(Conical Hat)
Non la & Hue’s young ladies

Non la, the distinctive conical palm hat, has always been a symbol of Vietnam, closely linked people & their daily lives.

When discussing this hat, constructed of dried palm leaves, thin bamboo strips curved into rings & gut, Vietnamese & foreign tourists talk about the central city of Hue, famous for the image of a young lady wearing a violet ao dai & a non la. High school girls in their pure white ao dai with non la on their heads or in their hands look lovely & charming. If shy or embarrassed, they tilt their hats to cover the faces. How beautiful that is! Read More »


Bến Đục, Chùa Hương

(Duc Wharf, Huong Pagoda)

Ben Duc, Yen Spring & Huong Pagoda

From Hanoi, visitors can reach the Huong Pagoda by taking a car to Ben Duc, the entrance of Huong Son Range in My Duc District, Ha Tay Province. From there they take a boat along Yen Spring.

If you travel in the early morning when there is still fog, you feel as if you were in the paradise.

It is interesting that the water of Yen Spring is very clear but its wharf is named Duc, which Read More »


(Cham Tower)

Cham Tower, a world heritage

The World Heritage Road in central Vietnam has been talked about, far & wide, especially by international tourists wishing to explore the unique character of the region’s heritage site.

When visiting Quang Nam Province, you can explore the My Son temple ruins. Read More »


(A kind of reptile species)

Dong, delicious but endangered

Dong is a lizard like reptile species. You can find them around sand dunes, especially in coastal provinces of Phu Yen, Khanh Hoa & Binh Thuan. The reptile runs away very quickly when faced with danger, so people call it dong, which in Vietnamese means “to sneak out”.

When walking along the coast in Nha Trang or the sand dunes in Phan Thiet, you can see the reptiles run after the steps of tourists & then creep into small caves on dunes. What a beautiful sight!

Dong is a special there, featured in many different dishes ranging from baked dong, steamed dong, grilled chopped dong to dong porridge. Currently, there is an increasing number of small restaurants, Read More »

Snails dishes in Saigon

Gourmet Saigonese and tourists will never forget the city’s various snail dishes.

It has been known for years that streets popular with foreigners often  house famous snail eateries, but many snail establishments have scattered over the downtown and other districts as snails have become a Saigon specialty.

The most well-known snail eateries and streets are in downtown. The very notable snail street is adjacent to Food Center Restaurant on Tran Hung Dao Street, District One. This snail street has been known for years as there are many snail shops on both sides of the street. The prices arte reasonable and the dishes are delicious. Read More »

Giá (Bean sprout)

Bean sprouts in Vietnamese dishes

In Vietnam, bean sprouts are used as popular additive food in meals and can be found in all markets and supermarkets. They can be eaten fresh like other vegetables or used as an ingredient in dishes like cha gio (Vietnamese spring rolls), banh xeo (Vietnamese crepes) or canh chua (sour soup). Bean sprouts dipped in hot water are an essential addition to a bowl of pho (Vietnamese noodle soup) or mi Quang (Central mixed fried noodles).

During Tet (Lunar New Year), this simple vegetable is used in many more dishes, including dua gia (pickled bean sprouts) eaten with Chinese braised pork. Read More »

Saigonese Coffee At Alley Shops

Join the Saigonese in their habit of drinking coffee at small coffee shops in the alley just along the stree. / By Quynh Thu

After their first sips of Vietnamese coffee prepaired in a local coffee shop, many foreigners exclaim, it’s so strong!

That’s true if the coffee drinker is, like so many from the West, accustomed to using sachets of instant coffee, which have their drink ready in a wink. But despite the invasion of instant coffee in recent years as a result of more industrialized lifestyle, Vietnamese mostly still prefer to have filtered coffee, cà phê phin, as they call it.

A cup of filtered coffee can be stronger than two or three sachets of instant coffee. Read More »

The legend of Tam Dao Mountain Genie

If you visit Tam Dao you’re to hear of this Kinh and San Diu legend in which a young girl of the wild became a Vietnamese herione as well as pioneer of women’s rights.

Legend has it that by the end of the Sixth Hung King’s reign, in the Tam Dao Mountain by the left side of the Do River there was a holy bamboo tree that gave birth to a girl from a bamboo shoot. She was as beautiful as a fairy, so the locals called her Mang Thi Tien (Mang means bamboo shoot ang Tien means fairy). Read More »

Open sesame!

Duc Hanh meets the man who saves your blushes after you lose your keys or leave them inside the car.

For me the best place to find a locksmith is in Vu Huu Loi street. If you’re really in trouble, you can even invite the locksmith to your house and within several minutes, i guarantee, your door will be open as quickly as Alibaba could say “open sesame!” three times.

Tran Quang Dung is the street locksmith who cut keys for my grandfather for nearly 20 years. Dung was born in Ngu Hiep village in Thanh Tri district of Hanoi, as well-known Read More »

Vietnam on Film!

Although the cinema came to Vietnam in the early 20th century it wasn’t until the period between the First ang Second World Wars that movie theatres sprang up throughout Hanoi and going to the movies became a popular social event. Vietnamese filmmaking officially began in 1945 during the First Indochina War.

Possibly the greatest film, fondy remembered by almost every Vietnamese is Dang Nhat Minh’s When the Tenth Month Comes. (Bao Gio Cho Den Thang Muoi, 1984). Read More »