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In Vietnam, it’s pretty much the first one, and it sounds so bad on the packed roads of Saigon. Let me put the question another way.
The usual heavy traffic in Ho Chi Minh often comes with a lot of honking. Photo credit: Bloomberg

The usual heavy traffic in Ho Chi Minh often comes with a lot of honking. Photo credit: Bloomberg
Is honking free speech or a crime?

I was traveling to work this morning when the driver of a giant public bus kept honking his horn on tiny Nguyen Du Street. Cars and motorbikes tried to give way, but there was not much space.

So the bus driver kept at it until we all came to a red light. 30 seconds… 15… 5… 3… BEEP! BEEP! He was honking again even before the green light was back on. I turned into another road just to escape from him.

Some people say public bus drivers have time pressure. But it is not just them who are horn-happy. Many others are also quick on the draw, blowing the horn for no reason except that they want to go ahead.

My foreign friends say they can get at least one middle finger shown if they honk at another driver to indicate they want them to give way.

One afternoon two years ago my friend was driving me around Kuala Lumpur when a car in front of her kept zigzagging. We never found out if the driver was high on drugs, drunk or sick.

My friend had to slow down for fear of getting into a crash, but after around five minutes she lost patience.
She honked loud and long, which made the driver drive straight and move to one side for her to pass.
She immediately sped up.
“That driver might follow us and beat us,” she told me.

A Filipino friend in the car was also scared.

“What do you do that for?” he almost screamed.

I was not. Unfortunately, in Vietnam, you are not scared of honking at people. Honking is so loud and so often in the country that people just seem to accept it, and you should be scared, in fact, of asking them not to honk.

Vehicle horns are designed for the primary purpose of warning other vehicles of danger. Some also use it to punish others doing the wrong thing on the road, like my friend did.

But somewhere along the way, it has become habitual and a major cause of noise pollution, not just in Vietnam but around the world. The World Health Organization said in a 2011 report that one million healthy life years were lost every year due to traffic-related noise in Western Europe.

Since honking is a habit, it is hard to stop, just like we cannot stop people from using plastic bags or smoking even by printing graphic lung and throat cancer images on the pack.

From what I have read, there is a campaign in Mumbai to curb its honking “epidemic” by installing a device called Bleep to help drivers become aware of their unconscious honking.
It is a red button with a frowning face near the steering wheel that beeps repeatedly when the driver honks. They have to press the button to silence it.

Tests found honking by cars with the button reduced by 61 percent.
Most other countries use cash fines, which is US$350 in New York. In Peru, which is also known for its honking problem, the police can seize the vehicle as well.

Vietnam has a maximum fine of VND200,000, or less than US$10, on drivers if their honking disturbs the peace in a residential area between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m.

In a country where traffic cops force people to drive past red lights and stop at green to make way for officials’ cars (I’ve seen that with my own eyes in Saigon), such a rule hardly means anything.

One time I was in a taxi when the driver said a young girl had paid him twice the fare for not touching his horn. I was not sure if it was a suggestion for me, but yes, a driver who controls themselves from honking in the city deserves a reward.

It really gets on your nerves when in heavy traffic drivers keep pressing their horns and pass their stress and impatience to others.

Maybe paying a few bucks to stop people from honking is a good solution.

Thuy Vi/Thanhniennews

via Why do you freaking honk?.

If you love the soft beauty of Da Lat and would travel alone, hope that the following information will help you to arrange your trip.

1. Transportation:

– From Hanoi:

+ By Air: It takes 1:40 – 2 hours to fly from Hanoi to Dalat.
With Vietnam Airlines, there is one round trip flight per day and four times per week. Particularly, flights take off at 1:30PM from Hanoi to Dalat and at 11:00AM from Dalat to Hanoi on Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
You can buy ticket online or through a travel agent, or possibly at the front desk of your hotel.
Cost: Around USD 300.00 for a round trip ticket

+ By Coach: It takes 22 – 24 hours to drive from Hanoi to Dalat.
You can buy the tickets at Giap Bat coach station at No.6 Giai Phong Street in Hanoi or at Nuoc Ngam coach station with Tai Thang Bus Company. You can buy tickets at the station, travel agencies, or at your hotel.

+ By Train: It takes 27 hours to travel by train from Hanoi Railway Station to Nha Trang Station and another 3.5 hours to travel by coach from Nha Trang to Dalat. For the coaches from Nha Trang to Dalat, there are Phuong Trang Express and Mai Linh Express for your reference.

– From Sai Gon: You can take a passenger car such as Thanh Buoi cars or Mai Linh Cars with 50 seats depart once every hour. Tel: 08.3830.8090

2. Transportation in the city

– Motorbike: you can rent a motorbike in streets to Dalat market (Nguyen Thi Minh Khai street)
– Double bike: mostly bike rental businesses are at Nguyen Thi Minh Khai street or Bui Thi Xuan Street or around Xuan Huong Lake
– Carriage: Once coming to Dalat, you should take a carriage to tour around the city. You can take one at the junction near Thanh Thuy restaurant.

3. Accomodation

Prices of hotels in Dalat are from USD 15.00. Three or four star hotels are located near Xuan Huong Lake. If you want to enjoy a more private space, a villa outside the city is highly recommended. Most of big hotels in Dalat offer special promotional programs on Christmas. You are advisable to make a reservation as soon as possible in case all hotels are fully booked during the festive season.

4. Specialties: Wine, hot soya milk, fresh fruits, vegetable, tea, flower and plan.

5. Famous attractions:

– Than Tho Lake: from Dalat city center, go along Thai Phien – Chi Lang Street. The lake is situated in the pine forest.
– Love valley: is one of the most romantic destinations in Dalat, about 6km from the city center in the Northeast
– Flower Garden: is located by Xuan Huong Lake with various types of flowers
– Bao Dai Palace: includes three palaces of Emperor Bao Dai in the city
– Truc Lam Monastery: an extraordinary structure situated in Phung Huong mountain peak and surrounded by an immense pine forest with the turquoise Tuyen Lam lake.
– Tuyen Lam Lake: the largest fresh lake in Dalat located near Phung Hoang Mountain, about 6km from Dalat. The lake has many small oases and turquoise water.
– Langbiang Mountain: or also known as Nui Ba Mountain have a height of 2,169m. It is a special destination for picnics, explorations of nature and local culture. From Langbiang peak, you can have the panorama view of Dalat with villas, schools and churches with high bell tower.

Dalat is covered by cool mist in the day and cold mist at night. Visiting Dalat in the Christmas time, you will feel like walking in a picture.

More Info:
Tourist information on Vietnam is available on the http://www.evivatour.com/

Over the past decades witnessed great movements towards textile digital printing in the textile industry like others including digital cameras, CDs, DVDs and so forth. Advances in digital technologies – let’s say a ‘real’ digital camera – have made shooting pictures easier for amateur photographers yet as for someone who thirst for ‘true’ art of photography, an ‘old’ motion picture camera is irreplaceable.

 

Unlike digital printed textiles, hand – made fabrics are unique yet beautiful. Music lovers are still falling in love with classical music records worth at least hundreds of dollars. International Exhibition of Hand – made Textiles sponsored by UNESCO is going to be held in Clermont – Ferrand in France in September, 2012 with the motive to promote and preserve traditional and religious artifacts.

Vietnamese brocade fabrics are also on display at the exhibition. Vietnamese famous designer Minh Hanh takes advantages of the beauty of Vietnamese brocade fabrics made by ethnic minorities in North – West Vietnam and Central Highlands. In fact, most Vietnamese textile products are fabricated by H’Mong locals, mostly skillful and meticulous craftsmen, in Ha Giang Province and Bac Ha Province and others in Central Highlands. Minh Hanh – inspired fashion collection fascinated more than a thousand guests of all nationalities at the exhibition in France – The Empire of Fashion.

Vietnamese brocade fabrics vary according to their textile materials and designs. In the old and present days, hand – made brocade products are closely associated with the habits and customs of most Vietnamese ethnic minorities, for example, brocade fabrics serve as essentials, goods or even used as marriage portions. Textile engineering driven by manpower brings beautiful brocade textile with unique yet wonderful colors and patterns.

Brocade textile manufacturing

Textile materials are mostly raw fibers of cotton together with antiar skin. Old – fashioned wooden looms transform smooth white cotton fibers into brocade. Beautiful brocade colored are true amazing artworks.

Dying color

+ Black Color: a mixture of indigo leaves or a special type of dark – blue leaves soaked and fresh mud.
+ Dark Red or Brown Color: dark red or brown dyes mix different types of tree barks.
+ Blue Color: the baked shells of the snails living in springs mixed with lime water, Krum or indigo leaves.
+ Red Color: the bark of the century – old Krung trees
+ Red – Brown Color : A boiled mixture of tree bark, vinegar and alum. Textile fibers are dyed at high temperature of about 80 degrees.
+ Yellow: turmeric fabric dye.

The final step is to brush dyed textile fibers, clean and dry them out.

Local brocade fabric are strongly attached to the traditional customs of the Vietnamese ethnic minorities, each has its own unique hand – made brocade textile.

+ H’Mong: H’Mong brocade textile embroidered with cruciform, rhombic or triangular patterns .
+ Dao: most of Dao brocade textile dyed in light – red color. Dao’s bright colored brocade textile embroidered with dark – blue patterns looks beautiful and elegant.
+ Tay: Tay’s brocade textile is distinctive in its arrangement of rhombic dark colored patterns on smooth white background.
+ Nung: Nung people usually wear colorful dresses, in particular, the colors of the sleeves and the shirt tail are different from its body.
+ Khmer: Unlink textile dying in North – West Vietnam, Khmer textile engineering enables texture patterns to be directly woven into the fabric.
+ Cham: Dark or red colored brocade textile decorated with geometrical patterns.
+ H’re: H’re brocade textile dyed in black and red color and its beautiful patterns depicts meaningful pictures painted with natural colors and geometrical shapes.
+ Bana: The main colors of the Bana’s brocade are black, red and white.
+ Lolo: The colors of the Lolo’s brocade fabric are mostly bright colors. They are produced by sewing a shaped fabric onto a larger fabric, a patchwork square or a foundation fabric.
+ Cotu: The patterns of the Cotu’s brocade textile are simple yet beautiful. It varies according to designs, mostly, with multiform color and unique vignettes.

Vietnamese brocade handicrafts serve as meaningful presents and souvenirs. Fashion designers inspire their creations with traditional brocade textile patterns, besides its advantages also seen in graphic design and home decoration. Vietnamese brocade textile brings out the spiritual and heritage value of Vietnam fashion in particular and the world’s art of textile as a whole.

 

Vietnam Brocade – The Essence of Vietnamese Handicraft.

 

Traveling by bicycle away from your home is new thing and brings many benefits.

You can go anytime you want, easy to find parking, go quickly through the crowded streets , do not have spend too much cost for repairing, and keep your body in shape. And above all, you will have more new experiences when going through the fields, cities, villages and panoramic view around.

1. Safety first

Cycling is not safe as you think. Although speed of bicycles is not high as motorcycles or cars, but due to the small size of bicycle, it is very easy to be vulnerable when riding on the highway or at the small road. Therefore, safety should be your priority if you want to implement this new experience.

Before you go, you should check out your bicycle and the associated equipment. Helmet should be fit and do not block your vision, other parts on the bicycle is performing well or need additional parts for bicycle or not? For example, more lights mounted on the front wheel caps help you see clearer and other means of vehicle can see you in the evening.

Review and choose a safe route. If you know the conditions around and traffic rules, you will avoid unnecessary accidents.

2. Bring necessary paperwork, phone and reasonable amount of money.

These items are not only needed for your trip, but also really important in some situations. What if you had an accident and no one was around or you must go to the hospital but no one was there? This is when you need your phone to call for help or use cash and personal papers.

3. Snacks and water are not redundant

Cycling also takes a lot of energy. During a long journey, your leg may be in pain and all motivation will disappear. To avoid the lack of energy, bring snacks to have more energy

You can carry fruits that good for health like bananas, apples, butter, peanuts or bread.

Provide water for your body even more important than food throughout the trip. If the body is dehydrated, the body’s blood becomes thicker heart rate increases and gradually your trip will becomes really bad. Drink water regularly to avoid these problems.

4. Have basic knowledge and skills to repaired bicycle

You’ll not find a mechanic every time on your journey. You should have some basic skills to ensure the trip is not interrupted by small technical problems. Bring some alternative tools or replacements; they will save you from difficult situations. A little basic knowledge can help you save time, money and turn you into an expert rather than a people just sit and wait for others to help when you have an accident.

5. Choose suitable clothes for the trip

Cycling for hours under the sun or rain, you should find some information about weather conditions before your trip to choose suitable clothes.

If it is dry and warm by the time you go, a shirt for professional bicycler or light shirts will be the right choice. If you go in the evening, a light jacket would be something you should have in your backpack.

 

5 things to know for cycling tour.

Located 20km from Hoi An town and about 40km far from Da Nang City, Cu Lao Cham is a fascinating destination that I chosen to make the trip last week. I did not buy a tour of any travel agency but I organized the trip with support of my friends.

Cu Lao Cham Island

To reach the island, our group had to change through 3 routes during 2 hours: bus from Da Nang to Hoi An, taxi from Hoi An bus station to Cua Dai wharf and boat from the wharf to Hon Lao – one of 8 islets of Cu Lao Cham.

I was immediately impressive with beautiful scenery of Chong beach. Since I came in the weekdays, this place is so quiet and perfect for me to rest. I swam, enjoyed sunbathe in the morning and dived in the afternoon. The water is so clean that I could see fish swimming around me.

I did not see any plastic bags during my tour on this island. I asked a local and he said it is a campaign here to ask the locals and visitors not to use plastic bags here to keep environment clean. A 10 point is for the idea and followers.

I love this island also because of fresh sea food with specialists such as Rock crab, “Vú nàng” snail or Abalone. The friendly Cham people also make any visitor would love to be back here at least once. Finding a motorcycle on the roadside with the plugged key is normal story and no scare to be stolen.

I will list this place in my to-do-visit list every year and will return next year with my family in summer holidays.

On 1 st July, 2014, the Vietnam Heritage magazine in cooperation with Cannon Vietnam launched the “Vietnam Heritage Photo Award 2014” contest.

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After 2 successful contests held in 2012 and 2013, “Viet Nam Heritage Photo Awards 2014” contest is truly promising chance to draw much interest from public tourism opinion.

In series of the contest in 2012 and 2013, the contest in 2014 is designed to raise attention of foreigners who are planning their trip in Vietnam and then they will, of course, ask themselves that “wow, Vietnam has many must – go and do – not – miss places”. It might be said that all aspect of Vietnam’s beauty will be reflected fully. An Italian tourist – Mr David Lee shared his view on Twitter “I saw a picturesque photo of halong bay which was sent by my Vietnamese friend, he joined the Vietnam Heritage Photo Award 2012. After catching this photo, going halong bay is one of my big desires. And now it becomes true … it is so amazing. It is more beautiful than I expected”
In this year 2014, all natural beauty will be focused. If you are out –door photographers, you should focus much on nature (landscapes, marine resources, geography, wild animals, plants and the environment in general), tangible culture (architecture, sculpture, arts, traditional handicrafts and villages) and intangible culture (music, dance, festivals, folk games, religious and other customs).

Now let’s join this contest and widen Vietnam images to the world.

Source: http://www.visitourvietnam.com/

To ensure a safe and successful trip before conquer the top, climbing lovers should consider the following points.

1. In Vietnam, the dry season from November to April of the year is an appropriate time for climbing. You have to carefully research the terrain to determine appropriate time to move in order to achieve the ultimate goal. Especially you should ask for help from those who have experience or from local people.

2. Personal item for trekking tour should be minimal but also enough. Pants, shirts, waterproof jackets, freeze proofand breathable clothes, lightweight shoes; knee, ankle, elbow protector floppy hats, lightweight raincoat. Other items depend on expected route: there are paths available or have to pave the way, there are people carrying your luggage and guide or not, the time of the trip. Knife and flashlight is also indispensable items.

How-to-climb-mountain-safetly-2

3. Beside necessary food for the journey, the food must be capable of providing high energy (chocolate, snicker). Water is extremely important; you should have a water tank with a straw to be able to drink in the process of moving constantly. Properly drinking water helps you to save energy and offset the energy at the right time. Lemon juice mixed with glucose, a little salt is perfect for trekking journey.

4. With the hard route, be prepared for the trip by GPS; mark the road in case of getting lost. On the top of mountain, there is no cell phone signal; the use of walkie-talkie is also an advantage.

5. Organize small groups to go, suitable for difficult and dangerous route. Do not ever forget to put personal safety first, so not make risky decisions which can be dangerous to yourself and other members.

Source: http://www.visitourvietnam.com/guides/how-to-climb-mountain-safetly.html

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