Mui Ne and Phan Thiet travel guide

Oh, what do we tell you about Mui Ne and Phan Thiet?! These tiny fishing villages are nestled between turquoise beaches that line the Eastern coast of Vietnam. The area is just 4-hour train ride away from the chaos of Ho Chi Minh City but seems like a different world altogether. There are endless reasons for visiting Mui Ne and Phan Thiet. We found it tough to choose between gorgeous sunsets, glistening beaches, surreal scenery, and picture-perfect villages but we managed to restrict ourselves to listing just 10 Things To Do in Mui Ne and Phan Thiet

There are endless things to do in Mui Ne and Phan Thiet, but we loved the beaches and villages

Before we tempt you with some amazing things to do in Mui Ne, let’s get the slightly boring stuff out of the way?

Accommodation in Mui Ne and Phan Thiet

We would strongly recommend staying in Mui Ne as Phan Thiet can get crowded and busy. We stayed in a very nice beach-side resort called Pandanus Resort.

How To Get To Mui Ne And Phan Thiet

Although a bit convoluted, it is possible to get a Vietnam visa on arrival (for which you must apply online first). Once you are in Vietnam, It’s fairly easy to get to Mui Ne / Phan Thiet from Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City). On our way to Mui Ne, we took the train from Saigon that departed at 06:50 a.m. (eek!) and brought us to Phan Thiet in 4 hours. We could have taken the bus, but our hotel staff suggested that the train would be more comfortable. Right they were? From the train station, we were ferried to our resort in Mui Ne by the pre-arranged pick-up driver from our resort. In total, it took us 4.5 hours to get to Mui Ne. Train tickets, including reserved seating, cost $ 16.

On our way back from Mui Ne to Saigon, we decided to take the bus. Our hotel arranged the bus tickets with a company called Hanh Cafe, which we later found out did not have good reviews? It was too late to change our booking but thankfully our experience was not bad at all. We were picked up from our resort hotel and after picking up a gazillion other tourists from different hotels in Mui Ne, we were driven to Saigon through the choked roads and highways in a little over 5 hours. We preferred the train, but the buses offer more flexibility in terms of schedule.

Top Things to do in Mui Ne and Phan Thiet

1)     Rent a bike

You are in Asia. This is a no-brainer. If you want to explore the area, there is no better way to do it than by renting a bike. Bike rentals in Mui Ne cost anywhere between $8-12 per day. Traffic can get crazy in this part of the world, so be careful. Bus drivers seem to be on a mission to demolish anything comes in their way. Another piece of advice – always have your helmet on or you’ll definitely be stopped by a cop which will result in a lot of discussion and eventually, bribery.

Renting a bike will give you the flexibility of exploring offbeat places in the area, discovering hidden beaches, and exploring local markets.

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A bike is the cheapest and best way to explore the area around Mui Ne and Phan Thiet

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Guess what Vid’s favorite part of the trip was?

2)     Go Quad biking at the White Sand Dunes

We’ve already introduced you to this geographical wonder in our write-up on the White Sand Dunes Of Mui Ne. If you’ve rented a bike, getting to the White Sand Dunes is a joy ride in itself. It will take you through unpaved roads and gorgeous stretches of Vietnamese countryside. Once you are there, enjoy the dunes on a quad bike – everything from gentle bumps to stomach-churning bends is on offer.

The white sand dunes of Mui Ne are approximately 25 km. away from the center of Mui Ne – once you have had your share of fun at the dunes, just walk over to the lotus pond and spend the afternoon watching the sun go down.

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Ever seen sand dunes next to water and grasslands?

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The White Sand Dunes, one of our favoritevi things to do in Mui Ne, Vietnam

3)     Visit the early morning fish market of Mui Ne

Mui Ne’s chaotic early morning market provides a fascinating peek into the lives of local Vietnamese fishermen. Every morning they get their catch to the shore. Their wives and family members sort out the catch and sell it to the local traders, restaurant owners, and street food vendors on the spot. It’s like a trading floor right out of a Wall Street institution.  Expect to find fishing nets full of seafood, buckets overflowing with fish, shells strewn everywhere, raucous conversation, and plenty of photo-opps (It was tough to tear Vid away from the market ? )

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Early morning fish market at Mui Ne

4)     Sunrise and Sunset at Mui Ne

Early morning isn’t the only time you should visit Mui Ne. This little village is absolutely magical at sunrise and sunset. Dozens of brightly coloured boats adorn turquoise waters. Everything is bathed in a luminescent light – highly recommended!! In fact, this might be our favourite thing to do in Mui Ne and Phan Thiet.

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Colourful fishing boats dot the waters of Mui Ne

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Sunset in Mui Ne and Phan Thiet is spectacular to say the least

5)     Visit the Red Sand Dunes of Mui Ne

Another great place to catch a gorgeous sunset are the Red Sand Dunes of Mui Ne. If you don’t have the time to venture out to the White Sand Dunes, the Red ones are just a couple of kilometres from the centre and can be reached on foot as well.We still can’t get over the wonders of nature in Mui Ne and Phan Thiet – sand dunes that make you feel like you are in a desert right next to the beach?!

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The Red Sand Dunes of Mui Ne, Vietnam

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Sand Dunes next to the beach – ooh yeah!

6)     The Fairy Stream

When we first heard about it, we were apprehensive about this being a tourist trap. But we were wrong!! This aptly named stream is another wonder of nature. Tucked between beaches and fishing villages, this gurgling stream is surrounded by amazing limestone formations. You can deposit your shoes at the entrance or carry them along with you to explore this muddy stream. Make your way through colourful limestone formations, warm water, and bright green trees to reach a waterfall.

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Vid at the Fairy Stream, one of our favourite things to do in Mui Ne and Phan Thiet

7)     Treat your nostrils at fish vats ?

Mui Ne and Phan Thiet are famous for being the home of fish sauce. This popular condiment might add a great dash of flavour to Asian food, but it doesn’t smell particularly pleasant. In fact, the word vile comes to mind – fermented fish in huge vats – doesn’t exactly remind you of perfume, does it ? There are a number of factories in Phan Thiet, but if you are in Mui Ne, you can witness the action close to The Fairy Stream.

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Huge vats of fermented fish sauce

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Fermented fish sauce and dried fish – sounds amazing, doesn’t it ?

8)     Find a secluded beach

There is no shortage of things to do in Mui Ne but it is easy to spend languid days at your hotel’s beach. But we suggest taking your rented scooter out for a spin and exploring the area. There are a number of isolated beaches perfect for an impromptu picnic or skinny dipping, if you enjoy that sort of thing ? Our favourite secluded beach is the Hon Rom beach which can be reached by driving past the Red Sand Dunes towards the White Sand Dunes.

What’s a beach holiday without some beach bumming ?

9)     Learn Kite Surfing

Mui Ne and Phan Thiet boast of a number of windy beaches that are perfect for kite surfing.  In fact, the area is one of Asia’s most popular sites for kitesurfing. There are a number of Kite Surfing schools in the area that offer courses for amateurs and beginners at extremely competitive prices. Moreover, there is no shortage of wide, sandy beaches to practice the sport

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Kitesurfing is just one of the dozens of things to do in Mui Ne

10)  Binge on The Food

Aah, the best for the last ? Mui Ne offers scrumptious seafood for dirt cheap prices. Grilled Red Snappers for £3 and clams and mussels for £2 often crop up on menus. If you’re adventurous, there’s snakes, crocodiles, and turtles on the menu. Freshly BBQ’d scallops with spring onions and peanuts drizzled with a lemon, sugar, and salt dip were my favourites. Mmmm, I want to go back for some more.

Then there are the fruits – everything from litchis and mangoes to mangosteens and papayas are on offer. Mui Ne’s morning fruit market is the equivalent of a candy factory for fruit lovers. The pick of the lot? Fuchsia-coloured Dragon Fruit. You’ll see entire orchards of Dragon Fruit on the way from Ho Chi Minh City to Mui Ne. No wonder it tastes better here than in any other part of Asia. Our friend Jodi talks about some great eating options in her Crash Course on Mui Ne ?

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Pick your own sea food at cheap prices – That’s Mui Ne for you ?

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BBQ’d Scallops – DIVINE!

Fresh Fruits – nom, nom, nom!

Planning a trip to VietNam? Don’t forget to read our tips on VietNam travel guide.

For more details without fee, please call us +84.968187718 (Mr Stanley Ho)

Ho Chi Minh City travel guide

 

The largest city in Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh City has something for everyone. The city’s eight million residents still call it by its old name, Saigon, and for many, that name still carries with it the exotic charm of its long and fascinating history. Growing and stretching at a furious pace, the city is never still. The noise of construction on dozens of new office buildings and hotels mingles with the cries of street vendors. And the honk of motorbikes and buses. Elegant restaurants, educational museums, ancient pagodas, and quiet botanical gardens are steps away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life of Ho Chi Minh City’s citizens. A fascinating conglomeration of cultures has been woven into the tapestry of this increasingly popular tourist destination.

The History of Ho Chi Minh City

While the centuries-old history of Ho Chi Minh City is often murky due to lack of written records. As we know that a once sleepy fishing village called Prei Nokor. It’s located in a strategic spot along the Saigon River, slowly developed into a vastly important port of trade in the South China Sea. This trading port was later named Saigon after the Viets swept down from the north to conquer the kingdom of Champa in the 18th century.
In 1861, the French military seized control of Saigon in retaliation for the mistreatment of French missionaries. And in 1862, the Treaty of Saigon named Saigon as the capital of French Cochinchina. Which covered the southernmost one-third portion of what is modern-day Vietnam. The French influence during their nearly 100 years of rule shaped the form and character of the growing seaport. And modern visitors can see this influence in the architecture, street design, cuisine, fashion, and European-style hospitality.

“Sai Gon” history

French rule was harsh to the native population, and the growing resentment and rebellion toward French colonialism produced a surge of support for Ho Chi Minh, the leader of the Viet Minh (the League for the Independence for Vietnam).

Though Ho Chi Minh was Communist, this was a secondary concern for the native population, who desperately desired to be independent of all foreign governments. After WWII, Ho Chi Minh’s forces seized the northern city of Hanoi and set up the Democratic State of Vietnam in the north, with “Uncle Ho” as president. It was the clash between President Ho’s Communist North and the anti-Communist South and its ally, the United States. Which sparked the terrible conflagration of the Vietnam War. Two years after American troops pulled out of Saigon in 1973, the Ho Chi Minh Campaign rolled into Saigon, and the city was quickly re-named after Ho Chi Minh.

Later, the Vietnamese government embraced a market economy, which allowed the city’s thousands of imaginative and entrepreneurial leaders to begin creating remarkable wealth and prosperity. Today, visitors enjoy the benefits of this thriving economy while still being able to savor the historical remnants of Ho Chi Minh City’s manifold past.

Best Time to Visit

The best time to visit Ho Chi Minh City is during the dry season, which runs from December to April. Because it is located in a tropical climate, you can expect average year-round temperatures to be between 26 degrees C and 29 degrees C (79 degrees F to 84 degrees F). While the wet season from May to November produces many tropical storms, just plan some flexibility into your travel itinerary to accommodate any storms that arise. Any time of year is a great time to soak in the beautiful scenery and fascinating activities on offer in this engaging part of the world.

Learn about Ho Chi Minh City Culture

Don’t neglect to get an education in Ho Chi Minh City’s culture. Beautiful museums and ancient places of worship will keep you absorbed by the way of life from generations past. The following sites are well worth your time:

War Remnants Museum

Many Western visitors to Ho Chi Minh City are generally knowledgeable about how the West was involved in the Vietnam War, but the War Remnants Museum will give you perspective on how it played out from a Vietnam citizen’s viewpoint. Be aware that the upper level of the museum displays sometimes very graphic images of victims of weapons such as Agent Orange and napalm. The museum also contains exhibits relating to the Indochina War (19 December 1946 – 1 August 1954), which was known as the Anti-French Resistance War to the people of Vietnam. Located in District 3.

Ben Thanh Market

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The ultimate in Ho Chi Minh City’s market culture. So you can find just about anything in this centrally located, bustling daily market: produce, cuisine, clothing, jewelry, handbags, souvenirs, housewares, and much, much more. Bargaining is expected. So hone your haggling skills to command lower prices, and feel free to ignore the “fixed price” signs. NOTE: pickpockets operate in this area, so take special care to secure your valuable personal items against theft.

Water Puppet Show

Puppeteers brought this unique and exceptionally enthralling entertainment to the south from the rice paddies of Northern Vietnam’s Red River Delta after the 11th century. Lacquered wooden puppets perform on a water stage, a waist-deep pool that hides the poles on which the puppets are manipulated. Puppeteers hide behind a bamboo screen while playing out tales of magic and myth that are so beloved in Vietnamese culture set to live, traditional music. While the plays are voiced entirely in Vietnamese, exaggerated puppet movements and helpful sound effects from the orchestra make plotlines easy to follow. Be sure to visit the Golden Dragon Water Puppetry Theater or the Villa Song Saigon (formerly Thao Dien Village) as part of your stay in HCM City.

Jade Emperor Pagoda

Over 100 years old, the Taoist shrine is replete with the gods and heroes of Taoist beliefs along with Cantonese Buddhist inscriptions and carvings, though the pagoda is a place of worship meant for all faiths. The Jade Emperor himself (the supreme Taoism god) reigns swathed in clouds of incense in the Chamber of 10 Hells, with various gods and goddesses scattered throughout the intricately designed interior. In one of the courtyards, a shelter houses dozens of turtles, which represent longevity, fortune, and good luck in Asian culture. Admission is free, and the pagoda is open daily from 6 am to 6 pm.

Ho Chi Minh City Art & Architecture Tours

Though many French colonial buildings are being demolished to make room for modern buildings, there is a sense of freshness and innovation in HCM City’s current architectural plans. Still, the mainstays of the French colonial era have remained intact, and you can visit these beautiful remnants while also marveling at what’s new.

Reunification Palace

Completed in 1966, Reunification Palace was built on the site of the original home of the French governor of Cochinchina in 1868. The residence was gradually expanded to become Norodom Palace. Before becoming the home of the first South Vietnamese president. After Vietnam gained independence from France, Ngo Dinh Diem. After surviving an assassination attempt by his own air force. Which demolished the palace with bombs, President Ngo built another one called Independence Palace. But he was killed by his troops three years before its completion. After Saigon fell to the North Vietnamese, the palace was renamed Reunification Palace. And visitors can enjoy its cheery, open 1960s-era architecture and furnishings. Which have been left in place since the palace was abandoned? Daily tours can accommodate English and French speakers.

Bitexco Financial Tower – Saigon Skydeck

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A 68-story marvel, this airy tower graces the HCM City skyline as the 124th tallest tower in the world. Floors of the building house offices, shops, restaurants, and a helipad. But the biggest draw is the Saigon Skydeck, an observation deck that provides 360 degree views of HCM City and the Saigon River below. Designed by American architect Carlos Zapata. The award-winning financial tower is on CNNGo’s list of 20 of the world’s most iconic skyscrapers. Shop, eat, or enjoy art shows as well as take in the amazing views. And the city’s other landmarks at the tower’s location on 36 Ho Tung Mau Street in District 1. The sky deck is open daily from 9:30am to 9:30pm.

Notre Dame Cathedral

Started by the French in 1877 and not completed for many decades. Notre Dame Cathedral in the heart of Ho Chi Minh City served as the Catholic office headquarters in Cochinchine as well as a testament to the Vietnamese of France’s might and power. The cathedral was anointed as a basilica by the Vatican in 1962. Which officially renamed it the Basilica of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception. Unlike more elaborate cathedrals in other countries, the Notre Dame Cathedral in HCM City has a fairly simple interior. That’s a place of peace and serenity amongst the noise and chaos of life in downtown HCM City. Sunday masses are conducted in both English and Vietnamese (the public is welcome to attend). And the cathedral is open to the public daily for tours. The front doors are open for Sunday masses, but on weekdays, use the side door.

Food & Authentic Cooking of Ho Chi Minh City / Saigon Street Food

Food in Vietnam culture really is about love

The love of the ingredients, the process of cooking, and the act of eating. When you visit Ho Chi Minh City, you must make it a point to sample the cuisine. In order to truly begin to understand the people and the culture. From street vendors to the most elegant five-star restaurants, HCM City offers a sampling of regional cuisine from all over the entire country—the North, the Central area, and, of course, the South.

Street Food & Local Stalls

From pho to ban tam bi, you can find almost any Vietnamese dish served on the street. Grazing along among the stalls and tiny shops is one of the transcendental experiences of HCM City. Choose vendors and stalls where there are lines, as this means. That’s the ingredients are fresher and replaced often, lessening any chances of food poisoning. Which is very rare if you take a few simple precautions (read Jodi Ettenberg’s excellent guide on safely eating street food at Legal Nomads blog). Whatever you do, don’t refuse to eat street food! You’ll be missing out on some of the best eats you’ve ever had, the kind of food you will lovingly describe to any friend or stranger who will listen at any party you attend in the future.

Cyclo Resto

This is where the locals eat, so you are guaranteed a delicious, authentic meal for a great price. Cyclo Resto’s set menu takes the guesswork out of ordering, and the staff will helpfully explain each dish. Located down a little alley, the time you spend searching it out will only whet your appetite for the fantastic meal you are about to enjoy.

XO Tours

A food tour from a local is one of the best ways to both see and taste what a city has to offer. When XO Tours offer family-friendly motorbike tours. And the friendly, knowledgeable female guides will take you to parts of the city you aren’t likely to see otherwise. All while sampling dishes that keep your taste buds tingling. XO Tour guides deliver all kinds of interesting information about the history and way of life in HCM City. Many speak English very well.

Ho Chi Minh City Adventure Tours

One of the biggest advantages of having a tour guide is that you get a wealth of information that the guidebooks can’t deliver. Adventure tours of the city and the surrounding area take all of the stress out of freely exploring must-see sights. Book a tour, show up at the appointed time, and take it all in!

Cu Chi Tunnels

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Part of the Vietnam War Memorial Park, the Cu Chi tunnels were created by the Communist Viet Cong (VC). During the Vietnam War in order to escape U.S. and South Vietnam bombs and searches. Located under the Cu Chi district in northwest HCM City. The Cu Chi tunnels are part of a larger network of tunnels the VC used to link; With other bases that stretched from Saigon all the way to the Cambodian border. Many civilians also lived in the tunnels. Today, visitors are allowed to crawl through some of the safer tunnel areas. With sample food that a typical VC soldier would have eaten, and shoot an AK-47 on a shooting range.

Mekong Delta Private Day Tour

The Mekong Delta produces an astonishing 1/3 of Vietnam’s annual food crop. Including rice, coconut palms, sugar cane, and tropical fruits. All of this lush agriculture means that visitors can revel in the diverse scenery and greenery, visiting farms, food stalls. And restaurants that specialize in cuisine derived from the freshest fruits, vegetables, and seafood available. Quiet rides down the river in a longtail boat spotting exotic flora and fauna are also not to be missed. Book a tour with Viator for an incredibly reasonable price and spend a day exploring the beautiful Mekong Delta.

Vietnam Vespa Adventures

Saigon at night from the back of a Vespa scooter is a magical place. When you can sit in the open air behind a skilled driver. And you’ll see sights and hear sounds unavailable in an air-conditioned car. Guides show you both the popular and hidden parts of HCM City as well as introduce you to special restaurants and hidden-away eateries. All the more fun when you know that the food and drink are included in the price of the tour.

Conclusion

Ho Chi Minh City is a wonderland of sights, smells, tastes, and experiences. No matter how long you stay. You’ll never be able to see it all. But the fun is in the attempt to see and experience as much as you can. Busy, vibrant, growing, and a mix of old-world charm and modern industry. So you’ll never regret adding HCM City to your Vietnam itinerary.

A Complete Guide to Visiting the City of Hanoi

Hanoi City Birdseye View

Where Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) is busy with new growth geared toward achieving total relevance in the global marketplace. Hanoi’s atmosphere speaks more to a reverence for the quiet wisdom that comes with the passage of time and much experience.

Though Hanoi’s population is young and savvy—educated about the world through the Internet and foreign travel. Many visitors to this dynamic and welcoming city remark on the sense of age and solidity the city exudes.

As show above,Hanoi’s modern architecture and conveniences are built around a core of ancient streets, foods, culture. And habits of living in a harmonious blend that reveres the old while welcoming the new.So Hanoi may just be your favorite destination in the vibrant tapestry that is Vietnam.

A Brief History of Hanoi

Hanoi History

The truly ancient city of Hanoi has gone by dozens of different names over the centuries. The city’s current name was bestowed in 1831 by Nguyen emporer, Minh Mang. To denote its position nestled into a curve of the long and mighty Red River’s right bank. With the large West Lake bordering the city’s northern boundary.
A capital city for nearly a millennium in the kingdoms that encompassed North Vietnam, Hanoi is now capital of a reunified Vietnam.

When the French invaded and colonized Vietnam in the 1830s, Hanoi became part of the Tonkin region of Indochina, and you can still find a strong French influence in the city’s French Quarter, with it’s stately French architecture, preponderance of cafes, and availability of Hanoi’s incredibly popular coffee and crusty baguettes.

When the French were forced to leave Vietnam during World War II, the Japanese occupied Indochina from December 1941 to 1942, until they were expelled by General Ho Chi Minh’s communist army, the Viet Minh.

The French moved into the vacuum that retreating Japanese forces created until they were again forced to leave, with North Vietnam declaring its independence in 1945.

In 1946, friction between the Viet Minh and French occupiers sparked the Battle of Hanoi, which became the first of many battles in the First Indochina War that ended in 1952.

When North Vietnam won the Vietnam War in 1975 (called the American War in Vietnam), Hanoi became the capital of the reunified northern and southern parts of the country.

Best Time to Visit

Best Time to Visit Hanoi

Because it is located in the northern part of Vietnam, Hanoi gets four distinct seasons, with winters getting quite chilly (temps can fall below 10 deg. C., or 50 deg. F.) and summers bringing in plenty of heat (average temp of 28 – 35 deg. C., or 82 – 95 deg. F.). Expect high humidity all year round.

For most visitors, the most pleasant time to visit Hanoi is during the more mild seasons of the year: spring, in March and April; early summer; and autumn, from September to November.

Attractions in Hanoi

Ho Chi Minh Museum

Ho Chi Minh Museum

Ho Chi Minh Museum lies close to other major Hanoi attractions, such as the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, One-Pillar Pagoda, Ba Dinh Square, and the War Memorial. It is also across the street from a lovely local market.

The museum itself celebrates and recounts the life of national hero Ho Chi Minh, who dedicated his life to helping Vietnam gain its independence from foreign occupiers. The museum is packed with artifacts and objects from General Ho’s possessions, with Ho Chi Minh’s life portrayed in eight distinct time periods. Signs are written in Vietnamese, English, and French, and guided tours are available.

Find Ho Chi Minh Museum at 19 Ngoc Ha, Ba Dinh, in the Ho Chi Minh complex.

Opening hours: Monday and Friday, from 8am – 12pm; Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, from 8am – 11:30am, and from 2pm – 4:30pm.

Entrance fee: around 10,000 VND (about USD 0.50)

Click here to visit the Ho Chi Minh tour website.

Vietnam Museum of Ethnology

Vietnam Museum of Ethnology

This award-winning museum honors the diverse cultures and ethnicities of Southeast Asia, many of which are represented within Vietnam’s Hanoi population and in the surrounding area. Local communities assist museum staff in collecting artifacts for display, building and maintaining architectural display structures, and providing exhibitions and performances.

For visitors, the chance to learn about the exciting diversity within Vietnam’s population is an excellent way to spend an afternoon or a day. While some displays change regularly, permanent displays—including a collection of beautifully colored Indonesian glass paintings—delight repeat patrons every time they go.

Find the Vietnam Museum of Ethnology on Nguyen Van Huyen Road in Cau Giay district.

Opening hours: Tuesday through Sunday, from 8:30am – 5:30pm. Closed Mondays and New Year’s Holiday.

Entrance fee: 40,000 VND (about USD 1.76), with free admission for children under six.

Visit the museum’s website to learn more about special events, to rent locations, and for information on tour guide fees.

Old Quarter (Hoan Kiem District)

Old Quarter (Hoan Kiem District)

The Old Quarter is the city’s main tourist hub as well as its main commercial district. Distinct from the French Quarter (Ba Dinh District), the Old Quarter houses plenty of wonderful Hanoi attractions, such as colonial architecture, Buddhist temples and pagodas, and lots of places to shop and eat.

Hoan Kiem Lake and Ngoc Son Temple in Hanoi

Ngoc Son Temple in Hanoi

Nearby in the Old Quarter is Hoan Kiem Lake, a quiet and peaceful place to get away from the noise and bustle of the city, the Ngoc Son temple standing guard on a small island in the middle of the lake. The temple, built to commemorate Tran Hung Dao, a 13th century military leader who fought bravely against the Mongolian Yuan Dynasty, is located on Jade Island. Visitors can access the island on the Rising Sun Bridge, a brightly painted bridge built in the classical Vietnamese design. The temple is open daily from 8am – 5:30pm.

“Hoan Kiem Lake” means “lake of the returned sword.” The legend has it that an emperor was given a magical sword in his efforts to defeat the Chinese Ming Dynasty, and by his use of the sword, the Golden Turtle God returned to the lake.

Visit Hoan Kiem Lake to sit and people watch in the shade, visit the island and the temple, and try to spot one of the endangered soft-shell turtles that inhabit the lake. Come early in the morning to see locals practice their Tai Chi and yoga.

Water Puppet Theater

Water Puppet Theater

Located in the Old Quarter, the world-renowned Thang Long Water Puppet Theater continues a North Vietnamese tradition. Water puppetry began as a way for villagers to entertain each other after the rice paddies were planted and flooded. Puppeteers use long rods to manipulate the puppets over waist-deep water, providing a spectacle that originates in North Vietnam and has become popular throughout Vietnam and Southeast Asia.

Water puppet shows are accompanied by an orchestra playing traditional instruments and incorporate authentic operatic songs into the breathtaking productions. Book early to get a seat at the front (tickets sell out quickly!), and enjoy a truly authentic Vietnamese experience.

Show times: 2pm and 8pm

Address: 57b Dinh Tien Hoang Street on the northeast shore of Hoan Kiem Lake

Ticket prices start at 247,830 VND (USD 11), with extra fees to film the show.

Popular Tours

Guided tours allow you to see parts of a city that you might not normally uncover. If you are unfamiliar with Hanoi, we recommend booking one of these quality tours as a way to see the sights and get interesting information from knowledgeable tour guides. For a list of tours beyond the ones listed below.

Hanoi City Tour

Hanoi City Tour

This day tour is the perfect way to spend your time hitting all the most popular sights in the city. Including lunch at a local restaurant featuring Vietnamese cuisine. With stops at the Ho Chi Minh Complex and all the sites located there, Tran Quoc Pagoda, the Old Quarter, the Temple of Literature and more, you’ll get your money’s worth and get the feel of Hanoi’s lengthy history and deep culture.

Tour operators pick you up from and drop you back off at your hotel. Tours start at 8:30 am and end at 3 pm.

For pricing and booking.

Perfum Pagoda (Huong Pagoda)

Perfum Pagoda (Huong Pagoda)

Huong Pagoda is a cluster of temples and shrines located near Huong Son Mountain (Perfume Mountain) about 70 km (43 miles) from Hanoi. Built in the late 1600s, Perfum Pagoda has long been a place of reflection, worship, and beauty for Buddhist monks and civilians alike.

The day trip includes pickup from your hotel, a two-hour bus ride to Ben Duc harbor, and a one-hour boat ride over crystal waters before reaching the pagoda. Therefore You’d spend your time exploring the main pagoda via a cable car to the top of the mountain, enjoying lunch, and visiting another large pagoda nearby. After traveling back to Hanoi, you will be dropped back at your hotel. English-speaking tour guides are available, as are guides who speak in other languages. To get more information about tour prices and to book a tour.

Tam Coc Easy Cycling Tour

Tam Coc Easy Cycling Tour

Cycling through Vietnamese countryside is a wonderful way to get fresh air while seeing the landscape up close and personal. This day trip lets you go back to the 10th century in the Ninh Binh Province at Hoa Lu, the former citadel of Dai Viet City, a visit to the site known as “Halong Bay Inland” (Tam Coc), and more.

The tour includes pickup from your hotel at 8am, transport to Hoa Lu, bicycles for the trip to picturesque Tam Coc, a boat tour through caves in limestone karsts, and the trip back to your hotel. Lunch in Tam Coc and all entrance fees are included in the tour price.

For tour prices and dates.

Halong Bay

Halong Bay

Hanoi is a popular base for visits to Halong Bay, of the UNESCO World Heritage sites. Halong Bay in the Tonkin Gulf is a magical wonderland of foliage-topped limestone karsts jutting from the blue-green waters of the bay. A one-day cruise will get you out on the water amongst the karsts. With an onboard lunch of local seafood, and a visit to one of the unique caves located in one of the largest of the karsts. And the tour also includes all service charges and government fees as well as transportation to and from your hotel in Hanoi to Halong Bay City and the docks.

To find pricing information and to book a one-day tour, click here.

For additional information about the Halong Bay, travel tips, and cruises, read our travel guide on Halong Bay.

Traditional Hanoi Food

Every region of Vietnam produces exquisite dishes, but Hanoi stands apart for both the variety and deliciousness of its most beloved foods. North Vietnam cuisine tends toward the simple and pure, with a preference for clean flavors. When it comes to eating out, people from all walks of life happily mingle together at streetside restaurants, sitting on small stools and leaning over short tables to slurp pho or dig their chopsticks into something delectable. You’ll be overwhelmed with the sheer volume of tempting dishes offered in restaurants and from food carts wherever you go in Hanoi, but there are a few dishes that no visitor should miss.

Pho (Noodle Soup)

Pho (Noodle Soup)

Pho, pronounced “fuh,” is a dish found all over Vietnam with different variations, but it is in Hanoi where pho was first invented. Hanoi-style pho is kept much more simple compared to southern pho. With fewer spices used in order to maintain a pure and clean flavor in this rich rice noodle soup. Often served with savory fried dough that is dipped into the broth to soak up the flavors, Hanoi pho generally contains either beef or chicken in a lovingly cooked broth to which charred and roasted onions and ginger have been added. It is flavored with star anise, cinnamon, cardamom, fennel, and cloves. The aromatic broth is poured over wide rice noodles.

Some restaurants serve pho along with a plate of torn lettuce leaves, mint, cilantro, and slices of hot chili, but a purist version of Hanoi pho will have the herbs already added to the soup.

The Old Quarter of Hanoi is one of the best places to find pho. Feel free to try several restaurants in order to comparison taste, or ask a local or your tour guide where he or she prefers to buy their pho.

Xoi Xeo

Xoi Xeo

This is a beloved breakfast dish in Hanoi. It’s inexpensive and filling, which is why it’s so popular with students and day laborers. The sticky rice, shavings of cooked and compressed mung beans, and fried shallots are simple ingredients that combine into something truly magical. When you buy it wrapped in a banana leaf, you’re truly getting a taste of a Hanoian favorite.

Banh Mi

Banh Mi

In fact, this street food is a French-Vietnamese fusion food that has existed since the colonial days and has since spread throughout the world.

From the French come of the crusty sandwich rolls and pate (traditionally a duck pate). The staples of a good banh mi. Throw in some meat, cucumbers, fresh herbs, pepper, chili sauce, mayonnaise, daikon-and-carrot pickle (do chua). And maybe a couple fried eggs, and you’ve got the world’s best sandwich.

Vietnamese Egg Coffee

Vietnamese Egg Coffee

Vietnam is the second highest exporter of coffee after Brazil, and the Hanoians love a good coffee smothered in a frothy concoction of honey, sweetened condensed milk, and egg yolk.

The yolks and honey are whipped until they are frothy and thick before being poured into the coffee cup. After the coffee is carefully poured in, a bit of sweetened condensed milk adds further creaminess and flavor.

Banh Cuon

Banh Cuon

Another popular breakfast food, you don’t have to wait for morning to sample this Hanoi an specialty. This crepe dish is influenced by the French, but instead of using a wheat-based crepe. The banh cuon is made with a rice-based crepe that is steamed. The crepe is then filled with meat and mushrooms and served. With a sauce that includes fish sauce, lime juice, Vietnamese pork sausage, and fried onions. You’ll find banh cuon at both food carts and sit-down restaurants, where it’s a delicious and inexpensive snack or meal. You can also get a vegetarian version by asking for plain banh cuon. Banh cuon is very popular with locals. But not many tourists get to hear about it, so be sure to ask a Hanoi an local where to get good banh cuon.

Bun Thang

Bun Thang

If pho is your grandmother’s special chicken noodle soup; bun thang is your gourmet chef brother’s fussy and precise noodle soup that must be made just so. With ingredients cut to exactly the same size and placed in to the bowl in the correct order (which size and which order is up to the cook. Whose bun thang recipe has probably been handed down from previous generations). It’s adult and sophisticated, and the people of Hanoi love their bun thang.

“Bun” refers to the type of noodle used—in this case, rice vermicelli. The vermicelli is placed in the bottom of a bowl, and the ingredients are laid over the noodles before the broth is spooned on top. Ingredients can include meat, green onion and other herbs, thinly sliced scrambled egg, mushrooms, and hot chili slices.

Cha Ca La Vong

Cha Ca La Vong

Because Hanoi isn’t has earthwake, freshwater fish such as snakehead or catfish is used in this delicate and flavorful dish that is a Hanoi specialty. Cha ca Hanoi is so yummy that an entire street is named after it.

When you order cha ca, you’ll get a sizzling pan full of seasoned grilled fish filets to which you will add the additional ingredients. Likes fresh dill, cilantro, and other herbs. When once the greens have cooked down in the pan a bit. You’ll ladle the fish and greens into your bowl of noodles, top with shrimp paste to your taste, and sprinkle with peanuts. So Grab your chopsticks and try to capture a bit of everything in the bowl. So that your mouth explodes with the symphony of taste and texture that is cha ca La Vong.

Vegetarian Restaurants

Vegetarian Restaurants in Hanoi

For non-meat eaters, Hanoi has plenty to offer. Here are three vegetarian restaurant suggestions. Though with a little research and by asking locals or a tour guide, you’ll easily get even more excellent recommendations.

Bo De Quan

Bo De Quan

Located at 164 Au Co in Tay Ho district, this small family-run vegan restaurant serves up extremely fresh and tasty dishes daily. The emphasis is on southern Vietnamese cooking traditions. So you’ll get that robust southern flavor in these truly authentic Vietnamese dishes. With the menu emphasis on traditional classics—including spring rolls and soup to die for—you know you’re getting something special. Locals and visitors rave about the banana soup.

Daluva

Daluva

While Daluva isn’t a strictly vegetarian restaurant. The Middle Eastern menu clearly labels the vegetarian offerings. Israeli-American executive chef Shahar S. Lubin creates a gastropub menu for those who want a little taste of home (Philly cheesesteaks, burgers, fries). Or who are seeking something outside the traditional Vietnamese cuisine? Select your favorites from an all-day menu or drop in for comforting breakfast or lunch food. Add a cold microbrew or cocktail to your meal.

Find Daluva at 33 To Ngoc Van. Visit Daluva’s website to explore the menu or order takeout.

Zenith Yoga

Fancy a little yoga instruction before lunch? Zenith Yoga contains both a yoga studio and a vegetarian fusion food café. So you can drop by to do your sun salutations before diving into a scrumptious mushroom sandwich or ultra-fresh salad. Top off your meal with a cool and refreshing fresh smoothie, and order another one to go.

Zenith Yoga in 247 Au Co in Tay Ho district. Visit Zenith Yoga’s ZCafe to see what’s on the menu.

Conclusion

Hanoi

Ancient Hanoi is the perfect blend of old and new. So Each district has something distinct to offer. And visitors will enjoy exploring the city’s most important museums, pagodas, and cultural sites.

The remarkable array of street food and restaurants offering up everything from traditional North Vietnamese dishes to comfort foods from home mean. So your taste buds will always be tickled. For many, Vietnam’s capital city of Hanoi is the perfect place to vacation—there’s plenty to see, the food is delicious, and the people are friendly.

Distance from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon): 1,619 km (1006 miles)
By air: about 2 hours
By train: about 34 hours

Distance from Hanoi to Hai Phong: 121 km (75 miles)
By train: about 2 hours and 15 minutes

Distance from Hanoi to Lao Cai: 252 km (157 miles)
By car: about 2 hours, 34 minutes
By train: click here

Distance from Hanoi to Halong Bay City: 164 km (102 miles)
By car or bus: about 3 to 3.5 hours

Distance from Hanoi to Da Nang: 627 km (390 miles)
By air: 1 hour, 18 minutes
By train: about 14 hours, 12 minutes

Distance from Hanoi to Nha Trang: 1,292 km (803 miles)
By air: 1 hour, 45 minutes
By train: about 23 hours

Source: Vietnam Visa WebSite

A Complete Guide to Visiting the City of Nha Trang

With its beautiful backdrop and pleasant weather, Nha Trang is the ideal location for a perfect couple’s getaway. This guide will give you some tips and suggestions to help you create your own style of romantic trip (because the definition of romance differs for everyone).

nha-trang

Once a set of sleepy fishing villages (Xuon Huan, Phuong Cau, Van Than, Phuong Sai, and Phuoc Hai), Nha Trang has grown into one of the most popular ecotourism sites in Vietnam, a beautiful residence for its 500,000 inhabitants.

Nha Trang was originally part of the Cham Empire, which spread over what is now central and southern Vietnam from approximately 100 A.D. to 1832. During the days of the Champa, the area was called Kauthara, though in more recent times it may also have been called Ya Trang (Reed River) to mark its location on the Cai River, before it was officially renamed Nha Trang in 1698.

It wasn’t until 1924, when the Governor-General of French Indochina made the townlet the capital of the Khan Hoa Province, that Nha Trang really started seeing growth. The French, noting the incredible beauty of the protected bay against which the five original villages nestled, along with the long, golden sand beaches, and the heavily forested mountains—abundant with wildlife—that ring three sides of the city, recognized Nha Trang as the perfect spot on which to build a resort town.

All the elements that originally enticed French pleasure-seekers still delight a growing number of tourists from both Vietnam and abroad.

Best Time to Visit

best-time
Nha Trang’s tropical savannah climate means you’ll get mostly lovely weather during the area’s long dry season, from January to August. In the hottest months, from May to September, average high temperatures hover in the low 90 degrees F.

The wet season, though short (September or October through December), is very wet. Islands in the bay protect the city from the worst typhoon winds, but expect daily heavy rainfall during these four months. Though average temperatures rarely dip below a balmy 70 degrees F., it can get chilly at times. Humidity remains high year-round.

About Nha Trang

about
Today’s Nha Trang, situated on the southern central portion of the Asian Peninsula, just where the land begins to curve to the west, is cosmopolitan and tourist-friendly. Most locals live in the northern part of the city, which is called Cho Dam. Most of the tourist infrastructure is located around Biet Thu, which is in the southern part of the city.

Because the city was originally built as a resort getaway, the emphasis is on the luscious natural beauty of the area. With a population of only 500,000, Nha Trang is a quiet village compared to Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City, with their populations of seven and eight million respectively. The city stretches along the edges of the aquamarine Nha Trang Bay, with kilometers of golden sand beaches and a promenade along Tran Phu Street enticing visitors to wander and soak in the sun. But don’t think that Nha Trang is sleepy and boring! The city still bustles, and when the sun goes down, the nightlife heats up.

Inside the city, you’ll find plenty to see and do, from visiting the Po Nagar Cham Towers to luxuriating on the beaches, relaxing in the spas, hiking or biking in the mountains, or sampling the delicious seafood dishes that are the specialty of the city.

Nha Trang is a popular vacation destination for the Vietnamese, of course, but Russian tourists and expats also love the city. You’ll find most signs to be in Vietnamese and Russian, and local guides and shopkeepers often speak Russian instead of English or French.

Attractions near Nha Trang

I-Resort Nha Trang

resort
Nha Trang is known for its mineral water and mud baths, available at various resorts throughout the area. I-Resort is one of the three most popular resorts for mineral mud baths, but it also has some amazing pools and a waterfall area, too. You’ll find it clean and refreshing, with a hospitable staff. Choose a treatment package at the entry, and then plan on spending at least half a day here to get the full effect of all that the resort has to offer.

Soak in a private mineral mud bath for 20 minutes to half-an-hour, rinse off, and then relax in the sun on the sandy beach or paddle in one of the multiple bathing pools. Don’t forget to get a massage in the spa/massage center. Finally, enjoy a meal in the resort’s restaurant before heading back to Nha Trang and the rest of your day. Shuttles are available to take you to and from your hotel (about 20,000 VND one way), with Nha Trang city center located about seven km (around four miles) from the resort.

Vinpearl Land Amusement Park

vinpearl
Located on the largest island in the Nha Trang Bay, Vinpearl Land Amusement Park is part of VinGroup’s massive conglomeration of hotels, spas, and resorts scattered throughout Vietnam. The amusement park has something for everyone, including rides, a water park, 4D movies, an aquarium, video games, and a nightly water show. Admission fees are very reasonable at 650,000 VND ($29), and food is sold inside the park (no outside food is allowed in).

Get to the park via the world’s longest cable car, which takes you from the mainland and across the water to the island. You’ll love the views during the ride as well as the lush beauty of the park landscaping. Alternatively, a ferry is also available for transport to and from Nha Trang.

Vinpearl Cable Car

cable-car
The cable car system that carries visitors to the five-star Vinpearl Land Amusement Park has become one of the iconic symbols of Nha Trang tourism. The cable car is the longest in Vietnam at 3320 meters (2 miles). Suspended on Eiffel Tower-like pylons, guests ride between 40 and 60 meters above the surface of the bay in comfortable carriages that can hold up to eight people. 48 carriages can carry up to 1500 people per hour.

The ride takes a total of 12 minutes and affords stunning views of Nha Trang and the surrounding natural beauty of the bay, the beaches, and the mountains. Catch a ride any day of the week between 5am and 10pm, including during very windy weather (the cable car is built to withstand gales up to level seven). Any changes to the ride’s schedule will be posted at the departure stations on Nha Trang and the island.

Po Nagar Cham Towers (Thap Ba)

cham-towers
Of the seven stone and brick towers originally built before the ninth century, A.D., only four remain. Po Nagar Cham Towers are located on Cu Lao Mountain in the heart of Nha Trang, with easy access and very low entrance fees. The towers are beautiful remnants of the Cham kingdom, with the distinctive architecture and style so familiar to the millennium of Cham rule.

Each of the towers is dedicated to various deities revered in Buddhist worship, with Po Nagar being especially honored as the goddess who taught the people new techniques in agriculture and weaving. The annual Thap Ba Festival in spring (dates are scheduled via the lunar calendar, so they change every year) draws a crowd of Cham descendants who come to honor the goddess and the other gods represented by the towers.

Nha Tho Nui (Nha Trang Cathedral)

cathedral
A beautiful example of French Gothic architecture, Nha Tho Nui was built by the French in the early 20th century. It stands on a small hill and once overlooked a small cemetery, which was later moved to make room for a train station. The remains from the cemetery found new homes within the cavities of the cathedral’s walls. The cathedral is an easy walk from the beach (about one km), making this, the largest church in Nha Trang, a popular place to visit.

Typically Vietnamese-style adornments include neon lights behind the crucifix, a neon halo behind the head of the statue of the Virgin Mary, pink neon in the tabernacle, and blue neon emphasizing the structure of the arches.

You can access the cathedral from a staircase rising from the square (Ave Maria plaza) or from Ave Maria Nguyen Trai, a small road nearby. The railroad station is located near the back of the structure. The cathedral is open to the public Monday through Friday, from 5am to 4pm, and on Sundays from 4am to 8pm.

Popular Tours

New to town and not sure what to see or do? Guided tours are one of the best ways;to get information about a city in a safe, structured way. You’ll get to visit popular sites, and your guide will often show you some of the best places that are;tucked away, out of sight of the regular tourists but loved by the locals.

Nha Trang travel guide – River Tour

river-tour
The Cai River bisects Nha Trang before heading inland on its winding path. Pham Tours boat their guests along the gently flowing river to see local;attractions and enjoy the relaxed, easy feeling of floating on the water.

Pham Tours books only private tours, so you won’t be inconvenienced by sudden;influxes of random tourists getting on or off at various stops along the river. Tour guides are knowledgeable about the river and the city;and are happy to answer questions and share their experiences.

True Friends Easy Rider

bike-tour
Feel the wind in your hair and enjoy the freedom of the open road! A motorbike tour with True Friends Easy Rider is one of the best;ways to hit the road as well as get off the beaten path. Select from one- or two-day trips through the Vietnam countryside surrounding Nha Trang. A motorbike tour keeps you close to the land and its people while allowing you to travel; more miles than a bicycle tour, and it’s more personal than a tour by bus or car. See the sights, meet the people; and taste the food this beautiful country has to offer! Hotel pickup is included. Check out the True Friends Easy Rider website here for current tour dates; to sign up for a tour, and to get pricing information.

Beach Tour

beach-tour
A four-day R&R tour designed to get you to the best beaches for sunbathing, swimming, and snorkeling? Yes, please! Nha Trang’s beautiful beaches are famous throughout Vietnam, and a beach;tour like this will let you explore all the fun, activity, and food to be had in and near Nha Trang.

The first day is spent settling in to the hotel before exploring the city. Days 2 and 3 are for visiting some beaches, enjoying water sports; and touring a fishing village. Day 4 is for farewell and departure.

Whether you’re new to Nha Trang or visiting a second or third time; this type of tour is sure to offer you something you haven’t seen before. Visit here for tour dates, pricing, and tour options.

Traditional Nha Trang Food

Food is such an integral part of a culture, and Nha Trang’s food is no different. Because Nha Trang is on the ocean, seafood makes up a large portion of the most popular dishes for locals. We’ve assembled a list of five iconic Nha Trang dishes, but don’t think that this list is by any means an exhaustive one. We encourage you to sample as many dishes as you can.

Bun Cha Ca (Fish Cake Noodle Soup)

fish-soup
Many areas of Vietnam feature their own versions of bun cha ca, but Nha Trang’s;version includes saltwater fish instead of freshwater fish; which gives it a unique and especially flavorful taste and aroma. Meaty white fish filets and fish paste meatballs float in a tantalizing;broth flavored with pineapple and tomatoes. Vermicelli noodles and fresh, minced vegetables and herbs complete the dish. It’s a mixture of sweet, salty, sour, and bitter when you add Nha Trang’s famous fish sauce.

Partially Dried Cuttlefish

cuttlefish
Dried squid is considered a delicacy all over Vietnam, but in Nha Trang, the cuttlefish are huge. Buy it from street vendors near the beach or ask for it in a restaurant. Because it’s so popular here, you owe it to yourself to get a taste. Partially dried cuttlefish also makes a very good gift for those back home.

Nha Trang Seafoods

seafood
While this isn’t technically a dish, selecting a variety of fresh seafood to be cooked by a street;vendor or in a restaurant is a delicious way to dive into Nha Trang cuisine. It’s a common practice for locals and tourists alike, and you’ll spend some time considering which fish; mollusks, and crustaceans you want to try before spooning in the delicious finished product. Excited for the experience? Head to restaurants along Thap Ba Road and Pham Von Dong, north of the Tran Phu bridge. Though these restaurants are about a ten-minute drive from Nha Trang center. They are supplied with fresh catches from fishing boats all day long; which means you’ll get the absolute freshest variety of seafood available.

Banh Can

banh-can
Rice flour pancakes loaded with egg, meat, and seafood, and accompanied by pork meatballs;and shredded green mango is the ultimate in comfort food for Nha Trang residents. This street food is popular and available all around Nha Trang, but you can also try it at 51 To Hien Thanh; which is open from 2pm to 9:30pm. Eat the dish by mixing everything into the sauce in order to let the flavors blend. Sprinkle with green onions and dig in!

Nem Nuong

nem-nuong
Generally eaten as part of a celebration feast or perfect for a group of friends; nem nuong is grilled pork, deep fried rice paper. And a selection of vegetables rolled into a wrap and dipped into;a sweet-spicy fish sauce, a Nha Trang specialty. The ingredients will arrive at your table on separate platters. And your job is to select your fillings and make your wrap;according to your tastes. It’s finger food and fun at the same time.

Conclusion

Nha Trang is the perfect destination for those seeking sun, beaches, natural beauty; and a relaxed beach city atmosphere. The Vietnamese vacationers and tourists from all over Asia; Nha Trang is also a favorite watering hole for Russians. With a large contingent visiting and living here year-round.

From its origins as five quiet fishing villages to its official town status under the French; Nha Trang has maintained the resort feeling of its location; nestled onto the long golden beaches of Nha Trang Bay and sheltered by the mountains behind it. Whether you come for the natural wonders or to relax on the beach and indulge in the superb seafood-based cuisine, you won’t regret a stop in Nha Trang.

Tourism village festival in Hoa Binh

A festival of community-based tourism villages of the North-western province is;scheduled to be; held in Mai Chau District, in the mountainous northern province of Hoa Binh, from September 29 to October 1.

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As many as 14 community-based tourism villages from Lao Cai, Yen Bai, Phu Tho, Dien Bien, Lai Chau, Ha Giang, Bac Kan, Son La, and Hoa Binh’re expected to join in with the festival.

It will include a series of activities presented by ethnic groups from the Northern provinces, who will offer their traditional food and drinks such as thang co (soup with horse meat), men men (steamed minced corn), corn wine and baked buffalo meat.

The event will feature artisans producing local handicrafts, including weaving; making bamboo instruments, making sticky rice and dyeing cloth using beeswax; along with artists performing folk songs, dances and games.

The festival’s expected to provide tourists with the chance to learn about;and experience the culture, working environment and lifestyle of the local communities.

Source: NDO

Da Lat Flower Festival

Time: December of odd years.

Place: Da Lat City and some localities of Lam Dong Province.

Da Lat Flower festival
Da Lat Flower Festival

The festival aims to promote and honour the value of Da Lat flowers and floriculture. Coming to the festival, visitors will admire the themed flower and ornamental plant spaces in tourist sites, flower production facilities; participate in the parade of dozens of flower carriages through streets; or enjoy colourful art programs praising the beauty of Da Lat – the city of thousands flowers.  Besides, the festivals also includes many contests, fairs, exhibitions on flowers, etc.

Ninh Kieu

Location: At the confluence of Hau River and Can Tho River, Tan An Ward, Ninh Kieu District, Can Tho City.

Characteristics: With charming beauty, the image of Ninh Kieu Site has gone into poetry and become a symbol of the city.

 ◊ History

(TITC) – In past time, Ninh Kieu was;used to be a wharf at the head of Can Tho Market. In 1876, French Colonial occupied Can Tho, the wharf was built with bricks and stones;along the river shore and became a busy trading port of the South. The wharf was;named Quai de Commerce by French and Hang Duong by local people. In 1957, Chief of Can Tho – Do Van Chuoc had the esplanade and green tree park formed in Hang Duong Wharf. Then, Do Van Chuoc submitted to Ngo Dinh Diem (President of the Republic of Viet Nam) to name the park and esplanade as Ninh Kieu according to the historic site of Ninh Kieu (now Chuc Son Town, Chuong My District, Ha Noi) – the place marked the victory of King Le Thai To and Lam Son Insurgent Army against Ming invaders.

Ninh Kieu Site
Ninh Kieu Site

◊ Outstanding Features

Nowadays, Ninh Kieu Site has become the park with an area of 7,000m²; attracting numerous local people and visitors. At Ninh Kieu Site, visitors can see Can Tho Bridge – the cable-stayed;bridge with the longest main span in Southeast Asia in April 2010. The park has the bronze statue of President Ho Chi Minh with 7.2m in height and 12 tons weight. Hai Ba Trung Street along Can Tho River has been planned into the first walking;street and night market in Can Tho City with many stalls of food, fruits, souvenirs…

◊ Activities for Visitors

Visitors to Can Tho do not miss the opportunity to experience cruiser service in Ninh Kieu Site. Every night, from 7.00pm to 9.00pm, the cruiser will take visitors to sightsee Hau River; enjoy local specialties and unique Southern art performances.

Thu Giang – vietnamtourism.com

Floating Market

Location: Cai Rang District, Can Tho City, about 30 minutes by boat from Ninh Kieu Wharf.
Characteristics: Cai Rang Floating Market specializes in agricultural products of Mekong River Delta.

Cai Rang Floating Market
Sellers hang out product samples on a long bamboo (called cay beo) in front of the boats, therefore they don’t need to advertise their wares as in mainland markets. It is considered as a unique advertisement tool of floating markets in Mekong River Delta.

(TITC) – The market stretches half kilometre from Cai Rang Bridge downstream Can Tho River. From early morning to 8-9am everyday, hundreds boats gather here to sell agricultural products.

Most of the boats are loaded with a lot of agricultural products and specialties of Mekong River Delta such as vegetables, coconut, banana, watermelon, grapefruit, dragon fruit and so on. Small boats which sell drinks and food for breakfast go among the others to serve market-goers and visitors. Other products such as clothes, candy, medicine… are available here, not different from what are sold in mainland markets.

To Cai Rang Floating Market, visitors will be excited with the scenery of crowded trade. Sometimes, buyers catch some products thrown by sellers from other boats. Visitors can also observe floating houses of the locals along the riverside.

Cai Rang Floating Market is an attractive destination for visitors, especially international visitors to explore river life of Southern people.

Thu Giang – vietnamtourism.