Cha Com is made from minced pork and green sticky rice flakes. Eating Cha Com is accompanied with rice noodle, fried tofu, vermicelli, bread, and rice.


                                                                      Photo Internet

Ingredients for Cha Com includes pork chops, pork fat, dried Com, fish sauce, cooking oil, fresh banana leaf, pepper.

Pork chops is processed into paste, mixed with dried Com (green rice flakes), mold the paste into square or round shape then steam till well-done. Fry the cooked paste with vegetable oil till the paste turns into light yellow.


                                                                        Photo Internet

When eating Cha Com you should prepare Nuoc Cham or sauce. The sauce is prepared from fish sauce, water, galic, vinegar, lemon drops, chili, pepper, sugar.

You can make Cha Com at home, buy from local food market, or enjoy it at a street stall in city. Cheap but authentic taste of Hanoi cuisine.
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H'MONG ETHNIC GROUP IN VIETNAM

H'mong ethnic group is one of 54 minorities in Vietnam. It is also 6th largest minority in the country with total population of 1,1 million people (according to figure in 2009). Mainly they live in Far North and Northern central Vietnam.

Photo Wikipedia


They live on high mountainous area where has elevation from 800 - 1500 m above sea level. Surrounding environment is cool, available water for living and irrigation, fertile soil, ect. There are also several H'mong branches such as White, Blue, Red, Flower, and Black H'mong living in different districts.


 
It is estimated that H'mong people immigrated to Vietnam around 300 years ago. They has their owned language and unique culture. Self-Sufficient economy is general type in the community. They plant corn, dried rice on hill side, raise poultry and cattle.

#H'mong #ethnicGroup #Vietnam #Travel #Adventure
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HO CHI MINH PRESIDENT HOUSE

  It is a house on stilts situated inside Presidential complex with green garden and trees. The house was built in 1958 according to style of Tay -Thai ethnic house in mountainous areas in the North Vietnam.

The house on stilts for President Ho Chi Minh is recolonized as a Special National Site. It looks humble in the heart of Hanoi capital. The place is must -see on tour itinerary when you visit Hanoi. Next to Ho Chi Minh house are the house No 67, the house where he receive foreign guests, Presidential palace.




The stilt house is overlooking to a fish pond. Whenever the president feed them he just clap hand for a sign, then hundreds of fish coming. The house consist of 2 floor. The ground floor is meeting place with members in politburo. On the second floor there are 2 small rooms, one is bedroom and the other is his working place.

The President house is simple but he is the great man of Vietnam. People call him with respected name Uncle Ho or Bac Ho in Vietnamese.



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SON RIVER TO PHONG NHA CAVE

Son river is at Phong Nha - Ke Bang National Park where is listed as one of World Natural Heritage Sites.
 


The upper section of Son river is almost 8,000 m, from Phong Nha cave which is the world longest water-way cave. Phong Nha - Ke Bang belongs to Quang Binh Province, central part of Vietnam, 550 km from Hanoi capital. The Son river looks so peaceful dotted by little villages, churches, and green vegetation along river bank.



It move around Ke Bang limestone mountain range smoothly. Son river meet Gianh River then flow to Vietnam Eastern Ocean. Cruise by boat for 45 mins before entering Phong Nha cave is the highlight when having homestay trip by the riverside.

PT- Phong Nha Explorer / Vietindo Travel
#ExplorerVietnam #PhongNha #Cave #Cruise #SonRiver #QuangBinh
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THAI ETHNIC HOUSE ON STILTS

Thai ethnic group is the third largest group in Vietnam with total population of 1.6 million. Mostly, they live in North west and North Central Vietnam. Thai people immigrated to Vietnam more than a thousand years ago.



They live in valleys in mountainous areas, plant wet rice, corn, and cassava...House on stilts built of wood is the typical house in Thai community. In the past, they spent years to save enough wood for building a new house after wedding ceremony.
 
House consists of 2 part, main house and kitchen attached together. There is wooden stairs leading to main house, and the other to kitchen where the women are busy with cooking.


Main house has 3 -5 compartments. In the middle compartment it is place worshiping ancestor and receiving guests. House is supported by dozen of strong wooden pillars with the height of 1.8 - 2 meters high. The roof is 4- panel roof built of clay tiles or rice straw. Some family make small fish pond under the house. There are numerous windows catching cool air from green nature.
Photo Internet
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Rural Life at a village outside Hanoi

Minh Kha village at Thanh Oai district,Hanoi, looks clean, fresh, and attractive with paintings on walls along village lanes.
 


Villagers contribute their works and materials to keep lanes clean, beautiful by planting flowers, cleaning lanes on Monday, Friday, and Sunday...


The relation among village members become better and tight through community works that help to build it a cultural village.

Source: hanoimoi.com.vn


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Moc Chau aims to be recognized as national tourism site by 2025

(VOVWORLD) - The Moc Chau tourism complex spans 206,000 hectares in Moc Chau and Van Ho district in Son La province. Featuring wonderful natural landscapes and the diverse culture of local ethnic minority groups, the site is considered as an engine of tourism growth in Vietnam’s northern mountain region.

Thanks to unique topographic and geologic conditions, Moc Chau has a rich ecosystem with cool steppe climate, ideal for resort tourism. Vast green grasslands, hills planted with tea, and forests of apricot, plum, and peach are the first things that cross our minds when we talk about Moc Chau. Dai Yem waterfall, the pine forests of Ang village, the five underground caves in On village, the Xuan Nha national nature reserve, and Pha Luong peak are some of the top scenic spots in Moc Chau, which also has historical relics and archaeological sites located along the Da river.

Moc Chau is populated by Thai, Muong, Mong, Dao, Xinh Mun, and Kho Mu ethnic people. Each group has its own customs, rituals, literature, costumes, dances, musical instruments, handicrafts, and food. Their combined cultural legacies are a huge attraction, according to Ngo Thanh Dao, a member of the management board of the Moc Chau tourism site.

Photo: congthuong.vn
 

“Amazing landscapes, a cool climate, and abundant natural resources are Moc Chau’s winning points. Eco-farms in Moc Chau are drawing visitors who are interested in sustainable, green tourism. Getting closer to nature is trending in Vietnam and around the world,” said Dao.

According to decisions issued by the Prime Minister in 2014 and 2019, the core of the Moc Chau national tourism site will encompass a resort, an eco-tourism area, and an amusement park. To gain greater recognition by 2025, the tourism site managers are stepping up promotion activities domestically and internationally.

“We are capitalizing on the overall trend of digital transformation. We have launched virtual tours called ‘Moc Chau 360’ on our website and fairs to attract international tourists. We are cooperating with Key Opinion Leaders and bloggers, who share posts and videos of their experience in Moc Chau on their web pages, as another channel of promotion,” said Dao.

Environmental protection and cultural preservation are being given top priority. Dao said, “On one hand, we encourage local people to continue practicing their culture and restore cultural features that are fading away. On the other hand, we are working on planning to avoid breaking down the overall structure. A planning project was done in 2020 on community-based tourism in Ang village. We also teach local people how to carry out communications activities and how to exploit their resources for tourism.”

The Moc Chau national tourism site welcomed 1.2 million tourists in 2019, one year ahead of schedule. In 2020, despite a lull in tourism as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, 850,000 tourists visited Moc Chau.
VOVWORLD.VN
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