May 2017

BaoThien-Tower-Hanoifreelocaltours

BAO THIEN TOWER

Posted By : Hanoifreelocaltours/ 12 0

 

 Bao Thien Tower – A historic witness:

 Bao Thien Tower, the tower which was considered as one of 4 greatest treasures of An Nam (the name of Vietnam under Ly dynasty) is still a popular destination for history lover. Not only is it famous for its historical meaning but it is also for its thrilling stories. Although Bao Thien Tower now only exists in the memory of Vietnamese and in history books but it stories still recall people about the old time changes and French invasion…

Bao Thien was located on the land of Great Church (Nha tho Lon) in Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi. The tower has always play vital roles in people’s heart against French colonists. For it disappearance, it’s the clearest confirmation of attempting to convert Vietnamese to indoctrination of Christian of colonists. Clearly, it was result of history but hardly do people know about the real reason of its collapse. Thus, Bao Thien Tower becomes a reminder of thrill.

  1. Bao Thien Tower – The birth of one of four greatest treasures

    BaoThien-Tower-in-history
    BaoThien-Tower-in-history
  • Along with Quy Dien bell, Pho Minh “vac”( looks like incense-burner) and Quynh Lam pagoda, Bao Thien tower were proud of Vietnamese under Ly Thanh Tong dynasty(1028-1054).  Through Vietnam history, Buddhism was the most flourishing while Ly Kings ruled over the country in 126 years. In that time, many pagodas in Vietnamese were completed.
  • After ascending the throne, Ly King decided to build a pagoda on the Luc Thuy (Hoan Kiem Lake now) called Sung Khanh Bao Thien to worship Buddhists and a respected monk Khong Lo. The King agreed to support 12,000 kilograms copper to make a big bell in the pagoda.
  • In the next year, in 1057, Ly Thanh Tong gave an order to build Dai Thanh Tu Thien Tower on the land of Bao Thien pagoda. According to many historical documents, it had 12 storey but there is no evidence of the exact height of it.  On account of being built in Sung Khanh Bao Thien pagoda, the tower was named after Bao Thien tower.
  1. Structure and meaning of Bao Thien Tower:

    BaoThien-Tower-in-the-pass
    BaoThien-Tower-in-the-pass
  • It was located on a mound in Bao Thien Ward in the East of imperial city Thang Long. Main material of it were brick and stone which written “made in the fourth Long Thuy Thai Binh years, the third Ly king).
  • The reason of even number of storey was the aim of making a treasure of the nation so the tower represented for balance and stability like Ly dynasty.  The third floor had a sentence “the King is longevity”. Other ones were made by copper. On the top of Bao Thien Tower was carved “Dao Ly Thien” (the sky spear).
  • Inside the construction, numerous skillful human stone and concept stone were preserved. At that time, the tower was the most spectacular structure in Thang Long imperial city, indicating for Dai Viet strong country.
  • In 1426, when Minh army (Chinese now) invaded Vietnam, they were surrounded by the nation army. While waiting for support, the Minh army destroyed the tower to take copper making weapons. After that, Le dynasty renovated it many times so it still kept it vital roles for locals.
  1. The collapse of the Bao Thien Tower

 

  • Before the tower disappeared completely, it was destroyed several times by natural phenomenon.
  • According to the history, on Autumn 1258, the highest floor was destroyed by a strong storm. On February 1322, it was stuck by lighting. On June 1406, the top of tower felt down. However, after three times renovation, Bao Thien tower still existed despite being changed some parts. The highlight of the real collapse of it was when French invaded Vietnam.  Many stories were told but at no time that any documents were given to the public. Thus, many theories have been born. Among them, the theory was written in “Dai Viet Su Ki Toan Thu” of Ngo Si Lien is the most reliable.
  • It is said that in 1882, after French took over 3 Easter provinces from Hue, Henri Riviere led army to occupy Hanoi. When the nation country was beaten, Henri Riviere ordered army to destroy many parts of Thang long imperial city and pagodas, temples as well. The aim of them was to sweep the nation traditional culture and ministered Christian to Vietnam. Since then Bao Thien pagoda disappeared in Hanoi map. Not long after, Great Church was built on the land of Bao Thien pagoda. So, did Bao Thien Tower disappeared by the same reason?  In fact, when Bao Thien pagoda felt down, the Bao Thien Tower didn’t exist anymore.
  • Actually, there are hundred rumors of reason why Bao Thien Tower felt down. Some people distorted that in order to prepare for building the Great Church, the tower had to be removed. However, it is Minh army who destroyed the tower.  While being surrounded by Vietnamese army, Minh army took the top of the tower which resulting of the collapse of tower.
  • On the land of Bao Thien tower, not long after the Great Church was put up. A new time of new religion started like that. Being an independent country now but now Vietnamese people forget what their accents had to suffer and what they had to pay to reclaim freedom: blood, tears and the collapse of numerous wonderful structure as well.

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Thiên Vũ,

Ghost-monney-Hanoifreelocaltours1

GHOST MONEY – THE SPIRIT OF VIETNAMESE PEOPLE

Posted By : Hanoifreelocaltours/ 12 0

 

1. The origin of using ghost money:

Vietnamese spiritual life involves our belief on ghost and life in another world for dead people. The use of Ghost money or Spirit money is deeply rooted in Asian culture.

1.1 The definition of ghost money:

Ghost-monney-Hanoifreelocaltours
Ghost-money-Hanoifreelocaltours

Ghost money (joss paper) traditionally made from bamboo, emits large quantities of carcinogenic chemicals such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, carbonyls and benzene. Contemporary forms of joss money are rather different; they look more like the money from current times. Westernized varieties include copies of Bank notes (Chinese Yuan, Thai Baht, Vietnamese Dong, or even the US Dollar, cheques and paper credit cards. Some people even go as far as offering papier-mâché houses, cars, toilets, servants, passports, flight tickets, rice cookers and even flat-screen TVs. The bank notes are specifically meant for dead ancestors to give as a tribute to the God of Death for a short stay or to escape punishment. The bank note copies are often of outrageous denominations – they can range anywhere between $10,000 and $500,000. These notes carry an image of the ‘Bank of Hell’ on the back. ‘Hell’ in itself is not viewed as a place of torture, but a more neutral realm.

1.2 The belief of ghost money among the Vietnamese:

 

Burning-ghost-money-Hanoifreelocaltours
Burning-ghost-money-Hanoifreelocaltours

Burning ghost money and votive paper such as clothes, shoes, hats, toiletries and toys are popular among the Vietnamese. Exceptions to this tradition are Roman Catholics, Protestants and followers of other religions who account for less than 10% of the population.
The paper money is believed to be deposited in an afterlife bank of sorts, from which the deceased spirits can make withdrawals. The ritual is said to be derived from a mix of regional folklore and Taoism. The practice of ancestor worship is largely religious, stemming from the fact that the spirits of the deceased are still interested in the affairs of the world. Keeping them happy brings blessings from them for the living. Another explanation for the concept is that the living is allowed to ask spirits to fulfill their wishes, for which they are indebted. This debt cannot be entirely cleared off while alive, so the ghost money sent after death is used to repay whatever they owe the spirits.

1.3 The uses of ghost money in Vietnam

Using-votive-paper-Hanoifreelocaltours
Using-votive-paper-Hanoifreelocaltours

Spirit money itself has many different uses; however, it is used generally as a symbol of transformation, payment of spiritual debts. The notes used as “money” are transformed to spirit money when they are used as symbolic offerings to ghosts, gods, and ancestors. The burning of spirit money allows it to be transferred to ghosts, gods, and ancestors to be used as real currency in the other world. Furthermore, spirit money serves a vital role in association with the offering of food to some ghosts, gods, and ancestors. The offering of food serves to bring our ancestors and other beings in the other world closer to us. It serves as a bonding tool to bring both worlds together. This can be seen in cultures all around the world where feasts, dinners, and other social events use money to bring the community together. Spirit money on the other hand serves to separate the living world from the world of ghosts, gods, and ancestors. It is not natural to have both of these worlds in close connection with each other. The use of spirit money is very similar to how we use money in our society today. It is generally used as a tool to maintain a certain level of distance between two parties during a transaction. The concepts of food and money correlate directly to the offerings to ghosts, gods, and ancestors. We use food to bring them close to us and money to separate them from us.
Locals in Vietnam celebrate spiritual practices on the first and fifteenth of every month based on the lunar calendar. They burn incense sticks and ghost money at home as offerings to Buddha, gods and the dead. They simply pray for good luck and pay homage to ancestors. Such rituals are also regularly performed at funerals and on the anniversaries of the deaths of family members and relatives throughout the year.
Spirit money is used in many differing activities. For example, the critical role of spirit money is to repay the debts of our ancestors. The spirit of the ancestor must obtain a body and a fate to pursue it karmic course. However, in order for it to do so, it must pay its mystical debt that accumulates over a person’s life. This rationale explains why people burn such large amounts of spirit money at funerals, for no one ever complete succeeds in repaying his celestial debt. His descendants must pay for him. The living person attempts to pay off this debt by praying and making monetary donations to the gods and temples. However, no one pays off their debts entirely while alive, so their remaining family burns spirit money which is transmitted to their deceased family member. The deceased family member uses this money to pay down the remainder of his debt and embarks on his karmic journey.
Vietnamese people have been burning money since they were kids. They throw the money into it a big cylinder, heavy, and made of metal or something like that and put that outside the house and burn the paper money and paper clothes. Inside the house they have the altar where we burn incense, and pray to the dead. T


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Đặng Tiên,

Hanoi-Opera-House-Hanoifreelocaltours

HANOI OPERA HOUSE

Posted By : Hanoifreelocaltours/ 13 0

1         The view of the Hanoi Opera House

The Hanoi Opera house is not only a historical, artistic building but it also is a stage full of greatest performances worldwide. Either you are art lovers or not, the Hanoi Opera House is the place you shouldn’t miss. Definitely, it is worth your time to see it.

 

Located near Sword Lake and many famous places, Hanoi opera house plays an important role in conveying culture of Vietnam to foreigners and developing art of Vietnam.  Hundred years went by regardless, the Hanoi opera house is a unique structure with outstanding values in term of art, architect, culture and history. The house has been well-known for a symbol of great art in Vietnam and a dream of any Vietnamese artists.

*)            The Vietnam national Opera under the French colonization

A historical evidence under the French colonization

Hanoi-Opera-House-in 20th century
Hanoi-Opera-House-in 20th century

Built from 1901 to 1911, it was a special project of French Government when French occupied Vietnam. A 11 year- construction in a colonial country is something which seems to be unbelievable. However, there are many other evidences proving that French colonists invested a great amount of money and work force to this construction.

 

It position was formerly a wetland areas belong to two villages, Thach Tan and Tay Luong. Thus, the construction is a strenuous work. Under technical supervision of two famous architect Harley, Broyer and many comments of others architects, the work still demanded a huge workforce and materials. 300 workers were working continuously. They used 35,000 bamboo poles and concrete blocks of 0,9m thick. Besides, 12,000m3 of materials with 600 tons of iron and steel on the total area of 2600m2 are amazing figures for any construction.

Now, you may put a question “Why French decided to build an expensive building in Hanoi?”

In fact, in 1899, envoy of Hanoi – Richard decided to build a city council meeting building. The aim of it is entertaining. They wanted a place for Western artists to perform yearly for French colonists. Vietnamese higher classes were allowed to come to the house but they had to be dress up and paid much money for tickets.

Through Vietnam history, many important events were held in the opera house. On 29/8/1945, the Northland Vietnamese Army was introduced formally in public at the opera house’ Square.

On 16/9/1945, the Golden week was held in the square to donate money, gold and necessary things for the Government when it was founded by Ho Chi Minh President.

On 2/9/1946, the Government celebrated one year anniversary of Vietnam Democratic Republic in the Opera house. At the same time, it was used to welcome Uncle Ho for the first time.

 

Looked in a positive way, the Hanoi opera house proved the development of Hanoi and Vietnam under French colonization. Moreover, it is also a historical witness in those greatest days of Vietnam so there is no doubt that it is one of the vital buildings in Hanoi.

*)            Opera House in Hanoi– A peak of architecture art in Vietnam

Honoi-Opera-House-at-night
Honoi-Opera-House-at-night

A peak of architecture art in Vietnam

So impressive the structure of building is that everyone coming here has a same feeling of it – amazing.  The architects were inspired by ancient Greek architecture styles and Paris opera house. It can be said that nowhere in Hanoi do you find a structure which has a perfect mixture of urban and capital architecture.

The facade was designed with pillars and balconies overlooking the city center. A wide stage and a main auditorium with area of 24x 24 with 870 seat surrounding give a strong impression on people. There were many small rooms for individual tickets on the middle floor. A large hall was located between the middle stair and the second floor.  At both sides, extra stairs and hallway make a emphasis to the house. Artists performing in the house have 18 suites in an administrator room for makeup and restroom, 2 rooms for training, 1 library and a meeting room. Especially, on the second floor, a mirror room is home to important ceremonies, signing important documents and welcomes dignitaries worldwide. Equipped with modern equipment and designed soundproofed walls, auditorium can make you be deep in wonderful melodies worldwide.

*)            A golden dream of Opera artists

Opera-House-Dream-of-artists-Hanoifreelocaltours
Opera-House-Dream-of-artists-Hanoifreelocaltours

A golden dream of artists

Not only it is a symbol of Hanoi in many aspects but it is also the Hanoi opera house is a stage of flourishing art. So many great performances have been displayed here that it is dream of all Vietnamese artists. Invited to perform in the stage is  a way to recognize their talent and contribution to art of Vietnam,.

Since completed, it has been the stage of various forms of music. Initially, only classical music can be performed four times per week on Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday such as Opera or Drama.

Nowadays, music lovers have much more choices when they come to the Opera house. No sooner had Vietnam been an opening country than many forms of music were imported to Vietnam. Therefore, on the stage of the Opera house, new performances have chance to access to audiences.

For lovers of opera or drama people, they are satisfied with Carmen, the Secret Garden or Hamlet. They are the most performances in the world and were displayed in many countries worldwide. Should you love ballet, you can choose Casse Noisette or Swan Lake.

In addition, contemporary music, symphony or Vietnamese plays may bring to you relaxing minutes after hard time of work in the weekend.

Despite being an art stage, the Hanoi opera house also have special functions for the Government. It is places to celebrate art and cultural activities for political, social purposes or exchange culture with other countries. Conferences, seminars and press conferences under plan of Ministry of Culture Sport and Tourism are taken place in the opera house as well.

 

2          Useful information for audiences of Hanoi Opera House

Because the opera house is a luxurious and the most famous stage in Vietnam, you are not allowed to come in it without ticket. Moreover, you should notice on some following rules to avoid unexpected circumstances.

  •         Well dressing is recommended.
  •         Tickets don’t cover children and the opera house is not suitable for children under 6 years old.
  •         Do not smoke or bring food to the opera house.
  •         Don’t use any devices to record anything without allowance of managers.
  •         Switch your phone to silence mode or airline mode when performances begin.
  •         You are not allowed to come in the Opera house 15 minutes before performances begin.
  •         Keep silence while you are watching.
  •         If you need assistance, please find deposit room or public heath room.

Price of ticket:

There is no fixed price for tickets. It depends on what the performance you want to watch. Average price is about 300,000 VND -1,000,000 VND/ ticket.

In order to get more information about schedule of show, please to access to http://www.hanoioperahouse.org.vn/

Address:

01th  Trang Tien – Hoan Kiem District – Hanoi – Vietnam


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Thiên Vũ,  

GETTING A SUITABLE HAIRCUT IN HANOI

Posted By : Hanoifreelocaltours/ 12 0

 

In this essay I would like to introduce you all about “How to get a suitable haircut in Hanoi”.

Now, with the rapid development of the Hair- art in Hanoi, it will be very difficult for you to find a Haircut Shop, which is suitable for your age, money and appetite. Below is the information I would like to share with you!

No matter how are you careful you have never prepared and predicted everything in your abroad travel. So, why not care about it and enjoy new things in your trip. Let us Hanoi Free Local Tours help you! You feel uncomfortable about your hair in summer days in Hanoi or you want to change style of your hair. And you wonder where the suitable hair salons in Hanoi. This below article will supply for you useful information about the famous addresses of famous haircut salons as well as the good price of them.

 

  1. Famous Addresses of famous haircut salons in Hanoi:

Travellers to Hanoi always have plenty of choices, and the very amazing kind of hair shop is only in pavement of Vietnam. It is not difficult for you to catch the sight of a man with simple set of tools ( a chair, a mirror, scissors, cutter and razor…) are cutting at every corner in the heart of Hanoi capital.

I recommend some places where you might have the best services and the style of hair satisfying yourself. Especially, all staff can speak English!

  • Dinh Hair Salon: 2a Cua Bac, Hanoi T: (0987) 718 899
  • in.M Hairdressing
    48b Ly Thuong Kiet, Hanoi T: (04) 3939 3907
  • Tran Hung Hair Creation
    5 Ho Xuan Huong, Hanoi T: (04) 3943 4946

 

Haircut-on-pavement
Haircut-on-pavement

     For men

It seems to be a good choice for men who want a quick trim or shave. In contrast, cutting hair on the pavement means you are taking a bit of risk because they are just amateur hairdressers. And the price is variable. For locals they will pay from 15.000 dong to 30.000 dong, but foreigners are expected to pay a little more.

Normally, those kinds of hair salon are not for girls who are always looking for a satisfying style even a perfect one. Some big, prestigious hairdressing salons are highly recommended for you.

     For women

In usual case, women will have to pay much more money, because there are many different services they want to do such as getting their hair straightened, dyed, curled, purmed, and shampoo….and each service you want has its own price.

  1. The average Prices of Salon Hairs in Hanoi:

 

 

Shampoo services

Basic Service 50.000-> 70.000 VNĐ
Regular Clients 40.000-> 60.000 VNĐ
High Service 70.000-> 100.000 VNĐ
Regular Clients 60.000-> 80.000 VNĐ

 

 

Skin Care Services

Basic Service 140.000-> 160.000 VNĐ
Regular Clients 120.000-> 140.000 VNĐ
Fruit Mask 50.000-> 70.000 VNĐ
Regular Clients 40.000-> 60.000 VNĐ
VIP Mask 80.000-> 100.000 VNĐ
Peel Acne 30.000 VNĐ
Skin Scrub 30.000 VNĐ

 

 

Hair Steam Services

Length: 3-> 20 cm
Basic Services 210.000-> 250.000 VNĐ
Regular Clients 190.000-> 220.000 VNĐ
Length: 21-> 70 cm
Basic Services 280.000-> 320.000 VNĐ
Regular Clients 250.000-> 300.000 VNĐ

 

 

Haircut Services

Cut, Shampoo and Dry for Men
Basic Services 70.000-> 100.000 VNĐ
Regular Clients 60.000-> 80.000 VNĐ
Cut, Shampoo and Dry for Women
Basic Services 120.000-> 150.000 VNĐ
Regular Clients 100.000-> 130.000 VNĐ
For Children
Boy 40.000 VNĐ

 

Girl 60.000 VNĐ

 

                                                

                                                 Straighten Hair

Length: 2-> 20 cm
Basic Services 600.000đ-> 800.00đ
Regular Clients 550.000đ-> 700.000đ
Length: 21-> 70 cm
Basic Serices 700.000đ-> 900.000đ
Reqular Clients 600.000đ-> 800.000đ

 

 

Dye Hair

Length: 3->7 cm
Basic Services 600.000đ-> 700.000 đ
Length: 10->30cm
Basic Services 650.000đ-> 750.000đ
Length: 30-> 70cm
Basic Services 750.000đ-> 850.000đ

 

 


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Ngọc Thắng,

Vietnam-Travel-Costs-Hanoifreelocaltours

HOW MUCH I WILL SPEND IN VIETNAM

Posted By : Hanoifreelocaltours/ 12 0

 

 

The overview of this essay:

You wonder if how much money I should bring for a trip in Vietnam or the price of goods is cheap or it is easy to find a good accommodation in Hanoi,… A range of questions you appear before deciding to book Vietnamese tour. We supply detail information about traveling expenses, accommodation expenses, entrance expenses or food in Hanoi.

  1. EXCHANGE YOUR MONEY TO VND

Exchange-monney-Hanoifreelocaltours
Exchange-monney-Hanoifreelocaltours

For foreigners, Vietnam-For foreigners, Vietnam is a country which has travelling expenses much cheaper than other countries. It may be a special point which appeals to them much. If you want to get a sense of how much you will spend in Hanoi, the first thing you need to know is the exchange rate between Dong (Vietnam’s currency) and USA Dollar.
– At the present time, 1USD = 1$ = 22.680.000 Dong. It’s roughly equivalent to a bowl of noodle) in Vietnam. Remember that you can exchange USD to VND at almost Banks and ATM in Vietnam.
– What will happen If you do not exchange toVND ?
When you buy some food, books, goods in Vietnam, and you pay by USD you’re likely to be cheated because salesman tends to round the value of Dollar down.
For example: If you buy a bowl of noodle 20.000 dong they will charge you 1 dollar
Instead of paying you back the change : 2.680 dong. Be careful with it.
-You know that, there will be many things you have to pay for when you are in Vietnam such as: money for a good accommodation or hotel, meals, traffic and other kinds of goods

  1. Travelling Expenses:
    The fuel prices always change by the day which leads to transport expenses considerable increase. Taxi, grab bike or train, plain fare is also higher than before.
    This is the current Price quotation for a Firm of taxi and grab bike in Vietnam
    You can choose taxi or grab bike for your journey.

 

  1. Taxi Price:

 

Kinds of taxi Price for opening car Price for next kms Price from the 31th km
Taxi kia Morning 10.000đ= 0,4$ 13.600đ=0.6$ 11.000đ=0.48$
Taxi Huyndai i10 10.000đ=0,4$ 13.800đ=0,608$ 11.500đ=0.507$
Taxi Huyndai verna 11.000đ=0,48$ 14.800đ=0,65$ 11.600đ=0.5$
Taxi Innova J 11.000đ= 0,48$ 15.800đ = 0,7$ 13.500đ=0.6$
Waiting time 45.000/h = 2$/hour
GRABBIKE HANOI
Price for the first 2 km 12.000đ = 0.5$
Price from the 2th km 3.800đ/km= 0,2$/km

Moreover, in the area of Hanoi, I recommend that you should use bus- a very cheap, convenient and available transport in Hanoi only 7.000 VND for a fare. However, keep off the bus because it is too congested in rush hour. For suggestion, you can also discover Hanoi streets as well as do sightseeing by walk. Certainly, it is a good chance for you to taste some street food or drink lemon juice on pavement with local people. It must be interesting. Enjoy it!

  1. Renting A Motorbike:

It will be more and more interesting If you have intention of renting a motorbike and drive it on the way of Hanoi with a continuous line of traffic
However, Be careful with traffic in Vietnam
If you go far from Hanoi, you will see the big gap between complex life and simple life of rural area and you’ll be coursing through some of the most amazing, remote countryside
How much will you pay for renting a motorbike in Hanoi ?
The price for renting a motorbike in Hanoi fluctuate from 150.000 -> 200.000 per day ( 7$-> 9$). Remember that you have to take the helmet when driving and refuel it before return.
The price for renting a bicycle is about 1$ per day.

2. ACOMMODATION- VIETNAM HOTELS

Hotel-in-the-OldQuarter
Hotel-in-the-OldQuarter

Depending on what class of Hotel you would like to live at. The expenses will fluctuate from 20$ -> 30$ per day for first- class hotels and 10$-> 15$ for medium- class hotels. You should know that, Vietnam Government will not license hotel to accept foreigner without offering air- conditioner, fridge,  private bath, cable TV and so on. And you can demand it if your hotel you rent doesn’t equip.
If you a student and someone else and you want to frugal as much as possible then you look for signs “ Nhà Nghỉ” “ Nhà Trọ”… It will cost you only 5$->7$ per night with enough amenities (soap, shapoo, toothbrush, fresh tower, ect)

3. FOOD IN HANOI

Vietnamese-traditional-food
Vietnamese-traditional-food


Maybe foods, souvenirs and goods in Vietnam….will charge you more than other services because of its immense charm. Hanoi streets food is one of the famous and traditional kind of eating, with a wide range of dishes for all the class of people and some dishes are only 5000đ-> 10.000đ ( >1$). You can freely choose what you want for your meals. You also can eat local or Western food of food of your country in Hanoi. I have a tip for you that: go out and enjoy Vietnamese street foods, traditional foods If must be cheaper than food provided from Hotel.
I would like to recommend a list of street foods which are traditional and famous food in Vietnam.

 

  1. Pho
    Sometimes you see on the Advertisement boarding : PHO BO NAM DINH
    Nam Dinh is a city of Vietnam which PHO starts from ! And of course, Pho Bo is a speciality dish of Nam Dinh. There are two main kind of Pho: beef noodle and chicken noodle
    A fragrant bowl of Pho is about 20-> 30.000 dong ( 1$-> 1,5$) will nearly fill up your belly
  2. Bun Cha
    Bun Cha is in the list of 10 most delicious and street food in the world.
    It brings deep flavor of a traditional food in Hanoi. With a plate strings of pasta, grilled meat, a special sauce and other ingredient such as: chilli sauce, peanut and salad, It must satisfies the hardest person who once tried Bun Cha.
    A portion of Bun Cha has price of 25.000-> 30.000 (1$ -> 1.3$)

 

  1. Egg Coffee
    A cup of egg coffee is about 1$ -> 2$ with the great flavor of egg attracting the interest of visitors. Instead of hesitating, let go the Old Quarter and enjoy one of the most delicious beverage.
  2. Beer In Hanoi
    Apart from Eggs Coffee, beer also an ideal choice for you in the summer of Hanoi. A cup of Hanoi beer with ice, oh my god it’s so excellent.

 

  1. Oversea Foods
    Moreover, you can also find western- style food. You will looking at 4$->5$ for a small pizza, a plate of pasta and about 5$-> 6$ for an Indian dish with flat bread, and a steak imported from New Zealand will cost 300,000 to 600,000 VND (20 to 40 USD).
    An average minimum to budget per day would be 140.000 (6,5$) for a person.  Better to think of 10 USD per day If you don’t want to miss out any local food in Hanoi.
    How about Tabaco in HanoiIf you want to try the flavor of local Cigarette, don’t hesitate. You can go to any grocery store and bring it back will only 10,000 -> 20,000 (0.5-> 1$) for a pack of butts depending on what kind of Cigarette you like to smoke (Thang Long or Vinataba Cigarettes)
    Moreover, for someone who doesn’t like those kinds of cigarette, let buy other kinds of cigarette at grocery store. It will cost you more than local cigarette about 1$, 2$ and even 3$
    .Black Captain: 72k /pack
    . Black Devil: 55k /pack
    . Black Mild: 100k /pack
    . Black Captain 8: 100k /pack
    . Black Captain 25: 35k /cigarette
    . RichMond: 45k /pack
    . Mond apple, strawberry, grape: 35k /pack
    . Raison icepresso, Raison sunpresso : 75k /pack
    . Camel: 55k/pack
    . Cigar mini Villiger: 140k /pack
    . Cigar Cafe Creme: 130k /pack
    . Zest Korea: 40k /pack
    . Jet Thai: 35k /pack
    . Gudang 16: 70k /pack

    4. ENTRANCE FEE

Entrance-free-Hanoifreelocaltours
Entrance-free-Hanoifreelocaltours


It is will great that you come to Hanoi without enjoying the beauty of many famous places there, so let enjoy it.
This is the list of entrance fee for some famous places in Hanoi:

Thang Long citadel : 30.000 dong/ adult
Literature of Confucius: 30.000dong/ adult
Quan Thanh temple:10.000dong/ adult

Ngoc Son temple: 30.000dong/ adult
MaisonCentral (Hoa lo prison) 30.000dong/ adult
Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum: 15.000dong/ adult
Fine Arts of Museum: 20.000dong/ adult
Vietnam Museum of ethnology : 40.000dong/adult
National Museum of Vietnamese History: 40.000dong/adult
Vietnam Military History Museum: 40.000dong/adult

Perfume Pagoda : 50.000dong/ ticket
Ferry fee: 35.000dong/ return- trip ticket
High class ferry fee: 40.000dong/ return-trip ticket
Suspension cable fee: 90.000đong/ return-trip ticket
Thu Le Park: 10.000dong/ ticket
WISH YOU TO HAVE A GREAT TIME IN HANOI!
_______________________

Book tour with Hanoi Free Local Tours to have interesting experience in Hanoi!

Ngọc Thắng,

what-should-you-know-before-traveling-Vietnam

THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW BEFORE TRAVELLING IN VIETNAM

Posted By : Hanoifreelocaltours/ 12 0

You plan your holiday and Vietnam is your destination but you don’t know anything about it yet. Well, here are some useful information that you need to know before travelling to Vietnam. It will help you to have such a perfect vacation.

1. Languages

Vietnamese is the official language of Vietnam. English is the most famous foreign language and most of the people can speak a little bit but proficiency in English is generally low across the country. It will be quite easy to communicate with staffs in the popular tourism venues or hotels but with the locals, it was not an easy task. Taxi drivers in the cities may not able to understand English but carrying a paper with the actual address or cities maps is strongly encouraged. Uber is also widely used in the city since the price is cheaper and you can choose the destination right on the app without misunderstandings.

 2. Weather

Vietnam weather varies considerably from region to region. For instance, the North experiences the 4 different seasons while the south is in tropical temperatures all year round.

North: Winter and spring lasts from November to April, with temperatures averaging 14C – 20C. There will be fog and drizzle in January – March. Summer and autumn will begin in May and lasts until October, with an average temperature of 30C – 36C. During this period, there might be heavy rainfall and the occasional typhoon.

Center: Central Vietnam experiences a transitional climate, with heavy rainfalls between November and December and dry, hot summer months. Typhoons are quite common in coastal areas between July and November.

South: Temperatures are fairly constant through the year at around 25C – 38C. Seasons are determined by the rains –the dry season runs from November to April and the wet season from May to October with the hottest period in March and April.

Highland areas: In the hill resorts of Dalat, Buon Me Thuot and Sapa, nights are cool throughout the year. In the winter months (November to March), it can be distinctly chilly with temperatures falling to 0C. Even in the hottest months of March and April, the temperature rarely exceeds 26C.

3. Electricity

The standard electrical supply in Vietnam is 220V, 50Hz. Two-pin (ungrounded) plug is more common than three-pin one. If you have any devices differing in terms of voltage or plugs, please bring along a voltage converter or a travel adapter.

4. Currency

s about 20000 VND to 21500 VND. Often abbreviated as “VND” or “dong” for the locals, the word “dong” actually means copper or bronze. Bank notes are in 1000 VND, 2000 VND, 5000 VND, 10000 VND, 20000 VND, 50000 VND, 100,000 VND & 500,000 VND denomination. Each note has different color and the higher value of money, the longer the note. “Nghin” stands for thousand, Vietnamese people often use it to talk about the price, for instance “mot tram nghin” mean 100000 VND. If you find it difficult, you can ask the help from the in tourist venues and for major business transactions. Money, and traveler checks, particularly US dollars can be exchanged at banks, hotels and authorized money exchangers.

Visa, Master & JCB cards are sometimes accepted at fancy hotels, resorts tourist destinations, cash withdrawals at ATM are issued in Dong only.

5. Passport and visa

To enter Vietnam, you would require a passport with more than 6 months of validity. Generally, South East Asia nationalities can enter Vietnam visa-free. Other visitors are required to obtain a visa. Visa on arrival (VOA) is often recommended for tourists arriving via plane. Contact your Vietnam agency to obtain a letter of approval so that you can process the Visa at the immigration counter. For updated information and guideline about visas requirement, please check the official website.

6. Safety

Vietnam is a safe country to travel in. Violent crime against foreigners remains rare, but use your common sense when out in the evening and stay in control. Remember that, Vietnam is still a developing country so it is good to be aware of your surroundings, without being overly paranoid. Avoid walking alone after dark, especially in small lanes. Minimize the use of cyclos_ (three-wheeled bicycle taxi) or motorbike taxis at night.

Traffic is chaotic, especially in big cities like Hanoi and Saigon. When crossing the street on foot, move at a slow and steady pace, wave your hand as a signal that you are crossing by. The key is to be clear about your intention – look up, meet the driver’s eyes and move steadily according to the current path and pace. The nd you.

Pay attention to all your belongings. However trustworthy they might be, it is best to minimize the reliance on your tour guides or drivers to take care of your valuables. Reporting of lost items to the police is a complicated process and the items are often not recovered so make sure you keep an eye on your stuffs.

8. Transports

motorcycles-for-rent-in-Hanoi
motorcycles-for-rent-in-Hanoi

Car hire

You need a local license to drive in Vietnam, so self-drive holidays aren’t possible for most visitors. However, you can hire a car with a driver, which doesn’t cost as much as you might think. Try to find a driver who speaks a little English. Travel agencies and hotels can find someone for you, or better yet, ask other travelers for a trusted recommendation. Don’t get too annoyed if your driver makes a pit stop at their “favorite” shop. They’re probably being paid a commission to bring you in, but you should never feel obliged to buy anything you don’t want.

Buses

Buses are cheaper than trains and they connect all major towns and cities in Vietnam and travel by bus in big cities like Hanoi is extremely popular. If you only travel around Hanoi, you can take the bus run by Hanoibus company, it only costs about 7000 VND to 9000 VND (almost 50 cents) each bus but you need to know the way and find help from the locals. You can buy tickets at bus stations or through an online booking agent such as vietnambustickets.com. Comfortable overnight sleeper buses are also popular with travellers on a budget.

Domestic flights

Flying between cities is a good option if you’re too short on time to take the scenic route. Vietnam Airlines, VietJet and Jetstar are the main domestic airlines. Tickets are usually quite competitively priced and can be booked online.

Taxis

Taxis are among the popular transports in Vietnam for tourists since it is quite cheap and easy to go, but tourists found it unreliable because sometimes the driver may claim to have a ‘broken’ meter, quote you one price then demand you to pay it. And it also difficult to communicate with the driver so you can use Uber or Grab app to book a cab, but it only available in big cities, it is much more easier and cheaper than those taxis on the road, but you need to be patient since it takes time to get to your current position.

9. Time zone and working hour

Vietnam is in the GMT + 7 hours’ time zone. Most government offices open from 8.00 / 8.30 am to 4.30 / 5.00 pm, Monday to Friday. Banks are usually not accessible to customers after 4pm so make sure you remember this. Some foreign companies or private enterprises also work on Saturday morning. Most shops and department stores open from around 8.00 am to 9.00 am every day until 8.00 or 9.00 pm. The night scenes in Hanoi usually end by 12 midnight, which is the legal clsing hours for all entertainment venues.

10. Food and drinks

Vietnamese-traditional-food
Vietnamese-traditional-food

 

Vietnamese food is among the healthiest cuisine in the world. As people usually say, “Vietnamese food is not only food, it is Vietnamese culture”. It has a very distinctive style, although it is also clearly influenced by Chinese and to a lesser extent, French cuisine. Vietnamese food is a harmonious combination of five basic spices: spicy, sour, sweet, salty, and bitter creating its distinctive flavor. A lot of famous dishes can be named like: Pho, Banh mi, Cha ca and so on. Vietnamese eat mainly rice and noodles and bread is not a common staple food, but “banh mi” is widely eaten by the people since it is convenient and easy to buy.

As for drinks, never leave Vietnamese without having a taste of their pride – Ca Phe (coffee) like milk coffee or egg coffee (only have in Vietnam).

 

Drinking tap water is not advisable and bottled drinking water is widely available for a reasonable price.  Green tea is the most common drink, and is offered as a courtesy to guests or visitors. Beers also play an important role in the drinking style of Vietnamese, people drink beers a lot, especially at night or when they watching football.

11. Accommodations

Accommodation in Vietnam can vary from basic hostels to beach bungalows to five-star resorts. Prices are generally cheaper than almost anywhere else in South East Asia.

Plenty of Vietnamese accommodation providers accept reservations through online booking sites, or through their own websites. Hotels, resorts and hostels are easy enough to book using sites such as wotif.com, lastminute.com and hostels.com and you can check customer reviews on Tripadvisor before you book. However, if you’re looking for bespoke accommodation like homestays, beach shacks or B&Bs, it’s less likely you’ll find them easily online.

Check Airbnb for homestay options, as well as guide books and review sites such as Tripadvisor and Lonely Planet. Sometimes you’ll find great recommendations that won’t show up at all in booking site searches.

Tip: Hotels need to register your presence with local police. They’ll need your passport to do this, but make sure you get it back. You should never leave your passport as a deposit.

12. Tours

Tours can be booked through a travel agent or online through a major tour operator before you go (try travelvietnam.com, footprintsvietnam.com or look for recommended tours on Tripadvisor). A lot of free tours are being offer but still reliable so you should consider it.

Package deals are a low-stress option for travelers who don’t want to organize their flights, accommodation and ground transport separately. Check airline sites for special offers, as well as booking sites such as Expedia and local travel agents.

13. Attractions

Many tourists who fly into Vietnam for the first time are simply amazed as they don’t quite know what to expect and where to go. Vietnam is a country has something for everyone. If you love nature, the country’s beaches, mountains, tropical forests – this is the place to be. If you are a history and culture enthusiast, you will be fascinated by all the ruins and pagodas located around the country. Or if you hunger for the charms of a simple life, you will fall in love with the Vietnamese lifestyle including the hill-tribes and farmers of the north and the fishermen in the middle and southern regions of the country.

Overview

If you are planning your holiday in Vietnam, these are some tips for y the official language but English can be used since most people can speak some basic words, the adolescent can speak it quite well. Vietnam weather varies from North to South with the temperature of about 14C to 38C. The standard electrical supply in Vietnam is 220V, 50Hz. Dong is official currency of Vietnam; 1 dollar equals 20.000 dong. To enter Vietnam, you would require a passport with more than 6 months of validity. Visa on arrival (VOA) is often recommended for tourists arriving via plane. Vietnam is a safe country to travel in but traffic is chaotic and you need to keep an eye on your belongings. Transports in Vietnam are variety and you can choose buses or taxis since it is easy to travel with these transportations. Vietnam is in the GMT + 7 hours’ time zone. Most working and entertainment activities can be seen from 8.00 / 8.30 am to 4.30 / 5.00  or 11pm. Vietnamese food is delicious with harmonious combination like Pho, Banh mi, Bun cha; beer and green tea are common in Vietnamese drinking styles, tap water is not clean enough so water bottle is advised to drink. Accommodations in Vietnam are plenty, you can choose to stay in hotels or hostels and homestays are more popular now, favor by a lot of tourists lately. A lot of tours that you can select from, you can book it online or go to the agency, free tours are also recommended. Vietnam has many beautiful attractions for everyone, from mountains to bustling cities, stunning beaches to paddy fields and the culture here will make you amaze.


Now, let book tour Hanoi Free Local Tours to have safe and memorial travel in Vietnam!

Đặng Tiên,

comtam-in-Hanoi

GREAT VIETNAMESE BREAKFAST

Posted By : Hanoifreelocaltours/ 13 0

As far as you might know, the breakfast is the most important meal in a day. It plays an indispensable role in supplying all the necessary nutrients for body for a day of hard work. It is said that a suitable breakfast will help your body create energy for a new day with vitality as well as supplement nutrients consumed after a long night. According to nutrient experts, the first meal occupies 25-30 percent of the energy sum of all day. Understanding of the significance of having a sufficient breakfast, Vietnamese people are in the habit of taking a breakfast after awaking up.

In some countries, people often brush teeth after eating, but in Vietnam they do personal hygiene cleanly before having. Normally, the mother will get up early to prepare breakfast for family at 6h30’ am. In Vietnamese people’s opinion, small dishes on the table express the love of the mothers to their children and husbands. Another reason why the Vietnamese prefer cooking at home to going out for breakfast is to ensure food safety. Because nowadays people are always busy with their own jobs, they have less time to prepare a proper breakfast. They often come over a certain store on the way to work or go to school to buy fast food or take a meal in a hurry. As a result, it is inevitable to ensure food safety standards and maybe lead to have a sore stomach, food poisoning and even obesity. However, there are a lot of prestigious stores and restaurants serving breakfast well for you to select and believe in Hanoi.

It is more essential for foreign visitors to have a breakfast in Vietnam. Maybe because of being unfamiliar time zone or different flavors of food in Vietnam, some of them find difficulties in seeking good places for serving breakfast. They do be afraid of going out for taking, but order very hotel they stay. It is shame for you to miss a good chance to discover Vietnam food. Well, you know Vietnam is paradise for food with diversity traditional and modern dishes. Specially, there are a large number of delicious courses being suitable for breakfast such as pho, bun cha, banh mi,…It is essential that tourists should have a slight breakfast to be ready for a hard day to be able to explore Hanoi. This is some suggestions for you about several dishes and famous places for breakfast.

  1. Pho – Vietnamese traditional food with Hanoi free local tours
Pho- Hanoi - The essence of Vietnamese cuisine
Pho- Hanoi – The essence of Vietnamese cuisine

Pho is ranked in 20 top-the most delicious breakfast dishes on the world. And it is always proud course of the Vietnamese people. Wherever and whenever you want to enjoy a pho bowl, you are able to find a store selling pho easily. Since pho appears at everywhere, from poor countries to large cities and along bent streets or narrow alleys. Furthermore, you can find the pho restaurants in other countries such as America, China and Thailand. Pho is commonly eaten for breakfast, although many other people would have it for their lunch or dinner. Anyone feeling hungry in the small hours of the morning can also enjoy a bowl of hot and spicy Pho to fill their empty stomach. Pho also needs its special taste and smell. The particular flavor of soup is the thing everyone likes the most. The source for pho is made by stewing the bones of cows and pigs for a long time in a large pot. Having several types of pho and their names depend on the kind of meat used. For examples, pieces of fillet mignon together with several slices of ginger are reserved for a bowl of Pho Bo Tai (rare fillet) and slices of well-done meat are however offered to those less keen on eating rare fillets, while Pho Ga is made by stewing together chicken and pig bones.

List of reccommended places for Pho breakfast in Hanoi:

  • Pho vui: Adress:25 Hàng Giầy, Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội.
    • Price: about 30.000VND/a portion
  • Pho Ly Quoc Su: Adress: 10 Ly Quoc Su
    • Price: 40.000VND/a portion
  • Pho and beef: Adress: 49 Bat Dan
    • Price: 40.000 VND/ a portion

2. Bun Cha – The spicy dish for breakfast:

bun-cha-Hanoifreelocaltours-Food-Tour
Bun Cha with Hanoifreelocaltours

As far as you might know, Vietnam is paradise for food with subtle, creative and unique courses which bring typical traditional culture of local residents and only appear in Vietnam. It is vermicelli that is popular with people and easy to combine with others to make a delicious dish for small meals, such as for breakfast and lunch. There are a variety of ways to enjoy rice vermicelli, each dish having its own unique taste. Bun cha is one of them. It is charming flavor that any Vietnamese people going oversea miss, because the one not only brings a beautiful culture feature but also contain great sentiment of maker. In Vietnam family, mother is very person getting up early to prepare breakfast for her husband and children. Love is the most wonderful ingredient to create this special dish. Looking through, Bun cha is normal with ingredients easy to find and uncomplicated recipe. Also, subtle taste with clever hands of Hanoian makes it different. Bun cha includes rice vermicelli, grilled pork and spicy, fresh vegetables and well mixed fish sauce combined with vinegar, sugar, hot chilly, garlic and pepper. The sauce will then contain all the essential tastes, sour, hot, salty and sweet. There are two kinds of Cha (grilled pork) used, depending on the cut of the meat. If the pork is cut into small pieces, it is called Cha Mieng (piece of grilled pork). If it is minced prior to being shape into small cubes, it is named Cha Bam (minced grilled pork).

List of reccommended places for Bun cha in Hanoi:

  • Bun cha Đắc Kim: 1 Hàng Mành, Hoan Kiem
  • 34 Hang Than, Hanoi: 35.000 VND/a portion
  • 2 alley,Hang Khoai, Hoan Kiem: 30.000VND/a portion
  • 74 Hàng Quat, Hoan Kiem: 30.000VND/a portion
  • Đồng Xuân market alley: 30.000VND/a portion

 

3. Banh Mi – Fastfood for breakfast

Banhmi-with-Hanoifreelocaltours
Vietnamese sandwich

It will be a big mistake if not mention Banh Mi like a speciality of Vietnam. Not only is it popular with Vietnamese people but it also is famous at foreign countries as one of the most delicious fast foods on the world. Moreover, in its honor, Banh mi was added to the Oxford English Dictionary on 24 March 2011. From the north to the south, you could find it easily. When you are walking with your girlfriend, let come over certain small kiosk on the pavement if you feel hungry. Or when you are in a hurry for going to work or to school, you can stop over in store for a minute, for example. The delicious and sweet-smelling Banh Mis are always ready for everyone. Regardless of where you live, how you rich or your class, enjoy it and distance between you and other people will be casted away. Which the savour is sweet, hot and full of meat, cream is resemble the hospitality of Vietnamese people as well. This is a creative dish having had origin of French, so each of regions has different recipes. Also, they have to have the same points. Unlike the traditional French baguette, the Vietnamese baguette is made with rice flour along with wheat flour. Typical fillings include steamed, pan-roasted or oven-roasted seasoned pork belly, Vietnamese sausage, frilled pork patties, canned sardines in tomato sauce, soft pork meatballs in tomato sauce, head cheese, fried eggs, mock duck, and tofu. Accompanying vegetables typically include fresh cucumber slices, cilantro (leaves of the coriander plant) and picked carrots and white radishes in shredded form. Common condiments include spicy chili sauce, mayonnaise, and cheese. In addition, ‘Banh mi chay’ also is added menu. This is option for vegetarians and made with tofu or seitan. In Vietnam, vegetarian sandwiches are less common on the streets. They are usually made at Buddhist temples during special religious events. So if you are a vegetarian, you should find the restaurant because it is possible to have vegetarian food.

List of reccommended places for Banh Mi in Hanoi:

  • Banh mi: 38 Đinh Liệt in the Old Quarter – 20.000-25.000VND
  • Banh mi Nguyen Sinh: 19 Lý Quốc Sư – 25.000 VND
  • PappaRoti: 34 Hang Gai, in the Old Quarter – 14.000 VND

     4. Com Tam – The nutrient dish for breakfast:

According to the latest statistic, Vietnam is the second export rice on the world. It is unfamiliar that rice is a main ingredient to create most Vietnamese food. If you have chance to drop in on a Vietnamese family and are invited for dinner, you will have more understanding of culture in Vietnam. The image all members sitting around tray full of food and tell stories together is warm and happy.  It is suggested that you should taste it to feel Vietnamese traditional flavor in its country. Due to being popular, it is easy for you to find somewhere selling it on the street. A rice dish includes an omelet, two toast meats, a piece of fish and vegetable with soup. Which the ways the maker dispose and decorate for their food to become far attractive charms you. Not only is it delicious but it also has good price. The prices only vary from 20.000VND to 100.000 VND. Another food I want to add is the food for vegetarians. There are a lot of foreign tourists keeping a vegetarian diet, so appearing a variety of restaurants serves for them.;

List of reccommended places for rice in Hanoi:

  • 59 Tràng Thi, Hoan Kiem distric, Hanoi
  • 47 Đào Duy Từ, Hoan Kiem distric, Hanoi
  • 102K1, Giảng Võ, Ba Đinh distric, Hanoi.

+) Discription of Vietnamese breakfast:

There are many delicious dishes and good places for breakfast you can find when you wake up in unfamiliar country. It is more essential for foreign visitors to have a breakfast in Vietnam. Maybe because of being unfamiliar time zone or different flavors of food in Vietnam, some of them find difficulties in seeking good places for serving breakfast. They do be afraid of going out for taking, but order very hotel they stay. It is shame for you to miss a good chance to discover Vietnam food. Well, you know Vietnam is paradise for food with diversity traditional and modern dishes. Specially, there are a large number of delicious courses being suitable for breakfast such as pho, bun cha, banh mi,…It is essential that tourists should have a slight breakfast to be ready for a hard day to be able to explore Hanoi. This is some suggestions for you about several dishes and famous places for breakfast.