VIETNAM’S LONG HISTORICAL TRADITION
Reporter Ronan O'Connell of The National has shared his impressions of Vietnamese traditional values when visiting Vietnam, especially the image of elderly Vietnamese women in cycling hats passing by along the calm river and in the middle of the scenic rice field, then entering the dome-shaped village gate, which is the entrance to the 1,200-year-old village of Duong Lam, one of Vietnam's oldest intact ancient villages. Just 60km to the West of Ha Noi, the ancient village of Duong Lam, with many traditional values, has been recognized as a National Artistic Monument. Duong Lam ancient village does not have impressive scenic structures such as large pagodas or large-area markets. Instead, the village is known for its peaceful village atmosphere, where traditional customs are still preserved and thrive.
THE UNDERGROUND CAVE SYSTEM
Vietnam has an underground cave system with a very distinctive and rich tectonic system. The National reporter Ronan O'Connell visited the Tam Coc Bich Dong of Ninh Binh and was overwhelmed by the beauty of the natural scenery, as well as impressed as he sat in the middle of a boat deep into the heart of the huge limestone mountain, where the space is quiet and covered in darkness.
According to Ronan O'Connell, the impressive location is only about 100km North of Ha Noi, and visitors can experience this enchanting boat trip during the day. Another interesting destination here is the Bich Dong pagoda. This ancient pagoda is located on the side of the mountain and offers stunning views of the valley.
EXCELLENT SURFING LOCATIONS
More than 40 years ago, the surf scene in Apocalypse Now helped Vietnam become a new destination for surfers. This place, My Khe beach, Da Nang, is still famous to this day because of that movie. Once crowded with surfers, this year's beach has become much more peaceful. And when Vietnam reopens to travel, professional or amateur surfers can experience the waves crashing onto the long coastline of Da Nang, Vietnam's third-largest city. The city also has a lot of resorts near the beach ready to serve domestic and foreign travelers.
A VARIETY OF TRADITIONAL CRAFTS
During his time in Vietnam, Ronan O'Connell hand knitted a leaf hat (nón lá) under the guidance of a veteran Vietnamese artisan. This type of hat has been worn by Vietnamese people for over 1,000 years. And this is just one of many traditional Vietnamese handicrafts that visitors can learn. In Hanoi alone, there are dozens of establishments that provide step-by-step guidance to visitors when they want to experience activities such as Vietnamese calligraphy, watercolor painting, molding ceramics or molding masks that are used in traditional rituals.
About 250km to the Northwest of Ha Noi, along with the cascaded rice fields, the ridges are home to many of traditional Vietnamese villages. Ronan O'Connell mentioned Sapa, a distinctive, picturesque and very serene destination. O'Connell took a walk on the trails, watching the fog obscuring the peaks above and the surrounding stillness bring people into a calm, gentle state. O'Connell also made it to places where the ethnic minorities lived, such as the Mong, Tay, Dao Do and Giay people, and explored their interesting lives with their own unique costumes.
(Vietnam Today 5.2022)