This Vietnam travel guide is the result of extensive travelling in Indochina by the authors. It provides useful information about all the major destinations based on our experiences in the region. As travel professionals in Europe we were well aware of the potential pitfalls of journeys to unknown lands so we were well prepared for our visit to Vietnam. This Vietnam guide is a summary of what we learned on our travels in this magnificent country which we hope will prove to be a useful resource in preparing your trip.
Ao Dai- A lasting impression for any visitor to Vietnam is the beauty of Vietnamese women dressed in their Ao Dais. These long flowing dresses worn over loose-fitting trousers are considered to be the national dress of Vietnamese women.
Every Saturday, the picturesque mountain village of Sa Pa comes alive with shoppers who know what they want: love. They travel from near and far to size up the goods of the day, hoping something will tickle their fancy.
The tradition to decorate the ancient town in Hoi An with multi-colored lanterns, which started three centuries ago, is still continued today on the fourteenth night of each lunar month in this small town in central Vietnam.
Bac Ha is famous for its Sunday market, it is a trading centre and meeting place for couples, friends, and relatives every Sunday. The Bac Ha market opens every Sunday. All roads lead to the market on this day. From dawn, hordes of people in colorful costumes and baskets on their backs accompany horses loaded with goods to the market.
Roi Nuoc is a traditional Vietnamese performance art using colorfully painted and costumed wooden puppets. They most closely resemble marionettes, with jointed arms, legs and heads. Roi Nuoc are controlled by a puppeteer by way of long poles that are hidden under water.
Ben Thanh Market is situated at the intersection of Le Loi Avenue, Ham Nghi Avenue, Tran Hung Dao Avenue and Le Lai Street, 700m south-west of the Rex Hotel.
There are traditional handicrafts: ceramic, bamboo products, lacquerware, mother-of-pearl inlaying...
On the left bank of Hong river and about 10 km from Hanoi in East (in Gia Lam District, Hanoi), there situated a pottery village, which is the most famous and long-standing pottery village in Vietnam for its name of Bat Trang. Up to present, Ba Trang Pottery Village has still been operating and developing ceaselessly.
Together with Cai Be and Phung Hiep, Cai Rang Floating Market in Can Tho City is one of the three biggest in the Mekong Delta. The shops and stalls at these markets are boats of different sizes.
Folk paintings are a combination of traditional cultural values with ancient artistic methods that have been created through the labour of past generations. There are two types of Vietnamese folk paintings, Tet (Lunar New Year Festival) paintings and worshipping paintings.
Formerly funeral ceremonies went as following: the body was washed and dressed; then a le ngam ham, or chopstick, was laid between the teeth and a pinch of rice and three coins were dropped in the mouth.
While girls from other countries love to wear hats with made of multi-color expensive materials, with attached feathers and bows, Vietnamese girls are attracted to the Vietnames e leaf-covered hat (non la) which can not be found from anywhere else in the world.