Vietnam continues visa exemptions for five European countries

Vietnam will renew visa exemptions for a three-year period for the citizens of five Western European countries, including the UK, France, Germany, Spain and Italy.

Vietnam welcomed approximately 1.5 million Western European visitors in 2017 (Illustrative image)

The decision was approved by Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc at the regular Government meeting on May 3.

Accordingly, citizens from the five aforementioned countries will continue to enjoy visa exemptions to enter Vietnam up to 2020 after the expiration of the visa-free policy in June this year.

The PM said that Vietnam should continue to expand its visa-exemption policy as the country has unilaterally offered visa exemptions for citizens from only 24 countries, including nine ASEAN countries.

According to Minister-Chairman of the Government Office Mai Tien Dung, the open-door visa policy aligned with enhanced tourism promotion has contributed to maintaining Vietnam’s growth rate of foreign visitors at nearly 30% annually.

Minister Dung noted that the Government will consider proposals from the Vietnam Tourism Association concerning the extension of the period of stay in Vietnam from 15 to 30 days and the expansion of visa exemption for more countries, among others.

Vietnam welcomed approximately 720,000 Western European visitors in 2015 and the number of visitors increased to 855,000 in 2016 and 1.5 million in 2017.

Cr: Vietnamnet

Explore Saigon in the way of foreigners

One of the most famous features of Saigon in the eyes of foreigners is … traffic. According to many travelers, if you temporarily ignore the fear of being on the road here, surely the most prosperous city in southern Vietnam will have many interesting things to explore.

Trying street food

The unique Vietnamese cuisine is always the theme that makes foreigners excited to experience. The food in Saigon is rated as delicious and affordable. The taste of the food on the sidewalk and in the restaurant does not have too much difference. “Fair to say, we found that eating anywhere is very good,” an American guest said.

For drinks, many people are not familiar with the sweet taste of Vietnamese coffee but they are addicted to it after a few drinking.

Trying Saigon street food: “Banh trang tron”

Visit religious sites

Notre Dame Cathedral is one of the first places that foreign tourists visit when traveling Saigon. Many people think that they come here because of the impressive architecture. “This is one of the witnesses of a part of Vietnamese history and you must definitely visit.”

President Barack Obama visited Ngoc Hoang pagoda

In addition, three temples tourists often visit are Ba Thien Hau Pagoda, Ngoc Hoang Pagoda and Ong Pagoda (Nghia An Hoi Quan). Thien Hau Pagoda is also known as the most beautiful temple in Saigon. These sacred places are built by the Chinese and these are in Chinese architectural style.

Explore Cho Lon area

In Saigon, the Hoa people live in District 5, a part of District 10, District 11 and District 6. They have built streets with architectural features. This is a very popular tourist attraction when coming to Saigon.

Festival in Cho Lon area 

Visit Ben Thanh market

It is called “shopping paradise” that you must visit when you come to the most crowded city in South Vietnam. You can find everything from coffee beans, fruits to street food.

Welcoming the Lunar New Year in Saigon

Saigon in Tet holidays

Guests are very impressed with the atmosphere in Saigon on Tet holidays. They also leave the message to the following guests: “Come here on Tet holidays, you will step into the magical world. The street is decorated with brilliant lights, flags, flowers and colorful icons. Come and discover their biggest spiritual festival, you will see a mysterious Vietnam, but also very attractive and new. ”

Vietnamese: Vnexpress

07 awesome experiences when traveling to Hoi An

1. Ride the river: After walking around the small streets in the Old Quarter, you will find yourself stepping out of the river. You will find blazing restaurants, lanterns hanging alongside ancient houses along the river and small boats. Having dinner or drinking a glass of water, and watching the riverside, amidst the bustle of the night market. You will see a colorful neighborhood with full of Vietnamese, Chinese, Japanese and colonial architecture in Hoi An.
2. Visiting the rice fields and learning about local life: You can find a lot of cycling or walking tours to local people. You may have the opportunity to help them take care of rice fields and livestock. This is an opportunity to learn about the daily life of indigenous people.

Visiting the rice fields in Hoian, photo: Vov

3. Watch the lanterns at the ancient town: Hoi An ancient town displays a lot of handmade lanterns hanging along the way, creating a beautiful scene for a night walk. Buy some for souvenirs, and create your own Hoi An at home.

Watching the lanterns in Hoian ancient town

4. Join the Cooking Class: You will learn how to cook traditional Vietnamese dishes such as pancakes, salad rolls, dipping sauce. Crowther took a class at a cooking school for young people who could teach themselves, giving them opportunities for future jobs. They can also teach foreigners a few Vietnamese words during the course of cooking.

5. Take a boat trip: Take a leisurely cruise along the river. Handcrafted basket-boats look insecure, but locals can handle very well. You will be taken to nearby villages, enjoy food, learn about the work and daily life of local people.

Funny boat trip in Hoi An

6. Apparel: Hoi An is famous for its nice and affordable clothing stores. The suit can only take 48 hours to complete and the fabric you choose.

Hoi An became known for good tailored clothing, photo: City Pass Guide

7. Cuisine: Enjoy dishes like rolls, noodles, and pancakes.

Vietnamese: motthegioi.vn

Hanoi in top 13 best places to visit in March 2018 for every type of traveler

Travelers are planning their springtime vacations.

March offers an array of great travel experiences around the world, from breathtaking glimpses of flourishing nature on the Galapagos Islands to the colorful celebration of Holi in Mumbai.

Best yet, in many places March is the start of “shoulder season” — the period between the high and low seasons of a vacation destination — meaning you’ll be able to find an affordable vacation no matter your travel style.

Business Insider looked at airfare trends, climate data, and peak travel times to figure out which vacation spots should be on your radar.

Read on to find 13 destinations you won’t want to miss in March:
13. Hanoi, Vietnam
March is one of the best months climate-wise to visit Southeast Asia, and Hanoi – Vietnam is no exception.

Hanoi in top 13 best places to visit in March 2018 for every type of traveler

In Hanoi, you could spend days roaming the energetic and mazelike Old Quarter, packed to the brim with street vendors, open-air eateries and whizzing motorbikes. Hoan Kiem Lake provides a peaceful respite from the frenzy, as do numerous Buddhist temples and pagodas.

Hanoi in top 13 best places to visit in March 2018 for every type of traveler

When you need a break from the city, stunning views of the rock formations of Halong Bay and the verdant rice terraces of Sa Pa are just short trips away.

12. Austin, Texas
Gary Clark Jr. performs during the 2017 SXSW Conference and Festivals on March 17, 2017 in Austin, Texas. Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for SXSW
March is the perfect time to travel to Texas’s quirky capital. The weather’s balmy, flights are cheap, and you can catch two decidedly Texan events: the Star of Texas Fair & Rodeo and the world-famous South by Southwest music and media festivals.

11. Palm Springs, California

The desert resort city of Palm Springs, California, is another American hotspot that’s ideal to visit in March.

Temperatures in the 70s and low 80s Fahrenheit make for perfect hiking conditions on the numerous trails — just two months later and the mercury will reach triple digits. Nearby Joshua Tree National Park offers some of the most rugged, spectacular views of nature and wildlife you’ll see in the United States.

And if you’re not the outdoorsy type, you’re sure to find comfort cooling off by the pool or pampering yourself in a spa.

10. St. Croix, US Virgin Islands
Mild weather and low rainfall make March the optimal time to visit this Caribbean gem with an affinity for rum.

Indulge in the island’s stunning tropical beaches, go whale-watching on the north shore, and be sure to check out historical sites like the Columbus Landing Site, the only known location where members of a Christopher Columbus expedition set foot on what is now US soil.

And if you plan your trip right, you can take part in the raucous St. Patrick’s Day parade in Christiansted — one of the only celebrations of the Irish holiday you’ll find in all the Caribbean.

09. Cartagena, Colombia
The coastal Colombian city of Cartagena offers beautiful beaches, traditional food, and some of the best nightlife in Latin America. Take advantage of the nice weather and go handgliding or kitesurfing, and for a relaxing day trip, head to the white sand beaches on Isla Barú.

08. Galapagos Islands
There’s a reason nature lovers flock to the Galapagos Islands off the coast of Ecuador. Between active volcanoes, idyllic beaches, and some of the most exotic and rare animals on the planet, the Pacific archipelago provides countless opportunities to witness something you’ve never seen before.

March happens to be the rainiest month on the islands, which means they will be less crowded with tourists. But don’t let the rain discourage you — the showers are brief, and locals say they make the water even clearer. On top of that, March is the beginning of mating season for birds there, and if you’re lucky you’ll get a glimpse of baby sea lions and turtles on the shore.

07. Amsterdam, Netherlands
Amsterdam is best enjoyed away from the throngs of tourists that tend to overrun the city in the summertime. March in the Dutch capital is a little chilly, with temperatures around 40 or 50 degrees Fahrenheit, but if you don’t mind the cold, it’s well worth the extra room to breathe and the money you’ll save on airfare.

You’ll have plenty of space to admire the colorful, off-kilter houses along the Amstel River, as well as other attractions like the Van Gogh Museum and the Anne Frank House. And if you like electronic music, the Five Days Off festival in March is a must-do.

06. Chamonix, France

The winter sports haven of Chamonix is still going strong in March, so if you feel the urge to hit the slopes on your European adventure, this resort town should be on your list.

Even if you’re not an avid skiier, you’ll find plenty of active pursuits in Chamonix, from ice climbing and dogsledding to snow-shoeing and hiking. When the day’s done, you can cozy up in your cabin and enjoy some fine food and French wine.

05. Cairo, Egypt
March is shoulder season in Cairo, meaning the winter crowds start to thin out, airfare dips, and the weather is exquisite.

The legendary Pyramids of Giza and Great Sphinx lie right on the outskirts of the city, and archaelogical sites at Dahshur, Memphis, and Saqqara will intrigue history buffs. When you’re done sightseeing, head to Al Azhar Park or barter for goods at the Khan el-Khalili bazaar.

04. Tasmania, Australia
Travelers fall in love with Tasmania’s rugged wildnerness and picturesque landscapes, which feature everything from beaches, rainforests, mountains, and more.

March is right on the tail end of tourist season in Tasmania, and the island benefits from breezy late-summer temperatures in the low 70s Fahrenheit. Take your time exploring the different regions of the island, and get up close in personal with the local wildlife, including wallabies, wombats, and fairy penguins.

03. Mumbai, India
Children celebrate the Hindu festival of Holi. Shutterstock
The vibrant Hindu holiday of Holi begins on March 1 this year, and Mumbai is one of the best cities in India to celebrate it.

The peak of the holiday is a free-for-all festival of colors, in which revelers take to the streets and hurl colored powder and spray colored water at one another, turning people into walking rainbow canvases.

02. Kathmandu, Nepal
March is one of the best times of year to visit Kathmandu, the home of holy sites, incredible views of the Himalaya mountains, and frenetic street life.

Kathmandu is also host to one of the greatest Holi celebrations outside India — a raucous all-morning celebration of color that culminates in historic Durbar Square.

The weather this time of year is mild and perfect for strolls around the city or day treks through the mountains.

01. Antarctica
Traveling to the coldest continent on Earth is only possible between October and late March, but there are a few reasons why holding out until the end of tourist season is a good idea.

For one, although traveling to Antarctica is never cheap, you’ll save a lot of money on cruise tickets by booking for March. Most cruises to Antarctica leave from Ushuaia at the southern tip of Argentina, and some companies in the town even offer last-minute deals that you can buy on the spot. However, be prepared — even the cheapest, shortest trips to Antarctica can cost around $5,000.

March also happens to be a prime month for whale sightings, including humpback whales, sperm whales, and orcas. Fledgling penguins and sea birds are still hanging around as well, providing for a once-in-a-lifetime excursion to the edge of the planet.

 (Copyright Business Insider)

10 must-try dishes in Ho Chi Minh city and where to try

1. Pho: This consists of a bow of pork bone soup, rice noodles, a sprinkling of herbs and chicken or beef, features predominately in the local meal. It is cheap, tasty, popular and available at all hours in Ho Chi Minh city. Pho has shown its position not only in Vietnamese cuisine but also world cuisine. Pho can be seen everywhere from street stalls to high-end restaurants. Some are served with chicken or with beef. Fresh herbs, soft noodles are important factors in making an outstanding Pho.

Where to try in Saigon:
– Phở Dậu: 288, Nam Kỳ Khởi Nghĩa, ward 08, District 03
– Phở Hòa: 260 C, Pasteur, ward 08, District 03
– Phở Lệ: 413-415 Nguyễn Trãi, ward 07, District 05

Pho, where to try in Saigon?

2. Banh mi – Vietnamese baguette Sandwich: Commonly well-known along with Pho, Vietnamese baguette sandwiches, called Banh Mi, have attracted a growing fan base around the world. The uniqueness of Banh Mi is not only the light and crispy baguette, but also the variation of Vietnamese flavors fillings bring out the most amazing flavor. In the North, chefs fill the basic elements of fat, margarine, and pate but in the South (including Ho Chi Minh city), Banh Mi may contain a more colorful combination of cheese, cold cuts, pickled vegetables, sausage, fried egg, fresh coriander and chili sauce.
Where to try:
– 22 Lê Thị Riêng, quận 1, HCM city
– Hòa Mã bakery, Cao Thắng str., District 03, HCM city
– Nguyên Sinh bakery, Trần Đình Xu str, District 01, HCM city
– Barbecue sandwich cart, 37 alley, Nguyễn Trãi str, District 01, HCM city

3. Banh Xeo – Sizzling cake: Banh Xeo is giant savory pancakes that literally translate to the sizzling cake because of the noise they make when they are being cooked. A good sizzling cake is a crispy crepe bulging with pork, shrimp, and bean sprouts, plus the garnish of fresh herbs that are characteristic of most authentic Vietnamese dishes. To enjoy one like a local, cutting it into slices, roll it up in rice paper or lettuce leaves and dunk it in whatever special sauce that the chef has mixed up for you.
Where to try in Saigon:
– Banh Xeo Mười Xiềm: 190 Nam Kì Khởi Nghĩa str, District 03 – 204 Nguyễn Trãi str, District 01
– Banh Xeo Ăn Là Ghiền: 74 Sương Nguyệt Ánh str, District 01
– Banh Xeo Miền Trung: 179C2 Đồng Đen str, Tân Bình District

Banh Xeo – Sizzling cake, where to try in Saigon?

4. Goi Cuon (Fresh Spring Roll) and Cha Gio (Fried Spring Rolls): Salad roll ranks among Vietnam’s most famous foods and is very agreeable to the taste. Each translucent spring rolls packed with greens, coriander and various combinations of minced pork and shrimp. In some places, they’re served with a bowl of lettuce and/or mint. A southern variation has barbecued strips of pork wrapped up with green banana and star fruit, and then dunked in a rich peanut sauce – every bit as tasty as it sounds.
Cha Gio – Fried Spring Rolls: Vietnam’s bite-sized crunchy spring rolls might not enjoy the same popularity as fresh spring rolls, but they deserve a special mention.
Where to try in Saigon:
– Cô Tuyết: 185/30 3 Tháng 2 str, Ward 11, District 10
– “Wrap and roll”, 62 Hai Ba Trung Street, in District 1
– Propaganda Bistro Restaurant: 21 Han Thuyen, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City
– Bun Cha & Spring rolls 145 Bui Vien, Pham Ngu Lao Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City

5. Bun Rieu (Crab and tomato vermicelli soup): This fragrant vermicelli soup will blow your mind with a large combination of different ingredients, starting from the tomato soup base and crab paste (the main of the dish). Crab meat and complementary veggies add more values to the bowl, slurp on and enjoy!
Where to try in Saigon:
– Bun Rieu on Phan Bội Châu str, East gate Bến Thành market, Lê Lợi str, Bến Thành ward, District 1
– Bun Rieu, 287 Nguyễn Đình Chiểu str, District 03
– Thanh Hải, 14/12 Kỳ Đồng str, Ward 09, District 03

Bun Rieu, where to try in Saigon?

6. Ca Kho To (Braised fish in a clay pot): Another friendly dish for all the Vietnamese families, fish that is carefully caramelized in a clay pot with fish sauce. The clay pot will bring out the juiciness of the fish that a normal metal pot can’t be able to conquer, and clay pot is mainly used to braised dishes for other kinds of meats like pork and shrimps. Ca Kho To tastes both salty and sweet, bringing warmth and comfort to everyone.
Where to try in Saigon:
– Cơm Niêu Sài Gòn – 27 Tú Xương str, District 03
– Ngon restaurant – 138 Nam Kỳ Khởi Nghĩa str, Bến Nghé ward, District 01

7. Cơm tấm sườn nướng (Saigon-style broken rice)
Saigon-style broken rice is the famous and most beloved Vietnamese based dishes. It often comes with ribs, pork ham, cucumber slices, tomato slices… The ribs were marinated in honey then grilled, a piece made of pork mixed with noodles and mushrooms then steamed it. That makes the special flavor of Saigon-style broken rice.
Where to try in Saigon:
– Ba Ghiền: 84 Đặng Văn Ngữ str, ward 10, Phú Nhuận district
– Kiều Giang: 63 Song Hành, An Phú ward, District 02
– Thuận Kiều: 54 Thuận Kiều str, 04 ward, district 11

8. Bánh tráng trộn (Banh Trang Tron)
Although the dish is very common in many cities, but only in Saigon ‘Banh Trang tron’ is the most delicious and most attractive. The toughness of rice paper, the sour of mango, shredded beef jerky, the taste of Vietnamese mint and quail eggs… make many people consider it is the best snack in Saigon.
Where to try in Saigon:
– Chú Viên: 38 Nguyễn Thượng Hiền str, ward 05, District 03
– Cô Long: 24 Nguyễn Thượng Hiền str, ward 5, District 03
– “Chảnh”: Turtle (Con Rùa) lake, Phạm Ngọc Thạch str, ward 06, District 03

Banh Trang Tron, where to try in Saigon?

9. Hủ tiếu Nam Vang (Hu Tieu Nam Vang)
Originated from Cambodia, Nam Vang noodles soup is made by the Chinese. The raw materials are dry noodles, minced pork, pig’s offals, shrimp and quail eggs. The soup is made from pork bone stew. Boiled noodle then adding bean sprout, chives, minced pork and pig’s offals. Depending on each person, you can replace the minced pork by shrimp, crab, squid… but minced meat is necessary.
Where to try in Saigon?
– Hu Tieu Nam Vang Thành Đạt: 25 Cô Bắc str, Cầu Ông Lãnh ward, District 01
– Hu Tieu Thanh Xuân: 62 Tôn Thất Thiệp str, Bến Nghé Ward, District 01
– Hu Tieu Nam Vang Nhân Quán: 27 Âu Cơ str, Ward 14, District 11

10) Xoi (sticky rice): Unlike the usual rice we have for lunch/dinner, sticky rice literally means…rice that stick altogether. This is a go-to breakfast in Saigon for its convenience where students and officers usually dig in. Steamy sticky rice is served with some hard boiled eggs, sausage and dried shredded chicken floss. Sprinkling some soy sauce on top and it is good for you to take away.

Xoi – sticky rice, where to try in Saigon?

Where to try in Saigon:
– Xôi Bà Chiểu: 318/1 Bùi Hữu Nghĩa str, ward 01, Bình Thạnh district
– Xôi “nhà xác”: 409 Trần Phú str, ward 07, district 05
– Xôi Tám Cẩu: Điện Biên Phủ & Cao Thắng crossroad, district 3
– Xôi Bình Tiên: 88 Minh Phụng str, ward 05, district 6

“TET” The Lunar New Year introduction

Personally, I am a bit excited for the upcoming year, being a dog in the zodiac sign myself …

The Vietnamese New Year – Tet Nguyen Dan – follows the same lunar calendar that governs Chinese New Year celebrations worldwide. So on the same day the world celebrates Chinese New Year, the people of Vietnam celebrate Tet.

The Vietnamese consider Tet to the most important one in their considerable festival lineup. Family members gather in their hometowns, traveling from across the country (or the world) to spend the Tet holidays in each other’s company.

The first day of Tet is usually spent with immediate family, the second day is for visiting friends, and the third day is dedicated to teachers and visiting temples.

Because the principle goal is to attract good fortune for the new year, Tet and Chinese New Year share a lot of similar traditions. For instance, you shouldn’t sweep during Tet because you could inadvertently sweep away new luck. The same goes for any cutting: don’t cut your hair or fingernails during the holiday!

One of the most important traditions observed during Tet is the emphasis put on who is the first to enter a house in the new year. The first person brings the luck (good or bad) for the year! The head of the house — or someone considered successful — leaves and returns a few minutes after midnight just to ensure they are the first to come in.

Contrary to popular belief, foreign visitors can and do join in the Tet fun. In the next few chapters, we explain the significance of the holiday, places that throw the best Tet parties, and survival tips for Tet visitors.

Tet is a great time to see Vietnam at its most colorful, especially in the cities of Hue, Hanoi, and Ho Chi Minh City.

However, reservations are bound to be filled up long before the actual holiday, and transportation before and after Tet is bound to be sketchy at best (everybody wants to be home for Tet!). Also, many tourist spots are closed for several days between Tet.

Do visit if you intend to stay in one place for the duration of Tet, and can commit to letting the Tet travel rush die down. Expect prices to be jacked up to the maximum throughout the Tet holiday. Don’t take it personally – everyone else is paying up, too.

Visiting Hanoi during Tet

The Vietnamese capital is the best place to see traditional Tet celebrations taking place, all taking place between the second and seventh day of the festival week.

At the stroke of midnight on Tet eve (February 16, 2018), fireworks shows will go off at five key areas across Hanoi: Thong Nhat Park, Van Quan Lake, Lac Long Quan Flower Garden, My Dinh Stadium and Hoan Kiem Lake.

On the sixth day, the Co Loa Citadel to Hanoi’s north sees costumed locals forming a procession, much as their ancestors did long ago, in the Co Loa Festival; only today, civilians march in the parade, instead of the former military officials and government mandarins.

Finally, a calligraphy festival takes place all throughout Tet on the grounds of the Temple of Literature in old Hanoi – calligraphers called ong do set up shop in about a hundred booths, brush in hand, writing auspicious Chinese characters for paying customers.

Visiting Hue during Tet

The Hue imperial citadel, located in the former royal capital of Hue, has seen a renaissance of royal-era traditions, none more significant than the raising of the cay neu, or Tet pole, on the palace grounds.

The cay neu repeats itself as a traditional bamboo plant in millions of Vietnamese homes, but the one in the Hue citadel is the biggest and flashiest. The first cay neu was traditionally first set up by the Buddha to drive away evil monsters.

An elaborate ceremony raises the Tet pole on the first day of the holiday; the process is repeated on the seventh and the last day, marking the end of Tet. In olden times, Hue residents would take their cue from the palace ceremonies to set up and take down their own cay neu at home.

Visiting Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) during Tet

The mass of motorcycles jamming Ho Chi Minh City doesn’t go away during Tet, but parts of the city explode in color during the week-long festival.

On the eve of Tet upon the stroke of midnight, fireworks shows will ignite at six areas across the city: Thu Thiem Tunnel between districts 1 and 2, Dam Sen Park in District 11, Cu Chi Tunnels in Cu Chi District, Rung Sac Square in Can Gio District, Lang Le-Bau Co historical site in Binh Chanh District, and the Nga Ba Giong Memorial in Hoc Mon District.

In District 8, Tau Hu Canal becomes the site of a flower market, with blossoms and ornamental trees sourced from the nearby provinces of Tien Giang and Ben Tre. The market’s wares vary wildly, from cheap cockscomb flowers in pots to expensive yellow apricot trees.

Basicly, make sure all your arrangements have been properly booked in advance as most flights and other means of transport will be fully booked ! Expect to pay around 10-20% extra in some restaurants that are open during TET, also the locals pay the extra on those days.

Chuc Mung Nam Moi to the year of the Dog !

A Travel Mate Saigon Year End Party

Year End Party is no longer simply a year-end event, today it has turned the event into a solemn, most interesting event for its staff. This event plays the important role of honoring individuals and corporate excellence in the past year has been to stick with, dedicate and achieve high achievements in the unit, contributing to the advancement of the unit. It’s time for all units with many employees in all over the place gather together, stick together and find out each member of the unit.

A Travel Mate Saigon Year End Party A Travel Mate Saigon Year End Party

Last week, in the spirit of a one-year look back of A Travel Mate, Year End Party of the company with the participation of Board of Directors, partners and all of the employees, we had a night memorable. Everything was blown up thanks to the wonderful performances of our employees and also our guests.

A Travel Mate Saigon Year End Party

One thing needs to mention is that our date of the event is the same day of final AFC U23 football match, I have really appreciated that our leader who has arranged flexible Year End Party after the match finishing. A little bit sad when our country could not win this match but actually we had a great time to sit together and to breath the same atmosphere with all U23 footballers.

About the party, an overall, all performance was very well prepared from music to costumes and I think it took a lot of time to practice. For the first dance performance, the music was an explosion with “Despacito” and “Look what you made me do” and another third Latin song, everybody needed to look on the stage and watched each of movement of dancers.

A Travel Mate Saigon Year End Party A Travel Mate Saigon Year End Party

Next, the time of giving awards was very fun with the nomination video, it has brought laughter for everyone. The part of traditional costume performance was excellent, nice costumes, nice models, but the introduction of each ethnic would be better if the music turned down a little bit because I think other persons could not hear. The games were really fun, especially “Egg game”, everyone on stage tried to shake hip and butt to make ball “egg” falling out.

A Travel Mate Saigon Year End Party

One more thing, about MC of the party, I send the thanks to Ms. Huyen and Mr.Thinh who done this job very well and they stirred up the whole program. Last but not least, I love the time that everybody in the end event came to the stage, singing and dancing together as one family.

A Travel Mate Saigon Year End Party

I am a new employee of company or I must say a new member of this family, this party gave me a chance to meet other colleagues who will work together in the future. A year has passed with the effort and success, I hope that the next year we will gather more success and go further. As a result, at the end of the next year we will have another chance to sit together again and cheer.

Top 05 awesome things to do in Mekong Delta

These are some experiences that you should not miss when traveling to Mekong Delta:

1. Sitting on the boat to explore the Mekong River: visitors will be sitting on the boat and go around Mekong Delta to explore the local life and how they make the coconut candy, crispy rice cakes. Moreover, tourists can talk with the friendly vendors about life in the Mekong Delta. The gentle wind blow from the sundeck boats that will bring to you an unforgettable feeling.

Sitting on the boat to explore the Mekong River

2. Exploring floating markets: As a river and water area, all activities take place on the river, including the sale of goods. Floating market is born from that. To experience the full atmosphere of the floating market, you should get up from 4-5am. This place sells all kinds of goods, bustling crowded without any kind of pulling. Arriving in the Mekong Delta, it is unfortunate to miss shopping at the floating market.

3. Conquering the Monkey Bridge: This is the seventh bridge in the top 10 of most feared bridges in the world according to Travel & Leisure magazine. Monkey Bridge is the one of the most interesting experience which you should try when traveling to Mekong Delta. Visitors walk across the bridge must be brave enough to step confidently and exactly through a simple wooden pair which is not wide enough (about 2 foots). Before walking across the bridge you are assured that the bridge is only through the shallow and not flowing water, the bridge is not too high compared to the water. Be assured that someone guides and protect visitors.

Conquering the Monkey bridge is an awesome thing to experience in Mekong Delta

4. Listening to folk songs of the South West: This is a typical folk art in South West of Vietnam. It combined with playing a musical instrument and singing. Traveling in the South West you do not miss to enjoy this folk art. Let’s look for a glass of honey aromatic tea while listening sweety song.

Tourist listen to folk songs – a typical folk art in South West Vietnam

5. Enjoy fresh fruits and muddying ditch then catch fish in the lush gardens: Foreign tourists always enjoy the rural areas with fruit fields. Visiting the garden you will enjoy many fresh fruits which are picked on the tree. Tourists also will be very excited to be working as farmers here. Dress up your pants and slap water in a small pond to look for fish that are hiding in the thick mud. After that, tourists will make many delicious dishes from their catching fishes.

Enjoy fresh fruits in Mekong Delta Vietnam

Tips for a Better Mekong Delta Trip

Note some of the most important and necessary items for you during your Mekong Delta exploration trip:

* Accommodation:
The price here is quite cheap. According to experience, if you ask 08 motels you will find 02 motels are fine so do not hesitate to go around and ask for better price. Be sure to check out the rooms, restrooms, and basic facilities.

Guests enjoy local food in a homestay

The personality in South West (Mekong Delta) is always sincere and hospitable so you can ask for accommodation in the house, on the boat or in the islets. In the evening, drinking wine with friendly locals who living in the vast river and listening to their life story and business, it will be a precious experience.

Necessary items for the trip:
– Drinking water, dry food, sanitation and preventive medicine.

– You should carry umbrellas, sunscreens, mosquito repellants and some basic medicines.

– If you want to get away from the main roads and experience the feeling of the wild nature, remember to bring a tent (to stay overnight) and you follow the crowds for safety.

On the way to explore Mekong Delta

* Roads, traffic:
1. The roads are quite similar: flat with no steep slope, small, narrow and it is often along the deep canals and rivers. If you ask for directions, you should ask several people repeatedly because some people might not know. Locals may give you directions the wrong way because they don’t know and this means they might ‘lose face’ culturally.
There are hundreds of kilometers of the road but only in a straight line and with few car repair areas so you have to equip yourself with puncture repair patches and always be cautious by preparing a liter reserve of gas. The road is quite deserted and sometimes there is a bad road so the car should have good headlights in order to avoid accidental fall into the river at night.
2. One thing to keep in mind is that when you see a rudimentary vehicle by anyone driving on the road, pay special attention to it and slow down as much as possible as it can divert at any time and there is no warning. When driving for long distances, take turns with other people to drive. Driving for a long time on dark roads can cause tiredness, so rest often and be careful.

3. If you continue to go into the village, there will be bridges without a railing, regardless of how narrow it is. Don’t hurry over bridges as they may swing and drop down towards the river.

Mekong Delta with a lot of the deep canals and rivers

4. When riding a two wheels vehicle through small ferries (ferry does not carry cars) will be crowded scene. If you have to go, you should not loss of calm. People in the Mekong Delta have been communicating their experiences that when falling into the river, firstly it is vital to stay afloat and keep calm. Then tread water (don’t fight, just swim lightly to save energy) and make your way to a safe point in the water.

Necessary items on road:
1. Mekong Delta map, compass, if possible carry a GPS.
2. Tools for repairing vehicles and equipment to prevent vehicle damage along the road if traveling by motorbike. Moreover, you should carry 1 liter of gasoline because of the gas stations here are very rare and close very early.

3. Bring shoes, gloves, masks, big glasses to cover the eyes which can look at night because of many dark spots and mosquitoes flying in.
4. Flashlights, you need to bring this light because most of the roads in the South West have no street lights and there are many canals without fences.

 

21 Tourist attractions in Mekong Delta (P2)

11) Buu Son Pagoda in Soc Trang (another name is Clay Pagoda): The structure of this pagoda is not different from the temple in Vietnam but this pagoda has special feature the candle weighs 200kg and has been burning for 70 years. Also, the Buddha statue in the temple is made of clay.
12) Thị Tường Lagoon, Ca Mau is one of the largest natural lagoon in the Mekong Delta, known as the “Lake of the Midlands”. The mound is located between Phu Tan and Tran Van Thoi districts of Ca Mau province. This place is described as a water-loving and poetic painting, especially in the morning and evening.
13) Đá Bạc Islet is a group of 02 islands in Tran Van Thoi district (Ca Mau province). It has many green trees and has a footprint of giant feet. There is also a statue of soldiers defending the fatherland of Vietnam.

Da-bac-islet-in-ca-mau-an-attraction-mekong Da bac islet in Ca Mau an attraction in Mekong Delta

14) U Minh Thuong is a valuable nature reserve, now being upgraded to a National Forest. The ecology in here is extremely rich and diverse as a miracle of nature given to this place.

u-minh-thuong-natural-reserver U Minh Thuong nature reserve – an attraction in Mekong Delta

15) Chông Islet is a limestone complex in Kien Luong district, Kien Giang province. This island is exotic, serene and poetic with a lot of hills and caves, peaceful beaches and quiet temples.
16) Bà Lụa island is also known as Binh Tri archipelago in the Kien Luong – Kien Giang region. The scenery in this place is amazing and always stirring up whoever visits here.
17) Mạc Cửu Tomb in Ha Tien: Mac Cuu Tomb is considered as a work which has the most beautiful geomancy in Vietnam. We can visit the resting place of the Mac family – the family that explored the land of Ha Tien.

Mac-Cuu-tomb-in-Ha-Tien Mac Cuu Tomb in Ha Tien

18) Thạch Động tourist area, named as one of 10 beautiful sceneries of Ha Tien, with a majestic mountain and extremely beautiful caves.
19) Cam Mountain is about 90km from Ha Tien, the mountain is known as “Da Lat of the West”. Besides the fresh and cool atmosphere, Cam mountain is also famous for its many beautiful landscapes such as Bo Hong hill, Thien Tue hill, Thanh Long stream and some famous architectural works such as Van Linh Pagoda, Maitreya Buddha statue, Lam Vien resort.
20) Hung Vuong Square in Bac Lieu City is considered as the most beautiful square in the Mekong Delta. The area is about 4 hectares and the works are built and arranged into a very harmonious, deeply aesthetic and also very unique display. Typical of these buildings include the Cao Van Lau Theater, the Culture, and Art Exhibition Center.

nha-hat-cao-van-lau The Cao Van Lau Theater at Hung Vuong Square in Bac Lieu

21) The villa of Bac Lieu mandarin’s son has now become one of the most visited hotels in Bac Lieu city. This place is also a playground associated with the name of Bac Lieu son – the most famous person in the South in the 20th century. The building was built in 1919 by a French engineer. The architecture of the house is very grandiose and splendid, in a white color. The interior is also made of precious materials. Nowadays the main parts of this villa are preserved intact for visitors to look around.

Hanoi Head Office: 8th Floor,No 77 Nguyen Thai Hoc street, Dien Bien quarter, Ba Dinh district, Ha Noi city, Viet Nam | Phone: +84 24 3926 3449 | Fax: + 84 24 3926 3450

Hanoi Office:39D Dinh Tien Hoang str., HaNoi | Phone: +84 24 3926 3370 | F: (84-24) 3926 3367

Hue Office:33 Vo Thi Sau str., Hue City | Phone: (84- 234) 393 44 55 | F: F: (84-234) 393 44 57

Saigon Office: Floor 2, OIIC Building, 248-250 Nguyen Dinh Chieu Str., D3, HCMC | Phone:(84-28) 3930 2959