Thứ Ba, 26 tháng 2, 2013

Myanmar Golden Rock Trek (Up -Hill)


Day 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. 

Day 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. 

Day 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
Vietnam Travel Packages | Vietnam Visa  | Cambodia Tours | Myanmar Tours | Laos Tours | China Tours

Thứ Hai, 25 tháng 2, 2013

Vietnam World Heritages Tour



Day 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.

Day 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.

Day 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.

Day 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
StandardFirstSuperior
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
Vietnam Travel Packages | Vietnam Visa  | Cambodia Tours | Myanmar Tours | Laos Tours | China Tours

Thứ Sáu, 22 tháng 2, 2013

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
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
Vietnam Travel Packages | Vietnam Visa  | Cambodia Tours | Myanmar Tours | Laos Tours | China Tours

Thứ Năm, 21 tháng 2, 2013

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
Website: www.huongviettravel.com  | http://www.aseantravelandtours.com  | http://www.visavietnamonline.com  | http://www.huongvietjsc.com
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Thứ Tư, 20 tháng 2, 2013

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
Vietnam Travel Packages | Vietnam Visa  | Cambodia Tours | Myanmar Tours | Laos Tours | China Tours

Thứ Ba, 19 tháng 2, 2013

A Moment Of Vietnam & Cambodia

Day 1: ARRIVAL – HO CHI MINH CITY (-/-/-) Saigon city
Upon arrival, you will be welcome by our guide & driver at airport then driven to your hotel for the check-in.
The rest of time, you will be free on your own to refresh after a long flight.
O/N in Ho Chi Minh City.

Day 2: HALF-DAY OF SIGHTSEEING + CU CHI TUNNELS (B/-/-)
In the morning, after having breakfast you will be picked up at hotel then take a half-day of city tour around Ho Chi Minh City with visits of the Notre Dame Cathedral, the Old Post Office, a lacquer-ware factory, and the bustling Chinatown with Binh Tay Market, Thien Hau Pagoda is not be missed as well.

Cu Chi tunnelIn the afternoon, you will be transferred about 30km north-west of Ho Chi Minh City to Cu Chi town. Cu Chi tunnels were used as the base from which the Vietnamese mounted their operations of the Tet Offensive in 1968. The Cu Chi Tunnels consist of more than 200km of underground tunnels. This main axis system has many branches connecting to underground hideouts, shelters, and entrances to other tunnels, the tunnels are between 0.5 to 1m wide, just enough for a person to crawl along.
Transfer back to Ho Chi Minh City.
O/N in Ho Chi Minh City.

Day 3: FULL-DAY TO MY THO + BEN TRE (B/L/-) Mekong
In the morning, you will be transferred to My Tho, take a boat trip downstream to Ben Tre through floating market, where you have the opportunities to meet the locals there to learn about their daily life in Mekong Delta then take an outlook of natural sceneries along banks of river with coconut candy mill, fruit gardens followed by fruit tasting, rice paper mill… Biking or sitting on horse carriage to weave around the zigzag village roads. Later on, we will enjoy a lunch served at a local restaurant on island with local specialty of “Deep fried Elephant – Eared fish”. Drive back to Ho Chi Minh City.
O/N in Ho Chi Minh City.

Day 4: HO CHI MINH CITY – PHNOM PENH (B/-/-)
At leisure until transfer to Tan Son Nhat Airport for departure flight to Phnom Penh.
PhnomPhenhUpon arrival at Phnom Penh Airport by morning flight, you will be welcome by our friendly tour guide then accompany you to the hotel. The capital city of Phnom Penh was once considered the loveliest city of Indochina. Despite its recent turbulent history, it still maintains considerable charm. A city tour acquaints us with some major sights of Phnom Penh. This morning start visit Wat Phnom (rebuild in 1434, 1806, 1894 and 1926), a small hill crowned by an active Wat (Pagoda) marks the legendary founding place of the Phnom Penh. Then visit Yeay Penh’s statue (grand mother Penh) at southwest of the hills, who found four statues of the Buddha and she was build a hill or Phnom in AD 1372 for placed a shrine on top to the house the precious artifacts. The Victory Monument, build in 1955, it is the symbolize Cambodian Independence regained from French colonialism in 1953. Then visit Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum (S21 prison). This prison was a high school, and used as a prison by Pol Pot’s security forces and became the largest center for detention and torture during the rule of the Khmer Rouge. Lunch at local restaurant on your own.

PM: In the afternoon, visit National Museum, it was build in 1917and designed in Khmer style by famed French architect Georges Groslier & Ecole Des Arts. The museum has a good collection of Khmer sculptures dating from the pre-Angkor period (4th centuries) to post-Angkor period (14th centuries). Then visit Royal Palace; built by King Norodom in 1866 on the site of the old town, Silver Pagoda, Located within the grounds of the Royal Palace, the Silver Pagoda is so named because of its floor, which is made up of 5000 silver tiles. When you exit from the Royal Palaces, Then continue your visit to the riverfront, it is the most popular place for the tourist. The view of the confluence of Mekong and Tonle Sap River is the geographically unique.
O/N at hotel.

Day 5: PHNOM PENH – SIEM REAP (B/-/-)
Breakfast at hotel
AM: Visit the notorious Killing Fields ” Choeung Ek” 15km southwest of Phnom Penh. This one is the site of brutal executions of more than 17,000 individuals, most of whom first suffered through interrogations, torture and deprivation in Toul Sleng Prison during Pol Pot regime (From 1975–1979). Then return back on the way drop and visit to the handicraft shop, spa and vocational training restaurant. This place was created in 1996 by Pour un Sourire d’ Enfant (PSE) www.pse.asso.fr. Is the NGO that aims to rescue Cambodian children who are forced to scavenge through the rubbish dumps to survive, especially around Steung Mean Chey garbage dump in Phnom Penh. Today we prefer you to have your own lunch over there.
Angkor WattPM: Visit Central Market (Phsar Thom Thmei), the distinctive art-deco styling of this market makes it stand out among the architecture of Phnom Penh, where you can shop for souvenirs, clothes, jewelry, silver products, then transfer to Phnom Penh Airport for short flight to Siem Reap. On arrival met and transfer to hotel for check in. The town of Siem Reap is our base for visiting the world famous temples of the ancient city Angkor, which is home for the capital of the powerful Khmer Empire dating from 802 AD to 1350 AD. This stunning and extensive site sprawls through the dense jungle, over an area of 60 square miles
O/N at Siem Reap

Day 6: SIEM REAP (B/-/-)
(Optional tour to view sunrise at early morning will be paid by yourself)
Breakfast at hotel

AM: Visit the antique capital of Angkor Thom (12 century): the South Gate with its huge statues depicting the churning of the ocean of milk, the Bayon Temple, unique for its 54 towers decorated with over 200 smiling faces of Avolokitesvara, the Phimeanakas, the Royal Enclosure, the Elephants Terrace and the Terrace of the Leper King. Lunch at local restaurant on your own.

PM: Visit Angkor National Museum & to the famous temple: Angkor Wat. Angkor Wat is a World Heritage Site since 1992, famous for its beauty and splendor. Angkor Wat features the longest continuous bas-relief in the world, which runs along the outer gallery walls and narrates stories from Hindu mythology, visit Bakheng Temple and enjoy a romantic sun set view form Bakheng Hills. Dinner and enjoy with Aspara Dance Show at local restaurant, O/N at Siem Reap.

(Optional tour with either elephant or balloon riding will be paid by yourself)
O/N at hotel.

Day 7: SIEM REAP – Departure (B/-/-)
Breakfast hotel
AM: Visit Ta Prohm, one of the area’s most beautiful temples. Ta Prohm has been relatively untouched since it was discovered and retains much of its mystery. Neak Pean, a fountain built in the middle of a pool (representing the paradisiacal Himalayan mountain-lake), Ta Som, built in late 12th century C.E. the most distant temple on the grand circuit, small but classic. Preah Khan temple, Built by the King Jayavarman VII. Lunch at local restaurant on your own.

PM: Visit the unique interior brick sculptures of Prasat Kravan, Srah Srang (“The Royal Baths” was once used for ritual bathing), Banteay Kdei (surrounded by 4 concentric walls), Ta Keo, constructed in late 10th early 11th century C.E, the first temple to be constructed wholly of sandstone. Then transfer to Siem Reap Airport for departure to next destination by evening flight.

INCLUDING:
- Transportation in private air-conditioned vehicle with driver
- Domestic air-ticket: Phnom Penh – Siem Reap.
- Accommodation in hotels (shared twin room)
- Meals as indicated: B = breakfast, L = lunch or D = Dinner
- English or French speaking guide
- Entrance fee to indicated sights
- Boat trip in Mekong

EXCLUDING: International flight (Ho Chi Minh – Phnom Penh), Other meals, tip, drinks, airport tax, single room, personal expenses, insurance…

Cost in US$ per person in the party (valid     30 Sep’12)
A MOMENT OF VIETNAM & CAMBODIA
Standard
First
Superior
2 pax
    653     702     891
3 – 6 pax
    597     646     831
7 -10 pax
    492     540     736
11 – 14 pax
    458     501     692
15 – 19 Paxs
    445     495     696
20 – Upwards
    429     478     671
Single supplement
    125     170     352
Full board supplement
    150     150     150
NOTES:
- FOC means Free Of Charge applied to the tour leader escorting the group of 15 people & onwards.
- Standard Class is applied to 2-star hotels
- First Class is applied to 3-star hotels
- Superior Class is applied to 4-star hotels
- Deluxe Class is applied to 5-star hotels
NOTE: The supplement for the current airfare (Ho Chi Minh – Phnom Penh) is US$ 175/person (This airfare could be changed at the time of booking or issuance without prior notices)
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
Vietnam Travel Packages | Vietnam Visa  | Cambodia Tours | Myanmar Tours | Laos Tours | China Tours

Thứ Hai, 18 tháng 2, 2013

TET Festival in Vietnam 2013

Vietnam Travel Packages

 
Vietnam Travel Packages
As this lunar new year draws to a close and the year of the Snake is upon us, we would like to take this opportunity to thank our many wonderful guests who stayed in out properties during 2012.  The Year of the Sname (2013) is already proving to be a very busy year as we work hard to complete two new properties.  The first is our TET Decor Cafe in Hanoi on the banks of West Lake, the second property is a stunning property in Hoi An located 50 metres from the beach… Stay tuned for more information shortly.
 
We would like to thank you for your interest in our properties. and would like to inform our properties are closed on the following dates.

6 on Sixteen boutique hotel Hanoi
Thursday 7 February 2013 reopen Friday 15 February 2013

Sapa Rooms boutique hotel and restaurant
Wednesday 6 February 2013 reopen Wednesday 20 February 2013

The Village Noshery mountain lodge and restaurant
Wednesday 6 February 2013 reopen Wednesday 20 February 2013

Hmong Mountain Retreat
Thursday 31 January 2013 reopen late March 2013

History of this holiday
Tet is the most important festival of the Vietnamese calendar. It marks the beginning of the lunar new year, which is celebrated in China as well. Festivities occur throughout the country, but this is a family holiday and many of the traditions of observance occur in the home. The official holiday lasts three days, but celebrations continue for at least the first week of the new year.

Lunar New Year / Vietnamese New Year (Tet Nguyên Ðán, more commonly known by its shortened name Tet) is the largest, most important and popular holiday and festival in Vietnam. It is the Vietnamese New Year based on the Lunar calendar, a lunisolar calendar. The name Tet Nguyên Ðán (in Sino-Vietnamese) can be loosely translated as Feast of the First Morning.

Before The New Year
Preparations begin about a week before the new year. Homes are cleaned out in the hopes of getting rid of the past year’s bad luck, and some families go so far as to repaint their house’s exterior. It also is believed to be lucky to buy new clothes and get a fresh haircut. At midnight on New Year’s Eve, Vietnamese families conduct the ritual Le Tru Tich, which involves gongs, firecrackers and other noisy items to chase out the old year and ring in the new.

New Year’s Day Traditions
On New Year’s Day, most families meet to exchange gifts and have a traditional meal, and also perform a ceremony to appease the kitchen god. Homes are decorated with the hoa mai flower and all thoughts of sadness are supposed to be avoided. Children are encouraged not to fight or cry and anyone in mourning is shunned because it is bad luck to be associated with death on New Year’s Day. Many families plant a new year’s tree in front of the house and wrap it with lucky red paper. The tree is removed at the end of the first week of the new year. After the family meal, many Vietnamese attend the local pagoda to worship ancestors.

In The Cities
In major cities, such as Ho Chi Minh and Hanoi, Tet celebrations are more similar to new year celebrations in western countries. People attend events in dance clubs and bars. This is a time of enjoyment and there is a lot of eating and drinking involved in the celebrations. Fireworks are set off to scare away the evil spirit Na A. Stores and neighborhoods decorate with colored lights and red banners.

Food
Food is an important part of the Tet celebrations. The Vietnamese believe that what a person does on New Year’s Day dictates the course of the rest of the year, and eating a lot represents the hope that no one will go hungry in the coming year. In the days leading up to the holiday, the Vietnamese traditionally give gifts of food to family members and friends. The traditional meal includes foods such as bang, a bamboo and pork soup; bang chung, a sticky rice cake filled with pork and beans; and orange sticky rice. Even the ancestors are given food gifts. Families leave a five fruit tray at the altar.

Things To Know
Most businesses close down for the entire week of Tet celebrations. Because the holiday is an important time for Vietnamese families to spend time together, travel in Vietnam is as hectic as Christmas travel is in many other parts of the world. Any travel plans within the country must be arranged well in advance. Since most of the celebration takes place in the homes of friends and family, visitors might feel left out for most of the week unless they have close friends or family in Vietnam.

Happy New Year
Chuc Mung Nam Moi
 
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
Vietnam Travel Packages | Vietnam Visa  | Cambodia Tours | Myanmar Tours | Laos Tours | China Tours

Thứ Năm, 7 tháng 2, 2013

The Lost City Of Mrauk U Tour

sittwe_tower Overview

In 1431, King Min Saw Mon established as the capital of the last unified Arakanese Kingdom. An important trading port with links to Portugal, the Netherlands, Arabia, Persia and India, the city eventually reached a size of 120,000 in the mid sixteenth century.

The city offers the visitor many chances to study the cultural and a proud heritage handed down to the present day Rakhine generation by their forefathers. Mrauk U can rightfully be claimed as the "Open-air Museum" of the arts and culture of the people of Rakhine.

Starting from Sittwe, capital of the Rakhine state, you will uncover the traditional local lifestyles in this town that is located at the mouth of the Kaladan River by the Bay of Bengal. Often overlooked as a convenient stopping point for Mrauk U, Sittwe will reward you with visions of a colorful hinterland seaport with abundance of fish and crops.

Cruising upstream along the Kaladan River on a private boat, you will arrive at Mrauk U archaeological park. The ancient city is now deserted but the ruined temples form an impressive and extensive stone record of a kingdom once one of the most important and powerful in the Indian Ocean.

The most impressive of these historical edifices is the Shitthaung Temple, a fortress-like temple known for its labyrinth of tunnels while the Andawthein Ordination Hall, Ratanabon Pagoda, Dukkhanthein and Laymyetnha are other sites of cultural and archaeological value. A return boat journey via Kaladan River will bring you back to Sittwe.

ITINERARY

yangon-bigDay 1 - YANGON - SITTWE (L,D)
Upon your arrival in Sittwe from Yangon, we will bring you to Noble Hotel. In Sittwe, the capital of Rakhine state, you will explore a city with a mixture of Indian and Southeast Asian influences by the Bay of Bengal. Marvel at the many varieties of fish sold at the lively fish market and deepen your understanding of Rakhine culture at the Cultural Museum.
Overnight in Sittwe.

Day 2 -
SITTWE - MRAUK U (B,L)
Following breakfast, cruise upstream along Kaladan River on boat trip to Mrauk U, a major archaeological site in Myanmar. Arriving in
Mrauk U at midday, you will witness the former grandiose of this ancient town, famed as Myanmar's second eminent temple site after Bagan, during your visits to Koethaung Temple, Pitakataik Library, Laungbanpyauk Pagoda, Yadana Mannaung and Sakaya Mannaung Pagodas.
Overnight in Mrauk U.

maraukDay 3 - MRAUK U (B,L,D)
Today, after enjoying the sunrise over the misty hills of
Mrauk U, we will bring you to experience the local lifestyles at the market before exploring the ruins of the Royal Palace and Archaeological Museum. Observe the exemplary skills and art display in Mrauk U's most significant monument - Shitthaung Temple, which contains a remarkable collection of Arakanese Buddha images and relief in its maze-like and fortress-like layout. Further your understanding of Mrauk U's history by exploring the unique stone carvings in the multi-spire Andawthein Ordination Hall, the circular Ratanabon Pagoda, vaulted passages with impressive stone sculptures in the huge fortress-like temple of Dukkhanthein and the first erected pagoda at Laymyetnha.
Overnight in Mrauk U.

Day 4 - MRAUK U - SITTWE - YANGON (B,L)
Today, we will head back to Sittwe on a ferry speedboat (or chartered local boat) along the Kaladan River. Enjoy your lunch at a local restaurant in Sittwe before transferring to Sittwe Airport for your flight to Yangon.

Rates vary frequently. Please contact us to get the best possible price based upon your travel period and specific touring needs.

RATES AND CONDITIONS
ACCOMMODATION

DELUXE OPTION

CityHotelRoom Category
SittweNoble HotelSuperior (Standard class category)
Mrauk U
Mrauk U Princess
Village House (Deluxe category)
STANDARD OPTION
CityHotelRoom Category
SittweNoble HotelStandard
Mrauk UNawarat Hotel
Superior
Pricing sheet: in US$ per person(Rates are valid 1 October 2010 - 30 Apr 2011)
Hotel
Category
123-45-67-1011 -15Single Supplement
DELUXE196511751010825785725150
Standard1720103086968564558845

Note: Package based on service of 1 English speaking guide throughout trip, except for base 1 pax (different guide at each place). 

Supplement guide other languages:
LanguageSupplement per group program ( US$ per package)
French /German / Italian / Spanish    80
Russian140  / package (2-10 pax)
Russian180 package (11 & up pax)
  
Remark: The above mentioned supplement for language guide apply starting from 2pax traveling. For 1 pax, TBA on adhoc basis.

Our The Lost City of Mrauk U Tour includes:
- 3 nights accommodation on half twin room basis with daily breakfast
- Service of an English-speaking guide throughout the trip (from Yangon to Yangon)- Meals as mentioned- All transfers and excursions with private air-conditioned vehicles where available with drivers- Fees for local chartered boat from Sittwe - Mrauk U- Fees for local ferry speedboat from Mrauk U - Sittwe (or local chartered boat)- Entrance fees for visits mentioned

Our The Lost of Mrauk U Tour excludes:
- International ticket to/from Yangon
   International Airfare - Click here for rates
- Domestic flights RGN-AKY-RGN including insurance surcharges & current fuel surcharge- Drinks and personal expenses- Tips for porters at the hotels- Other services not clearly indicated in the Inclusion Package above edule changes. We thank you for your understanding.

Creating Unique Touring Experiences
All the touring itineraries on this website have been carefully crafted by our in-country management teams and represent a series of experiences we can certainly recommend. However, we understand that every travel experience should be as unique and individual as each traveler. Our consultants are waiting to hear from you so that we can tailor or custom design a Myanmar tour to your individual specifications.

IMPORTANT NOTES FOR MYANMAR: 

1.         Please note that credit cards and traveler cheques are not accepted in Myanmar and that visitors must be bring sufficient cash (best in US Dollars, but Euros also increasingly accepted) to change and make any purchases and payments. Please bring new US Dollar bills ("big heads" instead of "small heads") and with series numbers not starting with CB as these are not accepted in Myanmar due to rumours these series are counterfeit.
2.         Furthermore please inform passengers that they should NOT change money at the exchange booth at the airport just after immigration, as the market rate in town is MUCH better.
3.         A surcharge might apply for peak season dates (Water Festival 12-18 April, X?Mas, New Year, etc.
4.         Travelers to Myanmar are required to have a travel insurance covering the cost of medical evacuation flights.
5.         Visas are required by all visitors to Myanmar. A visa must be obtained before entering Myanmar or On Arrival Visa is available at all international airports (Yangon & Mandalay). The visa application form is also available at all international airline linked with Myanmar or on-line. To apply on arrival visa, one must have 2 passport photo (4x6 cm) taken within last 6 months and passport must be valid 6 months after arrival date. For more detail information, please contact
Sales@huongviettravel.com 
6.         The schedules of domestic flights in Myanmar are provided as an indication only. Once a booking is confirmed we can provide more precise timings, but these remain nevertheless subject to change without notice by the airlines until traveling date. It might therefore in some cases be necessary to amend your program and itinerary due to such schedule changes. We thank you for your understanding.


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
Vietnam Travel Packages | Vietnam Visa  | Cambodia Tours | Myanmar Tours | Laos Tours | China Tours