Scattered thoughts of Tay Ninh tourism

People usually regard “smokelss industry” of Tay Ninh as “sleeping princess” who is waiting a wakeup call from prince. This comparison means that Tay Ninh has great potential to become  a hot spot in Vietnam tour package, but such potential is not appropriately exploited

During my Vietnam and Cambodia tours and Cambodia Vietnam Laos Myanmar tour, I had chance to visit Tay Ninh. I realize that, in fact, Tay Ninh has a lot of potential to develop tourism. As regards tourism resources, Tay Ninh lacks nothing but beaches. For example, it has many historical sites which can be taken advantaged to promote cultural tourism. With a diversity of flora and fauna system, Tay Ninh is capable of developing ecotourism. Besides, it has many famous temples for sightseeing and worship.

A question is raised “How have such resources been exploited for tourism development?”. In fact, exploitation started about 10 years ago. To be more precise, destinations such as Ba Den moutain and Cao Dai cathedral is attracting millions of tourists every year. Moc Bai border checkpoint is a special spot that attracts 2 million tourists coming to visit and go shopping

Scattered thoughts of Tay Ninh tourism

Scattered thoughts of Tay Ninh tourism

Why is it said that Tay Ninh’s potential of tourism has not been exploited? Maybe the answer is that millions of tourists come and leave in a day. They hardly decide to stay. If they stay, they just wander in Ba pagoda or Thanh temple. In fact, Tay Ninh does  not offer accommodations of high quality for luxurious tourists. Besides, most of tourists visit Tay Ninh mainly for religious purposes. That’s why Tay Ninh has many hotels but not many tourists from other provinces choose to stay the night in such hotels.

Tayninh has a lot of travelling spots but it hardly has any tourism products. According to Provision 10, Article 4, Tourism Law 2005, tourism products are a combination of necessary services that satisfy tourists’ needs in their trip. Answering questions of Saigon reporters, Tay Ninh officials said that “ The greatest weekness of Tay Ninh is tourism products”

Another weekness of Tay Ninh tourism is about tourism guiding. Local authority does not focus much on this issue. The qualification requirements to become a tour guide are a college degree and participating a training course

A majority of tour guides do not make any impressions on tourists. Therefore, many travelling companies decide to hire tour guides from Ho Chi Minh city. Another problem is that tour guides do not have a good command of knowledge related to tourism. So, when it comes to introduction of a place, they tend to seek help from presenters of such place

Awkwardly, such presenters do not seem to be fully awared of travelling spot, so their presentation is likely to be boring. Sometimes, they fail to answer questions of tourists due to lack of knowledge. It can be explained by the fact that famous destinations in Tay Ninh do not provide presenters with necessary documents let alone publishing such documents for tourists.

However, Tay Ninh tour is still attractive and alluring.

 

Come Moc Chau when plateu is covered by the white of mustard’s flowers

When talking about Vietnam trip packages, beside some famous tour package such as Hanoi holiday packagesMoc Chau is one of the destinations that should be mentioned.

Moc Chau may be famous for flowers, tea’s hills, Dai Yem fall, cave of bat,… However, in my opinion, it is truly beautiful when the season of white mustard comes.

Moc Chau is beautified with peach’s flowers, plum’s flowers, … Each of them bloom in a different time, which brings an unique attraction of Moc Chau. However, it is because of that that peole often discuss about the most beautiful kind of flower.

Come Moc Chau when plateu is covered by the white of mustard’s flowers

Come Moc Chau when plateu is covered by the white of mustard’s flowers

Some people say they are flowers of peach, and plum, which blooms after lunar new year. However, to me, it is white flowers of mustard, which bloom in November.

It doesn’t have the luxury of peach. It attracts people with its simple white. If you come Moc Chau in a day when it is full of white flowers of mustard, you will easily be overwhelmed by its beauty, and feel as if you are living in heaven.

After pines’s forest, there is field full of the white of mustard, which looks like snow.

Come Moc Chau when it is covered by mustard’s flowers to explore the heaven of the Earth. Come to Moc Chau to have wonderful holiday packages to Vietnam.

Safety in Vietnam for tourists

Besides concerns about expense, time, destination,…, your safety is also important when travelling. In addition to choosing a safe journey, buying tourism insurance and preparing essential medicines,… understanding about your destination’s culture and keeping your belongings carefully also play a crucial role in your trip’s success.

Vietnam is one of the most peaceful countries in the world. There has never been terrorism or military conflicts here. However, to have a safe tour in Vietnam, visitors should also pay attention to:

  1. Traffic safety

In Vietnam streets, especially in big cities, there’s always a large number of vehicles. Moreover, Vietnam transportation is also complicated and not follows certain lines. For those visiting Vietnam for the first time, it would be scaring to cross a street and drive a motorbike here. To reach your destination conveniently and get the best safety when travelling, you should buy a map and search for surrounding public transportations.

  1. Food safety in Vietnam

Be careful with street vendors. It is advisable for you to eat cooked foods and avoid raw foods, dishes made of raw fishes and vegetables. You should bring abdominal pain medication just in case. If you have food poisoning, you need to be provided with first aid and go to the nearest hospital immediately.

  1. Thieves and pickpockets.

In tourism and crowded areas, you need to keep your luggage and assets carefully. Do not give your belongings to strangers and avoid forgetting anything. You should go with a group so you can observe each other.

 

Shopping in Vietnam

When travelling, everyone would like to buy something to use, to be a souvenir or a gift for friends and family. Visiting Vietnam, what to buy and where to buy are always questions of many tourists. Below are some tips for shopping in Vietnam:

  1. Souvenir

Vietnam is famous for having many sophisticated items. You can choose to buy an eye-catching ceramic jar, complicated carvings or hangers having lovely animal images. However, you should buy them in branded stores in local so you can get goods of the best quality and avoid fake items.

  1. Original products

Vietnamese characterized original items cannot be found everywhere. Therefore, if you can afford, you should not miss your favorite items.

  1. Consider when buying expensive branded items.

Vietnam is a developing country, its economy is being integrated into the world’s so fashion and cosmetic trends are always updated quickly. Foreign visitors can choose your suitable products with acceptable prices when wandering around big shopping centers in Vietnam.

  1. Limit buying your basic necessities such as soft wash, shampoos,… You should buy packed beverage and foods which are edible even when you come home.
  2. Smart shopping

Before going shopping, you should write down a necessary item list and search on the Internet for a store to save your time. Use your credit card, avoid to bring much money catching pickpockets’ attention.

For normal visitors, buy the most essential goods. You should not spend much time on admiring beauty spots and try local specialties so that you will not miss your flight or get lost…

What to bring home from Vietnam

Souvenir

Each region has strange and beautiful souvenirs. Here are typical souvenirs that visitors could bring home after Vietnam trip

Brocatelle

Colorful brocatelle souvenirs are prominent features of Vietnam Northern mountainous area’s markets. Making a bag, a keychain is a process of meticulous patience of gentle people here. All of the steps are done by hands so the brocatelle is very complicated and contains makers’ feelings and souls.

Handicraft products

With skillful hands, subtle eyes and enduring patience, makers create unique sophisticated artwork. Vietnam handicraft products are always appreciated for meticulous attention to every detail of the product. These souvenirs are pretty small but express the national culture Vietnamese passed down from many generations. Moreover, all products themselves contain lively soul of the country, Vietnamese people. Some items are chosen by many foreign tourists such as: lacquer, sand paintings, wood carvings, ceramics,…

Specialty

Vietnam is the country having many unique delicacies. However, to bring home as a gift, you must mention some specialties such as:

Salted dry apricot

If you have chance to be in Hanoi, wonder in ancient streets, try the taste of salted dry apricot in Hang Duong, you will find it hard to forget the combination of sweet, salty and sour of this specialty. Hanoi’s salted dry apricot is not too sweet as Saigon’s, not too spicy as Thailand’s and not too salty as China’s. You can keep it for a quite long time so it is really suitable to buy as a gift.

Tea

Tea is a popular drink in the world and also good for our health. Vietnam is the country that plants a lot of tea trees and has many kind of delicious tea which you can choose to be a gift for your relatives such as: O Long tea, San Tuyet tea…

Herb

If you have opportunity to visit the Northern mountainous provinces, you should not miss the rare treasures that nature bestowed. The herb are cheap and of good quality because of being picked up by local people.

Dried products

Different kinds of dried fish and dried squid are famous unique specialty of Vietnam sea areas. Due to a large amount of fresh fishes, dried products are various and quality assured. Besides, dried beef and fruits are also appropriate choices.

Each tourist site has its own specialty and souvenirs with original region characteristics. The above souvenirs are just a little of Vietnam areas. Therefore, when travelling to a new land, tourists can find out themselves or ask local people for more information to buy meaningful gifts for friends and relatives.

Price in Vietnam

Before exploring a new land, you will have to learn much information about that such as places to visit, food and drink, accommodation… So what about the price in Vietnam.

Comparing to other countries in the Southeast Asia, the price in Vietnam is suitable. Vietnamese have a medium living standard so the price is also average. There’s a difference between the life in the cities and that in the countryside which affects on the price. The price in tourism areas is usually higher because of service fee.

When you are in a big city where there are many tourists, you should be careful when buying anything, especially with the vendors. In most of stores, they have price shown on each item, but, some don’t have, so, you should bargain to get the best price as you could. According to valuable experiences, if the seller does not agree with your given price, you should go away and he will call you back and discount.

Before starting your tour, you also need to do some research for price of items you want to buy. For examples, the price for a bowl of noodle is about 35.000 VND (equivalent to 2 USD), a small souvenir ranges from 20.000 to 50.000 VND (1 to 3 USD),…

Above is some necessary information about price in Vietnam for visitors. Hope you will have a meaningful, happy and safety trip.

Local currency in Vietnam

Vietnam Dong is the official currency in Vietnam. There are two kinds: paper currency and polymer banknote.

Paper money’s value is often low, including: 500 dong, 1.000 dong, 2.000 dong and 5.000 dong.

Polymer banknotes have higher value, consist of: 10.000 dong, 20.000 dong, 50.000 dong, 100.000 dong, 200.000 dong and 500.000 dong.

Vietnam is a developing country and in integration process. When visiting Vietnam, visitors can use cash, cheques or credit cards easily. In Vietnam, even you are on a tour, you are not allowed to bring more than US$ 7,000.00 converted into other currencies. If bringing more, you need to inform Customs or have an official paper of an organization with clear purpose for delivering the money. According to Vietnam’s law, currency is not  permitted to be exchanged freely, so visitors should go to the banks for exchanging with the suitable rate.

Apart from bank, you can easily find the exchange services in tourist city centre areas. Here, they accept different kinds of currency in the world and Southeast Asia such as: Euro and dollars… The exchange rate is stuck outside and usually changeable. You should check it carefully before exchange. In case there are not any banks and exchange services near your stay, you can do it at your hotel. However, you might receive less money comparing to exchanging in a bank.

There are ATMs in Vietnam’s streets. If you use a bank in global ATM network or Cirrus Plus credit card, you can find an ATM having the same bank name. Tourists can withdraw money from Master Card by ATM Cirrus and Visa Card by ATM Plus. You can withdrawing maximum 5 million VND per time and 30 million VND per day.

Large restaurants, luxurious hotels and shopping centers in Vietnam all accept credit card. However, if you want to have a tour in countryside or mountainous areas, you should bring cash because it is difficult to find an ATM or a bank there.

 

Festivals in Vietnam

Festival is a substantial part of Vietnamese culture. Festival is the time when the earth and man are reconciled with, people worship gods, wish for beautiful weather and abundant crop as well as commemorating national heroes and the village founders who built villages, gave vocational guidance bringing a happy and prosperous life to villagers. This is also the occasion when traditional cultural activities which show Vietnamese custom and habits. Besides, couples also meet and take part in games together such as calligraphy game, tug of war, wrestling, cooking rice, making cakes,…on festivals.

Time for starting festivals

Festivals mostly take place in three months in spring of Vietnam when the weather is warm and good for holding festivals. This is leisure time of farmers, the earth, nature and people are all fresh and joyful…

Some typical festivals in Vietnam such as Tran temple festival (Nam Dinh), Giong Temple festival (Hanoi), Pa Then Fire Dancing Festival (Ha Giang), Con Son-Kiep Bac Festival (Hai Duong), Do Son Buffalo Fighting Festival (Hai Phong)…

Features of festival

Sacredness

The sacredness is the origin of all festivals in Vietnam. People hold festivals to memorize those honored as a Saint or Serene who helped to defend and control that area. A Saint or Serene can be a woman, a hero or a super-talented person. The sacredness of festivals shown in ceremonies such as worshipping and procession becomes an important part of the festival and creates mysterious attraction to involving tourists.

Region

Each region has its own culture, belief, custom and habits. This contributes to diversity in thousands festivals of Vietnamese

Community

A festival only appears, exists and develops when it becomes an essential demand of one community. As a result, there are different festivals which belong to a family, a village, a province, a region or even a country.

Royal

The “royal” shows a community’s honor to gods and wishes for protection from them.

Most characters that people worship are in royal family. Therefore, ceremonies such as sacrificing, kowtowing and procession often imitate life activities of royalty.

 

Food and drink in Vietnam

Food

Vietnam has the variety and diversity of cuisine. Dishes have their own original tastes and the intriguing mixture among different ingredients. Vietnam foods are cooked with many spices such as onions, garlic, pepper, lemonade, ginger, sesames…

These are some typical dishes that you should try when visiting Vietnam:

  1. Noodle (Phở)

Being considered the national dish, noodle refers to a variety of soups with noodles, beef or chicken and a little tasty onion. Vietnam noodle is simple but attractive because of its delicious taste and original harmony. According to CNN, Vietnam noodle ranks the 28th in 50 most delicious dishes in the world.

  1. Vermicelli (Bún)

In Vietnam, vermicelli is turned into different dishes, each of them has its own original flavor. “Bun bo Hue” is spicy and a bit sour, “Bun cua” is greasy but also cool, “Bun cha” with spicy salty and sweet sauce, and “Bun dau mam tom” makes you addicted after one time.

  1. Bread (Bánh mỳ)

Bread is not only familiar in Vietnamese morning meals but also attracts a lot of foreign visitors by excellent combination between ingredients and spices in small breads. With a bread, they put into it with cucumbers, meat, eggs, fresh vegetables and a little sauce or chilly sauces. This simple combination makes bread a delicious dish.

Drink

Even to satisfy temporary thirst or to understand Vietnam food culture, there are some typical drinks for you to choose:

  1. Iced tea (Trà đá)

Being the most popular drink in Vietnam, iced tea is not only cheap but also good for your health. Street vendor iced tea drinks are also the place where people chat and relax. It has become a culture of of Vietnamese for several recent decades.

If you come to Vietnam without enjoying street vendor iced tea drinks and peanut candy, you still do not understand the common Vietnamese culture.

  1. Sugarcane juice (Nước mía)

This is one of popular refreshing juices in Vietnam. Vietnamese people choose old sugarcane trees and press them by a machine with a kumquat. Fresh sugarcane juice is sweet and fresh, satisfies your thirst immediately as well as provides your body energy. Sugarcane juice vendors can be found anywhere in streets because this is a favorite drink of Vietnamese people.

  1. Coffee (Cà phê)

Vietnam is the world’s largest producer of Robusta beans. Vietnamese coffee is made differently to make it a fabulous drink. Coffee beans are roasted and made with a small metal drip filter. In Vietnam, you can find people usually enjoy coffee in two ways “cà phê sữa đá” (iced coffee with condensed milk) and “cà phê đen đá không đường” (iced black coffee with no sugar). You can easily catch your eyes on someone reading newspapers or chatting with a cup of coffee on many streets.

  1. Beer (Bia)

Vietnam beer is very cheap and popular beverage. Beer is served anywhere, from luxurious restaurants to street vendors. Vietnamese drink beer with tapas-style dishes such as prawns barbecued with chili and salt, clams steamed with lemongrass, green mangos, coconut snails sautéed with butter.

  1. Sticky rice wine (Rượu nếp cẩm)

Although this is not popular drink, it has original taste. It is a little bit sweeter than normal wine so even women can enjoy it. Sticky rice wine is used in most of parties, becomes a cultural characteristic of Vietnam, especially the north mountainous areas.

“I love traveling”- Phan Le Ai Phuong shares her homestay experiences in Malaysia

“I love traveling”-  Phan Le Ai Phuong shares her homestay experiences in Malaysia

Of all places that Phan Le Ai Phuong has been to, homestay tour in Malaysia last year leaves her the most memorial experiences. Below is our interview with her.

HW: What prompted you to choose homestay tour instead of luxurious hotels?

Ai Phuong: Actually, I was invited to visit Malaysia by its tourism promotion department. As far as I am concerned, a lot of Western tourists prefer homestay as they want to have new experiences in Eastern countries. It is true that hotels are more comfortable and convenient. However, you will not be close to nature as well as people and culture. Especially, during my trip I had chance to wear Malaysia traditional clothes and take part in a wedding in rural area.

HW: What are your impressions about Malaysia?

Ai Phuong:  What impressed me the most is that the awareness of local people to preserve nature is good and foods are plentiful. I gathered that Malaysia people love sweetened foods . That’s why a large amount of sugar is added into curry. The climate there is similar to Vietnam. Well, you know, it is quite hot like us. As a result, I have to supply myself with water constantly in order to move during the trip. Tourists coming to Malaysia tend to go sightseeing rather than go shopping like in Singapore. I bought some souvenirs such as keychains, a necklace and a bracelet which is attached with a model of Petronal Twin Tower- a symbol of Malaysia.

A moment of Malaysia

A moment of Malaysia

HW: After this trip, what do you want to share with your friends?

Ai Phuong: well, I did not have much time to prepare for this trip. Therefore, If I have chance to return Malaysia, I think I will pack more canned foods, a three prong edelectrical outlet and a pair of sport shoes as the trip requires much movements.

For those who travel to Malaysia the first time, my advice is that you should join a tour because it is much safer. Besides, you will be taken to al lot of famous places such as Taman Negara National Garden, George Old Quarter, etc…You may have chance to visit sacred places such as temples or pagodas so you had better dress formally.

To book tour to Vietnam, click on the link below:

http://www.gialinhtravel.com/vietnamtoursinfo/

To book tour to Myanmar, click on the link below:

http://www.gialinhtravel.com/typologies-packages/Myanmar-tours

To book tour to Thailand Cambodia and Vietnam, click on the link below:

http://www.gialinhtravel.com/typologies-packages/Cambodia-Thailand-and-Vietnam-tours?post_type=packages