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How to ride a scooter in Vietnam

Firstly you should know some functions and how to using some parts of bike such as horn, tire, front brake, rear brake, mirrors, throttle..

There are some steps to help you ride bike easier:

  • Make sure you wear helmets and other protections
  • Stay on bike and keep it stand balance
  • Make sure you have safe area enough in front of bike
  • Turn on key
  • Hold brake and kick start engine
  • Take your finger on both brakes in ready position to make sure you can take brake as fast as possible
  • Turn throttle higher level as slow as you can. Bike starting run, this time do not turn throttle fast, do not hold the handle bar too strong, then try to control bike balance on road.
  • Make sure you have 300m at least free straight road. Don’t try to turn bike left or right before you feel comfortable
  • If you want to turn bike left or right, you should keep bike run slower even stop to make sure you have safely road by turn the throttle at lower level and use both brakes step by step to control bike run slower. One important thing that use rear brake first and front brake then. Do not use front brake first because front wheel is easy get lost the way.
  • Keep safely distance to any other transports on the roads
  • Try to ride until you feel comfortable on bike (usual time around 10 minutes)

Other notes help you ride bike better in Vietnam traffics

  • Some Vietnamese ride bike without indicate when they turn left or right. Some people usually use horn on road so sometime you will feel annoy while riding bike.
  • Keep safe speech. Motorbike only allow maximum speech only 50kmh at any town or city, outside 60kmh

Enjoy your ride and explore amazing Vietnam by your way!

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Bun Bo Hue

Bun bo Hue (Hue style beef noodles) is a popular Vietnamese soup vermicelli dish, and one of the most typical foods of Hue, Vietnam. Harmony combination of ingredients make the food famous; the broth is prepared by simmering beef and bones for a long period of time, after that a large range of different spices containing lemon grass and chili are added in. Shrimp paste is an important spice to smell the dish strong. Hue people usually add thin slices of beef shank, chunks of boiled oxtail, and pig’s knuckles or pork into the bowl. It can also contain cubes of maroon brown congealed pig blood, which are good for those suffering from high blood pressure. The specialty is commonly served with a plenty of herbs like sprouts, lime wedges, cilantro sprigs, onions, and sliced banana blossom. Thinly sliced purple cabbage or iceberg lettuces are used in case of lacking in banana blossom. It is highly recommended for tourists to add a few of shrimp paste directly into the soup. Bun Bo is a must-try dish that you should taste when visiting Hue, especially in a winter day, sitting next to the stove and enjoying a hot bowl of Bun Bo, it can be a great experience!

The price is from 15.000-40.000vnd ($1-$2)

bun bo hue

Motorvina’s recommendation:

+ Bun Bo Madame Kéo: 20 Bach Dang st, Hue

+ A small stall on Nguyen Du st, Hue

+ Madam Bot: Ha Noi st, Hue or Tran Hung Dao st

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Com Hen

Com Hen (mussel rice) is a very unique cuisine of Hue. You can enjoy a lot of tastes in only one bowl, from sour, spicy, salty to deliciously buttery. That unique comes from its plentiful ingredients.  Com Hen contains rice, boiled mussel, star fruit, fish sauce, cabbage, onion, pepper, peanut, chili, and a variety of herbs. The specialty is all of these elements are cold. When people eat Com Hen, they add all the above ingredients to a bowl, and slowly add boiled mussel broth with chili sauce into the bowl (the broth is the only hot thing in Com Hen). Though Com Hen looks simple, it also expresses the subtlety of Hue cuisine. Com Hen is a popular dish of Hue people because of its reasonable price that fluctuates from 7000vnd-15.000vnd (~0.5$-1$). It can be found easily around the city.

com hen, where to eat at hue

Motorvina’s recommendation: 

+ Com Hen Nho on Pham Hong Thai st, Hue

+ Com Hen Ty Hon on Han Mac Tu st, Hue

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Thien Mu Pagoda

This famous pagoda is far from the city center about 5km, located on Ha Khe hill, by Huong river bank.
Legend has it that in the old days, the local here often saw an old woman wearing red dress, green trousers turned up in their dreams and said that it would be a lord coming here to build a pagoda to reinforce good layer of earth. One day, Nguyen Hoang Lord stopped off and heard the story, and then he decided to build a pagoda here named Thien Mu (literally “celestial lady”).
The pagoda was constructed in 1601 and restored by Nguyen Phuc Tan Lord in 1665. In 1710, Nguyen Phuc Chu Lord ordered to cast a giant bell which weighs 3285 kg and in 1715, he had a stone stele built on a stone tortoise’s back which is 2,58m high. Thien Mu pagoda experienced several restorations during reigns of Nguyen Kings. Phuoc Duyen Tower, the seven floors octagonal tower, was built in 1844 by Thieu Tri King. Inside it is Dai Hung shrine, a magnificent grandiose architecture work.
In front of the sanctuaries and around the pagoda as well, there are many beautiful gardens and a pine forest rearward. Thien mu pagoda was downgraded severely in 1943 and since 1945, it has had a complete restoration for more than 30 years.
Nowadays, Thien Mu pagoda has been preserved and embellished to be an attractive place not only for Buddhists but also for tourists visiting Hue.

Thien Mu pagoda - sacred place by Huong river
Thien Mu pagoda – sacred place by Huong river
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Tu Duc Tomb

Started to be built in 1864 and completed in 1867 with 475ha in area, Tu Duc Tomb was constructed in the difficult period of country as well as of the King himself.

Due to his failure in state affairs, Tu Duc became pessimistic gradually, especially in his old age. He thought about the death and then decided to build the tomb considered as the second palace where the King could come to relax or take a rest, chant poems… Tu Duc lived 16 years more after the tomb had been finished.

According to history, Tu Duc himself decided the architecture of the tomb. Inside the rampart, there are nearly 50 buildings arranging into groups on different earth potentials. Covered by Khiem Cung gate is the complex of palace where King and his servants stayed when they came here including Minh Khiem Duong- the royal theater or Hoa Khiem Hall used for wordship King and Queen. Khiem Cung Palace is all made from wood whereas those in grave area are made from stone and brick. A remarkable highlight is the largest stone stele of Viet Nam which showed the life, the royalty and even the guilt of the King written by himself. Beside Khiem Tri Lake, inside a small stone house is the rest place of Tu Duc surrounded by a peaceful pine forest.

In a word, Tu Duc Tomb can be seen as a poet, a charming landscape painting which can reflect partly the King’s characteristics. Compared with Khai dinh Tomb, it is a very interesting contrast.

Tu Duc Tomb - a charming landscape painting
Tu Duc Tomb – a charming landscape painting
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Can Tho

A population of around a million makes CAN THO the delta’s biggest city, and losing yourself in its commercial thrum for a few days is the perfect antidote to time spent in the quiet backwaters of the delta. However, first impressions are rather less than encouraging: Can Tho is a hefty settlement but, once the oppressive urban sprawl encasing the town has been negotiated, its breezy waterfront comes as a pleasant surprise.

At the confluence of the Can Tho and Hau Giang rivers, the city is a major mercantile centre and transport interchange. The recent re-opening of the former US air base for commercial flights, as well as the enormous effort of completing the biggest bridge in the delta, shows that this city features large in government plans for future development.

But Can Tho is no mere staging post. Some of the best restaurants in the delta are located here; what’s more, the abundant rice fields of Can Tho Province are never far away, and at the intersections of the canals and rivers that thread between them are some of the delta’s best-known floating markets. Can Tho was the last city to succumb to the North Vietnamese Army, a day after the fall of Saigon, on May 1, 1975 – the date that has come to represent the reunification of the country.

Though its boat trips are the main reason for visiting Can Tho, a handful of lesser diversions on dry land will help keep you amused in the meantime

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Meo Vac

Meo Vac town is a dusty outpost not far from the Chinese border in Ha Giang province. Most travellers pass through here since it’s at one end of the spectacular Dong Van – Meo Vac drive.

Try and time your visit to for the Sunday market where minority people from the surrounding mountains descend on the town.

The main Meo Vac Sunday market takes place behind the town market. Further back again there’s a livestock market where the locals trade horses, cattle, pigs – and even dogs. The livestock section may not be for everyone – with squealing pigs and dogs about to be served up in local homes and restaurants.

Meo Vac Sunday market is probably one of the most photogenic places you’ll visit in Ha Giang – but quite a few of the locals may have mixed feelings about being photographed. Be friendly and polite and you’ll likely receive the same.

The walks and treks immediately outside Dong Van are more spectacular than those in Meo Vac so Dong Van makes a better base for a few days.

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Hue Citadel 

Hue citadel, built in 1803 and taken nearly 30 years to complete, is a 9000m in circumference rampart parade with 24 fortresses on the surface. Outside, along the edge, there is a deep trench used for protection.  The citadel has 8 gates that face to 8 directions: North, West, South, East, Northwest, Southwest, Northeast, and Southeast. According to principles of Oriental feng shui, the citadel faces to the South, 4 sides is surrounded by rivers system. Inside the citadel is the Royal palace, includes the Royal citadel and Forbidden city in which used to protect the most important ritual, political area of the court and the working, living area of the King and his family, respectively. The Royal Palace is built in square shape and has 4 gates, however, the main gate named Ngo Mon just served only for the King. It has more than 100 beautiful architectural buildings separated into various areas such as: Ngo Mon gate and Thai Hoa palace where organized the big ceremonies, Dien Tho palace was the residence of queen mother, Duyet Thi Duong (theater), Thuong Thien (Royal kitchen), Cam Uyen garden… Even though most of these architectures were made from valuable kinds of wood, they cannot suffer disasters and the devastation of wars for ages. Therefore, some of them were damaged partly or even collapsed; luckily, the embellishment has been carrying out gradually.