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Dried persimmon – a delicacy of Da Lat

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Da Lat is more than a land of romance and brings different feelings to visitors depending on the season.

In summer, the mountain streets of the city in the Central Highlands province of Lam Dong may bring a bit of boredom to tourists with rain. But in autumn, the orange colour of persimmon will spread among the gardens. That means it’s the harvest season for the ripe fruit.

Walking on any road, one can easily find persimmon trees full of fruit. The orange colour of ripe persimmon looks like lights in the daylight. The harvest season starts in mid-September. But the trees look best from October when all the leaves fall and remain only ripe fruit on branches.

Dried persimmon – a delicacy of Da Lat
A garden of ripped persimmons. VNS Photo Thuy Lien

Tourists coming to Da Lat in this season can visit gardens of ripe persimmons in yellow sunlight.

One can also taste sweet persimmons in the gardens and bring them home as gifts for family and friends.

Such gardens can be found in Khe Sanh Road, Mimosa Pass Road, Xuan Truong area and Trai Mat area.

Some cafes in Da Lat also have persimmon gardens like Túi Mơ To (Big Bag of Apricots), In the Forest and Vĩ Tuyến Số 6 (The 6th Parallel) cafes.

Da Lat persimmons can be processed into various kinds of food. Many people like eating them fresh as they are sweet, soft and juicy. But some others may like them crispy.

The best persimmons will be put into plastic bags and tied up for 10 days. Then the fruit can be eaten with crispy bites.

The persimmons with more flaws will be selected to dry for further preservation.

Dried persimmon – a delicacy of Da Lat
Persimmons hung in a cool, sunny place for drying. Photo kenh14.vn
Dried persimmon – a delicacy of Da Lat
Persimmons are hung for a few weeks. Photo caudatfarmstay.com

In the past few years, many local farmers have applied Japanese technology to make dried persimmons.

According to Dang Thi Thu Van, a woman who runs a persimmon processing workshop in her garden, this kind of persimmon requires lots of energy through various stages.

First, people should select suitable fruit, which should reach a certain maturity where the fruit is big enough, tender, with an orange cover, and does not have any insect bites or bruises on the body.

The fruit should have a short stalk to tie a string on. Locals often choose oval-shaped or square-shaped persimmons from Don Duong area in Da Lat for this.

The fruits are peeled, except the stalk to tie the string on. They are then cleaned and tied up in a string. The fruits should be hung separately so that they do not scratch each other.

They may be then dried in an oven for three hours at 50-60 degrees Celsius.

Then the persimmons should be hung in a windy, cool area with sunlight but should be safe from rain and fog, free from insects and birds.

After 5-10 days, the persimmons will be softer and turn a dark orange and light brown colour. The workers should do gentle ‘massages’ on the fruits so they gather honey and avoid being hard outside or too soft in the middle.

Dried persimmon – a delicacy of Da Lat
Naturally dried persimmon is a delicacy of Da Lat. VNS Photo Thu Hien 

After some three weeks, at 25-30 degrees Celsius in sunny, dry weather, the persimmons can be harvested. On average, some 7-8kg of fresh fruit will be condensed into 1kg of dried fruit. Hence, the price is fairly high compared to fresh fruit, some VND400,000 – 500,000 (US$17.2 – 21.5) for a kilo of dried persimmons.

Van said the workers should make sure there is no mold or fungus on the fruit during the hanging period and no preservatives are added.

According to food and health experts, persimmon contains a high amount of ascorbic acid (vitamin C) and can supply 80 per cent of daily vitamin C need for the body. It supplies 20 per cent of the daily need for fibre, which is useful for digesting food.

Persimmon contains a lot of other vitamins, including vitamin A, beta-carotene, lutein, lycopene and cryptoxanthin, all of which prevent fatigue and weakness in eyesight and muscles.

Kali in persimmon can help prevent heart and vein diseases as well as high blood pressure. VNS

Nguyen Thu Hien

Source: https://vietnamnet.vn/en/travel/dried-persimmon-a-delicacy-of-da-lat-705029.html

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Exploring the Vietnam Air Defense – Air Force Museum

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As a historical, cultural and scientific institution in Hanoi, the Vietnam Air Defense – Air Force Museum (or VAD-AF museum for short) is not only a place for educating patriotic and revolutionary traditions 

 but also an attractive tourist destination, drawing a large number of domestic and foreign travelers.

VAD-AF museum belongs to Political Department of the Vietnamese Air Defense and Air Force, formerly known as the traditional house of the air military established in 1958. The museum which was ranked second in the Vietnam museum system, was   built in 2004 and inaugurated on August 28, 2007. It preserves images, materials, artifacts showing the exploits and the process from fouding to development of Vietnam air defense and air force as well as the remarkable air combats.

Exploring the Vietnam Air Defense - Air Force Museum
The indoor exhibition section of the Vietnam Air Defense – Air Force Museum has more than 3,000 artifacts.

The museum includes the outdoor and indoor display sections.

The outdoor exhibition displays 73 noteable artifacts systematically, including unique weapons of air defense and air force   such as anti-aircraft gun, radar, aircraft and missile. Some of the exhibited weapons tell a glorious war history such as the 37mm anti-aircraft To Vinh Dien’s gun battery used in Dien Bien Phu campaign; the US made 90mm anti-aircraft  which  is used in the first air combat victory on August 5, 1964; the air traffic control radar producing electromagnetic waves, used during the 12 day and night campaign against US bombings in 1972 to detect signals of B-52s, helping to recognize the bombers half an hour ahead of its arrival; a launching pad where missiles were fired to down the first B-52s in “Hanoi – Dien Bien Phu-in-the-air” campaign in December, 1972; a   MiG-21 aircraft which shot down US bomber B-52s at night on December 27, 1972.

In addition, there are other artifacts such as the fighters MiG-17, MiG-19, MiG-21, transport helicopter, helicopter submarine hunter,   fighter aircraft of US army and Saigon regime’s military including an A-37 Quyet Thang squadron used to bomb Tan Son Nhat airport, contributing to the victory of historical Ho Chi Minh campaign and some weapons and vehicles used by the enemy during the Vietnam War.

Exploring the Vietnam Air Defense - Air Force Museum
73 big artifacts are displayed scientifically in the outdoor exhibition section.

The indoor exhibition or the main building is designed with solemn dome representing a symbol of Vietnamese peaceful sky. In order to effectively defend the Motherland’s airspace, over the past 50 years, the air defense and air force has fought, won and continuously developed. In the middle of the building is the statue of President Ho Chi Minh. This section also introduces some pictures of the glorious achievements that the air defense and air force has obtained in more than 50 years of the force history.

Next is themed exhibition zone with displays showing typical historical events and important milestones of Vietnam air defense and air force. More than 3,000 artifacts displayed according to six themes reflecting the true and heroic history, the outstanding achievements of air defense and air force over the past 50 years as well as in the current period.

Each of artifacts displayed in the building is associated with the excellent achievements of air defense and air force during the wars against the French and the American. The myth of how the Vietnamese  army won the victory defeating the much better equipped air forces of the countries that had the utmost science and technology at the time, is still very attractive to be told to domestic and international visitors.  Hanoitimes

Thanh Dat

Source: https://vietnamnet.vn/en/travel/exploring-the-vietnam-air-defense-air-force-museum-705917.html

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Inbound, outbound travelers may need compulsory Covid-19 insurance

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Travel firms have suggested making Covid-19 insurance compulsory for all inbound and outbound travelers as one of the solutions Vietnam needs to apply after it receives foreign travelers again.

Inbound, outbound travelers may need compulsory Covid-19 insurance

A document released by the Government Office on January 9 showed that Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has assigned the Ministry of Transport to consider resumption of routine commercial flights to other countries after the 2021 Tet holiday. This aims at the dual goal of both developing the economy while fighting the pandemic and satisfying citizens’ demand for travel.

The flights for overseas Vietnamese citizens coming to Vietnam will be implemented in Q1 2021.

The date is still unclear about receiving international travelers because the major COVID-19 hotbeds in the world are some of Vietnam’s main tourism markets.

Experts said it is necessary to start preparing for the moment now, so as to receive travelers as soon as conditions permit.

Vo Anh Tai, deputy CEO of Saigontourist Group, said at a nationwide travel forum held days ago in Hai Phong City that medical insurance should be compulsory for inbound and outbound travelers.

This would ensure benefits and safety for travelers, travel firms and local authorities if tours have to be cancelled or postponed, or if travelers have to be examined and treated because of factors related to Covid-19.

In early March 2020, some insurance companies introduced insurance policies related to Covid-19. However, the Prime Minister in Instruction No 16 dated March 31 asked them to stop this.

In other countries, medical insurance programs related to Covid-19 have been offered, which cover expenses on hospitalization, examinations, treatment and medical care, and medical evacuation and repatriation.

Tai has also proposed amending provisions on cancellation of bookings for domestic and international tours.

France, for example, replaces refunds with vouchers or similar forms, which have value equivalent to a service in the future. Clients can ask for a refund for unused vouchers after 18 months. This helps reduce financial disputes and maintains demand for travel between clients and businesses, and between businesses in travel supply chains.

A report from the World Travel Organization showed that in November 2020, 59 percent of destinations in Asia Pacific closed completely and 9 percent closed partially, the highest level in the world. The figures were 7 percent and 67 percent in Europe, respectively, the lowest level.

In 2020, Vietnam received 3.8 million foreign travelers, a decrease of 79 percent compared with 2019. Of this, 96 percent of travelers came in the first quarter. Vietnam has not been open to inbound tourists since the second quarter. 

Ngoc Ha

Source: https://vietnamnet.vn/en/travel/inbound-outbound-travelers-may-need-compulsory-covid-19-insurance-705837.html

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Ba Kieu Temple – a rare relic worshipping the Mother Goddess

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Ba Kieu Temple, officially called Thien Tien (Heavenly Fairy) pavilion, is located on the east side of Sword Lake, facing Ngoc Son Temple in Hanoi. This is the rare relic of Hanoi and Vietnam worshipping the Mother Goddess.

Based on the surviving ancient documents and epitaph from the Later Le Restoration dynasty, the temple belonged to Ta Vong Village, Tho Xuong District, then in the mid-nineteenth century, its jurisdiction was changed to Ha Thanh Village, Dong Cac Ward, Tho Xuong District, Hanoi province. The current location of the temple is in Dinh Tien Hoang Street, Ly Thai To Ward, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi City.

The temple is dedicated to Mother Goddess Lieu Hanh and her two maidens named Quynh Hoa and Que Hoa princesses. Mother Goddess Lieu Hanh is one of the Four Immortals along with Tan Vien (the God of the Mountain), Saint Giong and Saint Chu Dong Tu in the pantheon of genii worshiped by the Vietnamese people.

Ba Kieu Temple – a rare relic worshipping the Mother Goddess
An ancient banyan tree next to Ba Kieu Temple.

The temple was built in the Later Le Restoration and expanded in the mid Canh Tri reign in the 17th century. Being made of precious materials including wood from Xua jungle and rock from Nhue mountain from Chau Ai region in central Vietnam, through the hands of skillful craftsmen, Ba Kieu Temple became really a rare architectural masterpiece. The temple was built in the shape of the 工 (gong) of Chinese characters, which comprises Dai Bai (Chamber of Ceremonies), Phuong Dinh (Fang Pavilion) and the Hau Cung (Back Chamber).
Suffering the ups and downs of history, Ba Kieu Temple was damaged and has been restored many times, but still it retains the ancient features.
 The special value of Ba Kieu Temple is created by the relics of the Le Tay Son, Nguyen dynasties it preserved until  today. First and most precious among them is a large bronze bell (94cm in height, 45cm in mouth diameter) cast in the 8th year of the Canh Thinh reign (1800). The bell was offered by the marquis of Nhuan Trach Tran Duy Ung, a dignitary under the Tay Son Dynasty. There are also four stone shafts considered to be the important historical records:
–        Hung Cong Bi (the stele of Hung Cong) erected in the 8th year of the Canh Thinh reign (1800) recording the donation of Tran Duy Ung – a mandarin under the Tay Son reign;
–        Trung Tu Huyen Chan Tu Bi Ky recording the restoration of Huyen Chan temple which was built in the 19th year of the Tu Duc reign (1866);
–        Thien Tien dien nguyen phung quan nhan the thu huong hoa Le toc to tien tong huong bi (the stele of second ancestral lineage of the Le family voluntarily receiving the hereditary care of Thien Tien pavilion and allowed by the villagers) established in the year of the Tu Duc reign (1874) records the 5 generations of the Le clan from the forefather Trong Le to the fifth Trong Tin;
–        Le toc bi ky (The stele of the Le clan) found in the 8th year of Bao Dai reign (1933) records the Le Chat Ky and Le Van An both enjoyed the worship of the local people.
Still preserved in Ba Kieu Temple are the 27 papers conferring titles on Mother Goddess Lieu Hanh and her two fairy maidens Quynh Hoa and Que Hoa. The papers are the precious and rare artifacts, especially for the Mother Goddess worshipping. Among the 27 conferring papers, three issued in 1783 or the 44th year of Canh Hung reign and other three in 1787 under the Le dynasty, three by Quang Trung under the Tay Son dynasty (1792), and other three under the reign of Canh Thinh (1793). Over the reigns of Kings Minh Menh, Thieu Tri, Tu Duc, Đong Khanh, and Duy Tan of the Nguyen dynasty, the Mother Goddess was conferred fine names and ranked among Supreme Mother Goddess.
With outstanding values, Ba Kieu Temple together with the relic complex of Ngoc Son Temple and Hoan Kiem Lake area have been the pride not only of Hanoians but also of all Vietnamese forever.  Hanoitimes

Thanh Dat

Source: https://vietnamnet.vn/en/travel/ba-kieu-temple-a-rare-relic-worshipping-the-mother-goddess-705921.html

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