World heritage of Vietnam through pictures

In 2011, the Department of Fine Arts – Photography Exhibition; Cultural Heritage Department, General Department of Tourism and Photography Artists Association Vietnam coordination organized the competition and exhibition of artwork, “The World Heritage of Vietnam”.

These beautiful photos would contribute to promotion of Viet Nam’s image to the world.

Living humanistic treasure (Author: Tran Viet Van)

Lang Biang sunset (Author: Tran Thiet Dung)

Hoi Town painting (Author: Ong Van Sinh)

Bo Thi rhythm (Author: Nguyen Linh Vinh)

Doan Mon gate  has entered the world’s list of Cultural Heritages  (Author: Nguyen Vinh Hien)

Float boats (Author: Nguyen Huu Nguyen)

Hide with the time  (Author: Le Trong Khang)

 

The past of dynasty (Author: Nguyen Quang Tuan)

Phu Dong Thien Vuong Festival  (Author: Tran Nhan Quyen)

Old shape  (Author: Thai Tuan Kiet)

Morning dew  (Author: Truong Vung)


“Cong chieng” in Highlands  (Author: Ngo Duc Can)

Sea off (Author: Nguyen Thanh Vuong)

Cau Pagoda (Author: Doan Thi Tho)

Before Festival (Author: Bui Quang Thuan)


“Luc cung hoa dang” dance (Author: Vo  Bay)

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The 5 resort best in Thailand

The best prices for accommodation can be found during Thailand’s low season, which not surprisingly also coincides with the region’s monsoon season. Our hotel tool compares 100+ travel sites for the best price so you might find a great deal for one of them.

1. Banyan Tree Samui

The Banyan Tree Resort boast a collection of private villas, each with its own private infinity pool. Each villa in this luxury Koh Samui resort is designed with Thai elements using local materials. Large glass windows and sliding glass doors open onto the open decks. The resort overlooks the rocky cliffs and sandy beaches along Lamai Bay in Koh Samu and is just a half hour’s drive from Samui International Airport.

2. Long Beach Chalet

Perhaps the most affordable among this list of Thailand beach resorts, Long Beach Chalet is located on the island of Ko Lanta, close to Long Beach and Klong Dao Beach. A beach bar, a poolside bar, and a lounge bar are all open for drinks. Each of the 15 individually furnished and decorated rooms have a balcony with garden views. The rooms also contain free internet and cable television.

3. Paresa Resort Phuket

Perched high on a cliffside, amid tropical forests, overlooking azure blue waters and a picturesque panorama of the Andaman Sea, the Paresa Resort is an oasis of tranquility and luxury. All villas and suites face the ocean and offer different views of the sea and nature. This Thailand beach resort in Phuket is situated close to many attractions, including Patong Beach, and close to Karon Beach, as well.

4. Layana Resort And Spa

The luxury beach resort Layana Resort and Spa is located on the west coast of Koh Lanta Yai, at tje Phra-Ae beach. Facing a 3 kilometer stretch of fine white sandy beach, the hotel is set against a picturesque backdrop of forested hills. The hotel provides 50 rooms each with four guestrooms, nestled within landscaped gardens, balcony, satellite and multi-lingual TV channels.

5. Sandalwood Luxury Villas

Sandalwood Luxury Villas is situated on a hillside amongst lush tropical gardens on the island of Koh Samui. The villas are a stylish combination of traditional Thai design and modern elegance. Each of the 40 villas has its own unique charm and features a balcony or terrace from which guests can enjoy breathtaking views of the Gulf of Siam.

Yen Tu Festival

A popular saying goes: “Even after 100 years of virtuous religious life, if you don’t come to Yen Tu you cannot be called a true religious person”. Pilgrimage to Yen Tu Festival in respect of Buddha and sightseeing is so meaningful…

 

Situated within the immense arched mountain range of north-eastern Vietnam, Yen Tu Mountain in northern coastal Quang Ninh Province bears at its peak the Dong Pagoda: at an altitude of 1,068m above sea level. The beauty of Yen Tu consists in the majesty of its mountains mingling with the ancient and solemn quietness of its pagodas, shrines and towers. Yen Tu has been a centre of Buddhism for many centuries, and is the starting point of the Buddhist sect of Truc Lam. Travellers to Yen Tu Festival to stay away from the mundane and go on a religion pilgrimage in the midst of the mighty nature.

The history…

Under the Ly Dynasty, Yen Tu held the Phu Van Pagoda, with Yen Ky Sinh as its warden. But Yen Tu only really became a Buddhism centre when Emperor Tran Nhan Tong surrendered his throne to establish a Buddhist sect called Thien Truc Lam and became the first progenitor with the religious name Dieu Ngu Giac Hoang Tran Nhan Tong (1258-1308). He ordered building hundreds of constructions, large and small on Yen Tu Mountain for leading a religious life, sermonizing. After his death, his successor, Phap Loa Dong Kien Cuong (1284 – 1330) the second progenitor of Thien Truc Lam, compiled a set of book “Thach that ngon ngu” and ordered the building of 800 pagodas, shrines and towers with thousands of value statues throughout 19 years of religious life. Some famous pagodas are Quynh Lam, Ho Thien. There is the third progenitor of Thien Truc Lam, Huyen Quang Ly Dao Tai (1254 – 1334), in the sermonizing centre of Phap Loa.

Passing through to the Le and Nguyen Dynasties, Yen Tu became the focal point of Vietnamese Buddhism, and was often subject to restorations. It is a meeting place of different styles from various historic periods: visible in the many different designs and decorations that ornate its constructions.

The mountain scenery and beautiful pagodas and hermitages, inspired King Tran Nhan Tong, who reigned over the country from 1279 to 1293, to pass the throne to his son to lead the life of a Buddhist monk at Yen Tu. There, he founded the Truc Lam medication sect, making Yen Tu the country’s leading Buddhist center.

… and the festival

Yen Tu Festival commences annually on the 10th day of the first lunar month and lasts for three months. Tens of thousands of pilgrims begin their journey to the uppermost shrine after a solemn ritual held at the base of Yen Tu Mountain.

During the festival, the people near and far flock to Yen Tu which was regarded as the Buddhist land to show their belief and aspiration or to get rid of all sorrows and sadness. Other go to Yen Tu to do sightseeing and to enjoy the pure atmosphere of a mountain region. Foreign visitors come to Yen Tu to witness a famous beauty spot, a mysterious tourist attraction. Many cultural and historical values are carefully preserved in Yen Tu, where is also home to a rare ecosystem in Vietnam.

In the wide ensemble of vestiges in Yen Tu, there are 11 pagodas and hundreds of shrines and towers. One form of entertainment is to climb the peak to where the Dong Pagoda was built (1,068m above the sea). On the way, you will see pagodas, a tower, a stream and a forest. At the top, after having burned joss-sticks, you seem to be lost in nature somewhere between the sky and the earth. When clear, you can perceive almost all of the northeast area from here.

Dong Pagoda

The route of the pilgrimage from the foot of the mountain to the pagoda is nearly 30 km. The highest point of Yen Tu is Dong Pagoda, which is located 1,068 m above sea level. You can get to Hoa Yen Pagoda at the altitude of 534m by the cable car system recently put into operation and will see on this peak two 700-year-old frangipane trees. From there, you will continue walking up stairs to pagodas of minor note lined up along the path leading to Dong Pagoda. There you will feel like walking on clouds. If the weather is agreeable, from this summit you can admire the dramatic landscape of the northeast of Vietnam.

The complex of historical sites and beauty spots in Yen Tu features various pagodas, shrines or stupas now appearing now disappearing under the thick foliage of the primary show their belief, or doing away with all sorrow and sadness. Others go to Yen Tu to do sightseeing and to enjoy the pure atmosphere of a mountain region. Foreign visitors come to Yen Tu to witness a famous beauty spot, a mysterious tourist attraction. Anyone who makes all the way to the Bronze Pagoda feels the magnificence of Yen Tu and forests. Atop Yen Tu Mountain, one feels like standing by the Heave Gate shrouded in white cloud. On clear days one can have a partial view of the northeastern region…

The making of silk

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Silk is the most precious finery of the orient. Some say silk was invented so that women could go naked in clothes. A more whimsical tale even credits a fourteen – year old Chinese empress with this invention.

Diversified in colours, weave, and quality, various kinds of silk products all help highlight a distinctive feature of Vietnamese culture. With almost all silk shopping destinations located at the center of Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh city, it features Vietnam style in visitors’ eyes.

Hang Gai, dubbed Silk Street, is obviously a right place to shop for silk in Hanoi, where choices are sometimes overwhelming. Located on the edge of the Old Quarter near Hoan Kiem Lake, Hang Gai consists of two or three blocks of small shops that all specialize in silk and embroidery. The merchandise at the various stores is similar, however, the prices, selection and the service vary. Whether you are looking for a silk T-shirt or a custom-made suit, Le Minh has it all.

Le Minh has been offering quality tailoring at reasonable prices since 1954. The shop is run by two sisters, Bich Hanh and Thuy Ha, who learned their trade from their parents and hope to pass it along to their own children. Le Minh has one of the city’s best selections of silk. Bolts of fabric in every possible color, texture and pattern are stacked from floor to ceiling. There is raw silk, patterned silk and Danang silk (it looks tie-dyed). If you want to have something made, you can choose from one of Le Minh’s existing designs, bring your own clothes to copy or just show them a picture (simpler is better).

It takes two days to make a silk suit, but if you don’t have time to have something made, ready-to-wear inventory is extensive. There are Western and Vietnamese clothes. The most popular item is the Vietnamese style shirt in raw silk with a mandarin collar and traditional frog closures.

Silk shops, including Le Minh, are also places where you can end up buying most of the gifts. There are silk ties, clothes, fabric, embroidered tablecloths, place-mats, napkins, and wall hangings. Written instructions are given on how to care for your purchases.

In Vietnam, there are two main areas being well-known for silk production: Ha Dong, Ha Tay and Bao Loc, Lam Dong. Silk production may be just a family affair, a co-operative, or even a larger business like silk factory in Bao Loc, of which family production is most prevalent.

The production of silk is rather sophisticated. It can be briefly described as follows.

The first step is to raise silkworms which are fed with mulberry leaves. A Fully grown one are about as long and as thick as a human finger, which grows faster at the properly adjusted temperature. On average, they take twenty-five to thirty days to develop from eggs to the cocoon-spinning stage.

When the cocoons are completed, they are selected, sorted and then sold to come into manufacture. During the production process, the cocoons are heated for killing the silkworms inside and then soaked in hot water to soften silk filament which is then wound onto reels.

Because single filaments are so fine, those from five to ten cocoons are wound together by drawing them through a porcelain guide and twisting them into a single fiber, glued together by the melted servicing. The reeled yarn made this way is called raw silk. The more servicing deposited on the filament, the lower the grade of the raw silk. Broken cocoons, partially joined ones, or those spun by two caterpillars together are inferior, and used much like cotton or wool to make spun silk.

Dyes are applied to raw or spun silk, or to woven fabrics after the servicing is removed by boiling. Stronger than any other natural fiber, the delicate look and feel of silk is deceptive. Silk is comfortable in hot weather too, because it absorbs moisture up to 30 percent of its weight without felling wet.

7 Top Tourist Attractions in Bangkok

Bangkok, with a population of over 9 million inhabitants, is one of the biggest cities in the world. Its heavy traffic congestion, intense heat and naughty nightlife do not immediately give visitors a warm welcome. But first impressions can be misleading. It is one of Asia’s most cosmopolitan cities with magnificent temples and palaces, extensive canals, a vibrant nightlife and great shopping, that has something for every traveler.

1. Grand Palace & Wat Prakeaw

 

The construction of the Grand Palace started in 1782 when the capital of Siam was moved from Thonburi to Bangkok. The palace served as the residence of the Kings of Thailand until the mysterious death of King Ananda Mahidol in 1946. His brother King Bhumibol Adulyadej who succeeded him moved permanently to the Chitralada Palace. Today the palace is a major Bangkok tourist attraction.

Part of the palace compound is dedicated to a royal temple, Wat Phra Kaew, the most sacred temple of Thailand and home to the Emerald Buddha. A jade statue adorned in gold clothing, the Emerald Buddha, the Emerald Buddha is one of the oldest and most famous Buddha statues in the world.

2. Temple of the Reclining Buddha (Wat Pho)

Wat Pho is famous for the huge Reclining Buddha statue it houses. It is one of the largest temples in Bangkok and also one of the oldest, constructed nearly 200 years before Bangkok became Thailand’s capital. Wat Pho holds the distinction of having both Thailand’s largest reclining Buddha image and the largest number of Buddha images in Thailand. The gold-plated Reclining Buddha statue is 46 meters long and 15 meters high, and commemorates the passing of the Buddha into Nirvana.

3. CentralWorld

Opened in 1990, the eight-story CentralWorld marketed itself as a middle class shopping center, opposed to the upper class-marketed Siam Paragon. On 19th May 2010, CentralWorld was one of the many properties set on fire by anti government protestors. The fire raged for two days and the Zen department store collapsed in the fire. After months of repair works, the shopping complex reopened on 28th September with 80% of its retail space open for business.

4. Wat Arun

Situated on the Thonburi side of the Chao Phraya River , Wat Arun (“Temple of Dawn”) is one of the oldest and best known tourist attractions in Bangkok. The temple is an architectural representation of Mount Meru, the center of the universe in Buddhist cosmology. Despite its name, the best views of Wat Arun are in the evening with the sun setting behind it.

5. Jim Thompson’s House

The infamous CIA operative Jim Thompson revived the Thai silk industry after World War II and had this house assembled from six traditional Thai-style houses. As Thompson was building his silk company, he also became a major collector of Southeast Asian art. Jim Thompson’s House sits on a klong across from Bangkrua, where his weavers were then located. Tourists must take the guided tour through the buildings, which are given in plenty of foreign languages.

6. Bangkok Klongs

“Klong” is Thai for canal. Historically, people used klongs throughout Thailand for transportation and commerce, earning Bangkok the nickname, “The Venice of the East.” Today, most klongs have been filled in for use as streets. But you can still visit a tourist version of a traditional floating market on the Klong Damnoen Saduak in the Ratchaburi province or take a boat through central Bangkok on the Khlong Saen Saeb to avoid city traffic.

7. Khao San Road

Khao San Road is, technically speaking, a small road located about a block from the Chao Phraya River. Khaosan translates as “milled rice”, a reminder that in former times the street was a major Bangkok rice market. In the last 20 years, however, Khaosan Road has developed into a world famous backpackers hangout. It offers cheap accommodation, ranging from dorm style hostels to reasonably priced 3-star hotels as well as bars, food stalls, restaurants, convenience stores, internet cafes and travel agencies.

10 Top Tourist Attractions in Cambodia

Cambodia is slowly recovering from the horrors of the Khmer Rouge’s reign of terror. Major problems still exist: land mines, poverty and a devastated infrastructure. But the reconstruction and healing process is now well under way and increasing numbers of tourists are rediscovering Cambodia’s attractions. The stunning temples of Angkor are the obvious draw for most tourists, but the country has much else to offer: tropical beaches, colonial buildings and an abundance of natural attractions.

1. Angkor

The greatest attraction in Cambodia and one of the most spectacular ancient sites on earth, Angkor is a vast temple complex featuring the remains of several capitals of the Khmer Empire, from the 9th to the 15th century AD. These include the famous Angkor Wat temple, the world’s largest single religious monument, the Bayon temple (at Angkor Thom) with its multitude of massive stone faces and Ta Prohm, a Buddhist temple ruin entwined with towering trees.

2. Banteay Srei

Although officially part of the Angkor complex, Banteay Srei lies 25 km (15 miles) north-east of the main group of temples, enough to list it as a separate Cambodia attraction here. The temple was completed in 967 AD and is built largely of red sandstone, a medium that lends itself to the elaborate decorative wall carvings which are still clearly visible today. Banteay Srei is the only major temple at Angkor not built for a king, instead it was constructed by one of king Rajendravarman’s counselors, Yajnyavahara.

3. Koh Ker

Koh Ker was the capital of the Khmer empire for a very brief period from the year 928 to 944 AD. In this short time some very spectacular buildings and immense sculptures were constructed. The site is dominated by Prasat Thom, a 30 meter (98 ft) tall temple pyramid rising high above the surrounding jungle. A giant Garuda (mythical half-man, half-bird creature), carved into the stone blocks, still guard the very top, although its partially covered now. Left to the jungle for nearly a millennium, Koh Ker was one of Cambodia’s most remote and inaccessible temple destinations. This has now changed thanks to recent de-mining and the opening of a new toll road.

4. Kratie

Kratie is a small town located on the banks of the Mekong River and is dominated by a central marketplace surrounded by old, French colonial buildings. There’s no large scale tourism, but plenty of backpackers pour through here during the peak season. It is the place in Cambodia to see the rare Irrawaddy dolphins, which live in the Mekong River in ever-diminishing numbers. It is estimated that there are between 66 and 86 dolphins left in the upper Cambodian Mekong area.

5. Bokor Hill Station

Bokor Hill Station near Kampot was built by the French in the 1920s to be used as a retreat from the heat of Phnom Penh. It has since been abandoned twice, first in the 1940s when the Japanese invaded Cambodia and again in the 1970s, when the Khmer Rouge engulfed the country. Today, Bokor Hill Station and its abandoned buildings have an eerie, ghost-town feel. As of October 2008, the road to Bokor is officially closed due to ongoing reconstruction. Independent access seems to be impossible. though there are hiking tours arranged by local travel agents.

6. Silver Pagoda

Located within the Royal Palace compound in Phnom Penh, the Silver Pagoda houses many national treasures such as gold and jeweled Buddha statues. Most notable is a small 17th century baccarat crystal Buddha (the Emerald Buddha of Cambodia) and a life-sized gold Maitreya Buddha decorated with 9584 diamonds. The internal wall of the Silver Pagoda courtyard is decorated with a richly colored and detailed mural of the Ramayana myth, painted in 1903–04 by 40 Khmer artists.

7. Tonle Sap

Tonlé Sap is the largest freshwater lake in South East Asia and is of major importance to Cambodia. The lake expands and shrinks dramatically with the seasons. From November to May, Cambodia’s dry season, the Tonlé Sap drains into the Mekong River at Phnom Penh. However, when the year’s heavy rains begin in June, the flow of the Tonlé Sap changes directions and an enormous lake forms. Tonlé Sap is home to many ethnic Vietnamese and numerous Cham communities, living in floating villages around the lake.

8. Sihanoukville

Sihanoukville, also known as Kampong Som, is a port city and beach resort on the Gulf of Thailand. The big attraction here are the white-sand beaches and several undeveloped tropical islands. Sihanoukville is a good place to relax and unwind, though be prepared to battle the crows during the high season or a holiday weekend.

9. Preah Vihear

Preah Vihear is a Khmer temple situated atop a 525 meter (1,722 ft) cliff in the Dângrêk Mountains, on the border between Cambodia and Thailand. It has the most spectacular setting of all the Khmer temples. Most of the temple was constructed in the 11th and 12th century during the reigns of the Khmer kings Suryavarman I and Suryavarman II. It was dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva. Preah Vihear is the subject of a long-running territorial dispute between Thailand and Cambodia, and several soldiers were killed in clashes in 2009.

10. Siem Reap

Siem Reap (literally “Siam Defeated”) is undoubtedly Cambodia’s fastest growing city and serves as a small charming gateway town to the world famous destination of the Angkor temples. Thanks to those Cambodia attractions, Siem Reap has transformed itself into a major tourist hub. It is laid-back and a pleasant place to stay while touring the temples. Siem Reap offers a wide range of hotels, ranging from several 5-star hotels to hundreds of budget guesthouses while a large selection of restaurants offer many kinds of food.