Newsletter 20 Dec – Indochina Pioneer’s updates

Dear our beloved clients,

Season Greetings from Indochina Pioneer team! Well, we believe that you’re now enjoying your Xmas shopping and having fun with your family. We Indochina Pioneer team in Hanoi are also busy preparing the best for our clients who enjoy Xmas at our home country!

So here are some sizzling updates from us this week!

AN AWESOME DEAL FOR 8 DAY TRIP TO SOUTHERN VIETNAM AND CAMBODIA!!

This 8 days tour feature the best of Mekong Delta – Vietnam and the Angkor Wat – Cambodia, and it’s only $588/person! More of this is the excellent personal service offered by Indochina Pioneer team. Hurry up sending your request, as the deal does not stay long!

We recently had some inspection to Dao Thuc Village and Sapa, and you may want to read our reports:

A MUST FOR YOUR TIME IN SAPA: A TREK AND HOMESTAY NIGHT IN TAVAN VILLAGE

This is “an experience of a life time” write up from one of Indochina Pioneer team after her homestay experience in Ta Van Village of Dzay Minority, down in Muong Hoa Valley. This Sapa homestay experience is well recommended.

DAO THUC – ONE OF THE BIRTHPLACE OF VIETNAMESE WATER PUPPETRY

An inspiring short tour to Dao Thuc Village and watch the real water puppet show, and this resulted in 2 more new day tours offered by Indochina Pioneer team in 2015. Photos and video clips are featured in this blog post too!

LAST BUT NOT LEAST – OUR WEBSITE CONTENTS ARE WELL PROTECTED

Indochina Pioneer has officially registered to Digital Millennium Copyright Act – A part of the US Copyright Law.

From now the contents of our website including text, design, code, images, photographs and videos are considered to be the Intellectual Property of the website owner, whether copyrighted or not, and are protected by DMCA Protection Services.

That is for now, and see you next time! Enjoy your festive season!

 


Homestay in Ta Van – An experience not to be missed when visiting Sapa

Located in Sapa district, Lao Cai province, just 8 km away from Sapa town, Ta Van is a small village nestled between two mountain ranges, Hoang Lien Son and Ham Rong. It is surrounded by rice field terraces, often right in front of the houses. Recently Ta Van has been become a favorite destination not only for local people, but also for international tourists.

The way to Ta Van village

Leaving behind the busy Sapa town, tourists set off for a totally authentic experience by staying in a local house (called a homestay) with the ethnic residents of Ta Van ,  most of whom are from the Giay ethnic minority.

Following Cầu Mây and Mường Hoa Street, travelers will no longer see the bustling scenes of street vendors. Instead, you will be lured by the amazing landscape of green mountains, rolling rice terraces, and the white streams flowing  between huge rocks in the valley below. Among the infinite background you will see homes of the local people, situated amidst the beautiful scenery.

DSC_0923 copy

images

Tourists are trekking from Sapa to Ta Van

The misty atmosphere here is typical of mountainous areas like Sapa.  On a sunny day, the view becomes even more beautiful, with beams of sunlight streaming over the trees and rooftops. However, when the sky is cloudy the mist will magically swallow everything in sight!

If you love to hike you can try walking  from Sapa town, which will take approximately 4 hours to reach Ta Van village! Otherwise, travelling by car, you reach Ta Van Bridge and continue by foot to the  village,  observing the daily life of the ethnic Giay people along the way.

Ta Van people

Giay people, as everyone in Sapa knows, are very friendly and gregarious, and the owners of 40 homestays here are no exception. Being kind, helpful and sensitive to guests’ demands, they make everyone feel welcome and part of their family, ensuring your stay in Tan Van is a very  rewarding and memorable experience.

I had a chance to experience a 2 day/1 night trip in one of the 40 homestays here, the home of Mr. Sẩu and Mrs. Sói. Mrs. Sói is one of the most friendly, warm-hearted and hilarious hosts. Anyone having the chance to stay with her will certainly not forget it!

From the first hello to the last goodbye Mrs. Sói shows her guests nothing but enthusiasm and kindness. She loves to spend time talking and drinking with guests at night around the fire, and sometimes gives them a bottle of local wine as gift! Travelers coming here are also impressed by her excellent cooking skills. Dinner consists of delicious traditional  Vietnamese dishes, while  breakfast includes many Western dishes such as crepes, bananas and coffee.

DSC_0766 copy

Indochina Pioneer team were having dinner with the host

DSC_0764 copy

Dinner with Vietnamese styled food by Mrs. Sẩu Sói

DSC_0946 copy

Western breakfast style with crepes, banana, condensed milk and coffee

Homestay accommodation

Among 140 houses in total, 40 of these houses provide homestay services for the tourists.

Travelers stay in the same house with the ethnic host family. Most houses in the village are  of traditional Giay architecture, specifically with a wooden altar placed opposite  the homes entrance. The main house is made from wood while the clean restroom is built in the modern style. Guests can choose to sleep in a bed on the ground floor or on a mattress on the half-storey. Giay people are extremely clean and tidy, so wherever you sleep, although very basic, it will certainly be clean and comfortable.

 

DSC_0974 copy

Traditional rooftop of a house of Giay ethnic group

DSC_0853 copy

The way Giay people hold their knives in the kitchen

Services nearby

Without electricity, the houses located in Ta Van remain unchanged from times gone by. However, the village is a little more advanced with electricity, pubs, billiards, several massage parlours and herbal bath places. With the mixture of ancient and modern this small mountainous village will certainly serve as an interesting and unforgettable experience in Sapa.

DSC_0699 copy

On the shutter bus to Sapa

With the new high way connecting Hanoi to Sapa, shorten the travel time down to only 5 hours, a tour to Sapa is now much easier on daily basis, and once you’re there, why not try a night in this charming Ta Van village?

 

 


An excursion to one of the birthplaces of water puppetry

Okay! So it’s Saturday afternoon. To our surprise Quyen sighed and said it would be a boring weekend, and asked us to pick a destination for a half day escape. Just 1 minute later, Dao Thuc Village was targeted, and off we went!

To people loving the art of water puppets, Đào Thục will be a familiar name. It is one of the original places where people perform water puppet shows as a form of entertainment. Water Puppets have been part of the spiritual life of villagers for over 300 years. In this modern internet era, the villagers are still managing to preserve and promote their ancestral heritage.

Setting off from Hanoi, after a 45 minute drive, we reached this beautiful untouched village of Dao Thuc, in the middle of peaceful rice fields, after the harvest.

We immediately fell in love with the quiet atmosphere and fresh air here. Appearing in front of us was a typically landscaped Vietnamese village, a sharp contrast from the busy city of Hanoi. At the entrance of the village stood a large banyan-tree beside a small pond, next to which was a sacred Buddhist Temple. This is typical of most traditional Vietnamese villages.

DSC_0093

Thuy Dinh stage

After strolling around for a while we came to a house in the heart of the village, and were welcomed by Mr. Nguyen Van Chuong who was our host, the head of the hamlet, and the Director of the water puppet troupe as well.

Conversation was enjoyed along with a delicious authentic lunch. We were served roast pork, steamed chicken, pickles and salt eggplant, fried tofu in tomato sauce, stir-fried potato, soup of pork-rib and bamboo shoots, stir fried bokchoi with garlic and steamed rice . We were actually quite amazed and expressed our appreciation to Mr. Chuong’s wife for preparing this sumptuous meal for us at such short notice! (We only informed them of our visit 1 hour in advance!).

DSC_0020

Mr. Chuong (right) and Mr. Trach (left)

DSC_0021

Talking after authentic lunch

To Mr. Chuong, the Water Puppets at Dao Thuc have been through many ups and downs due to historic and economic conditions, yet the love of Water Puppets by the villagers has never relented.

Joining us at the meal were Mr. Nguyen Van Trach, a 57 year old artist who has spent more than half his life performing with water puppets, and Mr. Tran Thanh Nghi, who is now the key person extending the reputation of Dao Thuc Water Puppets.

Being born in a traditional village in the countryside, all of the artists in Dao Thuc are peasants. Even though the financial benefits from performing water puppet shows is not enough to earn a living, they are still dedicated and perpetuate this historic artform. We were told that the Dao Thuc Water Puppet Troupe has performed in the USA, Canada, Europe, Australia, China, South Korea, Brazil and many other countries for the last  two decades, and now the villagers are performing  in their own village on a daily basis.

“We are trying to make our Puppet shows more popular, hoping it will attract more international tourists to our village. This not only helps us maintain and develop our heritage, but also offers opportunities for the younger generation of the village to interact with the outside world, thus widening their view and encouraging them to make progress!” said Mr. Chuong excitedly.

DSC_0056

Our exciting leader in a water puppet workshop of local people

Water puppets are made of fig wood. This kind of wood is very light, making it easier for performers to control the puppets. Its durability in water is another characteristic making it the ideal material for water puppets.

Bidding goodbye and thanking Mr. Chuong’s family for such an enjoyable and informative lunch we leave to watch a full performance of the puppet show on the pond, which is actually the main stage for the shows. The pond is called Thuy Dinh, which literally means “The Temple Raised from the Water”. Audiences, including tourists and villagers, excitedly gather around the stage to enjoy every move of the puppets, and listen to the songs which illustrate the stories the artists tell.

DSC_0078

Dragon water puppet on performing

DSC_0102

Local artists say hi to audiences after the show

A water puppet show was not new to us, however watching this show in its natural surroundings at the birthplace of water puppetry was something completely different! The spirited atmosphere, the smells, the light, the shade, the smiling people, together with the “innocent ways” of the local peasants, and the authentic stories told via the puppets made it a unique and very inspiring experience!

Only 45 minutes from Hanoi Center,  30 minutes from Noi Bai International Airport, the village of Dao Thuc with its charm, rich history, and warm hearted people, will no doubt be one of  Indochina Pioneer’s new destinations for 2015. There will be a half day tour, and a full day tour on sale from January 2015. We are also working with local families to plan some homestays for those wishing to enlarge this experience.

So if you’re planning a trip to Hanoi, you may want to add Dao Thuc to your list of places to visit!

Indochina Pioneer will make it a time to remember!


INTRODUCING INDOCHINA PIONEER’S NEW LOGO AND BRAND-KIT

Hanoi, Nov, 2014: Indochina Pioneer Co., Ltd is pleased to introduce its new Branding set, including the New Logo and Tagline, with standard designs for stationary and branding recognition.

The new design will mark a leap to the future for the Indochina Pioneer team. The Icon represents the mountains, rivers, roads and the blue sky that opens up new missions for us to achieve, and adventures for our clients to enjoy!

Logo of Indochina Pioneer Co., Ltd

Indochina Pioneer’s Official Logo from Nov, 2014

Indochina Pioneer brand-kit

The front of Indochina Pioneer’s new Envelop

Indochina Pioneer brand-kit

The Back of Indochina Pioneer’s new Envelop

Indochina Pioneer folder design

New Folder design 2014

T-Shirt for Indochina Pioneer

Indochina Pioneer’s T-shirt version 2014

Indochina is still the main destination where we operate tours, and with our growth, we are now officially offering new tours to Burma (Myanmar) and Thailand. To date, tours in Thailand and Burma have not been featured on our website yet, but will be soon. If you ‘re interested in the regions, please contact us for our awesome offers!

The key focus of our new branding is the pioneer, where we focus on discovering new destinations, and take our customer service to higher levels, adding best values to each tour on offer. We also support our clients to become the pioneers in experiencing local life in style during their vacations with us through-out Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Burma.

The new tagline specifically describes what we excel in, customized travel adventures! Indochina Pioneer has been doing this since 2009, with many internet rave reviews by our clients, with a remarkable number of clients recommended to the company by word of mouth and this has encouraged the team to move forward, to make the best even better, with the desire and love of their job, which is their duty of care.

To compliment this change of the Company’s logo and branding set, the Indochina Pioneer’s website has also been enhanced. We are confident the new website looks and functions better, and is inspirational to you all!

The Top 10 Tours: Is the new category, and will assist our new clients to select a journey from some of our past clients favorite adventures created by Indochina Pioneer. Based on the number of clients who have gone on those tours, the Indochina Pioneer team has selected the best choices and recommended them in this category.

The Faces of our Clientele: We are honored, and grateful that most of our clients become our personal friends after their vacation with us! Lots of them spend time giving us advice, helping us proof-read our documents, sending feedback to fine-tune our service. We are proud and honored to introduce them on this page and grateful for their continued support. Also, for any new clients, our friends on this page welcome you contacting them for advice, tips and sharing information.

Special Offers: The great news is that with our reputation, suppliers are now keen to provide us promotional discounts regularly. Each time we receive a good deal, we pass it on to them here to provide even greater value. This section is great for last minute bookings or for those who have only a short time to visit Vietnam. The 2015 tour prices have recently been updated.

What we do best at Indochina Pioneer is to customize tours to suit our client’s needs. If they like something from one tour and something from another tour, we will personalize their vacation for them to ensure they have the trip of a lifetime!


The tear of a dedicated policeman on his last shift

5_zing_1

As usual, on October 31, the Senior Lieutenant Colonel – Le Duc Doan prepared to start his working shift. But that was special because it was his last working shift in the position of a traffic policeman before retiring.

Mr. Le Duc Doan, born in 1959  in Nam Dinh province, has been a traffic Policemen since 1977, after studying in Russia. Chuong Duong Bridge is where he spent his last 20 years of career.

Not only being well-known as a dedicated policeman, who had never been absent from his working site, and had been always friendly, helpful to traffic participants, Mr. Doan are most respected and being grateful for saving more than 40 lives of those who intended to commit suicide  by jumping off the bridge, during his career.

One of his most memorable case was that a woman from Nam Dinh City wanted to end her life due to her family conflict. On his afternoon shift, he heard voices from some people that there was a woman wanting to end her life here. At that time, she had already climbed over the bridge and about to jump into the river. Being afraid that the woman would be panic and fall from the bridge, he got on a bus and asked the driver to run along the lane for motorbikes to get closer to the position of hers. Then on being about 5 meters away from her, all off a sudden, he got off and grabbed her hands and pulled her back to the bridge.

Everyone who wants to commit suicide here all had their own sad story. So did the woman. The unhappy marriage plus a lot of pressure on her daily life made her want to end her life here. After talking to Mr.Doan and receiving his advices, she came back with her family and continued to live. Up to now, they had two children and sometimes they stop by the police post to visit the policeman – their savior.

There are countless stories of Mr Doan saving people’s lives, resolving people troubles, releasing the traffic clogs on Chuong Duong Bridge, and even helping a pregnant lady to deliver her baby!

6_zing_1

Because of his enthusiasm and helpfulness, he was remembered by many people who was helped by him or even who just read about him on the newspapers. And this mental gift was his motivation to work as a dedicated policeman for all these years. Last year, he was rewarded as “The great citizen of the City” by Hanoi Authority for his efforts at serving people.

To Indochina Pioneer’s tour guides who have been taking tourists to Halong bay through Chuong Duong bridge, Mr. Doan had always been an icon of safety and good luck. As many other people, they remember the man with an austere face but always kept smiling, who helped their cars go smoothly without being stuck in the traffic jam.

QQCJatnlsf1w_VPRS.jpg

Passengers who go to Ha Long Bay with Indochina Pioneer might have seen the dedicated and friendly traffic policeman standing among moving vehicles to distribute traffic flow on the bridge to ensure everything go right.

“I felt something missing yesterday when I drove by his post! Mr. Doan has been our “safety-light” at Chuong Duong Bridge for so long and I know we will need sometimes to get used to with his absence” – said Long, our tour car driver.

nguoi-csgt-gia-bat-khoc-trong-ca-truc-cuoi-490x294

When the article of his last working day was published, many people who know him or have never seen him before sent him text messages to say goodbye and to thank him for what he had done for citizens. Before he ended his last shift, his tear fell for all the passing years and for the upcoming years without “guarding” on the bridge for the safety of people.

Happy retirement Mr. Doan. We, and all the Chuong Duong commuters, will miss you!


Dragon Bridge – Symbol for a rising city

Dragon-Bridge

Danang – one of 15 ranked-one cities of Vietnam has recently emerged as a resurgent city in every aspect: economy, technology, education as well as culture and tourism. The most well-known spotlight of the city, which is recently not only known by Vietnamese but also foreign visitors, is a 666-meter-long (2185 feet) dragon shaped bridge that breathes fire and spouts plumes of water.

Opened last year in Vietnam’s central coast city of Da Nang, the Rong Cao (Dragon Bridge) is an award-winning, U.S.-designed marvel of engineering that’s become a favorite of residents and visitors, and an icon of the prosperous future this once sleepy town has its eye set on.

Each weekend, after sunset, residents and visitors are treated to a pyrotechnic show that adds flair to what could have easily been a routine civil engineering project.The road is closed just before 9 p.m., with crowds thronging the six-lane bridge. An expectant hush descends, and then, with a roar, the dragon’s head spits fearsome plumes of fire, followed by hissing clouds of water vapor.

In the Asian culture, the dragon is considered a symbol of prosperity, and in no doubt is chosen to be an ideal image for a rising city, and has been taken to heart by the people who live here.

It is easy to find Dragon-themed trinkets  sold along the banks of the Han River, which the bridge spans, and nearby hotels take their name from the structure. Boat tours make the most of it — prows are painted with the dragon’s likeness. 

Cầu_Rồng

The legend

The dragon itself is modeled after one of the symbols of the Ly Dynasty, which ruled Vietnam a thousand years ago. In 1010, King Ly Thai To decided to choose Hanoi as the new capital of Vietnam at that time. According to legend, upon arriving in Hanoi by boat, he saw a golden dragon rise into the sky from the Red River. Seeing this as a good omen, he named the city Thang Long (soaring dragon). Since then, the dragon in many Vietnamese generations’ mind is one of the most important symbols in the culture of this land.

Therefore,it is believed that the Dragon Bridge can become a symbol for Danang’s growth and development as an important transportation, educational and cultural center in central Vietnam 

Dragon Bridge at Da Nang, Vietnam

Light performance

In addition to the weekend shows of fire breathing, which take place at 9 p.m. every Saturday and Sunday, the bridge is illuminated each night with thousands of LED lights, which flow through the color spectrum, giving dynamic, dazzling views that reflect off the surface of the river.

The bridge was inaugurated on March 29, 2013, to commemorate the country’s rich history — both ancient and recent. The date was chosen to mark the 38th anniversary of the liberation of the city, and the end of the Vietnam War.

Its creators, the firms Louis Berger and Ammann & Whitney, were recipients of the 2014 American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) National Engineering Excellence Award.

Development centerpiece

The opening of the bridge not only gives Da Nang an instantly recognizable landmark, it’s done much for the city’s development in a remarkably short time. Da Nang is a nice place, and the bridge adds identity to the city, helping it become more popular to foreign visitors when it was chosen to be on the list of 20 most beautiful bridges in the world. The award has contributed to the growing of tourism in Danang and also in Vietnam generally.

Besides the new fame of the bridge, Danang has many other advantages which make the city a new tourist attraction. It only takes 1 hour drive to Hoi An – one of the World Heritages, 2 hour to Hue – the ancient capital of Vietnam, hence Danang is a good hub to other travelling hot spots in the Central region. Danang also has the amazing beach – My Khe, which is called China beach by American GIs. Cheap hotel with high quality and delicious seafood are two other pluses.

So Danang with  the new iconic Dragon Bridge and a series of attractive places is for sure a recommendation from Indochina Pioneer. It is worthy to visit the city once in a life time.

Collected from CNN and Internet


We were treated like family!

Ann and I are pleased to share our experience whilst in the care of Indochina Pioneer(ICP). During our adventure to Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos, we were treated like family, and at every stage of our holiday, somebody was there to guide us.

Angkor Temples

Angkor Temples

We asked ICP to have someone collect us from each airport, they did, with our names on a card. When they delivered us back to an airport for our next flight, they stayed with us through check-in and ensured we got to the correct gate. Our drivers were always courteous and careful, and we felt safe the entire time whilst in their care. Our guides were knowledgeable, and would always be happy to tweak our itinerary to suit our needs. In fact, we would often ask to be collected early in the morning, allowing us to visit sites in the morning cool with fewer tourists. We would then return to the hotel to cool off, and the driver & guide would collect us later to continue our itinerary. Nothing was too much trouble.

Alms Giving - Buddhist monks collecting alms of rice and vegetables from the local population in Luang Prabang, Laos

Alms Giving – Buddhist monks collecting alms of rice and vegetables from the local population in Luang Prabang, Laos

All our internal flights (organised by ICP) went off without a hitch. One flight had been cancelled, and without us knowing, the ICP team had rescheduled us onto another airline/flight, all seamlessly. We had an endless selection of hotels of various standards. We choose a combination of 4 star hotels with a mix of family oriented accommodation, the mix was just right for us to experience the essence of these societies.

We wanted to get some special photographs, at certain times of the day/night, and always, our guide and driver were available to assist. This sometimes meant 4am starts, yet again, no problems for the ICP Team. Having locals to guide us through, they could always advise that special angle or just the right light to provide us with a wealth of treasured memories. We enjoyed and saw exactly what we had planned, and more. Our guides were able to share with us their own personal experiences and this enhanced our feeling of being part of a family.

The Ancient Town of Hoi An, Vietnam

The Ancient Town of Hoi An, Vietnam

With ICP, we loved the Product of tailored tourism within Indo-China. They offered the best Prices we could find for our highly specified tour. They knew exactly the right Places for us to experience, and were able to involve us at every step. They Promote their service in a way that is easy to understand, and their communications with us were always direct, prompt and informative, we had no doubts. And most importantly, they have a team of professional People on the ground with great administrative support. Our drivers were safe, and always on time, in clean air-conditioned vehicles. Our guides were local and knowledgeable and treated us like family.

There are lots of words to describe our experience. We always felt personally embraced, and in a positive manner and the experience was delivered passionately and professionally. We intend to return to Vietnam and Cambodia one day soon; and will use ICP again, in a heartbeat.

Ann & John Soutter

Lake Wyangan,

NSW, Australia


Phu Quoc – A Gift of Nature

Being the largest island of Vietnam, located in the Southwest of Kien Giang province, Phu Quoc Island holds a marvellous attraction coming from its sightseeing, weather, animal, plants, etc.
In the 3-day-tour exploring this sparkling island, we’ve got lots of unforgettable memories as well as experiences.

There are 2 ways for tourists to get to Phu Quoc Island. One, is flying right straight from Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City. But in case you have time and want to experience the whole trip with more means of transport, the latter is traveling by rail trains.

In the first night, from Ho Chi Minh City, you catch the night coach to Ha Tien. Then in the next morning, you continue to get on the rail train to Phu Quoc Island at 8:00 am or 1:00 pm. 3 hours later, you now can reach your destination, the beautiful island. This below picture was taken at a wharf of Ham Ninh harbour, where we enjoyed the breathtaking sunset view before arriving at the Island.

One of the featured animals in this island is Phu Quoc Ridgeback dog. Its distinct identification from other breeds of dogs is the swirling hair on his spine. Especially, Phu Quoc Ridgeback burrow to lay and have a knack for hunting, climbing, swimming in the water well because of webbed feet like a propeller and a very short hair so Phu Quoc Ridgeback just get their body dry quickly. In addition, a Phu Quoc Ridgeback has a muscular body. There are wrinkles on the forehead, ears erect and tail curved over their back. Phu Quoc Ridgeback has lots of good characteristics: hunting and hunt very well, also a very good guard dog. At night, the dog is easy to detect the target, strangers and never give up. Moreover, they are very close and friendly to everyone not only their owners, especially the small ones.

Besides, Phu Quoc is also famous for its plant traditional product: black pepper. With a favourable climate and good soil, the island plans to focus on developing its century-long famous black pepper through improving the quality and increasing the economic value of the product. A local gardener said the district will invest in infrastructure, create conditions for farmers to access loans and expand the product’s market. The People’s Committee here will help attract more foreign and domestic visitors to the island and make Phu Quoc Black Pepper a famous brand capable of penetrating the global market.


Another lesser known food that is also grown in a fair abundance on Phu Quoc is the cashew nut. If you travel to the more remoter parts of the north around Bai Thom you’re likely to see all the cashew nut tree with there hugh pear shaped husks when in season and the far smaller cashew nut attached at the end. Harvesting and picking the nuts is very manual intensive work, however it’s interesting seeing all these trees.

Gành Dầu is a town located in the Northwest of Phu Quoc island. In the first days arriving at the Northern Island, we made a short visit and had lunch in this town. With wild and pure beach, Gành Dầu held in it a very attractive beauty.

Boats anchored in the Gành Dầu beach


This is the road crossing the Phu Quoc National Park, from Gành Dầu to Bãi Dài

With an area of nearly 600 quare kilometers, tourists can directly discover this island by motorbike. From this beach to another, the distance is up to 10-20 kilometers.

This beach is called “Long Beach” (Bãi Dài) just because of the 15 kilometer length to the Northwest. This is also a wild beach, pure and clean with white sand and tropical water. Along the beach, tourists may sometimes feel confused to find the ideal position where you can enjoy this wonderful sightseeing the best.

And one clue for you: Don’t worry about that, because everywhere you can stand on this island is deserved to be called the paradise.






After catching cute small fish themselves, tourists came to Sao Beach, the most beautiful beach of Phu Quoc. With pure blue water and soft white sand, this beach really deserves to be voted as one of five most beautiful beaches of the world.


Goodbye Sao Beach, on the return, they once again was attracted by the breathtaking sunset view on the sea, bobbing among water, sky and cloud of Phu Quoc. Leaving this island, they all felt regretful somehow. Coming back from this trip, they had a lot to tell others, about the snorkeling, scuba diving, fishing, visiting fish-processing houses, wine-making factories or special food which had featured taste of Phu Quoc Island.


Ha Giang – A passionate beauty

Ha Giang – A passionate beauty

They made a trip coming back to Ha Giang in the early winter days. Not the first time for this Northernmost land but they all did want to make the most of it, to once again discover all things belonging to Ha Giang: sightseeings, weather, vegetation, fauna, peoples and much more others which only in Ha Giang.

Ha Giang Province, located in the far north of the country and containing Vietnam’s Northernmost point, is full of feelings and emotions of those who used to visit, are now visiting and even going to visit this land. Dong Van, Meo Vac, Quan Ba, Yen Minh or Sung La, Sa Phin, Ma Pi Leng, Son Vi, Du Gia – so familiar the names that can strongly remind those who visited here of their trips.

About Ha Giang trips, a group of young people from Hanoi Capital said that they had been always fascinated by such a passionate beauty whenever visiting here. Each time coming here, they were absolutely attracted by Ha Giang sights and peoples, not only for the first time. GBs of photos were still not enough to store wonderful moments they had in the wonderful land, said one tourist.
You can take a look at this ideal destination via the images below:


Zigzagging paths through the mountain slopes in the first stage coming to rocky highlands.


Rocky highland – with lots of rock layers at a great height. The Hmong stay here, find it very difficult to get up with the topography and other complex natural conditions but they have done it very well – to live, to blow the Dan Moi (a kind of musical instrument of ethnic peoples here) together in spring nights and to give birth to cute babies who then grow up into boys and girls with shining smiles that tourists will be met up with in every way of Ha Giang.


Mien River – A major river flowing in rocky highland, linking Yen Minh and Quan Ba and contributing to a life of comfort for Hmong community here. 


Ma Pi Leng – or Song Mui Ngua by Hmong – one of the highest and most dangerous road in the Northern land but also a breathtaking sight on the “Happy path” linking Dong Van and Meo Vac, all of which have made an ideal destination for discovery and advanture in Ha Giang.


The fragile beauty of Tam Giac Mach flowers, cultivated by ethnic peoples here after rice season. This plant has lots of useful usages, for example the ethnic peoples can boil and eat like vegetable or harvest the seed, grince to make their special cake or the most famous is used to cook Tam Giac Mach wine, only in Ha Giang…


A Hmong boy on Ma Pi Leng pass 


Silent valley on rocky highland 


Lung Cu flagpole. Reaching the Northernmost point of our country then having a look at the flying 54.2-square kilometer –Nation flag, which represents the unity of 54 ethnic groups, we all got strong emotions. That is the wish, the pride not only of us but also all Vietnamese people.


A wild flower in the bottom of Lung Cu Flagpole also reminded of strong feelings about this place


A very old Hmong house with a peach tree, a stone fence and a wood gate in Sung La – where is chosen to be the main background of a famous film Pao’s Story


A Hmong grandmother was teaching her child in front of the house


Sunset in rocky highland. Every way has more than one bypass but anyway, all of them always lead to the heart

Saying goodbye to the rocky highland in a red sunset, peaceful and enchanted, I just couldn’t help calling back in my mind those sentences in a poem:

“Way to highland, long and far
High mountains
High houses
People got here
Leaving something in each
For the goodbye moment…”


Mountain, wind, sand, sea and Champa Culture: All in one Travel!

Many people used to listen to “The beat of Paranung drum” before getting a chance to see the real one. It is the rhythms as well as lyrics of that song that has inspired many many people to make a trip to the land that the Cham people and their cultural emerged.

The Cham people are one of a few ethnic groups in Vietnam whose both tangible and intangible cultural heritage are still remaining in good condition so far. Therefore, people can take a look on them, then discover what you’ve seen – heard – watched simultaneously in a very high mood. You know, it would be very wonderful to fulfill the dream of passing through many paths of mountains, wind, sand and waves to reach the land of culture.

The first thing will open to welcome you to the legendary Cham Culture is Nhan Temple (“Tháp Nhạn” in Vietnamese) – a very high temple located in the Nhan Mountain. With the solid pyramid 4-storey architecture and to the East – met up with sea wind in daytime and surrounded by Ba River at night, Nhan Temple has made a strong impression of magnitude on those who have visited Phu Yen Province.

5644752723_ce161c87f0_o

 

Beginning with the 12th century’s architectural buildings of the Cham people in Ba River delta plain, you will have a chance to satisfy your passion for travel and discovery, a plan on your own is greater.

On the way leaving Nhan Temple, you will see Po Nagar Cham Tower (a.k.a Thap Ba), which was named for a goddess of local origin who is said to have created the earth, eaglewood, and rice. The temple was built during the Hindu period of Champa, and thus the image of the goddess took the form of Uma, wife of Silva. In its most complete form, the complex probably consisted of 6 towers, in two parallel rows of three, but the south-west and center-west towers have vanished. The arrangement makes an interesting comparison with the brick towers of Lolei, near Angkor Wat in Cambodia, which were built at the end of the 8th Century.

Thap-Cham2

If you come there in the time Champa executants from Hue Duong, Ninh Thuan performancing, you are so lucky. Not only because you will be able to listen to traditional rhythms by the real Saranai (a Cham musical instrument) together with Ghi drump right in the bottom of the ancient towel but you also watch Vo dance, Gao dance, Quat dance of Cham young girls and touched the vases and pottery symbolizing for parts of Cham Culture.

Mua_Cham_o_Ninh_Thua_0004_949

Talking about Cham Culture, we can’t help considering a visit to the famous My Son Sanctuary. Those who have once visited here must have been extremely amazed by the great temple and towel systems here. My Son  is a cluster of abandoned and partially ruined Hindu temples constructed between the 4th and the 14th century AD by the kings of Champa (Chiêm Thành in Vietnamese). The temples are dedicated to the worship of the god Shiva, known under various local names, the most important of which is “Bhadresvara.” From the 4th to the 14th century AD, the valley at My Son was a site of religious ceremony for kings of the ruling dynasties of Champa, as well as a burial place for Cham royalty and national heroes. After centuries, those ancient architectural buildings still remain in good condition, symbolize for breathtaking Champa architecture and sculpture art.

anh-7-My-Son-955600035

images688485_thanh_dia_my_son

Họa_tiết_trang_trí_trên_thân_tháp_(Mỹ_Sơn)

On the way to Ninh Thuan, don’t forget to come to Hoa Lai – Ba Thap, which are said to be the most successful and beautiful Champa buildings remained.

image007

 

The most famous is Po Klong Garai temple towel, located in the medieval Cham principality of Panduranga, near the city of Phan Rang in what is now southern Vietnam. It consists of three brick towers: a main tower with three stories, a smaller gate tower, and an elongated tower with a saddle-like roof. The group of buildings is well preserved, and “is distinguished by the purity of its outlines and the austerity of its décor”.

Po-Klong-Garai-Towers-(Vietnam)

 

Not only visit tangible heritages, you will also be introduced about other cultural features by friendly Cham people here. Also, a chance to wear a Mat’ra scarf, try to use a loom in Irahani village, beat on the Paranung drum, touch the newest pots at Paley Hamu Trok – the most ancient village in South East Asia.