Saturday, December 20, 2014

New Year 2015 Adventure Deals with ActiveTravel Asia

ActiveTravel Asia excitedly announce the very first 2015 deals for the hottest product recently: Exotic Sapa Trek and Homestay (view tour details here). All bookings made from Christmas day, December 25, 2014 till February 08, 2015 will receive at least 10% off from our public rates.

Especially, the customers book this tour still going to get a Coupon value for US$ 50 for next time purchase of any products on our website.

Exotic Sapa Trek and Homestay lasts 4 days and takes advantage of the latest, longest Highway in Vietnam launched in Sep 2014. The most outstanding features of this program out of the other Sapa trekking tours are:
- No train and no night travel
- One way on the most modern highway & one way on old road twisting along mountain. 
- Less touristy trek trails in Sapa
- Homestay at Lavie Vu Linh at Thac Ba lake, Yen Bai.
- Amazing cheap price for 4 days trek with exotic difference.

ActiveTravel Asia’s tour guide and transfer will collect you at your hotels and start driving to Sapa in the morning. You will enjoy the speedy drive on the smooth, modern Highway Express Hanoi – Lao Cai with picturesque scenery along such as: rice terraces, Red River, corn fields ect. The Express makes you arrive in Lao cai just after 5 hours’ drive instead of 8 hours. Lunch is served at local restaurant before another 01 hour drive uphill under stunning vista to the foggy town, Sapa.

You are going to spend two day trekking deeply into remote parts of Sapa where the living villages of mostly Red Dzao and H’mong and stunning, untouched natural sceneries. 

On the third day, you start the way back to Hanoi but not via Highway but on Road 70 which was once the sole road to connect Hanoi – Lao cai. The road is still in good enough conditions but with many turns along mountains so make the journey longer. We have a break at the hidden germ for a night before going back to Hanoi next day, Lavie Vu Linh homestay in Yen Bai. 

The small, nature friendly homestay is located at the bank of Thac Ba Lake – the manmade lake since 1969 for the first hydroelectric plant in Vietnam. The karst rock formation and emerald water are made the whole area very much similar to Halong bay. Boating on the lake on clear day, you even see the roof of a church under the water surface. That church was used to be a religious house for a huge area where people were mostly Christian. Villagers here were migrated for the milestone of hydroelectric construction history of Vietnam in 1969.

To book the Exotic Sapa Trekking and Homestay and enjoy the discount, you can email your request to / call to: 84-902-24-3637 or submit a request here.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Vietnam Railway Decreases Fares, Upgrades Infrastructure and Launches Online Booking System

Thanks to Hanoi – Lao Cai express highway opened for traffic, many passengers switch from travelling by train to by car. In recent time, to deal with competition, Vietnam Railways has implemented efforts to enhance its quality services.


From 1st December 2014, ticket prices of Hanoi – Lao Cai train started to decrease by 3% to 25%.

On 1st December 2014, Vietnam Railways Corporation officially regulated ticket fares of Hanoi – Lao Cai route for trains: SP1/2, SP3/4, SP5/6 and SP7/8, with a decrease of 3-25% depending on each category. This is the good news for travelers who tend to take a Sapa tour or a Sapa trek and expect to have Vietnam train experience. However, this decrease is not applied for the national festival days, Tet holiday and peak times in summer.

Accordingly, the lowest price of Hanoi – Lao Cai route is 145,000 VND (hard seat). To sleeper, the cheapest cost is 325,000 VND (air-conditioned berth in 6th department of 3rd floor).

The ticket of hard seat declines from 150,000 VND to 145,000 VND while one of air-conditioned hard seat falls to just 175.000 VND (the former price is 235,000 VND). The fare for air-conditioned soft seat drops from 280,000 VND to 220,000 VND (a drop of 60,000 VND, equivalent to 25%).

Specially, rates of air-conditioned sleeper of all departments also have regulations. Following this, many prices has a significant decrease of 22% to 25%. For instance, the cost of berth in 6th department 1st floor goes down from 500,000 VND to 390,000 VND; the price for sleeper in 2nd floor falls to 370.000 VND, and the fare of 3rd floor decreases from 415,000 VND to 325,000 VND (a decrease of 22%). The air-conditioned berth in 4th department of 1st and 2nd floor now has a price of 450,000 VND (the before cost was 600,000 VND, drops by 25%).

On the Tet holiday 2015, Vietnam Railways Corporation (VNR) will slash train fares by 17% compared to current fares and 20% over the previous Tet holiday. The discount will be available for the North-South and Hanoi-Lao Cai routes, starting from December 1st.

Earlier, VNR launched a big promotion program, with 30-50% discount from September 4 to December 31 for tickets booked in advance with a distance of 1,300 km or more. 


The Vietnam railways has been making an effort to upgrade their infrastructure, equipment and management. Services have been boosted to win back passengers’ trust.

On this time, Hanoi – Lao Cai railway has been upgraded and improved. As anticipation, the upgrade will be accomplished in the end of the first quarter, 2015. After upgrade, the travel time between Hanoi and Lao Cai by train will be fell by 1.5 to 2 hours. Daytime trains will be also broadened to serve diverse demands of passengers.


On 1st December 2014, VNR opened the system of online ticket booking for train through e-payment gateway issued by Smartlink Card Services Joint Stock Company and Joint Stock Commercial Bank for Foreign Trade of Vietnam (Vietcombank). Customers would not have to go to the station to buy tickets. They could do so from any internet-capable device.

Passengers can access the websites selling e-ticket:, or (all are Vietnamese) to look up information, select routes, cars, seats, proactively book tickets and make payment in sight on these websites by international as well as domestic credit cards in a flexible and convenient way. To be able to carry out online payment transaction on e-ticket selling websites of VNR, customers need to register the online payment service or payment services via Internet Banking of banks (view instruction for e-payment at here). The online system would require passengers to provide full personal information and their Identity Card numbers so as to avoid fraud.

After successful online payment, customers print their booking code and bring it along with valid identification papers then coming to the train stations to take tickets. Customers must go to train station to get tickets at least 30 minutes in advance before the train departs. The online ticket system allows passengers to reserve seats 24 hours before the train departure time.

To return train tickets purchased through online payment system, customers go to station to complete procedures and pay fee of ticket return. VNR will refund fares to bank account of customers within one work-day as from accomplishment of ticket return procedures. In circumstance of making payment, customers contact with Customer Support Center of Vietnam Railways Corporation via hotline 19006469 for help.

This is the list of 23 domestic banking cards which are accepted to make a payment for train e-ticket of Vietnam Railways via e-payment gateway supplied by Smartlink and Vietcombank, including Vietcombank, Agribank, BIDV, Techcombank, VIB, Eximbank, Military Bank, HDBank, ACB, Sacombank, VPB, Maritime Bank, NCB, Viet A Bank, GPBank, OCB, Ocean Bank, BacABank, ABBank, TPBank, LienVietPostBank, SHB, BaoVietBank. In this December, Smartlink continues coordinating with Vietinbank and DongABank to provide online payment services of train e-ticket for domestic cardholders of these two banks. Up to 15 hour of the first day selling train ticket for Tet holiday (1st December), turn-over of online payment for e-ticket carried out via Smartlink e-payment gateway was barely 4 billion VND.


Railway passengers in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City who have booked tickets and paid for them online can have their tickets delivered to their home for free at their request as of next month.

Accordingly, after booking and paying for their tickets at,, or, passengers in Hanoi can call 04.39423949 (the Hanoi railway station), and those in HCMC can call 08.38436528 (the HCMC railway station) to request their tickets to be delivered at home, provided that they do not live more than 7 km from the respective stations.

Those who have paid for their tickets online but did not request home delivery are required to pick up their tickets at least 30 minutes before their scheduled departure.