Why the best way to absorb the culture of Vietnam and Cambodia is cruising this river

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Why the best way to absorb the culture of Vietnam and Cambodia is cruising this river

Vietnam and Cambodia offer a colourful culture, poignant history and verdant landscapes. These countries are ideally suited to travelling by water as many of the most rewarding experiences are tucked away in the countryside through which the Mekong River passes. With most leading cruise operators, all excursions are included in the price of your trip. Not only do these include visiting popular sights such as the ancient temple complex of Angkor Wat and the Cu Chi network of wartime tunnels in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) but you’ll also have the chance to visit homes, schools, markets, monasteries and tiny villages. This immersive approach enables you to see how ordinary people go about their daily lives, eat the food they do and experience less-seen landmarks and rituals. It adds a compelling dimension to your holiday without the hassle of having to make any complicated plans yourself. Mix with the locals You’ll get a glimpse of everyday life on the riverbank from the deck of your modern ship as you drift serenely along the Mekong. Rickety wooden houses on stilts lean haphazardly against each other. Children wave excitedly and shout “hello”; their fathers are fishing and tinkering with boat engines and their mothers sell rice, fruit and flowers in the floating markets. Ashore, you’ll be taken off the beaten track to visit villages, where smiling people offer a warm welcome. You can find out how craftspeople work with silk, copper and silver, and learn how to make rice paper. You’ll get a taste of rural Mekong life on a rickshaw ride through village streets and on a cart pulled by an ox through paddy fields. There’s also the chance to be showered by lotus petals in a blessing by Buddhist monks at their monastery in Oudong, the former royal capital of Cambodia. Sample regional food Immersing your senses in the aromas and flavours of a region plays an important role in really getting to know a country. This is especially true in Vietnam and Cambodia, where the aromatic cuisine is a treat for the nose and taste buds. As well as sampling regional dishes aboard your river vessel, docking overnight in Ho Chi Minh and Phnom Penh gives you the chance to dine ashore and mix with the locals. The cities are places of manic energy and riotous traffic, and crossing the road is almost impossible. The easiest option is to ask a local to see you across, preferably a Buddhist monk. His orange robe is hi-vis and no one would dare to knock down a holy man. In restaurants, people tend to eat “family style”, sharing dishes. A typical Vietnamese meal will include rice, a meat or seafood dish, a vegetable dish, soup and fish sauce for dipping. The national dish is pho – a broth in which noodles, vegetables, and chicken, beef, pork or shrimp are added. Cambodia’s...

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Ha Giang group tour from Hanoi

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Ha Giang group tour from Hanoi

You want to travel to Ha Giang with a limited budget. Join us today. We will buy you shuttle bus from Hanoi to Ha Giang, from there you can join daily group tours to Quang Ba, Dong Van, Ma Pi Leng Pass. It costs just more than 200 USD per person for 3 days and 2 nights. (Optional) Hanoi – Hagiang shuttle bus service 6h30 – 7h00 AM: Our guide & bus pick you up at your hotel/stay in the Old Quarter to get on our shuttle bus to Ha Giang. Day 1: Ha Giang, overnight at Good Morning Ha Giang Inn (L, D) 13h30 – 14h00: Our local guide picks you up to our Inn to check in and have lunch. 15h00: Our guide takes you to the nearby hill tribe village to visit the Tay village. There, you can watch buffalo, cows and peaceful life of the locals. 18h00: Having dinner and overnight in Good Morning Ha Giang Inn. Day 2: Quang Ba – Yen Minh – Lung Cu – Dong Van, overnight in hotel (B, L, D) 7h30 AM: After breakfast, we take you to the road up to the hill and stop at Quang Ba Heaven Gate. You visit Lung Tam linen village which produces handmade linen products. 11h30: Approaching Yen Minh for lunch, then heading to Pho Cao with spectacular Dong Van Karst Plateau UNESCO Global Geopark 14h00: You visit the Mansion of Vuong family who was the leader of all the ethnic people there. The so – called King of H’Mong people Vuong Chinh Duc, then visit the North Pole of Lung Cu with huge flag tower. You arrive Dong Van, check in and have dinner and overnight there Day 3: Dong Van – Ma Pi Leng Pass – Meo Vac – Ha Giang – Hanoi (B, L) 7h30: After breakfast, we drive to Ma Pi Leng – the highest pass in Northern Vietnam then visit Meo Vac with marvelous Karst Plateau, have lunch at Yen Minh. 15h00: Coming back to Good Morning Ha Giang Inn to refresh and be ready for Hanoi. (Optional) 22h00: Our guide takes you back to your hotel/stay. Trip ends. INCLUSION 2-night accommodation in Ha Giang and Dong Van with twin sharing basisModern bus in Ha Giang with experienced driverEnglish speaking tour guide in Ha GiangMeals as 3 lunches, 2 breakfasts, 2 dinners with local dishesAll entrance tickets during your visit2 complimentary bottles of water/personGood motorbike with helmet & admission fee (if you join our motorbike tour) EXCLUSION Shuttle bus Hanoi – Ha Giang – Hanoi, 300,000 & 2 ways= 600,000 VNDTour guide picks up/drops off at hotel in Old Quarter HanoiBeverages, tax, travel insuranceCost of repairing motorbike damage caused by tourists (if you join motorbike tour)Others not clearly mentioned above THINGS TO BRING Hat or cap, sun cream, camera, cash in Vietnam Dong GOOD DEAL GH01 –...

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Fansipan Trek, up on foot, down by cable car 1 day

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Fansipan Trek, up on foot, down by cable car 1 day

Fansipan Trek, climbing up on foot, going down by cable car in just one day from/ to Sapa Town At 3,143 meters (10,312 feet), Mount Fansipan is the highest peak to be found throughout Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam combined. It is a challenging but realistic option for adventurous visitors as you can get down by cable car. Start: from Sapa End: in Sapa Duration: 1 day Route: Sapa —> Park Ranger’s Station —> Fansipan Summit —> Cable car to Sapa Cable car station- Sapa Grade: Difficult With an early start time of 7:00 A.M.-7:30 A.M., we meet our guide and driver. We are then transferred by car 15km from Sapa, to arrive at the Fansipan Park Ranger’s Station at a height of 2,000m, ready to begin the climb. The mountain’s ecosystem is rich, with 2,024 floral varieties and 327 faunal species. The challenging assent will take around 5 hours. Throughout, we hike through stunning primary deciduous and evergreen forests, follow crystal clear mountain streams, and brave windswept ridges. Short breaks along the way will allow you to take in the various scenic views that this climb has to offer. Forest types change with increasing altitude. Around the summit, dwarf bamboo is all that can survive. We arrive at the 3,143m summit around midday, and celebrate this victory with a picnic lunch, sitting high above the hills with views of this stunning mountainous landscape. The descent, we will go down for 600 steps towards Fansipan Cable Car station (easy). Your guide will buy your tickets and 30 minutes on the car for viewing the mountain from above. Price in USD per PERSON Number of persons 2 3 4 5 6-7 8 Price 135 124 120 118 115 115   INCLUDES: – Local H’mong porter as well as your guide – All needed transport – Lunch – Water on the whole trip – All entrance fees and permit – Cable car ticket Fansipan Legend (from the top to Sapa station) EXCLUDES: – Insurance – Hotels in Sapa – Train tickets from/to Hanoi – Other meals not mentioned – Banking fee and credit card fee This 1-day tour on foot for treeking up and downing by cable car is operated by Sapa Travel with its professional travel guide and local porters. Once you’ve seen our itinerary for Fansipan Mount, you can make any changes you wish. We are a very flexible tailor-made tour operator and we can design tours to meet our clients’ precise requirements. Please send email to Sapa Travel via: info@travelsapa.com for information about Sapa Tours in Vietnam. Book now for getting promotion rate with First...

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Snow falls in Sapa in 2018

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The temperature has sharply fallen in Sapa in the northern mountainous province of Lao Cai bringing snow. Luu Minh Hai, head of the provincial Centre for Hydrometeorology Forecasting, said that the mountainous areas of Lao Cai saw the temperature of below zero degrees centigrade on Wednesday morning. Sapa Town has been covered by snow, particularly in the O Quy Ho Pass area. Despite the chilling-bone cold, snow has attracted quite many tourists to Sapa. Authorities of Sapa District have urged local residents to take measures to mitigate the worst effects of the...

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Vietnam to issue one-year visas to US citizens

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Vietnam to issue one-year visas to US citizens

Vietnam is poised to extend the validity of single-entry visas for U.S. citizens to one year to facilitate their travel and foster trade and commercial ties between the two countries, the lawmaking National Assembly said Monday. U.S. tourists or business travelers currently can only apply for a three-month, single-entry visa for their Vietnam trips, and the American business community has repeatedly pushed for the term to be prolonged. A proposal to extend the visa term to one year was delivered to the National Assembly at Monday’s meeting in Hanoi by Vietnam’s newly elected President Tran Dai Quang and Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh. Vietnamese citizens who wish to enter the U.S. for business and tourism purposes are now allowed to apply for a multi-entry, 12-month visa, and Vietnam should do the same on the basis of reciprocity, according to the proposal. The proposition therefore calls on the National Assembly to approve a new diplomatic note on granting visas between Vietnam and the U.S., with the extended duration included. The new visa term will facilitate the travel of U.S. citizens and boost Vietnam-U.S. trade and commercial ties, according to the proposal. The proposition was discussed by lawmakers at the meeting. Deputy Chairwoman of the National Assembly Tong Thi Phong, who chaired the event, eventually concluded that the legislative body “agrees to grant one-year visas” for U.S. citizens to enter Vietnam. The Standing Committee of the National Assembly will prepare a resolution to officially ratify the diplomatic note as proposed by the president and foreign minister, Phong...

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Trek to Fansipan after cable car installation

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Trek to Fansipan after cable car installation

The trekker would have to start 3 hours earlier than usual despite the dark, the cold and fog to be at the summit before the cable car is to open at 8:00. After the grand opening in February 2016, the cable car system between Sapa and Fansipan is a hot topic to debate among community and trekkers. Spending only US$ 30, anyone can touch the legendary summit at 3143 meters within 20 minutes. Most of the peope agree that the cable car installation would change the beauty of Indochina roof, even some people think that the cable car will kill the Fansipan with the picture of the crowd at the Fansipan top. With the experience of a real Fansipan trekker via the classic route, Mr. Kien Lam in Hanoi told us that “Fansipan would not die but our spirit would die slowly. The cable car would be a test for the trekkers’ determination and...

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