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Traditional Tet feasts made of clay

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Hobbyist Nguyen Tan Dat has created life-sized models of Vietnam’s typical Tet dishes, hoping to remind people of fading family-oriented Tet customs.

For the past month, Dat in Saigons District 3 has been meticulously creating clay-made Tet meals popular across three regions of Vietnam. The northern, central and southern regions of the S-shaped country share the same holiday but have their own diverse culinary traditions as reflected in the collection of more than 20 different traditional Tet dishes. Over the past few years, Vietnams traditional Tet culture has been fading. Many young Vietnamese choose to travel instead of returning home and cooking with their families. Therefore, I have decided to make models of Tet dishes in tribute to old traditions, said Dat, focusing on painting his boiled chicken. Tet, Vietnams biggest holiday, peaks on Feb. 12 this year.

For the past month, Dat in Saigon’s District 3 has been meticulously creating clay-made Tet meals popular across three regions of Vietnam. The northern, central and southern regions of the S-shaped country share the same holiday but have their own diverse culinary traditions as reflected in the collection of more than 20 different traditional Tet dishes.
“Vietnam’s traditional Tet culture has been fading. Many young Vietnamese choose to travel instead of returning home and cooking with their families. Therefore, I have decided to make models of Tet dishes in tribute to old traditions,” said Dat, focusing on painting his boiled chicken.
The Lunar New Year holiday, or Tet, Vietnam’s biggest holiday, peaks on Feb. 12 this year.

A typical Tet meal in the north with rice, boiled chicken eaten with lime leaves, banh chung (glutinous rice cake), sticky rice, gio lua (Vietnamese sausage), pickled onions and thit dong (jellied pork).Even though he chose most popular dishes, Dat had to spend a lot of time researching and looking up details on each dish.

A typical Tet meal in the north with rice, boiled chicken eaten with lime leaves, banh chung (glutinous rice cake), sticky rice, gio lua (Vietnamese sausage), pickled onions and thit dong (jellied pork).
Even though he chose most popular dishes, Dat had to spend a lot of time researching and looking up details on each dish.

Boiled chicken is a must-have dish among New Year’s Eve offerings in the north. Besides Tet, it also appears during many other special occasions or festivals, he explained.It took Dat one day to shape, paint and dry the chicken.

“Boiled chicken is a must-have dish among New Year’s Eve offerings in the north. Besides Tet, it also appears during many other special occasions or festivals,” he explained.
It took Dat one day to shape, paint and dry the chicken.

Square-shaped banh chung on a round plate.Dat said making banh chung was not hard but that it took a decent amount of time to shape the grains of rice and stick them together.

Square-shaped banh chung on a round plate.
Dat said making banh chung was not hard but that it took a decent amount of time to shape the grains of rice and stick them together.

A colorful meal from the central region with banh tet (elongated rice cake), boiled pork with sour pickled shrimp, gio lua (pork sausage) and boiled chicken.

A colorful meal from the central region with banh tet (elongated rice cake), boiled pork with sour pickled shrimp, pork sausage and boiled chicken.

Central and southern banh tet is the equivalent of northern banh chung.

Central and southern region banh tet is the equivalent of northern banh chung.

Tre (fermented pork and pigs skin wrapped in straw) and nem chua (fermented pork) are two popular dishes at Tet, especially in the central province of Thua Thien-Hue and neighboring Da Nang City.

Tre (fermented pork and pig’s skin wrapped in straw) and nem chua (fermented pork) are two popular dishes at Tet, especially in the central province of Thua Thien-Hue and neighboring Da Nang City.

Central boiled pork, sour pickled shrimp and salad rolls.Dat’s life-sized dishes are put on real ceramic plates to ensure a realistic effect.

The central region’s boiled pork, sour pickled shrimp and salad rolls.
Dat’s life-sized dishes are put on real ceramic plates to ensure a realistic effect.

A sunny Tet in the south with banh tet, caramelized pork with duck eggs, bitter melon soup, pickled onions and pickled bean sprouts.

A sunny Tet in the south with banh tet, caramelized pork with duck eggs, bitter melon soup, pickled onions and pickled bean sprouts.

Caramelized pork is the most difficult dish to make since Dat had to mix paints to create the brown colors for the sauce, eggs and meat.

Caramelized pork is the most difficult dish to make since Dat had to mix paints to create the brown colors for the sauce, eggs and meat.

Bitter melon soup symbolizes hopes for a lucky year ahead following past bitterness.

Bitter melon soup symbolizes hopes for a lucky year ahead following past bitterness.

Dat has created over 25 popular Vietnamese noodle soup dishes made of clay like crab noodles, Hanoi-style pho, Nha Trang fish noodles and Hue beef noodles. Some people asked to buy them but I want to keep them as house decorations. I will make samples of traditional handicrafts in the near future, and of other materials, he said.

Dat has created over 25 popular Vietnamese noodle soup dishes made of clay like crab noodles, Hanoi-style pho, Nha Trang fish noodles and Hue beef noodles.
“Some people asked to buy them but I want to keep them as house decorations. I will make samples of traditional handicrafts in the near future, and of other materials,” he said.

Source: https://e.vnexpress.net/news/travel/food/traditional-tet-feasts-made-of-clay-4228446.html

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Popular train routes suspended amid fresh Covid-19 outbreak

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Popular train routes suspended amid fresh Covid-19 outbreak

Sa Pa Town in Lao Cai Province, northern Vietnam. Photo by Shutterstock/John Bill.


Railway operators have cancelled several trains to popular tourist destinations from Friday due to dwindling travel demand amid a surge in Covid-19 community transmissions.

Hanoi Railway Transport JSC, the northern operator, has cancelled trains from Vinh, capital of central Nghe An Province, to Hanoi starting Friday.

It also announced the suspension of trains connecting Hanoi with northern port city Hai Phong, home to Do Son Beach and UNESCO heritage site Cat Ba National Park, and northern Lao Cai Province, famed for resort town Sa Pa.

A company representative said train travel demand often decreases in May since many people had already returned to their hometowns during the Reunification Day (April 30) holiday while Hanoi and northern provinces are struggling with a new wave of Covid-19, leaving many areas under lockdown.

Travel destinations in Hanoi, Hai Phong and northern provinces like Quang Ninh, Ha Nam, Thai Binh and Nam Dinh have stopped receiving tourists amid the surge in community transmissions.

Saigon Railway Transport JSC, the southern operator, will suspend several trains from Ho Chi Minh City to Nha Trang, a popular beach town in central Khanh Hoa Province, from Sunday.

Vietnam has recorded 121 Covid-19 community transmissions since April 27. Previously, it had been clean for over a month.

Source: https://e.vnexpress.net/news/travel/places/popular-train-routes-suspended-amid-fresh-covid-19-outbreak-4274233.html

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Pu Luong a fantastic retreat for nature lovers

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Fresh air, cloud-draped mountain ranges, and stunning terraced rice fields come together to make Pu Luong Nature Reserve in the central province of Thanh Hoa’s Ba Thuoc and Quan Hoa districts look like art works.

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Pu Luong makes an ideal destination for a short break, as it is surrounded by nature, though neighther too far from Hanoi nor too expensive. Travellers with a penchant for nature will be spoilt for choice while discovering this nature reserve.

Pu Luong is known as “gate to the sky”, where tourists can strike a pose while enjoying the breathtaking panoramic views of the Pu Luong Nature Reserve, with colourful forest flowers, native animals, and tranquil villages.

When local farmers flood the fields to prepare for a new crop, a spectacular sight emerges, with giant natural mirrors reflecting the blue sky. It is also magical to see the slopes and valleys of Pu Luong turn yellow during the ripe rice season.

Travellers can also enjoy the fantastic scenery of forests, fields and valleys from the top of Pu Luong, at 1,700-metres.

Discovering the local cuisine and culture is a highlight of any trip to Pu Luong. There is nothing more delightful than food made from ingredients grown right in the area./. VNA

Source: https://vietnamnet.vn/en/travel/pu-luong-a-fantastic-retreat-for-nature-lovers-732989.html

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Visiting Dien Bien Phu Campaign Headquarters in Muong Phang

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The headquarters of Dien Bien Phu campaign in Muong Phang Commune, Dien Bien Phu City is a historic place associated with the Dien Bien Phu Victory which “resounded throughout the five continents and was world-shaking”. 

Along with the Dien Bien Phu Victory Historical Relics, the Dien Bien Phu Campaign Headquarters Relic Site and the supporting tourist destination are always “red addresses” attracting tourists when they set foot on the northwestern province of Dien Bien.

Visiting Dien Bien Phu Campaign Headquarters in Muong Phang
The headquarters of the Dien Bien Phu campaign were hidden in the old forest at the foot of Pu Don Mountain in Muong Phang Commune, nearly 40 km from Dien Bien Phu City. This is where General Vo Nguyen Giap and the members of the Command Committee of the Dien Bien Phu campaign were often stationed to work and rest.

With the tunnels and shacks layed out in a continuous system, hidden in the old forest at the foot of Pu Don Mountain, for the 105 days from January 31, 1954, to May 15, 1954, the absolute safety of the important headquarters of the Dien Bien Phu campaign was ensured.

The road to the headquarters of the Dien Bien Phu campaign has been upgraded with a concrete road running more than 1 km through the forest of Muong Phang to help visitors recall old memories.

From the headquarters, going up to the highest point, visitors can observe the entire Dien Bien Phu City, Muong Thanh Valley and former French bases such as Him Lam Hill, A1, C1, C2, D1 Hills, and Independent Hill.

The shack where General Vo Nguyen Giap, the Commander-in-Chief of the Vietnam People’s Army and the Commander-in-Chief of the Dien Bien Phu Campaign, lived and worked.

Between General Vo Nguyen Giap’s shack and the shacks of Chief of the General Staff Hoang Van Thai and of the Chinese military consultants Wei Quojing is a 69-metre-long tunnel.

The tunnel is 1.70 metres high and 1 to 3 metres wide. In the middle of the tunnel, there is a conference room measuring 18 square meters and 5 locations for communication machines.

Hall house was the venue for the daily meetings of the Command Committee of the Dien Bien Phu campaign. Everything is still intact, retaining the mark of history.

Visitors enjoy Hoang Cam stove, a type of smoke-free stove that ensured the safety of the base.

In addition, Muong Phang also attracts tourists with the production activities of the Thai ethnic group.

Traditional brocade weaving of the Thai ethnic group in Can Che Village.

Nhan Dan

Source: https://vietnamnet.vn/en/travel/visiting-dien-bien-phu-campaign-headquarters-in-muong-phang-733769.html

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