3 must-see old villages in Hanoi


Hanoi is one of the oldest capitals in the world with the age up to over 1000 years old. That is also the reason why people coming here have the same feeling of the combination between something new and old, noisy and quiet, open and close everywhere.
To make this thing clearer to you, in this article, we will take you around Hanoi to visit some well-known old villages to see that another side of Hanoi that is so old, simple but so charming as well.

And, some places that we would love to introduce you are: Bat Trang traditional ceramic village, (Gia Lam Town), Van Phuc silk village (Ha Dong District) and Duong Lam old village (Son Tay Town) are must-see during your Vietnam tour.

As you know, almost of villages in Hanoi is famous for not only their old and unique architecture of houses, temples or simple and friendly lifestyle of residents but also their traditional jobs that have been maintained generations by generations. It is the thing attracting many people inside and outside Vietnam coming here each year.

Bat Trang traditional ceramic village

Bat Trang Ceramic Village in HanoiThis is the first place coming up in my mind when thinking about this topic. Bat Trang is an old village in Gia Lam District,about 10 km to the south – west of Hanoi. It is convenient for you to reach here by motorbike or take the bus number 47 from Hanoi to Bat Trang at the bus station near Long Bien Bridge.

According to some history documents, the village was established in the 14th – 15th century with the traditional job of making ceramic products from household appliance as bowl, dishes or cups to decorative things as flowerpots.Until now, after over 5 centuries, the job of ceramic production here has maintained and become so popular that Bat Trang is the first name called whenever people think about this kind of material in Vietnam. This brand name is also more and more familiar in some foreign markets. It is hard to give anexact answer for the question about how many constructions use the products from Bat Trang as material because of its high applicative ability.

As its traditional job, every household in Bat Trang Village has their own workshops with pottery kilns, turntables, etc for their production that you can see round the village. However, in recent years, when the trend of Hanoi traditional job village tour is hotter and hotter day by day, tourists are interested in visiting these workshops, watching artisans making products and trying to make something by themselves. It seems an interesting thing that no one can refuse to try at least one time.

Van Phuc Silk Village

Van Phu Silk Village in HanoiVan Phuc is the name of an old village in Ha Dong Distric, about 10 km from the city center. As Bat Trang, these villages has been famous for its own traditional job of weaving and high standardize products made from silk such as clothes, crafts, bags or pockets since Nguyen dynasty. After the first time introduced at the Marseille International Fair (1931), Van Phuc silk are more and more popular. It is hard for anybody who visit Van Phuc silk village without buying something.Because these products are so amazing. This material is so light, soft; colorful that brings customers the comfortable feeling but also luxurious and elegant appearance. Moreover, the designs are so various from traditional to modern style and the price is suitable. With the amount money of 200,000vnd or 300,000 vnd you have got acheongsam or blouse from premium silk.

Until now, Van Phuc still protects and remains many things that are characteristic of a thousand – years – old village lying on the side of Nhue River. Visitors need little time to find out an ancient banyan tree, well around the village. However, the most attractive thing here is that people have chance to see old looms in operation. For many foreign tourists this is so strange and amazing. They are keen on giving the questions about how these loom work. Despite the fact that the residents need modern weaving machines for production requirement, many of them still keep these old ones as a proof of history. That is the way for the residents think of the past. Beside, Van Phuc traditional festival taking place annually on the 11st and 13rd, January is an expected event. There are many activities to honor the contribution and promote the traders to keep going on for the brighter future of the village.

Duong Lam old village

Duong Lam Village in HanoiThis is the last destination for our tour today and is different from others. Duong Lam does not mention as a traditional handicraft but ancient village and is the first one in Vietnam to become theNational cultural heritage in 5/2006.
Duong Lam village is next to 32 National high way, located in Son Tay town to the west of Hanoi. At the weekends, thousands domestic and foreign tourists reach here for the aim of understanding more about the life of ancient Vietnamese. Beside, people wish to keep away from the modern, stressful and noisy daily life to enjoy fresh air, peaceful and simple one here. How cool!

Actually, the term of Duong Lam ancient village is not about itself but also other villages. Particularly, the ancient Duong Lam includes Dong Sang, Mong Phu, Cam Thinh, Doai Giap and Lam Mo with the total old houses up to 956 that retains almost of feature of a model Vietnamese ancient house. It means that these houses are made from blocks of lateritic so their main color is red as well. it is sure that other characteristics of an old village such as wells, port villages, temples, courtyards, etc are everywhere in Duong Lam. Especially, the roads rounding the village has the shape as the bones of fish.
Because of its old, simple and meaningful beauty, Duong Lam becomes an attractive place for many couple conducting their wedding album. People would love to take their happy photos here with the expectation of their love will exit for a long time as houses here.
In conclusion, just by calling at top 3 old villages, all of us have a strange feeling about Hanoi. Whatever the life change, the past with all of its beauty and value always is one of the important part that need protecting and maintaining.

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Tay Thien – Misty Mountain in the North Vietnam


If you like adventure and you are a good driver, the zigzag mountainous road to Tay Thien brings with it splendid scenery. From Hanoi, follow National Road No. 2 to Vinh Yen Town (60 km) then take Road No. 28 to Tam Dao Town (20 km) and then a take short drive west some 15 km to Tay Thien.

It’s a very beautiful places in the North of Vietnam for tourism specially  for tourist who want to have a lots change to discover great natural of Vietnam throught Vietnam Adventure tours

Relishing a trip to the cradle of Vietnamese Buddhism

Thay Thien Zen Monastery, not far from the brthplace ò Vietnam Buddhism

Thay Thien Zen Monastery, not far from the brthplace ò Vietnam Buddhism

It was a misty spring day and the winding road taking us up Tam Dao Mountain was made longer by the thick fog that blocked our view of the road. But still, the scenery pierced through the mist and soon we were driving through the remains of old French neighborhoods, dilapidated villas and estates now worn and torn after half a century of neglect.

We passed some of Tam Dao National Park’s famous sites – like Thac Bac (The Silver Fall) and Rung Rinh peak – and finally reached the slopes of Thach Ban Mountain, one of the Tam Dao range’s three greatest peaks.

There sits Tay Thien, a well-known complex that is home to a cornucopia of historical Buddhist relics and temples. The complex boasts splendid architecture, rich history and breathtaking natural scenery. We were visiting in hopes that we could pray for luck and happiness this year while it was still spring.

We arrived at Tay Thien after three hours on the 85-kilometer-road from Hanoi, which, according to our drivers, normally takes just roughly 2 hours on clear days. It was 10 a.m. and the sky was still covered with silver mist.

Although the annual Tay Thien Spring Festival – held from the 15th-17th of the second lunar month each year – has yet to come, the pagodas and temples here were still full of visitors.

There is now a cable car station at the mountain foot, next to Cau Temple. The ride just opened last month and gave us a wonderful view of the mountain and its surrounding forests, thick, lush and dense with vegetation and life. At the slow pace of the cable car, we admired the sites and took lots of pictures.

Tay Thien is believed to be the birthplace of Vietnamese Buddhism. According to our guide, a Buddhist monk from India traveling here in the 3rd century BC chose this mountain as the spot from which to propagate the religion.

We saw a number of temples, many of which have been mostly lost to time, and others that have been fairly well preserved or restored.

Our first stop was at Thuong Temple, one of the most important sites here. According to our guide, the temple worships the Goddess Tay Thien, named Lang Thi Tieu, queen of the 6th Hung King who lived around the year 2450 BC. She was born in this area and after becoming the queen, she helped the king defend the country against foreign invaders.

Situated 800 meters above sea level, Thuong Temple has undergone more than one renovation, the latest of which was in 2009, and the buildings actually look rather new. We spent some time admiring the sight and prayed to the Goddess there.

Another must-visit site in Tay Thien is the Truc Lam Tay Thien Zen Monastery, which together with a Zen Monastery in Da Lat and one at Quang Ninh Provinces’s Yen Tu Mountain, is one of the three largest monasteries in Vietnam.

Built in 2005 on the ruins of an ancient pagoda called Thien An Thien Tu, the Truc Lam Tay Thien Zen Monastery sits on the mountain’s peak and offers a stunning view of several other temples and pagodas scattered along the pine-decorated hills.

The site itself is at once tranquil and grandiose. The courtyards are large and spacious and the buildings tall and striking. The monastery is adorned with ornate carvings on its doors and embossed works on its walls, ceilings, and pillars.

The monastery boasts a library, a museum, a meditation house, guesthouses and a mess hall serving vegetarian food for visitors.

The Truc Lam Tay Thien Zen Monastery has become an increasingly popular training center for young students each summer. Students here spend those months essentially living like monks: they eat vegetarian, wear monks’ robes and give up many of their “worldly” possessions.

They attend classes each day, as well as maintain the monastery by doing housework and tasks that many of them have never done before.

We were served a fantastic lunch with the monks and other visitors at the monastery’s hall. We had plates full of vegetables, spring rolls, and fake fried shrimp, fish, and pork pie. It was hard to imagine that they were all made from soybeans. Everything was delicious!

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Exhibition showcases Vietnam’s beauty


A photographic exhibition on Vietnam’s beauty will be held in Houston, the USA, from April 25 to 28.

Nguyen Viet Thanh and Hoang Hai Tinh will display 50 photographs featuring the daily life and simple beauty of Vietnam.

This is the fourth time for Viet Thanh and the first time for Hai Thinh to exhibit their photos in the US.

Viet Thanh, a photojournalist of Vietnam News, has won a golden prize at the Asian Press Photo Contest and many first and second prizes at domestic and international photographic contests.

In 2010, Hai Thinh won the best cultural photo title at the Gauruda International Photographic Contest in Indonesia and was then chosen as one of ten international photographers to join the “From Born to Berlin” photographic exhibition in Berlin.

Here are some pictures which show Vietnam’s beauty. All of them will make you to have a  good look about the country, the local people as well as the rural of Vietnam. Vietnam is an ideal tourism place. You should not miss travel to Vietnam to discover this beauty.

Sunrise over Tam Giang Lagoon by Hai Thinh

Lao Chai-Spa by Hai Thinh

Respect by Hai Thinh

Layers of cloud by Hai Thinh

Trying his luck by Hai Thinh

Making incense sticks by Hai Thinh

Reading morning newspaper by Viet Thanh

A Thai ethnic kitchen by Viet Thanh

Tho Ha festival by Viet Thanh

School children warming up around a fire by Viet Thanh

A girl making incense sticks by Viet Thanh

Dancing class by Viet Thanh

Chuong village by Viet Thanh

Dong Ho village by Hai Thinh

Source: Dtinews.

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Hidden beauty of Loc Yen old village, Quang Nam


Loc Yen village, in the central province of Quang Nam, is made attractive by its old houses and stone alleys. It was so surprised when seeing the ancient architectures in this place. It was great!

If you have a chance travel to Vietnam, should not miss it. Maybe some pictures later, I will show you and friends some hidden beauty of places in  Vietnam that you should be visit one time

Approaching the village, visitors will be treated to a place that looks like it could be from a fairytale, with narrow and winding roads, green fields and ancient houses.

This little village has more than 10 houses that are 200 years old or older. The uniquely designed houses, particular to Quang Nam Province, are made with jackwood. They usually have three rooms and two lean-tos. The backs of houses abut the mountain behind, leaning against it. The fronts face a deep stone valley. Such spectacular views make these modest houses seem like villas.

Nguyen Thi Kim Suong, a member of the fifth generation of her family living in the same house, one of the oldest in the town, said that even though the village does not appear in popular tourist guidebooks or maps, they sometimes welcome tourists, including foreign ones.

Here are some pictures to show you the hidden beauty of  Loc Yen village.

The village has a peaceful beauty

Stone alleys lead to old houses

Alleys are long and winding

Green spaces

Flowers

Mossy stone wall

Sunlit alley

Nguyen Dinh Hoan’s house is among the oldest in the village

Built against a mountain

Stone courtyard

Small garden compliments the house

Village road looks like a mountain path

Tall stone wall in front of an old house

Peaceful countryside atmosphere

Source:  Dtinews

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Night festival lights up Hue Royal Palace


A night festival at Hue Royal Palace captures the glistening and mysterious beauty of the Imperial City of Dai Noi.

The event, which lasts from April 10-13, is organised as part of the ongoing 2012 Hue Festival, features the unique culture and history of imperial life inside the Hue Citadel.

On April 7, thousands of domestic and foreign visitors attended a grand opening ceremony of Hue Festival 2012 at the Imperial City of Dai Noi, inside Hue Citadel. The opening ceremony combined with the launch of National Tourism Year is a gala to extol traditional values and magnificent convergence of cultural heritages representing the five continents. This event attracted many tourists travel to Vietnam

Perhaps the most prominent events this year is a programme entitled “Ky uc cung nu”, roughly translated The Memories of an Imperial Maid and the exhibition “Ky uc Hue xua qua co vat”, which shows a number of antiques from the period.

Some photos of the festival:


Imperial concubines walk outside Can Chanh Temple

Road to Truong Sanh Palace

Truong Du Ta inside Dien Tho Palace

Royal music

A tea party inside the Imperial City of Dai Noi

Long corridor

Young woman introducing a poetry event

Young rediscover old traditional game

Do xam huong, a traditional game of Hue


Poet Nguyen Phuoc Hai Trung, Director of Hue Royal Antique Museum, writing calligraphy for visitors

Imperial courtier

Mandarin guard

Guards

Imperial admire their reflection in the water

Silent moment

Fireworks

Royal music behind Thai Hoa Palace


Images of imperial mandarins and guards carved on the wall

Foreign visitors delight in the festival

The glistening and mysterious beauty of the Imperial City of Dai Noi

Source: Dtinews

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Mesmerizing Beauty of Hang Rai


Located to the south of Vinh Hy Bay and being one of the places included in the exploration of Ninh Thuan’s beauty, Hang Rai (Otters Cave) in Thai An village, Vinh Hai commune, Vinh Hy district, where used to focus the plethora of otters, are always the best destination of “phuot thu” (the travelers who love traveling by themselves) for tours in Vietnam, photography enthusiasts or those who love fishing.

Stone tufts cluster prominently on the blue water and sky, showing off its wild and majestic beauty as well as the precious tranquility.

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It is really difficult to explain why tourism agencies do not consider this place as a destination for their tourists though it is nearby Vinh Hy Bay, because once setting the feet here, no one can resist the alluring and charming beauty of the stones clustering into groups, scattering on the coast as the animals dancing with waves and the wild as well as the imposing beauty of the rocky beach without human intervention.

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Some explanation may be thought of includes the fact that this place is not suitable for many guests, but it is not true. In addition to the beauty of the stones, the tourists traveling here have the rare chances to soak themselves in a small beach beside and contemplate the poetic swamp poured down from the God Mountain or the pure clear streamline. Looking from the mountain peak, the tourists can get the whole peaceful Binh Tien sea image on their eyes or the lively picture of the goats lounging on the cliffs and admire the opposite beauty between the barren cliff and green trees.

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Those who desire to discover or love thrills are also pleased by numerous attractive challenges such as conquering low and high stones, lurking in the big and small caves, diving and watching the herds of colorful swimming fish.

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After getting tired with these games with stones, the tourists can select a seat and enjoy the breeze, cast the baits or visit the fishing villages behind the cactus bushes blooming all year round, contemplate the astonishing picture of the boats drifting on the waves or enjoy the fresh seafood processed by the villagers.

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Coming to Ninh Thuan , the guests cannot miss the beauty of Hang Rai with the natural, charming beauty of the stones as well as the breathtaking space here, the imposing beauty of the rocky beach without human intervention.  This place as a great destination for tourists when traveling to Vietnam

Source: VNAT

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Traditional buffalo stabbing festival in Dak Lak Province


Vietnam is a multi-ethnic country with 54 distinct groups, each with its own language, lifestyle, and cultural heritage. Every year, on the special occations usually on the lunar calendar they held festival to maintain the culture. If you have a change  travel to Vietnam, you should take part in this special festival to enjoy the asmosphere of festivel as well as know more about ethnic minorities in Vietnam.

A buffalo sacrifice ceremony, a part of the traditional cultural festival of ethnic minorities in Dak Lak Province’s Buon Don District, attracted thousands of local people and visitors.

Preparations

The festival was officially launched in Krong Na Commune on the evening of March 24.

Buffaloes are regarded as one of the most valuable properties for a central highland family.

They believe that they will be protected from bad luck and enjoy good harvests.

The most prestigious village patriarch is chosen to conduct the ceremony. While he carries out the traditional rituals, villagers play gongs and dance around him and the bull.

Traditional rituals carried out before stabbing the bull

The bull yields to the village patriarch’s spear

Dancing illustrates the myth of Dam San fighting to protect his village

A buffalo sacrifice is a cultural tradition of minorities in the Central Highlands

Source: Dtinews

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