Saturday, August 23, 2014

In Ba Dinh Square, there is a flag pole with 25 meters height. It hangs the flag of Vietnam which is about 24 square meter. The flag salutation ceremony is done on all days of the year, regardless of the weather, the presence of people. It starts at 6 a.m in the summer and 6.30 a.m in the winter. And flag – lowering is held in 9 p.m every day with national anthem song. This is a sacred and solemn ritual to show our respect to country so many people go to Ba Dinh Square to see the soldier take down the flag.

Flag Pole in Ba Dinh Vietnam
Flag Pole in Ba Dinh Vietnam

 The flag of Vietnam: The color of flag is red and the star is yellow. Red symbolizes for the color of blood that reminds us to memorize the sacrifice of heroes. And yellow symbolizes for the color of the skin of Vietnamese people. And the five-pointed star symbolize for the 5 levels in society: intelligentsia – Si, Farmer – Nong, Worker – Cong, Trader – Thuong and Soldier – Binh. That flag was first appeared in 1940, on the revolution of the people in the South of Vietnam (Nam Ki Uprising). And then it became the real flag of Vietnam after the date 2nd September, 1945 when Ho Chi Minh read the Declaration of Independence that marked the birth of Democratic Republic of Vietnam. 

There are 34 soldiers who take part in the ceremony
There are 34 soldiers who take part in the ceremony

 There are 34 soldiers who take part in the ceremony, 1 leader and 11 lines, each line has 3 people. In the important events the flag will be hang up all day until finish the holiday. The soldier wear white suit because the white is the symbol of the bright mind and the loyalty. Many people wait to see this ritual because it proves the patriotism and shows their proud to the country.

See this ceremony by clip:

Flag Pole in Ba Dinh Square Vietnam

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Hanoi is very compact, and the city is the most interesting places for tourists. You could probably explore the Old Quarter and visit all the places below in a single day. Tourists can enjoy fresh air when walking around Hoan Kiem Lake or West Lake, sight view in the Old Quarter and visit the entire trade villages around Hanoi. Moreover, they will have opportunities to enjoy traditional foods and have unforgettable time in Hanoi such as: Pho, Cha ca La Vong, Bun thang, Banh cuon, Bun cha…Coming and exploring Hanoi, tourists will find a strange and excited feeling about Hanoi food. Hanoi Culinary always attractive with unique dishes, not too spicy – salty – sweet, but to bring bold and here are some dishes still haunts my dreams:

1. Phở (Noodle soup)

This universally famous food is best enjoyed in Hanoi, where it was “invented” in the early 20th century. Phở rice noodle soup- is omnipresent in Hanoi, appearing anywhere from street vendors to high end restaurant chain Pho 24. Some is served with chicken and some with beef. Each type of meat entails a variety of subdish, using from beef tenderloin to beef brisket, chicken wing to chicken thigh. The tip is, look for the place where locals gather the most and you know where you should order and sit down.
Phở (Noodle soup)
Phở (Noodle soup)

You can visit Pho Ly Quoc Su at 10 Ly Quoc Su street or Pho Cuong at 23 Hang Muoi are two local restaurants famous for its Pho Bo (beef rice noodle soup). 

2. Bun Thang

Bun thang (Hanoi chicken vermicelli soup) is another dish closely associated with Hanoi and a must try when visiting the city. It includes chicken, rice vermicelli, clean pork paste or ham, fried egg, onion, salted shrimp and shrimp paste. 
Bun is more like spaghetti. Bun thang is one of the most popular yet hidden fares in Hanoi and one can hardly find it outside of the Old quarters or a few special restaurants scattering across the city. The chicken broth is artistically done and the dish is beautifully served. Bun thang is a harmonious blend of color- the yellow of sliced egg; the white of bun; the off-white of chicken and the green of onions and herbs.
Bun thang (Hanoi chicken vermicelli soup)
Bun thang (Hanoi chicken vermicelli soup)

Bun thang Ba Duc on Cau Go street (from noon) or Bun Thang at 13 Gia Ngu (till noon) is a great place to try the dish.

3. Bun Cha (Grilled Pork)

Bun cha is the signature dish of Hanoi. At lunchtime you’ll find just about all of Hanoi sitting on kid-sized stools and slurping down this combination of grilled pork, salty-sweet broth, slices of green papaya, rice noodles, and fresh herbs. Every neighbourhood in Hanoi has a bun cha place — just follow your nose to the smoky streetside grill.
Bun cha - vermicelli served with small, savory, crispy and caramelized pork patties - is another quintessential Hanoi noodle dish. A heaping mound of bun is piled on a plate and arrives with a bowl of warm, fish sauce - based broth with slices of lightly pickled green papaya and carrot.
Bun Cha (Grilled Pork)
Bun Cha (Grilled Pork)

The ideal place to enjoy the specialty is the old-established restaurant at No.1, Hang Manh Street, Old Quarter Hanoi. But really, you can’t walk far without stumbling on bun cha anywhere in Hanoi.

4. Banh Cuon – Vietnamese Rice Crepes with Ground Pork and Mushrooms

The literal translation for bánh cuốn is “rolled cakes.” A more apt translation would be “Vietnamese crepes stuffed with ground pork and wood ear mushrooms. If the French has this famous delicious crepe made of wheat, egg and dairy products; Vietnamese and particularly Hanoian is proud of their steamed crepe from rice flour and water. A savoury meal, the inside stuffing contains ground pork, wood-ear and seasoning. Most street chefs make the dish right at door so look for a place that steams are coming up high. Banh cuon is served with nuoc mam, a mixture of fish sauce, sugar and lime.
Banh Cuon – Vietnamese Rice Crepes with Ground Pork and Mushrooms
Banh Cuon – Vietnamese Rice Crepes with Ground Pork and Mushrooms

You can visit Banh cuon Gia An – Ba Trieu street (opposite to Vincom tower) is a more upscale restaurants specializing in Banh Cuon. The price is not that big a difference compared with other street vendors. Banh cuon there is made without preservative and of high hygiene condition. You can ask for a vegetarian option as well.

5. Banh My Hanoi (Hanoi Bread)

The baguette is one of the enduring symbols of French colonialism. It’s given a Southeast Asian twist by stuffing it with pâté, mayonnaise, pickled carrots and daikon, jalapeños and gobs of cold cuts. But the bánh mỳ is basically a blank slate to which cooks can add whatever they desire. Hanoian spell it “Banh My”, not Banh Mi. And most of the stands we came across only have 2 basic types; Banh My Pate (where you choose your meat), and Banh My Trung (egg). You will feel like you could eat half a dozen before feeling full.

Banh My Hanoi (Hanoi Bread)
Banh My Hanoi (Hanoi Bread)

Banh My ba Dan at 34 Lo Su or banh my stand at corner of Hang Thung and Nguyen Huu Huan or you can’t walk far without stumbling on banh my anywhere in Hanoi street.

Discovery delicious food in HaNoi

Thursday, March 27, 2014

In a long time, you didn’t rest, relax and travel in some special destination. Why don’t you put your work and enjoy your time in some best beach in Vietnam or it’s very simple that you step out of this bustling city and take part in the most beautiful beach. Here is some suggestions from “Ecosea Travel Team” will make you just want to get there soon.

1. Nhat Le beach- Dong Hoi- Quang Binh province

Sunrise on Nhat Le beach. Source: Chungtran

From a long time, Nhat Le’ beach tourism have been famous with a sky region, water, air windy, sand and salt sea air. Nhat Le’ beach have a long white sand, the cold breeze at the outdoor, beach is clean as a new mattress, smooth and glitter sand where you can walk into, sun-bathe fully stretched out on the beach, biking or play soccer in a relaxed manner. 

2. Mỹ Khê beach, Da Nang city

My Khe beach. Source: Flickr

Da Nang is one of the major port cities in Vietnam and the biggest city on the South Central Coast of Vietnam. And Da Nang is considered as the commercial and educational center of Central Vietnam. Today, Da Nang is becoming a “hot destination” of domestic and foreign tourists in terms of cleanness, safety and order, great beach resort.With the stretch of smooth sand, its fresh atmosphere and blue water, Da Nang beach has been voted one of the six most attractive beaches on the planet by American Business Magazine Forbes. Also, the Australian Magazine, Sunday Herald Sun, ranked the 900m-long My Khe Beach in Da Nang in the top 10 Asian beaches

3. Bai Tram, Phu Yen province

Bai Tram beach Phu Yen. Clean & natural
Bai Tram beach Phu Yen. Clean & natural

Located on undulate sand dunes and rocky mountain reaching to the seashore, Bai Tram appears tranquil and splendid with smooth beaches in arch shape covered by two mountains. This is a new exotic destination that Phu Yen offer tourists.

4. Lang Co beach, Hue province

Lang Co beach at Hue city
Lang Co beach at Hue city. Source: Flickr

With its 10 km in length, Lang Co beach bordered a section of the 1A National Highway, nearly Hai Van pass, and 24 km from Bach Ma area. With its gradually slopping, white sand beach, the average depth of under 1m and the average temperature in the bathing season of 25°C, Lang Co is an ideal beach for tourists who want to travel to the private spaces.

5. Cua Dai, Hoi An town, Quang Nam province

Cua Dai beach at Hoi An city. Source: Flickr

Literally mean the “big sea mouth”, Cua Dai Beach is only 4km far from Hoi An Ancient Town which is used to be as the busiest trading port in the South of Vietnam in the past. Stretching 3 kilometers in length, Cua Dai Beach is blessed with fine white sand, clear turquoise water, moderate slopes and calm waves, which make it ideal for relaxation as well as recreational activities like swimming and other water sports.

6. Cu Lao Cham island, Hoi An town, Quang Nam province

Cu Lao Cham island, Hoi An town. Source: Louis

Cu Lao Cham is a large island consists of several small islands distance 25 nautical miles off the coast from Hoi An. In the summer, if guests reach for the island by normal boats, it takes 2 and half hour, but only 30 minutes by speed boats. Cham island has total 7 islands including Hon Lao, Hon La, Hon Kho me, Hon Kho at the area of 16 sq. meter, whereby the largest island is Lao.

7. Mui Ne beach, Phan Thiet

Mui Ne beach, Phan Thiet
Mui Ne beach, Phan Thiet. Source: Flickr

Mui Ne beach is a popular tropical beach. Strong sea breezes make it very popular for kite surfing and windsurfing. The tourist season is from December to May. The average temperature is 27°C, and the climate is hot and dry for most of the year.  Mui Ne sees only about half the rainfall of nearby Phan Thiet. The sand dunes help protect its unique microclimate, and even during the wet season (from June to September) rains tend to be fairly light and sporadic.

8. Mun island, Nha Trang city, Khanh Hoa province

Moon Island Nha Trang. Source: Flickr

Mun island, Nha Trang is the best location for diving in Viet Nam with the beautiful coral cover floor that can been seen just 5 meter below the water. In Hon Mun, visitors can dive or take grass-bottom boat to admire the colour coral and sea creatures. Visibility is always excellent there and there is an impressive variety of corals of all colors, with numerous pretty tropical fish. Beside Mun island is also a great place for honey moon and a couple to travel, relax and enjoy the beach activities together.

9. Phu Quoc island, Kien Giang province

Phu Quoc Island. Source: Flickr

Phu Quoc island is called “pearl island”, is the biggest island in Vietnam and location in Thailand bay. The island features pristine tropical forests, undamaged coral reefs and great beaches. One of its beaches, named Bai Dai (Long Beach), was chosen by the ABC News as one of five beautiful and clean beaches. Phu Quoc is famous for producing the best nuoc mam or fermented fish sauce in the world.

10. Con Dao island

Con Dao island beach
Con Dao island beach. Source: Flickr

The last beach and ocean, I want to mention in this article is Con Dao island. If you travelled here once, I have sure that you will want to come back many times in the future. The island is famed for its grizzly past: due its remoteness, the French used the main island of Con Son (the largest island in the group) to keep anti-colonial protestors prisoner. Despite these considerable assets and its proximity to the mainland, the islands are still largely untouched by mass tourism.

Top 10 beautiful beaches in VietNam

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Mysteriously, there is a market-day where seller does not need money and buyer does not need goods. It is the Vieng spring market festival, only taking place from the afternoon of 7th January to the early afternoon of next day.

Vieng spring market festival

By a chance, Nam Dinh province, having a unique belief, is about the balance of life. The Tran temple represents to Father of God belief; otherwise, Mother of Goddess is a belief, which embodies at Phu Day temple. If a seal opening ceremony to welcome the New Year is being held at the Tan temple, Phu Day closely attach to the Vieng market festival, which is on one day per year only. It is a pity if you miss a chance to join the Vieng market with various emotions before taking part in the sacred Tran festival. According to Vietnamese tradition, those who live in other provinces, sometimes go to the Vieng Market after burning an incense to show their respect to King Tran and getting something lucky for the coming year.

You will surprise a huge continuous flow of people who come to join the Vieng market from nearby provinces such as Thanh Hoa, Ninh Binh, Hanoi and so on. Melting into a passer-by is everything you need to do so that you entirely enjoy a special ambiance of the unique market and dispel the cold winter.

One type of Vieng Market's product

Became a tradition of Nam Dinh's people, the Vieng market was held annually on 8th January at Nam Giang town, Nam Truc and Vu Ban district. This is a unique market. It is the way to show the belief and cultural activities of agricultural communities in Red river delta. Getting luck in the coming year is the special meaning of the market. People come to the market with hoping for health and wealth. Wishing a good weather in the next year is what Vietnamese farmers desire most in their hard life.

Votive Paper

According to ancient documents, Vieng is not a specific place-name in Nam Dinh province. It was similarly pronounced like “Going Home” in Vietnamese meaning. The name of the market is a tender way to remind anyone who lives out in the country: Going home on the traditional Tet holiday. It is time to reunite people together again after a hard working year. Vieng market-day together with Tet Holiday – the biggest and most important event with Vietnamese people is time for anyone to get luck and take bad things away. Nowadays, because of the huge influence of the sacred Vieng market and people’s demand, it was held with a bigger scale in Trung Thanh commune, Vu Ban district and Goi town, Nam Trực District.

To he - Special art in VietNam

A long time ago, the old, living at Vieng market’s area, said that it used to be held within a small area and near Phu Giay. There were not many people like nowadays also. Everyone came to the Vieng Market to wish luck only.  They did not care about what they gain and lose, even money and treasured things such as antiques, ect. It was said that it would be betrayal and sorrowful in their mind if they couldnot go to the Vieng Market; however, if you got there without either buy or sale, you would be restless the entire year so much.

Nowadays, there are some typical goods in the market namely, beef, seedlings, decorative tress and something relating to the agricultural life in Vietnam. With all that, the Vieng market is the only, we has left since industry development in Vietnam. Moreover, one more thing, you do not forget enjoying the special method, exchanging product each other with overcharging and bargaining at any market in Vietnam, is a thing you easily see in the market nowadays. You can truly feel a colorful and traditional market-day in ancient time that you are so hard to find out another market in the world. In addition to above traditional products, going to the Vieng market, there are various things so that you choose to make up your family even yourself. Appreciated by gourmets and most of tourists.

It is like a habit of Vietnamese people in general and Nam Dinh’s people in particular, flowers and decorative things are all those who go to the market, bring it home as a special gift happily. Driving out the bad things in the bygone years and hoping for good ones in the New Year are the most important and significant value whenever the Vieng market comes!

Vietnam travel guide - Vieng Spring Market Festival

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Excellent seafood of Vietnam, you must come to coastal region such as Halong, Nha Trang or Phu Quoc… Come to Halong bay, besides exploring the picturesque beauty of the gulf, should not miss the opportunity to enjoy excellent seafood dishes which become trade mark as follow:

1. Grilled Chopped Squid (Chả Mực)
The fish dish appear in my mine is Grilled Chopped Squid. It is absolutely one of the most Vietnamese excellent seafood. This dish has its own flavor, yellow color and special taste which comes from Halong cannot be mistaken with other places. Normally, Vietnamese bring home some kilograms of Cha Muc as a gift for friends or relatives when they come to visit Halong.
Delicious Grilled Chopped Squid
Delicious Grilled Chopped Squid
The good Grilled Chopped Squid after processing has yellow color, fragrant smell, a little bit crunchy and tough with less fat. The taste is blended with special sauce making a delicious dish. The most common combination is that squid serves with steamed white sticky rice and coconut water or spring rolls
A little tip to find the good one is food area next to the Cross street (phố Cây Tháp). According to me, this place sales the best one in Halong!
2. Earthworm (Sá Sùng)
They’re marine worms that were first described in 1827 by a French zoologist. They are mollusk that lived only in the coastal sands where high tide and low tide makes dune. Sa Sung have much nutritional value such as amino acids, glycine, alanine, glutamine, succinic … and taurine, minerals. An excellent seafood that natural gifts for human!
In Vietnam, they live much more in coastal area of Van Don and Mong Cai (Quang Ninh province), Cu Be and Turtle Island in Nha Trang province, Con Dao Island… The fresh Sa Sung is about 5 to 10 cm long and 15 cm long in particular sometimes. Harvest season is from March to July. Fishermen often dig at dune when low tides occur.
They’re sandy, so need to roast them in a dry skillet. Use medium heat, turn and shake the skillet for the while, and dry it in the sun twice or thrice until they puff up a bit, and darken. Then break them into sections and shake out the sand.
Dried earthworm
Dried earthworm
One tip of Vietnamese recipes to make an excellent Pho (Noodle) is Sa Sung. Dried marine worm product that’s full of tasty, a deep savory-sweetness, when put it into the pot of pho broth the broth becomes remarkably fragrant.
Special, dried earthworm is roasted, it turns yellow color and have aromatic odor with fragrance of the sea. Sa sung is served with chili sauce lettuce, herbs, and drink beer that enough to satisfy even the most fastidious guest
3. Horseshoe crab
Horseshoe crabs are always together with their mates and they are ancient creatures. They are also used in intensive research for cancer cure. It has been warned to eat them because eating the wrong organ of the horseshoe crab can make allergic or get a high. But if cook knows how to make, it becomes a delicious dish. That is the reason why not easy to find the restaurant sales it in Halong.
Horseshoe crab salad
Horseshoe crab salad
From horseshoe crab can be processed to many excellent and exotic dishes such as: horseshoe crab’s blood curds, horseshoe crab salad, fried sweet and sour crab legs, fried horseshoe crab’s eggs, steamed horseshoe crab, fried breaded horseshoe crab and fried horseshoe crab with vermicelli…
As I know, the good one is serve at Gieng Don Street and Cao Xanh Street.
4. Clam
A saltwater bivalve with a sea-salty flavor and a succulent texture and own a good source of zinc, which supports the immune system clams are used to bulk out dishes such as pies, soups and stews
Steamed clam
Steamed clam
Dishes made from clam offered extremely attractive taste. Contrary to horseshoe crab or earthworm, almost any seafood restaurant in Halong have it in the menu items, so it is not difficult for you to taste the dish then cannot forget when leaving
5. Geoduck Clam
Geoduck clam is rare seafood and has high economic value. In Vietnam, Geoduck clam lives in Khanh Hoa province, Quang Ninh province, Hai Phong province… Geoduck clam’s meat is aroma, sweet and very nutritious and especially good for men. It is often processed to delicious dishes such as porridge, boiled, steamed, baked…
Fried Geoduck Clam
Fried Geoduck Clam
No matter how to cook, geoduck clam must eat when it is still hot to feel all the crunchy and sweet of its. Bite a piece of geoduck clam’s meat, you will feel the characteristic sweetness, charming that spreading out the tongue with extremely pleasant aroma

Ha Long Bay is one of the rare areas that are endowed with both the grandeur wonders and special marine species – raw materials contributed to the excellent seafood dish. If you have a chance to visit Halong, do not miss it!

Discovery excellent seafood in Halong

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Author: louis.ecosea

There is a very special bridge in Vietnam, it is not permanent bridge, but can rotate around the axis. Its name is Swing Bridge, also called Han River Bridge. It is Vietnam's only swing bridge until now. Besides that, it was built by Vietnamese engineers and workers in design and construction. It has become a great pride ever since!
Han river bridge in night
The Han River Bridge is an important architecture of Da Nang city - An arterial bridge connecting the east and the west side of the city. Therefore, it does not only bring convenience for transportation and potential for tourism, but also plays an important role in the development of the city.
Han river bridge
With unique character of movable bridge, The Han River Bridge also becomes a tourist attraction in Da Nang. The bridge is swung 90 degrees at 1 a.m, so you should sleep late if you would like to witness it. At midnight, it is quite busy around the bridge because most of people gather round here to see with their eyes. On the road about 200 meters along the river, there are a lot of delicious and cheap snacks which can combat sleepiness
Han river bridge swung
All vehicles are stopped from crossing the Han River Bridge nearly 1 a.m but you can easily enjoy a walk on the bridge and approach a junction which connects swing-span section turning with bridge. Bridge team management will ask you not to pass over the junction but you still can stand with a small distance to watch. It is so exciting when the bridge move slowly to the left. The bridge suddenly was cracked and got separated with an oval shape beneath you. It makes you feel like you are moving not swing-span section turning in front of you. Slowly and carefully, the middle section of the bridge is rotated a 90 degree angle and opened for one hour to allow vessels to go up and down the river
Han River Bridge – the first swing one in Vietnam, it is also the symbol for new vitality and the developing desire of Da Nang city. In the future, the symbol of city may change but the bridge will live in the heart of Da Nang people forever. If you visit Da Nang, do not forget to sleep a little late to feel for yourself this unique and interesting thing that you never see anywhere in Vietnam but Da Nang.
To Da Nang , you can discover mayny beautiful place like: Bana hill, Hoi An ancient town, Hue city, Ngu Hanh Son moutain... Come and discover with us.

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About the Author
Hi. I'm Louis, come from VietNam. I Study at technology but i like travel so now i'm working in a travel agent in VietNam.

Han River Bridge the first swing bridge in Vietnam

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

From Lao Cai station to Sapa

It seems like there is so much fog in Sapa in February, thick fog made us can only see things within a 5 meter radius.

The first day was an excited experience. From Lao Cai station to Sapa town by car only has a length of 38 km but it takes more than one hour because of winding mountain pass. If the weather is nice and no mist, you can see the majestic mountains, the valleys with terraced fields, if not you can still feel another beauty of Sapa land in fog with white clouds fly sluggishly covering bodies of dozens of mountains.

Trekking Cat Cat village

After reached and left heavy luggage at hotel, we visited Cat Cat village. Approximately 3 km from Sapa town to the village. It is located at the foot of Hoang Lien Son range and H'mong tribe lives here. Many traditional handicrafts has a well-preserved: weaving with a variety of colors and patterns (simulate flowers, leaves, animals and pattern angles); indigo dyeing method, after dyeing clothes are polished with roll fabric on round logs on the flat rock with bee wax. You can easily see young girls' hand; even the kids have black blue color, it is indigo that left behind the process of dyeing fabric. Selection criteria for a wife of the guy comes from this, girls have dark color in hands it proves they worked hard and they will get more attention picky from guys to get married

On the way to visit the town, you will encounter a lot of hill tribe children, you could think that they were singing when look from far away but in fact they were not, the children were asking for money from tourists. It's a bad habit existing here. When you are in this case, you should not give them money even that small amount of money because it will ruin them; instead you can give them some candies

Discover Ham Rong mountain

For those of you who like to take photography and like moderate activity, Ham Rong mountain will be a perfect choice, it lies right after the church in the town center. There are 21 tourist stops in the area. When you purchase ticket, you should ask the staff for a guide map to discovery easier. In the Ham Rong destination, there are some interesting points that you should not miss it. For example orchid garden with hundreds of orchids are blooming; the area of traditional performing arts; watching dragon pitch function and the last stop is cloud-yard where you can stand overlooking the entire town of Sapa if the weather is nice or you can touch the clouds of the sky if have lots of fog

Trekking Lao Chai - Ta Van villages

For those of you who are interested in exploring, trekking through the villages is the perfect choice. Lao Chai - Ta Van is the most popular tourist route in Sapa. Lao Chai is Hmong's village and Ta Van is Giay's village. Along the route, you can easily see the terraced fields run down the mountain in tandem. Sapa beauty changes with each season: the May is young rice shoots time-a green field; On October, it is time to contemplate yellow rice terraces, also the best time for trekking with Fansipan climbing; And on December and January is the time for cherry blossom, plum blossom and peach blossom.

Come and discover Sapa

Sapa is a colorful land and a perfect background for trekking, hiking and climbing. Fansipan, at a height of 3143 m above sea level is one of big challenges to explore Sapa. Besides this, you can visit Bac Ha market and witness interesting local lifestyle. Come and see by your eyes, surely it will not make you disappointed

Discover beautiful of Sapa in Tet festival