Mekong Delta: Welcome To The Floating Lives!

Located in the South-western region of Vietnam, the Mekong Delta is a water world where boats, houses and markets float upon the innumerable rivers and canals. With the name of a “biological treasure trove” and comprises 12 provinces in total, Mekong Delta is a “must-visit” place for everyone coming to Vietnam, especially the Southern part.

HOW TO TRAVEL

With its special geographical features, there are many ways to travel to the delta. You can choose the most suitable means of transportation depending on the place you depart.

By plane: Trà Nóc airport – Cần Thơ International is the biggest airport in the South-western area. If you don’t want to waste time on travelling, flying to Cần Thơ then go to other provinces by bus is not a bad idea.

By bus: The most convenient and easiest way to travel to Mekong Delta is by public transportation (if you living in the Southern part of Vietnam, of course). The bus connections works really well, since each urban centre has a main bus station for both buses and minibuses.

If you want to travel in the local style, you can come to Mien Tay bus station (395 Kinh Duong Vuong Street, An Lac Ward, Binh Tan District, Ho Chi Minh city) to buy ticket to the Mekong Delta with a really low price.

If you are up to a more safer and less crowded place, it’s advised that you should come to private travel companies like Phương Trang express, Thành Bưởi express, Hoa Mai express, etc.

Mien Tay Bus Station has both bus and private travel compaies. Source: cafefvn

By car or motorcycles: If you have an adventurous heart and prefer a flexible ride, private car and motorbikes are highly recommended for you. Although streets in the delta are quite flat, you should watch out for motorbike accidents since traffic rules don’t really work well. You can prepare small money for toll roads and ferry crossing tickets.

By boat: If you have time, money and dying for new experience, please immediately sign up for a boat trip to Mekong Delta! In a place where people travel by boat more than by cars, it’s really nice to travel from town to town through boat connections. The journeys between My Tho (Tien Giang provice) and Ben Tre or between Ca Mau and Rach Gia are reported to be extrememly scenic and breath-taking.

Traveling by boat is a well-known means of transportation. Source: Zing

WHEN TO TRAVEL

Known as the biggest rice bowl of Vietnam, Mekong Delta has a really sunny and warm weather that suitable for travelling all the time.

In summer, June, July and August, it is the time for tropical fruit reasons. If you want to taste the best fruit, visiting some ‘miệt vườn’ (fruit farm) is an excellent idea.

Fruit Village in Cho Lach, Ben Tre province. Source: Tổng Cục Du Lịch

From September to November, this is the time when water rises the highest. The size of the area is covered by water, so you can go to many provinces and tourist attractions during this time.

From December to February, this is also the time of Lunar New Year – also known as Tết – for Vietnamese people. If you love flowers, there is no other places more ideal for you than some flowers farm in Sa Dec, Tan Quy Dong or Vi Thanh, etc.

WHERE TO GO

1/ Tan Lap Floating Village:

Tan Lap floating market or Tan Lap Cajuput forest is in Mộc Hóa town, Long An province. It is about 100km away from the center of Ho Chi Minh city. Coming to Tan Lap, you will have a minute to get lost in wonderland with the calming beautiful sunlight, the sound of birds singing and wind blowing through leaves. Best time to travel here is between October and November since it’s a lotus season.

The famous and longest road through Tan Lap forest. Source: Kênh 14

2/ Tra Su Cajuput Forest

One of the best-known attractions of Mekong Delta region is Tra Su Forest in Chau Doc town, An Giang province. This place is a former plantation and a wildlife reserve. The best time to visit Tra Su Forest is between September and November when water rises the highest. It will sure be a lifetime experience if you take a boat tour in this calming and greeny paradise.

A boat trip in Tra Su Forest – Green paradise on earth. Source: Du Lịch Miền Tây

3/ Tram Chim National Park

If you want to feel the closest to nature, there’s no better way than coming to Tram Chim National Park, where you can travelling on canals with hundreds type of birds above your head. Instead of travelling in the morning, it’s advisable to come to this place in the twilight to mesmerize the beauty of nature. Since the park locates in Dong Thap province, you can easily enjoy the blossoming lotus flowers.

Breath-taking scene at Tram Chim National Park. Source: Tầm Nhìn Việt

4/ Tan Quy Dong flowers village

One of the biggest flowers village in the Southern part of Vietnam, the Tan Quy Dong flowers village in Sa Dec town, Dong Thap province has always been the number one choice for tourists in Tet festival. With hundreds of flowers and rare plants, the place can provide all types of visitors with colorful photos.

Farmers are taking care of Golden Daisy for upcoming Tet Festival. Source: Zing

5/ Chua Xu temple

Every year, Chua Xu temple in Sam mountain, Chau Doc town, An Giang province attract more than 2 million visitors coming from all parts of Vietnam. The Chua Xu festival usually last one to two months, creating not only a religious but cultural attraction for many peiole.

Chua Xu temple are full with people, regardless of day and night. Source: GODY.vn

6/ Bat Temple

Bat Temple (also known as Ma Toc temple or Mahatup temple) is one of the most significant structure of Khmer people in Vietnam. Coming to this place, tourist can not only mesmerize the impressive 400-year-old architecture but can also feel the mysterious atmosphere of more than hundred bats hanging in the temple’s garden. The good point is that the temple is just 3 kilometers southeast side from the center of Soc Trang city.

The 400-year-old structure of Bat Temple. Source: Wikimedia

7/ Cai Be Floating Market

Unlike other tourist attractions, Cai Be floating market is a must-visit place for tourist at anytime and any season. The market locates in Cai Be town, Tien Giang province and on Tien Giang river (between the three provinces of Tien Giang, Vinh Long and Ben Tre). This is one of the biggest markets in Mekong Delta. The floating lives of local people is performed through selling and buying stuff activities.

Busy life at Cai Be Floating Market. Source: Blue Rivers

 

 Translator: Mỹ Anh Lê

Dalat Cherry Blossom Season: Feel The Pink!

Have you ever dreamed about a romantic scenery of Japan, where you can walk back home on a street under pink flying cherry blossom petals? If yes, good news cause you don’t need to spend that much money on travelling. Dalat – the Central Highland of Vietnam – is at its best cherry blossom time of the year!

Unlike Japan or Korea, cherry blossoms in Dalat has the shape of plum trees and the five-petal of apricot flowers. This is why local people consider Dalat cherry flowers as something really special and unique of the city.

Dalat cherry blossom is a pride of local people. Photo source: @chinhend

Cherry flowers usually bloom together, painting the whole corner pink. The scent of the flowers are not strong so it doesn’t cause anyone discomfort. Famous as “The city of love and flowers”, Dalat in its cherry blossom season is the most beautiful, according to local people.

It is undoubtedly the most beautiful flower season in Dalat. Photo source: Nguyễn Tấn Thịnh

1/ When to go

The most ideal time to see Dalat cherry blossoms is between January and March. For those who loves to capture the beauty of these flowers, the best time to take photo is in the early morning. Sunlight in Dalat gives the best photo effect between 6am to 9am.
For those who find it too difficult to wake up early, you can get the best light again between 3:30pm to 5pm. The soft sunlight of Dalat not only clarifies the pink colour of cherry blossoms but whitenings people’s skin also.

The best time to take photo with cherry blossom is in early morning. Photo source: Kênh 14

 

The soft sunlight of Dalat makes the scene looks so dreamy. Photo source: Kênh 14

2/ Where to go

Up till now, there are approximate 3,000 cherry blossom trees in Dalat. There are many trees on some areas, including: Tran Hung Dao street along Casada villa, Da Quy street, Le Dai Hanh street (in city center near Xuan Huong lake) and those around Truc Lam Temple.

Cherry blossoms in Xuan Huong lake. Photo source: @tawaka

 

Famous cherry blossom trees on Tran Hung Dao street. Photo source: Vietnamnet

3/ How to go

– By plane: The fastest way
If you don’t want to spend much time for transportation, taking a flight to Dalat is the best idea. There are several flights a day from Saigon’s Tan Son Nhat International Airport to Lien Khuong Airport, Dalat. Each flight takes around 50 minutes and provided by famous local airlines like Vietnam Airlines, Vietjet Air and Jetstar.
The price ticket is kinda expensive, at least from 350,000VND (approx. 16USD) if you get promo fare on normal day. From the airport, you can use the shuttle bus to the town center with the price of 40,000VND/person (approx. 2USD) or a taxi for around 180,000VND (approx.. 8USD).

– By bus: The cheapest way
If you think it’s better to spend money in Dalat than for flight ticket, travelling by bus maybe a good choice. With the distance of 300,000km from Saigon, the lengthy route takes around 8 hours. Visitors are advised to book the night bus to save time and choose sleeper bus for better service.
The fare ticket for bus is quite cheap, around 150,000 VND to maximum 300,000VND (approx. 7USD to 14USD). Some famous bus line from Ho Chi Minh city to Dalat are: Phuong Trang, Thanh Buoi, East Bus station or The Sinh tourist.

– By motorbike: The most thrilling way
Now, for those adventure-lovers, the best way to experience the Central Highland of Vietnam is by motorbike. It can take around 1 or 2 days to travel to Dalat, depending the kind of motorbike you use. However it’s advisable that travelers should take a rest during commuting and avoid traveling at night cause the road can be extremely dangerous!
Some bus line also has the “renting motorbike” service like Phuong Trang and The Sinh tourist.

Here are some beautiful photos of the dreamy Dalat in cherry blossoms season:

It doesn’t take much effort to create this artistic photo in Dalat. Photo source: @ivnmzing
From couple…. Photo source: Dung Le Nguyen
….to friends. Photo source: @toainguyen
Everything looks loveable under cherry blossom flowers. Photo source: Lại Thế Anh

Now, what are you waiting for? Grab your backpack and travel to Dalat to feel the pink with us!

Mỹ Anh Lê

Moc Chau Plum Flowers Season: White Heaven On Earth

Like a painting with pure white theme, plum flowers in Moc Chau are making many people trembling with excitement. Do you want to go to Moc Chau this January to have that feeling, the feeling of soaking yourself in this earthly paradise?

White plum is the characteristic flower of Moc Chau highland. Since plum trees are planted in fields covering even a whole village or valley, their flowers also bloom in groups close to each other. This is why the place has gained its famous name “White Paradise”.

Plum flowers. Photo: we25.vn
Moc Chau paiting white with blossoming plum flowers. Photo: Tago Travel

1/ When to go:

Coming to Moc Chau from January to February, you will be greeted by a white paradise of plum flowers. The picturesque scene becomes more colorful with pink French peach flowers, wild peach flowers and green grasses.

The best time to see plum flowers is between January and February. Photo: Dream Travel

It is certain that plum flowers season is in the January -February period, but the starting time depends on the weather – it can be earlier or later. The blooming peak time lasts from 2 to 3 weeks, withering quickly later for bearing plum fruits in April. That is why people describe plum flower as a young north-west maiden – fragile, vigorous, soft and nearly untouchable.

2/ How to go

From Hanoi to Moc Chau (Son La province), you can go by motorbike or by bus.

If you choose bus, you can book a seat in My Dinh or Yen Nghia bus station.

If you think motorbike is favorable, the direction is easy – just follow the ‘new’ 185-kilometre National road number 6 connecting Hanoi city center to Moc Chau town center.

>>>More information on transportation to Moc Chau, please click here.

Local people hang Vietnamese flag in the top of plum tree in Tet holiday. Photo: Ngoi Sao Net

The most suitable spots for seeing plum flowers are Ban Anh pine forest, Ba Khe minor area, Long Luong, Thong Cuong, etc. Because of the fast withering phase, rush yourself to Moc Chau in January- February now!

Plum flowers blossoming in a garden of one local house. Photo: Hachi 8
An ethnic family enjoy the beauty of plum flowers. Photo: Du Lich Binh Chau
Moc Chau in plum flowers season is also an ideal place for pre-wedding photoshoots. Photo: Today TV
A perfect place for a youth photo albums. Photo: Top List Tips

>>>More information on travel tips to Moc Chau, please click here.

Source: we25.vn

Translator: Diem Nguyen – Le My Anh

Christmas Celebration In Vietnam

1/ The Origin of Christmas in Vietnam:

You may know that Christmas is not originally from Vietnam nor an official public holiday here. It was brought to the country by Maria Magdalene Minh-Đức Empress, the wife of Lord Nguyen Hoang and the mother of Prince Nguyen Phuc Khe.

In 1652, at the age of 50, she joined Catholicism in Thuan Hoa by the priest Francisco di Pina. Later, she was baptized with the name of Saint Maria Magdalene under the witness of the Priest Dac Lo. After being condemned, the Empress used her reputation to support Catholicism during political crisis. Besides, she built a small church right next to her son’s mansion in Kim Long land, which is the suburban area of today’s Hue.

The church since then was an open place for Christians all over province, from prayers to preachers. This is also the church where one exceptional incident took place in 1643.

With the strong wave of authorities against Catholicism, the Priest Dac Lo – the only priest in the church – was expelled. Not giving up, preacher Ynhaxo and Minh-Đức Empress still decided to hold all Christmas rituals. The “Midnight Mass” liturgy couldn’t have been carried out if Maria Magdalene Minh-Đức Empress had not presided over it. The very first Christmas in Vietnam history took place successfully in spite of hardships.

2/ The Celebration of Christmas In Vietnam:

Now, back to present time, Christmas has become more and more popular in Vietnam, among not only Christians but also Vietnamese from all religions. Unlike Western countries, Christmas Eve (24th December) is considered more important than actual Christmas Day (25th December).

From the beginning of December or even earlier, almost all shopping malls start to decorate their stores with snowflakes, cheering banners or electric Santa popping out of the chimney. The festive vibe is also shown in fairy lights and Christmas songs blazing all over the streets.

             Santa’s clothes can be seen everywhere in the street. Photo: Grantouristmo Travel

On Christmas Eve, instead of staying home and spending time with family, local Vietnamese tend to go downtown for Christmas celebration. Families usually dine out at nice restaurants while young people prefer going out with their friends, walking around the streets and taking a lot of photos.

Although Vietnamese usually don’t eat turkey on Christmas Eve, it is still common to give a ‘Bûche de Noël’ (a chocolate cake in the shape of a log) to your loved ones. Christmas cards and wishes, rather than actual gifts, are also often exchanged among friends.

3/ Where To Celebrate Christmas in Vietnam:

Located in both tropical and temperate zone, winter in Vietnam is sure not as cold as in Western countries. However, it is advisable to bring along a light jacket when going out on Christmas Eve. Besides, since many people coming downtown for this festival, having ‘skin-to-skin’ contact with strange people should be taken into consideration. Keep an eye on your own belongings and don’t lose sight of your companions!

                  Watch out the streets in Vietnam on Christmas Eve! Photo: Thanh Nien

Recommended Places for the Christmas spirit in Vietnam:

In Ha Noi

– St. Joseph Catheral, Hanoi

– Old Quarters (especially on Hang Ma Street)

– Turtle Lake Hanoi

– Hanoi Pedestrian Streets (Hang Buom Street, Ta Hien Street, Dao Duy Tu Street)

 

Many families come and take photos under the tallest Christmas tree in Vietnam, Royal City shopping mall, Hanoi. Photo: Zing

 

The 15m height, 6m wide and 10 000 light bulbs decorated Christmas tree in Trang Tien plaza, Hanoi. Photo: 24h

 

               The glorious Turtle Lake in Hanoi on Christmas Eve. Photo: Baomoi

In Saigon

– Nguyen Hue Pedestrian Street

– Reunification Palace, the Central Post Office and Diamond Plaza on Le Duan Street

– Shopping malls in district 1

The impressive Christmas decoration outside Diamond Plaza. Photo: duonghien.005

 

The giant Christmas tree in AEON Mall Tan Phu.. Photo: Nguyen Ngoc Tram

– Catholic town in district 8 (along Pham The Hien Street)

                                                Catholic town in district 8, Saigon. Photo: Pose

Author: Mỹ Anh Lê

New High-speed Boat Route Saigon – Can Gio – Vung Tau

From now on, everyone who loves traveling from Saigon to Vung Tau (or vice versa) can try a brand new means of transportation: A high-speed boat. The boat route Saigon -Can Gio – Vung Tau is officially put into use on December 23rd.

This new route will make traveling among these cities easier. It is also a solution to ease the pressure of landline traffic among them.

The project is launched by GreenlinesDP company, providing 3 types of speedboats: 50 seats, 96 seats and 136 seats. The boats’ interior holds comfortable accommodations: mini bars, VIP rooms for 10-person group, air conditioners, big screen TVs, cameras, wifi, fire alarm systems, life-saving jackets.

Modern seats with beautiful view inside the new high-speed boat. Photo: Foody
Inside a VIP room. Photo: Quang Dinh

1/Detailed Route Schedule:

There are 4 trips going from Ho Chi Minh City to Can Gio and 8 trips from Can Gio to Vung Tau.

The boats start at Bach Dang dock (District 1), go to Thanh An dock (Can Gio) and then arrive at the last stop Ho May dock (Vung Tau). It takes the same route for anyone wants to go from Vung Tau to Ho Chi Minh city. 

The C8 boat is on trial for the very first Saigon – Can Gio – Vung Tau route. Photo: Thanh Nien

2/Ticket Fee:

People can buy tickets online or directly at the docks – the price is 200,000VND/person (approx. 9 USD).

Besides that, local people living in Can Gio or office workers who have to commute between Can Gio – Ho Chi Minh on casual can get a 50% reduction on ticket fee. The tickets are free for the handicapped.

You should book one seat for experiencing this!

Source: Tuoi Tre, Thanh Nien

Translator: Diem Nguyen