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Lucky Adventure Travel Indochina – Summer Promotion 2013

ACTIVETRAVEL ASIA has launched “Great summer holiday with lucky travels” for summer promotion 2013 in Vietnam, Lao, Cambodia. The program applies for all customers request tour on website from 25 March to 30 September 2013.

Conquering Fansipan Vietnam to be the champion

Fansipan is the highest peak of Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia, so it is called the “Roof of Indochina” while the local people call it Huasipan, which means large tottering rock.

Motorbiking Ho Chi Minh Trail, Vietnam - an unforgettable travel adventure

Riding a motorbike from the North to the South of Vietnam was an amazing experience. Now, while I didn’t ride the motorcycle on myself (Anthony did an amazing job!) it is still something that will remain with me for the rest of my life.

Discover Vietnam by cycling

People who had traveled to Vietnam agreed that it was an interesting experience in general, but the bicycle tours definitely brought more adventurous excitements.

A Look into Beautiful Halong Bay, Vietnam

Halong Bay has been declared a UNESCO World heritage site and it really deserves the designation. It is one of the most exciting unusual places I have been to in my life.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Deeper into the Mekong River Delta

Is there anywhere on planet Earth that so teems with life and industry as the Mekong Delta? Anywhere where agriculture and fish farming are so intensively practiced? In thinking that one day I'll come back here and find multi-storey rice paddies stretching to the horizon, I suspect I'm only partially dreaming.

Not for nothing has the delta of the Mekong River been termed the "rice bowl of the Universe". Six countries and well over fifty million people depend upon the Mekong for their very livelihood. And in no country is this dependence so profound as in Vietnam.

Flying into Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) gives as good an introduction as any to the wonders of the Mekong. From the air the landscape resembles an intricate anatomical chart, only in shades of green and brown rather than white and red. Every tributary of the Mekong River bifurcates, then trifurcates and multifurcates into thousands of veins, arteries and capillaries. Then, linking this vast drainage network are hundreds of manmade canals, giving the countryside the appearance of an Eastern Venice.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Quang Binh to organize tourism month on caves discovery

In June, the tourism month on caves discovery will take place in Quang Binh to promote local tourism products to domestic and international tourists and call for investment to social-economic development in the province. This is an activity of Quang Binh province responding to the National Tourism Year of the North Central Coast - Hue 2012.

Son Doong Cave located in Quang Binh is the biggest cave in the world

The tourism month will include a series of diversified activities such as: opening tourism routes to discover new caves in Phong Nha – Ke Bang National Park (Rao Thuong – Hang En route, 1,500m Phong Nha cave at night, Hang En and Sinh Ton Valley route); art photography exhibition on Quang Binh’s natural landscapes; traditional boat race on Nhat Le river; Quang Binh’s cuisine week; public art festival; Vietnam – Laos – Thailand international trade fair…

Travelers are exploring Son Doong Cave

To prepare for the tourism month, Quang Binh People's Committee directed departments, agencies, units to implement a number of activities as: preparing facilities to serve the boat race; developing content, theme of the public art festival; inviting enterprises to participate the trade fair; preparing photo books, DVDs to promote Quang Binh’s image to tourists…

Amazing feeling in the cave

In 2011, Phong Nha - Ke Bang National Park welcomed over 250,000 tourist arrivals. In 2012, caves discovery tourism has been chosen as a main point in tourism development strategy of Quang Binh. The completion of Huu Nghi 3 Bridge connecting Kham Muon province (Laos) and Nakhon Phanom province (Thailand) will open new opportunities for Quang Binh to enhance attracting international tourists by road. A number of tourism cooperation activities in the East- West Corridor will also be promoted and promises to bring economic- tourism benefits for Quang Binh in the near future.

Friday, June 15, 2012

The Old Quarter - The Unique Classical Feature of Hanoi

The Hanoi’s Old Quarter is the soul of city, and the top special historical vestige and sight-seeing of the capital.

There’s an old Vietnamese saying, “Hanoi has thirty-six streets and guilds – Jam Street, Sugar Street, Salt Street…”. Inside a modern and dynamic city, there appears an antique quarter, the Hanoi’s Old Quarter – the represented eternal soul of the city. These days, most Vietnamese and Westerners are familiar with the phrase “Hà Nội - Ba mươi sáu phố phường” (translated as “Ha Noi - 36 districts” or “Hanoi – 36 Old Streets”), or “Phố cổ Hà Nội” (translated as “Hanoi’s Old Quarter”), the top special historical vestige and sight-seeing of the capital, luring international visitors thanks to their mostly original state.

Hanoi 's old quarter

History of 36 streets old quarter

It would be a big surprise should you know that Hanoi's Old Quarter came into being at the time King Ly Thai To selected Thang Long as the country’s capital in 1010, that is, the streets have a nearly 1,000-year old history and became crowded & lively in 15th century. What makes them unique is that many of them remain in their very ancient architecture of the 15th century. Up to now, it has been the oldest continuously developed area of Vietnam.

Hanoi 's old quarter in the past

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Essential Tips for trekking Sapa

Behind Halong Bay, Sapa is the second most favourite spot for almost travelers when arrive Vietnam. Sapa is located in the Northern Vietnam, the region with many mountains, rice terraces and tribal villages. Certainly, with the unique climate in Sapa, you are always be put in the frequent rain storms as well as cloudy condition. However,  this shouldn’t be a deterrent, it requires a bit of extra preparation when rainy .

Rain, rain, rain – Always rain
If you felt like you’re unlucky travelers who visit Sapa during, or within a week after a bad rain storm, don’t upset, you are likely in a statistical majority. Unfortunately, the home stay treks and many days treks are on steep grades of dirty trails. Our first day of trekking to the home stay was full of uninterrupted showers, producing even muddier trails for second day of hike. Almost everyone slipped or fell over at least one, with yours truly falling twice on the second day and getting a fair share of souvenir mud on my belongings.

Sapa always in the wet, cloudy and mud conditions during summer

To be prepared, every village shops sell know-off items for all conditions. The sellers can be shewed in the bartering process, especially during the inclement weather where essential items are sold at inflated prices. Honestly, reusable double-lined rain coat is a life saver, and full on water boots are necessary things even if just for two days. If you can get these down to 100,000 or 120,000 VN during a rain period, no doubt that your bartering are solid. You can always sell the rain boots after and break even on the investment!

Homestay should be a priority
Make sure that you don’t miss the homestay. A village homestay should be a must for those want to explore the real life in Sapa. Not just for the experience of staying with local families, but for enjoying some of the most beautiful parts of the region. You can try to get outside of Sapa village, the more the scenery presents itself, and homestay provides the opportunity to get there.

Staying at homestay provides travelers the best way to enjoy the amazing nature of Sapa

Normally, homestay is the dorm room built as an addition to most family home, and it is said that people can only see the actual and traditional life of people on the second night. Thus if you want to discover about lifestyle of locals, you should arrange to spend 2 nights with them before leaving.

“Will you buy from me?”a
All trekkers are likely have their fair share of local villagers who follow them during the trek in hope of making a sale when reaching their village. These local women may make you feel annoying by keep asking you “Please buy something to me”  at first, but you will recognize their invaluable assistance during the bad weather as they point out the proper trails, hold hands, and are nothing less than a saving grace for the many of potential falls that could happen.

Some local women follow you during the trek with hope that you'll buy something

Of course, if you get as much help, a $5 tip is the least you can do, most of them would be greatful for just $2 for helping on a three hours or more hour hike. However, do not buy anything from one person because the others will soon flock to you and say “You bought from her but not from me, something small?” and can generally become annoying very quickly.

Overall, Sapa is an amazing destination even when hiking the worst rain and mud conditions.  Part of me wishes, however, that I knew how bad it was going on be in advance in order to be fully prepared for the trek ahead and save a few pair of clothes in process that have since been scrapped due to the mud. I would not discourage anyone from travelling to Sapa if the forecast is rain, but be sure to be fully prepared when you go! You won’t regret it!

Monday, June 4, 2012

The glance for Saigon

If you have only 24 hours to travel around Saigon, “What are the best places to go?” maybe your biggest question. Here is a quick review that provides you some suggestions of spots that you should use your time to take a look.

Finding a hotel is first thing that you have to do at the very first moment and accommodations around District 1 are always recommended due to convenience in transportation.

For those who want to learn more about the revolution in Vietnam in 20th century, there are several options. Cong Xa Paris Square located  in downtown Ho Chi Minh city is the good idea for a short, quick trip and of course it free. Next spot should be Reunification Palace on Nam Ky Khoi Nghia st. For a small fee around $3, you can buy a ticket to visit home of President of South Vietnam.

 Cong xa Paris Square in Ho Chi Minh 

From there, you can walk down to Cach Mang Thang Tam street (August Revolution st)  in district 3 and contemplate the new statue of Buddhist Monk Thich Quang Duc. This statue is erected to commemorate his self-immolation in order to protest the current political statement which was harsh treatment on Buddhist monks in the early 1960s’

 Statue of Buddhist Monk Thich Quang Duc

Moreover, Staying in Saigon is not only a journey back to time, travelers will completely fall in love with the dynamic and vibrant beauty of this city in the new century. Thus, district 5 and 6 will be the next destination for tourist to stop, people can take a look to tall buildings in latest designs or simply jump in Le Grande Mondial, the most profitable casino in Saigon  to try their luck

 Ben Thanh market

If you feel hungry after walking and want to relax a little, so head to Saigon Pho 2000, ideally located next Ben Thanh Market, for a bite to eat. Then, you can continue your journey to discover the city through shopping, or biking along the tree-line streets. There are of course high-end and low-end facilities located along Le Loi street and café aplenty for your downtime. The top floor restaurants and bar is a must for any visitors to Saigon. There is live music, among  all your other necessities, but it is more than that. You can feel the history as you sit there with a nice view of the city

Exploring the Islands of Ha Long Bay

Legend says Ha Long Bay was formed by a Mother Dragon and her children, sent by the Jade Emperor to protect the Viet from foreign invaders. The dragons flocked from Heaven, spitting out pearls which formed small islands and stopped the invaders and destroyed their ships. Mother Dragon and her children didn’t return to Heaven after the battle, but settled into the bay; the Mother Dragon forming Ha Long Bay and the children forming Bai Tu Long.

Exploring the islands of Ha Long Bay almost makes this incredible story seem true. Weaving through the almost 2000 islands while sitting atop jade-green water is surreal to say the least; spiritual at most.

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