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In pictures The best of Vietnam this week

Check out some of the most stunning Instagram photos hashtagged #vietnam and #everydayvietnam.

Upside down

In pictures The best of Vietnam this week 301017

Dusting

In pictures The best of Vietnam this week 301017

Outer Space

In pictures The best of Vietnam this week 301017

"Not belong here," the caption reads. Photo taken in Hanoi.

Peace & Chaos

In pictures The best of Vietnam this week 301017

"Man sweeps the floor of Ong Bong temple as the incenses are burning," the caption reads. Photo taken in Ho Chi Minh City.

On the school bus

In pictures The best of Vietnam this week 301017

Photo taken in Hanoi.

A day at the Opera

In pictures The best of Vietnam this week 301017

Photo taken in Ho Chi Minh City.

Hanoi in a nutshell

In pictures The best of Vietnam this week 301017

Shaving

In pictures The best of Vietnam this week 301017

A sidewalk barber stall in Hanoi.

Boarding school

In pictures The best of Vietnam this week 301017

Photo taken in Lung Pu, Ha Giang.

Incense Tradition

In pictures The best of Vietnam this week 301017

"Incense sticks dry outdoors under the sunlight at a traditional handcraft village located in Tay Ninh province," the caption reads.

Source: VnExpress

If you want to see Vietnam without the crowds, the time is now

A U.K. travel site has built an interactive map that shows the high and low travel seasons around the world.
The joys of traveling depend a lot on whether you are a crowd person or a lover of solitude and/or cheap flights. Sometimes, an unexpected turnout can kill the whole experience.

And that’s why this new animated map developed by the U.K.-based travel site LastMinute.com could be the answer to your plans for world travel.

Vietnam tour of low season

The low and high season map developed by Lastminute.com.

According to the map, Vietnam's low seasons are between April and June and September and November.

The country is most crowded in July and August.

Travel guide Lonely Planet has also suggested that the low seasons are “perhaps the best time” to travel the country.

The calculations may make sense, as April, May and June are usually the hottest months in the tropical country, while September and October are almost always soaked and cursed with storms.

Yet November, when the weather becomes more gentle, is not really a low season, at least not last year.

Figures from Vietnam National Administration of Tourism showed that November received the highest number of foreign visitors last year, followed by August, December and July.

In some countries, the low season lasts longer than others.

Indonesia has the longest low season in Southeast Asia, lasting from October through May. Norway and Finland both have a seven-month low season.

Bolivia, Switzerland and the Czech Republic boast a six-month period of peak travel.

Source: VnExpress

40 dead, 22 missing as downpours, flash floods pound northern, central Vietnam

Rain storms of vietnamHundreds of search and rescue officers are looking for victims buried by a landslide that collapsed seven houses early morning on October 12 in Hoa Binh Province. Photo by VnExpress

The death toll continues to mount as heavy rains leave a trail of destruction. 
Heavy rains have triggered flash floods in northern and central Vietnam over the past two days, leaving 40 dead and 22 missing and causing havoc in many provinces.

A landslide in the early hours on Thursday in Hoa Binh Province has collapsed seven houses, burying 18 people. So far, three people have been rescued and eight are confirmed dead.

The incident has increased Hoa Binh's death toll to 15, the highest among all provinces. Nghe An and Thanh Hoa have reported eight deaths.

Five deaths have been reported in Son La Province, while three people are missing and hundreds of houses and many hectares of crops have been destroyed.

In Yen Bai Province, four people were killed and 11 people are missing, including a Vietnam News Agency reporter who was swept away when a bridge connecting Highway 32 in Nghia Lo Commune collapsed.

The floods are the result of a tropical depression that is sweeping through northern and central provinces.

Vietnam has already suffered destructive stormy weather this year. Floods in northern Vietnam killed at least 26 people and washed away hundreds of homes in August before Typhoon Doksuri, the strongest to hit the country in years, killed at least eight people in the central region last month.

Last year, tropical storms and flooding killed 264 people in Vietnam and caused damage worth VND40 trillion ($1.75 billion), nearly five times more than in 2015.

Source: VnExpress

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