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Coffee, naturally, still remains the backbone of the local economy, as it does in many parts of Vietnam. The surroundings of the town allow one to experience the ancient ways of life that the ethnic minorities still uphold, and by taking an easy trek through the rice fields, visitors can even discover hidden waterfalls in the heart of the massive tropical forest.

Meo Vac is a small but charming district capital hemmed in by steep karst mountains and, like many towns in the northwest, it is steadily being settled by Vietnamese from elsewhere. Moreover, the unique cultural color of ethnic people here. The province of Cao Bang, close to the Chinese border, is wildly magnificent, and still relatively untouched by tourism. The region is doubtlessly one of the most beautiful in Vietnam, and boasts too many natural treasures to count, like the Ban Gioc Waterfalls or Thang Hen Lake in Tra Linh.

The road that climbs up to the town of Cao Bang offers a splendid view over of the age-old mountains and the sun-drenched valleys, dotted with small villages. Travelers will be able to go mountain-biking, motorbike treks, or even kayak down the rivers. Dong Hoi is a pleasantly untouristed port and seaside town. It enjoys an attractive location, clinging to the banks of the Nhat Le River, and has beaches to the north and south.

However, for many years the capital of Quang Binh province, Dong Hoi, flew completely under the tourist radar. The city of Dong Hoi itself is a small, sleepy place and the main draw is the fine, white sand beach that lies just 2km away. Pleiku, the unremarkable capital of Gia Lai province, which is located in the central highland region of Vietnam. Pleiku is a historically relevant town, specifically in relation to the Vietnam War.

The town was the end of the military supply logistics avenue which extended to the west along Route 19 and also the main centre of defence for the highland region. These lakes are surrounded by a well-preserved tropical forest, which is inhabited by bears, monkeys, countless species of birds, as well as beautiful, delicate butterflies.

In order to protect this fauna and the local ecosystem, villagers are given grants to ensure that they do not need to cut down the trees in the reserve, and hunting is prohibited — only the village inhabitants are permitted to fish in the lake, as well, cutting down on overfishing.

The archipelago of Con Dao, just a 45 minute flight From Saigon, is made up of 16 paradisaical islands — the main one, Con Son, hosts the city of Con Dao, a local airport, and a few hotels, along with some interesting cultural sites. One such site is the jail of Poulo Condor, built by the French in , and formerly used to imprison opponents to colonization for almost years.

Today, the island of Con Dao is, above all, a holiday resort that boasts very beautiful, yet still-undiscovered beaches, such as Dat Doc, Bai Canh, and Dam Trau. Con Dao is a haven of peace, where travelers will be able to take to the seas: scuba-diving, snorkeling, fishing, sea canoeing are all available, and you may even catch sight of one of the many marine species of the region, like dolphins, manta rays or green turtles. Mu Cang Chai, in Yen Bai province, is one of most attractive locales to enjoy stunning harvest scenes. This celebration is rapidly becoming an indispensable and extremely important cultural activity in the life of the Mu Cang Chai people.

In addition to the purpose of trading, markets are also a place of cultural exchange of ethnic people here, and they work to keep both their livilhoods and culture healthy and safe for future generations. Bac Ha is mostly famous for its market, which takes place on Sundays, and slightly less so for its traditional distillery industry that specializes in unique rice and manioc liqueur and maize liqueur. Around ten local ethnic groups attend the market, including the Hmong, the Thais, and the Dao.

With some , inhabitants, Ben Tre is one of the most prosperous and beautiful provinces in the Mekong Delta. Each section of land makes up the large islands, spread out over the river, and are invariably turned into huge orchards, which you will be able to visit while on your cruise of the Mekong Delta. The city of Ben Tre, located on the riverbank, is home to some beautiful sites, such as the Vien Minh pagoda, famous for its statue of the Goddess of Mercy.

A little further afield, on the island of Pheni, travelers can discover something truly one-of-a-kind: the only temple devoted to Cocoterism, a religion combining Christianity and Buddhism. The views here, when thousands of birds — 38 different species in all — return to nest after a day of searching for food, is a humbling experience, demonstrating — delicately — the power and beauty of nature at work.


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Cai Be as a whole is a district of Tien Giang Province in the Mekong Delta region of Vietnam, where along the river, docks handle passengers, local goods, and especially fruit from local orchards. Here, nature is fertile and the local people are incredibly hospitable, welcoming you with open arms and hearts. Visitors will also have a chance to enjoy a boat trip on the mighty Mekong River for a dreamy and serene time in this wonderful locale.

It is a lively and dynamic city, featuring a large, colorful market right on the main street. Can Tho will probably be the starting point of your exploration of the Mekong River because of its strategic, central position. From there, travelers will be able to go on half-day excursions or two-day cruises and discover the mighty riverbank landscapes, delicate orchards, and the strong, lush rice fields. In addition, travelers will get the chance to see several typical and traditional industry and handicraft workshops, learning more about these arts in the region.

Renowned as the City of Phoenix Flower, Hai Phong is a peaceful city of wide boulevards dovetailed with organized tree rows. One of the important commercial and industrial hub in Northern Vietnam, Hai Phong has extensive infrastructure and offers premium facilities for tourists. Do Son, which has been a resort town since the French colonial period, boasts its beautiful white-sand beaches and luxurious hotels. Cat Ba Island, which is another tourist-magnet and very near to Lan Ha Bay, is also at the top of the list.

Chau Doc is one of the main cities in the Mekong River Delta. Ideally located on the Cambodian border, it is a charming trading city, living mostly off the proceeds of the fisheries and the silk trade. The city is situated at the intersection of a tributary linking the Bassac and Mekong Rivers. Chau Doc may be quite a small city, but what it lacks in size, it makes up for in excitement, vibrancy, and, strangely, is probably the only place in the Delta region where pastel colors are chosen to beautify store fronts.

Moreover, bring out the inner adventurer and climb Sam Mountain, visit all the pagodas and temples at the foot of the mountain, or simply enjoy the beauty of nature in the whimsical Tra Su Bird Sanctuary. Gaze in awe at the mighty Seven Mountain Range, which hem Chau Doc in with various interesting sights dotting their cliffs. This destination has become very popular not only for Vietnamese, but also foreign tourists, and is rightly considered the most romantic place for honeymooners, due to its pleasant weather, its old, intimate parts of town, the natural beauty of the valleys, and the diverse flowers grown there.

In fact, Dalat is often described as a cross between Vietnam and the French Alps, as most of its hotels and houses were built in a French chapeau style. The town spreads across a series of pine-covered hills, with a small, tranquil lake in the center, all surrounded by high peaks, creating some of the loveliest and most unique scenery in Vietnam. Ha Giang is a stunning mountainous region, kilometers north of Hanoi has something of last tourism frontier. The town itself has a few attractions, but the main reason for coming is to head on to Meo Vac and Dong Van, sharing a border with China, is known as the Dong Van Karst Plateau, both set in valleys surrounded by forbidding peaks and connected by a hair-raising road with spectacular views.

Limestone ridged mountains rise up in pyramidal shapes before sinking to hundred-foot mounds and then climbing once more to 5,foot peaks. Rice terraces slice along precariously steep mountainsides, hanging over blue snaking rivers, beneath blood-curdling bends. Colorful farmland climbs to rocky, edged cliffs before rolling off to distant pine forests.

Peaceful and ancient, Hoi An is one of the most famous tourist destinations in all of Central Vietnam, one that attracts not only domestic tourists but also tourists all over the world. For many centuries, Hoi An was an obligatory stop-over for all the merchant ships From Europe and Asia passing through the region, much like Macao and Malacca. Hoi An thus experienced and soaked up multiple Chinese, Japanese and French architectural influences. In addition to its historical interest and the charm of its small streets, the city is renowned for its culinary specialties, its large white sandy beach, and the opportunity to explore its numerous boutiques, such as tailoring, ancient ceramics, and lanterns shops.

Hoi An Rosemary Boutique Hotel. Palm Garden Beach Resort. Leap back to ancient times in Hue, the archetypal Vietnamese imperial city. Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the city boasts an impressive, and frankly unbeatable cultural and historical richness: the imperial citadel, its scattered tombs and its walls surrounded by moats covered with lotus plants and water lilies all make for a sumptuous historical environment to explore.

Hue is located in the central part of Vietnam, south of the 17th parallel. It was the capital city of Vietnam under the reign of the Nguyen dynasty, from the early 19th century right up to The famous Perfume River divides the city, separating the old city to the North from the modern city to the South. It is home to , diverse inhabitants, and in Kontum city and the surrounding villages, people are so open and friendly, often inviting travelers to come to their house. Guests will have the perfect opportunity to immerse themselves in the life of one of the eleven ethnic groups that inhabit this mountainous province.

Among them, guests will learn about groups like the Sedang, Gia Rai and the Bahnar, who were the first to develop the skill of writing and, today, still practice different forms of crafts such as pottery making, weaving, metalworking, and wood carving. Travelers will feel as if they are in a totally new country, as one journeys across landscapes of tiered rice fields to find accommodation with the locals.

Indeed, the best way to spend a night in Mai Chau is to stay with the villagers in a traditional stilt house. The bay of Nha Trang is rightly considered to be one of the most beautiful in the world. There is a very long fine sandy beach opposite the city, with myriad islands in the distance, which can — and should absolutely be explored! Moreover, this seaside locale makes the Nha Trang famous among many other famous destinations in Vietnam — it boasts over 3, kilometers of beautiful seaside road country to be explored.

In Tam Coc, guests and travelers will be able to navigate the Ngo Dong River on Sampans, propelled by friendly local paddlers. Alongside three impressive rocky peaks, travelers can even discover and pass through 3 caves, which gave the region its name Tam Coc. Twenty years of development have transformed the once sleepy fishing town into a water sports mecca, most notably for kitesurfing. At the very south of Vietnam, just a 1-hour flight From Saigon, are some of the most beautiful beaches in the country.

Located in the Gulf of Thailand, 45km from Vietnam and just 15km from Cambodia, a part of the Kien Giang Biophere Reserve, a protected World Heritage Site recognized UNESCO, the island is home to a growing number of luxury resorts and welcoming an increasing number of visitors, while retaining much of its sleepy rural charm. Although it is the largest island in Vietnam, the entire landmass itself can be traversed in just a day at most.

While the town of Quy Nhon was only founded in the 18th century, many signs suggest the area was already inhabited by people of the Champa culture as far back as the 11th century. Today the port is mainly used for trade and Quy Nhon is slowly being discovered as a great destination for a relaxing getaway thanks to its soft sandy beaches and the beautiful landscape around the city.

Truly the economic heart of the country, it easily attracts entrepreneurs of all kinds and each year, and new skyscrapers spring up on the skyline constantly It is, above all, a city characterized by the various occupations of the colonial era, and many buildings in the city center are reminiscent of a French presence. Modern office skyscrapers, amidst Oriental style pagodas and food stalls along the street, create a dynamic urban area in a very special sense. It is not oddly tidy like Singapore, nor does it feature urban slums, as are unfortunately omnipresent in larger cities in the likes of India.

Halong is a beautiful, natural wonder in northern Vietnam, where approximately a three-hour drive east of Hanoi. The Bay is dotted with over 1, limestone islands and islets, and covers an area of over 1, square kilometers. Being a coastal city, it has unique potential for tourism, and as a seaport, due to the fact it lies along the extensive, 50 km shore, and is just km to the north-east of Hanoi. The city is divided into two parts: Bai Chay is the tourist area with plenty of hotels and restaurants, and Hon Gai is the local area with businesses and markets.

For many tourists, this place is like something right out of a movie, and has, indeed, been featured in quite a few! The fact is that Halong Bay features a wide range of biodiversity, while the surrealistic scenery has indeed featured in endless movies, giving you a truly, mathematically beautiful experience.

Danang is truly an amazing combination of development and urbanity, but without the modernized atmosphere of Hanoi, nor the hustle and bustle of Ho Chi Minh City; this is a fascinating city that straddles the line between beach resort and cultural gem. Culinary Tour in Vietnam. This is no surprise, since Vung Tau enjoys a spectacular location on a beautiful peninsula, surrounded by mountains and the city, and, to top it off, a perfectly cool climate throughout the year. This destination attracts many adventurous travelers with its significant features like sheer, limestone mountains and deep, fertile valleys characteristic of the region.

Here, travelers can meet diverse ethnic groups by staying in local homestays, engaging with the people, and appreciating the landscapes that make Vietnam so special. However, due to limited road accessibility, the area has remained well off-the-beaten-track for most international travelers. The city later suffered tremendously from the destruction caused by the American bombardments during the Vietnam War, and the end of the conflict marked a long period of withdrawal from the outside world.

Only From the s and the commencement of the Doi Moi economic freedoms did Hanoi open up to the rest of the world once again. Today, Hanoi is a capital of irresistible charm, at the meeting point of traditions and legends, dotted with lakes, tree-lined avenues, and lush parks. In addition, Sapa offers travelers some wonderful treks or gentle walks in the mountains, local markets, bicycle rides through villages, and home-stays with locals.

We are pleased to announce that the Government of Vietnam has agreed to extend a 3-year Visa Exemption period for British, German, French, Spanish, and Italian citizens, which will come into effect from 1st July and run until 30th June This unilateral visa exemption is being granted by Vietnamese Authorities to citizens from these countries in order to promote tourism in Vietnam.

Airport customs police will stamp 2 checks to their passport: 1 stamp at entry point and the second stamp for the time that visitors are allowed to stay day of entry plus 15 days. The Vietnamese government released a directive detailing an e-visa pilot program that would take effect from February 1, The two-year program states that citizens from 46 countries are eligible for electronic visa applications, including the United Kingdom and the United States.

The e-Visa is an electronic travel authorization from the Vietnam Government for up to 30 consecutive days, issued in PDF format. It is the equivalent to a visa, but no stamp or label is placed in the passport. They can also arrive via land at 13 international border gates, and via sea at seven ports across the country. For example: A traveler who holds a French citizenship applies for entry twice, each of which is less than 30 days, separate.

The standard visa is a tourist visa, valid for a 1-month stay, or the tourist visa, valid for a 3-month stay. You can apply for a tourist visa at the Vietnamese embassy in your country. Be aware that your passport must be valid for 6 months beyond the last day of your stay in Vietnam and that you must have one blank page left for the visa stamp. To apply for a visa, you must fill in a form 1 copy that you can download from the website of the embassy of your country or that you can collect at the embassy , 2 identity photos recent one: less than 6 months old and your passport.

Then, you have to go to the embassy with all the papers and the money for the visa fee. In some countries, you may be able to apply for the visa via post by sending all the papers, a money order, and your passport together with a second envelope with your home address on it to have your passport sent back to you to the embassy.

The embassy will send your passport back with the visa stamp inside. Check with your local Vietnamese embassy. Easia Travel can obtain a visa authorization for you that will be processed by the Immigration Ministry in Hanoi. To have such authorization, you must send us the details of your passport name, surname, date of birth, passport number, nationality, profession, issuing and expiring date of the passport to.

Easia Travel will send the authorization to the Vietnamese embassy of your country and when ready, you will be able to collect it before your departure to Vietnam. The cost of such service is 15 USD per person. However, you still have to pay for the visa fee when you collect it at the embassy. The time needed for the entire process is around 15 days. With our assistance, obtain a visa on arrival at one of the international airports in Danang, Hanoi, or Saigon. Just follow the procedure described below.

This information is required by the Ministry of Public Security in Vietnam for a visa application. The time limit to obtain a visa is 24 hours for an urgent procedure with an added surcharge applied or 5 working days for normal tourist visas. If you do not use a computer, kindly send to us a copy of your passports with legible passport number by mail. It is important to indicate clearly the specific airport in Vietnam where travelers will get their visa including: airline, time, date, and number of the arrival flight. At the same time, each of the travelers must fill in one 1 form NA1, a visa request, on which they must attach a recent identity photo less than 6 months old.

Photocopies of photos are not accepted. Attention: It is very important to use the same passport number on the excel file and on the form of the visa request. You must keep this form which will be requested at the time of checking-in at airports and on arrival in Vietnam. To download the Visa form for Vietnam, please Click Here. When you check-in at the departure airport, you will have to show a copy of the authorization, NA1 form completed with a photo attached and your passport.

Warning: if you do not have the authorization letter to show the airline check-in staff, you will not be permitted to board the plane. When you arrive in Vietnam, you will have to present yourself along with the NA1 form to the visa upon arrival desk, before proceeding to the immigration desk. Paying in Euros is possible, but not encouraged.

Your passport will be stamped when going through immigration. After, you will be able to collect your luggage at the luggage belt before proceeding through customs. Time: about minutes versus 60 minutes. Our staff will take care of the visa process and will collect your luggage you have to give us information about it and will bring it to you.

President VIP Visa: Our staff will wait for the traveler directly outside the plane with a car to go to the hotel. Our staff will take care of the visa process and will collect the luggage to bring them to the hotel. If the traveler has to exit Vietnam and re-enter the country several times during their stay, they will have to apply for a multiple entry visa. When the multiple visa is granted, the traveler can enter Vietnam as many times, without limitation, as the number of entries or the length of stay for each entry within the granted visa allows. Following the Law No. If by some chance you do not have any authorization or visa before arriving in the country, Easia Travel can take care of the situation upon your arrival at the airport.

Some fees will be charged over and above the usual fees for this service. The fee for the service will be higher about 80 USD in addition to the normal fee. The time to obtain the visa authorization is also longer about 10 working days. A Visa for Vietnam can be obtained during your visit to some border posts. You will find the list of land border checkpoints below.

However, we strongly advise all travelers to take care of Visa formalities in advance:. According to overseas entry, exit, and residence regulation for Phu Quoc Island, foreign visitors and Vietnamese nationals holding foreign passports are permitted to stay on the island without a visa for not more than 30 days. Foreigners who come to Vietnam via an international border including land, air or sea , stay at transit area at the gate, and then travel on to Phu Quoc Island are also exempt from visa requirements in accordance with this regulation.

The above information is provided to the best knowledge of Easia Travel specialists and will be updated regularly. Traveling to Vietnam by air is quite easy as many airlines offer direct or indirect flights and more and more airports in Vietnam are open to international destinations. You can also travel to Vietnam by land, with the bus being the best means of transport to travel from Cambodia or Laos for example.

Vietnam has land borders with China, Laos and Cambodia. The bus network is fairly well developed in big cities and is also a good way to get out of the inner city to visit some villages or other sites located in the suburbs and beyond. The inconvenience is that long distance buses usually depart from bus stations located some kilometers from the city center, so it is necessary to take a taxi to first reach the bus station.

The bus is also a good means of transport to travel from one city to another and discover other outlying regions of the country. Many private companies offer bus services. Most of the time, buses are minivans, but you can also take night buses buses with bunk beds for longer trips. Those night buses are generally a very good alternative to the train which is often substantially more expensive.

Please bear in mind, that even though the bus network is quite well developed, roads are often in bad condition and buses have to go slowly sometimes and stop often to pick up and drop off passengers. Transfer times are usually counted in hours and not in kilometers. On any street corner, parked on sidewalks, moto-taxi drivers will enthusiastically offer you their services wherever you want to go. Moto-taxis are a good alternative to a car taxi as they are more able to infiltrate the dense traffic of cities such as Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh and can save a lot of travel time.

Besides, travel by motorbike taxi is fun and a great way to get up close and personal with the sights and sounds of Vietnam.

Glass Artist Raven Skyriver makes GIANT glass Sea Turtle! AMAZING

Please be aware that you should fix the price before the departure. Caution: the driver should provide you with a helmet for the ride as helmets have been compulsory since If the driver does not give you a helmet, just find another driver. Motorbikes are the main means of transport in Vietnam but even though most locals drive them, the law clearly forbids any foreigners without a valid Vietnamese license from driving a motorbike international licenses do not apply in Vietnam. Indeed, traffic is really dense and the risk of accidents is real.

Besides, most travel insurance policies do not cover travelers for motorbike accidents. If you want a means of transport more peaceful you can also rent a bicycle. However, be aware that as for motorbikes, biking in the dense traffic of city-centers may be a bit scary and potentially dangerous. This is why we recommend you to wear a helmet and limit your bike riding to the countryside and suburbs, and outside of rush hours. One thing is for sure, riding a bike in the countryside and through villages will definitely be appreciated by the local people somewhat bemused to see foreigners making such an effort.

Expect lots of smiles and happy hellos, even the occasional invite to stop and share a cup of tea. The train is a convenient means of transport in Vietnam. However, the railway network still has to be improved and travel times remain quite long even really long. We recommend you to preferably choose trains registered as SE rather than those registered TN, if you want to save time a lot of time.

Renting a car is forbidden for foreigners to drive apart from expatriates with a Vietnamese license ; however it is possible to rent a car with a driver if you want to travel alone or with your family. Flying is the fastest and most convenient way to travel long distances in Vietnam. Moreover, airline tickets purchased in Vietnam are quite cheap, whether you want to take a domestic flight within the country or an international flight to a neighboring country. Before the departure, it is always better to let your guests know about the culture and traditions of their destination to ensure they will have a pleasant trip.

That will help them avoid offending the local population as well as have a better understanding of their new environment. The money in Vietnam is the Vietnam Dong. You can find notes of , , , , 10 , 20 , 50 , and VND. Major currencies can be exchanged practically anywhere in Vietnam, but not all exchange facilities are created equal. Only banks located in big cities such as Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh keep accepting traveler cheques. We recommend you to have another means of payment.

196 countries, countless stories…

Bargaining is part of the Vietnamese tradition. You have to bear in mind that everything or almost everything is worth a certain price, but the price varies sometimes a lot according to the client. You can even halve the price or even more sometimes. Be careful, however, not to offend the vendor and to keep smiling and stay polite in any circumstance.

Tips are not part of the tradition of Vietnam. However, in some situations and thanks to the many generous travelers that have preceded you, tipping is becoming more popular. For example, you can tip your guide after a whole day or several days of travel. You can also tip luggage porters and taxi drivers. In this case, we do not call it tips but donations, dedicated to the maintenance of the site. Vendors and other people within the venue may also invite you to pray with them with an incense stick, but if you accept, some of them will likely ask you for some money in exchange.

Officially, no vaccinations are required to enter Vietnam apart from travelers coming from countries with yellow fever transmission risks. However, if you travel to Vietnam you should do everything possible and take all required precautions to avoid becoming ill during your trip.

Culture of Vietnam

Make sure that all your vaccinations are current and that you are vaccinated for Tetanus, Polio and Diphtheria. Other vaccines recommended include Hepatitis A and Hepatitis B if you are in-country for over 3 months , Typhus and Tuberculosis, vaccinations against rabies and Japanese encephalitis are also advised. Make sure your passport is valid for at least 6 months before the expiry date and that you have the correct visa. Have a look at the visa requirements for more information. Consider medical, baggage and trip cancellation insurances. People specifically pray for a peaceful New Year and show their respect for the Gods.

Many travelers share that the best and most fun parts of the whole festival are taking part in these traditional games, right alongside the locals. The holiday is heavily influenced by Chinese culture, even taking place on the same day, but is ultimately a uniquely Vietnamese tradition. This is the biggest national holiday, and can be compared to Christmas in Europe. Most of Vietnamese people will take a week off from work and gather with their family and friends in their hometown to celebrate.

The Perfume Pagoda, 69 kilometers outside Hanoi, is doubtlessly the most famous Buddhist pilgrimage site in northern Vietnam. Hundreds of thousands of pilgrims reach this sacred cave to pray for happiness and prosperity in the coming year. Pilgrims are ferried by local women along the Yen stream through blazing green rice paddies and jagged karsts around Huong Mountain. The Lim Festival is held in Lim village on the 13th day of the 1st lunar month, 18 kilometers outside Hanoi.

In addition, visitors come to the Lim Festival to enjoy the weaving competition between the girls of the little town of Noi Due: they weave and sing Quan Ho songs at the same time, giving an incredible performance. Southern Provinces, Vietnam. The worship of whales in Vietnamese culture is vital to believers who seek protection at sea all up and down the coast, and especially for those who pray to the remains of two whales in the Lang Tan Temple near Dalat. Meanwhile, this festival contributes to an even more jubilant atmosphere during the New Year holidays, especially around large Chinese communities in Ho chi Minh City and Hoi An.

Both ancient and modern pagodas, the latest of which dates to , make up this incredible complex. The Hon Chen Temple Festival is organized twice every year, on the 3rd day of March during the spring festival and July in Lunar calendar during the autumn festival. The festivals take place at Hon Chen temple, 10 kilometers from Hue. I listened to jazz and I found that it has the same pentatonic scale as traditional Vietnamese music. How is jazz like traditional Vietnamese music?

In traditional music, we learn it first the way it is. After you master it, you start to create your own version of the song. Three-Mountain Pass, your latest album, is a major step in making the Old World new again with a nod to chamber music. How do you walk the line between traditional Vietnamese music and Western music? Kronos and I spent a long time together to get to the roots of the musical genres and really get into the Vietnamese culture. To express the sound from Vietnamese traditional music, I had them use chopsticks on violins. For the cello, we used the sea turtle shell pick to pluck.

You were not a refugee, but The Odyssey — From Vietnam to America really speaks to the refugee experience. The Odyssey praises the strength of the human spirit and the resilience that we all have. I came here in much better condition than other refugees. But before moving here, I was a well-established musician. And coming here, I became no one. I started from zero again.

However, I learned from all my friends what they had to go through as refugees, as boat people, and I realized my struggle means nothing compared to the struggles of others. I was curious how they could survive. What helped them find strength and hope? Those documents tell me where they came from, how they left Vietnam, their fear of being pushed out to sea, their hope.

I interviewed 50 or so boat people who survived. I asked them about the sounds they remembered during their trip. The only tool I have is music. So I find ways to share their stories through music. To me, Vietnamese traditional instruments are just another language. Robert White reaches altitude of 50 miles, landing.

Shot of astronauts.

Vietnam scrambles to save Hanoi's sacred turtle

Ed White Gemini-4 walks in space. Various views of air force combat in Vietnam. Helicopter rescue. B bombing. Helicopter rescue operations. Helicopter machine gun firing. Various views of helicopter fighting and rescues. The End. Patriotism; Military Americana;. Marchers; onlookers applauding. Marchers entering. CU unidentified man VIP? Building huts with wooden structure - village. Bombs dropped and explosion on ground American planes? Tank down road behind mine-sweepers; across valley. Soldiers on hillside cranking power for field telephone, army truck past.

Mlitary outpost in fog. Nuages written on top. Men outside in yard. French Indo China - Parachute drops etc. Mass parachute drop, US soldiers observing. Firing mortars. French military passenger aircraft flies over low. Medic treating leg injury. Troops move up thru swamp grass, radiomen on phone. More parachutes. Wounded into helicopter - more parachues. French officers - parachutes landing. Treating leg; digging trench. Troops run in undergrowth - firing automatic rifle; other artillery. Wounded Vietnamese native - crossing river - French officers.

Parachutes descending. Vietnam War; s? French troops on board. Landing on beach. French capture Vietminh in jungle. Geiger counter. Thick door and lock. Inside shelter. Military vehicle past and French soldiers at barricade. Troops crossing street. Man with his two children runs for cover. Fire raging behind Patisserie building. Police van. Wounded civilians amidst smoke. Barrier with sign Vinh-Yen lifted. Aerial Vin-Yenh camp with name painted on roof. Officer shows map to Jacquet. Jacquet and others visit Buddhist temple - kids on side of roads wave tiny flags.

Crossing river. Tassigny talks with other officer. Maybe Vietnam. Several docking. Indo-China Talks Press corp. Geep stopped at control post. Lines of Jeeps - one has Dien Bien Phu painted on. MPs outside building. Conference in session. Poster Ho Chi Minh. Various officers and VIPs leaving meeting. Map of World, Title Berlin, CU pan up bricks and barbed wire of Berlin wall. Shots wall being built. Contrast West Berlin affluence and East Berlin grimness.

Refugees crossing from East to West through forest with suitcases. Plane taking off. House with bricked up windows. Barbed wire. Narration says Communists want to put wall around moon, stars, outer space , these are shown. Krushchev at UN making menacing gestures. Kennedy speaking at UN. Vietnamese or other S. Asian families with children helped out of pickup truck by US military. US troops in combat. War ships, Americans showing skills to others. Washington Monument, Lincoln memorial, Lincoln quote superimposed.

Cold War. Wounded Vietnamese out of hut. French registering child. Old women and children begging for help to camera. Dead soldier tumbles out of bush. Headlines with photo Maurice Thorez? B26 taxiing along runway. Pilot and crew taking their places in the plane. Aerial view, smoke rising from bomb bursts. Mechanic servicing plane. Pilot taking his place in the plane attaches his parachute. Plane taxiing along runway and taking off. B26 in flight. Pilot and controls. Horizon with small clouds dotting the countryside.

Night scenes of bomb bursts.

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Planes taxiing along runway. Vietminh prisoners being escorted to the rear soft focus. Planes taxiing past camera. Low level views village and countryside. Planes in flight over mountainous terrain. Short shot planes strafing. Two single engine fighters taxiing towards camera. VArious shots B26 and JUs in flight.

Reconnaissance plane landing. Group standing at attention saluting and then reviewing troops and equipment. This section is very poor quality up to Troops passing review section and standing at attention on the field. Two small cabing planes landing. General and President greet arriving officers. President, General and staff inspect the troops. CU, Faces of the soldiers. Official party inspect school children and athletic societies participating in the review.

Officials listen and watch children's band. Troops and school children passing review area. Military band playing. Bao-Dai and to the Vietnamese Governor. LCT type aircraft loaded with troops making its way up the canal and landing the men on the riverbank near the port of Coi-Co at the junction of the Song-Thai-Binh and the Bamboo canal.

Soldiers leaving LCT, crossing open field and small canal. Truck being ferried across canal. Advance is held up by the Vietminh Command post and air support is requested. Soldiers digging in, firing machine guns and mortars. Farm house burning. FF Hellcats and Bs bombing and strafing enemy position. Soldiers in prone positions during the air attack. Wounded men being treated. Soldier searching and removing weapons from a dead comrade. Soldiers advancing and passing burning buildings. Vietnamese sentry standing guard. An airlift has been established between Hanoi and Laichau, to carry reinforcements, there is a plane every six 6 minutes.

Troops seated in the planes. Planes being loaded and taxiing along Laichau Airfield. Moroccan troops moving off airfield, through village and towards an improvised camp. Planes taking off with herds of oxen on the Laichau airfield. Improvised campsite. Radio operator seated alongside his equipment. Fly infested corpses after the attack. Sign post saying "Bai-Thao". Officer interrogating prisoner. Winding river. Vietminh bands traversed this island in going to Haiphong. The island is occupied by Vietnamese forces.

Partisans walk eight prisoners to the rear. Partisans walking along road. Troops in combat advancing through underbrush. Vietnamese "dukw" being pulled out of the water. Civilians organising for self-defense construct bamboo palisade. Masses of civilians at work on the Red River dam under the protection of troops. Partisans loading prisoners into jeep. Prisoners seated on the ground with their hands tied behind their backs. Catholic village in the background where they were captured.

Red Cross facility; unloading prisoners from truck. Stretcher carried; soldier carries child. Ill helped to walk. Refugees evacuated incl. Planes wrapped up on carrier - unloaded and driven through streets of Saigon as people watch. Firing big guns and bombers drop bombs. Troops search Vietminh corpses. Wounded French. Wounded Vietminh tended by French paramedic. POWs rounded. Firing machine-gun. Spot where De Lattre de Tassigny s son was killed.

Vietnamese run looking scared - French pointing guns at them. Raising French flag. French troops return to fort in trucks. Jeep through mud. Wounded and miserable-looking French. Evacuating wounded. Firing artillery. Dying French soldier. Vietnamese fighting alongside French. French troops preparing for assault at Nasan - digging trenches and putting up barbed wire.


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  • French planes drop napalm bombs - explosion in jungle. Stack of captured weapons. Burning huts. American planes. Drop bombs. Wrecked truck on roadside. Wounded soldier. French troops in field. US planes napalm jungle. Dead Chinese volunteers. Aftermath terrorist car bombings in Saigon - blood on steps and bloody Vietnamese corpse. People on streets.


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    2. Vietnam scrambles to save Hanoi's sacred turtle.
    3. Destination News.

    American planes drop bombs. Vietnamese with white flag bow to camera. Wounded children. Vietnamese prisoners given cigarettes. French troops through rice paddies. Refugees on road; old man bows to camera. Mike Mansfield, State Senator from Montana. Says if Chinese launch attack on islands off the mainland then there will be war. Talks of allied forces in South East Asia. Speaks re South Vietnam and the need to protect it against Communism. CU vars watches pass camera R-L.

    Wounded carried on stretcher in rice paddy. Spike trap. Tank through field; troops in rice paddy. French fire as planes drop napalm. French Colonial Empire. News in Brief - Indochina French colonial troops moving across desert toward Hue - sand blowing. Tanks and military vehicles across sand. Soldiers walking over desert. Soldier firing machine gun from vehicle. Soldier drinking from water bottle.

    Nixon visits Asia. Guard of Honour at airport as plane lands. Richard Nixon and wife Pat out of plane and greeted. Motorcade with outriders arrives at government building. Party stands for anthems? Exterior more speeches - crowds with banners. Military band march past - VIPs watch and wave to crowd. Mobile unit of USIA takes film show on road to counter the work of the communists. People at screening. USIA officer addressing locals. In London - man carries film from taxi into Broadcasting House. In Iran - plane takes off, aerial views of American technical assistance project.

    In Tokyo, private publishing company translating American book. Audience applaud. Orchestra - Symphony of the Air performs in Tokyo. Overseas trade fairs - motor show. International Trade Fair in Salonika in Greece. Greek man using electric razor. People looking at displays. King Paul and Queen Frederika of Greece visit fair. Visitors looking at themselves on television. USIA Coast Guard Cutter Courier acting as floating radio relay station - transmitters - aerials - radios with people listening - radio jamming by Russians.

    American magazines on racks. Two Japanes? Boston shops. Paratroopers dropped and machine-gun fire. Ground battle. Dropping bombs. Aerial shots. Relief plane follows and drops supplies, food and medicine. Helicopter lands at base. Wounded evacuated and arriving at hospital in Hanoi - African stretcher bearers. Doctors and nurses. Vietnamese troops on road; tanks; Vietnamese with metal detector looking for and exploding mines on Hanoi - Haiphong road.

    Wrecked cart on roadside and military vehicle past. Wounded Vietnamese. Repairs to railway line and wrecked train from Vietminh attack. Locomotive past. War in Indo-china. May Sign Aeroport d Orly, military trucks driving on airfield. French flag flying. American flag flying. Irate French policeman walking towards cameraman, military trucks passing in bg.

    Various good shots French conscripts? All young men look cheerful and joke around while they wait on airfield. Men at assembly point, passports handed out. Food handed out, eating. Men with kits bags board transport planes. Good shots plane taxiis and takes off. Various interiors plane, cockpit, sleeping recruits, CU propellers turning.

    Men eating from tins in plane. Men play with travel chess. Cockpit shots. Young men off plane. Recruits loading bags into trucks. Trucks move off.

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    Loading barrels with spraying appartus on helicopters. C airplane modified for herbicide spraying. C being loaded with defoliant and taking off. POV from C with group of planes spraying. Soldiers walking through wooded area, tallking on field telephone, with rifles behind vehicle. Track is audio letter to mom from soldier in field. Firing mortars at Khe Sanh. Battle of Khe Sanh footage.

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