The Son Doong Cave in Quang Binh Province is among the most incredible places in the world recently found, The Telegraph says.
The easternmost province is a top choice for adventures and to enjoy the beauty of nature including some out-of-the-world landscapes.Phu Yen, located on the south central coast, is the first point on the Vietnamese mainland to welcome the sun every morning.
It has a diverse topography consisting of mountains, rivers, lagoons, bays, and islands and a myriad of beautiful natural sights for visitors to explore.
Phu Yen’s sunny season is from January to around August, and is perfect for sightseeing. There are also lots of local festivals during these months, so remember to check their dates if you want to see them.But April and May can be quite hot, so visitors who choose to go during this period should be mindful and take sun-protection gear and water.
From May until the end of July is the peak domestic tourist season, and during this period Phu Yen can get pretty crowded. It might not be an ideal time for those who prefer a quiet and relaxing holiday.
Dai Lanh Cape, around 35km from Tuy Hoa, the capital city of Phu Yen, is the first place in the country where the sun rises. The best spots to catch the sunrise from are up the lighthouse or on Mon Beach, both spectacular places.Visitors can spend the night at Mui Dien lighthouse, and, when the time comes, take in the view of the bay and the ocean wide open right before their eyes. The feeling when standing on the top, with the wind carrying the smell of the ocean and caressing your skin and hair, and watching the spectacular scene unfold is indescribable.
You need to call up the lighthouse and make arrangements the day before. Tickets cost around VND10,000 ($0.43)
Camping on Mon Beach for the night and waiting for the sunrise can be an unforgettable experience. The beach is located behind Dai Lanh Lighthouse.
Vung Ro spreads over an area of 16.4 square kilometers, with beautiful beaches and the ocean on one side and forested mountains like Deo Ca and Hon Ba, and the highest peak, Da Bia (Tombstone Mountain), on the other.It is situated in the commune of Hoa Xuan Nam, Dong Hoa District, at the edge of Ca Pass. The drive, whether from the south or north, is extremely scenic. The coastal road offers a magnificent, unbroken view of the bay’s blue waters, fishing villages, the craggy pass, the green mountains, and the white sandy beaches.
There are hundreds of floating homes, fish farms and wooden fishing boats in the main bay. From here, visitors can take a boat to visit seafood farms, try to be a fisherman for a day and learn how locals catch lobsters or go catching fish or squid.
The seafood at the floating restaurants here are obviously as fresh as it possibly can be as it goes straight to the kitchen from the floating farms around. Some beers while floating on the blue lagoon, and this becomes an experience one just should not miss.
There are also other recreation options such as jet-skiing, snorkeling and visiting historical relics for visitors.
While Vietnamese visitors continued to top the list of international tourist arrivals to Cambodia in 2016, their numbers dipped as the number of Chinese tourists continued to surge and looks set to take the top notch this year, according to newly released Tourism Ministry annual figures.
The data showed total tourist arrivals from Vietnam fell 3 percent to 950,000 last year, while Chinese arrivals surged 19 percent to 830,000 over the same period.
Chhay Sivlin, president of the Cambodia Association of Travel Agents (CATA), expressed confidence that China would soon overtake Vietnam as the main source of the Kingdom’s tourists.
“Following the strengthening of the relationship between Cambodia and China and the government’s strategy to promote more Chinese tourist arrivals, China will soon be the leader for tourism visits in Cambodia,” she said yesterday.
Sivlin noted that the Ministry of Tourism still needs to increase the number of direct flights to the Kingdom in order to reach the country’s target of welcoming 7 million tourists by 2020, including 2 million Chinese visitors.
“Compared to neighboring countries, the number of international arrivals is still small because the shortage of direct flights is limiting international arrivals,” she said. “The government needs to speed up the process of approving direct flights to reach its tourism goals.”
According to the Ministry of Tourism, total tourist arrivals topped 5 million in 2016, from 4.8 million a year earlier, while total revenue from tourism decreased to $3 billion in 2016, from $3.5 billion in 2015.
Sivlin said one reason for the decline in tourism revenue was a failure to recognise the changes in tourist demographics. She pointed to the high number of souvenir products sold in the country imported from China, Vietnam and Thailand, which were difficult to sell when many tourists came from those same countries.
“We sell souvenir products that are not produced locally, and this is not attractive to international visitors when they know it is from their country,” she said.
Ang Kim Eang, general manager of Great Angkor Tours, said the marginal decline in Vietnamese arrivals had no significant impact on the tourism sector as most Vietnamese visitors arrive by bus and do not spend large sums of money. On the other hand, the higher number of Chinese tourists was good news for Cambodia as they tend to be more prolific spenders.
“Chinese tourism offers great potential for the local tourism sector because they like to spend a lot on entertainment services,” he said.
And with China’s outbound tourists topping 122 million last year, far more than the entire population of Vietnam, government initiatives to attract a larger share to Cambodia are hardly surprising.
“Chinese tourists are one of the main targets for promoting the Cambodian economy,” Eang said.
CAMBODIA Siem Reap – Here you will find influences of French colonial and Chinese architecture. With the Tuk Tuk service to the ancient city of Angkor Thom, to visit Angkor Ta Prohm, one of the famous temples of Cambodia. In the afternoon with a Jeep to the Angkor Wat Temple. MYANMAR Mandalay – After arriving…
Sunland Hotel is situated just a minute’s walk from Saigon River and a 10-minute walk from Tay Ba Lo backpacker’s quarter. It features an outdoor pool and a restaurant.
The hotel is a 5-minute walk from Russian Market and ACB Bank. A 7-minute drive takes guests to Reunification Palace, Saigon Opera House and the Saigon Notre-Dame Basilica. Tan Son Nhat International Airport is a 45-minute drive away.
Rooms are air-conditioned and feature a flat-screen TV with cable channels and a minibar. Each room has its own uniquely styled bathroom with shower facilities and toiletries. Room service is provided.
Guests can head to the 24-hour front desk for assistance with luggage storage, laundry and currency exchange services. Safety deposit boxes are also available.
District 1 is a great choice for travelers interested in nightlife, markets and shopping.
Featuring luxurious villas with private pools, An Lam Ninh Van Bay offers peaceful stays in rolling green landscapes overlooking Ninh Van Bay. It features an infinity pool, full spa facilities and fine dining.
Opening out to stunning sea views, tastefully furnished villas feature a flat-screen cable TV, iPod dock and coffee machine. Other comforts include semi-outdoor bath areas and rain showers.
Guests can start the day with a lesson at the yoga platform before exercising at the gym. For convenience, the hotel provides free Wi-Fi, business and tour services.
Featuring an outdoor terrace, the restaurant serves seafood specialties and Vietnamese dishes. In-villa dining with a private chef can be arranged.
An Lam Ninh Van Bay is 16.1 km from Nha Trang’s city center. The property offers airport shuttle service.
This 5-star property features a full-service spa, an outdoor pool and fitness facilities. Situated beside Now Zone Shopping Mall, its modern rooms have a cable flat-screen TV and bathroom.
Offering city views from over-sized windows, the spacious rooms feature warm lighting and calming earth tones. They have a tea/coffee maker, a minibar and free Wi-Fi.
Guests can take a dip in the hot tub or relax with a soothing spa massage. Nikko Hotel Saigon also has a business centre, concierge services and a souvenir shop.
Hotel Nikko Saigon is a 10-minute drive from Saigon Opera House, Notre Dame Cathedral and the Reunification Palace. It is a 20-minute drive from Tan Son Nhat International Airport and has free parking.
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Asia is home to breathtaking nature, lush vegetation, exotic cultures and delicious cuisines. One of the best ways to explore and discover the various destinations in Asia is on foot – by taking a hike. Some hikes in Asia offer hikers a chance to spot rare wildlife species and meet indigenous tribes living in charming villages along the way. In many of the trails listed below, the journey itself is the destination.
1. Sapa, Vietnam
Travel the northern highland town of Sapa in Vietnam for breathtaking views of rice terraces and stunning mountain peaks with mists hovering over them. Sapa rests in the Hoang Lien Son mountain range, close to the Tonkinese Alps at the Chinese borders. Sapa is an increasingly popular destination among hikers, all keen to experience the hillside treks which passes through lush landscapes and charming villages. The best time to visit is from March to May.
2. Ladakh Range, India
India’s highest and largest district is the Ladakh Range. Comfortably nestled between two vast mountains (the Karakoram to the north and the Himalayas to the south), the Ladakh range has more sheep and yaks than monkeys and cows. In Ladakh Range, the culture of the people lean towards Tibetan rather than Indian. Travellers can take on trails in the Ladakh Range which ranges from easy (Ripchar Valley Trek and Lamayuru Alchi Trek) to difficult (Kang Yatse Trek, Hemis to Tsomoriri Trek). Some of the most gorgeous trails in the Ladakh Range are those that take hikers through the Zanskar range, such as the Lamayuru to Darcha Trek.
3. Ratanakiri, Cambodia
Ratanakiri (Ban Lung), located in northeast Cambodia, is known for fantastic jungle trekking and hiking. It is also known as “dey krahorm” (red earth), as the area is covered in reddish dust during the dry season. Impressive hills, rivers and mountain ranges grace Ratanakiri, and the area is dotted with crater lakes and waterfalls.
4. The Snowman Trek, Bhutan
Bhutan’s Snowman Trek covers over 200 miles, crossing 11 passes over 16,000 feet. To undertake the Snowman Trek, which takes about 25 days to complete, it is compulsory to be part of a guided tour. Each year, only a handful of people challenge themselves to take on this hike. The trail passes through Laya, home of the indigenous Layap people. Guides usually drop by the Thanza village to exchange horses for yaks, which are used to traverse difficult terrains. The highlights of this trail include the sceneries of remote valleys, visiting Buddhist monasteries, experiencing Bhutan’s authentic culture and spotting interesting wildlife such as the Himalayan blue sheep. Timing is essential for this trek, and it is best to go in April to avoid the snow and rain that closes the high passes. The Snowman Trek is ideal for the hardcore hikers.
5. Maluan Mountain, China
The trail that leads up to Maluan Mountain is easy and safe, and it passes through clear streams, verdant woods, and captivating waterfalls. It is no surprise that this trail is popular among hiking enthusiasts. Mount Maulan is also known for its plum blossoms in red, white and sea blue, which can be seen in January from the Plum Blossom Pavilion.
6. Gunung Tahan, Malaysia
To have a taste of the jungle, climb one of the most challenging mountains in Malaysia, Gunung Tahan. Tigers, elephants, leopards and the Sumatran rhino will greet hikers in this 130 million years old virgin rainforest, located in Taman Negara in the state of Pahang. The most scenic route is the Kuala Tahan classic train, which usually takes about seven days. Just be warned: this trek requires you to be mentally and physically fit.
7. Mount Everest, Nepal
Climbing Everest is the dream of many mountaineers, but for those who are not capable of undertaking that intense, arduous and potentially-fatal journey, just hiking to the Everest Base Camp will do. Hikers heading to the Everest Base Camp can drop by museums and monasteries, enjoy amazing views and also experience the Sherpa culture. The warmth of Nepalese hospitality and breathtaking scenery makes the Everest Base Camp Trek an amazing trip, one that is possible even for those with average fitness.
8. Annapurna Mountain Range, Nepal
The lofty peaks of the Annapurna are only for the trained and determined, and one of the best trails in the Annapurna Mountain Range is the famous Annapurna Circuit. This horseshoe-shaped route that runs for more than 200 kilometre is considered one of the best hikes in the world. Completing this rather challenging trek will take between 15 to 20 days. Rugged trails, sacred pilgrimage sites, exotic wildlife and awesome views of nature’s bounty will make your trip a memorable one.
9. Mount Kailash Pilgrimage, Tibet
Mount Kailash stands out as a holy site to Buddhists, Jains, the Ayyavazhi branch of Hinduism, and the ancient Bon religion of Tibet. However, it is not often visited due to the mountain’s remote location in far western Tibet. Some religions regarded Kailash as the mythical Mt. Meru – the center and birthplace of the entire world. Myths and legends surround Mount Kailash, such as the Hindu belief that the place is the abode of god Shiva. Transportation to Mount Kailash via rugged over-land vehicles can be booked through various tour companies. Once you get there, hiking the 50 kilometres around it alongside pilgrims is the ritual to complete. Do note that the weather there can be always harsh and trekkers and pilgrims must carry all the supplies and provisions they need for the entire trip. April through September is the best months for this trek.
10. Great Himalaya Trail, Nepal
The Great Himalaya Trail covers over 4500 kilometres and it connects the highest routes across the Himalaya with existing trekking trails and pilgrimage paths. The trail can be completed in a whopping four to six months if the weather permits. The challenging part of the Great Himalaya Trail is during the ascents and descents of the high passes, including Sherpani Pass (20,128 feet), West Col (20,154 feet), and Amphu Laptsa Pass (19,193 feet) sandwiched between Everest and Makalu. Wildlife such as the endangered snow leopard, yaks, red pandas and herds of blue sheep can be spotted along the trails, and there are also monasteries, tea houses and guest huts along the way.
Source: Tripzilla Magazine
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This 4-star Essence Hoi An Hotel & Spa is only 500 m from the centre of Ancient Hoi An Town, and offers a swimming pool and fitness centre. All its modern rooms come with free Wi-Fi and a welcome fruit platter. Essence Cafe serves Vietnamese and international dishes and caters for 24-hour room service.
Fitted with air conditioning, all the soundproof guestrooms come with a 32-inch flat-screen TV, a minibar and a personal safe. Some rooms have a private balcony. The en suite bathrooms come with either a bathtub or rainshower.
Essence Hoi An Hotel & Spa is 6 km from Cua Dai Public Beach and 4 km from An Bang Public Beach. Da Nang International Airport is 30 km away. Parking is free.
A daily breakfast is available from 06:30 – 10:00. Guests can request for breakfast to be served in the comfort of the guestrooms.
Free bicycle rentals are available. Guests can also relax with a massage or visit the sauna. The hotel also provides laundry services and English newspapers.
This is our guests’ favourite part of Hoi An, according to independent reviews.
Astonishingly exotic and utterly compelling, Vietnam is a country of breathtaking natural beauty with an incredible heritage that quickly becomes addictive.
Unforgettable experiences are everywhere in Vietnam. There’s the sublime: gazing over a surreal seascape of limestone islands from the deck of a Chinese junk in Halong Bay. The ridiculous: taking 10 minutes just to cross the street through a tsunami of motorbikes in Hanoi. The inspirational: exploring the world’s most spectacular cave systems in Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park. The comical: watching a moped loaded with honking pigs weave a wobbly route along a country lane. And the contemplative: witnessing a solitary grave in a cemetery of tens of thousands of war victims.
The Thais may grumble, but in Southeast Asia nothing really comes close: Vietnamese food is that good. Incredibly subtle in its flavors and outstanding in its diversity, Vietnamese cooking is a fascinating draw for travelers – the dozens of cooking schools in Hoi An are testament to this. Geography plays a crucial role, with Chinese flavours influencing the soups of northern Vietnam, spices sparking up southern cuisine and myriad herbs and complex techniques typifying the central region, rightly renowned as Vietnam’s epicurean epicentre.
Vietnamese people are energetic, direct, sharp in commerce and resilient by nature. The locals love a laugh and you’ll have plenty of opportunities to socialize with them and hear their tales. Generally the rule is the more uncomfortable the (always tiny) seats in the bar or cafe, the more fun you’ll have. Poor in parts but never squalid, Vietnam is developing at an astonishing pace and inevitably there are some issues to consider (including some minor scams). However, on the whole this is an extremely safe (apart from the traffic!) and wonderfully rewarding country to explore.
I know of few more driven, purposeful people on earth than the Vietnamese. Back in 1991 when I first arrived, the country was broke – one of the poorest on earth – but not broken. The streets were swept, the cuisine was outstanding and visitors (yes, even Americans) were welcomed. Over the years I’ve returned to enjoy the same simple pleasures: chatting with friends over a glass of bia hoi, soaking up the street scenes in Hanoi’s Old Quarter, biking lonely mountain roads, and marveling at the locals’ sheer lust for life. And then I start planning a return trip.
If you’ve got the bills, Vietnam’s got the thrills and chills. Some require a little physical effort, like motorbiking switchback after switchback up the jaw-dropping Hai Van Pass in central Vietnam. Others require even more sweat: kitesurfing the tropical oceanic waters off Mui Ne or hiking the evergreen hills around Bac Ha or Sapa. And when you’re done with all that adrenaline stuff, there’s plenty of horizontal ‘me’ time to relish. Vietnam has outstanding spas – from marble temples of treatments, to simple family run massage salons with backpacker-friendly rates.
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