Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Get Ready Adventures in Vietnam’s Best Eco Lodges

Renowned for hiking, highly qualified local guides, stunning backdrops and a rich cultural heritage, Vietnam’s northwestern highlands are a prime destination for travelers looking for an off-the-beaten-path adventure like no other. Making the region even more attractive are the spectacular eco-friendly accommodations built on a vision of community sustainability.

Mai Chau, VietnamMai Chau Valley, Vietnam

Mai Chau Lodge
Nestled in the stunningly beautiful mountainous region of Hoa Binh Province, 135 km south of Hanoi, Mai Chau Lodge strives to preserve local traditions, culture and the natural surroundings of its lush valley setting. The lodge is built from a socially and environmentally responsible vision. Using sustainable local materials, Mai Chau Lodge boasts a natural beauty, blending perfectly into its surroundings.

Set among rice fields, misty mountains and fascinating hill tribe people, this community-minded gem boasts 24 immaculately maintained rooms. The thoughtfully appointed quarters offer unique charm with cozy wood furnishings and local décor, some offering private verandas which open onto views of the lily pond and the setting sun. Waking to the scene of lotus flowers and farmers grazing their water buffalos in the nearby rice fields is an unbeatable experience which reflects the authentic character of the region.

Activities at Mai Chau
In addition to sustainable building practices, Mai Chau Lodge offers excellent adventure trips. Local qualified guides lead travelers to Thai hill-tribe communities in the region for a highly authentic experience, immersing them in the traditions and lifestyles of natives. A community effort, the well-designed tours to Pu Luong Reserve, one of 5 natural reserves in the area, for wildlife and bird watching, a visit to nearby White Thai village, or to the lodge’s Mo Luong Bat Cave and to the local Black Hmong market, fishing at Mo Luong Lake, kayaking, cycling the green countryside and returning in the evening after a fun-filled day to relax in the sauna, jacuzzi or steam room – all round out the activity offerings at this unique lodge.

Set amongst some of Vietnam’s most stunning scenery, a trip to the northwestern highlands of Mai Chau Lodge offers a mix of off-the-beaten-path eco adventure and culture in an up-close encounter with some of Vietnam’s most colorful inhabitants and traditions.

Victoria Sapa Resort
High in Vietnam’s remote northwestern highlands near the Chinese border, the former hill station of Sapa, famous for its pristine verdant environment, unparalleled scenery and cool climate is home to more than 30 colorful ethnic tribes and to Vietnam’s highest peak, Mt. Fansipan. Perched on a hill overlooking the valley, the Victoria Sapa Resort provides an excellent base for those seeking adventure on a road less traveled in close harmony with nature and an authentic cultural experience.

The Resort
Built as a traditional mountain chalet with warm wooden décor and a cozy stone fireplace, the Victoria Sapa Resort perfectly blends into its natural setting, surrounded by lush green gardens, rural terraces and breathtaking mountainscapes. Guests feel at ease in the mountain chalet atmosphere where welcoming accommodations bring together the elegance of traditional local ethnic handicraft with the comfort of French colonial style in earthy tones, hardwood floors and vibrant embroidered native tapestry. Each unit features a private terrace with spectacular views in all directions. This child-friendly resort offers spacious studios ideal for families of 4-5 as well.

The most exciting adventures at the resort center on mountain trekking, cycling and excursions to the foothills of Mt. Fansipan, and to the area’s authentic hill tribe villages and markets. Russian jeep safaris to the more remote markets and ethnically diverse areas, boating on the Chay River, trekking around Ta Van area and overnight homestays in local villages are also on offer.

Mt Fansipan, VietnamConquer Mount Fansipan, Vietnam

Trekking in Mt. Fansipan Foothils
Reserved for in-house guests, the romantic overnight train rides from Hanoi to Lao Cai (Sapa) aboard the resort’s own Victoria Express train is an experience in itself. Kids will especially enjoy the sleeping carriages with berths, the plus-red dining carriage, comfortable seats and exotic landscapes en route.

Victoria Express Train Berths
Committed to environmental protection and local tourism sustainability, the Victoria Sapa Resort served as an ideal base for exploring the wonders of Sapa’s enchanting surroundings and very authentic hillside tribes.

Source: familyadventuretravelworks
Recommendations:
Biking Maichau
Conquer Mount Fansipan - Sin Chai Route



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