Thursday, May 16, 2013
Along with the Vietnamese traditional dress, it has become an informal national symbol. Vietnam is a fascinating country and a highly photogenic one at that. But beyond this - what lies beneath the conical hat?
Quite a lot, if you know anything about Vietnam's thousands of years of history. A hardworking people, their culture has been influenced by many civilisations: the native ethnic groups that once inhabited their land, the Chinese, the French, and most recently, the Americans and Russians. From all these outside influences, plus centuries of war and hardship, their culture has been formed.
SHOW SOME RESPECT
Respect your elders, and your teachers, and everyone else too - this type of attitude is at the very heart of Vietnamese culture. While respect is also valued in Western society, the emphasis is more on friendliness. But it's the cornerstone of interpersonal relationships in Vietnam, whether that be within family, between friends or couples, or in an employment situation.
It's even reflected in the language used by Vietnamese in their daily lives. For example, while in the English-speaking world the word "yes" is used to express agreement and is generally neutral, a Vietnamese person has to choose between three different words to express agreement. In their reply to someone they may mean "yes, I am listening" or "yes, I am confused" or "yes, I do not want to offend."
Saving face is an entrenched part of Vietnamese culture and no more so than in the language itself. Modesty and humility are closely linked to this attitude of respect.
And in Vietnamese culture, older people are deeply revered - unlike Western society, where age is often seen as a liability and youthfulness is celebrated.
I LIKE YOUR SMILE
Expressing yourself verbally tends to come naturally if you're a Westerner, however the Vietnamese prefer non-verbal communication for expressing certain feelings. The humble smile is one such non-verbal symbol - and it's used to convey the all-important attitude of respect.
For the Vietnamese, the smile is a proper response in most situations when verbal expression isn't needed or isn't appropriate. It can be used as a substitute for "I'm sorry", "thank you" or "hello" instead of a ready yes, as the Vietnamese like to avoid appearing over-enthusiastic.
Because Vietnamese society places significant value on stability in social interaction, relationships tend to be very close. The Vietnamese have strong feelings towards their extended family, ancestors, home village and country.
As they believe they must treat their forebears well, many people practice ancestor worship. The building of shrines in homes and burning incense for their deceased family members is common among Vietnamese. They are also very superstitious, believing certain things must happen on certain occasions, or their family will have bad luck.
TELL ME A STORY
The Vietnamese love a good chat and can be very candid when discussing their lives. For instance, when chatting to a local, you might be surprised to discover that many topics that are regarded as personal or confidential in Western culture are openly discussed in Vietnam.
You may be asked about your age, whether or not you're married, whether you have children and how much money you earn.
It might be different from Western society, but then again, it's all about getting beneath the conical hat.
Find out more information to explore Vietnam: http://www.activetravelvietnam.com/vietnam_travel_guides.html
Tuesday, May 14, 2013
For the first time in months, I concentrate on breathing the clear fresh air, relax and feel my tense muscles unclench. Finally, I can hear myself think and am alone, surrounded by nature and centuries of evolutionary miracles.
|Trekking Cuc Phuong National Park|
Friday, May 10, 2013
Apart from Cai Be and Phung Hiep, Cai Rang in Can Tho City is one of the three most popular and biggest floating markets in the Mekong River Delta. It is a great place for tourists in Vietnam to enjoy exciting atmosphere during the early morning market hours.
|Cai Rang Floating Market|
The Cai Rang Floating Market, the largest wholesale floating market in the Mekong Delta, starts around 05:00 and runs until around midday, meaning that you’ll have to get an early start to the day if you want to visit. Most tour boats along the riverfront leave between 05:00 and 07:00, so if don’t make it to the water by then you’ll have a hard time finding a tour.
The market is about six kilometres from Can Tho, or about a 30-minute boat ride. While floating down the river, you will glimpse life along its shores. You’ll pass vibrantly painted boats anchored along the shore, merchant vessels carrying loads down the river and houses built on stilts over the water.
|Cai Rang float market, Vietnam|
Once you finally reach the market, it’s an impressive site. A stretch of boats selling all variety of goods lines the river. Not really a place for souvenirs, people come here instead to buy large quantities of goods, mostly foodstuffs, and you will get an idea of what water commerce in the Delta looks like. Your guide on the boat will usually give you tidbits of information about Cai Rang as you weave through the hordes. You’ll learn that boats identify what they are selling by hanging a sample off the top of a long pole; if you want pineapple, simply scan the horizon for a hanging pineapple. You’ll also get the opportunity to interact with some of these floating merchants; most commonly this happens when a small boat selling drinks latches onto the tour boat’s side.
|Many kind fruits are sold|
During the early morning market hours, larger sized boats anchor and create lanes that smaller boats weave in and out of. The waterway becomes a maze of hundreds of boats packed with mango, bananas, papaya, pineapple, and even smuggled goods like cigarettes.
Sellers do not have to cry out about their goods because their goods can be seen in a distance and their cries would not be heard in the vastness of the river and the noise of boat engines. Small boats that sell beer, wine and soft drinks go among the other boats to serve market-goers and visitors in Vietnam travel. Sellers tie their goods to a tall pole so that buyers can see from a distance what they are selling.
Each boat is loaded with plenty of seasonal goods. Activities at the market are also an occasion for tourists to study the cultural aspects of southerners. You can see the market in the distance; it does not look like much, just a mass of boats. The boats all display their wares on a mast so you can see what they have available.
|Exploring Mekong Delta|
Coming to Cai Rang Floating Market, you can join a tour of the Mekong Delta. Several tour operations can arrange tours combine adventure activities like biking to explore Mekong Delta. I’d recommend you an adventure travel company I knew, ACTIVETRAVEL ASIA (ATA). In this special trip, ATA ride through beautiful areas of lush fruit orchards, endless paddy fields, lively floating market and busy canals.
You can refer Mekong Explore tour at: http://www.activetravelvietnam.com/tour.php?op=detail&tourId=19
Tuesday, May 7, 2013
Halong bay is one of hotspots for travelling Vietnam. Travelers will be surprised by the exotic scenery, the mystery of the remote cave, the unique culture and the Vietnam seafood.
|Kayaking Halong Bay|
According to National Geographic Adventures Journal, Halong bay arguably is one of best destinations for kayaking in over the world. With speculator vistas and the calm sea, definitely it is an ideal place for kayakers.
Ensure that, for 3 days exploring Halong bay it will be unforgettable experience. Travelers immediately immerse in the magnificent scenery, the labyrinth of limestone islets and the sea caves, the hidden lagoon.
Travelers will take a snapshot about the place where was recognized by Unesco World Heritage Site and New Seven Wonders of the World. By the cruise, travelers have a short exploration at some well known places like Sung Sot cave, Lan Ha bay…
Kayaking is the best idea to discover every part of Halong for getting an insight to indigenous people life, to taste every corner of mystery lagoon, to gain surreal feeling throughout the dark tunnels.
On padding excursion, travelers have chance to visit Van Chai floating village to take of a view of daily life or even live like local people on the bamboo boat to make and enjoy the tasty seafood, to take part in hunting fish or witness the animistic ceremonies.
Moreover, take a trip in this summer, travelers no need to worry too much about the price of tour. It is supported by the ATA’s summer promotion. In addition, in this time the flight ticket is always at moderate.
More information: http://www.activetravelvietnam.com/tour.php?op=detail&tourId=43
View map link: http://www.tripline.net/trip/Kayaking_Halong_Bay_%2B_Trekking_Cat_Ba_National_Park-4452243314411006893CF02A48E6FB9B
Summer promotion 2013:
ATA has launched “Great summer holiday with lucky travels” for summer promotion 2013 in Vietnam, Lao, Cambodia. The program applies for all customers request tour on website from 25 March to 30 September 2013. Variety gifts such as discount up to 15% on tour request, free city tour, free one night at a luxury cruise or at hotel, free meal at elegance restaurant and others are in listing lucky gift.
More information: http://www.activetravel.asia/special_offer/2013_summer_promotions.html
ACTIVETRAVEL ASIA (ATA) offers a wide selection of Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia adventure tours, including hiking and trekking, biking, motorcycling, kayaking, overland touring and family travel packages. For more information, please contact ATA for tailoring your very own tour via:
ACTIVETRAVEL ASIA (ATA)
Telephone: +844 3573 8569
Fax: +844 3573 8570
Address: Floor 12 Building 45 Nguyen Son Street, Long Bien district, Hanoi, Vietnam.
Kayaking is not just one of the most adrenaline-pumping sports, but it is also a way to greet the natural beauty and exult on the sea and rivers. Traveling to nearby places using a travel kayak can serve you multiple purposes. It can drop you to your desired destination, and it can also give you that much-needed thrill and revelry.
Here are some top reasons why you should travel in a kayak: