Archive | November, 2012

Ban Gioc – Largest Waterfall in Vietnam!

8 Nov

Ban Gioc Waterfall is now an attractive beauty spot for national and international visitors. Travelling some 272 km from Hanoi, you will reach the splendid fall…

Ban Gioc Waterfall on the Quy Xuan River is located in Cao Bang Province, nears the Sino-Vietnamese border. The waterfall falls thirty meters. It is separated into three falls by rocks and trees, and the thundering effect of the water hitting the cliffs can be heard kilometers away from Trung Khanh.

Ban Doc Waterfall is situated in Dam Thuy Commune, Trung Khanh District. The Quay Son River rises from China flowing into our country in Po Peo (Ngoc Khe Commune) and to communes including Dinh Phong and Chi Vien. When it reaches Dam Thuy Commune of Trung Khanh District, the mild river circles around Co Muong mountain bottom and flows to rice fields of Dam Thuy towards the large maize alluvial plain of Ban Gioc village. Here, the flow divides into many branches and lowers its flow to creat Ban Gioc Waterfall.

Ban Gioc waterfall

Water from Quy Xuan River falling down on the stone creates water droplets columns that can be seen from a distance. The temperature near the waterfall is remarkably cool, due to the water mist in the air. At the foot of the waterfall is a large river, as calm as glass, surrounded by many precious kinds of flowers. Ban Gioc Fall is famous for a famous fish named “tram huong”. In the early 1920s, French people started building cottages on the river banks. They would come here to relax, fish for “tram huong”, and hunt deer.

The sight in Ban Gioc Waterfall bears a poetic, fresh, quiet beauty of water, forest and cloud area mixed with village atmosphere of mountainous ethnic minorities. Young people and ethnic people usually sing the impressive verses about the imposing fall:

“Bản Giốc thác nước đẹp sao!

Việt Nam há chẳng thác nào đẹp hơn”

 (How wonderful Ban Gioc Waterfall is!

In Vietnam, no another fall can be more beautiful)

So now, why don’t you visit Ban Gioc Waterfall, for sight-seeing, trying to fish for “tram huong” and hunt deer?

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Bon bon – A wild and tasty plant

1 Nov

Bon bon, a wild plant first popular in Ca Mau, has since conquered southern Vietnam with its distinctive sweet taste

It would be a shame if someone visited the Mekong Delta province of Ca Mau and came away without trying dishes made from bồn bồn.

Bồn bồn (cattail, or bulrush) is a reed-like wild plant with long, firm leaves, olive-green, three-sided stems and drooping clusters of small spikelets. It usually grows in swamps or wetlands, and is known to be useful for land restoration and as an ingredient in food.

Some parts of Ca Mau Province are high in alum and are therefore not good for growing rice paddy, only bồn bồn.

Many families do grow the wild plant as a crop.


Bồn bồn salad with shrimp and meat is a popular dish

The root produces an edible tuber that is considered delicious and healthy. It is distinctively sweet, crunchy, crispy, and soft. It tastes a bit like lotus root and bamboo shoot.

At first people only used it as a pickle. But gradually, as locals began to migrate, they took the plant with them and it made its way into many dishes.

Some of the most popular are braised anabas with pickled bồn bồn, bồn bồn with sour catfish hot pot or sour snakehead hot pot, stir-fried bồn bồn with shrimp, and bồn bồn salad with shrimp and pork.

Pickled bồn bồn remains popular. To pickle it, one uses only the inner white portion of the stalk. Remove the tough outer layer and soak the white portion in salt water with some condiments.

A week later the pickle is ready: it is slightly sour and crispy, and looks like the rustic dish it is. It is delicious if stir-fried with shrimp, meat, or fish, or cooked in sour soup with fish. Also popular is pickled bồn bồn along with braised anabas, catfish, and snakehead fish.

Stir-fried bồn bồn with shrimp is possibly the tastiest of the lot and also easiest to make. The distinctive sweetness of the wild plant remains intact when cooked with little or no condiments.

To make the dish, peel shrimp and get the inner white portions of the stalk and clean them. Pour a little oil on the pot over heat, add some onion for flavor, add the shrimp and then the bồn bồn, and stir-fry together with some condiments.

The dish is served with hot rice.

Bồn bồn salad with shrimp and meat seems to be the most popular dish in restaurants. It is a combination of sour, spicy, salty, and sweet tastes, all essential aspects of southern cooking. Some make the salad with pickled bồn bồn to get many flavors, while others prefer fresh bồn bồn to enjoy the plant’s distinctive sweetness. The tuber is a bit crispy but not tough, the fresh leaves do not fall apart, and the dish seems to melt in the mouth. Black tiger prawn and soft meat with a little fat is often used to make the salad even more delicious. It is served with shrimp crackers as an appetizer at family parties and wedding banquets.

Bồn bồn can be combined with dried shrimp, beef, and pork to make simple but tasty meals at home. Depending on the other ingredients, and how long and how thick the bồn bồn is, one can cook numerous delicacies with the plant.

If customers cannot enjoy bồn bồn delicacies in the Mekong Delta, they can find it at restaurants in Ho Chi Minh City. Or buy it from markets or supermarkets and cook it themselves.

Bồn bồn costs around VND50,000 a kilogram.

If you are interested in exploring Vietnam tourism, Vietnam tour, you can visit Vietnam travel agency, Vietnam travel guide, Halong cruises, Halong Bay, Halong travel, Vietnam tour packages site to know further attractive places.

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