Hiển thị các bài đăng có nhãn Useful Information. Hiển thị tất cả bài đăng
Hiển thị các bài đăng có nhãn Useful Information. Hiển thị tất cả bài đăng

History of Buddhism in Vietnam

In Vietnamese culture there are numerous religions and local beliefs. In general our culture are mix of local beliefs and ancestor worshiping, and 3 philosophies of Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism, Catholicism, and Islam.

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According to documents and folk tale, Buddhism was first introduced in Vietnam in 3rd century BC. It is marked by story of Chu Dong Tu and Tien Dung princess, the earliest story of Buddhism in Vietnam. The philosophy reached the prominent during Ly dynasty ( 11 - 13th century) then continue during Tran Dynasty, but the signs of decline from later Le Dynasty ( 15 century). Most of famous pagodas in Vietnam were built during Ly dynasty, even the whole members in Royal family were flowers of Buddhism.

                                                                     Photo Internet
 
Buddhism was introduced first by Indian traders who practiced Buddhism when they came to trade in Vietnam. Later on there was interference among Indian, Chinese, and Vietnamese Buddhist philosophy. So that in Vietnam there are different branches of Buddhism, but you see 2 main Buddhism of Mahayana and Theravada. In the North Vietnam people practice Mahayana Buddhism while in the South they do Theravada.

                                                                      Photo Internet
 
Nowadays the followers of Buddhism is over 70% of population. There are over 18,000 pagodas across Vietnam. The oldest pagoda is Dau pagoda in Bac Ninh province, the mid of Red River Delta, where the Indian monks came and preached the religion.

In Vietnam, the Buddhist day or Buddhist festival is on 8th April, Lunar Calendar. Vietnamese normally go to pray in pagoda on full moon day, and the 1st day of lunar month, or whenever they have sadness of joyfulness. We burn incense sticks and bring offerings of flower, fruits, cakes when pray in pagoda. In Mahayana pagoda there are many statues of Buddha like three lives of Buddha, Buddha at birth, Buddha enters nirvana, Amitabha Buddha, Bodhisattva, Medicine Buddha, Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva....

Travel to Vietnam you are introduced to visit famous pagodas built in wonderful landscapes, and learn more about Vietnamese culture.
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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 
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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. 

 

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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. 

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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...

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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. 

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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 ....



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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. 

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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. 

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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. 

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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.

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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.   

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.



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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.

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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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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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