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Preserving cultural beauty of folk festivals in Ba Ria- Vung Tau



Traditional festivals in Ba Ria-Vung Tau bear the cultural influence of all three regions of the North-Central-South, becoming an indispensable part of the community’s cultural life here.

Preserving cultural beauty of folk festivals in Ba Ria- Vung Tau hinh anh 1Residents in Con Dao district (formerly An Hai village) solemnly commemorate the death anniversary of Lady Hoang Phi Yen. (Photo: VNA) 

Ba Ria-Vung Tau – Located in the Southeast cultural sub-region, Ba Ria Vung Tau not only has a long beach and many natural attractions, but also preserves many unique folklore festivals, imbued with the culture, customs and beliefs of the people in the region.

Unique culture

According to the Department of Culture and Sports of Ba Ria-Vung Tau, the province has a diverse system of historical and cultural relics. Currently, the province has 12 traditional festivals, some typical of which are the death anniversary of Lady Phi Yen (a concubine of Lord Nguyen Anh), the death anniversary of  National Hero Tran Hung Dao, Nghinh Ong Festival at Thang Tam Communal House, Ba Ngu Hanh Temple Festival, Trung Cuu Festival, Dinh Co Festival, Saint Tran’s death anniversary-Long Son Great House.

Traditional festivals in Ba Ria-Vung Tau bear the influence of traditional culture of all three regions of the North-Central-South and have become an indispensable part of the community’s cultural life here.

Recently, the commemoration of the anniversary of Lady Phi Yen in Con Dao district has become the first Intangible Cultural Heritage in Ba Ria-Vung Tau to be included in the National Intangible Cultural Heritage List.

On the 17th and 18th days of the 10th lunar month every year, the commemoration of Lady Phi Yen’s death anniversary is held at Lady Phi Yen Temple, also known as An Son Temple – a famous spiritual tourist destination in Con Dao, honouring her virtues and chastity.

According to Vice Chairman of the People’s Committee of Con Dao district, Nguyen Thuy Nga, the Festival – death anniversary of Lady Phi Yen have special meaning in the spiritual culture of many people in the sacred land of Con Dao.

During the festival, many solemn activities are held such as the procession of Hoi An Prince – the son of Lady Phi Yen, the worshiping ritual on the main day to express the people’s respect for her and sincerely pray for peace of the country, safety of the people, favourable weather, and happy families.

The festival part has many activities such as: displaying fruit trays, flower arranging contests, folk games, calligraphy writing, performances of Don Ca Tai Tu, attracting the attention of both local residents in the island district and tourists coming to Con Dao on the festival occasion.

Besides the Festival – death anniversary of Lady Phi Yen which has been recognized as a National Intangible Cultural Heritage, Ba Ria-Vung Tau province has made scientific dossiers for the local Intangible Cultural Heritages – the Nghinh Ong Festival at Thang Tam communal house (Vung Tau city) and Dinh Co Festival (Long Dien district), requesting the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism to recognize them as national intangible cultural heritages.

Nghinh Ong festival at Thang Tam communal house, Vung Tau city, has been maintained by generations of fishermen and Vung Tau community for more than 100 years, with many rituals bearing typical coastal cultural characteristics, as an occasion of fishermen to express their gratitude to Ca Ong (whale) for extending help for them when their ship or boat crashed at sea.

Taking place from the 16th to 18th in the 8th lunar month every year, Nghinh Ong Festival consists of two parts: ceremonial and festive activities. The ceremonial part includes procession, rituals for worshiping gods and offering sacrifices. The festive part features many folk games recreating fishermen’s activities such as fishing contest, net weaving, tug of war, checkered chess competition on sand, which are imbued with the culture of coastal inhabitants.

Dinh Co Festival (in Long Hai town, Long Dien district) is held on the 10th and 12th of the second lunar month every year, considered the biggest water festival in the South Sea.

According to legend, about 200 years ago, a girl on her way through the waters here encountered a storm, fell into the sea and died. Her body drifted to Hon Hang. People in the area buried her and set up a temple near the sea. Since then, she was said to frequently make epiphany, appear in dreams to give warnings, and help quell epidemics. 

Fishermen in the area built a temple and honored her as “Long Hai Than Nu Bao An Chanh Truc Nuong Nuong Chi Than”. Her temple was moved to the foot of Ky Van mountain, which is Dinh Co relic today.

Every year, before the main holiday (the 10th and 11th days in the second lunar month) in this coastal area, a night lantern festival is held, boats are docked facing Dinh Co. On the main day of the holiday (the 12th day in the second lunar month), boats will be turned to the sea to celebrate.

The boat of the fisherman who is named the best seafarer of the year is chosen to lead, followed by other boats going out to sea amid the sound of drums. After sailing about 2-3 nautical miles to the place where the girl was believed to have died, the fishermen will hold a ritual to invite her along with the gods and ancestors to the temple to celebrate the anniversary.

On the days of the festival, people and tourists can also participate in many folk games such as basket boat racing, eel catching, and singing unique melodies together.

Many researchers believe that the Dinh Co Festival in Long Hai town is part of the festival system of the worship of Mother-Goddess. But the festival here is not merely the worship of Mother-Goddess. It is a combination of the fishing festival with the custom of worshiping the sea god (Lady Thuy Long, whale of the Cham people) and local residents’ belief in worshiping Mother-Goddess, creating a very unique characteristic for the festival.

Promoting heritage values

Leaders of Ba Ria-Vung Tau provincial Party Committee have defined the task of identifying heritage values and taking solutions to preserve and promote the value of relics and heritages, including intangible cultural heritages. Traditional festivals imbued with traditional cultural imprints of local coastal communities have been maintained and developed into cultural and tourist festivals, attracting a large number of tourists annually, such as Nghinh Ong Festival at Thang Tam communal house, Dinh Co Festival, Lady Phi Yen’s death anniversary, death anniversary of Heroic Martyr Vo Thi Sau, and Trung Cuu ceremony or Sayangva (God of Rice) and Sayangbri (God of Forest) of the Cho Ro ethnic group.

Preserving cultural beauty of folk festivals in Ba Ria- Vung Tau hinh anh 2The scene of Nghinh Ong Festival in Thang Tam communal house. (Photo: VNA)

Ba Ria-Vung Tau province has developed programmes and plans to implement resolutions related to the development of an advanced Vietnamese culture imbued with national cultural identity.

All levels and branches in the province actively propagate the Party’s viewpoints, policies and guidelines on building the Vietnamese culture and developing people in the new situation; at the same time propagating and promoting the image of Ba Ria-Vung Tau province, especially the unique cultural features, tourism, and typical cultural heritage.

Recently, the People’s Committee of Ba Ria-Vung Tau province has issued a plan to implement the cultural development strategy in the province to 2030. In particular, for the conservation and promotion of cultural heritages, including intangible cultural heritages, the province will continue to implement Decision No. 5022/QD-UBND dated December 31, 2021 of the provincial People’s Committee on approving the implementation plan of the program to preserve and promote sustainable cultural heritage values in the area, in the period of 2021-2025.

The province has submitted to the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism a proposal on including a number of festivals such as Nghinh Ong Festival in Thang Tam communal house, Dinh Co festival, etc., in the National List of Intangible Cultural Heritage. At the same time, the province develops a plan to promote the value of those festivals to promote the image and attract tourists to Ba Ria-Vung Tau.

Referring to solutions to preserve, promote values, and create new vitality for the heritages in Ba Ria-Vung Tau, some researchers and experts affirmed that the festivals have partly reflected the typical cultural activities of the community and this is also an opportunity to attract tourists from all over the world to the locality to worship in combination with sightseeing, swimming and relaxing.

Exploiting the cultural value of sea villages, including festivals, to develop new tourism products, will contribute to promoting the unique cultural values and serving tourism development of Ba Ria-Vung Tau province./.



Exquisite Lao cuisine in the heart of Hà Nội



by Bảo Ngọc

The food of Laos is a representation of the country as a whole: untouched, intense, and unique. It is sometimes overshadowed by the more well-known cuisines of its neighbours (Thailand, Việt Nam and China), but its unique flavours are unforgettable.

If you’re looking for the best Lao food in Hà Nội, make sure to check out the restaurants on our recommended list.

Khao Lao

Address: 1st floor, building M3 – M4, 91 Nguyễn Chí Thanh, Đống Đa District, Hà Nội

Opening time: 11:00 – 13:30, 18:00 – 21:00

Khao Lao is a popular choice among many excellent Lao eateries in Hà Nội.

The restaurant’s design is one of a kind, fusing sophisticated and opulent elements with understated dark brown tones.

You may be taken aback by the restaurant’s striking decor, which is inspired by Lao culture. The restaurant decorates several areas with eye-catching embellishments, making it great for photographs.

There are more than 50 options on the menu, ranging from appetisers to main courses, and they include aromatic herbs, rice, noodles, fish, chicken, beef, and pork.

Lao salad, vegetarian silkworms, tofu with tamarind sauce, Lao sticky rice and seafood dishes including pan-fried prawn vermicelli and mango salad with deep-fried fish are some of the restaurant’s bestselling dishes.

Khao Lao’s meals, made using Vietnamese ingredients, retain Lao essence to the pleasure of guests. Photo courtesy of the restaurant

However, when visiting Khao Lao, you shouldn’t miss out on the seabass with three-spice sauce, duck larb, seafood spring rolls with durian sauce, or the suki hot pot.

Though prepared with Vietnamese ingredients, the dishes at Khao Lao nonetheless maintain the quality of Lao flavour, much to the delight of the diners.

Lào MeLao

Address: 296 Lê Trọng Tấn, Thanh Xuân, Hà Nội

Opening hours: 9:00 – 23:00

Lào MeLao restaurant is another appealing option for those fascinated in knowing more about Lao cuisine.

This restaurant is famed for its refreshing beer, perfect for the scorching heat of summer. However, booze aside, the food here is also sure to please guests.

Lào MeLao’s cooks have experience creating cuisine to complement Lao beer, ensuring that customers have a pleasant dining experience. Photo courtesy of the restaurant

Lào MeLao is a hip hangout with plenty of room and a classic pub design. You’ll get a warm and welcoming vibe here, with the decor reminiscent of Vietnamese bars.

The restaurant’s chefs have extensive expertise crafting foods to go with Lao beer, guaranteeing an enjoyable dining experience for patrons. There’s a story in every bite, and the way the flavours mingle in each dish is something to behold.

Lào Quán

Address: 59 Nguyễn Khánh Toàn, Dịch Vọng Ward, Cầu Giấy District, Hà Nội

Operating hours: 09:00 – 23:00

Even though it has only been open for a short time, Lào Quán has already made a lasting impression on lovers of authentic Lao cuisine.

Everything about the restaurant’s cuisine, from the way it’s processed to the products it uses, is infused with Lao culinary tradition. It’s delicious and healthy as everything is made with all-natural ingredients and has no preservatives or additives. 

Lào Quán’s dish is blended with Lao culinary culture from preparation to ingredients. Photo courtesy of the restaurant

Lào Quán’s architecture also has a youthful and dynamic style, and the walls are decorated with many colours, with unique and eye-catching images. It is a smooth combination between the two cultures of Việt Nam and Laos, both familiar and new.

The menu is also extremely diverse, combining Vietnamese and Lao cuisine. The decoration is also inspired by Lao culinary culture. The dishes are served in bamboo trays, banana leaves and woven baskets, creating a feeling of closeness to nature.

The restaurant is a gastronomic heaven, with more than 50 different Lao dishes available. A wide variety of meals, from snacks like crispy yellow fish and green mango salad to main courses such as stir-fried noodles with chicken and mushrooms, mixed vermicelli, braised pork sticky rice, minced beef porridge, and fried rice with pickled vegetables.

Some of the restaurant’s most popular dishes are Lao larb, duck larb, Tomyum soup, and rare roast beef. VNS


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Asia, Australia getting close with promotion offered by Vietjet



To welcome a series of new routes including Ho Chi Minh City – Kochi (India) and Ho Chi Minh City – Jakarta (Indonesia), Vietjet is offering passengers tickets priced from 0 VND in its international flight network.

Asia, Australia getting close with promotion offered by Vietjet hinh anh 1Illustrative image (Photo: Vietjet Air)

HCM City – To welcome a series of new routes including Ho Chi Minh City – Kochi (India) and Ho Chi Minh City – Jakarta (Indonesia), Vietjet is offering passengers tickets priced from 0 VND in its international flight network.

Accordingly, from now to December 31, 2023, from 0h00 to 23h59 every Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, passengers have opportunities to hunt for 0 VND tickets on website and Vietjet Air mobile app, applying for all routes connecting Vietnam to Australia, India, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong (China) and Southeast Asia with flexible flight schedules from August 10 to March 31, 2024.

The international flight journey is even more exciting when passengers can double their privileges with Sky Care travel insurance package, accumulating bonus SkyPoints on each flight to redeem vouchers of Vietjet and services from 250 popular brands of dining, resort and shopping in Vietnam via SkyJoy mobile app or website

With a wide flight network across Asia and Australia, and hundreds of flights per day, together with modern and environmentally-friendly aircraft, professional cabin crews, organic hot meals of global culinary culture, the world is now at your fingertips with just one click at or the Vietjet Air mobile app.

Asia, Australia getting close with promotion offered by Vietjet hinh anh 2From now to December 31, 2023, from 0h00 to 23h59 every Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, passengers have opportunities to hunt for 0 VND tickets on website and Vietjet Air mobile app.(Photo: Vietjet Air)

Vietjet is a fully-fledged member of International Air Transport Association (IATA) with the IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) certificate. As Vietnam’s largest private carrier, the airline has been awarded the highest ranking for safety with 7 stars by the world’s only safety and product rating website and listed as one of the world’s 50 best airlines for healthy financing and operations by Airfinance Journal for many consecutive years. The airline has also been named as Best Low-Cost Carrier by renowned organizations such as Skytrax, CAPA, and Airline Ratings./.


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Sesame-Crusted Tuna Tataki with Wasabi Cream and Mixed Salad




Executive Chef Lâm Quốc Huy from Mai House Saigon Hotel

The combination of tropical fruit and succulent tuna, blended with rich wasabi cream of this standout starter is a perfect choice for those who are looking for a healthy and balanced meal.

The tuna is coated with toasted sesame seeds and then seared briefly on each side, resulting in a tender and juicy fish that is cooked to perfection. The mixed salad and a subtle kick of spicy wasabi cream provide a refreshing and crunchy texture that balances the flavours and adds more nutrients to the dish.

Sesame-Crusted Tuna Tataki with Wasabi Cream and Mixed Salad


  • Tuna: 120g
  • Dijon mustard: 50g
  • White sesame: 50g
  • Black sesame: 50g

Mixed salad:

  • Baby cucumber: 50g
  • Cherry tomato: 30g
  • Beansprouts: 10g
  • Edible flowers: 3 pieces

Wasabi cream:

  • Wasabi mustard: 5g
  • Whipping cream: 60g


• Marinate the tuna with yellow mustard, then roll in white and black sesame.

• Sauté the tuna for 10 seconds on each side.

• Thinly slice the baby cucumber and roll into delicate wheels

• Mix the wasabi mustard and whipping cream until the mixture thickens.


• Cut the tuna into thin slices and place on top of the mixed salad.

• Dab some mustard cream sauce on the tuna and around the plate.

• Garnish with beansprouts, edible flowers, cherry tomatoes, and cucumber

You can enjoy Sesame-Crusted Tuna Tataki or a Business Set Lunch at C’est La Vie Restaurant, 2nd floor, Mai House Saigon Hotel, 157 Nam Kỳ Khởi Nghĩa Street, Võ Thị Sáu Ward, Hồ Chí Minh City. Tel: +84 (0) 2873039000. — VNS


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