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The 2nd best destination in the world for backpacking tourism: Vietnam

1. New Zealand

New Zealand

Top of the list is New Zealand. This island is covered with lots of forests, mountains and lakes. Located between the ocean and not far from neighboring Australia, New Zealand’s population dominated by natives as Maori, Irish and Scottish migrants. Surreal beauty and blend of cultures makes New Zealand a destination attracts a lot of tourists each year.

2. Vietnam

Backpacking Halong, Hanoi

In the eyes of many people, Vietnam is a paradise of backpacking tourism, with unique scenery. From the dense primeval forest to the city noisy, boisterous, from the pristine islands to the peaceful countryside, a trip to Vietnam and immersed in the lives of the people here can change your life forever

Adventure tours in Vietnam

3. The countries of Eastern Europe

Sotres Panorama, Eastern Europe

Despite the fact that there are many people timid with the Eastern European countries, this area is still the most attractive destination for backpacking tourism. From the dazzling beaches on the shores of the Black Sea to the peaceful countryside in Albania, The Eastern European enough charm to attractive travelers with journeys.

4. India

Farewell India

With 31 states, 1.618 languages, 6,400 castles, 6 ethnic minorities and 29 annual festivals, India is a unique country in the world. The country welcomes visitors not only with civilization but also by the attraction of a rich nation faith and the surreal architecture.

5.Borneo Island, Southeast Asia

Krasivyy Ostrov, Borneo

Borneo Island, the indispensable destination in schedule to discover nature with lover’s life and wild freedom. The country is home to a wide variety of plants and rare animals, and owns a jungle up to 130 million years.

6. Belize

Belize Vacation resort

Despite owning small area but Belize is still one of the top priorities of the backpacking people. Located between Guatemala and Mexico, Belize is only a mere 9,000 square miles wide. However, that does not prevent the country becoming a great destination for backpacking tourism in recent years. Much of the country is covered by dense tropical forests, along with the impressive coral reefs.

7. Canada

Canada

Canada, country has ever been ruled by Great Britain until the early 20th century, completely different from the US, the neighbor to the south. Canada is not just a piece of land that stretches 5,000 miles, adjacent to two major oceans, but also possesses the rare landscapes, from arctic glaciers to the white sand beach, enough to make the visitors to charm.

8. The Alaska in North America

Alaska

Vast, cold and desolate lands of Alaska in North America, this destination is both pretty and scary. Those who came across the movie “Into the Wild” certainly somewhat understand that fact. Alaska is the combination of spectacular natural and absolutely beautiful, and the harsh climate. Because of that fatal charm, this place has become the top destination for those who love adventure travel.

9. Peru

Machu Picchu, Peru

In the past few years, Peru began to emerge as a destination indispensable in backpacker tourism. Not only is the home of the legendary city of Machu Picchu, the South American country but also possesses beautiful landscapes and the most wild, dedicated to the adventurous visitor

10. Australia

Australia beach wonderful.jpg

This country is mentioned first in this list is the “mecca” for backpacking tourism, Australia. Countries in Oceania has long been a familiar destination for enthusiasts back from around the world. With the unique landscape on Earth, Australia has everything one needs for a trip.

HUONG VIET TRAVEL has been established since 2002 at Hanoi Capital of Vietnam & known as one of the most outstanding travel agents not only in Vietnam but South East Asia. With tour of all kinds: Vietnam Sightseeing Tours, Vietnam Adventure Tours 

Source: http://huongviettravel.com/travel-news/vietnam/vietnam-2nd-in-the-world-as-best-destination-for-backpacking-tourism/

Categories: Vietnam Travel Packages | Bạn nghĩ gì về bài viết này?

Experiences for tourists when travel Myanmar

MYANMAR TRAVEL: journey back to the past, barefoot, sunset and sunrise …

Hi all!

I have just traveled to Myanmar 12 days. Myanmar is very poor, it’s like Hanoi-90s, the weather is hot, a bit difficult to eat food, people are generally friendly and hospitable. There are 4 places when travel to Myanmar as the Golden Rock, Bagan the ancient city with about 4000 ancient temples, Mandalay and Inle Lake that is really very beautiful.

Bagan - Myanmar

At Yangon, I was welcomed by a sunny morning, it’s hot and frustrating. When I haven’t already felt anything about this small city, I have to go to the Golden Rock in a hurry. On arriving, I like being sucked into a black hole and return to Vietnam’s past, from 1985 – 1990 of the last century. It’s poor, dusting…

Golden Rock

On the night I was sitting in meditation, silence hear tinkling wind chimes, hear murmur prayers, spirit throughout. I have never felt the current connected to the past, it’s so close together. In the morning, got up at 5 am and dawn with prayers echoing, watching the immense hills, sky …

Bagan

Beautiful and ancient surprisingly. Bagan, I was feeling silly when watching the sunset on the Shwesandaw temple and imagine about tens of centuries ago, when Myanmar was still flourishing, how did they organize spectacular ceremony and mystics at the beautiful temples like this? hear the horses’ hooves clatter on the road to watch the sunrise at 5am, or sense of the sacred when seeing black temple in the night …

Madalay

When I went to Mandalay, I asked myself why this country has many temples ? People here are poor, very poor probably due to how much of the wealth and confidence are brought out to build the temple.

Unique Leg rower at Inle Lake

Inle Lake

During his time in Inle Lake, i am impressed with austere face, innocent smile and the gentle of the boatmen who is 19 years old. He’s 19 years old but he looked older than me so much although I was 27 years old … because of hard life, poverty…

Picture of 8-year-old boy was sailing with heel, characteristic of Inle Lake. Is feeling waking up in a beautiful resort that secluded with the outside world, no vehicles, no human voice, silence with sparkling lake.

And finally, the image about my cheeks were applied Tanakan powder with various shapes, every once applied on the face, once different emotions, joy and excitement.

Thanaka

Sometimes frustrating, sometimes disappointing, sometimes joyful and sometimes dumbfounded …. there is so much emotion in my 11 days in Myanmar. Sitting on the plane and goodbye Myanmar , not knowing when I will have the opportunity to come here again. But if you haven’t ever gone, go to Myanmar once to feel

HUONG VIET TRAVEL has been established since 2002 at Hanoi Capital of Vietnam & known as one of the most outstanding travel agents not only in Vietnam but South East Asia. With tour of all kinds: Myanmar ToursMyanmar Visa  

More info: http://huongviettravel.com/travel-news/myanmar/myanmar-travel-experiences-for-you/

Categories: Travel Tips, Vietnam Travel Packages | Bạn nghĩ gì về bài viết này?

Sightseeing in Hoi An and see “Wonders of the World” made from pottery

Hoi An is an ancient town of Vietnam, is the main trading center of the central end of the 16th century to the 17th century. Hoi An attracts visitors from everywhere with lots of attractions. Sightseeing in Hoi An – Vietnam, you will be looking at the old houses hundreds of years old, the beautiful beach at Cua Dai and Cu Lao Cham …

sightseeing in Hoian, pottery

Hoi An is not only famous for many ancient houses, beaches attract tourists or beautiful sight … , but also Hoi An is famous for the cultural values and traditional craft villages such as Thanh Ha pottery village, Tra Que Vegetable Village, Kim Bong carpentry village…

Recently, at the Cultural Park Thanh Ha Terracotta exhibited “Thanh Ha ceramic Tone” with the participation of 18 artists in Ceramics Club Fine Arts (Fine Arts Association of Ho Chi Minh City) and Thanh Ha pottery village artisans have created 170 terracotta artworks to perform exhibitions.

 sightseeing in Hoian, pottery

Model of ancient Roman arena

 sightseeing in Hoian, pottery

Ancient Castle of Rome

sightseeing in Hoian, pottery

Tower of Pisa

sightseeing in Hoian, pottery

Statue of Liberty

It is really an attractive destination, ideal for domestic and foreign tourists when Sightseeing in Hoi An,Vietnam

HUONG VIET TRAVEL has been established since 2002 at Hanoi Capital of Vietnam & known as one of the most outstanding travel agents not only in Vietnam but South East Asia. With tour of all kinds: Vietnam Sightseeing ToursVietnam Travel Packages 

More info: http://huongviettravel.com/travel-news/vietnam/sightseeing-in-hoi-an-vietnam-and-see-wonders-of-the-world-made-from-pottery/

Categories: Vietnam Travel Packages | Bạn nghĩ gì về bài viết này?

10 most attractive tourist sights in Vietnam

1. Halong bay

Ha Long beach

Ha Long, wonder of Vietnam

Ha Long Bay is located on the west coast of the Gulf of Tonkin, includes waters, islands of Halong City, Cam Pha city and part of Van Don island district, Quang Ninh province. Halong Bay has a coastline of 120 km, an area of about 1.553km 1,969 square including large and small islands, mostly limestone islands, of which the core zone of the bay has an area of 335km square, about 775 large and small islands .

Not only by the beautiful scenery “water wave, clouds”, poetic beauty and numerous limestone islands floating on the water of Ha Long also gives visitors the feeling of tranquility immersed in the scenery. Being recognized as one of 29 most beautiful bays in the world

Wonders of Vietnam Tour (15 Days)

2. Thien Mu pagoda

Thien Mu pagoda

Thien Mu Pagoda, also known as Linh Mu pagoda, the ancient temple is situated on Ha Khe hill, on the left bank of Huong river, Hue city center 5km to the west. Official Thien Mu Pagoda was built in 1601, the time of Lord Nguyen Hoang Tien. With natural beauty and vast scale, Thien Mu Pagoda has become the most beautiful temple at that time

3. Hoan Kiem lake

Hoan Kiem lake

Also known as Sword Lake, a natural freshwater lake of Hanoi, the lake has an area of approximately 12 hectares. In the past, the lake also known as: Luc Thuy Lake, Thuy Quan lake, Ta Vong lake and Huu Vong lake, Hoan Kiem name first appeared in the fifteenth century associated with the legend of King Le Thai To pay sword for turtle god

Hoan Kiem lake is associated with the legendary lore, as a symbol of the desire for peace the people of Vietnam. Therefore, there are many artists who took the photo Ho Guom foundation for his work.

Hanoi Stopover Tour (3 Days)

4. Hoi An

Lantern street - Hoi An, Vietnam

Hoi An city located on the banks north of the Thu Bon river, about 25 kilometers from Da Nang city in the southeast and about 50 km from Tam Ky city in the northeast. From the sixteenth century, the seventeenth century this place was famous called Faifoo, where trade and trade center of the large merchants Japan, China, Portugal, Italy … in Southeast Asia.

Today, Hoi An almost intact preservation of relics of ancient architecture and intangible culture, religious activities, folk art, cultural festivals, the village Besides traditional career … culture food in Hoi An is one of the special things that tourists often referred to, if already here, not enjoy the traditional dishes such as Cao Lau, Quang noodles cake “white roses” … shall be deemed never been to Hoi An.

5. Phu Quoc island

Phu Quoc

Phu Quoc, one of the most beautiful islands in South East Asia

The island is also known as Pearl Island, the largest island in Vietnam, is also the largest island in population of 22 islands in the Gulf of Thailand. Phu Quoc Island and other islands create Phu Quoc Island, Kien Giang Province. The entire island district has a total area of 589.23 square kilometers.

In 2008, the site concierge.com (travel professionals in Australia) has announced the Bai Dai, Phu Quoc is one of 13 beaches “most pristine and beautiful” on the world. Also Phu Quoc where producing fish sauce, is not only famous in Vietnam but also around the world.

Phu Quoc Island Vacation – 5 Days

6. Terraced fields of Sapa

Terraced fields of Sapa

Sa Pa is a highland town in northwest Vietnam, where the beautiful terraced fields that stretch. With the spectacular natural landscape, poetic, and rich food, Sa Pa has “mesmerized” when most tourists arrive here.

In 2009, “Travel and Leisure” magazine (USA) has voted to Sa Pa terraced fields is 1 in 7 most beautiful terraces, spectacular in Asia and the world. Tháng 12/2011 Lonely Planet Travel Magazine (UK) has introduced ground “Sa Pa is one of 10 amazing points in the world for walking” and the beginning of the month 11/2013, the Ministry of Culture – Sports and tourism has also decided to rank “Terraced fields of Sapa” is landscapes national heritage.

7. Mui Ne

Mui Ne

Mui Ne, One of the most beautiful beaches in Vietnam

Being a famous tourist center in South Central, from the center of the city of Phan Thiet (Binh Thuan Province) 22km northeast, where it is a wild green coastline with the red sand dunes stretching as desert and the fishing village.

Mui Ne also attractive by many historical monuments – a culture of diverse cultures, such as multi-ethnic Kinh, Cham, Hoa, Cham typical tower, water tower, Ong pagoda, Thien Hau pagoda, Van Thuy Tu and many other valuable monuments of culture, history and tourism.

8. Mekong Delta

Sunrise on a floating market - Can Tho, Mekong Delta, Southern Vietnam

As part of the Mekong delta, also known as the Southern delta or Southwest, the total area is 40548.2 square kilometers. Due to its long coastline and Mekong river divided into several branches, canals, islets, islands, where it suited for this kind of eco-tourism, experience and explore.

Go to the Mekong delta in addition to visiting the vast orchard, go on one in 9 tributaries of the Mekong River beach, listen “don ca tai tu” and enjoy delicacies southern region, tourists also can not ignore the floating market, a feature that you only see in the western rivers.

9. Cu Chi Tunnels

Cu Chi Tunnels

As defense system underground in Cu Chi district, the land was dubbed the “iron land”, from Ho Chi Minh City 70km west – north. This system is the National Front for the Liberation of South Vietnam during the Indochina War building and the Vietnam War.

This is a unique architecture located deep in the ground, there are many floors, many corners like cobwebs over 200km long, where is dining, accommodation, meeting and fighting of army and people.

10. Nha Trang

Nha Trang beach

As a coastal city and the center of politics, economy, culture, and tourism in Khanh Hoa Province. Dubbed the “Pearl of the Orient”, Nha Trang not only possesses the natural landscape of fresh, cool with white sandy beaches, islands that have coral ecosystems magic but also known by ancient Cham temples, quiet museum in the city center ..

Nha Trang Sunny Land (4 Days)

Source: http://huongviettravel.com/travel-news/vietnam/10-most-attractive-tourist-sights-in-vietnam/

Huong Viet Travel – Vietnam Adventure ToursSightseeing in Vietnam Vietnam Beach Breaks

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Top Things to See and Do when Traveling in Cambodia

You want to discover Cambodia but you don’t know where you have to go, what you have to do. Don’t worry because we will help you.

Cambodia, the country with the amazing people, rich history, delicious food, beautiful coastline, and a lively nightlife…

Top Things to See and Do

Angkor Wat

The Wonder of Angkor Wat

This huge temple complex is the reason most people visit Cambodia. The temple ruins are massive and you’ll need a few days to explore all of them. While there’s a lot more to the country than this UNESCO site (too many people only come to visit Angkor), no trip is complete without satisfying your inner Tomb Raider and exploring these ruins.

Tongle Sap

Sailing down this river allows you to get a look at how closely Cambodian life is tied to this major waterway. You can take a boat all the way down one end to the other or just cruise around on a day trip.

Sihanoukville

Sihanoukville beach

White sand beaches, nearby deserted islands, great diving, amazing seafood, and a heavy nightlife filled with cheap booze make this spot a favorite among travelers. This was once a very seedy spot, but has become a mecca for backpackers. It’s not a quiet place to hang out but it’s good place to drink or use as a base to visit the nearby islands, which are quiet and serene.

Kep

This beautiful beach town is the quiet version of Sihanoukville. There’s also great seafood here is a nice place to relax on near the ocean without the party atmosphere that is Sihanoukville. This city is famous for it’s pepper crab and empty beaches. There’s not a lot to do here so it also makes for a good day trip.

Phnom Penh

Phnom Penh

The capital of Cambodia, this place has a wild west atmosphere with dusty streets and a “devil may care” atmosphere. There are few good attractions to see and there is an up-and-coming foodie vibe to the city. Since the destruction of the lake, most of the action has moved towards the river.

Bokor National Park

Wander among the atmospheric French ruins while hiking a great rainforest. Bokor was a big destination for the French aristocracy back in the day and you can see the ruins of their homes. It is a day trip from Sihanoukville or nearby Kampot.

Battambang

Buddhist temple Battamban

Known as a farming area, and famous for its fading French colonial architecture, this is the place to get a real taste of Cambodian life. There are great temples, a bamboo train, and stunning architecture from long past here. This destination sees few tourists except for those who like to get off the beaten path and off the Siem Reap-Phnom Penh trail. It’s Cambodia without the tourism.

Prasat Preah Vihear

This breathtaking mountain temple is source of conflict with its neighbor Thailand, who also claims this place as its own. The trip here is not easy but nothing worth going to is ever is.

Visit a river village

There are 3 floating villages to choose from in the country. The houses are built on bamboo stilts and there are always boats filled with people selling trinkets, food, and hanging out. The Chong Khneas is the most visited in the country but popularity has made it a bit of a tourist trap recently.

Koh Kong

Kohrong beach

A city near the Thai border in the Cardamom Mountain district, Koh Kong offers great opportunities for jungle trekking, as well as a chance to relax on the white sand beaches. Koh Kong island is reputed to be one of the best beach spots in Southeast Asia. It’s illegal to spend the night there, but it makes for an easy day trip.

Visit the pepper farms

Outside the city of Kampot (go there) and on the way to Kep are vast pepper fields. This southern region of Cambodia is filled with pepper farms where you can learn about the history of the spice, see how it is grown, and pick up what is considered some of the finest pepper in the world.

The Killing Fields

You can’t mention Cambodia without people drawing a connection to the country’s bloody genocidal past. Although a visit to the Killing Fields, located 15 km from Phnom Penh, may not be the most cheerful way to spend an afternoon, it makes for a hallowing, and memorable experience, a testament to the dangers of uncontested power.

Kampong Cham

Though it’s the third-largest city in Cambodia, most backpackers overlook Kampong Cham. As a result, it retains a lot of its old French colonial feel, and is a great place to really get to know Cambodia. While the city in itself is something to explore, you should also check out the ruins at Nokor Wat. One of the highlights here is a detailed series of murals which depict religious torture scenes.

Source: Internet

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Myanmar Golden Rock Trek (Up -Hill)

Yangon - Myanmar Tours - Huong Viet TravelDay 1 – Yangon – Bago – Kyaikhto (L,D)
After breakfast, depart for Bago (1.30 hours drive), it is an ancient capital known as Ramadesa. En-route visit at Shawnyaung Bin Nat Shrine to appeal for a safe journey and allied war memorial at Htauk Kyant. After that, proceed to Bago, visit Kyaik Pun; built by King Dhamazedi, it consist of four 30 m high Buddha images, Shwemawdaw Pagoda- is said to be over 1000 years old and originally built by the Mon King. Then, visit Shwethalyaung Buddha- it is huge reclining Buddha image and longer than Buddha image at Wat Pho in Bangkok.
After lunch, commence your trip to Kyaikhto (approx. 2.30 hours drive). Upon arrival, transfer to your hotel and enjoy your day leisurely and freely with some activities like swimming or soothe your skin and muscle with traditional massage.
Dinner and overnight stay at Sane Le’ Tin Garden Hotel.

Golden Rock - Myanmar Tours - Huong Viet TravelDay 2 – Kyaikhto – Golden Rock (B,L,D)
After early breakfast, drive to Saung Daing Gyi village; it is like a base camp and situated at the foot of the mountains range. You will be welcome by local area expert and porters who are travelling together with you to Golden Rock. Porters will carry your luggage, foods and necessary materials for you to be comfort and easy trek to Golden Rock. Then, follow the foot path of the hunters in the untouched and unspoiled natural dense forest; you need to cross over Dhanyin Mountain, Inner and Outer Mya Seinn Mountains and Ye Thea’ Mountain before Golden Rock. (Approx. 7-8 hours trek) Upon arrival, check in at your hotel and enjoy the magnificent over the mountain ranges.
Dinner and overnight stay at Mountain Top Hotel.

Kyaikhto - Myanmar TourDay 3 – Golden Rock – Kyaikhto (B,L,D)
Observe fantastic sunrise view at the hill top. After early breakfast, sight seeing around the Golden Rock and Street Market nearby. Then, your down hill trek begins and follow the route of old pilgrimage path to Kimpun Base Camp. Along the way, you can enjoy scenic beauties, natural forest, charming stream and water falls at Ye Myaung Gyi. (3-4 hours down hill trek)
Upon arrival, transfer to Kyaikhto for your stay at Sane Le’ Tin Garden Hotel. Enjoy your day leisurely with the activities like swimming or soothe your skin and muscle with traditional massage. Moreover, there will be a special farewell dinner and overnight at Sane Le’ Tin Garden Hotel.

Day 4 – Kyaikhto- Yangon (B,L)
After breakfast, enjoy the day freely at the hotel. After lunch, transfer back to Yangon.

Cost in US$ per person in the party (valid 30 Sep’09)

MYANMAR GOLDEN ROCK TREK (UP-HILL)

Standard

2 pax

545

3 – 4 pax

493

5 – 6 pax

408

7 – 10 pax

405

11 – 15 pax

354

Single supplement

58

Our services include:

* 3 nights accommodation in half double/twin at selected hotel category with Abf
* Meals as indicated in the program (B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner)
* English-speaking guide
* Porters
* Water and drinks during trek
* All transfers and excursions with private air-conditioned vehicles with drivers except in Kyaikhtiyo where transfers by open non-air-conditioned vehicles
* Entrance fees for the visits mentioned in the program

Our services do not include:

* Other meals not indicated in the program (B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner)
* Entrance fees for the sites not mentioned in the program
* Drinks and Personal expenses
* Any other items not mentioned in the included services
IMPORTANT NOTE: Due to the constant fluctuations of the world oil prices, local suppliers are liable to raise their contract rates without notice due to fuel increases. We always do everything we can to absorb such increases, however in some cases it can be impossible for us to operate the file without incurring a loss. In such cases we reserve the right to increase our price if necessary. This will always be with a minimum advance notice of 30 days.
We apologize for any inconvenience that may arise from these conditions. However we hope your clients understand that in this increasingly uncertain world, such measures are necessary and that by guaranteeing the price with full payment in advance, they at least have some control over the cost of their holiday.

HUONG VIET TRAVEL – MEMBER OF PATA, ASTA, IATA

Add: 20 Nguyen Truong To Str, Hanoi, Vietnam
Tel : (84-4) 37162149    Fax: (84-4) 37161738
E–mail address: sales@huongviettravel.com
Website: www.huongviettravel.com  | http://www.aseantravelandtours.com  | http://www.visavietnamonline.com  | http://www.huongvietjsc.com

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Vietnam World Heritages Tour

Hanoi - Vietnam Travel Packages - Huong Viet TravelDay 1: Arrival – HANOI (-/-/-)
On arrival at Noi Bai Airport, you are met and transferred to hotel for check in. Then, a tour by cyclo around the old quarter streets to discover the local people life. O/N in Ha Noi.

 

Day 2: FULL DAY HANOI CITY TOUR (B/-/-)
Morning: A half day city tour includes Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum with its house on stilts and One pillar pagoda. An orientation drive via colonial quarter to the West lake before taking a visit to Temple of Literature well known as Vietnam?s first university. Drive back to hotel. Afternoon: Transfer to visit the Ethnology museum. Enjoy your time to learn about 54 ethics in Vietnam. Then continue visiting to the Hoan Kiem Lake with Ngoc Son temple. The rest of time for a walk to do shopping. Evening: Water puppets show, the unique Vietnam traditional art. O/N in Ha Noi

Day 3: HANOI – HALONG BAY (B/L/D)
08h30: We are picked up at your hotel, and then transferred to Halong Bay. 12.30 We are welcome on the traditional junk and have welcome drink. Start the boat trip to visit Halong Bay, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Area of outstanding natural beauty. This picturesque ?Dragon descending to the sea? Bay has 1,969 limestone islets rising from the sea, many of them containing beautiful grottoes. Visit of a grotto then seafood lunch on board. The excursion includes the visit to Con Cho Island, Dinh Huong island, Canh Buom island, Ga Choi island. Swimming on Titop or Hoa Cuong beach. Watching sunset. Fishing with seine and owing bamboo boat (on request). Dinner and overnight on board.

Halong - Vietnam Travel Packages - Huong Viet TravelDay 4: HALONG BAY – HANOI RAILWAYS STATION (Brunch/-)
Breakfast on board or getting the breakfast box. Continue to explore other side of Halong Bay. Brunch is served on board. 11h30: Transfer back to Hanoi with stopover at Dong Trieu ceramic village. Arrive in Hanoi. Free time. 19h00: Overnight train to Dong Hoi.

Day 5: DONG HOI – PHONG NHA CAVES – HUE (B/-/-)
06h30: Arrive in Dong Hoi, you are met & transfer to have breakfast. Then proceed to Phong Nha caves. Boat trip to visit Phong Nha caves, newly listed as one of UNESCO Natural World Heritages. Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park is situated in a limestone zone of 2,000 km2 in Vietnamese territory and borders another limestone zone of 2,000 km2 of Hin Namno in Laotian territory. Additionally, Phong Nha-Ke Bang area is noted for its cave and grotto systems as it is composed of 300 caves and grottos with a total length of about 70 km, of which only 20 have been surveyed by Vietnamese and British scientists; 17 of these are in located in the Phong Nha area and three in the Ke Bang area. Phong Nha holds several world cave records, as it has the longest underground river, as well as the largest caverns and passageways.
PM: Transfer to Hue. Arrive in Hue in the late afternoon.

Hue - Vietnam Travel Packages - Huong Viet TravelDay 6: FULL DAY HUE CITY TOUR (B/-/-)
After breakfast at hotel, we have a boat trip on the romantically named Perfume River visits Hue?s best-known religious site, Thien Mu Pagoda. Then continue to discover Imperial Citadel from where the Nguyen Dynasty ruled between 1802 and 1945 including Flag Tower, Noon Gate, Nine Dynastic Urns, Nine Holy Cannons, Thai Hoa Palace, and Forbidden Purple City. Chance to see a Royal musical performance of Hue (which is listed also as one of cultural UNESCO World Heritages) In the afternoon visit the elaborate mausoleums of emperors Tu Duc and Khai Dinh. O/N in Hue.

Day 7: HUE – DANANG – HOIAN (B/-/-)
Departure to Danang. The scenic 4-hour drive via Hai Van Pass offers spectacular views of mountains, the sea, idyllic beaches and villages (we can choose the shorter way by driving through the tunnel). Arrive to Hoi An, which was which was originally one of major trading centers of Southeast Asia in the 16th century. Hoian town is now not only an UNESCO World Heritage, but a real live museum. Visit of Hoi An Town with its low tiled houses of Chinese appearance, Japanese covered bridge, brightly painted temples and pagodas make it one of the most delightful places to visit in Vietnam. O/N in Hoi An.

Danang - Vietnam Travel Packages - Huong Viet TravelDay 8: HALF DAY TO MYSON (B/-/-)
Today, wee have a half-day trip in the morning to visit the capital and religious centre of the former Champa Kingdom of My Son, the last UNESCO World Heritage on the trip. Here, 40km southwest of Hoi An, in a lush green valley, are dozens of red brick towers and sanctuaries dating from between the seventh and thirteenth centuries. Back to Hoian for lunch (client?s own account). Afternoon free for shopping and further discovery of Hoian. O/N in Hoi An.

Day 9: HOIAN – DANANG – Departure (B/-/-)
Morning drive to Danang, visit Cham museum. Transfer to Danang airport for departure flight.

Cost in US$ per person in the party of (valid 30 Sep’11)

VIETNAM WORLD HERITAGES TOUR

Standard First Superior

2 pax

865

955

1,069

3 – 6 pax

725

819

935

7 -10 pax

589

690

793

11 – 14 pax

490

585

697

15 – 19 pax

465

563

683

20 pax & plus

427

525

645

Single supplement

150

230

355

Full board supplement

150

160

170

INCLUDING:
– Transportation in private air-conditioned vehicle with driver
– Overnight train ticket Hanoi – Dong Hoi by S1 (4-berth A/C cabin)
– Accommodation in hotels (shared twin room)
– Meals: B = breakfast, L = lunch, B = brunch, D = dinner
– English or French speaking guide
– Entrance fee to indicated sights
– Water puppet show
– Boat trips

EXCLUDING: Other meals, tip, drinks, airport tax, single room, personal expenses, insurance,…

HUONG VIET TRAVEL – MEMBER OF PATA, ASTA, IATA

Add: 20 Nguyen Truong To Str, Hanoi, Vietnam
Tel : (84-4) 37162149    Fax: (84-4) 37161738
E–mail address: sales@huongviettravel.com
Website: www.huongviettravel.com  | http://www.aseantravelandtours.com  | http://www.visavietnamonline.com  | http://www.huongvietjsc.com

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Buses in Myanmar – Yangon to Mandalay, Myanmar

Mandalay - Myanmar Tours - Huong Viet Travel

I was headed to Mandalay with Lauren, Yana, and Nathan, the Aussies I met in Yangon, via a 12-hour overnight bus ride. The bus was first class meaning it had air conditioning, no toilet, though. We didn’t know that when we signed up.

After arriving at the bus station, the agent showed me a seating chart. My seat was in the back row. I looked at the bus and saw it was old and rickety, not what I would consider first class. I noticed also that the back seat was just a long seat you’d see on a city bus. The others were reclining bucket seats, what I expected. I started getting uncomfortable. The thought of sitting on a bus for 12 hours, shoulder to shoulder with the other unfortunate souls in the back without the ability to recline, no armrest between us, was a future I wasn’t looking forward to. Little did I know my fears would pale in comparison to what actually took place.

We boarded the bus after our bags were loaded, and only after constant pestering. The durian fruit had been loaded into the bottom hold of the bus at least an hour before. I guess they were unconcerned about the rest of the baggage. After all, you can only buy durian fruit everywhere, hence the necessity in loading it onto a passenger bus.

I sat in the back seat as the passengers boarded. I watched my Aussie friends settle themselves in their comfortable bucket seats. They looked back at me with amusement and sympathy. The guys on each side of me were Burmese. At least I wasn’t in the middle, I thought. I was one guy away from the window. One of them looked at me with a smile and said something in Baram, his language. His friends sitting up ahead had been looking back at him too. I didn’t need a translator to read his expression, “We really got the short end of the stick on this one”, he seemed to be saying.

The bus started and we got on our way. The bumpy dirt road on the way out of the bus yard made me realize there was a big metal bar running horizontally across my back just under the fabric of my seat. The first bump in the road let me know that if I forgot the metal bar was there, the subsequent bumps throughout the journey would remind me.

The air conditioning fired up as soon as we headed down the road. Everyone looked as though they were getting some relief from the heat as they reached up to adjust the direction of the vents above their heads. The man to my right and myself put our fingers up to the vent above the head of the guy to my left, next to the window. Yep, the vents were slightly cooler than the air surrounding our heads.

Yangon-Town - Myanmar Tours - Huong Viet Travel

We stopped a mile or so after leaving the bus station. The doors opened, people started getting on. I was puzzled because the bus was already full. Were people going to stand? Then I saw little seats that swung out from the aisle seats. They were not the same big bucket seats that lined the sides of the bus. They looked more like the kind of foldup seats you see people hauling to a baseball game. I couldn’t believe they were piling more people on the bus.

I looked for the chickens to be loaded next, but as luck would have it, there were none. I guess escaping this bus in the event of a fire was not a consideration. There was no getting away from this coffin. The last middle seat in the aisle, right in front of the long back seat I was sitting on, pitched back about 45 degrees, and had a back rest that went to about the middle of the back of the guy sitting on it. I could see the strain in his neck as he had no place to rest his head or upper back. There was actually somebody on this bus with a worse seat than mine. I wondered if he paid the same 10 dollars I had. With this man sitting where he was, the person to my right lost his leg room. The head of the man in front of him was practically in his lap. He could have massaged his scalp without leaning forward. Another seat worse than mine.

After a couple of hours, we stopped in a small town to rest and to buy food. I chose not to eat – no toilet on the bus and nowhere to go in the event of an illness. After that rest stop, I noticed that someone had pulled up a big bag of rice that was under the seat of the person to my left, next to the window. There was no way to get that giant sack of rice back under that seat, so the man next to me had to sit with his knees practically up to his chin. I sat there waiting for my turn, my turn for this ride to get even worse. I was surrounded by dwindling fortunes. As we sweated, I watched the Aussie girls I was traveling with cover themselves up with shawls. The air conditioning at their seats was a bit too strong. I sighed and resigned myself to my fate.

I thought the temperature would cool off as night came, but that thought was crushed when, after hitting a big bump, my seat shifted a little. When I went to move it back, I realized we were sitting on top of the engine. All the heat coming off the engine was radiating upward through the seat and the floor. There was no way it was going to get any cooler.

pagoda_night_scence_view_yangon - Myanmar Tours - Huong Viet Travel

Throughout the night, the bus had to stop at police checkpoints. Everyone got off the bus and showed their identifications. Being foreigners, I thought we’d get the most scrutiny, but they waived us through. Although my mates disliked the checkpoints because it meant they had to wake up, I didn’t mind. It was an opportunity to stretch my legs and get a break from the heat. I wasn’t going to sleep anyway.

After more than 12 hours of no sleep, no food, unbearable heat, non-reclining seats, no air conditioning, a seat that kept shifting out of position, sitting shoulder to shoulder with my two sweaty Burmese friends, (bump in the road), (don’t forget that metal bar going across my back), we arrived in Mandalay. We piled into a small blue Mazda pickup local taxi, and headed for what we hoped would be a decent accommodation. Luckily, the Silver Swan Hotel was very pleasant and after haggling with the manager over the price of one of the rooms, we checked in. I promptly took a shower and headed straight to sleep.

http://www.bootsnall.com

HUONG VIET TRAVEL – MEMBER OF PATA, ASTA, IATA

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Tel : (84-4) 37162149    Fax: (84-4) 37161738
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The Best of Vietnam in 3 Weeks or Less

Halong Bay - vietnam travel packages - Huong Viet Travel

Halong Bay, Vietnam

A land of dense jungle, beautiful bays and fields of rice patties, Vietnam has spectacular scenery and a rich cultural history. Despite the many occupations, invasions and wars that have been fought within its borders over the last several centuries, Vietnam has retained its beauty, mystique and exotic flavor. From eating bowls of steaming pho to walking the streets of Hanoi, tourists’ senses will be overwhelmed with natural beauty and rich culture of Vietnam. If you have been dying to venture to Vietnam, but aren’t sure where to go or the best places to see, a great solution is signing up for a great adventure tour. In 3 weeks or less, you can see and do all of the greatest things in Vietnam with the help of local and knowledgeable guides.

So, ok, I know what you are thinking, and no, travel tours aren’t just for old ladies on big buses anymore. The truth is travel tours have come a long way since the days of giant air-conditioned buses and old ladies. Today there are tours designed specifically for the independent, adventure traveler. That’s right—active, interesting and adventurous tours that allow travelers to explore and experience a foreign place. The groups are kept small, usually capping out at 16 people, so you won’t be traveling around with some awkwardly huge group of gawking tourists. You’ll be taking in the beautiful vistas of Ha Long Bay, boating on jungled rivers, and visiting amazing beaches and quaint fishing villages—these tours don’t just scratch the surface of the places you visit. In fact, by using a combination of local and experienced guides, you’ll often see and experience MORE than you would on your own. The local guides know the best places to take you and best foods for you to try. Oh, and don’t worry, you definitely won’t be experiencing Vietnam from the window of some bus the entire time. Even the shorter Vietnam adventure tours have travelers moving about on boats, by train, on foot, and local wheeled taxis called cyclos. Between visiting important temples and historical sights, eating the delicious local cuisine, wading past rice paddies and seeing some of the world’s most beautiful scenery, you won’t be sorry you booked one of these three great adventure tours.


Reunification Express

hanoi - vietnam travel packages - Huong Viet Travel

This 15 day tour will have you traveling from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City on board one of the world’s most fascinating train journeys. The Reunification Express is a vital lifeline between north and south Vietnam and chugging along the railway, you’ll get to experience the scenic, historical, cultural and culinary highlights of this marvelous country. From visiting the imperial Thai Hoa Palace to traveling through coastal rice paddies and over mountain passes to eating and hanging out in scenic fishing villages, this tour has a little bit of everything. ‘All aboard’, for a ride you’ll never forget.

Vietnam Unplugged

songcuulong - vietnam travel packages - Huong Viet Travel

Trace the eastern coastline of mystical Vietnam, traversing the country from south to north and unplugging the many attractions that lie along the way. From the modern chaos of Ho Chi Minh City all the way up to old-world Hanoi, you’ll experience tumultuous history, colonial charm, vibrant colors and inspiring scenery on this fun-filled adventure. Over the course of 15 days, you’ll cruise the Mekong River, visit old temples, shop in eclectic markets, and indulge in fresh seafood.

Taste of Vietnam

goicuon - vietnam travel packages - Huong Viet Travel

Without a doubt Vietnam has some of the tastiest cuisine in the world, not least because eating and preparing food is intrinsic to the Vietnamese way of life. The French have left their mark as well, and you’ll find fresh baguettes, exquisite pastries and strong sweet coffee everywhere you go! This is a trip that lets you dine your way from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City, indulging all your senses in delicious tastes and tantalizing aromas, while traveling in comfort and style. This 15 day tour leaves from Hanoi and has guests seeing, feeling and tasting all the most wonderful things Vietnam has to offer.

HUONG VIET TRAVEL – MEMBER OF PATA, ASTA, IATA

Add: 20 Nguyen Truong To Str, Hanoi, Vietnam
Tel : (84-4) 37162149    Fax: (84-4) 37161738
E–mail address: sales@huongviettravel.com
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Burma is Back

Burma or Myanmar?

Schwedagon Pagoda glows in the floodlights - Myanmar Tours - Huong Viet Travel

A lot can be read into what you choose to call the country. Burma is the historic British name, but the old ruling military junta officially renamed it Union of Myanmar in 1989. The NLD does not recognize the legitimacy of that government to have changed the name. Many countries, including the UK, continue to use Burma, viewing use of Myanmar as tacit approval of the government, whereas the UN has adopted Myanmar as it believes all member states have the right to choose their names. However, Burma is not an inclusive term, but refers to the Bamar people, ignoring the many other peoples living within the borders. However, for the most part, local people call it Myanmar.

In 2010, Myanmar received only 300,000 foreign visitors (excluding border tourists on visa runs). Contrasted with Thailand’s 14 million tourists, you could be forgiven for thinking that you are headed to an undiscovered paradise. However, visitor numbers to Burma have exploded this year, and some of the tourist infrastructure is struggling to cope, with many of the hostels fully booked. On the other hand, the bus network has rapidly improved. Direct routes now link the major tourist sights, and a new highway joins Yangon and Mandalay via the new capital of Nay pyi daw, slashing journey times. In addition, there is free transport to and from bus stations often located unhelpfully far out of town.

As in other Southeast Asian countries, your guesthouse can sell you almost anything you could want, from bus tickets and tours, to bike hire and money changing. There are also numerous agencies willing to help if you are trying to spread your spending or are looking for something specific. This makes getting around surprisingly easy, if painfully slow, and you are free to wander in the central core of the country, where Myanmar’s big sites are contained in a triangle – eight to ten hours either side of Mandalay.

Several factors generally combine to keep travelers in the central core of the country. There is little chance to dawdle as travelers are only issued one-month visas. In addition, there are stringent requirements for permits to visit outlying areas, and restrictions that make entering Burma overland from any of its neighbors almost impossible. With minorities making up a third of Myanmar’s population, but concentrated in states on its borders, there are a number of wars and insurgencies being fought at the fringes of the country. Just a few months ago, civil unrest broke out between Buddhists and Rohingya Muslims for the second time this year.

Why Burma is different

Mandalay - Myanmar Tours - Huong Viet Travel

But Burma is a fascinating country and a joy to visit, in part because foreign tourists are still, at the moment, such a novelty. There is none of the hassle you get elsewhere in the region, and very little crime aimed at backpackers. This is despite the fact that with no banks that accept foreign cards, every traveler is obliged to carry all cash for their entire stay in clean, crisp, new US dollars. Keeping them pristine enough for anyone to accept is all part of the challenge, as at every transaction your money will be scrutinized for the smallest mark, nick, or tear.

Even the hawkers at tourist sites only half-heartedly offer you their wares, before switching to more interesting topics like where you come from and how old you are. People stop you in the street just to ask how you are. You wait for the ulterior motive, for the offer of a guide, to take you to a relative’s shop, or to exchange money, but it rarely comes. Often, having inquired about your country of origin, there is a nod, a flash of a smile, and then they are gone.

Until recently, almost all tourists were obliged to start and finish their visits in Yangon, as Rangoon is now known. However, Air Asia now offers an international flight direct into Mandalay three times a week, giving future travelers the option of spending their entire stay upcountry where the bulk of the sights are. This would be a shame, as Yangon is still very much worth a visit. It is home to the Shwedagon Pagoda, a thousands-of-years-old gilded stupa that shines in the bright tropical daylight. Set on a hill in the center and visible from everywhere in the city, at night it is lit up and glows like a beacon. Walking inside the enormous complex, barefoot and surrounded by shining marble and gleaming gold, you forget you are in the center of the dirt and bustle of one of the biggest cities in the country, as birds wheel overhead, monks pray, pilgrims pass, lovers stroll, and children play.

In contrast, the city of Mandalay is neither as romantic, nor as exotic as Kipling’s title would have you believe. These days it is a crowded, polluted city of a million people. The Royal Palace of the last Burmese kings burned down during WWII fighting between Britain and Japan. While there are a number of old temples and monasteries sprinkled throughout the city, its real draw, other than being at the end of the easiest and smoothest bus ride you will experience in Myanmar, are the ruined and abandoned royal capitals that surround it. Although eyebrows were raised at the junta’s decision to spend billions on the new capital, it is in line with long-held Burmese tradition for each new dynasty to build a new capital.

These periodic building booms have left a number of ruins for tourists to explore, including the temple-topped hill of Sagaing, blessed with fantastic views over the Irrawaddy River, where an entire family queued to have their photos taken with us. Further upriver, workmen and boats marshall huge cargoes of teak on its way from the highlands to the coast. Nearby, the remains of Inwa are visited by horse and carriage, as huge stone temples dot a huge area of paddy fields, the wooden houses in-between having long-since rotted away. At Amarapura, U Bein’s Bridge is the longest teak bridge in the world. As it winds its way picturesquely across the lake, it is crossed by schoolchildren and monks, while fishermen stand up to their noses in water in its shade, waiting for a bite.

Bagan

Bagan - Myanmar Tours - Huong Viet Travel

Bagan is Myanmar’s top sight. The headline story of a plain sprinkled with over four thousand temples built more than one thousand years ago would grab anyone’s attention. But don’t come here expecting another Angkor. Instead, the authorities have applied a unique philosophy to the ruins, which is to reconstruct them all as good as new. The reconstructions have received some criticism for paying no attention to original designs or  construction techniques. In such an active earthquake zone, many of the temples appear to have been little more than bare foundations when reconstruction began, but you are now confronted with newly-cemented, good-as-new temples.

The advantage this gives is an incredible view from afar at sunrise or sunset, as you look over a mist-shrouded plain studded with thousands of spires. However, up close many of the temples disappoint: instead of clambering through atmospheric ruins, you will be cycling between twenty-first century buildings.

Lake Inle

Inle Lake - Myanmar Tours - Huong Viet Travel

Lake Inle is a stunning place to be. Among the communities on the lake, it is still possible to visit ancient temples which do look their age and retain their atmosphere and mystique. But even here we saw some of these starting to be rebuilt with fresh concrete. Hiring a motor canoe in town to visit the surrounding communities is easy, as everyone has a boat and is keen to take you out. The lake fishermen are famous for their unique leg-rowing technique, allowing them the vantage point to spot fish while they row and to plunge their wicker-basket nets in to snare them.

While many of these villages are heavily-geared to the tourist trade, they also afford the opportunity to meet Shan and Pa-Oh people who come to the markets to trade. Lake tours invariably involve trips to various factories and “shopping opportunities,” but in contrast to other countries, there is no pressure to buy. For once being afforded the time to actually watch the manufacturing processes of lacquerware, gold leaf, silk, carvings, paper umbrellas, and boatbuilders without being hurried through to the inevitable shop, it was a very interesting experience, and a relief not to have to fend off the heavy sales techniques prevalent elsewhere in Asia.

The food at Inle is incredible. I enjoyed freshly-caught lake fish every day, be it grilled, stuffed, curried, or smoked. There is also a local Myanmar vineyard that is a popular cycle ride away, as well as hot springs and picturesque teakwood-temples to keep you interested away from the lake. Inle is the perfect place to relax before braving the overnight bus back to Yangon.

Burma is a fascinating country. Its turnaround has been startlingly fast: expect to see Aung San Suu Kyi’s face adorning everything from carrier bags to t-shirts. As more and more travelers tag it onto their Southeast Asian trips, expect visitor numbers to go through the roof. But If you do decide to visit, be aware of the implications of your trip, and try to be careful where you spend your money. Having been closeted from the outside world for so long, people seem genuinely happy to see a foreigner and are pleased for the opportunity for their views to be heard. In terms of politics and freedoms, Myanmar still has a long way to go, but if it’s on your list, now is the time.

HUONG VIET TRAVEL – MEMBER OF PATA, ASTA, IATA

Add: 20 Nguyen Truong To Str, Hanoi, Vietnam
Tel : (84-4) 37162149    Fax: (84-4) 37161738
E–mail address: sales@huongviettravel.com
Website: www.huongviettravel.com  | http://www.aseantravelandtours.com  | http://www.visavietnamonline.com  | http://www.huongvietjsc.com

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