Saturday, April 19, 2014

Cần Thơ (Mekong Delta - part 1)

At Mỹ Khánh village, Cần Thơ

Two local girls are preparing fruit for tourists. 
They wear traditional shirts of south Vietnamese 
women with black trousers.
24, 27 and 28 September 2009 - I was back in Cần Thơ city, which is the biggest city in the Mekong Delta, and it was my 3rd visit to this city. On this trip I would go further south through 4 provinces and reach the southernmost point of Vietnam. I decided to book a 5-day tour with a travel agent in Hanoi (Vietran Company) and the tour cost VND 3.9 million (US$200). If I traveled on my own, this amount would be enough for only air tickets (round trip) to/from Hanoi and Cần Thơ, so it was cheaper to travel with a travel agent. There were 22 Vietnamese on the tour and 18 of them were women, so it was quite noisy but fun. I was lucky as the agent arranged an old woman to share the room with me, so I didn't have to pay extra money for a single room.

As you may know the Mekong Delta is the southernmost region of Vietnam. The fertile land and rivers are great natural resources for cultivation and fish raising. There are 2,500 rivers and canals in the region and people move around by boats. You can see floating markets in the early hours of the morning and simple houses along the rivers. The Mekong River is known in Vietnamese as the Nine Dragons (Sông Cửu Long).

Friday, April 18, 2014

Hu tieu nam vang - Rice Noodle with Pork and Seafood Recipe

Hu tieu nam vang - Rice Noodle with Pork and Seafood Recipe

This popular noodle dish in Saigon is an influence of a Chinese-Cambodian dish called Kuy Teav. It is also known as Phnom Penh Noodle Soup.

 Video by: Helen
Chanel Youtube:

Full recipe at (Xem cong thuc day du tai)
How to make Hu Tieu Nam Vang
Phnom Penh Noodle soup (Kuy teav)
Ingredients (6 servings)
1.5kg (3.3 lb) pork bones
500g (1.1 lb) minced pork
500g (1.1 lb) pork lean or shoulder
200g (0.5 lb) pork liver
1 dried squid (size of your hand)
1/2 cup dried shrimp
1 onion
5-inch daikon (cut into 1-inch thick slices)
1 cube rock sugar (double size of your thumb)
5-6 liter of water (for the soup pot)
1 large garlic knob, minced
2-3 shallot, minced
1/2 cup preserved radish, minced
a dozen quail eggs
600g dried noodle (Hu Tieu Dai)
Fresh greens: garlic chives, lettuce, Asian cellery ( rau can), Chrysanthemum (rau tan o), beansprouts...
Black sauce: 3 tbsp oyster sauce + 3 tbsp soy sauce + 1 tbsp sugar + 3 tbsp water. Simmer on low for 2 minutes.

Nguyên liệu
1.5kg xương heo
500g thịt heo băm nhuyễn
500g thịt nạc vai (heo)
200g gan heo
1 con mực khô loại vừa
1/2 chén tôm khô
1 củ hành tây
5 khoanh củ cải cắt lát dày 3cm
1 viên đường phèn (chừng 3 lóng tay)
5-6 lít nước
1 củ tỏi lớn
2-3 củ hành tím
1/2 cup củ cải muối
chục trứng cút
2 gói hủ tiếu khô (loại 300g)
hẹ, rau cần, xà lách, tàn ô, giá ..vv...
Tương đen: 3m dầu hào + 3m xì dầu + 1m đường + 3m nước. Đun lửa riu riu chừng 2 phút.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Xoan singing or Hat Xoan

Xoan singing, which is in a list of 23 cultural heritages that needs urgent protection and preservation under the 2003 Convention for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage, is a folk cultural product of Phu Tho province.

Xoan singing

The last point of time that Xoan accompany still sang in communal houses of the villages in spring was in 1945. Fortunately, we still had an opportunity to meet singers and instrumentalist who used to sing in the Xoan accompany in the old days when we conducted to investigate, study on Xoan singing in the late August.

It can be said that Xoan singing is still engraved in the memory of folk artists who up to now canperform it in the communal house whenever having the festival. Previously, the Xoan singing belonged to four villages, An Thai, Thet, Phu Duc and Kim Đai of Hac Tri district, Phu Tho province. After the innovation, An Thai village belongs to Phuong Lau, Viet Tri city, and Thet, Phu Duc and Kim Dai villages belong to Kim Duc, Phù Ninh district, Phu Tho province. According to folk artists, of those four villages, the singing style of Xoan accompany of An Thái village is similar to that of Thet village and Phu Duc village similar to Kim Dai. However, it is the difference of order of repertoire, words and thenumber of dancer, etc, that also creates the own style of each village.

In 1998, together with the establishment of the club of Xoan singing in Kim Duc communes and An Thai village, Phuong Lau commune brought about new vitality for Xoan singing. The generation of elderly folk artists in the old days always tried their best to hand down offspring compositions in the old style of singing in the activity of Club. On the last August 18th, People’s Committee of Kim Duc commune opened a festival of Xoan singing competition to rise up the passion and pride of villagers to the special art of the locality. When we coming, villagers of each Xoan village were actively practicing and perfecting compositions to be able to found Xoan accompany of each village according to the policy of the Department of Culture and Information of Phu Tho province. The concern of authority and enthusiastic contribution of the villagers are good news of art of Xoan singing in today’s life.

Nowadays, most tourists join tours in Vietnam because they want to learn more about the traditions and cultures of the country in general and each ethnic minority in particular. Therefore, preserving traditional cultural heritages as Xoan singing helps Vietnam promote its image to the world and attract more tourists in Vietnam tourism in the near future.


Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Download Vietnam Wallpapers

Vietnam is located on the Southeast Asia with the shape of the letter "S". Three quarters of Vietnam's territory consist of mountains and hills. The limestone mountains in the North produce amazing and beautiful landscapes. However, this small Asian country has so much natural beauty and plenty of amazing places to check out - you'll love the experience.
I have made a desktop wallpaper about Vietnam. Hope you enjoy this collection of Vietnam Wallpapers!

Download Vietnam Wallpapers

Vietnam Wallpapers

Vietnam Wallpapers

 Vietnam Wallpapers
Vietnam Wallpapers
 Download Vietnam Wallpapers
 Download Vietnam Wallpapers
Vietnam Wallpapers

Download Vietnam Wallpapers

Vietnam Wallpapers

Vietnamese Long Dresses (Ao Dai Viet Nam)
Vietnamese Long Dresses (Ao Dai Viet Nam)

Vietnamese Long Dresses

Ao Dai Viet Nam

Download Wallpapers

Download Vietnam Wallpapers

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Vuong palace (Vua Meo), a symbol of the past glory

Built in 1914, the palace passed 2 major wars: the French War and the American War. As such, Vuong Palace is also treated as a symbol of the past glory of the H’mong people. In fact, the palace was also called Vua Meo in honor of the king of the H’mong ethnic people.

The Vuong Palace located in Dong Van Plateau, province of Ha Giang has been a well-known tourist destination for several years now. A century-old mansion and once home to an influential family headed by a powerful don in the 20th century, it also was recognized as a national cultural heritage by the government in 1993.
Built in 1914, the palace survived 2 major wars: the French War and the American War. As a result, Vuong Palace is also treated as a symbol of the past glory of the H’mong people. In fact, the palace was also called Vua Meo in honor of the king of the H’mong ethnic people.

Vuong Palace

Vuong Chinh Duc led Vuong family from 1865-1947 in an empire stretching as far as from the province’s Dong Van Plateau to Meo Vac Town. The massive production and cross-border trade of opium back then made him the richest and most powerful man in the area. To protect his reign, that’s when he built the Vuong Palace. Covered an area of 1,120 square meters in Sa Phin Commune, Dong Van District, the mansion was designed with Chinese architecture and interior and surrounded by 700 century-old trees to keep it hidden and protected from enemies.
Vuong Palace took eight years to build. With  200 skilled construction workers from China’s Yunnan province (bordering Vietnam) labored on the massive residence which became home to the king, his three wives and four sons. The palace cost 150,000 silver coins to make, or an equivalent of VND150 billion (US$7.5 million) today.

Vuong Palace

Vua Meo (the other name for Vuong Palace) looks very similar to royal residences in China during the Qing Dynasty three to four centuries ago with its stone, valuable wood, terracotta tiles and two-story structure. The living room has a horizontal lacquered board engraved with Chinese characters given by the king of the ruling Nguyen Dynasty then. Each 64 rooms of the palace is decorated with carvings of dragons, phoenixes and bats, symbols of strength, royalty and respectively.

Vuong Palace is also notoriously dubbed the “Opium Palace” because the whole place is filled with stone or wood engraved with poppy flowers and fruit patterns. In fact, the underground cellar on the left side of the mansion was designed purposely for storing opium. Other cellars in the palace were used to store food and weapons. In the backyard of the palace is a half moon-shaped stone bathtub where Chinh Duc’s first wife bathed in goat’s milk. According to local legend, Vua Meo (King Chinh Duc) forced local officials to give him goat every month to get milk for his wife’s bath. Around the palace is a big garden wherein the royal family planted pears, peaches and different kinds of fruit trees.

King Vuong Chinh Duc died in 1947, then his second son Vuong Chi Sinh took over the reign of the empire and dedicated the rest of his life fighting the French. Untill now, surviving members of the Vuong family still live near the area, working as caretakers and tour guides of the historical Vuong Palace.


Monday, April 14, 2014

Ca Na Beach – the “Sleeping Princess”

As one of the most wildest and beautiful beaches of Vietnam, Ca Na Beach, the “Sleeping Princess” of Ninh Thuan province, is warmly beckoning tourists.

Ca Na beach
On the map of Vietnam tourism as well as the world’s, Ca Na is amongst the impressive names for a picturesque landscape of sea, mountain, forest, and even a Cham culture. It is this combination of natural beauty and cultural value that makes it a tourism heaven for any kind of visitors.

A quick look. Ca Na is fortunate to be granted such a favorable location, which is on the trans-Vietnam railway, right on the 1A Highway, and around 200km east of Ho Chi Minh City. It stretches as far as 10km with blue sky and purely green water. Ca Na is attractive to tourists not only for the mentioned charm, but also the ideally pure and cool weather all the year round. If staying here overnight, you will deeply feel the Ca Na night’s delicate harmony of with moonlight, hissing sea wind, and whistling waves. Do come and feel it yourself, no regret at all you would have! 

Why is it named so? A legend tells that in the past, under Nguyen dynasty, there were a King and a queen who went swimming here, and found it a rare magnificent charm in the region. They then named it “Nang Tien Ca” (translated as “fairy fish”). Ca Na is the name in Cham language, and exists until these days. For the other beautiful way of calling, “Sleeping Princess”, the reason is very simple; the beach still remains wild, even most pristine as compared to others in Vietnam, and more importantly, it does look graceful and fascinating! 

Deep attraction to tourists
Picturesque landscape. One side is rock, one side is the beach! On your one side is a very vast sea that normal eyes could not see through. On the other side is the mighty Truong Son mountain range with side by side upright rocky limestone mounts. Getting deep into the area is tropical jungles, where live so many kinds of rare and precious animals... Actually, it must say, Ca Na is a harmonious sonata of nature!

The rocky mountains turn up imposingly. In spring, apricot blossoms in the mountain, making up a rich source of inspiration for artists. Thousands of islets with different shapes gather together create vivid images just nearby the road.

Ca Na corals
The beach is excellent! It curls like a sickle, white sand and high salty degree. Salt in Ca Na beach is considered the best one in Southeast Asia. The beach slopes gently to the sea with the depth of one to two meters. The weather is sunny and warm all the year round. Climbing up the mountains, and swimming in the crystal – clear water in this place are very enjoyable. Also, you can take photos of rocks protruding into the sea.
Looking to the sea farthest, you may see a small islet turning up, which is called “Hon Lao”. This is a popular spot of Ca Na for numerous species of sea birds, Tien Well, and the famous Thach Grotto with 7 skulls, attracting a huge number of adventurous tourists.
Popular Sea food. Apart from Ca Na’s most famous specialties, such as salt and Nhi fish sauce, tourists are offered a great chance to taste delicious seafood, say, shrimp, crab, shellfish, etc. There are a number of beautiful tiny things here to buy for gifts, among which the most popular one preferred by tourists is the sea coral.
Besides, tourist can visit the Cham’s special structures and traditional villages, where a lot of Cham people are living with nearly genuine traditional custom, just in the nearby surroundings. This is the last but actually not least absorptive beauty of this popular beach of Ninh Thuan.


Sunday, April 13, 2014

Bun (rice vermicelli), the origin for many Vietnamese delicious dishes!

Like pho, bun is also used widely in Vietnamese cuisine. For its versatile nature, Vietnamese eat bun for breakfast, lunch, dinner or even midnight meal. 

The following are among the most common dish with bun:
* Bun thang: Bun served with spiced broth, sliced fried eggs, sliced boiled chicken, sliced green onion, etc… Bun Thang is among the most beautifully decorated variety of bun.

Bun thang

Vietnam Destinations

Vietnam Culture

Vietnam Cuisine

About Vietnam

Blog about Vietnam

Vietnam Travel

Vietnam Pictures

Vietnam Video