Fansipan Mountain is located 9km south-west of Sapa Town let in the Hoang Lien Mountain Range. It has been branded as “the Roof of Indochina” at the height of 3,143m. Mount Fansipan has been approved as one of the very few eco-tourist spots of Vietnam, with about 2,024 floral varieties and 327 faunal species. The topography of Fansipan is varied. Muong Hoa Valley, at the lowest altitude (950-1,000m), is created by a narrow strip of land at the base on the east side of the mountain.
Geologists say the Hoang Lien Mountain Range, with Fansipan as its highest peak, did not emerge in the mountainous North West of Vietnam until the neozoic period (circ. 100 million years ago). Fansipan, a rough pronunciation of the local name “Hua Xi Pan” means “the tottery giant rock”. The French came to Vietnam and in 1905 planted a landmark telling Fansipan’s height of 3,143m… Very few people climbed to the top of Fansipan at the time. Then came the long years of war and Fansipan was left deserted for hunting and savaging. The trail blazed by the French was quickly overgrown by the underbrush.
The summit of Fansipan is accessible all year round, but the best time to make the ascent is from mid-October to mid-November, and again in March.
Cha ca La Vong
Hanoi now has several stores selling Cha ca La Vong, but none of them can be equal to the Cha Ca Road’s in terms of quality and flavor. As a popular dish, La Vong grilled fish pie is indeed a remarkable culinary invention.
The long history…
In ancient days, there was a street selling paints, called the Paints Street. The Doan family, located at house No, 14 of this street, hit upon a new idea that sold fried fish pie served with soft noodles and seasoning. Encouraged by the appreciation of customers, the family specialized in this trade and the shop was called as “Cha ca La Vong store” as a wooden statue of an old fisherman (La Vong) holding a fishing rod and a string of fish stands at the door. As the specialty grew famous with every passing day, the street was renamed by the people as Cha Ca Street (fried fish Pie Street).
Imagine that you are one of the guests…
While you sit down at the table, the waiter starts laying there some seasonings includes a bowl of well – stirred shrimp paste sauce mixed up with lemon. After dropping the liquor, he will decorate the bowl with a few slices of red fresh pimento, a plate of grilled ground nuts of gold yellow color, various species of mint vegetables onions in small white slices.
To many customers, the sight of such seasoning already greatly stimulates their appetite. A few minutes later, fried fish, yellow in color and flagrant in smell put on a plate of anethum vegetable, is brought in. But that is not all. A few seconds more, as soon as a cauldron of boiling fat is brought in, the waiter starts pouring it on each bowl of grilled fish, thus producing a white smoke and sputtering noise.
Now, this is the time for picking and choosing what you like from the dishes on the table; sticking them into your bowl. Everything in all dishes should be eaten together. Let’s taste…
Ha Long Bay
Ha Long bay a magnificent scenic spot located in Quang ninh Province, Vietnam, is famous for its mountains, water, clouds, caves and grottoes. Ha long bay is the center of a larger zone including Bai Tu Long to the northeast and Cat Ba islands to the southwest. It was recognized as World Site by the UNESCO in 1994 and nominated one of the World’s & natural Wonders in 2009.
History and Tales:
Like many other Vietnamese towns names, Ha Long Bay (literally: Bay od Descending Dragon) has the origin from a legend. Pence upon a time, Vietnam were invaded shortly after they started building the country. The Jade Emperor sent Mother Dragon and her Child Dragons down to help Vietnamese people. The dragons emitted from their mouths many pearls, which then turned into thousands of stone islands emerging in the sea like great walls stopping the invaders boats.
The boats crashed into the island and broke into pieces Vietnamese won the battle thanks to the tricky battle field. After the victory, the dragons decided to stay on the bay and the pearls still remained. The location that Mother Dragon landed is then called Ha Long Nay and where Child ones descended is Bai Tu Long Bay.
The annual temperature of Ha Long Bay is 22,8oC, suitable for tourists o travel all year round. The best time to visit is from March to August, because during this time. Tourists have the chance to shoot exotic photos with blue sky and sea as smooth as mill pond. It’s cloudy a rainy in autumn and chilly in winter. Especially, the period between August and October is the typhoon season.
Where to go
Visitor to Ha Long shouldn’t miss Bai Chay beach (Scorched Beach – close to the coast of Ha Long Bay), whose sand is dark. People often mistakenly think that this is due to the climate or lack of wind in this area. However, the weather here is quite pleasant and the temperature is around 22oC. From Bai Chay, you can hire a boat and go to out the bay, where you will find some of Southeast Asian most fascinating limestone islands.
The limestone formations are both bizarre and awesome. They are Thien Cung (Heavenly Palace Cave) – 4km from the wharf outside of Ha Long city, Dau Go (Wooden Stakes Cave) – 8km south of Bai Chay, Bo Nau (Pelican Cave), Trinh Nu (Virgin Cave) 15km south of Bai Chay, in the island range of Bo Hon, in the system comprised Sung Sot (Surprise Grotto), Dong Tien Lake and Luon Grotto, etc.
Besides ha Long Bay, these are Mong Cai – the border city with China (visas must have been sourced in your home country), Cat Ba island, Hai Phong city and Tuan Chau Island – a newly developed tourist resort. They are all worth visiting!
Phong Nha Cave
A part of the giant Ke Bang Mount, Phong Nha Cavern belongs to Bo Trach District Quang Binh Province. It is also regarded as |”Troc Cavern” or “Cave Pagoda”. Only 60km away from Dong Hoi City, this number one cavern in Vietnam has become an increasingly famous attraction in recent years
Phong Nha Cavern has many sections, with a total length of up to 20km, but people have only been able to explore the longest section, which is a part of an underground river called Nam Aki. In front of the East gate, the mountains and the river embrace each other, creating a majestic scene that provokes the imagination of many people. In the rain season, the water of the river rises, covering the mouth of the cavern and making it impossible to visit
The mouth of the cavern has a width of 20m and a height of 10m. From the view point of the people sitting on the boats, the cavern looks like an upside down giant bowl. The transparent water of the river resembles the surface of a mirror. As we go further into the heart of the cavern, the light becomes dimmer before it totally dies out. Along with the sound of the floating boat, we feel as if the sound of gongs is coming from afar. The inhabitants regard it as the music from the banquet of the God of Mountain
Phong Nha has more than 20 caves with a huge 1500m-long main hall as well as many supplement halls which are hundreds meter long. The outer caves have 10m high ceilings and the inner caves have 25-50m high ceilings. From the 14th cave on, visitor can get to bigger and more dangerous caves where the stalactite-forming process is still occurring. Continuing their adventure on the boat for about 800m, visitors can get to a place called the Dried Cave where stalagmites and stalactites form a spectacular construction full of intrigue shapes
It is hard and even nearly impossible to describe in words the majestic beauty of those caves and halls painted with the glistering color of underground water reflecting on huge blocks of stalagmites and stalactites. We feel speechless: excited and scared at the same time as if we are traveling inside a giant monster. At that moment, your mind will be filled with exhilarating or daunting imagination.
Hue is one of the most popular destinations for visitors to Vietnam. Straddling the Perfume River, this mysterious, somber city is a historian’s dream come true, with numerous 19th century ruins, royal tombs and an excellent museum.
The Imperial City of Hue was the capital of Vietnam during the reign of the Nguyen dynasty, the last dynasty in Vietnam. Even today, the Vietnamese regard Hue with awe and respect. Hue also has the distinction of being one of the rainiest cities in Vietnam, receiving more than 120 inches each year.
Hue is dominated by The Citadel, a mooted, walled fort, constructed during the early 19th century. Within these walls lies the forbidden Purple City, former home of the royal family. The Citadel was also the scene of brutal fighting and staggering casualties during the 1968 Tet Offensive, when the North Vietnamese held the fort for 26 days before being driven out by American forces. The damage inflicted to the architecture is still being repaired and the Citadel may never be fully restored. In somewhat better shape are the various royal tombs of the Nguyen emperors, which can easily be reached by boat, car or motorbike. The historical museum is one of the best in the country.
The Vietnamese regard Hue as the pinnacle of Vietnamese fashion, language and cuisine. The women of Hue, wearing the traditional ao dai and non bai tho, are reputed to be the most beautiful in all of Vietnam. The Hue accent is regarded as the most distinct and pleasing to the ear. The food, including local dishes such as banh khoai, is said to be the tastiest. Some of this is surely legend rather than fact, but who am I to argue?
You won’t be alone when you visit Hue. At any time of the year this small city is bustling with tourists. Hue is on almost every tour itinerary and it is the northern terminus of the infamous “open tour” bus route. Lots of tourists also mean lots of hawkers, cyclo drivers and children selling chewing gum. It sometimes seems impossible to walk more than 10 feet without being accosted by someone wanting to sell you something. Smile a lot, say thank you (preferably in Vietnamese) and go about your business and you will be left alone.
This article written by Lanh Nguyen from Vietnam Heritage Travel
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