The rain festival

Rain ceremony of Lo Lo minority people in Meo Vac, Ha Giang

Posted By : Duc Viet Nguyen/ 214 1

The rain festival of Lo Lo minority people in Meo Vac, Ha Giang

The rain festival is undisputably the most traditional festival among the Lo Lo people living in Meo Vac; Ha Giang. Once integrated in this uniquely cultural festival you will learn so much more than you ever imagined; taking with you a sense of humbling serenity like no other.

The rain festival

In the beginning stages of the ceremony the Lo Lo people gather in the middle of the village; inviting ceremonial people such as the village chief or senior citizens to help commend the practice. Everyone then proceeds to prepare the holy sacrifices for the gods.

Among these are animals; swords; wine; and four scented bamboo sticks intended to symbolism the four heavens. This is completed by lighting the incense and scattering dazzling gold paper and silver over the offerings in a final tribute before the ceremony

Lễ hội cầu mưa lô lô
lễ cầu mưa

In order for the rain ceremony to be successful, it is imperative that the procedure is commemorated using ancient prayers. Using a cup of water, incense and paprika the priest first burns the incense at the majestic alter of the ancestors, then places the cup of water down before continuing with prayer. Gold paper is then wrapped around the cup of water, and after it is poured out the rain ceremony can commence successfully. Only once the paper is burnt out is the ceremony complete.

cầu mưa lô lô (1)
le-hoi-cau-mua-lo-lo4 (1)

After the rain ceremony, all of the villagers gather for drinking and dancing around the table. At this time, the boys and girls of the Lo Lo ethnic group will perform ancient folk songs that sing of love and praise for the country, and celebrate the happiness of couples.

cho quyet tien ha giang


Posted By : Duc Viet Nguyen/ 167 1

Quyen tien market

Nestled in the foot of the mountain  in the stunning Ha Giang district beholds the charmingly quaint market of the Quyen tien community. Here the efforts of  the Hmong people’s  long working weeks are unveiled in a shower of colourful culture for just one Saturday morning. 

chợ quyết tiến (1)

Highland markets have long been a highly desirable destination of choice for tourists on discovery paths. They feel their soul awakening as the sunlight trickles up the mountain peak in the midst of morning; and see streams of the Hmong people with their radiant and rich tapestries of dress working from dawn until dusk.

This market in particular in the Ha Giang province is an event of extreme social and cultural importance. Throughout the maze of stalls historic profound beauty is painted and crystallized over the indigenous Mongolian dress and jewelry.

chợ quyết tiến hà giang (1)

The women here are spoiled for choice as they gaze upon magnificently crafted clothes; shoes and silver rings. The men congregate towards the tobacco pipes and buy ancient remedies and medicines for their families. When the hum of the market softens at the end of the day; the people settle down together in satisfaction and sheer happiness; enjoying many cups of wine; laughing as they tell each other stories and jokes about the day.

cho quyet tien

For the indigenous people of the mountainside in Ha Giang this market is much more than just a means of shopping and selling It is a truly recreational time for meeting friends and having fun together. The market is essentially a living museum of timeless culture and ancient practice, that both mesmerizes and captivates all who come to experience it. 

Fire dancing festival


Posted By : Duc Viet Nguyen/ 85 0

Fire dancing festival of pa then minority community in Ha Giang

This brilliantly vibrant yet ancient festival is still celebrated at large by the Pa Then ethnic group of  Tuyen Quang province. The inhabitants of this province are scattered far and wide in deeply remote areas but they all still unify as one culture in traditional costume; music and song for the God of fire on the 16th day of the first lunar month every year.

The ceremony, which is believed to bring good fortune and opulence; is practiced to fortify the alliance between man; nature and god. Before the ceremony takes place; the village Shaman prepares offerings as a ritual for the gods; asking divine permission to proceed with the fire dancing.

Fire dancing festival

The Pa Then people them must wait and abstain from jumping in the fire; until the gods have been worshipped and invited to join the ritual.  In the lead-up to this mesmerizing frenzy percussion instruments are played up until the Gods agree to let the people join the fire. This only happens once the coals are red and the blaze has weakened.

Once the boys and men of the pa then people join the fire it is like a hypnotic illusion- they skip and dance barefoot among the hot coals painlessly as if they feel no pain at all. Some even dig out the scorching coals with their bare hands and put them in their mouths. They do this in the hopes of driving out evil spirits or simply in prayer of supreme health and strength.

 After the fire has deceased and the charcoal has cooled the shaman makes one final summons for the spirits to be driven away and the people conclude with laughter and excitement; cherishing this unique and sacred ceremony.

cat ba national park


Posted By : Duc Viet Nguyen/ 110 0


With its rugged rocky horizons, cool, glittering caves, thick jungles teeming with wildlife, and golden beaches, Cat Ba Island is an explorer’s nirvana.

Cat Ba offers the chance to get outdoors in so many ways. You can choose to kayak in private mini bays, hike in the National Park, swim at any number of gorgeous sandy beaches, take a boat trip, cycle or motorbike around the island or even do some rock climbing to fully appreciate what the island has to offer.

Of course the last thing you want on your holiday is for something to go wrong, so we have put together a brief list of things you can do to keep yourself safe so you get the most out of your stay on the island.

cycle or motorbike around the island


Kayaking is one of the most rewarding ways to properly appreciate the sheer size of the famous limestone karsts that make this part of the world so famous. There are so many reasons why you should kayaking in Cat Ba. However, as in many South East Asian countries, rental equipment can be damaged or not quite up to the safety standards many western tourists are used to.

When renting a kayak, check the boat is firstly and most importantly, water tight. If not, don’t get in and ask for another one! Secondly, make sure your paddles are not brittle or broken and ask if they can be tied to your kayak to avoid losing them and ending up a creek without a paddle! Insist that you are given a lifejacket and inspect it for any damage first.

Before setting out make sure you have plenty of water, sunscreen and it pays to have a wide brimmed hat. Once you have all the gear you are good to go and will easily spend hours discovering beautiful private bays, pristine beaches, enchanting sea caves and tunnels and capturing photos of the rugged landscape from an entirely unique perspective

kayaking in Cat Ba


If hiking is your thing, Cat Ba National Park will not disappoint. Here you will experience nature and views like you will not find anywhere else. You will wander through shimmering greenery; pass caves like works of art, carefully perfected by Mother Nature over billions of years.

Just like anywhere in the world it is important to take the appropriate precautions to ensure you have a safe experience. Always bring plenty of water and food. The jungle is incredibly humid and you will sweat bucket loads. Consider bringing a cloth head band to keep the sweat out of your eyes or wear a hat. Wear appropriate shoes with plenty of grip as after rain the ground can get very slippery. Do not approach snakes or any wildlife you might encounter. Never hike alone and always make sure someone is expecting you back at an agreed time.

Ride A Motorbike Around Cat Ba

Cycling and motorbikes

Cycling or hiring a motorbike is a popular way to get around the island. The freedom of having your own bike is priceless and means you can explore everything the island has to offer at your own pace as well as giving you the chance to get off the beaten track and discover parts of the island that even the locals might not know about.

The roads are probably your biggest enemy here. The island is quite hilly and in some places there are un-sealed roads with giant pot-holes. These can pop up quite unexpectedly and can be deadly so always watch where you are going, wear a helmet and go slowly. In Vietnam you must cycle and drive on the right-hand side and cyclists should give way to motorbikes. When driving or cycling in traffic it is customary to give a friendly honk of your horn or ring of your bell when approaching traffic or pedestrians from behind. This lets other drivers know where you are and is an essential part of traffic culture in Vietnam.

Ride A Motorbike Around Cat Ba

Boat trips

Taking a boat trip in the bay is by far the most relaxing way to fully appreciate the incredible natural rock formations and get up close and personal with the unique fishing villages that are scattered throughout the bay. To ensure you are safe make sure you book with a reputable company. Nam Travel only partner with providers who meet the safety standards set by the government. Boat skippers have to comply with certain maritime regulations but to keep yourself safe make sure there is a life jacket available for you and your family. Take enough food and water with you if the tour does not supply this and wear long pants and shirts, put sun-cream on your skin to protect yourself from the sun

Boat trips
Boat trips

Rock climbing

For some people there is no better way to enjoy spectacular views across the island than by hanging from a rope half way up one of the magnificent craggy rock faces of a limestone karst. The only way to experience these views safely are by booking a guided trip from a reputable company which Nam Travel can help you with. Again dress for the sun. Wear long tight fitting clothing to avoid it getting snagged on anything and bring enough food and water for the whole day. Always wear a helmet and ask your guide about what kinds of shoes are suitable for the climb. Listen to your instructor carefully and follow their rules. They are there to keep you safe and are more familiar with the environment than you are.

leo núi

Exploring the town

One of the most interesting parts of the island is actually the town and the local people. As Cat Ba has been a popular tourist destination for so long, locals are used to seeing tourists as well as travelers and will hardly blink an eye at you. The crime rate is very low here and there are very few reports of tourists being mugged. Women travelling alone can also feel safe even whilst walking at night as there are plenty of street lights on the road in the main part of the town.

Exploring the town


Don’t worry if you struggle to find a course of action- contact me. I will help you as best as I can. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me. I am available all of the time to help you out.

I am here to listen to you

Whatsapp number: +84936516991 – Viet

Skype: ducvietdz


Good luck with your amazing journey in Viet Nam!

Wait, you would love these tours so much!

is safe to ride a bike during the typhoon


Posted By : Duc Viet Nguyen/ 192 0


Typhoons are a common occurrence all over Vietnam and if you aren’t careful they can even be deadly. If you are properly prepared chances are you’ll be fine however there are different hazards that you should look out for depending on where you are when one hits.

Why is a typhoon so serious?

What to do if a typhoon hits whilst you are in a hilly area

How to stay safe during a typhoon on an island

Is it safe to drive in a typhoon?



Why is a typhoon so serious?

A typhoon is a mature tropical cyclone and can bring with it incredibly powerful winds and rain. Often in the days before a typhoon the weather will be warm and the skies blue and cloud free. This can lull unsuspecting travellers into a false sense of security. A typhoon usually begins with torrential rain, sometimes thunder and lightning and then introduces very strong winds. This wind and rain can last for a maximum of 5 days so can bring your plans to a serious halt.

biển Cát Bà
sam set

What to do if a typhoon hits whilst you are in a hilly area

Landslides are a very real risk during a typhoon and it can be dangerous for a few days following. Torrential rain can seriously damage the structural integrity of the soft soil found in many hilly areas of Vietnam. If you are stuck in the hills when a typhoon strikes make sure you have a safe place to stay for a while until the rain stops and the ground dries out a little. This could take a few days so be patient.

Before heading off on a trek in these stunning areas of the country always make sure to check the weather forecast and ask the locals. Always follow local advice. Often when tourists are injured during extreme weather it is because they have not listened to the advice given to them.


How to stay safe during a typhoon on an island

If you happen to be on one of Vietnams many islands when a typhoon hits – don’t panic. Most local people can tell when a typhoon is coming and this will give you time to change your plans and swap outdoor activities for some relaxing indoor activities. Strong winds will bring about large waves and dangerous sea conditions.

Boat trips and ferries will be cancelled for the safety of the passengers and there is not much you can do about this. You should avoid going to the beach during a typhoon as the winds will be very strong and the waves can be wild and unpredictable.


Is safe to ride a bike during the typhoon

The simple answer to this is no. Many roads in Vietnam are unsealed and become very slippery in the rain. Depending on where you are, busses may be cancelled until the roads have dried out. Do not, under any circumstances, drive a motorbike in a typhoon regardless of how desperate you are to get to your next destination. Rain plays havoc with both sealed and unsealed roads and the ratio of potholes to road only gets worse. This makes the roads deadly and it is not worth risking your life.

The soft fertile soil that makes up most of Vietnam is prone to slips and landslides after heavy rain so avoid roads that have steep drops on one side for a few days after the typhoon has passed.


Don’t worry if you struggle to find a course of action- contact me. I will help you as best as I can. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me. I am available all of the time to help you out.

I am here to listen to you

Whatsapp number: +84936516991 – Viet

Skype: ducvietdz


Good luck with your amazing journey in Viet Nam!

Wait, you would love these tours so much!

Vietnam tourism - Cat Ba island tourism

Affiliate With Nam Travel To Earn And Increase Your Travel Budget

Posted By : Duc Viet Nguyen/ 85 0

Hello fellow travellers! Thank you for taking the time to contact us! It is a pleasure to have the opportunity to work with you!

My name is Viet, but you can  call me Tony. Currently, I am the manager of Nam Travel Company, headquartered at 261 Nui Ngoc Street – Cat Ba town – Hai Phong – Vietnam. As a traveler myself, having met and talked with many different people, I know I can always learn something from collaborating with others. I also know that working as a team always benefits both parties more than just working alone. Therefore, we are extremely proud to announce that we have officially launched affiliate platforms, working in partnership with travelers who want to pay for their travel budget whilst travelling!

You can cooperate with us in any of 3 ways:

Option 1: Affiliate with us by referring tourists directly

We believe that people should be given fair reward for their efforts. In that spirit, for each tourist that uses our company’s services from your referral, you will receive an immediate $ 1 USD. We will have a list of partners’ names, each customer will be asked for information particularly who introduced them to our organisation. This list will be available on the website, so you can easily check your sales.

The way you choose to recommend our company is up to you: It can be through direct referrals from you but also because your media posts about our tours as well as our company

Option 2: Associate with us through campaign sales

We will send you the current tours and tour prices. You can create a sales campaign with a minimum number of customers is 10 guests / campaign.

If you do not reach the target of 10 guests / campaign, you still receive 8% of the value of the tour you sell / person.

If you achieve the goal of the campaign, you will receive 10% of the value of the tour you sell / person. If exceeding the target:


11 – 20 guests / campaign, you will receive 12%

21 – 30 guests / campaign, you get 15%

31 – 40 guests / campain, you get 18%

more than 60 guests / campaign, you get 20%


You will receive an affiliate code from us. Based on that code, we will determine the number of customers booked by you and transfer money to you after each campaign or monthly payment depending on your discretion.

For partners  who cooperate in option 2 we will collect the entire payment at the hotel. Otherwise, before the tour, you can transfer the payment for the tour to us minus your commission, depending on the commitment of our campaign.

We will follow the schedule and information you provide to take care of your guests

Option 3: Join us by creating a tour: you yourself are the tour operator

The clue is in the name, you will become a tour operator for us. We will give you the agent price of the travel services we have available including: room rates, food prices and prices of various travel services. You will plan a tour and search for customers yourself. We assure you that the price we offer is reasonable for our partners, meaning that you can make reasonably priced tours that can still be profitable and easily sold! With through this collaboration you can individually manage a tour for your customers/friends. The time and activities of the tour are completely on decided by you!

The advantage of the option is that you can actively create the price for tours that you want to sell. Contact us 5 days in advance so that both parties are well prepared to ensure the interests of our customers.

I have several guests willing to do a tour, how will Nam Travel manage a tour for me?

This is a key question for people who want to work with us. After a customer books your tour you should email their individual information including:

  • check-in and check-out dates
  • tour name
  • tour itinerary
  • name, nationality and number of guests booking the tour
  • special requests of guests (eg. vegetarian/vegan food etc.)
  • Special services included in the tour  (optional )
  • total price of the tour. Payment can be made at the hotel or through bank transfer.


How To Collect Your Money?

We will pay your revenue via paypal account. Transaction fees will be borne by you. If transactions are less than $50 USD, we will be happy to assist with the transaction fee

You can request a monthly payment, by tour or by campaign payment. We will let you decide at your discretion.

How To Register for a Partnership with Nam Travel

Please send us your social influence account, your name, your email and paypal details ( bank account ) by filling in the form below.

You can cooperate with us through any combination of the 3 options or through all options. Please tell us to make it easier for us to manage working with you in the best way possible

Thank you so much. We can not wait to talk to you again!

How To Bargain In Vietnam

Posted By : Duc Viet Nguyen/ 154 0

Bargaining, is a culture in itself in Vietnam. It is an indispensable part of trade exchange here. In western countries people go to the store or supermarket, in which the items are sourced from other foreign countries, depending on the item. Where as in Vietnam most of the business comes from small business families, especially in local markets. 100% of household businesses are household traders.

With such a broad market of opportunity, there is inconsistency in prices among households. Depending on how you look at it, its either a hinder or an opportunity for those traveling in Vietnam.

Bargaining, is a culture in itself in Vietnam. It is an indispensable part of trade exchange here. In western countries people go to the store or supermarket, in which the items are sourced from other foreign countries, depending on the item. Where as in Vietnam most of the business comes from small business families, especially in local markets. 100% of household businesses are household traders. With such a broad market of opportunity, there is inconsistency in prices among households. Depending on how you look at it, its either a hinder or an opportunity for those traveling in Vietnam.


In some countries talking about finances is a delicate matter, perhaps by some considered impolitic. It is quite the contrary in Vietnam. The topic of money is talked about openly and daily. Something that you may find so taboo in a western country is in abundance here. You bargain according to the trade on each day. Vietnam doesn’t stand alone on this topic, your bargaining skills will come in handy, throughout Southeast Asia, bargaining is an everyday occurrence.


See below how you can save on travel expenses.


If they are not careful, even the Vietnamese can still pay higher prices then usual. Initially for travelers, prices will be offered at rates anywhere from 1.5 to four times higher than the actual price. In the past, there have been cases where foreigners had to buy goods well over their face value prices. Though, in recent years, foreign tourists to Vietnam have been prepared for shopping knowledge. Even then, you will still pay 1.5 times higher than the locals.


How to bargain


When you find an item you would like to buy, ask first, for the price because often the price will not be listed. Upon hearing the first price, counter their offer with half the price being stated. Then, depending on the attitude of the seller, you will gradually increase the price you want to pay. Do this subtly and with a smile on your face. You should know roughly how much you want to pay for this item. If you pay just a little higher or anything below the first said price. You have been successful. Try to limit yourself to a price that is reasonable and is lower than the first given price from the salesperson. If people still insist that your price is to low. DO NOT be afraid to walk away. This is one of the most helpful tips. Walk away slowly because if the seller really needs to sell, they will always call you back.


OK! So here’s a possible scenario.


You want to buy a pair of the elephant shorts that are all the rage for comfort and style in Vietnam. You find a vendor that you like. The initial price you hear is 200.000VND. Typically, the average price of shorts (depending on the material and style) is around 80.000VND-150.000VND. Your first offer should be half of the salespersons, so 100.000VND or you could even try for 90.000VND. Now pay attention to the attitude of the seller; If they look surprised and a little angry, then your offer is not a fair price to them. Your next price will be 10.000VND to 20.000VND higher than your first offered price. Remember only to increase twice, or you will end up paying to much for this item. If in the case, they have already discounted the price for you keep the price for you then you are already paying less than other people and you should only try and decrease the price once.


After a trade exchange, if the seller still has not agreed to sell, walk away slowly, so they have a chance to call you back. If you turn away and the salesperson does not call you back, they’re indicating that your price is too low and they can’t afford to sell it for that price. If you really liked the item, go back later on and raise the price one more time or agree to the first price you heard.


Attitude to keep in mind when bargaining.


When bargaining, consider the seller as your friend. Make use of your Vietnamese that you have learned while traveling around. Another very important rule is to keep a smile on your face, almost talk as if you are flirting with this person. In Vietnam, the trade is important, but the Vietnamese attach importance to their attitude when communicating with each other more. This is very important when shopping or traveling not just in Vietnam, but Southeast Asia in general.

If you build a good enough rapport with the seller, they may even invite you back to their home to eat and get to know their family and friends. What a fun way to travel.


How Bargaining Affects the Cultural Behavior of the Vietnamese


Bargaining is a vital part of every day life in the Vietnamese culture. For Vietnamese people, bargaining is a sign of the usual trade between first-time buyers, but if you have made a purchase previously, people will remember you. So, the next time you will make a purchase, you will be able to buy goods at an average price or maybe even lower than the average price of the product. Of course, this is true only for small business deals, but it still represents the Vietnamese community.


Why with visitors, should you always bargain? Because as I said above, the Vietnamese economy is about mini-capitalism. So, for visitors-the casual shoppers, the sellers usually pay higher prices for an item to make more money. A pair of pants sold to Vietnamese people for 120,000VND is equal to the price of imported pants for tourists for 200.000VND. This is the consequence of the free market between small traders.

Pay attention when using Vietnamese currency

Common Mistake When Using Vietnamese Money

Posted By : Duc Viet Nguyen/ 227 0

What is Vietnamese money?

Cash VS bank cards. Which is more convenient in Vietnam?

Common mistakes when using Vietnamese currency

Keeping the face value of money to pay small

As a traveler, using local money to buy consumer goods, is a crucial part of traveling.


In this article, I will address Vietnamese currency and tips when using Vietnamese currency.


  1. What is Vietnamese money?
  2. Cash VS bank cards. Which is more convenient in Vietnam?
  3. Common mistakes when using Vietnamese currency
  4. Keeping the face value of money to pay small


Vietnamese Dong is the official currency in Vietnam. The denominations are as follow: 1000 – 2000 (lowest denomination)







500,000 VND. (highest denomination)


XE is an app you can use, to give you live conversion rates or you can simply type the amount into Google and it will convert it for you.


If you have foreign currency in cash, you can exchange to Vietnamese Dong. This is very easy to do at the airport and perhaps more convenient, though the commission will be quite high compared to the ATM fee you would have gotten, if you were to have withdrawn cash upon arrival.


For money transfer, you can go to the bank or another very convenient way is to go to a jewelry shop or as they’re known ‘gold shop”, they won’t charge you for fees unlike airports and hotels.


The bigger the amount of money, the higher the exchange rate is.


For example:


In the case, changing $10USD to its Vietnamese equivalent (227,273VND) will be lower when you would change $100 to 2,272,736VND.


In general, money valued ​​less than $10, the exchange rate will be lower than if the coin value is higher than 10.


Why is this change? Because high par value currencies are often more easily traded on the domestic foreign exchange market between Vietnamese and Vietnamese. The higher par value is used or is therefore, more easily exchanged.


Cash or bank card? Which is more convenient?


It is true that in Vietnam, cash is used in most trade deals. From street food, to market vendors and pharmacies to mechanics most store holders are standalone businesses and do not offer card machines. At some restaurants, people have a swipe card system to charge, but this is only a very small amount.


When traveling in Vietnam, do not forget to spend a day in your wallet on average in Vietnam.

Avoid withdrawing large amounts of cash in case of theft or robbery. The ATM system in Vietnam is very developed so you can withdraw money anywhere in the metropolitan area (depending on your bank) and large cities. On average the most you can withdraw 2,000,000VND. Typically you can withdraw this amount three times in a row from the same ATM. If you are in need of more cash, this is the time to make use of the jewelry shops.


If you are planning to travel to mountainous or rural areas. You MUST carefully consider the cost of your trip as there will be no way for you to withdraw money from your bank card. If you do not have enough cash. Keep this cash hidden away. Another tip is to have two wallets. One with a small amount of cash and the rest on another one out of sight, refilling the one with the smaller amounts of cash as you need it.


The common mistakes when using VND

Vietnamese currency is made of polymer, so it is water-resistant and very durable. One of the most common mistakes made with VND is confusion between the currency: 20.000VND and 500.000VND. The 500.000 note is bigger in size, but very similar in color to the 20.000 note. If you are in a hurry to go somewhere, hungover or just plainly not paying attention handing over the wrong note is a high possibility.

Another error when using Vietnamese Dong is that it can be quite sticky. You could very easily pay with two notes at the same time, only finding this out when you look into your wallet to pay for your Bun Cha and only have 5000VND remaining instead of the 100.000 you had previously thought. Vietnam is very humid and the weather is unpredictable, combine this with keeping the money in your pocket for a long time and voila! Sticky money. Always double-check the money before paying.


Keep the face value of money you use to pay in the smallest denominations.


In Vietnam, you have to pay to return to nature at public toilets. Price is usually very cheap only about: 1000-3000VND per time, but in truth it is quite and inconvenience. Keep small denominations side to pay for such times.


When traveling in Vietnam. The cost of everything compared to some countries is next to nothing so it is easy enough to throw money away. Be smart with your money, don’t flash it around because all of a sudden you’re a millionaire for the first time in your life. Respect the fact that small businesses don’t have a change box in the back of their shop, they will usually have to run to fellow store holder to swap the money to give you change. Enjoy the products and services that Vietnam has to offer and support the local stores vs the international chains. Do your part to give back to the community.