Page 1

ISSN 1859-4123

1:4 JAN-FEB 2014

Tet: the Lunar New Year p.8


No 1, Vol.4, January-February 2014


24 Hotel Advertorials

24 Sacred mountain offers mediation in luxury 26 A peak experience at Mường Thanh Sapa Hotel

8 12

18 28 Resort Advertorial Resort brings distant lands close 28 Food Advertorial

30 Magic! Do not try this at home; not at night! COVER STORY Tet: the Lunar New Year 8 Horse sense 10 Tet in Hanoi in the old days 12 The Kitchen Gods return to the heavens 16 A day of miracles 18 Ox and buffalo show 20 A year, sharpened

22 Art

22 Abstract art presents physical

32 What the papers say 33 Asides 34 Events 38 Value for money 43 Directions 58 Laid back Cover photograph: Kitchen God glass painting. Photo: Huynh Thanh Binh

and musical movement

Published by the Cultural Heritage Association of Vietnam

Vietnam Heritage Editorial Office:

Publication licence No: 1648/GP-BTTTT from the Ministry of Information and Communications of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam for the English-language edition of The Gioi Di San (The World of Heritage) magazine Editor-in-Chief: Le Thanh Hai; Public Relations Director: Bui Thi Hang; Managing Editor: Le Duc Tan; Sub-editing: Erik Johnson; Assistant: Kha Tu Anh; Production: Nguyen Hoang Kim Long; Contributing Photographers: Nguyen Ba Han, Hoang Quoc Tuan, Hoang The Nhiem, Huynh Van Nam, Le Hoai Phuong, Nguyen Anh Tuan; Ngo Nguyen Huynh Trung Tin; Tran Viet Duc Correspondent: Pip de Rouvray; Advertising and Circulation: Green Viet Advertising JSC Advertising Service: Hoai Phuong 0918 693 680 Email:; Subscriptions: Thuy Phuong 0166 79 70 706 Email: Hanoi Advertising and Subscription: Nguyen Huong 0988 424 395; Vietnam Heritage is published monthly, produced in Vietnam and printed at Army Printing House No 2. © All rights reserved.

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Lim Festival, held every year on the 12th and 13th days of the Lunar New Year (11 and 12 February, 2014), in Bac Ninh Province, near Hanoi. Photo: Nguyen Viet Rung, 2013

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Horse sense By Tram Thien Thu


he Vietnamese call this year (starting from 31 Jan, 2014) the year of the horse. In Vietnamese folklore, the horse is mentioned very frequently. Examples: 1. ‘No good horse without defects’, meaning talented people often have bad habits. 2. ‘Young horses kick’, meaning young people often are reckless, thoughtless. 3. ‘Horses go the known way’, meaning it’s not easy to abandon bad old habits. 4. ‘Horses and carriages flow like water’, meaning people in their best appearance rush in one direction (such as on a festive day) 5. ‘Horse seeks horse, goat seeks goat’, meaning that people with something in common 8 • VIETNAM

make stronger connections. 6. ‘One horse gets sick, the grass in the whole stable is untouched’, meaning solidarity. 8. ‘As straight as horse guts’, meaning to describe a person who talks bluntly, without choosing words. 8. ‘Wrapped in horse hide’, meaning death on battlefield. 9. ‘Buffalo head, horse face’, meaning to describe rogue bullies. 10. ‘Lone spear, lone horse’, meaning a lone person facing opposition, troubles, and difficulties. 11. ‘Up a carriage, down a horse,’ meaning a wealthy person (who never has to walk).


12. ‘Four horses can’t retract a spoken word’ meaning a word thoughtlessly spoken can’t be absolved. 13. ‘Like the frontier man who’s lost his horse’, meaning there is good luck in bad luck. As the story goes, when a man has lost his horse, he thought it was a bad luck. But then the horse came back with a mare, so it turned out to be good luck. Then his son fell from the horse, bad luck. But being crippled, his son was not enlisted in the war, so good luck again.n Left: A religous painting of San Diu people, from the collection of Pham Duc Sy. Right: A religous painting of Dao people, from the collection of Pham Duc Sy. Photos provided by Nguyen Anh Tuan

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Tet in Hanoi in th I

was born in 1947 in Hanoi, while it was occupied by the French. Tet always leaves the most vivid memories in children, because they have been waiting for it the whole year with all the excitement that only kids can have. The first sign of Tet was my mom selecting the best daffodil bulbs to plant for the New Year celebration. The daffodils are always the central piece of decoration in our family. All the other flowers are bought to be put in vases, but the daffodils are planted carefully, since they are just bulbs, black and rough like taros. Then, they are peeled and trimmed to make pearl-like white buds appear. Then, luxuriant green leaves and dense roots appear. Finally, the white flowers spring out with yellow stamen, refined and noble. My house was near the White Horse Temple on Hang Buom Street, the My Kinh restaurant and the Chinese restaurant Dong Hung Vien, all famous places. I used to see many daffodil pots on the temple’s altar. Later, I read in newspapers that Hanoi flower lovers used to organize a daffodil contest in Ngoc Son Temple on New Year’s Eve. Then, they had a procession to bring the winning pots to the White Horse Temple. Like all other temples, during Tet, a great many people come here to ask for good fortune, including Vietnamese and Chinese who live on Hang Buom and the neighbouring streets. Tradespeople also used to come here together to give pledges to smooth business relationships. My family had a cloth shop on Hang Duong Street, which was a trading street near Dong Xuan, the biggest market of Hanoi. Near Tet, we had more customers. But this was the street of sweets. Cakes, 10 • V I E T N A M

candies, jams and salted fruits are the traditional merchandises for Tet. As for the Mid-Autumn Festival, sticky rice cake and sweet pies were favoured. It was said that it was the sweets piled up in Hang Duong for the New Year of 1947 that helped Hanoi defenders to hold out for two long months amidst the enemy’s siege. My paternal grandma was the commander-in-chief of our little operation. She used to sit all day on the flat bed in the middle of the living room to give orders to family members and servants, to receive customers and guests from the


countryside, to resolve financial matters and to shop and prepare for Tet. We kids were responsible for tidying and cleaning the furniture in the living and the ancestral rooms. We felt both excited about Tet and displeased by having to meticulously clean every detail in the intricately carved wooden furniture with soft cloths so that everything would shine, be it bare or lacquered wood. Only the bronze ware was left to adults, because it required a special polishing substance. Nearer to Tet, we kids begin to

receive from our native village not clay pigs, but green bamboo cylinders with a slot to tuck in the lucky money, which we were allowed to ‘audit’ only after Tet. My paternal native site is Ben Tre, far down in the South, but my maternal site is just a short distance away. Every year, I accompanied my grandma there on a pedicab to visit the ancestral graves, the village temple and our relatives, near and far. Our family did not need to make bánh chưng – the New Year rice cakes – but instead, took them from our nearby home village (Later, only when life became more difficult under the ration system, did we make them at home.) But a pot of green bean cake to offer to the altar and to eat during Tet was a must. These customs remain with us to this day. Plates of green bean cakes glowed with the golden colour of beans cooked on a low fire, finely stirred with a bamboo spoon. Sometimes, we went as far as to put it into a tightly-woven basket and rubbed it hard with a bowl to let the bean dough filter through the fine bamboo net. That way, the cake would melt cheeringly in the mouth with the savour of roasted sesame grains. Nowadays, people pour out to the streets around the Returned Sword Lake to greet the New Year. In those days, New Year’s Eve was the time for the family to gather at the ancestral altar. Only one person was charged to go out a short time before midnight, enough time to go to the nearest pagoda to offer some incense to heaven and earth and get home just after midnight to be the first person in the new year to set foot in the home to bring good fortune for the whole year. Then came the singing of water sellers, which

tet: the

e old days By Duong Trung Quoc*

symbolized a wish that money and good luck would come in like water that flows to hollow places. They would be tactful to knock only after the first foot setter. In those days, although families were less dispersed than now, the gathering at New Year’s Eve was the most sacred feature of the holiday. It was the time for everybody to take turns to wish each other well-being in a strictly defined sequence. The lucky money was counted as a godsend, and everybody respectfully offered incense on the ancestral altar. Then, the offerings on the altar for heaven and earth, usually put on the porch or on the top floor, were taken down. In those days, there was no Tet without firecrackers [now fire-

crackers are banned. Only fireworks are allowed on a limited scale]. Once they started bursting, hours before midnight, they continued long into the night. The loudest sounds came from Hang Buom Street. There was a grocery shop next to our house, owned by a Chinese, and someone kept knocking on door and asking for the firecrackers, even after midnight. Later, I was told that the noise was from a firecracker competition between two big bosses, whose shops were opposite each other. Both burned small rolls of firecrackers long before midnight. The noise attracted on-lookers, so both wanted to boast having the longer roll, and neither wanted to stop first. They continuously joined


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Opposite: Tet in Hanoi in the 20th century. A photo from the L'Indochine Profonde by J.P. Dannaud. Photo provided by Nguyen Anh Tuan. Below: Hoan Kiem Lake, 1959. Photo: Dao Trinh. Right: Ngoc Son Temple, Hoan Kiem Lake, a popular place for people to visit during Tet. A photo from the L'Indochine Profonde by J.P. Dannaud. Photo provided by Nguyen Anh Tuan

their rolls together, hoping the other would give up first. The more people came to watch, the more zealous they became, and they sent their servants to buy out all the firecrackers in town to continue the contest. The vying went on till late, although both sides ran out of firecrackers. Finally, they agreed to finish at the same time. Rumour had it that somebody told on them and the authorities had sent them a message, that at a certain time they had to stop the noise, or risk hefty fines for disturbing the public order. At that time, firecrackers were made of red paper and bead tree charcoal was used as explosive, so the smell was soft and pleasant. The pinkish wrapping was torn and

scattered evenly, like peach petals, announcing spring’s coming.n * Mr Duong Trung Quoc is a well-known historian based in Hanoi


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The Kitchen Gods return to the heavens By HuynH ngoc Trang*


n the 23rd day of the 12th lunar month [23 January, 2014], every household from North to South conducts a ritual to send off the Kitchen Gods to the Heavens. Only after that, on the 25th of the 12th lunar month, do the community houses, shrines, and temples perform a ritual to see other deities off on their return to the heavens. In former days, come the end of the year, people went out into the fields to dig up clay and mold it into three new Kitchen Gods that were then taken out to dry in preparation for the replacement of the three old Kitchen Gods. There are two ‘Kitchen Gentlemen Deities’ and one ‘Kitchen Mother’ (Ong Tao Cai) or ‘Kitchen Goddess’ (Ong Tao Chua). The latter’s special distinguishing feature is a one or two-centimetre deep sunken navel in the center, about one 12 • V I E T N A M

third of the way up from the bottom. The old Kitchen Gods set is taken out and left outside at the foot of a banyan tree beside the village shrine. They become ‘Kitchen Ghosts’, and now dwell together with lime jars, the bowels and mouths of which have been filled such that no more lime can be stuffed in any more (the lime is for eating with betel). Both of these two discarded items become sacred, and the world is graced with incense.

From legend to belief In Vietnam, the myth told about fire is a simple story that tells of an old man who serendipitously steals a bit of fire from the Fire Goddess (Ba Hoa). But when he took it home to use for cooking, he unintentionally set the house on fire. The people rushed to put out the flames, and the fire was completely extin-


guished, so humankind no longer had fire to use. The fire deity is seen as a vicious spirit that causes horrible conflagrations. The goddess is worshipped in shrines so that she does not cause fire disasters in the community. In contrast to the Fire Goddess, the God of the Hearth (Than Bep) or Lord of the Hearth (Tao Quan) is a fair and righteous god, whom custom holds is an auspicious spirit and protector of children and livestock. Legend also tells that in ancient times, there were a husband, Trong Cao, and his wife, Thi Nhi, who loved one another very much. Yet they Above: The three Kitchen Gods painting from collection of Henri Oger. Photo provided by Huynh Thanh Binh Opposite: Kitchen God painting of Dao people. The photo from the ‘Tranh Dao Giao O Bac Viet Nam’ by Phan Ngoc Khue, Fine Arts Publishing House, 2008. Photo provided by Huynh Thanh Binh

tet: the were saddened that, though they lived together for a long time, they had not had a child. Moreover, the husband often had an irate disposition. One day, in a fit of rage, the husband struck his wife. Thi Nhi, with sunken heart, abandoned the house and went to another land. There, she wed another husband, Pham Lang. The newlyweds were very happy. One day, Trong Cao, on the road to look for his wife, came and knocked on the door of Pham Lang’s house. At that time, Pham Lang had gone hunting. Thi Nhi recognized her former husband and received him warmly. Trong Cao, well fed and drunk, rolled over and fell asleep. At that moment, Pham Lang came home. Thi Nhi, not wanting her new husband to learn about her former life, immediately hid Trong Cao in a haystack outside in the garden. That day, Pham Lang had caught a big animal so, when he returned home, he threw the animal on the haystack and then set it on fire to parch the meat. The haystack flared up fervently for a while before Thi Nhi knew what had happened. In anguish, she jumped into the blazing fire. Pham Lang, unclear about what had happened, ultimately lost heart and he, too, cast himself to die beside Thi Nhi. The Jade Emperor (Ngoc Hoang), moved by the piteous scene, made them Kitchen Gods. Precisely because of this, the set of three Kitchen Gods includes one Goddess and two Gentlemen, and the image of the three Kitchen Gods likewise consists of a woman sitting in the center with two gentlemen sitting beside her. The book Gazetteer of Gia Dinh City (Gia Dinh thanh thong chi) recorded the custom of worshipping the Kitchen Gods in the lands of ancient Gia Dinh: ‘On the left and right, two male images are painted. In the middle, a female image is painted along with the symbol for the LyFire Trigram “☲”, which is represented by a central broken yin line between two solid yang lines.’ (1) This shows that, apparently, the legend of the Kitchen Gods (one goddess and two gentlemen deities) is a story that serves to interpret the origins of the three Kitchen Gods based on the Book of Changes (Yijing)’s concept of the Ly-Fire trigram with ‘one broken yin line between two solid yang lines.’ Actually, the legend of the three Kitchen


Gods, as well as the above erudite official interpretation, was not the decisive viewpoint in the belief-held minds of the communities in Gia Dinh, which now pertains to Saigon, and,

broadly speaking, all of the South. By contrast, later on, the Kitchen God was considered a deified human spirit. The Veritable Classic of the Lord of the Hearth (Tao quan chan kinh) holds that the Kitchen God was surnamed Truong and named Dan. He had the sobriquet Tu Quach. His wife was the ‘Woman of the

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Hearth’, Tao Lai Nu and he had two attendants, the Divine Mandarin of Fate of the Left (Ta Mang than quan, the recorder of merits) and the Divine Mandarin of Fate of the Right (Huu Mang than quan, the recorder of sins) (2). The Narrative Song of Tao Quan (Tao quan dien ca) also says that the Lord of the Hearth was surnamed Truong (3). According to Le Van Phat, the Kitchen God’s name was Truong Thien Tao (Chinese: Zhang Shanzao), who was a (Chinese) Song Dynasty judge responsible for overseeing and deciding the mitigation of criminal offenses. After he died, the Jade Emperor (Ngoc Hoang) recalled his meritoriousness and invested him with the office of overseeing the affairs of the people of the world and annually reporting to the Jade Emperor, so that the latter could reward merit and punish sin for those in the human world accurately and fairly. The Kitchen God Truong Thien Tao had two subordinates: Warrior Hong (Chinese: Hong), who was originally a robber whom Tao had subdued, and Judge Ta (Chinese: Xie), who was concerned with retaining the registers that record the merits and sins of mankind (4). Also according to Le Van Phat, for the reason that the name Truong Thien Tao is homonymous with that of the Kitchen God, the two were conflated (‘Tao’ or ‘Zao’ in Chinese means ‘Hearth’ or ‘Kitchen’). Through factual observation, we see that 1) the Kitchen God bears the title Dong Tru Tu Menh Tao Phu Than Quan (‘Fate Arbitrating Divine Lord of the Eastern Kitchen Bureau of the Hearth’) and is worshipped beneath the kitchen stove, and 2) the Kitchen God is usually designated with the name Dinh Phuc Tao quan (‘Pacific Kitchen Lord of Good Fortune’) and worshipped at the minor altar immediately above the ancestral altar, up between the rafters of the house. Therefore, among the common people, two kinds of Kitchen God are distinguished: one who looks after the affairs of the kitchen and one who is concerned with overseeing merits and demerits to be reported to heaven. The worship of the Kitchen God prevalently entails votive tablets written in Chinese characters, ‘Dong Tru Tu Menh Tao Phu Than Quan’ (‘Fate Arbitrating Divine Lord of the Eastern Kitchen Bureau of the Hearth’), or


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‘Dinh Phuc Tao Quan’ (‘Pacific Kitchen Lord of Good Fortune’). Besides the votive tablet is a picture of the ‘Kitchen God,’ which is painted on glass. This kind of picture is multiform in style, depiction, adornment, and colour. However, all such pictures depict the Kitchen God clad in a mandarin’s garb and with two subordinates on either side of him, one of which is a martial general clutching a cudgel and one of which is a literatus official embracing a bag that contains an [official] seal. This painting’s content differs from the depiction of the One Goddess and Two Gentlemen Deities and those of Sinh Village in Hue.

12th lunar month, people pray to welcome back the Kitchen God on his return to the family. The offerings for the Kitchen God are normally lanterns, tea, fruit, confectionaries, and bean compote. In the South, sweet candies are prevalent. Many people who are scrupulous in making oblations to send off the Kitchen God use things that are entirely vegetarian, essentially so that he will be purified and will not dare to speak ill of the head of the household. One obligatory offering that is made is a vehicle of transportation for the Kitchen God. Up in the North, carp are offered: The carp traverses the river, goes through Rain Gate, and becomes a dragon to carry the Kitchen God to heaven! In The Kitchen God returns to the South, prevalent is a set of offerheaven ings printed on paper in the form of According to Dang Huy Tru, a stallion and a crane with spread ‘The Kitchen Gods in the Heavens wings (on the road, the Kitchen God are stars that assist the Five Emperrides a horse, but once up in heaven, ors, who are credited with teaching he rides on the back of a crane). The the people how to fish, raise livewood-carved picture ‘Flying Crane, stock, cultivate agriculture, and Galloping Horse’ is a variation of the cure diseases. Beneath the earth are A Dong Ho painting featuring a child hugging a carp which traverses the river, Daoist ritual of releasing horses and deities that watch over the destinies goes through Rain Gate, and becomes a dragon to carry cranes (i.e. burning votive paper imof all people. That the Kitchen God the Kitchen God to heaven. Photo: Nguyen Ba Ngoc ages of horses and cranes) and a simiwas born on the 3rd day of the 8th month is still recorded in the book Luc tang ton soot from the Kitchen God with which to mark larly prevalent ritual in Buddhism, in which they kinh (‘Sutra of the Six Underworld Venerable a cross on the children’s forehead, or they are messengers that carry petitions to the abodes Ones’). The Kitchen God concentrates on jot- smeared soot from the Kitchen God on their of the myriad Buddhas in all directions and to ting down the good and evil in the human foreheads, essentially so that the children would the Underworld and the Dragon Palace beneath world and, on the last day of every month and be rendered ‘ugly.’ This they viewed as guaran- the sea. Another indispensable oblation is new clothes (made of paper) so that the Kitchen God the 24th day of the 12th lunar month, takes the teeing the children’s safety. affairs of the mundane world up to report to the When people bought a dog or cat to take will be smartly and neatly dressed when he atCelestial Yamen in order to determine disaster home and raise, the first matter of business was tends court for an audience with the Jade Emand felicity.’ to make the animal prostrate before the peror. Peculiarly, this set of clothes consists only The Kitchen God, generally speaking, be- Kitchen God. People plucked a little fur from of the upper garment. To this day, the creed from which this pesides his function as the ears and eyes in the the animal’s feet and tail and stuffed it under mortal world for the Jade Emperor, is the Fate- the Kitchen God’s rear, essentially as a magical culiar affair derives cannot be traced. The thing arbitrating God of the household, who stands means of keeping the raised animal from get- is that there are places in which the Kitchen foremost before the five household deities (Ngu ting sick, wandering off and disappearing, and, God receives a new cap and shoes. The cap is a Tu) of the Kitchen (Tao), Well (Tinh), Gate if it did get lost, to always come home to its ‘dragonfly-winged cap’, like that of an Nguyen Dynasty mandarin, and the black shoes resem(Mon), Home (Ho), and Domestic Space (Trung master. Luu). He is referred to as the ‘First among Lords’ People truly believe that the Kitchen God ble the mandarin’s boots. In the old ritual, the (De nhat chi chu). Among common folk, the begins his journey to attend the celestial audi- cap and boots were replaced yearly with new Kitchen God’s functions include protecting chil- ence at midnight on the night of the 23rd or at ones. The old cap and boots were taken to be dren and livestock. For this reason, formerly, daybreak on the 24th of the 12th lunar month, burned to send off the Kitchen God. These obparents often customarily consigned their three, so the ritual to send him off is usually held early jects are still produced and sold today. There are two old customs that seem to six, nine, and even twelve-year old children to on the 23rd. the Kitchen God by selling them off to him. At the end of the month, business up in the contradict one another; one is the custom of When they went out on the road, they scrapped heavens is finished. Thus, on the last day of the maintaining the sacred flame by banking with 14 • V I E T N A M


advertoriaL rice husks so that the fire does not die out, and the second is the ritual of creating a new fire by replacing the three Kitchen Earth/Hearth Gods every year. The ritual of new fire in Catholicism, conducted on Easter night, and that of Shinto (Japan) corresponds to the New Year ritual. These two datum show that the Vietnamese custom of replacing the three Kitchen Gods with new ones every year implies that the significance of the ritual is purification and regeneration. Broadly speaking, Tet is a new year, a new fortune, a new cycle, and a new flame. The Kitchen God is seen as the spirit at the head of other deities worshipped in the household and he is deferentially referred to as the ‘Foremost Lord of the Household.’ This is because the kitchen stove possesses a special and important role in relation to mankind. Just look at the position of the kitchen in the Highland ethnicities’ long rows of houses or in the homes of the ethnicities in the Northern mountainous regions and it will be clear just how significant it is. The kitchen stove symbolizes life together, the family’s warm roof, the relationship between men and women, love, cooperation, and sustenance of the fire. The kitchen stove is like the sun: it brings people close together and gathers them around because of its warmth, heat, and light. In other respects, the kitchen is the place where food is cooked, so it is the center of life; it is from the kitchen that life is granted. Precisely because of this, the kitchen is revered by nearly all ethnicities. The kitchen was the first ‘worship hall’ of humanity. There, people prayed for God’s and the ancestors’ protection. It was a place of worship; the fire blazed like a hallowed gateway for humans in the world of dust to the sacred realms high above. With the passage of time, the Kitchen God was apotheosized as the King of the Hearth.n *Huynh Ngoc Trang is a cultural researcher based in Ho Chi Minh City. (1) Trinh Hoai Duc, Gia Dinh thanh thong chi (Gazetteer of Gia Dinh City), translation by Tu-Trai (Nguyen Tao), Saigon, 1972, last volume, page 4. (2) Tao quan chan kinh. Imp. De l’Union, Saigon, 1953. (3) See Tran Van Toan, ‘Data on Folk Religion.’ Tap chi Dai hoc (Collegiate Journal), no. 40, 8-1964, pages 579-583. (4) Le Van Phat, La vie intime d’un annamite de Cochinchine et ses croyances vulgaires, Imp. F.H. Schneider, Saigon, 1907, pages 7-8, 11.


Chef Martin Yan.

Photo: Windsor Plaza Hotel

Celebrity chef points to the heart and to the stomach By PiP de rouvray


t lunchtime on the 17th of December, 2013 at the Ngan Dinh Cantonese Restaurant of the Windsor Plaza Hotel in Ho Chi Minh City's Chinatown, a small group of Vietnamese journalists and I were treated to a culinary presentation which both revealed secrets of the Chinese chef and involved considerable audience participation. The presenter was none other than celebrity chef Martin Yan, who is an honorary culinary ambassador for the hotel. Martin, who has a show called ‘A Taste of Vietnam’, makes a point of visiting Vietnam from his California base several times a year. Not only did his enthusiasm for his home country's dishes become apparent, but his eagerness to learn more about Vietnamese food and his fascination for this country’s culture in general beamed through in his conversation. I had thought that cleavers were only for chopping up meat or for wielding when someone had riled the chef. Martin, however, showed us how to use it to cut up vegetables very thinly - ‘a la julienne’, as the western term has it. He cut them once then once again and then again and again. ‘Think we can't get any thinner?’ he asked. ‘Think again and watch!’ If we had had a micrometer on hand to measure the veggie thickness, Martin might

have made the Guinness Book of Records. The whole group sat down at one table to enjoy some Chinese dishes. As you can imagine, being a TV chef, Martin has the gift of the gab. He also knows his stuff, holding a Masters in Food Science from an American University. He had many questions for me about my life in Vietnam, as I was the only non-Vietnamese present and also the only man in the party. I, for my part, have to admit that I had never heard of him before that day. A slice of Aussie beef with mustard was one dish on the table. We both remarked that it was strange that mustard was not part of Vietnamese cuisine. ‘They do eat the leaves but not the seeds,’ I was able to inform him. Martin Yan is a man with an intense passion for his work. He also has a passion for Vietnam. Watch out for him here in 2014. He is a great chef, a great showman and also an excellent dining companion. If you cannot actually meet him, I recommend you try the cuisine of his original homeland, of which he is a great promoter and teacher and there can be no better place in town to do so than at the Windsor Plaza Hotel.n

Windsor Plaza Hotel 18 An Duong Vuong St, Dist.5, Ho Chi Minh City. Tel: (08) 3833-6688


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A day of miracles By NguyeN QuaNg Thieu*


he final day of a year gone by — to me, that is the most special day; it is even more special than the first day of the year. On that day, all Vietnamese people, regardless of where they are and what they are doing, find a way to return to their ancestral homeland. And if they cannot go back, then in their hearts, they trace the road home in their memories. Ever since I was young, I had to live far away from home, and, whenever the days approaching Tet drew near, my heart reverberated in a strange emotive voice. The sound stirred my spirit and memory and became strangely immaculate. It often roused me from sleep at night as if I were an insomniac old man. Everyone who works or lives far from their ancestral land lies awake, anxious to return to their native land for Tet, and every such person 16 • V I E T N A M

frequently reminds themselves, ‘I must return in time for the eve of Tet.’ The ‘thirtieth on the eve of Tet’ is a manner of speaking that indicates the final days of a year gone by. The final days can be the 29th, the 30th and another day during the twelfth lunar month. It all depends on each year’s calendar. But that is not the important thing. The most important thing is that the last day evidently has a beckoning — a beckoning of what, no one can clearly determine. Perhaps it is the beckoning of reminiscence, of our umbilical cords, which our grandmothers buried in the garden in our paternal homeland when we were born, of days of puerility, of the firewood stove, and of gardens in the yellow bloom of rapeseed flowers. It resembles water’s beckoning of fish, forests’ beckoning of wild animals, and the horizon’s beckoning to the clouds. We search all means to return home, even if we only return


in nostalgic yearning. If someone were not to have a moment in which to turn around and look back towards their ancestral village on those days, then such a person would not know to where they would cast their gaze. During the last days of a year gone by, not only do people in the family await the return of family members who have travelled afar, but my fellow villagers, too, look forward to the return of all native villagers who have gone afar. Those final days often seem like a miraculous occurrence. There are those who have lived in distant lands all their lives, yet suddenly come back all gray-haired. Whenever a child who has gone far away like that comes home, the entire village knows about it. Thus, that person becomes the focal character in the village during those sacred and warm days. Truly, whenever a person who has left the village for too long then returns, the whole village celebrates as if that person had died and now suddenly comes back to

tet: the life. My mother usually cooked banh chung (square glutinous rice cakes) on the last day of the year, and at times, sitting by the pot for the cakes, she would count up and see how many villagers in distant lands had returned that year. In whichever years many people like that return to the native village to celebrate Tet, my village folk are elated, as if those people are bestowed by Heaven. Such happiness I only understood once my head of hair was specked grey. Some people leave the village to foreign lands in search of a livelihood for half a century before returning. Coming back to the head of the village, they drop down and cry. Whoever in the village sees them cries as well. Such weeping is a great happiness that some people in their entire lives never get to enjoy. Because some people leave the village without ever sending any bit of news, they might possibly have died. However, there are many who have not died, but are unable to come home. I have a relative who is currently still living in Danang. He served in the French army and went to the South in 1954. After 1975 [when the Vietnam War ended], his relatives hoped that he would return home, but he never came back. I sought him out for a visit when I went to Danang on business. I asked him why he never went back home even once. He broke down wailing like a little child and said, ‘It’s impossible for me to return home. I won’t be able to return until I’m dead.’ He didn’t explain to me why, but I could understand even if only vaguely. There are also those who do not return home until the end of their lives. They are overjoyed like a child and go visit the whole village. After that, they lie down to sleep, never to again awaken in all eternity. They are the blessed ones. They were able to return to peacefully lie in rest for thousands of generations in their ancestral land. Do you believe that miracles still happen in life? I have complete faith in them. The last day of a year gone by is a day of miracles. One of the miracles on this day is that it can bring all deceased people back to life. In what places such miracles occur, I do not know. However, miracles do take place in my home village. Whenever the afternoon rolls around on the last day of the year, villagers carry incense out to pay respects to their dead relatives. They invite the departed back into their homes to celebrate Tet. On that day, immediately after lunch, my father would remind me to guide my children and grandchildren out to invite my family’s departed relatives home to celebrate Tet. My siblings, along with our


children, get neatly dressed and eagerly go into the fields at the village’s end. On the afternoon of that day, everything is reserved for two tasks: inviting the deceased back home to celebrate Tet and preparing the New Year’s Eve meal offering. On the way out to the graveyard, the villagers who meet one another all ask the question, ‘So you’re out to invite the “elders” back to celebrate Tet?’ If someone, due to some matter of business, goes out to the graveyard late, then other people ask, ‘Why are you out inviting the “elders” home to celebrate Tet so late?’ The word ‘elders’ here means all of the departed. Going out to the cemetery to invite the departed back home to celebrate Tet is just like coming to the district bus station to greet family members who have gone afar on their return. When my children and grandchildren were still little, I took them out to visit the graves for the first time and told them to invite the ancestors home to celebrate Tet. My son asked me how people who were already dead could come back to life and return home. He questioned with the fear of a child who heard of a graveyard ghost story at least once. However, coming up to the present when my son is 22 years old, he still believes in them just as I do, not because he believes them as if he takes faith in fabulous stories, but rather because something truly holy, truly intimate, and truly easeful has been gently laid upon his soul. The whole village graveyard, on the last afternoon of a bygone year, bustles with people coming and going. They light incense, fold their hands in worship and pray, inviting the deceased to come home early in time to partake of the New Year’s Eve meal along with their living relatives. And every time, I see the departed in fine scarves and dress speaking and laughing happily and urging one another to return home early. Many times when I sit to ponder, I wonder whether or not I really see with my own eyes the departed on the last afternoon of the year and

new Year

whether I just hallucinate or imagine it. But regardless of what it may be, in my heart, I have truly met all my village’s departed souls again, since, at such times, a dear, warm feeling overwhelms me. And throughout the afternoon on the last day of the year, all the way up to the last minute of New Year’s Eve, in my mind constantly echo the sounds of the inquisitive greetings, laughter and gossip of the departed. On that day, I never harbour in my heart any trace of lamentation towards my departed relatives, including those who passed away when still very young. Precisely thus do I see them still living in full. And that feeling is only on the final day of a year. Is that a miracle? It is completely a miracle.n *Mr Nguyen Quang Thieu is a well-known writer and based in Hanoi Opposite, top: Mien Tay Bus Station, Ho Chi Minh City, where tens of thousands of people depart for their hometown for Tet every year. Photo: Pham Duc Long. Opposite, below: Worshipping on New Year’s Eve. Photo: Nguyen Ba Ngoc. Above: Duong Lam Village, Son Tay District, Hanoi. Photo: Nguyen Anh Tuan


• 17

tet: the


new Year

Ox and buffalo show By Chu hien

tet: the


new Year

Left: A seed-sowing act. Photo: Vu Duc Hai. Top: Incense offering to start the festival. Below: Straw buffaloes and cows and farm tools used for the festival. Opposite, left: A man in woman disguise plays an act of ploughing. Opposite, right: Two men in woman disguise play a seed-sowing act. Photos: Chu Hien


he straw buffalo and thatch ox show is an ancient tradition at Dai Dong Commune, Vinh Tuong District, Vinh Phuc Province, near Hanoi. Taking place at a site in the Red River delta, the tradition has been cultivated for thousands of years. Every 4th day of the lunar New Year [3 February, 2014], the two villages Bich Dai and Dong Ve organize this show to pray for a year of favourable weather, a good harvest, and healthy and multiplying cattle.

Both villages worship Dinh Thien Tich, a hero who drove out the Chinese An invaders during the reign of King Hung the 6th. Legend has it that after having vanquished the An, he took his soldiers back to the village to slaughter buffalos to celebrate. Granting the villagers’ wish for the village to ‘become more and more populous and wealthy’, the general invented a ritual in which everybody dressed in red and blue, men in female dress, women in male dress, carrying ploughs and straw buffalos and baskets of rice to throw around

the fields, which then became the all-out-to-the fields festival. Bich Dai villagers built a communal house to worship Dinh Thien Tich, and the straw buffalo procession, well and alive today, became the cultural signature of the site. During the festival, beside the straw buffalo show, there is also a show of four trades with the characters of a farmer, a scholar, a craftsman and a trader, that represent the four castes in the old Vietnamese society, together with a palanquin procession and a silkworm cocoon procession.n


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tet: the


new Year

Photo: Tran Nguyen Anh

Photo: Pham Duc Long

A year, sharpened By Tran nguyen anh


he days before Tet (the lunar New Year) is the earning season for those who sell and sharpen knives in Ho Chi Minh City. The knife business is bustling on roadsides and in the markets. Ms Loan at Hoa Hung market said that she always prepares for Tet with a few new knives. ‘Everything goes smoothly if the knives are sharp. Otherwise the whole year will be a mess’. She added that, for those women who have so much to do in the kitchen this time of the year, ‘Heavy blunt knives can’t chop. Light blunt ones are even worse.’ Ms Loan said that she often buys knives made by a traditional blacksmith, but most people now only use factory-made knives, sold in the supermarkets. The knives in the supermarkets may cost from a few hundred thousand to a few million dongs, but the ones made by blacksmiths cost only around thirty thousand dongs a piece. Trieu Quang Phuc Street in District 5 is a whetting street. Phong, a whetter with over 10 years of experience, said, ‘There are about 30 shops here, four of which belong to Vietnamese households, the rest are Chinese.’ Every Tet, people bring whole sets of knives and scissors for us to sharpen. Good knives can last long if whetted properly. ‘Whetting a knife costs from ten to fifty thousand.’ Phong’s whetstone was ordered from the US. During this 20 • V I E T N A M

busy time, the customers may have to wait a day or two to get their knives back. The betel nut-cutting or morning glory-splitting knives are tiny, while the medicine and bone-chopping ones are big. Each household has a set of five to seven pieces. ‘Each kind of knife requires a different whetting technique, or you may destroy them,’ Phong said. Beside the knife street, there are also mobile whetters. Mr Lam Binh, a disabled man, moves around markets to earn his living. His price is cheap-as low as three thousand. He said, ‘The industry-made knives from the supermarkets are very hard and can only be machine-ground.’ He has a gas-fuelled motor attached to the back of his motorcycle for this purpose. ‘In this season, I do a hundred knives a day. That’s some money to send to my wife and kids.’ Mr Binh comes from Quang Ngai, South Central Vietnam. He’s been working away from home for years. Many whetters from his village, often relatives, move to the city to whet and earn a living. Mr Binh said, ‘Whetters come more and more each day. To avoid conflict, we sometimes have to move away from usual places.’ He used to whet in Hoa Hung market, but now he moves around, stopping here and there just for a while. As Tet approaches, whetters from the provinces pour into the city. Thong, a knife master from the Mekong Delta, also joined the army of tramping whetters. He said, ‘I brought with


me good knives for clearing the jungle; each is worth over four hundred thousand, but nobody buys them here.’ Thong also said that sometimes pugnacious kids asked him for machetes and swords. ‘We come here to earn only when there is no farming work, before New Year. We really don’t know where those weapons are being sold.’ All the whetters think that the traditional knives are better than the factory- made ones. Phong said, ‘Many industrial knives that flood the market imitate Japanese goods. But while the Japanese knives are sharp and durable, these ones quickly get blunt, yet are hard to whet!’ However, a set of real Japanese knives costs over ten million, so most of people still use the fakes. Mr Lam Binh thinks that factory-made knives are tempered whole, so they are hard. The traditional blacksmiths only temper the sharp edge. When the knife goes dull, they heat it and whet it again. The whetters also complain that the oldfashioned knives have good steel, but ‘they are poor in design and the handle is often loose.’ Nowadays, only the big knives for bone chopping, made in the traditional way, prevail in the market. Mr Lam Binh still prefers the Vietnamese knives, because they are made by Vietnamese. He sighs, ‘These days, eight out of ten knives I whet are foreign made.’n


Photos provided by Nguyen Huy Khoi

Abstract art presents physical and musical movement By PiP de RouvRay


ight Gallery’ in Ho Chi Minh City derives its name from its location at number 8 Phung Khoac Khoan Street. With its parquet flooring, tasteful modern furnishing and excellent lighting, not to mention temperature and humidity control systems, it is an excellent hall in which to view paintings. The exhibition I went along to see the other day matches the quality of the venue. I was accompanied by the Editor-in-Chief of this magazine, Mrs Le Thanh Hai, who is already a proud owner of one of the exhibitor's works. The quiet, unassuming artist himself was there to greet us and talk about his work. His name is Nguyen Huy Khoi. This is his first solo exhibition, although he has participated in many group shows. The collection of some thirty works are all abstract and their qualities, I felt, are aptly summed up by a quote from the preface on display at a central table in the hall by the famous art critic Mr Nguyen Quan ‘persis22 • V I E T N A M

tent, pure and peculiar’ (in the sense of unique). The first thing I noticed as I entered the gallery was that the artist uses colour very well. Each frame explores shades of a particular colour and this leaves an emotional effect on the viewer. I was struck by the metallic silver, greys and black of a large frame by the entrance. The whole picture reminded me of the beauty of smoke and whilst this is definitely abstract, I discerned the murky shadow of a figure among the fumes. When I asked Mrs Hai which pictures she would most like to own, she first mentioned one with the metallic quality, which, as the artist explained, comes from the use of acrylic. Some works, however, use water colour and indeed, there is a not for sale series of water colours on show that date back twenty years to the artist's early period. Instead of canvass, most of the paintings are on rice paper. Secondly, there is in Mr Khoi’s art close juxtaposition of the curve and the straight line. El-


ements of each picture seem linked together and at times even intertwined. The effect is to have your eyes moving back and forth, up and down the frame. These are two-dimensional compositions, but the effect on the mind is almost that of watching dance. This, at least, was my personal experience; to quote Mr Quan again, ‘do not ask, experience.’ The artist received seven years' training in Moscow, coming away with a Master's degree from The V. I. Surikov Moscow State Academy of Art. He is not simply a talented artist, but also a trained one. He passes on this academic training by teaching drawing at University level. The other string to his bow, he told me, is that he is also an illustrator of books. I asked Mr Khoi what influences from his time in Russia can be seen in his work. He turned to one picture and mentioned he loved the fresco paintings of Russian Orthodox churches. Looking at this painting and the


freshness of its colours, I could see his point. The other strong influence is in what can be brought from classical music to this kind of art; after all, both are abstract, both about the emotions. Mr Khoi typically paints diptychs and triptychs. That is to say, in pairs and groupings of three. In his duos, one picture will have one effect on you, while its slightly different partner will give another. In the triptychs, the middle one is larger. It reflects the structure of a classical concerto, which comes in movements of allegro, andante, and rondo. Mr Khoi aims at making you feel joyful looking at the first frame, more sombre and reflective in the second and the last picture, the ‘rondo’ is meant to be fast and furious. Mr Khoi also explained he learned a certain connection between brush stokes and musical notes from the Russians. Just because something is described as abstract it does not mean to say one can not imagine real figures. Indeed, many who do not understand abstract art might be seeking this out. Both imagination and coincidence play a part here. I liken this to maps which are abstract things formed maybe by nature as in coastlines and islands, but largely by humans drawing lines. One can, however, imagine objects in maps. The map of China together with Korea, for example, looks

to me like a big chicken. I stood with the artist watching a slide show on a computer of some of his works not in this exhibition. ‘Oh’, I said, ‘I can see a dog here and a sheep there.’ Mr Khoi seemed quite taken aback. This had clearly not been his intention. Abstract art is there to be experienced and experience will give arise to thoughts which can not be a bad thing. Mrs Hai too had thought deeply (indeed more than I). Looking at a triptych, she saw an allegory of love. The first one on the left reminded her of the joy of first meeting. The large one in the middle the getting to know someone period and the last one corresponding to the rondo of a concerto-well, we all know how relationships can be fast and furious! I asked Mr Khoi if he has exhibited outside of Vietnam. Surprisingly, the answer was in the negative. I had also previously asked him what were his interests outside of art and he had said travel. I told him people in my country would love to see his work and perhaps would be a little surprised to see paintings of such quality in a genre of art they normally think of as being only Western. So if there is anyone in the British Council offices, from which it is only a short walk to the exhibition, reading this, please get along to the exhibition to judge for yourself.

Entrance to the exhibition is entirely free, but, of course, the artist would be delighted if you liked his work enough to buy some of it. Prices range from five hundred to three thousand nine hundred dollars per piece. Of course you would have to buy some in pairs or threes. I am not sure, but I do not believe Mr Khoi does ‘buy two get one free’. I hope this article will inspire some of you to visit the exhibition. It is on until 8 February. It is being held at a very accessible location, which is only around a dollar’s taxi drive from the downtown hotels. I wonder what feelings and musings it will instil in you? If you are unable to attend, I hope I have contributed to arousing some interest in the vibrancy of today's art scene in Vietnam and in particular in this one artist. Mr Khoi is a modest, quiet unassuming gentleman with a great passion for his work. He may have an exhibition, but he is not an exhibitionist, which is how some artists achieve fame. I am proud and honoured to be able to blow his trumpet! Nguyen Huy Khoi's solo exhibition is being held until 8 February, 2014 at Eight Gallery, Lafayette Building, 8 Phung Khoac Khoan Street, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City. Tel: (08) 3824-8490n


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Sacred mountain offers mediation in luxury By PiP de RouvRay


hat exactly is a mountain? At what altitude does the difference between a hill and a mountain begin? Nobody would say there are mountains around London. The highest point, Leith Hill, at 294 metres, is definitely not a mountain. Yet the sacred limestone outcrop of Nui Sam, a centre of Buddhist pilgrimage six kilometres to the west of Chau Doc town, at only 241 metres above sea level, is called a mountain. Rising abruptly from the pancake-flat terrain of the Mekong Delta, hard fast on the Cambodia-Vietnam border, I believe it is justly called a mountain. From its summit, which I visited in 2001, there are spectacular views over Cambodia, and the piece of Vietnamese territory that juts into that land. At that time, I saw a billboard announcing the impending opening of The Victoria Nui Sam Hotel. Then, recently, I received an invitation for the opening of The Victoria Nui Sam Lodge on 19 October 2013. What on earth was going on? 24 • V I E T N A M

I was taken by coach with a party of writers and photographers to Chau Doc. Some people complain about the remoteness of this area. Others see it as part of the charm. It does take around six hours to get there from Saigon by road, but there are rumours a regional airport to be located some fifty kilometres from town. You may wish to stay in town before or after venturing out to the mountain and there is a Victoria Chau Doc Hotel right on the riverside. The place is a pleasant country-a Mekong market town. You can enjoy a trip on the river to see the houseboats, which inside have an area cut out for fishing (some families rarely come ashore) and a nearby ferry can take you to see a Muslim Cham village. Once we reached the foot of the mountain, we were transferred to minibuses. The serpentine country road to the lodge is too narrow for wide-bodied vehicles. The road ends at the lodge. It is a further twenty-five or more metres along a trail to the summit. You can see a castle-


like structure from the lodge and indeed, this being a border area, there is a military presence. The soldiers are quite used to hikers and pilgrims and aside from maybe trying to cadge cigarettes, will not bother you. But, if you are reasonably fit, you should walk up the mountain at least once. There a couple of large, oft-frequented pagodas at the base of the mountain, in the village. This is a major centre of Buddhist pilgrimage and the Vietnamese come from far and wide. It is also very favoured by the Chinese and their architecture is widely evident here. There are marked trails and it will probably take you half an hour to the top, even counting stops to see the some of the many small pagodas and pavilions dotting the slopes, which are randomly strewn with large boulders. There is a particularly interesting Bud-

dha statue in a cavern. Then, you also may come across plaster statues of rhinos, zebras and, near the top, one of a dinosaur as well. You might imagine Disney got his inspiration from here! In addition you may be hailed by vendors out to sell you bottled water, sunglasses, hats or other perceived needs. Our coach arrived just as a colourful lion dance, with all the usual accompanying cacophony, was in full swing. This tradition, used to invoke good augur for new enterprises, is, of course, taken lock, stock and barrel from China. I am always amazed that with all that jumping up and down in costume and in tandem on tables and chairs nobody does him/herself serious injury. I got engaged in conversation with a young Frenchman who told me he was the lodge’s designer and this was the culmination of ten months hard renovation work. Hoping that, as a writer, I could shed some light, he asked me, ‘Do you know why the building was left to rack and ruin for ten years? Your guess is as good as mine,’ I replied. Later I was offered the explanation, ‘They decided they did not need another four-star in Chau Doc’, given by someone official. Now you do not spend a million dollars on a luxury building and then do your marketing and feasibility studies afterwards. It is an imponderable, but I would guess someone's need or greed was not being satisfied. Anyhow the spankingly bright good-as-new lodge has had a fairy tale ending-or should that be beginning? We were led into the reception area, which with its pastel colours, departs from the Victoria Hotels tradition of recreating the French colonial area. A huge Khmer bust (there is another in front of the swimming pool) reminds you that you are not so far from Angkor Wat. We were seated and shown a remarkable video. The first scenes were of how decrepit and decaying the

buildings had been left. There were desolate guest rooms with mildewed walls and totally unserviceable bathrooms. The bridge way to the belvedere and tower was so dilapidated that it was cordoned off for safety. We next saw scenes of the renovation and then the newly transformed lodge. Now, before having lunch, we received confirmation that there is indeed no such thing as a free lunch. Madame Pasquale, the General Manageress, announced we were all to be formed into colour-coded work gangs and asked to plant a tree. ‘Furthermore, we have a little ruse,’ she announced. ‘You are all requested to write your name on a tag and attach it to the tree.’ ‘The tree is your responsibility and you will have to come back every year to check on its progress’. Some were given acacias to plant. I got a green bamboo tree, which I learned was ‘truc’ in Vietnamese. I had previously only known this word as a girl’s name. On it was to view the rooms. This is a small hotel, a boutique, as they like to say, with only twenty-six rooms. As you would expect, they are all luxurious and well-appointed and have the added bonus of each having a terrace long enough to set up a game of nine pins. The scenery from here is nothing short of ‘wow’, creating a great place to finish off reading ‘War and Peace’, do your meditation or sip away on your sun downer. Not only that, but for but the stargazers among you, come nightfall, you will have your own personal astronomic observatory. I am told the sunrise is also spectacular here. Please ensure a pre-dawn wake up call for at least one day of your stay. We were invited to see it, but being billeted in the Chau Doc Victoria and what with all the wining and dining, I decided it unwise to burn the candle both ends-next time! The rooms of the lodge are bungalow style


Photos: Victoria Nui Sam Lodge


and arranged terrace-style, so as to ensure a perfect view for every one. There is a very steep staircase leading down to the pool. If you have ever climbed the stairs of Angkor Wat, you will know where they got their inspiration. This, of course, as Mme Pasquale admitted, makes it a difficult place for the disabled. If you are not so active, do not hesitate to come here, though, for the views and to enjoy a meal in the reception cum dining area. The spacious swimming pool itself reaches to the edge of the cliffs, so it appears to be a natural infinity pool. What a great place too cool off, relax or meditate and perhaps enjoy a cocktail. The staff was put to the test by attending to us at the Vietnamese evening meal. Some of the trainees also performed in the soiree’s performance. A team of young local karate exponents put on an animated display. There was Arab dancing with Moroccan-style costumes. Only the fact that men and women were dancing together was unrealistic. The minority folk were not left out and we were given a taste of their dancing styles too. It may be of interest to know that the peace and calm of Nui Sam is not just for Buddhists. It is there to renovate your spirit, just as the Bassac River is there to be enjoyed, not just by the houseboat folk and the charming town of Chau Doc is there to be experienced, not just by its melange of Vietnamese Khmer and Cham inhabitants.n

Victoria Nui Sam Lodge Vinh Dong 1, Nui Sam, Chau Doc, An Giang Province. Tel: (076) 3575-888 JANUARY-FEBRUARY 2014 - VIETNAM HERITAGE

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A peak experience at Muong Thanh Sapa Hotel By Nathalie SokolovSkaya

26 • V I E T N A M

Sapa, 2013. Photo: Robert Morehead one that formed an impressive 10-centimetre layer on 15 December 2013. This most recent sensation appeared in breaking news of Vietnam and was a widely discussed topic and a boast, both in northern and southern Vietnam, for the whole week that followed. On my arrival to Sapa to the four-star Mường Thanh Sapa Hotel at New Year’s Eve in the early morning, it was so absolutely freezing that it was hard to believe I actually was not in Siberia. I had the luck to behold the peaks of mighty Hoang Lien Son mountain chain spotted with snow. The early morning in this small hill station boasted mountain air so crystal clear and fresh that one could almost hear it ringing and clinking, the kind of sensation the famous Masuo Basho might have felt while writing his sparkling hokku;


‘The wind from mountain Fuji/ If only I could bring you on my fan down to Edo/as the most precious gift.’ The Deluxe Room I’ve been booked in turned out to be rather impressive, with lots of space, a light palette of modern furnishings and a charming view of the small lake in the heart of Sapa. But the biggest pleasant surprise was the electric fireplace, an amazingly realistic imitation of a real one full of burning and gleaming wood waiting in the corner of the room. It eventually metamorphosed into a totem creature for me to contemplate after long hours of trekking and hiking, to bend the knee to and say prayers of sincere gratitude for sharing warmth during the cold spell of next few days. Its gleaming and beaming image has highlighted my stay in frosty Sapa just on par with unforgettable treks to ethnic minority villages and wanderings through moonlike landscaped rice terraces. Mường Thanh Sapa Hotel belongs to a local chain of nearly 30 hotel projects in Vietnam, 19 of them are in operation, from Sapa, Dien Bien Phu and Halong in the north to Vung Tau in the south, all of them being under Vietnamese management. A focus on Vietnamese culture

Photo: Mường Thanh Sapa Hotel


he northern region of Vietnam, bordering China, is an amazing mountainous land with natural beauty almost untouched, grand vistas, immense, glistering mirrors of rice paddies filled with water and wind made of pinewood smoke, a mix of herbs, indigo and juicy forest leaves. The land of dense fog turns each close corner of snaky mountain road into the edge or the end of the universe. This mysterious land is inhabited mainly by Hmong and Red Dao hill tribes, known as tireless walkers, mighty sorcerers and most hospitable people. An amazing adventure of travel to the northern highlands to the small high-hill station of Sapa, founded by the French in the beginning of the last century, starts right from the Hanoi railway station. One can choose from a rich variety of trains, ranging from the luxurious Victoria Express, fine Livitrans and Tulico, to the most unpretentious car one can imagine, with small plastic stools instead of traditional seats, for some $4, reserved for the most fearless and reckless travellers in search of an unforgettable experience. The train arrives to its final station, Lao Cai, at 5 a.m. and spits out the flow of passengers, a good half of which are immediately seized by mini-bus drivers. The bus departs almost immediately. In ten minutes, it starts the climb up to Sapa along a serpentine road. The morning mountainous air dashes through open windows like luxuriously served breakfast. Sapa, our final destination, placed its auberge at the feet of Fansipan, a splendid peak of the Hoang Lien Son mountain chain. Fansipan, with its height of 3,143m, is the roof of Indochina and the only snowy (and then only occasionally) peak in tropical Vietnam. However, each year of the last three, Sapa has had several snowfalls, with a particularly heavy

and authentic local traditions, together with an aspiration to bring guests as close to the real spirit and inimitable atmosphere of Vietnam as possible, are the main elements that make up the Mường Thanh hotel chain signature style of hospitality and all of them are built to provide excellent accommodation for experience–based cum modern comfort travel. As it turned out, Mường Thanh did stand out from many four-star hotels I stayed in during my long 10 years of residing in Vietnam and had quite a lot of features to amaze its guests, starting from nontrivial solutions in interior designs with live trees, spectacular mountain peaks carved in stone and marble at the lobby and restaurant that creates a vivid illusion of dining in the spectacular valley at the feet of the mountains which appear to be growing higher than clouds. The sophisticated ornaments on the walls in its corridors burst with exotic local colour. The daily buffet breakfast represents the full bright palette of local culinary specials and northern Vietnam soul food (which four-star international standard hotels usually lack), including locally-grown vegetables galore (both cooked and fresh), sticky mountainous rice, pho, taro and sweet potatoes tempura, cari and

excellent mint tea and coffee to give a great start to a chilly morning in the mountains. The dominant note of the buffet is Asian food, though, and European cuisine admirers should take this in to consideration. Mường Thanh Sapa Hotel has a very quiet and convenient location a bit aside from the noisy tourist quarter and features 93 elegant deluxe and three opulent VIP suites with all modern equipment, spacious bathrooms and panoramic windows looking out on either Ham Rong Mountain or a peaceful lake in the very centre of Sapa. Sapa itself offers a great range of treks and hiking adventures to remember and a very special atmosphere, tranquillity and peace one can hardly find anywhere else in Vietnam.


Photo: Mường Thanh Sapa Hotel


Climb up the Fansipan peak, get inspired on its summit, free from all squabbles and troubles of daily modern life left and forgotten far below; feel yourself back in the place where you belong - the place where mountain spirits sing their songs and clouds are being born.n

Mường Thanh Sapa Hotel No 044, Ngu Chi Son, Sapa, Lao Cai Province Tel: (020) 3887-766 Email:



Resort brings distant lands close By Nathalie SokolovSkaya


he TV reports and articles advertising VIP journeys to desert islands, tucked away in the desolate stretches of tropic seas, promising the Robinson Crusoe experience of a century at fabulous prices, always leave me utterly perplexed. Vietnam, just like India, Cambodia and any other South-East Asian country has everything to fascinate a foreigner to the fullest. All that one needs is to be willing to take a walk on the edge, which usually is some steps away from the path red-stamped by guidebooks and widely trodden by tourists (one will find that this road less-travelled is the edge of a trampoline!) I leave Nha Trang at the crack of 28 • V I E T N A M

the dawn on a shuttle bus heading to White Sand Doclet Resort & Spa, 50 km from the city. As we drive away from downtown and taxi off the provincial highway, the panorama dramatically changes; the air from the sea gets more salty, colours become more vibrant and dense, as though a storm of many days has broken, the sky shadowed by wandering leaden clouds already conquered by the sun. The rough sea of a bustling fish market at the height of its trade hour emerging behind the window looks all ready to steamroll its giant living body, borrowed from Rabelais’ Gargantua, over a gaping stranger. Its menacing image fades to give place to the riotous tropical tree


groves that alternate with juicy green and emerald rice fields with snowy white cranes stepping gracefully and leisurely or hovering over them with their wings wide spread and looking like white toy kites, all of them forming an overwhelmingly peaceful landscape, where the very kind of silence one can hear a minute after the bell rings in an empty chapel can be seen and is palpable, even from a distance. To add some piquancy to the still-life images of the small fishing village houses with neatly-kept gardens lined up along both sides of the road are some surprising, funny- looking and totally unconventional road signs showing to the amazed travelling audience: a) ‘Gentle-

man in old-fashioned derby, arm-in-arm with a noble-looking lady in the middle of the countryside crossing’, b) ‘Old man with walking stick in one hand and stoop baboushka in other crossing’, c) ‘Old man with small kid crossing’, d) ‘Nodding trees here and there’, etc. It is obvious that here, road sign painters made maximum use of the absence of obligatory written records for road signs and realized all their creative urges on the most prosaic material one can imagine. On its way, the bus passes picturesque and glistering bright blue lagoons with giant hammocks of fishing nets slung above them, looking extremely exotic and bursting with the rustic charm of an old Asian fishing village, where the way and pace of life has barely changed for the last 100 years. Finally, the bus wheels out on a small village road, which ends at the huge gates of the fourstar White Sand Doclet Resort & Spa, which impresses one with vast spaces of the property yet from the threshold. On the right, from the reception lobby framing the lightly hilly terrain with an ancient house temple on the top are mango trees lined up along an alley leading to the wide stretch of sandy beach. A spacious and

light reception lobby with rattan furniture greets arriving guests with a big Xmas tree in its gayest dress in the beginning of November, which is really touching and creates a festive mood right from the first steps made within the resort. In a few minutes, I’m guided through the White Sand Doclet Resort & Spa property by smiling and hospitable Ms Tania, the CR Manager. The huge and flamboyant tropical garden carpets out on both sides for an impressive 22 hectares bordering the sea and is divided into resort and recreational areas for guests coming on a one-day tour. The exotic resort garden casts a cool shadow on the four lines of cozy-looking bungalows and two deluxe-room buildings and runs down a white sandy beach, where the deep green grove of slim-bodied beach pines frame it beautifully. White Sand Doclet Resort & Spa features five types of accommodations to fit all tastes, from Executive Ocean Front and Ocean View Villas to elegant Deluxe and Superior rooms, with spacious private balconies overlooking the swimming pool and tropical garden in blossom. The White Hill Restaurant, in the same building where the reception lobby is, im-

presses with a cozy interior with bamboo-andwood furniture in warm, sunny-coloured shades and with a rich choice of buffet breakfasts, comprising both Asian and European dishes. With a step on a sandy beach, one observes the sweeping, sandy shoreline stretching for a few kilometres both sides. It is Doc Let beach, one of the most beautiful sandy beaches surrounding Nha Trang, which still remains hidden from the mass of tourists. On this first sunny morning after the storm, the shoreline was gleaming and rinsed with surf and all spotted with fanciful shells polished by seawater and all ready to turn into an exclusive necklace for all interested beach walkers. In the distance, a fisherman has just pulled the net out of the water and has frozen for a moment, peering into its depths. A few miles away from shore, there is a little island, which is also a part of White Sand Doclet Resort & Spa and can be reached on a yacht and used as a romantic or adventure destination. White Champa Spa, tucked in the deep of the garden, boasts a truly impressive design full of local colour and both a mysterious and relaxing atmosphere. Its interior design, with exclusive antique furniture of fanciful shapes, stone sculptures and wooden screens with silhouettes of ancient Champa dancers on them are charming decorations for spa packages to treat your precious self. The outdoor verandah for massage, with the ocean waves as a background also offers an amazing chance to walk through all stages of life in five seconds and be reborn. Ask the skilled spa therapists how and watch your step! Primarily located on the stunning white sand beach in the colourful surroundings bursting with the local rustic charm of a fishing village, away (but within a reach, if desired) from the touristy area, White Sand Doclet Resort & Spa has everything the savvy traveller may need for an excellent seaside retreat, starting from vast green spaces and direct access to the sea, to the small details and pleasant personal discoveries that make one’s stay truly memorable.n

White Sand Doclet Resort & Spa Population group 9, Dong Cat, Ninh Hai Ward, Ninh Hoa Town, Khanh Hoa Province Tel: (058) 3670-670 Email:


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Photo: Pihatt Café

Magic! Do not try this at home; not at night! By PiP de RouvRay


here is an awful lot of coffee in Vietnam. There has been for some time now. In a good year, the country comes in second, after Brazil, in countries exporting the crop. You need only to walk down a street to note that the Vietnamese themselves have adopted a coffee culture around the bean that originates far away in the highlands of Ethiopia and the mountains of Yemen. The French, of course, introduced coffee to Vietnam and their interest was merely in taking the raw product back to France for processing. Even fifteen years ago, when I first came here, I pondered on why there was no famous local brand on the world market and why people were not doing innovative things with the drink. It was only a matter of time before along came a gentleman named Mr Dang Le Nguyen Vu, who rectified all that with the brand Trung Nguyen. Now, there is a new kid on the block and I went along to his head office to see and taste just what makes his coffee products distinctive in a very competitive market. 30 • V I E T N A M

‘Linker Vietnam’ is a company hitherto known for real estate and consultancy services to other companies. Soon, it is likely to become a household name. Only three months ago, it added a third string to its bow with the launch of five new kinds of coffee under the brand name of Pihatt. Was I sitting before and chatting to a man soon to become Vietnam’s new coffee magnate? Mr Truong Trong Cu, president of the company, is certainly a man with a passion for coffee. He hails from Dalat, a coffee-growing area and wants to make his hometown as synonymous with the drink as Buon Me Thuot. ‘Our coffees’, he explains, ‘are unique for [their] extensive use of the Arabica bean. In Vietnam, only two per cent of [the] production of coffee is Arabica. The vast bulk of Vietnamese coffee is of the lessvaluable Robusta variety.’ Most coffees are a blend the two varieties. Arabica will grow only above 1,500 metres and the Pinhatt mountain area near Dalat fits this bill. Pihatt (‘by heart’) has been chosen for the overall brand name of


Linker’s coffees. It took me a while to figure out that, speaking with a Vietnamese accent, Pihatt does sound like ‘by heart’ in English. ‘It is very apt.’ says Mr Cu. ‘We have put our hearts and souls into our coffees.’ That last statement can be evinced by the fact that a whole year’s market research was carried out before the launch. ‘We studied the regions of Vietnam to find out that there are very different preferences throughout Vietnam’, went on Mr Cu. ‘Hanoians, for example, like their coffee slightly bitter.’ The range of products reflects these findings. Mr Cu further expands his company’s philosophy- ‘We want customers to enjoy a healthy coffee with aroma and taste at an affordable price. There are no additives in our products; just pure coffee. We want everyone to benefit; drinkers, retailers, cafe owners and the farmers themselves.’ I told him that his fair trade approach should be an advantage when it comes to tackling the European market. I was most impressed by the packaging. Not only was it attractive, but it gave key infor-

AdvertoriAl mation in a succinct manner, perhaps taking a cue from modern wine labelling. First, the bean used is marked in big bold letters; for example, ‘Arabica’ on a packet of Premium Pihatt, or a blend of Arabica and Robusta on Regular Pihatt. The taste is described; for example, for Premium bitter, ‘sweet aftertaste’ and ‘long-lasting aroma.’ Then, you are given the colour. You can expect your Premium cup to look blackbrown. The information is given in Vietnamese on one side of a pack and in English on the other. The five products for a packet of 500 grams cost from between 79,000 dongs to 239,000 dongs. They are named in ascending order of price, ‘999’, ‘Regular’, ‘Medium’, ‘Premium’, and ‘Special’. I was given a rundown on Pihatt Coffee’s short and long-term market strategy. At the moment, it is only being sold to cafe owners. In about a year’s time, it should be available direct to consumers on the supermarket shelf. After establishing its popularity on the domestic market, it is expected to expand to other Asian markets. Singapore was mentioned as a key market. Then, the last step will be to conquer the rest of the world and make the marque something of which to make Vietnam proud.

Mr Truong Trong Cu, President of Pihatt Cafe Photo: Pihatt Café

I was invited to a tasting session. Mr Cu and his two aides had coffee on ice. I insisted on a black coffee with no sugar, something which always surprises my Vietnamese friends. ‘How else can one judge a coffee?’ I told them. My cup of ‘Premium’ was just as the label said it would be- slightly bitter with a long aftertaste and fur-


thermore, very strong. In fact, it was a magic potion and kept my mind alert for hours. I do not think I have had such a strong drink of coffee I since worked in Saudi Arabia. ‘That is because you are drinking pure coffee,’ Mr Cu explained. ‘Do not drink this at night time,’ he continued, ‘you won’t get a blink of sleep!’ With all the wars and nasty things going on in the world, I am pleased to bring you some good news. If you live in Vietnam, you now have an array of coffee products, at least one of which will please your palate. You will soon be able to enjoy it at home and on your next trip, you should be able to take back a packet of Pihatt as a taste of Vietnam to offer to your friends. This coffee is a thoroughbred; pure and strong and sure to aid social interaction. ‘Pihatt Coffee’ pronounced with a Vietnamese accent as ‘by heart’. In years to come, please tell your children you heard about it first in Vietnam Heritage Magazine.n

Pihatt Café Office: 89 Cu Lao St, W.2, Phu Nhuan Dist., Ho Chi Minh City Tel: (08) 35 17 44 68 Email:

what the

pa p e r s

s ay

Ain’t gonna work the farm no more

the city's outskirts still flooded with every high tide or rain shower., 22 December Many poor rice farmers across the country are giving up farming because it fetches them too little money and they are turning to other livelihoods. Official figures show that 42,785 families left their fields (6,882 hectares) untouched this year. Another 3,407 families have returned 433 hectares. A few hundred square metres of land yield less than four dollars a month on average.

Headless remains found, 19 December Six skeletons, dating to 6,000 years ago, have been unearthed in a cave in the Ngan Son District of northern Bac Kan Province, according to scientists from the Viet Nam Archaeology Institute. Hundreds of objects, including stone working tools, ceramic wares and even samples of flower pollen, have been unearthed at the site.

Snow job, 18 December Losses from the recent prolonged, heavy snowfall in northern mountainous Lao Cai Province, where the well-known town Sapa is, amount to nearly $4.7 million. More than 100 hectares of chayote and another 100 hectares of flowers were buried under snow. Thick ice also blocked about 10 kilometres of Highway 4D linking Lao Cai and Lai Chau Provinces. Meanwhile, thousands of tourists flocked to Sapa to see the snow, which is rare in Vietnam.

Heavy penalty for theft, 16 December Two former heads of the state-run Vietnam National Shipping Lines (Vinalines) were sentenced to death in December for embezzling $474,000. They are Duong Chi Dung, the former chairman of Vinalines, and Mai Van Phuc, its former general director. Vietnam has not given death sentences to corrupt officials for decades.

Kerry visit, 16 December US Secretary of State John Kerry talked climate change, Mekong river security and East Sea peace during his Vietnam visit in December. Since the US lifted its embargo on Vietnam 32 • V I E T N A M

Hue Festival returns

in 1995, bilateral trade between the two countries had grown 50-fold to more than $25 billion a year. ’I can’t think of two countries that have worked harder, done more, and done better to try to bring themselves together and change history and change the future and provide a future for people which is now very, very different,’ he said, adding that Vietnam has potential to become one of the US’s leading economic partners in the region.

VN brings home the gold, 23 December The 27th Southeast Asian Games closed in December in Myanmar. Thailand came first with 107 gold medals. Host Myanmar ranked second with 86, while Vietnam came third with 73.

Banks want to eat cake and have it too, 12 December Commercial banks in Vietnam have laid off thousands of employees this year to cut costs in the face of declining profits, but they are struggling to find qualified people who can help turn things around. Vietinbank, BIDV, ACB and SHB have together laid off nearly 1,200 people in the first half of this year; and Eximbank has said it will also cut thousands of jobs in the coming months.

Flood of problems, 15 December Ho Chi Minh City has spent $387 million since 2011 to curb rampant flooding, but expensive measures have failed to rectify the problem. City councillors complained that flood projects were fragmented, as one flood spot cleared would be followed by flooding in a new location soon after and that many areas along

HERITAGE - JANUARY-FEBRUARY 2014, 20 December The biennial Hue Festival, 12-20 April, will feature 37 art troupes from 29 countries, a night street market outside the imperial palace, a cuisine festival featuring dishes from Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Myanmar, Thailand, and China, and calligraphy and painting exhibitions, a kite flying competition, street art performances, a festival for needy children and a tourism fair. Other highlights will include an international dance festival, ao dai shows, a traditional Imperial Night featuring royal ceremonies, and the famous circus play ‘Lang toi’ (My village).

New flights to vacations spots, 17 December Budget carrier Jetstar Pacific began daily services from Ho Chi Minh City to Phu Quoc Island and Nha Trang 15 December. The flight to Nha Trang departs at 11:35 a.m. the one and to Phu Quoc at 12:25 p.m. It leaves Nha Trang at 1:05 p.m. and Phu Quoc at 1:50 p.m.

Hand in the cookie jar, 28 December The country’s three major mobile operators, VinaPhone, MobiFone, and the militaryrun Viettel, have been caught cheating customers by embedding services in SIM cards without asking customers if they want them and not indicating their prices, authorities said. The three account for almost the entire market, and have been pocketing millions of dollars from the scam.

Trade expansion hopes, 26 December The Vietnamese embassy in the US will try to talk the world’s leading retailer, Walmart, into selling Vietnamese products, the embassy’s trade counsellor said. Vietnam’s Trade Commission in San Francisco has plans to invite the vice president of Walmart to Vietnam to join talks with related ministries and trade agencies. Earlier this year, US second-leading retailer Kroger met with 128 businesses in Ho Chi Minh City and has signed memorandums of understanding with some of them.

Asides Sculptors coalition A group of sculptors living and working in Hanoi gathered in early 2013 for a contemporary sculpture project called ‘New Form.’ Under the project, the sculptors discuss ideas and collaborate in turning the ideas into works, as well as how to present them to the public. The project, expected to last about three years, had its first exhibition in November in Hanoi. Left: An artwork of Pham Thai Binh Photo: Nguyen Anh Tuan

Japanese artist dyeing in Vietnam

And so the wheel turns, 5 December When Mika Toba visited Vietnam nearly 20 years ago, she came with the feeling that she had reached a creative impasse. One of the Japanese artists who has introduced Japan’s stencil dyeing technique katazome into paintings, Toba had by then created several works following the technique’s traditional patterns, like flowers, grass, trees, birds and fish. But, she always felt something was missing. The artist finally found that missing piece in Vietnam, when visiting Ho Chi Minh City in 1994. ‘I was attracted by the colorful Vietnamese scenes, so I sketched them and felt they were suitable for katazome.’ Since then the artist, now 52, has regularly visited Vietnam and captured daily scenes across the country in her works: from an electrical post where numerous wires thickly tangle with each other, a railway track that goes by old houses, a part of canal with make-shift houses along its sides, to a corner of Hoan Kiem Lake in Hanoi, and the boats on the Saigon River where people live and work. ‘Every scene in Vietnam, from trees, villages, beaches, to street to corners, is lively and distinctive,’ Toba said. They reminded her of Japanese landscapes during the 1950s-1960s. Over more than 50 trips, she created several dozen works that have been featured at five Vietnam-themed exhibitions organized in both Vietnam and Japan since 2001.

Thanh Nien, 16 December, 2013 More than a thousand beer cartons fell off a truck and onto the streets as the truck had a near-accident in Dong Nai Province in December. Passers-by rushed to take all of them, despite the driver’s begging. The news went viral and readers sent more than $10,000 to help him cover the accident. Yet the beer producer, Vietnam Brewery, decided that he did not have to pay the damages. So the driver returned all the money donated.

The charm of the old days, 19 December When British artist Lee Kirby uploaded a YouTube clip featuring him singing the Vietnamese ballad ‘Diem Xua’ in 2009, he didn't expect to create a phenomenon in Vietnam. No one could imagine that a man who spoke only a few simple Vietnamese words could perform the famous and emotional song – and with very perfect Vietnamese pronunciations. The clip attracted hundreds of thousand viewers. ‘The great feelings I had for the country and the people of Viet Nam, as well as the wonderful song Diem Xua, inspired me to learn more Vietnamese songs,’ the 34-year-old singer said. Four year after the phenomenon, Kirby recently released his debut album ‘Vietnam Oi.’ The album features nine Vietnamese songs by famous local composers and songwriters, including Tran Tien, Phu Quang, Le Minh Son, and Truong Quy Hai.

The album is a result of Kirby's three-year plan aiming to improve his Vietnamese, to learn more about Vietnamese culture, and to strongly integrate into the unique culture of Vietnam – which he calls his second homeland. ‘Another main purpose of my ‘big plan' is to sing for the Vietnamese people across the country,’ he said. To implement his plan, travelling with his guitar and some Vietnamese friends from 2010 to 2013, Kirby made several journeys through the country from the North to the South.

Mot, hai, ba, yo! Lao Dong, 12 December, 2013 In 2012, Vietnamese drank three billion litres of beer, or three billion dollars’ worth, causing Vietnam to rank third in Asia and 25th in the world for beer consumption. The figures in 2013 are expected to be the same, despite the economic downturn. It is expected that Vietnam will become Heineken’s biggest market by 2015.

Nothing serious Did you know that Vietnamese, particularly those in the countryside often ask ‘Where do you work?’ instead of ‘What do you do?’. As a Vietnamese saying goes, the first lunar month in the New Year is for eating and playing, the second for gambling and the third for drinking. Did you know that Vietnamese count their ages by how many Tết (lunar new year) they have eaten?


• 33


Trang, head of Bac Ninh Quan Ho folk music company, at mobile 0913-073-326.

Cheo singing performances Street songs of the poor and blind Every Saturday night Hát xẩm is a minimalist style of Vietnamese singing, traditionally performed by the poor and the

Cheo, a kind of popular opera / traditional music, is shown at 8 p.m. every Friday at the Kim Ma Theater, 71 Kim Ma St, Ba Dinh Dist., Hanoi. English interpretation offered. Price: VND150,000 per person. Tel: (04) 3764-8079/ 0904549-579 (Ms Ngoan)

Ancient folk form

Quan họ is a folk song form that originated in the northern province of Bac Ninh in the 13th century. The form took on elements of other genres as it spread throughout the country, incorporating a dialogue style of singing in the 18th century, the period when Vietnamese literature blossomed. As a folk art with a highly collective nature, quan họ songs alternate from group to group with singers keeping up the conversation by exchanging songs. There is no accompanying instrumental music. Bac Ninh Quan Ho folk music company offers quan họ performances on request; an hour costs around VND30 million. Performance venues can also be requested. Contact Mr Quy 34 • V I E T N A M Price: $10 (VND210,000). Reservation is necessary. Tel: 01 223 266 897 Ca Trù is performed by Hanoi Ca Tru Club at Kim Ngan Temple, 42-44 Hang Bac St, Hoan Kiem Dist., Hanoi, at 8 p.m. every Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. Tickets $10 (VND210,000). Contact: Ms Le Bach Van at 0913544876, Email: EXHIBITIONS

Artists capture essence of Hanoi Till 20 January Nearly 30 oil paintings by Nguyen Trong Tai and Dang Van Quynh are displayed at Hotel de l’Opera, 29 Trang Tien St, Hoan blind and especially wanderers, usually accompanied with a simple đàn nhị (two-string violin) or đàn bầu (single-string zither). Hát xẩm is a Vietnamese blues from the 13th century. It is making a comeback, after several decades. Artists at the Centre for Research on and Development of Vietnamese Music now perform xẩm at Dong Xuan Market, in the Old Quarter of Hanoi, every Saturday night. Free.

Ca trù

Group painting exhibition Until 28 February, 2014

Kiem Dist., Hanoi, till 20 January. Dang Van Quynh has sketched a modern Hanoi full of faces, bringing out the true form of the streets. Nguyen Trong Tai’s paintings are soft tones of emotion, voices of colour and rhythms of light. His details are scant, leaving an open space in order to create fancifulness.

Japanese street art Till 16 February

Ca trù, an ancient Vietnamese musical form with a singer accompanied by three-string đàn đáy and other instruments, is performed at 87 Ma May Street, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi, at 8 p.m. every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, by artists from Ca Tru Thang Long Club, www.catru-


for Cultural Exchange in Vietnam presents a mural painting exhibition ‘Abilight’ by Hitotzuki in Hanoi till 16 February. Hitotzuki is an artistic collaboration formed in 1999 by Kami and Sasu, aimed at expanding the stage for street culture. ‘Abilight’ is a newly coined word by Hitotzuki, deriving from ‘Ability’ and ‘Light’. It conveys a positive message to the visitors in Vietnam to share a forward-looking feeling. Hitotzuki draws mural paintings on the premises of the Japan Foundation Centre for Cultural Exchange in Vietnam. Also they draw on T shirts, bags, caps, skateboards, watches and cups. Japan Foundation Centre for Cultural Exchange in Vietnam, 27 Quang Trung St, Hoan Kiem Dist., Hanoi. Open: 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. Closed from 28 January to 5 February.

The Embassy of Denmark, 19 Dien Bien Phu St., Hoan Kiem Dist., Hanoi is holding an exhibition that lasts for six months, ending on 28 February, 2014. The exhibition has a total of 26 specially-selected paintings, from an array of genres, from the wellknown Pham Luc, Ngo Chinh and other up-and-coming artists. Free entry. Tel: (04) 3823 1888 (Contact person: Ms Truong Uyen Ly, ext. 223) MUSIC

New Year Concert The Japan Foundation Centre

8 p.m., 15 January


Firework display 30 January 29 firework displays in locations across Hanoi will help usher in Lunar New Year 2014 on the eve of 30 January. The capital city will set off four high-range firework displays near the Hoan Kiem Lake in Hoan Kiem Vietnamese conductor Le Phi Phi, piano soloist Irina Bui and other artists from Vietnam National Opera and Ballet will hold a concert to celebrate Vietnamese traditional lunar New Year at 8 p.m. on 15 January at Hanoi Opera House, No 1 Trang Tien St., Hoan Kiem Dist., Hanoi. The one-and-a-half hour performance features the pieces of music composed by Mozart, Mendelssohn, and Strauss as well as the Chopin’s Waltz no.7 op.64 (choreographed by Fokin), a duo ballet performance from ‘Nutcracker’ (composed by Tchaikovsky, choreographed by Pisarép), the ‘Waltz of the Flowers’ from ballet ‘Nutcracker’ (choreographed by Philip Cohen) and the ‘Can Can’ from opera ‘Orpheus in the Underworld’ by J.Offenbach. Tickets: VND200,000-VND350,000 and VND500,000; call 0913 489 858 for free delivery or visit for online booking.



District, Thong Nhat Park in Hai Ba Trung District, Nguyen Hoang Ton Park in Tay Ho District and Van Quan Lake in Ha Dong District. Low-range firework displays will be also held in 25 districts.

Fun for Tet 2, 3 & 4 February A 2014 spring program will be held at the Vietnam Museum of Ethnology, Nguyen Van Huyen St, Cau Giay Dist., Hanoi from 2-

O Fortuna! 15 and 16 January Vietnam National Symphony Orchestra holds the concert ‘Carmina Burana’ at 8 p.m. 15 and 16 January at the Hanoi Opera House with conductor Honna Tetsuji, baritone Kuroda Hiroshi and soprano Ha Pham Thang Long. Tickets: VND200,000, VND350,000, VND500,000. All tickets available at Hanoi Opera House or Tel: (09) 1348 9858. Hanoi Opera House, 1 Trang Tien St, Hoan Kiem Dist., Hanoi.

to join in making delicate To He toys, drawing, painting, and making pottery animals under the instruction of craftsmen. Every participant will also have the chance to taste traditional dishes offered by ethnic minority people. Folk games common on Tet holidays include swinging, tug of war, walking on stilts, and others. Traditional foods of ethnic minorities will also be available to visitors.

4 February to welcome the Lunar New Year of the Horse. This is a good opportunity for participants to understand to learn about the traditional culture, music and art of ethnic minority groups in Vietnam. The program will bring into focus art performances, and folk games, including Thai dances, water puppetry shows and firework displays. There will be many interesting activities for children

Till April The Huong Pagoda festival, at Huong Son Commune, My Duc District, Hanoi, is the Vietnam’s longest-running festival. It starts at the sixth day of the first month till the end of the third month in the lunar calendar. This year, it falls in 5 February and lasts until late April. Every year, tens of thousands of pilgrims and visitors come to petition the gods for luck, wealth and happiness in the numerous pagodas scattered around a mountainous area. A visit to the pagoda includes a boat ride through winding streams and hours of mountain-climbing. The most popular destination is Huong Tich cave, which contains a great many altars honouring a variety of deities. There will be crowds of people and hawkers in the pagoda; beware of scams such as over-priced drinks and demands for big tips from the boatwomen.

NAM DINH PROVINCE Good-luck market 7 February Vieng Market is held only once a year, on the 8th of the first month in the lunar calendar, in Trung Thanh hamlet, Kim Thai commune, Vu Ban district, Nam Dinh Province, about 100 km from Hanoi. Trading is expected to begin at midnight on 6 Febru

ary and go into the morning of 7 February. Goods for sale include plants, agricultural tools, meat and antiques, but the goods are not really the point; a transaction at Vieng Market is reputed to confer luck for both sides for the entire next year. According to market tradition, sellers don’t ask exorbitant prices and buyers don’t bargain. However, the market has changed a lot; nowadays, true antiques are rare and bargaining and even arguments – are seen.

QUANG NINH PROVINCE To worship Buddhist founder Until April

Yen Tu Festival, on Yen Tu mountain, in Thuong Yen Cong Commune, Uong Bi District, Quang Ninh Province, starts on 8 February and lasts until April, worships King-Buddha Tran Nhan Tong, the founder of the Truc Lam Yen Tu, one of the branches of Buddhism in Vietnam. There are 11 pagodas and hundreds of shrines and towers in the Yen Tu ensemble. The first night of the festival has traditional dance.


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EVENTs Prize-winning pictures Until 18 February

Over 100 photos selected from Vietnam Heritage Photo Awards 2013 are displayed until 18 February at the Cable Station Area 1, Yen Tu Mountain, Thuong Yen Cong Dist., Uong Bi City, Quang Ninh Province. The photos, chosen from 6,016 entries by 339 artists, are about Vietnamese natural and cultural heritage.

Vuong has dedicated his entire life to taking photos of Vietnam. His works have been exhibited many times in Europe and Asia. Photographer Sebastien Laval first came to Vietnam in 1995. During many trips over the years, he began to record the daily life of the ethnic minorities in order to introduce their beautiful culture to the world and also to create an archival memory of the ethnic minorities to preserve and transfer to the future generations. Sebastien Laval’s works have been exhibited in Vietnam and France. Ho Chi Minh City Museum, 65 Ly Tu Trong, Dist 1, Ho Chi Minh City. Tel: (08) 3829-9741. Open daily 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Holiday holy days Till 28 February


Racial photos Till 13 January Photographs recording the daily life of ethnic minorities of Vietnam from 1980 up to the present are displayed at the Ho Chi Minh City Museum till 13 January. The photos were taken by Le Vuong, 95, from Hanoi and Sebastien Laval from France. Le

A group exhibition is on at Tu Do Gallery till 28 February. The exhibition includes 24 oil and lacquer paintings reflecting on spiri-

tual activities in the lunar New Year. Tu Do Gallery, 53 Ho Tung Mau St, Dist.1, Ho Chi Minh City. Tel: (08) 3821-0966. Opening: 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. everyday.

Cham people, who are wellknown for their ancient towers, are concentrated in Ninh Thuan, South-Central Vietnam. Ticket: VND700,000. Contact 0903 348 718 to buy ticket.


Tet blooms

Cham show

28 January to 3 February

7 p.m. every Wednesday

The Champa Journey Show is performed at 7 p.m. every Wednesday at the Theatre of Youth World, 125 Cong Quynh St, Dist.1, Ho Chi Minh City. The show features Cham dances accompanied with the sound of Cham musical instruments. The show aims to introduce highlights of festivals and culture of the Cham people. Currently, the show is performing dances in the Rija Nưgar Festival, which is held to celebrate Cham New Year (Late March to early April).

The annual Tet flower festival in the heart of Ho Chi Minh City on Nguyen Hue Street will be held from 28 January to 3 February, including more than one thousand pots of flowers with hundreds of varieties. This year, the festival’s main theme is horses. Also, the festival has a space including dry, withering plants on sandy soil to remind people about the effect of climate change. Besides this, visitors can see a set of instruments from Don Ca Tai Tu (southern folk music) depicted on flower frames.

Va l u e




Tel: (054) 3936-688 Email:

Ninh Binh Legend Hotel offers a room promotion until 30 April, 2014. The rates start from VND1,575,000 ($75) per room per night with breakfast. The rates include service charge and VAT.

offers a two-night Tet package from 30 January to 9 February with rates from VND4,220,000 including breakfast and buffet dinner.

Ninh Binh Legend Hotel Tien Dong Zone, Ninh Khanh Ward, Ninh Binh City. Tel: (030) 3899-880 Email:

Novotel Danang Premier Han River 36 Bach Dang St, Danang Tel: (0511) 3929-999 Email:

Novotel Danang Premier Han River

Best Western Premier Indochine Palace, in Hue, has a Tet package at VND2,899,000 per room per night in a Palace Deluxe Room for two with dinner and spa treatment. The package is valid from 15 January to 15 February. The price includes service charge and VAT.

Best Western Premier Indochine Palace 105 A Hung Vuong St, Hue Tel: (054) 3936-666 Email:

Mường Thanh Hue Hotel is offering a promotion till the end of April for those who book at least two nights. The rates start from VND1,250,000 per Deluxe City View Room per night to VND1,900,000 per Silver Suite per night including buffet breakfast and roundtrip airport transfers. The prices include service charge and VAT. Mường Thanh Hue Hotel 38 Le Loi St, Hue 38 • V I E T N A M

Tel: (0510) 3927-888 Email:

RESORTS AND SPAS Hue Riverside Bouitque Resort & Spa has a Tet package until 30 February. VND2,289,000 per room per night for two including breakfast, lunch, a Huong River trip by boat visiting Thien Mu Pagoda and Minh Mang Tomb. The price includes service charge and VAT.

Hue Riverside Bouitque Resort & Spa 588 Bui Thi Xuan St, Thuy Bieu Dist., Hue Tel: (054) 3978-484

River–Beach Resort & Residences Hoi An has a special New Year promotion till 28 February, 2014. The prices start from VND1,344,000 per Deluxe Room per night for those who book one night, VND1,260,000 per Deluxe Room per night for those book two nights and VND1,176,000 per Deluxe Room per night for those who book at least three nights. River–Beach Resort & Residences Hoi An 5 Cua Dai St, Hoi An


Boutique Hoi An Resort is offering a ‘Discover Hoi An’ package at VND8,100,000, including two nights’ stay for two in a Superior Room, breakfast, round trip airport transfers, one Vietnamese set lunch or dinner at Le Café Restaurant, welcome cocktail at Le Salon, shuttle bus to Hoi An, and a 15 per cent discount on spa treatments, food and beverage. The promotion runs till 31 October, 2014. The price includes service charge and VAT. Boutique Hoi An Resort Group 6, Block Tan Thinh, Cam An, Hoi An, Quang Nam Province Tel: (0510) 3939-111 Email: Sandy Beach Non Nuoc Resort Danang Vietnam, Managed by Centara is running a ‘Vietnamese Heritage Discovery Package in Hue Imperial City’ at VND6,500,000 ($310) and a ‘My Son Holy Land & Hoi An Ancient Town’ package at VND5,900,000 ($281). The packages include two nights’ stay in a Superior Ocean View Room for two, round-trip airport transfers, welcome drink & fruit basket in room, breakfast at Alamanda Restaurant, a day tour to My Son, Hoi An or Hue and a 50per-cent discount on spa treatments for two. The packages are valid till 31 May, 2014.

Sandy Beach Non Nuoc Resort Danang Vietnam, Managed by Centara 255 Huyen Tran Cong Chua St, Ngu Hanh Son Dist., Danang Tel: (0511) 3961-777. Email:

Dalat Edensee Lake Resort & Spa has a package ‘Xuan Cao Nguyen 2014’ from 3 January to 25 April, except for a period from 29 January to 9 February. It costs VND5,300,000 including two nights’ stay in a Mimosa Superior

Va l u e Room for two, buffet breakfast, a romantic dinner and a full body massage. Also, the resort has a Tet package ‘Mung Xuan Giap Ngo’ for those who book from 29 January to 9 February. It costs VND6,300,000 for stays of two nights for two persons, traditional Tet meals, plum-wine cocktail, music, magic show and activities on Tet holiday. The prices include service charge and VAT. Dalat Edensee Lake Resort & Spa Tuyen Lam Lake, Zone VII.2, Dalat, Lam Dong Province. Tel: (063) 3831-515 Email:

seafood, dim sum, imported assorted cheeses and traditional live music performances. VND577,000++ for children from 6 – 12, VND1,155,000++ for adults.

Grand Mercure Danang Green Island, Hai Chau Dist., Danang Tel: (0511) 3797-777

FOOD PROMOTIONS Sunrise Hoi An Beach Resort Cua Dai Beach, Hoi An, Quang Nam Province Tel: (0510) 3937-777 Email:

Come and enjoy Lunar New Year’s Champagne Brunch, 31 January, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., at Sensation Restaurant, at the Sunrise Hoi An Beach Resort, with top-brand champagne, seafood, dishes from around the world, lion dances, piano and violin music. VND577,000++ for children from 6 – 12, VND1,155,000++ for adults. Starting at 7 p.m. 1 February, Sao Bien Restaurant, at the Sunrise Hoi An Beach Resort, gives you a traditional Vietnamese Tet dinner including rice cakes (bánh chưng, bánh tét),


Thien Tam Vegetarian Restaurant features a Hue garden house with a simple design and a serene atmosphere. The restaurant serves a variety of Hue vegetarian food, from royal to local dishes, at a reasonable price. The menu has many choices, with prices starting from VND45,000 per dish. The restaurant also serves as an art playground for Hue artists. Guests have chance to get their portraits drawn by the owners at a reasonable price. Vegetarian cooking classes are also available. The restaurant is about 1-2 km from Tu Duc tomb

Hanoi Daewoo Hotel

InterContinental Asiana Saigon has a 90-minute ‘Sensational Detoxifying’ until 28 February, 2014; including a cinnamon powder and sea salt scrub for your feet, soothing foot therapy, Thai body massage and a traditional hotstone treatment. VND1,420,000++ InterContinental Asiana Saigon Corner of Hai Ba Trung Street and Le Duan Boulevard, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City Tel: (08) 3520-9999


Grand Mercure Danang has a feast of Chinese specialties and seafood from 6 p.m. every Friday in January. VND500,000 including free flow of draught beer and soft drink. Surcharge is VND190,000 for free flow of house wine. 50 per cent discount for children from 6 – 12.

Pullman Danang Beach Resort Truong Sa St, Khue My Ward, Ngu Hanh Son Dist., Danang Tel: (0511) 3958-888

360 Kim Ma St, Hanoi Tel: (04) 3831-5000 In January, Silk Road Restaurant, at the Hanoi Daewoo Hotel, the new Chinese chef, Peter Dai, introduces some Chinese specialties, including double-boiled chicken mushroom soup, braised prawn ‘Shanghai’ style, ‘Fo Rong’ scallop, pan-fried beef fillet steak and orange flavour pork ribs. Prices from VND190,000++. On Tet holiday, 30 January to 4 February, a 20 per cent discount applies for groups at least of four. In January, Edo Restaurant, at the Hanoi Daewoo Hotel has three set menus of Japanese cuisine. The prices range from VND460,000 to VND630,000 per set, including a can of Japanese Sapporo beer. On 30 and 31 January, there will be a 25 per cent discount on the bill.

Hotel Majestic Saigon

Every day in January, Infinity Bar, at the Pullman Danang Beach Resort, offers ‘Tapastry,’ including spicy Thai ‘Som Tam’ papaya salad, fried Hong Kong-style wonton, Peking duck spring roll and Danang crab cakes. Tapastry is inspired from Spanish cuisine, and it features appetizers, or, tapas, which are bite-sized and served on small plates for sharing. The price starts from VND60,000.

Thien Tam Vegetarian Restaurant 110A Le Ngo Cat St, Thuy Xuan Ward, Hue Tel: (054) 3898-220 Email:

1 Dong Khoi St, Dist.1, Ho Chi Minh City (08) 3829-5517 Hotel Majestic Saigon offers a Lunar New Year’s Eve on 30 January with entertainment, exquisite food, and spectacular fireworks view on Saigon River at its restaurants: Prima Hall (5th Floor) from 7 p.m. to 12.30 a.m., VND1,999,000 for adults and VND999,000 for children including seafood buffet dinner, free flow of house wines, soft drinks & water, dragon dance and music. Serenade (7th Floor), 7 p.m. to 12.30 a.m., VND1,599,000 for adults and VND799,000 for children, including a Western set menu, one glass of beer, house wine or soft drink and music. M.Bar (8th Floor), 7 p.m. to 12.30 a.m., VND2,499,000 for adults and VND1,249,000 for children, including seafood buffet dinner, free flow of house wine, soft drinks, dragon dance and music. There is a 10 per cent discount for those who


• 39

Va l u e



book 15 days in advance and 10 per cent discount for in-house guests and for groups. From 31 January to 2 February, Cyclo Restaurant at the hotel, serves a five-course set vegetarian menu at VND459,000, including dessert, one glass of dracontomelon juice and a cup of Minh Mang wine.

Lotte Legend Hotel Saigon 2A-4A Ton Duc Thang St, Ben Nghe Ward, Dist.1, Ho Chi Minh City Tel: (08) 3823-3333 From 31 January to 3 February, Atrium Café, at the Lotte Legend Hotel Saigon, serves Tet buffet, featuring international food, traditional Tet specialties and Vietnamese delicacies from the Northern, Central and Southern regions. Lunch, 11.30 a.m. to 2.30 p.m., VND550,000++. Saturday & Sunday Brunch, 11 a.m. to 2.30 p.m., VND 880,000++. Dinner, 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., VND940,000++. Half price for children from 4 to 12.

Movenpick Hotel Saigon 253 Nguyen Van Troi St, Phu Nhuan Dist., Ho Chi Minh City Tel: (08) 3844-9222

New World Saigon Hotel 76 Le Lai St, Ben Thanh Ward, Dist.1, Ho Chi Minh City. Tel: (08) 3822-8888 Parkview Restaurant, at the New World Saigon Hotel, serves lunch and dinner from 31 January to 14 February, including traditional Vietnamese and Chinese dishes, local and imported seafood and homemade Yee Sang, a Chinese raw fish salad. Lunch, 11.45 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., VND668, 000. Dinner, 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., VND968,000. The prices include tea, coffee, soft drinks, house wine and sparkling wine. From 15 January to 14 February, Dynasty Restaurant at the hotel offers meals to guests’ homes. They can choose from either Dynastystyle deep-fried chicken stuffed with seafood and sticky rice, served with broccoli, cauliflower and sesame spring onion sauce, Chui Chowstyle marinated duck, deep-fried bean curd, red chili and garlic vinegar, or Hong Kong-style roasted suckling pig, steamed buns, vegetable pickle and hoisin sauce. The prices start from VND1,650,000, including a complimentary bottle of wine and free delivery in Districts 1 and 3.

Sheraton Saigon Hotel & Towers 88 Dong Khoi St, Dist.1, Ho Chi Minh City Tel: (08) 3827-2828 Saigon Café, at the Sheraton Saigon Hotel & Towers, serves crab buffet dinner with tamarind sauce or chili sauce, crab bisque, crab cake, and spicy crab pizza, every Friday in January, 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. VND995,000++ including free flowing house wine, coffee and tea.

persons with a selection of rooms, tents, suites, a long house dormitory or Executive Suite. The hotel has one restaurant, an outdoor café, a bar catering to 150 guests, meeting rooms with full equipment for 120 guests and a spa centre which overlooks the park and surrounding hills. Also, the hotel offers adventure tours. For its opening celebration, Cat Tien Jungle Logde offers a promotion price at VND2,037,000++ per room per night for two with breakfast. Cat Tien Jungle Lodge Hamlet 4, Nam Cat Tien, Tan Phu Dist., Dong Nai Province Tel: (061) 3664-888 Email:

Le Domaine Cocodo, which will be launched in 15 February, has 21 apartments with four categories of accommodations which are modern in design and feature complete facilities and amenities. Le Domaine Cocodo is surrounded by lush and serene greenery, has a restaurant, bar, gym & massage centre, Jacuzzi, sauna, steam bath, meditation garden, 24-hour security and parking.

OPENING Cat Tien Jungle Lodge, at the Cat Tien Café Saigon Restaurant, at the Movenpick Hotel Saigon, is offering Vietnamese street foods every Wednesday night including phở, bún chả (grilled pork noodle), bún riêu cua (fresh water crab noodle), bánh xèo (Vietnamese pan cake), gỏi cuốn (spring rolls), barbecue chicken, xôi (sticky rice with crushed peanuts and sesame salt), iced coffee, nem cua bể (crab spring roll), cháo cá (fish porridge), bánh cuốn (rice flour rolls stuffed with ground pork) and dried squid grilled over hot coals. VND680,000++. Iki Japanese Restaurant, at the Movenpick Hotel Saigon, brings a new creation on the table ‘Fish Your Way’, where guests order a whole fish and ask the chefs to cook it in the way they like. VND399,000++ a whole fish and VND125,000++ for ‘All-you-can-drink Sake’ package. 40 • V I E T N A M

National Park, about 150km from Ho Chi Minh City or 175km from Dalat, will be launched on 1 March, 2014.

Cat Tien National Park was listed by UNESCO as a biosphere Reserve Zone in 2001. The park is home to a variety of flora species, rare animals and birds. Cat Tien Jungle Lodge can lodge up to 112


Apartment rental from $700 (VND14,700,000) a month. The prices start from $70 (VND1,470,000) per room per night for those who book at least two nights. Le Domaine de Cocodo 53 Ham Nghi St., Hue City Tel: (054) 3883-810 Hotline: 0905.33.79.82 (Ms Ha) Email: or

B u ya B l e

Iron model bus, VND990,000

Iron model vespa, VND520,000

Iron model bicycle, VND490,000

Wooden rectangular case, VND1,050,000

Wooden model lighthouses, VND300,000, VND390,000, VND450,000

Pen holders, VND450,000 a couple

THEGIOIDECOR.VN 123 Bis 2 Tran Quoc Thao St, Ward 7, Dist.3, Ho Chi Minh City Tel: 0123.236.1111 Email: 42 • V I E T N A M


dIreCTIONS EMERGENCIES Police: 113 Fire: 114 Ambulance: 115


(TELEPHONE CODE: 020) Sapa is a former French hill station in northwestern Vietnam, in Lao Cai Province, near the Chinese border. A number of minority cultures including the H’mong, Dao and Tay live in villages in the countryside around Sapa. HOTELS, RESORTS Note: Prices at many hotels depend on occupancy and change daily Cat Cat View Hotel 46 Fan Xi Pang St, Sapa, Lao Cai Province Tel: (020) 3871-946 VND735,000 to VND3,780,000 ($35 to $180) Cha Pa Garden Boutique Hotel & Spa 23B Cau May St, Sapa, Lao Cai Province Tel: (020) 3872-907 Email: From VND1,470,000 ($70) Chau Long Sapa Hotel

S A PA , H A L O N G , H A I P H O N G

Topas Ecolodge Thanh Kim Ward, Sapa, Lao Cai Province Tel: (04) 3715-1005 Email: From VND2,300,000 ($110) Victoria Sapa Resort and Spa Xuan Vien St, Sapa, Lao Cai Province Tel: (020) 3871-522 Email: From VND3,657,000 ($172) RESTAURANTS Buffalo Bell Restaurant 25 Cau May St, Sapa, Lao Cai Province Tel: (020) 3873-455 Delta Restaurant 33 Cau May St, Sapa, Lao Cai Province Tel: (020) 3871-799 Fansipan Restaurant 23 Cau May St, Sapa, Lao Cai Province Tel: (020) 3871-556


(TELEPHONE CODE: 033) With around 1,600 islands and islets in the Gulf of Tonkin, Halong Bay, about 170 km east of Hanoi, is well known for its limestone seascape. Overnight boat trips out of Halong City are a popular way to see it. HOSPITALS Bai Chay Hospital Gieng Day Ward, Halong Tel: (033) 3846-557

24 Dong Loi St, Sapa, Lao Cai Province Tel: (020) 3871-245 Email: From VND700,000 ($33) Holiday Sapa Hotel 16 Muong Hoa, Sapa, Lao Cai Province Tel: (020) 3873-874 Email: VND588,000 to VND2,100,000 ($28 to $100) Mường Thanh Sapa Hotel No 044, Ngu Chi Son, Sapa, Lao Cai Province Tel: (020) 3887-766 Email: Royal Hotel 54B Cau May St, Sapa, Lao Cai Province Tel: (020) 3771-131 Email: From VND340,000 ($17)

Traditional Medicine Hospital Cot 8, Hong Ha Ward, Halong Tel: (033) 3838-113 Vietnam-Sweden Hospital Thanh Son Ward, Uong Bi Commune, Halong Tel: (033) 3854-037 TRAVEL Halong Tourism 1 Halong St, Halong Tel: (033) 3846-272 Quang Ninh Tourism Company Ha Long St, Bai Chay Ward, Halong Tel: (033) 3846-350 Syrena Cruises Hung Thang new urban area, Bai Chay, Halong Tel: (033) 3847-043 Hanoi Sales Office: Syrena Tower, 3th Floor, 51 Xuan Dieu St, Hanoi Tel: (04) 3719-7214 Email: HOTELS, RESORTS

Note: Prices at many hotels depend on occupancy and change daily Asean Halong Hotel Hau Can St, Bai Chay Ward, Halong Tel: (033) 3640-034 Email: Halong Hidden Charm Hotel Block 22D, Tuan Chau Villas, Halong Tel: (033) 3842-360 Email: From VND600,000 ($29) Halong Palace Hotel 1, Block 20 Dong Hung Thang, Hoang Quoc Viet St, Bai Chay Ward, Halong Tel: (033) 3619-819 Email: From VND3,800,000 ($181) Halong Plaza Hotel 8 Ha Long St, Bai Chay Ward, Halong Tel: (033) 3845-810 Email: VND1,500,000 to VND3,800,000 ($71 to $179) Heritage Halong Hotel 88 Ha Long St, Bai Chay Ward, Halong Tel: (033) 3846-888 Email: VND1,200,000 ($57) Mường Thanh Halong Hotel No.7, Block 20, East of Hung Thang, Bai Chay Ward, Halong Tel: (033) 3812-468/ (033) 3819-777 Email: From VND1,400,000 ($67) Novotel Ha Long Bay Ha Long St, Bai Chay Ward, Halong Tel: (033) 3848-108 Email: From VND2,772,000 ($132) Saigon Halong Hotel Ha Long St, Bai Chay Ward, Halong Tel: (033) 3845-845 From VND700,000 ($35) StarCity Suoi Mo Hotel

rooms, with many breathtaking views of Ha Long Bay. RESTAURANTS Co Ngu Restaurant Halong St, Halong Tel: (033) 3511-363 Jumbo Vietnam Floating Restaurant 119 Le Thanh Tong St, Halong Tel: (033) 3624-888 Sea Food Restaurant Halong St, Halong Tel: (033) 3845-822

Thu Huong Restaurant Halong St, Halong Tel: (033) 3845-142 BARS & CAFÉS Emeraude Café Royal Park, Ha Long St, Halong Tel: (033) 3849-266 Royal International Gaming Club and Villa Bai Chay, Halong Tel: (033) 3848-777

HAI PHONG CITY (TELEPHONE CODE: 031) HOTELS, RESORTS Note: Prices at many hotels depend on occupancy and change daily Catba Princes Hotel

303 Nui Ngoc, Cat Ba Island, Hai Phong City Tel: (031) 3888-899 Email: From VND527,500 ($25) Catba Sunrise Resort Cat Ba Island, Hai Phong City Tel: (031) 3887-360 Email: From VND3,520,000 ($168) Harbour View Hotel 12 Tran Phu St, Ngo Quyen Dist., Hai Phong Tel: (031) 3827-827 Email: From VND2,772,000 ($132)

Halong St, Bai Chay Ward, Halong Tel: (033) 3846-058 Email: In the centre of Halong, StarCity Suoi Mo Hotel offers 167 well-equipped

ENTERTAINMENT Do Son Casino Zone 3, Do Son town, Hai Phong City Tel: (031) 3864-888


• 43





1 Asean International Hotel 2 Capital Garden Hotel 3 Daewoo Hotel


4 De Syloia Hotel 5 Fortuna Hotel Hanoi 6 Green Mango 7 Hanoi Horison Hotel 8 Hilton Hanoi Opera Hotel 9 Joseph’ Joseph’ss Hotel 10 1 0 Little Hanoi 11 1 1 MAison d’Hanoi Hanova Hotel



12 1 2 Melia Hanoi Hotel 13 1 3 Movenpick Hotel Hanoi 14 1 4 Nikko Hanoi Hotel 15 1 5 Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi 16 1 6 Sunway Hotel Hanoi 17 1 7 Hanoi Emotion Hotel


An entry in the Directions section is either editorial or advertising To advertise, and be certain that your entry appears, please contact




Tran Lam Hoai Phuong Mobile: 0918 693 680 Email:

STREET GUIDE Ba Trieu...................E3, E4 Bac Son.........................D1 Bach Dang.....................F2 Bach Mai........................E4 Bat Dan..........................E2 Bich Cau........................C2 Buoi................................A1 Cat Linh..........................C2 Cha Ca....................E1, E2 Cua Bac.........................D1 Cua Dong.......................D2

Da Tuong.......................E3 Dang Tat.........................D1 Dao Duy Anh.................D4 Dao Duy Tu.............E1, E2 Dien Bien Phu................D2 Doc Ngu.........................A1 Doi Can.............A1, B2, C2 Duong Thanh.................E2 Gam Cau........................E1 Giai Phong.....................D4 Giang Vo.....A3 ,B3 ,B2,C2

Hai Ba Trung.....E2, E3, F3 Ham Long......................E3 Han Thuyen....................F3 Hang Bac.......................E2 Hang Bo.........................E2 Hang Bong.....................E2 Hang Buom....................E2 Hang Can.......................E2 Hang Chuoi....................F3 Hang Cot........................E1 Hang Da.........................E2 Hang Dao.......................E2

Hang Dau.......................E1 Hang Ga.........................E2 Hang Gai........................E2 Hang Khay.....................E2 Hang Khoai....................E1 Hang Ma.........................E1 Hang Quat......................E2 Hang Trong....................E2 Hang Chieu....................E1 Hang Luoc......................E1 Hao Nam........................C2 Hoa Ma...........................F3

Hoang Dieu.............D1, D2 Hoang Hoa Tham............... ....................A1, B1, C1, D1 Hoang Van Thu..............D1 Hoe Nhai........................E1 Hung Vuong............D1, D2 Huynh Thuc Khang........A3 Kham Thien.............C3, D3 Kim Ma..............A2, B2, C2 La Thanh.................B3, C3 Lang Ha..........................B3 Nguyen Chi Thanh.........A3

Le Dai Hanh...................E4 Le Duan............D2, D3, D4 Le Hong Phong.............D2 Le Lai..............................F2 Le Thai To.......................E2 Le Thanh Tong...............F3 Le Van Huu....................E3 Lieu Giai........................A2 Lo Duc......................F3, F4 Lo Su..............................F2 Luong Ngoc Quyen.......E2 Luong Van Can..............E2




6 10

11 9 17 15 13

12 8 4

14 16

Ly Nam De..............E1, E2 Ly Quoc Su....................E2 Ly Thai To.......................F2 Ly Thuong Kiet........E3, F3 Mai Hac De..............E3, E4 Ngo Quyen.....................F3 Ngo Si Lien....................D2 Ngo Thi Nham................E3 Ngoc Ha.........................C1 Ngoc Khanh...................B2 Nguyen Canh Chan......D1 Nguyen Cong Hoa.........B2

Nguyen Dinh Chieu............ .................................E3, E4 Nguyen Du..............D3, E3 Nguyen Huu Huan........ F2 Nguyen Khuyen.............D2 Nguyen Luong Bang.....C3 Nguyen Thai Hoc....C2, D2 Nguyen Thuong Hien......... ........................................D3 Nguyen Van To..............E2 Nha Chung.....................E2 Nha Tho.........................E2

Nui Truc..........................B2 Pham Dinh Ho................F3 Pham Ngu Lao...............F3 Phan Boi Chau.......D2, D3 Phan Chu Trinh..............F3 Phan Dinh Phung..........D1 Phan Huy Chu................F3 Pho Duc Chinh...............F3 Pho Hue...................E3, E4 Phu Doan.......................E2 Phung Hung............E1, E2 Quan Su..................E2, E3

Quan Thanh...................D1 Quang Trung...........E2, E3 Quoc Tu Giam...............D2 Son Tay..........................C2 Thai Phien......................E4 Thanh Cong...................B3 Thanh Nien....................D1 Tho Nhuom.............E2, E3 Thuy Khue.......................... ....................A1, B1, C1, D1 To Hien Thanh...............E4 Tong Dan........................F2

Ton Duc Thang..............C3 Tran Hung Dao................... ...........................D3, E3, F3 Tran Huy Lieu................B2 Tran Khanh Du...............F3 Tran Khat Chan..............F4 Tran Nguyen Han..........F2 Tran Nhan Tong......D3, E3 Tran Nhat Duat..............E1 Tran Phu........................D2 Tran Quang Khai............F2 Tran Qui Cap.................D2

Tran Quoc Toan......D3, E3 Tran Thanh Tong............F3 Tran Xuan Soan................. .................................E3, E4 Trang Thi........................E2 Trang Tien................E2, F3 Trieu Viet Vuong......E3, E4 Trinh Hoai Duc...............C2 Tue Tinh.........................E3 Yen Phu..........................E1 Yersin..............................F4 Yet Kieu..........................D3



HANOI Finland 31 Hai Ba Trung St, Hoan Kiem Dist., Hanoi Tel: (04) 3826-6788

Algeria 13 Phan Chu Trinh St, Hoan Kiem Dist., Hanoi Tel: (04) 3825-3865

France 57 Tran Hung Dao St, Hoan Kiem Dist., Hanoi Tel: (04) 3944-5782

Argentina 41A Ly Thai To St, Hoan Kiem Dist., Hanoi Tel: (04) 3831-5263

Germany 29 Tran Phu St, Ba Dinh Dist., Hanoi Tel: (04) 3845-3836

Australia 8 Dao Tan St, Ba Dinh Dist., Hanoi Tel: (04) 3831-7755 Austria 53 Quang Trung St, Hoan Kiem Dist., Hanoi Tel: (04) 3943-3050 Bangladesh Villa D6B 5 – Khu Vuon Dao Ngo 675, Lac Long Quan St, Tay Ho Dist., Hanoi Tel: (04) 3771-6625 Belarus 52 Ho Tay St, Tay Ho Dist., Hanoi Tel: (04) 3829-0494 Belgium Hanoi Tower, 49 Hai Ba Trung St, Hoan Kiem Dist., Hanoi Tel: (04) 3934-6179 Brazil T72-14 Thuy Khue St, Tay Ho Dist., Hanoi Tel: (04) 3843-2544 Brunei Villa 8-9 No 44/8-44, 9 Van Bao St, Ba Dinh Dist., Hanoi Tel: (04) 3726-0001 Bulgaria 5 Nui Truc St, Ba Dinh Dist., Hanoi Tel: (04) 3845-2908 Cambodia 71A Tran Hung Dao St, Hoan Kiem Dist., Hanoi Tel: (04) 3942-7636 Canada 31 Hung Vuong St, Ba Dinh Dist., Hanoi Tel: (04) 3823-5500 China 46 Hoang Dieu St, Ba Dinh Dist., Hanoi. Tel: (04) 3845-3736 Cuba 65 Ly Thuong Kiet St, Hoan Kiem Dist., Hanoi Tel: (04) 3942-4775 Czech Republic 13 Chu Van An St, Ba Dinh Dist., Hanoi; Tel: (04) 3845-4131 Denmark 19 Dien Bien Phu St, Ba Dinh Dist., Hanoi Tel: (04) 3823-1888 Egypt 63 To Ngoc Van St, Tay Ho Dist., Hanoi Tel: (04) 3829-4999

46 • V I E T N A M

Hungary 12th floor of Deaha Building, 360 Kim Ma St, Ba Dinh Dist., Hanoi Tel: (04) 3771-5714 India 58-60 Tran Hung Dao St, Hoan Kiem Dist., Hanoi Tel: (04) 3824-4990 Indonesia 50 Ngo Quyen St, Hoan Kiem Dist., Hanoi Tel: (04) 3825-3353 Iran 54 Tran Phu St, Ba Dinh Dist., Hanoi Tel: (04) 3823-2068 Iraq 66 Tran Hung Dao St, Hoan Kiem Dist., Hanoi Tel: (04) 3942-4141 Ireland 8th floor of Vincom Tower B, 191 Ba Trieu St, Ha Dong Dist., Hanoi Tel: (04) 3974-3291 Israel 68 Nguyen Thai Hoc St, Ba Dinh Dist., Hanoi Tel: (04) 3843-3141 Italy 9 Le Phung Hieu St, Hoan Kiem Dist., Hanoi Tel: (04) 3825-6256 Japan 27 Lieu Giai St, Ba Dinh Dist., Hanoi Tel: (04) 3846-3000 Laos 22 Tran Binh Trong St, Hoan Kiem Dist., Hanoi Tel: (04) 3942-4576 Libya 298B Kim Ma St, Ba Dinh Dist., Hanoi Tel: (04) 3845-3379 Malaysia 43-45 Dien Bien Phu St, Ba Dinh Dist., Hanoi Tel: (04) 3734-3836 Mexico Coco Villa T-11, 14 Thuy Khue St, Tay Ho Dist., Hanoi Tel: (04) 3847-0948 Mongolia 5 Van Phuc, Kim Ma St, Ba Dinh Dist., Hanoi Tel: (04) 3845-3009 Myanmar 298A Kim Ma St, Ba Dinh Dist., Hanoi Tel: (04) 3845-3369


Netherlands 6th floor of Deaha Building, 360 Kim Ma St, Ba Dinh Dist., Hanoi Tel: (04) 3831-5650 New Zealand 63 Ly Thai To St, Hoan Kiem Dist., Hanoi Tel: (04) 3824-1481 North Korea 25 Cao Ba Quat St, Ba Dinh Dist., Hanoi Tel: (04) 3845-3008 Norway 8th Floor, Hanoi Tower, 49 Hai Ba Trung St, Hoan Kiem Dist., Hanoi Tel: (04) 3974-8900 Nigeria 44/1 Van Bao St, Ba Dinh Dist., Hanoi Tel: (04) 3726-3610 Palestine 6 Dang Van Ngu St, Dong Da Dist., Hanoi Tel: (04) 3852-4013 Philippines 27B Tran Hung Dao St, Hoan Kiem Dist., Hanoi Tel: (04) 3943-7948 Poland 3 Chua Mot Cot St, Ba Dinh Dist., Hanoi Tel: (04) 3845-2027 Romania 5 Le Hong Phong St, Ba Dinh Dist., Hanoi Tel: (04) 3845-2014 Russia 191 La Thanh St, Ba Dinh Dist., Hanoi Tel: 3833-6991 South Africa 31 Hai Ba Trung St, Hoan Kiem Dist., Hanoi Tel: (04) 3936-2000 South Korea 4th floor of Deaha Building, 360 Kim Ma St, Ba Dinh Dist., Hanoi Tel: (04) 3831-5111 Spain 15th floor of Deaha Building, 360 Kim Ma St, Ba Dinh Dist., Hanoi Tel: (04) 3771-5207 Sweden 2 Nui Truc St, Ba Dinh Dist., Hanoi Tel: (04) 3726-0400 Thailand 63-65 Hoang Dieu St, Ba Dinh Dist., Hanoi Tel: (04) 3823-5092 Turkey 14th Floor, HCO Building, 44B Ly Thuong Kiet St, Hoan Kiem Dist., Tel: (04) 3822-2460 United Kingdom 31 Hai Ba Trung St, Hoan Kiem Dist., Hanoi Tel: (04) 3936-0500 United States 7 Lang Ha St, Dong Da Dist., Hanoi Tel: (04) 3772-1500

MEDICAL CENTRES Acupuncture Institute 49 Thai Thinh St, Dong Da Dist., Hanoi Tel: (04) 3563-1069 Hanoi French Hospital 1 Phuong Mai St, Ba Dinh Dist., Hanoi Tel: (04) 3577-1100 International SOS Clinic 1 Dang Thai May St, Tay Ho Dist., Hanoi Tel: (04) 3934-0666 Vinmec international hospital 458 Minh Khai St, Hai Ba Trung Dist, Hanoi, Tel: (04) 3974-3556 AIRLINES Air France 1 Ba Trieu St, Hoan Kiem Dist., Hanoi Tel: (04) 3825-3484 Qatar Airways Hilton Hanoi Opera Building, M floor, 1 Le Thanh Tong St, Hoan Kiem Dist., Hanoi Tel: (04) 3933-6767 Singapore Airlines 17 Ngo Quyen St, Hoan Kiem Dist., Hanoi. Tel: (04) 3826-8888 Vietnam Airlines 25 Trang Thi St, Hoan Kiem Dist., Hanoi Tel: (04) 3823-0320 TRAVEL Amega Travel No 2606 Thang Long International Village, Tran Dang Ninh St, Cau Giay Dist., Hanoi Tel: (04) 3783-3570 Buffalo Tours 94 Ma May St, Hanoi Tel: (04) 3828-0702 Emeraude Classic Cruises 46 Le Thai To St, Hanoi Tel: (04) 3935-1888 Email: Exotissmo 26 Tran Nhat Duat St, Hanoi Tel: (04) 3828-2150 Email: Oriental Sails 16A Ly Nam De St, Hoan Kiem Dist., Hanoi Tel: (04) 3926-4009 Email: Topas Travel 52 To Ngoc Van St, Hanoi Tel: (04) 3715-1005 Email:

dIrectIONS HOTELS Note: Prices at many hotels depend on occupancy and change daily Baoson International Hotel 50 Nguyen Chi Thanh St, Hanoi Tel: (04) 3835-3536 Email: From VND1,570,000 ($75) De Syloia Hotel 17A Tran Hung Dao St, Hanoi Tel: (04) 3824-5346 Email: From VND1,806,000 ($86) Fortuna Hotel Hanoi 6B Lang Ha St, Ba Dinh Dist., Hanoi Tel: (04) 3831-3333 Email: From VND1,920,000 ($91) Hanoi Daewoo Hotel 360 Kim Ma St, Hanoi Tel: (04) 3831-5000 Email: Hanoi Emotion Hotel 26 – 28 Hang Bot St, Hanoi Tel: (04) 3848-9848 Email: The hotel also provides Vietnamese, Japanese and International cuisine Hilton Hanoi Opera Hotel 1 Le Thanh Tong St, Hanoi Tel: (04) 3933-0500 Email: Hotel de l’Opera 29 Trang Tien St, Hoan Kiem Dist., Hanoi Tel: (04) 6282-5555 Email: From VND4,140,000 ($197) Melia Hanoi Hotel 44B Ly Thuong Kiet St, Hanoi Tel: (04) 3934-3343 Email: Mövenpick Hotel Hanoi 83A Ly Thuong Kiet St, Hanoi Tel: (04) 3822-2800 Email: From VND3,139,500 ($149.50) Nikko Hanoi Hotel 84 Tran Nhan Tong St, Hanoi Tel.: (04) 3822-3535 From VND6,762,000 ($322) Pullman Hanoi 40 Cat Linh St, Hanoi

Tel: (04) 3733-0808 Email: From VND2,448,600 ($115.50) Prestige Hotel Hanoi 17 Pham Dinh Ho St, Hanoi Tel: (04) 6299-9888 Email: A new four-star international standard hotel, on a tree-lined street in the heart of Hanoi, 15 minutes walk from the Old Quarter and Hoan Kiem Lake. Modern luxuries, impeccable service and excellent value for the business or pleasure traveller. 80 rooms including elegant suites and an executive apartment, conference facilities, business centre, a restaurant, a fitness centre, a rooftop swimming pool and a cocktail bar. Silk Path Hotel Hanoi 195-199 Hang Bong St, Hoan Kiem Dist., Hanoi Tel: (04) 3266-5555 Email: From VND2,289,000 ($109) Sheraton Hanoi Hotel 11 Xuan Dieu St, Hanoi Tel: (04) 3719-9000 From VND4,956,000 ($236) As a ‘resort within the city’, Sheraton Hanoi Hotel is on the West Lake. Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi 15 Ngo Quyen St, Hanoi Tel: (04) 3826-6919 Email: From VND6,090,000 ($290) Sunway Hotel Hanoi 19 Pham Dinh Ho St, Hanoi Tel: (04) 3971-3888 Email: APARTMENTS Fraser Suites Hanoi 51 Xuan Dieu St, Quang An Ward, Tay Ho Dist., Hanoi Tel: (04) 3719-8877 Somerset Serviced Residence Vietnam 49 Hai Ba Trung St, Hoan Kiem Dist., Hanoi Tel: (04) 3934-2342 Luxurious apartments and properties for hiring RESTAURANTS Com Chay Nang Tam Restaurant 79A Tran Hung Dao St, Hanoi Tel: (04) 3942-4140

Green Tangerine 48 Hang Be St, Hoan Kiem Dist., Hanoi Tel: (04) 3825-1286 Serving French food with a Vietnamese cuisine Hoa Vien Brauhaus 1A Tang Bat Ho St, Hai Ba Trung Dist., Hanoi Tel: (04) 3972-5088 The restaurant has been famous for its production of Czech beer Le Tonkin Restaurant 14 Ngo Van So St, Hoan Kiem Dist., Hanoi Tel: (04) 3943-3457 Serves Vietnamese food BOOK STORE Infostones Bookshop 41 Trang Tien St, Hoan Kiem Dist., Hanoi Tel: (04) 3826-2993 Email: Thousands of magazines and books by hundreds of publishing houses worldwide SHOPS Craft Link 43 and 51 Van Mieu St, Hanoi Tel: (04) 3843-7710 Email: Ha Dong Silk 102 Hang Gai St, Hanoi Tel: (04) 3928-5056 Tan My Embroidery 66 Hang Gai St, Hanoi Email: Tel: (04) 3825-1579 Viet Culture 1 Trang Thi St, Hanoi Tel: (04) 3934-7417 Vietnam Quilts 13 Hang Bac St, Hoan Kiem Dist., Hanoi Tel: (04) 3926-4831 Traditional embroidery and other handicraft cloth products FURNITURE/ INTERIOR Dome Au Co 9 Au Co St, Hanoi Tel: (04) 3718-5866 Email: Dome Yen The 10 Yen The St, Hanoi Tel: (04) 3843-6036 STORE Annam Gourmet 51 Xuan Dieu St, Quang An Ward, Tay Ho Dist., Hanoi Tel: (04) 3718-4487 Annam Gourmet’s motivation is to “Enjoy Life. Eat and Drink well.”


MUSEUMS Ho Chi Minh Museum 19 Ngoc Ha St, Ba Dinh Dist., Hanoi Tel: (04) 3846-3752 Open: 8 a.m. to noon (Monday and Friday), 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (other days) Entry fee: VND25,000 Imperial Citadel of Thang Long 12 Nguyen Tri Phuong St/ 9 Hoang Dieu St, Ba Dinh Dist., Hanoi Tel: (04) 37345427 Open: 8.30 a.m. to 11.30 a.m. and 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. (Closed on Mondays) Entry fee: VND30,000 Vietnam National Museum of History 1 Trang Tien St, Hanoi 216 Tran Quang Khai St, Hanoi Tel: (04) 3824-1384 Open 8 a.m. to 4.30 p.m.Closed every first Monday of months Entry fee VND 20,000 ($0.95) for adults and VND10,000 ($0.48) for children Vietnam Fine Arts Museum 66 Nguyen Thai Hoc St, Ba Dinh Dist., Hanoi Tel: (04) 3733-2131 Open 8.30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Entry fee VND20,000 ($0.95) Vietnam Military History Museum 28A Dien Bien Phu St, Hanoi Tel: (04) 3733-4682 Open 8 a.m. to 11.30 a.m. and 1 p.m. to 4.30 p.m. Closed on Mondays and Tuesdays Entry fee VND30,000 ($1.43) Vietnam Museum of Ethnology Nguyen Van Huyen St, Cau Giay Dist., Hanoi Tel: (04) 3756-2193, Open 8.30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Closed on Mondays Entry fee VND25,000 ($1.19) Women’s Museum 36 Ly Thuong Kiet, Hanoi Tel: (04) 3825-9936 Open 8 a.m. to 4.30 p.m. Closed on Mondays Entry fee VND30,000 ($1.43) SPA Elite Fitness & Spa 51 Xuan Dieu St, Tay Ho Dist., Hanoi Tel: (04) 3718-6281 Email: Spa de Palace Fortuna Hotel Hanoi, 6B Lang Ha St, Hanoi Tel: (04) 3831-3333


• 47

directiONS NiNh BiNh

(TELEPHONE CODE: 030) Cuc Phuong Resort & Spa Village of Dong Tam, Nho Quan, Ninh Binh Province Tel: (030) 3848-888 Email: From VND1,500,000 ($71) Emeralda Ninh Binh Van Long Reserve, Gia Van Commune, Gia Vien Dist., Ninh Binh Province Tel: (030) 3658-333 Email: Ninh Binh Legend Hotel Tien Dong Zone, Ninh Khanh Ward, Ninh Binh City Tel: (030) 3899-880 Email: From VND1,575,000 ($75) A four-star hotel that features an elegant building in the French style. NearTrang An Ecological Area, Tam Coc-Bich Dong River Landscape, Hoa Lu Ancient Citadel and Bai Dinh Pagoda.

Nghe aN

(TELEPHONE CODE: 038) Mường Thanh Song Lam Hotel 13 Quang Trung St, Quang Trung Ward, Vinh, Nghe An Province Tel: (038) 3737-666 Email:

ha tiNh


BiNh, hue, daNaNg, hOi aN

Email: From VND1,120,000 ($53)

Tel: (054) 3978-484 Email:

Sun Spa Resort My Canh, Bao Ninh Commune, Dong Hoi City, Quang Binh Province Tel: (052) 3842-999 Email: From VND1,870,000 ($89)

Imperial Hotel 8 Hung Vuong St, Hue Tel: (054) 3882-222 Email: VND2,300,000 to VND29,400,000 ($110 to $1,400)


(TELEPHONE CODE: 054) Hue is a city on the Perfume River in lowland central Vietnam and was the capital of the Nguyen dynasty from 1802 to 1945. Many imperial structures remain. They were named part of UNESCO World Heritage in 1993. Hue is also known for its particular cuisine. HOTELS, RESORTS Note: Prices at many hotels depend on occupancy and change daily Ana Mandara Hue Thuan An Town, Phu Vang Dist., Hue Tel: (054) 3983-333 Email: Banyan Tree Lang Co Hotel Cu Du village, Loc Vinh Commune, Phu Loc Dist., Thua Thien Hue Province Tel: (054) 3695-888 Best Western Premier Indochine Palace

(Telephone code: 039) White Palace Hotel 139 Ha Huy Tap St, Ha Tinh City Tel: (039) 6269-999

A three-star hotel in the heart of Ha Tinh City, Central Vietnam, near tourist sites. 50 rooms designed in the French style, VIP dining rooms and two international-standard meeting rooms which can seat up to 500 people

QuaNg BiNh

105A Hung Vuong St, Hue Tel: (054) 3936-666 Email: From VND3,024,000 ($144) The hotel is surrounded by lush green gardens that make it an outstanding landmark in Hue and give the city the feel of a resort. This luxurious, international standard hotel is created to appeal to Vietnamese and international visitors to Hue. Hue Riverside Boutique Resort & Spa

RESTAURANT Thien Tam Vegetarian Restaurant 110A Le Ngo Cat St, Thuy Xuan Ward, Hue Tel: (054) 3898-220 Thien Tam Vegetarian Restaurant features a Hue garden house with a simple design and a serene atmosphere. The restaurant serves a variety of Hue vegetarian food, from royal to local dishes, at a reasonable price. The menu has many choices, with prices starting from VND45,000 per dish. The restaurant also serves as an art playground for Hue artists. Guests have chance to get their portraits drawn by the owners at a reasonable price. Vegetarian cooking classes are also available. The restaurant is about 1-2 km from Tu Duc tomb.


(TELEPHONE CODE: 0511) HOTELS, RESORTS Note: Prices at many hotels depend on occupancy and change daily Grand Mercure Danang Lot A1, Green Island, Hoa Cuong Bac, Hai Chau Dist., Danang Tel: (0511) 3797-777 Email: Hyatt Regency Danang Resort & Spa Hoa Hai Ward, Ngu Hanh Son Dist., Danang Tel: (0511) 3981-234 Email: From VND4,683,000 ($213) Pullman Danang Beach Resort Truong Sa St, Khue My Ward, Ngu Hanh Son Dist., Danang Tel: (0511) 3958-888 Email: Sandy Beach Non Nuoc Resort Danang Vietnam, Managed by Centara


48 • V I E T N A M

Vinpearl Luxury Danang Truong Sa St, Hoa Hai Ward, Ngu Hanh Son Dist., Danang Tel: (0 511) 3968-888 Email: MUSEUM Danang Museum of Cham Sculpture 2, 2 Thang 9 St, Danang Tel: (0511) 3572-935 Open 7.15 a.m. to 5 p.m. Entry fee VND30,000 ($1.43)

hOi aN

(TELEPHONE CODE: 0510) A major port town from the 15th to 19th centuries, Hoi An has well preserved vestiges of Vietnamese, Chinese and Japanese cultures. The buildings are now often used for tailor’s shops. The old town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Hoi An is a little over 30 km south of Danang, on the central coast. HOTELS, RESORTS Note: Prices at many hotels depend on occupancy and change daily Anantara Hoi An Resort 1 Pham Hong Thai St, Hoi An, Quang Nam Province Tel: (0510) 3914-555 Email: Ancient House River Resort Hamlet 2, Cam Thanh Village, Hoi An, Quang Nam Province Tel: (0510) 3930-777 Email: From VND2,656,500 ($126.50) Golf Hoi An Hotel

187 Ly Thuong Kiet St, Cam Pho Ward, Hoi An, Quang Nam Province Tel: (0510) 3861-171 Email:

Note: Prices at many hotels depend on occupancy and change daily Bao Ninh Beach Resort Ha Duong, Bao Ninh, Dong Hoi City, Quang Binh Province Tel: (052) 3854-866

Email: VND1,785,000 to VND5,670,000 ($85 to $270) Ho Chi Minh sales office: 4th Floor, Ben Thanh TSC Building; 186-188 Le Thanh Ton St, Dist.1, Ho Chi Minh City Tel: (08) 3914-7940

588 Bui Thi Xuan St, Thuy Bieu Dist., Hue


255 Huyen Tran Cong Chua St, Ngu Hanh Son Dist., Danang Tel: (0511) 3961-777

Hoi An Beach Resort 1 Cua Dai St, Hoi An, Quang Nam Province Tel: (0510) 3927-011 Email:

directiONS VND2,184,000 to VND2,772,000 ($104 to $132) Hoi An Historic Hotel


NhON, Nha traNg,phaN

Email: River-Beach Resort & Residences Hoi An

Block 1, Phu Phong town, Tay Son Dist., Binh Dinh Province Tel: (056) 3580-320 Open 7 a.m. to 11.30 a.m. and 1.30 p.m. to 5 p.m. Entry fee VND10,500 ($0.50). Free for children under six

phu yeN


10 Tran Hung Dao St, Hoi An, Quang Nam Province Tel: (0510) 3861-445 Email: From VND2,127,500 ($101) Hoi An Pacific Hotel & Spa

5 Cua Dai St, Hoi An Tel: (0510) 3927-888 Email: From VND1,350,000 ($65) Golden Sand Resort & Spa Hoi An Thanh Nien Road, Cua Dai Beach Hoi An, Quang Nam Province Tel: (0510) 3927-555 Email: VND3,759,000 to VND7,644,000 321 Cua Dai St, Hoi An, Quang Nam Province Tel: (0510) 3923-777 Email: From VND1,113,000 ($53) Le Belhamy Hoi An Resort & Spa Ha My Beach, Hoi An Tel: (0510) 3941-888 Email: From VND2,835,000 ($135) Hoi An Riverside Resort & Spa 175 Cua Dai St, Hoi An, Quang Nam Province Tel: (0510) 3864-800 Email: From VND1,650,000 ($79) Palm Garden Beach Resort and Spa

Lac Long Quan St, Cua Dai Beach, Hoi An, Quang Nam Province Tel: (0510) 3927-927 Email: From VND3,927,000 ($187) Sunrise Hoi An Beach Resort Au Co Road, Cua Dai Beach, Hoi An, Quang Nam Province Tel: (0510) 3937-777

($179 to $364)TRAVEL Rose Travel Service 37 - 39 Ly Thai To St, Cam Chau Ward, Hoi An, Quang Nam Province Tel: (0510) 3917-567 Email: MUSEUM Hoi An Centre for Cultural Heritage Management and Preservation 10B Tran Hung Dao St, Hoi An Tel: (0510) 3862-367 Open daily 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Quy NhON


Viet Star Resort and Spa Núi Thơm, Tuy Hoa City, Phu Yen Province Tel: (057) 3789-999 Email: VND2,898,000 to VND18,112,500 ($138 to $862.50)

MUSEUM Quang Trung Museum

Email: Evason Ana Mandara Nha Trang Beachside Tran Phu St, Nha Trang, Khanh Hoa Province Tel: (058) 3524-705 From VND7,728,000 ($368) Evason Ana Mandara has received the ‘Certificate of Excellence 2013’ by TripAdvisor Best Western Premier Havana Nha Trang Hotel

Nha traNg

(TELEPHONE CODE: 058) On the central coast, Nha Trang is a city originally known for beautiful beaches but these have lately been found to suffer from pollution due to modern life, development and tourism, like other popular resort areas in Vietnam. It has large numbers of foreign tourists, island-hopping, scuba diving, sightseeing and lounging on the beach. HOTELS, RESORTS Note: Prices at many hotels depend on occupancy and change daily Amiana Turtle Bay, Pham Van Dong St, Nha Trang, Khanh Hoa Province Tel: (058) 7305-555 Email: From VND8,001,000 ($381) An Lam Ninh Van Bay Villas Hon Heo, Ninh Van Commune, Ninh Hoa Town, Khanh Hoa Province Tel: (08) 3920-6949 Email: VND9,660,000 to VND19,320,000 ($460 to $920) Champa Island Nha Trang Resort & Spa

Note: Prices at many hotels depend on occupancy and change daily Avani Quy Nhon Resort & Spa Ghenh Rang, Bai Dai Beach, Quy Nhon, Binh Dinh Province Tel: (056) 3840-132 Email: From VND1,995,000 ($95) Royal Hotel and Healthcare Resort Quy Nhon 1 Han Mac Tu St, Quy Nhon, Binh Dinh Province Tel: (056) 374-7100 Email: VND1,155,000 to VND1,365,000 ($55 to $65)


38 Tran Phu St, Nha Trang, Khanh Hoa Province Tel: (058) 3889-999 Email: Michelia Hotel 4 Pasteur St, Nha Trang, Khanh Hoa Province Tel: (058) 3820-820 Email: From VND2,000,000 ($100) Mường Thanh Nha Trang Hotel 6 Duong Hien Quyen St, Vinh Hoa Ward, Nha Trang, Khanh Hoa Province Tel: (058) 3552-468 Email: From VND1,400,000 ($66) Novotel Nha Trang Hotel 50 Tran Phu St, Nha Trang, Khanh Hoa Province Tel: (058) 6256-900 Email: VND2,415,000 to VND4,830,000 ($115 to $230)

304 2/4 St, Vinh Phuoc, Nha Trang Email: Hotline: 0123 6009 777 With architecture reflecting nearby Po Nagar temple, Champa Island Nha Trang offers exquisite cuisine and many entertainment services that promise a memorable stay in Nha Trang

Six Senses Ninh Van Bay Ninh Van bay, Ninh Hoa, Khanh Hoa Province Tel: (058) 3524-268 Email: From VND17,629,500 ($839.50) In 2013 Six Senses Ninh Van Bay has been included in the list of ‘The Best Hotels in Vietnam’, by prestigious Condé Nast Traveller Also, Six Senses Ninh Van Bay was recognized as ‘Vietnam’s Leading Spa Resort’ by the World Travel Awards in October, 2013

Diamond Bay Resort & Spa Song Lo, Phuoc Ha, Phuoc Dong Dist., Khanh Hoa Province Tel: (058) 3711-711

Sheraton Nha Trang Hotel & Spa 26-28 Tran Phu St, Nha Trang, Khanh Hoa Province Tel: (058) 3880-000


• 49


phaN thiet From VND3,565,000 ($170)

Letimo Restaurant & Bakery 25 Nguyen Thien Thuat St, Nha Trang, Khanh Hoa Province Tel: 0933537887

Some Days of Silence Resort & Spa Dong Hai, Ninh Hai, Ninh Hoa, Hon Khoi, Khanh Hoa Province Tel: (058) 3670-952 Email: From VND2,310,000 ($110) Sunrise Nha Trang Beach Hotel & Spa 12-14 Tran Phu St, Nha Trang, Khanh Hoa Province Tel: (058) 3820-999 Email: VND2,520,000 to VND4,305,000 ($120 to $205) Vinpearl Luxury Nha Trang Hon Tre Island, Nha Trang, Khanh Hoa Province Tel: (058) 3598-598 Email: Vinpearl Resort Nha Trang Hon Tre Island, Nha Trang City, Khanh Hoa Province Tel: (058) 3598-188 Email: White Sand Doclet Resort & Spa


Binh Thuan Province Tel: (062) 3822-393 Email: From VND1,500,000 ($71) Bamboo Village Beach Resort & Spa

Alexandre Yersin Museum Pasteur Institute, 10 Tran Phu St, Nha Trang, Khanh Hoa Province Tel: (058) 3822-406

phaN raNg


HOTEL, RESORT Note: Prices at many hotels depend on occupancy and change daily Saigon Ninh Chu Hotel & Resort Khanh Hai Town, Ninh Hai Dist., Ninh Thuan Province Tel: (068) 3876-011 Email: VND1,575,000 to VND4,200,000 ($75 to $200)

phaN thiet

(TELEPHONE CODE: 062) Sitting on the coast about 200 km north of Ho Chi Minh City, Phan Thiet is a beach city with many resorts and hotels. HOTELS, RESORTS

38 Nguyen Dinh Chieu St, Ham Tien Ward, Phan Thiet City, Binh Thuan Province Tel: (062) 3847-007 From VND2,200,000 ($105) Full Moon Village Suoi Nuoc Beach, Mui Ne, Phan Thiet City, Binh Thuan Province Tel: (062) 3836-099 Email: VND2,100,000 to VND6,300,000 ($100 to $300) Hoang Ngoc (Oriental Pearl) Beach Resort & Spa

Note: Prices at many hotels depend on occupancy and change daily

Population group 9 Dong Cat, Ninh Hai Ward, Ninh Hoa Town, Khanh Hoa Province Tel: (058) 3670-670 Email: RESTAURANTS Letimo Piero Restaurant & Bakery 1/25 Tran Quang Khai St, Nha Trang, Khanh Hoa Province Tel: 0933537887

Allezboo Beach Resort & Spa 8 Nguyen Dinh Chieu St, Ham Tien, Phan Thiet, Binh Thuan Province Tel: (062) 3743-777 Email: From VND1,400,000 ($66) Anantara Mui Ne Resort & Spa 12A Nguyen Dinh Chieu St, Ham Tien Ward, Phan Thiet City, Binh Thuan Province Tel: (062) 3741-888 Email: DuParc Phan Thiet Ocean Dunes & Golf Resort 1 Ton Duc Thang St, Phan Thiet City,

152 Nguyen Dinh Chieu St, Ham Tien Ward, Phan Thiet City, Binh Thuan Province . Tel: (062) 3847-858 Email: VND1,600,000 to VND6,090,000 ($75 to $287) Mom Da Chim - Lazi Beach Resort Ly Thai To St, Tan Tien, Lagi, Binh Thuan Province Tel: (062) 3874-458 Email: From VND1,900,000 ($90) Muine de Century Beach Resort & Spa 16 Huynh Thuc Khang St, Ham Tien Ward, Phan Thiet, Binh Thuan Province Tel: (062) 3743-668 Email: From VND1,550,000 ($74) Muine Ocean Resort & Spa 10 Nguyen Dinh Chieu St, Ham Tien Ward, Phan Thiet City, Binh Thuan Province Tel: (062) 3741-616 Email: From VND1,050,000 ($50)

50 • V I E T N A M

Muine Bay Resort


Quarter 14, Mui Ne Ward , Phan Thiet City, Binh Thuan Province Tel: (062) 2220-222 Email: VND2,205,000 to VND6,195,000 ($105 to $295) Pandanus Resort

Quarter 5, Mui Ne, Phan Thiet, Binh Thuan Province Tel: (062) 3849-849 Email: From VND1,575,000 ($75) Park Diamond Hotel Nguyen Tat Thanh St, Hung Long Ward, Phan Thiet City, Binh Thuan Province Tel: (062) 3835-666 Email: From VND990,000 ($47) Saigon - Suoi Nhum Resort Thuan Quy, Ham Thuan Nam Ward, Binh Thuan Province Tel: (062) 3683-240 From VND1,700,000 ($81) Sandhills Beach Resort & Spa Km6, Tien Binh hamlet, Tien Thanh Commune, Phan Thiet, Binh Thuan Province Tel: (062) 3846-789 Email: From VND2,520,000 ($120) Seahorse Resort & Spa

Km 11, Ham Tien Ward, Phan Thiet City, Binh Thuan Province Tel: (062) 3847-507 Email: From VND1,440,000 ($68)

directiONS Sea Links Beach Hotel Km 9, Nguyen Thong St, Phu Hai Ward, Phan Thiet City, Binh Thuan Province Tel: (062) 2220-088 Email: From VND1,995,000 ($94) Sea Lion Beach Resort & Spa 12 Nguyen Dinh Chieu St, Ham Tien Ward, Phan Thiet, Binh Thuan Province Tel: (062) 3743-390 Email: Sunny Beach Resort & Spa

d a l at, h O

Villa Aria Mui Ne

60A Nguyen Dinh Chieu St, Ham Tien Ward, Phan Thiet City, Binh Thuan Province; Tel: (062) 3741-660 Email: From VND1,743,000 ($83) Villa Aria Muine is a beach resort at Mui Ne. The Villa offers 22 rooms and a suite, each with a terrace or balcony and a garden view. The resort is proud to feature solar power and locally-grown organic food.

64-66 Nguyen Dinh Chieu St, Ham Tien, Phan Thiet City, Binh Thuan Province Tel: (062) 3741-355 Email: From VND1,699,000 ($80)

The Sailing Bay Beach Resort 107 Ho Xuan Huong St, Mui Ne, Phan Thiet Tel: (062) 3836-555 Email: From VND2,571,000 ($122) Mui Ne Unique Resort


KM8, Nguyen Thong St, Phu Hai Ward, Phan Thiet City, Binh Thuan Province Tel: (062) 3741-175 Email: From VND1,344,000 VND ($64) MUSEUM Cham Culture Exhibition Centre Song Mao intersection, Phan Hiep Commune, Bac Binh Dist., Binh Thuan Province; Tel: (062) 3641-456 Open: 7.30 a.m. to 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Friday Free entrance


Victoria Phan Thiet Beach Resort & Spa Phu Hai Ward, Phan Thiet City, Binh Thuan Province Tel: (062) 3813-000 Email: From VND3,633,000 ($171)

02 Hoang Van Thu St, Dalat, Lam Dong Province Tel: (063) 3556-789 Email: ; Located in the heart of Dalat, SaigonDalat Hotel is a four-star-standard hotel, comprised of 160 luxurious and comfortable rooms with air-conditioning throughout and other modern amenities. Four restaurants, two bars, one tennis court, one indoor swimming pool, one fitness centre and one beauty salon and spa help make your getaway experience complete.

hO chi miNh city

(TELEPHONE CODE: 063) Dalat, founded in 1893, has Frencharchitecture, pine forests and a perpetually cool climate. It is in the southern Central Highlands, about 300 kilometres from Ho Chi Minh City. 20B, Nguyen Dinh Chieu St, Ham Tien Ward, Phan Thiet, Binh Thuan Province Tel: (062) 3741-617 Email: Reservation contact in Ho Chi Minh City, 57 Pham Viet Chanh St, Nguyen Cu Trinh Ward, Dist.1 Tel: (08) 38723 655 Email: VND2,331,000 to VND4,662,000 ($111 to $222) Saigon-Dalat Hotel

White Sands Resort

Saigon Mui Ne Resort 56 - 97 Nguyen Dinh Chieu St, Ham Tien Ward, Phan Thiet City, Binh Thuan Province Tel: (062) 3741-044 Email: From VND1,908,000 ($90)


HOTELS Note: Prices at many hotels depend on occupancy and change daily Ana Mandara Villas Dalat Resort & Spa Le Lai St, Dalat, Lam Dong Province Tel: (063) 3555-888 Email: From VND1,700,000 ($81) Dalat Edensee Lake Resort & Spa Tuyen Lam Lake, Zone VII.2, Dalat, Lam Dong Province Tel: (063) 3831-515 Email:

CONSULATES Australia 5B Ton Duc Thang St, Dist.1, Ho Chi Minh City Tel: (08) 3829-6035 Belgium 91 Nguyen Huu Canh St, Ward 22, Binh Thanh Dist., Ho Chi Minh City Tel: (08) 3512-7968 Cambodia 41 Phung Khac Khoan St, Dist.1, Ho Chi Minh City Tel: (08) 3829-2751 Canada Metropolitan, 235 Dong Khoi St, Dist.1, Ho Chi Minh City Tel: (08) 3827-9899 China 175 Hai Ba Trung St, Dist.3, Ho Chi Minh City. Tel: (08) 3829-2457 Cuba 45 Phung Khac Khoan St, Dist.1, Ho Chi Minh City Tel: (08) 3829-7350 France 27 Nguyen Thi Minh Khai St, Dist.3, Ho Chi Minh City Tel: (08) 3829-7231 Germany 126 Nguyen Dinh Chieu St, Dist.3, Ho Chi Minh City Tel: (08) 3829-2455 India 55 Nguyen Dinh Chieu St, Dist.3, Ho Chi Minh City Tel: (08) 3822-7853 Indonesia 18 Phung Khac Khoan St, Dist.1,



Ho Chi Minh City Tel: (08) 3825-1888 Japan 13-17 Nguyen Hue St, Dist.1, Ho Chi Minh City; Tel: (08) 3822-5314 Kuwait 24 Phung Khac Khoan St, Dist.1, Ho Chi Minh City, tel: (08) 3827-0555 Laos 93 Pasteur St, Dist.1, Ho Chi Minh City Tel: (08) 3829-7667 Mexico 11 Tra Khuc St, Tan Binh Dist., Ho Chi Minh City Tel: (08) 3848-6290 Netherlands 29 Le Duan St, Dist.1, Ho Chi Minh City Tel: (08) 3823-5932 New Zealand Metropolitan, 235 Dong Khoi St, Dist.1, Ho Chi Minh City Tel: (08) 3822-6907 Panama 7A Le Thanh Ton St, Dist.1, Ho Chi Minh City Tel: (08) 3825-0334 Russia 40 Ba Huyen Thanh Quan St, Dist.3, Ho Chi Minh City Tel: (08) 3930-3936 Singapore Saigon Centre, 65 Le Loi St, Dist.1, Ho Chi Minh City Tel: (08) 3822-5173 South Korea 107 Nguyen Du St, Dist.1, Ho Chi Minh City Tel: (08) 3822-5757 Switzerland 42 Giang Van Minh St, Dist.2, Ho Chi Minh City Tel: (08) 3744-6996 Thailand 77 Tran Quoc Thao St, Dist.3, Ho Chi Minh City Tel: (08) 3932-7637 United Kingdom 25 Le Duan St, Dist.1, Ho Chi Minh City Tel: (08) 3825-1380, (08) 3829-8433 United States 4 Le Duan St, Dist.1, Ho Chi Minh City Tel: (08) 3822-9433 HOSPITALS Columbia Asia Gia Dinh International Hospital 1 No Trang Long St, Binh Thanh Dist., Ho Chi Minh City Tel: (08) 3803-0678 FV Hospital 6 Nguyen Luong Bang St, Dist.7, Ho Chi Minh City Tel: (08) 5411-3500 Stamford Skin Centre 254 Dien Bien Phu St, Dist.3, Ho Chi Minh City Tel: (08) 3932-1090 Email:


• 51

directiONS AIRLINES Air France 130 Dong Khoi St, Dist.1, Ho Chi Minh City Tel: (08) 3829-0981 All Nippon Airways 115 Nguyen Hue St, Dist.1, Ho Chi Minh City Tel: (08) 3821-9612 American Airlines 69 Ba Huyen Thanh Quan St, Dist.3, Ho Chi Minh City Tel: (08) 3933-0330 Asiana Airlines 39 Le Duan St, Dist.1, Ho Chi Minh City Tel: (08) 3822-8710, (08) 3829-3038 British Airways 170-172 Nam Ky Khoi Nghia St, Dist.3, Ho Chi Minh City Tel: (08) 3930-2933 Cathay Pacific Airways 72-74 Nguyen Thi Minh Khai St, Dist.1, Ho Chi Minh City Tel: (08) 3822-3203 Emirates Airlines 170-172 Nam Ky Khoi Nghia St, Dist.3, Ho Chi Minh City Tel: (08) 3930-2939 Japan Airlines 88 Dong Khoi St, Dist.1, Ho Chi Minh City Tel: (08) 3821-9098 Jetstar Pacific Airlines 112 Hong Ha St, Tan Binh Dist., Ho Chi Minh City Tel: (08) 3955-0550 Philippine Airlines 2nd Floor Saigon Royal Building 91 Pasteur St, Dist.1, Ho Chi Minh City Tel: (08) 3827-2105 Qatar Airways 1-5 Le Duan St, Dist.1, Ho Chi Minh City Tel: (08) 3827-3888 Royal Brunei Airlines 787 Tran Hung Dao St, Dist.1, Ho Chi Minh CityTel: (08) 3924-5100



Vietjet Air 8Bis Cong Truong Quoc Te, Dist.3, Ho Chi Minh City Tel: (08) 3827-0123 TRAVEL Asiana Travel Mate 113C Bui Vien St, Dist.1, Ho Chi Minh City Tel: (08) 3838-6678 Buffalo Tours 81 Mac Thi Buoi, Dist.1, Ho Chi Minh City Tel: (08) 3827-9168 Email: Buffalo Tours operates in Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia and Laos. The Buffalo Tours portfolio caters to all types of tours. Exotissimo 80-82 Phan Xich Long St, Phu Nhuan Dist., Ho Chi Minh City Tel: (08) 3995-9898 Saigon Tourist 45 Le Thanh Ton St, Dist.1, Ho Chi Minh City Tel: (08) 3827-9279 Trails of Indochina 10/8 Phan Dinh Giot St, Tan Binh Dist., Ho Chi Minh City; Tel: (08) 3844-1005 Email: Transviet Travel Travel House, 170-172 Nam Ky Khoi Nghia St, Dist.3, Ho Chi Minh City Tel: (08) 3933-0777 HOTELS Note: Prices at many hotels depend on occupancy and change daily Catina Saigon Hotel 109 Dong Khoi St, Ben Nghe Ward, Dist.1, Ho Chi Minh City Tel: (08) 3829-6296

Singapore Airlines 29 Le Duan St, Dist.1, Ho Chi Minh City Tel: (08) 3823-1588 Thai Airways International 29 Le Duan St, Dist.1, Ho Chi Minh City Tel: (08) 3829-2809 Turkish Airlines 76A Le Lai St, Room 4, 8th Floor, AB Tower, Dist. 1, Ho Chi Minh City Tel: (08) 3936-0360 - Ext 121 Email: United Airlines Suite 708 Sun Wah Tower, 115 Nguyen Hue St, Dist.1, Ho Chi Minh City Tel: (08) 3823-4755 Vietnam Airlines 115 Nguyen Hue St, Dist.1, Ho Chi Minh City Tel: (08) 3832-0320

52 • V I E T N A M




Email: From VND1,690,500 ($80.50) Caravelle Hotel 19-23 Cong Truong Lam Son St, Dist.1, Ho Chi Minh City Tel: (08) 3823-4999 Email: Duxton Hotel Saigon 63 Nguyen Hue Blvd, Ben Nghe Ward, Dist.1, Ho Chi Minh City Tel: (08) 3822-2999 Email: Grand Hotel Saigon

Ho Chi Minh City. Tel: (08) 3823-3364 Email: From VND966,000 ($46) An elegant and cosy hotel with good service. Within walking distance to Ben Thanh market, Independence Palace and several museums. Vietnamese food is served at reasonable prices. Lotte Legend Hotel Saigon 2A-4A Ton Duc Thang St, Ben Nghe Ward, Dist 1, Ho Chi Minh City Tel: (08) 3823-333 Email: From VND4,221,000 ($201) Liberty Central Hotels in Ho Chi Minh City 17 Ton Duc Thang St, Dist.1 Tel: (08) 3827-1717 177-179 Le Thanh Ton St, Dist.1 Tel: (08) 3823-9269 Email:

8 Dong Khoi St, Ben Nghe Ward, Dist.1, Ho Chi Minh City Tel: (08) 3823-0163 Email: Built in 1930, the Ancient Wing of Grand Hotel Saigon offers a cozy and elegant atmosphere. The Luxury Wing, opened in November 2011, adds a modern style. 230 rooms and suites, a ballroom, recreation area, VIP Lounge, Western & Asian restaurants, Bars & Grand Café at Roof Garden. Hotel Nikko Saigon 235 Nguyen Van Cu St, Dist.1, Ho Chi Minh City, tel: (08) 3925-7777 From VND4,830,000 ($230) InterContinental Asiana Saigon Corner Hai Ba TrungSt. & Le Duan Blvd, Dist.1, Ho Chi Minh City Tel: (08) 3520-9999 Email: From VND5,845,455 ($278) Kelly Hotel 42-44 Thu Khoa Huan St, Dist.1,

Mövenpick Hotel Saigon 253 Nguyen Van Troi St, Phu Nhuan Dist., Ho Chi Minh City Tel: (08) 3844-9222 Email: Northern Hotel Saigon

11A Thi Sach St, Dist.1, Ho Chi Minh City Tel: (08) 3825-1751 Email: From VND1,505,000 ($71) Three-star boutique hotel, 99 rooms in Superior, Deluxe and Suite categories, a short walk from major entertainment and shopping venues. New World Saigon Hotel 76 Le Lai St, Ben Thanh Ward, Dist.1, Ho Chi Minh City Tel: (08) 3822-8888 Email:

directiONS New Epoch Hotel 120 Cach Mang Thang 8 St, Dist.3, Ho Chi Minh City Tel: (08) 3932-6169 Email: From VND1,155,000 ($55) Novotel Saigon Centre 167 Hai Ba Trung St, Dist.3, Ho Chi Minh City Tel: (08) 3822-4866 Email: From VND2,959,000 ($140) Palace Hotel Saigon 56-66 Nguyen Hue Blvd, Dist.1, Ho Chi Minh City Tel: (08) 3829-2860 Email: Park Hyatt Saigon 2 Lam Son Square, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City Tel: (08) 3824-1234 Email: From VND8,436,000 PARKROYAL Saigon 309B – 311 Nguyen Van Troi St,Tan Binh Dist., Ho Chi Minh City Tel: (08) 3842-1111 From VND2,173,500 ($103.50) Ramana Hotel Saigon 323 Le Van Sy St, Dist.3, Ho Chi Minh City Tel: (08) 3843-9999 Email: From VND1,050,000 ($50) Renaissance Riverside Hotel Saigon 8-15 Ton Duc Thang St, Ben Nghe Ward, Dist.1, Ho Chi Minh City Tel: (08) 3822-0033 Email: From VND4,105,500 ($195.50) Royal Hotel Saigon 133 Nguyen Hue St, Dist.1, Ho Chi Minh City Tel: (08) 3822-5915 Email: From VND1,932,000 ($92) Rex Hotel

141 Nguyen Hue St, Ben Nghe Ward, Dist.1, Ho Chi Minh City Tel: (08) 3829-2185 Email: From VND4,620,000 ($220)

Sheraton Saigon Hotel & Towers 88 Dong Khoi St, Ben Nghe Ward, Dist.1, Ho Chi Minh City Tel: (08) 3827-2828 Email: From VND8,740,000 ($416)



the Vietnamese ‘lẩu hải sản’ distinguished by its provencale herb broth. Hallway has a glass cabinet display of a multitude of French and world wines.

Tan Son Nhat Hotel 200 Hoang Van Thu St, Ward 9, Phu Nhuan Dist, Ho Chi Minh City Tel: (08) 3844-1039 Email: From VND785,400 ($37) Windsor Plaza Hotel 18 An Duong Vuong, Dist.5, Ho Chi Minh City Tel: (08) 3833-6688 Email: RESTAURANTS Kobe Teppanyaki Restaurant 13A Tu Xuong St, Ward 7, Dist 3, Ho Chi MInh City Tel: (08) 3932-0187 Lemongrass Restaurant 4 Nguyen Thiep St, Dist.1, Ho Chi Minh City Tel: (08) 3822-0496 L-Lounge 47 Pham Viet Chanh St, Nguyen Cu Trinh Ward, Dist.1, Ho Chi Minh City Tel: (08) 6260-2555 Mam Son Restaurant 35 Ton That Thiep St, Dist.1, Ho Chi Minh City Tel: (08) 3915-3653 Vietnamese food Maxim Nam An Vietnamese Restaurant 13-15-17 Dong Khoi St, Dist.1, Ho Chi Minh City Tel: (08) 3829-6676 Vatel Saigon Bistronomique-Lounge 120 Bis Suong Nguyet Anh St, Ben Thanh Ward, Dist.1, Ho Chi Minh City Tel: (08) 5404-2220 Recently opened, high-class French restaurant with attached hotel and catering school. Part of a worldwide franchise chain. One speciality is bouillabaisse, a seafood-hotpot relative of


Massage Enjoy (Yuan)

Vietnam House Restaurant

Silver Creek City Resort 112 An Phu Dong 11, Dist.12, Ho Chi Minh City Tel: (08) 3719-9533 Email: From VND1,207,500 ($57.50) Sofitel Saigon Plaza 17 Le Duan St, Dist.1, Ho Chi Minh City Tel: (08) 3824-1555 Email: From VND3,864,000 ($184)


93 - 95 Dong Khoi St, Dist.1, Ho Chi Minh City Tel: (08) 3829-1623 Established in 1992, Vietnam House is a charming restaurant inside a French-Vietnamese style colonial mansion on chic Dong Khoi Street.. The restaurant features over 200 Vietnamese dishes, piano and traditional music. BARS & CAFÉS Caffe Molinari 5 Le Duan St, Dist.1, Ho Chi Minh City Tel: (08) 3910-6903 Email: Elle Cafe 45 Ngo Duc Ke St, Bitexco Financial Tower, Ho Chi Minh City Tel: (08) 6291-8769 Sax N’ Art Jazz Club 28 Le Loi St, Dist 1, Ho Chi Minh City Tel: (08) 3822-8472 Thao Nguyen Café Floor 7 and Rooftop of Restaurant Ngon 138 138 Nam Ky Khoi Nghia St, Ben Nghe Ward, Dist.1, Ho Chi Minh City Tel: (08) 3827-9666 Open from 7 a.m. until 10.30 p.m. SHOPS IPA Nima 85 Pasteur St, Ben Nghe Ward, Dist.1, Ho Chi Minh City Tel: (08) 3824-2701 IPA Nima is well-known for its bags. Shin 122 Ly Tu Trong St, Dist.1, Ho Chi Minh City 53A Nguyen Du St, Dist.1, Ho Chi Minh City Tel: 0909352369 Shin is famous for fashion clothes and leather bags. SPAS V Spa *16E Phung Khac Khoan St, Dist.1, Ho Chi Minh City Tel: (08) 3827-9484 *15B/25 Le Thanh Ton St, Dist.1, Ho Chi Minh City Tel: (08) 6291-8179

15B3 Le Thanh Ton St, Dist.1, Ho Chi Minh City Tel: (08) 2210-4990 or 0906 728 406 (Ms Thanh) Open 10 a.m.-11p.m. At Massage Enjoy Spa, you will experience Shiatsu hard massage therapy, whereby you can let go of all your stress and invigorate your body in a relaxed and tranquil setting. Also offering foot massage. VND170,000-VND380,000 (including tips). COOKING CLASSES Mint Culinary School 778/45 Nguyen Kiem St, Phu Nhuan Dist., Ho Chi Minh City Tel: (08) 3844-5500 Email: Saigon Cooking Class 74/7 Hai Ba Trung St, Dist.1, Ho Chi Minh City Tel: (08) 3825-8485 Tuesday to Sunday 8 a.m. till 5.30 p.m. Half-day gourmet tour: 8.45 a.m. till 1 p.m., Tuesday till Sunday. Ben Thanh market visit guided by our chef to purchase your own ingredients followed by a hands-on cooking class. $45,50 (VND955,500) per adult. GALLERIES Artists Long & Ngoc Gallery Grand Hotel (at the lobby), 8 Dong Khoi, Dist.1, Ho Chi Minh City TeL: (08) 2246-6839 Mobile: 0908 229 708 Email: Apricot Gallery 50 Mac Thi Buoi St, Ben Nghe Ward, Dist.1, Ho Chi Minh City Tel: (08) 3822-7962 Cactus Contemporary Art 17/12 Nguen Huy Tuong St, Ward 6, Binh Thanh Dist., Ho Chi Minh City Tel: (08) 7300-1270 Email: Craig Thomas Gallery 27i Tran Nhat Duat St, Dist.1, Ho Chi Minh City Mobile: 0903 888 431 Email: Open: 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. Closed Mondays and Sundays Galerie Quynh 65 De Tham St, Dist.1,


• 53





1 Duxton Hotel Saigon 2 Equatorial Hotel 3 Grand Hotel 4 Intercontinental Asiana Saigon Hotel 5 Kelly Hotel


6 Lotte Legend Hotel Saigon 7 Majestic Hotel 8 New W World orld Hotel 9 Oscar Hotel 1 0 Park Hyatt 10 1 1 Renaissance Riverside Hotel Saigon 11 12 1 2 Rex Hotel 1 3 Sheraton Saigon Hotel & TTowers 13 owers 14 1 4 New Epoch Hotel

2 1 4 14

15 1 5 Ngon 138 Restaurant 16 1 6 V Vietnam ietnam House Restaurant

1 7 V 17 -Spa V-Spa


4 2

STREET GUIDE 3 Thang 2..........A2, A3, B2 Alexandre De Rhodes........ ........................................E2 An Duong Vuong....A4, B4 Ba Le Chan....................D1 Ba Huyen Thanh Quan...... ........................................C2 Ban Co...........................B3 Ben Chuong Duong........... .................................D4, E4 Ben Van Don...........D4, E4

Bui Thi Xuan..................C3 Bui Vien...................C4, D4 Cach Mang Thang Tam..... ......A1, B1, B2, C2, C3, D3 Calmette.........................E4 Cao Thang.....................B3 Chu Manh Trinh.............F2 Co Bac.....................C4, D4 Co Giang............. ...C4, D4 Cong Quynh............C3, C4 De Tham........................D4

Dien Bien Phu..................... A3, B2, C2, D1, D2, E1, F1 Dinh Tien Hoang............E1 Do Quang Dau...............C4 Do Thanh.......................B3 Doan Cong Buu.............C1 Doan Nhu Hai..........E4, F4 Dong Du.........................F3 Dong Khoi................E3, F3 Hai Ba Trung....................... ...........................D1, E2, F3 Hai Trieu.........................F4

Ham Nghi.................E4, F4 Han Thuyen....................E2 Ho Hao Hon...................C4 Ho Tung Mau...........E3, E4 Ho Xuan Huong.............C2 Hoa Hung.......................A2 Hung Vuong...................A4 Huyen Tran Cong Chua..... ........................................D3 Huynh Thuc Khang........E3 Huynh Tinh Cua.............D1 Ky Con.....................D4, E4

Ky Dong...................B2, C1 Le Duan...................E2, F2 Le Hong Phong.................. ...........................A2, A3, A4 Le Lai.......................C3, D3 Le Loi..............................E3 Le Quy Don....................D2 Le Thanh Ton...................... ...........................D3, E3, F2 Le Thi Hong Gam............... .................................D4, E4 Le Thi Rieng............C3, D3

Le Van Sy.......................B1 Luong Huu Khanh.........C3 Ly Chinh Thang.......C1, C2 Ly Thai To......................A3 Ly Tu Trong......................... ...........................D3, E3, F2 Ly Van Phuc...................E1 Mac Dinh Chi...........E1, E2 Mac Thi Buoi..................F3 Mai Thi Luu..............E1, F1 Nam Ky Khoi Nghia............ ...................C1, D1, D2, D3







15 10 5


13 1


16 9 3




Ngo Duc Ke....................F3 Ngo Thoi Nhiem ....C2, D2 Ngo Van Nam.................F2 Nguyen Binh Khiem.............. .....................................F1, F2 Nguyen Cau...................D1 Nguyen Cong Tru............... .................................D4, E4 Nguyen Dinh Chieu............ ......B3, C2, C3, D2, E1, F1 Nguyen Du..............D3, E3 Nguyen Hue.............E3, F3

Nguyen Khac Nhu.............. .................................C4, D4 Nam Quoc Cang.....C3, C4 Nguyen Phi Khanh.........E1 Nguyen Sieu...................F3 Nguyen Son Tra................. .................................B3, C3 Nguyen Tat Thanh..........F4 Nguyen Thai Binh............... .................................D4, E4 Nguyen Thai Hoc....D3, D4 Nguyen Thanh Y............E1

Nguyen Thi Dieu............C2 Nguyen Thi Minh Khai........ .................................B3, C3 Nguyen Thien Thuat........... .................................A3, B3 Nguyen Thong........B2, C2 Nguyen Thuong Hien........ .................................B2, C3 Nguyen Trai.............B4, C4 Nguyen Trung Ngan......F2 Nguyen Trung Truc........E3 Nguyen Truong To.........E4

Nguyen Van Cu..............B4 Nguyen Van Thu......E1, F1 Pasteur................................ ...............D1, D2, E2, E3,E4 Pham Ngoc Thach.........D1 Pham Ngu Lao........C4, D4 Pham Viet Chanh...........B3 Phan Ke Binh..........E1, E2 Pho Duc Chinh...............E4 Phung Khac Khoan.......E2 Suong Nguyet Anh........C3 Thach Thi Thanh.....D1, E1

Thai Van Lung................F3 Thi Sach.........................F3 Thu Khoa Huan.......D3, E3 To Hien Thanh................A1 Ton That Dam..........E3, E4 Ton Duc Thang..............C3 Tran Binh Trong......A3, A4 Tran Cao Van.................E2 Tran Dinh Xu...........B4, C4 Tran Hung Dao.......C4, D4 Tran Minh Quyen...........A3 Tran Nhan Tong.......A3, A4

Tran Phu.........................A4 Tran Quang Dieu...........B1 Tran Quang Khai.....D1, E1 Tran Quoc Thao......C1, D2 Tran Quoc Toan......C1, D1 Truong Dinh............C1, C2 Tu Xuong.......................C2 Vinh Vien........................A3 Vo Thi Sau........C2, D1, E1 Vo Van Tan..............C3, B3 Vuon Chuoi..............B2, B3 Yersin..............................D4

D I r e C T I O N S M e k O N G D e LTA Ho Chi Minh City Tel: (08) 3836-8019 Tu Do Gallery 53 Ho Tung Mau St, Ben Nghe Ward, Dist.1, Ho Chi Minh City Tel: (08) 3821-0966 Opening: 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. everyday Sàn Art 3 Me Linh St, Ward 19, Binh Thanh Dist., Ho Chi Minh City Tel: (08) 3840-0183 Opening: 10.30 a.m. to 6.30 p.m. every. Closed on Sunday and Monday MUSEUMS Fine Arts Museum of Ho Chi Minh City 97A Pho Duc Chinh St, Nguyen Thai Binh Ward, Dist.1, Ho Chi Minh City Tel: (08) 3829-4441 Open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Closed Mondays.

The Fine Arts Museum of Ho Chi Minh City was established in September, 1987. It is a three-storey building with over 20,000 paintings, statues and pottery products from ancient (collections of Oc Eo and post Oc Eo, Champa, the Central Highlands and 20th Century to 1975 and since 1975). Ho Chi Minh City Museum 65 Ly Tu Trong St, Ben Nghe Ward, Dist.1, Ho Chi Minh City Tel: (08) 3829-9741 Open daily 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Designed by French architect Alfred Foulhoux, Ho Chi Minh City Museum was built between 1885 and 1890. At first it was meant to be a museum, but after it was completed it was made the Cochin china Governor’s Palace. Now it is Ho Chi Minh City Museum, which includes: nature, archaeology, Vietnam’s revolutionary struggle from 1930 to 1954 and from 1954 to 1975, culture from late 19th to 20th century.

from HCMC. Sitting on a peninsula that sticks out into the East Sea, Vung Tau does not have the most beautiful, or cleanest, beaches in Vietnam but can act as a quick getaway from the buzz of the city. HOTELS, RESORTS Note: Prices at many hotels depend on occupancy and change daily Binh An Village Resort Vung Tau 1 Tran Phu St, Vung Tau Tel: (064) 351-0732 Email: From VND2,058,000 ($98) Binh An Village Resort in Vung Tau has oriental architecture, two swimming pools, a bar, a library and a cinema. Grand Hotel Vung Tau

2 Nguyen Du St, Ward.1, Vung Tau Tel: (064) 3856-888 Email: From VND2,058,000 ($98) A four star hotel, 125 km from Saigon, built in 1890s with the French architecture, near the beach and few hundreds metres from Vung Tau Hydrofoil Terminal. 66 rooms and 17 apartments, three meeting rooms seated from 20 to 250 and wedding services. Mường Thanh Vung Tau Hotel No 09, Thong Nhat St, Ward 1, Vung Tau Tel: (064) 3835-567 Email: From VND1,890,000 ($90) Palace Hotel

Independence Palace 135 Nam Ky Khoi Nghia St, Ben Thanh Ward, Dist.1, Ho Chi Minh City Tel: (08) 3822-3652 Open daily, 7.30 a.m. to 11.30 a.m., 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Romeliess Hotel

1 Nguyen Trai St, Ward 1, Vung Tau Tel: (064) 3856-411 Email: From VND2,062,000 ($97)

A popular beach resort town for residents of Ho Chi Minh City, Vung Tau is about 128 km southeast of HCMC. It can be reached either by road or by a 90-minute hydrofoil boat

Petrosetco Hotel 12 Truong Cong Dinh St, Ward 2, Vung Tau Tel: (064) 3624-748 Email: From VND1,085,700 ($52)

HERITAGE - JANUARY-FEBRUARY 2014 con-dao/destination From VND14,490,000 ($690) Six Senses Con Dao has been selected as one of 2013's 25 Best Ecolodges by National Geographic Traveler


(TELEPHONE CODE: 0710) Can Tho is the largest city in the Mekong Delta, about 170 km southwest of Ho Chi Minh City, and acts as the area’s economic, transportation and cultural centre. Sitting on the Mekong River, Can Tho is popular for its nearby floating markets, canals and rivers that can be explored by boat. HOTELS, RESORTS

31 - 33 Thuy Van St, Vung Tau Tel: (064) 3613-366 Email: A new three-star hotel at the Back Beach, the ‘best beach in Vung Tau,’ with nearly 50 rooms overlooking the beach! Many promotions at The Imperial Hotel & Residences Vung Tau 159 - 163 Thuy Van St, Vung Tau Tel: (064) 3628-888 Email: MUSEUM White Palace 6 Tran Phu St, Ward.1, Vung Tau Tel: (064) 3852-605 Open daily 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.


Long Hai is a beach town, 30km northeast of Vung Tau and 124 km southeast of HCMC. Anoasis Beach Resort Domain Ky Van, Long Hai, Ba Ria – Vung Tau Province Tel: (064) 3868-227 Email: From VND2,310,000 ($110) Tropicana Beach Resort Provincial Road 44A, Phuoc Hai Town, Dat Do Dist., Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province Tel: (064) 3678-888 Email:

War Remnants Museum 28 Vo Van Tan St, Ward 6, Dist.3, Ho Chi Minh City, Tel: (08) 3930-5587 Email: Open daily 7.30 a.m. to midday and 1.30 p.m. to 5 p.m.

56• V I E T N A M

Petro House Hotel 63 Tran Hung Dao St, Ward 1, Vung Tau Tel: (064) 3852-014 Email: From VND1,260,000 ($60) Newly refurbished rooms conveniently located near Vung Tau ferry terminal. Catering to Asian and European tastes with Malaysian cuisine specialty.

CON DAO ATC Con Dao Resort 8 Ton Duc Thang St, Con Dao, Ba Ria Vung Tau Province Tel: (064) 3830-456 Email: From VND1,260,000 ($60) Six Senses Con Dao Dat Doc Beach, Con Dao Dist., Ba Ria - Vung Tau Province Tel : (064) 3831-222

Note: Prices at many hotels depend on occupancy and change daily Golf Can Tho Hotel 2 Hai Ba Trung St, Tan An Ward, Ninh Kieu Dist., Can Tho Tel: (0710) 3812-210 Email: Victoria Can Tho Resort Cai Khe Ward, Ninh Kieu Dist., Can Tho Tel: (0710) 3810-111 Email: From VND3,700,000 ($175) MUSEUM Can Tho Museum 1 Hoa Binh St, Tan An Ward, Can Tho Tel: (0710) 3820-955 Open: Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday (8 a.m. to 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.); Saturday and Sunday (8 a.m. to 11 a.m. and 6.30 p.m. to 9 p.m.). Closed on Friday. Free admission


(TELEPHONE CODE: 076) HOTELS Note: Prices at many hotels depend on occupancy and change daily Victoria Chau Doc Hotel 1 Le Loi St, Chau Doc Town, An Giang Province Tel: (076) 3865-010 Email: From VND3,169,000 ($149) Victoria Nui Sam Lodge Vinh Dong 1, Nui Sam, Chau Doc, An Giang Province Tel: (076) 3575-888 Email: MUSEUM An Giang Museum 11 Ton Duc Thang St, My Binh Ward,

DIreCTIONS PHU QUOC , OVerSeAS Long Xuyen City, An Giang Province Tel: (076) 3956-248 Open hour 7a.m. to 11a.m. and 1.30 p.m. to 5 p.m. Closed on Monday Entrance fee: VND42,000 ($2)


(TELEPHONE CODE: 077) Phu Quoc Island, off the southern tip of Vietnam in the Gulf of Thailand, has some of the most beautiful beaches in the country. White-sand beaches, scuba diving around coral reefs or exploring the protected jungle. Accessible by either the Rach Gia hydrofoil boat or a 50-minute flight from Ho Chi Minh City. Modest family-owned bungalows on the beach to fivestar resorts. HOTELS, RESORTS Note: Prices at many hotels depend on occupancy and change daily Eden Resort Phu Quoc Cua Lap Hamlet, Duong To Ward, Phu Quoc District, Kien Giang Province Tel: (077) 3985-598 Email: Chen Sea Resort & Spa Phu Quoc, Centara Boutique Collection Bai Xep, Ong Lang, Cua Duong, Phu Quoc Island Tel: (077) 3995-895 Email: From VND3,381,000 ($161) La Veranda Resort Tran Hung Dao St, Ward 7, Duong Dong Town Phu Quoc Island Tel: (077) 3982-988 Email: VND5,082,000 to VND8,694,000 ($242 to $414) Sai Gon Phu Quoc Resort 1 Tran Hung Dao St, Phu Quoc Island Tel: (077) 3846-999 Email: VND2,499,000 to VND4,011,000 ($119 to $191)


(Telephone code: 1) Xe Lua 254 Spadina Ave, Tonronto, Ontario Canada M5T2C2 Tel: (1-416) 703-8330 Xe Lua has been open since 1996 and serves phở for $6 a bowl Open: 11.30 a.m. to 12 p.m Chau Kitchen and Bar 1500 Robson St. Vancouver, British Columbia Tel: (1-604) 682-8020 Serves Vietnamese dishes with prices starting at $7 per dish.


(Telephone code: 33) CLEMONT-FERRAND Kim Anh 6 Bis r Elie Gintrac Tel: (33-4) 7391-9364 Serves traditional Vietnamese food, from €12.80 per dish Open 11.30 a.m. to 3 p.m. (closed on Sundays). GRENOBLE Kim Ngan 22 r Nicolas Chrier Tel: (33-4) 7649-0847 Serves Vietnamese food with prices starting at €8 per dish


(Telephone code: 1) CALIFORNIA-CA Emerald Restaurant Pacific Gateway Plaza 3709 Convoy Street, Ste 101, San Diego, CA 92111 Tel: (1) 858-565-6888 Serves Vietnamese food

Kieu Nga Lemongrass Restaurant 514 12th Ave Seattle, WA 98122 Tel: (1) 206-860-8164 Moonlight Café 1919 S Jackson St Seattle, WA 98144 Tel: (1) 206-322-3378 Massachusetts-MA Saigon Hut 305-307 Meridian St. Boston, ] MA 02128; Tel: (1) 617-567-1944 Xinh Xinh 7 Beach St (Washington St.) Boston, MA 02111 Tel: (1) 617-422-0501


(Telephone code: 44) Little Saigon Restaurant 6 Bigg Market, Newcastle upon Tyne, England Tel: 01912330766 Vietnamese dishes


(Telephone code: 61) La Mint 62–64 Riley St, East Sydney NSW 2010 Tel: (61) 293-311-818 Email: Open: Wednesday to Friday, noon to 2:30 p.m., Monday to Saturday, 6 p.m. to 10.30 p.m. French and Vietnamese dishes


(Telephone code: 62) Pho 24 Pondok Indah, Plaza I, Jln. Taman Duta 1Blok UA 35 Jakarta Selatan Tel: (62) 0217-505-909 JIn. Wolter Mongonsidi No. 71, Kebayyoran Baru, Jakarta Selatan Tel: (62) 0217-278-8411 Pacific Place Mall, 5th Floor, SCBD, JIn. Jendral Sudirman Kav. 52-53, Jakarta 12190 Tel: (62) 0215-140-0531

Hung Ky Mi Gia 5237 El Cajon Blvd, San Diego, CA 92115; Tel: (1) 619-229-2188 Serves noodle varieties with prices starting at $5 per dish Open 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. International Restaurant 1 4444 – A University Ave, San Diego, CA 92115 Tel: (1) 619-281-9999 Little Saigon 7 Linden Ave (Railroad) South San Francisco, CA 94080 Tel: (1) 650-589-1398 New York-NY Saigon Grill 620 Amsterdam Ave, New York, NY 10024 Tel: (1) 212-875-9072 Serves over 100 Vietnamese dishes including vegetarian options Open 11 a.m. to 12 a.m. Mai Lan Vietnamese 505 N State St Syracuse, NY 13203 Tel: (1) 315-471-6740 L’Annam 121 University Pl New York, NY 10022 Tel: (1) 212-420-1414 VIRGINIA-VA Minh’s Vietnamese 2500 Wilson Blvd Arlington, VA 22201 Tel: (1) 703-525-2828 Prices start at $15 per dish Open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. (closed on Mondays) WASHINGTON-WC Ho Bac 1314 S Jackson St Seattle, WA 98144 Tel: (1) 206-860-8164


• 57


Clockwise from top left: A horse (contemplating life) in Bach Thong Dist., Bac Kan Province, northeastern Vietnam; A flower seller in Thai Binh Province; Something that looks like an electric box in Tao Dan Park, Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Kent Aloupe; Forging agricultural and household tools is a traditional craft of Nung people in Phuc Sen Commune, Quang Uyen District, Cao Bang Province, Northernmost Vietnam. ‘A Nung man of marriage age is called good for nothing if he can not forge a knife’, said 52-year-old Long Van Chien, who has been in the craft for 37 years. Chien earns around 10 dollars a day; Drying jars used to contain wine to be drunk with pipes put into the jars, a practice popular among hill tribes. Lam Dong Province, Central Highlands. Photos: Do Quang Tuan Hoang 58 • V I E T N A M


Vietnam Heritage issue Jan-Feb 2014  

Cover story: Tet: the Lunar New Year -Horse sense -Tet in Hanoi in the old days -The Kitchen Gods return to the heavens -A day of miracles -...

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