Thứ Sáu, 31 tháng 5, 2013

Myanmar Tours: Yangon and Beyond

I am normally the kind of person who enjoys exploring a foreign land on my own or with the company of a friend. I’m not the type who joins group tours or who sticks with a planned itinerary. Yet in the case of mysterious Myanmar, I wanted a little helping hand. So I decided to compromise by setting up a personalized tour where the guide would take us to see the highlights, but I arranged our hotels. I wanted to see Yangon, Bagan and Mandalay by way of plane, boat and ox-drawn carriage.

Balloon flight over Bagan Burma

Our adventure began in the lively former capital of Yangon. Yangon had been Myanmar’s capital city up until recently when, in November of 2005, all government offices were mysteriously moved to the remote region of Pyinmana, 600km north of Yangon. Upon arrival at the Yangon airport, we were met by a tour representative, and in less than 30 minutes we arrived at the charming Savoy Hotel.

We were greeted by friendly faces and ethereal tunes being played on an antique xylophone in the lobby. Our elegant room, graced with teakwood floors and large windows had a splendid view of the grand Sule Pagoda. With just 30 elegant guest rooms, the Savoy’s atmosphere is that of a colonial residence, complete with antiquities, landscaped gardens and a swimming pool.

Formerly known as Rangoon, Yangon’s downtown area radiates out from the golden stupa of Sule Pagoda, the proud centrepiece of the city. After breakfast the next morning, our guide met us in the lobby for our tour of Sule Pagoda. The 2000 year old Sule Pagoda is Yangon’s center of worship, bustling with humanity and merchants. Its 48 metre high golden do me contains a hair given by the Buddha to two Burmese brothers.

This was a perfect prelude to our next stop – the magnificent Shwedagon Pagoda, the spiritual heart of Yangon. While Sule is a single pagoda, Shwedagon is an impressive temple compound, best described in the words of Rudyard Kipling in Letters from the East (1889): “Then, a golden mystery upheaved itself on the horizon – a beautiful, winking wonder that blazed in the sun, of a shape that was neither Muslim dome nor Hindu Temple spire. It stood upon a green knoll…” It was the Schwedagon Pagoda. In Kipling’s words, the pagoda said: “This is Burma, and it will be quite unlike any land that one knows about.”

Dating back to the time of Buddha, over 2500 years ago, the golden dome of the Shwedagon Pagoda rises 98 meters above its base and is covered with 60 tons of pure gold. As one of the world’s most spectacular religious monuments, the sacred pagoda enshrines eight hairs from the Buddha’s head that were given to the same Burmese brothers by Buddha on his 49th day of enlightenment.

Our first day of sightseeing took in a lot. In addition to these two pagodas, we also visited several more pagodas and two museums, stopping at the Bogyoke Aung San Market (or Scott Market) to do some shopping. The next morning we hopped on a plane to Bagan, land of temples.


Bagan (now named Nyaung-U) is set on a spectacular plateau along the Irrawaddy River, and is an unsung archeological treasure of the world. On this plateau, there are literally thousands of temple ruins, stretching as far as the eye can see. A daunting task to explore on foot, we were taken around by a menagerie of horse and ox-drawn carriages.

Delighting in our discoveries, we found that some temples were cleared of vines and somewhat restored, while others were seemingly forgotten, enshrouded in jungle and bird song.

The Ananda Pahto is one of the largest, best preserved and most revered of the Bagan temples. Thought to have been built around 1105, this perfectly proportioned temple features four enormous standing Buddha images and numerous seated figures inside the main chamber. Our last stop of the day was Shwesandaw Paya, Bagan’s first monument and an excellent sunset vista. As the day came to an end, we sat in silence watching the setting sun bathe the temples in an enchanting rose-coloured light.

The next morning, we arose before dawn and boarded horse-drawn carriages which took us to Dhamayazika Pagoda, the biggest pentagonal pagoda in Bagan, to see the sunrise. My sleepy eyes slowly awakened as the orange sun emerged from the horizon, reflecting on the mighty Irrawaddy River and warming my skin.

We enjoyed breakfast back at the Bagan Thiripysaya Sanctuary Resort, a spacious place of teak bungalows along the river. Then it was time to board the RV Pandaw river boat for a two day cruise up Myanmar’s longest river, from Bagan to legendary Mandalay.

mandalay palace and mandalay hill view

The Irrawaddy River flows 2000 kilometres and begins and ends within Myanmar, giving it life and witnessing its history. The name of the Irrawaddy is believed to derive from the Sanskrit word airavati, meaning “Elephant River“. With 1600 navigable kilometres, the Irrawaddy offers one of the greatest inland water navigation areas on the planet. The lives of the river people remain relatively unchanged for centuries gone by.

As we settled into our wooden cabin on the RV Pandaw, I felt like I was stepping back in time. The historic craft was built in 1947 on the Cylde River in Scotland. Five other similar vessels were also built and made their journey to Myanmar around 1950. Rustically elegant, the RV Pandaw and her charming crew served as gracious hosts with comfortable cabins and plenty of deck space to marvel at the many sights passing by.

The waters of the Irrawaddy range from calm, clear and blue to raging muddy torrents during the monsoons. In the upper reaches of the river, dolphins help fishermen by driving schools of fish into their nets. Men and dolphin have enjoyed an affectionate relationship through generations.

The riverbanks really came alive in the evening. Women carry water in huge ceramic jugs balanced upon their heads, bathing beauties stood up to watch us, boys washing their sarongs waved them in salute, naked children slid down the banks, shouting “Hello!” Everywhere we went, we were greeted with friendly curiosity. One of our stops was at a fertile farming village. The farmers here grow many things such as guavas, corn and onions. They say that no onion is sweeter then that grown in the silt of the Irrawaddy.

Yandabo village

We visited the remote little village of Yandabo. Yandabo has no road access, therefore is completely dependant on the river for its economy. Their main livelihood is the production of terracotta pottery made from riverbank mud. We were invited to watch the pottery making process within the village. Adorable children followed us everywhere, even to the local Buddhist monastery.

Back on board, river life gradually became busier as boats of various sizes carried goods and people; teak and bamboo rafts flowed with the current, while smiling, sometimes skeptical faces peered up at us. Huge glazed pots lashed together formed an entirely different type of river craft – they had a hut fashioned on top for the rafters to sleep and cook. Sometimes their pet dogs joined them for the journey. It was a colourful aquatic highway, though still quiet and peaceful after nightfall.

The next morning, we bid farewell to our craft and crew, disembarking at Mandalay and driving 15km to Amarapura, “City of Immortality”. In order to reach Amarapura we had to cross Lake Taungthaman over the 224 year old U-Bein Bridge. Built of teak in 1782, the 1.2 kilometre-long bridge is the longest teak bridge in the world. At Amarapura we visited Mahagandayon Monastery, where one thousand monks take their last meal of the day at 10am in total silence.

We returned to Mandalay to visit the old palace grounds, the Kuthodaw Pagoda, known as the world’s largest book for its 729 marble slabs inscribed with the Buddha’s Doctrine, before watching sunset from the breathtaking view atop Mandalay Hill.

Though Mandalay today is a modern city, its character comes from many ancient sites and places where the best craftsmen in the country continue to make things in the way their great grandparents did. The images and feelings of Myanmar will be with me forever; an exotic land of history and heartbreak, happiness and hope, life and death. The Irrawaddy River flows past all these wonders. It has seen it all. It rushes past towns and temples, pouring its endless streams of water into the Andaman Sea
.
Source: hoteltravel.com

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Thứ Năm, 30 tháng 5, 2013

Do you know the best beaches in vietnam ?

Summer is coming and the beach is the top choice of many tourists when going to Vietnam during this time. But do you know about the best beaches in Vietnam? OK, let’s discover about the most beautiful beaches in VietNam with Huong Viet Travel

Nha Trang Beach

Nha Trang Beach

Nha Trang Beach is one of the best and most beautiful beaches in Vietnam ( in the world ) with blue sea, white sand which is stretching endlessly. Nha Trang Sea is not only beautiful with natural scenery but also attractive by climate

Mui Ne Beach

Mui Ne Beach

Mui Ne beach with blue sea, white sand dunes which captivated everybody’s heart. This place is blessed with sun and wind year round, It’s very suitable for rest and recreation. Muine Beach is not only beautiful, romantic with scenery but also very suitable for water sports such as windsurfing …

Con Dao

Con Dao

Con Dao is selected as one of the most mysterious islands in the world, Con Dao in Vietnam is increasingly attracting a large number of tourists with an area of ​​52km2, including 16 large and small islands.

This place is famous with clear blue beaches. In particular, the marine life is abundant here with thousands of marine fishes and coral reefs which has many colors. Because of this characteristic, Con Dao become an ideal destination for tourists who love nature and water sports.

My Khe Beach

My Khe Beach

My Khe Beach with vast space, white sand, moderate waves, warm water year round, with poetic, beautiful coconut trees surround. Here, tourists can swim almost year-round, but summer is the most appropriate. Because the coast is not deep, so visitors are really reassuring to swim and watch the majestic Ngu Hanh Son tops and Cham Island… My Khe beach is really ideal at Quang Ngai province and also very familiar with the people in Da Nang.

Beaches in Phu Quoc
 
Phu Quoc

Phuquoc is one of the most unspoiled island in Vietnam, Phu Quoc attractions with blue sea, white sand, pristine forests. At Phu Quoc, you can visit the famous beaches like Bai Sao beach, Mr Lang beach …

Cua Dai Beach

Cua Dai Beach

Cua Dai beach is in Quang Nam province. Coming to Quang Nam, Hoi An, Cua Dai Beach are favorite tourist destinations in the world where the visitors can not forget. With beautiful beaches, fresh air, Cua Dai is expected to bring more relaxation, comfortable for the visitors.

Doc Let

Doc Let Beach

About 50 km from Nha Trang, Doc Let isn’t sunny and noisy as Nha Trang beach. Coming to Doc Let, you will feel a quiet space, more peaceful. There are white sand stretching endlessly, high sand dunes…

Thứ Hai, 27 tháng 5, 2013

Some tips for hiking tours in Vietnam or everywhere on the world

Easy, convenient, anytime, anywhere and for everyone which is the advantage of trekking ( hiking ) tour. However, you need to understand the information fully before going. It will be very useful for your health. Now, Let’s Learn some hiking tips with Huong Viet Travel.

Vietnam, Sapa adventure trekking
Adventure trekking tours in Sapa, Vietnam

What should you prepare before going?

- Know your healthy. Get enough sleep, not fasted before the journey because you can be dizzy, fainting, weakness, and even death if walking on the rugged terrain.

- Bring detailed maps, read the document about where you go, and combines the modern handheld technology device.

Adventure on a hike to montana
Adventure hiking

- Choose boots cover the ankle, hard toe, deep grooves to grip better on the way and avoid slippery. Best, you should buy walking shoes and walk a few days before your trekking, hiking and walking adventure tours in Vietnam or everywhere.

- Wearing a backpack to keep your balance. Only bring necessary equipment, most compact.

Hiking adventure

- Preparing water, foods such as dried meat, sausage, chocolate bars, cheese, fruits ( apples, pears, peaches … )

- what do you need to bring? clock, compass, multi-function knife which you can pocket, flashlight, sunscreen, anti insect cream, sunglasses, handkerchief or tissue, cotton, antiseptic. Pedestrians watch birds (bird-watching) certainly can not forget to bring binoculars. As pedestrians at Nordic (nordic walking), you must buy a pair of dedicated sticks.

- If the weather can be rain, you need bring umbrella (though) or raincoat, plastic bag to wrap your backpack and wrap your shoes (if shoes are not waterproof), cover, tents, sleeping bags (for camping) …

Hiking adventure

- Go in groups without professional guide

- Follow the trails which were instructed. Not trying go to dangerous area, trying climbs up the craggy mountain with your climbing tours.

- Not picking flowers, breaking bough, teasing or killing animals in order to avoid danger yourself and protect the environment.

Hiking adventure

Thứ Tư, 22 tháng 5, 2013

Burma (Myanmar) – the Golden Land

Discover Burma, a traditional, deeply spiritual society only just opening to the outside world. You’ll visit cities, lakes, hill stations, rivers and temples, you’ll travel by long- tail teak boats, on its slow charming railways and even by horse and cart between thousand year-old pagodas scattered across the serene plains of Pagan. 

Burma is the preserve of the discerning visitor, so now is the time to visit, experiencing its true authenticity before it inevitably takes its place on the tourist map.

burma bagan trees

You can travel by internal flights, long-tail teak boats and on charmingly slow railways. You can even go by horse and cart between thousand year old pagodas scattered across Pagan’s serene plains. High in the eastern hill country is the vast Inle Lake, its mirror-like surface reflecting the surrounding verdant landscape and lakeside stilt villages full of fascinating little workshops and colourful markets. We are discovering quintessential rural Burma, where traditional dress is the norm and cars are a rarity. With over 130 ethnic groups, Burma’s people are incredibly diverse. You’ll see the Intha, the Shan and the intriguingly named Pa-O tribes.

Unique Leg rower at Inle Lake

However, one homogenous trait exists that will delight – complete genuine friendliness, engaging ever-smiling faces and delightful children who are ever-curious about their visitors. Burmese cuisine is unknown outside its borders – a fascinating fusion of Indian, Thai and Chinese influences, with plenty of noodle, rice-based dishes and curries, milder than Indian and extremely tasty. And for desert, try some fermented tea-leaves – an acquired taste!

hwedagon pagoda yangon burma

Rangoon (Yangon), Burma’s colonial capital with several Victorian buildings to see in between the busy traditional markets and fascinating street life. The highlight though is the astonishing Shwedagon pagoda, arguably Asia’s greatest Buddhist temple, rising like a vast gleaming golden finger puncturing the sky. Glowing beautifully in the sun it dominates the entire city.

DestinationImage Yangon_BaganTemple CreditiStock Arturbo

Mandalay, Burma’s second city, full of industrious workshops and tree-shaded monasteries it’s overlooked by Mandalay Hill, site of a fierce battle at the end of World War Two, but now better known as the gathering place for friendly orange-clad monks, always keen to welcome you and practice their English on their welcome visitors.

Maymyo. Founded by the British, cool and peaceful, with numerous halftimbered houses and bungalows which would not be out of place in rural Britain, it’s a glimpse into a lost colonial world.

the pagodas of bagan

Pagan, the country’s most classic sight – an enormous plain, staggeringly studded with over 3,000 ancient pagodas and stupas of all shapes and sizes. Bordered by the Irrawaddy River, this was Burma’s hugely wealthy, 13th century capital and these shrines are the only remains of a once enormous city. Dependant on the time of year, you’ll have the opportunity of an optional sunrise hot-air balloon flight over the temples, just as the mist and plumes of wood-smoke rise from the plain below – an unforgettably magical and unique experience. So come with us to discover an astonishing and timeless land striving to join the modern world but on its own terms; a land of huge variety in topography and culture; a land rich in fascinating history and steeped in two thousand years of Buddhist belief – Burma, the golden land.

Source: guardianholidayoffers.co.uk

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Thứ Ba, 21 tháng 5, 2013

Summer Holiday 2013: The ideal islands

Summer Holiday 2013, what will you do? Traveling? but you don’t know attractive and interesting places. Huong Viet will introduce to you the following well-known islands which is considered ideal address for traveling on summer 2013.

Langkawi Island, Malaysia
Langkawi Island - Malaysia

Langkawi, the beautiful island is in the north, bordering Malaysia and Thailand. Langkawi including 99 small islands. Due to the strict conservation, on island the forest remains pristine with countless species of rare animals.

Several years ago, the racing class resorts mushrooming. Langkawi has turned into the most attractive tourist destinations Malaysia. Coming to this island, you will enjoy the extensive service from the beach, on a boat trip to the spa, and shopping.

Paradise island Bali, Indonesia

Bali Island

With clear blue beaches, this island has always attracted tourists to visit, especially in summer. Coming to Bali, you can enjoy the cool air, fresh or experience extreme sports such as surfing, skydiving …

As well as Langkawi, the hotel and resort are everywhere in Bali. Depending on the demand that visitors can choose a suitable destination.

Con Dao, Island in Vietnam

Con Dao

Con Dao is selected as one of the most mysterious islands in the world, Con Dao in Vietnam is increasingly attracting a large number of tourists with an area of ​​52km2, including 16 large and small islands.

This place is famous with clear blue beaches. In particular, the marine life is abundant here with thousands of marine fishes and coral reefs which has many colors. Because of this characteristic, Con Dao become an ideal destination for tourists who love nature and water sports.

Cham Island, Viet Nam

Cu-lao-Cham

Cham Island is an island located in Tan Hiep commune, town of Hoi An, Quang Nam Province.
Cham island is wild and romance with gorgeous beaches, clear waters, white sand, waves. Here you can swim and enjoy fresh seafood, especially stone crab, you can also participate in service diving to see soft coral reefs, colorful fishes.

Phuket Island, Thailand

Phuket

Phuket is the biggest island in Thailand, located on the Indian Ocean coast and more than 800km from the capital Bangkok. Phuket attracts international tourists with the beautiful beaches and interesting recreational activities.

 Koh Tao Island, Thailand
 
koh-tao

Koh Tao island is located in the Gulf of Thailand. It is considered as the paradise of whom love scuba diving.

Nosy Be Island, Madagascar

Nosy Be Island
 
This is an exciting tourist destination and most pristine in the world. Nosy Be is an island located off the northwest coast of Madagascar. Nosy Be island has beauty of the sea, islands, fresh air and flora…
 
The island has appeared in the popular animated film Madagascar
 

Thứ Sáu, 17 tháng 5, 2013

Why Do You Want to Go to Myanmar?


IT’S rare that a country bursts onto the tourism scene with quite as much vigor as Myanmar. After decades of isolation, it is Asia’s newest hot spot, offering richly layered history, spectacular natural beauty and the edginess that comes with a country still in transition.
 
Myanmar

Since the ruling military junta began to loosen its grip on the government in November 2010, signs of progress — like the release of some political prisoners earlier this year and elections scheduled for April 1, with the opposition leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi running for a seat in Parliament — have led Western nations, including the United States, to consider dropping long-held economic sanctions.

But a visit to the country, also known as Burma, can be a bit tricky. Here, then, is a cheat sheet for a visit.

BEFORE YOU GO
Although it is now possible to get a visa on arrival, travel agents recommend having one in hand before your trip begins. Arrangements take up to three weeks and can be made via travel agents or directly through the Myanmar Embassy in Washington.

Most tourists visit during the dry season, from November to February. Vaccinations are not required, but Myanmar travel experts like Eric Kareus, the Asia destination manager at Asia Transpacific Journeys, recommend making sure your tetanus, typhoid and polio shots are up-to-date, and getting a hepatitis A vaccination. He added that travelers to remote areas, especially during the summer monsoon season, should consider prophylactic malarial medication.

Since Myanmar’s economy is still cash based, plan to pack enough crisp, new dollars (accepted almost everywhere) for expenses, or settle lodging and flights in advance through a travel agent.

GETTING THERE
Although Myanmar’s biggest city, Yangon, is served from most major Asian hubs (there are no direct flights from the United States), the shortest and most convenient connections are from Bangkok. Depending on the season, up to eight flights a day — including service by AirAsia, a regional low-cost carrier — make the 90-minute trip. Well-maintained regional jets link major cities within the country.

seven monks log yangon myanmar-burma

LODGING
Accommodations generally provide excellent value (especially compared with neighboring Thailand) and range from smallish luxury properties in Yangon to friendly family-run hotels and tropical boutique resorts in other key areas. Thanks to the British colonial legacy, English is widely spoken in the major tourist areas.

SAFETY
Karen MacRae, a senior destination expert at Kensington Tours, said Myanmar is safe for families and described it as “a whole country full of gentle people.” However, rebel groups in northern regions of the country, so tourists should stick to the south and central areas. But crime statistics are low specifically mentions that “violent crime against foreigners is rare” — and the Burmese generally welcome visitors.
As in many developing countries, travelers should drink bottled water only and avoid raw food except at tourist-friendly restaurants.

WHAT TO EAT
Burmese Street Food Display

Which isn’t to say that adventurous eating shouldn’t be high on your agenda. Burmese cuisine is heavily influenced by its neighbors: India, China, Thailand. Ms. MacRae, who lived in Myanmar for two years, recommended lighter dishes like laphet, a pickled tea-leaf salad, and mohinga, a fish broth-based noodle soup “akin to Vietnamese pho” and best eaten, she said, at a Yangon street stall.

WHERE TO GO
The classic Myanmar itinerary begins in Yangon, where visitors will want to spend at least a day visiting the Shwedagon Pagoda — a towering stupa covered in pure gold — wandering among the colonial-era buildings downtown and bargaining for local crafts at the covered Scott Market.

Myanmar

Bagan, a dusty region 300 miles north of Yangon along the Irrawaddy River, is studded with thousands of bell-shaped stupas, brick temples and castlelike structures that date from the 11th to 13th centuries. Bagan can be reached from Yangon by air or via comfortable cruise boats that ply the Irrawaddy to and from Mandalay, in the central area of the country.

Inle Lake

Both Lake Inle, in ethnically diverse Shan State, and Ngapali Beach, along the country’s western Bay of Bengal shoreline, are good places for low-key R & R, with new resorts opening regularly. Emerging destinations include the pristine Mergui Archipelago in the southeast, great for snorkeling, and Mrauk-U, a 15th-century royal capital in the southwestern state of Rakhine.

Source: nytimes.com

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Thứ Năm, 16 tháng 5, 2013

Mui Ne, One of the most beautiful beaches in Vietnam


Mui Ne, a tourist destination with wide white sand dunes and vast towering coconut trees bending around the coast. What could be more interesting? Let’s discover Mui Ne with Huong Viet Travel !

Vietnam - Mui Ne

Located 22km from Phan Thiet City on the east, Mui Ne (Binh Thuan) is one of the most beautiful beaches in South East Asia with blue sea and sandy hills. It also has a lot of luxury resorts.

With sunny weather, sand dunes will be the first destination of the day when you arrive in Mui Ne. The time is the most suitable from 7 – 8 am when the temperature is 25 – 27 degrees C. At this time, the dunes isn’t hot so you can walk comfortably by barefoot on the beautiful sand Mui Ne. You can also rent a Zip car to going around sand dunes

Mui Ne

The vast white sand dunes in Mui Ne where is a famous scenic, have become icons and beautiful images which represent areas of Binh Thuan. Under sunshine and cool breeze as honey bring salty taste of the sea, white sand dunes. Mui Ne is really pristine and charming.

Mui Ne isn’t only famous with white sand dunes, Mui Ne also impress visitors by lush coconut groves which we can see along the coast. The tall coconut body, beautiful coast create a romantic scene for Mui Ne. You can sit under the green coconut and enjoy refreshing sea breezes

Mui Ne - Phan Thiet

Especially, if you love sea sports such as windsurfing, rowing or parasailing Mui Ne, the resort is ideal address for you. Currently, there is no direct flight to Mui Ne, so you can fly to the city. Ho Chi Minh City or Cam Ranh, then go here by car.

Anantara Mui Ne Resort

Resort - Mui Ne - Vietnam

Kitesurfing

At the end of March – early April when weather is warmer. It will be the ideal opportunity for you to travel to Mui Ne and enjoy the beautiful scenery here

Thứ Ba, 14 tháng 5, 2013

What should you known when walking in Vietnam?

You are the tourists? So before you travel anywhere in the world, you will have to learn about it eg location, people, weather, food … In this article, Huong Viet will bring you to visit Vietnam with experience when you’re walking in Vietnam.

Hano Street

Walking on the sidewalk

Walking in Hanoi shop

There are a lot of streets in Vietnam. But the sidewalk is very different compared with other countries around the world. Here, you can see the restaurants, water bars, sidewalk shops, vehicles. Etc. Especially one of things you need to pay attention to, such as utility tables, chairs, trees and sidewalk restaurants, etc. Some places you have to go down the roadway because sidewalk is full. More, at night, some places, you may step on animal dung. Although it is not a big problem, but it really make you uncomfortable and lose confidence during you are walking

Careful with your items
When walking on the street, you should not bring many things, especially value items because it can be taken away by thieves. If you take them that you should keep them carefully and don’t go out too late, don’t go into where not many people at night or especially in the crowds

Hanoi Street

Beware of cheating
If someone talks to you and invites you follow him, her or them when you walk on streets. You should be careful with the invitation, you may be cheated and lost your money in a injustice way. So, if you do not understand what they, he or she say(s), it is best to refuse their, his or her offer skillfully.

Crossing the road
Crossing the street in Vietn

In Vietnam, the traffic is problems that you need to pay attention. It is especially crowded rush hour. So for safety, when you want to go through the best way that you should find an intersection with traffic lights and lanes for pedestrians.

However, you have to pay attention because there are number of places consciousness in traffic of Vietnamese people is poor, they can still run red lights. If you cross where no traffic lights, you slowly cross and watch carefully

If you have been traveling in Vietnam , please share with Huong Viet Travel. How do you feel about this problem?

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Thứ Bảy, 11 tháng 5, 2013

Visiting Inle Lake, Burma – How ?

In Myanmar/Burma’s Shan State, Inle Lake is an iconic destination – and for good reason. Despite hosting large numbers of tourists, the lake’s rural charms remain authentic and alluring.
 
Intha fisherman row flat-ended canoes with one leg while using both hands to fish, floating gardens burst with tomatoes, beans and other produce and oxcarts packed with the day’s harvest create the only traffic jam you will find. Wooden homes perch above the water on rickety stilts in villages that sustain generations-old cottage industries.

Spend a few days here to appreciate the area’s appeal. Here are the best ways to experience it.

inle lake
Traditional bamboo fisherman, Inle Lake, Myanmar

Boat trip

On the bridge in Nyuang Shwe, Inle Lake’s main tourist town, touts constantly beleaguer tourists with the phrase ‘Hello, boat trip?’ At some point, you should take them up on it. A day trip on the lake costs around 15,000 to 18,000 kyat (about US$17 to $20), which you can divide between the number of other participants: the long, narrow boats fit five or six tourists, who sit in wooden chairs.

You can tailor your day (we said ‘no thanks’ to viewing the Karen long-neck women and the touristy floating market), and the rate is slightly negotiable. Hiring a private guide and boat for the day will increase the cost but you will be able to decide when and where you want to travel, and be able to skip some of the more tourist-crowded locations.

Most boat tours include time on the lake to observe and photograph the Inle fishermen (most beautiful at dawn), as well as a visit to the rotating five-day market. There will be several stops at villages with cottage industries, including lotus silk weaving, silver smiths, cheroot-making and boat-building.

Many trips start at dawn, when mist covers the lake and it is at its most photogenic. Sunset trips are also popular, though note it can get chilly on the water. Most boats provide blankets but you will want a jacket and hat.

Cycling

After you have taken in Inle’s inner delights, explore the perimeter on bicycle. Many sights are clustered around the lake’s borders, including hot springs and more cottage industries.

Begin in Nyuang Shwe, where a six-gear bike will cost you 1500 kyat for 24 hours. Peddle west along an unpaved, bumpy road through farmland. Take a left at the T-junction and head south, following the mountains. After about five miles you will reach hot springs, where the water is piped into a series of swimming pools. A soak costs adults 7000 kyat for gender-mixed pools and 3000 for the sex-segregated ones.

Continue pedalling south until you reach Kaung Daing, an Intha village producing Shan state’s famous tofu. Made with split yellow lentil flour, Shan tofu is made by boiling water and the flour, stirring vigorously and then pouring into a mould to set. Thin tofu wafers are set out to dry, and you can enjoy a tofu thoke (tofu salad) for a few hundred kyat.

After lunch, grab one of the many touts you have no doubt passed, and hire a boat to ferry you and your bike across the lake. A boat costs 6000 kyat and will deposit you on the east side of the water, where you can continue cycling north through sugar cane plantations and small villages.

As you near the north side of the lake you will see Red Mountain Winery (www.redmountain-estate.com) to the east; head up the hill for a magnificent view of Inle and the vineyards as well as a tasting of the local wine. The winery is free to visit and a tasting will set you back a mere few thousand kyat. Red Mountain’s pinot noir and sauvignon blanc are its favoured varietals.

Continue around the north side of the lake, perhaps with a slight wine buzz, and cruise into Nyuang Shwe before sunset as the roads are not lit.

inle lake

Beyond Inle Lake

Consider taking a day or two to travel beyond Inle’s most easily accessible sights. Taunggyi, the administrative capital of Shan State, is a busy town with a vibrant market. Be sure to eat at the recently-opened Taung Chune Food Centre (find them on Facebook here), which showcases regional food such as Inle mohinga (a local version of the country’s favourite noodle soup) and a homemade banana vinegar (whet your appetite with our food guide to Myanmar).

Inthein, west of the lake, is a popular start or stop point for treks from Kalaw, and you can take a lovely ride through a jungled canal to reach it.

Kalaw, a former hill station that bills itself as ‘Pine City’, is a lovely place to wander and a very popular spot for those taking three-day treks to Inle. There are some beautiful gardens, pine-forested hills, and a large selection of Nepali food (thanks to the labourers who came to build the railroad during British rule).

Thứ Tư, 8 tháng 5, 2013

Traveling to Hanoi – Vietnam, tips for you

Are you wishing to travel in Hanoi, Vietnam? adventure tour? sightseeing tour? but you does not have much information about there. Now, Huong Viet Travel will help you traveling easier and more convenient with some tips.

Cuisine in Hanoi, Vietnam
Hanoi has rich food traditions and many of Vietnam’s most famous dishes
Perhaps most widely known is Pho, a simple rice noodle soup often eaten as a breakfast dish in the home or at streetside cafes, but also served in restaurants as a meal.

Pho Hanoi

Tourists often find to enjoy Cha Ca La Vong. Previously, Cha Ca La Vong is made of Lang fish, but recently, Cha Ca is mainly made of qua fish because Lang fish is now very expensive and rare, in addition, meat of Qua fish is stronger taste than Lang fish.

Cha ca La Vong

Cha ca La Vong is eaten with noodles and herbs: scallions, onions, dill, basil, roasted peanuts and shrimp sauce or fish sauce. You should eat when this dish is still hot, you will feel sweetness of fish, enjoy fragrant of cha Ca and spices.

Ho Tay shrimp cake

Besides, you should once taste Thanh Tri rolls, “Thang” rice noodle soup or Ho Tay shrimp cake, nuggets of Vong village,etc.
Here are some culinary address for your reference
  • Pho Ly Quoc Su (move to 33 Nha Chung)
  • Bat Dan Pho 49 Bat Đan
  • Chicken Pho Phu Doan
  • Thin Pho Lo Đuc
  • Cha ca 14 pho Cha Ca – Tel: 8 253 929
  • Cha ca 107 Nguyen Truong To – Tel: 8 239 875
Shopping , price
If you’re particularly enthusiastic about quality textiles, clothes and handicrafts, shopping in Hanoi ( Vietnam ) will not disappoint.

The city also has a good range of day and night markets, both indoors and outdoors and you’ll find that night markets are more of a social than shopping occasion but that doesn’t preclude finding bargains at night.

A few locations to shop for you as: Hang Bac street, Hang Dau street, Hang Gai street, Intimex Supermarket, Little Hanoi, Trang Tien street, The Gourmand Shop …

Price in Hanoi is equivalent to Ho Chi Minh City, sometimes lower.
About hotel in Hanoi. Best luxury hotel in Hanoi is about 200 $ / night until the lowest price is $ 15 / night.

shopping in Hanoi

Budget Accommodation has cheaper price, about 4- 6 USD/ night. To find a budget hotel, you should come to the old town area. For room in the high season, such as Christmas, New Year, Lunar New Year, you should book in advance of 2-3 months. If you book a room at these time, the price can be pushed up.
You should book a room at the big hotels and book via Vietnam travel agency, the price will be much cheaper when you book directly at the hotel.
Other note when you travel to Hanoi, Vietnam:
  • If you have a Hanoi packages tour in the summer, you should use lightweight clothing, absorb sweat because the weather is very hot during that time and you should bring a jacket, cool outfit in the winter because the temperature can be below 10 degrees.
  • When you visit Ho Chi Minh mausoleum or temples, pagodas, you should wear discreet, do not wear short skirts, short pants
  • you should bring a map when you visit the old town of Hanoi (it’s really interesting for shopping and sighseeing in Hanoi, Vietnam) because it is quite small and quirky
  • If you are a tourist , you should not go out after 12 o’clock midnight beacuse people of Hanoi usually are not go out and go to bed, so the streets of Hanoi is often deserted and security can not be guaranteed.
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Thứ Hai, 6 tháng 5, 2013

Why was Hoi An a center of international trade on the commercial East-West ?

Traveling to Hoi An - The city has 9 wards, 3 villages in the mainland, 1 village in island. Mainly, residents of three villages in the mainland are farming and fishing, some village has craft such as: woodworking, making pottery, making brassware,etc.

"Tan Hiep village" is in island, it has the natural area of about 15 square kilometers, including seven islands, the terrain on the island is mostly mountainous and Cu Lao Cham island is the biggest where has Salanganes'Nest specialty. Hoi An has also 7 kilometers of beach, Cua Dai beach is one of clean beaches of Hoi An in particular and Viet Nam in general. 
 
Hoi An
 
From the 16th to 19th centuries, Hoi An was a center of international trade on the commercial East-West, it was the most prosperous of Dang Trong land - VietNam during the reign of the Nguyen lords. It was famous for merchant ships from Japan, China, Portugal, Spain, Dutch,etc came here to exchange and trade goods.

In the history of formation and development, Hoi An was known under many different names and the most common are: Faifo, Haisfo, Hoai Street, Ketchem, Cotam. The archaeological sites and artifacts, architectural remains have proved Hoi An is a convergence, the crossroads of many cultures: Cham, Vietnamese, Chinese, Japanese,etc which is most influenced the culture of Vietnam and China.
 
Hoai River Hoian
 
Old town reflected into the Hoai River
 
So far, Hoi An old town has preserved almost intact relics of ancient architecture consists of several buildings, assembly halls, temples, shrines, wells, bridges, church groups, ports, markets. .. and narrow streets run horizontal and vertical form-style squares of the chessboard. Landscape of Hoi An's streets are an ancient moss color as a vivid picture. The existence of a metropolis such as Hoi An is the only case in Vietnam and also rare in the world. This is seen as a living museum of architecture and urban lifestyle.
 
Chua cau - Hoi an
 
Chua cau (Bridge Pagoda) is one of the characteristic monuments in Hoi An.
 
A tailor shop is in an old house
 
A tailor shop is in an old house
 
In addition to the cultural values through diverse architecture, Hoi An also keep an intangible cultural background which is quite bulky. Daily life of the inhabitants of the customs, religious activities, folk art, cultural festivals are being preserved and promoted along with the romantic landscape, the traditional villages, specialty dishes,etc making Hoi An increasingly becoming an attractive destination of visitors from everywhere
 
Famous silk
Famous silk
of Hoi An
 
Brilliant shimmering lanterns
 
Brilliant shimmering lanterns
 
Cao lau - Hoi An
 
Unforgettable "Cao lau" dishes 
 
Everywhere in Hoi An, you will also encounter friendly eyes, the smile of the people as the host welcomes guests. They welcome visitors, invited guests to buy souvenir items very polite and courteous. Absolutely not unsettled, begging or clinging to tourists.
Sitting on right outside in the midday, you will witness the daily life of people here: fruit vendors, boys and girls are cycling after school hours or workers are cleaning up the town. You will feel life is simple and peaceful in Hoi An
 
 
 Hoi An Cycling
Cycling tourists around the old town, Hoi An - Vietnam
 
According to statistics, up to now, Hoi An has 1360 relics and scenic spots. Particularly, the relics are classified into 11 categories, including: 1,068 ancient houses, 19 pagodas, 43 temples of gods, 23 communal houses, 38 church groups, 5 assembly halls, 11 old wells, one bridge, 44 ancient tombs. In the old urban area has 1100 monuments.
 
If you are wondering about a place where you are intend to travel in VietNam, Hoi An is a good choice.

Source: aroundvn.com
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