Friday, December 21, 2012

Most beautiful Flowers in Dong Thap

Covering an area of 60 ha, Tan Quy Dong Flower Garden is located in Tan Quy Dong district, Dong Thap province. The garden is famous for the most beautiful flowers but the most precious plants in the South Vietnam as well. There is no doubt that the Tan Quy Dong Flower Garden is one of Dong Thap’s greatest attractions to tourists in Vietnam travel.

In spring, Tan Quy Dong flower garden is covered with new colorful outfit decorated with various types of flowers. Tourists in Vietnam travel gather here to enjoy the fascinating beauty of the garden. Spring is definitely the best time to visit Tan Quy Dong garden during the year, when the weather turns warm with sunshine and gentle wind.
Tan Quy Dong flower garden Dong Thap
The flower garden has many precious plants, some of which may reach the age of hundreds of years old. Strolling around, you may also catch sight of popular trees such as star-fruit trees, fig trees, or areca, etc. As time gone by, under the skilful hand of the craftsmen, these popular trees have transformed into valuable pieces of bonsai arts.
The garden is well-known for its colorful and beautiful flowers which can be found any season, not Spring only. Especially, roses and amber trees are the ones that bring fame to this garden. The garden prides itself on its 50 species of roses such as Black Baccarat Rose, Cleopatra Rose, Elizabeth Rose, Mascara Rose, etc.
Today, when the flower art has become more and more poplular, the garden’s reputation also increases constantly. Surely, whoever joining tours to Vietnam and visiting Dong Thap, the land of pink lotus, feel very pleased.

Snake museum in Tien Giang

Exciting journeys on coconut-lined creeks, enjoying My Tho noodles or swimming in the sea of Go Cong ... are among interesting things that tourists can do in the southern province of Tien Giang.
A unique destination that not many tourists know when they come to Tien Giang, is the Dong Tam snake farm, which is recognized as the first snake museum of Vietnam.

Visiting the snake farm, you will be given the opportunity to explore the lifestyle and activities of these familiar but dangerous reptiles. In addition, you also have the opportunity to admire the collection of specimens of snakes, see how people take snake venom or learn about the method of creating vaccines or medicines for snakebite.

Cai Be floating market, the biggest wholesale market in the Southwest region is pretty well known. Unlike the floating markets of other provinces in the Mekong Delta, the floating market of Cai Be opens all day and night on a large scale. Goods are diverse and abundant. After visiting the floating market, a boat trip to explore the Tien River or small creeks is also interesting.

Tien Giang orchards tourism has famous names such as the Mekong Lodge eco-tourism site, orchards on Thoi Son Island, Ngu Hiep, Dong Thap Muoi eco-tourism zone, Cai Be orchards, etc. There are different names but the common characteristic of the above sites is that they are fruit-growing areas of peace and quietness so you can choose to visit one of them.

Coming to these ecological tourism sites, in addition to walking on cool pathways, visiting coconut candy factories, picking fruits from trees, tasting delicious fresh food, tourists can also transform into farmers to scoop fish or sleep on a hammock.

If visitors have only one day in Tien Giang, they can visit Vinh Trang pagoda, the largest temple of Asian- European architecture mixture. With a long journey (at least two days), they can go swimming in Go Cong or visit a wide range of cultural and historical monuments such as Go Thanh, Rach Gam-Xoai Mut, Ap Bac, Phao Dai fostress, many tombs and temples.

The suggestion for a one-day tour to Tien Giang, with VND150,000 cost ($7) as follows:

6am: departing Saigon to Tien Giang

7am: arriving in the city of My Tho, enjoying My Tho noodles, then visiting Dong Tam Snake Farm (9km away)

11am: Leaving the snake farm to the city of My Tho. Taking a boat trip on the Tien River, then dropping in Thoi Son Island or Cai Be orchards for sightseeing, having lunch and rest.

3.30pm: Experience the feeling of a yacht on tiny creeks.

5pm: Visiting Vinh Trang Pagoda. Sightseeing, worshiping and enjoying hammock coffee in front of the temple.

6pm: back to Saigon. End of the trip

You can go to Tien Giang at any time of the year, but the summer is the most beautiful and sexiest, when orchards are ripen.

If you want to rent a room, you are advised to find hotels on the main roads of My Tho city - Nam Ky Khoi Nghia, 30/4, Ngo Quyen, Nguyen Trai Street, Hung Vuong. The hotels you need to remember are Cong Doan, Chuong Duong, and Huong Duong.

My Tho is famous for fruits, noodles, snake porridge, king crab, fish sauce, rice cakes and choai vegetable.

Some restaurants should be visited: snake porridge – Restaurant 80 (or 180) on Tran Hung Dao road or Minh Nhat restaurant on National Highway 1A, noodle on Le Dai Hanh Street, Dinh Bo Linh Street and No. 246 Male States Khoi Nghia.

Compiled by M. Lan

Friday, December 14, 2012

Beauty of Xuan Thuy national park

Xuan Thuy is an internationally important wintering area for migratory waterbirds and many rare species of fish, animal.

Xuan Thuy National Park is 150 km south-west of Hanoi in the coastal zone of the Red River Delta, belongs to Nam Dinh Province.  It take about  three and half hours by car.

This national park comprises of three islands and mudflats, the most important habitat being the intertidal mudflats and natural mangroves. Being the home to many important species, Xuan Thuy National Park plays an important role in preserving ecological system and developing eco-tourism of the Red River Delta.

More than one quarter of the park's 12,000ha is covered with mangroves that support many aquatic species - including fish, crustaceans and molluscs. These species provide food and livelihoods for the poor, local people of the area.

Traveling to the national park, tourists can find “Cá mòi co” (Clupanodon thrissa), a fish listed in Vietnam's Red Book as vulnerable and at risk of extinction. It is also recognized as a platform for migratory water birds, including the “Cò thìa” (Black-faced spoon-bill), and eight other listed endangered species.

More than 200 bird species have been recorded at Xuan Thuy. The site is the most important staging and wintering area for migratory waterbirds in the coastal zone of the Red River Delta. It regularly supports large numbers of commoner migratory waterbird species, including black-tailed godwit, spotted redshank and Eurasian curlew. Many rare species can also be found at Xuan Thuy, including the largest wintering population of Black-faced Spoonbill in Vietnam, with around 60 birds each winter in recent years. Other rare species that regularly occur at the site include Saunders's gull, Spotted greenshank, Spoon-billed sandpiper and Asian dowitcher.

Tourists can ask for assistance from the national park staff, who know the site well, and can advise on places to look for particular species. Hiring a guide from the park is recommended.

Tourists in Vietnam travel can travel by foot to some places of interest; others can only be reached by boat at high tide.

Walking through the shrimp ponds on Con Ngan island, where the park headquarters is located, can be rewarding, especially at high tide when Black-faced Spoonbills and various gulls, ducks and waders come to roost and feed in the shrimp ponds.

At high tide, boats can be chartered to reach the offshore mudflats and sandy flats, where Spoon-billed Sandpiper can be found among large flocks of waders. Saunders's Gull can also be found here during December and January, as well as other gulls and ducks.

An alternative boat route involves visiting Con Xanh island, which is planted with Casuarina, which shelters migrating passerines, including pittas, and the outer edge of Con Ngan island, where waders, ducks and herons feed in the Tra river mouth.

Contemplating the lovely species of bird, fish, animal at Xuan Thuy National Park is an interesting experience for tourists.

Quynh Lam Pagoda - Quang Ninh

Before the pagoda is a great lake, while the three remaining sides are surrounded by hills and mountains. It was embellished and completed in Ly, Tran Dynasties. During the 11th and 14th centuries - the end of Le Dynasty and in the 17th and 18th centuries, it developed into the main centre of Buddhism for the entire country.

In the 14th century the Quynh Lam Pagoda became an even more important Buddhist centre with the activities of the monk Phap Loa Dong Kien Cuong: a member of the second generation of the Truc Lam Buddhist sect. It was the centre for sacred books and for preaching Buddhism, as well as a training-site for future pagoda wardens. Many associations, famous in Vietnamese literature and history, were organized here.

The ritual festivities of the Quynh Lam Pagoda are held from the first to the fourth day of the second lunar month, but the festive atmosphere lasts through spring. Buddhist faithful flock here from all corners of the country.

In 1319, Phap Loa calls for blood donation from Buddhist followers to print over 5,000 copies of Dai Tang sutras, which are kept at Quynh Lam Buddhist Institute. In 1328, he had a statue of Maitreya cast. A year later, he brought a part of the bone ash of Nhan Tong (the 1st patriarch of the Truc Lam Zen sect) to put into the stone stupa in Quynh Lam Pagoda. In early 15th century, the pagoda was reduced to ruins and had to undergo many restorations. In 1727, the 7-storey Tich Quang Stupa (grave of monk Chan Nguyen, who made great contribution to the pagoda) was set up, which measures up to 10 meters. The stupa's top takes the shape of a banyan bud. To the stupa is attached a plate which notes down the biography of monk Chan Nguyen. In mid-18th century, the pagoda underwent a major restoration. It now also has bronze bells and stone gongs.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Lo Lo marriage customs

Wedding gifts must include both sticky and ordinary rice, pork and wine for the wedding party. Other gifts may include a skirt, blouse, bracelet and necklace for the bride as well as a quantity of white silver.
Like most people in other area, the Lo Lo ethnic minority regards marriage as an extremely important event in an individual’s life.
Acording to Lo Lo customs, the groom’s family must select four matchmakers  including two men and two women to officiate at the marriage proposal ceremony, which is usually carried out by two happily married couples.
After selecting an auspicious day, the four matchmakers take two bottles of wine and other offerings to the bride’s house for the formal marriage proposal. If the bride’s family agrees to the match, they will hold a feast, drink the wine and set the date of the wedding.
Wedding gifts must include both sticky and ordinary rice, pork and wine for the wedding party. In addition, other gifts such as a skirt, blouse, bracelet and necklace for the bride as well as a quantity of white silver.
The groom’s family normally brings their offerings to the bride’s house on the eve of the wedding day. The wedding itself is always held on an even-numbered day to symbolise the union of two people and the hope that neither will ever be alone again.
The offerings are handed over to the bride’s uncle, who presents them to the head of the bride’s family.
The wedding offering ceremony begins with the bride’s family worshipping their ancestors and reporting to them about the union. 
After this they invite their relatives and friends to eat, drink and share their happiness.
The guests usually give the bride gifts of scarves, shirts, money and other items.
The ceremony involves a lot of singing and takes place in a very intimate atmosphere.
Members of the bride’s family will sing all night long to wish the bride and groom good health, happiness and prosperity.
The wedding takes place after breakfast on the following day when the groom and his groomsman worship their ancestors and kowtow to the bride’s parents, uncle and guests.
The uncle then leads his niece from her bridal chamber and presents her to the groom’s family, while all of the bride’s family cries to show their attachment to her.
The bride herself is expected to cry the most to show that she doesn’t want to leave her natural parents.
Bridesmaids from both families then accompany the bride out of her house. 
The “bringing the bride home” party - made up of the four matchmakers, followed by the bride, the bridesmaids and the groom’s relatives – proceeds to the groom’s house where the bride is welcomed in the same way the groom was greeted at the bride’s house on the previous day, with drinking and the four matchmakers singing.
According to Lo Lo tradition, when the bride steps into the groom’s house, the groom’s parents must temporarily hide, because it is feared that their presence might overwhelm the bride’s soul and endanger her future health.
Soon after the bridal party has arrived at the groom’s house, the bride’s uncle turns up with his niece’s dowry, which typically includes a pig, a chicken, a hoe, a pan, a knife, wine, meat, sticky rice and clothing for the bride. If the bride’s family is rich, he may even bring a cow.
The groom’s family then hosts the wedding party when they sing together all night long to wish the young couple happiness.
The groom's family sees the bride’s uncle back to his home and reimburses him for his travel expenses and gifts, according to the amount of the bride’s dowry.
After the wedding three days, the couple returns to the bride’s house to visit and greet the whole family. They often stay there for a few days before returning to live permanently in the groom’s family house.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Four Seasons in Ho Guom

Located in the heart of Hanoi, Ho Guom or (Hoan Kiem Lake) with legends and surrounding ancient vestiges, such as Tortoise Tower, Ngoc Son Temple, Hoa Phong Tower, But Tower (pen-shaped tower), is a drawing card for the thousand-year-old Capital.

In spring the Lake is as beautiful as a romantic painting and in summer the space around the Lake is shady and brilliant with flamboyant reflections on the water. When autumn comes with its slightly cold winds, Barringtonia trees surrounding the Lake are in blossom and its red flowers fall over the trees’ foot and the lake’s surface.
In winter the Lake seems to huddle to warm up with rows of trees shedding leaves for budding in the coming spring. With its historical and cultural values, Ho Guom has become an indispensable part of Hanoi and an interesting destination for both domestic and foreign tourists.

Fresh buds signal spring is coming to the jade Ho Guom.
Boat racing in spring time on Ho Guom.

Quan ho singers perform on Ho Guom.

In summer flamboyant flowers are red over The Huc Bridge.

Visitors tour around Ho Guom by cyclo.

In autumn the gigantic Barringtonia tree by the lake has golden blossoms.

In spring flowers in diverse colours boom around the lake.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Enjoy a bowl of subtle "Cao lau" in Hoi An

"Cao lau" was considered by the Quang Nam people as a special symbol representing Hoi An.

Tourists in Vietnam travel who visit to Hoi An always remember Cao Lau, the foremost traditional food here. Cao Lau -  a special food that only appears in the ancient town of Hoi An- does not taste like any other Vietnamese dish. It  has something in common with Japanese and Chinese noodles, though more refined.
Unlike the flat, white, ivory noodles of "phở", Vietnam’s most popular noodle dish, Cao Lau noodles are much thicker and a bit raw. The noodles will therefore be soft, enduring and flavored with special sweet-smelling additives.
The secret of Cao Lau lies in the water; authentic Cao Lau is prepared only with water drawn from ancient Cham wells hidden around Hoi An and Quang Nam Province. Noodles are pre-soaked in well water and lye made from wood ash brought from one of the eight Cham Islands around 10 miles outside of Hoi An. The combination may seem esoteric, but local foodies can tell a difference in the taste and texture. So, Cao Lau be made anywhere else in Vietnam.
In addition, the meat used to prepare the Cao Lau must be pork loin or trotter.  The pork is fried in a marinade and then roasted for 1 hour.
It's served in a steaming bowl of flat, yellow rice noodles in a broth flavored with lemon, ginger, anise, basil and mint. It is basically a rice noodle, herb, and meat dish. The dish is eaten with crisp bean sprouts, fried onions and slices of pork topping it. Cao Lau is always hot and very delicious. It is very flavorful.  Its flavors have distinctions, making visitors ate once, that want to eat forever.
Also an interesting thing, when eating at Cao Lau Hoi An, tourists must climb up to high floor. They can enjoy delicious dishes and has just see beautiful scenery,  just as the traders did hundreds of years ago. At any time during the day, tourists in Vietnam can enjoy Cao Lau.
People said, Cao Lau just likes a shy, discreet girl who hides herself in a simple dress and shuns expensive perfume. It’s might not be as vibrant, colorful and eye-catching as Ho Chi Minh City’s cuisine, or as tempting in appearance as Hanoi’s, but it doesn’t matter as the food of Hoi An is all about taste, taste and taste. 

Buon Don village, Daklak - A mysterious legend

Don Village has the long-standing fame for elephant hunters and trainers. All Vietnamese children remember their heart a song about the elephants at this village.

Don Village is located northwest of Buon Ma Thuot in Krong Na Commune, Buon Don District, Dak Lak Province close to the Cambodian border, approximately 42km from Buon Ma Thuot. It is built on the Island inside Serepok Rive, home of many ethnic minority groups like: Ede, M’nong, G’rai, Lao, Thai, etc. 
There is Yok Don National Park here - one of the most famous National Park in Vietnam.
 It has been famous for its Kru  -powerful elephant tribe leaders, for a long time, and is well known in India and France for its elephant. Y Pui, a 102-year-old man (1883-1985) who tamed over 450 elephants, spent part of his life as King Bao Dai’s Mahout. Elephant training and hunting has been passed down through generations. It takes 67 months to domesticate a wild elephant.
Elephant riding is a experience that toursits in Vietnam travel will never forget. Include fording across the Serepok River, which is pretty cool. The elephants can hold two to three people, depending on their girth (the passengers, not the elephants). 
It's a pleasant enough spot - there's  The raditional long house full of souvenirs to buy, and the tribespeople that work there spend the day putting on musical shows using traditional instruments for group after group of tourists.
There are an annual traditional festival of the Don Village, which will also show visitors performances of gongs, UNESCO’s oral and intangible heritage of humanity.
This is an opportunity for Vietnamese and foreign tourists to come and learn about the Don Village and York Don National Park of the Central Highlands province of Dak Lak. Don Village becomes the “can-not-be-missed” destination in Vietnam travel.

Unforgettable experience in Mui Ke Ga

Clean and primitive, Mui Ke Ga (Ke Ga Cape) is the most favourite destination for visitors to Binh Thuan Province. From the top of the lighthouse built on the island, visitors can enjoy a fabulous view of the open sea...

From the beach...
Twenty-five kilometers from the city of Phan Thiet, Binh Thuan Province, tourists can travel by bus or motorbike along the coastline to Ke Ga Island. At Ke Ga Cape, visitors are able to wander around and clamber over cliffs and boulders piled up all over the place.
There are many international and domestic ships and fishing boats coming and going in the area. As there are reefs in the area, French and local people decided to erect Ke Ga lighthouse to warn ships of the danger. 

Visitors can also stay on the island overnight to go fishing. Fishing during the full moon is another unforgettable experience. People can taste the baked sea fish they have caught by themselves and then stay up to see the first sunlight. 

... to the famous lighthouse
At Ke Ga Cape stands a lighthouse, built in 1899, considered as the tallest and oldest existing lighthouse in Vietnam.
The lighthouse is called Ke Ga by local people. Ke Ga Lighthouse was built on Ke Ga Island top whose total area is about 5 ha in the coastal area of Tan Thanh Ward, Ham Thuan Nam District, about 30km away from Phan Thiet City to the South East. This lighthouse was designed by a French architect named Chnavat to guide ships to go back and forth.


The construction started in February 1897 and was completed by the end of 1898, and the lighthouse was put in operation in 1900. To mark the construction period, local people put a big granite panel carved the number 1899 at the lighthouse entry gate. The lighthouse has now been operating for 108 years.

The light house with its unique architecture is about 60m tall. From that height, visitors are able to see a vast expanse of sea and sky, as well as enjoy cool ocean winds. The most beautiful moment to visit the lighthouse is at sunset. People can see a fantastic sight with splendid colours. 

Sometimes they can not distinguish the boundary of the sky and sea. Only 500m from the coast, people can walk to the island when the tide is out.

Ke Ga Lighthouse was built grandiosely, which can be classified as Vietnam’s tallest lighthouse, built of granite stones brought from France. A unique character of this lighthouse is that the granite stones were carved out of different cells, shapes, sides that are well-fit. So in building, they were put together and stuck by mortar. On the lighthouse, there is a big light of 2000W, which was brought from France and used to give signals ships back and forth. Presently, Ke Ga Lighthouse has become a tourist attraction, not only about art and architecture, but also a beautiful natural landscape.

Up to now, the tour to Ke Ga Cape has been always drawing much attention from international and domestic visitors.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Mai Chau Valley - Hoa Binh

Coming to Mai Chau, travelers in Vietnam tourism will be warmly welcomed by the picturesque scenery of Mai Chau lying in a green valley of paddy fields dotted with rows of stilt houses.

Mai Chau Valley

Stilt houses border both sides of the roads. The houses are quite large with palm leaf roofs and polished bamboo-slat floors. The kitchen is located in the center of the house; the cooking as well as the making of the colorful tho cam, the material used by Thai minority to make their clothes, takes place in the kitchen. The windows are large and decorated with patterns. Each house also has a pond to breed fish.

Stilt houses in Mai Chau Hoa Binh
Stilt houses in Mai Chau Hoa Binh

The Sunday market brings a lot of people into town. People from different minorities living in the mountains come to Mai Chau market to sell their specific products: honey, bananas, corn, and tho cam made by skilled Thai women.

The Sunday market is also an occasion to enjoy traditional Thai dishes and to participate in traditional dances. Thai dancing and singing is something that visitors can not afford to ignore. Especially, there is the traditional dance show for tourists, which starts at 8pm and it provides to tourists joining tours in Vietnam with a very impressive experience.

Mai Chau valley

Mai Chau can be a base for some trekking tours to the villages around, and spending one night at one of the stilt houses in Mai Chau, tourists have chance to enjoy the folk dances and songs that are accompanied by Gong music, as well as experience the feeling of drinking Can Wine – an important cultural symbol for ethnic minorities in Hoa Binh province. Particularly, tourits coming there can enjoy the minority specialty dishes including rice cooked in bamboo and grilled meat.

Nowadays, foreigners who want to learn more about Vietnamese culture as well as to admire picturesque scenery of Vietnam, Mai Chau Hoa Binh is an ideal place where they can freely discover everything.

Kim Boi hot spring in Hoa Binh

Kim Boi, one of the districts of Hoa Binh province, is said to be granted with a natural hot spring by the Nature. The hot spring is now a tourist spot which “can-not-be-ignored” if staying in Hoa Binh. 

Putting aside all the tensions and troubles of life, tourists will feel relax and comfortable when soaking themselves in Kim Boi Hot Spring.

Kim Boi hot spring in Hoa Binh

The mineral water continually spouts from the fountains, normally between 340C and 360C. According to some scientific tests, Kim Boi water resources are qualified to meet the standard for drinking, bathing and treating some diseases such as arthritis, gastritis, high/low blood pressure. 

This mineral water Kim Boi is now bottled and become favorite refreshment for tourists in Vietnam travel. It has almost the same composition as certain wellknown foreign brands of mineral water.

Kim Boi hot spring in Hoa binh Vietnam

As for tourists joining tours in Vietnam, depending on their budget they can choose to stay at any hotels in the resort area. Wherever they are, the same point is that they can hear the sound of water spouting out, which makes them relaxed. Being immersed in a large mineral water deposit of Kim Boi stream is also not unmemorable for  any visitor.

Certainly, coming to Kim Boi hot spring once, no one can refuse to spend time in such a spot!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Temple of Tran Quoc Tang

Tran Hung Dao’s son was disgraced and banished to a remote port, where he salvaged his reputation by defending the country before his untimely death.

Though today is not a ritu-al day, Cua Ong Temple is packed with pilgrims and the scent of burning incense is thick in the air. The tem-ple, which is located in Cua Ong quarter, Cam Pha town, about 40km far from north-eastern Halong city, is popular with Vietnamese holiday-makers, foreign tourists and locals, especially fishermen who come here to pray for good luck before setting sail out on the great blue yonder.

Temple of Tran Quoc Tang - a son of general Tran Hung Dao -

The temple is perched on a high tree-covered mountain lsacing Cua Suot (port of Suot). According to the country’s annals, Cua Ong Temple was built by the inhabitants of Cam Pha back in the first century AD. The port linked the Red River delta with the northeastern parts of pres-ent day Vietnam and beyond.
A parallel sentence on the tem-ple’s Front gate reads: “ln front of you is the immense sea. Around you are green mountains – all around looks like a water-colour picture.”


ln january 1149, when the Ly Dynasty (1010-1225) began trading with China and other Southeast Asian countries, Cua Suot was a bustling port and a major national gateway.
ln order to control the port and tax Foreign merchants, local authori- ties set up a series of customs sta-tions along the coast, including Cua Suot, which was originally pro-nounced as “suat”, a term related to tax in feudal times.

Temple of Tran Quoc Tang - a son of general Tran Hung Dao -

Before reaching the temple, visi-tors must walk up hundreds orc brick steps snaking through the trees. As you make your way there, you can enjoy the brilliant views – out on the sea boats look like small leaves lying on a mirror.


A The temples tutelary genie is Tran Quoc Tang, the third son of King Tran Quoc Tuan (1228-1300), who was posthumously known as Tran Hung Dao, one of Vietnam’s greatest generals.

During his childhood, Tran Quoc Tang was a brave, strong and right-eous lad. But when he grew up, he somehow incurred the wrath of his family (no one knows why) and was exiled to Cua Suot. His father hoped that his wayward son would manage this strategically important border gate while in exile.

Indeed, Tang proved to be a bril-liant general, and he helped master-mind some brilliant military victo-ries against the Yuan-Mongol invaders in the 15th century.

But Tang’s life was cut short when on a night of heavy rain and strong wind he foolishly jumped on to a rock near the shore and was hit by a freak wave. He was washed out to sea and at first his corpse could not be found. Two weeks later his body finally washed up by Trac Chan vil-lage, several kilometres away. Cua Suot was then renamed Cua Ong (The Master’s Port) and in memory of his military exploits, the local pop-ulation built Cua Ong Temple For him at Trac Chan — also known as Vuon Nhan (The Longan Garden).

The temple was moved to the present site in the beginning of the 19th century. It was built in the style of the Chinese script “Gong”, which means there’s a lower temple (Den Ha), a middle temple (Den Trung) and an upper temple (Den Thuong). In the lower temple, people pray to the Maternal Spirit known in Vietnamese as Mau. The upper tem-ple is dedicated to Tran Quoc Tang and his statue is the biggest in the temple. Tang’s {ace looks gentle butserious and experienced. The statue’sVermilion coat symbolises his fervent heart and devotion to his country.


Tang’s mausoleum sits behind the temple, and in front of the mau-soleum is his tomb, which is a sim-ple, brick block. It is a deliberately humble structure. Locals say that Tang led a simple life Without pursu-ing fame and privilege.
ln the temple, there are also stat-ues of other generals from the Tran Dynasty – 34 altogether – including the likes or Pham Ngu Lao, Yet Kieu, Da Tuong, Nguyen Che Nghia and Do Khac Chung. All of whom made great contributions to constructing and protecting the country.


Although Tang died in the eighth lunar month, a festival in his honour takes place from the second day of the first lunar month to the end of the third lunar month. Nobody seems to know why the festival is held at this time of year.

A palanquin procession carries Tang’s funeral tablets from the tem-ple to a shrine in Trac Chan village. Legend has it that this was the place where Tang’s ashes were scattered by the wind. The procession then pro-ceeds back to the temple, following his old inspection route.

Standing in the temple amidst the smoke of burning incense and staring at the statutes of such well- known generals who brought such glory to the country, it is impossible not to admire the spirit of solidarity, which made up the unvanquished strength of Vietnamese people dur-ing the Tran Dynasty.

How to get there: From HaLong city’s Bridge 20, take National Road 18 toward Bai Tu Long Bay for about three kilomettres to a T-junction, where Cua Ong Temple stands.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Bach Ma National Park in Hue city

Located in Hue Vietnam, Bach Ma National Park is recognized as one of the areas of Indochina with high biodiversity. The typical climate on this Park, which is nearly the same as that on Dalat, Sapa and Tam Dao, is temperate all year round. As a result, many tourists in Vietnam travel are attracted to this National Park where they can admire breathtaking natural landscapes and take part in outdoor activities.

Lying 50 km south of Hue city, Bach Ma National park has a temperate climate much like that of Dalat, Sapa and Tam Dao. However, since it is located so close to the sea, the highest temperature in summer never exceeds 26oC and the temperature in winter never goes below 4oC.

Bach Ma National Park

Thanks to these advantages, the French transformed Bach Ma into a summer resort in the early 1930s. The area comprises 139 villas and auxiliary buildings, such as the post office, bank, tennis court, etc. Unfortunately, the war and lack of maintenance have significantly affected these constructions.
After 10 years of reunification, the State established a network of 87 natural reserves including Bach Ma in 1986. It was officially founded on 15 July 1991.

Coming to this National Park, visitors in Vietnam tourism are attracted to its breath-taking natural landscapes. The highest peak is Hai Vong Dai (Sea Observation Post), 1,450m high, where people can have a panoramic view of the immense sea and surrounding scenery. Do Quyen Waterfall is astounding and huge in the wooded mountain. It is more than 300m high and 20-30m wide. It is amazing to watch the silver water running into the bright red of water-rail flowers. 

Bac Chi Waterfall, about 20m high, roars all year round. Five lakes - a system of large lakes - has clean and cool water, created by the block of black granite stretching along Kim Qui Spring. This is a good place for camping, bathing, and outdoor activities.

Moreover, Bach Ma National Park is still home to 931 species of animals of which 83 wildlife species, including tigers and monkeys. It also houses 333-odd species of birds known to inhabit Vietnam. More than 1,406 species of plants have also been identified.

Bach Ma National park

Besides an interesting eco-tourism destination to tourists in Vietnam tourism, the Bach Ma National Park has an advantage of being close to Vietnam's three world cultural heritage sites (Hue Imperial City, Hoi An Ancient Town and My Son Cham Towers).

Therefore, tourists joining tours in Vietnam usually add the park to their itinerary. With highly-valued natural resources, Bach Ma does not only gratify thousands of visitors but also attract scientists.  The best time to visit Bach Ma is from February to September. It is open from 7 am to 5pm.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Cam Ly Waterfall in Dalat

Location: Cam Ly waterfall is located in Cam Le spring, which is about more than 2km from the centre of Da Lat city. 

Feature: The grandiose waterfall with the view of Pine Hills around made a great impact on visitors’ mind.


Visitors wandering along the Xuan Huong Lake could hear the sound of springs. A spring flows to the lake from the north, another flow out from the south under a bridge near the bus station. The bridge is the dam to equalize the water level in the lake. The two both spring’s names are Cam Ly. The water flows to the west to a marble area, which create Cam Ly waterfall.

It is famous in Dalat with the height of 30m. In rainy season, the water from the upper source flows to the waterfall to create the fog, which looks very romantic. That is why Cam Ly has appeared in poem, songs and pictures of artists. Cam Ly was introduced in Revue Indochine magazine of France before.

According to the legend by the elderly in this land, Cam Ly was named in K’Ho language (an ethnic group in Da Lat). When the Cam Le spring flows through a village in Dalat, its head person who was a K’Ho person named K’Mly, therefore, people took his name to the waterfall to tribute his credit in controlling the village. Besides, there is a theory that Cam Ly was originated from Chinese – Vietnamese language.

Cam Ly means a symbol of sweet water spring, which seduces the visitors. Cam Ly was close to a hill of pine which named Boie d’ramour (the forest of love), but the forest is no longer available now. The waterfall lack of water in the dry season but there is lots of water in rainy season and many blocks of water flow down formidable.
Source: placesinvietnam

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Landscapes of Dalat highlands

Dalat, a highland city about 257 km in from the coast, reminded us of Toowoomba. It has the cooler temperatures and the red rich soil that has made the area a huge production area for coffee, vegetables and flowers.

This town was also at one time the town where the French escaped the sweltering summer months along the coast to enjoy the cooler highland air. As a result it has many beautiful homes and hotels.

In the Dalat highlands

On a long walk around the town we saw a number of the 2500 lovely houses the town is famous for. It is quite amazing the place developed so much as even now the road we took in the bus from the coast is a very narrow winding road in fairly poor condition.

Dr Alexander Yersin, a protégé of Louis Pasteur apparently spread the word to Europeans about the liveability of the town in the summer months. The town was also spared damage in the Vietnam War as officials of both sides were still using their villas here for relaxation. Emperor Bao Dai’s Summer Palace is in a pine forest here and is not far from the tacky ‘Crazy House’ a guest house designed by a Vietnamese woman from Hanoi who did her architecture degree in Russia.

The building is like a tree, and rooms are decorated in various styles eg the Bear Room has a large bear with glowing eyes. Not the best place to sleep, especially as you would have to be up and out early before the paying sightseers arrive…

In the Dalat highlands

The coffee farm was first. I didn’t know that Vietnam is the world’s second largest producer of coffee, Brazil produces the most and Columbia comes after Vietnam. The French started the plantations. We were shown three types of coffee plants – the older type ‘cherry’ trees, which are tall and not handy for picking etc, and then ‘Robusta’ and Arabica’. They didn’t tell us so but I read that currently they mostly grow Robusta beans which are not as good a quality as the Arabica, so they are starting to change over.

In the Dalat highlands

Last stop was Elephant Falls. Our guide told us a tale of a prince and princess who wanted to marry but were from different ethnic group. As marriage was impossible (this is the Romeo and Juliet story) they killed themselves. The elephants living here heard the story and their tears made the waterfall. We had to walk/climb down a precarious track of steps and rocks with rusted out railings at a few points.

We made it up and back but a bit scary. Occupational health and safety not very developed here. It was however much better than the falls we visited in town. Cam Ly Falls turned out to be a polluted canal type stream that flowed through a small amusement type park. We did see our first ‘horses painted as zebras ‘here however so that was a new experience.

Soon it is our last night in Dalat. For dinner we had a Beef Hotpot where a pot of stock was put over a little burner on the table, and we gradually added and then ate the thin beef slices, green vegetables, herbs and noodles. No complaining about the food in Dalat.
Jannettek (From Australia)

Da Mi Lake – Beauty of princess sleeping in forest

Coming to Da Mi Lake, tourists can contemplate both the romantic and poetic sences and the peaceful space.

Located in Ham Thuan Bac of Binh Thuan province, Da Mi town is known as the land of romantic and poetic scenes that is similar to the landscapes of Da Lat highland.  And one of those most attractive destinations of Da Mi town that any tourist coming here even once also has unforgettable memories is Da Mi Lake.


Nestled in the immense forest of Da Mi, Da Mi Lake is considered as the princess sleeping in the tranquil and peaceful space. Indeed, in the mild sunshine together with cool climate here, maybe no one can takes his eyes off the charming beauty of Da Mi Lake which is a vast smooth expanse of water with the area of 700 ha surrounded by undulating pristine mountains and covered by the green wild forests. 

Coming here, tourists will have very real interesting experiences about the rustic and simple life of locals. Specifically, tourists can live on the stilt houses to enjoy the idyllic taste of some fishing specialties. Or excursionists can take rest at the wooden bridge across Da Mi Lake to contemplate its grandiose and poetic landscapes.

It is said that not only Da Mi Lake but the beauty of Ham Thuan Lake, which consists of 8 small beautiful islands as well. Especially, tourists shouldn’t miss to explore the imposing beauty of the 9-layers waterfall, cloud waterfall, and rainy waterfall. 

And another special feature of this town is the S -shape of all small green rivers here, which likes the shape of Vietnam. Thus, many tourists comment that Da Mi Lake and some other destinations of Da Mi town are the natural beauties touching to every hearts.