Monday, August 30, 2010

Discovering the flavor and beauty of Vietnam’s UNESCO sites

The author chose 4 UNESCO sites in Vietnam for his discovery : Halong bay,Hanoi, Hue,and Hoi An. These sites is beautiful and peaceful.

A golden sunrise illuminated the Old Quarter’s ancient dwellings draped in fuchsia bougainvilleas. It also lit the Thu Bon River, where the small fishing boats had just pulled up to shore. It was 5:30 a.m. as I approached the central marketplace, where I experienced the tastes, sounds, and energy—the real life of the local people. Vietnam’s gem-city of Hoi An was just awakening.

Hoi an, VietnamStreet of lanterns, Hoi An, Vietnam

Greeting the Day
Women in conical straw hats with bright smiles balanced long poles over their shoulders. Their poles were heavy with hanging baskets stuffed with vegetables, fish, and even live geese, as they scurried along the dirt pathways. The endless array of baskets filled with herbs covered the ground in a blanket of greenery, while pungent fish and spice aromas permeated the air.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Exploring the Ho Chi Minh Trail, Vietnam

The Ho Chi Minh trail, made famous as a supply route for the North Vietnamese in the Vietnam War with America, is actually a network of trails and dirt roads roughly paralleling the Vietnam/Laos border.

Motorcycling on Ho Chi Minh trail, Vietnam

These trails were originally developed during the resistance movement against the French and were used to move troops and supplies during both conflicts.

There is no “official” Ho Chi Minh Trail because it is a loose network of trails, and there are no official tourist opportunities available on the trail, but the trail is available for hiking or biking as a traveler sees fit.

Danang is a good place to start. Flying into Danang will help you get your bearings in this country, and someone will help point you in the right direction. Going to villages to the west of Vietnam is your best bet, but understand that nothing official has been set up regarding the Ho Chi Minh trail. There are no museums or cultural exploration sites, nor are there marked trails or visitor’s centers. Renting a mountain bike and exploring the trails on your own is your best bet to experience the Ho Chi Minh trail.

Some war relics remain in these areas, destroyed tanks, shrapnel, etc.; anything that is too large to take to a recycling facility easily. These can be found lying in the open or buried under jungle growth. Keep in mind that it is important to stay on the trails as some of the U.S. bombs and mines may still be live in the areas.

A good place to explore is in the southern part of Vietnam near Ho Chi Minh City. The Cu Chi tunnels that were built to infiltrate enemy lines were built in conjunction with a few of the supply trails. Many of these tunnels have been developed into attractions for visitors; they can tour almost 200 kilometers of tunnels built during the Vietnamese – American war.

Because the trails meander between Laos and Vietnam, it is important to know where you are and where you are going. This will keep you from breaking your visa agreement and being fined or kicked out of the country. Visas must be applied for at least six months prior to entry date. Tourist visas are granted for one month, but may be extended after arrival in Vietnam, and only allow one entry into the country.

Viajes Indochina Introduce New Viajes Vietnam Website

Viajes Vietnam tour and travel guide with tips, advice and useful information on travel activities on tours provided direct from local tour operators. This guide helps travelers find out what to see and do and plan the travel itinerary.

Viajes Vietnam

Viajes Indochina is pleased to announce the launch of a new website section that features Viajes Vietnam tours which are supplied direct from tour operators based in Vietnam. Take no chances with the next vacation, travel with those who know the destination by experience.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Sleepless in Saigon, Vietnam: So many sights, so little time

It is HCMC or Ho Chi Minh City now, but the Vietnamese still call it Saigon and call themselves Saigonese.

Saigon has been one of the places in my must-visit list and it was surprising that not too many people share that sentiment about this country made famous by a war. It took a year to gather friends who would be willing to go to an adventure, as most friends would rather spend on a trip of pleasure.

Saigon didn’t disappoint us, and even surprised us with sights and insights you do not find anywhere else.

Cao Dai Temple, VietnamCao Dai Temple, Tay Ninh, Vietnam

Cao Dai Temple
About three hours from Saigon is the Tay Ninh Holy See, or Cao Dai Temple, the center of the Cao Dai Religion. This religion was established in Vietnam in 1926 and now counts two to three million followers scattered in Vietnam, Cambodia, France, and US.

The Temple has nine levels, representing the nine steps to heaven. Black, scaly dragons wrap the pink columns supporting the ceiling painted like a summer sky. These columns mark the beginning and end of each level, and served as the boundary for how far the tourists could go.

At the end of the hall is the altar which looks like a globe with an eye. Elders offered incense here. Tourists are not allowed to walk or even stand, much less shoot a picture, at the middle section of the hall, even outside worship hours.

Cu Chi Tunnel
The Cu Chi Tunnel was Vietnam’s secret weapon against the Americans. It was a 250- kilometer underground tunnel network that stretched from Saigon to the Cambodian border. The Cu Chi tunnels served as hospitals, command centers, living areas, kitchen, and supplies storage during the Vietnam War.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Viajes Indochina kicks off special Viajes Vietnam for honeymoon couples

Viajes Indochina has a special offer tour named “Special Viajes Vietnam” for couples who are in the honeymoon week. Enjoy the sweet as honey emotions beside the love of the life, in the most famous and romantic of Vietnam.

Halong bay, VietnamHalong bay, Vietnam

Viajes Indochina Agency (AVI) is brand name of Spain language market where ACTIVETRAVEL ASIA (a largest and most prestigious tour operator in Vietnam) offers professional travel sevices and holiday package which have been widely accepted by customers primarily in Spain, Mexico, Venezuela.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Life on the Ba Be lake in Vietnam

At nearly 150 meters above sea level, Ba Be is Vietnam’s highest and biggest lake. It remains full all year round. Ba Be mean three lakes in Tay language, Ba Be Lake is nine kilometers long and averages one kilometer across. The lake’s deepest point measures 35 meters.

Ba Be lake, Bac Kan, VietnamBa Be lake, Bac Kan, Vietnam

The road to Ba Be Lake is winding and crooked.

At times concrete gives way to dirt and I begin to wonder why I’m travelling 240 kilometers northwest of the capital’s comforts.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Halong Bay Vietnam - Where dragons lie

By CHOU K. S.

Nothing is more romantic than cruising Halong Bay in a rustic wooden junk.

After several days of being caught in the hustle and bustle of Hanoi, we badly needed to escape the chaos of Vietnam’s second largest city. So we did what most tourists here do — head for Ha Long Bay, 170km east of Hanoi.

Halong Bay Vietnam

The bay, dotted with countless mist-shrouded limestone islands, offers a stunning seascape that must rank as one of the most spectacular sights in Vietnam.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Top 5 adventure destinations in Vietnam

According to Bootsnall travel network, there are 5 adventure destinations Vietnam recommended for tourists to travel.

Vietnam seems to be one of the new hotspots in Southeast Asia. Vietnam’s new slogan is “it’s a country, not a war”. Currently Vietnam is experiencing a massive influx of tourists not only interested in it war history, but also interested in the immense amount of soft adventure trips available throughout the country.

Below are a few of our favorites and recommendations:

HALONG BAY

Halong bay, VietnamHalong bay, Vietnam

Often touted as Vietnam’s number one tourist destination, Halong Bay, literally means “where the dragon descends into the sea.” This is an area of more than 3000 islands, where tourist come to swim, explore, and visit a natural, scenic areas recognized in 1994 on UNESCO’s World Heritage list. This is a scenic area not to be missed!

Many of the islands are uninhabited, but some have floating villages of fishermen. Most travelers rent boats and spend multiple days exploring the tiny islands. There are some great caves and inlets to explore. The great way to experience this is on sea kayak, and sleeping in a tent at night, instead of taking the main tourists boats like everybody else.


The highest point in Bach Ma National Park, the mountain is only 140 meters above sea level and about 18 miles from the coast. Although the mountain is steep and dense, it makes a good day hike to the top. There are great view on the way.

WESTERN CENTRAL HIGHLANDS

Using Dalat as a starting point, head west toward the border of Cambodia and Laos. If you go far enough west, this is a great way to get somewhere way off the typical Vietnam traveler circuit. This is home to a bunch of ethnic minority villages.

Some traveler’s report that tourists are not welcome, but other report to have truly remarkable experiences.

DALAT
Dalat, VietnamDalat, Vietnam

If you don’t have time, energy, or the will power to visit the Western Central Highlands, then the areas around Dalat are perfect for adventure. Dalat is a hill station in the central highland. There are mountain highlands with tiny villages scattered around throughout the area. It makes a fascinating area worth exploring.

There are a number of standard expensive tours you can arrange in the city, but it’s much better to hire your own guide, usually one that approaches you in the streets. Then, you hire a moped, and he will take you to little villages in the middle of bascially nowhere, staying a night or two and having a real cultural experience.

There are some villages in the area that is off limits to tourists – just look for the sign that has a C.

MEKONG DELTA

Mekong delta, VietnamMarket floating in Mekong Delta, Vietnam

In southern Vietnam near the border of Cambodia lies Mekong Delta. Known as “Vietnam’s Rice Belt,” the Mekong Delta is a huge system of canals of all sizes that flow into the Mekong River, one of the longest rivers in Asia. This picturesque area is almost all under cultivation, and produces enough rice to feed the entire population of the south and the central regions of Vietnam. This is a great place to relax away from the big cities, taste good fruit and vegetables, and meet local people.

There are a number of interesting adventures through the Mekong Delta. You can take a boat through some of the rural waterways. Most people hire guides but you can also attempt it on your own. The Mekong Delta is also a fascinating place for cycling. You can get a true glimpse of rural life and interact with locals, although conversations are difficult.

Source: bootsnall

Recommendations for tours in Vietnam:

Kayaking Halong bay 3 days
Biking Adventures Mekong & Centre Highland

A local classic dishes in Hanoi, Vietnam

Pho might be the darling of Vietnamese cuisine, and perhaps, bun cha is the people’s favourite ‘underdog’, but there’s another dish which is closer to the heart of less carnivorous Hanoians.


Bun dau mam tom is basically chunks of tofu served in a hot soup on a bed of rice noodles with a dollop of shrimp paste. It’s an extremely popular meal that’s often overlooked by guidebooks and seldom-tried by tourists or even long term residents of Hanoi.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam – A Hot travel Destination

Vietnam’s commercial hub has become a very hot tourist destination; the attractions range from the colonial past to the horrors of Vietnam War or today’s economic success. Ho Chi Minh City is all about diversity and charm. For a significant period after the war in Vietnam, tourists were reluctant to come here for a visit. However, decades have passed and the Vietnamese managed to turn their luck around and use the past to their advantage.

Ho Chi Minh City was formerly known as Saigon. In 1976, the city merged with the neighboring province and was renamed after the national hero, who fought for the country’s independence. During the 1960s, the city was swarming with the Viet Cong fighters and became the centre of resistance. Not 75 km north of Ho Chi Minh City are the Cu Chi Tunnels. Definitely a challenge for all visitors, these 70 cm wide and 90 cm high underground routes offered refuge to thousands of Vietnamese in times of war. Many spent years living down here.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Activities to celebrate 1000th Thang Long – Hanoi anniversary, Vietnam

Domestic and foreign visitors will soon have the chance to learn more about Hanoi and its history by joining in activities designed to celebrate of the capital’s forthcoming millennium anniversary.

Hanoi, Vietnam

Activities to celebrate 1000th Thang Long – Hanoi anniversary, Vietnam:

1. Opening day (October 1)

The opening ceremony will be held by the Hanoi authorities and the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism at the Ly Thai To statue, Dinh Tien Hoang road and the space around the Hoan Kiem Lake in the morning of October 1.

- The exhibition of economic and social achievements of Vietnam and Hanoi will open in the afternoon October 1 at the Giang Vo Exhibition Centre.

- The exhibition of literary works of Vietnam through various periods at the Cultural and Art Exhibition Centre, 2 Hoa Lu, Hanoi.

- “The country with Hanoi” special show on the Vietnam Television in the evening of October 1, with the direct participation of many people in different sites in Vietnam and abroad.

- A general cultural and art performance organised by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism in Hanoi in the evening on October 1. The show will have the contribution of foreign experts.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Vietnam’s Thang Long Imperial Citadel becomes UNESCO heritage

The Imperial Citadel of Thang Long in the capital Hanoi has become UNESCO heritage as the world culture body added this site to its top heritage list in the morning of Sunday (8/1/2010 - Vietnam time).

Thang Long ancient, Ha noi, Vietnam

The World Heritage Committee of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization chose the new sites at a meeting in Brazil, updating its list of top spots for historical interest or natural beauty.

The UNESCO World Heritage stamp is a valuable asset for countries as it boosts tourism.

The Thang Long Imperial Citadel was first discovered in late 2002 during excavation work to build a new national assembly on Hoang Dieu Street, Hanoi.

Thang Long Citadel was part of a citadel system built in the 11th century that included the Dai La Citadel, which acted as a defensive rampart with a complete dyke system, and the Forbidden City, where the king and his royal family lived.