Viet Phu Thanh Chuong – an interesting destination for an outing at weekends

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Viet Phu Thanh Chuong is located in Hien Linh Commune, Soc Son District, in the outskirt of Hanoi, only about 40km away from Hanoi center. Famous as a complex architectural relic preserving the intact historical values, Viet Phu Thanh Chuong has been introduced by many international newspapers as The New York Times, Herald Tribune.

The way to get to Viet Phu Thanh Chuong

To have a Hanoi day tour of Viet Phu Thanh Chuong, you have many different ways and can use a variety of vehicles such as buses, motorcycles. If you travel by motorbike, you drive along the Thang Long-Noi Bai Expressway, then turn to Soc Son along the road to Vinh Phuc until you see the sign, continue to follow the sign until you arrive. Or if you choose the bus, you have 2 choices: get on the bus no. 07 to Phu Lo-Noi Bai-National Highway 2 intersection, then call a taxi or a motorbike taxi for 9 more km or get on the bus no. 56 to Noi Bai Industrial Park then call a motorbike taxi for about 3km.

Beautiful architecture of Viet Phu Thanh Chuong

Many people when coming here during their Hanoi tours for the first time have mistakenly thought this is the relic with a long history, but in fact, it is a place built by the artist Thanh Chuong in 2011. As you step through the gate, you will see a typical picture of the countryside in Central Midlands with the fish pond, clear water well along with the set of stone table for visitors to relax.

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The fish pond

When you come here, the first impression to you is probably the nostalgia in the quiet and dignified space. Unlike other noisy and bustling tourist areas, here, even though there are crowds of visitors to the place, they still keep it a quiet feature to separate with the trees, ponds, gardens, communal houses, etc.

The highlights in this architecture are houses designed and built with different styles and shapes, from the stilt house of the Muong ethnic group to the simulated three-room house of the people of the Northern Delta, etc. Each house has its own name associated with the historical value that the owner wants to transmit. For example, Tuong Van house is an ancient house from the Nguyen Dynasty, Dai Khoa house was erected following the ancient house of Bac Ninh area. But if you want to enjoy art, you can go to Long Dinh Theater – the house covers a large area and has complicated decorations.

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Inside Viet Phu Thanh Chuong

Eating, resting and shopping services in Viet Phu Thanh Chuong

Inside Viet Phu, along with the ancient architectural works, it also includes a restaurant with a variety of different menus of Vietnamese dishes such as spring rolls, vermicelli, banh da, banh duc, etc. Besides, there are a lot of souvenir shops with handicrafts, art products that you can totally buy as small gifts of Hanoi culture for your friends and families. Especially, in the Long Dinh Theater, you can see the interesting water puppet show performed by the skillful artists.

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The restaurant

Opening hours and entrance fee

Guests can visit Viet Phu Thanh Chuong on all days of the week including holidays and Tet. The restaurant, Cafe and Souvenir shop open daily except for Monday. However, if Monday falls on the holidays, Viet Phu still serve normally.

Opening hours are from 9 am to 5p m. Also, you can buy tickets to the documentary and photo galleries from 9h to 11h30 and 13h30 to 17h. The entrance fee is set at 150,000 VND per adult and 120,000 VND per children. Each child less than 110 cm can be accompanied freely by an adult. With the elderly people over 65 years old and students (with student ID Card required), the entrance fee is down to 120,000 VND.

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The main gate

Notes

If you want to take a photo here, you will not be charged. Nevertheless, the service cost for taking wedding photos is 3.5 million VND. With an area of up to 8000meters square including many architectural works, this place is very suitable for you to have beautiful “check-in” photos. So remember to charge the camera, cellphone for “selfie” purposes. For a Hanoi culture tour to Viet Phu Thanh Chuong, you should prepare a budget from 800,000 VND to 1 million VND including entrance tickets, transport fee, food, tickets to the museum and theater, souvenirs.

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The water puppet show

Once visiting Viet Phu Than Chuong, you will see that this is not simply an architectural work but also the reconstruction of history and culture in many regions of Vietnam. With the beauty of its own color, you will certainly not regret making a Hanoi day tour to Viet Phu Thanh Chuong.

Chau Son Monastery – a new favorite place for the young generation

It is pretty sure that when people ask about where to go in Ninh Bình Vietnam, you will directly think of famous tourist destinations such as Bai Dinh, Trang An, Tam Coc or new places such as Am Tien Cave, Mua Cave, etc. But only a few people know about Chau Son Monastery. Among the immense space in Ninh Bình, the ancient and unique monastery has a beautiful look like the Western castles or chancels.

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The outside of Chau Son Monastery

Chau Son Monastery is the short name of the Thanh Mau Chau Son Monastery, a church for the followers of Christianity in Phu Son Commune, Nho Quan District, Ninh Binh. The monastery is only 35 kilometers from Ninh Binh city, 2 kilometers from Nho Quan Town, so it is relatively easy to move to the church during your Vietnam off the beaten track tours.

The monastery is 100 kilometers from Hanoi. From Hanoi, you follow National Highway 1 to Gian Khau Industrial Park and turn right for more 18 kilometers. On the way, you will see the signpost to the Chau Son Monastery on the right.

Chau Son Monastery is one of the less well-known places because this church is hidden deep in the main road, in a space of mountains, rivers and surrounded by trees. However, when traveling to Vietnam, you will have a considerable opportunity to pay a visit to this place.

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The panorama view of Chau Son Monastery

The monastery was built in 1939 to serve for the practice of the Cistercian parish. With a long history along with the Gothic architecture built of red bricks without plastering makes the monastery become a special and cozy place.

The monastery is extremely well-designed and unique. Each pillar, each high corner, each stair appears a mossy beauty but it is full of attraction. The white dome of the monastery, which is 21 meters in height, is the sculpture peak of the whole architecture. The geometric details are utilized and used thoroughly to create a dense space in the church.

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The interior space

Also involved in the construction of the monastery, there was also the main architect, a priest in the monastery. Even though Father Platydo Truong Minh Trach had never studied architecture or construction, he studied and designed the church by himself.

He did not elaborate on the drawings as other architects but he only imagined all in his mind. Each line, each brick was gradually formed in his imagination and he gave very detailed instructions to the builders. In the life of Father Platydo as a young monk, the Chau Son Monastery was a masterpiece that he had contributed a lot to create. Thus, having been to this majestic monastery once, your trip to Ninh Binh undoubtedly become one of your best group tours in Northern Vietnam.

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The main building

In addition to the main building, the monastery’s ground is also an impressive point making you totally immersed by what is commonly referred by young people as ” artistry”. You can see both the left and right side of the monastery are decorated and designed very skillfully. Besides, there are the low plots of grassland covered with sand and gravel. On top of those plots, people lay white stones that are rounded like eggs and alternate with boulders that are even larger than human heads. The entrance is also decorated with gravel and bonsais, which are all taken naturally from the neighboring mountainous areas.

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The entrance

When watching the majestic scenery of the pristine limestone mountains around by yourself, you will exclaim out loud with surprise. With beautiful angles, you can enjoy taking a bunch of breathtaking check-in photos for your Vietnam off the beaten track tours to Ninh Binh.

Peaceful space and poetic scenery make it become definitely a great destination for you to explore Ninh Binh. However, because this is a place of praying, it is necessary to have a quiet atmosphere so the monastery is not always ready to open the gate for you. Tourists are limited.  Therefore, if you are welcomed by the monks (usually at Masses at the beginning of the month), please remember to keep quiet. It is not exaggerating to say that the monastery is a great place if you are lucky enough to be there.

Top 6 unspoiled tourist spots in Binh Phuoc

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In spite of not having as many tourists as Da Nang, Hoi An or other tourist cities in Vietnam, Binh Phuoc still attracts a large number of visitors thanks to its pristine and interesting beauty. Perhaps it is the reason why Binh Phuoc tour has become one of the best tours in Vietnam. Today, let’s have a look at 6 tourist destination that you should go to discover the nature and people here.

Suoi Lam Lake

Suoi Lam Lake is in Thuan Phu Commune, Dong Phu District, Binh Phuoc Province. Situated in the midst of the lush rubber forest, this lake is famous for its blue water appearing among the trees and the sky. Here, during your Vietnam day tours, you can participate in many interesting outdoor activities, such as boat rowing, fishing, camping in the woods near the lake. In particular, once getting to Suoi Lam Lake, enjoying at least one local meal with fish and wild vegetables in any restaurants around the lake is definitely a must. Its deliciousness will surely make you want to try for the second time.

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Suoi Lam Lake

Ba Ra Mountain

Ba Ra Mountain is in the area of two wards of Son Giang and Thac Mo, Phuoc Long Town, Binh Phuoc Province, which is about 180 km from Ho Chi Minh City (along the National Highway 14). This is the highest mountain of Binh Phuoc Province and also the third highest in Southern Vietnam. Therefore, it is not an exaggeration to say that this mountain is one of the favorite destinations of many adventurous trekkers for their Vietnam off the beaten track tours. From the top of the mountain, you can broaden your vision to nearby wards, areas or the mildly Thac Mo Lake at the foot of the mountain.

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Ba Ra Mountain

Thac Mo Lake

Thac Mo Lake covers a large area of approximately 12,000 hectares. Unlike other lakes, Thac Mo has several small islands in the lake and is surrounded by a lot of shady trees. Especially, Thac Mo Lake is the water supply for Thac Mo hydroelectric plant. With the geographic advantage, Thac Mo Lake along with Ba Ra Mountain has created the famous tourist spot, attracting a lot of annual visitors to Binh Phuoc in general and Thac Mo in particular.

Bu Lach Grassland

Bu Lach Grassland is a special tourist attraction located in Dong Nai Commune, Bu Dang District, Binh Phuong Province and it is surrounded by a primeval forest and a large lake bed. In terms of natural beauty, the grassland looks extremely peaceful and impressive with water, flowers, birds and vast grass. After going sightseeing, it would be a big mistake if you do not visit the local stilt house to enjoy the attractive local dish – wild chicken and grilled fish, etc. However, you need to pay attention to the route because around 20 km from the main road to the grassland is quite difficult to go with slopes and stones.

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Bu Lach Grassland

Bu Gia Map National Park

Bu Gia Map is a well-known tourist destination in Phuoc Long District, Binh Phuoc Province. Due to its diverse and beautiful fauna and flora system, this tourist destination is especially suitable for any Vietnam day tours. This is also a place to store a variety of precious and rare genes. With these advantages, if you fall in love with adventure and natural wildlife, then this national park is definitely a right place for you. Note: You should contact the management board for permission and ask the facilitator.

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Bu Gia Map National Park

Soc Bom Bo

Soc Bom Bo is a commune in Bu Dang District, Binh Phuoc Province. It is known mainly through the song “Tieng chay tren Soc Bom Bo” (The sound of rice-pounding pestles in Soc Bom Bo). Most of the villagers are S’tieng ethnic people and do not have any tourist services. Therefore, this destination is much more preferable by those who love to explore and experience new things and new places rather than those who are looking for a relaxing Vietnam group tour.

Where to drink weasel coffee like a local in Central Vietnam?

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Producing more than1.6 million tonnes sold in 80 countries and territories worldwide annually, Buon Ma Thuot City – dubbed as Vietnam’s kingdom of coffee is a place to visit for all coffee lovers on their Central Vietnam group tours.

Coffee shops are everywhere in Buon Ma Thuot and locals here take their coffee seriously. Here are the best coffee shops to enjoy a cup of weasel coffee.

Arul Coffee Shop

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Arul Shop

When it comes to a Central Highland Vietnam’s authentic cafe experience, The Arul Coffee Shop is an easy choice. Its design – E De ethnic people’s long tube house, its decor – a nice balance of many kinds of wood, its great service, and the exciting music played filling you with all kinds of good vibes – all complement its overall motif of functionality and style – a place to either get some work done or relax and immerse yourself in the very authentic atmosphere and scenery of Central Highland Vietnam.

Enjoying top-notch coffees like local families and knowing more about their unique culture. What an amazing experience on your Central Vietnam group tours!

  • Address: 17-29 Tran Nhat Duat Street, Buon Me Thuot City.
  • Opening hours: 06.30.A.M. – 10.00.P.M.
  • Average cost per person: VND 15,000 – 35,000

Azzan Coffee Shop

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Azzan Coffee Shop

Coffee lovers in Central Highland area love this coffeehouse at 25 Tran Phu Street, Buon Me Thuot City. The Azzan Coffee Shop attracts a lot of great buzz for their tasty beverages from freshly roasted and brewed weasel coffee bean as well as their friendly smiles. Other kinds of famously good brews like espresso, Pour-Over, French Fress, Moka Pot together with its convivial vibe makes the Azzan Coffee Shop an inviting place for anyone to stop in.

  • Address: 25 Tran Phu Street, Buon Me Thuot City.
  • Opening hours: 07.00.A.M. – 10.00.P.M.
  • Average cost per person: VND 25,000 – 50,000

Thiên Đường Cà Phê Mehyco

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Mehyco Coffee

Let’s be realistic, if your dream is to sip a mug of weak coffee, you may find yourself disappointed on your Central Highland tour. However, if you do not really like strong coffee and want to try something new, a good option can be to order a Mehyco coffee (cà phê Mehyco) in this coffee shop at No 159/3 Nguyen Van Cu Street, Buon Me Thuot City. This kind of coffee is made of a shot of weasel coffee, along with additional fresh coffee, one shot of rum or champagne, making the taste is less strong and bitter and more unique compared to weasel coffee.

  • Address: No 159/3 Nguyen Van Cu Street, Buon Me Thuot City.
  • Opening hours: 07.00.A.M. – 10.00.P.M.
  • Average cost per person: VND 12,000 – 30,000

Hoai Niem Coffee (Cà phê Hoài Niệm)

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Hoai Niem Coffee

In an area with so many excellent cafes, The Cà phê Hoài Niệm stands out as the longest-standing one – a fine example of both great decor and good drinks. I think you will love this laid-back coffee shop’s decor – a relaxing balance between comfort and style going heavy on 90’s nostalgia.

Their menu is the delicious and features succulent Central Highland’s flavors. Be sure not to miss out on their recent invention – the ice cream coffee. Ice cream and coffee – the perfect pair for everyone, especially those who want to try something new. Bitter and concentrated weasel coffee with sweet and creamy coconut ice cream or vanilla ice cream makes these coffee-based ice cream drinks a must-try on your top group tours in Central Vietnam. A sublime demonstration of the French savoir-faire when it comes to pleasing your taste buds! Come for the freshly roasted weasel coffee, stay for the ice cream coffee.

  • Address: Tran Nhat Duat Street, Buon Me Thuot City.
  • Opening hours: 07.00.A.M. – 10.00.P.M.
  • Average cost per person: VND 20,000 – 39,000

Classic Coffee

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Classic coffee

One of Buon Me Thuot’s craft roasting pioneers, the Classic Coffee is worth a visit for its knowledgeable and passionate owner – who is excited to share it with their customers, famously good espresso, and its relaxed, neighborly vibe. The no-nonsense interior is packed with both locals and foreigners — which is exactly what these devoted folks love about the beautiful homey café space and the fantastic solid coffee it offers.

  • Address: No 30 Ngo Quyen Street, Buon Me Thuot City.
  • Opening hours: 06.00.A.M. – 10.00.P.M.
  • Average cost per person: VND 15,000 – 45,000

Buon Me Thuot is world-famous for its “coffee shops” that offer more than just a cup of weasel coffee. Come here to order a great coffee and immerse in the unique coffee culture of Central Highland Vietnam on your Vietnam group tours!

Top must eats in Ha Tinh Province

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The first thing that people think of when they hear Vietnam’s cuisine in Ha Tinh City might be Do Luong rice cracker or Phuc Trach grapefruit. However, after going on several Vietnam culinary tours, you will find the truth, local residents really do make other types of food and to prove it we have made a list of the top must eats in Ha Tinh City.

Vung Ang dancing squid (Mực nhảy Vũng Áng)

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Vung Ang dancing squid

The first thing you should know about Vung Ang dancing squid dish is that these creatures are not alive and actually dancing at all. But why do we call it dancing squid? Expect to see the local chef put everything in full sight for you: It is your selected fresh squids taken straightforwardly from the tanks and boiled or steamed to keep its original fresh and sweet flavor. This is not the kind of frozen squids but daily-sourced ones from Vung Ang Port, a well-known fishing region in Ha Tinh.

Dancing squid is available from the 3rd to 7th lunar month and served at most restaurants in town. But if you want to get it freshest dancing squid, it is wise to go to the source – the port of Vung Ang. Whether they are alive or not, the natural sweetness and freshness combined with the strong taste of ginger fish sauce or mustard will delight both animal rights activists and those who take the living foods movement to extreme levels!

Dancing squid in Vung Ang is one of the regional seafood specialty that is most loved by everyone regardless of nationality. If you do not try mực nhảy Vũng Áng on your Vietnam food tour, you may be at a loss.

Clams on La River (hến sông La)

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La River clams

Clam dish is also one of the things people relate immediately when they think of Vietnam’s cuisine in Ha Tinh City.

This dish is easily found in the area along La River, Duc Tho, Ha Tinh, where Ha Tinh residents love using clams in their daily meals. Clams can be found even in a single meal of one soup (canh hến nấu rau tập tàng), rice with light clam broth (cơm nước hến), and tender stir-fried clams paired with bean sprouts and rice crackers.

These clams freshly caught from La River are first carefully washed, stir-fried with oil, ginger, fish sauce, onion, pepper, chili, and bean sprouts, and served with fried shallots, peanuts, and herbs. If you have fallen in love with “Hue clam rice” (rice served with basket clams) — a rather understated label for a chaotic bowl of contrasting colors, textures, and tastes, don’t hesitate to make your own menu – steamed rice, stir-fried clams, and a bowl of hot clam broth.

With its aesthetic of attractive presentation and the use of cheap yet fresh in-season ingredients, it is no surprise that clam dishes are mouthwatering and so highly prized by both local residents and foreign travelers, whether it is day or night, summer or winter. Give it a try and you claim it must-eat dishes in Vietnam!

Duc Tho beef noodle soup (Bún bò Đức Thọ)

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Duc Tho beef noodle soup

Ever wondered if Ha Tinh people eat anything other than rice and clams? If you are looking to expand your knowledge of Vietnamese food, don’t miss Duc Tho beef noodle soup – bún bò Đức Thọ – a regional specialty comprising thick rice vermicelli and various toppings in a thick soup on your Vietnam culinary tours.

The high-quality kind of beefs raised in Duc Tho District is what makes this noodle soup a must eat on your Vietnam culinary tours. First, the beef bones and shank are boiled for several hours to prepare the soup. Thick marinated and boiled beef slices, as well as other ingredients like sliced green onions, chili oil, lime wedges, cilantro, mint, and basil are also added to complete a bowl of beef noodle soup.

About 340 km south of Hanoi, Ha Tinh Province on the North Central Coast of Vietnam is famous for a lot of things and its cuisine must be one of them. Planning your Vietnam food tour? Don’t miss Ha Tinh’s regional food specialties!

Bac Son Valley travel guide – Reason for a trip to Quynh Son Village

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Vietnam is westernizing so rapidly, even frequent travelers may not recognize it when they return for a visit. Hanoi capital city and Ho Chi Minh City are fast-paced metropolises no different from, say London or Paris. But the several charming, small towns are still out there. You just need to know where to look for these peaceful untouched villages with unique architectural styles, peaceful atmosphere, picturesque natural landscapes, and lovely locals. Head to the rural areas of Quynh Son Village, Bac Son Valley, where life is slower and the old traditions die hard.

Why is Quynh Son Village a must-visit on your Bac Son tour?

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Unique houses of Tay people

Over in Northern Vietnam not far from the center of Bac Son District, Lang Son Province lies Quynh Son Village – officially called Quynh Son Community-based tourism village. The ethnic village situated 100 miles northeast of Hanoi and 50 miles southeast of the Lang Son city center. Along the 1B National road would be the very first of many exceptional places that make the countryside in Northern Vietnam one of the most charming places on Earth.

Quynh Son Village in Bac Son Valley is where the farmers are noted for the rice paddy fields harmonious with the landscape of the forest. The rice paddy fields are spectacular and should be considered works of art. Sunrises and sunsets over the terraces are not to be missed. Viewing platforms allow you to get that perfect photo of the beautiful river running across the rice fields. Besides the rice terraces and the splendor of nature, the Tay minority group is known for their simple way of life.

A cultural enclave for the Tay Ethnic Minority living with long history and traditions, the town’s authentic culture is evident everywhere. It can be seen from its architecture – beautiful spacious wooden house on stilts known as “nhà sàn” – to its local food, Bac Son tangerine, five-color sticky rice, sausages, chicken cook with ginger, red remixed meat, and grilled fish spring rolls, etc. – which are typical for the Tay people in Northern Vietnam. The tranquil village is surrounded by vast and verdant grassland and framed with high mountain ridges, creating a scenic landscape. One of the best ways to explore it and the neighboring area is to experience Bac Son homestay.

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Bac Son Valley

A night spent at a homestay in Bac Son will give you a chance to explore the unique cultural life of the Tay hill tribe and learn more about their local life. Then melodies, Tinh together with the local culinary specialties Black Chung cake, black steam sticky rice, sour bamboo shoots, and grilled catfish create an unforgettable night on your Bac Son tour.

What’s more? Swimming in streams, photographing, hiking, visiting Quynh Son village and local families, or even going camping are recommended things to do in the ancient village. For adventurous souls, walking its humble labyrinth of small streets to recognize that the row of newly built houses only takes a small portion of the valley, bicycling around to visit the villages of stilt houses, or reaching the northern side of the valley’s bottom after leaving behind the town and venturing into the fields along a path that crosses a river, or climbing to the summit of telephone-station Mountain for the panorama view is also not a bad idea.

Best time for photo opportunities in Quynh Son Village?

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Best time to visit Bac Son Valley

If you visit this ancient village in summer (late July to early August), you can see Quynh Son Village, Bac Son Valley at its most colorful. These rice terraces changing its color from green to yellow makes it such a great time to visit for photographers.

The stunning 360-degree scenery of the cloud-covered Bac Son valley, mountains, villages with the unique houses looking like little castles among the limestone mountains, rivers, and ripening rice fields seen from the peak of Na Lay Mountain makes Bac Son a must-visit destination in Vietnam.

Reason for a trip to Quynh Son Village? It should be a night spent at Bac Son homestay!

A visit to Dien Bien Phu for all Vietnamese history buffs

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In spite of being a pretty young nation, Vietnam has such a long history with a dark side of the country heavily affected by war for centuries. As the filmmaker Ken Burns once said: “History is best understood by walking the ground where it happened”, if you are into another different charm of Vietnam besides the country’s wonderful diverse natural beauty, do not miss top historic spots on your travel to Vietnam!

Of all the historic cities in Vietnam, Dien Bien apparently most inspires Vietnam’s history buffs. This city in the northwestern region of Vietnam’s legendary place in history – as a garrison set up 218 miles from Hanoi capital city in a remote valley near Laos’ border or the site of one of the most significant battles between The Viet Minh and the colonial French army in the 20th century – helps it to receive the highest number of votes in this prestigious category.

For history buffs, who find exploring Vietnam’s history to understand how it became what it is today one of the most interesting things about going on a Vietnam group tour, we have compiled a list of the best historic landmarks in Dien Bien Province considered the storied pasts, preserved situation, notable monuments, and tourist-friendly services in each site.

Dien Bien Phu Victory Museum

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Dien Bien Phu Victory Museum

Housing 1,000 objects divided into four exhibit sections, some 350 artefacts, weaponry, guns, a bath-tub that belonged to the French commander Colonel de Castries, a bicycle capable of carrying 330kg of ordnance, and 202 valuable documentary photos and paintings of the Vietnam army during the war against France, some with English translations, Dien Bien Phu Victory Museum is one of the many relic sites in Dien Bien province and on almost all tourists’ list of top must-see destinations in Northern Vietnam. You can step into another era just by seeing the photos and other exhibits which provide a moving picture of the 57-day-long battle. What a great way to live in the past!

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What to see inside the museum

Officially built in 1984 on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the Vietnamese victory over the French, upgraded in the late 2003, and reopened in May 2014 on its 60th anniversary, this museum possesses a space-age modern structure with the shape of a truncated cone recalling the camouflage nets of Vietnamese soldiers’ helmets during Dien Bien Phu battle, featuring an eclectic collection that commemorates the 20th-century battle. Dedicated to telling the incredible story of the 1954 battle, this well-laid-out 72,718 square-feet museum is unmatched as a top destination for learning about fascinating Vietnam’s history.

  • Opening time: 7.00am – 11.00am and 1.30pm – 6.00pm
  • Entrance fee: VND 15,000 (less than USD $1)per person

A1 Hill – Eliane – where to keep the historic battle of Dien Bien Phu campaign

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A1 Hill

0.3 miles west of the headquarters of the French during the Dien Bien Phu campaign, A1 vantage point – named by French Colonel de Castries – the crucial in the battle of Dien Bien Phu witnessed the culminating battle of the War of 1954. At the strongest post of all 49 strongholds in Dien Bien Phu fortified entrenched camp is a monument to Viet Minh casualties on this former French position, tanks, the elaborate recreated trenches and French bunkers at the heart of the French defences, and the War Martyr Cemetery including the graves of 644 soldiers killed in the battle of Dien Bien Phu.

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Where to keep the historic battle of Dien Bien Phu campaign

When you talk about history in Vietnam, it is hard to avoid Dien Bien, the site of the famous battle of Dien Bien Phu – the decisive engagement in the first Indochina War (1946–1954) between the French Union’s French Far East Expeditionary Corps and Viet Minh (Vietnamese Communist and nationalist) forces in Vietnam in 1954. For anyone loving nothing more than discovering Vietnam through its past yet being in the enviable position of having unlimited time and resources, above are our recommendations on the best historic sites in Dien Bien to include on the itinerary of your North Vietnam group tour!

If you cannot wait to get into that Dien Bien Phu history, remember this vibrant town presents little more than a sprawling, dusty, nondescript border town with lots of things to see and do. Let’s make a visit to Dien Bien Phu a great time studying up on Vietnam’s history and learning what it means for the present while enjoying beautiful sights and exploring the daily life of locals.

10 reasons to visit Northern Vietnam in summer 2018 (part 2)

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You might not have all the time in Vietnam, but it will be a regret if you miss Northern Vietnam on your Vietnam tours’ itinerary. Exciting atmosphere, vibrant scenes of colorful flowers, and great refreshing recipes in summer leave potential visitors shaking their heads in approval that it is the best time to travel to Northern Vietnam. Wherever you are in Northern Vietnam this summer, you will not be too far away from great excitement, and here are some of the best reasons to expect a tour to Northern Vietnam.

Great summer culinary retreats

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Summer retreats

For a lot of adventurers who are also passionate about food, besides an amazing chance to come together and enjoy the beautiful outdoors of our country, one of the best things about a Northern Vietnam tour in this summer is that some awesome recipes to cool off in the best way possible. Even if you have come for phở (Vietnam’s national staple), bún chả, or bánh mì in years past, expect to see Northern Vietnam at its different food scene in summer.

The summer and its scorching heat are perfect for refreshing drinks and sweet soups, and there is one in every corner of Hanoi to suit every taste. Corn milk (sữa ngô), sugarcane juice (nước mía), douhua – soy milk (tào phớ), aloe vera green bean sweet porridge (chè đậu xanh nha đam), coconut ice-cream (kem dừa), coconut jelly (thạch dừa), white jelly cubes sweet porridge (chè khúc bạch), yogurt with fermented purple sticky rice (sữa chua nếp cẩm) are a good way to celebrate your summer trips or to enjoy a day or two of relaxation and indulgence.

Hanoi’s summer flower season

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Charming summer flowers in Hanoi

The arrival of summer in Vietnam’s capital city is always signaled not by the date on the calendar, but by the first flamboyantly red phoenix flowers. Nothing says summer like the brilliant image of Hanoi’s summer flowers – the elegant white beauty of lily, the purple of Lagerstroemia, the yellow of blooming sunflowers, and the pure pink of lotuses. If your ideal summer in Vietnam involves flowers, then head to Hanoi, which is a mecca for flower lovers.

Hanoi’s café culture

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Street coffee in Hanoi

The café culture in our capital is second to none. At the Old Quarter – the heart of both the social and culinary scenes in Hanoi, the popularity of pavement cafés is worldwide famous, and for good reasons. Let’s imagine now we are in the Old Quarter in a sidewalk café on a sunny Sunday morning, reading a book or flicking through the newspapers, watching the world go by or simply enjoying the alfresco atmosphere that the 1,000-year-old city beholds. Whether you are engaging in conversation over an aperitif or dining solo, it is sure to be among the finest common pleasures of Hanoi.

It is cheap even in high season

You go on Northern Vietnam tours to be entertained, whether it is taking photos of colorful flowers, spending a leisurely morning at one of the city’s many sidewalk cafés, or challenging yourself with beautiful terrain, pretty much everything you want is incredibly budget-friendly and waiting for you. Expect to get fantastic value for your money!

Bike-friendly destinations to explore on two wheels

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Vietnam biking tour

The laid-back atmosphere and huge variety of fun outdoor activities and events make summer in Northern Vietnam a particularly fantastic time for families traveling with kids. Does your family love exploring on bikes? A Northern Vietnam trip with kids will definitely be a good fun for the whole family! What can be more magical and overwhelming than navigating the streets of Hanoi, the treacherous paths in Sapa, or the immense green tea plantation in Moc Chau on two wheels?

If you realistically have the funds and vacation days to make one epic trip happen this summer 2018. Do not worry about the influx of tourists going in this high season. What you really want to know is Northern Vietnam’s summer appeals or the reasons why you should go on a tour to Northern Vietnam right now!

10 reasons to visit Northern Vietnam in summer 2018 (part 1)

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When it comes to planning your Vietnam tours, it might seem like it makes the most sense to go traveling in the summer months. Considering heading to Vietnam this summer? We have collated our top ten reasons why our lovely S-shaped land is quite possibly the best country on the globe to spend your summer holiday.

Nice weather for a summer trip

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Nice summer weather

For all travelers planning their summer trip, the timeless question: Is summer the best time to travel to Northern Vietnam? Actually, summer might not be the best choice for the seasoned travelers who may be doing it on a budget. But it makes the most sense to go traveling in the summer months if you want to take advantage of the nice weather for a summer trip and witness the exciting atmosphere in its full swing.

Lots of Northern Vietnamese head for cooler climates in the summer months, but while the locals are leaving for some destinations where it seems like summer is perpetual, summer enthusiasts from around the world are pouring in. Summer with its own charms adds to Northern Vietnam’s appeal. It is pretty hot, but ideal for days spent at a beach or in a museum, temple, pagoda, or a café.

Whether you are the type person who loves soaking in the cool waters or you prefer to avoid the coziness of cold snowy days and seek the sun, there is no better time to visit Northern Vietnam than summer, when you can go to find just what you are looking for. Expect rates, from flights to your beds at the hostels less favorable than in the low season, but you will get what you pay for.

So many places make excellent summer destinations

 excellent-summer-destinations-helloVietnam

Excellent summer destinations

Northern Vietnam is one of the most popular destinations over these summer months for travelers of all ages. If you are planning a multi-generation family tour in Northern Vietnam, look no further than Halong Bay, which offers tons of interesting activities to participate in as well as junk and cruise options, where the whole family can relax on the same terrace and under the same roof. For a city getaway, we love Mai Chau, 87 miles from Hanoi – which has been on our radar for some time now with people making waves in the scenic mountainous region and quiet rural communities.

Great outdoors

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Great outdoors

Vietnam has many modern, multicultural, and cosmopolitan cities, each with its own distinct personality. But Vietnam’s allure is not just its urban attractions. Full of surprises and almost unrivaled worldwide, the expanse of Vietnam’s natural wonders, from awe-inspiring mountains and the UNESCO World Natural Heritage to gushing waterfalls and terraced rice fields, are a reason enough to visit this easternmost Indochina country in summer 2018.

Many vacationers also have a certain area, city, town, or village in Northern Vietnam they would like to be in. Regardless of what type of person you are – those who love beach retreats or those who prefer a hot new adventure destination, there is a list of fantastic getaways in Vietnam to fulfill any and all travel itches. Book now to lock down your favorite destinations in Northern Vietnam!

Long sandy beaches

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Summer in Halong Bay

Ask almost anyone you know what kind of dream Northern Vietnam tours they want to take in their summer holiday and chances are they will say beaches. With over 2,000 miles of shoreline and over thousands of named beaches, all of which are picturesque with soft sands and clear waters, you will definitely find a beach in our country that is perfect for you and your family.

Time for festivals

giong-festival-helloVietnam 

Giong Festival

Vietnamese love festivals and any time you go, you can have a chance to experience their cultural charms. And summer is not an exception. Tet Doan Ngo (summer solstice day), Chem Temple Festival, and Giong festival are some festivals to enjoy in summer 2018.

Whether your interests are outdoor activities or exciting festivals on your Northern Vietnam tours, this beautiful region has something to offer to make it lauded as one of our country’s most livable regions.

Guides to conquer “the roof of Indochina”

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Dubbed as “The roof of Indochina,” majestic Fansipan is always the desire to conquer of many young people. The preparation of climbing Fansipan – one of Vietnam off the beaten track tours is very necessary. Therefore, don’t miss the following tips:

Autumn – winter time, late September to late April next year is the best time to travel to northern Vietnam, during which the ideal time is in October, November. You can admire the beauty of the ripe golden terraced field and enjoy the cool atmosphere here. Depending on your health you can choose to tour 2 days 1 night or 3 days 2 nights.

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Fansipan peak

 The ideal time is in October, November-helloVietnam

The ideal time is in October, November

From Sa Pa town, there are 3 ways to conquer the legendary Fansipan peak.

First, if you don’t know where to go in northern Vietnam, the shortest way and of course the most chosen is from Trạm Tôn (the entrance to Hoang Lien Son National Park, 14 km from Sa Pa Town) with the road: Trạm Ton – Fansipan – Trạm Ton.

The second route is from Cat Cat mountain village, it comes near Sapa town so this is the farthest route.

And the third one, the most beautiful, the hardest to conquer and the most dangerous route is from Sin Chai mountain village.

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Cat Cat mountain village

However, you should come from Tram Ton- Hoang Lien Son National Park to buy tickets and pay environmental fees, insurance premiums easily if you want to have a tailor-made tour in mountain area in Vietnam.

You should travel with a group of five or more people. During the journey, all members must respect the discipline of the group, ignoring the concept of personal expression, your own safety. In particular, according to the experience of the precursor, when climbing Fansipan, each group necessarily hire the porter to have a guide and a help in carrying the team members’ item.

Preparation:

Before going to Fansipan, you should walk in the morning and evening for at least 10 minutes each day.

Food

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Snacks used when climbing

Eat cooked foods, bring snacks but rich in nutrients like vegetables grown in Sapa. Bring snacks that are often used (like gum, cigarettes, … but must be lightweight). Food supply: Snick Bar, cheeses (dry, easy to eat), fresh milk.

Drinks

Each person brings about 3 – 4 small filtered water bottles. Water should be sipped on several times to not make full stomach that will be difficult to move

Backpack

A backpack should not exceed 4.5 kg. The backpack has a strap around your waist and on your chest to keep your backpack firmly while moving, avoid baring or pulling you rearwards.

Sleeping tent

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Sleeping tent

Prepare the tent to sleep because there are two overnight stops. The first one is at an altitude of 2.200m, at this point, the temperature is usually about 8-10 ºC in the winter and about 12-15ºC in the summer. The rest is at an altitude of 2.800 m, that is about 1-5ºC in the winter and about 10-15ºC in the summer.

Climbing stick

There are many types, for example, light metal sticks that have the elastic spring, adjustable lengths varying according to your height, this type is expensive. To reduce costs, you can rent in Sapa. The other type is the old bamboo stick in the forest that is certainly not elastic, you can ask the poster to cut on the way.

Shoes

You should choose a pair of climbing shoes with slight friction. The best shoes are trekking shoes, which have a neck through the ankle to keep the joints from spraining.

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Climbing shoes

You should also bring 2 to 3 pairs of socks. When climbing, you should wear 2 pairs of socks: a thin one inside (should not be nylon sock, it should be soft to absorbent sweat), and a pair of long socks to cover the pants to avoid leeches. That is also beneficial to reduce the brushiness of shoes and legs, avoid blistering foot skin.

Gloves

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Climbing gloves

Lightweight climbing gloves. Good gloves are thick protective gloves with dots on the palm. Have gloves, you are more confident to stick to the roots, trunk when climbing … Do not use wool gloves or leather gloves to avoid slippery hands when you sweat..

Clothes

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Climbing clothes

Bring neat and tidy costumes for mountain climbing. A jacket that is thin but relatively warm, does not absorb moisture. Choose soft cotton clothing that is easy to move. Should not: wear tight jeans or too thin pants or too thick, that’s difficult to take off.

You should bring 2 sets of clothes. if possible, carry a set of sleep clothing.

Hat

It is very important to choose soft hats with wide rims, and straps because the wind is relatively strong at the 2,500m height.Wear a wool cap to cover your ears, keep warm and that’s good for your health.

Scarf

To ensure your health, you should carry a scarf. When you sleep in the high mountain, the weather will be very cold, the scarf will warm your neck to avoid a cold in the forest. It can also be used to dress the wound.

Medicine

Take some medications that you often use for your illness (if any). In addition, cold flu medicine, intestinal medicine… Bring a Salonpas gel to prevent cramps, an ambulance bag for 10 people.

Lighting equipment

Bring a small flashlight, use when it’s dark to find the way to WC, find the way to the camp.

Communication equipment

You should bring your phone (almost along the way there are phone waves, especially Viettel).

Bring a whistle if any, 1 whistle/group of 3 people (when walking should be divided into groups to go together and look after each other). If you’re tired and can’t call each other, blow the whistle.

A-group-of-3-to-5-people-helloVietnam

A group of 3 to 5 people

In addition, don’t forget to bring a small notebook, pen, and camera for convenient recording, keeping a memorable moment.

Be on time and follow directions from tour guides and your porter.

For people who have a history of blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke … should not join the tour.

With all the guides above, you can be quiet to take your backpack up and go to find your own experience in Vietnam off the beaten track tour.