Local culture

Historical Tour in the Capital City of Vietnam

People say looking back to your past is your way forward. Some would not agree, but for the Vietnamese people, this is their way of life. I have been a fan of history since I was a child but my mind seems to have no patience remembering about details. Despite of that, I’ve always loved hearing stories and trivia from people around the world. Vietnam is one of the places I truly admire for its preservation not just of its culture but also of its history.

Before I arrive in Hanoi, all I know about its history is the war between Vietnam and USA.

A Day for Snakes – Le Mat Villlage Festival

Snake killing dance, photo from Vietnam CINET

Seven kilometers from Hanoi awaits an exciting celebration of the year and the main event is something you wouldn’t expect. This little village called Le Mat in Long Bien district boasts a festival that may sound strange but really meaningful for this culture. They call it the Snake Village Festival, usually held on the 23rd day of the third lunar month annually. In this celebration, they pay tribute to the legend of their village which snakes portray a hefty role.

Procession at the start of the festival,

Exhibits to Catch in Hanoi this Week: April 19-26, 2017

This week is an eventful week in Hanoi. The city will showcase two exhibits about the minorities in Vietnam: women and the Hmong village. These exhibits shed light to the important cause of raising awareness for the locals and tourists alike.



photo from Word Vietnam

This 2-day exhibit by Vietnam in Focus highlights the hardworking women of Hanoi streets. It includes women cooks, coffee vendors, traders, couriers and garbage collectors. Born from a photography workshop led by Colm Pierce, the portraits seen in this exhibit is in line with the celebration of Women’s History Month.

5 Best Bun Cha Spots in Hanoi

Today marks my 16th day here in Hanoi and I am still in love with bun cha. I don’t know what’s keeping me to eat it repeatedly — everyday, to be precise — but I could not stop! Imagine the fresh vermicelli noodles and vegetables dipped in a warm, sweet broth with soft, marinated meat. So good, right?

In order to share my love for this dish, I compiled a list of restaurants where you can enjoy it the most. Although I have a particular adoration with bun cha places found in different corners, this is an efficient guide for special occasions and family meals.

Epic Sunday Funday Experience in Hanoi

A typical Sunday in Hanoi

In the Philippines, Sunday is a sacred day. It is the time when families gather together to share their time in mass, eat together and prepare for the upcoming week. Hanoi, however, is not that much different from where I came from. People also go to mass in the morning and spend their lunch together with their families. The only difference between Vietnamese and Filipino families is how they spend their downtime to end a day. Filipinos tend to flock to shopping malls after mass, but Vietnamese go to Hoan Kiem Lake to enjoy the life.

Attention: Free Queer Films in Hanoi for April 2017

Official logo

Hear ye, film buffs and LGBT supporters alike! Hanoi International Queer Film Week is hosting a week-long run of local and international films about queer diversity in society. With this year’s theme as “Pride Journey”, every screening day presents a particular subject showcased by films involved. This year, the line-up is filled up of entries from Vietnam, Philippines, Myanmar, China, USA, United Kingdom and many more.

Hanoi International Queer Film Week is a non-profit organization established to create awareness for the queer identities in Vietnamese society. It also aims to raise more opportunities for the LGBT community inside and outside the country.

7 Ways to Get Around in the City of Hanoi

Hanoi is a vibrant city filled with rich culture and endless activities, making it a famous stop for travelers around the world. With its population more than 7 million plus 10 million of tourists annually, getting around has never been easy. There are different modes of transportation you can choose while visiting the darling capital of Vietnam, depending on your budget, preference and schedule:


Scooter life, photo from The Xtra Suitcase

When to use it: 5:00 am – 1:00 am everyday

Who can use it:

The Much-Awaited 6th Quang Nam Heritage Festival


Quang Nam festival performance, photo from Hoi An Tourism

This year, expect one of the most colorful and poignant festivals in Vietnam to be even better than before. Quang Nam Heritage Festival, now on its sixth term, is created to promote Vietnamese values and Quang Nam’s cultural contributions to the world. The event will be held on 09-14 June 2017 in the city of Hoi An. It aims to celebrate Vietnam’s rich heritage and establish camaraderie with the global industry. Inviting 10-12 heritage cities around the world, the festival is filled with cultural activities and international conferences where all ages are welcome to join and celebrate.

Vietnam’s Hung Kings’ Festival

Hung Kings’ Festival, photo from Cinet

Hung Kings’ Festival is the most important holiday in Vietnam. According to legends and historical records, Hung Kings are the founders of Vietnam. They started the prosperity and integrity of the country. Mainly observed during the 10th day of the 3rd lunar month, Vietnam celebrates for several days with many activities organized in every city. This year, the Commemoration Day falls on 06 April 2017. Hung Kings’ Commemoration Day is a well-awaited occasion to observe Vietnamese traditions while spending time with family and friends. But for tourists,

Ninh Binh: The Tranquil City of Vietnam

Bai Dinh Temple Complex, photo by Aje Candelaria

Arriving in Hanoi a week ago has been nothing but eventful. Everything felt fast-paced, rushed but at the same time there were all these tasty food I can’t stop eating. The city is alive, indeed — what with all the beers flowing and people having fun every night. There are still a lot to discover but seven days here in the scooter-loving, panic-inducing city gave me a reason to need a reprieve from all of it. Thank God for friends because eventually I got invited for a trip in a city called Ninh Binh.