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.

Apr 17, 2014

A Convenient Flight and Ride to Pakse by Nok Air

Nok Air has lauched a twice daily fly/ride service, Bangkok to Pakse, via Ubon Ratchathani, effective 17 March.


The new destination will serve tourists travelling between Thailand and neighbouring southern Laos. The Fly ‘n’ Ride service combines a flight ex- Bangkok (Don Mueang) to Ubon Ratchathani Airport that connects with a bus service to the border with Laos where travellers transfer to another bus for the final leg to Pakse.

The airline is selling through travel to Pakse using flight and bus, but says it will not be responsible for the quality or risks involved in the overland transfer.

Transport from Ubon Ratchathani Airport to the Thai-Lao border checkpoint in Thailand is provided by Sahakarn Ubon2001, registered under Thai Law. From the Thai-Lao border checkpoint in Laos to Pakse KC Hoilday also registered in Thailand offers the service.

The upcoming route sets a one-way fare start at Bt1,700 which is subject to change.
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Apr 11, 2014

Cambodia’s tourism powers on

Cambodia’s closed 2013 with a healthy 17.5% increase in tourist arrivals according to the country’s statistics and tourist Information Department.



The country attracted 4,210,165 visits compared to 3,584,307 visits in 2012. Just over 2 million overland trips came from neighbouring Vietnam, Laos and Thailand.

Data released by the Ministry of Tourism, late last week, showed Vietnam was the top supplier with 854,104 trips up 11.9% from 763,136 in 2012.

Other top markets were: China (463,123; +38.7%); South Korea (435,009; +5.7%); Laos (414,531; +63.2%); and Thailand (221,259; +9.8%).

In 2013, 47.9% (2,017,658) of all international visitors arrived by air. Siem Reap Airport received the major share, 28.1% (1,181,281) and Phnom Penh Airport registered a market share of 19.9% (836,377).

Overland travel accounted for 50.3% of all trips (2,117,454) travel through checkpoints with Thailand, Laos and Vietnam while sea travel had a market share of just 1.8% (75,053).

When all modes of transport are considered data showed tourist arrivals to Siem Reap province, home of Angkor Wat, had a market share of 53.1% or 2,237,286 visits.

Asia Pacific was the main source region with a market share of 76.8% and grew at 19.2% to deliver 3,231,892 visits last year.

Oceania grew 29.1% to 152,712 followed by Europe (+14.2%; 698,157), Americas (+7.7%; 263,175), Africa (+4.9%; 5,902), and the Middle East (+3.0%; 11,039).

Outbound trips by Cambodians in 2013 reached 871,646 increasing 10.0% from 792,398 in 2012.

Last December, the country attracted 431,807 international travellers improving 12.9% from 382,326 visits during the same month in 2012.

Cambodian Tourism Minister Thong Khon said China was the second largest source of tourists to Cambodia after Vietnam last year.

“The steady growth of Chinese tourists to Cambodia was thanks to the country’s attractive tourism destinations, political stability and direct flight connections between the two countries.”


He added: “Moreover, good relations between the Cambodian and Chinese governments have encouraged more Chinese tourists and business people to Cambodia… currently, we are working to attract more Chinese tourists, particularly to the Angkor Wat temple and coastal areas.”
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Apr 10, 2014

Ho Chi Minh City Airport Expands

Vietnam’s Ministry of Defense has agreed to hand over 7.63 hectares of land to the Ministry of Transport to expand Tan Son Nhat International Airport and fast track efforts to reduce traffic congestion.


According to the Civil Aviation Administration of Vietnam director, Lai Xuan Thanh, the Ho Chi Minh City-based Tan Son Nhat Airport is currently overloaded.

“To serve 25 million passengers a year the airport needs 65 to 70 aircraft parking spots, while at present there are only 42,” he said.

The military confirmed it will donate 7.63 hectares of land to build 21 more parking spots to resolve the issue.

Ho Chi Minh City’s Tan Son Nhat Airport was projected to handle 13 million passengers a year by 2015, but it has already exceeded 20 million.

The country forecasts a substantial increase in tourism over the next five years with the objective of turning its two main airports in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City into the preferred gateways to the Mekong Region.

Tan Son Nhat International Airport is the largest international airport in terms of area (800 ha or 1,977 acres compared with 650 ha or 1,606 acres of Hanoi’s Noi Bai International Airport.

It can handle 25 million passengers a year, compared to Hanoi’s Noi Bai airport that has a capacity of 8 million passengers and Danang 6 million passengers.


It handled in 17,538,000 passengers in 2012, accounting for 46.6% of Vietnam’s air passenger traffic.
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Apr 7, 2014

The new InterContinental Nha Trang opens in Vietnam

InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) has opened the doors of the brand new InterContinental Nha Trang in the coastal city of Nha Trang, Vietnam. The 279-room hotel overlooks the pristine coastline and waters of the Nha Trang Bay and includes 56 luxuriously furnished suites.


The hotel is a 40-minute drive from Cam Ranh International Airport and is surrounded by a host of shopping and entertainment options. It also offers guests the opportunity to go island-hopping or visit attractions such as the Thap Ba Hot Spring, Nha Phu Lagoon or some of Nha Trang's famous scuba diving spots in the Hon Mun Marine Protected Area.

Guests looking for unique culinary experiences in Nha Trang can find what they are looking for right at the hotel, which has a number of dining options. The hotel's main restaurant Cookbook Cafe offers live interactive cooking stations with seafood, char grilled meats and authentic Vietnamese specialties, while poolside bar Aqualine provides guests with the best views over the bay as they enjoy light bites. Those looking to unwind can enjoy signature drinks prepared by the hotel's resident mixologist at the Lobby Bar.

Colin McCandless, General Manager, InterContinental Nha Trang said; "InterContinental Nha Trang is the epitome of a luxurious beachfront retreat and it is situated along one of the most stunning coastlines in Vietnam. From its fantastic location offering the view of the pristine Nha Trang bay to the world-class facilities in the hotel, InterContinental Nha Trang has been designed to provide contemporary luxury experiences for both leisure and business travelers when they stay, dine or hold an event with us."

InterContinental Nha Trang is a haven for rejuvenation with three outdoor swimming pools and a fully equipped Fitness Centre, while Spa InterContinental offers guests the latest holistic modern and traditional treatments, equipped with a luxurious couple suite, sauna and Jacuzzi, among others. The hotel also caters specifically to the youngest members of the family with its own Kid's Club which has a range of child friendly activities, games and supervised events that allow parents to get some much deserved time off on their own.

In addition, InterContinental Nha Trang boasts the largest pillar-less grand ballroom in the city, with extensive meeting facilities and the latest technology to deliver seamless corporate or social events such as conferences, business meetings, parties and weddings.

Clarence Tan, Chief Operating Officer, South East Asia and Resorts, IHG, said "InterContinental Nha Trang is our first hotel in Nha Trang and joins a stellar repertoire of three other award-winning InterContinental properties in Vietnam. We have high expectations for this new property and are confident that all our guests will enjoy an authentic local experience at the hotel."

IHG currently has six hotels open in Vietnam under the InterContinental Hotels & Resorts and Crowne Plaza brands, with another seven in the development pipeline. InterContinental Nha Trang joins the family of 12 InterContinental Hotels & Resorts in South East Asia, with another seven due to open in the next three to five years in the region.

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Apr 4, 2014

New services to Hanoi by ANA

Japan’s All Nippon Airways will operate a daily nonstop flight between Hanoi and Tokyo starting 30 March to meet increased travel demand.


The newl flight will depart from Japan’s Haneda airport at 0845 and land in Hanoi at 1155, while the return flight will depart Noi Bai international airport at 1400 and arrive at Haneda 2105.

The airline will service the route with a 214-seat Boeing 767 aircraft (35 business class and 179 economy), and from June will upgrade to Boeing 787s.

ANA’s Vietnam office director, Ryoichi Fujisaki, told local media that the upcoming Hanoi-Tokyo follows successful launch of a service from Tokyo to Ho Chi Minh City.

Last year, ANA carried 75,000 Vietnamese passengers to Japan.

“The Japanese government hopes to welcome 20 million international visitors in 2020 and flights between Hanoi and Tokyo will make a contribution to reaching that goal.” the office director said.

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Apr 3, 2014

Easier visa to Vietnam

Foreign travelers can now complete the visa application process for Vietnam at http://visa.mofa.gov.vn doing away with the need to get forms from the nearest Vietnamese representative agencies around the world.
The website is in four languages (Vietnamese, English, German, and French) and was launched by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 14 March.


Vietnamese who travel on a foreign passport (mostly US citizens) can also use the service.

It is part of a serious upgrade of the ministry’s services related to tourists that included improvements to its database, more accurate monitoring and a website to process visas.

The visa applications are scrutinized by the MOFA’s network, as well as other government agencies involved in security before the application is approved.

World Bank grants have supported the project.

Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Affairs Minister Pham Binh Minh said it showed the MOFA’s resolve to employ IT to streamline visa processes.

“The convenience of an online visa will help to attract more foreign individuals and businesses to visit the country, contributing to our economic development beyond tourism.”

World Bank country director for Vietnam, Victoria Kwakwa, said the online visa application system will help shorten the visa issuing duration to just two working days.


In 2013, international tourist arrivals to Vietnam reached 7,572,352 growing 10.6% from 2012.
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Apr 1, 2014

Centara Expands to Laos

Centara Hotels & Resorts will manage its first hotel in Laos in 2017 with the opening of the five-star Centara Grand Hotel in Vientiane.


Located in the downtown district of the Laotian capital, the hotel will adopt a French colonial design theme.
Centara will manage the new-build property under a management contract.

Thirayuth Chirathivat (4th left), chief executive officer of Centara Hotels & Resorts and Ekaphanh Phapithack (4th right), chairman of Simoung Group and Joint Development Bank shaking hands after signing a hotel management agreement for Centara to manage the new Centara Grand Hotel Vientiane. The ceremony took place at Lotus Suite 10, Centara Grand & Bangkok Convention Centre at CentralWorld.
The 200-room hotel, owned by Simuong Group, will cost Bt1.5 billion (US$46.2 million) to build.

“We are very proud of the fact that our top-tier Grand brand is expanding,” said Centara Hotels & Resorts chief executive officer Thirayuth Chirathivat.

“The brand is carrying our unique style of Thai hospitality into new markets, backed by the confidence of international investors.”

“Vientiane is an exciting destination for us, and it joins our Grand branded properties in Maldives, Vietnam, Bali, Mauritius, Shanghai, Addis Ababa, Doha and, of course, Thailand.”

Including the Vientiane property, Centara has a total of 20 Grand hotels.

“Laos is a natural market for us, being a direct neighbour of Thailand, and we are delighted that we shall have a five-star hotel in the centre of downtown Vientiane,” said Centara Hotels & Resorts senior vice president for sales and marketing Chris Bailey.

“This will add to our marketing strength in Southeast Asia, providing an exciting new destination for our large customer base around the world and adding to the opportunities for our business partners.”

Centara Grand Hotel Vientiane will have 200 rooms and feature Centara’s five-star facilities, including two restaurants, a Spa Cenvaree, a Kids’ Club, swimming pool, fitness centre and meeting facilities, including a ballroom.

Centara Hotels & Resorts is Thailand’s leading operator of hotels, with 46 deluxe and first-class properties covering all the major tourist destinations in the kingdom.


A further 20 resorts in Maldives, Vietnam, Shanghai, Bali, Sri Lanka, Mauritius, Ethiopia, Qatar and Laos brings the present total to 66 properties.

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Mar 31, 2014

New Resort in Bai Dai Beach by Russian Company

The Russian State Development Company is building a five-star resort on Bai Dai Beach, Cam Lam district, in the central coastal province of Khanh Hoa, Vietnam.


According to local media reports, earlier this week,  the Flowers Resort will have 256 rooms, 10 bungalows, 111 apartments and 56 luxurious villas on a site just north of the Cam Lam peninsular.

The US$88.83-million resort is the first five-star project in Bai Dai, but another 30 projects have been approved.

Last year, Khanh Hoa received more than 3 million holiday makers, an increase of over 29% in 2012. They were mostly domestic visitors, but of the international arrivals the Russian market is the strongest.

It accounted for 150,000 arrivals, last year and the growth is driven mainly by direct airline flights between Russia’s Far East and the province’s Cam Ranh airport and another linking Moscow and Nha Trang City.

The province should welcome 3.4 million tourists in 2014 including 840,000 foreign arrivals.

Khanh Hoa province, on Vietnam’s south central coast, has a thriving tourist industry mainly around Nha Trang bay where a new port is under construction. Noted for its attractive beaches and natural landscape the province is famous for its deep water bays the most noteworthy Cam Ranh. It is also close to Cam Ranh International Airport one of the busiest in the country.
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Cambodia Being The Fastest Growing Air Market In Southeast Asia

The Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation published recently a study showing that Cambodia is becoming Southeast Asia fastest growing markets with growth in passengers traffic reaching 18% for the second year in a row. Expansion is now engaged to double capacity at both Phnom Penh and Siem Reap airports.


Siem Reap International Airport, the air gateway serving Angkor Wat temples continue to register the highest passengers growth rates in Cambodia. Last year, the airport welcomed over 2.75 million passengers, up by over 20%. The airport is likely to reach or to close to three million passengers this year. Phnom Penh international Airport recorded 2.38 million passengers, up by 15%. Even Sihanoukville, the country third international airport, started to see some movement. The small Southern gateway welcomed last year over 20,000 passengers, a growth of 41% over 2012.

Cambodian airports’ good performance is due to the strong growth in tourism but also in the number of flights and air carriers in the Cambodian market. While national carrier Cambodia Angkor Air has finally embarked into rapid expansion, opening in a year time seven new routesn, mostly to China PRC. CAA network added last year from Phnom Penh the cities of Bangkok, Hanoi and Shanghai while from Siem Reap, the carrier launched flights to Guangzhou, Hangzhou, Shanghai and Wenzhou. In February, CAA launched a sixth route to China, Siem Reap-Fuzhou served with three weekly flights. The delivery of a new Airbus A321 could translate into new services to Korea and China.

The arrival of new Chinese carriers (Spring Airlines, Air China or Tianjin Airlines) had a tremendous effect on traffic. China represents now 15% of all seat capacities to and from Cambodia. This is the third largest market after Vietnam and Thailand which represent both some 22% to 25% of all available seats. Vietnam plays a leading and rather influential role in Cambodia. Vietnam Airlines represents not only over 15% of total seat capacity on international routes, it is also  the main foreign stake holder in Cambodia Angkor Air, the country’s flag carrier. In total, 29 airlines serve now Cambodia.

Cambodian airports are now investing 100 million US$ to the expansion of both airports. Work started in January on the expansion of terminals and aprons. More check-in and immigration counters as well as new baggage handling systems will be installed. When expansion works will be achieved by 2015 for Siem Reap and 2016 for Phnom Penh, the capacity of each airport will be of 5 million passengers on an annual basis.
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Mar 28, 2014

Plan for friendly cycling in Hanoi

The city authority says around 250 cycles will be available for rent for just US$0.19 per hour that will be launched soon in Hoan Kiem district, Hanoi.


Hanoi is among the five major cities in Vietnam that will introduce bike rentals.

The four other cities are Ho Chi Minh City, Hai Phong, Danang and Can Tho.

Ministry of Transport’s Transport Department head, Khuat Viet Hung, told local media that over the last two years, the number of cyclists in Hanoi had increased.

“In the downtown areas, such as the old quarter in Hanoi, where the traffic flow is dense, bicycles are very appropriate,” he said.

Initially, the bikes will probably be rented by local residents for short commutes in the Old Quarter, but the long-term objective is to attract visitors to use rental cycles.

Dong Xuan Joint Stock Company general director, Do Xuan Thuy, who is the developer of the bike rental programme in Hanoi, said bicycles are suitable for the Hanoi.

“This type of vehicle will help solve environmental problems and traffic congestion in the city and rentals are cheap.”

The company will offer 250 bicycles in Hoan Kiem district and paid for by electronic cards. They will be parked at bus stops or tourist attractions, especially the Old Quarter.

“Within three years, the number of people using bicycles will be very significant and will also appeal to tourists,” he said.

This year, the city targets 15 million domestic tourists and 2.8 million international visitors. By 2020, the city targeted to reach 3.2 million foreign arrivals and 20 million local tourists.

Last year, there were 2.58 million international tourists and 14 million domestic tourists visited Hanoi.
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