Monday, November 29, 2010

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year for Sick and Poor Vietnamese Kids

Hanoi December 13 - December 24, 2010

Volunteer project: International and local volunteers will organize Christmas and New Year festival for extremely poor children living in the Fisher village at the Red River and for the patients of the National Pediatric Hospital in Hanoi. The volunteers will make nice gifts for the children such as light stars.

In the fisher village, in collaboration with the local volunteers and the children, the international participants will organize a big party on the bank of the Red River (theatre, dance, BBQ, etc.). In the Hospital, the volunteers will visit the children in their rooms, dressed as Santa Claus, and will hand out candies and small gifts.
The smile of poor kidsThe smile of poor kids
Between the parties, the volunteers will cook for the children attending the Street children school, and will organize leisure activities for them after school.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Vietnam emerges as one of the top travel destinations: survey

Vietnam has emerged as one of the top destinations for travelers from Thailand, Australia, Japan and Singapore, according to a recent survey compiled by Visa and the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA).

Halong Bay, Vietnam

The survey included 6,714 respondents from 13 countries and territories and showed that among all the future travelers who are most likely to visit Vietnam in the next two years, 17 percent are from Thailand. Meanwhile, 16 percent are from Australia, and 11 percent are from Japan and Singapore.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Tourist paths often cross in 'Hello again' Hanoi, Vietnam


These days it's hard to feel like an independent traveler on the road from Hanoi to Saigon.

Anyone who tackles the around 1,145 kilometers from north to south, or in the other direction, will find themselves running into the same people at the pagodas, hostels, bars and restaurants recommended by the same leading travel guides.

“Hello again” might easily be the motto of the trip, although fortunately the familiarity of the travel companions underway does not detract from the many things this part of Vietnam has to offer.

Most tourists in Hanoi check into a hotel in the old part of the city where swarms of clattering mopeds roam the congested streets. Visitors allow themselves to be pedaled around in rickshaws and amid the chaos the odd chicken still manages to hop unscathed from one side of the narrow carriageway to the other.

Everyday tourism remains unaffected by Socialism, the only outward signs of which are the prominent red flag with the yellow star. Vietnam's national colors hang from almost every house, and not just in Hanoi either. Former Vietnamese President Ho Chi Minh is also omnipresent. His embalmed body lies in state in a glass coffin at a mausoleum dedicated to his memory.

This grand example of Soviet-style monumental architecture is an essential stop on any Hanoi tour, just like Halong Bay. Getting there is straightforward, even if the only method on offer for tourists without a hire car is to board one of the numerous air-conditioned minibuses bound for the coast.

Halong Bay is one of the most photographed places in the whole of Vietnam and the images convey an accurate impression of a truly splendid coastal panorama. The limestone pinnacles rise up almost perpendicularly from the shimmering blue water. The bay can get crowded though. The harbor is packed tightly with the numerous tourist boats which ply the sights and the eye is offended by discarded pieces of rubbish bobbing on the waves.

Vietnam travel - Top 10 destinations by boat


For those who want to try a more adventurous holiday in 2011, but do not want to leave their home comforts behind, a cruise could provide the solution.

Cruise Critic - a leading online source of cruise reviews and information - offers its top 10 destinations by boat. Reuters has not endorsed this list:

1. Australia

Australia is a huge country and most of the popular tourist spots Down Under are hundreds of miles apart.

However, you can avoid long coach tours, time-consuming drives and expensive internal flights, by sailing lazily along the East Coast, stopping at all the best tourist spots - from the Great Barrier Reef to Sydney harbor.

2. Vietnam/Cambodia

Hot destinations for 2011, Vietnam and Cambodia offer beautiful scenery and vibrant cultures but making your own travel arrangements to tour these exotic destinations can be a daunting task.

Taking a cruise along the Mekong River is an excellent way to enjoy an organized tour through these two countries, without foregoing too many home comforts.

3. Middle East

For a first trip to the Middle East, a cruise offers a gentle introduction to the region and an easy way to explore this part of the world.

A cruise lets you experience the sights, cultures and traditions from a number of countries during your trip, while also allowing you to retreat to more familiar surroundings each evening onboard ship.

4. Alaska

Unless you have the constitution of a husky dog, a cruise is simply the easiest and most relaxing way to enjoy this beautiful, but uncompromising region. The views from the water are spectacular and often the best way to see wildlife and reach the coastal towns and villages.

Optional shore excursions allow you to be as adventurous, or sedate, as you like.

5. South America

Vietnam takes top in list of must-visit destinations

With its distinctive culture, beautiful natural scenery and affordable attractions, Vietnam has emerged as one of the top destinations for travellers in the next two years from Thailand, Australia, Japan and Singapore, according to a survey.

Results of the Asia-Pacific Travel Intentions Survey were shared by two conductors — Visa and the Pacific-Asia Travel Association (PATA) at a seminar in Hanoi.

Among travellers who were most likely to visit Vietnam in the next two years, 17 percent were from Thailand, 16 percent from Australia, and 11 percent from Japan and Singapore, the survey reported.

Nielsen conducted the online survey in May. The survey asked 6,714 respondents from 13 key Asia-Pacific travel source markets about past and future travel plans. The markets included Australia, Hong Kong, India, Japan, mainland China, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, the UK, and the U.S.

In each market, respondents were internet users, aged 18 years or older, had travelled internationally for holidays in the past two years and had the intention to do so again in the next two years.

Travellers most likely to visit Vietnam in the next two years ranked natural scenery, a new place and affordability as top attractions. They are also likely to be single and prefer to stay at four-star hotels compared with other types of accommodation. They will budget more than US$1,200 for their next vacation and pay more for good food and the opportunity to experience new cultures.

Monday, November 8, 2010

ACTIVETRAVEL ASIA joins Cartitas Switzerland in Project Officer Pro-Poor Tourism in Ha Giang, Viet Nam.

ACTIVETRAVEL ASIA takes part in the new Project Officer for the Pro-Poor Tourism (PPT) project named “Quan Ba District Integrated Community Development Project, Ha Giang province”

Quang Ba, Ha GiangHa Giang, Viet Nam

Caritas Switzerland in Vietnam, together with the local authorities, aims to develop an alternative source of income for the local people with tourism. It will assist the village(r)s through capacity building and awareness raising to become conscientious hosts and take actively part in this new livelihood opportunity.

A first sustainable tourism project has been implemented in 2004-2005, and then a new assessment and evaluation of the potential of a Pro-Poor Tourism strategy development in the area has been conducted in 2009-2010.

This project focus on improving the living quality in Quan Ba district , Ha Giang province, one of the poorest area in Vietnam.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

ACTIVETRAVEL ASIA hosted Australian Motorcycle Travel group in Vietnam in Oct 2010

ACTIVETRAVEL ASIA (ATA) have hosted a group of Australian Motorcyclists to take the motorcycle trip in Ho Chi Minh Trail, Vietnam. This trip started from Hanoi and finish in Hoi An, Quang Nam province in Oct 20, 2010.

With 7-day motorcycling tour in Ho Chi Minh trail in total 11 day trip from Hanoi to Hoi An, Quang Nam province, this motorcycling grading of tour is considered as Moderate to challenging by ATA.

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.

Conquering Fansipan mountain Vietnam

In late September, we went on a tour called “Conquering the roof of Indochina” held by Local Tours to climb Mount Fansipan, 3,143 meters above sea level. We met at Hanoi railway station at 8:30 p.m. to catch the train to Lao Cai. That night we could not sleep and the weather was very bad.

At 9 a.m. the next morning, we transferred from Sapa Town to Tram Ton pass, which is at an altitude of 1,900 meters, where we started the climb. Dressed in proper mountaineering gear, we were eager for the journey ahead. On our shoulders were light backpacks with water, cookies and fruit and clothes and we carried the “Truong Son stick”. The local porters took the tents, sleeping bags and food ahead of us.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Getting lost in Hanoi, Vietnam

October 31, 2010
By Judy McEuen
Travel Writer - Troy Media

It is easy to feel overwhelmed and lost amidst the Hanoi’s bustling streets and the countless mopeds and bicycles moving around.

But don’t get discouraged, even if you want to immediately hop on the nearest van and set off to the more tranquil and eerily beautiful Halong Bay. While not at first glance obvious, Hanoi has several attractions that are worth seeing and its charm will grow on you if you give it a chance. So, rather than escape the hubbub straight away, don’t be afraid to get lost in the city for a while: I guarantee you will enjoy what it has to offer.