Wednesday December 29, 2021

(VOVWORLD) - We’re entering the final week of 2021, the second year that people around the world have struggled with COVID-19, which has affected all aspects of our lives.
Wednesday December 29, 2021 - ảnh 1Happy New Year 2022

B: We’re wishing that the New Year – 2022– will bring the best of luck and happiness and that all our friends will stay safe and sound.

A:  We’d like to thank you all for your beautiful wishes for Christmas and New Year 2022.

B: From Peru, Johnny Antonio Ramirez Lopez wrote: “Merry Christmas and a prosperous year 2022 for all radio Dxers in the 5 continents of the planet and the great radio family of VOV. A big hug from Lima, Peru.”

A: Shivendu Paul of India wrote: “Merry Christmas and Happy New Year 2022. Greetings to all staff and listeners of Voice of Vietnam. I am Shivendu Paul, West Bengal, India, a regular listener of Voice of Vietnam. Thank you very much for reading my letters and answering my question in your popular Letter Box program.”

B: “In India Christmas and New Year are celebrating in different parts of the country. Many churches decorated with lights when visited a church, people of all communities were gathered there. Many people celebrate the holidays by traveling to local tourist places and enjoying group picnics. Cake is a special food for everyone. Thank you for talking about Christmas and New Year traditions in your program.”

A: Siddhartha Bhattacharjee of India sent us best wishes of happiness and prosperity for the New Year 2022. Listening to our broadcast on December 23 from 16:00 to 16:30 UTC on the frequency of 7220khz, he reported good reception.

B: Thank you very much, Johnny Antonio Ramirez Lopez, Shivendu Paul, Siddhartha Bhattacharjee, and other listeners of VOV for your greetings and for tuning in to VOV and giving us your feedback. We wish you all the best for the New Year 2022.

A: VOVWorld received more than 400 letters and emails from listeners in 35 countries and territories this week with beautiful greetings and many comments on our broadcasts. From the many questions about Vietnam, we picked some about beautiful lakes in Vietnam for this week’s Letter Box.

Wednesday December 29, 2021 - ảnh 2Ba Be lake

B: Ba Be Lake in Bac Kan province is the largest freshwater lake in Vietnam and also one of the largest 100 in the world. The diverse flora and fauna of Ba Be Lake populate a picturesque landscape of forests, waterfalls, rivers and streams.

A: Ba Be’s stunning landscapes and rich biodiversity, and the vibrant culture of the local ethnic minority people fill visitors with awe.

B: Ba Be Lake, 250 kilometers north of Hanoi, is rimmed by a vast limestone mountain range. The lake is at the heart of Ba Be National Park, which has been officially recognized as a national tourism site boasting a pristine landscape of mountain peaks, caves, streams, and underwater springs. Besides the lake, there are at least 20 other tourist sites inside the park.

A: Ba Be literally means “Three Lakes”. It’s called Slam Pe in the Tay language because it encompasses three smaller lakes called Pe Leng, Pe Lu, and Pe Lam. Covering 500 hectares at 150 meters above sea level, Ba Be Lake has crystal clear water and a cool climate all year round. There are two small islands: An Ma, a place of worship, and the smaller Ba Goa (Widow), which features in a legend which explains how the lake was formed millions of years ago.

B: Ba Be Lake was recognized as one of 20 freshwater lakes in need of protection at a conference held in the US in 1995. In 2004, Ba Be National Park was recognized as an ASEAN Heritage Garden and a special national relic. Today the lake is an attractive destination for Vietnamese and foreign tourists.

A: The capital city of Hanoi is famous for having a number of beautiful lakes, most notably West Lake and Sword Lake.

Wednesday December 29, 2021 - ảnh 3The beauty of sunset and the magnificent area of West Lake creates unique and miraculous photos.

B: West Lake is one of Hanoi’s most beautiful sights. Its many historical and cultural relics reflect the development history of the capital city. West Lake is perhaps the most romantic place in Hanoi.

A: With a shore length of 17 km and an area of 500 hectares, West Lake is the largest lake in Hanoi and a popular place for recreation surrounded by gardens, hotels and villas.

B: West Lake is ringed by upmarket suburbs, including the predominantly expat Tay Ho district. Near the lake are many restaurants, cafes, and boutique and luxury hotels. Its calm atmosphere is a welcome change from the excitement of the Old Quarter. A pathway circling the lake makes for a great bicycle ride.

B: West Lake was created from a bend in the Red River and appears in several Vietnamese legends. One legend suggests that West Lake was joined after a battle between the dragon Lac Long Quan and a nine-tailed fox spirit, and that's why the lake was once called "Fox Corpse Swamp" (Đầm Xác Cáo). Another folk story claims that the original name of the lake was "Golden Buffalo Lake" (Hồ Trâu Vàng) because it was formed by the struggle of a water buffalo after the disappearance of her calf.

A: In the 11th century, the lake was called "Foggy Lake" (Hồ Dâm Đàm) due to its misty character. Its name was changed to "West Lake" in 1573 to avoid confusion with the given name of king Le The Tong, which was Duy Đàm.

Wednesday December 29, 2021 - ảnh 4Sword  Lake, which spreads across 12 hectares (30 acres), is named for the legend of a golden turtle god showing up at the lake to take back a sword it had given King Le Loi in the 15th century to help fight foreign invaders. (Photo: Nghiem Dinh Chinh)

B: Located in the heart of Hanoi, Sword Lake is the definition of picturesque. Its ancient Tortoise tower, The Huc bridge and Ngoc Son temple make Sword Lake the pride of Hanoians and probably the first image that the name "Hanoi" evokes in Hanoians living far from home.

A: The lake has been called by several names including Luc Thuy, Ta Vong, Huu Vong and Thuy Quan. The current name "Hoan Kiem" which translates to the Returned Sword" dates back to the 15th century. The lake is associated with a legend in which King Le Thai Tho returns a sword to a sacred turtle after defeating Chinese Ming dynasty invaders.

B: The lake and its surroundings are one of the main attractions of Hanoi. The area surrounding the lake has lush greenery and two or three-storey buildings dating from the French colonial era.

A: Hoan Kiem Lake is surrounded by many historical and cultural structures: the old town. But the iconic site is Ngoc Son Temple, the Pen Tower, Hoa Phong Tower, and The Huc bridge.

B: Although surrounded by busy streets, Hoan Kiem Lake remains calm and romantic. This is why it’s one of the nicest walking areas in Hanoi. On special occasions, like National Day or the Lunar New Year the lake is a meeting place. People flock there to celebrate together.

B: There are more beautiful lakes in Vietnam than we can mention in just one Letter Box segment.

A: We’ll continue this story in future Letter Boxes. Please keep tuning in to VOV to hear these and other interesting stories about Vietnam.

B: In a letter to VOV this week, Fumito Hokamura of Japan sent us a report on his  reception of VOV broadcasts in December on the frequency of 9840 khz with SINPO ranging between 2 and 5.

A: He wrote: “I enjoy the winter season in my home town. I like winter food. I cook Vietnamese food sometimes. I want to know how to cook Vietnamese rice. Can you tell me an easy way to cook Vietnamese rice?”

B: It has been a long time since we last received a reception report from you, Mr. Hokamura. We’re happy to hear that you’re enjoying the winter season. Here in Vietnam winter has arrived and our country is really cold these days.

A: According to the national weather center, temperatures in the north will fall to 10 degrees Celsius in lowland areas and zero to 7 degrees Celsius in the mountains where snow and frost are expected.

B: Cooking rice is quite easy, especially with an electric cooker. If you have ever tried Vietnamese plain boiled rice, you will find it different from boiled rice in other countries. For an ordinary meal in Vietnam, come or plain boiled rice is indispensable. It’s the most popular dish for any lunch or dinner.

Wednesday December 29, 2021 - ảnh 5Vietnamese rice

A: In Vietnam, com is made from several kinds of rice, but typically a fragrant rice is used, such as Tam Thom or Nang Huong. One serving of Vietnamese plain boiled rice typically contain a half cup of rice and a cup of boiling water. You can add a half of teaspoon of salt, according to your taste.

B: So, how can you make boiled rice really delicious?

A: First, pick the rice over, taking out all the bits of brown husk. Then fill the outside of a double boiler with hot water, put in the rice, salt and water, and cook for forty minutes. Then remove the lid and very gently, without stirring, turn over the rice and let it cook for ten minutes more.

A: Besides plain boiled rice, Vietnamese people make many other rice dishes such as rice balls, fried rice, rice gruel, and steamed glutinous rice.

Wednesday December 29, 2021 - ảnh 6Vietnamese rice balls

B: Making rice balls or “cơm nắm”  really interesting! “Cơm nắm”, a Vietnamese rice dish pressed into a sophisticated shape is sold in small alleys in Hanoi by vendors. This dish is very familiar to Vietnamese people. For a cheap nutritious meal, people often turn to “cơm nắm” served with roasted sesame and ground nuts.

A: Now we’d like to acknowledge emails and letters from Abdul Aleem, Ratan Kumar Paul, and Prithwiraj Purkayastha of India and other listeners who posted comments on our Facebook Fanpage containing your New Year greetings and feedback on our programs.

B: That concludes today’s program. We welcome your feedback at: English Service, VOVworld, the Voice of Vietnam, 45 Ba Trieu street, Hanoi, Vietnam. Or you can email us at: You’re invited to visit us online at, where you can hear both live and recorded programs.

A: Check out our VOV Media App, available on both the IOS and Android platform to hear our live broadcasts. We look forward to your feedback on the mobile version of Once again, thank you all for listening. Goodbye.