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Christmas in Vietnam: What is different?

Christmas in Vietnam: What is different?

Christmas is a special time in many countries, and Vietnam has its own fascinating way of celebrating. While it's not an official holiday, the Vietnamese people welcome Christmas with a wonderful blend of Western traditions and local customs. [incredible_toc]If you're curious about experiencing Christmas in Vietnam, you'll love what Incredible Asia Journeys has to offer. This blog will reveal the unique festive spirit of Christmas in Vietnam, walking you through its historical roots and the beautiful ways it's celebrated today.1. Do people in Vietnam celebrate Christmas?Christmas in VietnamSome tourists who come to Vietnam are curious “Do people celebrate Christmas in Vietnam?”, the answer is “Definitely, yes. On December 25 every year, Vietnamese celebrate Christmas though it is not a public holiday.” The celebration is most prominent in urban areas and among the Christian community, which makes up about 7% of the Vietnam population. Interestingly, the Xmas festive spirit has become a part of the broader Vietnamese cultural fabric, embraced by many as a joyous occasion for gatherings and celebrations.2. History of Christmas in VietnamNow, are you curious about how Christmas, a Western holiday, can come to Vietnam, a Southeast Asia country? Let’s date back to the past! The history of Christmas in Vietnam dates back to the 16th century when missionaries from Spain, Portugal, and France, who were part of the French Empire, first introduced Christianity to the country. However, it was not until the French colonial period in the 19th century that Catholicism became more popular.Over the years, despite historical and political changes, Christmas has maintained a presence, particularly among the Catholic population in Vietnam. Post-war Vietnam saw a gradual resurgence of Christmas celebrations, which have grown in popularity and visibility, especially in major cities like Hanoi, Da Nang, and Ho Chi Minh City.3. Weather in Vietnam at ChristmasEnjoy Christmas in HanoiVietnam in December has a diverse climate, and Vietnam at Christmas weather varies across the country:- Northern Vietnam: December is wintertime, with cool to cold temperatures from 10°C - 18°C, especially in mountainous regions where it can be quite chilly.- Central Vietnam: This region experiences mild and pleasant weather 15°C - 20°C, though it can sometimes be rainy.- Southern Vietnam: The South enjoys a warm 25°C - 30°C, tropical climate during Christmas, making it ideal for outdoor festivities.4. How does Vietnam celebrate Christmas?During Xmas holidays in Vietnam, traditions in Vietnam for Christmas may be transformed to be familiarized with the local culture while still keeping the typical customs of this festival. Let’s take a closer look at how Vietnam celebrates Christmas!4.1. Decorating Homes and Public SpacesVietnam decoration in ChristmasDecorating for Christmas is a popular activity in Vietnam. Homes, streets, shopping centers, and public areas are adorned with Christmas trees, lights, and ornaments in red and green colors. Nativity scenes, known as "Máng Cỏ", are often set up in churches and homes to depict the birth of Jesus. The vibrant Christmas decorations in Vietnam contribute to the festive spirit and make the cities look lively and cheerful during the holiday season.4.2. Attending Midnight Mass in Local ChurchesFor the Catholic community in Vietnam, attending Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve is a central part of the celebration. Churches across the country, especially in cities with large Christian populations like Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi, are beautifully decorated and hold special services that draw large crowds. Many non-Christians also attend these services to enjoy the festive atmosphere and witness the religious traditions.4.3. Participating in Christmas Markets and FestivalsXmas market in VietnamChristmas markets and festivals have become increasingly popular in Vietnam. These markets are usually set up in major cities and offer a variety of goods, including holiday decorations, gifts, and local handicrafts. They also feature food stalls selling both Vietnamese and Western festive treats. Christmas events in Vietnam including music, performances, and activities like caroling and Santa Claus appearances add to the festive atmosphere, making these markets a fun destination for families and friends.4.4. Enjoy Christmas Festive FoodChristmas in Vietnam is a time for delicious food! While traditional Vietnamese dishes are still prominent, many people also enjoy Western-style Christmas foods. Popular Christmas Vietnamese food includes roasted meats, hot pots, and various sweets. Some high-end restaurants and hotels offer special Christmas menus featuring dishes like turkey, ham, and Christmas pudding. Families and friends gather for festive meals, sharing food and joy.4.5. Exchanging Xmas GiftsGift giving in Vietnam on ChristmasGift-giving is another common practice during Christmas in Vietnam. People exchange gifts with family, friends, and colleagues as a way of spreading joy and goodwill. Children, in particular, look forward to receiving presents from Santa Claus, known locally as Ông Già Noel. Schools, offices, and community centers often organize gift exchanges and Christmas parties, further promoting the spirit of giving.5. Best places to celebrate Christmas in VietnamDuring your Vietnam travels, several best places to visit in Vietnam stand out for the joyful Christmas celebrations.5.1. HanoiHang Ma Street in ChristmasThe first destination in the best place to spend Christmas in Vietnam list is Hanoi. Notably, the capital city of Vietnam is a vibrant place to celebrate Christmas. St. Joseph's Cathedral is one of the main centers for Christmas celebrations, hosting a beautiful Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve that attracts both locals and tourists. Also, the streets of the Hanoi Old Quarter are adorned with lights, decorations, and Christmas trees, creating a lively and festive atmosphere. If you want to buy decoration items, head to Hang Ma Street with a variety of Christmas trees, Christmas bells, laurel wreaths, snowmen… Additionally, the area around Hoan Kiem Lake is beautifully decorated, making it a great spot for an evening stroll to enjoy the holiday lights and festive ambiance.5.2. Halong BayHalong Bay Cruise in ChristmasHalong Bay, known for its stunning natural beauty, offers a unique and tranquil setting for Christmas celebrations. Many cruise operators offer special Christmas-themed cruises, allowing guests to enjoy festive meals, decorations, and activities while sailing through the bay's picturesque limestone islands. Luxury resorts in the area often host Christmas events, including dinners, parties, and entertainment, providing a festive yet serene holiday experience. Celebrating Christmas in Halong Bay allows visitors to combine the holiday spirit with the breathtaking scenery of one of Vietnam’s most famous destinations. Contact Incredible Asia Journeys to book your Halong Bay cruise tour with premium hot deals for this Christmas!5.3. Da NangChristmas often has cold weather in Western countries, so have you ever imagined having a Christmas beach holiday? Let’s visit Da Nang, a coastal city known for its beaches, providing a lively and festive atmosphere for Christmas. My Khe Beach is a popular spot for Christmas gatherings and events, with some beachside resorts and restaurants hosting special Christmas dinners and parties. Then, you can also head to the Pink Church (or Da Nang Cathedral)  to celebrate Christmas, with the unique pink color, it’s definitely an interesting place to welcome Christmas day Vietnam.5.4. DalatDalat in ChristmasDalat, often called the “City of Eternal Spring,” is known for its cool climate and charming landscape, making it a perfect place for a cozy Christmas. The city’s numerous churches, such as the Domaine de Marie Church, St. Nicholas Cathedral (Rooster Church), and Holy Mother Church hold special Christmas services and events, creating a warm and spiritual atmosphere. Dalat’s French colonial architecture is beautifully adorned with Christmas lights and decorations, providing a picturesque holiday setting. The local night market offers festive foods and holiday treats, adding to the Christmas cheer.5.5. Ho Chi Minh CityHo Chi Minh City in ChristmasHo Chi Minh City, Vietnam's largest city, is renowned for its elaborate and energetic Christmas celebrations. The Notre Dame Cathedral Basilica and its surrounding area become a hub of festive activities, including Midnight Mass, Christmas caroling, and light displays. Moreover, Nguyen Hue Walking Street features vibrant Christmas decorations, live music, and various performances, making it a lively spot to celebrate. Shopping centers like Vincom Center and Takashimaya go all out with Christmas decorations, events, and sales, creating a festive shopping experience in the New Year Holiday in Vietnam. With many things to explore in Vietnam at Christmas, we offer many special tours on this occasion, consider intensively designed Vietnam tours below to make your Chrismas holiday in Vietnam unforgettable:Christmas & New Year Holiday in Northern VietnamBest of Vietnam for New YearCentral of Vietnam from Danang on Christmas & New Year Holiday6. Interesting facts about Christmas in Vietnam- Merry Xmas in Vietnamese can be expressed as "Giáng Sinh An Lành" or "Chúc Mừng Giáng Sinh."- Vietnam is a tropical country, so Christmas does not come with cold weather and snow like in Western countries. People often use artificial snow for decorations to create a wintry Christmas ambiance.- Christmas in Vietnam song: Popular English Christmas carols like "Jingle Bells" and "Silent Night" are widely played. Vietnamese Christmas songs also contribute to the festive atmosphere, such as Mùa Đông Tuyết Trắng, Thánh Ca Buồn, Tiếng Chuông Ngân, Hòa Nhịp Giáng Sinh,...- Christmas is not a public holiday in Vietnam, so businesses, schools, and government offices remain open.Celebrate Christmas in VietnamChristmas in Vietnam is a unique blend of religious tradition and cultural adaptation, reflecting Vietnamese historical influences and contemporary enthusiasm for global festivities. Whether attending a midnight Mass, strolling through decorated streets, or enjoying a festive meal, let’s come to celebrate Christmas in Vietnam for a distinct and memorable experience!

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New Year Holiday in Vietnam: Things to do & Places to go

New Year Holiday in Vietnam: Things to do & Places to go

The turning from the old year to the new one is such a special time full of magic! Have you ever wondered how people all over the world celebrate their new year? Let Incredible Asia Journeys tell you about the delightful New Year Holiday in Vietnam! This blog will show you all the exciting things to do and the best places to visit Vietnam during the New Year trip. [incredible_toc]Stay tuned to uncover why Vietnam should be at the top of your list for this upcoming New Year holiday!1. New Year Holiday in Vietnam OverviewTourists make Banh Chung (Chung Cake) in Tet occasionAs a nation deeply influenced by Eastern culture, Vietnam celebrates 2 types of New Year: the internationally recognized Gregorian New Year and the traditional Lunar New Year, also known as Tet. Thus, the country observes two distinct New Year holidays, each with its own unique customs, traditions, and significance in Vietnamese culture.1.1. Gregorian New Year in VietnamIn Vietnam, people come together to celebrate the Gregorian New Year on January 1st with joyful and lively festivities. Just like in many parts of the world, everyone gets the day off to enjoy the holiday. In cities like Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Da Nang, and Hue, you can expect to find exciting parties and countdown events on the eve of December 31st to welcome the new year with open arms.1.2. Lunar New Year in Vietnam (Tet Holiday) Tet atmosphere in VietnamWhat is Tet? Tet, also known as the Vietnam Lunar New Year, is the most important holiday in Vietnam, celebrated over 3 days but often for a whole week. The date of Tet changes every year because it follows the Vietnamese lunar calendar, so it usually falls in late January or early February according to the Gregorian calendar.Like the Christmas and New Year celebration period in the UK, Tet marks the arrival of spring and the lunar new year is a time for family reunions, honoring ancestors, and celebrating with traditional customs and foods.Keep in mind upcoming Tet Dates to Vietnam travels:- Tet 2025 on January 29th (Year of the Snake)- Tet 2026 on February 17th (Year of the Horse)- Tet 2027 on February 6th (Year of the Goat)- Tet 2028 on January 26th (Year of the Monkey)2. Things To Do in Vietnam during the New Year HolidayNew year comes, and there are a variety of fun events and festivals specially held in Vietnam to experience. Let's delve into what each of them has to offer!2.1. Raise the Toast at New Year’s Eve PartyHave a meal with traditional food in Vietnam New Year HolidayLet's come together with the locals to raise a toast at a vibrant New Year's Eve party, celebrating the successes of the past year and offering our best wishes for the year ahead. Only in Vietnam, throughout the night, people gather to enjoy festivities and revel in the joyful atmosphere, shouting the signature drinking cheer "1, 2, 3, dzo!!" undoubtedly creating a strong sense of drinking enjoyment.For tourists, you can embrace the spirit of New Year's Eve in Vietnam, it's a time to join grand celebrations. Numerous 5-star hotels and resorts host Gala Dinners, providing a delightful opportunity for guests to create cherished memories. These events are marked by lavish buffets and captivating live music performances, promising an unforgettable start to the new year.2.2. Sway with Melodies at the Countdown Music FestivalsCountdown concerts in HanoiCountdown concerts are a highlight, featuring live music, dancing, and fireworks. Major cities like Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Da Nang, and Hue host FREE festivals in public spare areas such as open parks and walking streets, inviting everyone to celebrate together. Don’t miss the chance to burn out with music of top famous artists!2.3. Witness the Professional Fireworks or Drone PerformanceDuring New Year's celebrations in Vietnam, the military often organizes spectacular fireworks and drone performances to ensure safety and a stunning display. Cities like Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh, and Da Nang feature spectacular fireworks on New Year's Eve, and the sky lights up with vibrant colors and patterns at exactly 00:00, creating a magical spectacle. Some of the best spots to watch the fireworks include rooftop bars, city centers, waterfront areas, and designated viewing areas. It's important to arrive early to secure a good spot for the show.Hanoi fireworks and drones performance on New Year's Eve2.4. Give the Lucky Money in Lunar New YearDuring Tet, people visit each other's homes to “Chuc Tet” (wish the best for the New Year), then enjoy confectionary and drinks together. Even strangers exchange warm wishes, making it a heartwarming experience for tourists. Moreover, giving "Li Xi" (or Lucky Money) in red envelopes to children and elders is a cherished traditional Vietnam culture. As a tourist, you can participate in these activities, but be sure to familiarize yourself with local customs to avoid cultural misunderstandings.2.5. Go Sightseeing at Temples and PagodasVisiting pagodas and temples is a common practice during Tet, as people pray for luck and peace in the new year. Pagodas are beautifully decorated with flowers, offering a serene escape and cultural insight. Visitors can come to recommended pagodas including Bai Dinh in Ninh Binh, Yen Tu in Quang Ninh, and Perfume Pagoda in Hanoi for sightseeing. Also, there are many traditional festivals held at temples and pagodas during this period that provide a deep dive into Vietnamese culture.2.6. Savor Traditional Vietnamese CuisineBanh Chung cooking classTet is a time to enjoy a variety of traditional Vietnamese dishes that are specially prepared for the New Year. Tourists can join hands to make the traditional dishes with local people.Some must-try dishes include Banh Chung (square sticky rice cake), Nem Ran (fried spring roll),  Gio Lua (Vietnamese pork sausage), and Xoi (sticky rice). These Vietnamese traditional foods are not only delicious but also carry cultural significance and are often shared among family and friends.3. Best New Year Destinations in Vietnam3.1. HanoiHang Ma Street in Tet HolidayThe capital city of Vietnam, Hanoi is a main destination to experience the vibrant celebrations of the Vietnamese New Year. As Tet approaches before 1 week, the city buzzes with many things to do & see and joy. The Hoan Kiem Lake (Sword Lake) area will become particularly vibrant and lively, hosting exciting countdown events as well as fireworks displays. Moreover, the Hanoi Old Quarter is transformed with festive adornments and bustling local markets offering an array of traditional Tet goods. If you're in search of traditional decorative items like lanterns, red envelopes, god of wealth figurines, red parallel sentences, or firecrackers, make your way to Hang Ma Street. For candies, jams, melon seeds, and other traditional delicacies, a visit to Hang Buom Street is a must. Lastly, you can immerse yourself in the beauty of fresh flowers at the Quang Ba Flower Market.3.2. Ninh BinhNinh Binh vibrant festival atmosphereTraveling to Ninh Binh during Tet Holiday is an opportunity to immerse yourself in the ancient tranquility, experience the charm of the mountains and rivers, and discover the remnants of a once magnificent dynasty in Vietnamese history. Spring is the best time to visit Ninh Binh with beautiful flowers and lush greenery, thus taking a boat trip to Trang An or Tam Coc to go sightseeing. All the tourist spots and fun places in Ninh Binh have longer hours to welcome a lot of visitors. You can enjoy all kinds of cool events like music shows, art exhibitions, and cultural activities at Hoa Lu Ancient Town. Then, you can visit the Thung Nham eco-tourism area for an art program with traditional art, singing, dancing, puppetry,... They also have activities for welcoming the new year of Thai and Muong ethnicity.3.3. Hoi AnTourists wear Ao Dai to enjoy Tet in Hoi AnIn the New Year Holiday, Hoi An experiences favorable weather with slight sunshine and cool breeze, making it very suitable for outdoor activities. The city hosts a spring flower festival on roads in the inner city area. On New Year’s Eve (the night of the 30th Tet), there are music performances, lucky charms for spring, and art shows to welcome the new year. During Tet in the Hoi An ancient town, there are many cultural activities are held including street music exchanges, creative corners and art installation spaces, and art performances. Additionally, other annual activities such as tree-planting Tet festivals, Tra Que Cotton Bridge Worshiping Ceremony, Kim Bong Carpentry Patriarch's death anniversary, Lunar New Year Festival, and Cam Nam Sticky Rice Festival will be maintained.3.4. Da NangDa Nang is renowned for its stunning beaches and vibrant nightlife, making it a sought-after destination for New Year celebrations. The city hosts energetic countdown parties and stunning fireworks displays along the Han River.During the New Year festivities, tourists can participate in the Dragon Bridge program including rotation of the bridge, fire & water shows at night in Han River, flower and lighting decorations for Tet, a check-in background at the Dragon Bridge area, and New Year's Eve fireworks. Additionally, visitors can explore many other top things to do in Da Nang such as climbing the Marble Mountains, visiting the Linh Ung Pagoda, or unwinding on My Khe Beach during their Vietnam visit during the New Year Holiday.3.5. Ho Chi Minh CityNguyen Hue Flower Street in Ho Chi Minh CityHo Chi Minh City, Vietnam's largest metropolis, offers energetic and diverse New Year festivities. Rooftop bars and restaurants provide stunning views of the city's fireworks. The bustling Nguyen Hue Walking Street has become a hub of activities, including concerts, light shows, flower festivals, and street performances. Don't miss the chance to visit iconic landmarks like the Notre Dame Cathedral Basilica of Saigon and Ben Thanh Market.You can like our designed tour Best of Vietnam for New Year, not only exploring Ho Chi Minh City but also other top tourist attractions such as Hoi An, Halong Bay, Mekong Delta,...4. Travel costs and crowd in New Year Holiday in VietnamTourist crowd in New Year Holiday in Hoi AnDuring Tet, major cities might feel less crowded as locals travel home to celebrate with their families. However, after the first few days of Tet, popular destinations and pagodas can become crowded, leading to traffic jams and higher prices for flights, services, food, transportation, and accommodations can rise up to about 15-20%. Be prepared for surcharges and some closed shops during this period.5. Tips to travel to Vietnam during New Year 2025New Year Holiday is the most important holiday in Vietnam, attracting tourists with its bustling, vibrant atmosphere and unique cultural features. However, traveling during Tet also has its own notes to ensure you have a complete and memorable trip. Keep in mind these tips during the New Year Holiday in Vietnam!- Plan your Vietnam tour packages for at least 2-3 months before the Tet Holiday to secure the best options and avoid inflated prices. - Learn about the customs and traditions associated with the holiday, such as exchanging New Year greetings, visiting ancestral homes, and attending local festivals. - Anticipate higher prices for services and goods during Tet. Budget accordingly to accommodate increased expenses.- Many Vietnamese people don't bargain during Tet, as it is considered bad luck. If you do bargain, be polite and respectful.- The weather can be unpredictable during Tet. It can be hot and sunny in southern Vietnam while cool and rainy in northern Vietnam. Be sure to pack for all types of each region’s Vietnam weather.Da Nang in New Year HolidayVietnam has 2 kinds of New Year Holidays, however, the Lunar New Year offers a unique blend of lively festivities and rich cultural experiences. Whether you join in the energetic countdown parties or explore serene pagodas, you'll find plenty to do and see in Vietnam. Let Incredible Asia Journeys be your guide to help you embrace the warm hospitality and festive spirit of your New Year holiday. Contact us to plan your Vietnam New Year trip as soon as possible!

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Top 10 Best Places To Visit In Vietnam

Top 10 Best Places To Visit In Vietnam

As a developing country located on the Pacific Ocean, Vietnam possesses many strengths to develop tourism. Indeed, in addition to new lands outside the territory, many excursion believers still choose to explore and check in at Vietnamese tourist destinations. Not only finding new places to explore, visitors also feel and rediscover the heroic history of the nation, as well as the wonderful natural scenery of Vietnam.[incredible_toc] Halong Bay - A UNESCO World Heritage Site So, let's find out the Top 10 Best Places To Visit In Vietnam! 1. Hanoi Hanoi, the heart of Vietnam, the City of Peace recognized by UNESCO is a cannot be missed destination in your Vietnam trip. 4000 years of history, culture, and lifestyle of Vietnamese converge in Hanoi. Hoan Kiem Lake Hanoi is the capital city of Vietnam, located in the north of the country. It has a long and rich history. It is also a cultural hub, with influences from French and Chinese civilizations, as well as various religions. Hanoi is a vibrant and dynamic city, with many attractions for visitors. There are many things to do in Hanoi, Vietnam’s capital city. You can explore the Old Quarter, visit historical sites like the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum and the Temple of Literature, enjoy cultural shows at the Opera House, shop at Dong Xuan Market, or take a cruise to Halong Bay. You can also try delicious Vietnamese food like pho, bun cha, banh mi, and egg coffee. Temple of Literature Read more: Hanoi Overview, what to do and what to see in Hanoi 2. Halong Bay If you travel to Vietnam, Halong Bay is a must-see destination for you as it is beautiful. A comfortable 3½-hour drive from Hanoi capital city, Ha Long Bay or the Bay of the Descending Dragon, which was twice recognized as a UNESCO natural heritage, is one of Vietnam’s most prized treasures as well as the pride of all Vietnamese. Halong Bay's Islands and Cruises Halong Bay, whose tranquil beauty encompasses an indigo sea and more than 3,000 limestone islands and rocky outcrops, is both mystical and magnificent making it an exceptional feat of nature that rarely fails to impress.  Halong Bay is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a popular travel destination in Vietnam.Halong Bay sightseeing cruise tourIt is famous for its thousands of limestone islands and caves, which create a stunning seascape. You can enjoy various activities in Halong Bay, such as cruising, kayaking, swimming, hiking, or visiting floating villages. Contact Incredible Asia Journeys to plan your Halong boat tour to get hot deals! Kayaking in Ha Long Bay The travel distance from Hanoi to Ha Long Bay is about 100 miles (160 km). The fastest way to get there is by car via the Hanoi-Hai Phong highway, which takes about 2.5 hours. You can also take a bus, a minivan, a train, a taxi or a seaplane. Read more: Ha Long Bay Overview, what to do and what to see in Ha Long Bay 3. Sapa Sapa is one of the best places in North Vietnam. When travelers visit Vietnam and North Vietnam, Sapa is a must-see for admiring the natural beauty and learning about the local life.  Located about 350 km to the north-west of Hanoi, Sapa District in Lao Cai Province, is a very soothing place to visit, an attractive little town set over steep hills attracting a large number of international travelers for its views and topographic mountains at the average height of 1500m- 1800m, for its impressive, rugged scenery as well as for its rich cultural diversity. Ta Phin Village Sapa offers some of Vietnam’s best trekking, with stunning views of rice terraces, waterfalls, and villages. You can also experience the culture and lifestyle of various ethnic groups, such as the Hmong, Dao, Tay, and Giay. Trekking in Sapa Read more: Sapa Overview, what to do and what to see in Sapa 4. Ha Giang Ha Giang is a province in the far north of Vietnam, bordering China. It is known for its spectacular scenery of limestone mountains, winding roads, and colorful ethnic markets. Ha Giang is a great destination for adventurous travelers who want to explore the remote and untouched beauty of Vietnam. Lung Cu Tower Some of the best things to do in Ha Giang:- Visit Milestone KM 0 at the city center of Ha Giang.- See Twin Mountain Quan Ba which looks like two breasts rising from the rice field.- Explore Yen Minh Pine Forest which has a peaceful and romantic atmosphere.- Visit Lung Cu Flagpole which marks the northernmost point of Vietnam with a giant flag waving on top of a tower.- Learn about Hmong culture at Sung La Village which is also known as Flower Hmong Village because of their colourful costumes and houses decorated with flowers.- Shop for local products at Dong Van Market which is held every Sunday morning with various goods such as clothes, food, handicrafts, and livestock.Read more: Ha Giang Loop 4 Days 5. Hoi An Hoi An is a beautiful city in Vietnam’s Quang Nam Province and a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 19991. It has a rich history and culture, with influences from Chinese, Japanese and French architecture. Rivers, rice paddies, beaches, and the countryside also surround it. Hoi An Ancient Town You can enjoy many activities in Hoi An, such as cycling, boating, café-hopping, shopping, visiting ancient temples and bridges, or relaxing on the sand. Some of the popular attractions in Hoi An are the Japanese Covered Bridge, Hoi An Ancient Town, Hoi An Night Market, and ALLEY Artist House. Japanese Covered Bridge The best time to visit Hoi An is from February to May when there’s plenty of sunshine, clear skies and warm temperatures. You can also experience some of the local festivals such as the Lantern Festival or the Full Moon Festival during this time. Read more: Hoi An Overview, what to do and what to see in Hoi An 6. HueHue was the capital of Vietnam from 1802 to 1945. The city is located in the central part of the country, on the banks of the Huong Giang River or Perfume River, approximately halfway between Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City and 2 hours drive from Da Nang. It is famous for its imperial citadel, tombs, temples, and pagodas that reflect its glorious past. It is also a cultural and religious center with many festivals and traditions. The Imperial City Hue is usually visited with an excursion to see the Imperial Citadel, ancient temples, pagodas and tombs. Some of them are declared by the UNESCO as the world heritage of mankind. The inspection can take from 2 to 5 days, depending on the number of places that you’ve already planned to visit. Perfume River and Trang Tien Bridge Read more: Hue Overview, what to do and what to see in Hue 7. Da Nang Located in the middle of Central Vietnam, between Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, Da Nang City is not only one of the biggest cities in Vietnam but also one of the cultural and educational centers as well as the most popular tourist destination of the S-shaped country. The Golden Bridge Da Nang is a coastal city in central Vietnam, known for its modern development, beautiful beaches, and cultural attractions. Da Nang is a convenient travel hub for exploring the central region of Vietnam, as it has an international airport and connections to trains and buses.Some of the popular places to visit in Da Nang:- The Marble Mountains: A group of five limestone hills with caves, pagodas, and views of the city.- The Dragon Bridge: A spectacular bridge that spans the Han River and breathes fire on weekends.- The Ba Na Hills: A resort complex on a mountain with a cable car, a theme park, and a replica of a French village.- The Son Tra Peninsula: A natural reserve with beaches, forests, and wildlife.- The Cham Museum: A museum that displays artifacts from the ancient Cham civilization that ruled central Vietnam. The Marble Mountain Read more: Da Nang Overview, what to do and what to see in Da Nang 8. Phu Quoc Covering 515 sq. km (199 sq. m), the same size as Phuket in Thailand, Phu Quoc, which is 50kms from the Vietnamese mainland, is the largest island in Vietnam really famous for its resorts and beautiful white sand beaches. Phu Quoc Island One of the best places in Vietnam to visit is Phu Quoc, an island in Southern Vietnam, famous for its tropical beaches, coral reefs, and natural parks. Phu Quoc is Vietnam’s largest island and a popular destination for water sports, such as snorkeling, diving, and kayaking. Some of the attractions in Phu Quoc are:- The Phu Quoc National Park: A protected area that covers more than half of the island and hosts diverse flora and fauna. The Vinpearl Land Phu Quoc, a resort complex with a theme park, a safari park and a golf course.- The Dinh Cau Rock Temple: A shrine dedicated to the sea goddess that overlooks the fishing harbor.- The Phu Quoc Prison Museum: A historical site that displays the harsh conditions of prisoners during the Vietnam War.- The Duong Dong Night Market: A lively market where you can find seafood, souvenirs and local specialties Phu Quoc Prison Read more: Phu Quoc Overview, what to do and what to see in Phu Quoc9. Ho Chi Minh CityHo Chi Minh City (the old name of the city is Saigon) is the largest city in Vietnam, the locomotive of the Vietnamese economy, and the most important cultural and educational center of the country. Ho Chi Minh City is the largest metropolitan city in the South of Vietnam, in a picturesque place, in the Mekong Delta.Romantic Sunset in Ho Chi Minh CityThe southern capital of Vietnam is more than a curious tourist destination. Whatever the traveler wants - rich excursions or a bustling nightlife, exotic Vietnamese cuisine or the usual European dishes, chic hotels or budget guesthouses are not difficult to find in Ho Chi Minh City.Bui Vien Walking Street at nightRead more: Ho Chi Minh City Overview, what to do and what to see in Ho Chi Minh City10. Mekong DeltaThe Mekong Delta is a region in southwest Vietnam, where the Mekong River splits into many branches and canals before reaching the sea. The Mekong Delta is known for its rich biodiversity, agricultural production, and cultural diversity. The Mekong Delta has a long history of human settlement and cultural diversity. It was part of the ancient civilizations of Funan and Chenla, which flourished between the 1st and 9th centuries AD. It has been influenced by various cultures, such as Khmer, Vietnamese, Chinese, and French. Floating Market in Mekong DeltaSome of the activities and attractions in the Mekong Delta are: Taking a boat tour along the waterways and visiting floating markets, villages, and islands. Exploring national parks' natural beauty and wildlife, such as Tram Chim, U Minh Thuong and Tra Su. Learning about the history and culture of different ethnic groups, such as Khmer, Cham, and Chinese. Sampling local delicacies, such as coconut candy, snake wine, and elephant earfish.Read more: Things to do in Vietnam's Mekong DeltaVietnam's S-shaped land is a remarkable tourist destination, offering all sorts of experiences from trekking in the mountains, relaxing in urban night lights, resting on the beach, enjoying delicious food, and more.Each destination in Vietnam has its own meaning to make each trip an unforgettable memoryAnd it's not just about the 10 best places to visit in Vietnam above. This country has many things waiting for you to discover along the way. Prepare well for your trip to Vietnam and be ready for the surprises to come. Please contact incredibleasiajourneys.com to plan your own holidays in Vietnam.

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Vietnamese New Year's Traditional Food: Must-try recipes

Vietnamese New Year's Traditional Food: Must-try recipes

Vietnam has an amazing variety of food that differs by region and occasion. In particular, the traditional food eaten during Vietnamese New Year is especially important and delicious for tourists who visit Vietnam in New Year Holiday. In this blog, Incredible Asia Journeys will tell you about TOP must-try traditional Vietnamese New Year Food.[incredible_toc]Follow us as we explore the diverse range of Vietnamese cuisine from the North to the South during the Lunar New Year!1. Understanding Tet and Vietnamese Lunar New Year Food1.1. What is Tet?Traditional Tet (Lunar New Year) in VietnamTet (Lunar New Year) is the greatest and most important occasion in Vietnam, marking the arrival of spring based on the lunar calendar. Celebrated in late January or early February, Tet signifies a fresh start and new beginnings, it’s a time for Vietnamese family reunions, paying respects to ancestors, and enjoying special festive foods. Therefore, even though family circumstances are difficult, people still try to prepare a full Tet feast. So, tourists coming to Vietnam to savor the traditional food is the best thing to do in Vietnam!1.2. Weather & Regional Influences on Vietnamese Lunar New Year FoodThe differences in weather across Vietnam during the Lunar New Year lead to diverse Vietnamese New Year food that reflects the local climate and agricultural practices. In the north, the weather is cold and dry influencing the preference for hearty and warming dishes during the chilly days. Meanwhile, in central Vietnam, the weather can be milder but still wet, leading to foods that balance flavors and preserve ingredients. Central Vietnam Tet food is often packed with intense flavors to complement the humid climate. In the south, the weather is typically warm and dry, encouraging the use of fresh, tropical ingredients in dishes. The abundance of fresh produce and milder climate result in lighter, sweeter dishes that are perfect for the festive season. Thus, the distinct weather patterns, lifestyles, and available resources in each region shape the unique Tet food traditions across Vietnam.Each region in Vietnam has its unique Tet lifestyles2. Best Vietnamese New Year FoodTypically, Vietnamese Lunar New Year food varies by region, with each having its unique Vietnamese Tet food. Get ready foodies, it’s time to sneak a peak at each region's dining table!1.1. Northern Vietnam New Year FoodBanh Chung (Square sticky rice cake)Banh Chung stands at the top of the list of Vietnamese food during Lunar New Year. This square-shaped rice cake is made from mung beans, seasoned pork, and sticky rice, all wrapped in dong leaves. Traditionally, the square shape of Banh Chung Vietnamese New Year food represents the Earth and holds deep meanings related to the universe. When eaten, you can feel the chewy sticky rice, the pork is savory and tender, and the mung bean paste is smooth and subtly sweet. Northern people also enjoy a fried version of Banh Chung, where slices of the cake are pan-fried with a little oil over moderate heat until the outer layer becomes crispy while the inside remains soft.Banh Chung is preparing to be boiledXoi Gac (Red sticky rice)Xoi Gac is known for its vibrant red color which symbolizes good luck and prosperity. This festive sticky rice dish is made from glutinous rice mixed with the flesh of Gac fruit (Cochinchin gourd), which imparts its striking hue. The process begins with soaking the rice and then combining it with the gac fruit, coconut milk, and a bit of sugar to enhance the sweetness.When you take a bite of Xoi Gac, you'll experience chewy and slightly sweet sticky rice, while the coconut milk adds a creamy richness. The subtle sweetness of the rice is perfectly balanced by the aromatic essence of the gac fruit, making each mouthful a unique and enjoyable experience. This dish is often enjoyed as a part of the Vietnamese New Year dishes and is also served during other festive occasions to bring good fortune throughout the year.The beautiful color of Xoi GacGio (Vietnamese sausage)Gio is another Vietnamese New Year food, often served alongside Xoi (sticky rice) and Banh Chung. This traditional sausage is crafted from lean meat mixed with fish sauce, wrapped in leaves, and boiled for several hours. Eating Gio Lua, you can feel a delicately flavored sausage with a smooth, firm texture that complements the other festive dishes perfectly. There are various types of Gio, classified by their main ingredient: Gio Lua (pork), Gio Ga (chicken), and Gio Bo (beef). These varieties are not only enjoyed during Tet but are also popular year-round in Vietnamese cuisine.Ga Luoc (Boiled chicken)Ga Luoc (Boiled chicken)Ga Luoc, or boiled chicken, is often used in offerings to ancestors and is a symbol of prosperity and unity. The preparation sounds simple yet precise, a whole chicken is boiled until the meat is tender and the skin is a beautiful golden hue without crack. The resulting flavor is subtly savory, with the chicken's natural juices enhanced by a touch of salt. It is typically served with a side of salt, pepper, and lime dipping sauce, which adds a zesty kick to each bite. Nem Ran (Fried spring roll)Nem Ran, also known as fried spring rolls, is one of the most popular traditional foods not only served in Northern Vietnam but also in other regions in Tet. These crispy rolls are filled with a mixture of minced pork, mushrooms, vermicelli noodles, and various vegetables, all seasoned to perfection. The rolls are wrapped in rice paper and then fried until golden brown and crispy. When you bite into a Nem Ran, you experience a satisfying crunch followed by a burst of savory and aromatic flavors from the filling. They are typically served with a bowl of dipping sauce made from fish sauce, lime juice, sugar, and chili, which complements the rich and savory rolls perfectly. Thit Dong (Jellied pork)Thit Dong (Jellied Pork)Thit Dong is food for Vietnamese new year in northern Vietnam. This cold dish is made by simmering pork and pork skin with fish sauce, pepper, and garlic until the natural gelatin from the pork creates a jelly-like consistency. Once cooled, the mixture solidifies into a savory jelly that is sliced and served. The flavor of Thit Dong is savory and slightly garlicky, with a smooth and silky texture that melts in your mouth. It's often enjoyed with pickled vegetables and sticky rice, providing a refreshing contrast to the rich and savory jelly. 1.2. Central Vietnam New Year FoodBanh Tet (Cylindrical sticky rice cake)Banh Tet is a traditional Vietnamese New Year food enjoyed especially in central and southern Vietnam. Similar to Banh Chung, Banh Tet is made from glutinous rice, mung beans, and pork, but it is shaped into a cylindrical roll and wrapped in banana leaves before being boiled. The cooking process, which takes several hours, results in a flavorful and hearty cake that is sliced into rounds for serving. The banana leaves impart a unique aroma that enhances the overall taste, making Banh Tet a cherished dish during the Lunar New Year.Black Cylindrical Sticky Rice Cake - Banh TetBanh In (Print cake)Banh In, or print cake, is a sweet treat commonly enjoyed during Tet in central Vietnam. These small, decorative cakes are made from rice flour and sugar and are often imprinted with intricate designs. They come in various flavors, including mung bean and coconut. Banh In has a dense and slightly chewy texture, with a delicate sweetness that pairs well with tea. The detailed prints on each cake not only make them visually appealing but also represent good luck and prosperity for the new year. Tourists can buy this cake as a souvenir to bring home in Vietnam in New Year Holiday tour.Nem Chua (Fermented pork roll)Nem Chua is a popular food in Central Vietnam, particularly as a specialty in Thanh Hoa. Made from minced pork, pork skin, garlic, and chili, Nem Chua is seasoned and then wrapped in banana leaves to ferment for several days. The fermentation process gives the pork a unique sour taste and a chewy texture. Each bite of Nem Chua is a burst of tangy, savory, and slightly spicy flavors, making it a delicious and refreshing snack. It is often enjoyed with fresh herbs and chili sauce, adding to the complexity of flavors.Tom Chua (Sour shrimp)Tom Chua is a specialty of central Vietnam originating from Hue. This dish is made by fermenting fresh shrimp with a mixture of rice, galangal, garlic, and chili. The fermentation process results in a tangy and slightly spicy flavor, with the shrimp retaining a firm and juicy texture. Tom Chua is typically served with fresh herbs and rice paper, allowing diners to create their own flavorful rolls. The combination of sour, spicy, and savory flavors makes Tom Chua a standout dish during the Lunar New Year festivities.Bo Kho Mat Mia (Braised beef with molasses)Bo Kho Mat Mia (Braised Beef With Molasses)Bo Kho Mat Mia is a rich and flavorful dish from Nghe An, central Vietnam. This dish features beef braised with molasses, fish sauce, and various aromatic spices until the meat is tender and infused with a deep, sweet-savory flavor. The molasses add a caramelized sweetness that balances the robust taste of the beef, while the spices contribute to a complex and aromatic profile. The slow-cooking process ensures that the flavors meld beautifully, resulting in a dish that is both hearty and indulgent. Bo Kho Mat Mia is often served with rice or noodles, making it a comforting and satisfying meal during the festive season.1.3. Southern Vietnam New Year FoodThit Kho Hot Vit (Caramelized pork and eggs)Thit Kho Hot Vit is a beloved dish during Tet in southern Vietnam, featuring succulent pieces of pork belly braised with duck eggs in a rich, caramelized sauce made from coconut water, fish sauce, and sugar. The slow-cooking process allows the pork to become incredibly tender, while the duck eggs absorb the savory-sweet flavors of the sauce. It is supposed that the round eggs and square pieces of meat are symbols of balanced yin and yang. Thit Kho Hot Vit is typically served with rice, making it a comforting and satisfying meal that symbolizes prosperity and warmth in Tet. Don’t miss the chance to try this food during your Best of Vietnam for New Year!Canh Kho Qua (Stuffed bitter melon soup)Canh Kho Qua, or stuffed bitter melon soup, is a traditional dish in southern Vietnam that is often enjoyed during Tet. The dish features bitter melon stuffed with a mixture of minced pork, mushrooms, and glass noodles, all seasoned with fish sauce and pepper. The bitterness of the melon is believed to symbolize the hardships of the past year, which are washed away with each bite. The soup is both refreshing and nourishing, with a unique combination of bitter and savory flavors that are said to bring good health and fortune.Canh Mang (Bamboo shoot soup)Canh Mang (Bamboo Shoot Soup)Canh Mang is made from dried bamboo shoots, pork ribs, and various aromatic herbs. The dried bamboo shoots are rehydrated and simmered with the pork ribs to create a rich and savory broth. The bamboo shoots add a distinct earthy flavor and a slightly crunchy texture to the soup. Canh Mang is often enjoyed as part of the Tet feast, symbolizing growth and resilience. Its hearty and warming qualities make it a perfect dish to share with family and friends during the festive season.Lap Xuong (Chinese sausage)Lap Xuong, or Chinese sausage, is a popular ingredient in southern Vietnamese cuisine, especially during Tet. These sweet and savory sausages are made from ground pork and fat, seasoned with sugar, soy sauce, and rice wine, then air-dried or smoked. This flavorful and slightly chewy sausage is often sliced and stir-fried with vegetables or used as a topping for sticky rice. The sweet and smoky flavor of Lap Xuong adds a delightful contrast to the savory dishes typically served during Tet.3. Table manners in Lunar New Year VietnamTry to savor a Tet meal in VietnamTet is a time of deep tradition and cultural significance in Vietnam, and the meals shared during this period are much more formal and elaborate than everyday meals. Here are some essential table manners to keep in mind if you dine with locals or wish to experience an authentic Tet meal:- Do not start eating until the incense on the ancestor’s altar has finished burning.- Always invite the elders to eat first as a sign of respect.- Do not clatter your chopsticks or bowl, as it is considered rude.- Finish all the rice you have taken, it is considered wasteful and disrespectful to leave rice in your bowl.- Wait for the host to indicate where you should sit if you are a guest. The seating arrangement may be based on age or status.New Year in Vietnam is an incredible opportunity to explore the unique and mouthwatering cuisine that is exclusive to this festive holiday. You don't want to miss out on the chance to savor all these amazing dishes and immerse yourself in the rich tapestry of traditional Vietnamese food during the New Year celebration.If you're planning a trip to Vietnam during the New Year holiday and need help with booking tours, look no further! Incredible Asia Journeys is here to make your adventure unforgettable.

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Top 6 Things To Do in Ho Chi Minh City

Top 6 Things To Do in Ho Chi Minh City

Ho Chi Minh City, also known as Sai Gon, is the most populated city in Vietnam with a population of approximately 100 million people. It is also one of the most commonly visited destinations in Vietnam which welcomes about 12.6 million international tourists in the year 2023.[incredible_toc] So what makes this city an interesting destination? Let’s find out the top 6 things to do in Ho Chi Minh City in this article. 1. What to see in Ho Chi Minh City? 1.1. Have a lot of fun at Pham Ngu Lao Street If asking young tourists where is the funniest place in Ho Chi Minh City, surely they will answer “Pham Ngu Lao Street”. Sitting in District 1 of Sai Gon, this street is a perfect place for travelers to stay, find delicious local delicacies, and join the local nightlife. Of all the activities that this street offers, having a cup of local beer on the sidewalk is the weirdest, yet interesting experience to try. Here, you can find local Sai Gon beer in every corner with only about 20,000 - 30,000 VND. Furthermore, you can also watch street performances such as dancing, singing, or even fire-spitting while enjoying your beer.  However, this hectic street is only open on the weekend (Friday to Sunday) from 18:00 to midnight. So, keep that in mind when arranging your schedule. Pham Ngu Lao Street 1.2. Take waterbus ride One of the best things to do around Ho Chi Minh City is to take a waterbus ride on the Sai Gon River. The waterbus was put into operation since 2017 to meet the transportation demand of local people. However, it has been drawing a lot of attention from tourists and is considered one of the most interesting experiences when traveling to Ho Chi Minh because it not only gives tourists chances to enjoy the scenery of the city from the water but also is a cheap, yet fun thing to do in Ho Chi Minh city. Here is some general information about this water bus: Capacity: 66 seatsBus stops: Bach Dang, Binh An, Thanh Da, Hiep Binh Chanh, and Linh DongPrice: 15.000vnd/wayOperating hours: 6:00 – 19:30Total time from Bach Dang – Linh Dong: about 50 minsWhere to buy a ticket: at the stopsThere is one thing you should keep in mind that it is advisable to avoid weekends because the demand is very high at this time which will take you long hours waiting. Water bus ride in Ho Chi Minh City 1.3. Explore the Notre Dame Cathedral Notre Dame Cathedral is one of the most famous places of interest in Ho Chi Minh City located in District 1. Originally, this cathedral was made of wood and was hugely damaged by termites. Not until 1877, refurbishment was made and finished in 1880 which converted the old wooden cathedral into the current version. As it was built by the French, all the red bricks used to erect the construction were bought in Marseille, France. The design of it was also an imitation of the famous Notre Dame de Paris with Romance and French Gothic architectural style. Besides its beauty, the event in October 2005 also made up its reputation among tourists. That is the moment the Virgin Mary statue in front of the cathedral shed tears which drew tons of attention from the public and was mentioned in a number of international news. Thus, this is a must-go thing to do when you visit Ho Chi Minh City. Address: 1 Cong Xa Paris, Ben Nghe, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City. The Notre Dame Cathedral 1.4. Discover the Cu Chi tunnel Cu Chi tunnel is the most famous historical site in the South of Vietnam as it played an important role in the victory of Vietnam in defeating the Americans. Come to Ho Chi Minh City, tourists cannot miss this one of the best places to visit in Ho Chi Minh City Vietnam. The tunnel was built in 1948 and took 25 years to complete, the whole complex had the original length of 250 kilometers, until today, only 120 kilometers remained and conserved by the Vietnam government. In wartime, it functioned as the operation base of the Viet Cong for the event of Tet Offensive in 1968. It has a total of 3 levels which can accommodate everything needed in the war such as food, hospitals, supply routes, weapons, etc., and also was an accommodation for the soldiers. Nowadays, to ensure safety for tourists, it is allowed to visit and crawl the 1st floor and only some safe parts of the lower levels. Address: TL15, Phu Hiep, Cu Chi District, Ho Chi Minh City.Consider our best customized Ho Chi Minh City & Cu Chi tunnel tours to have a full explanation of the historical depth of the tunnels. Gun shooting in Cu Chi Tunnel 1.5. Wander along Starlight Bridge Starlight Bridge is located in District 7 which crosses Thay Tieu Canal. It is considered one of the most beautiful and modern bridges in Vietnam. What makes this bridge special is that, as it is called, the bridge has a system of light stretching along its floor which brings visitors a feeling of walking in a galaxy with many stars. In addition, it’s also designed with the water spray system combined with rainbow lights which makes the bridge so gorgeous from a far distance.  However, the scenery is not available every day. You can only see it on Thursday and Sunday nights from 18:30 to 22:00 and in some national holidays such as New Year's Eve, etc.  Address: Rach Bang Bridge 2, Tan Phu, District 7, Ho Chi Minh City Starlight Bridge 1.6. Explore Ben Thanh Market Ben Thanh Market is situated in the prime location of District 1. The market dates back more than 100 years ago during the French colonial period, thus, its architecture was strongly influenced by the French. It is one of the most well-known places of interest for tourists when traveling to Ho Chi Minh City which welcomes more than 10,000 people visiting every day.  One special thing is that it transforms every day from a shopping paradise to a night market. In the morning, you can come here for shopping. It offers tourists almost everything from souvenirs, handicraft items, branded goods, etc. with approximately 1,500 booths of more than 6,000 business owners. In the evening, it converts into a night market with a wide range of delicious street food such as seafood, crispy pancakes, etc. even options for vegetarians. Address: Le Loi, Ben Thanh Ward, District 1 Ben Thanh Market 2. Best tours to take when you staying in Ho Chi Minh City When you are staying in Ho Chi Minh City, you may wonder what are the best tours to take. See some tours suggested by our experts as below: 2.1. Mekong Boat Trip from Ho Chi Minh City After several days exploring the hustle and bustle city of Sai Gon, it’s time to relax a bit with a trip to a further place. The Mekong Delta day trip is one of the best choices for you. In this tour, you will be taking a river cruise along a part of the Mekong Delta River, having local tea while watching the Vietnam folk singing performance, and enjoying a local lunch at the Unicorn Islet. For more details, please click HERE. 2.2. Long Tan – Nui Dat Day TourLong Tan and Nui Dat were battlefields that watched a fierce battle between the ANZACs – an Australian and New Zealand Corps – and the Vietnamese army forces. Coming here, you will have a chance to understand more about Vietnam’s history. On this day trip, you will also be visiting Long Tan Cross Memorial, Horseshoe FSB, and Long Phuoc Tunnels For more details, please click HERE.So, those are the best things to do in Ho Chi Minh City that we want to provide to tourists. Don't hesitate to contact Incredible Asia Journeys to start planning your Vietnam trip today, many excitements await!

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Best things to do in Hue

Best things to do in Hue

Hue is a famous tourist destination and one of the most charming cities in Vietnam. Located by the beautiful Perfume River, Hue used to be the royal capital of Vietnam from 1802 to 1945 under the Nguyen Dynasty. This is a great destination for history lovers with ancient buildings, old landmarks, beautiful pagodas, and museums. People flock over here to check out the ancient tombs of the emperors located throughout the city providing a deeper knowledge of Hue in the good old days. And it’s also a place of wonderful food with huge options around the town.[incredible_toc]There are so many exciting things to do around this renowned and charming city that attracts millions of tourists every year. However, not many people know well about what are the Best things to do in Hue, especially first-time visitors. Incredible Asia Journeys has rounded up the list of 8 Best things to do in Hue to help you bring the best memory home!1. Best Things To Do in Hue Vietnam1.1. Visit the Imperial CityOne of the best things to do in Hue is visit the Imperial City even if you are only here for 1 day. The Imperial City was built in the 18th century under the reign of King Gia Long – the first emperor of the Nguyen Dynasty. It served as the Imperial Seat of Vietnam for a long time but then lost its role when the new government of President Ho Chi Minh declared the independence of Vietnam. After that, the Imperial City suffered from heavy damage during the Indochina War in the 20th century.Nowadays, the Imperial City is one of the most famous tourist attractions in Hue. This is a perfect place for a walk and learns about the rich history. If you are planning to visit on your own, you can have a tour guide to explain the information at the ticket booth. They will take you around for 1 hour, but be aware that their English skill is not excellent. The ticket to enter the Imperial City is 200.000 VND (USD 7.85) for adults and 40.000 VND ($1.57) for children (7-12 years of age). Also, the price to hire a tour guide is 150.000 VND for one group.Imperial City1.2. Visit the Tombs of the Former EmperorsWhat to do in Hue Vietnam? Visiting the Tombs of Former Emperors is probably one of the best things that you should do in Hue. There are 7 tombs of ancient emperors in total but the tomb of King Khai Dinh, King Tu Duc, and King Minh Mang is the nicest that you should visit thanks to its unique appeal. You can consider combining to visit both Hue Imperial City and Tombs:- Combo of 3 sites: Hue Imperial City, Emperor Minh Mang’s tomb, Emperor Khai Dinh’s tomb is 420,000 VND ($16.49) for adults and 80,000 VND ($3.14) for children (7-12 years of age).- Combo of 3 sites: Hue Imperial City, Emperor Minh Mang’s tomb, Emperor Tu Duc’s tomb is 420,000 VND ($16.49) for adults and 80,000 VND ($3.14) for children (7-12 years of age).The tombs are mostly built in the 19th and 20th centuries with beautiful architecture and typical Vietnamese design.If you are wondering between various options, you can take a look at our tour a full day to visit Hue City HERE. Tomb of Emperor Khai Dinh1.3. Cruise along the Perfume RiverThe Perfume River runs through the city of Hue and is one of the most beautiful waterways in this city. It is the best place to take in all the beauty of this romantic city. Therefore, cruising along the Perfume River is one of the best things to do in Hue. If you take the cruise in the daytime, you will see people going out for an early run and buffalos swimming, enjoying the cold water.If you take the cruise in the daytime, you will see people going out for an early run and buffalos swimming, enjoying the cold water. If you opt for a night cruise, you will have a chance to see the local vendors with their food stalls by the river bank. All the dragon boat that hosts Hue Folk Music will light on with lanterns creating a romantic scenery on the river. After finishing the boat tour, you can go to those food stalls and get something to eat.Besides, tourists can also tour around Hue City by this dragon boat in the morning. The boat will take you to visit the Imperial City, Thien Mu Pagoda and Minh Mang Tomb. It is a fascinating day tour around Hue providing the amazing landscape with an interesting history of the city.Perfume River and dragon boats1.4. Visit the Thien Mu PagodaBesides the royal tombs, Hue is also famous for ancient and beautiful pagodas. The Thien Mu Pagoda is one of the most interesting places to visit in Hue and people often go there to find peace. It is also considered as the symbol of Hue and visitors can take a beautiful view over the Perfume River from here.It is known for the gold and silver images of Buddha inside and also a huge bell as well as a stone turtle. The best time to visit Thien Mu Pagoda is in the early morning when the temperature is not too high and you can slowly stroll around, observing the life here.Thien Mu Pagoda1.5. Go shopping at Dong Ba MarketWhen traveling to a new destination, the best thing to do is to go shopping, buy gifts from that place, and in Hue, Dong Ba Market is the best shopping spot. Coming here, you will see a flea market and you can buy everything here from classic souvenirs to traditional Vietnamese food. The market is open from 3:00 AM to 8:30 PM so feel free to visit at any time of the day. However, be aware of the price because some people will sell higher prices for tourists so you will need to negotiate.Dong Ba Market became more famous when chef Anthony Bourdain came and filmed an episode of his show. He tried the noodle vermicelli with beef and found it delicious.Dong Ba Market1.6. Go trekking at Bach Ma National ParkGo trekking at Bach Ma National Park is recommended as one of the best things to do in Hue if you stay there for more than 1 day. Bach Ma National Park is located at 1,450 meters above the sea level therefore it is the spot for a panorama view of Hue. In the past, it acted as a French Hill Station and now it turned into a popular attraction for tourists and locals.On the way up, you will see an amazing waterfall and hiking trails as well as a few campsites for those who want to stay overnight. The fresh air, flora, and fauna here will be a memorable experience during your trip to Hue. Besides, you can also pay a visit to Cau Hai Village after go trekking.Bach Ma National Park1.7. Admire the Hue Museum Of Royal AntiquitiesAdmire the Hue Museum Of Royal Antiquities is probably one of the best attractions in Hue if you are a lover of history. It is where the variety of pieces from the Nguyen Dynasty are displayed from 1802 to 1945. In the Museum Of Royal Antiquities, you will find different galleries showing traditional furniture, textiles, jewelry, and other things that used to belong to the royal family. The museum is situated right outside of the Citadel so you can visit it after walking around the Imperial City. The entrance fee to this museum is already covered with the same ticket of the Citadel so it’s very convenient to combine the visit of these places.The museum will show you the Imperial life and the antique collection of the Nguyen Dynasty. Besides, it’s free so you shouldn’t miss this!Hue Museum Of Royal Antiquities1.8. Do cycling to Thanh Toan VillageThanh Toan Village is located about 8 km away from Hue center and it is one of the less touristy destinations nearby. Besides the beautiful countryside roads, peaceful rural scenery, Thanh Toan village is also famous for its tile-roofed bridge. The bridge which crosses the Nhu Y river is made up of wood and topped with a tiled roof. It is only 17 meters long and it has a shrine inside dedicated to the patron of the construction. This is a perfect place to get some rest, see the authentic feature of Hue and its residential neighborhood.After cycling, you can relax in a small village market nearby for food and drinks. Thanh Toan Village is definitely in the list of best things to do in Hue.Thanh Toan Bridge2. When is the best time to visit Hue The best time to visit Hue Vietnam is from January to April when the temperature is not too high and there are fewer chances of rainfall during the day. Visiting Hue during this period, you will feel comfortable wandering about or exploring the historical sites. There are also many festivals celebrated at this time, such as Lunar New Year and Hue Festival. You will have a chance to enjoy cultural shows, visit local markets, enjoy traditional music performances, or taste amazing special dishes.Hue Festival 2022On the other hand, the rainy season of Hue begins in September and ends in December. The temperature of this period tends to drop quickly and it rains more often. If you are planning for a trip to Hue in this period, it’s recommended to avoid visiting in October and November because these are the peak months of the wet season.Hue Rainy SeasonBesides, Hue can be extremely hot at mid-day so to make your trip more enjoyable, you should start the tour early to avoid the intense heat.Otherwise, take a look at some of our day tours from Hue City. It is more convenient when you have transportation and someone to explain the information to you:Phong Nha Day Tour from HueHue – Paradise Cave Full-Day TourHue Full Day City TourWe hope that this list of a few things to do in Hue gave you a great start for your plan of a short trip to Hue. In our opinion, it would take more than one day to visit all the charming attractions of this city. However, if you only have one day, that’s enough for the main attractions or a full-day Hue city tour. Tell us if you have any more difficulties, Incredible Asia Journeys is always happy to help!Articles you may also like:7 Things to Buy in Hue - A Heaven of HandicraftsWhat to Eat in HueWhere to Stay in Hue and its Surrounds

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Is October a good month to visit Vietnam?

Is October a good month to visit Vietnam?

Vietnam is an exciting country with cultural and natural attractions that attract millions of tourists each year. The country offers all you need for a unique and memorable adventure. It is a year-round destination so the best time to visit Vietnam could be any time of the year. If you are planning to travel this October, you might wonder "Is October a good time to visit Vietnam?" Our article below will show you what to do, what to bring, the weather, and where to visit in Vietnam in October. [incredible_toc] 1. Weather in Vietnam in October In general, the weather in Vietnam in October is typically humid and warm but it varies differently in each region over the country. In one month, you may experience the cold weather (and even snow) in the far north mountain and the sunshine on the beaches in the south. Therefore, it is necessary to research the weather before your visit to make sure you don’t have to suffer any inconvenience. To answer the question "Is October a good time to visit Vietnam?" we will see the weather in each region to perfectly plan your Vietnam things to do and where to go. 1.1. Weather in Northern Vietnam in October October marks the end of the wet season in Northern Vietnam and the average temperatures tend to drop quickly. In October, there is more rainfall than in previous months and the second half of the month is cooler and dry. In mountainous areas like Sapa and Ha Giang, the weather is even cooler and dryer. However, it’s also considered the best time for trekking through the mountains when you can see the endless golden rice fields ready to harvest. Rice field in Sapa 1.2. Weather in Central Vietnam in October During October, the central region of Vietnam has more rainfall and heavy storms occur more often. Because of heavy rains, some regions may suffer the flooding in October but it can’t dilute the charm of the region. In fact, the rain may become a romantic inspiration for many poets and artists in Hue and Hoi An. Be aware that the heavy rainfalls could block some sightseeing activities such as visiting Phong Nha Cave. Overall, the temperatures of central Vietnam are quite pleasant in October which vary slightly between 24 – 27oC. Hoi An Ancient Town 1.3. Weather in Southern Vietnam in October In the south of Vietnam, October is the month of change in the weather with the decrease of rainfall. Towards the end of the month, these regions become dry and hot with an average temperature of 27°C.   If you want to visit the beaches and islands, Phan Thiet, Mui Ne, Phu Quoc, and Con Dao are starting to recover from the winter months and there will be more sunshine. It is best to visit these destinations by the end of October because the weather will be warmer. Phu Quoc Beach 2. What to pack when visiting Vietnam in October Packing the right clothes is very important when traveling abroad which helps you save space in your luggage and avoid being too hot or too cold in the country. Therefore, we will help you answer the question “Is October a good time to visit Vietnam?” by letting you know what to bring to each region when traveling. 2.1. The North of Vietnam The weather of Northern is not too cold in October so you can dress as normal in your country but a little more conservative. Tourists should pack lightweight clothes or linen trousers. You don’t even to bring too many clothes because in Vietnam they are very cheap. You can also buy accessories such as hats, flip-flops, or sunglasses at the markets or shops in Hanoi Old Quarter. However, the mountainous area of the North such as Sapa or Ha Giang becomes colder at night so a light jacket is a good choice to keep you warm. If you love trekking, it is important to bring good walking shoes to avoid footsore. Besides, because it is the beginning month of the rainy season, packing a lightweight raincoat is also recommendable.Trekking in Sapa 2.2. The Central of Vietnam The weather in October in Central Vietnam is still hot so you can bring a bikini, swimsuit, or shorts to go swimming. It’s also necessary to bring sunglasses, hats, and sunscreen to protect from the UV. If you visit Hoi An Vietnam in October, you should bring sandals with good quality for walking around the town. Also, a light raincoat is a must to bring during this rainy weather.Take a stroll around Hoi An Ancient Town 2.3. The South of Vietnam In South Vietnam in October, you don’t worry too much about what to bring for traveling because people here are more open to Western culture. Tourists can dress in freestyle as in their hometown. For morning and afternoon visiting, you can bring a light jacket because the weather is cool. A pair of sandals and a raincoat are more recommended than a pair of shoes because it may rain suddenly at any time of the day. If you also visit the Mekong Delta, you should bring sleeveless tops and long pants because the weather is pretty hot. Plastic bags against water are a must to protect your camera and phone while sitting on the boat. In general, bringing quick-dry clothes is the best.Floating Market in Mekong Delta 3. Places to visit in Vietnam in October 3.1. Hanoi October is when the heat, humidity, and heavy rains disappear and replaced by cool dry days. It’s also the beginning month of autumn so it’s one of the best months to visit Hanoi and its colonial building. Also, Hanoi is the best place in vietnam in October. There are no better activities than taking a cyclo to go around Hanoi Old Quarter and enjoy the cooling wind blow frequently. Or else, any walking tour or street food tour is suitable in this month because the sunlight and the heat are not too strong. At night, you can walk around the streets of Hanoi and sense the sweet fragrance of milk flowers – the symbol of autumn in Hanoi.  Coming to Hanoi in October, you will also have a chance to see the city changes and enjoy Com and the warm sunlight, and cool atmosphere. Also, there are a few important celebrations in this month. October 10th is the day to memorize the change of capital to Hanoi. Moreover, there are Vietnamese Women’s Day and the Halloween festival.  "Com" - Green Rice HanoiSee some of our intensive customized Hanoi tours by clicking HERE. 3.2. Ha Giang For those who love adventures, visiting Ha Giang is a must during your trip to Vietnam because October is the best time for traveling to this province. October marks the end of the wet season in Vietnam so the temperature falls rapidly making the weather quite relaxing and comfortable for tourists. Especially, from the beginning of October, the Ha Giang Mountains turn to the most beautiful colors. The province is covered in the triangle buckwheat flowers – the flowers that can only be found in the mountainous provinces so you shouldn’t miss the chance of taking amazing photos here. Besides, some other places you shouldn’t miss are Dong Van town, Meo Vac town, Hoang Su Phi, Khau Vai market, etc. Enjoy the unique cuisine of Ha Giang with Meo chicken, pigs (lon cap nach), five-colored rice, or horse meat.  Triangle buckwheat flowersSee some of our customized Ha Giang Tour by clicking HERE. 3.3. Halong Bay Halong Bay is the destination that needs to be on your travel bucket list for your Vietnam October holiday. Unlike previous months, Halong Bay weather in October is favorable with better chances of clear skies.  One of the best things to do in Halong Bay is to take a cruise ship. It will take you to the fishing village where you can see the life of local people here. The villagers will use the bamboo boat to take you around and show you the magical scenery of their home. You can also use a kayak to enter the amazing caves with beautiful stalactites. It is a life experience that you should have at least one time in your life. A luxury Halong Bay - Lan Ha Bay CruiseSee some of our customized Halong Bay Tour by clicking HERE. 3.4. Hue Hue – recognized as a World Heritage Site used to be the capital of the Nguyen Dynasty. It is not only impressive with unique architecture but also the attractive destinations and beautiful beaches. The city is located by the bank of Perfume River – a romantic river in Vietnam so tourists coming here can feel the romance in every corner of the city. For those who love discovering culture and history, Hue offers a visit to royal tombs, museums, and ruins which tell you a part of great history. The Imperial City, Forbidden Purple City and the Inner City are on the top list of must-visit destinations in Hue.  Taking a cruise along the Perfume River, you can also visit the Tombs of Emperors, contemplate the magical landscape, and enjoy art performances onboard. Furthermore, tourists should visit Thien Mu Pagoda – one of the most beautiful pagodas in Hue or relax on Thuan An Beach and Lang Co Beach. Imperial City of HueSee some of our customized Hue Tours by clicking HERE. 3.5. Mekong Delta – Can Tho The province of Can Tho is famous for the interesting floating markets, special local cuisine, beautiful pagodas as well as friendly people. There is a famous saying about this biggest city on the Mekong River Delta: “Can Tho, ivory rice and clear water”. Some of the most beautiful and recommended places for tourists are Cai Rang Floating Market, Ninh Kieu Wharf and Bang Lang Stork Garden. October is a good month to visit Can Tho because you will have the opportunity to sail through the small canals, see the verdant farms of locals on the river bank, buy exotic and qualified products on the boat.  Cai Rang Floating MarketIn conclusion, “Is Vietnam good to visit in October?” – yes, it is. This month has all the favorable conditions for a long trip throughout this beautiful country. If you have any questions about the plan, contact Incredible Asia Journeys right away!

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Which is the best place to see the Golden Rice Field in Northern Vietnam?

Which is the best place to see the Golden Rice Field in Northern Vietnam?

Wetland rice farming is a very common farming method in Vietnam and you can find rice paddy fields everywhere among the country. In the mountainous areas, you will see mostly they cultivate terraced rice fields while in Red River Delta or lowlands, mostly they grow flat and spacious rice fields. This is because the rice needs a lot of water to grow and with terraced rice farming, peasants take advantage of the water flowing from the hillside into rice terraces, especially when they transplant rice seedlings. The Golden Rice Fields during harvest season is one of the most impressive views that any tourists going on their Northern Vietnam Tours would love to see. When the harvest season comes, the fields are covered with mesmerizing yellow color. The combination of blue sky, green mountains and yellow paddy fields with ethnic houses will create a mind-blowing scenery for tourists. So where are the best places to capture these stunning golden rice fields in Vietnam?[incredible_toc] These glooming golden rice fields are breath-taking 1. Tam Coc Along with the famous World Heritage Site - Halong Bay, Ninh Binh is also one of the must-see destinations in your Vietnam Tour with amazing landscapes and a peaceful atmosphere. Located in Ninh Binh, Tam Coc is considered the most popular attraction besides Bai Dinh Pagoda, Trang An Complex or Hoa Lu Ancient Capital for its picturesque paddy fields and scenic view from the mountains. With its cave system, limestone mountains and spectacular rice paddy fields, it is also known with the name “Halong Bay on land”. This is a perfect place for travelers looking for an easy day trip away from the hustle and bustle of Hanoi. We can catch bright yellow rice fields from mid-April to early June, which is the time for the perfect blue sky and not so sunny weather. The most common activity in Tam Coc is the boat ride in Ngo Dong River. From the boat, you will see the magnificent view of the sky, the mountains and the shades of yellow rice fields are truly breath-taking. Along the road, you will see the hard-working peasants wading through the water to harvest the rice. Tourists can easily reach Tam Coc from Hanoi Capital via train, car, bus or even motorbike. On your day trip to Tam Coc, you can also visit Hoa Lu Ancient Capital and Mua Caves. Therefore, there’s no doubt that Tam Coc is the first in the list of best places to see the Golden Rice Fields. Tam Coc is the easiest place to visit if you want to see the golden rice fields 2. Mai Chau Located about 140km from Hanoi and 65 km from Hoa Binh province, we will find the incredible valley of Mai Chau. Surrounded by mountains and covered with rice fields, the valley of Mai Chau is one of the best alternative destinations for Sapa if you don’t have much time but still want to admire the wonderful view of the golden rice fields. The main attraction in Mai Chau is undoubtedly to relax, enjoy the nature and tranquil atmosphere of this area. It is very easy to visit Mai Chau by bus or motorbike. Coming here, you will have a chance to try the tempting colorful sticky rice and local wine, try one day to stay with locals in their stilt houses. Mai Chau is also considered the best place to see the Golden Rice Field beside of Tam Coc. After a short trekking tour, you will be amazed by its rice paddy fields cultivated by H’Mong and Tay's tribes stretching to the skyline. And the best time to witness this famous golden rice fields will be between May and June when the rice just begins to ripen. Mai Chau is an alternative choice for Sapa as one of the best place to see the golden rice fields 3. Bac Son Valley Bac Son Town is located about 70 km from Lang Son Province and 160 km from Hanoi. In the heart of this rural district, you will find Bac Son Valley surrounded by charming mountains and beautiful sceneries. Coming here, you will enjoy pleasant weather, beautiful place, inhabited by nice and friendly people and featuring some ancestral crafts. This is home to many ethnic groups in the mountain and people here mainly do farming for their daily life. Thanks to the flat land, beautiful weather and rich soil, Bac Son Valley is an ideal place for planting rice. Tay people in Bac Son Valley cultivate two crops in one year: one at the end of July and one in mid-November. These are the two best periods for tourists to see the yellow paddy fields. The rice terraces in Bac Son are very unique, the yellow ripen paddies are dotted with green ones. This is because peasants here grow crops at a different time and it’s also the reason why Bac Son Valley is one of the best places for the Golden Paddy Fields. Bac Son Valley has a unique view for the golden rice fields 4. Sapa If you love trekking through the mountainous areas, you would be so regretful if you don’t visit Sapa during your trip in Vietnam. Sapa lies in Northwestern Vietnam, near the Chinese border. This is one of the most outstanding attractions with phenomenal landscapes, not to mention significant cultural importance. Sapa is home to many ethnic tribes and ethnic people here grow rice and carve them into the hilly or mountainous slopes. Talking to locals, you will find out that some rice terraces here are hundreds or even thousands of years old and have been the main feeding crop of the region. The curving terraces perfectly fit the landscape across the valley, creating a splendid painting of Mother Nature. They make Sapa an ideal place for hiking and photo hunt. Besides the beautiful rice terraces, it’s also a good place for travelers seeking for local experience with the ethnic culture. The rice terraces in Sapa usually ripen from the last week of August to mid-September and can be found in Ta Van, Lao Chai, Ta Phin, Ta Giang Phinh, Muong Hum and Cat Cat Village. Don’t miss this place if you are planning to visit Northern Vietnam – one of the best places to see the Yellow Rice Fields! Sapa is the most famous place for tourists to visit during harvest season for its gorgeous golden rice terraces 5. Mu Cang Chai If you are planning to visit the North of Vietnam, make sure you don’t miss Mu Cang Chai in your bucket list. With unspoiled nature and adventurous trails, the golden rice terraces in Mu Cang Chai were listed as one of the most magnificent landscapes in the world. The rice terraces here are created by the hard-work of H’Mong people, they have become significant in their culture and represent the indomitable spirit of locals here against the rigorous nature. To reach Mu Cang Chai, you can jump on a bus to travel from Hanoi to Than Uyen and from there you can go to Mu Cang Chai. Otherwise, you can travel to Yen Bai province, rent a motorbike and travel around. There are many exciting attractions besides the yellow rice terraces and Khau Pha Pass is among one of them. On the way, you will pass Tu Le, Cao Phuc Valley, Lu Thai, Lung Mong, etc. Rice in Mu Cang Chai ripens quite late, normally from September to the first week of October. During the harvest season, this area brings a marvelous beauty with Golden Rice Fields stretching all over the place. This is our top recommended place for tourists to see the golden rice terraces in Vietnam. Mu Cang Chai is very beautiful during harvest season 6. Y Ty If Sapa and Mu Cang Chai sound awesome when we talk about the golden rice fields, check out Y Ty, you will find perfect tranquility here. Y Ty is in the northernmost region of Vietnam, about 70 km from Sapa and it’s among the poorest places in the country. This is the impeccable place if you are looking for “true north” of Vietnam where you can enjoy the pristine nature. People come to Y Ty for two main purposes: to hunt the clouds or to take photos of extraordinary rice terraces. With the background of white clouds, the rice fields here become gorgeous with unbelievable beauty. You will have a chance to take photos of the clouds moving over the field, which can’t be found anywhere else in Vietnam. The crop season in Y Ty varies depending on every year, but it’s usually from September to October. During this month, travelers coming here will be overwhelmed with the picturesque Yellow Rice Terraces which look like a staircase to heaven. These jaw-dropping rice fields attract thousands of tourists every year. Undoubtedly, Y Ty is the best place to see the beautiful golden rice terraces. From Hanoi, you can take a night train or limousine bus to Lao Cai province and then take another bus to get to Y Ty. You can also rent a motorbike in Lao Cai to go there but be careful because the road is quite dangerous. Y Ty with its pristine nature is one of the best places to see the golden rice field

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