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Featured Nature

Quang Binh cave festival 2019 opens

The biennial cave festival was kicked off in the central province of Quang Binh on July 20 under the theme “Quang Binh – Endless Mystery.”

A view of Son Doong Cave in the central province of Quang Binh. (Photo: VNA)

The festival, which runs through August 20, offers a wide array of tourism events, including music show, street carnival, helicopter tour and more.

During the one-month-long event, a domestic tourism promotion campaign is scheduled, offering visitors 10-20 percent discounts of all local services and products. Tourists are being treated to a 50 percent discount or free admission to Phong Nha and Thien Duong caves on July 20.

A new sightseeing helicopter tour is also launched for visitors at the Phong Nha – Ke Bang site, while the Dong Hoi – Da Nang air route is officially available.

The festival, held every two years, aims to introduce and promote Quang Binh and its outstanding resources, with more than 300 alluring, unique and grand caves, which have unique geology and rich biodiversity, along with making Quang Binh’s tourism a spearhead industry of the locality.

Quang Binh is also famous for its incredible mountain scenery and sprawling beaches. Its Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park was recognised as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2003 thanks to its impressive scenery and archaeological value.

The province is also where American fantasy movie “Pan in Neverland” and American blockbuster “Kong: Skull Island” were filmed.

In recent years, the local tourism industry continues to boom. In the first six months of 2019, 2.45 million people visited Quang Binh, up 20 percent from to the same period in 2018, with more than 130,000 foreign holidaymakers, a 31 percent increase.

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Culture

Village festival – culture of wet rice civilization

As an agricultural country with rice being the main foodstuff, every region in Vietnam is attached to a legend or a festival pertaining to wet rice cultivation.

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The Chu Dong Tu-Tien Dung procession boats.

They share the same tradition of worshiping the agricultural genies, celebrating new rice, and praying for bumper crops. The rituals show people’s aspiration for favorable weather, good crops, and abundance.

Village festivals in the countryside are mostly held in the beginning of the year, the gorgeous season between the harsh winter and searing summer. A village festival consists of a solemn ritual and festive events, where people play games, dance and sing.

Da Trach commune in the northern province of Hung Yen is known for the Chu Dong Tu-Tien Dung Festival, which takes place on the 10th to the 12th day of the 2nd lunar month. The Festival is dedicated to Saint Chu Dong Tu, one of Vietnam’s legendary immortals, and Princess Tien Dung, who helped people set up villages, cultivate marshes into fertile land, and build a sufficient, happy life. 

Families assign their members tasks to prepare for the festival. Young people will join the dragon dance troupe and a team to carry the Saint’s palanquin. Older people will serve in worship rituals and reception. The dragon dance troupe will lead a procession of the Saint’s palanquin from Da Trach temple to the Red river to fetch water.

There are palanquins to carry water jars and a wood statue of a carp. The carp icon is associated with the legend of a carp transforming into a dragon and represents the aspiration to conquer the Da Trach marsh.

Nguyen Huu Bon, a local man, said “The festival shows the people’s hope to conquer nature and their gratitude to Saint Chu Dong Tu for teaching them to grow rice, raise silk worms to weave fabric, and honor piety and patriotism.”

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The water used in the worship must be taken in the middle of the river.

The procession of the carp and dragon are all associated with water, an important element in agricultural production. They must take clean water in the middle of the river to offer to genies. People believe that if they can take water easily, they will have a favorable year.

In the 4th lunar month, people in Van village in the northern province of Bac Giang, organize a wrestling festival to catch a lucky ball. At the festival, 16 strong, young men wearing loincloths are divided into two teams to compete for the ball, which represents the Sun.

Nguyen Thi Huyen, a villager, said “To start the game, the ball is passed from east to west, which is the rising and setting of the Sun. Catching the ball is to catch the sun to bring sunshine to rice and other crops.”

Coc village in Quang Ninh province is an ancient wet rice region in the northern delta. It has preserved many original religious rituals including the “Going to the field” festival which is organized in the 6th lunar month, before a new crop.

Elderly villager Dao Duc Tue said “The countryside has alkaline fields and salty water. Agricultural work depends very much on nature. People believe in the Agriculture Genie and organize an annual worship which is called the “Going to the field” festival. It marks the start of a new crop.”

Villagers express their gratitude to the ancestors and the Agriculture Genie for blessing them with an abundant life, good weather, and a good harvest. The village festival is a treasure of cultural values, community activities, and the traditional beliefs of Vietnamese people.

VOV5

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Culture

Coffee shop in Quang Ngai gives nostalgic feeling

A coffee shop in the south-central coastal province of Quang Ngai has proved popular among visitors who come to enjoy the combination of a uniquely classical design and large green spaces.

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The coffee shop can be found on Dinh Cuong street in Nghia Hanh district of Quang Ngai province.coffee shop in quang ngai gives nostalgic feeling hinh 2
The villa features wide, open spaces, both inside and outside for customers to enjoy and relax in.

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The shop is owned by Nguyen Quang Trinh, 28, who has spent 10 years of his life living in Ho Chi Minh City.

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Many of the walls of the coffee shop are adorned with paintings featuring aspects of life in Saigon

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A number of old items and artifacts are on display throughout the building.

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A number of signs and banners prove fascinating for customers who are intrigued by them.

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The café is popular among young people who visit to meet their friends and chat.

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A small bar can be found setup outdoors.

A small bar can be found setup outdoors.

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At night the coffee shop is lit up from top to bottom.

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Places

Famous landmarks featured at Hoi An terracotta park

Thanh Ha Terracotta Park designed in the shape of a potter’s wheel features miniatures of various world wonders, including Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris.

The park opened in 2015 and covers 6,000 square metres in Thanh Ha Pottery Village. It cost VND20 billion (USD930,000) to establish.

Miniature wonders of the world such as Britain’s Stonehenge, the Statue of Liberty, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, the Pyramids, the Sydney Opera House, the Colosseum and Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris recently ravaged by the fire are displayed.

Many old and contemporary terracotta works are also featured at the park. 

The Temple of Literature in Hanoi can also be found.

Famous landmarks featured at Hoi An terracotta park
Thanh Ha Terracotta Park

Famous landmarks featured at Hoi An terracotta park

Famous landmarks featured at Hoi An terracotta park

Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris’s miniature at the park

Famous landmarks featured at Hoi An terracotta park

Famous landmarks featured at Hoi An terracotta park 

Angkor Wat Temple

Famous landmarks featured at Hoi An terracotta park 

The Colosseum

 Famous landmarks featured at Hoi An terracotta park

The Taj Mahal Temple

 Famous landmarks featured at Hoi An terracotta park

The Leaning Tower of Pisa

 Famous landmarks featured at Hoi An terracotta park

Opera Sydney House

Famous landmarks featured at Hoi An terracotta park 

The Statue of Liberty

 Famous landmarks featured at Hoi An terracotta park

The Temple of Literature in Hanoi

 Famous landmarks featured at Hoi An terracotta park

The park attracts many local and foreign visitors

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Nature

Time, Space & Wonder in the Galapagos

Today we were travelling north from Gorno Draglishte to Sofia (via Rila Monastery).

We woke reasonably late following the feast and free flowing wine the night before. After gathering ourselves and our packs, we headed down to our homestay family’s small dining room for breakfast, where we enjoyed scrambled eggs, toast, mekitsi (fried dough), local jam and peppermint tea. We were making our way to the Rila Mountains, where we were visiting the Rila Monastery.

We wandered the site with busloads of other tourists, yet strangely the place did not seem crowded. I’m not sure if it was the sheer size of the place, or whether the masses congregated in one area and didn’t venture far from the main church, but I didn’t feel overwhelmed by tourists in the monastery.

We headed over Lions Bridge and made our way to the Sofia Synagogue, then sheltered in the Central Market Hall until the recurrent (but short-lived) mid-afternoon rain passed. Feeling refreshed after an espresso, we walked a short distance to the small but welcoming Banya Bashi Mosque, then descended into the ancient Serdica complex.

We visited the impressive Sveta Nedelya Cathedral, then walked to the calm and diminutive Sveti Georgi Rotunda, which is surrounded on all sides by solid, square and pragmatic communist-built structures. I marvelled at the decision to leave this tiny church in the midst of these gargantuan buildings, but I loved the fact that it remains intact.

We were exhausted after a long day of travel, so we headed back to the hotel and crashed. I had low expectations about Sofia as a city, but after the walking tour I absolutely loved the place. This was an easy city to navigate, and it was a beautiful city – despite its ugly, staunch and stolid communist-built surrounds. Sofia has a very average facade as you enter the city, but once you lose yourself in the old town area, everything changes.

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Culture

Peterhof Palace from Saint Petersburg

Today we were travelling north from Gorno Draglishte to Sofia (via Rila Monastery).

We woke reasonably late following the feast and free flowing wine the night before. After gathering ourselves and our packs, we headed down to our homestay family’s small dining room for breakfast, where we enjoyed scrambled eggs, toast, mekitsi (fried dough), local jam and peppermint tea. We were making our way to the Rila Mountains, where we were visiting the Rila Monastery.

We wandered the site with busloads of other tourists, yet strangely the place did not seem crowded. I’m not sure if it was the sheer size of the place, or whether the masses congregated in one area and didn’t venture far from the main church, but I didn’t feel overwhelmed by tourists in the monastery.

We headed over Lions Bridge and made our way to the Sofia Synagogue, then sheltered in the Central Market Hall until the recurrent (but short-lived) mid-afternoon rain passed. Feeling refreshed after an espresso, we walked a short distance to the small but welcoming Banya Bashi Mosque, then descended into the ancient Serdica complex.

We visited the impressive Sveta Nedelya Cathedral, then walked to the calm and diminutive Sveti Georgi Rotunda, which is surrounded on all sides by solid, square and pragmatic communist-built structures. I marvelled at the decision to leave this tiny church in the midst of these gargantuan buildings, but I loved the fact that it remains intact.

We were exhausted after a long day of travel, so we headed back to the hotel and crashed. I had low expectations about Sofia as a city, but after the walking tour I absolutely loved the place. This was an easy city to navigate, and it was a beautiful city – despite its ugly, staunch and stolid communist-built surrounds. Sofia has a very average facade as you enter the city, but once you lose yourself in the old town area, everything changes.

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Food

Delicious Places to Eat in NYC

Today we were travelling north from Gorno Draglishte to Sofia (via Rila Monastery).

We woke reasonably late following the feast and free flowing wine the night before. After gathering ourselves and our packs, we headed down to our homestay family’s small dining room for breakfast, where we enjoyed scrambled eggs, toast, mekitsi (fried dough), local jam and peppermint tea. We were making our way to the Rila Mountains, where we were visiting the Rila Monastery.

We wandered the site with busloads of other tourists, yet strangely the place did not seem crowded. I’m not sure if it was the sheer size of the place, or whether the masses congregated in one area and didn’t venture far from the main church, but I didn’t feel overwhelmed by tourists in the monastery.

We headed over Lions Bridge and made our way to the Sofia Synagogue, then sheltered in the Central Market Hall until the recurrent (but short-lived) mid-afternoon rain passed. Feeling refreshed after an espresso, we walked a short distance to the small but welcoming Banya Bashi Mosque, then descended into the ancient Serdica complex.

We visited the impressive Sveta Nedelya Cathedral, then walked to the calm and diminutive Sveti Georgi Rotunda, which is surrounded on all sides by solid, square and pragmatic communist-built structures. I marvelled at the decision to leave this tiny church in the midst of these gargantuan buildings, but I loved the fact that it remains intact.

We were exhausted after a long day of travel, so we headed back to the hotel and crashed. I had low expectations about Sofia as a city, but after the walking tour I absolutely loved the place. This was an easy city to navigate, and it was a beautiful city – despite its ugly, staunch and stolid communist-built surrounds. Sofia has a very average facade as you enter the city, but once you lose yourself in the old town area, everything changes.

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Places

Meandering Around Bali

Today we were travelling north from Gorno Draglishte to Sofia (via Rila Monastery).

We woke reasonably late following the feast and free flowing wine the night before. After gathering ourselves and our packs, we headed down to our homestay family’s small dining room for breakfast, where we enjoyed scrambled eggs, toast, mekitsi (fried dough), local jam and peppermint tea. We were making our way to the Rila Mountains, where we were visiting the Rila Monastery.

We wandered the site with busloads of other tourists, yet strangely the place did not seem crowded. I’m not sure if it was the sheer size of the place, or whether the masses congregated in one area and didn’t venture far from the main church, but I didn’t feel overwhelmed by tourists in the monastery.

We headed over Lions Bridge and made our way to the Sofia Synagogue, then sheltered in the Central Market Hall until the recurrent (but short-lived) mid-afternoon rain passed. Feeling refreshed after an espresso, we walked a short distance to the small but welcoming Banya Bashi Mosque, then descended into the ancient Serdica complex.

We visited the impressive Sveta Nedelya Cathedral, then walked to the calm and diminutive Sveti Georgi Rotunda, which is surrounded on all sides by solid, square and pragmatic communist-built structures. I marvelled at the decision to leave this tiny church in the midst of these gargantuan buildings, but I loved the fact that it remains intact.

We were exhausted after a long day of travel, so we headed back to the hotel and crashed. I had low expectations about Sofia as a city, but after the walking tour I absolutely loved the place. This was an easy city to navigate, and it was a beautiful city – despite its ugly, staunch and stolid communist-built surrounds. Sofia has a very average facade as you enter the city, but once you lose yourself in the old town area, everything changes.

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Wildlife

Reflections on the Birds of Botswana

Today we were travelling north from Gorno Draglishte to Sofia (via Rila Monastery).

We woke reasonably late following the feast and free flowing wine the night before. After gathering ourselves and our packs, we headed down to our homestay family’s small dining room for breakfast, where we enjoyed scrambled eggs, toast, mekitsi (fried dough), local jam and peppermint tea. We were making our way to the Rila Mountains, where we were visiting the Rila Monastery.

We wandered the site with busloads of other tourists, yet strangely the place did not seem crowded. I’m not sure if it was the sheer size of the place, or whether the masses congregated in one area and didn’t venture far from the main church, but I didn’t feel overwhelmed by tourists in the monastery.

We headed over Lions Bridge and made our way to the Sofia Synagogue, then sheltered in the Central Market Hall until the recurrent (but short-lived) mid-afternoon rain passed. Feeling refreshed after an espresso, we walked a short distance to the small but welcoming Banya Bashi Mosque, then descended into the ancient Serdica complex.

We visited the impressive Sveta Nedelya Cathedral, then walked to the calm and diminutive Sveti Georgi Rotunda, which is surrounded on all sides by solid, square and pragmatic communist-built structures. I marvelled at the decision to leave this tiny church in the midst of these gargantuan buildings, but I loved the fact that it remains intact.

We were exhausted after a long day of travel, so we headed back to the hotel and crashed. I had low expectations about Sofia as a city, but after the walking tour I absolutely loved the place. This was an easy city to navigate, and it was a beautiful city – despite its ugly, staunch and stolid communist-built surrounds. Sofia has a very average facade as you enter the city, but once you lose yourself in the old town area, everything changes.

Chuyên mục
Culture

Grand Duchy of Luxembourg

Today we were travelling north from Gorno Draglishte to Sofia (via Rila Monastery).

We woke reasonably late following the feast and free flowing wine the night before. After gathering ourselves and our packs, we headed down to our homestay family’s small dining room for breakfast, where we enjoyed scrambled eggs, toast, mekitsi (fried dough), local jam and peppermint tea. We were making our way to the Rila Mountains, where we were visiting the Rila Monastery.

We wandered the site with busloads of other tourists, yet strangely the place did not seem crowded. I’m not sure if it was the sheer size of the place, or whether the masses congregated in one area and didn’t venture far from the main church, but I didn’t feel overwhelmed by tourists in the monastery.

We headed over Lions Bridge and made our way to the Sofia Synagogue, then sheltered in the Central Market Hall until the recurrent (but short-lived) mid-afternoon rain passed. Feeling refreshed after an espresso, we walked a short distance to the small but welcoming Banya Bashi Mosque, then descended into the ancient Serdica complex.

We visited the impressive Sveta Nedelya Cathedral, then walked to the calm and diminutive Sveti Georgi Rotunda, which is surrounded on all sides by solid, square and pragmatic communist-built structures. I marvelled at the decision to leave this tiny church in the midst of these gargantuan buildings, but I loved the fact that it remains intact.

We were exhausted after a long day of travel, so we headed back to the hotel and crashed. I had low expectations about Sofia as a city, but after the walking tour I absolutely loved the place. This was an easy city to navigate, and it was a beautiful city – despite its ugly, staunch and stolid communist-built surrounds. Sofia has a very average facade as you enter the city, but once you lose yourself in the old town area, everything changes.