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Explore a “Museum” tour

Posted by on May 12, 2017 in Festival and Culture | 0 comments

Whatever your interest, there is probably a museum devoted to it. Nguyen Duy Duc takes us on a virtual tour of some of the world’s countless museums

The English word museum” comes from the Greek and refers to a temple to the mythical Muses, where scholars studied art. The Greek philosopher and astronomer Ptolemee established an art research center in Alexandria in 208 B.C. Centuries before the start of the Christian era there were museums in Athens.

toilet-museum-india

Later, the concept of a museum was expanded to include spaces containing art collections owned by private individuals. The owner would decide who could or could not enter.

Museums that were officially open to the public appeared during the Renaissance. In 1471 Pope Sixtus IV presented an impressive collection of sculptures to the people of Rome. But it wasn’t until the middle as well as upper classes were allowed to enter museums in the 1600s that museums became hugely popular. In Europe at the end of 17th and beginning of the 18th century, some museums were so popular that people had to buy tickets weeks in advance.

Nowadays, even small towns boast a museum or two. Whether visitors love art, military history or virtually any topic imaginable, there is a museum devoted to their interest. Museums offer entertainment and information, programs devoted to art and culture, and souvenirs and books that can’t be found in regular tourist shops.

Join the queue

While many countries try and fail to attract one million foreign tourists per year, some museums located in the world’s most popular tourist destinations attract as many as two million visitors per year. Worldwide, 42 museums attract more than one million visitors each year. Leading the pack is the Louvre in Paris, France.

louvre-museum-France
Home to the Mona Lisa and Venus de Milo, over the last three years the Louvre lured 8.5 million visitors through its doors. Other highly popular museums include the British Museum (UK), the Metropolitan Museum of Art (USA), the Centre Pompidou (France), the Museo Nacional del Prado (Spain) and the National Museum of Korea (South Korea) or a robust harbor city-Bruges – the “Belgian Venice

Weird and wonderful

The human imagination is limitless, as revealed by the world’s strangest museums. If you’re looking for oddities head to France, where 1,000 of the country’s 10,000 registered museums are classified as “strange”. Would you like to visit a museum devoted to snails, broken crockery or deformities? Perhaps a hearse museum might be more to your liking, or else a museum packed with sewer caps.

british-museum-london

Belgium, meanwhile, is home to a museum devoted to underwear. Germany, not surprisingly, has a sausage museum. In Thailand you’ll find a condom museum and an opium museum. India, meanwhile, has a museum devoted to toilets.

While some museums focus on specific objects, others focus on a single concept or event. In Croatia there’s a museum that seeks to explain the regions ethnic conflict. There’s a museum in the United States that examines the assassination of President Kennedy. Another American museum is devoted to ventriloquists. Japan, meanwhile, is home to a museum devoted to parasites that plague humans. Less deadly, but perhaps more poignant, is the Museum of Broken Relationships in Zagreb, Croatia.

Here, visitors will find mementos from failed relationships with brief notes about the objects’ significance and what went wrong.

Have you visited a museum lately? If not, what are you waiting for?

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Street food at the international corner Ta Hien

Posted by on Apr 19, 2017 in Cuisine, Vietnam cuisine | 0 comments

Ta Hien Street is famous for a lot of tasty street foods such as Southern style beef noodle soup, roasted birds, fried spring rolls, fried fermented pork rolls and a “heaven” for foreign tourists when visiting Hanoi.

Southern style beef noodle soup

Ta Hien Street is small and long just with a few hundreds of meters, but it is the familiar place of domestic and international tourists with the exchange of different cultures. Along the street is so many street stalls close together with lots of customers. So, you can find all kinds of street foods in Hanoi like fried fermented pork rolls, fried potato. In which, you should not miss a chance to try Southern style beef noodle soup.

mix-noodle-salad-beef

Although the street stall is small with narrow space, you can find it easily with the typical aroma of stir fried beef with garlic. Similar to other restaurants in Hanoi, the dish basically includes vermicelli, bean sprouts, herbs, cucumber, fried onion and stir fried beef with garlic.
Just after customers order will the owner stir fry beef quickly and make the noodle soup. So, the dish is always hot and the beef is not tough at all. While eating, you need to mix all ingredients together. What makes the kind of noodle soup more special is the sweet and sour dipping sauce. You will clearly feel the harmonious tastes of ingredients from the buttery of peanuts, the crunchiness of bean sprouts to the flavor of fresh herbs.

Taste some kinds of rice noodle soup in Vietnam, must try!

To make the beef noodle soup delicious, choosing ingredients is the important step. Fresh beef is marinated with sugar, fish sauce, pepper and other spices. Bean sprouts and herbs need to be fresh. Specially, the broth mixture is not too sweet or too sour. Price for a bowl of Southern style noodle soup is around 35.000 VND (equivalently $1.6)

Roasted birds

With the gourmets, roasted birds in Ta Hien Street is no longer strange to them because it has appeared for nearly 20 years. The small restaurant selling this dish is simply decorated with the design of ancient but cozy house and opens from 2pm to 10pm. Price for a roasted bird is about 100.000 VND (equivalently $4.5).

Roasted-birds-ta-hien

A lot of locals and foreign visitors come to this place to enjoy two main dishes which are roasted quails and roasted doves. As the owner said, it takes about 5 hours to marinate the birds before roasting it on the charcoal until it turn golden brown and aromatic.

When serving, a plate of roasted birds will be very hot with the crunchy skins outside and sweet soft meat inside. The meat will be dipped in the mixture of salt, pepper and lemon to get the salty, spicy and sour tastes.

If you have great chance to travel to Vietnam and visit Hanoi, you can try to enjoy these kinds of delicious dishes in Ta Hien Street. If you want a companion to take you around, we are willing to help you with a Hanoi street food walking tour with a local guide Ducivan who has 2 years of experience guiding the food tours around Hanoi with best foods. We really recommend this guide, he is excellent and friendly.

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A cultural explorer

Posted by on Mar 22, 2017 in Festival and Culture | 0 comments

Cutural researcher and photographer Nguyen Van Ku has authored and co-authored several interesting books about Vietnam’s diverse cultures, including ones about the Chams, the Central Highland, and about pagodas in Southern Vietnam. Heritage met the Mr. Nguyen Van Ku to discuss his passion for preserving Vietnam’s cultural heritage

Heritage: You have written many books about Cham culture. What draws you to this subject?
Mr. NVK: I got my first impression of Cham culture nearly 40 years ago when I visited the Museum of Cham Sculpture in Da Nang. I was mesmerized by the carvings of Shiva and Uma and the dancers’ pedestal of Tra Kieu. I strongly admire the Cham civilization with its unique and flourishing culture as seen through many temples, palaces, sculptures, antique steles, etc.

exhibits-in-museum-of-cham-sculpture

exhibits in museum of cham sculpture

Heritage: Your photo book “Cham Cultural Herritage” was voted the best multilingual book by the Vietnam Book of Records. Why did you decide to republish the 3rd edition in the ancient language of the Chams and Cham Latin?

Mr. NVK: The book was published in five languages, including Vietnamese, traditional Cham, Cham Latin, English and French with an aim to widely introduce the cultural values of the Cham civilization to audiences all over the world. Most importantly, I wanted to present this book as a gift to the Cham people because they are the descendants of the owners of this valuable cultural heritage. I was thrilled to receive a lot of positive feedback from the Cham community. The book creates a path for the young generation to return to their previous era of culture, which deserves its own identity in the past, present and future. I hope that by reading this book in the ancient language of the Cham people, the Cham elders will have the opportunity to teach the young generations about this language as well as about Cham culture.

Discover the spectacular nature place at the central region of Vietnam

Heritage: You have also co-authored many books about Vietnamese pagodas and temples. Why are you passionate about this subject?

Mr. NVK: Communal houses and pagodas play a critical role in the cultural life of the community. These are cultural museums bequeathed by history, which stand for local beliefs and as places for spiritual activities such as traditional festivals and rituals. I have traveled a lot and visited many communal houses and temples all over the country. My desire is to preserve the unique culture of Vietnamese pagodas in a systematic manner. The books I co-authored contain the most succinct information and the most impressive images of 108 communal houses and 122 temples in Vietnam. The 5th edition of the book “Vietnamese Pagodas” introduces typical temples in Vietnam from the beginning of the first millennium AD, through the Dinh, Le, Ly, Tran and Nguyen Dynasties to the present and also recently reconstructed and newly built temples such as Non Temple in Hanoi, Bai Dinh Pagoda in Ninh Binh, Thanh Long Pagoda in Binh Phuoc, etc. The book also illustrates temples on the Spratly Islands, shedding light on the traditional beliefs of Vietnamese people in remote areas, and sending a passionate message to the people living there, who are dedicating their lives to the cause of national defense.

communal-house-of-central-highland

Festival at the communal house of central highland

Heritage: Your journey is ongoing. What are your plans?

Mr. NVK: I am happy to have great opportunities to travel and visit many places. Luckily, I am very healthy and travel is good for one’s health. By my side there are always teachers and friends who are great authorities in culture, history and archeology, such as Professor Pham Huy Thong, Professor Ha Van Tan, Historian Le Van Lan, Associate professor Ngo Van Doanh, Dr. Luu Hung, etc. My trips bring me great opportunities to search for information and take documentary photos in an attempt to preserve invaluable national cultural values. I have finished a manuscript of the third edition of “Vietnamese Communal Houses”. I also plan to publish the sixth edition of “Vietnamese Pagodas” including Vietnamese pagodas overseas.

The ancient Cham civilization, the culture of the Central Highlands, and Vietnamese communal houses and pagodas bring me endless inspiration. I am always looking for additional information so that audiences have the chance to keep reading.

Heritage: Thanks and all the best.

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The famous rice noodle of 3 regions you should try while traveling

Posted by on Feb 23, 2017 in Cuisine, Vietnam cuisine | 0 comments

While the North has the rice noodle with grilled meat balls; there are beef noodle or jellyfish noodle of the central region; the South has the typical noodle soup with shrimp paste. Each region has its own subtle cuisine style. Below are some the rice noodle soup you should try when you are traveling.

Hanoi style rice noodle with grilled meat balls

bun-cha-noodle-grilled-pork

Hanoi has no shortage of good food, but to understand a part of Hanoi cuisine, you should not miss enjoying the rice noodle with grilled meat balls. Like Pho, this dish is present in almost all the streets, alleys with different variations. In which, the most common one is the dish of noodles with a bowl of mixture sauce of kohlrabi and carrot pieces, including grilled meat balls and pieces. Especially, in Hanoi, there is one cooking class course taken place at home named Hanoi home cooking class organized by Ultimate Hanoi Adventures, you can not only learn how to cook many traditional dishes of Vietnam but also know more about Vietnamese cuisine for each region.

Grilled meat balls are made from pieces of sliced pork, which are marinated with spices, then grilled on charcoal until it turns brown yellow. This kind of dish is very easy to eat so it is suitable for hot sunny days. While eating, adding some fresh herbs will become more delicious. You can visit Hang Manh Street, Hang Than, Bach Mai and Dong Xuan Market to enjoy it.

Hai Phong prawn noodle

hai-phong-prawn-noodle

As typical dish of port land, today it is one of your favorite shrimp noodles in many parts of the country because of specific flavor. The essential ingredients of this dish are rice noodles and prawn, accompanied with some herbs and vegetables like spinach… Unlike conventional noodle soups, the broth of this dish is made from shrimp and sweet bones so it is naturally sweet.

When serving, a bowl of noodle soup with prawn will be added with fried meat betel rolls, fried fish, and some stir fried ear wood slices or water celery. If you want to try this one, you can come to Luong Khanh Thien Street, Tran Quang Khai Street or Cat Dai Street.

Hue style noodle soup with beef

Hue-style-noodle-soup-with-beef

It is no need to go to Hue to enjoy this dish, but if you have the opportunity to come here, you should try to feel its own flavor. Features of Hue beef noodle soup are big, round, long and white noodles; and typically red broth. On the top will be some beef slices, Hue pork rolls and simmered pig legs.

When eating, Hue style beef noodle soup will be served with lemon, chili, herbs, bean sprouts and banana flower slices. Spices and rich aroma of shrimp sauce (mắm tôm) create very specific taste for this dish. Do you want to cook this kind of food? If you like, please come to us, Hanoi home-cooking class, to learn how to make it and enjoy the dish.

Some Hue beef noodle restaurants in the city where visitors can visit are located on Bach Dang Street, Le Duan, Nguyen Du, Nguyen Sinh Cung, Thuong Bac and Ly Thuong Kiet.

Nha Trang jellyfish rice noodle soup

Nha-Trang-jellyfish-rice-noodle-soup

Exotic taste and specialty in Nha Trang are the reasons that you should try the jellyfish noodle soup when traveling to the coastal city of Khanh Hoa. Although the soup is not eye-catchy on color as its ingredients are mainly rice noodle and jellyfish, it attracts a lot of tourists by its typical flavor. The jellyfish after cooked has to be still naturally sweet and crunchy. The broth made from the fish makes the dish more delicious.

You can eat with the fried pork rolls and herbs. After ladling the broth into the bowl of rice noodle with jellyfish to enjoy, you will feel the sea flavor. Thus, it can be said that no matter how many tasty specialties, Nha Trang still captures the visitors by simple but strangely palatable bowls jellyfish noodle soup. Phan Boi Chau Street, Ngo Gia Tu Street, Han Thuyen Street are the trustful addresses for you to enjoy this kind of dish while visiting Nha Trang.

While you are in Hanoi, no worries, join Hanoi cooking class at home, you get to explore a variety of food from lots of regions in Vietnam with their specialties. Led by the famous chef named Phan Hang, this lady teaches you how to cook them and pick ingredients.

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“Blue Gem” Phu Ninh Lake amongst the harsh central region of Vietnam

Posted by on Feb 8, 2017 in Attractions | 0 comments

With wild beauty covered by spectacular nature, Phu Ninh Lake is regarded as the “blue gem” amongst the blue sky and immense land of the harsh central region in Vietnam.

Blue gem

Far from Tam Ky, Quang Nam about 7 km, Phu Ninh Lake is loved by the locals and called “Blue gem”. In the sweltering weather, blazing sun of Central region, Phu Ninh Lake appears with the wide space with the blue color, diverse flora species, beautiful mountains, more magnificent oasis amongst the immense waves.

Phu-Ninh-Lake-blye-gem

Phu Ninh Lake is surrounded by green forests, mountains, poetic streams along with the same green color stretching to infinity. Coming to Phu Ninh Lake, you will feel the wild beauty, coolness, unique natural scenery, which are is not inferior to any famous tourist destinations in Vietnam. Even a lot of backpackers prefer calling this place with the name “Maldives Paradise” of Quang Nam. Organized by Ultimate Hanoi Adventures, this local operator offer local experiences with the getaway to non-touristy place like Phu Ninh lake. You guys will get to enjoy the peaceful and get the joy of your travel.

Phu Ninh lake has about 30 large and small islets

small-islets-at-phu-ninh-lake

Phu Ninh lake has about 30 large and small islets which are known by names like Turtle Island, Monkey Island and so on. After getting on the boat, the journey to discover paradise Quang will become more mysterious than ever. Cool breeze and warm voices of the girl guides will capture the visitors’ minds.

In addition to discovery, you will have great chance to explore the hot water sprayed directly from the lake bottom and run via a rubber tube for customers to use. Hot water is circulated all day and night so even here at the day time, you can still touch and merrily play with the underground hot water of the lake. For the springs that are cold, you still step into the water with the bare feet to feel.

Guests have the opportunity to visit many interesting places

Once visiting Phu Ninh, you can not give up on halfway by lake beauty as the elegant but attractive girl. Feeling comfortable to sit on the boats to watch our shadows under water or experiencing a night in the lake with the fog spreading fancifully to hear the mysterious stories will be unforgettable memories.

With Phu Ninh Tourism, visitors not only admire the rich ecosystem, spacious green space, but also to discover the places, historical monuments from Khanh Tho forbidden forest, Coc Ba Cay, Ao Lay and Ky Thinh, Cam Khe to the tunnel area Ky Anh – one of the famous legends of the war in the ground from the previous century.

Don’t miss destinations in Ninh Binh province

Amur in Phu Ninh Lake is very tasty

Amur-Phu-Ninh-specialty

Do not forget to enjoy the Amur directly in the lake. Especially in the moonlit night, doing camping fire and catching the fish to grill it at the lake is a great experience. The carp in Phu Ninh Lake is delicious and fresh. Amur salad is one of the cannot-miss specialties when coming to Phu Ninh. If lucky, you can catch fish that weighs tens of kilograms.

Mountains and forests around the lake

stunning-view-of-lake-and-mountain

If you want to enjoy all the beauty of Phu Ninh Lake, continue driving up to Tam Lanh road. Standing on this path, you will see a bigger picture of the lake with mountains, forests and immense sky. Spectacular landscapes, the sound of birds, the sound of gurgling streams will dispel your worries and sorrow, and you just want to stand here alone to embrace Phu Ninh Lake forever, to feel something more peaceful and comfortable.

Paradise amongst the scorching sun in Central region of Vietnam

It will be definitely a wonderful experience for you to come and feel the picturesque scene of the lake. From the far distance, you will see so many houses with the smoke releasing from and the sun gradually going down behind the high mountains to give a way to the quiet space, like a beautiful water-color painting. Only after visiting Phu Ninh Lake once, you can fully feel the picturesque beauty of the “paradise” amongst the scorching sunlight of the central region in Vietnam.

It can be said that each destination will impress you in its own way with the unique beauty. All what you need to do is that making a chance to take a tour to and experience because life is the traveling! Ultimate Hanoi Adventures will design different tours for you to choose. Come with us and enjoy the trip!

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