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The most pristine beaches in Phu Quoc

While the island has undergone fast development in recent years and is far from undiscovered, it’s still a great place to visit. Phu Quoc is famous for many beautiful beaches, including some pristine places to visit including wild beaches. #MustSeeInVietnam Editor

Phu Quoc beach beauty is always what many people wish to experience. There are both famous noisy beaches and pristine ones to visit. We recommend some destinations below if you like to adventure in the wilderness.

The CRITERIA

  • Popularity among foreign tourists
  • The peace and tranquility during the high season
  • Clean and blue seawater
  • The pristine landscapes
  • The beauty of the sandy shore
  • The development of food and entertainment services

Long Beach – The longest Phu Quoc beach to visit

Long Beach is among the top best Phu Quoc beaches. Photo by Kênh Phú Quốc
  • Address: Northwest of Phu Quoc Island
  • The length: 15km (from Cua Can to Ganh Dau Cape)
  • Best time to visit: November to March or April to June

Long Beach is the longest beach in Phu Quoc, with the beauty of creamy sand, rich plants, and rocky outcrops. In 2008, it was considered among the top world’s most pristine beaches by ABC News. This is one of the best beaches in Phu Quoc and attracts people to come by, but not very crowded even during peak season.

Long Beach in the afternoon is cozy and peaceful. Photo by songdepvn.vn

Visitors can easily find massage services on the beautiful beach. There are many things a tourist can experience when visiting this spot, including kayaking, cycling, swimming, coral sightseeing, enjoying a picnic, catching the sunset, enjoying food such as ken noodles, herring salad, and steamed seafood of lobster, shrimps, and crabs.

You can pick from Anise hotel, Aurora House, Green Tree Hotel, Moc Lam Bungalow, Khai Yen Villa, and LANGCHIA Home if you find suitable accommodation. Some pubs and restaurants appear to offer essential services to visitors.


Ong Lang Beach in Phu Quoc with pristine beauty

Ong Lang is pristine, with white sand and green trees along the coast. Photo by MIA.vn.
  • Best time to visit: November to March
  • Address: West coast of Phu Quoc island, 7 km from Duong Dong

If you want to find a beach in tranquility, you can visit Ong Lang Beach on the West coast of pear island. The best time to visit Phu Quoc beach is from October to March, when the weather is dry and suitable for many outdoor activities. From Duong Dong town, tourists can drive for 10 minutes to get to Ong Lang, an unspoiled place not far from the city.

Catching a sunset in Ong Lang is a beautiful experience. Photo by thanhnien.vn

The new spot is beautiful, with crystal water, smooth sand, and friendly local people. It brings peace and can refresh people. Along the coast, there are many green trees with shadows for visitors to relax.

Enjoying activities at Ong Lang Beach is fantastic. You can take part in kayaking, snorkeling, going-kart racing, catching the sunset, swimming, enjoying beach barbecue, etc. The food is excellent, with seafood salad, bun ken, grilled urchin, and sea cucumber.

Peace is what a visitor can experience in Ong Lang Beach. Photo by thanhnien.vn.vn

Some accommodations in the area are Sea Sense Resort, The Shells Resort & Spa Phu Quoc, Elwood Resort, Yu Kun Kun, Seaside Villa, and Mayfair Valley.


Starfish Beach in Phu Quoc guide for a trip

  • Address: Bai Sao hamlet, An Thoi town, 25 km from Duong Dong center
  • Best time to visit: November to March
Starfish Beach in Phu Quoc is pristine and tranquil for a hot day. Photo by Will Fly For Food.

Starfish or Bai Sao is an exciting place to discover for a Phu Quoc tour. In the past, when sunset fell, thousands of starfish would flood the shore and make the beach sparkle like stars in the night sky. That is why locals call this “Bai Sao.”

If you love the sea, this stop must be ideal for your trip. Visitors can relax, entertain, and marvel at the marine life on the beach. The sand is white and soft. Water is blue and crystal, with coral in the sea. There are many palm trees along the coast, which make Starfish Beach peaceful every late afternoon.

Tourists like Starfish Beach with clean and crystal water. Photo by @ngan.multi

There are many yummy dishes for you to taste in this spot. Some delicious food includes salads, steamed cuisine, noodle soup, fresh coconut, grilled sea urchin, and sugarcane juice for hot summer. But not many 5-star restaurants are in the area.

For relaxing, you can swim, dive to watch marine life, rent a kayak, sunbathe, watch the sunset, enjoy a barbecue party, have a picnic, and snorkel. Taking part in some water sports is an excellent way to relax and forget bad things. You can also pay about $6 to $7 for a day’s motorbike rent to ride along the wild coast.


Vung Bau – is among the top beaches in Phu Quoc to access

Sunbathing on Vung Bau Beach is a popular activity for tourists. Photo by Youtube

With this pristine Phu Quoc beach, tourists can feel comfortable with stunning scenery and pleasant weather to join many activities. Vung Bau is a premier tourist destination between Long Beach and Ong Lang, to the North West of this island.

  • Address: Between Ong Lang and Long Beach
  • Best time to visit: November to March
Vung Bau is primitive and tranquil in ho summer. Photo by Kayak

The beach offers a majestic view from a certain distance, allowing you to witness the shore’s beauty in the golden crescent. Surrounding it stands many hills and rich forests for tracking. Besides that, Vung Bau owns emerald seawater, an endless coastline with shite soft sand, and rich ecosystems with casuarina and coconut palm trees.

Compared with other beaches in Phu Quoc, Vung Bau is the most pristine. The place is the most hidden gem of pearl island, with slow innovations for a long time. It is suitable for sea lovers and tourists who like wilderness. Among the best Phu Quoc beaches to get by, Vung Bau attracts people of pristine nature without noise.

Tourists can relax in the Vung Bau area with emerald water all day. Photo by DestiMap

To visitors who access this travel place, diving or snorkeling is interesting. More than that, spending time witnessing wildlife and taking pictures is lovely. You can have a good and relaxing vacation after hard-working days in this destination.

Visiting Vung Bau, you should not miss trying fresh seafood. Food services in Vung Bau have not developed because this place is pristine, but visitors can order grilled seafood sets. A unique experience is renting equipment from the resorts to catch fish yourself.

Phu Quoc beach guide with many primitive and peaceful places can make your tour unforgettable. If you want unique experiences, update more content on our web. I wish you all good health to travel and discover Vietnam!

By Văn Heaven for Local-Insider.com

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Featured

Sustainable gift idea for travelers in Vietnam

What to bring back from a stay in Vietnam? Discover our best souvenir and gift ideas, among the artisanal specialties, to buy on the spot, to bring home a little piece of this destination or to offer to your loved ones when you return from Vietnam. #MustSeeInVietnam Editor

As the holiday season emerges, “Saigonese” souls, who have a thing for beautiful handicrafts and, more importantly, eco-friendly travel accessories, now have a new address to embrace their interest.

Sustainable gift idea for travelers in Vietnam
Beautiful displays of local handicrafts inside the store.

A concept store where culture and modernity fuse

Galerie Mode is an enchanting concept store offering a soul-feeding experience in Saigon, Nestled in a hidden alleyway in the bustling center of Ho Chi Minh City, connecting Tran Hung Dao street and Co Bac street. This place links arts and beauty lovers, even a curious foreign friend’s mind, to a quest for authentic, unique, and meaningful belongings on their trip to Vietnam.

A variety of choices for fashion souvenirs in Ho Chi Minh city.

An eco-concept store to visit in Ho Chi Minh City

The concept store, which had a soft opening in June 2022, gives travelers, art lovers, and crafts fans a chance to browse eco-luxury resort wear, jewelry, and homeware that tell the story of Vietnamese craftsmanship. The arts, accessories, and garments are presented collectively in the store, just as they would in your home.

Founded and curated by a Vietnam-born, Paris-raised entrepreneur, Galerie Mode features a contemporary interior design that fuses European architecture with traditional Vietnamese. Visitors are welcomed with a comforting ambiance for an experience that nurtures the senses.

A cozy nest for art lovers to shop local unique handicrafts.

A concept store that merges timeless design with sustainability and personal experience. 

By bringing visitors an experience touch point within the store, Galerie Mode evokes a journey to the art world through carefully-curated selections of experiences for you. 

The store displays a beautiful mix of hats and resort wear, athleisure apparel, and artisanal jewelry by independent local and global designer brands. They focus on a selection of natural materials, including signature natural raffia that can be reshaped, washed, and ironed, linen, bamboo cotton, and pearls…

Driven by the idea that “Art means different things to different people,” Galerie Mode is the place to find your art. Be it a hat that makes you feel lovely in, a fringy bucket bag in nontraditional shapes, a pair of bespoke pants, or an artsy piece of ornaments for your home decoration at Christmas, Galerie Mode has something to bring to the table.

There is no rule for art. Art can be a photo, a pair of shoes, a bag, a hat, or a piece of clothing that makes you feel great.

What’s in the store

  • Shirts: handmade shirts from cotton bamboo with excellent characteristics: UV-blocking, wrinkle-reduction, and anti-bacterial that you can bring with you on your travel
  • Pajamas: leisure menswear that can be mixed and matched, the signature of Galerie Mode.
  • Bespoke: Classic white shirts made from GOTS-standard organic cotton, tailored to your style. Well-cut wool-blend trousers tailored to your measurements.
  • Athleisure: bucket hats, tote bags, no-sides t-shirts from high-quality fabric.
  • Resort Wear: hats, bags, and shoes from natural raffia that can be washed and ironed.
Must See In Vietnam is looking for stories from the Vietnam Expat Community. We would be delighted to publish your Experiences . Write to us at MustSeeInVietnam@Gmail.com

We Welcome advertisers as Must See In Vietnam is a non-profit blogger and your support will will allow us to pursue our mission and even to hire young journalists to allow SME Vietnamese Businesses to have visibility all over the world!

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Article published by Local-insider.com

Featured

Vietnam Travel Guide : Can Gio

You have a day free and are wondering where to spend your precious day? Why not try a day trip to Can Gio? #MustSeeInVietnam Editor

Ho Chi Minh City’s outlying Can Gio District is home to a UNESCO-recognized mangrove forest, a monkey colony and a world of fresh seafood.

BEST TIME TO VISIT

The best time to visit Can Gio is from December to March when the temperature is 26-32 degrees Celsius, ideal for outdoor activities.

WHAT TO EXPLORE 

Spread over an area of more than 310 square kilometers, Can Gio is only connected to the rest of the city by ferry though authorities are considering building a bridge to make the only coastal district more accessible.

Home to a 75,740-ha mangrove forest that was designated by UNESCO in 2000 as the first Mangrove Biosphere Reserve in Vietnam, Can Gio is often dubbed the “green lung” of HCMC.

Sac Forest Tourism Area is seen from above. Photo by Quynh Tran

A canoe ride through the lush green mangrove forests costs VND600,000 for a group of eight people or visitors can hire small wooden boats for VND300,000-350,000 for a group of four or more.

It is also home to the Sac Forest Tourism Area where entry fees cost VND35,000 per person.

A tram takes visitors a kilometer into the forest from the entrance for VND15,000. Then visitors have to get into boats to explore attractions inside the Sac Forest tourism area. 

One of the main attractions in Can Gio are its 1,500 wild rhesus monkeys, which give it its nickname, “monkey island.”

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Wild rhesus monkeys seek food inside Sac Forest Tourism Area. Photos by Quynh Tran

Visitors are allowed to feed the monkeys but have to protect personal items such as cameras, phones, hats, and glasses from the inquisitive simians.

Sac Forest Tourism Area is one of the few places in Vietnam bats are conserved.

A short boat tour also leads visitors to a lagoon where there are hundreds of large bats.

A flock of bats hang upside down on a tree branch in Can Gio. Photo by Ngan Duong

While the bat lagoon is quiet, a bird sanctuary with more than 20,000 individuals belonging to 26 species is incredibly noisy.

A flock of birds fly above dense jungles in Sac Forest Tourism Area. Photo by Ngan Duong

The sanctuary is only busy during the annual nesting season between April and October.

Some travel agencies also offer bird watching tours that take tourists to see rare species such as the collared kingfisher, Indian white-eye ang black-tailed gull.

A black-tailed gull (Larus crassirostris) takes off over a flock of Caspian tern (Hydroprogne caspia) at a salt field. Photo by Nguyen Anh The

Yaz, an American tourist who visited Can Gio in July, gushed about the “beautiful” nature, lots of monkeys, crocodiles and taking a canoe to bat lagoon, his “favorite part.”

Briton Stephen said: “This is really an amazing place. Our team made a small trip from Ho Chi Minh to Can Gio last August. We were excited to travel by boat in the mangrove forest. Seafood is very cheap and diverse.”

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Tourists sit on a wooden boat around Sac Forest Tourism Area and experience outdoor activities such as feeding crocodiles and fish. Photos by Ngan Duong

Hidden in a dense mangrove forest, Sac Forest tourism area used to be a Vietnamese revolutionary base during the Vietnam War, making it a curiosity for western tourists, especially Americans.

From the main entrance, you can walk to the Sac Forest Guerrilla Base occupied by soldiers during the war. 

There are signs in Vietnamese and English describing their lives there and how they survived amid the war. 

There is a small shrine dedicated to the soldiers where locals offer food and votive money.

A popular camping destination in Can Gio is the Dan Xay eco-tourism area surrounded by mangrove forests.

Since its launch in 2014, it has been attracting Saigonese in droves, especially during weekends, with outdoor activities like kayaking, foraging, cycling, and boat tours.

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Dan Xay eco-tourism area is surrounded by mangrove forests with floating homestays to accomodate tourists. Photos courtesy of Dan Xay eco-tourism area

Visitors can climb up a 30-meter tower for a bird’s eye view of the mangroves.

For those wishing to buy fresh seafood, Hang Duong Market is the place to go.

It is open all day, and crowded in the morning when the seafood catches arrive by boat.

In the front and back of the market are cooking areas where, for VND150,000 ($6.43), customers can get seafood they buy at the market cooked to their liking.

Snails are grilled over a charcoal inside Hang Duong Market in Can Gio. Photo by Phong Vinh

People call this market, where you can find almost any kind of seafood at reasonable prices, a paradise for seafood lovers.

The whale temple is a spiritual place for fishermen in Can Gio where most residents earn their daily living at sea. 

A 12-meter-long whale skeleton is worshipped inside a temple in Can Gio. Photo by Yen Mai

Vietnamese fishermen see the whale as a sacred animal and believe that by giving dead whales a proper burial and worshipping them sailors will be blessed with luck, good weather, bountiful catches, and safety while at sea. 

Every year on the first and 15th of the eighth lunar month, local fishermen will organize a traditional festival to pray for safety and luck as well as seek protection from the whale while at sea. 

But a journey to Can Gio would be incomplete without visiting Thanh An, the only island commune where cars and motorbikes are uncommon.

Surrounded by a primitive forest, the commune is home to 4,500 residents who earn a living by fishing and making salt.

Thanh An Commune in Can Gio. Photo by Quynh Tran

Since there is no high-speed boat from Can Gio Pier to Thanh An, transport to and from the commune relies on fishing boats.

About five to seven trips carry people back and forth to the island commune. Each trip takes about 30 minutes, with ticket prices around VND15,000 ($0.65).

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Life on Thanh An Commune in Can Gio. Photos by Huu Khoa

Near the center of the island commune, people set up a daily street market between 5- 9 a.m.

WHERE TO STAY

The rising popularity of Can Gio has prompted investors to develop resorts in the island district.

Some high-end resorts like Can Gio Resort, Phuong Nam Can Gio Resort, Mangrove Hotel Can Gio and Gio Long Boutique Hotel are surrounded by thriving nature, with room rates starting from VND700,000 a night.

Phuong Nam Resort in Can Gio. Photo by Huu Khoa

For budget travelers, homestays are also an ideal option.

Some popular addresses are Phuc homestay, Eco homestay, Tan Tan homestay and Mangrove homestay with prices starting from VND100,000 a night.

In Thanh An island commune, residents also offer accommodation services to improve their income.

WHAT TO EAT

Bun rieu cua (crab noodle soup) is a popular breakfast in Can Gio. The key protein component of this soup is the crab meat mixture made of freshwater mini crabs, pork and egg that resembles a patty. 

A bowl of crab noodle soup at a stall in Can Gio. Photo courtesy of Swio

A bowl of vermicelli soup includes toppings like pork feet, pig blood pudding, beef balls, fried tofu and crab cakes. The dish is served with fresh Vietnamese herbs like perilla and cilantro. 

You can find the dish at 114/3A Duyen Hai Street in Can Thanh Town.

Fried seafood rice is also a must-try dish in Can Gio. A plate includes fresh seafood like prawns and squid, fried eggs, shredded carrots and other green vegetables. 

A plate of fried seafood rice at a stall in Can Gio. Photo by Ngan Duong

You can enjoy the dish at food stalls on Giong Ao Street in Can Thanh Town, with prices ranging from VND30,000-60,000.

Canh chua ca khoai, a soup cooked with Bumalo fish, tomatoes, pineapple and green herbs, has become a part of daily life in Can Gio. 

A bowl of canh chua ca khoai. Photo by Thanh Pham

In some restaurants, the soup is served with rice vermicelli or noodles. 

Known as a paradise of cheap seafood, there are hundreds of stalls serving guests countless snail dishes from apple snail, oc len xao dua (fried snails with spicy coconut milk) and crab claws roasted with salt or grilled oysters.

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Snails are grilled over a charcoal inside Hang Duong seafood market in Can Gio. Photos by Phong Vinh

Sentinel-crabs and mantis shrimp are popular items. A kilogram of sentinel-crabs cost VND400,000 – 500,000 while mantis shrimp are more expensive at around VND600,000 per kilo.

You can visit Hang Duong and Can Gio markets at night to enjoy seafood. 

HOW TO GET THERE

From the bus station on Pham Ngu Lao Street in District 1 near Bui Vien backpacker area, you can catch bus No. 20 to reach the Binh Khanh ferry port in Nha Be District, then catch another bus to Can Gio District. 

It’s easy for motorbikers to reach Can Gio as the journey takes one-and-a-half hours. From the city downtown, drive to Tan Thuan Bridge in District 7, turn toward Nguyen Van Linh then Huynh Tan Phat streets to reach the Binh Khanh ferry. 

After crossing, follow the road to Can Thanh Commune.

Story by Hoang Phong for E.VnExpress.net

Must See In Vietnam is looking for stories from the Vietnam Expat Community. We would be delighted to publish your Experiences . Write to us at MustSeeInVietnam@Gmail.com

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Vietnam Architecture & Design : Glass facade adds character to Mekong Delta house

Here is another beauty of our modern architectural heritage… Happy reading! #MustSeeInVietnamEditor

A home with glass facades benefits from a mirrored interior that, in some spots, reflects the surrounding landscape and creates the illusion of an infinite vista. 

Glass facade adds character to Mekong Delta house

The 142-square-meter house in the Mekong Delta’s Soc Trang Province belongs to a middle-aged couple.
The old house was transformed into this modern home. The homeowner had asked for a minimalist, cavernous dwelling with plenty of room to grow plants and keep fish.

Glass facade adds character to Mekong Delta house

The building’s glass bricks create a wavelike pattern on the exterior, evoking the feeling of Mekong Delta rivers and making the single-story home look like it’s wearing a shimmering top. Even while they let in a lot of natural light, the glass tiles used in this home’s open floor plan also provide a high level of privacy.
The architect said that, passers-by won’t be able to fully grasp the house’s unique layout just by observing the exteriors. 

Glass facade adds character to Mekong Delta house

The absence of natural light is a major issue due to the building’s small width of 4.6 meters. The architect resolved this issue by interweaving four skylights into the living area, connecting the building’s front and back courtyards for maximum natural light and ventilation. 

In addition to providing fresh air, the small gardens placed beneath each skylight help homeowners relax and keep their spirits up.

Glass facade adds character to Mekong Delta house

The house’s aesthetic was influenced by that of the Pixar film Coco. The film capitalizes on the universality of the human experience by exploring the bonds of family across time and space. 

The architect hopes to use this idea to inspire a brand-new perception of space by bridging the gap between the physical and digital space through the use of mirrors in an art installation. 

Having mirrors strategically placed around the house provides the illusion of more space than there actually is. This effect, seen from a certain vantage point, will reveal an infinite horizon.

Glass facade adds character to Mekong Delta house

Some of the house’s features, like the window arches in the second-floor reading space, are only partially realized before they collide with their own reflections in the mirror and take on their final, fully realized shape.

A narrow-width townhouse can benefit from this strategy since it frees up space, creating the impression and the concept of a larger home.

Glass facade adds character to Mekong Delta house

The architect has consolidated the shared kitchen and dining area into a single open space in the main living area. 

In interior design, this is the link between two rooms that helps bring the spaces together and makes better use of the available floor area. This allows the kitchen to grow as needed. 

When entertaining a small number of people, or simply hosting a larger dinner party, the owners can expand the six-seat dining set to a larger table that can accommodate up to 18 people.

Glass facade adds character to Mekong Delta house

The home has a tranquil spot under a skylight, surrounded by lush vegetation and a Koi pond. 

Due of the land’s small size and the owner’s need to raise Koi fish, the architect creatively combined the two uses into one. 

In addition to serving as a landscape element, the tank doubles as a skylight, moderating the inside temperature and humidity.

Glass facade adds character to Mekong Delta house

Gravel atop the glass roof helps diffuse the light coming in, creating a lovely and ample ambiance inside the home.

Glass facade adds character to Mekong Delta house

The architect also uses glass brick windows in more private spaces, like the second-floor bedroom/office. 

Aside from enabling natural light and breezes into the property, the window also provides a nice vantage point for the homeowner to gaze down into the yard below. Even with the lights on, the space is peaceful and unobtrusive.

Glass facade adds character to Mekong Delta house

The main bedroom is located on the ground floor, and features a little garden just below the atrium, allowing for direct access to the light and breezes outside. 

The glass restroom partition in the center of the room gives the impression of extra space. The layer of glass is hermetically sealed, so no splashes of water may enter.

Glass facade adds character to Mekong Delta house

The house was completed after four months. Construction costs were not disclosed by the owners.

Written by Trang Vy for E.VnExpress.net – Photos by Trieu Chien

Must See In Vietnam is looking for stories from the Vietnam Expat Community. We would be delighted to publish your Experiences . Write to us at MustSeeInVietnam@Gmail.com

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Banh Mi : locals queue for Banh Mi in Saigon

Good Sunday. I have a favor to ask of you this morning. Let us know your Banh Mi discoveries in Vietnam and forward your comments and photos to us.

Vietnam’s banh mi has achieved well deserved renown as a delicious street food staple, but Saigon offers the quintessentially Vietnamese sandwich with fillings far more appetizing than the standard one.

Even the most jaded palette will be tickled by the six different types of banh midescribed below.

Banh mi with shumai

Banh mi with two bowls of shiumai in broth and quail eggs. Photo by Khanh Thien

Banh mi with two bowls of broth with shumai and quail eggs. Photo by Khanh Thien

Shumai balls are made with minced pork, spices and other ingredients to achieve a soft, crunchy, and moist texture. The broth it comes in might be sweet and sour or made with fresh coconut water. You can enjoy the shumai with a few slices of cucumber, coriander and chili pepper after dipping the banh mi in the sauce.

Recommended spots: 1/17 Hoang Dieu Street (District 4) or the corner of Hoang Dieu – Nguyen Tat Thanh Street; 397 Phan Xich Long (Phu Nhuan District); and 782 Nguyen Kiem (Go Vap District).

Banh mi with shredded pork skin

A loaf of banh mi stuff with shredded pork skin, daikon and fried shallots. Photo by Khanh Thien

A loaf of banh mi stuffed with shredded pork skin, daikon and scallion oil. Photo by Khanh Thien

Banh mi with shredded pork skin has long been considered Saigon’s best breakfast option by sandwich aficionados. The combination of shredded pork skin and sweet and sour fish sauce is unbeatable, foodies say. The delicacy is a mixture of shredded pork skin and roasted rice powder, offering a fragrant, crunchy, flavorful, but not overly rich taste. The seller frequently cuts the banh mi in half and stuffs it with shredded pork skin, pickles, scallion oil and a well-balanced sweet, sour, spicy and salty fish sauce.

Recommended spots: Corner of Ngo Thoi Nhiem and Nam Ky Khoi Nghia Streets (District 3); 150 Nguyen Trai (District 1).

Banh mi with shredded fried fish cakes

A loaf of banh mi with shredded fried fish cakes, slices of chili and chili sauce. Photo by Khanh Thien

A loaf of banh mi with shredded fried fish cakes, slices of chili and chili sauce. Photo by Khanh Thien

A loaf of banh mi with shredded fish cakes has become a regular start to a new day for many Saigon residents because it is available across the city. The crunchy, chewy fried fish cake and chili garlic sauce that is stuffed into a hot banh mi is yummy and a perfect start to the day, fans say. To spice things up further, the seller also includes cucumber, Vietnamese coriander, chili sauce, and slices of fresh chili pepper.

Recommended spots: 12 Nguyen Thi Minh Khai (District 1); 187 Vinh Vien (District 10); 19 Dao Duy Anh (Phu Nhuan District); 68 Le Van Tho (Go Vap District); 35 Phan Boi Chau (Binh Thanh District); and 115 Nguyen Cong Tru (District 1).

Banh mi with roasted pork belly

A loaf of banh mi with roasted pork belly, chili and coriander. Photo by Khanh Thien

A loaf of banh mi with roasted pork belly, chili and coriander. Photo by Khanh Thien

Crispy roasted pork belly is the major ingredient of this dish, of course. Its crispy outer part and fatty inner part never fails to win the foodie over. The vendor adds cucumber, pickles, chilli and a special sauce that makes the dish even more flavorful.

Recommended spots: 3 Nguyen Thuong Hien (District 3); 58 Dong Ho (Tan Binh District); 46 Tran Quy (District 11); 189 Pham Phu Thu (District 6); and 102 Au Co (Tan Binh District).

Banh mi with grilled beef wrapped in piper lolot leaves

A loaf of banh mi with grilled beef wrapped in piper lolot leaves. Photo by Khanh Thien

A loaf of banh mi with grilled beef wrapped in piper lolot leaves. Photo by Khanh Thien

The main component of this banh mi are the tiny, finger-sized beef sausages wrapped in piper lolot leaves to protect the meat from drying out while grilling. Piper lolot is a green heart-shaped leaf that is sometimes confused with the betel leaf; both are members of the pepper family and are used in many Southeast Asian countries.

This banh mi filling comes with a variety of condiments that rounds the dish off, including cucumber, Vietnamese coriander, pickles, scallion oil and a dash of chili or shacha sauce.

Recommended spots: opposite Vinh Hoi Apartment (District 4); 364 Nguyen Tat Thanh (District 4); and 1150 Le Duc Tho (Go Vap District).

Banh mi with cold cuts

A loaf of banh mi with the basic filling of cold cuts, cucumber slices, chili and some salt and pepper. Photo by Khanh Thien

A loaf of banh mi with the basic filling of cold cuts, cucumber slices, chili and some salt and pepper. Photo by Khanh Thien

Perhaps the most popular banh mi in Saigon is the “ordinary” one with ham and pork bologna sausage. In addition to the crusty outer layer, depending on the store, the seller adds pâté, ham, pork, homemade Vietnamese mayo and shredded chicken, not to mention pickled vegetables, coriander and chili pepper.

Recommended spots: 363 Hai Ba Trung (District 3); 68 Ham Nghi (District 1); 26 Le Thi Rieng (District 1); and 402/3 Le Van Sy (District 3).

By Khanh Thien For E.VNExpress.net

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The Unsettling Reason Phở Was Once Sold In Secret In Vietnam

Your humble Editor Knew the reason … Cheers 🍻

Nothing is more comforting than a piping of hot soup on a cold winter day, and that is exactly what the Vietnamese noodle dish, phở, has to offer. The popular cuisine’s origin dates back to the 1880s, and since then, it has soared in both accessibility and popularity around the globe (via Pho Fever). More recently, restaurateurs and chefs have started to get crafty with variations on this traditional meal — including adding vegan ingredients and even lobster to their steaming bowls of rice noodles. There is even one restaurant, Dong Thap Noodles in Seattle, that sells its customers one giant bowl of phở for $77 (via Narcity).

It’s safe to say there’s an abundance of phở to go around. Although it might not be difficult to find this dish at a standard Vietnamese restaurant, there was a period of time when phở had to be sold in secret — here’s why.

Pho’s classic noodles were banned for a period of time

The original ingredients of phở haven’t always been super glitzy. In fact, according to Bliss Saigon, phở’s ingredients started off very basic — only composed of broth, rice noodles, herbs, and meat. Over time, people began adding new ingredients and animal parts as a result of the French coming to Vietnam.

During the 1950s, one of these very essential ingredients put the ability to make phở at risk. According to Mental Floss, this was when the Communist Party occupied the country and enforced a rule that stated that all noodles must be made with potato or wheat flour, instead of the dish’s traditional rice noodles. These noodles, also known as Banh Pho, are an important part of the soup because of their long and stringy texture (via Viet World Kitchen). Therefore, when this law was enacted, some vendors still served their customers the classic recipe — they simply gave them a special set of instructions on how to order them to avoid getting into trouble with the authorities. Thankfully, phở enthusiasts can order a bowl of their favorite noodles without this worry today.

Written by Taylor Huang for the Daily Meal

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X-Men actress shows love for Hanoi cuisine

Vietnamese-born American actress Lana Condor, known for her roles in several movie hits, embarked on a food tour while visiting Hanoi.

If I published an article quoting that I love Hanoi cuisine … few of you would read the article (ha! ha!) Discover the delicacies of Lana Condor! Good reading ! #MustSeeInVietnamEditor

Condor arrived in Vietnam on Wednesday, met some friends and enjoyed many signature dishes in Hanoi. Instead of taking a taxi, the actress sat on the back of a motorbike like a true local.

Condor arrived in Vietnam on Wednesday, met some friends and enjoyed many signature dishes in Hanoi. Instead of taking a taxi, the actress sat on the back of a motorbike like a true local.

To return to Vietnam, where I was born, is no longer a dream. I’m ready to experience the delicacies here, Condor said.  She started her day with pho, a Hanoi quintessence.

“To return to Vietnam, where I was born, is no longer a dream. I’m ready to experience the delicacies here,” Condor said.
She started her day with pho, a Hanoi quintessence.

Condor has a liking for brothy dishes like vermicelli and pho. She uploaded a photo of a chicken pho bowl in Hanoi and called it the monster of pho. The Old Quarter is an ideal location to enjoy this dish.

Condor has a liking for brothy dishes like vermicelli and pho. She uploaded a photo of a chicken pho bowl in Hanoi and called it the monster of pho. The Old Quarter is an ideal location to enjoy this dish.

Later, the actress stopped by a bun cha shop in the Old Quarter for lunch. A bowl of bun cha typically includes grilled pork, chopped garlic, fresh chili, pickled green papaya, along with a variety of Vietnamese herbs.

Later, the actress stopped by a bun cha shop in the Old Quarter for lunch. A bowl of bun cha typically includes grilled pork, chopped garlic, fresh chili, pickled green papaya, along with a variety of Vietnamese herbs.

Visiting Hanoi in autumn, the most beautiful season of the year, Condor couldn’t skip an egg coffee. This is a famous Hanoi delicacy that most tourists want to try because of its rich and aromatic flavor.

Visiting Hanoi in autumn, the most beautiful season of the year, Condor couldn’t skip an egg coffee. This is a famous Hanoi delicacy that most tourists want to try because of its rich and aromatic flavor.

During her trip to Hanoi, Condor visited Tran Quoc Pagoda, one of the oldest in the country. This is her third time returning to Vietnam.

During her trip to Hanoi, Condor visited Tran Quoc Pagoda, one of the oldest in the country. This is her third time returning to Vietnam.

Lana Condor was born in 1997 in the Mekong Delta city of Can Tho and spent her first months in an orphanage under the name Tran Dong Lan. She was later adopted and renamed by American parents Mary Carol and Bob Condor in Chicago. In 2016, she made her acting debut as the mutant Jubilee in the superhero film X-Men: Apocalypse.     Condor gained international recognition for her lead role as Lara Jean in Netflix romantic comedy film series To All The Boys from 2018 to 2021. She has won an MTV Movie & TV award and a Hollywood Critics Association award.

Lana Condor was born in 1997 in the Mekong Delta city of Can Tho and spent her first months in an orphanage under the name Tran Dong Lan. She was later adopted and renamed by American parents Mary Carol and Bob Condor in Chicago. In 2016, she made her acting debut as the mutant Jubilee in the superhero film X-Men: Apocalypse.

Condor gained international recognition for her lead role as Lara Jean in Netflix romantic comedy film series “To All The Boys” from 2018 to 2021. She has won an MTV Movie & TV award and a Hollywood Critics Association award.

Written by Nguyen Chi for E.VnExpress.net

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10 resorts in Phu Quoc for year-end escape: Booking.com

It will be Christmas in 29 days … and if you are looking for a peaceful place for your holidays … this article is timely. In December, southern Vietnam offers you sunshine at full capacity… Enjoy it in Phu Quoc #MustSeeInVietnam

With Phu Quoc entering its peak season of international tourism, here is a list of 10 luxury resorts for a winter holiday as voted by users of Dutch online travel agency Booking.com. 

10 resorts in Phu Quoc for year-end escape: Booking.com

Salinda Resort Phu Quoc Island scored 9.5 points out of 10 based on Booking.com user votes.

Just a few steps from Long Beach on Phu Quoc Island off the Mekong Delta province of Kien Giang, the resort features 121 luxury rooms, suites, and villas designed in contemporary style.

Each room has unique wall art, showcasing the beauty of the island’s natural wonders. 

The resort offers a free bike service and lies near restaurants and food stalls.

Room rates cost from VND2.6 million ($104.75) a night.

10 resorts in Phu Quoc for year-end escape: Booking.com

Built as an old French castle, La Veranda Resort Phu Quoc in Duong Dong Town scored 9.3 points.

It has 74 rooms and villas in unique French style.

Surrounded by green nature, the resort has a private beach and outdoor swimming pools. 

Room rates cost from VND3.5 million a night. 

10 resorts in Phu Quoc for year-end escape: Booking.com

Located along Long Beach in Phu Quoc, Crowne Plaza Phu Quoc Starbay also scored 9.3 points. 

It has over 300 rooms surrounded by green trees and swimming pools. 

Crowne Plaza is close to Vinpearl Land, offering visitors a variety of entertainment services.

Room rates cost from VND3.5 million a night. 

10 resorts in Phu Quoc for year-end escape: Booking.com

JW Marriott Phu Quoc Emerald Bay Resort & Spa scored 9.1 points.

The resort along Khem Beach has 244 rooms and a shell-shaped swimming pool reaching out to sea. 

With unique design, the pool has become a symbol of the resort and won many travel awards from international magazines.

Surrounded by tropical coconut forests, the pool is only for adults.

Room rates cost from VND6 million a night. 

10 resorts in Phu Quoc for year-end escape: Booking.com

Chen Sea Resort & Spa Phu Quoc also scored 9.1 points.

Lying along Ong Lang Beach on Phu Quoc Island, the resort has 36 villas stretching along sandy beaches mostly isolated from crowded residential areas.

Each villa has a private balcony, an open bath, and a swimming pool.

A night’s stay costs from VND1.82 million.

10 resorts in Phu Quoc for year-end escape: Booking.com

New World Phu Quoc Resort scored 9 points. 

Along Khem Beach, the resort in An Thoi Ward features 375 villas surrounded by coconut trees.

The resort’s design takes inspiration from fishing villages, and villas here are made of eco-friendly materials like wood and bamboo.

The resort also has a fitness center and studio, a 16-treatment-room spa and kids’ club.

A night’s stay costs from VND4 million. 

10 resorts in Phu Quoc for year-end escape: Booking.com

Located along Long Beach in Phu Quoc, Dusit Princess Moonrise Beach Resortalso scored 9 points. 

Conveniently near entertainment complexes and amusement parks, the resort has 108 rooms and suites designed in contemporary style. 

Room rates cost from VND2 million. 

The resort offers spicy Thai cuisine. 

10 resorts in Phu Quoc for year-end escape: Booking.com

InterContinental Phu Quoc Long Beach Resort scored 8.9 points. 

Located along Long Beach, it has 459 rooms and villas surrounded by green trees that make it an ideal choice for nature lovers.

One of the highlights of the resort is its bamboo spa huts floating on the water surface.

It also has the highest skybar in Phu Quoc with glass doors from which visitors can enjoy a panoramic view of sunset.

A night’s stay costs VND4 million.

10 resorts in Phu Quoc for year-end escape: Booking.com

Premier Village Phu Quoc Resort at Ong Doi Cape on the southern tip of Phu Quoc scored 8.7 points.

The resort opened in 2018 and has 215 villas.

It has an outdoor swimming pool that takes inspiration from the terraced rice fields of northern Vietnam.

A night’s stay costs from VND6 million. 

10 resorts in Phu Quoc for year-end escape: Booking.com

Movenpick Resort Waverly Phu Quoc scored 8.6 points as some readers complained there are no entertainment activities inside the resort. 

Located on Ong Lang Beach, the resort has 305 hotel rooms and 79 villas with private swimming pools designed in contemporary style.

A night’s stay costs from VND2.5 million.

Article by Tam Anh for E.VnExpress.net Photos courtesy of the resorts

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#Vietnam’s largest #tea #plantation enters #harvest #season in #MocChau

Our introduction this Wednesday has nothing to do with the article that we publish 13 hours late, but rather with a problem that many families hide.

Living with an alcoholic and seeing someone you love destroy themselves can become a daily drama. This is what we are currently living and seeking help in HCMC, Vietnam. Your help will be greatly appreciated. Maybe the tea could be therapeutic. MSIV

Year-end is harvest season in Moc Chau, the country’s largest tea growing area, as women in conical hats work from early morning picking green tea leaves. 

Vietnam’s largest tea plantation enters harvest season

At an altitude of 1,054 meters above sea level, Moc Chau, a northern highlands town in Son La Province, boasts a temperate climate with average temperatures ranging from 15 to 26 degrees Celsius. 

Thanks to the cool climate, it’s home to about 3,000 hectares of tea estates, making it the country’s largest tea growing area.

Vietnam’s largest tea plantation enters harvest season

Every day, farmers gather at the tea factory at about 7 a.m. and then flock to the hills to pick tea buds. 

In some tea hills, visitors can mingle for photoshooting or learning about the tea picking process. 

Vietnam’s largest tea plantation enters harvest season

All farmers here are women from ethnic minority groups like the Hmong and Thai who make a living by picking tea leaves.

Vietnam’s largest tea plantation enters harvest season

Harvested tea will be cleaned, dried and packaged. 

Vietnam’s largest tea plantation enters harvest season

Bike and motorbike rental services allow visitors to explore tea hills and traditional stilt houses of ethnic minority communities. 

Vietnam’s largest tea plantation enters harvest season

Visitors can visit the Moc Suong tea factory to enjoy a tea ceremony and see how Vietnam’s famous tea products are processed. 

Vietnam’s largest tea plantation enters harvest season

Around 200 kilometers from Hanoi, Moc Chau can be easily accessed by car or coach. 

The rising popularity of Moc Chau has seen rapid development of local homestays.

Some homestay addresses worthy of consideration for budget-conscious travelers are MAMA’s House, Le Chalet du Lac, Fairy House Moc Chau, House By Lake, The Nordic Village and Moc Chau Retreat, with prices ranging from VND300,000 to 1 million ($12.06-40.22) a night.

Written by Vi Yen, Nguyen Trong Cung for E.VnExpress.net

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#Traveling in #Vietnam : All-inclusive cruise to explore #HaLongBay

Good Morning ! This Cruise will be … I guarantee you … an unforgettable moment of your life #MustSeeinVietnam Editor

Boasting elegant cabins and the art of refined 5-star services, Paradise Sails and Paradise Peak will take you on a voyage of discovery across the majestic Ha Long Bay.

According to Paradise Vietnam’s representative, the boutique Paradise Sails and Paradise Peak cruise ships have pioneered high-class entertainment on the heritage site.

According to Paradise Vietnam’s representative, the boutique Paradise Sails and Paradise Peak cruise ships have pioneered high-class entertainment at the heritage site.

Paradise Peak houses 8 well-appointed cabins with each covering from 38 square meters featuring a private balcony with a classic wooden design accompanied by personalized amenities such as a jacuzzi tub and a separate dining area, as well as butler service.

Paradise Peak provides eight well-appointed cabins with each covering from 38 square meters featuring a private balcony with a classic wooden design accompanied by personalized amenities like a jacuzzi and separate dining area, as well as butler service.

Other top-end facilities include a gym, outdoor bar and library, offering guests the chance to relax and unwind on their journey across a new world wonder.

Other top-end facilities include a gym, outdoor bar and library, offering guests the chance to relax and unwind on their journey through a world wonder.

Staying with the traditional wooden design architecture, the 16 cabins on Paradise Sails feature open sea views for guests to fully experience the magical scene.

Staying with the traditional wooden design, the 16 cabins on Paradise Sails feature open sea views for guests to fully experience the magical scene.

The fine dining restaurants on Paradise Sails and Paradise Peak follow the classic theme with exclusive culinary feasts created from the freshest ingredients.

The fine dining restaurants on Paradise Sails and Paradise Peak follow the classic theme with exclusive culinary feasts created from the freshest ingredients.

Luxury services on the two vessels are twinned with unmissable itineraries across the world-famous bay, including Sung Sot Cave, Titov Island and Tung Sau Pearl Farm, as well as kayaking.

Luxury services on the two vessels are twinned with unmissable itineraries across the world-famous bay, including Sung Sot Cave, Titov Island and Tung Sau Pearl Farm, along with kayaking.

Safety and quality are paramount at Paradise Vietnam so we invest a lot into maintenance to ensure our guests experience the finest quality in secure surroundings, a representative said.

“Safety and quality are paramount at Paradise Vietnam so we invest a lot into maintenance to ensure our guests experience the finest quality in secure surroundings,” a representative said.

Paradise Vietnam has one of the biggest fleets in the bays of Ha Long and Lan Ha, including overnight cruises on Paradise Elegance and Paradise Grand, and day cruises on Paradise Explorer. In 2023, the group intends to launch an international 5-star dining cruise Paradise Delight with a capacity of 360 guests. Not only serving exquisite buffets and set menus, it will offer the first spectacle show on Ha Long Bay, designed by the renowned Hoang Nhat Nam.Paradise Vietnam hotels and cruises Hotline: (+84) 906.099.606 (Viber, Whatsapp, Zalo)Email: info@paradisevietnam.comWebsite: https://paradisevietnam.com/

Paradise Vietnam has one of the biggest fleets in the bays of Ha Long and Lan Ha, including overnight cruises on Paradise Elegance and Paradise Grand, and day cruises on Paradise Explorer. In 2023, the group intends to launch an international 5-star dining cruise Paradise Delight with a capacity of 360 guests. Not only serving exquisite buffets and set menus, it will offer the first spectacle show on Ha Long Bay, designed by renowned Hoang Nhat Nam.

Paradise Vietnam hotels and cruises

Hotline: (+84) 906.099.606 (Viber, Whatsapp, Zalo)

Email: info@paradisevietnam.com

Website: https://paradisevietnam.com/

By Phong Van for E.VnExpress.net

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#Vietnam #Architecture : Home stands out with grass roof

We present to you another beautiful of our modern architecture … Happy reading and we are waiting for your comments. #MustSeeInVietnam Editor

A house in central Phan Thiet Town with a sloping roof covered with grass, trees and flowers resembles a hill stretching out to the river in front. 

The house built on a plot of land measuring 15 x 20 meters in the coastal town stands out from the surrounding townhouses with its lush green roof.

Home stands out with grass roof

Since the owners are nature lovers, they have filled their home with plants from top to bottom. A layer of green vegetation, ranging from shade trees to bushes, extends from the facade through the high gate layer and blends with the stone walls. 

As they grow, they encase the house in a green shield that keeps out dust. 

Tarlmounia is strung from the ceiling like a curtain to protect the rooms from the sun and provide natural ventilation.

Home stands out with grass roof

On the ground floor, a wide glass door system and curtains work together to let in the right amount of air while keeping direct sunlight out. 

The garden area on the ground level acts as a buffer, preventing outside noise and dust from entering the home. The owners may relax and feel more at one with nature thanks to the abundance of trees across the property.

Home stands out with grass roof

The kitchen and dining area is located just off the main living area. After the owners took down the walls separating those two areas, there is now more light and space. 

All of the ground-floor rooms have unobstructed views of the pool, which is 3.3 meters deep and 12 meters wide, thanks to the use of glass walls. The pool serves as a pleasant retreat for the family.

Home stands out with grass roof

The architect’s goal in making the room’s interior simple and monochromatic was to make good use of natural light to create beautiful effects.

Home stands out with grass roof

Similarly to how the front room of a house can benefit from a transparent glass system, the interior of a house can benefit from a skylight. 

Self-convection air gets wind from the outside of the house and, using the idea of pressure difference, escapes through the well-designed skylight. This keeps the house at a comfortable temperature. 

The architect also replaced the wall next to the skylight with perforated bricks, which let more light and air into the room.

Home stands out with grass roof

The simple second-floor common space features a long workstation and view of vegetation, which brings fresh air and helps relieve stress among residents.

Home stands out with grass roof

The bedroom area brings the owners even closer to nature with its large veranda and surrounding garden.

Home stands out with grass roof

On the balcony, the Tarlmounia curtain blocks the sun while allowing a better view of the scenery beyond. This space becomes a haven of peace for residents to spend time outdoors when the weather is nice.

Home stands out with grass roof

Trees and plants are planted atop the structure. The greening of the roof provides visual coherence for the landscape, creating a flow that unites the home with its natural setting. 

Grass, flowers, and trees cover the entire rooftop, giving the impression that the house is carpeted in green. This one-of-a-kind ceiling may be used to keep the hot air out during the summer.

Home stands out with grass roof

The architect has mentioned that the structural engineer had calculated the volume of each tub and the exact amount of dirt in each tank, in advance so as to not affect the roof and the frame of the building. This ensures the green roof won’t collapse under its own weight.

Home stands out with grass roof

It took six months to build the house and cost VND6 billion (over $241,200).

Written by Trang Vỹ for E.VnExpress.net

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On Sa Pa mountain, a café with a view

Good Sunday, simply enjoy your Day with a good Vietnamese Coffee … #MutSeeInVietnamDirector

A new café atop a mountain in Sa Pa, the famous northern tourist town, has become an attraction though it only serves a single type of coffee and snack.

When she visited the mountain town in the middle of October, Minh Minh of Hanoi was awed by the stunning scenery from the café.

A bird’s-eye view of the café atop a mountain in Sa Pa Town in northern Vietnam. Photo by Nhung Nhung Dang

A bird’s-eye view of the café in the middle of a mountain in Sa Pa Town, northern Vietnam. Photo by Nhung Nhung Dang

The place is at an altitude of around 1,600 meters and around three kilometers from town.

A concrete path built on the mountainside leads to the café.

Guests can look out and see a stunning landscape of mountains, sea of clouds and, particularly, Muong Hoa Valley below.

The place itself is simple, with small wooden tables and umbrellas placed outdoors to provide a comfortable setting for customers to enjoy the sunset or sunrise.

The only items available at the café are cappuccino and croissant. Photo by Tus De Liab

Minh says she discovered the café on a travel fanpage and was blown away.

The place never fails to attract a continuous stream of visitors despite its modest looks, a menu with only one coffee, a cappuccino with cinnamon and star anise listed as Coffee 1,600 that is only sold together with a croissant.

The only items available at the café are cappuccino and croissant. Photo by Tus De Liab

Minh says: “The coffee has a distinct and wonderful milky flavor and cinnamon and anise aroma. The croissants are hot, buttery and crisp.”

The coffee is made using the owner’s unique recipe.

Asked why there is only one beverage and snack, the owner says having too many choices on the menu could distract visitors from the views.

The patio of the café overlooks Muong Hoa Valley. Photo by Minh

The patio of the café overlooks the Muong Hoa Valley in Sa Pa Town, northern Vietnam. Photo by Minh Minh

A coffee and croissant costs VND300,000 (US$12).

The minimalistic decor allows visitors to concentrate on appreciating nature.

“This price is a bit steep, but I believe the experience is worth it,” Minh says.

The café has a heated wooden stove for customers though people prefer cozy indoor cafes during the winter months in Sa Pa.

At weekends the café organizes cabaret shows and serves food.

By Thanh Thuy for E.VnExpress.net

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Abandoned Nguyen Dynasty relic atop Hai Van Pass gets back into shape

A Portuguese friend told me yesterday while discussing that knowing our origins helps us define who we are. I totally agree. As a citizen, knowledge of the history of one’s country also promotes taking responsibility and commitment to developing one’s community. In addition, mastering history makes it possible to avoid repeating the mistakes of the past. Diogo, I write and dedicate this this article thinking of you this morning. #MustSeeInVietnamEditor

After a year of renovation, the Hai Van Gate in central Vietnam, abandoned for years, is gradually being returned to its original shape as a ‘defensive citadel’ under the Nguyen Dynasty. 

Abandoned Nguyen Dynasty relic atop Hai Van Pass gets back into shape

Standing on top of the Hai Van Pass that separates Thua Thien-Hue Province and Da Nang City, the Hai Van Gate is about 490 meters above the sea level.

It was constructed in 1826 during the reign of King Minh Mang (1791-1841), who ordered the construction of several defensive structures along the pass to protect the imperial capital of Hue. The structures included fortifications, store houses and cannon forts.

The gate used to be dubbed as ‘pharynx’ of the Hue Imperial Citadel. 

However, it stood abandoned for over 20 years until 2017, when the government recognized Hai Van Gate as a national relic, prompting authorities in Hue and Da Nang to join hands for a major renovation project. 

Abandoned Nguyen Dynasty relic atop Hai Van Pass gets back into shape

Renovation work on the gate began in December last year. 

The gates doors will be repaired based on the original architecture and its walls built with terracotta bricks. 

Some structures used during the wars against France and the U.S. will be kept for the purpose of preserving their historical value. 

Abandoned Nguyen Dynasty relic atop Hai Van Pass gets back into shape

Construction workers have been working from dawn to dusk to complete the project on time. 

Between 1945 and 1975, many military constructions sprang up here for soldiers to guard the north-south arterial road, including fortifications and storage depots. 

Abandoned Nguyen Dynasty relic atop Hai Van Pass gets back into shape

A moss-covered stone wall to the right of a door is being preserved.

Abandoned Nguyen Dynasty relic atop Hai Van Pass gets back into shape

Due to the impacts of recent storms, construction work had to be put off for many days. 

Hai Van Pass, said to be one of the world’s most beautiful drives, has been seriously damaged by erosion over the past three weeks with tons of soil and rock sliding down, disrupting traffic in many sections. 

Abandoned Nguyen Dynasty relic atop Hai Van Pass gets back into shape

A side gate with a view of the Hai Van Pass has been rebuilt based on the original architecture. 

Abandoned Nguyen Dynasty relic atop Hai Van Pass gets back into shape

A walking path inside Hai Van Gate is made of stone. Trees are being planted to return greenery and shade to the site. 

Abandoned Nguyen Dynasty relic atop Hai Van Pass gets back into shape

Foreign tourists go up a path leading to the Hai Van Gate that is under restoration.

The Hai Van Pass cuts through the Bach Ma mountain range and lies 500 meters above sea level.

For years now, the pass has been a popular tourist attraction. Foreigners visiting Hue, Da Nang and Hoi An also want to visit the Indochina-era Hai Van Gate and the remains of several French fortifications apart from exploring the beauty of the Lang Co Beach. 

Abandoned Nguyen Dynasty relic atop Hai Van Pass gets back into shape

A construction manager asks foreign tourists not to enter the area inside the gate as work is still underway. 

Abandoned Nguyen Dynasty relic atop Hai Van Pass gets back into shape

An illustration of the restored Hai Van Gate.

The renovation work, estimated to cost VND42 billion ($1.68 million), is expected to be completed next June.

Written By Nguyen Dong for E.VnExpress.net

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Agoda: 10 most favored hotels in Sa Pa this year

Agoda is one of the world’s fastest growing online travel booking platforms. Agoda has grown to offer a global network of 2 million properties in more than 200 countries and territories worldwide. It provides travelers with easy access to a wide choice of luxury and budget hotels, apartments, homes, and villas to suit all budgets and travel occasions. Have a look at their top 10 hotels in Sa Pa … #MustSeeInVietnam Editor

Leading online booking travel agency Agoda revealed a list of the 10 most booked resorts this year in Sa Pa, a northern highlands town famous for its year-round cool climate. 

10 most favored hotels in Sa Pa this year: Agoda

Located in the center of Sa Pa Town, KK Hotel has 186 rooms that overlook Muong Hoa Valley surrounded by rice terraces and ethnic minority villages.

Room rates cost from VND1.2 million ($48.19) a night. 

According to seasoned travelers, the hotel has a breathtaking view but the road leading to downtown Sa Pa is quite dirty.

10 most favored hotels in Sa Pa this year: Agoda

Covering an area of 50 hectares in Lao Chai Village, Sapa Jade Hill Resort & Spa was built on a mountainous hill overlooking Muong Hoa Valley. 

Around eight kilometers from the downtown area, the resort is separated from noisy residential neighborhoods, making it ideal for a weekend escape.

To reach the hotel, visitors will have to pay VND75,000 to enter Lao Chai Village.

10 most favored hotels in Sa Pa this year: Agoda

Opposite the stone church, a symbol of Sa Pa, Hotel de la Coupole – Mgallery has 249 rooms and suites that allow a direct view of the Hoang Lien Son mountain range and rice terraces.

From the hotel, guests will be ferried to the Muong Hoa cable car station from where they can make a seven-minute trip to the Fansipan cable car hub, enjoying the beauty of the Hoang Lien Son range with its rolling forests and valleys from a great height.

Room rates cost from VND5 million.

10 most favored hotels in Sa Pa this year: Agoda

Around 1.5 kilometers from the stone church in downtown Sa Pa, Silk Path Grand Resort & Spa Sapa opened its doors to tourists in 2017.

Designed in European style, the resort has 152 rooms and villas.

A night’s stay here costs from VND2.1 million.

10 most favored hotels in Sa Pa this year: Agoda

Opposite the stone church in downtown Sa Pa, BB Hotel Sapa has 57 rooms and provides easy access to restaurants and tourist attractions.

Due to its proximity to Sa Pa Square, the area is always busy and noisy at night.

A night’s stay costs from VND2.2 million.

10 most favored hotels in Sa Pa this year: Agoda

Nestled on a hillside overlooking Muong Hoa Valley, Pao’s Sapa Leisure Hotel has 223 rooms inspired by ethnic minority design.

The hotel is in shape of terraced rice fields, a distinctive feature of the northern highlands region.

Room rates cost from VND2.5 million a night.

10 most favored hotels in Sa Pa this year: Agoda

Located in Muong Hoa Valley near the downtown area, DeLaSol Phat Linh Sapahas 65 rooms surrounded by terraced rice fields.

With room rates starting from VND1.2 million a night, the hotel is ideal for budget-friendly travelers.

However, its hotel staff don’t speak English well.

10 most favored hotels in Sa Pa this year: Agoda

Located near Fansipan, the highest peak in Indochina, Sapa Cat Cat Hills Resort has 52 rooms and is not too far from Cat Cat, a traditional ethnic Hmong village. 

Room rates cost from VND1.8 million a night.

10 most favored hotels in Sa Pa this year: Agoda

Around 700 meters from downtown Sa Pa, Aira Boutique Sapa Hotel & Spa has 50 rooms with private balconies.

It has a small outdoor swimming pool.

The area is always deserted at night.

A night’s stay costs from VND1.5 million.

10 most favored hotels in Sa Pa this year: Agoda

Around a 15-minute walk from downtown Sa Pa, My Boutique Hotel & Spa islocated on Muong Hoa, one of the most ancient streets in town.

Room rates cost from VND1.2 million.

Article written By Tam Anh for E.VnExpress.net – Photos courtesy of the resorts

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4 Zen resorts to hunt sea of clouds in northern highlands – Vietnam

Can you Imagine watching the clouds looking down with a beautiful pristine blue sky above your head ! You will be inspired by reading this article … and you know what … you will book there … during your next visit to Vietnam … #MustSeeInVietnam Editor

Surrounded by mountains in the northern highlands, four resorts designed with a touch of traditional ethnic minority style are perfect for those wanting to gaze across a sea of white clouds. 

4 resorts to hunt sea of clouds in northern highlands

Rock Garden Sapa Homestay in Hang Da Village in Sa Pa is at an altitude of 1,700 meters above sea level, making it an ideal location to hunt for white clouds. 

The resort is about 25 minutes from downtown Sa Pa by car but the road to reach the resort is quite challenging with dangerous slopes.

4 resorts to hunt sea of clouds in northern highlands

The resort takes inspiration from traditional ethnic minority design and its homestays are mainly made of wood and rock. 

A night’s stay costs from VND1.3 million ($54.41). 

4 resorts to hunt sea of clouds in northern highlands

Each room here is designed with transparent glass windows so visitors can easily view the clouds and terraced rice fields along Muong Hoa Valley. 

The resort is not far from Fansipan Mountain Peak, Sa Pa night market and other tourist attractions. 

4 resorts to hunt sea of clouds in northern highlands

Mong Village Resort & Spa in Y Linh Ho Village in Sa Pa carries a distinctive architectural style inspired by the Hmong ethnic minority.

All rooms have balconies allowing aerial views of white clouds and rice terraces. 

4 resorts to hunt sea of clouds in northern highlands

All bungalows feature wooden roofs and stone walls that carry unique cultural feature of the Hmong. 

From balconies, visitors can take in breathtaking views of Muong Hoa Valley and traditional stilt houses. 

It has a restaurant that can accommodate up to 150 people at a time. 

4 resorts to hunt sea of clouds in northern highlands

In addition to cloud-hunting, visitors can trek into dense jungles, try signature dishes at Sa Pa flea market and visit the Stone Church.

A night here costs from VND2.8 million.

4 resorts to hunt sea of clouds in northern highlands

Silk Path Grand Sapa Resort & Spa, also in Sa Pa, opened its doors to tourists in November 2017 and is one of the most ideal places to hunt for clouds. 

4 resorts to hunt sea of clouds in northern highlands

The resort has 152 rooms that offer views of rice terraces or white clouds.

A night’s stay here costs from VND2.1 million. 

4 resorts to hunt sea of clouds in northern highlands

While staying at the resort, guests can experience bathing in medicinal herbs grown by the Red Dao minority. 

Using a secret blend of leaves and bark collected in the wild, the Red Dao have created a formula for a soothing hot bath in a wooden barrel that they claim will ward off sickness and help women recover immediately after birth.

4 resorts to hunt sea of clouds in northern highlands

Built atop a mountain in Yen Dinh Commune in Bac Me District, Ha Giang Province, P’apiu Resort features a 1,700-meter-long road colorfully hand-painted by hundreds of resort staff and local people with typical brocade designs. 

The resort is also unique in that all its staff are local ethnic minority residents.

4 resorts to hunt sea of clouds in northern highlands

The resort has three villas designed in different styles.

Its Mellow villa, built with mud walls, replicates an accommodation tradition of the Hmong people in Ha Giang while the Fluffy villa is a completely wooden structure on the top of the mountain, allowing visitors to easily watch seas of white clouds drift by. 

The remaining villa is built underground.

4 resorts to hunt sea of clouds in northern highlands

Each day the resort only welcomes a maximum of three couples, making it one of the most ideal places to escape the crowds. 

A night’s stay cost from VND11 million. 

Article written By An Dat Photos courtesy of the resorts

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All you need to know about Vietnamese Water puppets

This show will amaze young and old alike. It’s unique! This is one of my fondest childhood memories. It’s a Must See In VIETNAM, Your Editor

Hanoi, Vietnam’s capital, is steeped in tradition and history. Seeing the ancient art of water puppetry is one of the most thrilling experiences.

Water puppets can entertain adults as well as children. Water puppetry in Vietnam is a fully realized art form that both young and older adults enjoy. View scenes from village life on a moving stage, learn about festivals and traditions and meet quirky characters based on Vietnamese personalities. Here’s a quick primer on Vietnam’s fantastic water puppets.

A short history

Water puppetry, also known as Múa rối nước in Vietnam, means “making puppets dance on water.” It is a Vietnamese tradition steeped in history, folklore, and mystery. Even today, when visitors to Hanoi flock to the main theatre to witness the unusual art, it is unknown how the small figures are mastered so effortlessly by hidden puppeteers.

The art dates back to the 11th century in northern Vietnam’s Red River Delta when rice farmers began to make puppets and put on shows to entertain their families and neighbors after the difficult harvest season was over. They also believed that the shows kept the naughty spirits away from any mischief that could harm their crops.

Water puppetry means “making puppets dance on water”. Photo by vietnamtravel

The farmers constructed pagodas above their rice paddies and held community festival shows to display their creations and well-honed puppeteering skills. The water aspect is thought to have come into play when large floods hit the rice paddies of the Red River Delta and farmers adapted their traditional puppetry, operating the wooden figures from waist-deep water. Thus was born the liquid stage, which conceals the puppeteers, improves acoustics, and adds a mystical shimmer to the show.

Because the original story of water puppetry comes from Vietnamese armers, the puppetry reflects the culture of ancient Vietnamese, which is primarily agricultural.

Farmers took the art seriously from the beginning and kept the secret of how to control the puppets close to their chests. They passed skills down through the generations, but only to sons, for fear of daughters marrying outside the village and revealing their magic formula. Even today, puppeteers must train for three years before performing, and their methods are often kept a family secret.

The original water puppetry comes from Vietnamese farmers. Photo by vietnamtravel

Aside from the beautiful show, this mystery draws thousands of Hanoi tourists into the theatre each year.

It’s impossible to understand how the talented artists work their magic from behind the pagoda screen, their hands beneath the murky, mudded waters, as you watch the puppets skim across the water, ideally in sync and sometimes even passing objects between one another.

Water puppetry evolved as a folk art form from serving familiar people to performing for royalty. During the reign of the Lý Dynasty in the 12th century, the best water puppet troupes in the country were chosen to entertain the king and guests, setting a new high for the art’s social status. Water puppetry continues to fascinate audiences many centuries later and is a treasured intangible cultural heritage of Vietnam.

The evolving tradition

The traditional art of water puppetry has evolved over the last 1,000 years. Nowadays, the performances are always accompanied by a Vietnamese orchestra, which weaves beautiful music from instruments such as bamboo flutes, horns, drums, wooden bells, and string guitars. If there is danger ahead, it is customary for the musicians to break off and shout warnings to the puppets.

Vietnamese opera singers frequently belt out beautiful songs that tell the stories being performed. To add to the mystery, fireworks, colorful lights, and even dry ice are floating in the water.

The water puppetry reflects the culture of ancient Vietnamese. Photo by vietnmatravel

However, while adding fancy lighting and pyrotechnics is a departure from the original spectacle on the rice paddies, the traditions are preserved. The stories are based on local folklore, legends, and typical rural life from the time period. There is fishing, festivals, and rice harvesting.

There are legends passed down through Vietnamese generations about a boy riding a buffalo, fire-breathing dragons, and the Legend of King Le’s Restored Sword. Chú Tễu (Uncle Teu), a classic jester character who opens the show, is present, as are frogs, fish, turtles, and fairies. They float and dance beneath the temple-like stage adorned with flags, telling their stories of love and laughter to a delighted audience.

The wooden puppets are lacquered and painted in various colors to form their faces and clothes. Photo by vietnam.travel

Of course, because the show is entirely Vietnamese, Western audiences frequently struggle to follow the plot. However, the beauty of the puppets, the mystery of the masters, and the feeling of celebrating a long-lasting, proud tradition are enough to keep you entertained.

The attraction has even provided a source of income for the families who started it all, with some Northern Vietnamese villages producing and selling water puppets for the performances.

Setting the stage

Water puppets is a physically demanding profession. Throughout the show, puppeteers stand in water and use water movement to create drama, perfect the illusion, and tell a story. The puppeteers’ secret is in the material of the puppets, which are made of buoyant fig wood and lacquered. The puppeteers expertly manipulate the puppet’s arms using bamboo sticks and strings. A master water puppeteer takes decades to develop.

Water puppet stage. Photo by vietnam.travel

Water puppet shows are now performed in pools of water rather than in flooded rice paddies in Vietnam. These pools are adorned with red tiered roofs, flags, and parasols to resemble altars found inside Vietnamese communal houses. The musical ensemble sits on both sides of the stage, bringing the stories to life with their voices and traditional instruments.

A water puppet show

Tu, the comedic host, is constantly introduced at the start of a traditional show. Chú Tễu is a memorable character, a whimsical storyteller who will guide you through various scenes and stories as they play out on stage. The colorful puppets depict daily life in Vietnam’s northern villages, such as duck herding, fishing, rice planting, boat rowing, and royal parades. Some shows illustrate Vietnamese folktales, which always have a moral.

Brightly colored puppets recreate daily life in the northern countryside. Photo by baochinhphu

Vietnamese water puppetry emerged in the 11th century from the Red River Delta’s flooded paddy fields, and visitors to Hanoi should not miss this one-of-a-kind local art form. Expert puppeteers manipulate wooden figurines tied to long poles over pools that serve as liquid stages, creating a three-dimensional effect with water splashes. Thang Long, Hanoi’s most famous Water Puppet Theater, is located in the city center and hosts up to five multilingual daily shows.

How to see Hanoi’s water puppet shows

Admire the aquatic antics involved in this odd art form that arose in the flood lands of the Red River Delta. The Thang Long Water Puppet Troupe is the most well-known and refined of Hanoi’s water puppeteers. You can see them at the Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre in Hoan Kiem Lake’s northeast corner.

Visit the Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre to see the strange and fantastic show. It first opened in 1969 and has remained the most famous establishment ever since, though smaller venues and some still operate in rural villages.

A live water puppet performance. Photo by vietnam.travel

Thang Long Theatre is located near the well-known Hoan Kiem Lake, a ten-minute taxi ride or a 25-minute walk from Hanoi’s central station. The shows are available several times every day of the year, beginning at 3.30 pm and ending at 9.30 am on Sundays.

Although last-minute tickets are frequently available at the door, they are typically seated in the back. Because the puppets are small, booking ahead of time and paying a little extra to sit near the front will provide you with the best experience. Front-rowers beware. The pesky dragons may soak you. Ticket prices range from 60,000 to 100,000 VND (£2.30 to £3.30).

A live folk cheo orchestra provides music for the performances. Photo by baochinhphu

To cap off a perfect day, dine in the theatre’s cafe, which overlooks the lovely Hoan Kiem Lake. Grab a cup of traditional Vietnamese coffee and reflect on the centuries of rural family traditions that have resulted in the unique spectacle of the beautiful water puppet theatre show. “Every show here receives a lot of love and great feedback, contributing to the income of Vietnam tourism,” Nguyen concludes, “so we would say water puppetry is an important part of our culture, tourism, and a symbol for not only the Vietnamese but also the international audience.”

Besides, visit Đào Thục Village on the outskirts of Hanoi for a better understanding of Vietnam’s water puppets. You can see one of Vietnam’s last remaining water puppet workshops and learn how the puppets are made. A stunning outdoor stage hosts spectacular shows worthy of the village’s 300-year tradition.

Besides Hanoi, where else to see water puppetry?

Several water puppet theatres present traditional and modern performances in the cities. The following are some of the best places in the country to see a show:

  • Vietnam Puppet Theatre, 361 Trường Chinh St., Thanh Xuân District, Hanoi
  • Hội An Theatre, 548 Hai Bà Trưng St., Hội An
  • Huế Water Puppet Theatre, 8 Lê Lợi St., Vĩnh Ninh District, Huế
  • Golden Dragon Water Puppet Theatre, 55B Nguyễn Thị Minh Khai St., District 1, HCMC
  • Museum of Vietnamese History (outdoor), 2 Nguyễn Bỉnh Khiêm St., District 1, HCMC

Hopefully, the information about water puppets that Local Insider provides will be helpful to you. Wish you have a trip with great experiences!

Written by Ngan Nguyen for local-insider.com

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6 newly-opened bars, restaurants in Saigon expat hub

This article is to share in your network. if you like, I ask you in return to ask those who will visit these new bars and restaurants to comment on their experience in the Facebook Community. #MustseeInVietnam Editor

American magazine Travel + Leisure called Thao Dien area in Ho Chi Minh City’s District 2 its “coolest neighborhood” where a series of newly-opened bars and restaurants add vibrancy to the expat hub. 

6 newly-opened bars, restaurants in Saigon expat hub

Hidden inside a two-story white villa on a quiet street in Thao Dien, Lua (Fire) Restaurant opened a year ago. It is designed with a touch of French architecture and has outdoor space for guests. 

6 newly-opened bars, restaurants in Saigon expat hub

Founded by a Japanese sommelier with 15 years’ experience and a Japanese-Filipino chef, the restaurant serves guests signature dishes like grilled guava (pictured), pickled egg yolk, green salad, blood sausage spring rolls or potato dumplings. 

“Meats and cold cuts are cured in house and crusty sourdough is baked on site, while a French-style tomme cheese served with grilled batons of guava is sourced from a producer outside Hanoi,” Travel + Leisure said of the restaurant’s dishes.

Snacks cost from VND150,000 ($6) and sharing plates from VND300,000.

The restaurant is open from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. daily except Sunday, at 2 Street No. 11, An Phu Ward. 

6 newly-opened bars, restaurants in Saigon expat hub

Madam Lam Restaurant recently opened in Thao Dien area, featuring traditional Vietnamese red-tiled roofs, yellow walls and sets of wooden tables. 

Award-winning chef Nguyen Nhu Cuong treats guests with traditional Vietnamese dishes like hen xao xuc banh da (chopped clams eaten on rice crackers), ca chem nuong la trau (sea bass served with savory cassava mash), and goi buoi thanh long do (grapefruit salad served in a hollowed-out dragon fruit).

Some signature dishes worth a try include com tam (broken rice with grilled pork tenderloin, shredded pork skin, pork pie), cha gio cua lot (soft-shell crab spring rolls), jelly fish salads and traditional desserts like Vietnamese cassava cake.

Prices range from VND70,000-300,000 per dish. 

6 newly-opened bars, restaurants in Saigon expat hub

The biggest highlight of the restaurant is an outdoor bar. 

The restaurant at 10 Tran Ngoc Dien Street is open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. 

6 newly-opened bars, restaurants in Saigon expat hub

Aalto Restaurant was founded by Jimmy Garside, a Mancunian and longtime Sydneysider chef.

Inside Aalto, the rustic wooden ceiling beams are painted yellow and there are framed abstract drawings and paintings on the wall and Mondrian squares of lighting.

6 newly-opened bars, restaurants in Saigon expat hub

The restaurant serves Mediterranean-style food like grilled octopus (pictured), home made sausage, grilled cabbage and leaf salad with shallots and herbs priced from VND110,000-390,000. 

It is located at 38 Tran Ngoc Dien Street. 

6 newly-opened bars, restaurants in Saigon expat hub

Sono Grill & Bar has a bar lounge where guests can enjoy music in a cozy space.

“The best seat in the house at Sono is facing the open kitchen that turns out cosmopolitan fare with a Vietnamese twist,” Travel + Leisure said. 

6 newly-opened bars, restaurants in Saigon expat hub

A portion of chilled souffle at Sono.

It also serves guests Western dishes including charcoal grilled chicken breast, lemograss Yakitori chicken, chestnut-fed Iberico pork chops and steak betel frites priced from VND289,000. 

The bar is located at 215B37 Nguyen Van Huong Street. 

6 newly-opened bars, restaurants in Saigon expat hub

ASMR is the latest bar address in Thao Dien which has an open bar lounge.

6 newly-opened bars, restaurants in Saigon expat hub

Travel + Leisure recommended a refreshing long drink of gin balanced by dried jackfruit, pineapple and pandan. 

Located at 15 Xuan Thuy Street in Thao Dien Ward, the bar is open from 4 p.m. until 2 a.m.

6 newly-opened bars, restaurants in Saigon expat hub

Olivia Restaurant opened in Thao Dien last month. 

One of its biggest highlights is an interior garden and a picture window that frames the kitchen. 

It also has an open kitchen separated from the main hall by a clear glass panel, where chefs cook and prepare exquisite dishes.

6 newly-opened bars, restaurants in Saigon expat hub

The restaurant is planted with green trees.

Signature dishes include Amaebi prawns, Wild Vinh Hy lobster mousseline, and Flinders Island lamb.

Located at 31A Le Van Mien Street in Thao Dien Ward, the restaurant is open from Tuesday until Sunday.

This article is written by Hoang Phong for E.VnExpress.netPhotos courtesy of the bars and restaurants

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#Vietnam #Architecture : Coastal villa shaped like dragonfly

Once a week, I show you around one of these beautiful and unique properties in my country. Imagine for a moment that this is your house. Sweet dreams ! #MustSeeInVietnam Editor

The shape of a water dragonfly inspired the design of the 2,000-square-meter Libellule Villa in central Da Nang City. 

Coastal villa shaped like dragonfly

Libellule Villa, translated into “Dragonfly Villa” in French, is situated in Da Nang’s Cam Le District.

The villa sits on a 2,000 plot of land with a 270-degree panoramic view of Toa River and part of Da Nang and ancient Hoi An Town.

The luxurious amenities included in this house include an infinity pool, a 350-square-foot Koi fish pond, a fitness center, a 4D theater and more.

Coastal villa shaped like dragonfly

The building’s solid and hollow blocks are interwoven to create a natural ventilation system. Despite its large size with six bedrooms and many functional areas, the building still maintains a sophisticated look.

The central concept of the project is a series of thin concrete discs, some big and others small, creating the illusion of the building floating on water.

Coastal villa shaped like dragonfly

The owner is an avid outdoorsman and Koi fish enthusiast, so the design team allocated the majority of the property to a large aquarium. A little distance away is the infinity pool. The pool is designed so that the owner may observe the Koi fish as though swimming beside them.

The architect used the water’s surface, vegetation, ventilation and shading design, in addition to location and orientation of the sun, to create a pleasant microclimate, thus decreasing the need for air conditioning. There is also a solar panel system on top of the building, which reduces monthly electricity use by 30%.

Coastal villa shaped like dragonfly

The grounds of the villa were inspired by French painter Monet’s famous Japanese gardens and water lilies artwork. The trees and vegetation help retain the harmony between building and landscape.

Coastal villa shaped like dragonfly

The 7.5-meter roof is made from reinforced concrete combined with steel fibers.

Coastal villa shaped like dragonfly

This one-of-a-kind swing seat is suspended from the ceiling by a fishing line that can bear up to 300 kilograms.

Coastal villa shaped like dragonfly

The primary entrance to the villa faces East. Lawns and gardens serve as a welcome mat at the entryway. From the foyer, residents can access the main living area, the kitchen and stairwell.

Coastal villa shaped like dragonfly

The interior is primarily white and black, which creates a striking contrast, draws attention, and exudes a luxurious feel.

Coastal villa shaped like dragonfly

One interesting feature is a spiral staircase that runs horizontally across the ground floor without any column support.

Coastal villa shaped like dragonfly

The house’s party table is shaped like a boat ready to set sail.

Coastal villa shaped like dragonfly

The basement houses various amusement areas, like karaoke and wine tasting rooms. The design team also used a special tempered glass design to set up a recreational area where the homeowner can see his Koi fish swimming.

From this vantage point, the environment resembles a submarine.

Coastal villa shaped like dragonfly

The house was completed in 2021. Construction costs were not disclosed by the owners.

Written by Trang Vỹ for E.VnExpress. Photos by Tin Martin

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Vietnam Offroad Cup

The Vietnam Off-Road PVOIL Cup 2022 (PVOIL VOC 2022) returns to the capital next month, promising to be the largest event of its type in Vietnamese history. This event is perfect for challengers who like mud and noise. #MustSeeInVietnam Editor


Uphill battle: Racers challenge gravity in offroad tournament. Vietnam Offroad Cup 2022, beginning Saturday, introduces multiple tracks and new challenges to drivers.

Uphill battle: Racers challenge gravity in offroad tournament

Right from the start, racers must use winches to scale cliffs that are 10 meters high and nearly vertical.

Vietnam Offroad Cup 2022 marks a milestone in the 15-year history of the tournament, with the number of race days increasing from two to three and the number of tracks increasing from 10 to 13. This year, there are 100 teams participating, while in previous years, no more than 80 could attend the tournament.

Uphill battle: Racers challenge gravity in offroad tournament

To navigate a steep cliff, assistant drivers must find a spot to anchor winches.

The 100 participating teams, comprising 200 racers, compete in four categories: pick-up trucks, SUVs, advanced and open.

Uphill battle: Racers challenge gravity in offroad tournament

Teams gather at one point while awaiting their turn to compete.

Racing places heavy demands on racers’ stamina, especially as competitions span several consecutive days, including at night.

Uphill battle: Racers challenge gravity in offroad tournament

Vehicles use winches to conquer the toughest cliffs on Track 12.

Uphill battle: Racers challenge gravity in offroad tournament

Mud covers nearly every corner of a vehicle on Track 8. In this competition, teams must steer their vehicles in an 8-shape, as well as make multiple rounds.

This year, the road’s elevation has been reduced by 500 millimeters, and water was added to create a muddy terrain.

Uphill battle: Racers challenge gravity in offroad tournament

Team 412 competes on Track 8.

This year, the tournament sees racers of all genders and of different nationalities.

Uphill battle: Racers challenge gravity in offroad tournament

On Track 11, racers are required to traverse a jungle and dry stream.

Uphill battle: Racers challenge gravity in offroad tournament

A vehicle tries to pass through a dry stream.

Uphill battle: Racers challenge gravity in offroad tournament

Teams that compete later than others face additional difficulties, as previous teams would have left deep tracks in the road.

Uphill battle: Racers challenge gravity in offroad tournament

On Track 13, vehicles need to pass through a large mud pit.

Uphill battle: Racers challenge gravity in offroad tournament

Teams need to drive their vehicles past the mud pit and return to where they start.

Uphill battle: Racers challenge gravity in offroad tournament

A vehicle runs on Track 13.

Uphill battle: Racers challenge gravity in offroad tournament

The mud pit proves to be a challenge for many drivers. To get past it, drivers need to find ground solid enough for anchors.

Uphill battle: Racers challenge gravity in offroad tournament

After getting past the mud pit, teams would use winches to conquer the final cliff and cross the finish line.

Vietnam Offroad Cup 2022, lasting from Nov. 4 to 6, takes place in Hanoi’s Vietnam National Village for Ethnic Culture and Tourism.

A Great report by By Luong Dung for E.VNExpress.net

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Must See In Vietnam : Buckwheat flower festival in Ha Giang Vietnam

This morning I simply invite you to read this very nice article written by a very talented young journalist to propose one of the festivals which is not to be missed during your visit to Vietnam in early fall. Please Like and share this article, you are helping to give visibility to young journalists and to our blog, which is a non-profit one. Oh I forgot, join our community Facebook ! #MustSeeInietnam Editor

The buckwheat flower festival in Vietnam happens from September to early December every year. If you want to embrace the unique beauty of Ha Giang on this special occasion, check out some tips below.

An ultimate guide to Buckwheat flower festival in Ha Giang Vietnam

Ha Giang Vietnam is widely famous for Ma Pi Leng Pass, Dong Van karst plateau geopark, and Lung Cu flag tower. But many come to enjoy the buckwheat flower festival in Vietnam from September to early December every year. If you want to see the beauty of Ha Giang in this period, let’s check some tips below.

In a nutshell:

  • Time to visit: October – November (held in the middle of November)
  • Places: Quan Ba, Dong Van, Meo Vac
  • Suitable for: adventurous tours, motorbike tours
  • Activities: displaying art objects, singing, making cakes, folk games.
The attractive pinky shade of buckwheat flower field in pink. Source from YESD.

What is buckwheat?

Buckwheat is an important food for inhabitants in Ha Giang. Source from The Spruce Eats.

Many may come across the question “What is buckwheat?” when someone asks them to join a buckwheat flowers tour in Ha Giang. Buckwheat is a plant with three-sided grain seeds. Southeast Asia has used it for more than 5 thousand years.

The plant can be between 2 to 4 feet tall at maturity, and you can see the buckwheat flowers after about three weeks. The beauty of these flowers is so charming that many come only to take pictures of them.

The history of buckwheat

Buckwheat tastes like rice and corn. Source from The Healthy.

People say that buckwheat has saved a lot of inhabitants from famine. In the past, the harvest season was not good enough that many were hungry all day long. At that time, the Northern people lived on corn and rice.

But there came one year when the land was barren, it was very difficult for them to find food. Among high rock mountains, the region found buckwheat flowers and nuts to live their life. The new and strange food tasted like rice and soon later became popular in Southeast Asia.

Uses of buckwheat flowers and buckwheat flour

Buckwheat are useful for making different food. Source from VnExpress International.

Both flowers and the flour of buckwheat are very useful. They are important parts of the daily life of people in Ha Giang. Not only in Vietnam, but some other countries including India, Korea, and Japan also live on it.

Buckwheat flour can be used for making rice, pancakes, noodles, porridge, slices of bread, and many kinds of cakes. People use flowers for making special wine and sometimes they use buckwheat to raise cattle. 

The beauty of buckwheat flowers in Ha Giang, Vietnam

Buckwheat flowers are pink. Source from People’s Army Newspaper Online.

There is an exact reason for anyone to take his package and move to a new place. People who come and visit Ha Giang love the beauty of buckwheat flowers, which can change from white to pink and dark red when it is mature.

The beauty of buckwheat flowers is both wild and splendid. Its bunched petals are like cone shapes, and you can see a particle among the three triangles surrounding it.

A scene of a buckwheat flower field in Ha Giang. Source from Pinterest

This kind of flower is full of energy and attractive. It can also change colors during its maternity. How amazing to see the fields of such flowers stretching the hills during your Ha Giang tours.

Best time to visit Ha Giang to see buckwheat flowers

October and November are two months for visiting Ha Giang. Source from VietReader Viet Nam.

Buckwheat flowers can be seen from 2 to 3 weeks after people plant them. The buckwheat flower season lasts from September to December. But when is the best time to visit Ha Giang? It is from October to November.

These two months are the peak time for tourism in Dong Van, Meo Vac, and Quan Ba. During the tours to Ha Giang Vietnam, tourists can see the magic beauty of buckwheat fields stretching across the villages, the passes, and the mountainside.

A beautiful photo of buckwheat flower fields. Source from VietReader Viet Nam.

November is the best month for travelers to visit the province because there is a buckwheat flower festival. From October to November, it is cold and dry, but it is worth it for an adventurous tour, and visitors can enjoy yummy food in these destinations, including Thang Co, Au Tau porridge, Thang Den, etc.

Best places to see buckwheat flowers

Lung Cam village is a good location for an eye-catching buckwheat flower field. Source from VnExpress International.

Although there are many places to see and take pictures of buckwheat flowers, we highly suggest these best 4 destinations for you to choose from.

Thach Son Than in Quan Ba: From Bac Sum hill, you can ride the motorbike along the road and enjoy the wild and splendid flowers for about 3 kilometers. This is one of the most famous locations for seeing buckwheat flowers in Ha Giang Vietnam.

Lung Cam Cultural Village: Lung Cam in Dong Van valley is not only known for its beauty with many buckwheat flowers but also its majestic landscapes. When traveling to Ha Giang, do not miss the destination because it can be attractive.

Buckwheat flowers in Dong Van, Ha Giang. Source from VnExpress International.

Ma Pi Leng Pass: Driving along the curving Ma Pi Leng pass, you can see buckwheat flowers lying in two mountain ranges. It is so amazing and stunning for any traveler! In October, the flower fields are in pink color and it is very splendid.

The field under the Lung Cu Flag Tower: On the way to the place, you should stop at the field under the flagpole. It is a good location for taking the best picture of eye-catching buckwheat flower fields. It can be an unforgettable scene for your best Ha Giang tour ever.

Buckwheat flowers festival in Ha Giang and activities

Buckwheat flower festival is held in Dong Van. Source from vov.vn.

The buckwheat flower festival is held annually in Ha Giang Vietnam. It takes place in the middle of November, and people choose the Dong Van district to hold the program. The reason why the festival is held in November is that this month is the time buckwheat flowers bloom.

Many locations such as Pho Bang, Pho Cao, Lung To, Lung Cu, Sa Phin in Dong Van and Sung Tra, and Pa Vi in Meo Vac are in the pink color of these beautiful flowers.

The opening ceremony with beautiful songs. Source from Vietnam Plus.

At the festival, tourists can join the opening ceremony, listening to songs of ethnic minorities. Besides that, There is an exhibition of art objects for tourists to come and visit. People even join a competition to show their talents in cooking, singing, etc.

There are folk games for inhabitants, and you can take unique photos during the tours. One more thing you should never miss is to try traditional dishes such as Thang Co, Thang Den, cakes from buckwheat flour, and buckwheat flowers’ cakes.

Tips to travel for the buckwheat flowers festival in Ha Giang

Driving your motorbike to Ha Giang is great to see buckwheat flowers. Source from Freepik.

If you want to join the Ha Giang tour and see the beautiful flowers, please read carefully to prepare for the trip:

  • Joining a motorbike tour is the best way to immerse yourself in nature and take pictures.
  • Remember to change the money to buy food
  • Bring warm clothes because Ha Giang is colder than big cities such as Ha Noi.
  • Remember to charge the camera and smartphones to take a lot of photos.
  • Find a local to discover the best places to visit, with a good view.
  • Remember to try buckwheat flowers’ cakes.
  • Do not wear high heels!
  • Raincoats are necessary.

If you need any information, please leave a comment. Wish you an amazing tour to Ha Giang Vietnam to join the festival.

Van Heaven
This article is written by Van Heaven and published in Local-insider.com
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Must See In Vietnam Community

Good Friday from Vietnam. We need advises from our readers on how to build a Community as Must See In Vietnam is looking for stories to publish from the Vietnam Expat Community or from Vietnam World Lovers.

We need also advise on how to Welcome advertisers do donation as Must See In Vietnam is a non-profit blogger and your support will will allow us to pursue our mission and even to hire young journalists to allow SME Vietnamese Businesses to have visibility all over the world!

Your advises are welcome here or by email at MustSeeInVietnam@Gmail.com Cheers ! #MustSeeInVietnam Editor

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Bamboo shack becomes northern highland classroom

Many children live in remote rural areas in Vietnam. Read how teachers in these towns have done to facilitate their access to education in better conditions. #MustSeeInVietnam Editor

Teachers in a remote commune of Dien Bien Province have built a classroom out of bamboo trees so students could have a place to study. 

Bamboo shack becomes northern highland classroom

Huoi Lech Elementary Semi-Boarding School lies 39 kilometers from the center of Muong Nhe District in the mountainous commune of Huoi Lech.

For the school year of 2022-2023 that started this autumn, the school has been assigned 38 more students from neighboring Lai Chau Province, causing a lack of classrooms. 

Bamboo shack becomes northern highland classroom

To provide students a place to study, teachers joined hands to build a bamboo shack to seat 24 students.

Teacher Ha Trung Thanh said he and his colleagues had built the shack in two days using bamboo trees from the nearby forest. They roofed the shack with two layers of canvas.

“The shack can provide shelter for students when the weather is hot or cool, but it would difficult during winter months,” he said, wearing a shirt and tie as he just attended a teaching contest.

Bamboo shack becomes northern highland classroom

Most students at Huoi Lech Elementary Semi-Boarding School are ethnic Hmong. 

Aside from the newcomers from Lai Chau, the number of students at the school has also increased this year, said Nguyen Thi Hong Tham, vice principal. 

“Last year we had 18 classes, now we have 22.”

Bamboo shack becomes northern highland classroom

Every time it rains, the makeshift classroom would flood, forcing students to wade through the mud, and teachers to dig drainage trenches.

Bamboo shack becomes northern highland classroom

Second graders attend a class in the bamboo shack.

Bamboo shack becomes northern highland classroom

A boy completes a maths task. 

Bamboo shack becomes northern highland classroom

Students attend two shifts at Huoi Lech Elementary Semi-Boarding School. 

The classroom also serves as a canteen.

Bamboo shack becomes northern highland classroom

Student lunches cost VND8,500 (34 cents) per portion.

Bamboo shack becomes northern highland classroom

The main campus of Huoi Lech Elementary Semi-Boarding School.

For this year, the school has 474 students. Of them, 313 study on campus while others have to study elsewhere, including in makeshift classrooms.

VnExpress Hope Foundation intends to turn makeshift shacks like the one at Huoi Lech Commune into more solid buildings so students can have a better place to attend classes through its “Schools of Sunshine” campaign.

Readers can join hands with the foundation and improve educational facilities in disadvantaged areas.

By Ngoc Thanh for E.VnExpress.net

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#Vietnam #Architecture : Da Nang house embraces nature in every corner

I am looking for my words to start this article…. Being from Da Nang, architectural design jewels are found here and there where you would not expect to find them, urban plans being rare or non-existent. So this morning we present to you one of these pearls hoping that you will appreciate the description. #MustSeeIn Vietnam Editor

This Da Nang house is a prime example of the efficient use of natural energy and technology.

Da Nang house embraces nature in every corner

The architect wanted to make this house stand out compared to other townhouses in the neighborhood, at the same time incorporating the owner’s love for camping, nature and DIY, taking inspiration from a spaceship.

Da Nang house embraces nature in every corner

Because the house faces the west and absorbs heat from noon to late afternoon, combined with the urban heat island effect, the design team proposed three solutions to limit heat radiation.

First was the natural solution, placing plants and greens on the walls and roof. The second solution was using technology, using XPS heat-resistant panels to cover the outside of the walls that face the sun directly to prevent heat absorption. The third solution was to set many windows and doors on the east and south side of the house to allow more wind access.

All three solutions aim to limit adverse weather effects and reduce energy consumption.

Da Nang house embraces nature in every corner

The owner is a nature lover so the house is surrounded by courtyards containing many green trees, creating a relaxing atmosphere. The surrounding green space offers a layer that protects the house from the hot air flow in the summer. It also acts as a dust and noise filter.

Da Nang house embraces nature in every corner

The main living space of the family is the kitchen and dining room on the ground floor, which are connected with direct access to the garden outside through sliding glass doors.

With a grand design and the frequent use of glass, the ground floor can welcome more light and wind. This design also helps the house save energy since it’s not always necessary to turn on the lights and air conditioner because it’s cool and bright enough here during the day.

Da Nang house embraces nature in every corner

Right above the dining room is a skylight made of Solar Control glass panels. This type of glass can control solar power and is coated with five ultra-thin metal layers to reduce the amount of heat absorbed from the outside.

The use of this glass not only brings more natural light into the house but also ensures heat reduction by eliminating 99% of UV rays.

Da Nang house embraces nature in every corner

The Solar Control glass panels also come with an automatic curtain system so that the owner can control the light entering the house. At night, this area is the perfect place for stargazing.

Da Nang house embraces nature in every corner

A tea table with a simple design is set up at the foot of the stairs. The interior of the house uses neutral colors like black, white and gray, which are simple but still luxurious.

Da Nang house embraces nature in every corner

On the second floor are two bedrooms, one room for the couple and one for their son. Both rooms have balconies facing the south to allow more wind access.

Da Nang house embraces nature in every corner

The bathroom is located next to the bedroom, using glass panels to allow in more light. The glass walls also create the feeling that the bedroom and bathroom are larger, more airy and open.

Da Nang house embraces nature in every corner

The area for working and sewing.

Da Nang house embraces nature in every corner

On the rooftop, the architect also set up a small garden. It can also act as a camping space for the family when they cannot travel far.è

By Trang Vỹ for E.VnExpress.net

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Signature autumn delicacies in Hanoi

The trees gently put on their golden mantle, the wind cools and the milk flowers begin to give off their intoxicating fragrance. No doubt, fall is here. It is also the season for côm, a gastronomic specialty of the capital. #MustSeeInVietnam Editor

As summer fades away, Hanoi enters autumn, the best season of the year with many delicacies to enjoy.

Côm (grains of young sticky rice) has become a feature of the capital. In this season, we often come across women carrying yokes on their shoulders with two woven bamboo baskets containing the famous sesame. This young rice has long been a favorite snack of Hanoians aged 7 to 77. It is one of those foods which, at first glance, seem innocuous, such as Proust’s madeleine, but which are nevertheless capable of making those who taste it nostalgic.

Signature autumn delicacies in Hanoi

Hanoi is experiencing its most beautiful days. Comfortable weather, mild sunshine, suitable for strolling, sightseeing and outdoor photography. Besides the fragrant milk flowers and beautiful scenery, Hanoi also offers special and unique delicacies that visitors must try during autumn.

Signature autumn delicacies in Hanoi

Persimmons can be considered one of the most signature delicacies during fall in Hanoi. In fact, persimmons are not grown in Hanoi but in northern provinces likeCao Bang, Lang Son and Lao Cai. Every autumn, this fruit is sold across the capital. Persimmons must not be too ripe, have a yellow and green color, seedless and soaked in water before eating.

Signature autumn delicacies in Hanoi

From September, when summer starts fading, Hanoians begin to harvest and make green rice flakes, which is sold by street vendors in the capital. This autumn gift is carefully wrapped in lotus leaves. It’s a tradition for Hanoians to buy green rice flakes in autumn.

Signature autumn delicacies in Hanoi
The “com” is the emblem of autumn in Hanoi

Green rice flakes also appear in dishes like Vietnamese sausage, sweet soup and sticky rice. Fresh green rice flakes are often eaten with ripe bananas. 

Signature autumn delicacies in Hanoi

Speaking of autumn delicacies in Hanoi, it is impossible not to mention dracontomelon. Ripe dracontomelons are found on the street throughout the Old Quarter in late summer and early fall. If green and sour dracontomelons are used for soup and braised duck, ripe and yellow dracontomelons have a lightly sweet taste and are a favorite snack of many.

Signature autumn delicacies in Hanoi

The most popular autumn dish made from ripe dracontomelons is sweetened dracontomelons. Some people even enjoy raw and peeled dracontomelons with salt. Their sour taste is what many people remember when thinking about fall in Hanoi.

Signature autumn delicacies in Hanoi

Ragworm is a unique autumn dish in Hanoi. The species live underwater and are rich in protein. Ragworm can be processed into many different dishes, of which cha ruoi is the most popular in Hanoi. This dish is made from deep fried ragworm with ground meat, eggs, tangerine peel and dill. It’s served with vermicelli, raw vegetables, sweet and sour fish sauce.

Signature autumn delicacies in Hanoi

In Hanoi, cha ruoi is sold all year round, but that from the ninth to eleventh months of the lunar calendar is considered by many to be the most delicious since it is the breeding season of ragworms. Diners can find cha ruoi at O ​​Quan Chuong, Lo Duc and Hang Be.

Signature autumn delicacies in Hanoi

There are also other dishes available all year round, but when the weather gets colder, Hanoians will immediately think of them, and hot boiled snails.

Eating a bowl of hot and steaming boiled snails by the sidewalk is a way to enjoy autumn in Hanoi. The snails are boiled with lemongrass, ginger and lime leaves, boasting a special aroma. The dipping is fish sauce mixed with chili and ginger. This is also a key part that makes the dish shine.

Signature autumn delicacies in Hanoi

Rib porridge can be found in the Old Quarter and Dong Xuan Market. The texture is really smooth and silky. Cartilage and ribs are cooked well and added to the porridge, and sometimes, served with quails and shrimp to add more flavor.

Signature autumn delicacies in Hanoi

Egg coffee is a favorite choice for autumn conversations and meetings. The rich taste of eggs with the warm, aromatic flavor of coffee create a signature Hanoi drink. Enjoying egg coffee in an old cafe, reading a book or watching the flow of life on the streets will make autumn complete.

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Central Vietnam magnificence is Golden Time in Late October

You will be amazed to see these photos and I am sure you will dare to plan your next trip to Vietnam. If you need advice join our community. Good week start !

Rice harvest season in the Pu Luong Nature Reserve lasts longer than in other regions, giving visitors a 11th hour chance to enjoy the golden magnificence of ripening paddy fields. 

Late October a golden time for central Vietnam magnificence

The reserve, which spreads over 17,662 hectares in Thanh Hoa Province, 160 km south of Hanoi, accommodates its rice fields amidst natural forests, waterfalls, caves and mountains. 

Thai and Muong ethnic minority villages that have lived on farming for generations are like jewels that adorn the reserve’s natural abundance. 

Late October a golden time for central Vietnam magnificence

The weather at Pu Luong is cool throughout the year, even in summer.

Given its rising popularity, lodging services, including resorts, hotels, hostels and homestays are making an appearance in this area.

Late October a golden time for central Vietnam magnificence

The best time to visit Pu Luong is during the harvest season from May to June or September to October, when the color of the terraced rice fields turn from green to yellow.

Unlike the rice harvest season in Sa Pa or Ha Giang, which ends early October, the golden color of rice fields in Pu Luong remains until late October and early November. 

Late October a golden time for central Vietnam magnificence

At present, there is currently only one functional resort in Pu Luong – the Pu Luong Retreat, which is always full during weekends. 

There are some hostels and homestays like the Pu Luong Hostel, Tho Ha Homestay, Pu Luong Rice Road, and Pu Luong Tree House with prices ranging from VND150,000 to 250,000 ($6 to 10) per night.

Late October a golden time for central Vietnam magnificence

All lodging services in the area wear an eco-friendly look. 

Since Pu Luong is a national reserve, the lodgings follow ecotourism principles. As a result, rooms are unlikely to have some common amenities like private televisions or air conditioners.

Late October a golden time for central Vietnam magnificence

Visitors can enjoy healthy Vietnamese cuisine in Pu Luong, including steamed duck with bamboo, grilled chicken, bamboo shoots and grilled fish. They can also imbibe ruou can (fermented rice wine), a specialty of ethnic minority groups. 

Late October a golden time for central Vietnam magnificence

A small coffee shop in Pu Luong on the edge of rice fields. 

Late October a golden time for central Vietnam magnificence

Visitors can trek up to the Pu Luong mountain peak at a height of 1,700 meters above sea level and explore the Pho Doan flea market where ethnic minority communities in the area sell their unique products.

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Halloween : 6 spooky places to visit in Vietnam

Regardless of where we come from, we all probably have at least one day in our lives celebrating Halloween, either by dressing up or watching a scary movie. Vietnam seems to offer at least six spooky places to visit. Let’s visit the sets…Happy Halloween! #Must SeeInVietnam Editor

Dutch online travel firm Booking.com has compiled a list of uncanny destinations in Vietnam that are ideal for adventurers looking to spice up their Halloween experience.

Along with the custom of trick-or-treating, attending masquerade parties, carving pumpkins, and watching scary movies during Halloween, exploring haunted locations is another popular activity among people across the world.

Below are some Booking’s recommendations for destinations in Vietnam to visit on this occasion:

Cac Co Cave, Quoc Oai District, Hanoi

Cac Co Cave in Hanoi. Photo by Xom Nhiep Anh

Cac Co Cave in Hanoi. Photo by Xom Nhiep Anh

Cac Co Cave, a part of the Thay Pagoda Relic, is at the foot of the Sai Mountain. This is where Zen Master Tu Dao Hanh, a well-known monk during the reign of Emperor Ly Nhan Tong, made his pilgrimage.

The cave is renowned for tales about its “bone tank” holding skeletons of soldiers who fought for Prime Minister Lu Gia in a war against the Han Dynasty more than 2,000 years ago.

Visitors to Quoc Oai can also explore the Baara Land amusement park, home to Hanoi’s first artificial beach.

Some 55 kilometers from Thay Pagoda is Huong (Perfume) Pagoda, another option for people who prefer to visit a spiritual site.

Hoa Lo Prison, Hanoi

Visitors take a night tour at Hoa Lo. Photo by Weeatfish

Visitors take a night tour at Hoa Lo. Photo by Ngan Duong

Hoa Lo was named one of Southeast Asia’s scariest locations by CNN in 2014.

The prison was built by the French in 1896, its original name being Maison Centrale, a traditional French euphemism for prisons, to hold Vietnamese inmates, especially political prisoners fighting for independence.

During the Vietnam War, between 1964 and 1973, Vietnam used the prison to hold captured American pilots, including former U.S. Senator John McCain, former U.S. Air Force Captain Douglas B. Peterson, and former U.S. Air Force Colonel Norman Carl Gaddis.

The facility was famously dubbed the “Hanoi Hilton” by American POWs incarcerated there.

In 1990, the prison was shut down and most of its buildings demolished to make room for real estate projects. The remaining part of the facility and the main gate was kept.

night tour of the prison is available.

Thuy Tien Water Park, Thua Thien-Hue Province

Thuy Tien Water Park in Hue. Photo by Weeatfish

Thuy Tien Water Park in Hue. Photo by Weeatfish

The Thuy Tien Water Park in the central province of Thua Thien Hue was built over more than 20 hectares in the early 2000s and inaugurated in 2004. But it was shut down in a mere six months due to lack of patronage, and it has since remained abandoned.

Over the years it has become decrepit and moss-covered, giving it a somewhat gloomy and eerie look, as reported by a number of international newspapers.

In July the Thua Thien-Hue Department of Natural Resources and Environment decided to spend VND20 billion ($805,478) to renovate the dragon-shaped water park into a public park.

Thus this year’s Halloween will possibly be the last chance for risktakers seeking to visit it.

The villa on Prenn Pass, Da Lat

The abandoned villa on Prenn Pass in Da Lat. Photo by Booking

A once abandoned villa on Prenn Pass in Da Lat. Photo by Booking

Da Lat, the “City of Love,” is a popular tourist destination due to its cool weather and breathtaking surroundings.

But it is also the subject of spooky tales related to certain places: like the villa on Prenn Pass. This property was once the abandoned home of a French general.

In 2018 a travel company bought the property and had it refurbished into a tourist destination. The estate, which is only accessible during the day, contains numerous Buddhist altars and retains its intrigue for those who enjoy exploring.

Con Dao Prison Complex, Con Dao Island

Statues of prisoners at Con Dao Prison Complex. Photo by Tam Linh

Statues of prisoners at Con Dao Prison Complex. Photo by Tam Linh

The most renowned landmark on Con Dao Island off the southern coast and often dubbed “Hell on Earth” is the prison complex constructed by the French in 1862 to imprison and torture Vietnamese freedom fighters.

After the Vietnam War ended the prison was closed and transformed into a historical site.

Besides the prison, visitors can also visit and explore the unspoiled beauty of Con Dao with its fine sands beaches, clear blue waters and fresh seafood.

The Hua Villa (Museum of Fine Arts), Ho Chi Minh City

Photo by VnExpress/Quynh Tran

Hua Villa in HCMC. Photo by VnExpress/Quynh Tran

At the beginning of the 20th century the villa was owned by Hua Bon Hoa, a wealthy businessman in Saigon.

The beauty of its architecture that combines European and Asia’s styles has not dimmed after more than a century. However, the place is renowned for reported sightings of the ghost of Hua’s daughter.

The Hua family villa remains a magnet for thrill-seekers. In 1992 it was turned into the Ho Chi Minh City Museum of Fine Arts.

Written by By Anh Minh E.VnExpress.net

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#Travel : Vietnam’s Avana Retreat Offers Authentic Culture And Hilltop Serenity

Vietnam is a destination for anyone who loves history: ancient temples, tunnels, tombs and memorials. Vietnam is also a destination to meet, meditate and relax. #MustSeeInVietnam Editor

A curved infinity pool facing terraced rice fields and mountains
The Cloud Pool at Vietnam’s Avana Retreat

Hanoi with its French Colonial architecture, vivid street food scene and sea of motorbikes/death-defying street crossings filled up with tourists again when the country reopened to outside visitors in May. So did other well-known destinations. Three and a half hours west, though, in the off the beaten track Mai Chau Province, the new Avana Retreat is offering something completely different: a glimpse into local culture undiluted by tourism with alluring scenery composed of jungle, terraced rice fields, mountains and waterfalls. 

A villa with private pool situated atop terraced rice fields
The two bedroom Senna Hilltop Pool VillaAVANA RETREAT

That location was essential to the realization of the 37 acre resort which opened last year while the country was still closed. “It’s one thing to build a resort near the wonders of nature but to build in the midst of all this natural splendor, with a footprint as light and retractable as we have, makes for an immersive experience that can be overwhelming,” said Mr. Vu Huy, the Retreat’s founder. The decision to acquire the property before plans were finalized about what to do with it was driven by the desire to protect it from mass tourism which has overrun other Vietnam destinations.

1-04.  1 BR_3
The interior of the one bedroom Senna Hilltop Pool VillaMFPICTURES.COM.VN

The 36 villas ranging in size from 1,054 to 2,465 square feet were constructed according to local Hmong and Thai building techniques. The roofs are thatched like the local stilt houses; the walls are fashioned from earth as they are in Hmong homes; the rattan ceilings are made using a Thai weaving technique and the warm wood interiors feature local arts and crafts, including hand-drawn beeswax paintings of intricate ethnic patterns. Several have plunge pools and one placed directly on top of a terraced rice field has the optimum view from the front deck.

Winding wooden walkways punctuated by lanterns
The lantern lit walkways through the forestAVANA RETREAT

Other scenic details are incorporated into the property. Lanterns light walkways that thread through the surrounding forest. The open air yoga platform is extended over the stream and the eight room Orchid Spa, which uses local healing herbs and oils in its treatments, was constructed alongside it. The four infinity pools were positioned to take in views of sunset or the descending cloud layer and the Cloud Pool Bar was located specifically for it, to observe the cloud covering that settles just below the property. Private dinners can be arranged on a platform overlooking a waterfall and a natural spring fed by a waterfall known as the Hidden Spring Lagoon is reserved as a private swimming hole for guests.

A waterfall extending down to a small lagoon

Waterfalls on the property act as backgrounds for private dinners or feed private lagoons for … [+]AVANA RETREAT

The overall tone here is local in everything from the composition of the staff—90% are from local villages-the uniforms influenced from Hmong dress and dishes composed of ingredients sourced or grown on property or nearby. The wide ranging menu in the Green Chili restaurant offers a few international dishes (pizza, pasta, Australian Wagyu beef) but the menu is densely packed with regional specialties such as Mai Chau catfish with dill root, roasted peanuts, sesame seeds, herbs, cucumber, green mango, carrot, onion and fish sauce and grilled duck with shallots, lemongrass, Vietnamese herbs and mountain spices. Guests can order either a la carte or in special sets emphasizing one ingredient such as duck, chicken, pork, beef or green fish in different preparations. 

A woman in a yoga pose on a platform overlooking a misty valley
Misty morning yogaAVANA RETREAT

To further encourage local discovery, there are tours by Jeep on mountain roads, excursions by kayak in Ba Khan lake followed by lunch in a local’s house, treks through the mountains to Hmong and/or Thai villages past rice fields and bamboo forests with the sound of the bells on buffaloes ringing in the distance. And when they get there, these guests will be the only visitors—no crowds, no tour buses, just typical culture on natural display.

Written by Laurie Werner Contributor for Forbes

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Must See In Vietnam is looking for stories from the Vietnam Expat Community. We would be delighted to publish your Experiences . Write to us at MustSeeInVietnam@Gmail.com

Million of Thanks for following us, for your Likes , Loves, for your comments and for sharing with your friends. Visit us on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/mustseeinvietnam/

We Welcome advertisers as Must See In Vietnam is a non-profit blogger and your support will will allow us to pursue our mission and even to hire young journalists to allow SME Vietnamese Businesses to have visibility all over the world!

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Must See In Vietnam was there : Two Guys Belgian Fries

TWO GUYS BELGIAN FRIES offers authentic homemade Belgian style street food dishes, inspired by family recipes accompanied with their specialty Two Guys Beer. Two Guys offers a variety of Belgian Beers, Fresh high quality grilled meat and of course thei specialty Double fried Thick Belgian Fries coocked in Beef Tallow. It’ worth’s to come over and have a taste of the Belgian cuisine with river view street style food and drinks. Must See In Vietnam Editor

When your Editor saw this she said … let’s go there now !
The Belgian french fries is a must eat … you have plenty choices of sauces !!!
Minh is Relaxing drinking a drought Belgian blond !
Cheers !
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Atlanticorp Venture Capital Fund ~ Private event in HCMC Vietnam

It was a great pleasure to cook and organize a private event for our Portuguese friends Diogo and Joao from Atlanticorp Venture Capital Fund and Michel Verdy, CEO of VGlobal Capital. Cheers ! #MustSeeInVietnam Editor

The event was held in our modest head office in Thu Duc and our guests were able to taste our Vietnamese cuisine including the famous snails of MiKi Chef in addition to tasting two craft beers from our friend Nghia

Thank you to Diogo and Joao who proudly wear Our Must See In Vietnam Cap

Must See In Vietnam is looking for stories from the Vietnam Expat Community. We would be delighted to publish your Experiences . Write to us at MustSeeInVietnam@Gmail.com

We Welcome advertisers as Must See In Vietnam is a non-profit blogger and your support will will allow us to pursue our mission and even to hire young journalists to allow SME Vietnamese Businesses to have visibility all over the world!

Million of Thanks for following us, for your Likes , Loves, for your comments and for sharing with your friends. Visit us on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/mustseeinvietnam/

Support Must See In Vietnam

We all proudly wear our Must See In Vietnam cap and support young passionate journalists who make you discover what must be seen in Vietnam

Chúng tôi rất tự hào khi mang trên mình chiếc mũ Must See In Vietnam. Hãy ủng hộ cho các phóng viên trẻ đầy nhiệt huyết để giúp Bạn khám phá những điều thú vị ở Việt Nam.

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