Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Tet Holiday in Vietnam 2013 - Year of the Snake

Tet Holiday is the annual biggest celebration which hold on three first days of lunar new year in Vietnam. During these days, people welcome a new year coming with new successes, good health and luckiness. Tet is also the occasion for all members in each Vietnamese family to reunite and gather together after a hard working year. In the last day of year, the new year celebrated with a massive firework show. People often concentrate in the central area for watching the firework show at that time.

Ton Duc Thang Street, Ho Chi Minh City
Da Nang City

Vietnamese people also prepare many foods and drinks on these days. Here are some most typical foods in Tet Holiday.

Chung Cake (Bánh Chưng) is made from glutinous rice, mung bean and pork, added with many ingredients. Chung Cake is often covered by banana leaves and it is chosen the main food for Tet Holiday.
Chung Cake (Bánh Chưng)
Vietnamese ham/sausage (Chả Lụa). Cha Lua is usually served with Xoi (sticky rice) and Banh Chung. It is made form lean meat and ingredients, added a little fish sauce, covered by green leaves and boiled for hours.
Red Sticky Rice made by Gac fruit (Xôi Gấc). Xoi Gac is favorite by most people in Tet days because its special red color. It was believed that red symbolizes the luck and successes for a new year. Not only its color is special but its taste is also very delicious. Xoi Gac is often served with Cha Lua and boiled chicken in Tet meals. Sometimes it is also chosen serving with Che (sweet soup) like a desert.
Boiled Chicken (Thịt Gà) is served with Xoi and Banh Chung and it is also one of the most popular dishes in Vietnamese families in Tet Holiday.
Braised pork in coconut juice and duck eggs (Thịt kho trứng). It is ideally served with steamed rice and vegetables (fresh or pickled).
Candied fruits (Mứt tết). It is great to serve with jasmine tea. Mut Tet is prepared in a box to give visitors, gift for friends and family, offer to ancestors in Tet days.
As the habits and customs, people often visit their relatives or neighbors to wish them luckiness, health, happiness and successes in the first days of the new year. The children will get lucky money form the adults.

Apricot blossom
Peach blossom
Dragon and Lion Dancers on the street in Tet Holiday
During the first days of New Year, Vietnamese people do things that are supposed to be good for themselves and their loved ones such as wearing red clothes, buying salt, taking chance or praying... and avoid saying taboos (related to death, breaking...). Each region in Vietnam has its own customs to celebrate Tet, which is very special and unique.

Source: collection

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Top 5 Things To Do in Goa - India

Goa is one of the smallest states of India which is visited by million guests every year. Coming here, you will be definitely attracted by the ambiance of unending lines of swaying palm trees, beautiful beaches and warm seas. The lifestyle and friendliness of local people here are also the interesting things to  the visitors who want to relax and have fun. Below is the top most 5 things you must do on your trip to Goa to enjoy your stay:

1. Hire a Bike or a Scooter

Although considered a small state,  Goa is amazingly spread out.The local buses are always crammed, the taxis & rickshaws charge a bomb ! The best way to go around Goa would be to hire a scooter, a bike or a chuaffer driven car which are available at all places. just ask your hotel reception and they will arrange it for you. If you can drive yourselves, just go anywhere in Goa without a thought .. you will be amazed at where you end up.

2. Discover the beaches

Goa has the finest beaches in India which you do not want to miss ! Whether you are in North or South Goa,go to the beach.Soak in the incredible warmth around you. The warm waters, the multitude of people swimming or just lazing around, the water sports activities & most of all the innumerable shacks where one can get a cool beer, exotic sea food or just snacks. Enjoy the water sports while bargaining for a good rate for a banana boat ride, a bump ride or a jet ski ride for 400bucks!

Goa is full of lovely beaches

Honeymoon on Goa beach

 3. Enjoy the sunsets

Sunset at Goa Beach, India
Sunset in Goa
As evening draws to a close, watch the spectacular sunset on the horizon at any of the beaches. The shack owners start folding their sunbeds & putting up their colourful lights. The crowd start their slow walk to their hotels and the sea gulls fly past heading to their abodes.
The view is mesmeric with myriad colours reflecting in the clouds with the soft lapping of the waves on the shore.Sitting at the front of a shack, looking out over the beach and sea, watching the sun sinking behind the waves... it couldn't really get any better! Add a meal and a drink, and you have the recipe for a perfect romantic evening.

4. Dudhsagar WaterFalls

Considered to be the 2nd largest waterfall in India. Not to be missed ! This is half a day's trip. First you need to reach Mollem via Ponda. once at Mollem, you need to hire a jeep or a 4 wheeler to go to the base of the waterfalls. This is a bumpy ride through shallow streams & rocks to reach the waterfalls.The waterfalls offer unrivalled beauty, and amazing scenery iike an idyllic Eden cradled luxuriously in the mountains. The waterfall initially appears like streams of milk flowing down the mountain which later culminate into gushing cascades after they come in full view of the awestruck visitors. It is not possible to visit the falls all year round as during the Monsoons, the path becomes very slippery and dangerous. There are lots of people visiting... Get here early to have a chance at a bit of quiet.

Dudhsagar Waterfalls at 2,000 feet high, are the highest falls in India. Dudhsagar means “sea of milk” and the name comes from the white foam created from the force of the water as it drops.
Guests playing below the waterfall

You will have the chance to see and feed the monkeys on your way. A little monkey taken on the trip to Dudhsagar WaterFalls.

 5. Pub Hopping - Fenny & Fun

Lounge Bars in GoaGoa is famous for fun, music, nightlife and the hangout for bollywood moguls, have beens and page 3 crowd.A standard signboard of any restaurant will state it as a " Bar &  Restaurant ". Every nook & corner in Goa has a bar & restaurant.
Most of the pubs & lounge bars, will have live music or a DJ most of the nights where partying starts by 8.00 in the evening and goes on till the early hours of next morning. The local drink " fenny " which is more like ' Ouzo or saki " is cheap with other booze, so most are in high spirits which makes it even more fun. Cheers! Viva Goa!

Feni drink is one of the most famous and populer drinks in Goa - India
Some Do's & Don'ts


i.   Bargain for everything ! especially when shopping for trinkets, clothes & Souvenirs. Quote 50% lower than asked for and then get the best deal

ii   Avoid the beach side "lamanis " - these are the hawkers who try to sell anything & everything by pestering the tourists

iii  Wear Cotton clothes but not skimpy clothing. Most single males who visit Goa from other states, tend to ogle or harrass females

iv   order sea food which is fresh & properly cooked. Goan cuisine is famous for its mouthwatering variety


i    If single female, Do not go out alone at night. Try to get some company
ii   Do not drink & swim. Quite a lot of beaches in Goa have undercurrents which could be dangerous

iii  Don't accept any drinks or foods from any strangers especially at night clubs or pubs. Goa is known for people spiking your drinks

iv   Don’t use, possess and trade drugs (hard or soft) as it is totally illegal in Goa.

v    Don’t swim in the monsoon season

Source: http://www.goa-hotels.co.in/travel-info/top-5-things-to-do-in-goa

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Let's discover the best beaches in Vietnam

1. Mui Ne beach resort

Mui Ne is a Vietnamese beach resort set along the beautiful long white sand beach is best known for its excellent conditions for windsurfing and kiteboarding. This tropical beach resort area is the sunniest place in Vietnam, perfect for beach holidays, and also hosts local market and shops as well as high sand dunes and nearby historical sites.

2. Con Dao beach 

Con Dao archipelago consists a chain of 15 islands in which Con Son is the main with some charming beaches that very peaceful and tranquil. Some can be reached on foot, but the better locations will be involved by a long hike or taking motorbike. Even though there are more and more daily direct flights from Ho Chi Minh City, the archipelago is still somehow rather isolated and, as a result, its beaches are keeping virgin and untouched. The main island also offers some of qualified accommodations such as in Saigon-Con Dao hotel and special restaurants with delicious seafood that enable any comfortable visit of traveler.

3. Phu Quoc island

Phu Quoc is a stunningly beautiful island in the far south of Vietnam, the country's largest. 99 forested mountains dominate the northern part of the island while the southern part is better known for its beaches.
The Vietnamese government has big plans for tourism on the island, a new airport is planned and many larger resorts will be opening over the next few years. Many consider it paradise with aquamarine water, idyllic beaches, romantic sunsets and a serene island-style atmosphere.

4. Lang Co beach

With its 10 km in length, Lang Co beach bordered a section of the 1A National Highway, nearly Hai Van pass, and 24 km from Bach Ma area. With its gradually slopping, white sand beach, the average depth of under 1m and the average temperature in the bathing season of 25°C, Lang Co is an ideal beach for tourists.

5. My Khe beach

My Khe Beach is recognised as one of the most ideal beach of Da Nang City, international tourists came here for convalescence and relaxation... It is an ideal and huge beach with smooth sand and a slight slope. Behind the beach is a dark green poplar forest, and beside, the Kinh River carries crystal water to the sea. The beach has coral, abundant plants and creatures along bankside and under sea. Especially, the beach is next to the city centre, in roads easy to come and by various means of transport.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Sweet Memories

Prisoner of its past

….now hangs in the room
your sweet scent of musk
you, little girl, a prisoner
an ugly, ugly past.
Nights of horrors still resonate
in your memory, making you plunge
in moments of bitter anguish,
the thought of what you had to face.
Now distant in time
are those crazy races, which
you can not forget, but
with pain, still remember.
The girl of your dreams now
are in the sweet sighs of time,
but inexorable and relentless flows
for those who, for so long, your innocence
with ruthless malice has disfigured.
Luigi Mirto

In your arms, it's my heaven <3

Isn't he the cutest thing?

Portrait of Love

 Island daydreams


Source: Flickr.com