31st Sea Games - Vietnam 2021 Covid-19 Pandemic
Apr 25, 2022 / 21:45

Vietnam treats int’l guests in traditional way

The Friendship Journey brings Vietnamese traditional culture and cuisine to international guests in the most special way.

Some 400 international guests were treated in Hanoi to the quintessence of Vietnamese traditional culture.

 International guests in Friendship Journey in Hanoi on April 24. Photos: Minh Vu

“I feel very happy when being warmly welcomed by the host since the moment came to the location,” a Laotian student at Hanoi University of Pharmacy, shared after reaching Tuan Chau Ecopark in Hanoi’s outlying district of Quoc Oai on April 24.

The student exclaimed when she joined the delegates in the Friendship Journey 2022, part of annual activities held by the Hanoi Union of Friendship Organizations (HAUFO), which are aimed to help visitors explore local culture and cuisine through field trips.

“I marveled at how I was treated to a special program in which I was honorably selected to represent Laotian students in my university to join the event so I get excited with different activities here, including traditional dance, games, and performances,” she told The Hanoi Times.

 Nikoleta Dimitrova, a student of Vietnamese and Japanese languages from Sofia, Bulgaria.

Sharing the same idea, Nikoleta Dimitrova, a student of Vietnamese and Japanese languages from Sofia, Bulgaria, told The Hanoi Times that it’s lovely to watch water puppetry shows here. It’s very interesting and unique. The show gave her a notion about this kind of Vietnam’s traditional arts. In addition, the trip enabled her to learn Vietnamese and a wonderful chance to practice the language with local people, said Dimitrova who came to Vietnam in a governmental exchange program.

Delegates of the Friendship Journey are ambassadors and representatives of foreign missions, international organizations, non-governmental organizations, bilateral and multilateral friendship associations.

Nguyen Huong Giang, Director of the Hanoi's Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism. Photo: The Department 

This year’s trip includes an experience of traditional culture in Tuan Chau Ecopark and a visit to Thay pagoda, the special national heritage, one of the oldest pagodas and a tourist attraction in Vietnam, aiming to promote Hanoi’s citizen diplomacy and tourism in the new normal, according to Nguyen Huong Giang, Director of the Hanoi's Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism.

Brizaida, a Cuban doctor who lives and works in Hanoi, said she was excited to watch rope skipping, water puppetry, and Cheraw dance, one of the traditional dances popular among some Vietnamese Northwest ethnic minorities. “I have lived and worked in Vietnam for 9 years. I was impressed with the friendliness of the Hanoians on the first day coming to the city. I love local warm feelings towards foreigners, and I have a special love for food and the unique culture of Vietnam.”

 Ambassador of Venezuela to Vietnam Tatiana Pugh Moreno speaks at the event. Photo: HAUFO

Ambassador of Venezuela to Vietnam Tatiana Pugh Moreno shared that the program demonstrated how lovely and friendly Hanoi is in addition to the combination of its traditional and modern characteristics. The city is special for its people who welcome visitors with love and trust, the ambassador said, noting that many foreign diplomats feel how interesting Hanoians are.

Nguyen Lan Huong, HAUFO President. Photo: HAUFO 

Nguyen Lan Huong, HAUFO President, said the Friendship Journey 2022 is expected to boost friendship between Vietnamese people and international friends through typical cultural activities.

Apart from culture, Anna Reland, an engineer from Denmark, said she’s interested in Vietnamese cuisine and what she tasted in Hanoi brings a totally special experience on her trip to the city of eight million people.

 Anna Reland (1st right), an engineer from Denmark, and her family. 

Regarding the cuisine, Masterchef Pham Tuan Hai who was responsible for the party during the trip said it was hard for him to choose what would be served in the meal that he regarded as special because of different tastes.

“I was struggling to choose the dishes that both demonstrate Vietnamese traditional cuisine and satisfy the majority of visitors, including the choosy ones,” Hai, who is Director of Ubofood Vietnam JSC, told The Hanoi Times.

It prompted a question to select which materials and it took time to decide the best one, he said, arguing good materials make food delicious and decide both taste and flavor. Ubofood, a member of Tuan Chau Group, became the final choice on the list of dozens of suppliers. As cuisine is one of the group's priorities, its organic veggies and meat have been used for Pho, salad, and many other dishes, including a diet menu, to ensure freshness and nutrition.

The chef said as Pho is popular with many foreigners, the version offered in the program must keep its typical taste and flavor that is largely contributed by organic materials.

Ubofood CEO Nguyen Ngoc Anh said with the combination of Ubofood fresh and quality products and MasterChef Pham Tuan Hai’s cooking mastery, visitors can experience the best of Vietnamese cuisine.

The Friendship Journey is expected to connect international friends with local people in an expedition that will continue with a wide range of activities reflecting the embodiment of Vietnamese and Hanoi’s culture.

 Ubofood CEO Nguyen Ngoc Anh (2nd left) and Masterchef Pham Tuan Hai talk with guests from Armenia, Belarus, and Russia.