A 70-year-old bistro serves rice in a unique way
Opened and operating since 1948, this is one of the oldest bistros in the Saigon. Rice is steamed (not boiled) in ramekins and served with various side dishes. This is Chinese people's old way of preparing rice, and due to its complication and time-consuming process compared to using a rice-cooker, not many people retain this method. If you already try broken rice or chicken fried ice, stop by this bistro for a and delightful change of taste! (Photos by thanhnien.com)
The Garden of Edam
The only entrance in Son Doong cave network that is accessible to tourists. The ceiling of the cave collapsed a few hundred years ago and formed a sinkhole that allows rainwater and sunlight to pass through, nurturing the ground below into a lush garden. From below ground, the sinkhole looks like an ascension to the heavens. From above ground, it is a gateway to a lost underground kingdom that you only see in movies!
Sunset on Bản Giốc Waterfall
An aerial view that showcases the grandness of the waterfall (Cao Bằng Province). Bản Giốc is the 4th largest waterfall that lies along a national border in the world (Photo by Vũ Phi Long - tcdulichtphcm.vn)
Định Yên Mat-weaving Village
Weaving is one of the most ancient crafting arts that humanity has ever known. Thanks to the advance of technologies, machines are now doing all the hard work. This small village in the Mekong Delta, however, is still preserving the art of weaving mats from straws. Everything is done by hand (and with hearts) - from harvesting the plants, dyeing, drying and weaving. Despite the labour, you can see in their eyes how much they love and enjoy their work! (Photos by thamhiemmekong.com)
The Marble Mountains - Đà Nẵng City
An otherworldly corner of the Hell Cave of the Marble Mountains. Locates in a suburban area just outside of Đà Nẵng City, the Marble Mountains is actually a cluster of five hills of encompassing a great number of limestone caves and grottos. This place is both a spiritual sanctuary and a historical site of the Vietnam War. Only part of the attraction is open to the public. (Photo by vnexpress)
Tà Đùng Reservoir
Tà Đùng is part of the reservoir system of Đồng Nai Hydropower Plant. Dubbed the Hạ Long Bay of the Central Highlands, Tà Đùng has been gaining popularity amongst local hikers, bikers and campers, as it is located not too far from Saigon - the travelling hub of southern Vietnam. During July - December, water level in the reservoir reaches the highest point, allowing visitors to cruise on the lake. July is less than a month away, now is the perfect time to plan a trip to Tà Đùng!
Biking in the rain!
Rainy season is coming into Saigon, but the rain has never been an issue for XO girls and guests! On the contrary, it gives our guests an entirely new (and thrilling) experience. And of course, our hot-serving food tastes ten times better in the chilly rain!
Ba Na Hills - Da Nang City
A resort and entertainment complex locates 1,500m above sea level, right next to Vietnam's most popular destination of 2018 - the Golden Bridge. This was once a French resort and mountain retreat in 1920s, boasting over 200 villas, restaurants and clubs during its most vigorous days. Bà Nà Hills is now the locals' favorite tourist spot, dubbed the "Dalat of Da Nang City" due to its romantic vibe and mild weather
Saigon - the city of style!
A man striding the streets of Saigon in the early 1970s, wearing a Vietnamese traditional "Ao Dai" and a top hat. I never know a simple and plain "Ao Dai" can be this classy! (- photo by Saigoneer)
Mui Ne Fairy Stream
This is not a painting. Locates 20km northeast of Phan Thiet City center, Mui Ne Fairy Stream looks like a soft border between a dessert and its oasis - with red sand rocky ledges on one bank and flat land forest occupied the other. During the dry season when the water level is low enough, lots of visitors will stop by for a fantastic experience of letting the cool stream water rush by their feet while enjoying a short walk upstream!
Bathing in the river
Just two brothers taking care of their buffalo friends. Mekong Delta's water surface is dwindling due to the growth of population. That, couples with the machinization of agriculture in the region, has made sights like these extremely rare and can only be seen in the ruralest part of the delta.
$100 Bánh Mì
Bánh mì is known for its cheapness, wide variety and availability, but a chef in Saigon has just invented a whole new level of Bánh Mì. So what's inside it? Handmade French pate, a slice of pork chop slow-cooked for 6 hours, foie-gras, fresh herbs and - the playmaker - mayonnaise mix with ground truffle! To top it off, the Banh Mi is served with french fries and caviar dip!
Vũ Đại Braised Fish in a Claypot
Even though having been around for a hundred year, this exclusive dish is not that widely known even amongst Vietnamese people due to its high price and limited production. A pot of braised fish can cost 500k VND ($22 USD), with the most special ones (made from black carps) cost up to 2 million VND ($87 USD - to compare, a Banh Mi in Saigon is around 15k VND or 65 cents!) - Photo by Hanoi Panorama & Skyline Gallery
One of the best beaches in Vietnam
Dam Trau Beach in Con Dao Island has been honored as one of the 25 most beautiful beaches in the world by Travel+ Leisure. But the island is not only known for its pristine beaches with crystal clear water, it is also home to a national park within which lies a big sea turtle conservation center. This is an effort of the local authorities to boost "sustainable tourism" while raising funds for the center. If you're in Con Dao Island, don't forget to pay these tiny little guys a visit.