Ao Dai Vietnam – the beautiful traditional dress

Hue women choose the colour for their Ao dai to be in line with the colour of the sky and surrounding environment and the unique solemn look of the imperial city of Hue.

Over the past years, although materials and designs of the Ao dai have been changed, women from Hue are loyal to their traditional Ao dai .

Their thinking of the garment colours and usage remains unchanged. Besides students who wear the Ao dai at school, Hue women wear the Ao dai when they go to pagoda or during festive days which make them look both elegant and ceremonial. State female employees also like to wear the Ao dai at their offices.
Hue women choose the colour for their Ao dai to be in line with the colour of the sky and surrounding environment and the unique solemn look of the imperial city of Hue. A local saying goes, “look at the colour of the sky in order to choose the colour of the dress”. The dress worn at festive days often have bright colours; at worship and ritual ceremonies they are brown, purple, blue and milky, and with hidden designs. On rainy days the dress is often dark, and on sunny days it is light and bright. Hue women like to wear the purple Ao dai, which is not too light or too dark.


The traditional Ao dai of Hue is so beautiful and romantic that it has become a topic for fashion designers to explore its beauty. Some are successful, while many fail, for the Ao dai of Hue is not something easy to renew or change. Famous designer Minh Hanh, who has many years in designing and collecting the Ao dai, said: “If someone designs a Hue Ao dai that does not reflect a Hue style, that dress is not one of Hue .” At Festival Hue 2008, Minh Hanh and other young fashion designers presented to the public a collection entitled “Imprints of the Past”. The dress is designed in the old traditional style with classical designs and imprinted with a Hue style, which fully reflects the elegance and grace of Hue women.

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The second Vietnam Cultural Festival opens in Korea

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(Cinet)- On November 04, the second Vietnam Cultural Festival took place in Uijeongbu city, Republic of Korea .

The festival was co-organised by the Vietnamese Association (VA) and the Vietnamese Embassy in the RoK with several Korean businesses, including the Kumho Construction Company, sponsoring the event.

Addressing the opening ceremony, VA President Tran Hai Linh said that the festival is taking place as both countries are preparing to celebrate the 20 th anniversary of diplomatic ties.

The festival will portray Vietnam’s traditional cultural identities to international friends and give the Vietnamese community in the RoK an opportunity to get together and remember their homeland, he said.

He thanked the Kumho Tires Group, Korea Investments & Securities (KIS) and social organisations in the RoK for their valuable contributions, both materially and spiritually, that have enabled the festival to take place.

According to Ambassador Tran Trong Toan, as friendship and cooperation between both countries continue to expand, the Vietnamese community in the RoK is growing strongly, enhancing solidarity and mutual support while preserving the culture, language and traditions of the Vietnamese nation.

The annual festival features a range of activities including fashion shows of Ao dai ( Vietnam ’s traditional long dress) and palm-leaf conical hats, folk games, a folk singing contest and the re-enactment of a traditional Vietnamese wedding party.

Visitors also have the chance to enjoy special dishes from the country’s three regions and performances by artists from Vietnam and the host city.

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Vietnamese culture impresses Mexicans

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Vietnam’s cultural exhibits, such as Ao dai, handicrafts, lacquers paintings and photos, reflecting the beauty of the country and its people, were on display at the 6th La Nao Cultural Festival in Acapunco City, Mexico, from October 22nd to 28th, and were highly appreciated by the Mexican visitors.

During the 7-day event, tens of thousands of Mexicans expressed their interest in the traditional Vietnamese Ao dai, palm-leaf conical hats and lacquer paintings and depictions of the beauty of Ha Long Bay. Many also praised Vietnamese achievements in the cause of national construction.

In a parade from Zocalo Square to Revolution Monument, beautiful and graceful Vietnamese girls from the Vietnamese Students’ Association in Mexico, in traditional Vietnamese Ao dai, impressed Mexicans.

The Mexicans were also interested in learning about Vietnam’s history, its culture and cuisine. They said many Vietnamese things came as an interesting surprise to them.

At the event, Luis Walton Aburto, Mayor of Acapunco city, highly appreciated the presence of Vietnam at the 6 th La Nao cultural festival and its active participation at annual event since 2007.

Reportedly, this year’s event, with the participation of 11 countries, attracted around 1 million visitors.

Source: VNA

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Annual Taste of the World Culinary Festival in HCM City

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(Cinet)- Taste of the World Culinary Festival will take a symbol of a national record for the largest banh xeo (savoury rice pancake) at the Taste of the World Culinary Festival held in HCMC in December.

The seventh edition of the festival will be held at the September 23 Park in HCM City from December 12 to 16, honouring Vietnamese and other gastronomic cultures from around the world. It is organised by the city Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism and the HCM City Tourism Association.

One of the dishes voted into the “HCMC – 100 interesting things” programme, this southern specialty is made from flour, turmeric powder, coconut milk, slivers of fatty pork, shrimp, and bean sprout. It is a popular dish served in many restaurants in the city’s downtown area.

Taste of the World Culinary Festival is expected to feature 50 city restaurants that offer food from 25 countries.

Besides instrumental and don ca tai tu (a genre of folk music that developed and spread mainly in the south during the last century) performances, the festival will include several other events. There will be traditional dances from South Korea, Russia, Germany, while the host country will showcase pastoral harmonies and folk melodies through performances titled Dan ca ba mien (Folk songs of three regions), and Am thuc muon mau (Multicolour gastronomy).

They include festivals for five-star-hotel executive chefs and wrap and roll dishes, and bartending performances.

Visitors will have a chance to feast their eyes on a montage created from pictures of the Vietnamese ao ba ba (loose-fitting blouse worn in the south) and ao dai (traditional long tunic), the Korean hanbok, and the Japanese kimono.

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Vietnamese booth at Mexican festival

Vietnamese booth at Mexican festival

The Saigon Times Daily

During last week’s La Nao Festival in Acapunco City in Mexico a booth displayed Vietnamese cultural products, fine arts works, lacquer paintings and images of the nation and people, reports VietnamPlus.

Thousands of visitors came to the Vietnamese product area and were interests in goods such as ao dai (Vietnamese long dress), conical hats, lacquer art as well as images depicting Halong Bay and the country’s achievements in the mission of renovation and development.

Many tourists also lingered to ask more about the nation’s history, custom, weather and specialties in each region.

Luis Walton Aburto, major of Acapunco City, stressed that Vietnam is one of only a few countries who have taken part in the festival every year since 2007. This year saw one million visitors.

The Fair of Colors, Sound and Flavors also featured two booths of fine arts products and traditional cloths from the nation last week. The association of Vietnamese students in Mexico dressed themselves in traditional costumes to parade from Zocalo Square to the Revolution Monument and joined many cultural exchange activities to promote Vietnamese culture to international friends.

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Peaceful, memorable morning in My Tho

Peaceful, memorable morning in My Tho

Derek Milroy

By Derek Milroy in My Tho

Foreign tourists board their boats to tour the Mekong Delta – Photo: Derek Milroy

Sick of city life and fancying a few hours out of the city, my group of friends and I decided to head to My Tho City – the start of the Mekong River and only two hours from the city.

We had a French tourist in our team who was on his first trip to Vietnam and everything to him was new and exciting and it made for a very enjoyable trip as we all tried to see everything through his eyes.

The short journey consisted of a planned stopover at a local beauty spot, which made for some great scenic shots and as we all know Vietnamese hate to take photos of themselves, so they through gritted teeth took only 100 or so each.

I think this stop, although very pleasant and relaxing is a designed area to make some cash as the prices were pretty outrageous but on our bus group not many were for falling for the trick apart from a few buying the customary conical hats. To be fair it was such a roasting day, nong qua , such a sizzling sun was beaming down that you know that the hot season is close, so a hat was needed.

My Tho is a great stop with its lush, green gardens glittered with orchards and the likes. The tranquil village life is also a humbling experience for cityslickers and foreigners alike.

Of course it is not all gardens as vegetable fields and stunning paddy fields give you an idea of where the nation’s rice and veg comes from.

It was so hot it was getting crazy but we were not lazy enough to lie in the hammocks and instead took a stroll near the majestic Mekong River and My Tho is the perfect introduction to the Delta which reveals itself as a fast moving, muddy machine that takes everything with it further south.

We passed large floating tracts of uprooted vegetation and lush islands on our boat that looked like they would be overtaken at any moment by the river and there were a few peaceful outdoor restaurants among the lush gardens too.

Deep in the countryside there were houses and yards that showed a certain restraint and liberalness with space, as none of them intruded on the path.

The nature there is inescapable but somehow the locals have tamed it and created a world of idyllic landscapes and scents.

We also boarded a small dugout canoe and navigated a three meter wide stream through a coconut forest, it was fun as we disembarked and sat down at a shop among the orchards for some fruit tasting.

Before it was time to go home we were entertained by several troupes playing traditional Delta music don ca tai tu .

There was a team of young girls singing and sporting their ao dai . The best singer, though, was a seven year old who was the favorite with the travelers and got the best tips.

The southern singing is so unique and charming as they chanted traditional southern songs. The performances were simple but memorable and topped a nice few hours before we headed back to the city.

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Fabulous activities for Vietnam-Korea Friendship Year

Fabulous activities for Vietnam-Korea Friendship Year

Kieu Giang

By Kieu Giang in HCMC

Min Kyung Chang, vice chairman of the Korean Association in HCMC, answers the press at a meeting to announce the friendship year which was held yesterday morning at the HCMC Union of Friendship Organizations in District 1 – Photo: Kieu Giang

The Korean Association in HCMC and the Korean consulate general in HCMC will host numerous cultural activities to mark the 20th anniversary of diplomatic relationships as well as Friendship year of Vietnam-South Korea 2012 from now until the year-end.

The Korean Film Festival will start a series of diversified activities at MegaStar Crescent Mall in District 7 from October 18-24 and at MegaStar Vincom Towers in Hanoi from December 6-8. Audiences will enjoy ten popular Korean movies featuring top actors, including Masquerade (Lee Byung Hun), Always (So Ji Sub), Little black dress (Yoon Eun Hye and Park Han Byun), Late Autumn (Huyn Bin and Tan Wei).

Ambassadors for the event are Korean actress Cha Ye Ryeon who played roles in My little black dress, Sector 7 and Muoi , a joint product of Vietnamese and South Korean film makers and Vietnamese action star Johnny Tri Nguyen whose popular films are Dong mau anh hung (The Rebel) and Bay rong (Clash).

Moreover, Masquerade director Choo Chang Min will be special guest at the film festival. The opening ceremony takes place on October 18 with an exchange program between both nations’ film makers on October 19.

There is a friendship golf tournament held on October 27 at Binh Duong golf course, Vietnam-South Korea Harmony Concert featuring 130 Korean young artist of the HCMC Korean Youth Orchestra and 30 Vietnamese artists at Hoa Binh Theater in District 10 on November 17, a K-Pop Festival Night on November 24 at Phu Tho Indoor Stadium in District 11 featuring some leading bands and singers from South Korea who will be unveiled at a press conference to announce the event next month; a friendship walk with the participation of around 10,000 people at 9 a.m. on December 1 at the Crescent in Phu My Hung urban zone in District 7, a photo and calligraphy exhibition on the relationship between the two countries from December 2 to 6 at Youth Cultural Center in HCMC’s District 1 and a final round for the Korean singing contest at Lan Anh Stage in District 10 on December 8.

Especially, young audiences may find it interesting to watch the Super Junior band live on stage at “the 2012 Asia Super Showcase in Vietnam” which is expected to take place on December 21 at the Saigon Exhibition and Convention Center (SECC) in District 7 as the organizers are trying to persuade the band to make a final decision.

On the night of December 21, there’s another concert named Friendship Night of Vietnam-South Korea featuring Korean samulnori dance and Vietnamese dragon dance, taekwondo performance, ao dai (Vietnamese long dress) and Hanbok parades and pop songs performed by popular Korean and Vietnamese artists. It will be held from 6 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. at Phu Tho Indoor Stadium.

Prior to the above events, the organizers held a scientific seminar on the connection between the two countries from the past to the present at HCMC University of Foreign Language and Information Technology (Huflit) on May 19, a 20th ceremony of the diplomatic relationships on October 2 and a meeting held by HCMC Union of Friendship Organizations and the South Korean-Vietnam Friendship Association on October 5.

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Staying the night at Dao Village

Staying the night at Dao Village

Pham Thai

By Pham Thai in Ha Giang

The bridge leading to the Dao’s locality

Just spending one night with a Dao minority family is a great experience for tourists.

In the Nam Choong village of Xin Man Commune, Ha Giang Province, tourists can do just that as they can easily find a cozy homestay for the night and enjoy the hot spring that runs through the village during the day as they experience the daily routines of Dao people.

The hosts will serve lunch and dinner according to visitor’s request. Normally meals will include chicken, pork, buffalo, fish and vegetable dishes – Photos: Pham Thai

Xin Man Commune is located in the north-west area of Ha Giang Province but tourists can reach it from the city of Ha Giang or Lao Cai.

Nam Choong village is special not only thanks to the hot spring, but also because it’s the living place of Dao Ao Dai and its villagers still keep the old traditions alive on a daily basis.

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