Vietnamese Culture

Vietnamese Culture

Top Things to Do in Hue – Vietnam. What to do in Hue for 3 days?

Hue is the ancient capital of Vietnam. I visited Hue twice with many different emotions, but one thing never changes, the silence. Any one who visited Hue probably have had similar experiences. There seems so few people on the streets, life is passing very slow, and even a little sad. So, why go to Hue?!

Hue is the capital of Vietnam’s last feudalistic dynasty, hence preserves numerous pagodas, temples, palaces and especially the magnificent citadel. And the people of this ancient capital are amazingly wonderful too. Don’t forget the local food! Definitely worth a visit! In this article, I’m happy to share with you my experiences, tips and things to do in Hue – Vietnam. 

Top Things to Do in Hue - Vietnam
Top Things to Do in Hue – Vietnam

How to get to Hue

If you’re in Hanoi or Sai Gon (Ho Chi Minh city), you can travel to Hue by bus or train. While bus is generally faster and more convenient with many high quality companies offering sleeper services, train is also a good choice for those who prefer a more peaceful trip.

12 interesting Western – Vietnamese cultural differences

A few days ago, I read the article “East meets West” of young artist Yang Liu, a Chinese who has been living in Germany from over 10 years ago. The article explores major differences between Eastern and Western culture, especially beneficial for Western tourists on their first visit to Vietnam. Today, I’d like to develop on that topic, exploring Western – Vietnamese cultural differences.

15 interesting differences between cultures of Vietnam and West

15 interesting “truths” about Vietnam tourism by Tara Vargas

Few days ago, i read an article 15 interesting things about Vietnam tourism of blogger Tara Vargas. She said:

“I traveled to Vietnam in 2007 and wanted to share with you the knowledge that I have been to Vietnam, especially the Saigon Tourist. My thoughts may be right, may be wrong but that’s the experience I want to share with you!”

The most of info that she shared are right, but few are not totally and I want to add few things. This’s not a rejection to her experiences, but I just want to add few things and explain them for more complete.

15 interesting truth about Vietnam tourism
Sai Gon by night (Photo of Buffalotours)

Family meal culture of Vietnamese

With Vietnamese people, traditional meal (or family meal) are always very important. It’s not only about the food or the dining but also importantly family time. Therefore, family meal in Vietnam are highly appreciated, usually very cozy that many Western tourists want to experience when visitting Vietnam. 

However, the differences in dining cultures are very big. So you need to know what you should do and what you should not do in our family meals.

family meals in Vietnam
A (quite hearty) family meal in Vietnam

The dishes in Vietnam’s meals are divided into 4 types: rice – most important, main dish(es) – often rich in protein, side dish(es) – vegetables and soups, and fruits – eaten in end of the meals. We use small bowls for individual eating rice, big bowls for shared soups and plates for others. And lastly, CHOPSTICK!

Differences in coffee cultures of Hanoi, Hue and Saigon

I love coffee, which i have to drink 2 cups, in morning and evening, everyday to work effectively. Majority of vietnamese also like coffee but their ways of enjoying aren’t same. From my trips in 3 regions of Vietnam, i saw very big differences in coffee cultures

To compare the differences, i will take 3 cities, 3 centers of culture in Vietnam: Hanoi, Hue and Saigon (Ho Chi Minh city). Coffee cultures of Hanoi and Hue are quite same so i could easily adapt. However, Saigon is too different, i even got shocked when saw them “enjoying”. 

The differences in coffee cultures of Vietnam
The differences in coffee cultures of Vietnam

Coffee culture of Hue people

Coffee culture of Hue can be described in 3 words: concentrated, subtle and slow, like their personality. Because there’re not many amusement parks while too much free time, so they can enjoy coffee at anytime of the day. In the hot summer, you will see the cafes along Huong river are always crowded.

Visit Tran temple and Phu Day pagoda in Nam Dinh – Vietnam

I just had a travel trip of spirituality in Nam Dinh province to thank Gods and pray for my family, on the occasion of my younger sister has been selected by a famous high school. Our trip lasted 2 days and we visited 2 sacred places, Tran temple (Đền Trần) and Phu Day pagoda (Chùa Phủ Dầy)

>> Check hotels in Nam Dinh at Agoda

Religious architectures in Nam Dinh - Vietnam
Religious architectures in Nam Dinh – Vietnam

Before telling about my trip, I want to explain the big difference between Pagoda (Chùa) and temple (Đền) in Vietnamese culture, although they have very same architecture. The pagodas in Vietnam always worships the Buddha, they may worship many other Gods but always have the Buddha. And temples never worship the Buddha, they worship a great man (kings, queens, generals,…), a sacred animal (Wale, tiger,…) or even something that are respected. 

Mid-Autumn festival in Vietnam – A traditional touch in the air

Mid-Autumn festival is a major festival of Vietnam held on the full moon day of lunar August. Children in Vietnam just love this festival a lot because they can eat a lot of moon cakes and get given gifts. The festival is also a time for family to gather, eat mooncake and enjoy the full moon. 

mid-autumn festival in Vietnam
Mid-Autumn is a major festival of Vietnam

I still remember when I was a kid, on the Mid-Autumn days, I used to have a mask on and hold a lanterns, form a long line with other kids and parade noisily through all the streets that we can. Later on, we gather to watch lion dance and set out on Full Moon party. When I grew up a little more and had a bike, my younger sister and I usually chased the lion dance troops.