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A visit to Surinam in 2018

by Elisabeth54 @ Fodor's Forum

Hello Fodorites, This year I plan a trip to Suriname, the small country at the northern shores of the South American continent. I am busy figuring...

Travel insurance for Cycling Vietnam Trips

by Sinh Le @ Cycling VietNam | Active Travel, Bike Tours VietNam, Laos and Cambodia

Travel Insurance for Cycling Vietnam Trips: Keeping healthy on your travels depends on your pre-departure preparations, your daily health care and diet while on the road, and how you handle any medical problem that develops. It is highly recommend that you have adequate travel insurance before you g...

The post Travel insurance for Cycling Vietnam Trips appeared first on Cycling VietNam | Active Travel, Bike Tours VietNam, Laos and Cambodia.

Sapa - Halong bay - Hoi An

by noreply@blogger.com (9zg8fenf) @ Handspan Vietnam

So, after we returned from Sapa, we travelled on the night train back to Hanoi. Once there, we went to Halong Bay for one night. This is a bay with over 1000 islands and islets, said to have been carved out by a dragon swooping to the earth! Well anyway it was very nice and we swam in the sea for a bit and slept on the boat. We also went to visit a cave called 'Surprise Cave' because it was aparently full of surprises (see photos)!After Halong bay, we got another night train from Hanoi to Denang in Central Vietnam. This train took 16 hours, man!!! When we arrived at Denang we got a 1 hour taxi to Hoi An. This was a lovely ltiile river side town with lots of cafes and bars. Unfortunately it is also full of children trying to sell bracelets and Tiger Balm (we gave in to one and bought 2 bracelets). Hoi An is famous for its Tailors. Every shop is a Tailors and so we had to get measured up for some stuff. I had a casual jacket made (copied from a photo in a fashion mag) and also a Suit made, just plain black, again copied from a photo in a mag. Aimee had a jacket made (a combination of 2 different jackets), and a very 'jazzy' skirt which would not look out of place at the pool bar! On the last day in Hoi An we went to My Son. This is a religious area for Hindu's (bit like Vietnams version of Ankor wat).We left the following day on guess what? Yes, another night train (16 more hours to Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon)!

Founder Members - The Responsible Travel Club of Vietnam - RTC

Founder Members - The Responsible Travel Club of Vietnam - RTC


The Responsible Travel Club of Vietnam - RTC

Dang Xuan Son Footprint Travel Vietnam Vu Ngoc Khiem Indochina Travelland Active Travel Active Travel Truong Thi Hien Sisters Tours Vietnam I Travel I Travel Handspan Handspan Free Wheeling Tours …

Tan Quy Island and floating markets in Mekong Delta 2 days 1 night tour

by thanhsang @ Tours in Vietnam

Daily Travel Company is honored to introduce to travelers our Tan Quy Island and floating markets in Mekong Delta 2 days 1 night tour as follow: Highlight of the trip Visiting less tourist area in Mekong Delta See local people, orchard gardens, Khmer’s culture See the famous pagodas in Tra Vinh See the floating markets in […]

Leaving Vietnam

by noreply@blogger.com (9zg8fenf) @ Handspan Vietnam

My last week in Hue was a mixture of excitement to be going home and sadness that I was leaving everyone that I have met there. Especially the kids. I found it really upsetting. I had to say goodbye to my TX class and i knew that I would be upset but I hadnt expected such a reaction from them. The little girl Hien who had been quiet and distant in the beginning had gradually warmed to me. It was her 13th birthday (i think) while i was there and i threw a party for her. she hadnt had a party before. i got them all gifts, not just her, so they didnt feel left out and we had a great time. when i say i think she was thirteen it is because in vietnam when you are born sometimes you are 1. other times you are 0. its completely mental. she looks about ten. but she thinks she is 13. anyway, we had a great last lesson. when it cam time to say goodbye they were all really sweet and seemed sad that i was leaving. they gave me the prize red chilli that thye had grown in their vegatable garden. it doesnt sound much but it was a big deal as they treated this thing like a pet and carried it around everywhere and stuff. i think it was the best thing that had ever come out of their garden. i really liked the older ones who i felt i had got to know quite well because they were able to communicate better in english. it must be hard for them to have someone come into their life, just start to get to know them and then it is time to leave again and for the whole process to start again. hien was the only girl in the class and by the end was quite taken with me in the way that i used to be with older girls at school. she made me bracelets and tried to write my name n the board for me arriving and drew me pictures in her spare time. i miss them already. for the last lesson i taught them how to write letters and bought them envelopes and stamps. hopefully they will find a way of posting them.
so then i left Hue.... although my ridiculous amount of excess baggage proved to be no problem...the actual journey to the airport was. the bus from hue to da nang that i had to get was super late and they had over sold tickets which caused a big fuss. poor vietnamese people doing the journey had to give up their seats for the westerners. although totally unfair, i was kind of relieved as someone would have had to physically remove me from the bus before i would have given up mine...even though i was sitting beside an incredibly smelly man!!! he was vile.
once we eventually got going, half an hour late, we still stopped for a frigging 35min break at the cafe down the road that the bus company has a deal with.(it is only meant to be a 2 hour journey). but if they bring the bus to the restaurant they get a cut of what we spend, and the opportunity to make some more cash whether we were late or not meant we were stopping! all of this is done in the open, they dont even try to hide the fact that they are doing it because they get a cut. the vietnamese arent ashamed of living in tin huts and sleeping on rags. there is no shame in being poor. nor is there any shame in their desperately trying to milk every western tourist for all they can get! i have been ripped off right in front of my eyes every day for a month. its mildly irritating. but it seems to be the vietnamese way. and i guess i can afford it.
anyway, by this point i was seriously agitated and freaked out that i would miss my plane. got off the bus and eventually got a taxi... why is it when u dont want one they stalk you by crawling along the curb beside you and when u do want one they are playing hard to get! anyway, got to the airport (more of an aircraft hanger really) at 5.40 (for 6.30 flight) although, as usual, there was no sense of urgency and it seemed i had been panicking for nothing. the flight was good. even aeroplanes seem luxurious to me now....table service...clean cutlery...chilled white wine...even a blanket! i think i must have been overtired as i got really sad on the plane. just thinking about the kids. and how the trip was over. and the general tragedy of vietnam. it seems so unfair that i can just fly in and out of their life and they are stuck there. the babies will be adopted but for the older kids they have no choice but to stay in that orphanage untill they are 18. then if they do well they will have a shop and scrape by. its a continuous struggle. no one wants the kids over 4. and kids that have any surviving relatives often cant be adopted. only the ones who have nobody. at TX last week some of the kids who did have distant relatives got to visit them for a couple of days. 4 of my kids stayed behind. they dont even have a cousin to go see. and when i asked them how they felt when the others go home they said 'even more lonely than usual'. the people across the aisle must have though i was mad as i sobbed my way to singapore.
as soon as i arrived i felt almost awkward at how stark and clean everything and everyone was. came to the hotel, checked in my room and immediately ran a bath to soak off all the grime and dirt i feel like i have picked up. i swear to god i think this tan is probably half dirt! sickened myself by eating too much breakfast out of sheer greed and went to the city to explore. it was the weirdest sensation to be walking around a city, bustling with people and taxis and shops....gucci...prada...louis vuitton. its surreal that two hours away my kids are sleeping on mats. i dont mean for one second that it wasnt great to be there, in fact from first impressions i think singapore is absolutely amazing, its just bizzare to get your head round.
i had better go as someone needs to use this computer but one quickother thing that is quite funny. last weekend in vietnam heather and i went to hanoi and toured ha long bay. it was brilliant. we stayed in a proper hotel in the city and turned out that jamaica were playing vietnam at football in the stadium round the corner. the players were staying in our hotel and we got chatting. they were really nice and offered to give heather and i tickets to the game. we couldnt go as we had to head home but it was nice to meet them. anyway, now i am in singapore and in my hotel is the oman team who are playing indonesia. i had to move rooms...it turns out to their floor, and this morning at breakfast they invited me to a lunch and to go and watch them play tomorrow night. isnt that weird that i meet two football teams in a week. do you have any idea how many girls in glasgow would love this!!!!!

Road Trip Itinerary

by kdlucero @ Fodor's Forum

My family is planning a road trip from Quantico, VA to Southern Colorado in March. Please help me plan my itinerary. What to do, where to stay,...

Food

by noreply@blogger.com (9zg8fenf) @ Handspan Vietnam

My stunach and head have been sensitive ever since we arived. This, coupled with Vietnamese hospitality and cuisine, has been tricky at times. Guests are very important, especially strange visiting family from America, and they will prepare all kinds of food and keep filling your bowl whenever its aproching empty. thus, I have discovered a traveling trick for all of you small or sensitive stumachs out there...never let your bowl go empty, eat slowly, and "No Roy" means 'I'm full"!Most of Vietnamese food I really enjoy; noodle bowls, soups, rice and spring rolls. However, they eat many parts of animals that, as my father puts it, I never knew existed! Ah, such as large shunks of fat, sinues, intestans, toung and bone. Also, they consume large amounts of soda and candy. this whole comming month, traveling with Thay (Tick Naht Hanh)and the sangha, we'll be eating vegitarian...and I think I may continue the trend.

8 beautiful homestays suitable for holidays (P1)

by Ha Nguyễn @ Vietnam Travel Guide

The reasonable price, comfortable room and impressive decor are the highlights of these beautiful homestay. Let’s check it out!

The post 8 beautiful homestays suitable for holidays (P1) appeared first on Vietnam Travel Guide.

DCT Tour

by giapdien @ Tourist companies in the North – Vietnam Travel Guide

Head office Add:#3A – Bien Bac Building – 1068 De La Thanh Street – Ba Dinh District – Ha Noi – Viet nam Tel: 84 -04-7711056 / 7711060 Hotline Mobile: 0913 560 079 Website: www.dctvietnam.com Emai: dctoursco@hotmail.com [tab:Contact] Head office Add:#3A – Bien Bac Building – 1068 De La Thanh Street – Ba Dinh District – Ha

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Book La Suite hotel get free Vietnam Visa

by admin @ Hanoi La Suite hotel & Spa

Book La Suite hotel get free Vietnam Visa: When you book room in La Suite hotel, we offer you free visa approved letter for vietnam visa on arrival 1 month single entry. You bring that letter and get your visa stamped at Noi Bai airport (you pay the stamped fee by yourself). How to get […]

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Bai Tu Long Bay: The Route Less Travelled in Halong Bay

Bai Tu Long Bay: The Route Less Travelled in Halong Bay


Not Without My Passport

Escape the masses in Halong Bay by sailing through Bai Tu Long Bay, a newer, relatively unexplored route. Find out more about my cruise with Treasure Junk.

Giving back: six charities we supported in Vietnam this year

by Una-Minh @ Before My Mam Dies

“Pray for the dead. And fight like hell for the living!” – Mother Jones We’ve been back from Vietnam since the end of October and while we’re both settling into our normal lives at home, I’ve held off updating the blog a bit. Why? Well, we did so much over the course of the visit […]

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Vietnam Top 10 things to do

by noreply@blogger.com (r4v9y3rp) @ Handspan Tours, Vietnam

* Crawl through the Cu Chi Tunnels This extensive network of nearly 500 km of Viet Cong tunnels used in the French Indochina and American wars. The tunnels have complete facilities, from kitchens to printing presses and even street signs, all of which were used to aid the NLF (National Liberation Front) military. Tours involve a description of the tunnels, after which tourists are allowed to crawl about the maze. Located in Tay Ninh a suburb it is 39km northwest of central Ho Chi Minh City. * Dalat is the place to be if you want to visit interesting tribal villages. Although most are located further out of town, you can visit the villages of some of the hill tribes, such as Lat Village and the Chicken Village (with a huge statue of a chicken) close to Dalat itself. Don't forget your camera as the photo opportunities are endless! * Ha Long Bay Ha Long Bay Paddle around Halong Bay in Quang Ninh which is similar to the islands found along the , this is one of Vietnam's most beautiful areas, Halong Bay has fascinating limestone formations, coves for night-time excursions, sheer cliffs, grottoes, arches and scores of small islets. There are plenty of activities such as Kayaking that are well worth taking time out for as this is one way to really appreciate the beauty of the area as well as a good way to see the fauna and flora without disturbing the nature around one. * Du Hang Pagoda Du Hang Pagoda Haiphong is known as the City of Flower-lined Streets, and is the third biggest city of Vietnam, in comparison with Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi. Here you can discover the Du Hang Pagoda which is one of the most ancient pagodas in this city and is one you need to take your camera for. It was built three centuries ago and the decoration on the pagoda is exquisite as well as housing many ancient furnishings that never fail to interest visitors. * Hanoi has lots to offer the tourist but if you are in the city you can't afford to miss the History Museum that includes artifacts from Vietnam's prehistory: proto-Vietnamese civilisations (1st and 2nd millennia BC), the Dong Son civilisation (7th century BC to 3rd century AD), the Oc-Eo (Funan) culture of the Mekong Delta (1st to 6th century AD); the Indianised kingdom of Champa (1st to 15th century), the Khmer kingdoms, various Vietnamese dynasties and their resistance to Chinese attempts at domination, the struggle against the French, and the history of the Communist Party. It gives the visitor an excellent understanding of Vietnam's past and a better understanding of the present. * Cuc Phuong National Park Cuc Phuong National Park Another Hanoi "must do", though a little out of town is the National Preserve of Cuc Phuong This national park is one of the last tropical primeval forest reserves on Earth. There are 64 species of fauna and thousands of species of flora, many of which are extinct everywhere else in the world. Bizarre and fascinating species of animals from flying lizards to monkeys dwell within the park's 61,000 acres. Caves and grottoes, where various artefacts have been discovered, can be located in the mountains within. It is located approximately 120km southwest of Hanoi. * Visit Hoi An. From the 16th to 18th centuries, Hoi An was a thriving international commercial port for Chinese, Dutch, French, Japanese, Portuguese and Arab traders. These people came to trade primarily for the high-grade silk, which is still produced in the area, and ceramics. The area is now one of four world heritage listed sites in Vietnam and there are lots of interesting things to see and do in the area. * Meander along the Mekong on one of the many boat trips that are available taking you across the water or through the local canals on many interesting sightseeing excursions that definitely require a camera. Larger boats venture up the Mekong River and this is a definite MUST DO if you are in the area of Cantho or one of the other cities or villages that rely on this massive sourse of water for both transport and food. Climb Sam Mountain near Chau Doc if you want to see dozens of temples, pagodas and the like as it is well worth visiting. Located about 6 km from the city, temples abound and the trek to the top of the mountain is also popular...though one can go by motorised vehicle if you so desire. * Visit Phu Quoc Island the largest island in Vietnam that lies in the Gulf of Thailand, 45 km from Ha Tien and 15 km south of the coast of Cambodia. Phu Quoc Island, part of Kien Giang province, is also part of an archipelago consisting of 22 islands of all sizes. The island covers an area of 585 km2 and is 50 km long. It is also called the Emerald Island because of its natural treasures and infinite tourism potential.

Saigon Free Day Tours

by Ha Nguyễn @ Vietnam Travel Guide

Every year, Ho Chi Minh City, also known as Saigon, receives thousands of tourists around the country and from all over the world. Therefore, there are quite a few tours for different services and prices in Ho Chi Minh City available for travellers to choose. With Saigon Free Day Tours, you can explore the whole city without charging any fee to the guide.

The post Saigon Free Day Tours appeared first on Vietnam Travel Guide.

Rocky mountain bike – The warrior of Vietnam adventure tours

by Sinh Le @ Cycling VietNam | Active Travel, Bike Tours VietNam, Laos and Cambodia

Rocky mountain bike – the warrior of Vietnam adventure tours Rocky mountain bike – imported from Canada to Vietnam late 2000. This bike fleet was used by my partner – Handspan in Hanoi for “Sapa Vietnam mountain bike tours”. Early 2002, I bought these Rocky mountain bik...

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Hanoi - Sapa

by noreply@blogger.com (9zg8fenf) @ Handspan Vietnam

Well we arrived in Bangkok after a turbulent flight via Abu Dhabi (the airport there looked like somethinig out of Doctor Who?!) We had a quick burger king before getting on our connecting flight to Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam. When we arrived, we got into a taxi which took us to our Hotel, only to be told that the hotel was full, even though we had a room reserved! So we were taken to another hotel to stay in which was not very nice, but did teh job (we had no window in our room)! We stayed in Hanoi for one night and booked a tour to Sapa, in the north.We got the night train to Sapa, which was very noisy (not as nice as trains in Thailand) We got to Sapa and checked into our hotel which is nice and over looks the mountains and villages of the region and was immediately on our first trek just after check in! This was only a couple of hours of the local village which was good. Today, we went on a marathon trek which involved Aimee sliding down a hill on her bum and me ruining my lovely adidas trainers in mud! Oh well!!! We had to walk along very narrow ledges with sheer drops to the right, very scary!! Thank god for the walking sticks we bought before the trek! We have been paired up with a spanish couple for our treks (from the same hotel in Hanoi) who are very nice and lively! Tomorrow we are going on another trek and getting the night train back to Hanoi. When we get back to Hanoi, we are going to Halong Bay for one night and then on to Hoi an in cantral Vietnam. Will update when we are here. Hope all is well in UK!

Italy 2 wk itinerary Tuscany, Emilia-Romagna, Venice

by the2bubs @ Fodor's Forum

I know itinerary questions proliferate, but this is my husband's and my first trip to Italy (have only been to Europe twice - both times France) and...

Cycling north Vietnam – the slow road 279

by Sinh Le @ Cycling VietNam | Active Travel, Bike Tours VietNam, Laos and Cambodia

Cycling north Vietnam – The slow road 279. This historical road was built from February 1979 when the war with China begin. The Gorvernment built up this route emergency to have a flexible protection again the Chinese army attacked the northern border provinces. It was a small road, some part ...

The post Cycling north Vietnam – the slow road 279 appeared first on Cycling VietNam | Active Travel, Bike Tours VietNam, Laos and Cambodia.

Experience Halong Bay like a local | The 2017 Guide

by Angela Lewonczyk @ Hai Au Aviation

Halong Bay, Vietnam is known for many beautiful sights and sounds. Because it is a Unesco World Heritage sight, travelers from all around the globe flock to this stunning destination throughout the year. As a result, tourism is high and tourist locations are sometimes overrun. If you are traveling to Halong Bay for a quick […]

The post Experience Halong Bay like a local | The 2017 Guide appeared first on Hai Au Aviation.

GUIDE BOOK FOR OC EO CULTURAL HERITAGE AND AP BAC HERITAGE

by thanhsang @ Tours in Vietnam

Tien Giang is a coastal province in the Mekong Delta, South Vietnam. It is one of the provinces in the West that attracts many tourists. This place is quite near the urban area so it attracts many visitors. With the advantage of owning many beautiful locations and delicious dishes, more and more visitors come here. […]

Angkor What?

by noreply@blogger.com (9zg8fenf) @ Handspan Vietnam

Hello from cambodia, after the longest bus journey ever we arrived in Siem Reap in cambodia, it took us 12 hours on the bus (that was air conditioned, thank god!!)and it was also the scariest bus journey of my life. In cambodia they lack what i would call decent road in fact it would be a stretch to call it a road at all! It has pot holes the size of Omagh in it and when it rains thats when the fun starts, its like an ice rink which is a random description considering the heat. They dont have a particular side of the road they drive on its all fair game for cars, buses, bikes, scooters cows and the occasional terrified looking traveller! But we made it here in one piece and apparently the worst is over and we luckily are flying back to Bangkok from Vietnam, Phew.With the Intrepid crew now and we've been very lucky as they are a great bunch of people. We went to the Angkor Wat temple yesterday and it really is something else, its difficult to put into words the sheer size of the place but got some great photos so watch out for them, we also discovered a great little bar called Angkor What? (get it?)and it is best best bar in the world (so far)tiny little place with people packed in, 50p beers, a half bottle of wiskey in a busket with ice coke and red bull for 2 quid (don't worry mum i stayed clear, it tasted like bananna medicine ad you know how well that used to go down)and some rocking music.I really wasn't sure what we were letting ourselves in for coming to this part of aisa but has been cracking fun so far.Any how must head on as the heat in this internet cafe starting to get to me.Love Michelle x o

Hue, Hoi An, and English camp

by noreply@blogger.com (r4v9y3rp) @ Handspan Tours, Vietnam

Hello hello hello,So it's been an exciting couple of weeks recently. 2 weeks ago, my group took a trip to the Central Coast of Vietnam. We took the train from HCMC to Quang Ngai. After 2 weeks in homestay, it was so much fun to spend 14 hours on the train. In Quang Ngai, we had the opportunity to meet Sandy's paternal grandmother. It was such a great day. Her grandmother lives in a small village, where not many tourists go. Everyone seemed very excited to see us. We also got a group of about 15 kids to sing a Vietnamese children's song with us. So much fun! They were so cute!After that, we got to spend two days on the My Khe beach near Quang Ngai. We celebrated Scott's birthday there by having dinner on the beach and then went swimming in the South China Sea. It was definitely one of those "holy shit, I'm in Vietnam" moments.While in Quang Ngai, we also visited the site of the My Lai massacre. That was a really intense experience. After learning so much about that event throughout school, and then being at the site where this horrific event actually occurred, it was very interesting. It was interesting to me that several of the students in my group didn't know that an American pilot had helped end the massacre.From there, we drove to Hoi An. A very cute little town, but it's being overrun by tourists. At times I literally felt like I saw more Western tourists than I did Vietnamese people. But it was still a fun city.From Hoi An, we went to Hue, the old imperial capital of Vietnam. We visited the citadel there. It had some beautiful architecture but a lot of it was destroyed during the war.Next we drove to Da Nang, which I believe is where I'll be spending some time during my independent study project. While there we toured the Cham history museum and also visited My Son, an ancient Cham religious site. Champa was a kingdom in Southern Vietnam. My Son was beautiful. It was set among the mountains and was just amazing. Unfortunately, many of the buildings were bombed during the American War, including the tallest tower of the site. Among the buildings, we found large holes in the ground that were caused by B-52 bombs dropped during the war. It was still an incredible place to see.After that we returned to HCMC and moved back into our homestay. I think my family was excited to have me back! It was a relatively uneventful week until Saturday arrived.Part of the University curriculum in Vietnam is that students are required to be part of a Youth Association or a student union group. Well this weekend, for 6 universities in HCMC, the youth association from our university put on 'Cross-Border Camp 2006.'In total there were almost 250 students attending this camp. Each of us, along with our homestay sibling were placed on one of 14 teams. Each team was assigned a country and were responsible for putting on a skit/song that represented our country. My team was Vietnam and I was roped into singing Trong Com, a Northern Vietnamese folk song that translates into Rice Drum. I don't sing, so needless to say this was very interested. The written goal of the camp was to promote cultural diversity and cultural exchange, but basically it was English Camp. The weekend was a chance for all the Vietnamese students to practice speaking in English. I really had no idea what to expect when we left. During the day, there were lots of games, and we went swimming. At night, there was a forum where the Vietnamese students discussed cultural diversity. That was definitely interesting to listen to their thoughts about Vietnam. After that though, was the main event. It was like this GIANT talent show. There was singing, dancing, skits...you name it, it was there. It was unlike anything I had ever seen in the US. Putting it into words really does not do justice to what I actually experienced. One of my favorite moments was when my group sang "This land is your land." It was crazing singing this American propaganda song at times seemed to be at times a Communist party youth rally. The whole event was definitely one of those things that I can now appreciate in retrospect. At times I got a little frustrated and annoyed throughout the day, especially when I was hearing the Aaron Carter album for the 7th time, or when I was trying to sleep and Aqua-Barbie Girl came on. At first glance, it was definitely annoying how structured the event was but that was definitely coming from my ethnocentric, American perspective. Now, I am so glad that I went because I definitely experienced an aspect of Vietnamese youth culture that I never would have understood before.So yeah, I hope I didn't ramble too much! On another note, I am so excited because my family is coming to visit in May! Well, almost everyone. Josh and Lynn, you have a good excuse on why you're not coming! (Can't wait to see the baby!)Hope everyone is doing well. For people back home, good luck with the end of the school year and on finals!Hope to hear from people soon!always,

Road Trip Itinerary

by kdlucero @ Fodor's Forum

My family is planning a road trip from Quantico, VA to Southern Colorado in March. Please help me plan my itinerary. What to do, where to stay,...

Easia Travel

by giapdien @ Tourist companies in the North – Vietnam Travel Guide

Add: Suite 326, 327, 328 – ATS hotel, 33B Pham Ngu Lao, Hanoi, Vietnam Tel:     (84-4) 3933 1362 Fax:    (84-4) 3933 1307 Website: http://easia-travel.com/vietnam/ Email: info@easia-travel.com Add: Suite 326, 327, 328 – ATS hotel, 33B Pham Ngu Lao, Hanoi, Vietnam Tel:     (84-4) 3933 1362 Fax:    (84-4) 3933 1307 Website: http://easia-travel.com/vietnam/ Email: info@easia-travel.com General

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Cycling North Vietnam

by Sinh Le @ Cycling VietNam | Active Travel, Bike Tours VietNam, Laos and Cambodia

It’s great to have a mountain bike, cycling north Vietnam through Mu Cang Chai, Than Uyen, up the stunning pass Tram Ton to Sapa, bike around the Hmong, Giay villages in Muong Hoa valley, beautiful scenery with rich culture of the hill tribes. Then we climb up the mountain again to BacHa, Hoan...

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HG Travel

by giapdien @ Tourist companies in the North – Vietnam Travel Guide

Add: 47 Phan Chu Trinh,Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi Tel: +84-4-37 333 333 Fax: +84-4-37 333 337 Website: http://inbound.hgtravel.com/ Email: sales.hn@hgtravel.com Add: 47 Phan Chu Trinh,Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi Tel: +84-4-37 333 333 Fax: +84-4-37 333 337 Website: http://inbound.hgtravel.com/ Email: sales.hn@hgtravel.com Established in 1997, HG Travel is a premium destination management company offering a comprehensive range of travel

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TOur to SOUTH VIETNAM

by noreply@blogger.com (9zg8fenf) @ Handspan Vietnam

SaiGon - VinhLong - CanTho - SaiGon - DaLatPhanthiet - SaiGon Day 1. Arrival in SaigonCity tour visit to fine examples of French colonial architecture, the Notre Dame Cathedral and the Old Saigon Post Office. In the afternoon, visit Thien Hau pagoda, Cho Lon, lacquer ware factory. Overnight in Saigon. Day 2. Saigon – Vinh Long – Can ThoTransfer to Vinh Long, full day trip to the watery world of the Mekong Delta. Take a boat trip along narrow waterways overhung with dense vegetation and try exotic fruits in one of the many orchards. Enjoy the landscape of the Mekong delta where we take a boat to visit Cai Be floating market. Lunch with local delicacy in the bonsai garden. Procede to Can Tho. Overnight in Can Tho. Day 3. Can Tho – SaigonMake an excursion to visit the biggest market in the Mekong Delta - Cai Rang floating market. Back to Saigon. Overnight in Saigon. Day 4. Saigon – Da LatLeave Saigon for a scenic drive through rubber and tea plantations en route to the cooler climes of Da Lat, 300km from saigon. Established as a hill station, Da Lat is reminiscent of an alpine town with its French chalets and pine forests. Visit of Prenn waterfall on the way, Hang Nga tree house, and the centre market. Overnight in Da Lat. Day 5. Da LatA free day to enjoy golf amongst the pines at the Da Lat Palace Golf Club. A masterpiece of design, the 72 Da Lat Palace course offers an enjoyable challenge for players of all levels and a through test for experienced players. Overnight in Da Lat Day 6. Da Lat – Phan ThietLeave Da Lat for the 250km drive from the hill down to Phan Thiet beach on the coastal plain via the scenic Marvellous Mountain Pass. Enjoy the time at the beach. Overnight in Phan Thiet. Day 7. Phan ThietA free day to enjoy the beach and playing golf at the Nick Faldo-designed Ocean Dunes Golf Club. A links course, Ocean Dunes is rated as Vietnam’ s second best course after the Da Lat course. Overnight in Phan Thiet. Day 8. Phan Thiet – Saigon - DepartureReturn to Saigon and transfer directly to the airport for departure flight.

Vietnamtourism in Hanoi

by giapdien @ Tourist companies in the North – Vietnam Travel Guide

Head office: 30A Ly Thuong Kiet , Hanoi  Tel: (84 4) 3825 9942  Fax: (84 4) 3825 7583  Email: info@vntourism.vn Website: http://vn-tourism.com Contact Head office: 30A Ly Thuong Kiet , Hanoi Tel: (84 4) 3825 9942 Fax: (84 4) 3825 7583 Email: info@vntourism.vn Website: http://vn-tourism.com General information Vietnamtourism – Hanoi JSC is an award-winning tour – operator

The post Vietnamtourism in Hanoi appeared first on Vietnam Travel Guide.

Why I chose Handspan Travel for my Halong Bay tour

Why I chose Handspan Travel for my Halong Bay tour


the top-bunk philosopher

No matter what tour operator you choose, you’ll never regret visiting this insanely gorgeous place, but I definitely recommend Handspan Travel Indochina for a particularly special experience.

Travel Information of Vietnam

by noreply@blogger.com (9zg8fenf) @ Handspan Vietnam

1. GENERAL INFORMATION
Vietnam borders with China in the north, Laos and Kampuchea in the West, and the Pacific Ocean in the east. Its lies in the centre of South-East Asia. Vietnam's territory stretches from Lung Cu village (Ha Tuyen province) in the north to Rach Tau hamlet (Minh Hai province) in the south. It is a S-shaped pennisula, with thousands of off-shore islands and archipelagoes; the biggest of which are the Hoang SA (Paracel) and Truong Sa (Spratly) Archipelagoes. Vietnam's mainland covers 331,689 square kilometres .
According to archaeological discoveries made at Do Mountain, it is believed that life in Vietnam began as far back as 300,000 years ago. Officially, the history of Vietnam stretches back 4,000 years when it was founded by the Hung Kings. It was then named Van Lang.
When speaking upon the history of Vietnam, it is important to note the large role played by the French in Vietnam. It began in 1858, when the French took over Danang in southern Vietnam. Over time, more and more territory was won over by the French. It wasn't until 1954, when the French surrendered to to the Viet Minh, ending the French Indochina War, that the French colonial control in Vietnam ended.
The immediate image in the minds of most people at the mention of Vietnam is that of the war fought against the United States some twenty years ago. Most people think of the country only in terms of the American conflict in Indochina. The war ended nearly twenty years ago, and today, despite lingering signs of past American involvement, the situation in Vietnam is markedly different. People have finally begun to look at the country from another perspective, now that travelers and tourists from the West are being welcomed into what was once a forbidden country. It may take a bit more effort and tenacity to plan an excursion into Vietnam than it would for another Southeast Asian country, but Vietnam has much to offer in terms of culture and sights.
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2. WEATHER CONDITIONS
The weather in the southern part of Vietnam is tropical. It is monsoonal in the north, bringing a hot, rainy season from mid-May to mid-September and a warm, dry season from mid-October to mid-March. Occasional typhoons from May to January bring extensive flooding to the middle regions of Vietnam.
Top3. PEOPLE AND CULTURE
The vast majority of the population is Vietnamese with minute percentages of Chinese. The Viet culture originated on the delta of the Red River and the Ma River where the Viet people cultivated paddy fields. They led a simple farming life in small villages, usually living around a communal house. Today the people living in the countryside follow this lifestyle. The Viet people are influenced by Confucianism, in particular the principle of respect for their elders.
In spite of the immense suffering of the Vietnamese and the somewhat ruined state of the country, they are generally warm and friendly, and surprisingly, the Vietnamese bear little if any resentment or bitterness toward Americans. Children in the streets will commonly greet visitors with the name Lien Xo, which means Russian, but they will easily be corrected if you respond, "Hello!" or "Good morning" and explain you are an American, European or Australian, etc.
Ethnic Groups: The country is predominantly 85-90% Vietnamese, 3% Chinese, ethnic minorities include Muong, Thai, Meo, Khmer, Man, Cham, and other mountain tribes.
Languages: Vietnamese is the official language; French, Chinese, English, Khmer and tribal dialects (Mon-Khmer and Malayo-Polynesian) are also spoken.
Religion: Buddhist, Confucian, Taoist, Roman Catholic, indigenous beliefs, Islamic and Protestant.
Top4. LOCAL CUSTOMS
Be firm, yet diplomatic when dealing with officials who will often be very rigid. In the case of misunderstanding, patience is the best policy.
Small gifts such as cigarette lighters, pens, foreign cigarettes, liquor, perfume and even shampoo are greatly appreciated by anyone you wish to make friends with in Vietnam.
Out of politeness, always ask permission before taking photos of people. The same rule of thumb also applies to photos taken in places of worship. Permission will almost always be granted.
A gentle handshake is the most appropriate manner of greeting.
Be very discrete about giving anything to beggars frequently encountered in Ho Chi Minh City. If anyone is seen giving handouts to a beggar, he or she may end up being pursued by a mob of other beggars. This does not help create a good image for foreigners; it gives them instead the reputation of being easy to hit up for money.
Beware of pickpockets. Keep your ID and passport in a safe place and carry only photocopies of those items.
Remove your shoes before entering Buddhist pagodas. Small donations placed in the boxes found in temples are appreciated. It is acceptable to keep your shoes on within Chinese pagodas.
Never let the soles of your feet face other people or any sacred monument, such as a statue of Buddha.
Top5. CURRENCY
The Dong (D) is the official currency in Vietnam. Exchange rate is approximatley 1 USD = 15,000 Dong (Sep 01)
Bank notes currently in circulation are in denominations of 100 / 200 / 500 / 1,000 / 2,000 / 5,000 / 10,000 / 20,000 and 50,000 Dong
Notes under 200 Dong have little value and are rarely used.
The U.S. dollar is more or less a second currency in Vietnam. Other foreign currencies are not readily accepted. A large supply of US$1, US$5 and US$10 are almost essential for tipping, for small expenses and for hotel bills. U.S. money is so common that change will frequently be given in dollars.
You may bring in an unlimited amount of foreign currency as long as it is declared on the forms provided by customs officers. Foreign currency can be exchanged for dong at your hotel or at the State Bank of Vietnam.
Top6. THINGS TO KNOW
Population: About 78 Million People Capital: Hanoi Flag: The flag of Vietman is red with a large yellow five-pointed star in the center. Shop Hours: Shops run from 7 or 8am to 11 or 11:30pm. Some are open from 1 or 2pm to 4 or 5pm. Bank Hours: Most banks are opened from 7am or 8am to 11am or 11:30am Some are open from 1pm or 2pm to 4pm or 5pm. Holidays January 1 Solar New Year's Day January/February Tet (Tet Nguyen Dan). The most important Vietnamese annual festival. This marks the new lunar year and the advent of spring. This is a three-day holiday, usually at the end of January or the beginning of February (according to the solar calendar) February 3 Anniversary of the Foundation of the Communist Party of Vietnam April 30 Liberation Day, the day on which Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City) fell to Hanoi in 1975. This holiday is commemorated nationwide. May 1 Labour Day May 19 Birthday of President Ho Chi Minh September 2 National Day of Vietnam
Time: +7:00, Vietnam is 11 hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time and 14 hours ahead of Pacific Standard Time.
Tipping: Tipping is not customary in Vietnam, but it is enormously appreciated. A 5-10% tip for a meal is a very small amount of money, but to the average Vietnamese, it could easily equal a day's wages. Avoid tipping too much, as it will set a precedent for others.
Restaurants: Government-run restaurants catering to tourists add a 10% service charge to the bill.
Porters: Porters, if they are available, can be tipped with American coins.
Hotel maids: Government-run hotels catering to tourists charge an automatic 10% service fee.
Taxis: Generous tips are not necessary. A small gratuity, however, is expected by cab drivers.
Top7. VISAS AND PASSPORT
Passports and visas are required for entry into Vietnam. The best place to obtain a visa for Vietnam is Bangkok. The visa will specify where you will be arriving and where you will be leaving, in addition to how long you can stay.
Formerly, tours had to be booked to obtain a visa, but this is no longer the situation. Potential visitors to Vietnam must fill out three applications for entry and exit visas, accompanied by three passport photos 4cm x 6cm. One of the applications must be sent to the most convenient diplomatic or consular mission of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam. The other two applications/photos are carried with you and handed in at the first point of entry.
If you require Asia Travel to assist you in the application, please send an email with the following information to:asiatrav@asiatravel.com:
Surname and first name Date and place of birth Nationality Present place of residence Profession Time and point of entry and exit
Some Embassies of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam:
Australia 6 Timbarra Crescent O'Malley ACT 2603 Tel (062) 866059
France 62, rue Boileau 75016 Paris Tel 4524-5063 or 4527-6255
Mexico Sierra Ventana 255 11000 Mexico, DF Tel 540-1612
Thailand 83/1 Wireless Road Bankok Tel (02) 251-7201
United Kingdom 12-14 Victoria Road London W8 5RD Tel 937-1912
Top8. CUSTOMS REGULATIONS
Duty-Free Items Visitors may import 200 cigarettes, 50 cigars or 250g of tobacco, 1 liter of wine, 1 liter of liquor and an unlimited amount of film. Commercial goods and items of high value being taken out of Vietnam require export permits from the Customs Service. Antiques may be confiscated permanently. No local currency may be taken out of the country.
The Customs Service Headquarters 21 Ton Duc Thang St. Ho Chi Minh City Tel 90095
Top9. TRAVEL TO THE COUNTRY
Airports Noi Bai International Airport Hanoi Tan Son Nhat Airport Ho Chi Minh City Fares are significantly lower for those flying to Ho Chi Minh City. Although flights are available from the capitals of most Southeast Asian countries as well as from Sydney and Melbourne, the best place is from Bangkok as visas are easiest to obtain there.
Airlines Vietnam Airlines (International) 116-118 Nguyen Hue Blvd. Ho Chi Minh City Tel (08) 292118 Vietnam Airlines (Domestic) 27b Nguyen Dinh Chieu St. Ho Chi Minh City Tel (08) 299980 Air France Dong Khoi and Le Loi St. (Caravelle Hotel) Ho Chi Minh City Tel (08) 241278 Aeroflot 4H Le Loi St. Ho Chi Minh City Tel (08) 93489 Thai Airways 116 Nguyen Hue Blvd. Ho Chi Minh City Tel (08) 292118 Philippine Airlines Ho Chi Minh City Tel (08) 292200 MAS 116 Nguyen Hue Blvd. Ho Chi Minh City Tel (08) 30695
Trains There are currently no train lines running between Vietnam and its neighboring countries.
Buses Traveling by road from Cambodia is a slow and expensive alternative to flying. It is highly advisable that travelers fly in instead.
Ships and Ferries There are no official passenger services. Travelers may be able to ride on a cargo ship to Ho Chi Minh City, Danang or Haiphong from Hong Kong, Japan, Thailand, Singapore and France. Check with the local shipping and travel agencies for rates and availability. A ferry service runs from Cambodia to Chau Doc in the Mekong Delta.
Top10. TRAVEL WITHIN THE COUNTRY
Cars Car rentals are currently not in existence. Cabs, which are unmarked cars without meters, can typically be rented for the day for US$30 to US$40. Trains The Vietnamese railway system runs from Ho Chi Minh City to Hanoi along the coast and links with Haiphong and the regions further north. Odd-numbered trains travel South, and even-numbered trains travel north. The fastest trains take at least 36 hours from Ho Chi Minh City to Hanoi. Reservations should be made a day or more in advance. The major setback to the railways is that tourists are charged many times more than Vietnamese people in the form of an outrageously high surcharge. For long distance traveling, it is best to fly. Buses The bus system runs almost everywhere within the country, with stations built around the country dividing the territory into regions. Buses tend to be slow and unreliable.
Top11. SIGHTSEEING
Ho Chi Minh City This is the largest city in Vietnam. It is the industrial, commercial and cultural center of the country. The central city area is still called Saigon.
WAR CRIME MUSEUM This museum exhibit crimes committed by the Americans during the war. Photographs of the famous My Lai massacre, human embryos, genetically deformed babies and innocent civilians being tortured can be seen on display. An array of US armored vehicles, artillery pieces, bombs and infantry weapons are displayed in the courtyard. You can also see a guillotine used by the French to de itate troublemakers in the riots of the 1920s and a model of the famous tiger cages used by the South Vietnamese to house VC prisoners on Con Son island. The War Crime Museum basically reveals a different side of the stories about wars - the innocent victims of modern warfare. HISTORICAL MUSEUM Built in 1929 by the Societe des Etudes Indochinioses, it was formerly named Blanchard dels Brosse. A big statute of President HoChiMinh stands in the main lounge of the museum. The museum has an excellent collection of artifacts illustrating the primitive age, bronze age, the Tran dynasty and the Le Dynasty. Take a look at the array of musical instrument especially the special monocord of the one string musical instruments. There are many valuable relics taken from Cambodia's Angkor Wat. REUNIFICATION PALACE In 1868, the Norodom Palace (original name) was built for the French Governor-General of Indochina. A striking modern architecture was built when the original buildings were damaged by bombs. Rebuilt in 1962, it comprises of a ground floor, 3 main floors, two mezzanines and a terrace for helicopter landing. The palace includes many tastefully decorated rooms such as the reception room, the cabinet reference room, the study rooms, the credentials presentation room and the banquet room. It also has a basement with a network of tunnels connecting to the telecom centre and war room and one of the longest tunnels which stretch all the way to the Revolutionary Museum. The grounds outside contain one of the first tanks to burst through the gates of the palace to signify the end of the Vietnam War as well as the fighter plane which dropped further bombs towards the end of the war. Independence Palace was renamed the Unification Palace to denote the spirit and strong will for national independence and reunification Ben Thanh Market The Ben Thanh Market, formerly the main railway terminal, is the largest of the markets scattered throughout the city. A wide variety of goods are available, from imported electronics to imported perfumes. Notre Dame Cathedral This Catholic church was constructed in 1883 and is located near the Tu Do (Dong Khoi) Street, the former red-light district. Presidential Palace This building is now called the Reunification Hall. The center was built as a modern administration center and is where the war and the American involvement in Vietnam ended in April 1975, with tanks invading the compound. Guided tours will take visitors through the various rooms within the complex. Cholon Ho Chi Minh City's Chinatown. Sights include the Binh Tay Market, the An Quang Pagoda (District 5) and the scenic Thien Hau Temple. Vinh Nghiem Pagoda A modern Japanese-style Buddhist temple, easily one of the largest and most impressive in Ho Chi Minh City.
Tay Ninh
Cu Chi Tunnels An extensive network of nearly 200 miles (322mi) of Viet Cong tunnels used in the French Indochina war and American war. The tunnels have complete facilities, from kitchens to printing presses and even street signs, all of which were used to aid the NLF (National Liberation Front) military. Tours involve a description of the tunnels, after which tourists are allowed to crawl about the maze. Located in Tay Ninh (suburb of Ho Chi Minh City), 24 miles (39km) northwest of central Ho Chi Minh City. CAO DAI TEMPLE Cao Daism seeks to create the ultimate religion by fusing Buddhist, Taoist, Confucianist and Catholic beliefs into a synthesis of its own. Witness the solemn ceremony of the unique religion - Caodaism at Caodai Holly See at its noon tide prayer service with followers dressed in red, blue, yellow and white robes. There is the divine eye above the altar, the religion's official symbol. The temple has nine levels which signify the nine steps to heaven, each level marked by a pair of multicoloured dragons.
MEKONG DELTA One of the world's largest delta, the Delta Region is formed by the various tributaries of the mighty Mekong River which begins its journey to the sea in Tibet and winds its way for 4500 km through China, Burma, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and Southern Vietnam. The vietnamese name for the Mekong is Cuu Long which means "nine dragons" and this is represented by the nine exit points of the Mekong River as it flows into the sea. The land of the Mekong Delta is renowned for its richness. Known as Vietnam's breadbasket, it produces enough rice to feed the entire country with a sizeable surplus leftover. Take a sampan ride that meanders through small villages and experience the simple lives of the Mekong people
Vung Tau Beach Located at the mouth of the Saigon River is the popular Vung Tau beach resort. Pineapple Beach is probably the most pleasant, with its villas and generally tranquil atmosphere. The temples are a definite must-see. The Niet Ban Tinh Xa is the largest temple in Vietnam. Tourist accommodations are available at the Hoa Binh Hotel, as well as the Thang Loi, Thang Thai and Tho Nguyet.
Nha Trang The central region near Nha Trang features some of the most beautiful beaches in Asia. The ocean waters are transparent, and the sands immaculate, attracting more and more visitors in recent times. Tours cover the Cham Ponagar complex, the north tower of which was built in 817 A.D. Ruins of the long-deceased Champa still stand as a testament to this once prominent kingdom.
Dalat The mountain resort among the Central Highlands has scenic surroundings as well as remnants of the French colonial era. The Ethnic Minority Museum is certainly worth visiting for those interested in the costumes, gongs, ornaments and other artifacts collected by locals from the Lam Dong province. As another point of interest, there is even an old abandoned nuclear power plant.
Danang City Known as Tourane under the French, Danang is a seaport of endless stretches of unspoiled sandy beach midway between Ha Noi to the north and Ho Chi Minh City to the South. The city was also the center of civilization of the Champa Kingdom, a kingdom which flourished In the area as early as the 2nd century A.D. Appealing stone sculptures (from the 4th-14th centuries) of Vishnu , Shiva and other Gods of this Kingdom can still be found in the Cham museum located in the center of the city Towards the coast south of Danang are five large hills known as the Marble Mountain. Mysterious caves within the mountains shelter altars delicated to Buddha, Bodhisattvas and The different genies arising from the popular beliefs of the area's inhabitants. With its own international and domestic airport, Danang provides an ideal stopover based for excursions to the ancient town of Hoi An, the imperial city of Hue and My Son-site of the Ruins from the Cham civilization.
Cham Ruins For those interested in seeing all that these fifteen towers have to offer, plan on spending a minimum of one day. These towers are located at My Son in the Duy Xuyen district. Cham Museum The Cham Museum built in 1915, expanded in 1935 , completed in 1936, is in a lovely setting And has large, open well lighted rooms with around 296 statues and artifacts of the Cham People dated back to the 7th century. Marble Mountains Consisting of five limestone peaks, about five (8km) miles south of town. They can be explored by following the paths leading to the peaks. Non Nuoc Beach China Beach, one the most wonderful beaches of Vietnam , was once an in country rest and Recreation centre for the US military during the Vietnam War.
Hoi An Ancient Town Forty-five minutes by land south-east of Da Nang is the ancient town of Hoi An, which was one of the most important trading ports in Southeast Asia for merchants from China, Japan and afar for a couple of centuries ago. Originally a seaport in the Champa Kingdom, by the 15th century It had become a coastal town under the Tran dynasty. Also served as the hub of East-West c ultural exchange, Hoi An's ancient past is superbly preserved in its fascinating temples, pagoda, shop houses and home which make up the town's old quarter. Walking in the streets of this ancient town, one can observe the influence of the architecture, Sculpture and decorative styles of China and Japan and the skill of former Vietnamese architects Who have absorbed their influences and created something similar yet somehow uniquely different.
HUE Hue, the imperial city, the citadel-city of Phu Xuan was originally built up during the end of 17th Century and became a political capital as well as the Imperial City of Nguyen Dynasty from 1802 till 2nd September 1945 when the Communist Party, leaded by President Ho Chi Minh had declared the Independent of the Nation and took over the power from the defeated Japanese Governor. Nowadays, this small & poetical city of 280.000 habitants becomes one of the main tourism site of Vietnam destination by its splendid tombs of the Nguyen emperors, several notable pagodas especially the Thien Mu Pagoda, the remains of Citadel as well as the romantic Perfume River where a cruise tour with Hue music performance in the moonlight was always provided since long time ago. Normally, visiting Hue within a day is a bit rush but still enough time to cover the main attractive sites such as The Citadel, The museum of antique, the tombs of Khai Dinh and Tu Duc emperors and a 02 hours cruise with stop over at Thien Mu pagoda.
Citadel & Forbidden City This forbidden city of 10km. perimeter has 4 main entrance gates and well defended by kilometers of rampart was built in 1804 by the first emperor Nguyen Anh on a site chosen by geomancers and look likes a Chinese forbidden city in Beijin. Some parts of this forbidden city were totally destroyed during the war where now are under reconstruction providing UNESCO & Japanese non-government associations' fund. Lucky thing is most of the main area such as the citadel (the Imperial Enclosure), Flag Tower were remain intact where received hundred of visitors daily. The Museum of Antique (Imperial museum) This beautiful hall which house the Imperial Museum was built in 1845. The most precious artefacts were lost during the war (1954-1973) and the liberation day (1975) but ceramics, furniture and royal relics are remain until the present time. Khai Dinh Emperor's Tomb This is the final monument of the Nguyen Dynasty. The complex features ceiling murals, frescoes and a dragon staircase. Located on the slopes of the Chau E Mountain, six miles (10km) south of town. It takes almost 10 years (1920-1931) to finish this grandiose concrete tomb which is completely unlike the others tombs where there was a mixture of typical Vietnamese & French colonial architecture. After climbing 36 steps passing by rows of elephants, horses, civil & military mandarin you will be reached the main building where a full original artefacts are displayed to the public. Tu Duc Emperor's Tomb The most impressive of the tombs and pagodas at Hue. Located at the tributaries of the Perfume River, seven miles (11km) south of Hue, this complex has beautiful architecture, intricate decor and military statues. This majestic and serene tomb with lake view, grove of pines, temples, living house area is the most expensive tomb which was completely terminated after 5 years by thousands of labor-worker (1863-1868) for this intellectual-poet emperor. Minh Mang Emperor's Tomb The most impressive of the tombs and pagodas at Hue. Located at the tributaries of the Perfume River, seven miles (11km) south of Hue, this complex has beautiful architecture, intricate decor and military statues. Thien Mu Pagoda & Perfume River Cruise Unlike the typical boat used to provide in the past the present Hue cruise is providing a motorized boat which carry a 2 hours cruise along Perfume River including a 30 min stop over Thien Mu pagoda. This pagoda located on the hillock overlooking the Perfume River, built in 1844 by Thieu Tri emperor, 21m-high octagonal tower with seven-storey is one of the most famous structures in all over the country and become an unofficial symbol of Hue until now.
Hanoi
One Pillar Pagoda Built in the 11th century, this pagoda sits on a stone pillar in the middle of a pond. This is one of the more unusual structures in Vietnam. Lenin Park (Thong Nhat Park) Built over a former marsh, this park surrounds a large lake containing a statue of Lenin, often the object of jokes among the locals. The park itself is quite beautiful. Tran Nhan Tong Street. National Preserve of Cuc Phuong This national park is one of the last tropical primeval forest reserves on Earth. There are 64 species of fauna and thousands of species of flora, many of which are extinct everywhere else in the world. Bizarre and fascinating species of animals from flying lizards to monkeys dwell within the park's 61,000 acres. Caves and grottoes, where various artifacts have been discovered, are located in the mountains within. Ha Nam Ninh Province. It is located approximately 62 miles (100 Km.) southwest of Hanoi. Thu Le Park Located northwest of Hanoi in the Thu Le village.
Haiphong
Cat Ba This island is the largest in the Cat Ba archipelago. It is potentially one of the major beach destinations in Southeast Asia. This region has beautiful beaches and pristine waters. Within the mountains are caves and grottos. Located 36 miles (58km) east of Haiphong.
Halong Bay One of Vietnam's most beautiful areas, Halong Bay has fascinating limestone formations, coves for nighttime excursions, sheer cliffs, grottoes, arches and scores of small islets.
Top12. DINING AND DRINKING
Vietnamese food varies from region to region. Almost 500 traditional dishes have been recorded! Rice and noodles are staple foods, served with nearly all meals. The most popular dishes are nema rán (spring rolls), bún thang (noodles with sliced pork, eggs, shredded chicken and shrimp), shellfish steamed with ginger and sea crabs fried with salt. Among common ingredients used are: shark fin, duck, pork paste, fish, spices, fruits, vegetables, crab meat, lobster and oysters.
Imported beer is available in Vietnam, although a number of domestic beers are brewed. Rice wine is very popular, and there are many brands available. There is a variety of fruit wines such as apricot, orange or lemon. Soft drinks are processed from the many varieties of tropical fruits available. Water from the tap should be avoided, even though it has already been filtered and sterilized at 10ºC. If you must drink it, boil the water first.
Top13. ENTERTAINMENT
Vietnam is not the place to go for the latest in nightspots, but a number of large hotels have nightclubs and dance halls. Bars are fairly easy to find, even in smaller hotels. Try asking the locals for the current popular spots.
Top14. EMERGENCY NUMBERS
Police: 03 Ho Chi Minh City Police Station 161 Nguyen Du, Quan 1 Tel 99398 or 97107 Open from 8am-11am and 1pm-4pm Hanoi Police Office for the Registration of Foreign Visitors 63 Tran Hung Dao, Hanoi All visitors must register with the police within 48 hours of arrival. If you are on a tour, this should have been taken care of (but check anyway). Fire Department: 08 First Aid: 05 International Dialing Access: Available at major tourist hotels and post offices Country Code: 84 City Codes: Hanoi: 04 / Ho Chi Minh: 08 When calling from within the same city, delete the city code from the number. When calling to another city from within Vietnam, use the entire city code. When calling from outside Vietnam, delete the first digit (0) from the city code.
Top16. USEFUL PHRASES
* Greetings - Chao ong (ba) * How are you? - Ong (ba) co khoe khong? * Fine, thanks - Cam on rat tot * My name is ... - Tên tôi là ... * I don't understand - Tôi không hiêú * Restaruant - nhà hàng * Telephone - diên thoai * Hotel - khách san

Asia Aventura

by rtcvietnam @ The Responsible Travel Club of Vietnam – RTC

Asia Aventura Asia Aventura is a B2B travel company and was officially launched in 2001 with the ambition of becoming the number one specialist for adventure tours in Vietnam and […]

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Dragon Travel

by giapdien @ Tourist companies in the North – Vietnam Travel Guide

Add: 49 Ngo Tat To Str, Dong Da Distr,Ha Noi City ,Viet Nam Tel: (84-4) 39285366 Fax: (84-4) 39285365 Website: http://www.optiontours.com Email: info@optiontours.com [tab:Contact] Add: 49 Ngo Tat To Str, Dong Da Distr,Ha Noi City ,Viet Nam Tel: (84-4) 39285366 Fax: (84-4) 39285365 Website: http://www.optiontours.com Email: info@optiontours.com [tab:General information] Who are we ?  At the early start, Dragon Travel

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Hanoi tourist Travel Company

by giapdien @ Tourist companies in the North – Vietnam Travel Guide

Add: 122 Hang Bo Street, Hanoi, Vietnam Tel: (+84 4) 66757537 Contact us: info@hanoitourist.org Website: http://www.hanoitourist.org/ [tab:Contact] Add: 18 Ly Thuong Kiet st, Hoan Kiem dis, HN Tel: 04. 39364979 Fax: 04. 38243012 Contact us: info@hanoitourist.org Website: http://www.hanoitourist.org/   [tab:General information] As one of the biggest travel companies in Hanoi, Hanoi tourist Travel Company is now considered

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Threeland Travel

by rtcvietnam @ The Responsible Travel Club of Vietnam – RTC

Threeland Travel Threeland Travel is a fully-licensed International Tour Operator under the Ministry of Culture, Sport and Tourism of Vietnam. The License is a certification of Threeland’s bond at an […]

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Hot, Happy, Hungover, Halong Bay

by noreply@blogger.com (9zg8fenf) @ Handspan Vietnam

Well now. Just back from a 3 day trip to Halong Bay and it was fantastic. The sun even decided to come out and we got a roasting today on the boat back.Day one (wednesday) we got a boat at Halong Harbour. OUr group was a ixed bunch of old people and young people. We had an israeli couple iin their 40s and a retired spanish couple who were really nice (and mad to go to Karaoke).Had lunch on the boat and it was a bit cloudy but the 3000 islands in the bay look impressive in any weather. We visited some big cave and then later got into the water for kayaking and swimming which was great crack. Then we all piled back onto the boat for a nice feast and a few drinks.Day 2 we were woken at 7 for breakfast and then brought to Cat Ba island and checked into a hotel there. We were brought to HOspital Cave which was hidden in a mountain to treat vietnamese soldiers during the war. Our guide in there was some mad former army general and he kept lining us up and singing to us. It was all pretty weird but cool.Then we had a trek up a mountain which was nice (sweaty). the Spaniards werent impressed at this but there ya go...tyhey made it safely. Thankfully didnt get attacked by any eveil monkeys on the way as i was a bit worried aobut that.after lunch we went off in a boat again for a brilliant afternoon of kayaking anywhere. just paddled for ages around all the islands and under sea arches and into lagoons. Its soooooooo beautiful and peaceful there.Then today we got the boat back to the mainland and it was roasting so all just lay up on deck for the morning. Kieran had a bit of a fright cos he jumped off the boat for a swim but got caught in a current and was being dragged quite quickly away. took us a while to cop that he was actually not enjoying this and we eventually got down to find him holding onto the ledge of the boat by his fingernails. Dont know how it happenbed cos noone really wanted to get in after that but it was grand...only a slight pull after that. Although the driver started the boat before everyone was back on and then kids started crying and mothers were shouting and it was all very dramatic altogether.back in Hanoi now. Wandering around the cafes and markets. The locals were going nuts for an u23s football match between Vietnam and Thailand (2-1)Dont know what we are doing next. Maybe Sapa, maybe not.til then,byebyeybye

Shopping in Vietnam

by noreply@blogger.com (r4v9y3rp) @ Handspan Tours, Vietnam

Vietnam has some fantastic shopping opportunities, so it’s well worth setting aside half a day or so to properly peruse. Hotspots include Hanoi, Hoi An and Ho Chi Minh City, each of which has a temping selection of everything from avant-garde art to sumptuous silk suits.
Some of the best buys are as following:
Vietnamese Art & AntiquesThere are several shops to hunt for art and antiques. Both traditional and modern paintings are a popular item. More sophisticated works are displayed in art galleries, while cheaper mass-produced stuff is touted in souvenir shops and by street vendors. A Vietnamese speciality is the “instant antique”, such as a teapot or ceramic dinner plate, with a price tag of around US$2.
As Vietnam has strict regulations on the export of real antiques, be sure the items are allowed out of the country. Most reputable shops can provide the necessary paperwork.
Vietnamese ClothingVietnam is emerging as a regional design center and there are some extravagant creations in the boutiques of Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.
Ao dai, the national dress for Vietnamese women, is a popular item to take home. Ready-made ao dai costs from US$ 10 to US$20, but custom numbers can cost a lot more. There are ao dai tailors nationwide, but those in the tourists centers are more familiar with foreigners.
Hill-tribe gear is winding its way to shops in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. It’s brightly patterned stuff, but you may need to set the dyes yourself so those colours don’t bleed all over the rest of your clothes.
T-shirts are ever popular items with travellers, cost from US$1 to US$4.
Non (conical hats) are favorite items for women in both rainy and sunny times. The best quality ones can be found in the Hue’s area.
Vietnamese HandicraftsHot items on the tourist market include lacquerware, boxes and wooden screens with mother-of-pearl inlay, ceramics, colourful embroidery, silk greeting cards, wood-block prints, oil paintings, watercolours, blinds made of hanging bamboo beads, reed mats, carpets, jewellery and leatherwork.
War SouvenirsIt’s easy to by what looks like equipment left over from the American War, but almost all of these items are reproductions and your chances of finding anything original are slim. The fake Zippo lighters engraved with platoon philosophy are still one of the hottest-selling items.
TIP: BargainingBargaining should be good-natured, smile and don’t get angry or argue. Once the money is accepted, the deal is done. Remember that in Asia, “saving face” is very important. In some cases you will be able to get a 50% discount or more, at other times this may only be 10%.

11 Epic Day Trips from Denarau, Fiji

by David Stock @ Divergent Travelers

A tiny little private island in the heart of Fiji, Denarau is situated on the far west end of Viti Levu, connected by the mainland via a short causeway. A few kilometers from the prominent town of Nadi and the Nadi International Airport, Denarau Fiji is where you can indulge in pure bliss and a

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Leaving Vietnam

by noreply@blogger.com (r4v9y3rp) @ Handspan Tours, Vietnam

My last week in Hue was a mixture of excitement to be going home and sadness that I was leaving everyone that I have met there. Especially the kids. I found it really upsetting. I had to say goodbye to my TX class and i knew that I would be upset but I hadnt expected such a reaction from them. The little girl Hien who had been quiet and distant in the beginning had gradually warmed to me. It was her 13th birthday (i think) while i was there and i threw a party for her. she hadnt had a party before. i got them all gifts, not just her, so they didnt feel left out and we had a great time. when i say i think she was thirteen it is because in vietnam when you are born sometimes you are 1. other times you are 0. its completely mental. she looks about ten. but she thinks she is 13. anyway, we had a great last lesson. when it cam time to say goodbye they were all really sweet and seemed sad that i was leaving. they gave me the prize red chilli that thye had grown in their vegatable garden. it doesnt sound much but it was a big deal as they treated this thing like a pet and carried it around everywhere and stuff. i think it was the best thing that had ever come out of their garden. i really liked the older ones who i felt i had got to know quite well because they were able to communicate better in english. it must be hard for them to have someone come into their life, just start to get to know them and then it is time to leave again and for the whole process to start again. hien was the only girl in the class and by the end was quite taken with me in the way that i used to be with older girls at school. she made me bracelets and tried to write my name n the board for me arriving and drew me pictures in her spare time. i miss them already. for the last lesson i taught them how to write letters and bought them envelopes and stamps. hopefully they will find a way of posting them.
so then i left Hue.... although my ridiculous amount of excess baggage proved to be no problem...the actual journey to the airport was. the bus from hue to da nang that i had to get was super late and they had over sold tickets which caused a big fuss. poor vietnamese people doing the journey had to give up their seats for the westerners. although totally unfair, i was kind of relieved as someone would have had to physically remove me from the bus before i would have given up mine...even though i was sitting beside an incredibly smelly man!!! he was vile.
once we eventually got going, half an hour late, we still stopped for a frigging 35min break at the cafe down the road that the bus company has a deal with.(it is only meant to be a 2 hour journey). but if they bring the bus to the restaurant they get a cut of what we spend, and the opportunity to make some more cash whether we were late or not meant we were stopping! all of this is done in the open, they dont even try to hide the fact that they are doing it because they get a cut. the vietnamese arent ashamed of living in tin huts and sleeping on rags. there is no shame in being poor. nor is there any shame in their desperately trying to milk every western tourist for all they can get! i have been ripped off right in front of my eyes every day for a month. its mildly irritating. but it seems to be the vietnamese way. and i guess i can afford it.
anyway, by this point i was seriously agitated and freaked out that i would miss my plane. got off the bus and eventually got a taxi... why is it when u dont want one they stalk you by crawling along the curb beside you and when u do want one they are playing hard to get! anyway, got to the airport (more of an aircraft hanger really) at 5.40 (for 6.30 flight) although, as usual, there was no sense of urgency and it seemed i had been panicking for nothing. the flight was good. even aeroplanes seem luxurious to me now....table service...clean cutlery...chilled white wine...even a blanket! i think i must have been overtired as i got really sad on the plane. just thinking about the kids. and how the trip was over. and the general tragedy of vietnam. it seems so unfair that i can just fly in and out of their life and they are stuck there. the babies will be adopted but for the older kids they have no choice but to stay in that orphanage untill they are 18. then if they do well they will have a shop and scrape by. its a continuous struggle. no one wants the kids over 4. and kids that have any surviving relatives often cant be adopted. only the ones who have nobody. at TX last week some of the kids who did have distant relatives got to visit them for a couple of days. 4 of my kids stayed behind. they dont even have a cousin to go see. and when i asked them how they felt when the others go home they said 'even more lonely than usual'. the people across the aisle must have though i was mad as i sobbed my way to singapore.
as soon as i arrived i felt almost awkward at how stark and clean everything and everyone was. came to the hotel, checked in my room and immediately ran a bath to soak off all the grime and dirt i feel like i have picked up. i swear to god i think this tan is probably half dirt! sickened myself by eating too much breakfast out of sheer greed and went to the city to explore. it was the weirdest sensation to be walking around a city, bustling with people and taxis and shops....gucci...prada...louis vuitton. its surreal that two hours away my kids are sleeping on mats. i dont mean for one second that it wasnt great to be there, in fact from first impressions i think singapore is absolutely amazing, its just bizzare to get your head round.
i had better go as someone needs to use this computer but one quickother thing that is quite funny. last weekend in vietnam heather and i went to hanoi and toured ha long bay. it was brilliant. we stayed in a proper hotel in the city and turned out that jamaica were playing vietnam at football in the stadium round the corner. the players were staying in our hotel and we got chatting. they were really nice and offered to give heather and i tickets to the game. we couldnt go as we had to head home but it was nice to meet them. anyway, now i am in singapore and in my hotel is the oman team who are playing indonesia. i had to move rooms...it turns out to their floor, and this morning at breakfast they invited me to a lunch and to go and watch them play tomorrow night. isnt that weird that i meet two football teams in a week. do you have any idea how many girls in glasgow would love this!!!!!

Mu Cang Chai rice terraces – the golden season

by Sinh Le @ Cycling VietNam | Active Travel, Bike Tours VietNam, Laos and Cambodia

Every year, at the beginning of September, Mu Cang Chai rice terraces field turns to yellow color. The golden season of rice harvesting start. The Hmong people living up the mountain in Mu Cang Chai – Yen Bai province start to harvest their crops. And it is also the time for our cyclists climb...

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Good afternoon Vietnam, (Hanoi)

by noreply@blogger.com (r4v9y3rp) @ Handspan Tours, Vietnam

We touched down in Hanoi, the Capital of Vietnam, mid-afternoon and took the transfer to our hotel in the old district of the city. We ventured out for a quick look around, quickly adopting our Chinese policy of lane-by-lane dodging of cars to dodge the mopeds - then realising that not looking and walking at a steady pace was slightly less alarming. I think the owners of Katie Melua's 9 million bicycles in Beijing have all moved to Hanoi and upgraded to mopeds...On our first night, we walked down to the beautiful lake at the centre of Hanoi and found our way amid the back streets deep into the old quarter and to Ma May Street which was delightful. All the shops/restaurants were refurbished to the traditional tube French Colonial/Vietnamese style houses and we sat on the balcony of one such house for our evening meal - the first meal which can be classed as delicious in over three weeks.The following morning, we went back to the old quarter for breakfast - we took a good walk through all the streets densely packed with people absorbed in their day-to-day business. Each street is named after the products which are/were sold in it - we saw Shoe St, Food St, Bag St, Silk St - there are apparently a total of 36 different streets each named after the products sold. My favourite street is Ma May Street - it is full of wonderful little restaurants and shops with street people selling flowers and fruit from large wicker baskets supported over their seller's shoulder by bamboo. We later walked to Hoan Kiem lake in the park and sat on benches relaxing for a while before heading off to find the Opera House in the French Quarter (with a lot of Art Nouveau style buildings) and then for lunch.In the afternoon we walked to Hoa Lo Prison, Maison Centrale, more famously known as Hanoi Hilton. It is best known as the place where the American POWs were held (incarcerated) during the Vietnam War but was designed by the French to hold the more outspoken/patriotic Vietnamese during their rule of the country. The guillotine was regularly used and heads were put on display to try to dissuade further uprisings. Unbelievably, prisoners were still tortured at this prison until 1969. To top it off, as recently as 1953, over 2,000 prisoners were being held at this prison in a space to fit 500. It was quite alarming.An amusing story we heard whilst inside was about a couple of US Air force officers who were captured and had concocted a story (rather than face torture) about two other members of their squadron who had been court-marshalled for refused to fly US missions against the north. Thrilled with the propaganda, visiting Japanese communists were told this and it filtered back to the US. Unfortunately the officers had named their imaginary pilots as Ben Casey and Clark Kent and when the Vietnamese found out they had been duped, the prisoners were tortured again!We met our new group in the evening - a total of 7 people including us - and went out for another fantastic meal. The group Kitty(NZ), David(NZ), Tracey(CAN), Jenny(US), Paulette(AUS) and our tour leader, another Tracey(AUS) immediately hit it off - we have been so fortunate with both groups.The following morning, we travelled northeast to Halong Bay. Arriving at the port around mid-day, we set off immediately and had a fantastic seafood lunch on the boat (a mix of a junk and a pirate ship!) We cruised along passed beautiful karst peaks in the water which with the misty sky made for some fantastic views although not such great photographs. We sailed through communities living on the water and visited some amazing caves resembling lunar landscapes - then on the way back stopped for a little swim, arriving back at the harbour early evening. We dined at a small local restaurant and had a brief look around the market before heading to bed.The following morning, the bus took us back to Hanoi and we decided to head to the Military museum to have a look at the old US aeroplanes and helicopters. Mark became terribly excited when he spotted a Huey and so we spent a while taking photographs before heading back to the hotel in preparation for our overnight train to Hue.NB: One of the girls on our new tour was supposed to be travelling with a friend through Vietnam but unfortunately her friend was in an awful mini-bus crash (killing 3 people) whilst on the road (the same route as us) to the The Great Wall of China.

Top 10 Best Halong bay Overnight Tours | The 2017 Guide

Top 10 Best Halong bay Overnight Tours | The 2017 Guide


Hai Au Aviation

While there are several tours with unique attributes and tantalizing itineraries, here is a list of the best Halong Bay overnight tours of 2017.

Hoang Su Phi Mountain Bike Challenge 2017

by rtcvietnam @ The Responsible Travel Club of Vietnam – RTC

Hoang Su Phi Mountain Bike Challenge 2017 was closed in May 21 at Thong Nguyen stadium, Hoang Su Phi district, HaGiang province. The winner is Jaap Van Norel from Netherlands. […]

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Hoi An Etours

by rtcvietnam @ The Responsible Travel Club of Vietnam – RTC

Hoi An Etours HOI AN ETOURS established 18 Febuary, 2016, is a member of EMIC Hospitality. We offer the tailor-made tour services following the responsible tourism principles as we recognize […]

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Good afternoon Vietnam, (Hanoi)

by noreply@blogger.com (9zg8fenf) @ Handspan Vietnam

We touched down in Hanoi, the Capital of Vietnam, mid-afternoon and took the transfer to our hotel in the old district of the city. We ventured out for a quick look around, quickly adopting our Chinese policy of lane-by-lane dodging of cars to dodge the mopeds - then realising that not looking and walking at a steady pace was slightly less alarming. I think the owners of Katie Melua's 9 million bicycles in Beijing have all moved to Hanoi and upgraded to mopeds...On our first night, we walked down to the beautiful lake at the centre of Hanoi and found our way amid the back streets deep into the old quarter and to Ma May Street which was delightful. All the shops/restaurants were refurbished to the traditional tube French Colonial/Vietnamese style houses and we sat on the balcony of one such house for our evening meal - the first meal which can be classed as delicious in over three weeks.The following morning, we went back to the old quarter for breakfast - we took a good walk through all the streets densely packed with people absorbed in their day-to-day business. Each street is named after the products which are/were sold in it - we saw Shoe St, Food St, Bag St, Silk St - there are apparently a total of 36 different streets each named after the products sold. My favourite street is Ma May Street - it is full of wonderful little restaurants and shops with street people selling flowers and fruit from large wicker baskets supported over their seller's shoulder by bamboo. We later walked to Hoan Kiem lake in the park and sat on benches relaxing for a while before heading off to find the Opera House in the French Quarter (with a lot of Art Nouveau style buildings) and then for lunch.In the afternoon we walked to Hoa Lo Prison, Maison Centrale, more famously known as Hanoi Hilton. It is best known as the place where the American POWs were held (incarcerated) during the Vietnam War but was designed by the French to hold the more outspoken/patriotic Vietnamese during their rule of the country. The guillotine was regularly used and heads were put on display to try to dissuade further uprisings. Unbelievably, prisoners were still tortured at this prison until 1969. To top it off, as recently as 1953, over 2,000 prisoners were being held at this prison in a space to fit 500. It was quite alarming.An amusing story we heard whilst inside was about a couple of US Air force officers who were captured and had concocted a story (rather than face torture) about two other members of their squadron who had been court-marshalled for refused to fly US missions against the north. Thrilled with the propaganda, visiting Japanese communists were told this and it filtered back to the US. Unfortunately the officers had named their imaginary pilots as Ben Casey and Clark Kent and when the Vietnamese found out they had been duped, the prisoners were tortured again!We met our new group in the evening - a total of 7 people including us - and went out for another fantastic meal. The group Kitty(NZ), David(NZ), Tracey(CAN), Jenny(US), Paulette(AUS) and our tour leader, another Tracey(AUS) immediately hit it off - we have been so fortunate with both groups.The following morning, we travelled northeast to Halong Bay. Arriving at the port around mid-day, we set off immediately and had a fantastic seafood lunch on the boat (a mix of a junk and a pirate ship!) We cruised along passed beautiful karst peaks in the water which with the misty sky made for some fantastic views although not such great photographs. We sailed through communities living on the water and visited some amazing caves resembling lunar landscapes - then on the way back stopped for a little swim, arriving back at the harbour early evening. We dined at a small local restaurant and had a brief look around the market before heading to bed.The following morning, the bus took us back to Hanoi and we decided to head to the Military museum to have a look at the old US aeroplanes and helicopters. Mark became terribly excited when he spotted a Huey and so we spent a while taking photographs before heading back to the hotel in preparation for our overnight train to Hue.NB: One of the girls on our new tour was supposed to be travelling with a friend through Vietnam but unfortunately her friend was in an awful mini-bus crash (killing 3 people) whilst on the road (the same route as us) to the The Great Wall of China.

Stories from Hanoi

by noreply@blogger.com (r4v9y3rp) @ Handspan Tours, Vietnam

As with Laos, Vietnam has a history of French colonialism that is strongly reflected in its current culture. European style buildings are filled with Vietnamese musical instruments for sale, old men wear berets and again, baguettes and pastries are available everywhere. What I was surprised to see was the influence of Chinese culture on Vietnam's northern capital, though in hindsight, it makes perfect sense.We could immediately see the difference from Thailand and Laos. The plump, jolly Chinese Buddha had replaced the reverent (and thin) Thai and Laotian Buddha images. Chinese-style, red pagodas were common and Confucian philosophy had been taught and is still revered at the ancient University.Religion does not seem to play nearly as large of a role in Hanoi as in Thailand and Laos, which are packed with Buddhist temples, monks and family shrines. Though many Vietnamese practice various forms of Buddhism, we did not see any monks. I'm not sure if this has anything to do with religious suppression by Communist rule, or that Confucian and Taoist theology are also very prevalent in Vietnam.Most of the buildings in Hanoi are tall, deep and thin, multiple-storied (usually 3-5), concrete structures. Picture a flat, anorexic, communist San Francisco on speed. They are ornately decorated on the front, but have starkly bare, unpainted side walls. No need to waste paint! Another traveller told us that property is leased from the government for 99 years before it must be returned. Families pay higher rent for the first story of the building than the rest and as a result of this, many open shops on the first floor to help cover the costs. The families usually reside in the upper stories of the building, or in the case of hotels, sometimes on the roofs, which are decorated with hanging laundry drying in the sun. The Vietnamese are very family oriented and often times one home will be packed with many related family units. I'm not sure how deep many of the buildings go. Occasionally, we catch glimpses of dark hallways between structures resembling deep tunnels, often, motorbikes are parked near the end. We haven't figured out if they ever open into courtyards.The sidewalks and streets in front of Hanoi's homes seem to carry the most important social activities. Before meals, mothers will set up their temporary propane or pressed charcoal stoves on the sidewalk, shield them from the wind with a metal pipe, and set their pot or frying pan on top. Other family members bust out plastic child-sized chairs and take a seat nearby. Dad puffs on his smokes or tobacco fed bamboo-bong, while sister gets busy chopping up fish or pork on a thick, wooden block and scrapes the scraps with his knife into the gutter nearby. Numerous dishes are prepared including mustard greens, fried tofu, pig, fish, other misc. meaty unmentionables, things that look like larvae, steamed bean sprouts, potatoes, etc. Each person dishes rice into their small bowl and communally shares the rest of the dishes. Using their chopsticks they grab mouthfuls of the side dishes then follow each bite with another of rice. One would normally associate cooking and eating on the street with poverty, but you would be pressed to find an unkempt, dirty individual sit down to these meals. I believe it is more of a cultural norm. More than anywhere else I have been, life here for everyone is literally lived on the streets (with no bad connotation).As for the scraps of pig in the gutter, don't worry, every morning, residents sweep the sidewalks in front of their homes, creating little garbage piles on the streets. City workers then come by to pick up the trash. As you can reason, this practice of casually tossing garbage can turn into a major problem outside the bounds of these regimented disposal collection programs.Because everyone is hanging out on the sidewalks and any remaining space is filled with vendors and parked scooters, pedestrians are forced onto the street. In Hanoi for newcomers this can be particularly harrowing. Many streets are small, luxury vehicles, thousands of motorbikes, bicycles and conical-capped women balancing produce-filled baskets from sticks on their shoulders all try to navigate the same paths. Now throw in some plump, fumbling tourists to disrupt the delicate balance and it becomes comical madness!Though people in general are not as openly warm and welcoming to foreigners here in Hanoi (maybe its the classic city brush-off?), we a little effort we were able to break through some of the tourist barriers. What we were very impressed with people's open affection towards one another. Old friends, both male and females commonly strolled with their arms linked or draped over eachother's shoulders and everyone joked and laughed with eachother.It has been an amazing experience to get an inside look (though brief) at such a culturally rich, historically tragic and tight-knit city. Unfortunately, we were unable to experience more on this trip, but we will definitely have much to bring home with us.

Our Three-Day Tour

by noreply@blogger.com (9zg8fenf) @ Handspan Vietnam

Upon arrival at our hotel in Hanoi (Vinh Quanh) we were immediately questioned about tours. We knew we wanted to visit Halong Bay and had been told and read that a tour from Hanoi was the most economical way to go. "Go now, weather is good" they said, which we also knew as we had been watching the weather keenly for the past week. Our hotel also told us that we could lock up our stuff while we were at Halong, "lockers in back, no problem," which would be great. Thinking we were now savvy to the game we declined this initial offer and went around town checking prices and asking questions. We got our low bids and went back to our hotel to see if they would match it. After a "serious" bargaining session, we got our 3 day small group tour, with kayaking and one night on the boat for $38, down from $45. With low expectations but a good price, we were satisfied with our dealings and excited to get out on the water.The morning of our trip we went down to the lobby to lock up our stuff and low and behold they didn't actually have the keys to open the lockers. But we were told we could leave our stuff in the back room. The back room was scattered with other travellers bags and two beds for the hotel workers. Seemed sketchy, but what most others were doing and the people at the hotel were very nice. Kelley said forget it and brought all of her things with her on the trip and I took out the important items from my bag and left a bit of clothes and a rain jacket. The whole situation was quite disappointing due to the fact that this was the reason to book the tour from our hotel. Anyway, our van showed up and we were carted off around town picking up our fellow travellers.The Old Quarter of Hanoi was very interesting in the fact that it seemed to get things going very late as compared to the other places we had been. At 7:30am, the relatively few vehicles in the streets were dominated by white and silver mini buses picking up people to cart them off to their varied destinations. Shops were still mostly closed up and it was even difficult to find food. Quite different than the streets of Lao and Thailand.The 3.5 hour drive form Hanoi to Halong was fine, we stopped for lunch then boarded our "Junk." The Junk, as with 95% of the boats in the bay, were more like ferries with little decorative sails. And that was if they were even to put the sails up, which none bothered.Unlike the "sailing," the bay itself was spectacular! Steep, pitted limestone islands covered with tangles of lush forest vegetation. The distant views were reminiscent of jagged mountain peaks in the Sierras, though they were surrounded by water. We motored through the bay islands, checked out some caves (more like Disneyland than natural caves, but they did have amazing formations), and were dropped off at a floating village to wait for our sleeping vessel. Twenty minutes later a much nicer boat showed up and we joined a new group of people for the evening. We cruised to a beautiful cove and anchored there for the night. The evening was great and we woke the next morning to sunrise on the water and another beautiful day.We came to port on Cat Ba Island and did a bit of hiking up to a peak and clambered up a rickety old tower for a great view. Once to Cat Ba town we started to realize our plight when the tour guide split us off from the group at lunch. We were told that we would be eating at a different restaurant for lunch and would stay at a different hotel than the rest of the group. We would also be having "free time" while the rest of the group went kayaking. It turned out, after persistently asking our guide, that our hotel actually booked us for a completely different, inferior tour and overcharged us for it as well!Lesson numbers 23, 24 and 25:Don't bargain for services, the people selling them to you are smarter than you are and you do not speak their native language; make a copy of your receipt as the tour company will take it from you when you get on the bus; and finally, go over your itinerary with your tour guide and travel agent before you leave, this is difficult to do, but if you don't you will probably get screwed at some point (ask almost anyone) and it is easy for them to pass blame on each other.So, we took the low budget meals and hotel in stride, that is what we had been doing anyway. We did however, (along with the help of the rest of the people on our trip) force the tour company to take us kayaking, which was great. We also got to stop at some devil monkey island that was nice, but the aggressive, tourist-trained monkeys were far from an appealing sight (the guide had gotten bitten the week before chasing a monkey off a stupid woman with cookies strapped to her back). We called our hotel back in Hanoi to let them know that we were upset that they had screwed us, only to have them hang up once they realized we were mad.The next day we split off from our tour and it was fantastic! We got the most beautiful room we have had over our entire trip, met some great local people (read Unlikely Teachers journal entry) and had some great food! We joined our group the next morning back to Hanoi on the "crappy bus" and with the "cheap food" and with a little forceful instance, they dropped us off grudgingly at our hotel.The throw down at the hotel also proved a mixed bag. We did get some money back our our tour "mistake" but, after 20 intense minutes of searching for my bag, I found it under the slats of a bed in the back room with two shirts missing. The hotel blamed the theft on other travellers, of course! We left them with heaps of bad karma and told everyone in the hotel not to book trips or store bags. They were pretty mad as well and we were happy to leave.We found a great hotel a few blocks away with a comedic employee who frantically yelled "Chicken Flu" everytime he sneezed. It was hilarious and a much needed break from our earlier stresses of the day.The next day we tooled around Hanoi trying to figure out trip planning. Everyone we talked to said southern Vietnam was pissin' rain and thus literally, no one had had a good time. We decided to bag the bad weather of Southern Vietnam and booked a cheap flight back to Bangkok for the next day! Sad to leave Vietnam after such a short time, but we couldn't justify heading into bad weather in hopes of a lucky break. We flew back to Bangkok on the 22nd of December with little idea on where to head from there.

Cuc Phuong National Park- full day, Vietnam tours

by noreply@blogger.com (r4v9y3rp) @ Handspan Tours, Vietnam

Cucphuong Tour, Cuc Phuong bird watching, National Park in Ninh Binh, plants & mammals: Cuc Phuong National Park is located 100km south of Hanoi in Ninh Binh province. The park is conveniently located on the route to several tourist attractions, including Bich Dong Pagoda, Hoa Lu, and Sam Son Beach. It was officially opened in 1960 as the first national park in Vietnam. Cuc Phuong National Park is surrounded by several limestone cliffs, the highest being May Bac, meaning "silver cloud," with a height of 656m. There are plenty of plants and mammals living in the park. There are an estimated 2,000 different species of flora and the 450 species fauna account for 38% of the national fauna.Includes: transport, guide, lunch, entrance feeITINERARY:AM : 7h00 depart to Ninh Binh .Arrive Cucphuong , 10h30 Visit the Endangered Primate Rescue Centre .Lunch.PM : 1h00 Depart to the Park Centre, on the way visit the "Cave of Early Man" ( had over 7000 year) , on the way admire the primary forest with "1000 year Old Tree",Low Season (5th May - 31st August)Size of Group 1 2 3 4 - 5 6 - 7 8 pax upCost/pax (USD) 150 125 90 75 60 55High Season (1st Sep - 4th May)Size of Group 1 2 3 4 - 5 6 - 7 8 pax upCost/pax (USD) 165 137 99 83 66 60 Tour type: PrivateDeparture: Every dayInclusive: Transportation (private car/mini van), Entrance fees, Speaking guide (English or French), LunchExclusive: Drinks, Insurance, Personal expenses, Tips

Guide to Halong Bay Cruises in Vietnam Plus Our Cruise with The Au Co - Independent Travel Cats

Guide to Halong Bay Cruises in Vietnam Plus Our Cruise with The Au Co - Independent Travel Cats


Independent Travel Cats

Halong Bay is considered one of the most beautiful natural landscapes in Vietnam, and a Halong Bay cruise is a must-do on many travelers' lists. Imagine an emerald bay peppered with about 2,000 tiny vegetation-topped islands which feature numerous caves, lagoons, coves, and coral reefs. This breathtaking UNESCO heritage site has recently received the honor of being named one of the New Seven Natural Wonders of the world and is not surprisingly one of the most popular attractions in Vietnam. Most visitors need little convincing to visit, but the array of cruise options can be daunting as hundreds of boats ply across the waters of Halong Bay each day. Cruises range widely in price and companies offer a variety of cruise lengths, itineraries, amenities, and activities. We'll share our tips on how to choose a Halong Bay cruise, answer common questions about Halong Bay cruises, and review our own recent Halong Bay cruise with The Au Co.

Vietnam Travel Directory

by noreply@blogger.com (9zg8fenf) @ Handspan Vietnam

Vietnam travel directory, provides you Vietnam travel links, hotels Directory, directory listings, add travel url,Vietnam Travel index, Vietnam Travel agents, Vietnam Tour operators ... Vietnam Hotel Guide, Vietnam Hotel Directory, Vietnam Hotel BookingVietnam Hotel
Vietnam Travel Directory Vietnam Travel, Vietnam Hotels, Vietnam Holiday, Vietnam Tours, Vietnam Vacation - Find ... Submit your site on Our Travel Directory for free
Travel Directory

Indochina Junk

by rtcvietnam @ The Responsible Travel Club of Vietnam – RTC

Indochina Junk   Since its establishment, Indochina Junk, has identified and developed a sustainable business associated with environmental protection and local community development. Being the top rated cruise company in […]

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Countdown to Vietnam: 15 days to go!

by Una-Minh @ Before My Mam Dies

Holy banana boats, the deadline is looming. This year I bought airline tickets for myself and Mom to go to Vietnam. This will be her fifth and my fourth time back and we’ve been slowly planning our trip for the past few months. You can read about last year’s trip here. Admittedly we’ve both been […]

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A visit to Surinam in 2018

by Elisabeth54 @ Fodor's Forum

Hello Fodorites, This year I plan a trip to Suriname, the small country at the northern shores of the South American continent. I am busy figuring...

Cycling Vietnam Team

by Sinh Le @ Cycling VietNam | Active Travel, Bike Tours VietNam, Laos and Cambodia

Every year, we organise a meeting day for all Cycling Vietnam team. All drivers and tour guides will have a fun ride together outside Ho Chi Minh city. We have fun race, exchange experienced about daily work and also have a mechanical training for bike fixing. See below a clip of our annual fun race...

The post Cycling Vietnam Team appeared first on Cycling VietNam | Active Travel, Bike Tours VietNam, Laos and Cambodia.

Massage and Spa

by admin @ Hanoi La Suite hotel & Spa

In the frenetic and hectic city of Hanoi a haven of peace and quiet awaits you. Located in the heart of the Old Quarter, it is near popular other attractions. La Suite Spa will introduce you to a different side of Vietnam and we assure you that you will not be disappointed. As a professional spa in Hanoi, we have a wide range of massages and spa body treatments each as enjoyable as the next.

The post Massage and Spa appeared first on Hanoi La Suite hotel & Spa.

the best bai tu long bay cruise in Vietnam

the best bai tu long bay cruise in Vietnam


HikeUpYourSkirt

Are you stressing over knowing which is the best Bai Tu Long Bay cruise in Vietnam's Ha Long Bay? Don't worry - I spent weeks researching all of them and figured it out. Here's the best one for adventurous types! And, no this isn't a sponsored or advertising post!)

The March To Ho Chi Minh

by noreply@blogger.com (9zg8fenf) @ Handspan Vietnam

This bus ride then, was a monster. Hoi An straight through to Ho Chi Minh, 25 hours, a new record...Fortunately sleeping wasn't a problem for me at this time as my health was still very mediocre at best. The prospect of 25 hours on a bus though, was rather demoralising and I needed help. It promptly arrived in the form of a weathered old man who walked down the aisle as if he'd just seen off both the French and the Americans single handed, and was now heading home for a brew. He saw the empty seat next to me and marched over. Giving me a stern and purposeful stare, he sat down and shook my hand. He knew what lay ahead and proceeded to give me a reassuring pat on the thigh as if to say "don't worry son, i'm here now, it'll all be ok". He didn't speak any English but immediately I felt better and was ready to take on the 25 hour marathon. Nothing could shake him, and he was on my side, there was nothing to worry about.With 24 hours and 50 minutes still to go then, he cracked. Barking orders down the bus he turned to me again, his face still solemn and serious. He shook my hand a second time, stood up and instructed a young local girl to take his place whilst he strode off down the aisle, presumably to sit somewhere else. This was a blow, particularly as in what appears to be a very Vietnamese trait, the local girl then fell asleep on me... Only one man could get me through this ordeal now - I sat back, closed my eyes, and listened to the wise words of the great John Denver for as long as the battery would last.25 hours later, via Mue Nui and Natrang, we crawled into Ho Chi Minh, tired and rather sick of buses. The big city straight after Hoi An was all a bit much for me in my fragile state, and although I liked the gritty, busy and French colonial feel, I was happy to stay just a couple of days before moving on again. After browsing another art gallery, I strolled around the Reunification Palace where the first North Vietnamese tanks headed to end the Vietnam War. A rather strange decor for a palace, it seemed more like the set from a 70's sit-com, although I was very pleased to find a copy of The Sports Almanac 1965 still on the shelf. The amusement I felt at the palace quickly vanished at the excellent, graphic, sobering and shocking War Museum, definitely worth a look for the many tragic tales and pictures of war time anguish which continue to this day.Tired and in dire need of a beach to relax on, I had at least made it down Vietnam with enough time to enjoy Cambodia and still make it to Malaysia, although southern Thailand would have to be sacrificed. This seemed a good plan as I thought it through over a drink with new friends Julie from Belgium, and Pete The Irish Drunk. Partying in Southern Thailand would be a bad idea given my woeful state of health, and certainly didn't appeal I decided, as I finished my second bottle of wine... Suddenly it was 5:30am, I'd accidently got hammered and my bus to Cambodia left in only 3 hours. Pleasant company, but a bad move, a very bad move...

Shopping in Vietnam

by noreply@blogger.com (9zg8fenf) @ Handspan Vietnam

Vietnam has some fantastic shopping opportunities, so it’s well worth setting aside half a day or so to properly peruse. Hotspots include Hanoi, Hoi An and Ho Chi Minh City, each of which has a temping selection of everything from avant-garde art to sumptuous silk suits.
Some of the best buys are as following:
Vietnamese Art & AntiquesThere are several shops to hunt for art and antiques. Both traditional and modern paintings are a popular item. More sophisticated works are displayed in art galleries, while cheaper mass-produced stuff is touted in souvenir shops and by street vendors. A Vietnamese speciality is the “instant antique”, such as a teapot or ceramic dinner plate, with a price tag of around US$2.
As Vietnam has strict regulations on the export of real antiques, be sure the items are allowed out of the country. Most reputable shops can provide the necessary paperwork.
Vietnamese ClothingVietnam is emerging as a regional design center and there are some extravagant creations in the boutiques of Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.
Ao dai, the national dress for Vietnamese women, is a popular item to take home. Ready-made ao dai costs from US$ 10 to US$20, but custom numbers can cost a lot more. There are ao dai tailors nationwide, but those in the tourists centers are more familiar with foreigners.
Hill-tribe gear is winding its way to shops in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. It’s brightly patterned stuff, but you may need to set the dyes yourself so those colours don’t bleed all over the rest of your clothes.
T-shirts are ever popular items with travellers, cost from US$1 to US$4.
Non (conical hats) are favorite items for women in both rainy and sunny times. The best quality ones can be found in the Hue’s area.
Vietnamese HandicraftsHot items on the tourist market include lacquerware, boxes and wooden screens with mother-of-pearl inlay, ceramics, colourful embroidery, silk greeting cards, wood-block prints, oil paintings, watercolours, blinds made of hanging bamboo beads, reed mats, carpets, jewellery and leatherwork.
War SouvenirsIt’s easy to by what looks like equipment left over from the American War, but almost all of these items are reproductions and your chances of finding anything original are slim. The fake Zippo lighters engraved with platoon philosophy are still one of the hottest-selling items.
TIP: BargainingBargaining should be good-natured, smile and don’t get angry or argue. Once the money is accepted, the deal is done. Remember that in Asia, “saving face” is very important. In some cases you will be able to get a 50% discount or more, at other times this may only be 10%.

Vietnam Travel Directory

by noreply@blogger.com (9zg8fenf) @ Handspan Vietnam

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Eyemasks, Leg rests, Moneybags: 9 things we’re bringing to Vietnam

by Una-Minh @ Before My Mam Dies

The deadline LOOMS. As I’m writing this I’m sitting on my bed with my suitcase close by. It’s packed with light clothes and other essentials but some of the most important things are going into my backpack. Over the years, we’ve picked up quite a few bits and bobs and tend to tweak each backpack […]

The post Eyemasks, Leg rests, Moneybags: 9 things we’re bringing to Vietnam appeared first on Before My Mam Dies.

Seven reasons to book a tour in 2018’s top travel destination: Israel

by suzie@hikeupyourskirt.org @ HikeUpYourSkirt

Anyone who reads this site or follows me on Instagram knows I’m not very religious – I put more eggs in the science basket than anything else. But I also LOVE history and the connection between the past and modern society, which is why Israel is such an appealing travel destination for me. It’s popped up on all kinds of...

The post Seven reasons to book a tour in 2018’s top travel destination: Israel appeared first on HikeUpYourSkirt.

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by noreply@blogger.com (Travel Guide to Vietnam,Vietnam Travel Guide,Vietnam Travel information,Vietnam Travel Company,Vietnam hotels and Tours) @ Handspan Vietnam,Handspan Company Tour Vietnam

www.VietnamTripAdvisor.com
Our Mission: Focusing on foreign tourists, Handspan Adventure Travel’s professional staff and friendly working environment combine to provide customers with safe, high quality, diverse, small group adventure tours to popular and isolated locations in Viet Nam.

Handspan Adventure Travel believes in and practices responsible, sustainable tourism that respects traditional cultures, supports local economies and protects the environment


In 1997, three university grads from Ha Noi with a passion for travel and adventure set out to realize a dream, to establish an adventure travel company offering unique and exciting tours while maintaining the natural and human resources of their incredible country.
Since then, the Handspan Family has grown to over 70 dedicated people, all working towards the common goal of delivering highly organized, educational and adventurous tours through quality customer service and environmentally sensitive operations. We've proudly built our success and earned our solid reputation through responsible travel, maintaining small groups and exploring new destinations off the tourist path.



Our team of enthusiastic, experienced guides, all have a university education in tourism, speak fluent English and always bring with them their wealth of knowledge and sense of humour to make sure your time with us is unforgettable.

ISO 9001:2000 Quality Management System. On July 15th, 2005, Handspan Adventure Travel became the first travel company in Viet Nam to become ISO 9001:2000 Quality Management Systems certified.

· The ISO 9001:2000 standard requires that processes that affect product and service quality are planned, and then approved by the appropriate managers and department in the company.

What ISO 9001:2000 means to you, our valued customer. By implementing a Quality Management System, we have set in place policies and procedures that enable us to continuously improve the company by increasing efficiency, product quality, service quality, safety and environmental protection to gain the trust and appreciation of our customers.


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He for she event

by rtcvietnam @ The Responsible Travel Club of Vietnam – RTC

   

The post He for she event appeared first on The Responsible Travel Club of Vietnam - RTC.

Nguyen Thi Lan Chi – Coordinator

by rtcvietnam @ The Responsible Travel Club of Vietnam – RTC

Position at RTC: Coordinator | Since: 2010 – 8/2015 Name in full: Nguyen Thi Lan Chi | Contact: nguyenchi2812@gmail.com With a passion for discovering new destinations, cultures, and sharing experiences, I found myself choosing tourism as my career. […]

The post Nguyen Thi Lan Chi – Coordinator appeared first on The Responsible Travel Club of Vietnam - RTC.

Vietnam Travel Directory

by noreply@blogger.com (r4v9y3rp) @ Handspan Tours, Vietnam

Vietnam travel directory, provides you Vietnam travel links, hotels Directory, directory listings, add travel url,Vietnam Travel index, Vietnam Travel agents, Vietnam Tour operators ... Vietnam Hotel Guide, Vietnam Hotel Directory, Vietnam Hotel BookingVietnam Hotel
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Handspan Or Ocean Tours For 2 Day Tour Of Ha Long Bay? | Vietnam travel forum

Handspan Or Ocean Tours For 2 Day Tour Of Ha Long Bay? | Vietnam travel forum


Travelfish

Am trying to decide between 2 tours (2 days/1 night): One offered by Handspan -and one by Ocean Tour... : Travelfish Vietnam travel forum

Check-in 4 Saigon plazas to have nice pictures in Christmas

by Ha Nguyễn @ Vietnam Travel Guide

In addition to the churches, the plazas insaigon also have a great decoration in Christmas. Let’s check in these places to have beautiful photos right now.

The post Check-in 4 Saigon plazas to have nice pictures in Christmas appeared first on Vietnam Travel Guide.

Betel Tours

by rtcvietnam @ The Responsible Travel Club of Vietnam – RTC

Betel Tours Beteltours is a travel agency founded and inspired by known professionals of the tourist trade, whose passion is to guide you through the beauty and treasures of a […]

The post Betel Tours appeared first on The Responsible Travel Club of Vietnam - RTC.

Halong Bay: When Tourism Goes Wrong – Wild Junket Adventure Travel Blog

Halong Bay: When Tourism Goes Wrong – Wild Junket Adventure Travel Blog


Wild Junket Adventure Travel Blog

As beautiful as it is, Halong Bay is facing severe environmental issues due to over-tourism. Here's a look at why you should avoid this area.

Travel Information of Vietnam

by noreply@blogger.com (r4v9y3rp) @ Handspan Tours, Vietnam

1. GENERAL INFORMATION
Vietnam borders with China in the north, Laos and Kampuchea in the West, and the Pacific Ocean in the east. Its lies in the centre of South-East Asia. Vietnam's territory stretches from Lung Cu village (Ha Tuyen province) in the north to Rach Tau hamlet (Minh Hai province) in the south. It is a S-shaped pennisula, with thousands of off-shore islands and archipelagoes; the biggest of which are the Hoang SA (Paracel) and Truong Sa (Spratly) Archipelagoes. Vietnam's mainland covers 331,689 square kilometres .
According to archaeological discoveries made at Do Mountain, it is believed that life in Vietnam began as far back as 300,000 years ago. Officially, the history of Vietnam stretches back 4,000 years when it was founded by the Hung Kings. It was then named Van Lang.
When speaking upon the history of Vietnam, it is important to note the large role played by the French in Vietnam. It began in 1858, when the French took over Danang in southern Vietnam. Over time, more and more territory was won over by the French. It wasn't until 1954, when the French surrendered to to the Viet Minh, ending the French Indochina War, that the French colonial control in Vietnam ended.
The immediate image in the minds of most people at the mention of Vietnam is that of the war fought against the United States some twenty years ago. Most people think of the country only in terms of the American conflict in Indochina. The war ended nearly twenty years ago, and today, despite lingering signs of past American involvement, the situation in Vietnam is markedly different. People have finally begun to look at the country from another perspective, now that travelers and tourists from the West are being welcomed into what was once a forbidden country. It may take a bit more effort and tenacity to plan an excursion into Vietnam than it would for another Southeast Asian country, but Vietnam has much to offer in terms of culture and sights.
Top
2. WEATHER CONDITIONS
The weather in the southern part of Vietnam is tropical. It is monsoonal in the north, bringing a hot, rainy season from mid-May to mid-September and a warm, dry season from mid-October to mid-March. Occasional typhoons from May to January bring extensive flooding to the middle regions of Vietnam.
Top3. PEOPLE AND CULTURE
The vast majority of the population is Vietnamese with minute percentages of Chinese. The Viet culture originated on the delta of the Red River and the Ma River where the Viet people cultivated paddy fields. They led a simple farming life in small villages, usually living around a communal house. Today the people living in the countryside follow this lifestyle. The Viet people are influenced by Confucianism, in particular the principle of respect for their elders.
In spite of the immense suffering of the Vietnamese and the somewhat ruined state of the country, they are generally warm and friendly, and surprisingly, the Vietnamese bear little if any resentment or bitterness toward Americans. Children in the streets will commonly greet visitors with the name Lien Xo, which means Russian, but they will easily be corrected if you respond, "Hello!" or "Good morning" and explain you are an American, European or Australian, etc.
Ethnic Groups: The country is predominantly 85-90% Vietnamese, 3% Chinese, ethnic minorities include Muong, Thai, Meo, Khmer, Man, Cham, and other mountain tribes.
Languages: Vietnamese is the official language; French, Chinese, English, Khmer and tribal dialects (Mon-Khmer and Malayo-Polynesian) are also spoken.
Religion: Buddhist, Confucian, Taoist, Roman Catholic, indigenous beliefs, Islamic and Protestant.
Top4. LOCAL CUSTOMS
Be firm, yet diplomatic when dealing with officials who will often be very rigid. In the case of misunderstanding, patience is the best policy.
Small gifts such as cigarette lighters, pens, foreign cigarettes, liquor, perfume and even shampoo are greatly appreciated by anyone you wish to make friends with in Vietnam.
Out of politeness, always ask permission before taking photos of people. The same rule of thumb also applies to photos taken in places of worship. Permission will almost always be granted.
A gentle handshake is the most appropriate manner of greeting.
Be very discrete about giving anything to beggars frequently encountered in Ho Chi Minh City. If anyone is seen giving handouts to a beggar, he or she may end up being pursued by a mob of other beggars. This does not help create a good image for foreigners; it gives them instead the reputation of being easy to hit up for money.
Beware of pickpockets. Keep your ID and passport in a safe place and carry only photocopies of those items.
Remove your shoes before entering Buddhist pagodas. Small donations placed in the boxes found in temples are appreciated. It is acceptable to keep your shoes on within Chinese pagodas.
Never let the soles of your feet face other people or any sacred monument, such as a statue of Buddha.
Top5. CURRENCY
The Dong (D) is the official currency in Vietnam. Exchange rate is approximatley 1 USD = 15,000 Dong (Sep 01)
Bank notes currently in circulation are in denominations of 100 / 200 / 500 / 1,000 / 2,000 / 5,000 / 10,000 / 20,000 and 50,000 Dong
Notes under 200 Dong have little value and are rarely used.
The U.S. dollar is more or less a second currency in Vietnam. Other foreign currencies are not readily accepted. A large supply of US$1, US$5 and US$10 are almost essential for tipping, for small expenses and for hotel bills. U.S. money is so common that change will frequently be given in dollars.
You may bring in an unlimited amount of foreign currency as long as it is declared on the forms provided by customs officers. Foreign currency can be exchanged for dong at your hotel or at the State Bank of Vietnam.
Top6. THINGS TO KNOW
Population: About 78 Million People Capital: Hanoi Flag: The flag of Vietman is red with a large yellow five-pointed star in the center. Shop Hours: Shops run from 7 or 8am to 11 or 11:30pm. Some are open from 1 or 2pm to 4 or 5pm. Bank Hours: Most banks are opened from 7am or 8am to 11am or 11:30am Some are open from 1pm or 2pm to 4pm or 5pm. Holidays January 1 Solar New Year's Day January/February Tet (Tet Nguyen Dan). The most important Vietnamese annual festival. This marks the new lunar year and the advent of spring. This is a three-day holiday, usually at the end of January or the beginning of February (according to the solar calendar) February 3 Anniversary of the Foundation of the Communist Party of Vietnam April 30 Liberation Day, the day on which Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City) fell to Hanoi in 1975. This holiday is commemorated nationwide. May 1 Labour Day May 19 Birthday of President Ho Chi Minh September 2 National Day of Vietnam
Time: +7:00, Vietnam is 11 hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time and 14 hours ahead of Pacific Standard Time.
Tipping: Tipping is not customary in Vietnam, but it is enormously appreciated. A 5-10% tip for a meal is a very small amount of money, but to the average Vietnamese, it could easily equal a day's wages. Avoid tipping too much, as it will set a precedent for others.
Restaurants: Government-run restaurants catering to tourists add a 10% service charge to the bill.
Porters: Porters, if they are available, can be tipped with American coins.
Hotel maids: Government-run hotels catering to tourists charge an automatic 10% service fee.
Taxis: Generous tips are not necessary. A small gratuity, however, is expected by cab drivers.
Top7. VISAS AND PASSPORT
Passports and visas are required for entry into Vietnam. The best place to obtain a visa for Vietnam is Bangkok. The visa will specify where you will be arriving and where you will be leaving, in addition to how long you can stay.
Formerly, tours had to be booked to obtain a visa, but this is no longer the situation. Potential visitors to Vietnam must fill out three applications for entry and exit visas, accompanied by three passport photos 4cm x 6cm. One of the applications must be sent to the most convenient diplomatic or consular mission of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam. The other two applications/photos are carried with you and handed in at the first point of entry.
If you require Asia Travel to assist you in the application, please send an email with the following information to:asiatrav@asiatravel.com:
Surname and first name Date and place of birth Nationality Present place of residence Profession Time and point of entry and exit
Some Embassies of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam:
Australia 6 Timbarra Crescent O'Malley ACT 2603 Tel (062) 866059
France 62, rue Boileau 75016 Paris Tel 4524-5063 or 4527-6255
Mexico Sierra Ventana 255 11000 Mexico, DF Tel 540-1612
Thailand 83/1 Wireless Road Bankok Tel (02) 251-7201
United Kingdom 12-14 Victoria Road London W8 5RD Tel 937-1912
Top8. CUSTOMS REGULATIONS
Duty-Free Items Visitors may import 200 cigarettes, 50 cigars or 250g of tobacco, 1 liter of wine, 1 liter of liquor and an unlimited amount of film. Commercial goods and items of high value being taken out of Vietnam require export permits from the Customs Service. Antiques may be confiscated permanently. No local currency may be taken out of the country.
The Customs Service Headquarters 21 Ton Duc Thang St. Ho Chi Minh City Tel 90095
Top9. TRAVEL TO THE COUNTRY
Airports Noi Bai International Airport Hanoi Tan Son Nhat Airport Ho Chi Minh City Fares are significantly lower for those flying to Ho Chi Minh City. Although flights are available from the capitals of most Southeast Asian countries as well as from Sydney and Melbourne, the best place is from Bangkok as visas are easiest to obtain there.
Airlines Vietnam Airlines (International) 116-118 Nguyen Hue Blvd. Ho Chi Minh City Tel (08) 292118 Vietnam Airlines (Domestic) 27b Nguyen Dinh Chieu St. Ho Chi Minh City Tel (08) 299980 Air France Dong Khoi and Le Loi St. (Caravelle Hotel) Ho Chi Minh City Tel (08) 241278 Aeroflot 4H Le Loi St. Ho Chi Minh City Tel (08) 93489 Thai Airways 116 Nguyen Hue Blvd. Ho Chi Minh City Tel (08) 292118 Philippine Airlines Ho Chi Minh City Tel (08) 292200 MAS 116 Nguyen Hue Blvd. Ho Chi Minh City Tel (08) 30695
Trains There are currently no train lines running between Vietnam and its neighboring countries.
Buses Traveling by road from Cambodia is a slow and expensive alternative to flying. It is highly advisable that travelers fly in instead.
Ships and Ferries There are no official passenger services. Travelers may be able to ride on a cargo ship to Ho Chi Minh City, Danang or Haiphong from Hong Kong, Japan, Thailand, Singapore and France. Check with the local shipping and travel agencies for rates and availability. A ferry service runs from Cambodia to Chau Doc in the Mekong Delta.
Top10. TRAVEL WITHIN THE COUNTRY
Cars Car rentals are currently not in existence. Cabs, which are unmarked cars without meters, can typically be rented for the day for US$30 to US$40. Trains The Vietnamese railway system runs from Ho Chi Minh City to Hanoi along the coast and links with Haiphong and the regions further north. Odd-numbered trains travel South, and even-numbered trains travel north. The fastest trains take at least 36 hours from Ho Chi Minh City to Hanoi. Reservations should be made a day or more in advance. The major setback to the railways is that tourists are charged many times more than Vietnamese people in the form of an outrageously high surcharge. For long distance traveling, it is best to fly. Buses The bus system runs almost everywhere within the country, with stations built around the country dividing the territory into regions. Buses tend to be slow and unreliable.
Top11. SIGHTSEEING
Ho Chi Minh City This is the largest city in Vietnam. It is the industrial, commercial and cultural center of the country. The central city area is still called Saigon.
WAR CRIME MUSEUM This museum exhibit crimes committed by the Americans during the war. Photographs of the famous My Lai massacre, human embryos, genetically deformed babies and innocent civilians being tortured can be seen on display. An array of US armored vehicles, artillery pieces, bombs and infantry weapons are displayed in the courtyard. You can also see a guillotine used by the French to de itate troublemakers in the riots of the 1920s and a model of the famous tiger cages used by the South Vietnamese to house VC prisoners on Con Son island. The War Crime Museum basically reveals a different side of the stories about wars - the innocent victims of modern warfare. HISTORICAL MUSEUM Built in 1929 by the Societe des Etudes Indochinioses, it was formerly named Blanchard dels Brosse. A big statute of President HoChiMinh stands in the main lounge of the museum. The museum has an excellent collection of artifacts illustrating the primitive age, bronze age, the Tran dynasty and the Le Dynasty. Take a look at the array of musical instrument especially the special monocord of the one string musical instruments. There are many valuable relics taken from Cambodia's Angkor Wat. REUNIFICATION PALACE In 1868, the Norodom Palace (original name) was built for the French Governor-General of Indochina. A striking modern architecture was built when the original buildings were damaged by bombs. Rebuilt in 1962, it comprises of a ground floor, 3 main floors, two mezzanines and a terrace for helicopter landing. The palace includes many tastefully decorated rooms such as the reception room, the cabinet reference room, the study rooms, the credentials presentation room and the banquet room. It also has a basement with a network of tunnels connecting to the telecom centre and war room and one of the longest tunnels which stretch all the way to the Revolutionary Museum. The grounds outside contain one of the first tanks to burst through the gates of the palace to signify the end of the Vietnam War as well as the fighter plane which dropped further bombs towards the end of the war. Independence Palace was renamed the Unification Palace to denote the spirit and strong will for national independence and reunification Ben Thanh Market The Ben Thanh Market, formerly the main railway terminal, is the largest of the markets scattered throughout the city. A wide variety of goods are available, from imported electronics to imported perfumes. Notre Dame Cathedral This Catholic church was constructed in 1883 and is located near the Tu Do (Dong Khoi) Street, the former red-light district. Presidential Palace This building is now called the Reunification Hall. The center was built as a modern administration center and is where the war and the American involvement in Vietnam ended in April 1975, with tanks invading the compound. Guided tours will take visitors through the various rooms within the complex. Cholon Ho Chi Minh City's Chinatown. Sights include the Binh Tay Market, the An Quang Pagoda (District 5) and the scenic Thien Hau Temple. Vinh Nghiem Pagoda A modern Japanese-style Buddhist temple, easily one of the largest and most impressive in Ho Chi Minh City.
Tay Ninh
Cu Chi Tunnels An extensive network of nearly 200 miles (322mi) of Viet Cong tunnels used in the French Indochina war and American war. The tunnels have complete facilities, from kitchens to printing presses and even street signs, all of which were used to aid the NLF (National Liberation Front) military. Tours involve a description of the tunnels, after which tourists are allowed to crawl about the maze. Located in Tay Ninh (suburb of Ho Chi Minh City), 24 miles (39km) northwest of central Ho Chi Minh City. CAO DAI TEMPLE Cao Daism seeks to create the ultimate religion by fusing Buddhist, Taoist, Confucianist and Catholic beliefs into a synthesis of its own. Witness the solemn ceremony of the unique religion - Caodaism at Caodai Holly See at its noon tide prayer service with followers dressed in red, blue, yellow and white robes. There is the divine eye above the altar, the religion's official symbol. The temple has nine levels which signify the nine steps to heaven, each level marked by a pair of multicoloured dragons.
MEKONG DELTA One of the world's largest delta, the Delta Region is formed by the various tributaries of the mighty Mekong River which begins its journey to the sea in Tibet and winds its way for 4500 km through China, Burma, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and Southern Vietnam. The vietnamese name for the Mekong is Cuu Long which means "nine dragons" and this is represented by the nine exit points of the Mekong River as it flows into the sea. The land of the Mekong Delta is renowned for its richness. Known as Vietnam's breadbasket, it produces enough rice to feed the entire country with a sizeable surplus leftover. Take a sampan ride that meanders through small villages and experience the simple lives of the Mekong people
Vung Tau Beach Located at the mouth of the Saigon River is the popular Vung Tau beach resort. Pineapple Beach is probably the most pleasant, with its villas and generally tranquil atmosphere. The temples are a definite must-see. The Niet Ban Tinh Xa is the largest temple in Vietnam. Tourist accommodations are available at the Hoa Binh Hotel, as well as the Thang Loi, Thang Thai and Tho Nguyet.
Nha Trang The central region near Nha Trang features some of the most beautiful beaches in Asia. The ocean waters are transparent, and the sands immaculate, attracting more and more visitors in recent times. Tours cover the Cham Ponagar complex, the north tower of which was built in 817 A.D. Ruins of the long-deceased Champa still stand as a testament to this once prominent kingdom.
Dalat The mountain resort among the Central Highlands has scenic surroundings as well as remnants of the French colonial era. The Ethnic Minority Museum is certainly worth visiting for those interested in the costumes, gongs, ornaments and other artifacts collected by locals from the Lam Dong province. As another point of interest, there is even an old abandoned nuclear power plant.
Danang City Known as Tourane under the French, Danang is a seaport of endless stretches of unspoiled sandy beach midway between Ha Noi to the north and Ho Chi Minh City to the South. The city was also the center of civilization of the Champa Kingdom, a kingdom which flourished In the area as early as the 2nd century A.D. Appealing stone sculptures (from the 4th-14th centuries) of Vishnu , Shiva and other Gods of this Kingdom can still be found in the Cham museum located in the center of the city Towards the coast south of Danang are five large hills known as the Marble Mountain. Mysterious caves within the mountains shelter altars delicated to Buddha, Bodhisattvas and The different genies arising from the popular beliefs of the area's inhabitants. With its own international and domestic airport, Danang provides an ideal stopover based for excursions to the ancient town of Hoi An, the imperial city of Hue and My Son-site of the Ruins from the Cham civilization.
Cham Ruins For those interested in seeing all that these fifteen towers have to offer, plan on spending a minimum of one day. These towers are located at My Son in the Duy Xuyen district. Cham Museum The Cham Museum built in 1915, expanded in 1935 , completed in 1936, is in a lovely setting And has large, open well lighted rooms with around 296 statues and artifacts of the Cham People dated back to the 7th century. Marble Mountains Consisting of five limestone peaks, about five (8km) miles south of town. They can be explored by following the paths leading to the peaks. Non Nuoc Beach China Beach, one the most wonderful beaches of Vietnam , was once an in country rest and Recreation centre for the US military during the Vietnam War.
Hoi An Ancient Town Forty-five minutes by land south-east of Da Nang is the ancient town of Hoi An, which was one of the most important trading ports in Southeast Asia for merchants from China, Japan and afar for a couple of centuries ago. Originally a seaport in the Champa Kingdom, by the 15th century It had become a coastal town under the Tran dynasty. Also served as the hub of East-West c ultural exchange, Hoi An's ancient past is superbly preserved in its fascinating temples, pagoda, shop houses and home which make up the town's old quarter. Walking in the streets of this ancient town, one can observe the influence of the architecture, Sculpture and decorative styles of China and Japan and the skill of former Vietnamese architects Who have absorbed their influences and created something similar yet somehow uniquely different.
HUE Hue, the imperial city, the citadel-city of Phu Xuan was originally built up during the end of 17th Century and became a political capital as well as the Imperial City of Nguyen Dynasty from 1802 till 2nd September 1945 when the Communist Party, leaded by President Ho Chi Minh had declared the Independent of the Nation and took over the power from the defeated Japanese Governor. Nowadays, this small & poetical city of 280.000 habitants becomes one of the main tourism site of Vietnam destination by its splendid tombs of the Nguyen emperors, several notable pagodas especially the Thien Mu Pagoda, the remains of Citadel as well as the romantic Perfume River where a cruise tour with Hue music performance in the moonlight was always provided since long time ago. Normally, visiting Hue within a day is a bit rush but still enough time to cover the main attractive sites such as The Citadel, The museum of antique, the tombs of Khai Dinh and Tu Duc emperors and a 02 hours cruise with stop over at Thien Mu pagoda.
Citadel & Forbidden City This forbidden city of 10km. perimeter has 4 main entrance gates and well defended by kilometers of rampart was built in 1804 by the first emperor Nguyen Anh on a site chosen by geomancers and look likes a Chinese forbidden city in Beijin. Some parts of this forbidden city were totally destroyed during the war where now are under reconstruction providing UNESCO & Japanese non-government associations' fund. Lucky thing is most of the main area such as the citadel (the Imperial Enclosure), Flag Tower were remain intact where received hundred of visitors daily. The Museum of Antique (Imperial museum) This beautiful hall which house the Imperial Museum was built in 1845. The most precious artefacts were lost during the war (1954-1973) and the liberation day (1975) but ceramics, furniture and royal relics are remain until the present time. Khai Dinh Emperor's Tomb This is the final monument of the Nguyen Dynasty. The complex features ceiling murals, frescoes and a dragon staircase. Located on the slopes of the Chau E Mountain, six miles (10km) south of town. It takes almost 10 years (1920-1931) to finish this grandiose concrete tomb which is completely unlike the others tombs where there was a mixture of typical Vietnamese & French colonial architecture. After climbing 36 steps passing by rows of elephants, horses, civil & military mandarin you will be reached the main building where a full original artefacts are displayed to the public. Tu Duc Emperor's Tomb The most impressive of the tombs and pagodas at Hue. Located at the tributaries of the Perfume River, seven miles (11km) south of Hue, this complex has beautiful architecture, intricate decor and military statues. This majestic and serene tomb with lake view, grove of pines, temples, living house area is the most expensive tomb which was completely terminated after 5 years by thousands of labor-worker (1863-1868) for this intellectual-poet emperor. Minh Mang Emperor's Tomb The most impressive of the tombs and pagodas at Hue. Located at the tributaries of the Perfume River, seven miles (11km) south of Hue, this complex has beautiful architecture, intricate decor and military statues. Thien Mu Pagoda & Perfume River Cruise Unlike the typical boat used to provide in the past the present Hue cruise is providing a motorized boat which carry a 2 hours cruise along Perfume River including a 30 min stop over Thien Mu pagoda. This pagoda located on the hillock overlooking the Perfume River, built in 1844 by Thieu Tri emperor, 21m-high octagonal tower with seven-storey is one of the most famous structures in all over the country and become an unofficial symbol of Hue until now.
Hanoi
One Pillar Pagoda Built in the 11th century, this pagoda sits on a stone pillar in the middle of a pond. This is one of the more unusual structures in Vietnam. Lenin Park (Thong Nhat Park) Built over a former marsh, this park surrounds a large lake containing a statue of Lenin, often the object of jokes among the locals. The park itself is quite beautiful. Tran Nhan Tong Street. National Preserve of Cuc Phuong This national park is one of the last tropical primeval forest reserves on Earth. There are 64 species of fauna and thousands of species of flora, many of which are extinct everywhere else in the world. Bizarre and fascinating species of animals from flying lizards to monkeys dwell within the park's 61,000 acres. Caves and grottoes, where various artifacts have been discovered, are located in the mountains within. Ha Nam Ninh Province. It is located approximately 62 miles (100 Km.) southwest of Hanoi. Thu Le Park Located northwest of Hanoi in the Thu Le village.
Haiphong
Cat Ba This island is the largest in the Cat Ba archipelago. It is potentially one of the major beach destinations in Southeast Asia. This region has beautiful beaches and pristine waters. Within the mountains are caves and grottos. Located 36 miles (58km) east of Haiphong.
Halong Bay One of Vietnam's most beautiful areas, Halong Bay has fascinating limestone formations, coves for nighttime excursions, sheer cliffs, grottoes, arches and scores of small islets.
Top12. DINING AND DRINKING
Vietnamese food varies from region to region. Almost 500 traditional dishes have been recorded! Rice and noodles are staple foods, served with nearly all meals. The most popular dishes are nema rán (spring rolls), bún thang (noodles with sliced pork, eggs, shredded chicken and shrimp), shellfish steamed with ginger and sea crabs fried with salt. Among common ingredients used are: shark fin, duck, pork paste, fish, spices, fruits, vegetables, crab meat, lobster and oysters.
Imported beer is available in Vietnam, although a number of domestic beers are brewed. Rice wine is very popular, and there are many brands available. There is a variety of fruit wines such as apricot, orange or lemon. Soft drinks are processed from the many varieties of tropical fruits available. Water from the tap should be avoided, even though it has already been filtered and sterilized at 10ºC. If you must drink it, boil the water first.
Top13. ENTERTAINMENT
Vietnam is not the place to go for the latest in nightspots, but a number of large hotels have nightclubs and dance halls. Bars are fairly easy to find, even in smaller hotels. Try asking the locals for the current popular spots.
Top14. EMERGENCY NUMBERS
Police: 03 Ho Chi Minh City Police Station 161 Nguyen Du, Quan 1 Tel 99398 or 97107 Open from 8am-11am and 1pm-4pm Hanoi Police Office for the Registration of Foreign Visitors 63 Tran Hung Dao, Hanoi All visitors must register with the police within 48 hours of arrival. If you are on a tour, this should have been taken care of (but check anyway). Fire Department: 08 First Aid: 05 International Dialing Access: Available at major tourist hotels and post offices Country Code: 84 City Codes: Hanoi: 04 / Ho Chi Minh: 08 When calling from within the same city, delete the city code from the number. When calling to another city from within Vietnam, use the entire city code. When calling from outside Vietnam, delete the first digit (0) from the city code.
Top16. USEFUL PHRASES
* Greetings - Chao ong (ba) * How are you? - Ong (ba) co khoe khong? * Fine, thanks - Cam on rat tot * My name is ... - Tên tôi là ... * I don't understand - Tôi không hiêú * Restaruant - nhà hàng * Telephone - diên thoai * Hotel - khách san

A poetic and romantic place for the trip at the end of the year 2017

by Ha Nguyễn @ Vietnam Travel Guide

Pleiku, on these days, have enough pink grass, wildflowers and beautiful highly blue sky.

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Road Trips in Australia – All You Need to Know

by Nellie Huang @ Wild Junket Adventure Travel Blog

Whether you’re driving along the stunning coasts or deep into the Outback, road trips in Australia will be sure to leave you in awe. To prepare for your epic journey, here are some of my Australia road trip tips and recommendations.  I've traveled on four wheels all over Australia, from the rugged Top End all [...]

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Hidden Hanoi: How to get the most out of Vietnam’s capital

by Una-Minh @ Before My Mam Dies

While there’s plenty to see in Hanoi, for people like us who have visited all the major tourist attractions, we’re always on the lookout for something different. Too many times have we read guides who claim that seeing the Temple of Literature, the Water Puppet Show and the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum are “hidden gems” […]

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ENCHANTING VIETNAM TOURS

by noreply@blogger.com (r4v9y3rp) @ Handspan Tours, Vietnam

HaNoi - HaLong - NinhBinh - MaiChau - Hue - DaNang - HoiAn - MySon - SaiGon - CuChi - TayNinh - MeKong Delta - SaiGonDay 1. Arrival in HanoiGreetting at Noi Bai airport and transfer to hotel. Overview of the Old Quarters by ricckshaw. Water puppetry show.Day 2. Hanoi – HalongHanoi city tour : Tran Quoc Pagoda, Temple of Literature. After lunch, proceed to Halong via Red River Delta . Overnight in Halong.Day 3. Halong – Ninh Binh6-hour cruise in Halong Bay with lunch onboard. Transfer to Ninh Binh. Overnight in Ninh Binh.Day 4. Ninh Binh – Mai Chau3-hour sampan ballade to visit “Inland Halong Bay”, then Hoa Lu.. Drive to Mai Chau . Overnight in a house on stilts of Thai minority.Day 5. Mai Chau – Hanoi – HueA short trek around Thai minority villages before driving back Hanoi. Leisure time before taking night train to Hue.Day 6. HueOn arrival at 07.50, visit to Hue , last imperial capital of Vietnam : the Imperial Palace, Royal Tombs. Enjor costume royal dinner.Day 7. Hue – Da Nang – Hoi AnBoat cruise on Perfume River to visit Thien Mu Pagoda. Heading south, visit Cham Art Museum, then visit Hoi An Ancient Town.Day 8. Hoi An – My Son – Hoi AnTransfer to visit My Son – former sanctuary of Indianized Champa Kingdom in the First Millenium. Back to Hoi An for overnight.Day 9. Hoi An – Da Nang – SaigonTransfer to Da Nang airport for flight to Saigon. Saigon city tour : visit former French Quarter and former Chinatown.Day 10. Saigon – My Tho – SaigonDrive to My Tho to visit Cai Be floating market on the Upper Mekong Branch. Back to Saigon for overnight.Day 11. Saigon - Cu Chi - Tay Ninh – SaigonTransfer to visit Cu Chi Tunnels, proceed on to visit Tay Ninh Cao Dai Holy See. Back to Saigon..Day 12. Saigon – DepartureFree time for shopping before transfer to airport for departure flight

Dynamic Differences Between One-Day and Overnight Halong Bay Cruises

by Angela Lewonczyk @ Hai Au Aviation

Halong Bay, Vietnam is filled with a variety of activities, from caving to kayaking to cruising. One of the best ways to see the sights is a cruise through the emerald seas surrounding the distinctive karsts sprinkled throughout the bay. While there are infinite companies and deals for cruises around Halong, two of the most […]

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Halong Bay, Vietnam: Is It Worth It? - A Cruising Couple

Halong Bay, Vietnam: Is It Worth It? - A Cruising Couple


A Cruising Couple

Halong Bay in the rain and mist (the bay is actually known for its ‘foggy’ look), although of course a sunny day is preferable. Halong Bay is touristy, but for good reason.

Cycling Vietnam routes

by Sinh Le @ Cycling VietNam | Active Travel, Bike Tours VietNam, Laos and Cambodia

See below the list of area that we scored our Cycling Vietnam routes on the Garmin GPS. Formerly it was impossible to scored Garmin details in the remote mountains. Feel free to download Gpx file for your references. If you have any questions about Cycling routes from Vietnam to Laos, Vietnam to Cam...

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Anniversary trip to FP in Nov... Moorea vs. Bora Bora

by mr_go @ Fodor's Forum

Hi, all. My apologies if this topic has been hashed out before on this forum, but the new search functionality is taking some getting used to. We...

Handspan Travel

by giapdien @ Tourist companies in the North – Vietnam Travel Guide

Add: 80 Ma May St., Hoan Kiem Dist., Hanoi  Phone: +84 4 3926 2828 Hot Line: +84 932 231 489 Fax: +84 4 3926 2792 Website: http://www.handspan.com Email: info@handspan.com   Add: 80 Ma May St., Hoan Kiem Dist., Hanoi Phone: +84 4 3926 2828 Hot Line: +84 932 231 489 Fax: +84 4 3926 2792 Website: http://www.handspan.com

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26 Most Common Scams in Vietnam - Travelscams.org

26 Most Common Scams in Vietnam - Travelscams.org


TravelScams.org

Vietnam is a beautiful country to visit, but almost every tourist here would have experienced a scam. Click here to learn how to protect yourself!

4 Day Dubrovnik Guide – Things to do in Dubrovnik

by DT Writer @ Divergent Travelers

Once a sleepy seaside town, Dubrovnik recently emerged as Croatia’s top tourist attraction. Its beauty was showcased to the world when it was chosen to portray the mythical city of Kings Landing in HBO’s immensely popular TV series, Game of Thrones and the ever-popular Star Wars. Movie tours are easily one of the top things

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Siem Reap - Battambang - Bangkok - Ko Tao - Ko Pha Nang

by noreply@blogger.com (9zg8fenf) @ Handspan Vietnam

Week nine has been another week of callosal journeys and very uncomfortable ones at that: Siem Reap to Battambang in a speed boat that had no speed and took 7.5 hours, a taxi from Battambang to Poipet on the Thai border with another 4 hours to Bangkok in a mini van. Bangkok to Chumpon on a night bus followed by the last leg of the journey on a a ferry at 7am in the morning. That sufficied!The Lying Planet described Battambang as "an elegant riverside town showing the best preserved French-period architecture in the country". Surely someone mixed up the name of the town and the description. Instead it was tatty, dirty with nothing to do or see. The boat from Siem Reap to Battambang was small, noisy and had side slats to sit on which were hugely uncomfortable. Initially there was equal distribution down both sides of the boat of Cambodians and travellers but Capitan pointed at me to swap sides as the travellers were weighing down their side. All was fine until we passed another passanger boat and SWOOSH, SPLASH. Me and all the Camodian children were drenched as we were caught in a wave. The screams were replaced by laughter as we all assessed the muddy soaking. The floating villages along the Tonle Sap were interesting: shops, houses, petrol stations, schools and Police stations all built on water. The journey took extra time due to low water levels at this time of year so we were all very glad to get off the boat in Battambang.After a lovely vegetable Amok dinner the night before in the company of a nice Austrian couple Battambang had nothing more to offer. The day however started with a challenge: how to get out of town when the daily 12 o clock bus to Bangkok was not running due to the New Year. The hotel owner tried to exhorbantly charge me for a taxi but the words "you won't get it any chaper" meant Rabbitts had a mission to accomplish. I got a lift via moped with all my bags once again to the taxi stand at the other end of town and my driver found me a taxi to the border. Little did I know that for 10 USD I would have to share the taxi with 7 other adults, 2 children and a chicken! There were four adults in the back, a baby and a little girl sharing my knee with four more adults in the front. The driver shared his seat with a passanger wedged up against the door. The lady managed to breast feed the sweetest little baby boy and throw up into a bag at the same time whilst the driver drove for two hours one handed (it was automatic) and speak on his mobile phone. Luckily the chicken in the boot didn't suffocate nor leave any presents on my bag. The border was easily crossed but I was feeling quite unwell by now probably due to the greasiest omlet ever for breakfast. Water, aircon and a hunky hungover Canadian sat next to me sorted me out for the four hour mini van trip to Bangkok.Bangkok was celebrating the last night of Songkram so Jen who was in the mini van and I went and got soaked and covered in talk. We were undefended with no supersoakers but had the best sober fun for a long time making our way down the Ko Sahn Road. It was refreshing to see mainly Thais down a road which is normally so full of tourists and they were having a fantastic night. I stayed near the Ko Sahn Roadin the most unfriendly guest house ever: Four Sons. My first single bed was uncomfortable, my room tiny and not at all sound proof. I expected all of the above from Bangkok but it all contributed to my feeling of utter exhaustion. As a consequence The Grand Palace, Wat Phra Kaew, Wat Pho didn't get my fullest enthusiasm but as KV put things into perspective "it wasn't as if I had to go to work the next day" and so I pulled myself together. I called Lloyds Bank to sort out yet another disputed debit on my account, bought a USB card reader to replace the one I lost last week (sorry Dad) and succumbed to a filllet of fish and fries at Macdonalds in the MBK Shopping Centre. (utter shame on me)Leaving Bangkok involved another all night journey but what greeted us weary travellers at the other end was well worth a night on a bus and ferry: Ko Tao. The 7pm bus left us at Chumpon ferry port at 2am and after Sean the Super Snorer had kept us awake for part of the journey having to stay awake until 7am was a bit exhausting. It didn't matter too much though because I met two great Scottish girls: Tracey and Gill from Glasgow. Upon arrival at Sairee Beach I managed to find a smelly "luxury villas" hut for 200 baht a night as no one was interested in offering a non- diving Rabbitts a special deal or a free hut.I met up with G and T for our first sundowner and dinner that evening which was a theme consistant with the rest of the next week in Ko Tao. Maya restaurant with its lanterns and sand sculptures for Pad Thai and the Lotus bar for our fill of Chang beer and buckets. It was fantastic to stay somewhere for more than a few days after the mega journeys through Cambodia and also to have some great company. Tracey is very funny and Gill (Pap) loves to take lots of pictures so that explains the pictures of us laughing on Facebook.The week culminated with the Full Moon Party on Ko Pha Ngan which was rumoured to be cancelled due to elections being held on the same day. There was however no evidence of cancellation as the hundreds of bucket stall holders set up for business. I went to Ko Pha Ngan on my own and had to stay up all night as I didn't have any accommodation. I bumped into loads of people: Sean the Super Snorer and his large group, Will from Asia Divers, I hung out with the Chippendales from Canberra for ages, met some lads from Enfield and bumped into the lads from Hull who ran off in the other direction. Thanks boys for that number. Strange really when it was them who mentioned the Full Moon Party to me all that time back in Vietnam!

Plan your travel on the New Year Holiday 2018 based on financial capacity

by Ha Nguyễn @ Vietnam Travel Guide

After a long year of hard-working, the New Year Holiday is the time for you to relax and reward yourself an interesting holiday. However, not all people have financially qualified to travel on the bustling and expensive New Year Holiday.

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Top Ten Places To Visit In Vietnam

by Angela Lewonczyk @ Hai Au Aviation

Vietnam is one of the most magnificent areas of Southeast Asia. It is home to amazing cities and countryside filled with culture, history and stunning sights. It is a country jam-packed with seasides, mountain ranges, and national parks. For tourists planning to explore this exquisite country, there is no end to the options available to […]

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Goodbye, freezing in tents: an affordable taste of the #vanlife is here

by suzie@hikeupyourskirt.org @ HikeUpYourSkirt

I have a confession: as much as I love camping, I am a total wimp when it comes to being cold. Even on summer camping trips, you’ll find me sleeping in a base layer, flannel pants, a long sleeve, and usually a beanie and socks, too. And that’s while sleeping in an all-season sleeping bag. So when I didn’t have...

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Rated and Reviewed: The Tour Groups We Used in Vietnam 2016 - Before My Mam Dies

Rated and Reviewed: The Tour Groups We Used in Vietnam 2016 - Before My Mam Dies


Before My Mam Dies

From confirming flights and hotels to paying off tour groups and liaising with airport pickups, a lot went into our three week holiday.

Mai Chau Village tours

by admin @ Hanoi La Suite hotel & Spa

These Hoa Binh – Mai Chau Village tours will give us a chance to discover an unique Minority village with just over 2 hours driving. Here we will discover Ban Lac People with Thai ancestors that settled in the North-Western area of Vietnam. The two tribes, White Thai and Black Thai, settled in the same area and make […]

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Lost City of Petra – Ultimate Visitor’s Guide

by Lina Stock @ Divergent Travelers

Probably one of the most anticipated sights when planning your trip to Jordan is the chance to visit the Lost City of Petra. I should state early on that Jordan holds many gems that are reason enough to plan a trip to this country, but Petra is the leading lady of the show. Also known

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2 famous eateries in Da Lat with Lau ga la e

by Ha Nguyễn @ Vietnam Travel Guide

If you want to enjoy Da Lat’s Lau ga la e in Tao Ngo or 668 eatery, you should com there before 6 p.m to ensure that they do not run out of tables.

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Colors of the Mekong Delta: Photo Essay |Divergent Travelers

Colors of the Mekong Delta: Photo Essay |Divergent Travelers


Divergent Travelers

Blog Post at Divergent Travelers: Ever wonder what it is like to live in the mighty Mekong Delta of Vietnam? We take a closer look at the life and nature of

5 ideal destinations near Saigon for New Year Holiday 2018

by Ha Nguyễn @ Vietnam Travel Guide

About 100km from Saigon, Tan Lap floating village, Con Phung or Long Hai beach will surely be good choices for short holiday.

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10 exceptional features of Vietnam’s Seaplane ride | Hai Au Aviation

by Hai Au Aviation @ Hai Au Aviation

The aviation market is thriving with names such as Vietnam Airline, Vietjet Air and Jetstar. As a result, Hai Au Aviation, with its unique seaplane ride, is lesser known in the general airline sector. Here are 10 exceptional aspects of Hai Au Aviation that you might not know: BOTH BY LAND AND BY SEA Seaplanes […]

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Sapa – Lao Chai – Ta Van – Cat Cat ( 2 days – 3 nights)

by admin @ Hanoi La Suite hotel & Spa

A more challenging and remote alternative to the North West loop, this incredible route takes you through verdant vistas and mountain ranges, along lakes and rivers, and through jungle and tiered paddy fields rising and falling as far as the eye can see. Night 1 : Hanoi – Lao Cai At 20h15-20h30pm Sapatours ‘s taxi […]

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Vietnam Travel Directory

by noreply@blogger.com (r4v9y3rp) @ Handspan Tours, Vietnam

Vietnam travel directory, provides you Vietnam travel links, hotels Directory, directory listings, add travel url,Vietnam Travel index, Vietnam Travel agents, Vietnam Tour operators ... Vietnam Hotel Guide, Vietnam Hotel Directory, Vietnam Hotel BookingVietnam Hotel
Vietnam Travel Directory Vietnam Travel, Vietnam Hotels, Vietnam Holiday, Vietnam Tours, Vietnam Vacation - Find ... Submit your site on Our Travel Directory for free
Travel Directory

Roadtrip to a Secret CA hot spring

by suzie@hikeupyourskirt.org @ HikeUpYourSkirt

Lake Tahoe and the surrounding northern California and Nevada regions are stunning and offer, to me, a quality of life that’s unbeatable and highly fulfilling. And one of the aspects I love most about this natural and stunning region is how many amazing places their are to visit within a three-to-four hour drive.

The post Roadtrip to a Secret CA hot spring appeared first on HikeUpYourSkirt.

Vietnam Transport

by noreply@blogger.com (9zg8fenf) @ Handspan Vietnam

Vietnam TransportBy Air to/from Vietnam Vietnam Airlines operates international flights to/from the following destinations: Amsterdam, Bangkok, Berlin, Dubai, Frankfurt, Guangzhou, Hong Kong, Jakarta, Kaohsiung, Kuala Lumpur, Los Angeles, Manila, Melbourne, Moscow, Osaka, Paris, Phnom Penh, Seoul, Siep Riem (Angkor Wat), Singapore, Sydney, Taipei and Vientiane.TIP: Fares are significantly lower for those flying to Ho Chi Minh City. Although flights are available from the capitals of most Southeast Asian countries as well as from Sydney and Melbourne. The best place is from Bangkok as visas are easiest to obtain there.Airport Tax International airport tax is US$14. The airport tax for domestic flights is VND 30'000 (in some cases VND 15'000). Remember to leave enough money for the International Departure Tax if you're flying out of Vietnam. They prefer dollars to Dong at Saigon airport - the exchange rate is extortionate if you're paying in Dong!Domestic FlightsIt is much easier and safer to travel between cities by plane and buy your tickets in Vietnam as they are cheaper. Most routes have a daily flight and are easily available and booking isn’t necessary.Northern Airport Flight Service has helicopter flights to Ha Long Bay. There are 2 flights per week at 8:00 and 15:30 on Saturday, departing from Gia Lam Airport in Hanoi (not the international airport). You can get the tickets at the Metropolitan HotelNha Trang has daily flights to/from Ho Chi Minh City.National Airport Code CityBMV Ban Me ThuotDAD DanangDIN Dien Bien PhuDLI DalatHAN HanoiHPH Hai PhongHUI HueNHA Nha TrangPQC Phu QuocPXU PleikuSGN Ho Chi Minh CitySQH Na SanVIH Qui NhonVII VinhVKG Rach Gia * Airlines * Vietnam Airlines (International) 116-118 Nguyen Hue Blvd., Ho Chi Minh City. Tel (08) 292118 * Vietnam Airlines (Domestic) 27b Nguyen Dinh Chieu St. Ho Chi Minh City. Tel (08) 299980 * Air France Dong Khoi and Le Loi St. (Caravelle Hotel), Ho Chi Minh City . Tel (08) 241278 * Aeroflot 4H Le Loi St. Ho Chi Minh City. Tel (08) 93489 * Thai 116 Nguyen Hue Blvd., Ho Chi Minh City Tel (08) 292118 * Philippine Airlines Ho Chi Minh City Tel (08) 292200 * MAS116 Nguyen Hue Blvd., Ho Chi Minh City Tel (08) 30695 BicyclesIt is fun to rent a bicycle and to ride around. Rates are around US$ 2 for a day. It is also possible to buy bicycles and even mountain bikes, but beware of the quality. Maintenance is widely available, but original spare parts are rare. Instead, any spare part that "fits" will be used.BoatsThere are some boats between the mainland of Vietnam and the islands. Rach Gia to/from Phu Quoc takes 6 to 10 hours and costs around VND 90000. Officially, it should leave every day at 8 am in Rach Gia and at 10 am in An Thui. In reality it waits until there are enough passengers. This can mean day...so be prepared. Ha Tien to/from Phu Quoc This is officially not allowed, since the boat crosses Cambodian waters so if you catch one of these the risk is your own as to whether you get put behind bars for your efforts or not. Vung Tao to/from Con Dao There is a boat between Vung Tao and the island Con Dao. One way takes about 13 hours.Buses Traveling by road from Cambodia is a slow and expensive alternative to flying. The bus system runs almost everywhere within the country, with stations built around the country dividing the territory into regions. For longer trips buses tend to be slow and unreliable it is therefore generally advised that travelers fly in instead. Nha Trang/Ho Chi Minh City Express and regular buses link Nha Trang with Ho Chi Minh City; express buses take about 12 hours.Mini Buses It is possible to rent a minibus if you so desire and if there are a few of you, it possibly works out to be a cheaper way of getting around the country, though risky, due to the high number of accidents in Vietnam.CyclosAn excellent way to tour any city in Vietnam is to rent a cyclo. Rates start from around VND 15000 to VND 30000 for a ride of up to 10 minutes in Saigon. Locals pay half that price. You can also get a tour of one hour for US$1. In Hanoi prices are more related to the distance and are a bit more expensive. Each town seems to have it’s own price structure, so ask around to get some idea at the time.TIP: Make sure that you hold onto any belongings when traveling in a cyclo as passing motorists and the like have been known to grab these as they pass.The routes a cyclo may use is being limited by the government because they cause traffic congestion, so what seems to be a short trip could in fact become quite a long one because of having to take an indirect route, especially in Ho Chin Minh City.Hire CarsCar rentals are currently not in existence. Cabs, which are unmarked cars without meters, can typically be rented for the day. The rates are about US$25 to US$150 (depending on the car, the place you rent it from, the region and your bargaining skills). As with any form of transport in Vietnam, driving is a risk you take due to the high accident rate in the country.Motorbike hireIt's easy to rent a motorcycle to get around. Usual rates are US$4 to US$7 for a day for a 50 cc to 100 cc Honda or Yamaha. If you rent a motorbike, make sure that you don't leave your passport with them and that in the contract they don't overcharge. Buy a big lock and chain as the motorbike theft rate is VERY high.If you are in a hurry, you can try to flag down a motorcycle for a ride on the back (most drivers are not adverse to making a bit of extra money) or ask a local to find a Honda ong (motorbike taxi) for you. The biggest problem is explaining the destination to the driver because pronunciation is everything in Vietnamese. Carry a pen and paper or a map.TIP: As in many Asian countries the standard of driving, to say the least, is atrocious and at times it will seem as if every vehicle on the road is going in the opposite direction to you. It is therefore generally advised that unless you are both a very experienced driver with a good medical insurance or a risk-taker, it’s NOT ADVISABLE to rent a motorbike at all.Ships and FerriesThere are no official passenger services. Travelers may be able to ride on a cargo ship to Ho Chi Minh City, Danang or Haiphong from Hong Kong, Japan, Thailand, Singapore or France. Check with the local shipping and travel agencies for rates and availability.A ferry service runs from Cambodia to Chau Doc in the Mekong Delta.TrainsThere are currently no train lines running between Vietnam and its neighbouring countries. The Vietnamese railway system runs from Ho Chi Minh City to Hanoi along the coast and links with Haiphong and the regions further north. Odd-numbered trains travel south and even-numbered trains travel north.The fastest trains take at least 28 hours from Ho Chi Minh City to Hanoi. Reservations should be made a day or more in advance. The major setback to the railways is that tourists are charged many times more than Vietnamese people in the form of an outrageously high surcharge. For long distance traveling, it is best to fly.Nha Trang Express trains run to/from both Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi.Please note that the above time schedules and prices are subject to change and are therefore intended only as a guide.

Week eleven - Ko Phi Phi - Phuket - Singapore - Perth

by noreply@blogger.com (r4v9y3rp) @ Handspan Tours, Vietnam

Ko Phi Phi left me and the Great Scottish Girlies weak, tired, skint and looking forward to leaving. The island is essentially beautiful but the people are miserable, the infrastructure post Tsunami poor with smelly drains, the night life abismal and far too many noisy fellow travellers. Luckily on our last day, after we had recovered from the poisoning, we were able to go on our snorkelling trip. The sea was crystal clear, the sunset amazing and the fish weren't shy either. I was woken on the 4th night by what seemed like maurauding teenagers, drunk of course, after taking advantage of the free buckets at Tiger Bar. My stay ended with a CRUNCH: my foot up until my knee had gone through the floorboard. I had visions of my leg dangling in someone's room but luckily my toe had stubbed the hillside.I said goodbye to my fellow travellers, thanked them for a great time and felt guilty and resonsible for the poisoning. Yes is was me who chose the ill-fated restaurant because one of the hunky Australians from the ferry journey from hell was having his dinner in there. Phuket was a dump and the hotel which had featured in the Beach so noisy that not even my ear plugs kept out the din.Singapore as expected was high rise, hot, clean and sterile. It took me quite a while to find somewhere to stay and ended up in a Catholic run hostel so that night I said my hail Mary's and went to bed early. I was a complete girl on my first day and hit the Orchard Road for shops: Top Shop, Karen Millen, Gap, French Connection and M and S. It was heavenly seeing fashionable items again after the fakes of Asia and the naff Thai trousers and sarongs. It was mega expensive compared to home so I didn't actually buy anything. On the second day I was up early and out to see Chinatown and the quayside financial area on a small boat trip. I avoided Little India after sill being traumatised by starring Indian men and their equally scary moustaches.My welcome to Australia by the customs official was the best yet. "So you are on a two month holiday" he asked me to which I replied "yes" and to which he said "Good on ya" as he handed back my passport. What a lovely welcome. By the time I reached One World Backpackers it was 3am so it wasn't easy climbing into the upper bunk without waking up the 7 other people in the dorm. In the morning I was perturbed to discover that I was in the boys dorm and it smelt of boys but happy too that there were two other girls in there with me.Perth seems like home but that is probably beacause most people at the backpackers are English or Irish. We went out on Saturday night for a big one to celebrate Liam's 21st and then went to the beach at Scarborough on Sunday to laze in the Autumn sun which is just as hot as a summer day back home. Having said that it is cold here at night and it is strange being so cold again after the heat of Asia. On Sunday we joined in on the Australian culture of going out drinking on a Sunday and boy where they out in force. I was out with the boys for Liam's birthday weekender and had another good night out around Northbridge. Luckily everyone thinks that I am about 27 so they don't feel like granny had come out for the evening!

Hanoi to Halong Bay: 7 ways to travel | The 2018 Guide

by Thi Nguyen @ Hai Au Aviation

Halong Bay, recognized as UNESCO World Heritage Site, is one of the most favorite tourist attractions in Vietnam. It is famous for thousands of limestone islets with different shape raising up from the immensely blue water. Visiting this beautiful site must be on the bucket list of almost every traveler to Vietnam. One of their […]

The post Hanoi to Halong Bay: 7 ways to travel | The 2018 Guide appeared first on Hai Au Aviation.

3D2N at The Cliff Resort & Residences Phan Thiet at the price of only 2.899.000 VND / person

by Ha Nguyễn @ Vietnam Travel Guide

Staying at The Cliff Resort & Residences Phan Thiet with unbeatable rates, you will find that the money spent on the experience is perfectly worth it.

The post 3D2N at The Cliff Resort & Residences Phan Thiet at the price of only 2.899.000 VND / person appeared first on Vietnam Travel Guide.

How to Hire a Travel Agency in Hanoi, Vietnam

How to Hire a Travel Agency in Hanoi, Vietnam


TripSavvy

How to find a trustworthy travel agency in Hanoi, Vietnam. What to ask and what to expect. A list of travel agencies of some repute based in Hanoi.

8 beautiful homestays suitable for holidays (P2)

by Ha Nguyễn @ Vietnam Travel Guide

If you still dream about the pretty beautiful and strange homestay in Da Lat, when coming to Moc Chau for flower seeing, do not ignore Bo House. That is really beautiful.

The post 8 beautiful homestays suitable for holidays (P2) appeared first on Vietnam Travel Guide.

Traveller's Guide: Vietnam

Traveller's Guide: Vietnam


The Independent

Loaded with historic interest, majestic mountains and national parks, ravishing sandy beaches and fascinating cities, and boasting a stupendous national cuisine, Vietnam is a compelling destination.

Nha Trang

by noreply@blogger.com (r4v9y3rp) @ Handspan Tours, Vietnam

We caught the overnight bus from Saigon to Nha Trang, which turned out to be quite an experience. Besides the fact that the bus was not the most comfortable of buses ever, we had a very dodgy character on the bus who deprived us of most of our sleep. He had been acting really strangely the whole way on the bus, changing seats a number of times, lying down on the back seats and even lying in the aisle. Luckily South America taught me a thing or two about guarding your possessions on a bus, so I had one foot on Warren's bag, and the other one on my bag. So when he pulled Warren's bag backwards, I immediately felt it and moved it back towards the front. It didn't take long for him to try again, but we caught him at it again and moved Warren's bag right to the front, out of harm's way and facing forwards. A few minutes later, he was fishing around at my bag, but as I felt my bag moving, I kicked really hard backwards, and caught him on the hand. Realising that he had been caught out, he tried to cover up by pretending to look for something that he had dropped on the floor, and even had the cheek to ask us if he could borrow our torch so that he could have a look! Anyway, when he had no luck with our bags, he changed seats yet again. Even though we were both keeping an eye on him, neither of us noticed when he finally hit the jackpot. About 5 minutes after he got off the bus, the girl that was sitting in the seat in front of the last seat he had sat in noticed that 150 Euros was missing out of her wallet...The weather in Nha Trang was miserable. Rainy, and really windy. As it is a coastal resort, there was not much else for us to do, so we decided to spend only one night there, and head out on the overnight bus the next night. There was a huge storm on the first night that we spent there. The wind was so strong that it was blowing potplants over, and our windows rattled so badly all night that we didn't manage to get much sleep. When we wanted to leave the next day, we were told that there were no buses as there had been a landslide, so we decided to take the overnight train instead.Vietnam Travel Directory: http://www.VietnamTravelDirectory.com

Organized tours of Ha Long Bay | About Ha Long Bay

Organized tours of Ha Long Bay | About Ha Long Bay


Rough Guides

Every Hanoi tour agent offers Ha Long Bay excursions, which work out easier – and usually cheaper – than doing the same thing yourself. There are a wide...

The Lagoon Explorer Junk in Halong Bay Vietnam

by noreply@blogger.com (r4v9y3rp) @ Handspan Tours, Vietnam

The Lagoon Explorer Junk is designed with sophistication and the utmost attention to detail of a Traditional Sailing Boat. Whether you are dining in the restaurant, lounging on the sun deck or relaxing in the comfort of your cabin, you will be surrounded by the handcrafted woodworld of Teak and Oak which make the Lagoon Explorer Junk a true masterpiece. The Junk with 3 deluxe rooms & 1 Studio room, a fine dining restaurant & bar, a outdoor lounge, a swim platform, a well-trained Crew, 24-hour electricity supply and a host of activities to make your stay memorable.Lagoon Explorer Junk is pride of it’s stylest & the first Junk which is able to run by sails, to go fishing at night time and to bring you to any beauty sites of Halong Bay and run the tour as your choice. Travel with your own new, personalized itineraries.

Anniversary trip to FP in Nov... Moorea vs. Bora Bora

by mr_go @ Fodor's Forum

Hi, all. My apologies if this topic has been hashed out before on this forum, but the new search functionality is taking some getting used to. We...

Vietnam Open Tour offers 10% discount

by giapdien @ Tourist companies in the North – Vietnam Travel Guide

A happy news to every customers who are about to book a tour with Vietnam Open Tour is that they are offering 10% discount for all customers. All you have to do is to enter the code CP10PBX and then you will be discounted 10% for the services you book. The valid time of this code is

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The eatery of grilled fermented pork roll and Hue cakes in Saigon

by Ha Nguyễn @ Vietnam Travel Guide

If you have the opportunity to go to the area behind Ban Co market (the alley 51 Cao Thang, District 03) in the early afternoon, you can see many attractive eateries. There is a small parking space for customer to feel free when wandering to find the favorite dishes. Among them, the most outstanding one is the eatery of Hue cakes in fornt of the house No. 51/75.

The post The eatery of grilled fermented pork roll and Hue cakes in Saigon appeared first on Vietnam Travel Guide.

Hoang Su Phi Mountain Bike Challenge

by rtcvietnam @ The Responsible Travel Club of Vietnam – RTC

With the aims to raise the awareness among staff, partners and friends on responsible tourism and to promote the tourism potentials of Hoang Su Phi,  CRED, Footprint, RTC and other […]

The post Hoang Su Phi Mountain Bike Challenge appeared first on The Responsible Travel Club of Vietnam - RTC.

Thien Minh Group

by giapdien @ Tourist companies in the North – Vietnam Travel Guide

Address: 94 Ma May St., Hoan Kiem Dist., Hanoi Tel: 3828 0702 Fax: 3926 3445 Website: http://english.thienminhtravel.com Email: info@tmgroup.vn Contact Address: 94 Ma May St., Hoan Kiem Dist., Hanoi  Tel: 3828 0702 Fax: 3926 3445 Website: http://english.thienminhtravel.com Email: info@tmgroup.vn General information Thien Minh Group is a leading operator of hotels, tours, transportation services and travel agencies throughout

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Cuc Phuong National Park- full day, Vietnam tours

by noreply@blogger.com (r4v9y3rp) @ Handspan Tours, Vietnam

Cucphuong Tour, Cuc Phuong bird watching, National Park in Ninh Binh, plants & mammals: Cuc Phuong National Park is located 100km south of Hanoi in Ninh Binh province. The park is conveniently located on the route to several tourist attractions, including Bich Dong Pagoda, Hoa Lu, and Sam Son Beach. It was officially opened in 1960 as the first national park in Vietnam. Cuc Phuong National Park is surrounded by several limestone cliffs, the highest being May Bac, meaning "silver cloud," with a height of 656m. There are plenty of plants and mammals living in the park. There are an estimated 2,000 different species of flora and the 450 species fauna account for 38% of the national fauna.Includes: transport, guide, lunch, entrance feeITINERARY:AM : 7h00 depart to Ninh Binh .Arrive Cucphuong , 10h30 Visit the Endangered Primate Rescue Centre .Lunch.PM : 1h00 Depart to the Park Centre, on the way visit the "Cave of Early Man" ( had over 7000 year) , on the way admire the primary forest with "1000 year Old Tree",Low Season (5th May - 31st August)Size of Group 1 2 3 4 - 5 6 - 7 8 pax upCost/pax (USD) 150 125 90 75 60 55High Season (1st Sep - 4th May)Size of Group 1 2 3 4 - 5 6 - 7 8 pax upCost/pax (USD) 165 137 99 83 66 60 Tour type: PrivateDeparture: Every dayInclusive: Transportation (private car/mini van), Entrance fees, Speaking guide (English or French), LunchExclusive: Drinks, Insurance, Personal expenses, Tips

Hanoi Pit of Quality

by noreply@blogger.com (r4v9y3rp) @ Handspan Tours, Vietnam

For the benefit of several readers (well, Mark, Steve and Rob) I'm going to get all the Nam cliches out of the way in one go. So here they are: I haven't seen any vets like John Rambo, Magnum or Jim Robinson. I haven't found out who really robbed the Bank of Hanoi. I haven't developed a thousand-yard stare (yet). I haven't even been incarcerated in a Hanoi Pit of Hell.Instead I have been wandering around Hanoi drinking in what a thoroughly cool place it is. Hanoi is busy all the time, and rush hours are manic. There are mopeds everywhere. If you've ever seen the Wirral Egg Run (type it into Google if you haven't), imagine that amount of motorbikes but all riding in different directions all day and yet not actually crashing into each other.So as you can imagine, crossing the road is a bit of an art form. But in fact crossing the road is quite easy if you do as the locals do and just step out into the constant flow of mopeds hurtling towards you from all directions. The Green Cross Code man would probably turn in his grave but incredibly nobody gets hurt. I could stand on a street corner watching mopeds negotiate junctions all day. Its like a giant formation motorcyle team.The old quarter of Hanoi is the place to be for travellers, and has a decent mix of bars and restaurants with tons of decent hostels as well. I was a bit disappointed with the nightlife (not enough people to fill all the bars and restaurants) but that wan't enough to stop me from instantly liking the place.As a break from the noise and fumes we took a boat trip out to Halong Bay (I think its in Tomorrow Never Dies at the end). Unfortunately the weather was a bit on the crap side and we couldn't see much, but the gist is that its a bay (hence the name) with about 3000 small rocky islands in it. The low mist meant we couldn't see much of them but in fact it gave them a pretty eerie quality that I was quite pleased about.The boat trip was one of these overnight jobs, but unfortunately (like the bars) there weren't enough people to fill the vast number of boats that run every day. Still, we met some nice people on there and had a pretty nice evening, then met our first cockroaches all over the bottom deck where our cabins were. There weren't many of them but the sight was still enough to ellicit screams from Carly and Vicky (and me). Nothing we can't handle though, so after blocking every gap and crevace in the cabins with bog roll Graham and I did the manly thing and set of on Operation Roachhunt with our trusty torches and sturdy shoes. They really do make a horrible sound when they get squished.Anyhoo, we made it back to dry land safely and back to lovely Hanoi. I'm pretty lucky at the moment in that every place we've been to I haven't wanted to leave. Off to Hue next for some R&R.

Italy 2 wk itinerary Tuscany, Emilia-Romagna, Venice

by the2bubs @ Fodor's Forum

I know itinerary questions proliferate, but this is my husband's and my first trip to Italy (have only been to Europe twice - both times France) and...

Rider Types for biking Vietnam

by Sinh Le @ Cycling VietNam | Active Travel, Bike Tours VietNam, Laos and Cambodia

What type of rider for Biking Vietnam? Rider type is very important for us to customized your biking Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia.  As the weather may change between north and central Vietnam, or northern to southern Laos etc…  Please let us know your rider type. Photography & Leisure : I am...

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Sailing Among Dragon Legends: A Review of Our Halong Bay Cruise - Bold Travel

Sailing Among Dragon Legends: A Review of Our Halong Bay Cruise - Bold Travel


Bold Travel

I’ll admit I was a bit nervous returning to Halong Bay with Adam. My first experience exploring this gorgeous UNESCO World Heritage Site was so good I was afraid it wasn’t going to live up to the expectations I had set for both him and myself. We had recently run into a handful of other travelers who were rather put off …

Portugal Hotel Recommendation, Lisbon and Porto?

by mikster @ Fodor's Forum

My husband and I are planning a trip to Lisbon and maybe Porto at the end of September.Just starting the research in terms of best areas to stay in....

Vietnam Sightseeing

by noreply@blogger.com (r4v9y3rp) @ Handspan Tours, Vietnam

Vietnam is still opening up to tourists on an almost daily basis. I have listed some of the more popular local attractions throughout Vietnam below, which will then give you some idea as to how to plan your holiday in this fascinating country.CanthoCantho is the political, economic, cultural and transportation centre of the Mekong Delta. Rice husking mills provide the main source of income and the area is linked to most other main centers in the Mekong Delta via the waterways and road/rail systems.Boat Trips are available that take you across the water or through the local canals on many interesting sightseeing excursions that definitely require a camera. Larger boats venture up the Mekong River and this is a definite MUST DO if you are in the area.Cantonese Congregation Pagoda was built on a different site originally but now stands where it is today. The pagoda occupies a splendid location facing the Cantho River.Central Market is where you should go to stock up on fresh produce either direct from the farms or the fishing grounds nearby.Floating markets are the Delta's prime attractions. Unlike those found in Bangkok, these markets aren't for the benefit of camcorder-toting tourists. Early each morning the Bassac River and its tributaries swell with vendors in sampans, houseboats and longtails jammed with fresh Delta produce: jackfruit, mangosteen, durian, papaya, mango, bananas, pineapple, guava, fresh vegetables and smuggled sundries from cigarettes to shampoo. The best market to visit is about 30 km south of Can Tho in Phung Hiep.Ho Chi Minh Museum is the only museum in the Mekong Delta devoted to this ruler. It is a large museum, if you haven't been to a similar one elsewhere, is worth a visit. Chau DocChau Doc is a riverine commercial centre and is not that far from the Cambodian border. Once known for it's dug-out canoe races it is now better known for it's Cham and Khmer temples in its environs.Chau Doc Church was constructed in 1920 and although small is interesting and for those of the Christian faith they hold mass here seven days a week.Chau Phu Temple was built in 1926 and is decorated with both Vietnamese and Chinese motifs. Inside are funeral tablets with the names and biographical information on the dead.Floating Houses, are well worth a few photos and it's worth it to hire a boat to see them better. Mosques in the area consist of the Chau Giang Mosque and the Murbank Mosque. There are others in the area but those mentioned are the largest,. Visitors are permitted but please respect the faith and do not enter them during 'calls of prayer' which occur 5 times a day unless you are of the Islamic faith. Sam Mountain is the place to go if you want to see dozens of temples, pagodas and the like and is well worth visiting. Located about 6 km from the city. Not only do temples abound but the trek to the top of the mountain is also popular though one can go by motorised vehicle if you so desire. Tay Anh Pagoda is renowned for its fine carvings of hundreds of religious figures most of which are wooden. The building reflects both Hindu and Islamic influences and outside stand a black elephant (with 2 tusks) and a white elephant (with 6 tusks) as well as various monks tombs etc.Temple of Lady Chua Xu faces Sam Mountain not far from the Tay An Pagoda and was founded in the 1820's. The original was built of bamboo, but this has been replaced over the years and the last reconstruction took place in 1972.Tomb of Thoai Ngoc Hau who was a high ranking officer that served the Ngyen lords and later the Nguyen Dynasty is buried here. Nearby are several other tombs of similar officials serving under Thoai Ngoc Hau.Cavern Pagoda also known as Phuoc Dien Tu is about halfway up Sam Mountain and is well worth a visit.DalatThe city of Dalat is the main centre of the Southern Highlands region. In the past it was renowned as a cool, green city with a park-like environment. This is changing fast, as the economy booms and life speeds up. Still, Dalat is definitely worth a visit and it's a good base for trips into the surrounding highlands, which remain tranquil. In Dalat, make sure you visit the Hang Nga Guesthouse & Art Gallery, nicknamed by locals the Crazy House. It's created by artist and architect Mrs Dang Viet Nga (known as Hang Nga).Dalat is famous for its coffee shops, and is extremely popular with domestic tourists and honeymooners. You can fly to Dalat from Ho Chi Minh City. The airport is 30km from town; express buses also link the two cities.The Emperor Bao Dai's Summer Palace is stuffed with interesting art and everyday objects, and is well worth a look. It's also interesting to stroll around the old French Quarter.The Valley of Love, 5km north of the city centre, is a bizarre place where you can hire a paddle boat on the lake or a horse from one of the Dalat Cowboys (no relation to the Dallas Cowboys), who are, indeed, dressed as cowboys. There are some pleasant walks or rides (on horseback or bike) in the countryside around the city, but be aware that areas signposted with a C-sign are off-limits to foreigners.Prenn Falls are worth a visit and are located at the foot of Prenn Mountain Pass. The 10km long pass is on the route from Dalat to Ho Chi Minh City.Further out, you can visit the villages of some of the hill tribes, such as Lat Village and the Chicken Village (with a huge statue of a chicken).

Sapa - Halong bay - Hoi An

by noreply@blogger.com (r4v9y3rp) @ Handspan Tours, Vietnam

So, after we returned from Sapa, we travelled on the night train back to Hanoi. Once there, we went to Halong Bay for one night. This is a bay with over 1000 islands and islets, said to have been carved out by a dragon swooping to the earth! Well anyway it was very nice and we swam in the sea for a bit and slept on the boat. We also went to visit a cave called 'Surprise Cave' because it was aparently full of surprises (see photos)!After Halong bay, we got another night train from Hanoi to Denang in Central Vietnam. This train took 16 hours, man!!! When we arrived at Denang we got a 1 hour taxi to Hoi An. This was a lovely ltiile river side town with lots of cafes and bars. Unfortunately it is also full of children trying to sell bracelets and Tiger Balm (we gave in to one and bought 2 bracelets). Hoi An is famous for its Tailors. Every shop is a Tailors and so we had to get measured up for some stuff. I had a casual jacket made (copied from a photo in a fashion mag) and also a Suit made, just plain black, again copied from a photo in a mag. Aimee had a jacket made (a combination of 2 different jackets), and a very 'jazzy' skirt which would not look out of place at the pool bar! On the last day in Hoi An we went to My Son. This is a religious area for Hindu's (bit like Vietnams version of Ankor wat).We left the following day on guess what? Yes, another night train (16 more hours to Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon)!

Rated and Reviewed: Where we stayed in Vietnam 2017

by Una-Minh @ Before My Mam Dies

I know, I know, it’s already 2018 and I’m only getting around to writing this now. But hey, better late than never eh? Last October we spent an amazing month in Vietnam and travelled from north to south, staying in some fabulous places. Like our 2016 trip, this piece is the lowdown on where we […]

The post Rated and Reviewed: Where we stayed in Vietnam 2017 appeared first on Before My Mam Dies.

Hanoi Pit of Quality

by noreply@blogger.com (9zg8fenf) @ Handspan Vietnam

For the benefit of several readers (well, Mark, Steve and Rob) I'm going to get all the Nam cliches out of the way in one go. So here they are: I haven't seen any vets like John Rambo, Magnum or Jim Robinson. I haven't found out who really robbed the Bank of Hanoi. I haven't developed a thousand-yard stare (yet). I haven't even been incarcerated in a Hanoi Pit of Hell.Instead I have been wandering around Hanoi drinking in what a thoroughly cool place it is. Hanoi is busy all the time, and rush hours are manic. There are mopeds everywhere. If you've ever seen the Wirral Egg Run (type it into Google if you haven't), imagine that amount of motorbikes but all riding in different directions all day and yet not actually crashing into each other.So as you can imagine, crossing the road is a bit of an art form. But in fact crossing the road is quite easy if you do as the locals do and just step out into the constant flow of mopeds hurtling towards you from all directions. The Green Cross Code man would probably turn in his grave but incredibly nobody gets hurt. I could stand on a street corner watching mopeds negotiate junctions all day. Its like a giant formation motorcyle team.The old quarter of Hanoi is the place to be for travellers, and has a decent mix of bars and restaurants with tons of decent hostels as well. I was a bit disappointed with the nightlife (not enough people to fill all the bars and restaurants) but that wan't enough to stop me from instantly liking the place.As a break from the noise and fumes we took a boat trip out to Halong Bay (I think its in Tomorrow Never Dies at the end). Unfortunately the weather was a bit on the crap side and we couldn't see much, but the gist is that its a bay (hence the name) with about 3000 small rocky islands in it. The low mist meant we couldn't see much of them but in fact it gave them a pretty eerie quality that I was quite pleased about.The boat trip was one of these overnight jobs, but unfortunately (like the bars) there weren't enough people to fill the vast number of boats that run every day. Still, we met some nice people on there and had a pretty nice evening, then met our first cockroaches all over the bottom deck where our cabins were. There weren't many of them but the sight was still enough to ellicit screams from Carly and Vicky (and me). Nothing we can't handle though, so after blocking every gap and crevace in the cabins with bog roll Graham and I did the manly thing and set of on Operation Roachhunt with our trusty torches and sturdy shoes. They really do make a horrible sound when they get squished.Anyhoo, we made it back to dry land safely and back to lovely Hanoi. I'm pretty lucky at the moment in that every place we've been to I haven't wanted to leave. Off to Hue next for some R&R.

Amica Travel

by rtcvietnam @ The Responsible Travel Club of Vietnam – RTC

Amica Travel   Amica Travel is a taylor made tours’ travel agency in Vietnam with a Vietnamese team of about 80 people. Our job is the creation and organisation of […]

The post Amica Travel appeared first on The Responsible Travel Club of Vietnam - RTC.

Portugal Hotel Recommendation, Lisbon and Porto?

by mikster @ Fodor's Forum

My husband and I are planning a trip to Lisbon and maybe Porto at the end of September.Just starting the research in terms of best areas to stay in....

Sapa Tours in Vietnam

by noreply@blogger.com (r4v9y3rp) @ Handspan Tours, Vietnam

Sapa Tours
Sapa Trek & Bac Ha Sunday Market
Sapa Trek with Sunday Market Bac Ha - 3 daysSapa Trek with Sunday Market Bac HaThis 3-day 4-night tour is a wonderful offer from Footprint. Including not only trekking to the hidden villages and staying at their home, but also a visit to one of the most colorful tribal markets in Vietnam. Bac Ha is a rainbow of culture and local trading activities. Different tribes and villages all congregate here only on Sunday to do their business. Please schedule your departure from Hanoi on Thursday night so you too can participate in this renowned market...

Sapa Easy Trek - 3 days
Sapa Easy Trek tour - Vietnam trekkingThis is a perfect combination of trek and culture while visiting the hill tribes’ villages at a pace and style that compliments you. Journey away from the crowds and homestay a traditional Dao home. Learn and participate in village life and truly feel the warmth and hospitality of these incredible people. This is an unforgettable soft adventure to Sapa that should be part of everyone’s time in Vietnam, yet probably only offered by Footprint.
Sapa is a special place with an energy like no other. Take advantage of the secret spots we take you to, and make this an adventure you will never forget. This is the way travel truly should be...

Conquer the top of Mt. Fansipan - 4 days
Fansipan Sapa adventure trek in VietnamSapa is a beautiful former French hill-station. At an altitude of 1,650 m Sapa boasts warm days and cool evenings and all day fresh air. Nowadays, Sapa has become a favorite destination due to its inspiring scenery of mounatin ranges and terraced valley floors dotted with small ethnic villages. Sapa is home to several of Vietnam’s 54 ethnic minority groups, each with their own distinctive dress, customs and dialects making it a colorful mosaic of culture.
Sapa is also renowned for its trekking. With South East Asia's highest peak, Mt. Fansipan (3,143 m) providing the perfect backdrop for some great trekking routes. This 3 day trek with outdoor camping offers all of the challenges and rewards of any hike. And, at the summit you be one of the few to have reached up and touched the clouds marking the roof of Indochina...

Sapa Moderate Trek - 4 daysSapa Moderate Trek Tour - trekking in VietnamCombing a mix of adventure and culture in this multi-day trek suites those who have a little extra time, are willing to get a little dirty, and want to explore . We will travel South of Sapa along the inspiring Muong Hoa valley and mountain streams, visiting villages of Hmong, Zay, Dao and Tay ethnic minorities.
Sources: Sapa Tours
http://www.footprintsvietnam.com/Tours/Sapa/

This trek can be difficult at times but is worth the effort as you will be taken off the beaten path, away from the crowds, and into the unspoiled Vietnam. Visit and stay with a Zay and Tay family and learn about village life. We promise that this trip will be unforgettable, educational, rewarding with a healthy dose of fun...

Small group tour for Cu Chi tunnels

by thanhsang @ Tours in Vietnam

  Small group tour for Cu Chi tunnels Departs at 09.00am – Finishes at 14.30   Highlight of the trip Visit Ben Duoc tunnels site where has less tourists visit Maximum 10 tourists join the tour together Having more time for shoot training at the tunnels area Visiting cricket farm and try its product like […]

The Lagoon Explorer Junk in Halong Bay Vietnam

by noreply@blogger.com (r4v9y3rp) @ Handspan Tours, Vietnam

The Lagoon Explorer Junk is designed with sophistication and the utmost attention to detail of a Traditional Sailing Boat. Whether you are dining in the restaurant, lounging on the sun deck or relaxing in the comfort of your cabin, you will be surrounded by the handcrafted woodworld of Teak and Oak which make the Lagoon Explorer Junk a true masterpiece. The Junk with 3 deluxe rooms & 1 Studio room, a fine dining restaurant & bar, a outdoor lounge, a swim platform, a well-trained Crew, 24-hour electricity supply and a host of activities to make your stay memorable.Lagoon Explorer Junk is pride of it’s stylest & the first Junk which is able to run by sails, to go fishing at night time and to bring you to any beauty sites of Halong Bay and run the tour as your choice. Travel with your own new, personalized itineraries.

Hanoi in three days: holiday itinerary

Hanoi in three days: holiday itinerary


the Guardian

Hanoi is Vietnam at its most exotic, arguably the best place in the country to enjoy street food and culture, taking in the views and flavours on numerous walking tours of the city

Review: Treasure Junk, Halong Bay, Vietnam | Travel Daily Asia

Review: Treasure Junk, Halong Bay, Vietnam | Travel Daily Asia


Travel Daily Asia

Overview Hanoi based Handspan Travel receives very positive reviews for its numerous offerings but none…

Vietnam Transport

by noreply@blogger.com (9zg8fenf) @ Handspan Vietnam

Vietnam TransportBy Air to/from Vietnam Vietnam Airlines operates international flights to/from the following destinations: Amsterdam, Bangkok, Berlin, Dubai, Frankfurt, Guangzhou, Hong Kong, Jakarta, Kaohsiung, Kuala Lumpur, Los Angeles, Manila, Melbourne, Moscow, Osaka, Paris, Phnom Penh, Seoul, Siep Riem (Angkor Wat), Singapore, Sydney, Taipei and Vientiane.TIP: Fares are significantly lower for those flying to Ho Chi Minh City. Although flights are available from the capitals of most Southeast Asian countries as well as from Sydney and Melbourne. The best place is from Bangkok as visas are easiest to obtain there.Airport Tax International airport tax is US$14. The airport tax for domestic flights is VND 30'000 (in some cases VND 15'000). Remember to leave enough money for the International Departure Tax if you're flying out of Vietnam. They prefer dollars to Dong at Saigon airport - the exchange rate is extortionate if you're paying in Dong!Domestic FlightsIt is much easier and safer to travel between cities by plane and buy your tickets in Vietnam as they are cheaper. Most routes have a daily flight and are easily available and booking isn’t necessary.Northern Airport Flight Service has helicopter flights to Ha Long Bay. There are 2 flights per week at 8:00 and 15:30 on Saturday, departing from Gia Lam Airport in Hanoi (not the international airport). You can get the tickets at the Metropolitan HotelNha Trang has daily flights to/from Ho Chi Minh City.National Airport Code CityBMV Ban Me ThuotDAD DanangDIN Dien Bien PhuDLI DalatHAN HanoiHPH Hai PhongHUI HueNHA Nha TrangPQC Phu QuocPXU PleikuSGN Ho Chi Minh CitySQH Na SanVIH Qui NhonVII VinhVKG Rach Gia * Airlines * Vietnam Airlines (International) 116-118 Nguyen Hue Blvd., Ho Chi Minh City. Tel (08) 292118 * Vietnam Airlines (Domestic) 27b Nguyen Dinh Chieu St. Ho Chi Minh City. Tel (08) 299980 * Air France Dong Khoi and Le Loi St. (Caravelle Hotel), Ho Chi Minh City . Tel (08) 241278 * Aeroflot 4H Le Loi St. Ho Chi Minh City. Tel (08) 93489 * Thai 116 Nguyen Hue Blvd., Ho Chi Minh City Tel (08) 292118 * Philippine Airlines Ho Chi Minh City Tel (08) 292200 * MAS116 Nguyen Hue Blvd., Ho Chi Minh City Tel (08) 30695 BicyclesIt is fun to rent a bicycle and to ride around. Rates are around US$ 2 for a day. It is also possible to buy bicycles and even mountain bikes, but beware of the quality. Maintenance is widely available, but original spare parts are rare. Instead, any spare part that "fits" will be used.BoatsThere are some boats between the mainland of Vietnam and the islands. Rach Gia to/from Phu Quoc takes 6 to 10 hours and costs around VND 90000. Officially, it should leave every day at 8 am in Rach Gia and at 10 am in An Thui. In reality it waits until there are enough passengers. This can mean day...so be prepared. Ha Tien to/from Phu Quoc This is officially not allowed, since the boat crosses Cambodian waters so if you catch one of these the risk is your own as to whether you get put behind bars for your efforts or not. Vung Tao to/from Con Dao There is a boat between Vung Tao and the island Con Dao. One way takes about 13 hours.Buses Traveling by road from Cambodia is a slow and expensive alternative to flying. The bus system runs almost everywhere within the country, with stations built around the country dividing the territory into regions. For longer trips buses tend to be slow and unreliable it is therefore generally advised that travelers fly in instead. Nha Trang/Ho Chi Minh City Express and regular buses link Nha Trang with Ho Chi Minh City; express buses take about 12 hours.Mini Buses It is possible to rent a minibus if you so desire and if there are a few of you, it possibly works out to be a cheaper way of getting around the country, though risky, due to the high number of accidents in Vietnam.CyclosAn excellent way to tour any city in Vietnam is to rent a cyclo. Rates start from around VND 15000 to VND 30000 for a ride of up to 10 minutes in Saigon. Locals pay half that price. You can also get a tour of one hour for US$1. In Hanoi prices are more related to the distance and are a bit more expensive. Each town seems to have it’s own price structure, so ask around to get some idea at the time.TIP: Make sure that you hold onto any belongings when traveling in a cyclo as passing motorists and the like have been known to grab these as they pass.The routes a cyclo may use is being limited by the government because they cause traffic congestion, so what seems to be a short trip could in fact become quite a long one because of having to take an indirect route, especially in Ho Chin Minh City.Hire CarsCar rentals are currently not in existence. Cabs, which are unmarked cars without meters, can typically be rented for the day. The rates are about US$25 to US$150 (depending on the car, the place you rent it from, the region and your bargaining skills). As with any form of transport in Vietnam, driving is a risk you take due to the high accident rate in the country.Motorbike hireIt's easy to rent a motorcycle to get around. Usual rates are US$4 to US$7 for a day for a 50 cc to 100 cc Honda or Yamaha. If you rent a motorbike, make sure that you don't leave your passport with them and that in the contract they don't overcharge. Buy a big lock and chain as the motorbike theft rate is VERY high.If you are in a hurry, you can try to flag down a motorcycle for a ride on the back (most drivers are not adverse to making a bit of extra money) or ask a local to find a Honda ong (motorbike taxi) for you. The biggest problem is explaining the destination to the driver because pronunciation is everything in Vietnamese. Carry a pen and paper or a map.TIP: As in many Asian countries the standard of driving, to say the least, is atrocious and at times it will seem as if every vehicle on the road is going in the opposite direction to you. It is therefore generally advised that unless you are both a very experienced driver with a good medical insurance or a risk-taker, it’s NOT ADVISABLE to rent a motorbike at all.Ships and FerriesThere are no official passenger services. Travelers may be able to ride on a cargo ship to Ho Chi Minh City, Danang or Haiphong from Hong Kong, Japan, Thailand, Singapore or France. Check with the local shipping and travel agencies for rates and availability.A ferry service runs from Cambodia to Chau Doc in the Mekong Delta.TrainsThere are currently no train lines running between Vietnam and its neighbouring countries. The Vietnamese railway system runs from Ho Chi Minh City to Hanoi along the coast and links with Haiphong and the regions further north. Odd-numbered trains travel south and even-numbered trains travel north.The fastest trains take at least 28 hours from Ho Chi Minh City to Hanoi. Reservations should be made a day or more in advance. The major setback to the railways is that tourists are charged many times more than Vietnamese people in the form of an outrageously high surcharge. For long distance traveling, it is best to fly.Nha Trang Express trains run to/from both Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi.Please note that the above time schedules and prices are subject to change and are therefore intended only as a guide.

Handspan Indochina Travel in Hanoi - Uncategorized from Google in Hanoi, Vietnam - Justgola

Handspan Indochina Travel in Hanoi - Uncategorized from Google in Hanoi, Vietnam - Justgola


Justgola

Handspan Indochina Travel is located at 78 Mã Mây, Hàng Buồm, Hanoi, Vietnam

What does it mean to be an “Adventurer?”

by suzie@hikeupyourskirt.org @ HikeUpYourSkirt

What makes an adventurer? How do you become an adventurer? December 2016, Phong Nha Lake House, Central Vietnam: My boyfriend and I had just returned from a two-day caving adventure and were sitting at the bar of our hotel, thinking about what to have for dinner and bemoaning how sore we were. We had just finished a trek into Phong...

The post What does it mean to be an “Adventurer?” appeared first on HikeUpYourSkirt.

Natural Trails Vietnam 5 days

by noreply@blogger.com (9zg8fenf) @ Handspan Vietnam

Day 1: Hanoi arrival (D)PagodaPagodaOur guide will meet you at Noi Bai airport and escort you to a hotel in the center of Hanoi. Start the tour early in the afternoon to visit Tran Quoc Pagoda, Quan Thanh temple, Hoan Kiem lake, Ngoc Son temple and 36 Old streets. Enjoy welcome dinner and over night in Hanoi.Day 2: Hanoi - Perfume pagoda - Cuc Phuong (B/L/D)Depart at 07:30 A.M. for about 2 hours drive to Perfume Pagoda (75km). Enjoy a 1.30 hours boat trip on Yen (Swallow Bird) stream and visit Trinh temple. Follow is 2 hours trekking up the mountain to visit pagoda inside grotto Huong Tich, where people often come to pray for health, luck, ... etc. After lunch, visit Thien Tru pagoda and scenery of Holiest in the country. After 1.30 hours boat trip back to the Wharf, we will ride to Cuc Phuong National Park and arrive there around 18.30 pm. Overnight in hotel at Cuc Phuong National Park.Day 3: Cuc Phuong - Kenh Ga - Ninh Binh (B/L/D)Tam CocTam CocIn the morning, walking to visit flora, fauna and one-thousand-year-old sequoia tree and visit the cave of Prehistoric man. Back to restaurant for lunch. In the afternoon , visit the Endangered Primates Rescue Center then drive to Ninh Binh town. On the way, visit Kenh Ga village (floating village) and arrive at Ninh Binh about 18.00 pm. Overnight in a hotel at Ninh Binh town.Day 4: Ninh Binh - Hoa Lu - Tam Coc - Hanoi (B/L)8:00 A.M. drive to visit Hoa Lu - the Ancient Capital and the remaining two temples of Dinh King & Le King. Continue trip to Tam Coc – the "'Halong bay" inland. After lunch, sit back and relax whilst the a local villager rows a small boat through the rice fields and mountain ranges, visit 3 caves and contemplate the beauty of the natural landscapes. Return to Hanoi and arrive in Hanoi about 17.00 pm. Overnight in Hanoi.Day 5: Hanoi (B)Chua Huong Perfume Pagoda tourPerfume PagodaAfter breakfast, time for relax or shopping before going to airport for departure home or more visit the South of Vietnam.

Letter from Phu Quoc

by noreply@blogger.com (r4v9y3rp) @ Handspan Tours, Vietnam

I am writing from the Thien Hai Son resort in Duong Dong town on Phu Quoc. The resort sits on Long Beach on the western side of the island. Our host is Mr. Thi, a vice-director with the Ministry of Fisheries in Hanoi whom we met when we first arrived. He is here in Phu Quoc because creating an MPA here in the archipelago of small islands at the southern tip of Phu Quoc is a priority for his agency. Other members of the team here, besides Ed and me are Mr. Linh who works for Mr. Thi and Mr. Huong who is our interpreter and socioeconomic specialist. Mr. Thi has graciously taken us all around the island, brought us out to the proposed MPA site by boat, and provided for meals along the way.I had assumed this island, because it was remote and in the far south near Cambodia, would be less heavily utilized than the rest of the coast of Vietnam and that it would be a lush tropical setting. I was wrong on both accounts. The island is quite arid most of the year and has very poor soil for growing crops. About 80% of the island is a national park for forest protection and represents the largest forested area remaining in Vietnam. There are many large hardwood trees in the forest and a fairly dense canopy but I’d call it semi-tropical arid hardwood forest- not a rainforest at all. Apparently there are monkeys, wild boar and deer in the forest. I’ve also seen two sea eagles along the coast- a majestic eagle similar in size to our bald eagle that feeds on fish.Despite the fact that it is an offshore island, Phu Quoc is heavily fished by local boats and by boats from many other Vietnamese provinces. It’s quite astounding how many boats there are, how often they are fishing, and the fishing power that each one represents. They use fine mesh nets to catch whatever they can usually at night with the aid of 10 or more high intensity lights. Supposedly the intensity of the lights is regulated but it’s not enforced. The main fisheries are anchovy, used to make famous Phu Quoc fish sauce, squid, and bottom fish. Trawlers are prevalent and are wreaking havoc on the bottom habitat according to local fishermen. The anchovy resource is extremely important and is apparently sustained by upwelling events in the southern island archipelago. Nuoc mam or fish sauce is Phu Quoc’s claim to fame. This fish sauce is revered throughout Vietnam and beyond for its purity and flavor- it’s unlike any other in the world. It’s made by dumping some anchovies in a huge vat, mixing them with salt and letting them rot and ferment for several months to years and then pouring off the refined fish oil product from the bottom of the vat. It’s served as a dipping sauce in a small side dish with many entrees in Vietnam.Today we met with the vice chairman of the Provincial People’s Party as well as several vice directors of the Department of Fisheries (DOFI). We learned that the plan is to make an MPA in the southern archipelago and to relocate hundreds of fishing families and boats to ports on the east and north coast of the island. The southern archipelago would then be available for development as an ecotourism area. It appears to be an incredibly ambitious plan but there does seem to be a plan in the works to carry it out. Time will tell.

Vietran Tour

by giapdien @ Tourist companies in the North – Vietnam Travel Guide

Add: 49, Quang Trung street, Hai Ba Trung district, Hanoi Tel: (+84 4) 39438777 ; 39438778 ; 39368529 Fax: (+84 4) 39438759 ; 39368528 Email: info@vietrantour.com Website: http://vietrantour.com Contact Add: 49, Quang Trung street, Hai Ba Trung district, Hanoi Tel: (+84 4) 39438777 ; 39438778 ; 39368529 Fax: (+84 4) 39438759 ; 39368528 Email: info@vietrantour.com Website: http://vietrantour.com

The post Vietran Tour appeared first on Vietnam Travel Guide.

HaNoi - HaLong - NinhBinh - MaiChau - Hue - DaNang - HoiAn - MySon - SaiGon - CuChi - TayNinh - MeKong Delta - SaiGon

by noreply@blogger.com (r4v9y3rp) @ Handspan Tours, Vietnam

Day 1. Arrival in HanoiGreetting at Noi Bai airport and transfer to hotel. Overview of the Old Quarters by ricckshaw. Water puppetry show.Day 2. Hanoi – HalongHanoi city tour : Tran Quoc Pagoda, Temple of Literature. After lunch, proceed to Halong via Red River Delta . Overnight in Halong.Day 3. Halong – Ninh Binh6-hour cruise in Halong Bay with lunch onboard. Transfer to Ninh Binh. Overnight in Ninh Binh.Day 4. Ninh Binh – Mai Chau3-hour sampan ballade to visit “Inland Halong Bay”, then Hoa Lu.. Drive to Mai Chau . Overnight in a house on stilts of Thai minority.Day 5. Mai Chau – Hanoi – HueA short trek around Thai minority villages before driving back Hanoi. Leisure time before taking night train to Hue.Day 6. HueOn arrival at 07.50, visit to Hue , last imperial capital of Vietnam : the Imperial Palace, Royal Tombs. Enjor costume royal dinner.Day 7. Hue – Da Nang – Hoi AnBoat cruise on Perfume River to visit Thien Mu Pagoda. Heading south, visit Cham Art Museum, then visit Hoi An Ancient Town.Day 8. Hoi An – My Son – Hoi AnTransfer to visit My Son – former sanctuary of Indianized Champa Kingdom in the First Millenium. Back to Hoi An for overnight.Day 9. Hoi An – Da Nang – SaigonTransfer to Da Nang airport for flight to Saigon. Saigon city tour : visit former French Quarter and former Chinatown.Day 10. Saigon – My Tho – SaigonDrive to My Tho to visit Cai Be floating market on the Upper Mekong Branch. Back to Saigon for overnight.Day 11. Saigon - Cu Chi - Tay Ninh – SaigonTransfer to visit Cu Chi Tunnels, proceed on to visit Tay Ninh Cao Dai Holy See. Back to Saigon..Day 12. Saigon – DepartureFree time for shopping before transfer to airport for departure flight

Ho Chi Minh City

by noreply@blogger.com (r4v9y3rp) @ Handspan Tours, Vietnam

After a short flight from Denang we arrived in the bustling city of Ho Chi Minh. Vietnam's most modern city. After a quick freshen up we went out exploring and to get a bite to eat.The first thing we noticed about Ho Chi Minh City is not just how modern it is compared to the rest of Vietnam but how big it is, and we have never seen so many motorbikes. To cross the road here the advice is to move very, very slowly.One of the favourite sayings of people in Asia is 'Same Same but Different' and they use it when describing something that is basically similar to something but not quite right. This was wonderfully used in a restaurant in Ho Chi Minh City when Charlie ordered a chicken dish and was presented with a seafood dish instead (Charlie cannot eat seafood). We asked for it to be changed only to be told "No, it is fine, same same....but different" We couldn't help but laugh, although we did get the dish changed.That night we ate in the market and had great fun with our food as we ordered our own personal hot tile over coals and cooked our meat ourselves. We went to bed reasonably early that night as we were off to Cu Chi and the tunnels early in the morning.

Vietnam Transport

by noreply@blogger.com (9zg8fenf) @ Handspan Vietnam

Vietnam TransportBy Air to/from Vietnam Vietnam Airlines operates international flights to/from the following destinations: Amsterdam, Bangkok, Berlin, Dubai, Frankfurt, Guangzhou, Hong Kong, Jakarta, Kaohsiung, Kuala Lumpur, Los Angeles, Manila, Melbourne, Moscow, Osaka, Paris, Phnom Penh, Seoul, Siep Riem (Angkor Wat), Singapore, Sydney, Taipei and Vientiane.TIP: Fares are significantly lower for those flying to Ho Chi Minh City. Although flights are available from the capitals of most Southeast Asian countries as well as from Sydney and Melbourne. The best place is from Bangkok as visas are easiest to obtain there.Airport Tax International airport tax is US$14. The airport tax for domestic flights is VND 30'000 (in some cases VND 15'000). Remember to leave enough money for the International Departure Tax if you're flying out of Vietnam. They prefer dollars to Dong at Saigon airport - the exchange rate is extortionate if you're paying in Dong!Domestic FlightsIt is much easier and safer to travel between cities by plane and buy your tickets in Vietnam as they are cheaper. Most routes have a daily flight and are easily available and booking isn’t necessary.Northern Airport Flight Service has helicopter flights to Ha Long Bay. There are 2 flights per week at 8:00 and 15:30 on Saturday, departing from Gia Lam Airport in Hanoi (not the international airport). You can get the tickets at the Metropolitan HotelNha Trang has daily flights to/from Ho Chi Minh City.National Airport Code CityBMV Ban Me ThuotDAD DanangDIN Dien Bien PhuDLI DalatHAN HanoiHPH Hai PhongHUI HueNHA Nha TrangPQC Phu QuocPXU PleikuSGN Ho Chi Minh CitySQH Na SanVIH Qui NhonVII VinhVKG Rach Gia * Airlines * Vietnam Airlines (International) 116-118 Nguyen Hue Blvd., Ho Chi Minh City. Tel (08) 292118 * Vietnam Airlines (Domestic) 27b Nguyen Dinh Chieu St. Ho Chi Minh City. Tel (08) 299980 * Air France Dong Khoi and Le Loi St. (Caravelle Hotel), Ho Chi Minh City . Tel (08) 241278 * Aeroflot 4H Le Loi St. Ho Chi Minh City. Tel (08) 93489 * Thai 116 Nguyen Hue Blvd., Ho Chi Minh City Tel (08) 292118 * Philippine Airlines Ho Chi Minh City Tel (08) 292200 * MAS116 Nguyen Hue Blvd., Ho Chi Minh City Tel (08) 30695 BicyclesIt is fun to rent a bicycle and to ride around. Rates are around US$ 2 for a day. It is also possible to buy bicycles and even mountain bikes, but beware of the quality. Maintenance is widely available, but original spare parts are rare. Instead, any spare part that "fits" will be used.BoatsThere are some boats between the mainland of Vietnam and the islands. Rach Gia to/from Phu Quoc takes 6 to 10 hours and costs around VND 90000. Officially, it should leave every day at 8 am in Rach Gia and at 10 am in An Thui. In reality it waits until there are enough passengers. This can mean day...so be prepared. Ha Tien to/from Phu Quoc This is officially not allowed, since the boat crosses Cambodian waters so if you catch one of these the risk is your own as to whether you get put behind bars for your efforts or not. Vung Tao to/from Con Dao There is a boat between Vung Tao and the island Con Dao. One way takes about 13 hours.Buses Traveling by road from Cambodia is a slow and expensive alternative to flying. The bus system runs almost everywhere within the country, with stations built around the country dividing the territory into regions. For longer trips buses tend to be slow and unreliable it is therefore generally advised that travelers fly in instead. Nha Trang/Ho Chi Minh City Express and regular buses link Nha Trang with Ho Chi Minh City; express buses take about 12 hours.Mini Buses It is possible to rent a minibus if you so desire and if there are a few of you, it possibly works out to be a cheaper way of getting around the country, though risky, due to the high number of accidents in Vietnam.CyclosAn excellent way to tour any city in Vietnam is to rent a cyclo. Rates start from around VND 15000 to VND 30000 for a ride of up to 10 minutes in Saigon. Locals pay half that price. You can also get a tour of one hour for US$1. In Hanoi prices are more related to the distance and are a bit more expensive. Each town seems to have it’s own price structure, so ask around to get some idea at the time.TIP: Make sure that you hold onto any belongings when traveling in a cyclo as passing motorists and the like have been known to grab these as they pass.The routes a cyclo may use is being limited by the government because they cause traffic congestion, so what seems to be a short trip could in fact become quite a long one because of having to take an indirect route, especially in Ho Chin Minh City.Hire CarsCar rentals are currently not in existence. Cabs, which are unmarked cars without meters, can typically be rented for the day. The rates are about US$25 to US$150 (depending on the car, the place you rent it from, the region and your bargaining skills). As with any form of transport in Vietnam, driving is a risk you take due to the high accident rate in the country.Motorbike hireIt's easy to rent a motorcycle to get around. Usual rates are US$4 to US$7 for a day for a 50 cc to 100 cc Honda or Yamaha. If you rent a motorbike, make sure that you don't leave your passport with them and that in the contract they don't overcharge. Buy a big lock and chain as the motorbike theft rate is VERY high.If you are in a hurry, you can try to flag down a motorcycle for a ride on the back (most drivers are not adverse to making a bit of extra money) or ask a local to find a Honda ong (motorbike taxi) for you. The biggest problem is explaining the destination to the driver because pronunciation is everything in Vietnamese. Carry a pen and paper or a map.TIP: As in many Asian countries the standard of driving, to say the least, is atrocious and at times it will seem as if every vehicle on the road is going in the opposite direction to you. It is therefore generally advised that unless you are both a very experienced driver with a good medical insurance or a risk-taker, it’s NOT ADVISABLE to rent a motorbike at all.Ships and FerriesThere are no official passenger services. Travelers may be able to ride on a cargo ship to Ho Chi Minh City, Danang or Haiphong from Hong Kong, Japan, Thailand, Singapore or France. Check with the local shipping and travel agencies for rates and availability.A ferry service runs from Cambodia to Chau Doc in the Mekong Delta.TrainsThere are currently no train lines running between Vietnam and its neighbouring countries. The Vietnamese railway system runs from Ho Chi Minh City to Hanoi along the coast and links with Haiphong and the regions further north. Odd-numbered trains travel south and even-numbered trains travel north.The fastest trains take at least 28 hours from Ho Chi Minh City to Hanoi. Reservations should be made a day or more in advance. The major setback to the railways is that tourists are charged many times more than Vietnamese people in the form of an outrageously high surcharge. For long distance traveling, it is best to fly.Nha Trang Express trains run to/from both Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi.Please note that the above time schedules and prices are subject to change and are therefore intended only as a guide.

Packing list for cycling in Vietnam

by Sinh Le @ Cycling VietNam | Active Travel, Bike Tours VietNam, Laos and Cambodia

   Packing list for Cycling in Vietnam: Back in the 90s, local Vietnamese used very simple bike. It was difficult to find bike gears and tools to fix your bike. Now you can find some places to fix your bike in big city: Hanoi, Hue, Ho Chi Minh city. However, some gear still a must for you to bring i...

The post Packing list for cycling in Vietnam appeared first on Cycling VietNam | Active Travel, Bike Tours VietNam, Laos and Cambodia.

Week seven - Vang Vieng - Hanoi - Halong Bay - Hue

by noreply@blogger.com (9zg8fenf) @ Handspan Vietnam

The aftermath of the storm was quite evident, trees uprooted, rooves partly blown off but the hammers came out and rooves were fixed and debris cleared up. The owner of Bamboo Bar where we sheltered required 7 stitches to his back from flying debris so felt lucky that we all escaped unscathed. I will never forget the force of the wind. For the next two nights the skies rumbled and we had massive downpours so I decided to move into town and leave my leaky hut behind. My new next door neighbours didn't take long to ask me if I could sew and when I said "yes" all manner of garnments appeared for mending. I did get a beer though for my efforts and thanks to Delphine for the sewing kit as I was able to make some chums for the evening.I arranged by Vietnamese visa in Laos and opted for a flight instead of an insanely long bus journey. The mini van trip to Ventiene passed quickly and the Bridport girlies said "au revoir". I was very sad to leave Laos as it is a wonderful country: stunning scenery, not over populated, stylish, calm, even the poorest villages are well kept and maintained, plenty of outdoor pursuits together with great food and bars. Hanoi on the other hand was like any other big city. Big, COLD, noisy, polluted and no charm. Everyone seems to be on a mission whether from riding their mopeds the wrong way up one way streets, selling goods from Pan Ganhs (basket scales that the ladies carry) to eating food on the kerb side. Funnily enough though there are small dogs and cats in lots of shops which are kept as pets and not for the pot.Now crossing the road for the most cautious road crosser ever was a bit of a learning curve. Don't wait for the traffic lights to count down from 30 to 0 and think that the millions of moped riders are going to stop because they won't. Make sure that the rider has seen you and walk slowly and confidently across the road, the said rider then drives around the rabbit. Easy when you know how!Real Estate in Hanoi is at a premium and explains why all the buildings ressemble 153 Manhattan, long, very narrow and high. I paid 6 GBP, the most yet, for a room and it didn't even have windows. Hanoi and it's grey weather didn't do it for me so I booked a two day tour to equally grey Halong Bay. The two day trip was a disappointment: grey skies, full of tourists, terrible food, cockroaches in my cabin and beer sold at extortionate prices. I was really bored by 6pm and was in bed by 21.30. Thankfully Ruth and Charlie from NZ and Yann and Susan from Germany made the most boring Friday ever pass quicker with a good game of cards.It was then back to grey Hanoi and a 13 hour all night bus journey to Hue in search of the sun. The bus departed 1.5 hours late and I have never seen such a bus: 38 bunk beds in a bus. I managed to sleep, met some nice fellow travellers especially a girl from Vietnam who now lives in Australia so was able to ask her all manner of questions about the country and customs. Even the boys from Hull on the back seats were chatty. Hue is a pleasant town with some interesting monuments most of which I decided to give a miss.I bumped into Adam at the Citadel who was another all nighter bus person and we ended up at DMZ the best bar in town. We watched the Grand Prix, snowy Man U football and had a late night on the pop trying to forget the 8am four hour bus ride to Hoi An in the morning.

HaNoi - HaLong - NinhBinh - MaiChau - Hue - DaNang - HoiAn - MySon - SaiGon - CuChi - TayNinh - MeKong Delta - SaiGon

by noreply@blogger.com (9zg8fenf) @ Handspan Vietnam

Day 1. Arrival in HanoiGreetting at Noi Bai airport and transfer to hotel. Overview of the Old Quarters by ricckshaw. Water puppetry show.Day 2. Hanoi – HalongHanoi city tour : Tran Quoc Pagoda, Temple of Literature. After lunch, proceed to Halong via Red River Delta . Overnight in Halong.Day 3. Halong – Ninh Binh6-hour cruise in Halong Bay with lunch onboard. Transfer to Ninh Binh. Overnight in Ninh Binh.Day 4. Ninh Binh – Mai Chau3-hour sampan ballade to visit “Inland Halong Bay”, then Hoa Lu.. Drive to Mai Chau . Overnight in a house on stilts of Thai minority.Day 5. Mai Chau – Hanoi – HueA short trek around Thai minority villages before driving back Hanoi. Leisure time before taking night train to Hue.Day 6. HueOn arrival at 07.50, visit to Hue , last imperial capital of Vietnam : the Imperial Palace, Royal Tombs. Enjor costume royal dinner.Day 7. Hue – Da Nang – Hoi AnBoat cruise on Perfume River to visit Thien Mu Pagoda. Heading south, visit Cham Art Museum, then visit Hoi An Ancient Town.Day 8. Hoi An – My Son – Hoi AnTransfer to visit My Son – former sanctuary of Indianized Champa Kingdom in the First Millenium. Back to Hoi An for overnight.Day 9. Hoi An – Da Nang – SaigonTransfer to Da Nang airport for flight to Saigon. Saigon city tour : visit former French Quarter and former Chinatown.Day 10. Saigon – My Tho – SaigonDrive to My Tho to visit Cai Be floating market on the Upper Mekong Branch. Back to Saigon for overnight.Day 11. Saigon - Cu Chi - Tay Ninh – SaigonTransfer to visit Cu Chi Tunnels, proceed on to visit Tay Ninh Cao Dai Holy See. Back to Saigon..Day 12. Saigon – DepartureFree time for shopping before transfer to airport for departure flight

Sapa Tours in Vietnam

by noreply@blogger.com (9zg8fenf) @ Handspan Vietnam

Sapa Tours
Sapa Trek & Bac Ha Sunday Market
Sapa Trek with Sunday Market Bac Ha - 3 daysSapa Trek with Sunday Market Bac HaThis 3-day 4-night tour is a wonderful offer from Footprint. Including not only trekking to the hidden villages and staying at their home, but also a visit to one of the most colorful tribal markets in Vietnam. Bac Ha is a rainbow of culture and local trading activities. Different tribes and villages all congregate here only on Sunday to do their business. Please schedule your departure from Hanoi on Thursday night so you too can participate in this renowned market...

Sapa Easy Trek - 3 days
Sapa Easy Trek tour - Vietnam trekkingThis is a perfect combination of trek and culture while visiting the hill tribes’ villages at a pace and style that compliments you. Journey away from the crowds and homestay a traditional Dao home. Learn and participate in village life and truly feel the warmth and hospitality of these incredible people. This is an unforgettable soft adventure to Sapa that should be part of everyone’s time in Vietnam, yet probably only offered by Footprint.
Sapa is a special place with an energy like no other. Take advantage of the secret spots we take you to, and make this an adventure you will never forget. This is the way travel truly should be...

Conquer the top of Mt. Fansipan - 4 days
Fansipan Sapa adventure trek in VietnamSapa is a beautiful former French hill-station. At an altitude of 1,650 m Sapa boasts warm days and cool evenings and all day fresh air. Nowadays, Sapa has become a favorite destination due to its inspiring scenery of mounatin ranges and terraced valley floors dotted with small ethnic villages. Sapa is home to several of Vietnam’s 54 ethnic minority groups, each with their own distinctive dress, customs and dialects making it a colorful mosaic of culture.
Sapa is also renowned for its trekking. With South East Asia's highest peak, Mt. Fansipan (3,143 m) providing the perfect backdrop for some great trekking routes. This 3 day trek with outdoor camping offers all of the challenges and rewards of any hike. And, at the summit you be one of the few to have reached up and touched the clouds marking the roof of Indochina...

Sapa Moderate Trek - 4 daysSapa Moderate Trek Tour - trekking in VietnamCombing a mix of adventure and culture in this multi-day trek suites those who have a little extra time, are willing to get a little dirty, and want to explore . We will travel South of Sapa along the inspiring Muong Hoa valley and mountain streams, visiting villages of Hmong, Zay, Dao and Tay ethnic minorities.
Sources: Sapa Tours
http://www.footprintsvietnam.com/Tours/Sapa/

This trek can be difficult at times but is worth the effort as you will be taken off the beaten path, away from the crowds, and into the unspoiled Vietnam. Visit and stay with a Zay and Tay family and learn about village life. We promise that this trip will be unforgettable, educational, rewarding with a healthy dose of fun...

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