Sunday, November 27, 2011

Vietnamese Afternoon Video Clip

LAV@NUS presents to you a special video clip Chiều Việt Nam 19/10/2011. This special release was made possible by our dedicated alumnus Chi. Hope you will all enjoy watching it! 

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Rojak (Mixed Group!)

Quỳnh Mai

Tôi tên là Svenja Đô Thới. Tên tiếng việt của tôi là Quỳnh Mai. Năm nay tôi hai mươi tuổi. Tôi là sinh viên năm thứ ba, học kinh doanh ở Đại học Quốc gia Singapo. Tôi là người Đức, nhưng bô mẹ tôi là người Việt. Tôi có một anh trai và một em trai. Tôi học tiếng Việt để tôi có thể nói chuyện với bà tôi. Khi rỗi, tôi thích đi chơi với bạn bè tôi. Tôi cũng rất thích đi du lịch, đặc biệt 
 Việt Nam.

s mentioned before, my parents are both of Vietnamese origin. Both left Vietnam in their teenage years - my father to study and my mother fled from the war. They met in Germany, where I was born. I spent 5 years of my childhood living in Vietnam, but left when I was nine. I had not been back for 8 years before this year (I am currently on exchange in Singapore). I a lot of Vietnamese relatives and family friends in Germany and also Vietnam. Therefore, I do understand a lot of Vietnamese, but could never speak, which is why I decided to take Viet 1. This winter, I will be travelling Vietnam for a month. I love Vietnam, especially for its cuisine. My mother often cooks amazing pho bo. My favorite Vietnamese food though is com tam, especially with soda chanh. I really love being in Ho Chi Minh and can really see myself living and working there someday.

Quang Chiến
Chào các bạn ! Mình tên là Quang Chiến, sinh viên năm thứ tư, học ngành cơ khí. Mình học tiếng Việt vì mình thích các cô gái đẹp người Việt. Với lại mình thích ăn món ăn Việt ở căng-tin PGP và căng-tin khoa khinh doanh. Mình thích nghe nhạc pop tiếng Việt. Mình rất thích nghe bài hát “Anh yêu em nhiều lắm” của ca sĩ Sỹ Luân ! Mình chưa đến Việt Nam nhưng mình định đi du lịch ở Việt Nam vào tháng mười hai này.

Before coming to Singapore I have very little knowledge about Vietnam. One of my first few Vietnamese friends that I met in Singapore is my roommate during Junior College days and I guess I got to know a bit more about Vietnam from him… (yeah he claims he is the descendent of Lê Lợi….-.-)

Anyway I kind of jumped into Vietnamese class without thinking about it too much but I have not regretted it. The classes are so fun, and I look forward to every class with cô Bích, cô Quỳnh, and cô Le. The classes are such a good break from the stressful Engineering modules and I have made a lot of new bạn bè too. From these classes and other activities like Chiều Việt Nam and South East Asian Night, I have had the opportunity to learn more about Viet Nam, their people and their culture. I hope I can continue learning Vietnamese next semester and I hope to see you all there too

Quang Trung
Chào các cô và các bạn! Mình tên là Quang Trung và tên tiếng Malay của mình là Salman. Mình là người Singapo. Mình là sinh viên năm thứ ba, học ngành tâm lý học. Vào cuối năm nay, mình sẽ tốt nghiệp và bắt dầu làm việc năm sau. Năm việc mình mê nhất: chụp ảnh, đọc sách, xem phim hài va phim tình cảm với bạn gái, chơi bóng đá với bạn bè và đi du lịch với gia đình mình! Mình học tên tiếng Việt vì mình đình đi du lịch dể giúp các trẻ em mồ côi ở đó.

Last semester I met a friend named Matthew who came to NUS for an exchange program. He shared with me about an idea to create a charity system that would benefit orphans in Vietnam. Without hesitance, I jumped into the idea and the next thing we know, we were travelling to Đà Nẵng to begin our research in May earlier this year with the help of a few friends. This was how I first got involved with Vietnam in my entire life. After much research work like identifying an orphanage to help in the long term as well as acquiring some help from some organizations, we have decided to help the orphans at Đại Lọc Orphanage with their nutrition, particularly adding Calcium in Protein into their diet by supplying them with milk. I thought that picking up Vietnamese would help me in this project as well as be able to have a decent conversation with the orphans there in their native language. If you are interested to help us or just to follow us on our journey, you could visit! We will be starting this long term project this December. Please pray for us that everything will go smoothly! =)

Why Hà Nội?
We decided to present about Hà Nội because we feel that it is a significant part of Vietnam because it is after all, its capital. Reading from travel books and having visited there once, it is a beautiful city that blends Vietnamese culture and urban living very well. We have also heard from family and friends that if you were to travel to Vietnam, Hà Nội is a place that you cannot miss! And we feel we have proven that in our presentation too! Hehe.

In the course of this project work, we definitely learned a lot about the places to visit in Hà Nội. Because we had to present the place as tour guides, it forces us to make decisions consensually about including and omitting places of interest so as to make the itinerary as attractive as possible. We also learned to be creative with our posters because we just love to entertain! Given the tight schedule that each of us had, we really appreciate one another's efforts to make this project an enjoyable one and we hope you liked our presentation too! Go visit Hà Nội!

pasa? papa? sasa? SAPA!!!

Chào các bạn! Mình tên là Quang Hải. Năm nay sinh viên năm thứ nhầt. Mình rất thích học tiếng Việt với các bạn!
I have been to Vietnam once with my high school friends before I entered University. We travelled to Hanoi, Sapa, Ha Long Bay before taking an internal flight to Ho Chi Minh. I especially enjoyed my trip to Sapa because I got to interact with the locals and understood a bit more of the different ethic groups in Sapa. We believed in immersing in the culture so we did a lot of hiking like a true local and avoided well worn paths. In addition, taking the train to Lao Cai from Hanoi before reaching Sapa was one of the highlights of our trip. To save on accommodation, we did not book a hotel before leaving Hanoi because we will be sleeping on the train anyway and so we did not shower until we got to Sapa. The experience of showering at Sapa was indescribable! Most of the food we ate was mediocre based on recommendations of various guidebooks. I highly suggest friends who are going Vietnam to consult the teachers in the NUS Vietnamese Language Department before making your travel plans to Vietnam. They are friendly and highly approachable. Lastly, I would like to thank all my fellow Vietnamese classmates and Vietnamese language teachers for making this module so awesome! Cảm ơn các bạn và các cô!

Mình tên là Quang Hòa. Mình là sinh viên nam thứ nhầt, học ngành khoa học xã hội. I have been to Ho Chi Minh city once with some friends but we did not really visit any tourist attractions. Instead we went to village which was about 2 hours drive away from the city. The people were warm and hospitable and we thoroughly enjoyed our stay there. We had the opportunity to interact with the people there to learn about their lifestyle and culture. It was a pity that i did not know any Vietnamese and so had to go through my Vietnamese friend to talk to them. Therefore i am glad that i can learn Vietnamese in NUS and hopefully next time, i can go back to Vietnam again.

Mình tên là Quang Dũng. Mình là sinh viên nam thứ nhầt, học ngành khoa học xã hội. Quang Hòa là em trai mình.Unlike my brother, I have never been to Vietnam. =( Hearing his experience in Vietnam makes me want to go Vietnam. Hence I want to learn Vietnamese and go Vietnam some day soon.

Why did we choose this place and what did we learn?
We chose to do Sapa because it is a place that we firmly believe that anyone travelling to Vietnam should go! Most of the places in Sapa are highly recommended to go other than Cat Cat village because personally, we feel that it is too touristy. For adrenaline junkies, Mount Fansipan is definitely the place to go. It is the highest peak of Indochina with a height of 3143m above sea level. Usually, people take 2-3 days to trek so once you have reached the peak, you will experience a great sense of satisfaction. For a reasonable fee, one can get a personal tour guide who can speak to you in English, which is especially helpful when you want to know more about the place you are in and to help you take group photos. Doing this project has broadened our horizons about Sapa and other places around Vietnam that were introduced to us during the group presentation. We hope to be given more opportunities as such, which we feel is a much more interesting form of assessment. 

Friday, November 4, 2011

Chúng ta đi Cần Thơ nhé!

Title: Cần Thơ- Qùynh Nga và Qùynh Xuân

Chào các cô và chào các bạn!

Mình tên là Yiwen, tên tiếng Việt là Qùynh Xuân. Mình là sinh viên nam thứ nhầt, học ngành khoa học xã hội.

I went to Vietnam two years ago, during the December holidays with my family. We visited Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi. I thoroughly enjoyed the trip because there were many interesting things to see and delicious food to eat there! We went to the Cu Chi Tunnels in Ho Chi Minh and I found it very informative and fun. I learnt that the tunnels were shaped just nice for the Asian built which prevented the Americans from being able to fit into them and this was extremely interesting to me! We also visited Halong Bay which was very beautiful and scenic. One aspect of the trip that i really loved was the food!!:D The phở was  my favourite dish in Vietnam! Especially in Hanoi where the weather was colder, eating a hot bowl of phở was very satisfying. All in all, I love Vietnam and would like to visit it again, and hopefully explore Da Nang and Sapa.

Mình tên là Rasyiqah, tên tiếng Việt là Quỳnh Nga. Mình là sinh viên năm thứ nhất. Mình định học ngành khoa học xã hội. My first time in Vietnam was back in July of this year where my mother, her friends and I visited Ho Chi Minh City for a few days. In Ho Chi Minh City, we spent most of our time shopping because the hotel that we stayed in was conveniently located opposite Bien Tanh Market. I also had the opportunity to eat some of the local dishes such as Vietnamese spring rolls and salad. However, I felt that they are many other things that Vietnam has to offer which I was not able to experience during the short trip. These include knowing more about the history of Vietnam and how the country and the people have managed to overcome all their past troubles as well as the beatiful natural landscapes outside of the city and in other regions. Nonetheless, I am glad to have learnt a thing or two about Vietnamese culture and history through this module. I am hopeful that I will be back in Vietnam in the near future and will put to good use my acquired knowledge of the language over the past three months. This added advantage will definitely allow me to have a deeper and meaningful experience in Vietnam.

Why we chose Can Tho and what we learnt?

We chose Can Tho because we wanted to go somewhere which was not very well-known. We also felt that Can Tho is not receiving enough attention from visitors to Vietnam that it deserves as compared to other places in the country. Can Tho is located on the Mekong Delta in Southern Vietnam where the Mekong River, the longest river in Southeast Asia, ends its journey and flows into the South China Sea.

One of the unique aspect of our trip is the Cai Rang floating market which is on the Mekong River and we were very fascinated by the whole idea of a market on water where goods were sold on boats. The best way to visit and explore the market is by hiring a boat where we can experience first hand the way of life and culture of the Vietnamese people who live at the coastal areas. The market has a lot to offer from local fresh fruits to the wide variety of fresh seafood and handmade crafts. Picturesque views of the market, river and ‘floating’ stilt houses along the river are abundant and are perfect photographic opportunities for us to show off to family and friends back home.

There are several museums in Can Tho which are the perfect places to visit to learn more about the province and the country. One of them is Bảo Tàng Hồ Chí Minh where we can learn more about the history of renowned revolutionary leader of Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh. Another museum is Bảo Tàng Cần Thơ which offers us an insight on the history of the province when it was under foreign rule as well as its culture.

As Can Tho is surrounded by waters, there are many riverside restaurants in the province where we can try various specialty seafood dishes of the Mekong Delta. One specialty dish is cá kho tộ. Other than enjoying the Vietnamese cuisine, we can also enjoy the cool breeze while taking in the beautiful sights of the river. It is only at night when colourful lights from the restaurants illuminate the river to give an almost magical and surreal experience for us to unwind and appreciate nature.

There are also visits to historical sites in our trip so that we can have better appreciation of the history and identity of Vietnam. One of them is the Nam Nhã pagoda, a 100-year old historical-cultural relic known for its ancient architecture and its important role in the country’s history of achieving sovereignty. The other historical site is the Bình Thủy temple or ancient house which is one of the most ancient temples in Southern Vietnam.

Through this project, we learnt the various means of transportation that are available in Vietnam of which some are not found or largely used in Singapore. We also learnt how the Vietnamese people in this province survive on very little as compared to us and lead very simple lives. They are also dependent on the environment for survival as it is the main source of food and income for the people. As for conversational skills, we learnt how to bargain for cheaper prices and how to negotiate with our 'costumers' by coming up with new deals. 

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Thành phố Hồ Chí Minh - Quỳnh Tâm, Quang Đạt và Quang Thắng

Chào các cô và chào các bạn!

Mình tên là Rachel, tên tiếng Việt là Qùynh Tâm. Mình là sinh viên nam thứ nhầt, đình học ngành xã hội học.
I have never had any genuinely experienced Vietnamese culture, other than one Vietnamese friend I have, especially since I have never travelled to Vietnam before. This Vietnamese class has been my first real encounter with Vietnamese culture.  I have come to appreciate many more aspects of Vietnam through learning this beautiful language. Also, the various topics we have covered gave me a glimpse of some cultural norms in Vietnam, that I otherwise would not know. I have yet to try any of the delicious looking food we learnt about in the last food chapter, but would love to someday! My desire to travel to Vietnam has increased in priority on my must-do list after taking this enjoyable module, I do wish I visit all three regions in the near future!

Mình tên là Josiah, tên tiếng Việt là Quang Thắng. Năm nay mình đang học ngành luật, là sinh viên năm thứ tư.
I’ve never been to Vietnam, but I have had exposure to Vietnamese culture from staying in hostels/halls ever since JC, since I am a foreign student. Right now I am a volunteer staff in the boarding school where I stayed during my JC years. One of the reasons I took up the language was to make communicate in Vietnamese with my Vietnamese friends. Our boarding school has an annual event called Celebration of Culture where boarders from every country get to show off their culture - food, dance, travel facts etc. It’s really exciting.

Mình tên là Pon Heng Wai, tên tiếng Việt là Quang Đạt. Mình là người Malaysia, và quê của mình là Ipoh, Perak. Mình là sinh viên năm thứ tư và mình đang học tin học.
Being a School of Computing student, I often meet with some of the Vietnamese friends in classes and projects. Most Vietnamese are very polite and they try to speak english when they are around with students from other nationalities. I always wonder what would it be like if I’m able to converse with them in Vietnamese. Also, one close friend of mine is a vietnamese. She exposes me to some of the Vietnamese food and culture when she’s in NUS as an exchange student. Together with her friends, I learnt how to make some of the vietnamese food, especially spring rolls. This December, I might go to Vietnam(Hanoi) to visit them, as they told me the winter is quite beautiful there.

Our group chose Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) because it’s the largest city area in Vietnam. HCMC also has a lot of history behind it. One might think that HCMC, being a city, might be boring. But not so. Due to its size and historical background there are actually a lot of different places to visit!!

For historical sites, there are many pagodas, each built by different groups of people - Chinese or Vietnamese, Buddhist or Taoist and so on. There is also the famous Notre-Dame Basilica built by the French. The Reunification Palace was built in 1962 on the site of the former palace built by French colonists in 1868. The Hotel Majestic also dates back to the colonial era. Also of interest are the Cu Chi Tunnels from the Vietnam War, which lie on the outskirts of HCMC. There are also many museums, for example the War Remnants Museum, Ho Chi Minh City Museum, and the Museum of Southern Women.

Some other interesting places are the cultural parks which are like theme parks, only that these focus on the cultural aspects of Vietnam rather than, for example, cartoon characters in Disneyland.

We can shop at many places including Ben Thanh market, Cho Lon market and many other less prominent but interesting markets, one of which sells memorabilia from the Vietnam War. HCMC also is home to restaurants boasting many Vietnamese specialties. We found that since HCMC is the economic hub of Vietnam, we can find delicacies, clothes and other things from all three regions and not just southern Vietnam!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Sapa - Quỳnh Duyên, Quỳnh Tiêng & Quang Sơn

Quỳnh Duyên:
Chào các bạn! Mình tên là Quỳnh Duyên. Mình là sinh viên năm thứ tư, học ngành tin học. Mình rất thích du lịch và khiêu vũ.
I have been to Thành phố Hồ Chí minh, Nha Trang, Mũi Né and Vũng Tàu. However, i would like to explore more parts of Vietnam in the future, especially the North and Central parts. When i was in Vietnam the last time, i found out that English was not widely spoken. As a result, my friends and I encountered many difficulties as we could not communicate with the locals. I hope that by learning Vietnamese, I will be better prepared for my next trip. Also, I love Vietnamese food, espcially Gỏi Cuốn, Bánh Canh Cua, Bún Bò Huế and Bún Chả Giò.

Quỳnh Tiêng:
Chào các bạn! Mình tên là Quỳnh Tiêng. Mình là sinh viên năm thứ tư, học ngành khoa học xã hội. Mình thích học tiếng Việt lắm vì giáo viên của lớp tiếng Việt thân thiện và tốt bụng.

I just went to Vietnam for nine days during the June holiday. My friend and I had joined the NUS Mountaineering club to climb Mount Fansipan which is located near Sapa. Other than that we also travelled to other regions of Vietnam such as Hanoi and Lao Cai. The scenery in Sapa and Halong Bay is magnificent. Also, I fall in love with their culture in Vietnam- Bamboo dance, traditional costume and the well-mannered behaviors of Vietnamese. It was my first time travelling to Vietnam and I had a very wonderful experience indeed. I definitely would want to go back Vietnam again and thus I hope learning Vietnamese can help me communicate better with the locals there.

Quang Sơn:
Chào các bạn! Mình là Quang Sơn, mình học sinh học và tin học. Mình là người Thụy Sĩ (Switzerland), nhưng mình sống ở Singapore năm năm rồi. Mình nói tiếng Pháp và tiếng Anh, và mình đang học nói tiếng Việt.

I have been to Vietnam several times now. First, I went to Ho Chi Minh City. While there, I took a day trip to the Mekong delta, which was quite beautiful. I also travelled to Tay Ninh, to visit an interesting temple of the Cao Dai religion (a blend of Taoism, Buddhism, Christianism, and a few others). I also went to the Cu Chi tunnels, remnant of the Vietnam war. That was a good opportunity to see the other side of the war, along with some museums in Ho Chi Minh City, and to realize that my usual Western point of view of the “good” Americans fighting the "evil" communists was way too simplistic...
I've also been to Phu Quoc, an island south of Vietnam. It is a very beautiful place, with nice beaches, and still fairly undeveloped, so you don't get overrun by crowds of tourists... It is famous for its pearls (there are many oyster farms around the island), and its nước mắm (fish sauce). It is a bit tricky to bring back fish sauce, as Vietnam Airlines doesn't allow you to take any on its planes, but you can actually buy some from a stall outside the domestic terminal of the airport in Ho Chi Minh City (and from there, other companies do not seem to mind carrying your nước mắm in your luggage back to Singapore).
I have also been several times to Đà Nẵng, which is often overlooked by tourists, who just know the city for its airport with its good local and international connections, and go straight to Hội An or Huế. It is a nice city, with the best infrastructure and urban planning I have seen so far in Vietnam: large roads, tall bridges, cosy neighbourhoods... From there, you can go to the marble mountains, climb (or take the cable car up) Bà Nà Mountains, a former retreat of French colonists, who wanted to get away from the heat at sea level. The touristy town of Hội An is only a hour away. Huế is also close, especially since the Hải Vân tunnel was opened, but I recommend taking the long way up the Hải Vân pass, as it is quite scenic. Huế is definitely worth a few days, with many tombs of formers emperors of Vietnam, and the main palace in Huế itself.
I still need to visit the North, including Ha Noi, Halong bay, and particularly Sapa after doing this presentation!

Why our group choose to do Sapa?
Our group choose to do Sapa because the scenery and landscape of the place is very beautiful, and also because Quỳnh Tiêng has been there, so that we could get some first hand information on the place. The area is very mountainous, with vast areas of paddy field covering it. Sapa is also full of tradition and culture. It is interesting to see the people dressed in their ethnic costume and leading a very different life compared to the city. We hope that by presenting on Sapa, we will be able to share the beauty of Sapa with our classmates and encourage them to go there one day too.
It was also a good opportunity to work on our Vietnamese, and practise our speaking and pronunciation. When preparing the script, we learnt to work around the relatively limited vocabulary available to us to say what we wanted to say, which is an essential skill when learning a foreign language, and hopefully will be useful when we go back to Vietnam.
Finally, we had quite a lot of fun preparing the script, as we decided to present our project as a skit, so that we could improve on our acting skills ;-)

Locals in Sapa, Quỳnh Duyên being one of them in our skit

Hilly area around Sapa

Khách san nghìn sao!

Quỳnh Tiêng on top of Fan Si Pan mountain

Market in Sapa
Chào các cô! Chào các bạn!

Quang Lộc

Tôi tên là Quang Lộc. Năm nay tôi 21 tuổi. Hiện nay, tôi là sinh viên sinh học năm thứ hai, học ở Đại học Quốc gia Singapo. Sau khi tốt nghiệp, tôi muốn làm nhà khoa học ở Singapo. Tôi thích nghe nhạc pop, chơi cầu lông và xem phim. Tôi trông thấp và gầy. Tôi định đi du lịch ở Việt Nam. 

Before attending Viet 1 class, I have very limited experience and knowledge about Vietnam. The few things that I probably know about Vietnam would be its capital Hanoi, a state called Ho Chi Minh City and Vietnamese noodles (phở). After 1 semester of exposure, I have not only learnt about the basics of the language, I have also immersed myself in Vietnamese culture through watching an old yet meaningful movie, listening to Vietnamese songs and talking to real Vietnamese people. Not only that, I got to taste very delicious Vietnamese food, especially the banana cake during the introductory lecture. Indeed, the promise given in the introductory lecture, that we’ll travel Vietnam in 1 semester had been realized. I ‘travelled’ to Vietnam and now, I would really love to go to Vietnam for real.

Quỳnh Anh

Tôi tên là Quỳnh Anh, tên tiếng Anh là Jane. Tôi hơi nói nhiều, trông hơi cao, da trắng và tóc dài. Năm nay tôi hai mươi mốt tuổi, sinh viên năm thứ hai, Đại Học Quốc gia Singapo, học ngành sinh học. Hiện nay tôi đang học tiếng Việt ở trường, vui quá! Tôi cũng muốn đi du lịch Việt Nam!

I took this Vietnamese 1 module together with four friends without knowing that this module is one of the most fun modules that I’ve ever taken so far in my university journey. I have travelled to a few countries but I have yet to explore Vietnam. Nevertheless, I have been to some Vietnamese restaurants back in Malaysia, and have tried a few delicious Vietnamese cuisines such as Gỏi cuốn and Phở bò. After learning much more about Vietnam, especially after Unit 8 (Ăn Uống), I want to try more Vietnamese food! My friends and I are also planning a trip to Vietnam during our three months semester break and we’re very excited about it! My experience related to Vietnam is very limited, but after the exposure to Vietnam in our classes, I have tried more Vietnamese food, watched a Vietnamese movie, and listened to a few Vietnamese songs. I really enjoyed all of them!

Quang Minh

Tôi tên là Quang Minh. Năm nay tôi là sinh viên năm thứ hai, học ngành khoa học xã hội. Tôi thích dọc tiểu thuyết và nghe nhạc không lời. Tôi học tiếng Việt vì các bạn tôi cũng học tiếng Việt. Khi trong lớp tiếng Việt, tôi rất vui vì các cô Việt rất vui tính, tốt bụng và thân thiện. Tôi chưa đi du lịch Việt Nam nhưng sau khi học xong lớp tiếng Việt một, tôi muốn đi Việt Nam. 

Learning Vietnamese for 1 semester in NUS from cô Bích, cô Quỳnh and cô Lê has been quite an exciting, rich and fun-filled journey. Coming from a small town in Malaysia, I knew very little about this vast and colourful world that we’re living in. I have never travelled to any other country except when I first came to Singapore to study. However, a window was opened for me to peek into the hidden charm of Vietnam when I embarked on this venture to learn the Vietnamese language few months ago. I was given the opportunity to marvel at the culture, lifestyle and beauty of Vietnam aside from studying the language itself. I never knew that a place so close to my home country would have so much to offer in terms of attractions, food specialties and cultural depths. Indeed, this whole experience I’ve gone through in Vietnamese class is more than just books and pens; it sheds a new perspective to me about understanding and appreciating the diverse culture of this world. Just as the proverb goes, “The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes”. 

Why did we choose Nha Trang and what we have learnt

We wanted to explore the hidden side of Vietnam instead of the well-known places like Ho Chi Minh City or Hanoi when deciding the place for our project. So, we came across Nha Trang, one of the most renowned beaches in Vietnam. While researching about Nha Trang, we find ourselves to be deeply amazed and mesmerized by the many wonders and breathtaking panorama that this place has to offer. 

There are many exciting water activities such as scuba diving and snorkeling available at Nha Trang. Other than the beautiful beach, there is also the Alexandre Yersin Museum, commemorating Alexandre Yersin as the bacteriologist that discovered Yersinia pestis. Two of us who are life science students were greatly interested to learn something like this through a language module! The other well known museum in Nha Trang is the National Oceanographic Museum, where tourists can feast their eyes upon tanks of colourful marine lives and admire the vast collection available there. The Long Son Pagoda, with its enormous Buddha statue visible even from afar is also another unique landmark in Nha Trang. One can take in a magnificent view of Nha Trang city from where the statue is standing. 

We also discovered an array of mouth-watering delicacies available in Nha Trang such as the famous noodle soup with fish (bún cá), spring rolls (nem nướng) and of course, seafood! Just browsing through the pictures of these specialty dishes in Nha Trang is enough to tempt us to visit this jewel land in Vietnam. Truly, this travelling project propelled us to look at Vietnam from a different perspective after realizing that the country offers more than what meets the eye, be it tourism destinations, local food or exciting activities. We have had an enjoyable time in this project as well as listening to the other groups’ presentation on different places in Vietnam. We gained more than what we bargained for in this module!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Chào các cô và càc bạn,
Our group photo :) 
Qùynh Thơ
Mình tên là Qùynh Thơ. Mình là sinh viên năm thứ tư, học ngành kinh doanh. Cuối tuần mình thường chơi quần vợt, và mình thích xem phim hơn mua sắm. Sau khi tốt nghiệp mình sẽ du lịch bụi ở Đông Nam Á.
  I visited Vietnam in 2008 because I heard that it is a country rich in culture and the people are very friendly. Together with a friend, we backpacked from Hồ Chí Minh City to Hanoi for nine days.
  I remember the bustling city of Hồ Chí Minh and how there were remnants of American culture present, as the Americans had occupied the South of Vietnam during the war. In particular, I had my first bowl of phở bò at a restaurant that George Bush had apparently dined in when he visited Vietnam.
At the outskirts of Hồ Chí Minh city was the Củ Chi tunnels. What striked me was how narrow the tunnels were and how the Vietnamese soldiers in the past were agile enough to navigate through them. Even I had trouble entering them!
  I loved the beaches in Nha Trang and enjoyed parasailing over the blue sea and pristine, white sand. I recall the labyrinth of small shophouses in Hội An with rows of quaint tailor shops and coffee houses. I made a top and a skirt in one of the tailors and it was very cheap!
  I went to see the water puppets in Hà Nội  and walked around the park in the city. Somehow, the culture of Hà Nội seemed quite different from Hồ Chí Minh. I thought Ha Long Bay was beautiful but overly mentioned in guidebooks. Besides, its beauty was tainted by the number of noisy tourists visiting it.
  I really enjoyed my trip to Vietnam and intend to return soon to visit Sapa.   

Qùynh Yến
Qùynh Yến

Mình tên là Qùynh Yến. Mình là sinh viên năm thứ hai, học ngành hóa học. Mình thích nghe nhạc không lời và pop Hàn Quốc.

  Although I have yet to visit Vietnam, I have a fond memory of it because of the trip my father and my brother took a few years back. They went to visit my uncle who was working for a chemical company in Hồ Chí Minh City, but I was unable to join them because I was sitting for a national exam. They came back with lots of pictures, stories and a whole box of vacuum dried jackfruit!!
  Some of the things that intrigued me were the shoplots in Hồ Chí Minh City (narrow, each one a different colour from the next and how the floors were not level to the others), the large number of motorcycles on the streets and the places of interest they’d visited.
  They also couldn’t stop gushing about how fresh and cheap the seafood was. And being huge beef lovers, they had Vietnamese beef noodles (phở bò) for breakfast every day!
  Thinking back, Vietnam was so foreign to me, especially the language and now, with some basic Vietnamese, I am looking forward to the day where I am able to experience the country firsthand. And not forgetting to stock up on those delicious jackfruit chips ;)                                                                                                   

Quỳnh Vân

Mình tên là Quỳnh Vân, tên tiếng Anh là Yun Hui. Mình học ngành kế toán. Hiện nay mình là sinh viên năm thứ hai. Mình thích đọc sách và nghe nhạc.
  I do not have any prior experience with Vietnam prior to entering National University of Singapore (NUS). Last year was my 1st year in NUS and I was offered accommodation in Sheares Hall. I get to know the first Vietnamese friend in my life. She is from Hà Nội, a scholar of ASEAN scholarship and I get to know certain “things” about Vietnam like there are Chinese in Vietnam. This piece of information is as good as nothing but it is a good start for me getting to know Vietnam more.

Why did we choose Hội An?
Night view of the famous Japanese bridge
  We chose Hội An because Hội An is an interesting old town which is not “modernized” yet. The buildings in Hội An are well-maintained and it is a small quite town which is free from the hustle bustle of a typical city. It is a heaven for backpackers where you get to enjoy life, take things one step at a time, without being rushed here and there. The breath-taking scenery of Cửa Đại beach, the soft sand, vast blue sea, the clear sky… everything at the beach is just perfect for anyone who wishes to be away from their usual daily activities. The Cù lao Chàm island is painstakingly beautiful, a place where tourists can appreciate the beauty of mother earth as well as relax themselves by diving into the deep blue sea. Sumptuous seafood could be found at here as well. Hội An is a fusion of history, culture and nature. A quiet, peaceful town with traces of its past glory well maintained even after thousands of years.

The charming beauty of Hoi An
  While doing this project, we learn more about Hội An, its history, its culture, and its people. We learn what is the locals usual means of transport, we know that there are cooking lessons offered in Hội An, and there are bicycle tours which is unique to Hội An. My passion for Vietnam develops over the past 12 weeks when I learn Vietnam from my 3 beloved and friendly teachers. The project is indeed an eye-opener for me as I get to learn about various UNESCO heritage sites of Vietnam which I am determined to visit someday. Armed with the knowledge I learned in class, I could at least communicate with the locals without much difficulties.     

Our post =D

Xin chào càc bạn

Mình tên là Quỳnh Thu . Tên tiếng Anh của mình là Jia Yen. Mình là sinh viên năm thứ hai trường ở Đại Học Quốc Gia Singapo. Mình học ngành sinh học. Sau khi tốt nghiệp, mình muốn đi học thêm ở Mỹ hoặc Đức Hiện nay, mình mười chín tưổi.

My experience.

Till present, I have yet travelled to Vietnam. However, I do have some knowledge about the Vietnamese cuisine thanks to Duyên; the only Vietnamese friend that I have since secondary school. We share a common hobby: to source for good Vietnamese cuisines. As a result, I do know a lot of the places in Singapore that sell authentic and delicious Vietnamese delicacies, with a range of prices. Recently, Duyên and I had just found a place that sells Vietnamese dishes at an affordable price. The restaurant is called ‘ Ythu Wendy’s Vietnam Restaurant’ that is located near town area. If you have the time, do drop by and try out the food (especially Khoai Mì Hấp với Nước Dứa- Steam tapioca with Coconut sauce- it is fingers licking good)
 The photo below is Duyên.

Xin chào càc bạn

Mình tên là Quỳnh Lam.
Tên tiếng Anh của Mình là Deirdre. Mình cũng là sinh viên năm thứ hai. Mình học ngành sinh học. Sau khi tốt nghiệp, mình muốn giáo viên dạy môt trường. Hiện nay, mình mười chín tưổi.

My experience:
I have never been to Vietnam before. It didn’t occur to me as much of an attraction as compared to the other countries such as Thailand, Korea or Japan. Vietnam has always seemed to me as an undeveloped country with few attractions. The most I have heard about of Vietnam was just Ho Chin Minh City. However, I have tried before Vietnamese food in Singapore and they really taste wonderful. Although I have not tried their main dishes such as Vietnamese famous beef noodles (phở bò) and another type of noodle (mỳ Quảng), I have managed to try the Vietnamese spring rolls (gỏi cuốn) at some restaurant. It was simply delicious whereby it is covered with a transparent wrapping with vegetable and prawn meat in it! After learning more about Vietnam in this module, I would definitely want to explore all the beautiful places in Vietnam and try all their authentic special food!

For the tour presentation, my group has chosen Da Nang to be our topic. The main reason for choosing Da Nang as our project was because it is Duy ên’s hometown. Duy ên was able to share with us about Da Nang’s attraction – a much reliable source as compared to internet. Also Da Nang itself is the largest city in central Vietnam ( Miền Trung). Although Danang is very close to Hoi An, it doesn’t share the  same ancient traditional atmosphere that was preserved in Hoi An.  Da nang is more of a tourist attraction if tourist are interested to go for a relaxing trip as it has a few of the most serene and divine beaches in Vietnam.