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A spicy treat from Hải Phòng cuisine

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Minh Phương

Among all versions of the iconic Vietnamese sandwich, the spicy bánh mì of Hải Phòng might be the smallest, but don’t let that fool you into thinking it’s any less than its larger siblings.

Hải Phòng’s spicy bánh mì is unique. Instead of fillings like meat or vegetables, this bánh mì is only filled with pate and eaten with a special chilli sauce, known as ‘chí chương’.

The traditional recipe from the city’s original ingredients of pate and chilli sauce is key to ensuring diners keep coming back for more.

Vietnamese people have long been proud of their bánh mì, so much so the word was added to the dictionary in 2011.

Proving the popularity of the Hải Phòng style, it’s easy to find vendor stalls all over the city selling this spicy bánh mì.

Bánh Mì Cay – Chính Hiệu Bà Già (Spicy Bánh Mì – Old Lady) was one of the first spicy bánh mì shops to open in Hải Phòng. This little business has customers queuing up for this spicy treat from early morning until late at night.

Bánh Mì Cay – Chính Hiệu Bà Già (Spicy Bánh Mì – Old Lady) was one of the first spicy bánh mì shops in Hải Phòng. VNS Photos Minh Phương

Phạm Thị Thúy, the owner of the shop, said: “Our family has been selling spicy bánh mì for nearly 40 years, since my grandma’s time.

“This bánh mì consists of a baguette and pate filled inside. The pate has meat and liver as the main ingredients.

“It is called spicy bánh mì, so it always serves with chilli sauce. This sauce is special and originates from Hải Phòng. We always leave the sauce outside so customers can choose whether to put it in or not.”

Good pate should be smooth in texture, with pork evenly spread over the surface. VNS Photo Minh Phương

Good pate should be smooth in texture, with pork evenly spread over the surface. The pate should be slightly pink with white spots of pork fat. The flavour must be liver and garlic. The maker will add seasonings, including salt or pepper, to suit taste. 

The unique chilli sauce ‘chí chương’ is a mixture of chilli, tomatoes, garlic and salt. The spicy of this sauce stimulates your taste buds.

Thúy said: “Spicy bánh mì is only filled with pate, so the pate is the ingredient that determines whether bánh mì tastes delicious or not. Therefore, making pate becomes one of the most important processes when making this bánh mì,” she added.

“We must choose high-quality ingredients, maintain the pate quality and even make it better every day.”

At the cost of VNĐ3,000 (0.13 US cents) each, this small bánh mì is a perfect breakfast choice or a small meal during the day for residents. To have a stomach full, five to six bánh mì is enough.

Each spicy bánh mì only costs VNĐ 3,000 (0.13 US cents). VNS Photo Ly Ly Cao

Nguyễn Ngọc Tuyến, a local resident, said that the spicy bánh mì is his first choice for breakfast. Many in Hải Phòng eat spicy bánh mì as a habit from their childhood.

Tuyến said: “I usually eat this spicy bánh mì. This bánh mì is small, only two fingers in width, so you can eat a lot, two, three or even 10.

“I sometimes buy it and send it to my friends in other localities as a gift.”

Tourists are also curious about this speciality. Many try it whenever they have a chance to visit the city.

Visitors are curious to try the spicy bánh mì of Hải Phòng. VNS Photo Ly Ly Cao

Nguyễn Tường Quân, a visitor from Nghệ An, with his girlfriend also enjoy eating this modest bánh mì.

Quân said: “Hải Phòng is famous for its spicy bánh mì, this bánh mì shop is near where we stay on our trip, so we decide to drop by to try.”

“This bánh mì is crusty. However, it tastes delicious even though its only filling is pate. I feel like this bánh mì still keeps the taste of the traditional bánh mì, which I had during my childhood.

“It is small, so it does not take much time to eat. I think about five of these is enough for breakfast.”

Võ Như Hà is paying a working trip to the city for two days. Despite her busy schedule, she found time to find a spicy bánh mì shop to taste this local food.

Hà said: “The spicy bánh mì is a delicacy of Hải Phòng, so I took the time to pass by here to try some local food. It looks different to what I usually see in HCM City.

“In HCM City, we often called it bread stick, which is longer than this. I will try to see how it tastes.”

This coastal city is like culinary heaven for food lovers and the spicy bánh mì has helped add more taste to the city.

Thúy said: “Customers buy spicy bánh mì for their family as a small meal and some buy it as a gift for their friends. Sometimes, I even receive an order on Vietnamese Women’s Day to deliver it to their female friends living in other provinces.

“I feel thrilled that now many people, even foreigners, love eating this bánh mì. Many people even choose Hải Phòng as a travel destination to enjoy this bánh mì.” — VNS

Source: http://ovietnam.vn/dining/a-spicy-treat-from-hai-phong-cuisine_337629.html

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Vietnam serves 2.95 million international tourists in 11 months

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Nearly 597,000 foreigners have visited Vietnam in November, up 23.2% month-on-month, bringing the total number of international tourists to the country in the first 11 months of this year to 2.95 million, according to the General Statistics Office (GSO).

Vietnam serves 2.95 million international tourists in 11 months hinh anh 1International tourists explore Dong Nai Culture-Nature Reserve by bicycle. (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi – Nearly 597,000 foreigners have visited Vietnam in
November, up 23.2% month-on-month, bringing the total number of international
tourists to the country in the first 11 months of this year to 2.95 million,
according to the General Statistics Office (GSO).

The total figure is 21.1 times higher than that of the same
period last year, but down 81.9% compared to the number of 2019 before the COVID-19 pandemic broke out.

In the period, the number of international tourists travelling
to Vietnam by air accounts for 88.9%, 11.1% by road, and 0.03% by sea.

Vietnam serves 2.95 million international tourists in 11 months hinh anh 2Foreigners visit Ho Chi Minh City (Photo: VNA)

The country was estimated to earn 536.3 trillion VND (21.6
billion USD) from accommodation and catering services, up 56.5% year-on-year, while
revenue in the travel and tourism industry was estimated at 22.9 trillion VND, a
4.1-fold increase compared to that of the same period last year.

Recently, the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism launched
an email system, the first of its kind, to promote Vietnamese tourism at
https://mail.vietnam.travel./.

Source: https://en.vietnamplus.vn/vietnam-serves-295-million-international-tourists-in-11-months/244659.vnp

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Hanoi tourism enjoys successful year despite difficulties

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Despite impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of tourists to Hanoi has so far surpassed the target for the whole year, thanks to the city’s efforts to provide attractive and high quality products.

Hanoi tourism enjoys successful year despite difficulties hinh anh 1Tourists at Hoan Kiem Lake of Hanoi (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi
(VNA)
– Despite impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of tourists to Hanoi has so
far surpassed the target for the whole year, thanks to the city’s efforts to provide
attractive and high quality products.

In late November,
Hanoi is full of visitors who enjoy Da quy (daisy) flower season in Ba Vi
National Park, and tours in Thang Long Imperial Citadel or Hoa Lo Prison. This
manifests the strong tourism recovery and development of the capital city – Asia’s
Leading City Break Destination 2022 by World Travel Awards (WTA).

The year of 2022
started with many difficulties for the city due to the pandemic. However,
the gap period enabled the city to prepare for the new normal period, with a
series of products introduced in the beginning of the peak tourism season on
the National Reunification (April 30) and May Day holidays, shortly after
Vietnam fully opened the tourism sector.

Outstanding products in the period include the launch of Son
Tay ancient fortress pedestrian zone, the upgrade of the pedestrian zone along
Trinh Cong Son street, and the cycling tour to explore Bat Trang ancient
pottery village.

Various activities were also held during the 31st Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games 31) in the city, leaving a strong imprint of a
safe, friendly and attractive destination on domestic and foreign visitors.

Alongside, the city Department of Tourism held many training
courses to improve the quality of human resources and enhance the
public awareness of developing community-based tourism.

According to Graham Cooke, the founder of World Travel
Awards, tourism in Vietnam and Hanoi in particular has recovered strongly with
the promotion of its values and identity as well as some breakthroughs.  

In May, the US travel website TripAdvisor placed Hanoi in
the 13th position in the 25 most popular destinations in Asia in
2022. It also included the city in the best 25 places for food lovers in 2022.

Director of the Hanoi Tourism Department Dang Huong Giang
said that the titles showed the attractiveness of the city tourism, and a
chance for the city to affirm its position, image and trademark in the world
market.

Hanoi tourism enjoys successful year despite difficulties hinh anh 2Some designs to be showed at the Ao Dai Festival of Hanoi, which is slated for December. (Photo: VNA)

This year, the city aims to welcome 7-8 million domestic tourists
and 1.2-2 million foreigners. But so far the city has received 17.02 million
visitors, over 5 times higher than that in the same period last year, including
1.27 million foreigners.

To continue its recovery trend, the city has planned a
number of activities in the rest of the year with a focus on luring more
foreign tourists.

In December, Hanoi will organise an Ao Dai (traditional long
dress) festival with the participation of many famous designers and models.
This is one of the most important events of the city tourism, which also
includes a parade of about 700 women wearing Ao dai.

At the same time, the city will also design more products
meeting the demand of foreign visitors, including golf and MICE tourism.

Communications will be promoted to popularise tourist
destinations and new tourism products of Hanoi via traditional methods, TV
channels at home and abroad, websites and social media sites like Youtube and
Facebook, under the themes ‘Hanoi – Travel to Love’ and a safe and attractive
tourist destination.

The city will collaborate with embassies and representative offices abroad and
the Airports Corporation of Vietnam and carriers to hold tourism promotion
events at major markets, as well as welcome delegations of foreign reporters
and travel companies in Hanoi.

Hanoi is working to improve the quality of tourism products at heritage and
relic sites and craft villages, and compile introduction in five foreign
languages of English, French, Chinese, Japanese, and Korean.

Some experts held that due to strong urban development,
people have high demand for relaxation at the weekend. Therefore, Hanoi should
foster farm tourism and tap into natural values to promote relaxation and
exploration tourism.

From a remote area, Ba Vi district has emerged as a bright spot of tourism
thanks to its optimisation of local natural conditions and special cultural
identities of the Muong and Dao ethnic minority groups./.

Source: https://en.vietnamplus.vn/hanoi-tourism-enjoys-successful-year-despite-difficulties/244652.vnp

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Ecotourism – new wave for Ba Ria-Vung Tau

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The southern province of Ba Ria-Vung Tau, which has been known for Con Dao Islands and many beautiful beaches, is working to promote ecotourism, bringing new experiences to visitors in its agriculture and rural areas.

Ecotourism – new wave for Ba Ria-Vung Tau hinh anh 1Ba Ria-Vung Tau province is working to promote ecotourism, bringing new experiences to visitors in its agriculture and rural areas. (Photo: baobariavungtau.com.vn)


Ba Ria-Vung Tau –
The southern province of Ba Ria-Vung Tau, which has been known for Con Dao Islands and many beautiful beaches, is working to promote ecotourism, bringing new experiences to visitors in its agriculture and rural areas.
 
 A number of models that combine agricultural production with tourism have been formed in the locality over the past time, Chairman of the provincial Farmers’ Union Mai Minh Quang said, adding that such models offer both clean agricultural products and closed-loop tourism services.
 
 The models have helped to raise the income of local farmers, while contributing to attracting more tourists to the province, he said.
 
 Suoi Giau Agriculture and Fisheries Cooperative in Suoi Rao commune, Chau Duc district, is an example, which has raised fish in natural lakes and turned them into weekend retreats for local holidaymakers since 2019.
 
 After a hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the cooperative has reopened since August, welcoming more than 100 visitors on weekends, said its Chairman Tran Duc Nghia, noting that the number reached up to 700 last National Day holidays (September 2).
 
 Located at the foot of the Ky Van mountain range in Long Hai township, Long Dien district, the An Binh eco-resort, which is under construction, is also expected to be a new attraction.
 
 Le Thi Nga, a representative from the resort, said the project promotes the values of natural resources and landscapes, traditional culture and cuisines, and even local production methods, thus contributing to protecting natural resources and creating stable jobs for local residents.
 
 After the COVID-19 pandemic, agriculture-based tourism has been proliferating in many Vietnamese cities and provinces, including Ba Ria-Vung Tau, helping it materialise the strategy of green, sustainable tourism. 
 
 With a coastline of more than 300km and beautiful sandy beaches and renowned Con Dao Islands, the southeastern province has substantial strength to develop a brand of sea and island tourism.
 
 In the 11-month period from January to November this year, Ba Ria – Vung Tau welcomed around 12 million visitors, equal to nearly 350% of the yearly plan and up 248% from the same period last year, according to the provincial Tourism Department.  The outstanding result is attributable to the province’s efforts to upgrade and diversify its tourism products and services.   
 
 Director of the provincial Department of Tourism Trinh Hang said the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism predicted it won’t be until 2025 that tourism nationwide can regain the momentum of 2019 pre-pandemic numbers.
 
 However, given the positive signs recorded so far this year, Ba Ria – Vung Tau could regain pre-pandemic numbers and revenue levels in 2023, he added.

According to leaders of the province Tourism Department, to achieve sustainable development and maintain its reputation as a key destination in the national tourism map, Ba Ria – Vung Tau has always attached importance to building and maintaining a civilized, safe and attractive environment for tourism. All localities in the province have implemented specific and practical measures to ensure that every visitor feels that Ba Ria – Vung Tau is really a civilized, safe and friendly destination./.

Source: https://en.vietnamplus.vn/ecotourism-new-wave-for-ba-riavung-tau/244589.vnp

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