Attractions in vietnam, travel tours vacation: tháng mười hai 2011

Attractive price of services in the occasion of New Year

If you need more information about accommodation in Vietnam, please see for details at Indochina Travel Service

Hanoi Daewoo Hotel 
360 Kim Ma St., Ba Dinh Dist.Tel: (04) 3 831 5000
Fax: (04) 3 831 5588
Christmas and New Year Promotion
Priced at US$98++/deluxe room/night
And $138++/club room/night
Additional $20++ for 2nd person
Validity: December 15, 2011 to January 15, 2012
- Daily buffet breakfast
- Welcome soft drink voucher
at Palm Court during stay upon checking in
- 10 percent discount on all F&B outlets
- Full Club benefits applicable for guest stay on the Club Floor 

Hotel Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi
15 Ngo Quyen St., Hoan Kiem Dist.
Tel: (04) 3 826 6919
Le Club's festive offering brings you a relaxed and stylish retreat where you can eat, drink and be merry.
Events this season
- Christmas Eve dinner buffet on December 24 at US$90+/person
- Christmas Day brunch on December 25 at $60++/person
- Christmas Day dinner on December 25 at $60++/person for five-course menu
- New Year's Eve buffet on December 31: First dining session from 6 p.m. to 8:45 p.m. at $90++/person & second dining session from 9 p.m. until midnight at $120++
- New Year's Day lunch buffet on January 1 at $60++/person
Pandanus ResortKP5, Mui Ne, Phan Thiet
Tel: (062) 3 849 849
The Pandanus Resort is offering a gourmet getaway weekend promotion for only US$169.00++ per twin share (two people).
The package includes two nights’ accommodation in a superior room (check-in either Friday or Saturday), daily breakfast buffet, and a Saturday evening poolside barbecue buffet with an extensive selection of Vietnamese and international entrées, a variety
of salads, pastas, desserts and fresh barbecued seafood.
Guests can also use the tennis and badminton courts, bicycles, game room, fitness center, wifi, and the largest swimming pool in the province.
The promotion is valid until December 31, 2011.

Corso Steakhouse & BarGround floor - Norfolk Hotel
117 Le Thanh Ton St., Dist. 1
Tel: (08) 3 829 5368; ext: 6614
Season’s greeting set menu
This festive season, Corso Steakhouse & Bar is delighted to introduce a creatively delectable five-course menu especially prepared by experienced executive chef Nguyen Quoc Dung.
Christmas and New Year dining at Corso Steakhouse & Bar is a dazzling experience as we present a glorious festive menu. For starters, diners can choose pan-roasted foie gras with a bouquet of salad, red capsicum sauce and baked dark chocolate sabayon on pear, or king prawns and avocado salad tossed with American cocktail sauce.
The main course options ranging from traditional roasted turkey breast with chestnut stuffing, giblet gravy and creamy mashed potato to Australian beef sirloin steak with ruby wine sauce and young root vegetables on baked field mushrooms are favorites with those who have already enjoyed our mouth-watering spread.
Square One Restaurant 
2 Lam Son Square, Dist. 1Tel: (08) 3 520 2359
A taste of the ocean
From Atlantic lobster and Canadian snow crab to Dover sole, a tide of seafood specialties is flowing to Square One this December. Due to their size, texture and intense flavor, these imported offerings present a feast for both the eyes and the palate. Brought straight from the Atlantic, the fresh lobster is prepared in one of two ways: wok-fried, Asian style, with chili, spring onion and a spicy crustacean sauce, or charcoal-grilled with garlic butter and a zest of lemon to enhance the natural flavor.
Pendolasco-Italian Garden Restaurant 
87 Nguyen Hue Blvd., Dist. 1Tel: (08) 3 821 8181Fax: (08) 3 914 4994Website:
The oldest Italian restaurant in HCMC has an Italian cook, a classic garden and traditional barbecue.

Fish soup and its special smell

It is always a good time to eat rice in Vietnam. But something else that grows well in the rice fields becomes harvestable just after the rainy season, a gift of the overflowing rivers, streams and canals – the field anabas.

Also known as climbing perch, this fish has been on many traditional Vietnamese menus for a long time. It might be a commonly available dish, but the distinctive flavor of its flesh gives anabas a special place.

The fish are found in fields around the country, but it is said that those found in the northern province of Hai Duong taste the best. Maybe it is the soil that is well suited to the fish’s living environment, maybe it is something else, but many people agree that the fish here is especially fragrant, its flesh firmer and its broth tastier.

A simple, rural dish carries the flavor of the best offerings from Vietnam ’s rice fields

Rice vermicelli and anabas soup in Hai Tu Quy Restaurant in 
Ho Chi Minh City’s District 3

It is no big surprise then, that the fish has become a specialty identified with the province. And the signature dish, rice vermicelli and anabas soup, non-fatty and delicious, is not a difficult one to prepare.
The best time to buy the anabas is in fourth month of the Lunar calendar, shortly after the heavy showers, when the fish are at their well fed best.
To prepare the traditional noodle soup, one cleans the anabas by scaling and gutting them and dividing them into two parts, one for preparing the broth and the other to be used when the dish is almost ready.
Add one part of fish and some water in a pot. Boil until the fish flesh separates. Remove the bones. Do not add pork bones to make the stock because it will spoil the flavor of the fish broth. The broth is good when it is transparent and has the sweet taste of the fish. Some crushed fresh ginger should be added to the broth to make it even more fragrant and tasty.
The remaining fish is also boiled, but for a much shorter time. As soon as it is cooked, pick out the bones and stir-fry the fillet in a little oil or fat with some shallots.
Once this is done, put the cooked rice vermicelli in a large bowl, add the stir-fried fish, top it with sliced spring onions and pepper, and pour the hot broth over it. Serve with a side plate of bean sprouts, shredded banana, split water spinach, basil, lettuce and a smaller plate of fish sauce mixed with chili.
Specialty moves to the city
The popularity of this dish has spread far beyond Hai Duong Province, and its flavor has reached Ho Chi Minh City.
In fact natives of Hai Duong Province out of town for work or business gather often at restaurants in HCMC to enjoy their hometown’s rural flavor.
There are many restaurants in HCMC specializing in the rice vermicelli and anabas soup, but perhaps the best known is Hai Tu Quy in District 3.
Restaurant patrons, regulars and newcomers are usually very satisfied by the tough and silky anabas flesh, fresh and sweet, stir-fried with turmeric powder, with a crispy texture.
It is a special, eye-catching treat when the dish is served with some golden anabas eggs that make tiny popping sounds in the mouth. Some bạc hà (Alocasia odora) and water dropwort add to dish’s flavor and taste.
The rice noodle soup tastes even better when the weather turns a little chilly. Add some fresh herbs, and some pungent and spicy chili powder. The sweat and heat and spiciness generates on one’s forehead, is a fitting response to the weather.

By Nguyet Anh, Thanh Nien News (The story can be found in the December 23rd issue of our print edition, Thanh Nien Weekly) 

Annual Dalat's flowers - In Valley of Love

Among well-known tourist attractions in Dalat City, the Thung lung tinh yeu or Valley of Love appeals to abundant arrivals thanks to its romantic landscapes.

A model of the Sphinx made from flowers to be displayed at the Flower Festival 2012 in Da Lat

The plateau which is now known as Dalat City was discovered by French bacteriologist Alexandre Yersin and was mapped in 1893. In the middle of the 1910s, the urban area of Dalat was formed and gradually became a resort center for French governmental officials and the rich French people in Indochina. In 1930, the French named the green and romantic valley “Vallé d’Amour” (“Thung Lung Tình Yêu” in Vietnamese and “Valley of Love” in English). In the reign of King Bao Dai, the region was called the Valley of Peace. Since 1953, it has recovered the name of Valley of Love until nowadays. In 1972, a dam was built and Da Thien Lake came into being. In 1998, the Da Thien Lake - Valley of Love was recognized as a national landscape.

The Valley of Love has been chosen to host many interesting events such as the Valentine’s Day (February 14), the Kissing Festival in 2008 attracting the participation of 500 couples, or the Dancing Festival in 2009. Since 2011, a special park, the Rose Park, which is a garden of rose flowers of various colors, has been built on a romantic hill. There are iron frames designed into two hearts as a place for couples to make vows as well as append the love padlocks. And the keys are thrown into the lake in the center of the park near the statue of love.
In the Valley of Love, tourists can indulge themselves in the nature and let their minds drift away with the pine trees’ songs. For those who want to discover and conquer the height, they can go trekking or hire a car riding to Vong Canh Hill. Crossing through zigzag paths to reach Vong Canh Hill, tourists will contemplate a panoramic view of the Valley of Love full of pine trees, flowers and lawns.

Many couples, even those who have cohabited for almost all their lives, often go hand in hand to the Valley of Love as though this were an exclusive venue for them only. Many love promises have turned out to be beautiful love stories from this love valley.

A flight has to postpone when a man is found sleeping in airplane's engine

Vietnamese aviation authorities have concluded investigations into a case in which a man was found sleeping in an airplane’s wing engine before its takeoff in the Central Highlands province of Dak Lak.
A report Wednesday on the Nguoi LaoDong (Laborer) news website quoted the conclusion as saying that when Le Van Man, 30, entered the Buon Ma Thuot Airport on October 14, no security guards were on duty at the runway’s north side.
Moreover, the airport’s barriers had not been adequately secured, according to the conclusions. 
Man, who is a member of the Thai ethnic minority, told police that he got drunk and broke the airport’s barrier before climbing onto an airplane’s engine to sleep.
The man was only detected by the crew of the A320 airplane of the state-owned Vietnam Airlines, when it was about to take flight for Hanoi.
Earlier, the crew saw someone enter the runway, prompting the captain to turn off the left engine, the website said. Then the person ran across the airplane’s head to reach its right side, so the right engine was switched off as well, it added.  
The captain informed the airport’s air traffic control station, which later contacted runway security guards, but no one answered the call.
Not until airport authority sent staff members to the runway by car, did they find Man sleeping in the engine.
According to the website, the flight was delayed for one hour and 20 minutes.
Vietnam Airlines passenger to be fined for harassing flight attendant Vietnam athlete accused of making bomb threatAir traffic controllers fined, suspended in Vietnam for near disaster
Following the findings, the Ministry of Transport’s inspectorate fined the Southern Airports Corporation’s branch, which manages the airport, VND25 million (US$1,190), Tuoi Tre reported Thursday.
This was not the first time people have threatened flight safety by illegally entering one of Vietnam’s airports, Nguoi Lao Dong said. This was especially a problem at smaller airports, where no advanced barriers are in place, it said.
For example, in June at Phu Quoc Airport in the resort island of Phu Quoc, a person was found crossing a runway when a Vietnam Airlines airplane was about to land, according to the source. 

Sa Huynh cultural relic site needs to be preserved

A 32 billion VND project was launched on Dec. 28 to conserve the Sa Huynh cultural relic site in the central province of Quang Ngai. 

The relic site is the place where French archaeologist M. Vinet unearthed more than 200 jar tombs in 1909. Vinet was also the first person to discover the Sa Huynh culture.

Covering an area of 20,000 sq.m in Pho Khanh and Pho Thanh communes of Duc Pho district, the project will feature an outdoor exhibition section and a showroom to display objects belonging to the Sa Huynh culture discovered in the province several years ago.

The project is scheduled for completion by the end of 2013. 
(Source: VNA)

Outstanding features of Upper U Minh

Proclaimed as a National Park in September 2000, U Minh Thuong (Upper U Minh) in the Mekong Delta’s Kien Giang Province is a vast wetland rich in fish and waterbirds. The park has become an attractive site for tourists, especially those whose hobby is fishing.

U Minh Thuong covers 21,100 hectares. The 8,000 hectare core area is strictly protected and locals live in the remaining 13,000ha growing rice, fruit and vegetables and developing cajuput forests. In the core area, there is 500 hectares set aside for tourists to go fishing.

Tourists should pay VND40,000 for admission to the fishing ground and the ticket price includes a rod and baits but they should hire a wooden boat for VND30,000. If they catch any fish, they can ask locals for help to prepare dishes right there with indigenous vegetables.

This is one of the few protected tropical mangrove forests left in the world. It is home to over 250 species of flora, 200 insect species, 24 animal species and about 180 species of birds, many of them rare and some in the red book.

There is also a 44-hectare bird sanctuary with more than 70,000 birds.

Taking a stroll around the park, tourists will see many monkeys staring at them, birds perching on tree branches, worms lurking under leaves and thousands of bats buzzing noisily. The wind blows through trees, fish snatch seaweed, and birds twitter in the sky. All create what is like a natural symphony, entertaining tourists and helping them forget all urban life stresses.

Sunset there is fantastic as thousands of birds return from feeding grounds to their nests. So tourists can get to watch towers of forest guards to take a panoramic view of the park.
(Source: SGT)

Cultural exchange program will be held on De 28

A cultural exchange between ethnic minority groups of Vietnam and Laos took place at the Lao National Culture Hall in Vientiane on Dec. 28. 

The event marked the start of the Vietnam- Lao Friendship Year 2012 and is part of activities to celebrate 50 years of Vietnam- Lao diplomatic relations.

Giang Seo Phu, Minister- Chairman of the Vietnam Government’s Committee for Ethnic Minority Affairs, thanked Laos for its assistance to Vietnam during the past struggle for national liberation and the current national construction.

He said Vietnam will spare no effort to enhance the Vietnam- Laos special relations.

At the programme, performers from both countries staged various songs and dances praising the countries and the Vietnam- Laos special relationship, showing cultural identities of the ethnic minority groups of the two nations.
(Source: VNA)

Phan Thiet welcomes New Year

To bring a jubilant New Year atmosphere to locals and tourists, authorities in Phan Thiet City will host a series of arts and cultural activities.
On New Year’s Eve, there will be music and dance shows, and contests at Nguyen Tat Thanh Square.
The Binh Thuan branch of Ho Chi Minh Museum will host an artistic photo exhibition that allows viewers to take a journey back into the past one year in Binh Thuan Province.
The Cham Cultural Exhibition Center will display artifacts including royal costumes of the Cham imperial family, musical instruments and high-valued cultural objects and products as well as traditional craft creations of brocade and ceramics.
Brocade weavers and pottery makers will demonstrate their skills to visitors. Their displays will be accompanied with music shows from a Cham folk artistic troupe from Bac Binh District with typical performances of a Sanarai panpipe solo, couple dancing, Po Rija show, Thei Mai and Cek Di Tian singing.
Cham artists will entertain tourists with Cham people’s ethnic music and dances at Po Sah Inu Towers.
Binh Thuan has reported over 2.8 million visitor arrivals this year and total tourism services revenue of VND3.35 trillion.
According to the provincial Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism’s report, around 238,900 tourists have traveled to Binh Thuan in December, an increase of 16.6% from the same period last year, generating total revenue of VND353.1 billion, up 25.4% year-on-year.
To promote the province, which is home to the well-known resort town of Phan Thiet, as an attractive destination for tourists, the provincial government is seeking a location to build the National Sea Sports Center, and finding a planning consultant for a yacht harbor.
The tourism sector has attracted 441 projects covering 8,390 hectares and having total registered capital of VND63.6 trillion.
In the lead up to the New Year, the sector is preparing numerous cultural and sports programs to entertain local people and tourists.

Source: Saigon times

A part of Hanoi in front of restoration project

Ta Hien street in Hanoi’s inner district of Hoan Kiem now gets a new face following a French-assisted restoration project.
Deputy Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee Nguyen Van Khoi told the inaugural ceremony, which took place in Hanoi on Dec. 29 that the pilot project is a research cooperation agreement between the capital city and France’s Toulouse city to improve living conditions of the locals living in Hanoi’s Old Quarter and uphold its traditional heritage values.

The project, worth nearly 15 billion VND (720,000 USD), helped renovate a 52 metre-section of Ta Hien street which was built in the early 20 th century.
Khoi said that the district authorities will continue working closely with experts of Toulouse city and the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism to upgrade other streets in a bid to draw more domestic and foreign visitors to the capital city./.

Source: VN+

New logo of My Son sanctuary

A logo of My Son sanctuary, a world cultural heritage site in the central province of Quang Nam , was announced on Dec. 28.
The logo is designed with yellow and brown colours, which is inspired by the colour of Champa bricks.

 The image of a Champa woman performing Tra Kieu dance, the most typical feature of the Champa ethnic group, is a highlight of the logo.

It also uses the stylized images of letter M in the words of “My Son” and letter W in the phrase “world heritage”.
Designed by Le Quang Loi, a painter from the southern province of Binh Duong , the logo won the first prize in a contest, which was held by the My Son Relic and Tourism Management Board and the UNESCO Office in Hanoi from July to December 2011.

The My Son sanctuary was recognised as world cultural heritage by the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) in 1999

About 45 km from Hoi An ancient town, My Son is a shouldn't miss tourism destination in Vietnam. You can join a day tour Hoi An - My Son Holly Land to see a large complex of religious relics of My Son Sanctuary which was declared as one of the World Cultural Heritage Sites. You are leisure walking tours along old streets bordered with ancient houses, assembly halls, its pagodas, temples, ancient wells and tombs or having a peaceful boat trip to immerse the countryside culture of Hoi An.

The number of foreign tourists come to Vietnam in 2011

International visitors to Vietnam in December estimated 593,408 arrivals, increasing by 32% over the same period last year. Total international arrivals in 2011 reached 6,014,032 representing a 19.1% growth over 2010.

Nov. 2011
Dec. 2011 (estimate)
Accrued for 12 months of 2011
Dec. 2011 vs Nov.2011 (%)
Dec. 2011 vs. Dec. 2010 (%)
 2011 vs. 2010 (%)
By means of transportation
By air
By sea
By road
By purposes of trips
Visiting relatives
By countries and territories
South Korea
Source: GSO