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A night out from Hanoi to New York

No sleep in this modern life as we travel around the world.

A woman at a flower stall at a night market in Hanoi, Vietnam.

A woman at a flower stall at a night market in Hanoi, Vietnam.

A night market in Hanoi.

A night market in Hanoi.

A woman uses her phone while standing in front of an illuminated advertisement as a train approaches in central Sydney, Australia.

A woman uses her phone while standing in front of an illuminated advertisement as a train approaches in central Sydney, Australia.

People walk by attractions at the Prater amusement park in Vienna, Austria.

People walk by attractions at the Prater amusement park in Vienna, Austria.

A couple poses for a wedding photo in central London, Britain.

A couple poses for a wedding photo in central London, Britain.

A man buys souvenirs at a souvenir shop in central London.

A man buys souvenirs at a souvenir shop in central London.

Amateur footballers play a match late in the evening in Prague, Czech Republic.

Amateur footballers play a match late in the evening in Prague, Czech Republic.

Fans take a selfie with the members of French band ESHARET after a concert at the Alliance Francaise in Karachi, Pakistan.

Fans take a selfie with the members of French band ESHARET after a concert at the Alliance Francaise in Karachi, Pakistan.

People enjoy beer in front of a bar on the in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

People enjoy beer in front of a bar on the in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Children practice volleyball in Rio de Janeiro.

Children practice volleyball in Rio de Janeiro.

People watch a movie on a beach at night in Marseille, France.

People watch a movie on a beach at night in Marseille, France.

People walk down an avenue in the center of Bordeaux, France.

People walk down an avenue in the center of Bordeaux, France.

A man sits on a road divider as he waits for a bus in New Delhi, India.

A man sits on a road divider as he waits for a bus in New Delhi, India.

Passengers on a tram in Kiev, Ukraine.

Passengers on a tram in Kiev, Ukraine.

A passenger sleeps on a night service metro train in the Brooklyn borough of New York City, U.S.

A passenger sleeps on a night service metro train in the Brooklyn borough of New York City, U.S.

A view of the lower Manhattan night skyline as seen from Brooklyn.

A view of the lower Manhattan night skyline as seen from Brooklyn.

Source: VnExpress

Take a break and let your soul fly over Vietnam with this aerial video

 

Photographer Le The Thang spent two years traveling across Vietnam capturing the best of the country's famous landmarks from above.

Birds-eye video of stunning Ninh Binh is sure to take your breath away

Ninh Binh Attractions - Discover The Secret Vietnam

 Enjoy a slice of heaven in nothern Vietnam, where waterways, limestone karsts and paddy fields come together in harmony.

Source: Internet

Vietnam plans Kong model in Hanoi as movie takes local theaters by storms

Kong-Skull IslandKong in the latest retake

Hanoi is selecting a spot around its central lake for the giant movie monster by April 5.

The new Kong movie filmed in Vietnam is holding big promises for local tourism and Hanoi is going to have a part of it.

As “Kong: Skull Island” is having a great time at local theaters, Vietnam’s culture ministry has announced plans to build a model of the giant mythical Kong near the Hoan Kiem (Sword) Lake in the city center.

The ministry will cooperate with the movie distribution company CJ CGV Vietnam to launch a series of tourism promotion events along with the film, the first major Hollywood action movie shot in Vietnam, a ministry statement said.

The Kong model will be one of those, which will offer visitors a new photograph shooting location.

Hanoi’s culture department said it is selecting a specific spot and would complete the construction by April 5.

The $185-million movie has had a great time in Vietnam, smashing all local opening day box office records with more than 162,000 moviegoers buying tickets on the opening date March 10. Ticket sales on the first day reached VND18.2 billion ($799,000), CGV Vietnam said.

The Jordan Vogt-Roberts' retake was filmed in Quang Binh Province’s colossal caves, the northern province of Ninh Binh and world-renowned Ha Long Bay - some of the most remote and beautiful parts of Vietnam.

Other portions of the film were shot in Hawaii and Australia.

Quang Binh Province in January already published a video promoting itself as an exciting destination, reminding viewers that it was the set for the Kong blockbuster and featuring the testimony of the director himself.

Kong: skull island

Source: Vnexpress

#TGIF: Go out and unsuck your life this weekend

Expect some great indoor music perfomances, but don't forget the outdoor fun with a Sakura festival and farmers' market.
Enjoy the best of both worlds! Check our What's On section for more details.

Go out and unsuck your life this weekend

|| Sakura Festival in Hanoi ||

Ly Thai To Park, Dinh Tien Hoang Street, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi

8 p.m., Friday, March 10

Go out and unsuck your life this weekend

Enjoy blooming cherry blossoms at one of the most outstanding events of the year to introduce Japanese culture to Vietnamese people and visitors.

Free entry

|| Piano Concert with Boris Schönleber ||

Goethe Institut Hanoi, 56-58 Nguyen Thai Hoc Street, Ba Dinh District, Hanoi

8 p.m., Sunday, March 12

Go out and unsuck your life this weekend

German pianist Boris Schönleber returns to Vietnam to perform some of the most popular pieces by the likes of Schumann, Hugo Wolf and Richard Wagner.

Free entry

Early reservations are recommended as there are a limited number of seats.

Follow updates on our events page.

|| Hugh McGinlay at Tadioto ||

Tadioto, 24B Tong Dan Street, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi

4vp.m., Sunday, March 12

Go out and unsuck your life this weekend

This Sunday, order cocktails, champagne or special tapas at Tadioto and sit back to listen to the incredible music of singer-songwriter Hugh McGinlay - an Australian talent who will surely add much delight to your weekend.

Free entry

Go out and unsuck your life this weekend

|| Legends of Rock Special Night ||

Hard Rock Cafe, 39 Le Duan Street, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City

9:30 p.m., Friday, March 10

Go out and unsuck your life this weekend

throwback to the history of music and tribute to the Legends of Rock in an exciting and vibrant night at Hard Rock Café.

Free entry

|| Saturday Live Gipsy Jazz Concert at Indika ||

Indika Saigon, 43 Nguyen Van Giai Street, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City

8 p.m., Saturday, March 11

Go out and unsuck your life this weekend

Live Gipsy Jazz Concert feat. Peche a la Mouche - an original gipsy jazz band from France.

Entry fee: VND50,000 ($2.19)

Free before 7 p.m.

|| Outcast Farmers' Market March 2017 ||

Saigon Outcast, 188/1 Nguyen Van Huong Street, District 2, Ho Chi Minh City

12 p.m., Sunday, March 12

Go out and unsuck your life this weekend

Come and browse some of Saigon's freshest produce, delicious homemade goods and cute household-decor at our next Farmers' Market. This event is all about loving the environment, eating yummy food and showcasing the best Saigon vendors have to offer!

You will find goodies and activities for all the family and live entertainment, all in everyone's favorite chill-out spot.

Entry fee: VND20,000 ($0.87) (with 1 bottle of water or Red Saigon beer included).

Source: Vnexpress

Vietnamese beaches tipped by travelers among best in Asia

Glistening sands along the country's central coast have made it onto TripAdvisor’s top 25 beaches on the continent

Travelers have named two of Vietnam's beaches among the best in Asia in a recent survey conducted by global travel site TripAdvisor.

Non Nuoc in Da Nang in central Vietnam came in at number 10 on the top 25 beaches in Asia in TripAdvisor’s 2017 Traveller’s Choice Awards. An Bang in Hoi An, the ancient town just up the road, claimed 25th position.

Many travelers said that they had fallen in love with Non Nuoc's fine white sands and crystal clear waters.

“The sand is so clean and fine my three young kids were able to play on the beach all afternoon bare foot without getting hurt,” said a tourist from Canada.

Although the beach is one of the top attractions in Da Nang, many described how surprised they were to find it so “calm and quiet”.

Some also said that the best time to catch the beach is at sunrise or when the fishermen are setting out to sea.

An Bang, which also made the top 25 last year, also gives visitors the chance to indulge themselves in the simple fishing life, where children gather every sunset to play with kites or just collect shells while they wait for their parents to return from the sea.

For most tourists, An Bang is simply “a beautiful beach”. Some say it’s the most beautiful in Vietnam, with white sands stretching down the coast, a cool breeze and a great selection of restaurants.

The best time to visit An Bang is between May and September, and Non Nuoc between February and August, the tourists recommended.

Thailand proved to be the most popular beach destination in the region with five beaches making it into TripAdvisor's top 25 list.

Vietnamese beaches tipped by travelers among best in AsiaBeautiful sunshine on Non Nuoc in Da Nang.

Vietnamese beaches tipped by travelers among best in AsiaA fisherman fixes a fishing net on his coracle on Non Nuoc.

Vietnamese beaches tipped by travelers among best in AsiaSunrise on Non Nuoc.

Vietnamese beaches tipped by travelers among best in AsiaAn Bang.

Vietnamese beaches tipped by travelers among best in AsiaCoracles on An Bang.

Vietnamese beaches tipped by travelers among best in AsiaA bicycle ride to the beach.

Source: Vnexpress

 

The most beautiful islands in Vietnam you can’t visit

the most beautiful islands in vietnam

 VnExpress International digs deep on why foreigners can no longer visit Vietnam’s 21 unspoiled islands in the Gulf of Thailand.

This week, a Vietnamese friend came back from the Nam Du archipelago raving about pristine beaches, seafood fresh off the boat and long, languid afternoons spent swinging in hammocks in a place that’s literally off the grid.

The pace of life is so slow, she said, Nam Du’s few residents leave their keys in their bikes and only bother to fire up their gas-powered electricity generators for a few hours a day.

She’d visited the collection of 21 islands in the Gulf of Thailand by hopping on a $10 ferry from Rach Gia, the sun-baked capital of Kien Giang Province.

I’d wanted to visit the islands since Quinn Ryan Mattingly photographed the islands in June of 2015.

“We stayed two nights,” said Mattingly, who recalled paying a local man the equivalent of five dollars to climb to the top of a lighthouse on a military base. “It was like, no problem.”

Now, it seems, there’s a problem.

I can’t go. And, if you’re reading this in English, chances are you can’t either.

the most beautiful islands in vietnamFish drying in the sun, which you can't smell.

Last April, an Irishman named Sam Pearson described walking into the Rach Gia office of a ferry company called Superdong (it means “super crowded” you skeez) only to learn that tickets to Nam Du had been sold out for… forever.

Further inquiry suggested that there were tickets — just not for foreigners.

The sudden prohibition inspired some of the greatest minds on TripAdvisor to put their heads together, offering explanations as boring as a dearth of fresh drinking water and as amusing as a desire to limit Nam Du’s appeal to fugitives of international justice (not kidding).

One savvy observer indicated the cause was likely Article 7 of National Decree No. 71 on the management of maritime boundary areas.

The strict bit of legislation that went into effect just months after Mattingly bribed his way onto military property to take a pretty picture and reads like it was drafted (over one too many cups of coffee) shortly after a Chinese oil rig and a posse of missile ships tore into the East Sea, ostensibly to drink Vietnam’s milkshake.

But, I digress. Decree No. 71 contains some good news and some bad news, if you take it at face value.

The good news: foreigners can go to Nam Du!

The bad news: they need a valid passport, visa, residence papers and “permits for entry into maritime boundary areas issued by provincial-level public security departments.”

The most beautiful islands in Vietnam
A vendor selling delicious fried taro cakes, which you can't try

The most beautiful islands in VietnamA fish vendor on Hon Lon island selling a variety of things you can't taste.

The most beautiful islands in VietnamThe coast of Hon Lon, the largest of Nam Vu Archipelago's 21 islands, which you can't visit.

The most beautiful islands in VietnamThe road leading to Hon Lon's largest light house, which you can't climb to the top of.

Anyone who has ever tried to obtain a driver’s license in Vietnam understands the likelihood that a group of provincial policemen in the Mekong Delta would ever issue a foreigner permission to enter an area technically controlled by the military.

According to the unfortunate Superdong ticket saleswoman unfortunate enough to pick up the phone when we called, none of this would be a problem if the Nam Du Islands were a designated tourist area. Despite booming domestic tourism, Nam Du remains in the sensitive administrative penumbras of a “border area” or “frontier zone.”

Interested foreigners should plan to arrive in Rach Gia two days before they want to board the ferry, she said. Then, they sashay into the provincial police department (accompanied by a citizen willing to guarantee their good conduct) and request a two-day permit for $10-15.

“Does that work?”

“Sometimes,” she said, noting that intermediaries, like her friend Trang, can often help expedite the process.

Trang never picked up the phone, so we made four or five calls to different officers at the Kien Giang Tourism and Trade Investment Promotion Center until we got a very helpful man who called himself Mr. Hai.

“As far as I know now, [Kien Giang Province] still isn’t allowing foreigners to come to certain islands, like Nam Du,” Hai said, adding that those with a clear purpose like business or study can request special permission.

Sadly, neither myself nor any of the people I consider friends have ever known anything like a clear purpose in Vietnam.

By Calvin Godfrey

Photos by Nhung Nguyen and Phung Hoa

The most beautiful islands in VietnamA beautiful bay off the coast of Hon Lon which you can't swim in.

Source: Vnexpress

Think you’ve got it bad in Vietnam? Here’re the 5 countries with the worst traffic

The new ‘global’ study by INRIX somehow does not gather data from Vietnam.

1. Thailand

Thailand was the world’s most congested country for traffic in 2016, according to a study released on Monday by the Washington-based transport analytics firm INRIX Inc.

Drivers in Thailand spent an average of 61 hours stuck in traffic last year. The Global Traffic Scorecard rated Bangkok in particular the 12th most congested of all cities rated, much worse than its 30th ranking in 2015.

Bangkok trafficBangkok. Photo by Reuters/Adrees Latif

2. Colombia & Indonesia (tie)

Drivers spent an average of 47 hours stuck in traffic in 2016 in these countries, with Bogota and Jakarta having the worst congestion.

Jakarta trafficJakarta. Photo by Reuters/Supri

4. Russia & the U.S. (tie)

In these two countries, drivers spent an average of 42 hours stuck in traffic in 2016.

Traffic jams in Los Angeles may have inspired that amazing dance number in "La La Land," but real-life pictures depict a much less romantic situation. Things in New York and San Fransisco are just a little bit better.

Russia & the U.S trafficLos Angeles which individually was named the worst city for traffic. Photo by Reuters/Mike Blake

Inrix reportedly analyzed 1,064 cities worldwide across only 38 countries. China, Japan and Vietnam were not included.

But based on what we've seen in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, the company really should add Vietnam in its next study.

Ho Chi Minh City trafficHo Chi Minh City. Photo by VnExpress.

Want more proof?

Ben Thanh market

As a crowded market all day long, Ben Thanh market, Ho Chi Minh is known as a symbol and a destination that attracts both the residents and international tourists.

Ben Thanh Market Sai GonBen Thanh Market - Sai Gon

It is an integral part in any Saigon tours to do shopping, walking and discovering Ben Thanh market, Saigon.

Ben Thanh market in District 1 owns ancient architectural characters and has been voted as one of best places to visit in Vietnam. Ben Thanh market is so well-known that almost foreign visitors feel that they wouldn't fulfill their Ho Chi Minh tour if they missed setting their foot here.

Ben Thanh Market Sai Gon - MapBen Thanh Market Sai Gon - Map

Built in 1870s, Ben Thanh market, Saigon was first named Les Halles Centrales before it was renamed Ben Thanh market in 1912. After many ups and downs over the time, Ben Thanh market is one of the most ancient markets in Saigon.

Ben Thanh market entryBen Thanh market entry

Ben Thanh is firstly well-known as the place for real Vietnamese food. There a number of vendors and food stalls in the market food section that offers guests dishes freshly made to the order. Here, one can taste various kinds of local dishes like banh xeo, banh cuon, banh beo, cha gio, hu tiu… In the evening, while all stalls inside the market are closed, sidewalk restaurants around the market open and make it extraordinary lively area. One of the most recommended foods by tourists is deep fried whole fish, so remember to try it at least once when you dine here. Besides, one can also taste seafood and enjoy cool beer at cheap price (only $1-2 for a beer only). One advice for tourists is not sitting deep into the crowded food tent to avoid the heat.

Ben Thanh Market Sai Gon

Ben Thanh Market Sai GonNorth gate is the place you can find all kinds of fresh foods and fruits 

Curious about what the locals eat, wear or use daily? Just come here and find out the answer. From clothing, shoes, bags, jewelry to kitchen ware, grocery, sweets, and great Vietnamese coffee… every thing that Saigonese need for their daily life can be found here. Taking a look at things for sale here, seeing how people make transactions or which kind of goods is purchased most by the locals, one can learn much about the local life and get useful experience for shopping in Vietnam also. For the ones who are keen on shopping, here is exactly the place you are looking for.
Besides goods for daily use, tourists can find here variety of eye-catching local handicrafts, souvenirs. Just pick up some cute fridge magnets or delicated small piece of lacquer, one has got small gifts for friends and family at home or something to remind him/her about the trip to Ho Chi Minh city. “I live in Bangkok, the land of markets, but I still found this market rather interesting. It sells items slightly different from what I get in Thailand. Fascinated by the coffee bean/powder and knick knack shops. My sons bought a fridge magnet each with famous Vietnamese landmarks on them. I don't normally purchase souvenirs when I am overseas but landed up with some nice pieces of lacquer from one of the shops”, a tourist from Bangkok said. Here is some advices for an idea of what to buy when you are in Ho Chi Minh City.

Ben Thanh Market Sai Gon

You can try many delicious Ben Thanh market foods

Ben Thanh Market Sai GonRice pancake

 

Binh Tay Market

If you’re going to visit Ho Chi Minh City your visit will not be complete without visiting a local market and Binh Tay is the largest traditional market in the city.

When people talk about markets in Ho Chi Minh City, much of the love goes to the more central Ben Thanh market. Don’t get us wrong; Ben Thanh is a great place to go if you want to get knockoff designer goods or swarmed by people trying to sell you hammocks, but if you're in the market for a market that isn't selling ‘I Heart Pho’ T-shirts then Binh Tay market in Cholon is more on the money.

Binh Tay MarketBinh Tay Market

Binh Tay Market, constructed by the French in the 1880s, is located in the centre of Vietnam’s largest Chinatown district. Unlike Ben Thanh Market in District 1, this market mainly serves the local population with its extensive range of fresh fruits, vegetables, poultry, meat and seafood from regions across Vietnam.

Also known as Cholon Chinatown Market, Binh Tay Market occupies a two-storey building along Thap Moui Street. Travellers can also find an assortment of handicrafts, lacquerware, and textiles that are sold in bulk, though goods are not varied compared to other (more touristy) markets in downtown Hanoi. Along with the interesting historical and cultural aspect of Cholon, Binh Tay Market is great for experiencing the local lifestyle and sampling unique Vietnamese-Chinese delicacies.

Binh Tay Market - cho LonTraders at the busiest market in town have had 15 days to move all the their goods to a new, temporary market located in front of the existing one.

Binh Tay MarketOne of the gems of the market are vintage hand-painted signs hanging in front of stalls. Many of them are over 40 years old.

Binh Tay Market - Cho LonNobody knows for sure what fate awaits those signs when the renovation starts. Many shops said they will replace their decades-old signage with new printed ones.

Binh Tay Market - cho LonBinh Tay Market is also famous for its central courtyard and bagua-shaped design. Bagua is a Chinese religious motif that incorporates eight trigrams such as the sky, fire and wind and the trigrams are arranged around a circle symbolizing yin and yang. 

Binh Tay Market - cho Lon“It’s so hot in here, we can hardly breathe. And this is just the third day we have been here,” said one of the shoe sellers. The renovation of Saigon's biggest wholesale market is scheduled to take a year, but many vendors believe it could take two years.