Things To Do In Nha Trang Vietnam Blog

Anything and everything to do with Nha Trang Vietnam from massage, mud baths, local street food, accommodation and lots more.

Vu Lan

 

                                                                                      

Vu Lan is an annual feast to commemorate the parents (and ancestors in general) - parents of this life and of past lives. It is believed that on this day, the gates of the hell open and thus, souls of the dead can come back to their home and gather with family. Vietnamese considers that it’s an occasion for family gathering as well as expressing love and gratitude to ancestors and parents. During the festival, children try to do good to bring blessings to their parents, either alive or deceased.

The festival peaks on the full moon day of the lunar month, which falls on August 28 this year.

Buddhist followers traditionally believe that when they come together to pray for their departed parents, they can atone for their parents' past mistakes and save them from being punished in the underworld.

Some people call it Vu Lan or Vietnamese Mother's Day, others call it Trung Nguyen as it is the day for lost souls to be in the search of mercy-the festival has it all. Under any disguises, this festival takes place on the 15th day of the seventh month in Lunar Calendar. Being the second largest annual traditional festival of Vietnam right after Tet Holiday, Vu Lan is widely celebrated throughout the country—among businesses, families, and other institutions. In accordance with Buddhism’s belief, the seventh lunar month is known as the spirit month. On this month’s full moon, wandering souls are believed to return to their former homes. 

In the morning, a lavish tray with various delicious dishes and candles will be set on the ancestral altar. The householder, as usual, will burn incense and invite ancestors to come back home and celebrate the festival with family. After that, all family’s members will gather and enjoy lunch together. Vegetarian food is most popular.

Pagodas are crowded during the festival day because Buddhists gather for the monk’s to talk about responsibility of children to parents as well as pray for parents whether they are living or dead. Each Buddhist has a flower (usually rose) in front of their chest: red flower if their parents are living and white flower if their parents are dead.

In the evening, a tray filled with food is set in front of the house. The householder will light incense, pray for homeless souls and wish they could rest in peace. At night, Vietnamese hold a ceremony of releasing lighted lanterns on the river. Lanterns will follow the river stream and bring their wishes with it. Vietnamese people believe that by doing that, their wishes for parents will come true and that the lantern will give direction to the lost ghosts and spirits of the ancestors.

“The legend behind this festival is that once when mediating, a Buddha's disciple named Muc Kien Lien saw that his mother was suffering from hell’s tortures. Following Buddha’s advice, on the seventh full moon of the year, Muc Kien Lien gathered monks and devotees and pray with them for his mother’s relieve.  Hence, this festival is to express gratitude and appreciation towards ones’ parents (especially mothers) and also help ancestors’ lost souls find their way back to earth.

The practice is a main part of the celebrations of Vu Lan, or Ullambana, a Buddhist festival in the seventh lunar month that is known as the season of filial piety.

The practice of wearing roses only became popular in Vietnam around 50 years ago after Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh, whose mother had passed, wrote an essay to praise mothers in Saigon in 1962 with inspiration in his previous visit to Japan where he was given a white carnation by a Japanese student.

Here's one of the most powerful paragraphs in the essay:

"I was as much an orphan as any other unhappy orphan; we could no longer proudly wear red flowers in our buttonholes. Those who wear white flowers suffer, and their thoughts cannot avoid returning to their mothers. They cannot forget that she is no longer there. Those who wear red flowers are so happy, knowing their mothers are still alive. They can try to please her before she is gone and it is too late."

Vietnamese songwriter Pham The My (1930-2009) in 1965-1966 penned a song, which is often played this time of the year, based on Hanh's writing.

The lyrics read: “One red rose for anyone who still has a mother, so you can feel happy.” But wearing a red rose does not always bring joy.”

(Source:  Thanh Nien News august 26th 2015)

The roses and the whole Vu Lan festival have religious values, but they are also symbols of the big love of many Vietnamese for their parents and families. That's why even non-religious or followers of other religions can join the celebration.

These days, instead of going to a pagoda, many people stay at home and pay tribute to their parents on social networks. Some would change their profile picture on Facebook to a white rose, or send a beautiful white rose to another friend to show empathy.


I was privileged to be invited to join in the festivities at Loc Tho Chuia.

 
I taught English in the morning to the children and then stayed instead of going home.

 
I met a wonderful man Mr Chanh who is 63(looking pretty good for it I must say) who comes with his wife and son to teach "attitude" to the children. Mr Chanh grew up in a similar situation to the children and believes that the only way out is through education. He had all the children doing group work about personality characteristics that were good for the community and how we should encourage working together. The children were very well behaved!!

Mr Chanh was MC for the festivities in the afternoon.

 

 
Before lunch the children all line up and work their way around in ever decreasing square all the while chanting. It is fascinating to watch and listen to as they give thanks for the food they are about to eat.


 

The children had lunch and then I had lunch with the teachers after the children had finished theirs. The ladies in the kitchen do a spectacular job and lots of very tasty vegetarian food was served. There were a few sauces "not" for Eileen but lots of laughter about these. I was also given a glutenous sweet which was delicious. Bless them some of the children wanted to give me theirs but I declined.The one with the black outside is the one I liked. not so fussed on the other one.


We were meant to have a sleep after lunch on the classroom floor. The children were very excited that Dung, Hein and myself were going to be with them. I can say not a lot of sleep happened. We ended up playing silly games and singing head shoulders knees and toes because they were fascinated by my different features and I was on the floor with them. There might have been a degree of tickling involved however I must say I was the one that got tickled the most!

The afternoon finally arrived, and after a little makeup for the girls performing, we all trooped off.

 
 The chanting was beautiful. There were two dances (the young girls have been practicing for weeks) they nailed it and looked amazing.


One of the young children his name is Trung was given a special award from the master for being the best student with the best attitude. He is an amazing young man who is only 9 years old. He is always well mannered but is VERY smart. He has a big future in front of him.


We handed out flowers to put on shirts. Red roses for those of us whose mothers are still alive and white for those who have lost their mothers.

                          
A big charity group had arrived from Saigon with many gifts for the children and they were going to play with them. They even had two people dressed up as Mickey and Minnie Mouse. I'm sure they had a wonderful time playing with all the children. I was a great time. The children were so well behaved sitting together. They are a credit to the Pagoda and the teachers. They all do an amazing job.

                                                                               

I am so privileged to be involved with such great people.

 

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Pure Vietnam Beauty and Spa Charity for July - Thanh Son Pagoda

 

Pure Vietnam Beauty and Spa Charity for July - Thanh Son  Pagoda

With the start of the school year in Vietnam upon us we decided to go to Cam Lamh Pagoda, Thanh Son Orphanage for charity for the month of July.

                                                 

Some of our amazing friends have given us money to spend on worthwhile causes and with some of this money I bought Books, pencils, pens, erasers and sharpeners for the children of this Pagoda. They have around fifty children attending local schools at the moment. As every parent knows sending children to school costs quite a bit of money! It is wonderful to be able to help these Children a little with their education.


We also took food for the children, 100kg of rice, 50 bags of fake meat, 2 kgs of dried mushrooms, 5 kgs of beans and cartons of milk along with cake. One of the girls I teach English to donated a carton of milk.

                                                       


Thank you Ngoc.
I took some photos of some of the ladies who prepare the food here. They do an amazing job and are always gracious and smiling.

 

One of the children that was left at the orphanage when he was a new born weighed just 700gm. He's now 25 months old and they call him little mouse. He is so tiny but has a great smile and uses it on all the girls.


There is a 9 month old baby that I remember when he was first left at the orphanage. He has grown so much. He is nearly walking and has a few teeth and just smiles all the time.

Some of the children have mental and physical disabilities. Two of them are restricted to the floor or chairs and need restraining when not in chairs. We bought the smaller child a mobile with music so he has something to play with and have some more tactile stimulation. He loved the music that it played.

It was an excellent day. Thank you to all the people who donated money to help the children and those that helped buy everything and those that came with me. It was an amazing and humbling day as always. Makes you very glad to be alive.

 

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Street food we like to eat in Nha Trang, Viet nam. - BBQ Fish

 

Ca Nuong - BBQ Fish -     Ca = Fish - Nuong = BBQ

One of the street foods that is near my apartment that I like to eat is BBQ Fish. This fish is  marinated with chili, spring onions and many other flavors and wrapped in alfoil then grilled. When it is cooked it is bought to you with a plate of rice paper , various leaves, mix of cucumber and green banana (not my favorite) a little noodle as well and sauces. You then make rolls with rice paper and fish and anything you want. You dip this in the sauces. It is delicious.  

It costs 250 000 VND to 300 000 VND a BBQ fish depending on how big the fish is.

This is an incredibly popular place seven nights a week. I can hear the locals Hai, bai yo through the night.

Its on the corner of Hon Chong Street and Tran Phu Street. There are several different places but the best is on the corner at the end nearest the beach.

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Street food we like to eat in Nha Trang, Viet nam. - Com Chay

 

Cơm cháy

Com Chay  (Burned Rice) is one of the many traditional dishes of Vietnam. It is  made from deep frying already cooked rice until golden brown and then topping it  with dried shrimp or pork floss , chopped spring onions and chili. There are places that you can buy this on the streets however more and more you buy this on the internet (a sign of the times). My staff know that I like to eat Com chay and they order this through facebook (Nha Trang Club) and its delivered to us.  Expect to pay 10 000 VND for each container.  

                             

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My first Vietnamese Wedding

My first Vietnamese Wedding



I received my first wedding invitation. A beautiful red invitation from a lady who I teach English to. It was her daughter that was getting married and I had actually met the daughter and her fiancé once.

I received the invitation a week before the ceremony which is about normal. From two weeks to a few days before the wedding is the notice you are given.

Most of the weddings in Vietnam don’t have a church ceremony. If the couple is Catholic then there is a church ceremony but Buddhist’s have the ceremony in the home of the bride. The grooms family and selected male friends will arrive with gifts of fruit, wine, jewelry (sometimes), tea and a special wedding cake from rice called “Banh Phu The”. These gifts are handed over to the bride and her family and her “bridesmaids” who will be wearing Ao dai’s. On the wedding day, Vietnamese parents will take turns to sharing their experiences and giving their blessings.

The wedding invitation is for the wedding reception not the ceremony. The photos will be taken weeks before and normally the main photo is on display at the reception. The number of guests in attendance at these modern-day receptions is large, usually in the hundreds. Elaborate multi course meals are served, often starting with cold platters then followed by hot dishes and ending in fruit platters. Most receptions are finished after 2-3 hours. The bride and groom and family welcome guests at the entry and then they are presented to the guests. Short speeches are made and the food starts flowing. The bride, groom and both parents go around and thank the tables of guests. Guests are encouraged to go up and sing songs for the couple while everyone eats. As soon as the eating is finished everyone starts to leave.  

I was the only non Vietnamese person at the wedding and there was over 350 people present. The food was amazing and the service, for that many people was excellent. At the function center that we went to there were two receptions happening at the same time. I would estimate over 700 people.

The bride, groom and their families welcomed everyone as they arrived. The bride looked beautiful.

 

Traditional Vietnamese wedding gifts

Guests are expected to bring gifts, and it is traditionally in the form of money in an envelope. Immediate family usually gives more money to the bride and groom. At one point during the reception, the bride and groom will go from table-to-table to thank guests for their blessings and sometimes collect the envelopes. Most couples however leave a box at the sign-in table for guests to drop in their envelopes and cards, although this is frowned upon by older traditional conservatives. Occasionally, the family and guests' monetary gifts will cover more than the cost of the wedding and reception.

 

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Street food we like to eat in Nha Trang, Viet nam. – Banh Cuon

Banh Cuon

Banh Cuon is one of the famous dishes in the North of Vietnam.  Banh Cuon is made from a thin sheet of steamed rice that is then filled up with minced pork, wood ear mushroom and fried minced shallots. When serving  Banh Cuon you  usually get a mix of  Cha Lua ( Vietnamese Pork sausage), sliced cucumber, bean sprouts and some mix of herbs with a dipping sauce called Nuoc Cham which is made from fish sauce, chili and sugar. 

It is very tasty and filling but very light.

It is an amazing dish to watch being made as the lady pours the mix of rice batter over a muslin sheet that is being steamed. She waits for it to set then adds the filling and quickly rolls it up with a chop stick and wips it off and replaces it with the next ladle of mixture. 

                         

There are some places in Vinh Hai Market and a place near Xom Moi market where they make and sell Banh Cuon for breakfast. Expect to pay 10 000 VND to 12 000 VND each box.

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Pure Vietnam Beauty and Spa Charity for June - Loc Tho Pagoda

Pure Vietnam Beauty and Spa Charity for June - Loc Tho Pagoda

What a fantastic morning! Charity for the month of June was at Loc Tho Pagoda.

 

We took fake meat, vegetables, fruit, beans and dried mushrooms to eat. This Pagoda has 130 local and orphaned children that attend their school. We are lucky to have friends visiting from Australia at this time and they have four young children. We took our friends to the Pagoda and the Australian children taught the Vietnamese children a song, called mother finger and the Vietnamese children got to show the Australian children some of the songs that I have taught them while I have been teaching English here, head shoulders knees and toes and the hokey pokey.

 

There was a lot of laughter and fun. The Australian children bought pencils to give to the children of the Pagoda so they could color in.


At the end of the lessons we taught the children how to brush their teeth correctly. As a part of the charity we bought every child a toothbrush (with some extra’s and big tubes of toothpaste as well).

   

After teaching, while the children had a break, we all played in the playground. It’s amazing how well the children were able to play without having to know the language. The teachers also got to practice their English.


Thank you to our Australian friends. Paul, Nicole, Jasmine and Riley Peacock, Roz and Brian Harmsworth and Pierre, Tracey, Max and Sebastian De Villecourt. Also many thanks to Pure Vietnam staff and friends who came with us.

 

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Street Food we like to eat in Nha Trang, Vietnam - Sweets and Sinto

 

Sweets and Sinto


Sinto

 

There are many places to have different smoothies (Sinto) in Nha Trang.  There are also many different combinations. I’m not a fan of Durian and I have a problem with drinking avocardo. This is a favourite local drink avocardo and durian smoothie when they are in season. I love ripe mango (Xoai). One of the best places we have found for this is on 2 4 Street. It is just back from a busy intersection that you turn left at and go to the university, on the left hand side if you are going into town.  I am unsure what they do differently but this place at night is packed with students. Yes it is cheap but the quality is great. Only open after 5 pm.

 

You can also get flan here. Crème caramel without the brulee but served with ice and coffee. Doesn’t sound fantastic but apparently delicious. I like it without the coffee. 10 000 per serve. Price lists are on the wall.

 

Deep fried Banana and Sweet Potato

Deep fried banana and sweet potato. Several places on Dang Tat Street. Normally available between 3-5pm. 10 000 per serve. You will get a mix of both. You can ask for just banana (duey). There are a few places around that do this. It is better fresh and hot than cold. The batter loses its crispness and can become oily.

 

Sweet Banana Soup

                                  

Sweet banana soup. Sounds a little weird but it is amazing. We went out with some friends from Australia the other night who we had previously taken here and she wanted to go here first in case it was closed or sold out by the time we finished dinner.

The banana is wrapped in sticky rice and grilled. It is sliced up and served with sweet coconut milk and sago covered with crushed peanuts. Available after 7 pm. This lady has been making it for 40 + years. In winter it sells very quickly. In summer because of the heat it is available 9-10pm if your lucky. It is very sweet but addictive. 10 000 per serve. On 2 4 street. Past the traffic lights on your right outside of the church.

 

Coconut Jelly

 

Coconut Jelly in a cup. This is made from agar agar and coconut water and some times some flesh and some people make to coconut milk top. I like the coconut milk top. At night in some of the busier areas students will come around and sell these. Normally 6-10 000 each. There is a lady who sells them in Dang Tat Street after 4-5 pm and they are excellent. Not too sweet and refreshing. You get the spoon as well 4 000VND each in Dang Tat Street.

 

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Different choices for lunch in Dang Tat street - Com, Pho

 

There are a lot of lunch places selling much the same but a little different. They change their menu everyday so that you do not feel bored. There is once place in Dang Tat Streer where we like to eat. The lady she has many food available which made of egg, pork, beef...We had 2 meals with rice, chicken, vegetable, sauces and a bottle of Revive for 70 000VND.  Normally, you can pick what you like. Pointing is allowed. We think the lady actually speaks good English but she doesn’t actually speak to you.

                                                     

Another choice for lunch probably is Banh My or Pho. Expect to pay from 15 000 VND to 20 000 VND each dish of Com. They will have small box for you if you want to take away.

Pho is about 20 000 VND to 30 000 VND a bowl.

Here are some places of Com that you may be have for lunch in Dang Tat Street.

           

 

   

 

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Street Food we like to eat in Nha Trang, Vietnam - Local Sea food in Dang Tat Street

Local Sea food in Dang Tat Street

In the middle of Dang Tat Street is a seafood place that we like to eat at Hai San Sinh Vien. This area is mainly know for student snail however we eat other seafood and the owner really looks after us. It is street food with locals. The tables are small and we eat on the roadside however there is inside seating but still at small tables. The food is cooked to one side but all fresh.

Before we started eating we had a street vendor selling Quail eggs and peanuts come around and who can resist these great snacks. One bag of each. Peel the eggs and dip in a little salt and pepper mix.

Obviously the price will depend on what you order. We went the other night and had 6 large prawns BBQ’d (on skewers), about 500gm clams steamed in broth with chili, lemon grass and lime, and stirfried sqid with some vegs. This is a delicious dish known as Muc Xao. Cooked with tomato and pineapple it is a sweet and sour dish. In all we paid 257 000vnd but this also included drinks (beers and water).

There is lots of entertainment in the street with singing, sometimes magic and dancing. Obviously watching the world go by is entertaining in itself J

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Sea Festival, Nha Trang, Vietnam 2015

 

The Nha Trang Sea Festival in 2015 will be held  in July 2015, from July 11 – 14 with the theme of "Peace and Creativity". This festival is held every 2 years. The main venue for activities is along the main beach of Nha Trang City, with 2-4 Square at the center of events. There are other places such as Nha Trang Children's House, Provincial Sports Arena, Diamond Bay Resort, Hon Tam Resort, Vinpearl Resort, Yang Bay Waterfall Tourist Area, and White Sand Doclet Resort & Spa that will also host activities.

The plan is for approximately  60 cultural and sport activities such as national sail competition, cuisine festival, beer festival, parachuting competition, beach fashion show, parade festival, international fair, and Vietnam Sea and Islands exhibition, along with many events, seminars, and art performances.

On the 10th of July there is an International Cuisine Festival in the south of Thanh Nien Park, Me Trang Coffee Festival, and Cultural Cuisine Festival planned. These activities last until the end of the festival. During the Sea Festival in Nha Trang, there is a cuisine introduction program in Nha Trang Beach, and cocktail contest in Nha Trang Center. At the same time, Blue Sea International Joint Stock Company will hold a beer festival in Louisiane Restaurant. On July 12, in Yang Bay Tourist Park, Yang Bay Waterfall Festival will take place with many interesting things to do. 

Some of the other plans are semifinal of Miss Viet Nam Universe 2015; nest bird festival; wine festival; XQ Nha Trang festival; coffee festival towards Vietnam’s sea-island; conferences and seminars on sea-island, tourism investment promotion; folk games, art kite flying; international women beach volleyball championship; national beach handball championship; open international golf tournament.  Of which, the highlights of the festival are the opening with fireworks celebration and closing ceremonies, art show performed by the Vietnamese artists and international friends.

The opening ceremony is meant to start at 8pm and after the ceremony there will be fireworks in 2 4 square.

Below is a copy of the schedule. Apparently things can be changed without notice

Schedule of Nha Trang – Khanh Hoa Sea Festival 2015

Before the Sea Festival

 

Content

Time

Place

1

Environmental sanitation and welcome the world environment day ( 5/6), Ocean Day and Sea Island week 2015

7:00 6/6/2015

Nha Trang Seaside  Park ( On the south of Tran Phu Bridge)

2

Hoa Qua Son Festival

7/6/2015

Monkey Island

3

Red-whiskered bulbul birds Competition

5/7/2015

Monkey island

4

Vietnam high quality goods Fair

7/7 – 12/7/2015

Thanh nien Park ( on the way to Vinpearl land)

5

Khanh Hoa Men Volleyball Open  - Sanatech Cup

7/7 – 15/7/2015

33 Phan Chu Trinh

6

Khanh Hoa Beach Foodball 2015

8/7 – 12/7

Nha Trang Beach ( in front of 62 Tran Phu Street)

7

Opening Nest Island Ecotourism, Sanest Khanh Hoa

9:00 9/7/2015

Dong Tam Tourist Area, Sanest Khanh Hoa

8

Lion Dance on street

18:00 9/7/2015

Le Thanh Ton Street

9

Tour II – The National Beach Volleyball 2015

9/7 – 12/7/2015

Nha Trang Seaside  Park ( On the south of Tran Phu Bridge)

10

Food Fair

Mud Bath Tram Trung Festival

Health Care Service

9/7 – 14/7/2015

Tram Trung Mud Bath – Phuoc Dong, Nha Trang

11

Cheerleading “ Nha Trang Khanh Hoa civilized and friendly”

5:00 10/7/2015

2/4 Square Nha Trang

12

Science Conferience “ Island Cultural, resources for sustainable development and education of island’s sovereignty in schools

7:30 10/7/2015

Galima Hotel ( 5 Hung Vuong Street)

13

Conferience “ National Product – Sanest Khanh Hoa”

8:00 10/7/2015

 

Nha Trang Palace ( 9 Yersin Street)

14

Welcome Sea Festival 2015 Program

8:00 10/7/2015

White Sand, Doc Let Resort and Spa, Ninh Hoa

15

Marching Bicycle “ Protect Environtment – No Smoking Nha Trang city”

14:00 10/7/2015

2/4  Square –> The north of Tran Phu Bridge –> 2/4 Square

16

Introduce Sea Food Program

10/7 – 14/7/2015

Seacoast ( opposite Nha Trang Center)

17

Me Trang Coffee Festival with theme “ For a blue Ocean”

10/7 – 14/7/2015

Seaside Park ( on the south of 2/4 Square)

18

Tourism Product Exhibition

10/7 – 14/7/2015

Seaside Park ( Opposite the Provice Museum, 16 Tran Phu Street)

19

Street Art Performace

10/7 – 14/7/2015

Seaside Park along to Tran Phu Street

20

Food Party Sea Festival

10/7 – 14/7/2015

2,3 Zone ( the old Four Season, Seaside Park)

21

Book Exhibition and Talk with Author

10/7 – 14/7/2015

Seaside Park ( next to Tram Huong Towel)

22

Achievements in scientific research, technical innovation Sanest Khanh Hoa Exhibition

10/7 – 14/7/2015

Seaside Park ( Opposite Television radio station)

 

11/7/15

1

Sea Festival Golf Tournament 2015

8:00

Golf Yard in Diamond Bay (Phuoc Dong, Nha Trang )

2

 

National Sailboat Competition

11/7- 13/7/2015

Sea Area ( In front of 2/4 Square)

3

Cham Ceramics, Sand Picture Exhibition

11/7-14/7/2015

Thap Ba Ponaga

4

Cocktail Competition and Entertainment Program

16:00 11/7- 14/7/2015

4th Floor, Nha Trang Center

5

Picture Exhibition “ Tram Huong Beauty”

Picture Exhibition “ Sea – Island Country”

11/7-14/7/2015

Seaside Park ( opposite 50 -54 Tran Phu Street)

6

Folk Game

11/7-14/7/2015

Seaside Park ( opposite 58 Tran Phu Street)

7

Louisiane Beer Competition

11/7-14/7/2015

Louisiane ( Tran Phu Street)

8

Map Exhibition and showcase the document about Hoang Sa, Truong Sa Island,Vietnam

11/7-14/7/2015

Khanh Hoa Cultural Center, number 5 2/4 street

9

Book Exhibition “ Khanh Hoa –Thai Nguyen, Land and People”

11/7-17/7/2015

Khanh Hoa Library ( 10 Tran Hung Dao Street)

3

 Volleyball Beach Open

13/7 -14/7/2015

Nha Trang Beach ( in front of 62 Tran Phu Street)

8

Human Chess Competition

16:00 12/7 – 13/7/2105

Seaside Park ( opposite Tue Tinh Street)

9

Drawing Picture for Children “ Environment Protection”

12/7 – 14/7/2015

Seaside Park ( opposite 58 -62 Tran Phu Street)

10

Khanh Hoa paragliding Open 2015 – CMC Cup

12/7 – 14/7/2015

Chin Khuc Mountain , Vinh Thai, Nha Trang

11

“Vietnam Flower” Photograph Exhibition

12/7 – 14/7/2015

Yen Phi Park, Nha Trang

       

 

10

Opening Sea Festival 2015

Firework

20:00

21:45

2/4 Square

12/7/15

1

Fishing Traditional Competition

5:00

On the South of Hon Tre Island

2

Release sea creatures, recreate fisheries resources

6:30

Hon Tam Island Nha Trang

3

Marching Old Vespa

8:00

2/4 Square -> Pham Van Dong ->Dang Tat -> 2/4 Street -> Quang Trung Street -> Le Thanh Ton Street -> 2/4 Square

4

Yang Bay Legend Program

8:00

Yang Bay Waterfall

5

Hip hop club Junket

19:00

Seaside Park ( opposite Tue Tinh Street)

6

Music Performance “ Young People with country”

19:00

Nha Trang Teaching College

7

Fashion Performance “ Nha Trang center Summer Night”

19:00

Nha Trang Center

12

Street Festival

20:00

2/4 Square

13/7/15

1

Starting construction Nest Cave in Truong Sa

8:00

Truong Sa Province

2

Nha Trang Women Talent and Charming Competition

18:00

Seaside Park ( opposite Tue Tinh Street)

4

Music Performance “ Sanest Khanh Hoa with Sea - Island Country”

20:00

2/4 Square

14/7/15

1

Swimming Grain Basket, Shaking Grain Basket Competition

6:30

Seaside Park ( opposite 22 Tran Phu Street)

2

National Conference “Application Scientific educational psychology in tourism activities “

8:00

Nha Trang Tourism Vocational colleges

3

Ending Nha Trang Sea Festival 2015

20:00

2/4 Square

 

The lights were spectacular during this festival. The lights that Nha Trang has for TET plus some extra. Many people were just going around looking at the different lights.

  

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Volunteering at a Pogoda in Nha Trang- Teaching English to children

Teaching English to Children

One of the things I am privileged to do is to teach English to children at a local Pagoda. This Pogoda has orphans but also has a school for local children whose parents don't have a lot of money. The Pagoda teaches to fifth grade. They feed all the children lunch ensuring they get a reasonable meal each day.  I go there on Saturday mornings and teach English from 7:30-9:15. I teach 2 classes, third grade and a combined fourth and fifth class. I have been doing this for a couple of months now and whilst it can be a little challenging it is a fabulous thing to watch some of the kids start to have an English conversation with me. They are innately shy and so it has taken quite some time but now they run to me to greet me, I play skipping and games with them. I get cuddles and high fives.However when you bring out the camera they certainly aren't shy.

  

I am not a qualified teacher but I have had experience with teaching adults. I want it to be fun so we do lots of games and coloring in and drawing. I’m lucky enough to have found a website that I pay a yearly subscription to that helps enormously with training aids.

  

The other week I decided to teach them about different types of clothing. I made cut out dolls and cut out lots of different clothing with tags so the children could dress and undress the dolls. They had a great time! Most of the time I have a short story about what we are teaching and they love hearing these.

They all want to help and often they will sort all my papers for me (sometimes not necessarily how I want them) but they love to help.

I have started teaching some of their teachers English as well. These ladies work here for not a lot of money and it is nice to do something for them. We meet twice a week after school. There are some of their friends coming as well and it’s turning into a bit of a social thing. The other day I asked them to write a story about their family. They blew me away with the effort they put it. They are learning so fast. It bought a bit of a tear to my eye.

 

This is certainly one of those things that you do that you get more out of it than you give :)

 

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Pure Vietnam Beauty and Spa Charity for May

Pure Vietnam Beauty and Spa Charity for May

   

 

Thank you to Maria Voloshina for generously donating money towards the money that Pure Vietnam  spends on charity each month.
Pure Vietnam has been open for one year and the first 1 000 000 vnd that we made we spent at Mr Phuc’s orphanage so I decided that one year later this is where we needed to go . This orphanage has around 20 children. We have been coming here for 12 years. It was the first orphanage that we visited in Vietnam. It is great to watch the children grow up.

We contacted them and asked if they needed anything special.  Mr Phuc told us 6 of the children needed bags for school. With the help of staff and friends we went to the markets and bought lots of fruit, vegetables, 4 chickens, 50 eggs, 20 toothbrushes, 6 packets of cake, 50 sausages and two cartons of milk. Lots of food for hungry children.  Lots of protein to keep them full so they can concentrate at school.


It’s great to go and spend time with the children and see them smile. Thank you to Dung, Nga, Nhu and Hien for helping us with the shopping and taking it to the orphanage. A cold drink after was certainly appreciated. We had a wonderful time.

 

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Street Food we like to eat in Nha Trang, Vietnam - BBQ Duck

BBQ Duck


 

Yes I know BBQ Duck is available in most countries however this would be one of the best places to eat duck that I have been to and I have eaten it in many countries. This is street food at its finest. BBQ’ed in the street.  The duck is cooked on a rotisserie over coals and basted in a special sauce every so often. The bulk of the fat is rendered out this way so it isn't as fatty as a lot of other duck places are. There is steamed duck available but it is the BBQ Duck that all the locals come for.


You will eat at the tables with the locals and very few foreigners.  ½ a duck with salad and rice will cost approximately  $6.00 for two people. Order Chao (pronounced gow) (rice soup with BBQ duck juice) you will probably get some duck blood in it just ignore it if you want or eat it, it tastes a bit like liver. The basic drinks of beer, pepsi, mineral water, sting and 7 up are available served with ice in a glass. Filtered water is available. The sisters that run this business with husband and some friends have been doing this for years.


We have been very regular customers of this establishment and is one of our favorite places to go. If I am feeling a little off the Chao is what I have. To me it is the same as chicken soup with that amazing warm nourishing feeling. Address is 29 Phan Chu Trinh with the name of “Dung Linh”. Opens around 4- 5 pm and goes till late.

 

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Street Food we like to eat in Nha Trang, Vietnam - Banh Xeo

 Banh Xeo (Vietnamese Pancakes)


Banh Xeo is literally "sizzling cake"(a pancake) named for the loud sizzling sound it makes when the rice batter is poured into a hot skillet. This is a savory fried pancake made of rice flour, water, turmeric. Initially slivers of fatty pork, small prawns, squid and quail egg or chicken egg are placed in the skillet and quickly semi cooked and then the batter is placed on top with sometimes diced green onion and bean sprouts. This is cooked quickly with a little oil. Banh Xeo comes in two sizes and I find that the smaller ones can be a little oily for me. The larger Banh Xeo is cut into pieces and then you wrap in mustard leaf, lettuce leaves or rice paper wrappers, and stuff with mint leaves, basil, fish leaf and/or other herbs, and dipped in a sweet and sour diluted fish sauce. The sauce can sometimes have pineapple added to give the savory flavor. There is normally only a little chili added to the sauce.

 

We discovered this local place which I think is really delicious. 50 000vnd for two pancakes more than fed 3 of us. Watching the lady cook is lots of entertainment as well as watching the world go by on motorbikes. Address is 85 To Hien Thanh Street. Open only in the evenings.

 

 

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Street Fodd we like to eat in Nha Trang, Vietnam - Bo Ne

Bo Ne (Steak)

Steak in a Vietnamese city is probably not going to be what you are used to having in Australia or America. However you can have a steak locally without paying restaurant prices.

Bo Ne is a smaller steak, normally served with a meatball and sometimes an egg on a sizzling plate that continues to cook the meat. It is normally served in a sauce that is very flavorsome.  Accompanying it will be a salad and sauce of mayonnaise and chili, and if you’re lucky, a bread roll.


This is a very filling meal for the princely sum of around 70 000vnd. I tried something called shaking beef cubes the other night and this ended up being an equivalent of a stir fry.  This was too much for me (a female) and the two of us finished it off. I think this could be easily shared between two people. The place we like to eat Bo Ne at is 116 Hoang Van Thu Street. Normal chairs with tablecloths however you will be the only foreigner there. Normal drinks of water, beer, some soft drinks are available. This is a busy restaurant but they are very efficient. Staff are very friendly.

 

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Street Food we like to eat in Nha Trang, Vietnam - Bun Bo (Hue)

Bun Bo (Hue)

  

This dish is eaten at any time of the day. I like to have this for breakfast particularly if I am feeling a little delicate. For dinner I like Bun Bo Heo, which has the same broth but with the added bonus of a hunk of pork.


Bun means thick noodles and Bo means beef — Bun Bo Hue is most often based on a pork-intensive stock, with small amounts of braised or raw beef added as a garnish. The noodle in Nha Trang is thicker than that added in the northern parts of Vietnam.

Bun Bo originated in Hue, a former capital of Vietnam. Outside the city of Hue and some parts of Central Vietnam, it is called bún bò Huế to denote its origin. Within Huế and surrounding cities, it is known simply as bún bò. The broth is prepared by simmering beef bones and beef shank with lemongrass and then seasoned with fermented shrimp sauce and sugar for taste. Very spicy chili oil is added later during the cooking process. Bun Bo is spicy, sour, salty, and sweet all at once. The beef and pork based broth’s main flavor is the delicate infusion of lemongrass. The rice noodles are cylindrical and round, slippery and firm.

Bun Bo normally consists of the thick noodles with slices of beef and it routinely has cubes of congealed pig blood, which is dark brown in color. The texture resembles tofu and the taste is fairly mild. It is easily avoided if you don’t want to eat it.

A  stock is kept simmering then room temperature noodles are placed in a strainer normally dipped in hot water and then placed in a bowl. Raw beef or pre cooked beef is added along with the blood and then the stock is placed over to heat everything up.

It is commonly served with lime wedges, sometimes a mix of lettuce, shaved banana flower, mint leaves and bean sprouts, there is always the various mixes of chili ranging from hot to blow your head off hot, soy sauce and sometimes fish sauce.

We like to have this for breakfast in Dang Tat street – 20 000 VND or if we are closer to the city at breakfast time, on the corner of Phan Chu Trinh and Le Loi Street – 40 000VND. Dinnertime it has to be on the sidewalk near ABC bakery on Phan Chu Trinh Street between the two round abouts – 30 000 VND.

 

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Street Food we like to eat in Nha Trang, Vietnam - Fresh Seafood - Hai San

Fresh Seafood - Hai San

There is an amazing range of fresh seafood available in Nha Trang cooked in many different ways. We like to eat seafood in a few places but the main place we like to eat if we want a reasonable amount is Thap Ba Street. We go to a restaurant called Dong Xuan. It is the first restaurant on the left hand side after you turn in from Tran Phu Street. It is north of the city over the bridge. You are out of the main tourist area but some tourists will come here.We bring many of our customers here and always bring family and friends here.


The prices are lower than in the city and it is popular with the locals so the turnover of food is good meaning it is fresh. Out the front of the restaurant is the seafood set up in baskets in water some with oxygen being pumped in to keep it alive. You can pick what you want and choose how much (by weight), normally negotiate a price and decide how you want it cooked. There is a menu for hotpots, rice and vegetable. All food is served with a great array of sauces. I don't like chilli and so they give me soy without chilli.

  

We like prawns (Tom), crab (Ghe) and shell (like a vongole). The shell is cooked in a broth with lemongrass and chilli, prawns are steamed as is the crab. This is finger licking good. One kg of prawns, 1 kg of shell, 4 crabs a couple of beers and soft drinks for four people cost us 762 000 VND $36 USD. You always pay for hand towels too (2 000VND each). We couldn’t fit anymore in.


This is our bill for feeding 4 adults and drinks. $36.00

There is small seating out the front (local place) and inside the restaurant is big seats with tables that have tablecloths. You can choose.

While you sit here there is a large range people hoping to entertain you with music, dancing and magic. They sing or dance and their friend will come around and sell you some sugared peanuts or crackers and this is how they make money.

There is also a range of people selling many things from rice cakes, lotto, green mango, chewing gum and if you are lucky enough coconut jelly. I love this. We bought some for 6 000VND each. This one is particularly good incorporating coconut milk and well as coconut water. This little boy (who is eight) was selling green apple and chilli salt. He looked hungry so we gave him crab (which he had never had) and a coconut jelly to eat (which he loved). He would be at school all day and then out with his mother selling food trying to earn money at night.


 

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Street Food we like to Eat in Nha Trang, Vietnam - Banh Can (rice flour cake with many different fillings)

Banh Can (rice flour cake with many different fillings)


           

Banh can are small round cakes made of rice flour batter, baked over a charcoal fire on a special plate that has rounded hollows and these have little cast iron lids that go over each hollow. The cakes are then served with a combination of fried green onion, fish sauce and thinly-shredded green mango (you add to your taste) mixed with mouthwatering sauce of lemon juice, garlic, sugar and red pepper.

     

 There can be many fillings. Quail eggs (Trung cut), squid (Muc), prawns (Tom), beef (Bo), chicken eggs (Trung Ga) and small snails (Hen) are some of the combinations I have seen. Chicken or quail eggs can be added to the batter for another variation on the cake. The eggs change the color from white to yellow.


You can get a pork ball in the sauce while you are waiting and this is called Xiu Mai (10 000vnd each). These are delicious.

 

There are many places to buy these but only on the streets. It is an afternoon or evening snack or meal.

  

This place (51 To Hien Thanh) is we think, the best in Nha Trang. It is a husband and wife team. She does the cooking and he does the serving and taking orders. He can speak a little English but pointing is also effective. It offers a mixed plate of six pieces, normally this is enough for one, costing 60 000 vnd. You can get all of one or none of what you don't like. I personally am not much a fan of the Hen (small snail) but I love everything else. They are open after 3pm most nights. Some evenings there is quite a crowd so it can be a wait but it is worth it.   

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Pure Vietnam Beauty and Spa Charity for April with the help of friends, Nha Trang

 

I had an amazing day doing the monthly charity for Pure Vietnam Beauty and Spa.
I went to a Pagoda about 40kms south of Nha Trang. This Pagoda has 70 children in it ranging from 8 months to sixteen years of age with some of the children having disabilities. Downs syndrome, spina bifida, cleft palatte were some that I recognized and some I didn’t recognize. They do it fairly tuff here because they are not easily accessible like the other orphanages in Nha Trang (not that any of them have an easy time).


Some friends of ours had given us some money to buy things for orphans.Jacob George, Kim Chi Tran, Robyn Glasgow and daughter Tarja and Nguyen Lanh.
I decided to pool the money along with some of ours and bought a couple og kilos of dried mushrooms, many bags of fake meat (Buddhist’s can’t eat meat), cartons of milk, boxes of noodles, lots of rice, and chuppa chups.


I hired a car and went with Minh Hiền a friend of hers and one of our security guards who wanted to do charity.Steve Brown and the rest of the staff had to work.


These kids are shy yet want to talk and touch. They all want attention.

 

They who have nothing shared their lunch with us. It was their honor to be able to give to us because we gave to them. A very humbling experience. It was a delicious lunch of pumpkin, fried sweet potato, rice and zucchini soup. The older boys are so studious and are very keen to practice their English. Some of the older boys kept studying through lunch. (maybe they had an exam coming up?)


We gave out milk and chuppa chups. Each child would only have one chuppa chups with many of the older boys giving the younger children theirs so they had two.
We should all take a moment to appreciate what we have and especially on Mother’s Day appreciate those who have given to us selflessly.
It is both a humbling but an incredibly uplifting experience to be able to help someone else even just a little.


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