VIETNAM TRAVEL NEWSLETTER 2013

Dear our valued partners,

With VIETNAM TRAVEL NEWSLETTER, EVIVA would like to bring you up-to-date information of new hotels, special products, special festivals, new policies for travelling, tips for tourists and the weather in Vietnam and Indochina. Any feedback or constructive ideas are welcomed for a better quality of information of our newsletter.

On behalf of EVIVA TOUR VIETNAM,

Duong Nguyen Thuy (Ms.) l Vice Director l EVIVA TOUR VIETNAM
a. 83A Tran QuocToan, HoanKiem, Ha Noi, Viet Nam
t. +84 4 3942 6585 , ext.201 | f. +84 4 3822 8008 | m. +84 9 1230 4000 l e.
sales@tourvietnam.vn l w. tourvietnam.vn

TTG 2013IN RMINI & WTM 2013 IN LONDON
EVIVA TOUR VIETNAM will take part in the following fairs:

• TTG Rimini, Italy, 17-19 October 2013, Booth C3:011
• WTM London, the UK, 4-7 November 2013, Booth AS470

For meetings, please confirm your appointment slot with our Vice Director, Ms. Nguyen Thuy Duong at sales@tourvietnam.vn or Skype: duongnguyenthuy1980 or via her mobile phone + 84 9 1230 4000.
 

HOT NEWS
Hue plans to launch Tourism Promotion month at Heritage Complex: DISCOUNT
Visitors both at home and abroad will have a chance to enjoy a special tourism promotion month at the complex of royal relics in Hue from 2nd to 30th September 2013. According to Director of the Hue Monuments Conservation Centre (HMCC), Phan Thanh Hai, the promotion month is organised to mark the 20th anniversary of recognition of the complex as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
During the month, the HMCC is offering a free presentation of the whole complex for groups of over 30 tourists. Visitors will also enjoy a 50% off on tickets for Nha Nhac (Royal Court music) performance as well as 10% off on other services at different sites in the complex. Exhibitions on official documents of the Nguyen dynasty, pottery collections and photographs on world heritage sites in Vietnam are also set to be held in addition to other cultural and sporting events at public sites in Hue City.

Tourist arrivals to Quang Ninh rise more than 10 percent
The number of tourists coming to Quang Ninh in the first eight months this year increased 12 percent year-on-year, including more than 1 million foreign tourist arrivals, according to the Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism. Total tourism revenue reached an estimated VND 3 billion, up 15 percent compared to the same period last year. The Quang Ninh People’s Committee has recently issued a decision on establishing a task-force specializing in overall planning to develop Quang Ninh tourism until 2020, with a vision to 2030. The task-force will responsible for coordinating with Boston Consultant Group, departments and branches of the province to set out the overall planning. In the first phase, the planning will focus on assessing

Hoi An hosts Cultural Exchange with Japan
The 11th Hoi An-Japan Cultural Festival kicked off in the ancient town of Hoi An in Quang Nam central province on August 23 with numerous cultural and sports activities. During the three-day event to celebrate the 40th anniversary of diplomatic ties between Vietnam and Japan, artists from the two countries will present a variety of handicraft products and perform folk music. Other highlights will include demonstrations of Origami – the Japanese art of paper folding - and activities related to Japanese cuisine and calligraphy. Street performance during the day and night are going to take place during the festival at the Japanese bridge and Nguyen Thi Minh Khai Street. Home to approximately 120,000 inhabitants, Hoi An has been recognised as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. It is known as an exceptionally well-preserved example of an old Southeast Asian trading port active in the golden time between the 15th and the 19th century.
 

SPECIAL TOURS – CHARMING VIETNAM
It is about more than 2 weeks to travel from the North to the South of Vietnam discovering and experiencing the beauty and charm of Vietnam– one of the most attractive destinations in the world. EVIVA TOUR VIETNAM would like to introduce a Charming Vietnam tour, which brings visitors through Hanoi, Ha Long, Ky Son, Hue, Da Nang, Hoi An, Mekong Delta, Ho Chi Minh City and Phu Quoc from US$1332.

In 18 days, travelers will have an opportunity of not only experiencing a real life and but also discovering the new things about cultures, lifestyle, food, etc. in these areas. Especially, you will have chance to travel to Ha Long Bay which is recognized as one in the top 5 tropical island paradises in Asia. For the more information about tour as well as price, please go to our website at: http://www.tourvietnam.vn/view_tour/Charming-Viet-Nam
 
DESTINATION
Son Doong Cave
Location: Phong Nha Ke Bang Nation Park, QuangBinh province
Dimension: 200 meters wide, 150 meters high, 9 kilometers long
Meaning: Mountain  River Cave




Son Doong cave(Vietnamese: Hang Son Doong) is world's largest cave, located in Son Trach, Bo Trach District, Quang Binh province, Vietnam. It is found by a local man named Ho Khanh in 1991 and was recently discovered in 2009 by British cavers, led by Howard Limbert. The name "Son Doong" cave means "mountain river cave", It was created 2-5 million years ago by river water eroding away the limestone underneath the mountain Where the limestone was weak, the ceiling collapsed creating huge skylights. Son Doong cave is more than 200 meters wide, 150 meters high, and approx 9 kilometers long, with caverns big enough to fit an entire city street inside them, twice as large as Deer Cave in Malaysia (currently considered the world's largest with 90 meters wide, 100 meters high and 2 kilometers long). Son Doong cave was classified as the largest cave in the world by BCRA (British Cave Research Association) and selected as one of the most beautiful in the globe by the BBC news.

Son Doong cave is hidden in rugged Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park in Quang Binh province near the border with Laos, the cave is part of a network of 150 or so caves, many still not surveyed, in the Annamite Mountains. It is very difficult to travers. During the first expedition, the team explored two and a half miles of Son Doong cave before a 200-foot wall of muddy calcite stopped them. They named it the Great Wall of Vietnam. Above it they could make out an open space and traces of light, but they had no idea what lay on the other side. A year later, they have returned—seven hard-core British cavers, a few scientists, and a crew of porters - to climb the wall, if they can, measure the passage, and push on, if possible, all the way to the end of the cave...
Click to view more cave exploring trips.
 
WEATHER
Vietnam climate is so diverse that there is almost no definition of an average temperature for the whole country as well as there are no absolute good or bad seasons to visit Vietnam. When one region is cold or steamy hot, there is always somewhere else that is hot or cool. Based on your plan and duration of staying in Vietnam, you can choose a place to travel.

With the aim of providing you with up-to-date Vietnam weather condition from September to December, the following information is given:

From September to December, the Northern Vietnam is in its beautiful autumn so the whole region is dry and cool with breeze. The temperature usually averages at 27°C (88.6 °F). The highland areas are significantly cooler than the lowland ones, and temperatures can get down to freezing in winter. The mountains to the north are also very wet with extensive trekking unadvisable throughout the month.

The centre of Vietnam has still remained hot and dry by this time. It’s sunshine and blue skies all the way for the centre of Vietnam with the beaches of Hoi An, Da Nang and Nha Trang at their best. Further Northern Hue is also is also enjoying good weather. To the west up in the Central Highlands and in Da Lat rainfall is still on the increase although travel is still possible.

The period between September to December is the rainy season in the Southern Vietnam. These months record the highest rainfall figures. There are heavy but short lived downpours to be expected in the afternoon. The showers will be slightly heavier than in previous months but it still expects plenty of dry and bright daylight hours.
Go to http://www.bbc.co.uk/weather/1581130 for more information about the 5 coming days’ weather.
 
VIETNAM FESTIVALS
Mid-Autumn Festival
Tet Trung Thu is formerly autumn festival, and then becomes tet trong trang (moon-watch festival) of children. The festival is held on the 15th day of the eighth month in the Chinese calendar, during a full moon, which is in September or early October in the Gregorian calendar, close to the autumnal equinox. On this day, the moon is the brightest and roundest in the year, cool weather. The festival involves the custom of trong trang which is the procession of lights (parading with lanterns shaped as moon and stars), lion dance and eating pasties and fruits.

Do Son Buffalo Fighting Festival
The Buffalo Fight in Do Son (Haiphong City) is officially held every year on the 9th day of the eighth month of the lunar calendar. There are, in fact, two rounds of elimination before the middle of the fifth month and 8th day of the sixth lunar month. The beginning of the worshipping ceremony lasts until lunch time. A typical procession begins with an octet and a big procession chair, carried by six strong young men. The six clean buffaloes that are part of the ceremony are covered with red cloths and bound with reddish bands on their horns. There are 24 young men who dance and wave flags as two teams of troops start fighting. After this event, a pair of buffaloes are led to opposite sides of the festival grounds and are made to stand near two flags called Ngu Phung. When the right signal is released, the two buffaloes are moved to within 20m of each other. At the next signal, the two leaders release the ropes that are attached to the noses of the buffaloes. The two buffaloes then rush into each other with well practiced movements. The spectators then shout and urge the fighting along. The Buffalo Fight in Do Son is a traditional festival that is attached to a Water God worshipping ceremony and the "Hien Sinh" custom. The most typical reason for the ceremony is to express the martial spirit of the local people in Do Son, Haiphong.

Hon Chen Temple Festival
The Hon Chen Temple Festival is organized twice every year in the 3rd and the 7th of lunar months, is very popular among the localities and also welcomes tourists from all over, to take part in the merry making. The festival is held at the Hon Chen temple, 10 km west of Hue. The merriment starts with a parade referred to as the “God Welcoming ceremony”, said to bring all the worshipped Gods from the village temples and shrines to gather under one roof in the communal house where various rituals are performed, including the procession in honor of Saint Mother Thien Y A Na. The procession takes place at night on the Perfume River, which is decorated with vivid shining light. The procession involves a long line of boats bound together into bigger rafts on which the parade taken place. The Hon Chen Temple Festival comprises a performance filled with imperial characters. Actors dressed in clothes with splendid turbans and tunics look like princes and princesses of the Nguyen dynasty. These shows take place in the natural settings of mountains, hills, and rivers. This Antique Museum of Nature shows flags, fans, hammocks, umbrellas, weapons, and offerings.
 
WEDDING IN STYLEE
Are you looking for a professional wedding & event planner for one of the most unforgettable memories in your life? Just come with us to see how wonderful your wedding will be.

Wedinsyle has just been recognized as certified wedding specialist by Wedding Beautiful Worldwide. In this occasion, we are offering a special promotion, free ring pillow for 25 first couples of the year of Dragon when booking any services from us. First-come, first-served http://wedinstyle.net/giveaway/
 
NEW HOTELS IN HANOI

http://www.hoteldelopera.com/about-us/
An operatic highlight in ancient Hanoi, Hotel de l’Opera Hanoi which rests just a step away from Hanoi’s beautiful Opera House distils the best of Hanoi – colonial accents in the architecture and theatrical interior design of jewel tone accents and classic opera motifs juxtaposed with contemporary spaces for dining and entertaining.

CALIDAS LANDMARK 72 – 5* (opened on 25th November 2012)
http://www.calidas.vn/en/
Calidas Serviced Residence, located at Keangnam Landmark 72 owned by Keangnam Enterprise, the only and new skyscraper in Vietnam, you can see the whole cityview.

VILLA DU LAC DALAT – 5* (opened on 1st February 2013)
http://www.booking.com/hotel/vn/villa-du-lac-da-lat
Villa Du Lac Da Lat is a country-style property with cosy guest rooms offering free Wi-Fi, daily flowers and fruit. The hotel is just 2 minutes of walk to Than Tho Lake.

FAMIANA RESORT & SPA – 4* (openedon 20th December 2012)
http://www.famiana-resort.com/
Situated on the PhuQuoc picturesque central coast, Famiana Resort & Spa has sweeping views of the gulf of Thailand with private golden sandy beach.

EDEN SAIGON HOTEL – 4* (opened on 1st June 2013))
https://www.edensaigonhotel.com/en.html
As a 4-star standard hotel, EDEN SAIGON is located right in the center of business, shopping, commercial and entertainment of Ho Chi Minh City.
 
TRAVEL POLICIESS
Entry Requirements
Visa entry requirements in Vietnam are not as strict as ones in other countries. However, there are the following things that you need to know before you enter Vienam:
Mandatory Requirements (in case you get your visa in advance from the embassy)
• Passport should be valid 6 months beyond intended stay
• Vietnam visa is required
Mandatory Requirements (in case you apply for a visa on arrival online)
• Applicants must enter Vietnam by air to Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City or Da Nang.
• Passport must valid at least 1 month from the date of exit.
• Two passport photos size 4 x 6 cm (see photo specifications).
In most case, it is not necessary for you to show the following things:
• Proof of Return
• Vaccination Certificate
• HIV Examination Certificate

Visa Procedure: http://www.tourvietnam.vn/vietnam_visas
To apply for a visa, the requirements are as follows:
1. Application form (which can vary from one Vietnamese embassies or consulate abroad to another). There are two categories: for foreigners and for Vietnamese overseas;
2. Two or three photos (4cmx6cm or 3cmx4cm);
3. Original passport (validity of at least 6 months);
4. Visa fee (in a range of US$50 - 85 if applied directly to Embassy or US$25-45 if your visa has been pre-approved. This fee depends on embassy and type of visa).

You should send your application and photos to a Vietnamese Embassy or Consulate abroad, which is most convenient to you. The visa application form may vary from embassy to embassy, so you need to take the form from the embassy where you will get the visa. Submit this form filled with your original passport, 2 or 3 photo, visa fee. If you apply directly to the embassy, your information will then be sent to Hanoi for approval, so it takes about 4 to 10 days (depending on the country you apply in).

Vietnamese overseas are required to provide more information:
1. Year and reason for leaving Vietnam
2. Mode of leaving Vietnam
3. Full names and addresses of relations in Vietnam
 
GENERAL TIPS FOR TRAVELLING IN VIETNAM
Packing in rainy season
Vietnam has quite a lot of rainfall so that occasional shower can be expected all year long. In the same place, Vietnam’s temperature is around 30 degrees Celsius and in between tropical rain showers, the sun can get pretty bright.
Hence, here's a selection of seasonal items that we would like to recommend adding to your own packing list in rainy season:
• Personal clothing items, toiletries
• First–aid kit and medicines
• A light rain coat or an umbrella
• Sunhat and sunglasses
• Sunscreen
• Light weight clothing for summer months (Please note that most Vietnamese still dress modestly and out of respect for culture, so you should dress conservatively with no sleeveless/ halter neck tops, shorts other than for the beach, should not reach below the knee).
• Appropriate shoes for trekking, cycling or walking in the caves
• Sleeping sheet for train travel (can also be bought in Vietnam)
• Ear plugs and sleep mask (for train journeys)
• Charger for your mobile phone, camera and any other electrical devices
• Universal plug adaptor
• Insect repellant, especially for summer months and for the travelers who is going to visit rural areas
• Torch
• Plastic garbage bags
• Water bottle: In case you have not adapted with the drinks in Vietnam so fast, especially when you bring your children with you. We suggest you bring some homemade bottles of water for the several day consumption
• Helmet (for cycling trips only)
• Address and telephone number list on a sheet
• Visa/ passport/ international travel document
• Print out the confirmation letter and itinerary you have and bring one copy with you

Vietnam Mobile Phone
In Vietnam, among the GSM (Global System for Mobilephone) telecoms are VINAPHONE, MOBIFONE, SFONE and Viettel. Your mobile phone could be used in Vietnam with roaming service. These suppliers also offer VINAPHONE and MOBIPHONE Pre-Paid Card services. The best way for you to use a mobile phone in the country is to buy a pre-paid SIM card with local number for your mobile phone because it’s more convenient to receive any calls such as from relatives and sometime cheaper than using hotels’ service. In addition, you can also rent a mobile phone at your hotel or at a Mobile Phone Service Center in the street.

Currency Exchange
The dong is Vietnam’s currency which is dominated in 1,000, 2,000, 5,000, 10,000, 20,000, 50,000, 100,000, 200,000, and 500,000 dong notes. Coins have not widely been accepted due to their inconvenience. US dollars are accepted and can be exchanged at leading banks in Vietnam such as Citibank, HSBC, ANZ, Vietcombank, etc. or some hotels and jewelry shops but the exchange rate is not so favorable on the street.
Travelers' cheques are accepted in banks, money changers and some hotels although most travelers now use debit cards because of the increased number of ATMs. It is best to take US Dollar travelers' cheques to avoid additional exchange rate charges and expect to pay a high commission.
In terms of credit cards, there is an increasing number of outlets accept MasterCard and Visa. However, outside main towns and cities, it is better to carry cash. Although, there are plenty of ATMs in major towns, they can be scarce in rural areas. ATMs issue Dong, and the single withdrawal limit varies, depending on the bank, ranging from VND 2,000,000 to much larger amounts.

Security
When planning a trip abroad, guests should take steps to protect themselves from crime or theft. Criminals particularly targeted to tourists who are usually carrying cash and are often easy to distract. Any traveler can become a victim of crimes such as pick pocketing, robberies and muggings. So, when you get to crowd places like bus or railway station, be careful with all your properties and never entrust your luggage to someone not in uniform. While you are on the train or bus, be sure your passport, your credit cards and all valuable things are put in the same place.
 
EVIVA TOUR VIETNAM OFFICES
Ha Noi
83A Tran QuocToan, HoanKiem Dist.
t. +84 4 3942 6585
f. +84 4 3822 8008
e.
sales@tourvietnam.vn
Ho Chi Minh City
M1906 Central Garden, 225 Ben Chuong Duong, Dist. 1
t. +84 8 3838 9567
f. +84 8 3838 9568
e.
sales@tourvietnam.vn