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 28, 2015

Tokyu backs Vietnam’s bus shuttle project


BINH DUONG: A Vietnamese firm in the southern province of Binh Duong is collaborating with a Japanese corporation to be offered shuttle buses to serve tourist destinations in nearby provinces.

Koshimura Toshiaki-Tokyu president, told local media that his group will back efforts to improve public transportation projects.

Tokyu Group and Becamex IDC Corp, a Vietnamese firm based in Binh Duong jointly carry out the shuttle bus project All the environment-friendly vehicles will use Japan’s latest technology and will be powered by compressed natural gas.

The project is supposed to create a bus route that links Binh Duong’s Integrated Administration Center (Binh Duong New City), an urban-industry-service complex, to Suoi Tien Amusement Park in Ho Chi Minh City.

The total investment of this project which requires government approval, is estimated at USD162 million.

The first Japanese-style,in late 2014, 22.1-km bus route called “Kaze Shuttle” was inaugurated and is now operated by Becamex Tokyu Company that is a joint venture between Tokyu and Becamex, to connect Thu Dau Mot City and Binh Duong New City.

Tokyu is one of Japan’s leading corporations in terms of urban and infrastructure development. The company is developing real estate projects in Binh Duong New City with a total capital of USD1.2 billion.

Apr 27, 2015

Shoestring budget slows Vietnam’s tourism


HANOI : National Administration of Tourism in Vietnam says a shoestring budget is hampering tourism promotion campaigns and ultimately reducing the country’s ability to grow tourist arrivals.

Nguyen Van Tuan- VNAT Chief told local media that the tight budget handed to his agency to promote tourism was used for different activities so channelling more funds to promotions was difficult.

He said that Vietnam tourism revenue is around USD700 million a year, however funds for actual promotions are minimal, well below its neighbors and insufficient to support industry growth.

“It’s hard to launch campaigns with such a modest budget…Vietnam is even lagging behind Cambodia which has a quite young tourist industry.” The chief told: “Cambodia has a very professional tourism industry and Vietnam is way behind Thailand, Singapore and Malaysia.”

The entire spend on promoting tourism does not exceed USD2.5 million compared to Thailand USD 86 million and Cambodia with USD3.5 million, according to an assessment from the Hanoi-based Institute for Tourism Development Research.

But the Tourism Authority of Thailand which is responsible for all tourism promotions reported it had an overall USD46 million budget in 2014 to cover all costs including salaries and the upkeep of overseas offices.

Ministry of Tourism and Sports of Thailand gets some funds for promotions that overlap with the TAT, however, nothing on the scale of the TAT’s budget which suggests Vietnam’s assessment of Thailand’s promotional spend on tourism has been over estimated. Singapore and Malaysia also have generous budgets to boost tourism of USD130 million and USD100 million, respectively, the highest in the ASEAN region.

Vietnam welcomed 2,007,884 international tourists for January to March this year, declining 13.7% during the same period last year.

Apr 19, 2015

Laos extends more shopping malls

Vientiane Centre is one of The high-end shopping mall that opened with its owners claiming on last week. It will add a brand shopping experience to the list of city’s attractions that should appeal to Asian visitors.

Lao News Agency informed the ceremony was attended by Deputy Prime Minister Somsavat Lengsavad and the Chinese Ambassador to Laos and Guan Hua Bing.

Chen Wen Shan- the president of Yunnan Construction Engineering Group told local media that the centre will offer the best shopping experience in Lao as well as support tourism by giving visitors an additional reason to visit Vientiane. It was built by the Chinese company. So, Chinese traveller will be the main target audience

The Vientiane Centre is a four-storey shopping complex that was developed on 5.3 ha.

There are two phases with the first one consisting of a shopping mall and business offices. And, the other phase will include a hotel for business travellers and entertainment facilities.

The Vientiane Centre has already contract with several well-known companies including the Bank of China, Gucci, Longines, Tissot, Estee Launder, Lancome, Dior, Shiseido, Chanel, CK, Coach, Zara, Pierre Cardin, Giordano, Belle, Nike, and Adidas.

Apr 18, 2015

Vietnam cooperates with Ethiopia on Heritage Management

Vietnam says it will cooperate with Ethiopia on heritage management projects.Hoang Tuan Anh- The Minister of Vietnamese Culture, Sports and Tourism told local media that the countries, reached an agreement to cooperate in the field of heritage management, on Tuesday.The agreement was concluded with the sidelines of the 132nd Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU-132).The project is assumed to strengthen local heritage management and pursue ways to invest and boost tourism.The distinction of having many heritage sites recognised by UNESCO was shared by Vietnam and Ethiopia.The exchange will concerntrate on information on heritage management and is expected to be a two-way project that will benefit both countries in building sustainable tourism.

Apr 17, 2015

Response of Vietnam Aviation Authority to the Germanwing’s fatal crash

Vietnam’s Civil Aviation Authority has instructed relevant agencies to tighten checks on airline crews in response to the Germanwing’s fatal crash. In the last week, the co-pilot deliberately flew the plane into a mountain side.

Tuoi Tre media told aviation authorities have ordered tighter checks on cockpit crews of Vietnam Airlines, Jetstar and VietJet Air.

Besides the guarantee of security in the cockpit, The CAAV also asked airliners to closely monitor any psychological abnormalities of crew members. Authorities said Vietnamese airlines have two crew members in the cockpit at all times.Furthermore, it was made clear that the rule of two applied during a flight when the captain or co-pilot vacated the cockpit to go to the toilet or galley.

“Whenever a pilot needs to leave the cockpit during a flight, the chief cabin attendanct T must stay in the cockpit until the pilot returns.” Data analysis indicated that a co-pilot of the Germanwings flight apparently committed suicide by crashing the plane into a mountain and killing 150 passengers and crew members.

Apr 16, 2015

Renovation of the Mandalay palace

Myanmar’s Ministry of Culture has invited tenders to undertake a major renovation of Mya Nan San Kyaw Palace in Mandalay.

Eleven Myanmar media informed that this is the second tender for the renovation of the palace. In 2013, the first tender was operated, nevertheless it had finalised.

In Nay Pyi Taw, The Ministry of Culture handed over the palace to the Mandalay Regional Government Committee in July 2013.

The palace was then handed over last December to the culture ministry because the ministry had financial resources to carry out restoration. Nyo Myint Tun- Mandalay’s Archaeological Research and National Museum Department assistant director said the Ministry of Culture has now opened a tender for the renovation of the Mya Nan San Kyaw golden palace.

“We are going to carry out restoration on the palace and the main buildings. In the past, we carried out only minor maintenance.” the Golden Palace, or Mya Nan San Kyaw Palace, was built between 1857 and 1859. It also served as the royal residence of King Mindon and King Thibaw who are the last two kings of Burma. British forces entered the palace and captured the royal family and razed the city to the ground, it ceased to be a royal residence and seat of government in 1885..

Apr 15, 2015

Thai airlines getting noticed by Cambodia

After an ICAO international audit raised “significant safety concerns” about the standards of Thailand’s aviation authority, Cambodia’s State Secretariat for Civil Aviation says it has no plans to follow in the footsteps other Asian nations and ban new flights by Thai-based carriers. Sin Chansereyvutha- Spokesman of the SSCA said the Phnom Penh Post that Cambodia will take “a softer” neighbourly approach”, stopping short of banning Thai carriers.

“SSCA will monitor this issue. We will make sure that Thai Airlines comply with all [SSCA] regulations and requirements.”

Ang Kim Eang- Cambodian Association of Travel Agents president was quoted as saying there would be no noticeable impact on the number of travellers between Cambodia and Thailand because Cambodia would not ban flights,however we will certainly keep an eye on their safety.

Japan,China and South Korea blocked new flights and charters from Thai-registered airlines after the UN’s International Civil Aviation Organisation raised concerns surrounding Thailand’s Department of Civil Aviation’s operational standards.

After being warned in 2005 that there were shortcomings, failed, The ICAO ‘s findings have seriously dented Thailand’s aviation image and puts the spotlight on why the DCA to correct them before the new audit was carried out last January.

Apr 10, 2015

Farm tourism an option for Vietnam


HANOI,on 27 March 2015: In an interview Thursday, a tour expert told local media Vietnam needs a long-term strategy to tap the potential of agro-tourismin.

Quoted Ngo Kieu Oanh who runs a farm tours, local media said Vietnamese leaders must introduce clear policies. He said that "the most important requirement is to preserve traditional farming villages provide financial support for develop standards for the sector and skills training and publicity campaigns”

Follow Ms. Tran Thi Viet Huong work for Vietravel’s communication and promotion manager, said tourism needs to connect with farmers so they can tap the travel industry network for support.

An agricultural country with more than 70% of its population living in rural areas, Vietnam also has a diversity of traditions cultures and ecosystems. Especially, it still has many farm communities that on smaller plots of land that comes the closest to organic farming use traditional methods.

Follow the report said that "nevertheless, only two potential sites for agro-tourism in Hanoi. It is the ancient village of Duong Lam where tourists can help farmers with their rice harvest and fish, and the other is Oanh's farm."

Duong Lam’s relic site management board head, Pham Hung Son, affirmed farming tourism helps create jobs and improve living conditions for local residents, while raising awareness about protecting and upholding local traditional farming methods.

In northern provinces such as Lao Cai, Son La and Lai Chau, travellers can enjoy the spectacular scenery of terraced rice fields and witness farming methods that have not changed for centuries.

Apr 9, 2015

Myanmar shifts conference venue


SINGAPORE, on 27 March 2015:Hospitality and Tourism Conference in Myanmar has moved venue from Yangon to the capital Nay Pyi Taw. The Sphere Conferences, organisers said they were complying with a request to host the event in Nay Pyi Taw from the Ministry of Hotels and Tourism.

Dates have been delayed to 8 to 10 June.

The new venue is Kempinski Hotel in Nay Pyi Taw.

The organisers’ update stated that the change was “in line with the ministry’s vision to promote Nay Pyi Taw as a new destination for international audience.”

In company with the event local hoteliers will hold their annual meeting and more invites have been sent out to more ministerial level attendees to the conference to extend the scope and size of the event.

Two convention centres in Nay Pyi Taw are plans to build an exhibition centre. In 2014, a new airport branch was opened that is a showcase for the country’s emerging aviation industry in terms of facilities. However, it is under used with just two international airlines serving the airport in addition to domestic services.

The government have pressing hoteliers to give more incentives to airlines to fly to the capital and make it attractive financially to host conferences.

The ASEAN Tourism Forum, the last major conference was hosted in the capital in last January.

Apr 8, 2015

MNA ready for first Boeing


YANGON,on 27 March 2015: National Airlines of Myanmar will take delivery of its first leased Boeing in June to expand its network. Myanmar's Global News Light reported the airline will take delivery of four Boeing 737-800 MAXs and six Boeing 737-800 NGs from GECAS Company. In June and the second in October, the first plane will be delivered, the announcement in the official government media said. Within five years, the entire order will be completed as is subject to review.

The airline has nine aircraft in its fleet mainly small aircraft serving domestic routes.

In December last year, MNA a government entity became a corporation in a bid to upgrade services and its IT capabilities.

The 67-year-old airline is established in 1948 as Union of Burma Airways (UBA) after it's the national flag carrier of Myanmar. Then, it was renamed as Myanma Airways in 1989.

Based in Yangon, in Myanmar the airline flies to 26 destinations, but makes most of its revenue from royalties it earned from allowing other airlines to operate routes in the country.