5 traditional cultures of Vietnam (part 1)

205

Though heavily influenced by Chinese culture, Vietnam, a mysterious land in Southeast Asia, also sees multiple changes along history, where you will discover a fascinating culture. If you are embarking on planning a trip to this amazing country, this article will show you 5 of traditional Vietnamese cultures that may help you get a glimpse of Vietnam first.

>> 11 things you must pack if you’re visiting Cambodia

Rickshaw

A rickshaw is a two-wheel or three-wheel vehicle used for carrying passengers. One of the most acceptable theories about the invention of rickshaw believes that an American missionary invented it in order to carry his invalid wife. During the French colonial time, rickshaw, or more specifically, cyclo appeared in Vietnam, and became a popular transportation means. However, this unique vehicle now serves mainly as a tourist attraction. Unlike the two-wheel one pulled by man on foot, the rickshaws in Vietnam nowadays are powered by a man pedaling behind, with two of the wheels in the front and one in the back under the driver.

It’s really an authentic way to explore the Vietnamese cities by rickshaw, which you can experience the local civil life, and the drivers are usually very passionate about telling you the stories and cultures of Vietnam.

Rickshaw via Pinterest

Tips
1. For a better experience, we recommend that a rickshaw carries one person for a time.
2. It’s always wise to negotiate the charges before you jump into the cabin, in order to avoid unnecessary argument. One trick about bargaining with the drivers is that you can first offer a third of the price, and then haggle the fare to about half of the price. If the driver still refuses it, you can try pretending to walk away for seeking another driver, and then there’s a great possibility that he will accept the deal.
3. A rickshaw exploration to Hanoi’s Old Quarter is recommended, which you can get a close touch to the local Vietnamese life.

Floating market

As the “rice bowl of Vietnam”, the Mekong Delta’s fertilization has breeding a gorgeous “water civilization”. The local floating markets make up one of the special Vietnamese cultures. It is said that the floating markets date back to the 19th century, during the reign of Nguyen Dynasty. One of the special characteristics of floating markets is the produce samples hung on a lateral bar to help buyers know what the traders are selling. With traders carrying their fresh goods by boats, and doing the bargains on the water, the hustle and bustle of this unique scene has gained its popularity among travelers.

Floating market via Kenh Du lich 

Floating markets recommended

Can Tho – Cai Rang market: a must-see floating market when traveling to Can Tho, and it’s a big wholesale market, where you can find large quantities of fresh fruits being sold in this busy region. And the typical breakfast of the local area consists of rice noodles and soup sold on boats. It would be an authentic Vietnamese experience to taste the simon-pure cuisine while enjoying the floating feeling.

Start time:5am, get crowded at 6am, so make sure you get up early enough to catch the busy scene.

Tien Giang – Cai Be market: just a short distance from Ho Chi Minh City, so it is quite convenient for foreign travelers to pay for a visit. This floating market also sees the trade of fruits and vegetables as well as sea food, and it starts not as early as other floating markets. It starts at the moment of sunrise, and lasts till late morning.

During the lunar months from December 27/28 to January 6, the floating markets are usually closed, when Vietnamese are on their celebration of the Vietnamese New Year.

(to be continued)

If you concern about Indochina, please contact us for more information. Share this article if it is helpful for you!