VIETNAM TRAVEL NEWSLETTER 2014 - QUARTER IV

MERRY XMAS AND HAPPY NEW YEAR 2015!

To welcome the high season for tourism to Indochina, EVIVA TOUR VIETNAM would like to bring you a look inside Vietnam with our year-end newsletter.

ITB INBERLIN, GERMANY AND TUR IN GOTHENBURG, SWEDEN IN MARCH 2015

EVIVA TOUR VIETNAM will have its own booth at ITB, Berlin, 4-8 March 2015 www.itb-berlin.de and TUR, Gothenburg, 19-22 March 2015 www.tur.se/en as an exhibitor. For appointments, please contact our Vice Director, Ms. Duong Nguyen Thuy at sales@tourvietnam.vn or skype DUONG-HANOI or via mobile phone (viber) +84 9 1230 4000.

HOT NEWS

Cua Van amongst the world’s top 10 beautiful coastline

"Located in Vietnam’s dramatic Ha Long Bay, with lush mountains as a backdrop, this little village is completely composed of floating homes". Travel &Leisure mentioned about the unique Vietnamese community. It also added that visitors want to see the unusual ways of life where around 700 people (usually fishermen) live in anchored houseboats, with their kids attending floating schools.

Many households in Cua Van are involved in tourism activities with offering home-stay service. Tourists can therefore enjoy a day being a fisherman to see how people earn their livelihoods from fishing and aquaculture.

The list of top ten also includes Polperro (UK), Saint George (Bermuda), Lunenburg (Canada), Kotor (Montenegro), SidiBou Said (Tunisia), Ilulissat (Greenland), Manarola (Italy), Camden (US), and Cadaqués (Spain).

(Source: VOV)

Vietnamese museum cited top 25 in Asia

Based on Trip Advisor travelers’ opinion and reviews, Travelers’ Choice awards honor top travel spots in Asia. Award winners were determined using a methodology that took in to account the quality and quantity of reviews for museums in Asia, gathered over a 12-month period.

The Vietnam museum has attracted 200,000 visitors since the beginning of this year, including 80,000 foreigners. At the museum area of over 3 hectares, there are 10,000 objects and 15,000 photographs are displayed.

All three museums had been previously awarded Traveler’s Choice Awards in 2013. The Vietnamese Museum of Ethnology placed fourth this year, up two steps from a year earlier. The Vietnamese Women’s Museum ranked sixth, up five, and the War Remnants Museum was 11th, down six.

(Source: VOV)

Suspension cable to be built in Ha long Bay

The information was revealed at a press conference on September 13 by Director of Quang Ninh Provincial Department of Planning and Investment, Tran Duc Lam, with announcement of the strategic plans of Quang Ninh province. Director Lam said that the cable system is under a large project-invested in by Sun Group-worth a total VND6 trillion (US$282 million).

The suspension cable system begins at Bai Chay ward in Ha Long and passes through Cua Luc Bay, running parallel to Bai Chay Bridge and ends at the hilltop Ba Deo in Hong Gai ward.Tourists will be able to enjoy a panoramic view of Ha Long Bay and Ha Long city from the Ferris wheel.

According to Sun Group, the project will be carried out in 2015 and completed within a year.

(Source: VOV)

Hoi An city as one of the top 50 cities to see in your lifetime

A recent travel highlight (Huffington Post) by Minube lists Hoi An city of Quang Nam province, Vietnam among “The Top 50 Cities to See in Your Lifetime”

Hoi An city has been listed as number 26th, is described by Minube as a unique mix of Japanese, Vietnamese, and European influences and you must try the food during your trip in here.

Hoi An was recognized as the world cultural heritage by UNESCO since 1999.

(Source: Huffington Post)

UPCOMING FESTIVALS


Ooc-Om-Bok Festival

Ooc-Om-Bok Festival is a religious service that worships the moon deity of the Khmer minority group and prays for good luck, happiness, good weather and bumper crops. The festival is usually held when the dry season begins and rice are ripening on the fields.

The moon-worshipping ceremony takes location on the evening of 14th of tenth lunar month before the moon goes to the top. The ceremony is held in the yards of the pagoda or of residents’ houses. People erect bamboo poles with a crossbar on which they decorate with flowers and leaves. Below is a table of offerings that include green rice flakes, potatoes, bananas, coconuts, grapefruits, oranges and cakes. People sit on the ground with crossed legs, clasping their hands before the altar and look up the moon. An old master of ceremonies says his prayers, asks the moon deity to receive the offerings and bless people with the best.

At the pagodas of Khmer people, locals hold paper-lantern, releasing them into the sky and putting on the rivers. The custom of releasing flying lights and floating lights is believed to sweep away the darkness, impure and sadness from the village. Many traditional activities of the Khmer are organized on the evening of 14th.

  

The Kitchen Gods – Ten Tao Quan

Well-known for the long-lasting history and rich culture, Vietnam is the land of festivities and celebrations. December of Lunar Calendar (normally January of Gregorian Calendar) is usually the busiest month as everybody is in a rush to prepare for some biggest festivals of the whole year. Besides Tet Festival, Tet Tao Quan on the 23rd of December is considered one of the most essential festivals in Vietnamese religious beliefs.

The meaning of Tet Tao Quan is all about preparing a grand farewell for three Deities on their journey to the Heavens, and the ceremony is held at every Vietnamese household. On the 23r day of December, normally, grandmothers and mothers of the family will cook a lot of delicacies such as new harvest steamed sticky rice or plain porridge. They clean and decorate the altar with fresh flowers and fruits. On the altar also laid three votive paper caps, the yellow one in the middle for Mrs. Tao and two black ones for two Mr. Tao.

  

Huong Pagoda Festival

Located in My Duc District, 70 kilometers away from Hanoi to the south, Huong Pagoda Festival is among the greatest Buddhist festival in northern part of Vietnam. This festival lasts for three months from the first to the third month in Lunar Calendar. In fact, the official opening day for the festival is on the 6th day of the first Lunar month. Huong Pagoda Festival includes two major parts: the ceremonies and leisure activities. Ceremonial rituals consist of incense offering procession and Zen ceremony in which Monks and Buddhists offer incense, flowers, candles and fruits. During the ceremony, there are two monks performing beautiful and flexible dances. On the other hand, leisure activities include boat cruise along Yen Stream for sightseeing, climbing mountain and exploring holy caves. It is believed that climbing up the top of HuongTich Mountain will bring you fulfillment and great success in life. Visitors to Huong Pagoda Festival have a great chance to taste famous delicacies which are bamboo shoot, Sang vegetables, grinding roots and the irresistibly fresh flavor of apricot juice.

NEW DISCOVERY


DakNong – a new cave system is discovered in the Central Highlands

Lying in the Serepok River basin, Krong No district, the cave is good news for tourism development. The length and width of the cave are 25km and 5km respectively. DakNong Cave is the collection of more than 10 caves of various sizes. It runs from the mouth of a volcano in Choah village (BuonChoah communes), along the Serepok to D’ray Sap Waterfall. One of the caves situated 2km from the waterfall is 15m wide. After 50m to inside, it was divided into two caves and each of them reaches to 300m long and 6m high. According to scientists, the cave was created as a result of the eruption for long times ago.

Researchers also found primeval forest and waterfalls in this area. The conditions are ideal for developing eco-tourism as well as adventure tourism.

On the Central Highlands where comprise five provinces of Kon Tum, Gia Lai, DakLak, DakNong and Lam Dong, the region is popular by its mysterious mountains with the cohabitations of different ethnic minorities. The diversities of custom and lifestyle are attractive spots to travelers.

SPECIAL TOURS

Visit www.tourvietnam.vn or contact us at sales@tourvietnam.vn to customize your tour.

 

Golf Tour in Vietnam

Golf is a beloved sport by many people and especially the tourists. Nothing is better than playing your favorite sport while traveling to some interesting places. With “Golf Tour in Vietnam”, you will be exploring amazing attractions of Vietnam and play golf at some beautiful and modern golf courses in Vietnam which located in Da Lat, PhanThiet, Dong Nai. This two week trip could be the best memory that you may never forget.

For tour details, please click here.

 

The Highlights of Mekong Delta Tour

You want to discover the Mekong Delta but do not have much time to do it. The best option for you definitely is “The Highlights of Mekong Delta Tour”. A wonderful two days journey from Ho Chi Minh City will give you unforgettable experience and impression of Mekong delta. Activities such as exploring floating markets, fish farms, fruit farms and taste traditional dishes at local home will make you feel excited and want to stay here longer.

For tour details, please click here.

WEATHER

Weather in Vietnam

The dry, cooler climate has come back to north Vietnam, making November one of the best months to visit. The typhoon season still conquers the central region. In the far it is sunny ensuring that the beaches of Phu Quoc, Phan Thiet & Mui Ne are back to their best, the situation will last for the next six months. Great conditions for adventure activities continue in the mountains of the north and also return to the Central Highlands. In December, it continues to be good news for visitors with ideal conditions in both the north and south, as well as an improving situation in central regions as the rains start to reduce. In the mountains and highlands wonderful weather continues although temperatures are low, especially at night. In January, Vietnam returns to its best with dry conditions expected throughout much of the country. Both the north and south enjoy sunshine whilst the central region steps out of its wet season, meaning the beaches of Hoi An, Danang and Nha Trang shake off their winter coats and return to their glory days (joining the in season Phu Quoc, Phan Thiet & Mui Ne). There is a variation in the temperature from one end of the country to the other with the south being close to its hottest and the north experiencing cooler weather. In the far north conditions are dry but chilly and sometimes foggy, especially at night, so suitable clothing is recommended.

Weather in Laos

In November, with the dry season now in full swing the chances of rain in Laos is minimal, promising premium travelling conditions throughout the month of November. December is the same story as for November, promising premium travelling conditions throughout the month. Temperatures will remain moderate for the coming few months with peak temperatures not expected until March. Across the country the flora and fauna is lush and vibrant. The waterways of Laos are in full flow, promising some of the best conditions of the year for river journeys across the country. If you plan to travel in the north and east of the country in January, at higher altitudes, temperatures remain much cooler especially at night and suitable warm clothing is recommended.

Weather in Cambodia

In November, Cambodia is now entering the dry season meaning there will be almost no rain for the next six months although the odd, short shower early is not unusual. The temperature in November is also just about as ‘cool’ as Cambodia gets, making it a popular time to travel for those wishing to maximize their time at the Angkor Temples (average temperature: 25°C). With the return of the sunshine, the beaches of Sihanoukville and the entire south coast spring back into life with good weather and calmer seas expected.

Throughout December and January you can expect excellent weather conditions throughout the country, with blue skies, little or no rain and relatively cool temperatures (average temperature: 26°C). The beaches on the south coast are in full bloom with the chance of rain extremely unlikely all the way from the western corner of Koh Kong all the way across to Kep and Kampot close to the Vietnamese border.

(Source: Selective Asia)
TIPS FOR BEACH SEASON

Light package

Try to bring your package as light as possible, heavy packages may make your journey slower and exhausted. Besides necessary items such as clothing, medicines, personal stuff and so on, a light jacket, a raincoat and an umbrella/a hat are strongly recommended. In the South of Vietnam (including Central Highland), this time is rainy season. And you certainly don’t want to get wet while trekking.

Wear sturdy shoes

If you don’t want your trekking plan to be ruined, some footwear like a pair of boots is recommended. Do not try to wear flip flops, even it is really convenient. Pair of flip flops may cause you to dangerous situations, especially at where are slippy as on stream’s rocks. On the other hand, trekking gear definitely protects your body as well as your travel in the perfect way.

Snacks

It is normal if your trekking becomes longer than usual (up to hours). For that long period of time, there are no restaurants or it is very hard to find something to eat. Just prepare some of your favorite snacks and make your trip enjoyable.

Water

A long trek will bring you thirst. Bring enough water for your body.

Take a camera

No matter what camera you have, just bring it to record all the unforgettable moments. Remember that stunning landscapes are giving to its deserved explorers. You may want to rememorize it when look at your album with full of amazing pictures.

Have a local guide

Experiencing yourself would be great, however, understanding the culture with a good tour guide would help you to discover the land at its most. A local tour guide is also a responsible travel action.

NEW HOTELS AND RESORTS

VIETNAM

BEST WESTERN DA LAT PLAZA 3-STAR HOTEL (DA LAT) www.dalatplazahotel.com.vn

Best Western Da Lat Plaza, located in Da Lat City Center, Da Lat, is a popular choice for travelers. The city center is merely 2.0 km away and the airport can be reached within 30 minutes. For sightseeing options and local attractions, one need not look far as the hotel enjoys close proximity to Da Lat Cathedral, Xuan Huong Lake, Da Lat Market.

  

LONG BEACH 4-STAR RESORT (PHU QUOC) www.longbeach-phuquoc.com

Long Beach Resort Phu Quoc features many facilities – a 24-hour front desk and security services, a recreation/tour desk, free shuttle to the airport, meeting and conference facilities, 24-hours in-room dining, maid service and wake-up service. With the ancient architectures, typical and traditional style of Long Beach Resort Phu Quoc, we are sure that guests will be deeply impressive is always making fresh and differential experience as well as special feelings after their holidays.

  

THE CLIFF MUI NE 4-STARRESORT AND RESIDENCES(PHAN THIET) www.thecliffresort.com.vn

95% of The Cliff’s swank abodes feature sea views. Accommodation options range from the Azul room with picturesque ocean vistas to the elegant Terra rooms, which boast a panoramic ocean view and sun deck. Green lawns and lovely lakes surround the resort’s three-bedroom Villas, all of which boast a private swimming pool facing the ocean. The venue’s Condos, each with a panoramic ocean view and sundeck, have been elegantly designed in harmony with nature. For the ultimate luxury escape, our Penthouses are the best choice.

  


LAOS

SETTHA PALACE 5-STAR HOTEL (VIENTIANE) www.setthapalace.com

In the heart of bustling Vientiane stands a remarkable hotel. Built in the early part of the last century, circa 1932, and painstakingly restored to its former imperial glory, the Settha Palace Hotel serves as a testament to the long lost era of classical elegance, gracious service and French colonial charm.

  

KIRIDARA LUANG PRABANG 4-STAR HOTEL (LUANG PRABANG) www.snhcollection.com/kiridara

Kiridara offers a vast selection of cultural experiences and activities including night and morning markets, temples and alms giving. The Luang Prabang boutique hotel is scaled on a hillside and surrounded by native teak forests, offers panoramic views of Mount Phou Si, with easy access to Central Luang Prabang and Luang Prabang International Airport.

  


CAMBODIA

KINGDOM ANGKOR 4-STAR HOTEL (SIEM REAP) www.kingdomangkor.com

A contemporary design mixed with traditional Khmer influence, the Kingdom Angkor Hotel specializes in luxury and leisure. Conveniently located on National Road #6, the city center and other areas of Siem Reap are easily accessible. The lobby will arrange various modes of transportation for all-day excursions around the city and nearby temples.

  

RAFFLES LE ROYAL 5-STAR HOTEL (PHNOM PENH) www.raffles.com/phnom-penh

A luxury hotel fit for Royalty. Raffles Hotel Le Royal has, for nearly a century, been the premier hotel in Phnom Penh, blessed with history and style, atmosphere and aesthetics. First established in 1929, it welcomes as it has always done a diverse international clientele of entrepreneurs, writers, journalists, royalty and intrepid travelers of all stripes.



TRAVEL POLICIES

VAT Refund

Since 1 July 2014, the VAT refund for purchases made in Viet Nam by foreigners, overseas Vietnamese when leaving Viet Nam has been officially implemented in 7 international border gates, including Noi Bai International Airport (Ha Noi), Da Nang International Airport (Da Nang City), Cam Ranh International Airport (Khanh Hoa Province), Tan Son Nhat International Airport (Ho Chi Minh City), Da Nang International Seaport (Da Nang City), Nha Trang International Seaport (Khanh Hoa Province), and Khanh Hoi International Seaport (Ho Chi Minh City).

VAT refunded goods must meet following requirements:

  • For liquor: Liquor at 22o and above: 1.5 litres; Liquor below 22o: 2.0 litres; Alcoholic beverage: 3.0 litres.
  • Not in the list of export prohibitions or restrictions;
  • Invoice and VAT refund declaration form issued within 60 days from departure date;
  • Valid invoice in 1 store in 1 day (including accumulated invoices within 1 day at the same store) costs at least 2 million VND.

VAT refund procedure:

  • When purchasing goods in enterprises selected to implement VAT refund, visitors must present valid passport (original) in order to be provided invoice and instructed to fill in VAT refund declaration form;
  • Before doing the procedures to check in luggage, visitors must present passport, invoice cum VAT refund declaration form (originals) and VAT refunded goods to customs authority at goods checking counters, so that customs official stamps “Checked”;
  • In VAT refund counters at restricted areas in airports, visitors must present passport (original), boarding pass, invoice cum VAT refund declaration form stamped “Checked” by customs authority. Commercial bank selected as VAT refund agency will collect invoice cum VAT refund declaration form and carry out procedures to return VAT for visitors;
  • VAT refund amount for visitors represents 85% of VAT amount noted in the invoice and VAT refund declaration form;
  • VAT refund currency: VND;
  • Visitors can exchange from VND to foreign currencies at VAT refund counters according to current exchange rate.

(Source: Vietnam Tourism)

 
Ha Noi
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t. +84 4 3942 6585
f. +84 4 3822 8008
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sales@tourvietnam.vn
 
Ho Chi Minh City
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t. +84 8 3838 9567
f. +84 8 3838 9568
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sales@tourvietnam.vn