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Traveling experience in Vietnam: Hanoi vs Ho Chi Minh City

When I think back to my holiday in Vietnam, I remember a land full of contrasts. Hanoi has a lot of different characteristics such as busy bustling specialized streets which sell single items or services, a peaceful Hoan Kiem Lake with its temples, pretty sesame trees, impressive ceramic road and historic French colonial buildings…

Hanoi in peaceful beauty in the afternoon.

Hanoi in peaceful beauty in the afternoon.

Hanoi people get up before dawn. The streets get noisy from 6am with motorbike engine and honks, public announcements and music from district’s speakers in the morning. From late afternoon until 11pm at night, the area around St Joseph’s Cathedral was crowded with young people, all sitting in the local cafes on pavements, drinking lemon ice tea, cracking sun-flower seeds and socialising with friends.

Saigon at night

Saigon at night

After spending 2 days in Hanoi, I flew to Ho Chi Minh City, a much more energetic city than Hanoi. It has a youthful spirit and a vibrant nightlife. The streets are wider and there are a larger number of tall office buildings than in Hanoi. In the cities, an image printed on picture-postcard of Vietnam, for example an old woman in a conical hat carrying fruits and local snacks on their shoulder, can be occasionally caught in daily life. However, that image will most likely be lost in a sea of motorbikes and cars. Traffic in both cities is chaotic and terrifying. Each motorbike carries not only people but also goods and poultry. On the day time, riders look like road warriors with helmets and scarves cover most of their face to keep out the hash sunlight. Every time crossing the road, I felt like committing suicide. Motorbikes and cars keep coming from every direction that it is impossible to see a clear straight path across the road. No one stops for pedestrians; they just go around you so our Eviva Tour guide gave me a “valuable” advice to survive: step slowly into the stream of the traffic, and don’t stop or make any sudden movements. If you are lucky you won’t be honked too much. It was a magic for me that I could escape from that chaos unscathed.

By Jeannie Averill Clement

Source: http://blog.evivatour.com/traveling-experience-in-vietnam-hanoi-vs-ho-chi-minh-city/

Everything about Phu Quoc’s specialities

We did have a memorable honey moon to Phu Quoc in 1 week. We were impressed by the sun, wind, sea and white sandy beaches; especially the specialties here: rambutan, fish sauce, pepper and sea food.

When we travel along the path across the island in June, we saw a rambutan garden with ripe fruit, ready to be harvested. The owners invited us to try the sweet rambutans they had just picked. We could also select the best fruit to buy and bring home. Rambutans bought directly from the farmers like this had excellent value. The garden itself also made a great opportunity to take photos.

Phu Quoc rambutan garden

We had chance to visit pepper gardens, situated near Ghenh Dau. The roads to the South of the island pass through pristine forests,. We were introduced that Phu Quoc pepper was plump, more fragrant and hotter than pepper grown in other regions, especially the red pepper. The local people sort it into three categories: red, white and black. And if we were lucky, we might get opportunity to see the white carpets of coffee flowers. Luckily, we did it! Although there were not many coffee plants as in the Highlands we had visited, their flowers attracted numerous bees, enhancing the picturesque beauty of Phu Quoc.

Photo by: NhomMua

Photo by: NhomMua

During our trip, we did not forget to visit the outstanding Nha Thung fish sauce factory. The fish sauce here is not only well-known in Vietnam but also all over the world. The fish sauce is contained in big wooden buckets which is made of ven ven trees.

Nha Thung fish sauce factory

On our last night on the island, we camped on the beach. We fried some fresh squid and sipped glasses of myrtle wine. Under the starry sky, it was so lovely to listen to the hypnotic sound of the waves and wind in the trees. Thanks to Eviva Tour Vietnam made it so special for us. With their recommendations, the useful information provided made this trip to Phu Quoc truly left its mark on us.

By Lydia Johanna Kunad

Source: http://blog.evivatour.com/everything-about-phu-quocs-specialities/

Trip to Southern Vietnam

Well, I have just finished my trip to the South of Vietnam. In Saigon, I did not find many places to see apart from the War Museum. Therefore, as my friend recommendation, I hopped on a couple of organized tours via EVIVA Tour Viet Nam, one to Cu Chi tunnel – Tay Ninh temple for 1 day and another to the Mekong Delta for 3 days.

Cu Chi Tunnels-1

In the first tour, I found out Cao Dai was a very strange religion which had millions of followers in the South. It was a combination of Buddhism, Taoism and Confucianism and they had a Pope. It was so strange that they also revered Victor Hugo in the temple. The Cu Chi tunnel was a network of tunnels that made me impressed by the intelligence and brave of Vietnamese in the War.

Cao Dai Great Temple

The tour to Mekong Delta gave me an interesting insight to the way people live on the rivers of the area. I was fascinated by the image of boundless water in this Western site. There were interlacing canals and unwinding rivers lushly forested by green melaleuca trees, reeds or mangroves. I had a wonderful trip to Dong Thap Muoi with a barefoot trip on the meandering concrete road of over 1m through exuberant melaleuca forest or muddy roads covered in piled leaves.

Mekong Delta River, Can Tho

Machine canoe was offered to carry me to marshes of pink lotus at their peak. Putting the water, the canoe approached shrubs of lotus and water lily leaves, seed cups, stems, pinky lotus petals or mildly violet water lily blooms. A trip of 2 – 3 hours on the boat was undoubted short of my effusive expectations to discover every single corner of the marsh.

On reaching the Phoenix Island, My Tho, I could see a factory of Ben Tre coconut candies. Woman of adept skills gracefully performed the cutting and packaging of candies into labeled nylon packs. Such candies added with a wide array of flavors of milk, durian or taro. In the residence of the Coconut Cult founder, I had chances to somehow imagine the former splendor of the landscape through nine dragon-coiled pillars to represent the Mekong River…

I cannot forget the feeling of sitting on a boat to travel under the green foliages; I even seemed able to pleasantly touch waving plants on the banks. Now I’m excited to explore the North of Viet Nam.

By Isabelle from United Kingdom

How to buy train tickets to discover Vietnam?

Travelling by train might be the best way to get around Vietnam; and of course, the number of foreigners using this type of transport is increasing. Therefore, in this post, I will share some main ways to buy train tickets in Vietnam.

OK-How to buy train tickets to discover Vietnam

Book train tickets from the high reputation Vietnamese travel agency: Since you cannot book online from Vietnamese Railways’ website, asking a travel agency for help is a wise decision. They can offer you this service with the competitive price and exact details of date, train and class. Some people did not agree this way because of their nervousness about the mark-up fee. It is the reason why I stressed that you should choose the high-reputation travel agency to avoid this trouble. In the past, Eviva Tour was the travel company which offered me this service and I found their service was perfect and the mark-up fee was accepted.

Buy tickets at the train station: There is no difficulty if you want to buy train tickets right at the station; however, you should avoid the peak holiday times to avoid queuing up too long. You should buy tickets at least two day ahead. Aslo at ticket booth, it is better to pay in Vietnam dong if you do not want to wait long for exchanging currency or credit card’s transaction. If you are in Hanoi, you can go to Hanoi station located in Le Duan Street to buy train tickets. And in HCM city, Saigon Railway Station is located at 15 Ward, Binh Thanh District, Ho Chi Minh City. To find the ticket booth, you enter the main doors and turn left. There are several booths with queuing line. If you do not want to queue but take a seat, you can press button on the box at the entrance to get a numbered queuing ticket and wait until your turn.

With the above information, I really hope that you will face no trouble at all if you want to enjoy your trip by train.

Cu Lao Cham Island – The heaven in my eyes

Located 20km from Hoi An town and about 40km far from Da Nang City, Cu Lao Cham is a fascinating destination that I chosen to make the trip last week. I did not buy a tour of any travel agency but I organized the trip with support of my friends.

Cu Lao Cham Island

To reach the island, our group had to change through 3 routes during 2 hours: bus from Da Nang to Hoi An, taxi from Hoi An bus station to Cua Dai wharf and boat from the wharf to Hon Lao – one of 8 islets of Cu Lao Cham.

I was immediately impressive with beautiful scenery of Chong beach. Since I came in the weekdays, this place is so quiet and perfect for me to rest. I swam, enjoyed sunbathe in the morning and dived in the afternoon. The water is so clean that I could see fish swimming around me.

I did not see any plastic bags during my tour on this island. I asked a local and he said it is a campaign here to ask the locals and visitors not to use plastic bags here to keep environment clean. A 10 point is for the idea and followers.

I love this island also because of fresh sea food with specialists such as Rock crab, “Vú nàng” snail or Abalone. The friendly Cham people also make any visitor would love to be back here at least once. Finding a motorcycle on the roadside with the plugged key is normal story and no scare to be stolen.

I will list this place in my to-do-visit list every year and will return next year with my family in summer holidays.

Source: http://www.visitourvietnam.com/

Good change to promote Vietnam’s natural heritages

On 1 st July, 2014, the Vietnam Heritage magazine in cooperation with Cannon Vietnam launched the “Vietnam Heritage Photo Award 2014” contest.

After 2 successful contests held in 2012 and 2013, “Viet Nam Heritage Photo Awards 2014” contest is truly promising chance to draw much interest from public tourism opinion.

In series of the contest in 2012 and 2013, the contest in 2014 is designed to raise attention of foreigners who are planning their trip in Vietnam and then they will, of course, ask themselves that “wow, Vietnam has many must – go and do – not – miss places”. It might be said that all aspect of Vietnam’s beauty will be reflected fully. An Italian tourist – Mr David Lee shared his view on Twitter “I saw a picturesque photo of halong bay which was sent by my Vietnamese friend, he joined the Vietnam Heritage Photo Award 2012. After catching this photo, going halong bay is one of my big desires. And now it becomes true … it is so amazing. It is more beautiful than I expected”

In this year 2014, all natural beauty will be focused. If you are out –door photographers, you should focus much on nature (landscapes, marine resources, geography, wild animals, plants and the environment in general), tangible culture (architecture, sculpture, arts, traditional handicrafts and villages) and intangible culture (music, dance, festivals, folk games, religious and other customs).

Now let’s join this contest and widen Vietnam images to the world.
Source: http://www.visitourvietnam.com/

How to climb mountain safetly in Vietnam

To ensure a safe and successful trip before conquer the top, climbing lovers should consider the following points.

1. In Vietnam, the dry season from November to April of the year is an appropriate time for climbing. You have to carefully research the terrain to determine appropriate time to move in order to achieve the ultimate goal. Especially you should ask for help from those who have experience or from local people.

2. Personal item for trekking tour should be minimal but also enough. Pants, shirts, waterproof jackets, freeze proofand breathable clothes, lightweight shoes; knee, ankle, elbow protector floppy hats, lightweight raincoat. Other items depend on expected route: there are paths available or have to pave the way, there are people carrying your luggage and guide or not, the time of the trip. Knife and flashlight is also indispensable items.


3. Beside necessary food for the journey, the food must be capable of providing high energy (chocolate, snicker). Water is extremely important; you should have a water tank with a straw to be able to drink in the process of moving constantly. Properly drinking water helps you to save energy and offset the energy at the right time. Lemon juice mixed with glucose, a little salt is perfect for trekking journey.

4. With the hard route, be prepared for the trip by GPS; mark the road in case of getting lost. On the top of mountain, there is no cell phone signal; the use of walkie-talkie is also an advantage.

5. Organize small groups to go, suitable for difficult and dangerous route. Do not ever forget to put personal safety first, so not make risky decisions which can be dangerous to yourself and other members.

Source: http://www.visitourvietnam.com/guides/how-to-climb-mountain-safetly.html

Instructions to apply Vietnam visa in Australia
In the event that you are in Australia yet your nationality is not in Viet Nam visa absolution list, simply pick one of the two courses beneath to apply Vietnam visa in Australia.

1. Apply with Vietnam Embassies/Consulates

This is the customary and suggested approach to get Vietnam visa. It is material for all residents and for all outskirts in Viet Nam (air terminals, area or ocean).

– Procedure: Go to the Viet Nam Embassy or Consulate closest to your spot to apply the visa. You are obliged to leave your unique international ID and it takes around 4-5 working days for handling. You are encouraged to contact the Embassy/Consulate ahead of time for visa application prerequisites.

Vietnam Embassy in Australia
Add: 6 Timbarra Cresent, O'malley, ACT, Canberra 2606, Australia.
Tel: +61-2-62866059/62901556
Fax: +61-2-62864534
Email: vembassy@webone.com.au

Vietnam Consulate in Australia
Add: Suite 205, Level 2 Edgecliff Center, 203-233 New South Head Road, Edgecliff NSW 2027
Tel: +61-2-932 72 539/932 71 912
Fax: +61-2-932 81 653
Email: vnconsul@iinet.net.au; info@vnconsulate.org.au

2. Apply visa on entry with Vietnamvisaembassy.org

It would be ideal if you note that visa on landing is compelling for going via air and your citizenship is accessible in the nationality list on our site.

These days, Vietnam visa on entry is more favored for its comfort. You don't have to go far to the Embassy, don't have to send off your visa, do it all over online and spare your time (1-2 working days just).

– Procedure: Firstly, visit Vietnamvisaembassy.org, fill in the protected online application structure, make installment, and hold up for 2 working days (typical administration) or 1 working day (critical administration) to get your Visa Approval Letter through email. Print the letter out; bring it alongside your travel permit, 02 photographs and money (USD) as stamping expense to get Vietnam visa stamped on your international ID upon your landing in the Vietnam air termi

The most effective method to get visa for Vietnam in Thailand
In the event that you are Thailand's subject, you are permitted to visit Viet Nam inside 30 days without visa.
In the event that you are in Thailand however your nationality is not in Viet Nam visa absolution list, simply pick one of the two routes beneath to apply Vietnam visa from Thailand.

1. Apply visa on arrival with Vietnamvisaembassy.org
Please note that visa on arrival is effective for traveling by air and your citizenship is available in the nationality list on our website.
Nowadays, Vietnam visa on arrival is more preferred for its convenience. You do not need to go far to the Embassy, do not need to send off your passport, do it everywhere online and save your time (1-2 working days only).
– Procedure: Firstly, visit Vietnamvisaembassy.org, fill in the secure online application form, make payment, and wait for 2 working days (normal service) or 1 working day (urgent service) to get your Visa Approval Letter via email. Print the letter out; bring it along with your passport, 02 photos and cash (USD) as stamping fee to get Vietnam visa stamped on your passport upon your arrival at the Vietnam airport. For more information, please visit How visa works.

2. Apply with Vietnam Embassies/Consulates
This is the traditional and recommended way to get Vietnam visa. It is applicable for all citizens and for all borders in Viet Nam (airports, land or sea).
– Procedure: Go to the Viet Nam Embassy or Consulate nearest to your place to apply the visa. You are required to leave your original passport and it takes around 4-5 working days for processing. You are advised to contact the Embassy/Consulate in advance for visa application requirements.

Here is major information about Vietnam Embassy in Thailand:
Add: 83/1 Wireless Road, Lumpini, Pathumwan, Bangkok 10330
Tel: +66-2-515836/7/8; +66-2-2517202; +66-2-2513552
Fax: +66-2-2517203
Email: vnemb.th@mofa.gov.vn

Vietnam General Consulate in Thailand
Add: 65/6 Chatapadung Road, Muang Ditrict, Khon Kaen 40000
Tel: +66-43-242190/+66-43-336049
Fax: +66-43-241154
Email: konkaen.th@mofa.gov.vn

Vietnam in the most glorious season
Transversely over a critical piece of the world, harvest time is the most eminent time of the year. We have gotten each one shade and arrangement of the season in Vietnam, just to bestow here to you.

Ha Giang

In northern Ha Giang province, flowers are in full blossom in mid-October. If you enjoy the sight of flowers sweeping across mountainsides and a refreshing breath of cool air, Ha Giang is the ideal destination.

Ha Giang province

Ha Giang province

Motorbikes are the mode chosen by many tourists travelling from Hanoi to Ha Giang, just so they can take in the striking abstract designs of the terraced fields of Sung La Valley and Dong Van Stone Plateau.

Terraced fields

Terraced fields


Trains, cars or motorbikes will all get you from Hanoi to Sapa town. Plan on spending two to three days enjoying your holiday.

In Sapa, a must see are the Ham Rong, O Quy Ho Pass, Muong Hoa Valley and Sapa markets.

Sapa markets

Sapa market

Da Lat

Many tourists say flowers speak louder than words. Da Lat city speaks loudest in winter when flowers are deliciously fragrant and in full bloom.

Winter is commonly referred to as rainy season here. If you travel by motorbike, you will most certainly have chance to experience a cool and foggy morning in Da Lat city.

Valley of Love

Apart from famous tourist spots including Thung lung Tinh Yeu (Valley of Love), Dinh Bao Dai (Bao Dai King’s Palace) and Truc Lam Temple, tourists will not help missing the night market.

Phu Quoc

Phu Quoc tourism season transpires from late September to March when the island enters sunny season.

Phu Quoc-an ideal

Phu Quoc is loaded with hot spots slightly off the beaten path including Ham Ninh fishing village, Sao beach, Khem beach, Tranh River, Da Ban River, fish sauce factory and Phu Quoc prison.

The blue coral diving and night squid fishing add a spectacular flair to any holiday, creating many a fond memory for tourists.

October is the peak tourism season in Phu Quoc. Be sure to book a room in advance.

Source: http://www.visitourvietnam.com/blogs/vietnam-in-the-most-wonderful-season.html

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