FRENCH ARCHITECTURE IN HANOI

It is nice to walk around old Hanoi center for photo of French architecture that dated back to early 20th century till 1954.

Besides walking tour around French Quarter we can use other means of transport like rickshaw, electrical car. Major streets with French villas are Ly Thuong Kiet, Tran Hung Dao, Le Thanh Tong, Phan Dinh Phung, Hang Chuoi, Trang Tien, Ngo Thi Nham, Ngo Quyen, Ba Trieu, Dien Bien Phu, Le Hong Phong, Tran Phu, Hoang Dieu, Quan Thanh...

In the French Quarter, mainly, buildings were designed by the French architect influenced from the colonial architectural style. Besides, there are many villas, houses, and their offices designed by Vietnamese  Architects design or cooperation between the Vietnamese and French architects. The aspects of culture, lifestyle of Vietnam had been applied and seen in these buildings.

It is quite easy to recognize French architecture for yellow color villas with blue windows, red tile roof, surrounded by green garden. Typical buildings in Hanoi are Indochina University, Opera House, Head Indochina Office (today Presidential Palace), History Museum, Revolution Museum, Military History Museum, Hanoi Cathedral, Villas along Phan Dinh Phung street, Chu Van An school, Ministry of Foreign and Affair, Long Bien historical bridge.

Conservation of this Quarter is not only protect and old part of urban heritage but also enhance tourism for Old Hanoi.

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GREETINGS FROM HANOI - VIETNAM

Dear our valued Guests,

My warm greetings from Vietindo Travel

We live in Hanoi, capital city of Vietnam. With great love for travel we decide to write this blog to convey not only travel info but also all true aspects of life and culture in the past and today Vietnam.
We are so happy to welcome you in Vietnam, a wonderful travel land in South east Asia.
Please not hesitate to contact us for good value of travel information.

Let's us help you get authentic travel experience in Vietnam!

Best wishes!

Tony Duc (MD)
www.vietindotravel.com
Contact: info@vietindotravel.com
Mobil/whatsapp: +84 903 25 3232
12th floor - CT 2B Building - Thach Ban
Long Bien - Hanoi - Vietnam
























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HUE CITADEL IN CENTRAL VIETNAM

Hue city is located in central Vietnam, about 700 km south ward Hanoi. Hue was listed one of World Cultural Heritage in 1993, the first one in Vietnam. The city was capital of Vietnam from 1802 - 1945 under the rule of 13 Kings, during Nguyen Dynasty, the last feudal regime in this country.

It took 27 years to finish the construction of Citadel city. Hue Imperial City was planned on the Northern bank of the Perfume River, faces the south, with a area of 520 hectares. Citadel, buildings inside, and the Forbidden City overlook to the south. This means (Feng shui ) the preferable seat for the King to rule the whole country smoothly.

Circumference of Hue citadel is nearly 10 km, 6.6 m high, and 21 m thick placed by  cannons on it. The citadel was surrounded by deep moats and canals that not only defend the city but also good for water transportation.

Inside the Citadel are houses for city people and the officials. The most important part is in the Imperial city where the king and his royal family live and work. Imperial city was built in 1804, completed during the time of King Minh Mang in 1833. There are more than 100 constructions inside. The Imperial city has four gates including main gate name Ngo Mon heading to the South.  Ngo Mon. Inside is Thai Hoa Palace, where the enthrone and conduct official meetings; area of the shrines; and Forbidden purple City - where the king work and rest.

Besides fancy imperial city the Nguyen Kings also took years to find and built large tomb complex as the  final resting place for them. The construction of each tomb is very meticulous and built while the king alive. There are 8 royal tombs in Hue.

You need at least 2 days to explore Hue city. You can take flights or night train or buses from both Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh city to get there. Quite easy. Highlights for visit are Citadel and forbidden purple city, Tombs of Tu Duc, Minh Mang, and Khai Dinh, Tiger fighting arena, Nine Dynastic Urns, Thai Hoa (Palace of Supreme Harmony) Palace, Ngo Mon Gate, Hue Garden houses in outskirt, Thien Mu pagoda, Cruise along Perfume river and enjoy royal music...






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WONDERFUL MEKONG DELTA

Mekong Delta, or in Vietnamese called Nine dragons river Delta, is southern part of Vietnam, and covers an area of about 40,000 sq km. Total population who rely on rice farming is around 20 million people. Mekong delta is considered to be the biggest basket of rice in Vietnam.
The length of Mekong river is 4,350 km, ranking 12th longest ones in Asia. The river flows through 6 countries including Myanmar, Thailand, China, Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam.

Besides Can Tho city, the capital city in Mekong Delta, there are 12 other provinces in this region. Mekong river part in Vietnam not only provides fertile soil for rice plantation but is also the area for farming fish and shrimp for export.

With criss-cross rivers and canals in the area is good for water transportation. With sub-equatorial climate the farmers here can plant 3 rice crops a year. Majority rice for export comes from Mekong Delta. Total rice export in Vietnam estimates 6 million tons/year.

People live in the Delta include Viet, Khmer, Hoa (Chinese), and Champa. Mekong delta is suitable for adventure tour like cruising along rivers and canals, biking, home stay, learning farming activities, sightseeing tours like visit floating markets or luxurious fruit gardens...Depart from Ho Chi Minh city  you will arrive the Delta with an hour and a half.


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VISIT HO CHI MINH CITY

Ho Chi Minh city ( former name is Saigon derived from 1698) is the biggest tourism and economy center in Vietnam. Once it was called the Pearl of Far East. The city is 1,690 km south of Hanoi. Former name of Saigon was renamed Ho Chi Minh city in 1976, after Vietnam get the unification in 1975. Ho Chi Minh is the first president of Vietnam, from 1945. North and South Vietnam was separated from 1954 - 1975.

There are two distinct seasons in here. The rainy season is from May to Nov, and dry season lasts from Dec till April. The average temperature is 27.5o C. The city consists of 19 urban districts and 5 rural districts. Hundreds of rivers and canals cross HCM city. The Saigon river embraces the city with the length of 106 km. By the time of saying the city population is around 10 millions, the most populated city in Vietnam.

Nowadays HCM city is not only biggest city but has biggest GDP in Vietnam also. The city central Government has developed many new urban areas in order to meet rapidly increased housing need during the past ten years. City's Infrastructure is being improved and modern so can attracts foreign investment. The most expensive properties are in District 1. The city has Tan Son Nhat international airport and International Saigon River Port. The city metro now, 2016, under construction, to be completed around 2019.

There are many flights a day from Hanoi and Danang cities to HMC, done by Vietnam airlines, viet jet air, and jetstar pacific. You can get there by bus, train from all cities in Vietnam. Best tourist attractions in HCM city are Unification palace, Cu Chi historical tunnels, Dam Sen Park, Suoi Tien tourist site, Notre Dame Cathedral, City central Post Office, Town Hall, War Remnants Museum, Ben Thanh Market, Cho Lon Market, Betel Garden, Can Gio - Vam Sat Mangrove Forest, Binh Quoi tourist village, Vinh Nghiem pagoda, Van Hanh Monastery, Giac Vien Pagoda, Giac Lam pagoda, Xa loi pagoda, Municipal Theater.
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VISIT DALAT - CITY OF FLOWERS

Dalat is situated in central highland Vietnam. Dalat, called Paris of Indochina, is cool all year round, and is one of the best attractive tourist destinations in South East Asia. 

Da Lat city is the provincial capital of Lam Dong Province, located on the Lam Vien Plateau, in Central Highland Vietnam. Since ancient time, this land is the home to Lach residents, Sre and Chil ethnic groups. In the late 19th century, when looking for a place to build resorts for the French in Indochina, Governor Paul Doumer had chosen Lam Vien Plateau at the request of Dr. Alexandre Yersin, who explorer Dalat in 1893. in the first half of the 20th century, from a desolate place, the French planned and built up a beautiful city with villas, offices, hotels and schools. Dalat soon became a tourist and education center of Indochina during 1893-1954. Experienced the vicissitudes during war times and the difficult period of 1970-1980 decades, Da Lat city today is dwelled by over 250 thousand people, and is the central for politics, economy and culture of Lam Dong province.

To stay on the altitude of 1,500 meters above sea level, Dalat inherited a mountain temperate climate and cool all year-round. Dalat is like a museum of European architecture of 20th century. To be rich in  natural resources that help Dalat became a  the famous tourist destination of Vietnam. It attracts millions of tourists to visit a year. Da Lat is a center of education and scientific research, a city of hundreds of Buddhist temples, churches, monasteries ... Dalat is also known by many names such as "foggy city", "The city of pine trees", "City of flowers "," Land of Sakura " or " Little Paris "

Go to see Dalat by air or by bus. It is quite convenient and easy. The city is around 300 km from Ho Chi Minh city, 180 km from Nha Trang city, and 1600 km from Hanoi. Tourist attractions in Dalat are Xuan Huong Lake, Dankia lake, Datanla waterfall, Prenn Falls, Dambri waterfall, Cam Ly waterfall, Pong Gua waterfall, Dalat Cathedral, Truc Lam Zen Monastery, Dalat flower park, Valley of love, Lang Biang Mountains and Lach village, Dalat Market, Bao Dai Emperor Palaces, Lam Dong museum, Hang Nga villa (crazy house), Dalat railway station, Linh Phuoc Pagoda...
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PHU YEN - WONDERFUL BEACH TRAVEL

Phu Yen is new destination for wonderful beach travel in Vietnam. Surely, you will admire it's clean white soft sand beach with blue water here. In addition, sea food is also cheap and fresh. You can get good price for domestic air tickets from both Vietjetair or Vietnam airlines.

Phu Yen is located in central Vietnam. Phu Yen provincial capital is Tuy Hoa city , 1,160 km south ward Hanoi from 560 km north ward Ho Chi Minh city. The province has an area of 5045 square kilometers, with a coastline of 189 km long.

Phu Yen has tropical monsoon climate, humid and hot climate, and influenced by the ocean. There are two distinct seasons: the rainy season from September to December and the sunny season from January to August. The annual average temperature of 26.5 ° C, and average annual rainfall of about 1,600 - 1.700mm.

Top tourist sites in Phu Yen include Xuan Dai Bay, Da Trang pagoda, Nhan Tower - a unique symbol of Cham's art, Long Thuy Beach with harmonious beauty, Vung Ro Bay, Ghenh Da Dia (Rapids of stone plates)


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VISIT ANCIENT TOWN OF HOIAN

Hoian ancient town is a world heritage site in central Vietnam, about 30 km from Da nang airport. 
Don't miss to visit lovely Hoian when you spend your holiday in Vietnam.

Hoi An ancient town is located at downstream of Thu Bon River, in Quang Nam Province, Vietnam. Hoi An used to be international commercial port, the meeting place of the merchant ships of Japan, China and the Western Europe during the 17th - 18th centuries.

By the 19th century, due to water transportation here is no longer convenient, Hoian port was replaced by Danang international port, built by French. Fortunately, Hoian was not destroyed during two wars and avoid the process of massive urbanization by the late 20th century. Early 1980, the value of architecture and culture of the ancient town of Hoi An was restored, and soon became one of the best tourist attractions in Vietnam.

The most common type of housing in Hoi An is 2 storey houses the town houses with narrow and long shape or called tubular house. The main materials used to build houses are very high strength and durability due to the harsh climate and the annual flooding.

Typically, the structure of house is with wood frame, brick walls. The average size of the house is 4 to 8 meter wide,10 to 40 meter deep, varying according to each street. Common ground layout of the houses here are: sidewalks, patios, the main house, outbuildings, porch, open air middle yard, toilet, and garden.

House space includes 3 parts: trade space, living space and worship space. The houses overlook to 2 main streets, or one side is on main street and the other side is on Thu Bon river, where they load and unload their commodities.

Highlights in Hoian for a visit are Japanese Bridge, Tan Ky Old House, Chinese assembly halls, Fujian assembly hall, Tran family chapel, Tra Que herb village, Kim Bong carpentry village, Hoian museum, Hoian local market.
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TOP DESTINATIONS IN NINH BINH

Besides Hanoi and Halong Bay where should you go. Here are the top tourist destinations in Ninh Binh province where is only around 120 km from Hanoi capital. 

Ninh Binh province is located inside the Red River Delta, one of the best famous tourist attractions in Northern Vietnam. You can do one, two, or 3 day trips in this province. The following recommendations are highlights.

Hoa Lu was the first capital of the feudal state collective in Vietnam. There are many historical places such as royal palace, temples, tombs ... related to the dynasties of Dinh, Pre- Le and Ly. It is recognized as a special national heritage by the Government of Vietnam.

Bai Dinh Pagoda is a complex consisting of ancient pagoda and a new pagoda known as the largest Buddhist temple complex  in Southeast Asia.

Trang An scenic landscape are  the range of caves, valleys, forest and the historical sites associated with Hoa Lu ancient capital. In Trang An there are  three main areas where are registered as special national relics and Unesco world heritage site.

Tam Coc - Bich Dong site was awarded the words: "The second most wonderful cave in Southern sky" or "Halong Bay in land" with tourist attractions such as Tam Coc, Thai vi temple, Bich Dong pagoda, Bich Dong cave and pagoda, Sun valley, valley of Nham, bird gardens, etc.

Cuc Phuong National Park has an area of approximately 22,000 hectares of primary forest. Cuc Phuong is the first National Park in Vietnam. It has many species of plants and animals. There are also thousand year old tree, and the ancient man's cave.

Phat Diem Cathedral is a religious building in  harmony between the architecture of the east and the west, and  a unique stone construction.

Nature conservation of Van Long is the largest water-flooded nature reservation in Red River Delta. In here, There are Kenh Ga hot Spring, Van Trinh cave, Kem Trong cave and many other beautiful limestone mountain peaks.

Wildlife National Park  of Vietnam is the place for conservation and development of genetic resources of rare animals with about 3,000 individuals belonging to 250 species. The Park provides  travel services, and entertainment.

Kim Son - Con Noi coastal area has  values of biodiversity and the geology. It is one of listed sites of reservative  biosphere in the Red River Delta.

Truong Yen Festival is intangible national cultural heritage. It is one of the largest festivals in Vietnam.

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MAI CHAU & HOMESTAY TOURISM

Mai Chau is a district in mountainous province of Hoa Binh, 140 km South West Hanoi, gate way to huge mountain North West Vietnam.

From Thung Khe pass you can take photo of Mai Chau valleys dotted by district town, Van, Lac, Nhot, and Pom Coong villages with stilt houses hiden under green trees.

Mai Chau is home to Thai ethnic group, H'mong, Dzao, and Viet people. Thai people live in the house on stilts. Traditionally, there is fish pond under the house, or right behind it. Weaving loom for women is placed on ground floor. Besides farm work ( 2 rice farming seasons a year) the women here weave brocade, make bamboo baskets, and many other traditional products.

Lac Village in Mai Chau is one of the first village received tourists for homestay. Nowadays there are more village in further location do the same such as Van, Pom Coong, Xam Khoe...Home stay services includes staying on stilt house, hot water for shower, clean rest room, mosquito net, electric fan, traditional meals with rice wine, free bicycle, blanket, soft sleeper, Thai music dance upon request.

People here are quite friendly. You find it easy to make interaction with them on the trekking paths, in the market, at their house, or on rice paddy field. You can do trekking, cycling, or having a short walk around the village here with so pleasant feelings.
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SAPA VIETNAM FOR ADVENTURE & HOLIDAY TRAVEL

Sa Pa is a town in North West highland, and is a famous sumer resort in Lao Cai Province, Vietnam. It has many wonders of natural mountainous landscape that looks like a harmonious painting with romantic scenery.

Sapa is situated on the elevation of 1500 - 1650 m above the sea level. From the town we can see beautiful view of Ngoi Dum and Muong Hoa valleys. The town is around 350 km from Hanoi. Tourists can get there by night train (9 hours) or bus on high way( 6 hours).

Sapa has temperate climate so it is cool all year round. The winter, Nov - Feb, is quite cold, and sometimes there is snow. Sapa is home to several ethnic minority like H'mong, Zay, Tay, Red Dzao, Viet. At the weekend they, in traditional costume, gather in local market for exchange homemade goods. Besides goods market at daytime this place is also love market where the boys have opportunity to find them suitable girl friends on Saturday night.

In winter 1903, while conducting mapping measurement, the expedition group of the geographical Department of Indochina  discovered Sa Pa village. This event marked the birth of Sapa town. In 1905, the French had collected the first information about the geography, climate, and vegetation ... Sapa began to be known as the cool air place, the fresh and beautiful scenery. In 1909, a resort was built . In 1917, a travel agency was established in Sa Pa, and a year later the French began constructed  the first villas. In 1920, the railway Hanoi - Lao Cai was completed. Sa Pa was considered the summer capital of North Vietnam. In total, the French had built in Sapa nearly 300 villas.

Sapa name is derived from SAPA  or "sandy beach"  where became local marketplace.
In here, French had built hydro power plant, water station, and administrative offices especially more than 200 Western-style villas in the town center. The town and it's villas were located in the middle of pine forest  so it looked like an european city.

Sapa has many natural beauty such as the Silver waterfall, about 200 meters high, Cau May bridge, Cloudy gate to heaven, Fansipan peak with the height of 3143m, Bamboo forest, dynamic Ta Phin cave, Muong Hoa valley, Lao Chai Ta Van valley. Ham Rong peak is the place for  a lot of flowers especially orchid garden.

Sa Pa is the kingdom of fruits and flowers such as peach blossom, roses, peach fruit, plum, pear, chrysanthemums, flowers. Besides that dozen kinds of temperate vegetables planted here such as cabbage, kohlrabi, potato, carrot, and tomato.
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VISIT HALONG - ONE OF NEW 7 WONDERS

If you have not visit Halong Bay you hardly say you have visited Vietnam. Halong Bay was recognized as the World Heritage Site in 1994, and one of New 7 Wonders in 2012.

Ha long Bay covers an area of 1500 km2 dotted by around 3000 islets in which most of them are limestone. Halong means "Descending Dragon". According to the myth that passed down generations,  when the country was invaded by stronger foreign enemy the Jade Emperor sent Mother dragon and her children to this world for protection of people here. After the victory over the aggressor they decided to stay here with the locals forever, and turned into thousands of island that can be seen today.

Halong soon became one the best tourist attraction in the country after we carried out open door policy since 1990s.

Halong Bay beauty is marked by limestone islands and beautiful caves. Islets in Ha Long are  two types of limestone  and schist, concentrated in two main areas in the southeast Bai Tu Long Bay and southwest Ha Long Bay. This is the most ancient image aged  250 - 280 million years. This is result of the earth work when it raised up, lowered several times from the sunken continent into the sea. The process of karst erosion and weathering  created Halong as unique area in the world.

Among hundreds of limestone islands, each has their owned shape that looks very lively such as Man's headed islet, Dragon islet, Old man fishing islet, sail islet, cock fighting islets, incense burner islet, frog, and dog islet ... Hidden inside limestone islands are beautiful caves concerned  with many miraculous legends such as Thien Cung, Dau Go, Sung Sot, Trinh Nu, Tam Cung ...

You can apply flexible ways to explore Halong Bay from half day to 4 day cruise including stay overnight on 3-5 star cruise.

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