PEACH BLOSSOMS IN SPRING


Peach flower plant is wildly planted in the North Vietnam. The flower bloom at right time when the spring arrives, normally by the end of January or beginning of February.



It is also the time we celebrate Lunar New Year. People believe that the red color of peach blossom bring good luck and prosperity throughout the year.

There are different colors of peach blossom including deep red, pale red, and white colors. The plant is planted in the garden and in a pot. We bench branch down and up to create a nice peach plant bonsai that  shapes dragon, flamingo bird, similar to banyan tree….

Beside the peach blossom plant people also buy kumquat trees as ornamental tree during Tet Holiday (or lunar New Year). They also hang red paper with nice wish on the tree like Happy New Year, Prosperity, Happiness, or Longevity, and Peace.


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LOTUS FLOWERS BLOOM IN SUMMER

Vietnam is now in summer time when lotus flowers bloom. The flower represents one symbol of fortune in Buddhism.

The flower grows in muddy water but it comes out to rise and bloom above the murk to achieve enlightenment. The flower also means purification and faithfulness.
Lotus flower is National flower in Vietnam. White lotus refers to purity of the mind and the spirit. The red one refers to compassion and love. Blue lotus refers to common sense. The pink one represents the history and historical legend of Buddha.
Vietindo Travel
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BEN TRE TOURISM


Ben Tre province is located in Mekong Delta. It is popular for coco nut cultivating area.
Ben Tre is 85 km from Ho Chi Minh city. The province is lied between 2 branches of Mekong river, and borders with Tien Giang and Trà Vinh provinces.



Ben Tre has rich resource for eco tourism. Enjoy landscape of coco nut forest, cruise along Mekong river by motor boat and sampan, walking in orchard garden and taste seasonal fruits, home stay in the local house, learn rural activities with the farmers…

Ben Tre is also famous for handcrafts, candy and sweets made from coco nut trees like tea cup and pot, kitchen utensils, masks, spoon, scoop, other souvenirs. The province processes the vast area of criss-crossed canals so it is quite interesting to have couple of boat ride along canals under thick coco nut plants through different villages.


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TAM COC BY RICE HARVEST SEASON


Tam Coc belongs to Ninh Binh province located in the Red River Delta, 110 km southward Hanoi capital. Tam Coc that means three grottoes. Board on rowing boat for two hours and move along Ngo dong river to enjoy the wonderful landscape of lime stone mountains called Halong bay inland.

If you come here at right time, May or June, you would be amazed by the sea of yellow rice paddy fields on 2 sides of the water way. Our boat will move through 3 grottoes named Hang Ca with the length of 120 m, Hang Hai, and Hang Ba. The scenery is lovely and peaceful that helps you relax and enjoy life.



Tam Coc and it’s surroundings is also wonderful place for movie set. Some world movies were made here such as Indochine, and Kong Skull Island.



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TRADITIONAL DANCE IN MAI CHAU DISTRICT


Mai Chau District belongs to Hoa Binh province, 150 km from Hanoi capital. It is a mountainous district and home to Thai ethnic people. The long valley and fertile soil is good condition for rice cultivation.



Thai people still remain many traditional dances that are performed at special occasion like Tet (or Vietnamese New Year), spring festival, wedding ceremony, and others. The very interesting one is bamboo stick dance. You can join with them and practice together. After the dance we can taste some home made wine named Nep rice wind. People use bamboo rods to drink the wine from one ceramic jar.

The dance of Thai ethnic People reflects the love between a couple, their love with  home village, and the wishes for good rice harvest and happiness. 

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VISIT THAI'S VILLAGE AND HOME STAY IN MAI CHAU -HOA BINH

#VietindoTravel arranges authentic and adventure tour in Far North #Vietnam including North West and North East. We visit traditional villages of different ethnic groups.


Visit weekend market, walking through rice paddy field in mountainous area. Mai Chau is lied in a vast valley in Hoa Binh province where is home to white Thai people. They live in the house on stilts. We can stay in the local house, enjoy meals cooked by them. Stay in the house surrounded by mountains and green rice field. #VietnamDiscovery
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TOP PLACES IN THE WORLD FOR KAYAKING TOUR - HALONG BAY IN VIETNAM


Halong Bay was listed as one of New 7 Wonders of Nature in 2012. The beauty of Halong Bay is marked by 3000 limestone islets, caves and grottoes, emerald water, and fishing villages....


Tour to Halong Bay is cruise and relax. You can stay on a cruise for a couple of days. One of the best water activities is kayaking.



Top places for kayaking tour in Halong Bayare Ba Hang village, Luon Cave area, Dong Tien lagoon and Trinh Nu cave area, Tung Sau lagoon, Cua Van fishing village, Vung Vieng village, Ho Ba Ham caves and lagoon, Van Gia village, Lan Ha Bay, Hang Do area, Cong Do and Tra San area.


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Vietnam Museum of Ethnology


National Museum of Ethnology is the largest Museum in Hanoi city. The Museum is in shape of the bronze drum, the treasure of Vietnam. It was opened to the public in 1997 after 8 years construction.



Vietnam Museum of Ethnology lies on Nguyen Van Huyen street, Cau Giay district, Hanoi. Indoor area for exhibition covers an area of 25,000 sqm. The outdoor exhibition is green garden fill with house models of ethnic Thai, Tay, H’mong, Ede, Cham, Viet, Bahna minorities.



The Museum contains of more than 27,000 objects relating to Vietnam and South East Asia, 15,000 black and white photos, and hundreds of video tapes and cassettes about customs, activities, and habits of 54 minorities in Vietnam.



Most of foreign tourists like to come to visit the Museum to get information before they start their journey to see landscape and people’s daily life in countryside. The museum is open daily from 8:30 – 17:30 except on Monday. Entrance fee is 40,000 VND.




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Visit President Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum


Situated in the mid of Ba Dinh square, the Mausoleum is the final place for Vietnamese Revolutionary leader Ho Chi Minh, who read the declaration of independence for Vietnam on 2nd September in 1945.



The construction was begun in September 1973 and inaugurated on 29 August 1975. President Ho Chi Minh, a great patriot who was later conferred the title of “World Cultural Activist” in 1990. He was born in 1890 in Nghe An province in central part of Vietnam, and pass away in 1969.


The Mausoleum is 21,6 m high and 41,2 m wide. It is overlooking to Ba Dinh square where has 240 green grass squares separated by pathways. On the right side of the Mausoleum is the direction for visitors who line up and come to visit. On the right is entrance gate to Presidential Palace, Ho Chi Minh’s stilt House, and garden.



The Mausoleum is open to the public on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday from 7:30 am – 10:30 am in summer time/ 8:00 – 11:00 in winter time. The open hour is extended 30 minutes on Saturday and Sunday. Normally the Mausoleum is closed from 5th September till 5th December. It is free for entrance.



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Visit One Pillar pagoda in Hanoi


One pillar pagoda, formally name Dien Huu that means “long lasting happiness and goodluck” built during the reign of King Ly Thai Tong in 1049 in Hanoi capital, or Thang Long citadel at that time.


During Ly Dynasty (1009 – 1225) the pagoda was the place for annual royal ceremony on the occasion of Vesak, the birthday of Gautama Buddha. The pagoda is built of wood and stays on single pillar with diameter of 1.25m and 4m high totally. From distance it looks like a lotus flower that is a Buddhist symbol of purity.


According to folklore, King Ly Thai Tong, who had no children. He often went to pagoda to pray for having a son. One night in his dream he met Buddha who sat on lotus flower and gave the king a boy baby. Months later, his wife gave birth to a boy child. Soon after that event, the king order to build a pagoda supported by one pillar that looks like lotus flower in the honor of Buddha.


 The pagoda is behind Ba Dinh square and Ho Chi Minh President’s complex. It opens daily and no entrance fee.


City tour Hanoi with Vietindo Travel
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Co Loa citadel in Hanoi – Vietnam


Co Loa is one of the most ancient citadel in Vietnam and South EastAsia. It was built in the 3rd century BC to be the capital of Au Lac Kingdom.


According to folklore, Thuc Phan defeat the last Hung King then enthroned and chose Co Loa as the capital of Au Lac kingdom. Co Loa is located 16 km from Hanoi capital center, and in the mid of the Red River Delta. Co Loa means Old Spiral. In fact  the citadel of Co Loa was built in Spiral Shape with high thick walls and deep moats that made Co Loa become an undefeatable fortification.



The mythical story tells us that the citadel was being built at daytime but mysteriously destroyed at night time. At one night, Thuc Phan – later An Duong Vuong has a dream of meeting with a golden turtle. The turtle told the king that the citadel had built on the turtle’s carapace, then instructed him to move citadel to another area that present day of Co Loa. The king then completed the work of building new capital easily.


Archaeologists have found tens of thousands of bronze arrow heads, iron axes, other bronze weapon, and animal bones. To travel to Co Loa you can visit King An Duong Vuong temple, Co Loa communal house, old walls of Co Loa, and other temples.






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Van Long water land Nature conservation


Van Long waterland nature conservation is located at Gia Vien district, Ninh Binh province, about 90 km from Hanoi capital. The conservation covers an area of 3,000 hectares, where is the largest water land nature reserve in Northern Vietnam.


The beauty of Van Long is marked by limestone mounts, lakes, caves, canals….some best well-known caves and grottos are  Ca, Bong, Dua, Chanh with beautiful stalactites. By the foot of Hoang Quyen mount is Ca (fish) that considered the most beautiful one. It is 250m long, home to many species of fishes such as catfish, anabas, and black fish…


Van Long water land conservation is home to varieties of fauna and flora like 457 species of plants in which 8 species are listed in the Vietnam‘s red book, and 39 species of mammals, of which 12 species are listed in the red book as well.  


It is nice to have tour 1.5 hour boat trip around Van Long. Sometimes you can see thousands of white storks here. The water of Van Long water land is like a huge mirror reflect Meo cao limestone mount. Beside the boat ride you can make cycling tour around the dyke and villages nearby, join in cooking class and have lunch in the local house, and learn rural activities of planting rice or fishing.





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Pho Minh Pagoda in Nam Dinh province - Vietnam


Pho Minh Pagoda is situated at Tuc Mac village, Nam Dinh province, just about 90 km southward Hanoi capital. It was built during Ly dynasty but expanded in 1262 during Tran dynasty.



In 2012 the whole complex of Pho Minh pagoda was recognized as one of the top national heritage of Vietnam. The pagoda is the ritual place for high ranking mandarins and Tran royal family to worship and lead their religious life.



The Tran’s architecture remains can be seen here like 96 plinth stones engraved with lotus flowers and the two pairs of dragons in front of the altar house. Over 50 statutes from 120 are intact that reflects impressive original artistic style. One of the top 4 precious holy objects of the country, a 7-ton cauldron, is preserved in the pagoda.



The impressive Buddhist tower of Pho Minh was built in 1305 under Tran dynasty, which has 13-storey and 21 m high. It looks like a 3 level of lotus flower, symbol of Buddhist religion. Two bottom levels of the tower was constructed with stone with 5 m each side. And from the 3rd level it was built of bricks that were burnt by rice straw for several months. The tower is estimated 700 tons and relies on an area of only 30 sq meters but has stood firmly for over 700 years. The image of Pho Minh tower was printed on Vietnamese 100-note currency.









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Presidential Palace in Hanoi - Vietnam


Presidential Palace in Hanoi is the working place for the President of Socialist Republic of Vietnam. The building is situated inside President Ho Chi Minh’s complex, beside Ba Dinh Square and Ho Chi Minh mausoleum. It is the place we welcome Presidents from foreign countries.


Formerly, it was built for French Governor of Indochina and completed in 1906. The construction consists of 30 rooms in different designs. The building is one of the largest French Colonial constructions in Hanoi. It was said that the building was constructed by Auguste Henri Vildieu, the official French architect for French Indochina.


                                       

During 1954 -1969 President Ho Chi Minh received over 1000 domestic and international groups of guests. He did not live in the Palace but in a traditional Vietnamese stilt house overlooking to carp pond. The palace hosts meetings, not open to the public but you can go inside the garden, walk around and take photo of it from distance.



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History of Nguyen Dynasty in Vietnam (1802 - 1945)


Nguyen Dynasty is last ruling family of Vietnam. The House of Nguyen seized their power for total 143 years (1802 – 1945). Gia Long and Minh Mang are the first kings who built a healthy state. The Nguyen cleared land for cultivation and pay attention to improve irrigation. They also sent merchant ships to trade with European countries and South East Asia.


The Nguyen Kings ordered to write and print books on National history and geography that had great impact on the National culture. Confucianism was basis of the Nguyen Dynasty’s conservative’s idealogy. The Nguyen Dynasty imposed a closed door policy. During Nguyen Dynasty there had been 13 kings who ruled the country during 143 years.


During the presence of French in Vietnam (1858 – 1954), It was marked by increasing influence of French colonialism, and the country was divided into 3 parts Cochinchina, Annam, and Tonkin. The last, 13th King, was Bao Dai who then moved to live in France and pass away there.


The capital of Vietnam (1802 – 1945) during Nguyen Dynasty was in Hue city, about 700 km from Hanoi or 1,200 km from Ho Chi Minh City. Hue citadel and other old constructions were listed as a world heritage site in 1993 by UNESCO. Nowadays, Hue becomes a hot tourist attraction in central part Vietnam.  



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Visit Cat Cat village in Sapa town – Lao Cai province- Vietnam


Cat Cat village is situated in a nice valley with terrace rice field,just 2 km from Sapa town. The village is home to Black H’mong ethnic people, who still remain unique customs and practices.



Visitors have opportunity to enjoy beautiful picture of the valley and village such as yellow or green rice field, colorful brocade made by women. They use indigo leaves to dye clothes, then embroider lovely motifs. They also use wax to draw on the cloth to make the color more durable.



In addition they also master their owned technique of making silver jewelry. We can stop and look into their house for a visit and chatting with them. We are attracted by the custom of Pulling Wife in this community. A man can ask his friends to lure a girl he likes and bring her to his house for a stay of 3 days. During this time, if the girl agrees to become the boy’s wife, of cause a wedding would be held shortly after that. However, the girl can go home freely after 3 days if she doesn’t like the boy.


The house of the H’mong is one storey with 3 compartments and doors. The door in the middle is opened when the host holds an important family event. The house is built with pine wood panels including walls and roof. Walking around Cat Cat village is good value tour in Sapa town.



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Making toy figurines from rice powder in outskirt Hanoi


A village named Xuan La in Hanoi where people still remain traditional job of making To He (or toy figurine) from rice powder.


Children love the toy figurines those are made from sticky rice powder, sugar, and food coloring. Few decades ago when there were not many choices from buying toys in local shops, our kids feel so excited with toy figurines as the gift given by their parents. 


Figurines may be a colorful flower, buffalo, rooster, respectful hero, pig, Aladdin, Doremon, monkey King, pigsy, and dragon fly….


History of making figurine in Xuan La village has been over 300 years. Craft men in Xuan La often travel from village to village and cities to sell these toys. They sit in the market or crowded areas like the lake, city parks to create figurines and sell them right away upon the audient’s request.


Nowadays you can see them making figurines by Hoan Kiem lake in Hanoi city at the weekend. You can join and learn how to make it instead of travel far to their village like before. It is a beautiful aspect of authentic culture in Vietnam.


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Tam Coc - Bich Dong full day tour from Hanoi


8:00 AM, after breakfast, pick up from your hotel by our guide and driver. Leave for Tam Coc - Ninh Binh province located in the Red River Delta, 110 km southward Hanoi capital.





10:00 AM arrive at Tam Coc that means three grottoes. Board on rowing boat for two hours and move along Ngo dong river to enjoy the wonderful landscape of lime stone mountains called Halong bay inland.


If you come here at right time, May or June, you would be amazed by the sea of yellow rice paddy fields on 2 sides of the water way. Our boat will move through 3 grottoes named Hang Ca with the length of 120 m, Hang Hai, and Hang Ba. The scenery is lovely and peaceful that helps you relax and enjoy life.


12h15 have lunch at a local restaurant, then proceed to Bich Dong pagoda isolatedly stays on a mount, 2 km away from Tam Coc. Bich Dong used to be ranked as the second most wonderful cave in the Sothern
sky.


There are three pagodas in this complex name Chùa Hạ - Chùa Trung – Chùa Thượng situated at 3 levels of the mountain. It takes you 15 minutes to climb up the third pagoda that lies on the top. From here you can take many nice photos of lime stone valley as well as the rice field.


 The pagoda was constructed in early 18th century. It is in harmony with romantic scenery of mountain, and river here. Once it was chosen for shooting a world movie named Indochine in 1991.



14h30 PM meet with the driver and transfer back to Hanoi. Arrive in Hanoi at around 17:00 PM. Tour ends in Hanoi.


Travel and explore Authentic Vietnam
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