About three kilometers from the ancient town of Hoi An, the Dua nuoc (mangrove palm) forest in Cam Thanh Commune in the central province of Quang Nam has become a much sort after tourist destination.
The forest rests at the convergence of Thu Bon and Truong Giang rivers before they flow into the East Sea. The Hoi An mangrove palm forest plays an important role by forming a natural filtration system before the river currents merge into the sea.
The year-round green forest grows along the river and canal banks. On islets and areas around the forest, there is a particular ecosystem, which is home to many species of fishes and shrimps.
Local residents are well aware of the value of the mangrove palm forests to the environment and for tourism and are cooperating with organizations and tourist companies to exploit the tourist potential, annually broadening and preserving the forest area.
Visitors to the forest can take a leisurely bicycle ride through the forest. Crossing the various paths there, visitors will see local farmers picking mangrove palm leaves, which they use as roofing material and for handicraft items.
Boats are always available to carry visitors along the canals to pick mangrove palm nuts and enjoy a cool coconut drink.
For those who want to relax in a fresh atmosphere, they can bring fishing rods, choose a suitable place and enjoy the sunset as it lazes over the Thu Bon River. People prefer wide-open spaces, they can row a boat out to the river or cast a net with the help of local anglers.
Source: Thanh Nien
The ancient town of Hoi An has made it to the list of 10 best cities for tourism by UK’s Wanderlust travel magazine.
Hoi An, in central Vietnam received 96 per cent of the vote from readers and was ranked at 2nd place. The World Heritage Site of Luang Prabang in Laos has retained its number 1 position in Wanderlust Travel Magazine’s annual list of best tourist destinations with a score of 96.89 percent.
The other places to make it on the list are Kyoto (Japan), Stockholm (Sweden), Perth (Australia), Tokyo (Japan), San Francisco (USA), Vienna (Austria), Cusco (Peru) and Aleppo (Syria).
Hoi An has previously been selected as one of Asia’s top ten destinations for 2010 by the Hong Kong online tourist magazine Smart Travel Asia. The ancient town had retained fifth place and Hanoi was noted as seventh on the tourist magazine list.
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The first International Choir Festival & Competition will be held in the ancient town of Hoi An in the central province of Quang Nam from March 16-20.
More than 1,000 national and international singers from over 30 choirs will perform and compete in the festival.
The event is part of the 2011 National Tourism Year program in the central coastal region of Phu Yen province.
It is also seen as an opportunity to promote the cultural heritage of the region and to tap the tourism potential for international travelers.
The festival is being organized jointly by Quang Nam province and the German-based Association InterKultur.
The opening ceremony of the festival will take place on a floating stage at the Song Hoai (Hoai River) Square in Hoi An Town.
Collected by Vietnam hotel
The authorities of the ancient town of Hoi An, a world cultural heritage, announced the exemption of entrance fee to the town for Vietnamese Heroic Mothers, war invalids, handicapped people, journalists, children and students of less than 16.
The local authorities are also offering a 50 percent discount on entrance fee to students and soldiers.
Town authorities are also further considering reducing the entry fee for diplomatic delegations, scholars and researchers.
Hoi An is an ancient town located in the central province of Quang Nam and is home to approximately 120,000 inhabitants.
The city possessed the largest harbour in Southeast Asia in the 1st century and was known as Lam Ap Pho (Champa City). Between the seventh and 10th centuries, the Cham (people of Champa) controlled the strategic spice trade and with this came tremendous wealth.
Hoi An was an important trading centre in Vietnam in the 16th and 17th centuries, where Chinese from various provinces as well as Japanese, Dutch and Indians settled.
During this period of the China trade, the town was called Hai Pho (Seaside Town) in Vietnamese. Originally, Hai Pho was a divided town with the Japanese settlement across the “Japanese Bridge”(16th-17th century). The Chua Cau bridge is a unique covered structure built by the Japanese, the only known covered bridge with a Buddhist pagoda attached to one side.
In 1999, Hoi An was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO as a well-preserved example of a Southeast Asian trading port of the 15th to 19th centuries, with buildings that display a unique blend of local and foreign influences.
Hoi An is a small city in Vietnam, located in Quang Nam province and bordering the South China Sea to its east. It is a beautiful small city that retains a lot of its past with preserved European, Asian and traditional Vietnamese structures. Hoi An is one of those rare seaside and culture destinations in Asia, being famous for its relaxing beach and its arts and crafts shops. Hoi An used to be one of the most important trading ports in Southeast Asia, if not all of Asia in the 18th century. The city rose to prominence as a powerful and important trading passage between Europe, China, India and Japan. Shipwrecks containing goods (especially Asian and Vietnamese ceramics) have been discovered trading as far as Sinai, Egypt. However, towards the end of the century, the importance of Hoi An as a trading port declined because of the collapse of Nguyen rule. All trade was then diverted to Da Nang while Hoi An was left relatively untouched.
Hotel in hoi an is rather good with modern facilities and services. You can find a wide range of hotels here, from Cheap hotels hoi an to luxurious ones.
Some recommended hoi an hotel:
Top 5 star hotels
Top 4 star Hotels
Top 3 star Hotels
Relaxing in Hội An
We spent 3 days in Hội An that we used mainly for recovery. The city, the environment and especially the beach invite to relax. We stayed at the very nice hotel “Golden Sand Resort & Spa”, which is made for relaxation, but also requires a bigger budget. At this point, thanks once again to the sponsors! The hotel is somewhat isolated from Hội An, but this is compensated by a beautiful beach and a free shuttle service. Another possibility to reach the city and its many restaurants is to rent a motorbike. Opportunities for this exist almost everywhere. Here one should make sure to discuss any additional costs in advance. It brought us some trouble not to check the fuel level before.
Japanese Bridge in Hội An
Hội An is a beautiful city, which was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Apart from the small winding alleys and old buildings, the Japanese bridge must be mentioned, which can be visited and has its charm both day and night. Hội An is also known for its cheap and good tailors. Small shops can be found at every corner where you can let sew fashionable clothing in a very short time. Lampions in all colors and shapes can be bought at an auction as well. In the evening, when lampions are shining in the trees and on the streets, you also feel like taking this unique atmosphere back home.
In addition to our entry on recommendable Vietnamese dishes we want to describe the specialty of “White Rose “. the name suggests, each individual rice bag has the shape of a flower. This tasty dish made of rice pastry can be ordered in almost every restaurant in Hội An. As far as we know, the recipe is a secret.
Translated by Caterina – Vietnam.com
The backpacker grapevine, online and word of mouth, lands Vietnam travelers in areas where Westerners congregate such as Ho Chi Minh City (HCM City’s) Pham Ngu Lao area in District 1. One Westerner I spoke to there said he had heard about it by posting a query on the lonelyplanet.com website about where to find the backpacker social life when he traveled to HCM City.
In the few years since those first cheap hotels opened, hundreds more guesthouses and cheap hotels in ho chi minh have started thriving businesses in the few blocks that the area occupies. Many of the properties that do not have rooms for rent operate as restaurants, bars, Vietnam tour operators or shops selling souvenirs, cheap clothing and knock-off CDs – basically anything a backpacker might buy. “Open tour” buses, which allow travelers to hop on and off buses several times with a single ticket, start from here and arrive there, heading for all the country’s top destinations – Nha Trang, Hoian, Hue or Hanoi. Normally these deposit passengers at a commission-paying guesthouse, and budget travelers could face a battle to head elsewhere.
However, the area’s success has caused property prices to rocket, and many guesthouses are now giving themselves a facelift, re-branding themselves as boutique hotels and charging US$50-70 a night, much higher than three to five years ago. But, in general, for the moment at least, there is enough curiosity about Saigon’s backpacker ghetto that it draws curious Vietnamese and Westerners to hang out in its quirky bars and cafes.
Just like the HCM City’s backpacker area, Ta Hien Street in downtown Hanoi is a popular destination of foreign tourists to trade travel stories and drink some of the world’s cheapest beer. On the website of The Lonely Planet, Ta Hien is dubbed as “The first street that backpackers visit when they arrive in Hanoi and the last place they see before they leave.”
The 200-meter-long strip of broken pavement and sullen houses in the heart of the old quarter plays home to hundreds of travel agencies, budget hotels, cheap eats, hawkers and any business that is likely to ply a few dollars from the price-conscientious backpacker.
But the real meet and greet spot of the city is draught beer corner, an intersection that serves up cool pints of odd tasting beer for as little as VND3,000 (16 U.S. cents) a glass. At the intersection of Ta Hien and Luong Ngoc Quyen streets, the four draught beer shops are teaming with groups of backpackers who have settled into Hanoian street life. But when sunset falls, the “international crossroad” starts to come alive. It all starts at about 8 p.m. and goes until midnight. People gather, drink beer, chat and sing.
Besides Saigon and Hanoi, other cities across Vietnam that are making tourism a specialty are watching backpacker areas that spawned a few years ago grow and develop organically.
It is said that visitors cannot claim to have been to Can Tho City in the Mekong Delta region if they have never been to the city’s Ninh Kieu Pier.
The capital of the Mekong Delta and a few hours by bus from Saigon, Can Tho attracts backpackers who want to discover the mystique of the Mekong. Ninh Kieu Pier cannot compare with the backpacker area in HCM City for the dynamism and variety of tourist services. However, its natural scenery far outshines that of city’s area. One of the interesting things is that the pier for the boats is in the middle of the park. The boats take passengers across the river. They also take visitors to orchards on islands a few kilometers from the city, to the tourist attraction of Huong Phu Sa on another island, or to the floating markets of Cai Rang and Phong Dien.
At one end of the park, Can Tho Market bears the signs of increased tourism. The 200-year-old market has been restored to keep the original character. The central part of the market has become a large area where souvenirs are sold. When night falls, the restaurants here are full of foreign visitors. Especially, from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m., the floating restaurant keeps moving slowly along the Can Tho River, so tourists on the restaurant can enjoy looking at the scenery of the mighty river in the dark.
Traveling toward to the central region, when staying in the central coastal city of Nha Trang, budget travelers would do well to visit the “headquarters” of foreigners on Biet Thu Street. With many shops owned by foreigners, visitors there may feel as if they are walking down a street in a modern European city. While the rest of the city sleeps, the party rages all night in the haven. Most of the mini-hotels, shops, restaurants and bars are crowded with large numbers of visitors from Europe, America and other places.
Over the length of its 500 meters, there are over 20 restaurants and bars serving food from Germany, Italy, France, Japan, Korea and others. Shoppers will find a treasure trove of souvenir shops selling locally produced goods and there are plenty of travel agents offering tours and travel services.
Meanwhile, the whole ancient town of Hoi An in Quang Nam Province that is some 500km north of Nha Trang City is seen as the area for backpackers as it is so small that tourists just need to walk about two hours to discover it. The sightseeing places gather in some central streets, especially on Tran Phu Street. Tourists can see many houses built based on Chinese architecture. The night in Hoian is very beautiful, especially the riverside road, where many restaurants have romantic decorations. On the 14th day of the lunar month, people will switch the electricity off and hang decorative multi-colored lanterns.
Traveling some 150km toward the north to visit Hue City, the former capital of Vietnam and now a tourism destination, backpackers can go to the area including Nguyen Tri Phuong and Le Loi streets to feel the social backpacker atmosphere. From the “backpacker/budget traveler” alley with a few hotels and cafes whose prices are listed for foreigners, tourists can easily go to the river, Imperial Palace and Dong Ba Market. Scooters-for-hire are available.
In general, the backpacker areas have greatly contributed to Vietnam travel industry and helped popularize the country’s beauty to the world. Thus, it is necessary for tourism authorities to improve the good things of the areas and set some standards so the backpackers will pass on their recommendation to the next wave of travelers.
The UNESCO-recognized natural heritage site of Hoi An town, in the central province of Quang Nam, welcomed and gave a gift to the fourth millionth visitor of 2010.
The town government gave this special gift to Amelia, a native from Australia, on December 7.
he Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism (MoCST) sent an offical document to Việt Nam’s representative bodies in oversea about the campaign to vote for Hạ Long Bay as a new world’s natural wonder.Accordingly, during the final voting stage, Hạ Long Bay has continously been among destinations earning highest voting rate.
Thus, the MoCST proposed the Việt Nam’s representative bodies, Embassies, media agencies, economic and cultural organisations, pupils and students associations and Vietnamese communities in oversea to put active effort into promotion of Hạ Long Bay, calling for international votes.
Furthermore, The MoCST also sent to these bodies many pictures, documents of Hạ Long Bay as well as instruction for voting steps.
The final voting result will be informed in November 2011.
Hạ Long Bay (Bay of the Descending Dragon), around 165 km from Hà Nội, covers more than 1,550 sq.km with 1,969 islands, including a protected area covering more than 430 sq.km dotted with 755 limestone and schist islands believed to be between 250 and 280 million years old. The bay has been recognised as the world natural and geographical heritage site by the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO)
Hạ Long Bay is becoming increasingly attractive to foreign tourists who can travel there by roads or waterway. To vote for Hạ Long bay, twice recognised by the UNESCO for its landscapes and geological values, please visit the website www.new7wonders.com/nature/en/vote_on_nominees.
Paintings of Vietnam’s beautiful landscapes by 12 contemporary painters are being exhibited in Ho Chi Minh City.
The paintings depict Vietnam’s landscapes in many different areas such as the old quarter in Hanoi, Hoi An ancient town, the Central Highlands with Truong Son mountain range, peaceful villages in the north of the country and the Mekong Delta.
The exhibition, co-organised by the Sunwah Fund under the Sunwah Group in Hong Kong and the HCM City Fine Arts Museum, will last until December 16.
During the event, the organising board will hold painting courses for children, including pupils from the Nguyen Dinh Chieu school for visually-impaired children.
Cua Dai Beach
, 4km from Hoi An ancient town, is considered one of the most beautiful beaches in central Quang Nam province.
This special beach stands out with restaurants, hotels and newly-built modern resorts. Roads are lined with colourful clusters of wild flowers planted to relax visitors.
From Hanoi, we flew with our nine-year-old son to Da Nang and arrived in Hoi An City at 9am on a Vietnam Airlines flight. After checking in to the Hotel Vinh Hung Hotel, in the centre of the city, a kilometer from Hoi An ancient town (about 25 minutes walk), we decided to head to Cua Dai Beach immediately in a bid to steer clear of the scorching heat of the centre.
At the low cost of 15,000 VND per day, renting a bicycle is popular among visitors to Hoi An City. Beach goers, especially foreign visitors and young people, tend to enjoy pedaling a bicycle the short distance from town to Cua Dai Beach . It took us about 30 minutes to pedal our way there.
Motorbikes and taxis are also available for families with children and elders.
The beaches are stretches of white sand, with moderately salty, shallow water which stays a lovely shade of blue year-round. At night, the surface of the sea is filled with the pinpoints of lamps from thousands of fishing boats. I imagined it was a lantern city on the sea.
Lying on canvas chairs, we breathed in the sea air and sunbathed while my son built sandcastles. Afternoon is the best time for visitors to swim and relax in the soft waves.
Seafood dishes prepared by local cooks are excellent and especially fresh. We ate two special dishes; steamed lobster and chao ca mu (grouper gruel) at Tan Loc restaurant which is under the direction of a young female chef. Both the lobster and the grouper were fresh-caught and purchased from local fishermen on Cham Island early that morning.
It was the second time I ate lobster. The first time was at a fancy restaurant in Hanoi , but the taste was different.
The sea air and the skills of the local cook brought us the fresh flavours of the sea. Additionally, prices here were reasonable; about half compared to Hanoi restaurants.
Friendly young female servers with healthy sunburnt complexions talked easily with foreign visitors in English, happy to take the opportunity to introduce their country.
“They (local villagers) are friendly and speak English very well. The beach is clean and the sea is blue. I will come back,” an Australian visitor told us with a smile.
Cua Dai’s waters are plentiful with sea life, making fishing a popular form of entertainment for tourists. Visitors can hire small boats to go fishing.
We like Cua Dai Beach because it was not overloaded with visitors and the local people are warm and honest. I also found the local people to be trained and cultivated with the essential skills needed to serve guests, including foreign visitors./.