Friday, November 28, 2014

Top Trekking Destinations in Vietnam Captivate Travelers

Mount Fansipan, mount Hong Linh or Bach Ma national park are enchanting trekking destinations in Vietnam. 

Trekking is a long walk to remote villages, jungles, mountains and other distant regions, to discover new lands and experience new life. Three-fourths area of Vietnam is mountains and hills. With mountainous terrain, Vietnam has many ideal areas for trekking and hiking.

1. Mount Fansipan (Lao Cai province)

Conquer Fansipan

Fansipan is the highest mountain in Vietnam and Indochina peninsula, and also was dubbed as “The roof of Indochina”. It is just 9 km from Sapa to the southwest, which is a hot attraction of Vietnam travel. Therefore, if get a trekking tour to Sapa, travelers can take an adventure to this mount on the same occasion.

This peak is regarded as a top conquering target to Vietnamese backpackers. With the height of 3,143 meters, travelers can conquer this mount by three various ways. The easiest route departs from Tram Ton to the peak then come back by just this way. The time trekking lasts 2-3 days.

The second route lasts about 4 days with the road length is 19.5 km, starting from “the spine” of Hoang Lien Son mountain range. Also departing from Tram Ton, but for the return road, travelers will pass through Muong Hoa valley, Cat Cat spring and go along the eastern flank of Hoang Lien range. 

The third route is more difficult as departing from Doc Mit, Binh Lu to the top. This is an extremely dangerous route and just professional climbers with full of equipment dare to take it.

There are also other routes, which can be longer or shorter, lead climbers pass through some special scenes. Depending on hobbies, healthy and time, travelers can choose a suitable route for self.

You can consult Fansipan routes at here.

2. Apachai (Dien Bien province)

Apachai trekking 1

Apachai trekking 2

Known as the westernmost point of Vietnam, Apachai is located in Xin Thau commune, Muong Nhe district, Dien Bien province. This is the special border fork of Vietnam, Laos and China. The road is not too hard like one to Fansipan. But trekking tours to this region still make many travelers depressed.

The Apachai landmark conquest usually takes place in the day-time. Depending on weather conditions, travelers will have to spend 3 to 5 hours for ascending and descending. After a long journey of coming over blady grass hills high over a person’s head and the primeval forest, you will see firsthand this historical landmark.

Apachai landmark is at the altitude of 1,400 meters above the sea level. It was made of granite with the square platform facing three directions. Each side was engraved a country name by Vietnamese alphabet and a national emblem of three countries Vietnam, Laos and China.

3.  Ham Lon mountain (Hanoi city)

Ham Lon climbing

Located 40 km from the central Hanoi, Ham Lon mountain is an ideal weekend trekking destination for many people. With the height of 462 meters, this mount is usually opted as a practice and rehearsal place for trekking tours of Fansipan or Apachai.

Travelers normally have 2 routes to conquer this peak. With the easier one, hikers follow a flat trail, few bushes and it takes about 2 hours. The second way is appropriate to adventurous people, going along the stream. The travel time is around 4 hours.

Hikers should bring along camping tents to stay overnight on the mountain to contemplate amazingly beautiful scenery of the dawn and the sunset.

4. Pu Luong national park (Thanh Hoa province)

Trekking Pu Luong nature reserve 1

Trekking Pu Luong nature reserve 2

Pu Luong national park is a nature reserve zone located in the northwest of Thanh Hoa province. This area belongs to the locality of two districts: Quan Hoa and Ba Thuoc.

With the area of 17,662 ha, this is the largest karst forest and lowland that remains in northern Vietnam. Pu Luong has mainly three kinds of thick forest, comprising lowland and low-mountain jungles, jungles on limestone mountains, and floristic composition of bamboos and shrubs. Not only that, this national park has mount Pu Luong with the height of 1,700 meters. Trekking in Pu Luong nature reserve attracts many travelers. With 5 hours for conquering targets, climbers will gain unforgettable experiences.

5. Hong Linh mountain (Ha Tinh province)

Hong Linh trekking

As the most famous mountain in Ha Tinh, mount Hong Linh is so-called as Ngan Hong or Ru Hoong. The mountain lies between Hong Linh township and two districts of Nghi Xuan, Can Truong. This is one of a few place names carved into “Bach khoa thu cuu dinh” presently placed in Hue Imperial Citadel (9 big bronze incense burners, which have been used as an encyclopedia).

Hong Linh has many summits, from the northwest to the foot, there are included the tops of Nam Ban, Yen Xuan, Da Hong and Cot Co. Besides, the area owns numerous caves, consisting of 12 Cua cave (12-Entrance cave), Che Hai, Da Hang, Ham Rong, along with 26 rivulets flowing from the mountain. Conquering this mountains, climbers can search more about interesting legends and historical stories.

6. Bach Ma national park (Thua Thien Hue province)

Bach Ma trekking

“Da Lat of the Centre” is the name people give for Bach Ma national park. Located about 40 km from the south of Hue city, Bach Ma looks like a white horse stretching its legs out the big sea (Bach: white, Ma: horse). The area is a part of North Truong Son range (Annamite Mountains) and the centre of the forest strip stretching from Bien Dong (the East Sea) to the border of Vietnam and Laos.

Reaching the peak of Bach Ma at the altitude of 1,500 meters, travelers have to overcome a long journey with the road length of 19 km from the mountain foot. The way is meandering and steep. However, the higher the hiking up, the more spectacular the scenery is, which make travelers rejoice. Trekking duration is about 3 to 4 hours. 

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Top Often-Destinations for Vietnam Adventure Tours

With stunning scenery and impressive culture, these famous destinations in Vietnam will offer travelers exciting adventure trips.

1. Sapa

This Vietnam’s destination is too famous such an extent that it is always present in Vietnam tourism brochure. However, if just wandering around Sapa town, travelers will miss a chance to have a memorable trip. Sapa town just likes a miniature Hanoi, accompanying colorful minority groups. Thus, let’s carry a rucksack and to be ready for a trekking expedition to remote villages. Scenery, people, culture and everything will be much more fascinating. Trekking trails will lead through jungles, mountains, fields, streams, hidden soil-trails only used by locals, and rest at ethnic minority villages. Along paths, adventurers will encounter “real” minor people, who are doing life activities, or working to earn their living. Specially, contemplating firsthand Sapa rice terrace (which was estimated as one of the 30 most beautiful places in the world by Mother Nature Network), and other stunning scenes is completely different to seeing from an automobile or a hotel at a far distance. Let’s leave cozy hotel-rooms and stay overnight at a homestay to experience a distinctive life with locals: arduous, but funny and valuable.

Head off a hiking & homestay Sapa to the most marvelous valley – Muong Hoa and other villages. Visit here.

trekking Sapa

2. Mount Fansipan

With an altitude of 3,143m, Mount Fansipan is the highest in Indochina, and also dubbed as “The Roof of Indochina”. Fansipan conquest is the dream of many young Vietnamese. For ones who indulge in climbing but not too so fantastic to conquer Everest, Fansipan may be an appropriate choice.  This mount is just 9km from Sapa to the southwest. Therefore, as travel to Sapa, travelers can take a hike to this mount on the same occasion.

The journey with a long trail will be greater, more challenging, but also more beautiful views. However, once immersing in natural pureness, and enjoying the victory of setting foot on this peak, hardship seems to have disappeared. The hike will pass jungles and mountains, so travelers can easily learn local knowledge about the Vietnam’s nature and hill-tribe culture. Yes, learning from reality.

Toughness, strong will, and determination, those are the meanings Mount Fansipan conquest.

Consulting at activetravelvietnam.com, Conquer Mount Fansipan - Sinchai Route - A long trail with a lot of fabulous scenes.

conquer Fansipan

hiking Fansipan

3. Mai Chau

Escape from busy cities, let’s experience an extremely peaceful life in Mai Chau. This area is the home of Thai, Muong and H’mong people, which are Vietnamese ethnic minorities. Just only 135 km from Hanoi, it is so easy to reach here. Naturally, it has spectacular scenes and also the original cultural identity like descriptions on websites. But peace is the most impressive. Peace in just landscape: rice terraces, tea plantations, streams. Peace in just the life of locals. Residents here work hard on fields, on forests, on weaving looms…

Mai Chau’s culture is gentle and lyrical. The rhythm of life is also slow and tranquil. By trek or bike around villages, travelers will feel these. Choosing less touristy roads and villages for the itinerary, it will be much more interesting.

If opt homestay, travelers will stay at traditional stilt houses and do housework with locals. Yummy cuisines are always ready for guests. At night, the space becomes throbbing by blithe melodies and rhythmical dances. The trip ends with a good sleep in this peaceful heaven.

Get away to peaceful Mai Chau, travelers can take a trekking or biking tour through exotic villages. 

biking Mai Chau

Mai Chau tour

4. Mekong delta

Vietnamese people usually say “thang canh co bay”, meaning that land is too large that stocks can fly straightly to endless. This is just one of images of Mekong delta. Located in northwestern Vietnam, this land is the country’s greatest rice basket. The region is covered by an interlaced canal system. So the residents were familiar with waterway-life long ago.
Locals are gentle and rustic. Scenery is tranquil. Travel to Mekong, travelers will refresh your mind.

The richness and vastness make this plain region have an abundant culture. Taking part in various activities, travelers will understand relatively about this culture.
Cycling around fields and villages is a nice way to see the everyday life of locals. On the roads, travelers can talk to them and try experiencing some of their jobs. Many other places can be visited along biking trail, namely temples, orchards, local primary schools, or local households. Particularly, travelers can visit and discover traditional trade-villages of coconut-candy, rice-paper, rice-wine, snake-wine, pop-rice, pop-corn, etc.

Adventurers also should not skip a boat trip to floating markets, the special places with a boom of colors, sounds and scents. These market have a lot of beautiful agricultural products, especially fruits. Let’s come and observe how they trade, how they communicate, and how they speak for sale.

Mekong delta tours may please someone who are curious. Travelers can learn a plenty of local things, such as how to buy fruits and food, how to cook local cuisines, or how to make traditional conical hats. If love nature, let’s visit mangrove forests as Tra Su, where travelers can observe colonies of water-birds, bats and other rare spices.

Explore Mekong delta with many memorable activities. View here.

explore Mekong delta

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Vietnam's Ho Chi Minh To Hanoi Listed In Top 10 Toughest Bike Rides

The Top 10 toughest bike rides list was taken by Lonely Planet. These are top 10.

Ho Chi Minh to  Hanoi, Vietnam: The bike trip begins from lush plain of Mekong Delta, winding through stunning mountains around Da Lat, with hard climb through the Hai Van pass, then reaching Northern mountainous provinces. Besides absolutely abrupt routes, the searing tropical heat will make cyclists drop back into state of endless water refill. 

Travelers indulging in Vietnam cycling usually challenge themselves to take a biking Ho Chi Minh trails - the Vietnamese famous historical road. Active Travel Asia (http://activetravel.asia/) also recommend travelers exciting motorcycling tours (here) on this road. 

top 10 toughest bike rides 1
Photography by Nguyen Minh Son
Col du Tourmalet, France: This extremely abrupt distance on the Pyrenees’s highest road is a classical Tour. Starting in 1910, it has been included than any other pass on Tour de France – the famous three-week race. Arriving Col du Tourmalet is possible from two directions. The classic route from the west is 19 km in length, reach a hard climb of 1,404 m. The gradient is up to 7.4%.

top 10 toughest bike rides 2
Photography by Cyclingtips
L’Alpe d’Huez, France: This Alpine epic hauls around a seemingly endless series of hairpin bends stretching consecutively 13.8 km on the L’Alpe d’Huez mountain near Paris, will make cyclists choke.
top 10 toughest bike rides 3
Photography by Theclimbingcyclist.com
El Camino de la Muerte, Bolivia: As a hard challenging road, “El Camino de la Muerte” means “Road of death”, which sounds less horrifying in Spanish. This bike trip just for pro-cyclists descends a precipitous mountain pass, commencing at 4,700m and winding at 1,200m. Let’s face it. Solace cyclists with the truth that most deaths relates in cars rather than cycles. 

top 10 toughest bike rides 4
Photography by Rinconabstracto
Passo di Gavia, Italy: Passo di Gavia, in the splendid Italian Alps, is 26 km in ride length and climb a massive 2621m. The road is closed in winter due to thick snow. However, the climate can also be really harsh even in warm months. Summer is perfect time to conquer this class race’s hardest climbs. 

top 10 toughest bike rides 5
Photography by Londonbikers
Manali to Leh, India: This extreme ride through the Indian Himalaya is just only for experienced and sufficiently fit cyclists. Starting in Manali, the route leads through pine forests, ascending rugged and craggy slopes along dirt tracks and sealed trail, before reaching back switchback nearby Leh.

top 10 toughest bike rides 6
Photography by Sidnsam
Lake Louise to Whistler, Canada: This journey lasting in many days will take cyclists to an 11km slope in total of 1000 km, traversing the Rockies, heading straight into Canada’s Coast Mountain toward the resort of Whistler. Just thinking about it, travelers may feel backside ache.

top 10 toughest bike rides 7
Photography by Beediverse
Cape Epic, South Africa: This off-road classic changes its route yearly, but the theme is always the same. Eight days of ascending mountain cycling through some of South Africa’s the most spectacular and rugged terrain, with 698 km in length and 15 km of slopes, Epic Cape makes La Tourmalet just like a ride in a park.

top 10 toughest bike rides 8
Photography by Capetown.travel
Three Peaks Challenge, Australia: Try on your own, it’s really hard. Australia’s Three Peaks challenge takes place every year. The road contains 235 km in 13 km, crossing Tawonga Gap, Mount Hotham and Falls Creek. To conquer this trail, it is necessary to have professional riders going alongside.

top 10 toughest bike rides 9

Alto de L'Angliru, Spain: Recently, the Vuelta d'Espana has earned a reputation as the most abrupt stage of both famous bicycle races - Tour de France and Giro d’Italia. Alto de L'Angliru, located in the Northern Asturias region, is disputably its toughest climb. It is just only 12.5 km in length, but the average gradient is a creepy 10.13%. 

top 10 toughest bike rides 10
Photography by Scoda.co.uk

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Hoi An Sunset Cruise - New Fantastic Experience


Arriving Hoi An of Vietnam – the biggest trade port formerly and a stunning quaint city now, you can take part in many interesting discovery activities like cycling around Hoi An, visiting ancient building, taking a Hoi An cooking class, enjoying street food and particularly, cruising on Thu Bon river.

Hoi An’s architectural constructions are stunning. This is too obvious. Hoi An’s food is amazing. Do not need to argue about this. But Hoi An’s natural scenes and people in countryside are also nice. This is a great thing for discovery. Jumping into a boat and enjoy a Hoi An sunset cruise, this is one of the best ways to obtained a wonderful holiday in this ancient town.

The cruise on Thu Bon river – the heart of Hoi An will offer you diverse experiences and emotions. You can read in some document that Hoi An is situated in banks of Hoai river, and others say that Thu Bon river. The truth is that Hoai river is a tributary of Thu Bon river. 

On a traditional boat, the trip departs from a peaceful nice dock decorated by colorful lanterns. Actually lanterns are hung everywhere in Hoi An. The boat will lead you through ancient streets along two sides of the river. Green moss walls, grey tiles and other archaic images appearing in sunshine may make you imagine the life sights of a big city formerly.   

Hoi An sunset cruise 1

The boat gradually floats far away the central Hoi An and take travelers reach to outskirt life. Bring along a camera in hand, you can shoot nice photos as the sun going down behind mountains and all fishing activities on the river. 

Hoi An sunset cruise 2

You will observe fisherman catching fish before sunset. You can see many original jobs like casting net, cutting fishing rope and crab hunting. You also probably encounter strange and unique Vietnamese bamboo basket boats along the waterways of water coconut palm paradise. The bustling part in a day of local fishermen is in the late afternoon. When the sun is setting slowly down to the mountain, fishermen also set off their fishing and expect to harvest fish abundantly. The cruise will let travelers have chances to be knowledgeable about daily activities of fishery in Hoi An. If you want to understand more about the local life, you can try working as a Hoi An fisherman.

Hoi An sunset cruise 3

The sun is low in the sky and the wind is gentle. All views become effulgent. Romantic and peaceful minutes of the sunset pass slowly. Experiencing total serenity and listen to sounds of waves among splendid nature, these will be fantastic moments. By this excellent calm cruise, you can immerse in nature, relax and admire glorious sunset. 

Hoi An sunset cruise 4


Hoi An sunset cruise 5

When the boat go back to central Hoi An, it is the time the night is coming. Every ancient house along the river lights lanterns at doors and balconies. Dwelling lines and river face become glistening and fanciful, creating absolutely romantic scenery. The trip is still great even in last moments.     

Hoi An sunset cruise 6



Thursday, September 18, 2014

Characteristics Of Floating Markets In Vietnam

By Kimina
Floating market is a original feature of deltas of Mainland Southeast Asia, where has thousands of rivers and canals in various sizes. In Vietnam, floating market is a specific cultural part of the Southwest. If you tend to explore Mekong delta, you should not skip a cruise to floating markets

The market is held in rivers, among a vast waterway with hundreds of boat, junk and canoe of residents.

explore Mekong delta 1
A floating market in Vietnam
The floating market opens up a whole day, but it is usually the most bustling in the morning, when it is cool. The more it turns to noon, the hottest the weather is, the fewer customers are. So you should visit floating markets in early morning.

Boats are loaded fully of goods. Fruits are the most popular kind of merchandise. The peculiar point of boats is that in each one has several poles. People dangle products which they sell on these poles. Therefore, customers just only look at the poles, they can know whether the boat has things they need or not. By this original marketing way, customers from a far distance can see clearly items.

explore Mekong delta 2
Residents hang products they sell on poles.
These are general characteristics of Vietnam floating markets.

- Market is the place where trade and exchange actually local produce of local inhabitants, comprising agricultural products and foodstuff. 

- Stores or boats normally do not have any sign. Sellers hang products which they sell on poles or over prows; sell oranges hang oranges, sell mangoes hang mangoes, sell coconut hang coconut, etc. People call these poles as “cay beo”. These “cay beo” are erected on prows or hang horizontally on boats. 


explore Mekong delta 3
"Cay beo" is erected on the prow.
explore Mekong 4
"Cay beo" is hang horirzontally
- If wanting to know the area which a boat belongs to, just regard into a side of the boat, which is written a province code abbreviated by two first letters. For instance, “Tien Giang” province is written as “TG”.

explore Mekong 5
Vinh Long province wass abbreviated as "VL" on this boat
However, there are still three circumstances:

1. “Hanging things which are not for sale.” They are just clothes. Residents of the floating market commonly live in boats, so their clothes are also dried in sun on boats.

2. “Things are for sale but not hung.” These boats are food or beverage stalls. That goods cannot be hung.

3.  “Hang one thing but sell another thing.” If you see only a few pineapples hung on a boat, this means that the owner want to sell this boat. So, hang pineapples, but sell the boat.

explore Mekong 6
Hang pineapples, but sell boats
Some famous floating markets you can visit are Cai Be (Tien Giang province), Phung Hiep (Hau Giang province), Chau Doc (An Giang province), Can Tho and Phong Dien (Can Tho city).

Any Mekong delta tour also set an excursion to floating markets for you. You can choose biking around Mekong countryside to discover the cultural life of local residents.