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Garden City

HueIn Vietnam’s former royal, Hue, both lings and commoners appreciates their garden. Dr Phan Thanh Hai reports on this city’s love of greenery.

The late Vietnamese studies researcher Dr. Tran Quoc Vuong once said: “If Hanoi is an inland urban center and Saigon is a harbor, Hue is a place of gardens and poetry”. Blessed with nearby mountains, forest, lagoons, beaches and a legendary river, Hue has long been associated with beauty and art. From the time that the Nguyen Lords chose this site as their capital, Hue was a place where people were in tune with nature. From the start of the 19th century until the middle of the 20thcentury, Hue the capital of a unified Vietnam, and home to court of the Nguyen Dynasty. It was during this era that much of Hue most impressive architecture was built.

A special Blend

Tra senA cup of traditional lotus-scented tea captures the essence of old Hanoi. Phong Chuong reports on how this luxurious blend of tea is prepared.

“A sweet scent spreads cover the lid fine smoke trails from the tiny earthen pot. The soul of the fragrant the tea is strong…”

This verse by Vu Hoang Chuong evokes lotus-scented tea. White many of us appreciate a good cup of lotus-scented tea; few of us realize just how much work is involved in preparing it.

In Ha Noi, Mrs. Nguyen Thi Ngoc and her family are well-known to tea connoisseurs. For four generations this family has made lotus-scented tea. I visited Mrs. Ngoc is order to learn more about her family’s passion for this special Vietnamese tea.

Ha Long Bay ranks 2nd in top 10 best boat journeys

Halong BayVietnam’s Ha Long Bay listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site has been ranked the 2nd among the 10 best boat journeys by the UK’s Lonely Planet Travel Magazine.

“Bobbing on the emerald waters of Halong Bay and moving through its 3000-odd limestone islands is simply sublime.

The tiny islands are dotted with beaches and grottoes created by wind and waves, and have sparsely forested slopes ringing with bird tunes.

There are more than 300 boats based at Bai Chay Tourist Wharf waiting to sweep you away to the World Heritage waters.

Day tours last from four to eight hours, though (recommended) overnighters are also available” the magazine written.

Spirit houses

Katu EthnicThe heart of a Katu village is its communal house. Bao Dan visits Vietnam’s Truong Son Mountains to report on these special buildings.

People of the Katu ethnic group live in Vietnam’s northern Truong Son mountain range. Their communal houses, or gươl, form the heart of a Katu village. Inside these houses, the cold and loneliness of the jungle is mitigated. All of the community’s ritual activities take place inside this house or around the sacrificial that stands out front.

Hopes and dreams.

Representing the villagers’ hopes and willpower, the gươl is a symbol of the powerful community. Located in a position, this is where village elders make key decisions. Following respectful sacrifices and ceremonies, the community house is built under the guidance of experienced village elders. All of the materials come from the forests, from tall wooden columns to the small rattan stems that are used to tie everything together. The house is the pride of the community and also a reflection of the strength and position of the village.

Mekong fest highlights Delta diversity
HCM CITY — Music, dances and attires specific to 12 Mekong Delta provinces that attest to the region's ethnic and cultural diversity will be presented at a three-day festival in Hau Giang Province this weekend.

The festival, hosted by the province's Vi Thanh Town, is called Singing Rendezvous of Nine Rivers. Held every two years in different provinces, the festival, now in its 13th edition, gives an opportunity for performing troupes in region to showcase their talent and highlight the unique cultural traits of their localities.
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