Here is a discovery that will delight all cheese fans: cheese made in Vietnam. Indeed, an artisanal cheese factory has been created at the beginning of 2020. We were lucky to be able to meet the founders of Maison Béjo. These two Frenchmen had the idea of ​​making cheese in Vietnam. Here is our interview with its founders.

Jacky Travel : Where did you get the idea to make cheese in Vietnam?

Maison Béjo : Before moving to Vietnam, we already had a little experience in cheese making and we are real cheese fans. It is a product that is difficult to find in Vietnam. Imported cheese from France is often overpriced. However, cheese is widely consumed by expatriates and there is an increasing request for dairy products here in Vietnam. This is why, we decided to make some cheeses in Vietnam to test the market. We were surprised to see our few cheeses leave very quickly.

Jacky Travel : Is there enough milk in Vietnam to produce cheese?

Maison Béjo : Our cheeses are made with 100% Vietnamese milk. There are more and more milk producers in Vietnam and the demand for milk is growing. Some regions of Vietnam are known for their milk such as Ba Vi or Moc Chau. We do not risk shortage for the moment because our production remains very small and very artisanal.

Jacky Travel : Which products do you currently offer?

Maison Béjo : Today, we offer a two-month aged tomme and handmade “Fromage blanc” as well. We have chosen to work only with raw milk in order to produce cheeses with unique flavors. We are lucky to be able to source very fresh milk to ensure the quality of our cheeses. We only have two products today but we hope to be able to develop a bigger range very soon.

Jacky Travel : Which customers are you targeting?

Maison Béjo :Our dream is that cheese will becom a popular product in Vietnam. Today, the cheese is still little known by the Vietnamese. It is mainly consumed melted on pizzas. However, cheese is sometimes consumed by Vietnamese people who have already traveled to Europe and France in particular. Our customers are mainly expatriates in need of Western-style food.

Jacky Travel : Where can we buy your cheese made in Vietnam?

Maison Béjo : We sell through our website and social media. The products are delivered to your home. We are currently in discussions with various distributors in Hanoi to make it easier for our customers to access our products. We also hope to be able to sell our products in Ho Chi Minh City in the near future as this city has a large expatriate community.

 

Ba Be Lake is the largest natural lake in Vietnam. This national park rich in flora and fauna is a destination still little known to the general public. In this little corner of northern Vietnam, you can enjoy a little peace. Follow the rhythm of the Thai minorities who live around the lake, grow rice and fish on the lake.

Ba Be Lake is 240 km from Hanoi. It takes at least 5.5 hours to reach the lake by bus. The natural park is made up of 3 lakes. When you arrive at Ba Be National Park, there is only one route that leads down to the lake.

Where to sleep at Ba Be Lake ?

Where to sleep at Be Be lake

Coming from the main road which leads down to the lake, you come to a small metal suspension bridge. This bridge crosses one of the rivers which feeds the lake. Crossing the bridge, we arrive at the village of Pac Ngoi. It is the largest village around Ba Be Lake.

It is in the village of Pac Ngoi that one can easily find a place to sleep. In fact, many houses are bed and breakfasts (homestay). It is therefore easy to find accommodation to sleep with the locals.

Since Ba Be Lake is the territory of Thai ethnic minorities, most of the houses are on stilts. The house on stilts is the traditional home of the Thai people. Among the locals, the comfort is quite rudimentary but most of the locals are very welcoming and warm. Very few residents speak English, let alone French, so it is difficult to communicate with them without a guide.

With Jacky Travel, you can visit Ba Be Lake with an experienced guide. We always choose the cleanest houses with the best view on the lake.

There are almost no restaurants around the lake. One of the best ways to eat is to eat with the locals. Les Tays can cook superb local dishes with fresh local produce.

What to see / what to do at Ba Be Lake ?

Ba Be lake harbor

Ba Be Lake can be visited by boat. It’s the easiest and fastest way of getting from one village to another. Leaving the village of Pac Ngoi, the villagers’ boats are parked at the pier located about 1 km from the center.

Locals are used to taking tourists to visit the lake by boat. The walk lasts half a day. There are different places to visit by the lake.

Ba Be lake waterfall

One of the most popular tours is a visit to the Dau Dang waterfall across the lake. Puong Cave is also accessible by boat. It is the most impressive cave in the lake with a height of 30m and a length of 300m.

An Ma Temple Ba Be

In the middle of the lake is the An Mã temple on the island of An Mã.

After the boat tour of the lake, it is possible to visit the Hua Ma cave. This cave is accessible by bicycle from the village of Pac Ngoi. After climbing the steps to reach the entrance to the cave, take the stairs to descend to the bottom of this impressive cave, the legend of which is fascinating.

The easiest and most economical way to go to Hanoi city center from Hanoi Airport (Noi Bai Airport) is to take the airport bus service number 86.

Location of Hanoi Airport Bus

Hanoi airport Bus location

Arriving from terminal 2 (international flights), the bus is located approximately 100m to the left of the airport exit.

There is also a stop at terminal 1 (domestic flights) of the Hanoi Airport Bus (Bus 86). This stop is also located at the exit of the airport

Hanoi Airport Bus Schedule

Hanoi Railway Station opens at 5:05 and closes at 21:40
Noi Bai International Airport opens at 6:18 and it closes at 22:58

Hanoi airport bus schedule

Hanoi Airport Bus Stops

Hanoi Airport Bus runs from Hanoi Airport to Hanoi railway station. The bus has many stops in the old quarter of Hanoi. That is why this bus is very convenient to reach your hotel in the center of Hanoi.

From the Hanoi center to Airport: Hanoi Central Railway Station -> Bus stop opposite the Melia Hotel -> Hanoi Post Office -> 23 Hang Tre -> Long Bien Bus Station (E11) -> Bus stop at intersection Yen Phu -> Bus stop at intersection Au Co – Xuan Dieu -> Au Co – Lac Long Quan (468 Au Co) -> VAECO Company -> International Terminal 1 -> International Terminal 2.

From airport to the Hanoi center: Terminal 1 -> Terminal 2 -> VAECO Company –> Au Co – Lac Long Quan (523 Au Co str)–> Au Co – Xuan Dieu Stop -> Bus stop at intersection Yen Phu -> Long Bien Bus Station -> 142 Tran Quang Khai –> Hanoi Opera House -> Hanoi Melia Hotel -> Hanoi Central Railway Station.

Hanoi Airport Bus Price

Hanoi Airport is located 28 km from downtown Hanoi. It takes around 45 minutes by taxi or grab to reach the city center. The taxi price is around 350,000 VND (15 USD). Taxi is the quickest way to reach downtown Hanoi but the most expensive.

Le prix du Hanoi Airport Bus est de 35 000 VND/pax (1.5 USD).

Les personnes souhaitant prendre le bus doivent monter dans la bus orange et s’installent. Une personne en uniforme viendra vous voir pendant le trajet pour payer votre ticket de 35 000 VND/personne.

It is not possible to pay in an other currency than VND. Foreign currencies are not accepted to pay for your bus ticket. You will have to exchange your money before in one of the airport offices or withdraw Vietnam Dong at the ATM.

After one day in Hoi An, you no longer know what to visit ..? Why not visiting the countryside of Hoi An and in particular Hoi An Water Coconut village. A place almost unique in Vietnam.

This village has gradually become a must see destination to visit around Hoi An.

Hoi An Water Coconut village is above all a fishing village stretching over 75 ha (just that).

Its particuliarity? This village has 7 ha immerged water coconut trees (Nippa), that’s what makes it curious and each hectare belongs to a family.

Since 2017, there is an entrance fee to visit the village if and only if you are taking a traditionnal Vietnamese boat (basket boat). Entrance fee is about 30,000 vnd per person. If you just want to visit the village without taking a basket boat, it’s still free.

Take a Basket Boat (Vietnamese round boat that you can see everywhere) in this forest is a quite magical experience. It feels like being in an Amazonian forest and feeling alone (if you go to the right place).

Hoi An Water Coconut is also rich in marine species such as crab and clam. This place is the main source of seafood for the region.

We have learned from the local people that during the war, the Vietnamese were hidden in the forest to avoid the Americans.

This forest is an protected area by WWF (World Wild Life).

Cam Thanh Water Coconut Village

The real name of the coconut palm village is Cam Thanh. Located just 6 km from Hoi An, it is possible to easily reach the village of Cam Thanh by boat or bicycle.

water coconut basket boats

If you want to visit the water coconut village, basket boat tours are organized where you wander through the different canals among the coconut trees.

Our travel agency offers a visit to the village of Cam Thanh. Our local guide will pick you up from your hotel to take you aboard a traditional Hoi An boat.

After 30 minutes on the Thu Bon river, you will arrive at the village of Cam Thanh. Thu Bon river is the river which crosses the city of Hoi An and which forms a delta before throwing itself in the sea.

At the edge of the river, fishermen offer tours in round boats typical of the region. Count 150,000 vnd per person for 1 hour of basket boat.

The fishermen will give you a demonstration of fishing with these very mobile boats. Indeed, if you like thrills, fishermen can give you a little demonstration of navigation with these boats.

The main activity after fishing is of course the cultivation of these same coconut palms whose leaves are used to build the roofs of traditional houses as well as parasols, among others. You can see on the side of the roads the leaves that are drying in the sun.

If you are a photo lover, we have only one advice, come at 4 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. for the sunset with the background landscape, the coconut trees or a little further, the fishermen launching their nets, it’s just magnificent !

Why Basket boats in Central Vietnam ?

The basket boat is named the ghe thùng chài, a circular boat of one meter, and sometimes more, very light and with a remarkable stability, which is maneuvered by a pulling paddle movement.

The circular shape is obtained by a booklet and fine bamboo frames linked internally by ties to the basket. The caulking is done with a decoction composed of pulverized resin, lime and buffalo dung, all then coated with wood oil to varnish and protect the caulking.

Admirably adapted to always stay on the blades, the cross effect not existing, we encountered it, even in rough sea and strong swells, around fishing boats, to set or raise traps, longlines or gillnets.

hoi an Basket boats

The basket boats that dot the waters from the southern coast all the way up to Danang have become iconic to Vietnam. The origin of these coracles is unclear, but many believe they were born out of ingenuity during the French colonial era.

As the story goes, when the French levied taxes on boats in Vietnam, fishermen couldn’t afford to pay them – so they designed circular woven “baskets” that just so happened to also function as boats. The basket boats quickly became popular up and down the coast thanks to both their tax-free status and their impressive engineering.

Danang is a coastal city located in central Vietnam, 770 km from Hanoi and 850 km from Ho Chi Minh City. Danang is the fourth largest city in Vietnam. It is a big city, modern and animated.

Vietnam is a very long country and transport is very tiring. Thus, Danang is a full-fledged destination for many tourists who wish to visit this region. Danang International Airport provides direct flights to central Vietnam from abroad. There are direct flights from Malaysia for example.

Many tourists choose to spend only 4 days and 3 nights in Danang, which is enough to visit the main destinations of central Vietnam. We will describe here an itinerary to follow if you choose to spend 4 days and 3 nights in Danang.

The nearest and best known cities around Danang are Hoi An and Hue. These cities are easily accessible from Danang. Hoi An is only 45 minutes far from downtown Danang and it takes about 3 hours to reach Hue from Danang.

The interest of spending 4 days in Danang is to be able to take a rest at the edge of the sea while discovering landscapes and magnificent cities. The center of Vietnam is the ideal region to go for a weekend with friends or family. There are many attractions in this part of Vietnam.

Best 4 days Danang itinerary

With only 4 days in Danang, it is better not to waste too much time on arrival at Danang Airport and choose immediately where you want to spend the most of your time.

Be aware that Hoi An is only 45 minutes drive from the airport and is a much nicer place than Danang. Therefore, we recommend that you should spend more time in Hoi An than in Danang.

Here is the itinerary we recommend for a 4 days stay in Central Vietnam :

Day 1 : Danang arrival – transfer to Hoi An, overnight in Hoi An
Day 2 : Hoi An – Cam Thanh basket boats or My Son sanctuary, overnight in Hoi An
Day 3 : Hoi An – Ba Na Hills, overnight in Danang
Day 4 : Danang departure

Upon arrival, you can take a taxi from the airport to reach your hotel in Hoi An. The price of the race costs around US $ 15 (360,000 VND) which is not excessive.

In Hoi An, it is better to book a hotel near the old town. Indeed, you will be able to easily visit the city with its atypical and authentic architecture. Also, you will be close to restaurants and other shops. In the evening, it is very pleasant to walk along the river and go for a walk at the night market. You should not miss the famous Hoi An Lantern Festival once a month.Hoi-An-Old-Town-riverside

Some people choose to book a hotel near the sea. This is another possibility. Know that hotels by the sea are often quite expensive and the beach is about 6 km from the old town. It is therefore necessary to take a taxi to visit the old town of Hoi An. Some hotels offer free shuttle services but these services are not always very convenient.

The second day, you can choose to visit the village of Cam Thanh with its famous basket boats. Group excursions are not very expensive. This little boat trip on the river is very nice and will allow you to learn more about traditional fishing techniques. The rowers master their boats very well and will make some demonstrations. Hang in there!

My Son sanctuaryIf you are interested in the history of Vietnam, the archaeological site of My Son is not to be missed in this region. My Son temples were built from the 4th century under the reign of King Bhadravaman, until late 13th century, and early 14th century under the reign of King Jaya Simhavaman III (Che Man). My Son used to be a group of more than 70 temple towers. Each temple has a typical architecture which reflects a historical stage of the Champa kingdoms. Most of the architecture and sculptures were influenced by Indian culture. Most of the temples point to the East, the sun direction. Champa people thought that the East was the place where the gods lived.

On the third day, you can leave Hoi An to go to Ba Na Hills. The most popular theme park in Vietnam is about an hour and a half drive from Hoi An.

Ba Na Hills is a must for most tourists visiting Danang. Ba Na Hills Station is a hill station and resort located on the Trường Sơn Mountains in Da Nang, central Vietnam. The station, advertised as “the Da Lat of Danang province” by local tourism authorities, was founded in 1919 by French colonists. Linh Ung Pagodais located near the station, with a cable car to carry tourists to and from the resort. The Ba Na Cable Car, opened on March 29, 2013, holds the world record for longest non-stop single track cable car at 5801 meters in length. During your visit to Ba Na Hills, you should not miss the famous Golden Bridge for a memorable selfie. To learn more about Ba Na Hills, read our article here. Note that on weekends, there are often a lot of people at Ba Na Hills. The weekends are therefore to be avoided as far as possible for your visit.

Ba Na Hills Golden Bridge

Finally, after visiting Ba Na Hills, the end of your 4 days Danang itinerary will approach. It will be time to return to Danang which is 45 minutes drive from Ba Na Hills. You can choose to spend the night in the city to admire the Dragon Bridge and go to the night market or choose to spend the evening on one of the most beautiful beach of Vietnam My Khe Beach. Note that the beach is pretty far from downtown. So you have to make a choice here.

The next day you will be just 20 minutes from Danang Airport for your return flight. We hope that with our advice you will have a pleasant stay of 4 days and 3 nights in Danang.

Best time for a 4 days Danang trip

The choice of the best period is essential for a pleasant stay in Danang.

The rainy season runs from September to December. It’s the wrong time to visit Danang.

From June to August, Danang is very hot and there are many local tourists. Ba Na Hills will be much crowded during this period.

The best time for a 4 days Danang itinerary is from January to May. During this period, it is not too hot and the weather is dry. The weather is ideal to enjoy the city of Hoi An or go to Ba Na Hills.

To learn more about the best time to visit Danang, feel free to read our article here.

When you arrive in Danang, you will discover the official Vietnamese currency which is the Vietnam Dong. The first question that people ask when they arrive at the airport is where to exchange money in Danang.

Don’t worry, Dollars are accepted almost everywhere in Vietnam for everyday purchases.

Euros are not used at all in everyday life, but are accepted in some hotels and on arrival at the airport to pay your visa if you chose this option.

However, paying in foreign currency is not always advisable because the conversion of dong into foreign currency in small establishments is sometimes at your disadvantage. In daily expenses, it is convenient to always have dongs on you but where to exchange money when you arrive in Danang ?

There are 500d, 1000d, 2000d, 5000d, 10,000d, 20,000d, 50,000d, 100,000d, 200,000d, 500,000d notes.

Apart from US Dollars, many banks in Vietnam still exchange VND for these foreign currencies:

  • Australian Dollar: 1 AUD  17,000 VND
  • British Pound: 1 GBP  29,000
  • Euro: 1 EUR  25,000 VND
  • Canadian Dollar: 1 CAD  16,000 VND
  • Japanese Yen: 1 JPY  200 VND
  • Singaporean Dollar: 1 SGD  16,000 VND
  • Taiwanese Dollar: 1 TWD  500 VND
  • Hong Kong Dollar: 1 HKD ≈ 3,000 VND
  • Swiss Franc: 1 CHF  22,000 VND
  • New Zealand Dollars: 1 NZD  15,000 VND
  • Thai : 1 THB  700 VND

You can easily convert to dongs upon arrival at the airport, banks, exchange offices or jewelers.

Visa, MasterCard, American Express … are widely accepted in most hotels, major cities and many tourist centers. Payments by credit cards (Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Diners Club) are accepted in some large shops, hotels, shopping centers… As for traveler’s checks, they are exchanged only in the authorized banks.

Where to Exchange Money in Danang

Exchange money at Danang international airport

The international airport of Danang is the easiest and most convenient way.

This way is not always encouraged as the exchange rate is very high or you will be charged a large transaction fee. You are just advised to use it if you are in hurry.

Exchange money at Danang airport

Exchange money at Danang’s local banks

Certainly, the safest way to exchange your money is at a local bank, you can easily find out when moving towards the downtown area.

Vietcombank run by the government can help you convert into the dong from the following currencies:

  • USD
  • Thai Baht
  • Euro
  • British Pound Sterling
  • Japanese Yen
  • Australian
  • Hong Kong
  • Canadian
  • Singaporean Dollars

Exchange money at the bank

Although using bank services is the safest approach for this converting, there is something annoying you, e.g. the bank will require you to fill out a form along with showing your passport.

It is important that you should keep your paper notes carefully because any torn or damaged will not be accepted.

Vietnamese banks agree to exchange foreign currencies in cash, traveler’s checks (a 1% to 3% charge applies) and credit cards (Visa Card, Master Card, American Express). In some cases, you must show a piece of identification. Keep in mind that exchanging currency and travelers’ checks are not always available in small towns.

Banks in Danang are open from Monday to Friday, from 7:20 to 11:20 and from 13:20 to 17:00. At some big branches of the bank, they also serve you on Saturday morning.

Here is the list of all the banks in Danang. You will find easily the closest bank near your hotel in order to exhange money in Danang :

Foreign Trade Bank of Vietnam, Danang Branch, Danang city, Vietnam

  • Add: 140 – 142 Le Loi Street, Danang City, Vietnam
  • Tel: 0511.3.822110

Investment and Development Bank of Vietnam, Danang Branch, Danang city, Vietnam

  • Add: 90 Nguyen Chi Thanh Street, Danang City, Vietnam
  • Tel: 05113.821703/824496/837602
  • Fax: 05113.827693
  • E-mail: danang@bidv.com.vn

Agriculture and Rural Development Bank (Agribank), Danang Branch, Danang city, Vietnam

  • Add: 23 Phan Dinh Phung Street, Danang City, , Vietnam
  • Tel: 05113.821168/812151
  • Fax: 05113.823495

VID PUBLIC Bank, Danang Branch, Danang city, Vietnam

  • Add: 02 Tran Phu Street, Hai Chau District, Danang City, Vietnam
  • Tel: 0511.3.826801/826802
  • Fax: 0511.3.826800

Asia Commercial Bank (ACB), Danang Branch, Danang city, Vietnam

  • Add: 16 Thai Phien Street, Danang City, Vietnam
  • Tel: 05113.897806/897886/897963
  • Fax: 05113.897883
  • Website: http://www.acbbank.com.vn

Vietnam Technological Commercial Bank (Techcombank), Danang Branch, Danang city, Vietnam

  • Add: 244 – 248 Nguyen Van Linh Street, Danang City, Vietnam
  • Tel: 05113.655118/655119/650775
  • Fax: 05113.655455
  • Email: admin@tcb.dng.com.vn

Vietnam Trade Joint – Stock Bank for Private Enterprises (VP Bank), Danang Branch, Danang city, Vietnam

  • Add: 112 Phan Chu Trinh Street, Danang City, Vietnam
  • Tel: 05113.835090/835092/821186
  • Fax: 05113.835065

State Bank in Danang city, Vietnam

  • Add: 01 Yen Bay Street, Danang City, Vietnam
  • Tel: 05113.821128
  • Email: ngahadana@dng.vnn.vn

Industry and Commerce Bank (Incombank), Danang Branch, Danang city, Vietnam

  • Add: 172 Nguyen Van Linh Street, Danang City, Vietnam
  • Tel: 05113.822158/ 821823 / 821993
  • Fax: 05113.825528
  • Email: Danaicb@dng.vnn.vn

Danang Trade Joint – Stock Bank, Vietnam

  • Add: Cach Mang Thang 8 Street, Hoa Tho Commune, Hoa Vang District, Danang City, Vietnam
  • Tel: (84.05113) 672368/ 672369
  • Fax: (84.05113) 672369

Marine Trade Joint – Stock Bank, Danang Branch, Danang city, Vietnam

  • Add: 15 Le Duan Street, Hai Chau District, Danang City, Vietnam
  • Tel: 05113.825019/ 825804
  • Fax: 05113.825014

Vietnam Export and Import Joint – Stock Bank (Eximbank), Danang Branch, Danang city, Vietnam

  • Add: 48 Tran Phu Street, Danang City, Vietnam
  • Tel: 05113.830889/ 826676/826673
  • Fax: 05113.826674

Social Policy Bank, Danang Branch, Danang city, Vietnam

  • Add: 127 Quang Trung Street, Danang City, Vietnam
  • Tel: 0511. 3887438
  • Fax: 0511. 3. 892307

Viet A Commercial Joint – Stock Bank, Danang Branch, Danang city, Vietnam

  • Add: 33 Hung Vuong Street, Danang City, Vietnam
  • Tel: 0511.3.837543

East Asia Trade Joint – Stock Bank (EAB), Danang Branch, Danang city, Vietnam

  • Add: 51 Nguyen Van Linh Street, Danang City, Vietnam
  • Tel: 0511.3.582971

Saigon Commercial Bank (Sacombank), Danang Branch, Danang city, Vietnam

  • Add: 202 Hoang Dieu Street, Danang City, Vietnam
  • Tel: 0511.3582619

Saigon Commercial & Industrial Bank , Danang Branch, Danang city, Vietnam

  • Add: 169-171 Nguyen Van Linh Street, Danang City, Vietnam
  • Tel: 0511.3 652491

Phuong Nam Trade Joint – Stock Bank, Danang Branch, Danang city, Vietnam

  • Add: 337 Le Duan Street, Danang City, Vietnam
  • Tel: 0511.3 893420

Orient Bank, Trung Viet Branch in Danang city, Vietnam

  • Add: 05 Dong Da Street, Danang City, Vietnam
  • Tel: 0511.3.887899

Military Trade Joint – Stock Bank, Danang Branch, Danang city, Vietnam

  • Add: 54 Dien Bien Phu Street, Danang City, Vietnam
  • Tel: 0511.3.257999

Bank for dwelling development in Delta Mekong, Danang Branch, Danang city, Vietnam

  • Add: 129 Le Loi Street, Danang City, Vietnam
  • Tel: 0511.3817840

International Trade Joint – Stock Bank, Danang Branch, Danang city, Vietnam

  • Add: 189-193 Nguyen Van Linh Street, Danang City, Vietnam
  • Tel: 0511.3.653171

The Mekong Delta House development Bank in Danang city, Vietnam

  • Add 1 : 278C Trung Nu Vuong street, Danang city, Vietnam
  • Tel : 0511.3552997
  • Add 2 : 439 Hoang Dieu street, Danang city, Vietnam
  • Tel : 0511.3552861

Branch of Saigon – Hanoi Commercial Bank in Danang city, Vietnam

  • Add : 89- 91 Nguyen Van Linh street, Danang city, Vietnam
  • Tel : 0511.3584599

Branch of Nam Viet Commercial Bank in Danang city, Vietnam

  • Add : 46 Nguyen Van Linh Street, Danang city, Vietnam
  • Tel : 0511. 3584846

Branch of Hoang Hai Commercial Bank in Danang city, Vietnam

  • Add : 222 Hoang Dieu strret, Danang city, Vietnam
  • Tel : 0511. 3584996

Representative office of agricultural and rural development Bank in Central Vietnam in Danang city, Vietnam

  • Add : 228 2/9 street, Danang city, Vietnam
  • Tel: 0511.3622607

Branch of social policy Bank, Thanh Khe branch in Danang city, Vietnam

  • Add : 106 Thai Thi Boi street, Danang city, Vietnam
  • Tel: 0511.3648899

Branch of agricultural and rural development Bank, Hai Chau branch in Danang city, Vietnam

  • Add : 392 Nui Thanh street, Danang city, Vietnam
  • Tel : 0511. 3642384

Branch of Dong A commercial Bank in Danang city, Vietnam

  • Add 1: 112 Ong Ich Khiem street, Danang city, Vietnam
  • Tel : 0511.3531687
  • Add 2 : 260 Dong Da street, Danang city, Vietnam
  • Tel : 0511.3531847
  • Add 3 : 88 Dong Da street, Danang city, Vietnam
  • Tel : 0511.3540636

Branch of An Binh commercial Bank in Danang city, Vietnam

  • Add : 174 Nguyen Van Linh street, Danang city, Vietnam
  • Tel : 0511.3225263
  • 0511.3225265

Exchange money at Danang’s jewelers

There are not as many jewelers in Danang as in Hanoi but you can find some in the center of the city.

They can also exchange money with a better rate than the banks or at Danang international airport.

Get money at the ATM

ATM machine Distributors are everywhere in Danang. These machines accept cards: VISA or MASTER CARD: withdrawal of money in cash up to the availabilities of the account. 3% bank charges. 

Other tips

Bear in mind that paying by credit card is not common in Vietnam, and especially in rural areas, so be interested in how to exchange currency when you arrive in Danang.

If there are still some dongs left after the trip, make sure you should exchange them before leaving as it is very difficult to do that in your country or some regions in the world.

How to get to Sapa ? By bus or by train ?

Sapa town is at 370 km northwest from Hanoi. Sapa was a French climatic health resort located just over 1000m above sea level in front of Mount Fansipan (the highest peak of ancient Indochina).

At this altitude, the air is cooler than in Hanoi. Sapa offers incredible scenery with many rice terraces, rivers, mountains and many ethnic minority villages all around Sapa.

Sapa by train or by bus

As it is one of the most touristic destination in northern Vietnam, access to Sapa is easy, by bus or train.

A few years ago, the best way to reach Sapa was to take the night train from Hanoi to Lao Cai. Then take the bus or minibus to reach Sapa after 1 hour drive.

However, after the inauguration of the Hanoi – Lao Cai highway in 2014, the drive to Sapa decreased half the journey time, about 5 hours away.

Sapa by train

Most tourists choose to take the night train to reach Sapa town.

In fact, the train does not reach Sapa directly but stops only at Lao Cai station. Then take a bus or taxi to Sapa, which is a 45-minute drive away.

Trains depart from Hanoi around 20-21h and arrive at Lao Cai station around 5-6h the next morning.

A bunk in a compartment of 4 is recommended to have more space to sit. One sleeping berth costs from 35 usd/pax.

Sapa by train

Several railway companies allow to go to Sapa. The comfort between the different companies can be different. We recommend taking Chapa train which is good value for money.

In Hanoi, trains for Sapa depart from Tran Quy Cap Station, near Hanoi’s Old Quarter.

It takes around 8 hours night train to reach Sapa from Hanoi.

At the exit of Lao Cai station, it is easy to find a shared bus for Sapa, which costs only about 50,000 vnd. You can also take a taxi.

Sapa by bus

There are several bus departures for Sapa every day.

These are very comfortable buses with air conditioning. You can book a sleeping bus or a limousine which is more comfortable and more convenient for elderly.

The bus ticket costs between 10 USD and 20 USD.

Sapa limousine bus

The bus will take the new highway to reach Sapa. It takes around 6 hours drive with 2 comfort stops.

Most of the buses departure is around 6h30-7H in the morning. The tourists will arrive around 13h in Sapa town which is quite faster than by train.

Sapa sleeping bus

Our advise :  Sapa by bus or by train ?

In general, tourists choose to take the night train rather than the bus in order to save 2 nights of hotels. Also, people want to spend the maximum time in Sapa to enjoy the fresh air longer.

However, the price of the night train remains quite high. If we add the intermediate costs such as moving to the station and the journey from Lao Cai station to Sapa, the train is not at all the most economical solution.

Indeed, staying at the hotel in Hanoi and taking the sleeper bus, the total price is equivalent to that of the night train.

Likewise, most people have trouble sleeping on the night train because of stops and shaking. It is difficult to fully enjoy Sapa after a sleepless night on the night train.

Finally, arriving at 6am at Lao Cai station, there is still 1 hour drive to reach Sapa. Most people arrive around 7am in Sapa. Then, they shower and breakfast before starting their treck. The departure of the treck is not done before 8:30 in the morning.

For the return by night train, it is necessary to leave Sapa around 16H in order to have the time to go down to the station of Lao Cai then to take the dinner. In the end, the time saved in Sapa is not significant.

Rather, we recommend that our travelers take the sleeper bus or limousine bus to travel comfortably and enjoy Sapa. It is also possible to take the night train one way and take the sleeper bus back to experience the Sapa night train.

Halong Bay is now the most popular destination in Vietnam but her little sister called Lan Ha Bay becomes more and more popular because of many reasons listed here. What is the difference between Halong Bay and Lan Bay ? Let’s take a look at our advise !

What is Halong Bay ?

Halong Bay is a UNESCO World Heritage site located in northeastern Vietnam’s Gulf of Tonkin, in Quang Ninh Province. The lush emerald and turquoise waters harbor over 1,600 mostly uninhabited—and thereby undisturbed—islands and islets, according to UNESCO.

This extraordinary area was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1994. For many tourists, this place is like something right out of a movie. The fact is that Halong Bay features a wide range of biodiversity, while the surrealistic scenery has indeed featured in endless movies.

Even in a country with the diversity of Vietnam, the spectacular seascape at Halong Bay can stun the most powerful into humility.

Halong Bay world heritage

In Vietnamese, Halong means “descending dragon”. Dragons play a prominent role in Vietnamese culture, and the most popular legend has it that one such creature and her children descended from heaven to defend the Vietnamese people from invaders, spraying fire and emeralds or jade. She and her children then stayed on Earth.

The jewels eventually formed towering limestone formations, and over millennia, their protective crags and jagged edges evolved into the backdrop of green islands, towers, and water relished by visitors. A nearby bay, Bai Tu Long, refers to the children of the dragon.

“These legends strike a chord with Vietnamese beliefs and history in two ways,” says Hanh Tran, lecturer of South and Southeast Asian studies at the University of California, Berkeley. “First, the history of fighting against invaders. Second, the belief that Vietnamese people are descended from a dragon father (Lac Long Quan) and a fairy mother (Au Co), and that there is a sacred, hidden power to support them in their war efforts.”

That’s not to reduce the charm of Halong Bay to the fanciful. From a scientific viewpoint, it’s remarkable as “a very evolved, very advanced, unusual looking karst landscape,” says Robert Brinkmann, professor of geology, environment, and sustainability at Hofstra University in New York. Most such formations are on land, such as in Florida or Puerto Rico, and not on the water.

What is Lan Ha Bay ?

Lan Ha Bay is located in the east of Cat Ba Island. It’s overlooking the Van Gate, adjacent to Halong Bay. with over 7,000 ha, of which 5,400 ha is the management area of ​​Cat Ba National Park. This is a very gulf-shaped bay about 400 large islands creating a huge picture depicting the scene.

Other than Ha Long Bay, all 400 big and small islands in Lan Ha Bay are covered with trees or vegetation, even small islands. A peaceful sea with small fishing villages as separate from the rest of the world. Under the peaceful island clusters. There are many species of local specialties. Such as blue mussel, snakehead, crab, abalone, fresh shrimp live according to the daily needs of visitors.

Lan Ha Bay Beach

Lan Ha Bay is the home of Cat Ba Island. The bay itself and Cat Ba National Park are included in the biosphere reserve of the world. Therefore, European travelers and American backpackers often hire their own boats for a self adventure, selecting from the bay’s 139 beaches for one pleasant sandy beach to camp overnight.

They also enjoy a trip through the Cat Ba National Forest, home of many precious animals, including rare white-headed langur. Overcoming Ngu Lam peak, at the end of the journey, Viet Hai fishing village, the most unspoiled fishing village of Cat Ba Island, is where the visitors can discover many interesting characters of the local people of the island.

Difference between Halong Bay and Lan Ha Bay

Halong Bay is recognized as one of the 10 most beautiful bays in the world. Not only landscape value, its geological value with at least 500 million year history is also a plus mark for Halong Bay. Halong is one of the most important areas in the world of Fengcong (clusters of conical peaks) and Fenglin (isolated tower features) karst and is considered as the best example of marine-invaded tower karst.

Halong has many caves of different sizes and interiors. The number of the cave, until now, has not been confirmed yet; some of them have been named and famous worldwide while some are less known or even unknown.

Lan Ha Bay is at the southern part of Halong Bay, far away from the boat crash in the north then coming to Lan Ha Bay, you will have chance to get closer to local fishing life, and are less likely to see as many tour boats and ships passing, never need to worry about the crowd.

The difference between Halong Bay and Lan Ha Bay is that Lan Ha Bay reserves a more pristine scenery with an intense concentration of limestone mountains which the sea surface has partitioned into smaller bays and gulfs. Many lagoons, bays, and caves still remain untouched.

The bay has up to 139 golden sandy beaches, small but pretty and isolated as “blue straits” inviting tourists to explore. Many sandy beaches stretching between two rocky mountains, quiet with no big waves, are really the ideal beaches.

Lan Ha Bay and Halong Bay

Lan Ha is a peaceful sea with small fishing villages existing isolated from the rest of the world. There are wooden floats raising different species such as the green mussel, geoduck, cobia, crab, abalone, grouper, which can serve visitors according to their needs. By small boat, visitors can glide through the ravine, lagoons to visit the caves, resting on the beach.

Unlike Halong, the Lan Ha Bay itinerary is quite flexible, which means you can do any water activities that you can imagine, jumping down from the boat, going fishing with local, doing kayaking to anywhere you desire to explore, diving or surfing or even rafting. Your passion for water is only limited by your own imagination.

Tour price for the package and even backpacker travel is lower than in Halong since the fee in Lan Ha Bay is lower than in Halong.

Summer and Autumn are the bestseasons to visit Sapa, when the rice is green and become yellow before harvesting.

Sapa, along with Halong Bay and Hoi An Ancient town, is now one of the most attractive destinations for tourists when they visit Vietnam.

In 1922, the French has first established Sapa as a hill station to use for the war. Although Sapa and the local there went through a lot in the past, it has become a wonderful place in Vietnam with many outstanding sceneries and unique cultures.

In each kind of weather conditions, Sapa has different beauties, but tourists have to choose the right time to witness the most spectacular scenes in Sapa, especially on clear sunny days.

Actually, tourists can visit Sapa all year round, but here is some useful information to know if you want to visit Sapa at the best time.

August to September – best time for sight-seeing

In these months, the weather is perfect and suitable for sight-seeing, photo-taking and camping. This is the end of summer season in Sapa when the sky is clear and blue, which makes the landscapes more amazing.

The sun shines through hundreds of mountains and creates huge shadows in combination with vibrant landscapes and deep blue sky; all that visual effects come together to make Sapa much more outstanding.

The weather is around 20-25°C which is perfect, but there’re sometimes rains to refresh the atmosphere. In general, this is one of the best time to visit Sapa.

Also, in September, it is time for harvesting. The terraced ricefields become yellow during this period. The landscape becomes amazingly beautiful.

Many people are working in the ricefields in September because of harvest time which is also very interesting to watch.

Best time to visit Sapa, Sapa in october

June to July – another great time to visit Sapa

This is spring in Sapa when plants grow and flowers blossom.

In June, the ricefields become green. It gives to Sapa spectacular landscape.

The temperature during this period is around 25°C. It is the warmest period in Sapa.

Note that from June to August, it is rainy season in Northern Vietnam. That is why it can be hard for trekking. Don’t forget to bring a raincoat. It will not rain all the time because in this mountainous area, the weather changes very quickly.

Summer in Vietnam is very hot in Northern Vietnam and in the big cities like Hanoi but the weather in Sapa will be not too hot during this period.

Best time to visit Sapa, Sapa in Spring

October to May – not the right time

This is the winter season in Sapa which is really harsh and long with average temperature of zero degree and cold breezing winds from December to January. It’s not a right time for tourists to visit Sapa, especially those from tropical countries.

From October to November and from February to May, it is not too cold in Sapa but there are no rice crops anymore in the terraced ricefields. The view is not so good then.

Also, during the winter, the mountains are often in the clouds and it is difficult to have a nice view.

Together with weather, the quality of the tours is also important. As suggested by many tourists, those tours listed in sapa tours are good choices for tourist’s reference.

Hoi An Night Market may seem like a whole new world. It’s easy to be swept away by all the smells, people, noises and unidentifiable foods served on rice cakes.

A visit to the night market is a living experience for families, couples, buyers and photographers. Children also love this night market, given its many lights, toys and music.

Hoi An Night market

Where to find the Hoi An Night Market ?

The official Hoi An Night Market is located on Hoi An Island, opposite the Japanese Bridge, Nguyen Hoang Street.

The street is illuminated by hundreds of colorful lanterns, animated by a life and a frenetic activity! Every evening from 17h to 22h, vendors line up in three rows, forming two main aisles in which visitors can walk.

The two outer rows (left and right) are lined with food stalls. The middle row consists of stalls selling local souvenirs.

What to see at the Hoi An Night Market ?

The 300-meter long street, home to Hoi An‘s official night market, is home to more than 50 vendors selling many different of local snacks, crafts, souvenirs, trinkets, clothing, shoes, jewelry and accessories. If you have already been in a night market in Vietnam, you will not be lost !

It is good to know that most of the time, the first stands are more expensive so head towards to the end of the market to do good business. You will negociate better prices at the end of the night market.

What to eat at Hoi An Night Market ?

If you have never been to Vietnam, this is the place where you can taste some Vietnamese snacks. In the first stands, you will find Vietnamese pizza, skewers of meat, glutinous rice with grilled banana, coconut cake, etc …

Prices are around 30,000 vnd for most of the dishes. This is a good way to taste dishes that you will not find in your hometown.

After the first stands, you will find others with all the specialties of Hoi An on the market such as Cao Lau or Mi Quang. As before, the prices are standard and it will not exceed 30,000 vnd.

There is also a popular ice stand. His specialty is making ice cream with sweetened condensed milk (the same as in Vietnamese milk coffee). The ice cream is spread on an iced metal plate, chopped and served rolled up. A show in itself that you should not miss !

Hoi An Night market ice cream

Hoi An Lanterns market place

Without a doubt, the highlight of the market, both esthetically and for shopping, is its lantern corner.

From the beginning of the market, you will find five stands offering lanterns of all kinds of shapes, sizes, colors and patterns. Sellers typically charge VND 20,000 ($ 0.90) for a photo in front of their stores.

If you buy lanterns at the store, this cost will probably be canceled if you settle with your new purchase.

It is also a good Instagram spot in Hoi An and you will see many tourists taking in the walls of lanterns. This is the best place to buy a lantern in Hoi An.

Here, the price of a lantern should not exceed 100,000 vnd.

Opening hours of Hoi An Night Market

For those who prefer to come to the market without the crowds, the best time to visit is just before sunset.

Most sellers arrive around 5 pm, but people do not really start until 6 pm For those who do not have a problem with the crowd, the busiest time is from 18:30 to 20:30.

After 21 hours, the number of people is significantly reduced and the owners of food stands move their carts closer to the market entrance to attract new customers. Most stands close around 10pm.

The second Night Market in Hoi An

A second night market opened in Hoi An in 2018 and occupies Tran Quy Cape and Bach Dang Streets near the Central Market. Do not confuse it with the Hoi An Night Market.

They offer more or less the same products as the first night market.

Good point, There are a lot less people. This makes it an easier alternative for strolling and shopping than the official, more crowded night market.

On Bach Dang Street, you will find a few food stalls.

The major disadvantage is that there is no Lantern market that makes a difference.

Lantern Night Market Hoi An