Halong Bay, Vietnam

Halong bay, Vietnam

Ha Long Bay is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and a popular travel destination, located in Quang Ninh province, Vietnam. Administratively, the bay belongs to Hạ Long City, Cẩm Phả town, and part of Van Don district

Mt.Phousi, Luang Prabang, Laos

The Phousi Mountain (Luang Prabang)

The Phousi Mountain is situated in the centre of Luang Prabangs. To climb up the mountain can be hard but it is definitely worth the trip. There is a formidable view from the top of the mountain where you can see "The Royal Palace", and the surrounding rivers and villages.

Angkor Wat, Cambodia

Angkor Wat, Cambodia

Angkor Wat is the largest Hindu temple complex and the largest religious monument in the world.

Shwedagon Pagoda, Burma

Shwedagon Pagoda, Burma

The Shwedagon Pagoda officially titled Shwedagon Zedi Daw, also known in English as the Great Dagon Pagoda and the Golden Pagoda, is a 99 metres gilded pagoda and stupa located in Yangon, Burma.

Thien Mu pagoda

Thien Mu pagoda, Vietnam

Thien Mu Pagoda is a historic temple in the city of Huế in Vietnam. Its pagoda has seven storeys and is the tallest in Vietnam.

Oct 27, 2014

Stork Island (Dao Co) is recognised as Vietnam National Relic

Hai Dong’s provincial Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism says Stork Island (Dao Co) will be officially recognised as a National Relic, 16 November.
According to the department, after being ranked as a National Relic by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, Hai Duong authorities will plan on how to use the new status to attract more tourists.
Hai Duong Tourism Promotion Centre linked to the Thanh Mien district People’s Committee and some travel agencies have surveyed the island and surrounding areas to identify tourist attractions. They have identified a Dong communal house, commemorative house of the late Vice President, Nguyen Luong Bang, Tranh temple, and temple to Khu Thua Du.
inside no 6However roads and other infrastructure required to promote tourism need to be developed urgently.
The centre hopes to promote one-day and two-day tours to introduce the destination to travel agencies.
Stork Island, located in Chi Lang Nam commune, Thanh Mien district, lies about 25 km  from Hai Duong city.
It gained its name from the thousands of migratory storks and herons who nest on the island.
With an area of more than 3,000 sqm, the island is a nesting ground for more than 15,000 storks and more than 5,000 herons of various kinds and such rare and precious birds as pelicans and teals residing together.
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Cutting tax for companies that join a tourism promotional programme 2015.

Vietnam’s Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism wants the country to cut VAT in half and exempt or cut corporate income tax by 50% for companies that join a tourism promotional programme planed for 2015.
Saigon Times claimed the ministry made the proposal to encourage local tourism firms to joinn a promotional programme to increase competitiveness.

Operating costs for travel related companies and hotels are higher in Vietnam due to taxation.
However, the proposed cuts in VAT and corporate tax would only apply to companies that join a proposed national tourism campaign. They would have to contribute to the overall cost of the promotions, while enjoying a partial tax holiday in return.
Besides tax holidays, the ministry has asked the government to speed up infrastructure projects and increase security for tourists to ensure the country’s image as a safe destination improves and stands out from its neighbours that are suffering safety set backs.
According the local daily newspaper, the ministry plans to implement the national tourism promotion programme “later this year”, but with just two months left to organise the campaign and find funding, it is more likely that the campaign with begin in early 2015.
According to a travel firm, the current corporate income tax rate applicable to the tourism sector is 22%.
The government offered similar tax reductions in 2009 for the companies joining a national travel promotion programme entitled “Impressive Vietnam”, when VAT was cut by half and corporate income tax payments delayed for nine months.
During January to September this year, tourist arrivals to Vietnam reached 6.06 million visits increasing 10.4% year-on-year while domestic tourists recorded 32.4 million trips up 7.6% year-on-year.
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Namkad Yorapa natural tourist site of Laos

Oudomxay province will open a natural tourist site Namkad Yorapa in Xay district, 9 December, to attract domestic and foreign visitors.
Namkad Yorapa natural tourist site is located 15 km from Xay district covering an area of 6,000 ha.
The local contractor Faset Tourism Development president, Somphet Maopaseuth, was quoted as saying that the natural destination is now open for visitors.
“There are several activities for both domestic and foriegn visitors including trekking, visiting Phadeng Cave, viewing tribal houses, climbing, cycling, and elephant riding.”
Oudomxay is a province of Laos, located in the northwest of the country. The province’s capital is Muang Xai.
It borders China to the north, Phongsali province to the northeast, Luang Prabang province to the east and southeast, Xaignabouli province to the south and southwest, Bokeo province to the west, and Luang Namtha province to the northwest.
A tourism office has operated in Muang Xay since 1997, supported by the German Development Service.
In August 2007 the tourism office was upgraded to a “Provincial Tourism Department”.
Last year, there were 172,731 tourist arrivals to the province increasing 21.38% from 142,307, according to Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism’s data.

Oct 23, 2014

Sapa needs free Wi-Fi

sapa needs free wifi

LAO CAI, 22 October 2014: Hanoi-based Centre for Social Initiatives Promotion (CSIP) has proposed that the free Wi-Fi programme be extended to Sapa to give visitors convenient access to the internet while visiting the far north destination.

Most major tourist destinations in Vietnam are developing free Wi-Fi as a tool to encourage more tourists and provide better communications services.

According to the centre, Sapa should have the free service as soon as possible, between now and early 2015.

The central city of Danang was the latest city to offer a free municipal Wi-Fi network at a cost of USD2 million that provides 300 hotspots, serving 10,000 local residents and tourists. The first locality in Vietnam to offer free Wi-Fi coverage was the World Heritage town of Hoi An in Quang Nam province, about 50 km south of Danang.

In April 2012, Halong City followed with 106 hotspots, but more will be added by next year. Other Wi-Fi towns and locations include Hue, Da Lat, Cat Ba,ed Tam Dao, and at Saigon Railway Station.
Over the next two years Quang Ninh province will provide more free Wi-Fi at economic and tourist hub cities such as Uong Bi, Cam Pha, Van Don and Mong Cai.

Sapa attracted 800,000 tourists in the first half of this year, a 25% increase over last year. More than 1.26 million tourists visited Sapa, last year, generating more than USD118 million in revenue. Sapa nestles in a mountain range overlooking Lao Cai and is best known for trekking, cool weather and its role as a market town for ethnic minority groups.

The best time to visit Sapa is from February to April and September to November to enjoy spring and autumn weather. It is extremely cold in December and January and guest houses lack heaters in the rooms. Four-star hotels are better equipped to keep their guests warm even to featuring fireplaces in bars or lobbies.

Source: TTRweekly

Tags: Sapa village trekking

Oct 20, 2014

The first Hilton hotel in Myanmar

Hilton has expanded its global portfolio of hotels to the beautiful country of Myanmar with the opening of Hilton Nay Pyi Taw, in the country’s capital city.

Set amid lush tropical landscaped gardens, the 202-key Hilton Nay Pyi Taw spans more than 100 acres of land and is situated within the developing Dekhina Thiri Township.
Owned by Eden Group Company Limited and managed by Hilton Worldwide, Hilton Nay Pyi Taw is in a prime location within easy reach of the main government administrative offices, and is 24 kilometers (a 30-minute drive) from the Nay Pyi Taw International Airport. The hotel is also located near Ruby Hall, the meetings and conventions venue at which the upcoming Ninth East Asia Summit will be held in November 2014.

“The opening of Hilton Nay Pyi Taw is a very significant milestone for Hilton Worldwide; it marks the entry of the company into the dynamic and emerging market of Myanmar,” said Martin Rinck, president, Asia Pacific, Hilton Worldwide. “Being one of the first international hospitality companies to enter many different countries in Asia Pacific – including Japan 51 years ago, China 26 years ago and Myanmar today – we continue to explore new frontiers, being where the world’s business and leisure travelers want to be.”
All 202 rooms and suites featutre Wi-Fi and flat-screen televisions offering satellite TV channels. The hotel offers a wide selection of rooms and suites including one-bedroom suites, two-bedroom suites and two Presidential Suites. Guests staying in the suites will enjoy exclusive access to the Executive Lounge which offers complimentary continental breakfast, all-day light refreshments as well as evening cocktails.
To cater to the MICE market, Hilton Nay Pyi Taw offers five function spaces including a standing reception area that can accommodate up to 410 people in the 458 square-meter ballroom. A business center is also available for guests to stay connected and productive throughout their stay.

Hilton Nay Pyi Taw offers three restaurant and bar options, as well as in-room dining round the clock.
For recreation, the hotel has a spa, outdoor swimming pool, fitness centre and a tennis court. 
Guests staying at the first Hilton hotel in Myanmar, from 24 November 2014 to 31 March 2015, can earn 1,000 Bonus HHonors Points per night, up to a maximum of 5,000 bonus points per stay.
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Oct 17, 2014

VietJet to Launch Hanoi - Siem Reap Flights

hanoi seamreap

VietJet is to launch flights between Hanoi in Vietnam and Siem Reap in Cambdoia, effective 3 November 2014.

Flights will depart Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi at 17:15 and take off from Siem Reap International Airport at 20:05 daily (local time).

The flight duration per sector is 1 hour and 50 minutes.

“We are delighted to introduce Siem Reap as our latest destination which further demonstrates our strong commitment to developing one of the most dynamic flight network across the Asia Pacific region. With its rich culture and fascinating heritage, Siem Reap is one of the most inspiring destinations for travelers all over the world,” said Mr Desmond Lin, Business Development Manager of VietJet. “Our goal is to continue to offer more destinations to residents of Vietnam as well as for tourists travelling through the region. Every day, we strive to improve and enhance our services, facilitating tourism growth and contributing to the economic development of the region.”

VietJet currently operates 21 local and international routes. In addition to this latest connection to Cambodia, the airline also offers direct flights from Hanoi and Da Nang to Seoul and from Ho Chi Minh to Bangkok.

Source: asiatraveltips
Tags: vietnam vacation

Oct 13, 2014

Explore Hanoi’s Old Quarter with six more walking streets!!!

Hanoi’s Hoan Kiem District’s People Committee recently opened six more walking streets to make it more convenient to explore Hanoi’s Old Quarter, Friday evening through to Sunday.
According to local news reports, the streets are Hang Buom, Ma May, Hang Giay, Luong Ngoc Quyen, Ta Hien and Dao Duy Tu, which connect to the existing Hang Dao-Dong Xuan pedestrian road.
The six-street area is famous for  heritage dating back to the 18th to 19th century including temples of Bach Ma, Quan De and Huong Tuong together with architecture that was typical of Hanoi in the last century.
Along the streets, buskers will perform traditional music “hat xam” (minstrel songs), “chau van” (spiritual singing), and “ca tru” (ceremonial songs) as well as jazz.
Last month, the 300-metre long Hang Buom Street was identified as a food street, serving Hanoi’s traditional confectionery and beverage and some European and Asian dishes for visitors to the night market along Hang Dao- Dong Xuan streets.
Hanoi Old Quarter was listed among the best 95 attractions in the capital in 2014 by TripAdvisor.
The number of foreign arrivals to Hanoi for the first nine months of the year has surpassed 2 million, up 15% from the same period last year, according to the city’s Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism.
The capital city welcomed a record 2.5 million international tourists last year increasing 12% from 2013.
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More Muslim travellers are visiting Vietnam.

More Muslim travellers from Indonesia, Malaysia, India, and the Middle East are visiting Vietnam.

Ho Chi Minh City’s Department of Culture, Sports, and Tourism deputy director, La Quoc Khanh, said that the number of tourists from Muslim countries, especially Indonesia and Malaysia, has gone up considerably in recent years.


Most Indonesian and Malaysian tourism firms have said that tourists visit Vietnam because the country offers affordable tours and commodity prices that fit their budget.
Many carriers from the Middle East – including Emirates, Etihad, Qatar Airways, and Turkish Airlines – have opened direct routes to Vietnam, helping to raise the number of Muslim tourist arrivals to the Southeast Asian nation.
Muslim tourists are now a major target for Vietnam which are more than 972 million Muslims resident in Asia Pacific aline.
Vietnam has some distance to cover to bring its restaurants and hotels up to speed on providing Halal food and gaining a better understanding of what constitutes a Muslim-friendly travel environment.
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Establish new small aircraft base at Mandalay international airport.

State-owned airline Myanma Airways will establish a small aircraft base at Mandalay’s international airport to expand its domestic commuter flights to secondary destinations.
According to the Eleven Myanmar news report, the Mandalay hub will be a base for airline services to Nyaung Oo, Heho, Banmaw, Myitkyina and Lashio, using Beech Craft and Grand Caravan aircraft.
The airline also intends to fly sightseeing trips from the airport for tourists staying in Mandalay.
The media quoted unnamed official as saying that MA has submitted the proposal to Department of Civil Avaition.
The sightseeing flights will cover upstream and downstream trips along the Ayeyawady River, Began-Nyaung Oo-Poppa-Moneywa, Pyin Oo Lwin-Gote Htake and Pintaya-Inle-Pyadalin cave (Nywa Ngan).
MA bought four Beech Craft and a Cessna Grand Caravan.
Myanma Airways is the sole national flag carrier and state-owned airline of Myanmar, based in Yangon. In the past it prospered mainly on royalties it received from other airlines it partnered with. There was also a rule that ensured the state airline held shares in all other airlines flying in the country.
It operates scheduled services to all major domestic destinations from its main Yangon International Airport base. Most tour operators avoid using the airline due to its poor safety record in the past.
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Myanmar develop tourism around Inle Lake.

Myanmar’s Ministry of Hotels and Tourism says a plan to develop tourism around Inle Lake is being discussed in order to boost tourism to the region.
The tourism minister, Htay Aung, told local media that the ministry has already mapped out destination management plans for the tourism sector in Inle Region and will reveal them shortly.
“We will hold discussions with international organisations next month. The plan will kick off  once agreements are inked.”
The ministry has joined hands with the Institute for International Development and International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development and tour destinations in and around Inle Lake.
The plan is part of the master plan for the tourism sector that focuses on Inle, Kayah State.
The tourism master plan includes 12 regions – Yangon, Bagan, Mandalay, Kyaikhteeyoe, Ngapali, Ngwesaung, Putao, Myeik, Naga, Natmauk Mountain, Loikaw and Inle.
Some business owners from the tourism industry say Inle Lake needs to be protected rather than exploited for tourism.
The minister said: “Inle Lake is our natural heritage. The President said we should not build hotels and inns recklessly in Bagan as travellers go there to study the cultural footprints of the zone, not to rest in luxurious accommodation. No one will be willing to visit Myanmar if our cultural, natural heritages is destroyed. We should make a collective push to maintain our landmarks.”
Inle Lake is a freshwater lake located in the Nyaungshwe Townshipof Taunggyi District of Shan State, part of Shan Hills in Myanmar.
It is the second largest lake in Myanmar with an estimated surface area of 44.9 square miles (116 sqkm), and one of the highest at an elevation of 2,900 feet (880 metres).
The best time of the year to visit is during September and October.
The nearest airport is Heho Airport which is 35 km away. There are flights from both Yangon and Mandalay. Yangon is 660 km away by road, Mandalay 330 km.
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