[HaLong Bay, The Huong Pagoda]
Hue [The Citadel, The Thien Mu Pagoda, King Khai Dinh's Tomb]
Saigon [Notre Dame Cathedral, Formal Presidential Palace,
Travel Tip [Climate, Language, Accommodation, Transportation,
from a vacation trip to Vietnam by Lyon, Popanz & Forester
Recognized by UNESCO (United Nation Education Science Culture
Organization) as the world heritage, the bay has been considered as the most magnificent
place of interest in Vietnam. Located in Quang Ninh province abundant in open coal
mines. It looks like a paradise; the bay comprises of 3000 islands and islets an area 1500
km2. Water color is emerald. Ha Long appeared in the first epoch as the huge
limestone scattered in the delta of the delta of the Red River full of alluvium. It
is a mysterious, magnificent and unique bay in the world. There are many remarkable
grottoes like the Pelican cave, Dau Go, Tam Cung, Thien Cung, and tunnels like Hanh built
up by wind and tide.
The islets of strange shapes own different special names: Cockfight Islet, Islet of Toad, Dome Islet.
They all have been covered by green and dense vegetation. Legends said that a huge dragon
and its children descended there to help the Vietnamese fight against Northern
invaders. After the victory, these dragons decided to stay with the local
people. Since then this area has been called the "descending dragon"
region. Sightseeing tours and tourist activities continuously go in the bay.
The local junks move gently along the islets in the sunset brings a strange
experience. Ha Long is a city of fishing people and coal miners. Nearly half
the city is on the other side of the ferry.
The Huong Pagoda
Take a boat ride on the Yen stream through rice fields up to the mountain and
the end is a complex of worshipping areas. Most temples were built amidst a chain
of blue mountains, forests, lakes and grottoes. Pilgrims from different parts of the
country pour into the Huong Pagoda in Spring time. The highest cave situated on the
top of the mountain. Thousands of stone steps easily challenge tourists adventurous
desires. Even the elderly women devoutly are wearing long kerchiefs while murmuring
their prayers between their lips in the belief that it would lessen the arduousness of the
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Ancient Royal City of Hue
"Hue" means harmony. Mirrored in the water of the Perfume river that flows
quietly and shaded by the ancient palaces and other royal properties. From 1802 to
1945 it was the ancient capital of the last dynasty of the Nguyen. The town of Hue
actually is inhabited by about 340,000 people on an area of approximately 6.777
hectares. Recognized by UNESCO as the World Heritage, Hue attracts tourists thanks
to its charm, rich architecture famous for the citadel, the palaces, the temples, the
royal tombs that used to have a rich and exciting past. It played not only the role
of a political capital seated by the emperors for more than a century but also of the
cultural development of the country. It is "a masterpiece of urban
The Citadel was constructed in 1805 to 1835 the big outer wall is 6 meters
high, 11 kilometers long, with 11 gates and 24 watch towers. The citadel suffered
from big damages due to fire in 1945 and war bombardments. The places of interest
inside the citadel and the imperial city are the flagpole, the Noon Gate, the courtyard
for royal ceremonies, the palace of supreme peace, the memorial temple for Nguyen kings,
nine dynastic urns and the forbidden city for the royal families.
Thien Mu Pagoda (Buddhist monastery) was erected in 1601 by Lord Nguyen Hoang,
the ancestor of the Nguyen dynasty. It was renovated in 1844 under King Thieu Tri
sovereignty. Legends said that one night people found an old lady seating on this
small hill, wearing a red long dress and green trousers and she claimed that this place
belongs to the supernatural power so a pagoda should be constructed here. After
saying, the lady disappeared in the cloud, since then it was called the pagoda of the old
King Khai Dinh's Tomb was built on the
Chau E mount. Construction started from 1920 to 1931. The combination of Asian
and European architecture and decoration mark the king's special interest in European
civilization. The multicolored ceramics inlaid style make his mausoleum gracious and
magnificent. Khai Dinh, the twelfth king of the Nguyen Dynasty is the father of King
Bao Dai, the last emperor of Vietnam.
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The capital town of Khanh Hoa province of about 250,000
inhabitants in 1,300 km far from Hanoi and 450 km from Ho Chi Minh city. It is
located in the ancient religious area of Cham. Nha Trang is the Cham word that means
"The river of mangroves". These plants used to be popular at the Cai
River. Next to the river, on the hill is Ponagar, the Cham famous vestige from the
9th century. Nha Trang is the seaside and important tourist spot thanks to the
superb sandy beach considered as paradise with palms and coconut trees, washed by the
emerald sea of the Pacific ocean. There are many interesting places like the Cham
vestiges of the fish port. A boat trip can bring back a chance enjoying the coral
reef and fish.
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The "Pearl of the Far East", famous worldwide before 1975, used to be the name
for Saigon. Glorious Saigon, or Ho Chi Minh City nowadays, has opened a new area
towards a bright future. Booming, lively, dynamic, and attractive, Saigon has become
an important economic, industrial center of Vietnam for ever, ready to receive visitors
for different purposes: business, tourism. Saigon is delighted to welcome you, to
show you the harmony of the Gothic architecture and modern houses and charming smiles of
its people. In 1998, Saigon is celebrating its 300th anniversary with many
interesting and joyful festivals throughout the year.
Notre Dame Cathedral was built by all imported materials from France it
tried to symbolize the power of the colonial government. This is one of the big
Catholic center of Vietnam. Saigon Archbishop is working in here. Two services
in the morning and in the afternoon are convenient for all believers.
Former Presidential Palace
now is a museum in memory of Reunification of Vietnam.
China Town - ChoLon is not really the same as some China Towns in other
countries, China town was set up by the end of 18th century when the Ming dynasty in China
was overthrown. Many Chinese faithful to the Ming ran to Vietnam for help and peace
and business and were permitted by the Vietnamese Lords. Now there are almost half a
million Chinese with many shops and family factories. Binh Tay market is always
crowded as a wholesale market.
Have you ever visited Brazil?
What is the difference between the sunset on Jesus' Statue in Rio de Janeiro and the one
on Jesus' Statue on the mountain side facing the Pacific Ocean in Vung Tau? A big
resort city right on the Pacific Ocean will help to release all your worries.
around the fishing village to visit the fish sauce family factory to know the unique
country taste or the final afternoon ballad on the beach so that you can forget all
worries and restlessness of the soul. Vung Tau is located not very far away from
Saigon with white sand for children, sun for the young, waves for ...all people. A
golf course is also available for tourists and those who like deluxe entertainment.
- The North of Vietnam has 4 clear cut seasons.
The sunny season lasts from October till June, however, the South has dry and wet
seasons. It usually showers in the evening or early morning. The highlands
have temperate climate. The humidity degree varies from 80% to 100%. Every
year, Vietnam receives approximately 600 billion tons of rainfall. The average
temperature changes from 22 to 27 degrees centigrade. Some places like Dalat and
Sapa have a maximum temperature of 20 degrees in the summer. Visitors can come to
Vietnam all year round with no climatic disadvantages.
- In spite of 1000 years being dominated by Chinese,
the Vietnamese have their own language. They modified Chinese characters once.
Since 1900 they absorbed the Latin system through the Western missionaries.
Vietnamese is a monosyllabic language. Each sound has meaning. English,
French, and Japanese can be communicated in many shops, restaurants, hotels, and resorts.
- Vietnam offers a wide variety of accommodation, from
$8.00 per room a night for backpackers to the lavish deluxe Saigon Prince just right at
the heart of the city, New World, Omni, Equatorial, Century, Saigon Star, Asian, Mondial,
Metropole, Mercury, Van Lang, Dong Khanh hotels in Saigon city; Faifo, Orient, Furama
resort in Da Nang, Century, Huong Giang, Hoa Hong in Hue and Daewoo, Sofitel, Lakeside,
Hanoi, Bao Son, Hang Nga, Chain First Eden hotels in Hanoi.
- Airlines: There are two. Vietnam Airlines an
Pacific Airlines serve all domestic routes with daily flights to all big cities and
Taxis: In big cities like Saigon, Ha Noi, Hue, Vung Tau, Da Nang. There are meter
taxis. Taxis are available at all airport.
Trains: Daily departure from Ha Noi to Saigon and vice versa. Sleeping berths are
arranged in a compartment for 4 people.
Popular Public Transportation: Local people prefer motorcycles and bicycles due to narrow
streets. For the more adventurous tourists bicycles and motorcycles can be hired.
River Boats: Available at all river ports with reasonable prices.
Drink only boiled water and be
cautious when having ice in your drinks. Bottled water is common and dirt cheap at
the market or small restaurants.
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Created by: Dan Dan Tu
Trung Van Vo