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Foodies 4 Tết

Tết (Vietnamese Lunar New Year) is coming!

Like Christmas or New Year in the West, Tết is time of reunion, holiday and also party. Vietnamese celebrates the New Year on 03 first days of January lunar calendar, but all preparation and enjoyment starts and finishes a week before and after those days.

One of the most highlights of Tết is food preparation. Vietnamese cook number of dishes per day during Tết as offerings to ancestors. Afterward they enjoy foods with family and friends.

So, what Vietnamese people eat during Tết? Here are some highlights of foodie you may find in Vietnamese meals.

Bánh Chưng (Square Cake) – Northern Specialty.

Bánh Chưng is a mixture of sticky rice, green bean, pork and other spices like fish source, pepper… They are all wrapped in leaf of ‘Dong’ and boiled in 12 hours. There is another version of similar Bánh Chưng in the South of Vietnam called Bánh Tét. People also change ingredients for different flavors.

Square Cake 4 Vietnamese Tet

Gà Luộc (Chicken)

A must-dish for Tết, Vietnamese believes Chicken dish will bring a prosperity for each member in their family in the New Year. Most popular way to cook is boiling and deep it with salt and lime.

Thit ga luoc

Giò Chả (Vietnamese Sausages)

Vietnamese sausages find rarely in daily meals. It just eaten in special events like Tet, weddings or anniversary party. Vietnamese sausages made of from lean pork or beef, wrap around with banana leaf and steamed.

Vietnamese Sausages

Nem (Spring Rolls)

The original Vietnamese spring rolls made from mixture of pork, vermicelli, egg, bean sprout.. and wrapped by rice paper and fried. People in the city now change the pork to shrimps, beef or other seafood to get different flavors. Spring rolls serve with fish source and other mints.

Nem Vietnam - Vietnamese Spring Rolls

Dưa Hành (Salad)

Northern Vietnamese people prepares soured onion to eat with their Square Cake. There are more ingredients found in the South with bean sprout, carrot, chilly and radish.

Vietnamese Salads

And of course, the Tết meals will not complete with a special Vietnamese drink: Rice Wine!

Vietnamese Rice Wine

Happy Vietnamese New Year 2014!

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year 2014 From Tuan

My special warmest wishes to you, your family and loved ones in occasion of festive season! Hope to win your support in upcoming 2014. Merry Christmas & Happy 2014 New Year!

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year 2014 from Tuan

Vietnam Visa On Arrival – Video Guide

The short video gives much of information on applying a visa on arrival in Vietnam. The guide including what to prepare, how to apply online and what to do at the airport.

Click here for a direct link from Youtube.

Top 5 reasons to pick up your Vietnam visa at the airport (VOA)

Visa On Arrival

Apply a visa is never be a fun part on travel arrangement. However, it is certainly the important work you must do before your departure. While the visa exemption list of Vietnam visa is till very short, most of people still need a visa to visit this beautiful country. Someone has a difficulty on finding Vietnamese embassy or consulate nearby their locations. They may find Visa on arrival (VOA or pre-arranged visa) is a good option to obtain a legitimate visa to Vietnam. Actually, there are more season to do so, I would like to list some highlights:

Reliability

People concern the legitimate of VOA, of course, nobody wants to face Immigration problem when they travel. One more time, I want to reconfirm that VOA is totally legitimated. Visa at the airport is 100% the same as visa issued at embassy. A travel agent is allowed to obtain a visa approval letter on your behalf under the Immigration lawsuit. Follow this link to read more of legal basics of VOA (article 5).

Flexibility

You will totally control your time of travel, VOA gives a big gap of time for you if you need to change your travel plan in last minutes as the whole process can be done within couple of days or even sooner.

Economical

Even the Immigration stamping fee rose last year, VOA is still much cheaper compare to any other ways. Plus, you don’t have to put the expenses of travel, postage if you go with VOA option. You will save up at least 40% to apply directly to embassy.

Convenience

No passport post away, no queuing, no document required. All what you need is a computer and you can apply from anywhere. Resulted in 48 hours and all processes are done online. If you are busy, you can ask someone to apply it for you instead.

Emergency Service

VOA seems to be the only way to obtain your Vietnam visa if you need it in urgent. Some agencies could offer your visa arrangement within 01 hour from the time of application. It will be a best solution for someone changes travel plan in last minutes, or others uncontrolled situations.

Disclaimer: VOA is not the only way to obtain your visa. You can also apply directly to Vietnamese embassy and consulate for a valid visa before departure. especially for people travel to Vietnam by sea, border crossing or alike as VOA just works for AIR TRAVEL.

Recommended agencies to VOA online application:

My Vietnam Visa 

Vietnam Visa Booking

Vietnam E Visa

Instant Vietnam Visa 

Vietnam Visa On Arrival – Scam or Legitimate?

Vietnam Visa On Arrival Scam or Not?First of all, visitors are able to pick up their visas at Vietnam International Airports IF they are holding a document called ‘Approval Letter’ which pre – arranged by a Vietnamese tour operator. This is 100% legal. And everyday, hundreds to thousands of visitors are  picking up their visas at Vietnam airports without a problem.

So, how comes someone or even Vietnamese Embassy’s consular refers it to scam or not legitimated?  I think because of the way people call or define the ‘Visa On Arrival’ as ‘Visa On Arrival’ is NOT existed in Vietnamese Immigration Law. As I understand, Cambodia or Laos has Visa On Arrival because I just go there, show my passport, pay my fees then visa will be stamped to my passport. But in Vietnam, you can’t do that. You must make a pre – step to get a paper called ‘Approval Letter’, once you have it done, then you can pick up your visa at the airport as normal.

The conflict on defining could leads to some difficult situation for travelers. Someone just go to the airport for boarding without a visa as they understand Vietnam has ‘Visa On Arrival’ to offer. I launched a website of Instant Vietnam Visa couple of weeks ago. Guess what? the first week, we received more than 10 requests on rush visa!!!. Travelers just realized they need a valid visa OR Approval Letter to allow boarding to Vietnam. Luckily, our team served them on time to grant Approval Letter within 01 hour, just on time for boarding, one case needed to change his flight to next day as his time was too tight up.

Back to the question Visa On Arrival is a scam or legitimated in Vietnam? The answer are both Yes and No. Yes, because Vietnam does not offer Visa On Arrival (as my above definition) and No, because you can pick up your visa on your arrival if you arrange Approval Letter in advance. With current situation, I may call it as ‘Pre-arrangement Visa Permitting’. I am not too sure about it. Someone may help on how to rename this type of visa’s definition to avoid misunderstandings and problem for travelers to Vietnam. Thank you!

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