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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 said.

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.

Crowd at the summit

Crowd at the summit

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 spirit.

Fansipan cable car is to open in Feb 2016

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Fansipan cable car is to open in Feb 2016

The cable car system is ready to use in February 2016. The Sun Group has announced that they will open the cable car in 2nd Feb 2016. Be the first to experience the cable.

 

WORKING HOURS
Start: 7:30 A.M
End: 17:30
Date to start: 2nd Febururay 2016

PRICE
Adult and child (taller than 1,3 m): US$ 33.00/person/ one way
Child: US$ 22.00/person/ one way

 

HOW TO GET TO SAPA STATION
Taxi: From the town center (Sapa Church), the Fansipan Legend is about 3 km, it costs US$ 3 to travel by taxi

Walk: please go to Thac Bac Street and go straight about 1 km, then turn left onto Nguyen Chi Thanh Street for 1,7 km more

STATION
Sapa Station area includes the station, Van Sam Buffet restaurant, Hoa Dao restaurant, Moc La cafe, shopping center and pagoda Thien Tu

Fansipan Station area includes the station, shopping center, Do Quyen restaurant, Pagoda Thanh Phong and the Fansipan peak

It normally takes people one or two days to reach the peak of Fansipan mountain on foot. The three-rope cable car system, invested by SunGroup, will carry passengers from the bottom to the highest point of the mountain in 15-20 minutes. It will come into operation on Vietnam Tet Holiday 2016

The world’s longest three-rope cable car system, extending from the northern Lao Cai Province’s Sapa Town to Fansipan peak, will open for passengers in February 2016.

The project’s investor SunGroup announced this at a recent meeting with the leaders of Lao Cai Province and the Bank for Investment and Development of Vietnam (BIDV).

The construction of the cable car is being carried out in the first phase of the Fansipan Sapa tourism complex.

The construction began on November 2, 2013 and is expected to be complete by National Day (September 2) in 2015. The cable car can carry a maximum of 2,000 passengers per hour, with each cabin accommodating 35 passengers.

The cable car will transport passengers from the base of the 3,143-metre Fansipan mountain to its highest point within 15 to 20 minutes. Currently, it takes one to two days to trek to the top of the mountain.

WHERE TO BOOK

Please contact Sapa Travel to have the cable car tickets to Fansipan in 2016

Office in Hanoi: representative by First Choice Travel– 18 Lane 32, Chua Ha Street, Cau Giay, Hanoi, Vietnam
Mobile: (+84) 912217448
Email: info@travelsapa.com
Web: http://www.travelsapa.com

Booking office telephone: 0203818888

Vietnam Mountain Marathon results 2015

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Vietnam Mountain Marathon results 2015

The participants from 45 countries have join the Vietnam Mountain Marathon in Sapa by Topas Travel & Denmark Embassy in Hanoi.

Sanya Khanchai (from Thailand) and Samantha Young (from USA) are the male & female winners for the 70-km racers.

We proudly welcome Mr. Sanya Khanchai to VMM 70km.
The ultra-champion of Thailand, now signed up for Vietnam Mountain Marathon ready to race to his limits.

 

Vietnam Mountain Marathon

24-27nd of September 2015. (Race day 26th of September)

Welcome to the hardest run in Vietnam! VMM is Unique trail running of 10km, 21km, 42km or 70km in a spectacular mountain region of north Vietnam.

Welcome to the mountains of Vietnam to thousands of yellow rice fields, water buffaloes and colorful ethnic minority groups. The small dirt roads and narrow trails will take you through the majestic mountains and valleys that are only used by locals. Each route will encompass challenging climbs, exhilarating descents and a true glimpse of local life through the rice fields and ethnic minority villages.

In general

The trails – with cumulative positive vertical meters ranging from around 1000m (21km) to round 3000 meters (70km) – will be on a marked route, tagged at crucial navigational points. Water and fruit will be available at aid stations every 10-15km. Runners doing the marathon or the ultra-distance must bring their own additional energy bars, gel or personal food and other important mandatory equipment (see equipment). Given the altitude and general hard conditions this cannot be your first Full or Ultra Marathon.

Very strong sun or heavy rain is always a possibility in the mountains. Any participation in this unique event is completely at your own risk and you will be required to sign a waiver in order to participate.

After the race we will enjoy the very special social life of mountain runners and a good meal around a big bonfire where we can share our running experiences, the mountains and the twinkling stars above. Bring your family, your friends or join this unique event on your own. You don’t have to be a fast runner, but you better be tough and looking for a unique adventure of hiking or running.

You can also extend the journey and make the race a part of a longer active adventure in Vietnam.

Sanya-Khanchai Sapa Travel

Sanya-Khanchai Sapa Travel

How to get to Sapa:

Airport/Train/Bus
We recommend all runners to buy a 3 or 4 days runners package from Hanoi, to the mountains and back to Hanoi.

From Hanoi International Airport
In order to reach the Bus Stop for your journey from Hanoi to the mountains, you need to calculate emigration at the airport, maybe 30min, plus 1 hour of driving from the airport to the Bus Stop. We can arrange your airport pickup to the Bus Stop or to your hotel in Hanoi center at the price of 15US$ per person.

Take the VMM bus to the mountains, packages runners only.

If you arrive during the morning/noon, you can leave your luggage at our VMM meeting point for free.
The meeting point is SumVilla Restaurant, which has 2 address:
– For motorbike or vehicles less than 29 seats: 100 Quang An street, Tay Ho Dist. Hanoi;
– For all kind of vehicles: Address: Ho Tay Villa, 10 Dang Thai Mai St., Tay Ho Dist. Hanoi.

From here you will pick up your departure at 1:00 PM

Hotel in Hanoi
Sapa Travel is a co-organizer of VMM and are happy to assist you in finding the best hotel for your budget. www.travelsapa.com

Traveling on your own to Hanoi/Sapa by bus or train
If you just want to buy the run and nothing more, we recommend that you buy your train ticket and hotel room minimum one month prior to the race and your bus ticket minimum one week before. Look out for bad dealers/buses/trains. Train Route: Hanoi- Lao Cai- Hanoi. Mini buses are running from Lao Cai Station to Sapa, be aware of bad mountain driving and high prices. We often hear that the total price are higher then when buying a package. Buses do drive directly from Hanoi to Sapa but they will stop many times and pick up other travelers along the road.

Arrive in Sapa and participate in VMM
Once you are in Sapa town, travelling on your own, we will take care of your transfer to the start and back to Sapa after finish. See the program pages

To find a luxury cruise in Nha Trang

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To find a luxury cruise in Nha Trang

To travel from Sapa to Nha Trang, firstly you need to go back to the capital, Hanoi- Vietnam. You can get Sapa Express or Sapa Train to Hanoi.

Then, from Hanoi, we recommend to get a short flight from Noi Bai Airport to Cam Ranh Airport. Check the flights at VietnamAirlines.com or VietJetAir.com

Indeed Nha Trang Bay is a natural world of sparkling sea, marine life and islands waiting to be explored in style. Emperor Cruises combines oriental style with contemporary luxury. Together these create the perfect recipe for exploration, luxury adventures, enchantment, relaxation and memorable experiences.

The official site: http://emperorcruises.com

The first luxury cruise operator to offer five-star experiential travel in Nha Trang Bay, the Emperor Cruises fleet is designed to be a sanctuary to ensure that every moment counts for the guests.

The benefit of a luxury cruise with Emperor Cruises is that, apart from being small ships with personalized service and outstanding facilities, on an all-inclusive basis often there is no bill to pay at the end whether on a two- or three-day cruise.

With Emperor Cruises, luxury doesn’t mean there won’t be adventure! Guests spend their time watching wildlife, scuba diving, snorkeling, boating, kayaking, embracing Mother Nature, and passing the time with their fellow passengers and crew.

Nha Trang Emperor Cruises

Nha Trang Emperor Cruises

Your clients will be some of the privileged few who have discovered the huge difference that a small luxury ship with truly personalized service can make. Anything that is required, Emperor Cruises staff will make it happen.

Emperor Cruises has been designed as a traditional ship but using high-quality materials with an exquisite gold-plated motif, fine silk, velvet and other luxury items such as brass, crystal and gem stones. Works of art commissioned from well-known Vietnamese artists will adorn the walls.

This masterpiece will be a place for the most sophisticated travelers to enjoy Vietnamese culture, history and gourmet cuisine, and where royal glamour and heritage will combine to create the epitome of elegance. Each VIP customer will be treated like an emperor and experience the best of the best, in privacy, and with every detail attended to.

Everything is designed in accordance with the particular requirements and preferences of individual travelers in mind. The private butler and reception services will be available round the clock.

During the day there is a choice of activities or just relaxation; in the evening there is time to socialize, indulge at the spa or enjoy the ‘Movies Under the Stars’ shown on the sundeck. Guests can even go fishing for squid if the weather permits.

Nha Trang Emperor Cruises

Nha Trang Emperor Cruises

On our luxury cruise there are only 16 passengers on board. Such small, boutique ships means they can slip into more exotic, unique and remote places in the bay.

All cabins are en-suite with ocean views and with private balconies. Meals and drinks can be taken anytime, anywhere.

The mini-bar is filled with complimentary drinks, including spirits. Guests also enjoy unlimited spa treatments and tai chi in the morning.

Emperor Cruises provide daily luxury return transfers by Mercedes Benz limousine service to and from Cam Ranh airport or a pick-up and drop-off service from hotels and resorts in Nha Trang. Upon request, we can arrange private charter airplanes, helicopters or sea planes to Nha Trang Bay.

The boats are available for FITs, GITS, and Charters. We recommend this special experience for seasoned leisure travelers, luxury adventurers, honeymooners, families, and special interest travelers, nature lovers, active travelers and photographers, groups of friends, VIPs and celebrities.

You can Sapa Travel to have the best rate for Emperor Cruise in Nha Trang

Sapa- What to bring

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Sapa- What to bring

Sapa – What to Bring
Bring as little as possible but bring everything you need. Travelling light is much less of a hassle, so do not bring things you can do without.
Thanks to its geographic condition, Sapa has one of the most favourable climates in Vietnam. The temperature remains stably cool throughout the year though winter may see more severe changes, with frost and even snow (mostly from mid-December to mid-January).

Trying to predict the weather in Sapa is almost impossible. However, here is our best attempt:
Sapa weather is characterized by sub-tropical climate. However, as a result of the high latitude, weather in Sapa is cool all year round. In summer, Sapa does not suffer the harsh heat like that in coastal plains. Temperature in summer fluctuates from 10 – 18 °C at night time and 20 – 32°C during the day. When the sun shines it can be harsh and even on cloudy days, expect to need sun protection. Rain and fog is possible throughout the year.

In winter, Sapa Town is often blanketed by fog and cold air. Temperature may fall to below zero Celsius.
Luggage and bags: Most hotels in Sapa have temporary room for trekkers to wash up on arrival or departing from/to Hanoi. Most trekkers leave their main luggage in the room and take a lighter backpack for treks and homestays. A day pack to bring on your treks is a good idea. These can be bought in Sapa. ETHOS can store luggage securely should you require.
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Bring clothes to suit the local weather. Always keep your spare clothes in a watertight bag to ensure they stay dry if there is a sudden downpour. The Sapa climate is totally unlike the rest of Vietnam. Essential items to have for the trek are some layers of warm & light clothing (morning can be cold but get pretty warm during the day as you trek). A pair of sturdy trekking shoes is essential. In January to March it can be quite cold, foggy and rainy. A fleece and raincoat/poncho is advisable. These items are available in Sapa at good prices.

Photo Equipment: Bring your camera. Any camera will do. You will regret it if not bringing one!

Recommended Kit list for homestays:
Clothing:
Long-Sleeved Shirt / T-Shirt Yes
Fleece for evenings Yes
Trousers (Such As Lightweight Cargo Trousers, Avoid Jeans) Yes
Shorts Optional
Swimwear Optional
Lightweight Water & Wind Proof (Jacket & Trousers) Yes
Walking Shoes (Sturdy, with good grip) Yes
Sun Hat Yes

+++
Hygiene:
Toothbrush & Toothpaste: Yes
Travel Towel Yes

+++
Health
Insect Repellent Recommended
Sun Protection: Yes
Travel Insurance: Yes
Ear Plugs & Eye Mask Optional

For our Mountain Riders motorbike trips, long sleeves, long trousers and strong shoes are essential.

How many porters for the trek to Fansipan

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How many porters for the trek to Fansipan

A common question is that how many H’mong porters to assist you in the tour to Fansipan Mount.

The Answer from Sapa Travel is that the ratio should be 1:2 for porters/passengers. If your group is 2 pax, you need one porter to carry the food. If you are 10 trekkers, we will have 5 H’mong porters to help you to trek to the peak.

Don’t ask for more porters to carry to luggage. Just bring with you the light backpack.

The Hmong are a proud people and utilising them in a way you are proposing is something we are not aligned to as an organisation that wants to promote social equality and positive cultural exchanges.

The village of Nam Cang in Sapa with home stay for travellers

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The village of Nam Cang in Sapa with home stay for travellers

Nam Cang commune is the most remote region of Sapa district, situated 36 km from Sapa town. The village is inhabited by the Red Dao & Black Hmong minority people. The commune includes 267 households with round 1,578 persons. Before year 2000, nearly 80% of households were in hunger and poverty and over 70% of the population were illiterate, but due to a local development plan the and investments in education and farming the population is now living under much better conditions however still poor.

NamCang-Village

NamCang-Village

As part of the development strategy the growth of cardamom was initially a pilot project in two households in the commune. But as the result with high economic outcome quickly change the numbers of farmers. Now, Nam Cang farmers grow around 600 hectares of cardamom deep in the forest with an important income in return. But still the biggest croup is rice, whish is somehow the foundation of all livelihood in the mountainous area.

During your stay you are welcome to participate in daily traditional activities of Nam Cang people: rice planting or harvesting, fishing, archery, silver smith, bamboo paper making.

Nowaday, the Topas Travel has built a community-based home stay for travellers. It is called Nam Cang Riverside Lodge. Located deep in the remote Sapa Valley with a beautiful river running in front of the lodge and green forest just behind you don’t find a better location for staying overnight in an old traditional minority village, in the heart of the Vietnamese mountains. This new lodge is built and owned by a Red Dao minority family and operated in partnership with Sapa Travel and opened in the end of 2013.

Homestay in Nam Cang

Homestay in Nam Cang

The area is brand new to visitors so prepare to whiteness the real and remote Vietnam when we go beyond the normal tourist routes, the surprised but friendly looks of local minority people, the children who swim in the river next to your lodge and to be welcomed to private homes as the local mountainous hospitality is unique.

We hope you would like to share our interest in unique experiences and welcome you a remote stay but in comfortable rooms combined with good food and service.

To book the package to Nam Cang Home Stay, contact our travel expert, Mr. Tran Quoc Long
Email: longquoctran@hotmail.com or Sapa Travel Website

Home Stay service in Sapa

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Home Stay service in Sapa

Sapa Travel can arrange two, three, and some four day treks with home stays, these are a great way to see the beautiful Sapa Valley and get further from the Sapa Town. Homestays are a type of Inn which is normally run by Giay families down in the valley. When you choose to stay the night at a homestay you wake up already in the valley, which enables you to explore more of the scenery. The guests share one big loft room, on the second floor of a traditional house. The host and their family stay in a separate part of the house. There are no private bedrooms in the homestays. There are hot showers, western standard toilets, beds and tasty traditional food. The homestays are clean and safe.

Where is the home stay:
– In Ta Van Village
– In Ban Khoang village
– In Ban Ho village
– In Ta Phin village

What to bring when trekking Fansipan

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What to bring when trekking Fansipan

Fansipan is branded “the Roof of Indochina” at the height of 3,143m; Fansipan is to be approved as one of the very few eco-tourist spots of Vietnam, with about 2,024 floral varieties and 327 faunal species. The climb is rough, wet and cold, but the views are rewarding if the weather is good. The top is accessible year-round to anyone who is in good shape and properly equipped. No ropes or technical climbing skills are needed, just endurance.Trekking time is 5 – 8 hours per day.

Equipment that you should bring

Besides your good health, the only thing you should bring yourself is a pair of good walking-boots, or another kind of solid foot-wear. You should have tried them out beforehand, and know that you can walk in them all through the day !

Essentials:
– Good hiking shoes (should be soft, well fitted and anti-slippery)
– 2 pairs of thick socks ( for use in the walking-boots)Sandals or light footwear ( for use in the evening )
– Sun-cream (with a high factor ; 10-20 )
-Mosquito repellent
-Hat or cap, with a shade
-Bathing suit
-Medicine for your own use (fever, bad stomach etc.)
– Warm jacket and pullover (expected to be very cold), preferable with head cover
– Rain coat (big enough to cover you backpack as well), cap, glasses
– Flash light
– Well-fitted gloves to help grab while trekking.
– First aid kit (aspirin, anti-biotic, salon pas, healing tape, energy pills…)
– Personal hygiene stuffs
-Towel
-Toilet requisitesOptionals:
– Sleeping bag (otherwise will be provided on spot)
– Insect spray (not really necessary in this season)
– Protectors for knees and ankles- Whistle (to alert in case of emergencies)

Additional tips:
– All belongings should be compact, light and just sufficient for the trek and to avoid unnecessary burden
– Clothing should be loose to make it easy for long treks
– Always stick to the group or local porters in case of assistance, don’t deviate.
– Keep a good stable pace, no need to rush in any case. If you are ahead of the group,
slow down and wait for the company.
– Always provide yourself enough energy from the meals, particularly breakfast.

See the package for trekking Fansipan with Sapa Travel

Fansipan in 3 days 2 nights

Fansipan in 2 days 1 night

Travel Sapa