VIETNAM TRAVEL NEWSLETTER 2015 - QUARTER IV

EVIVA TOUR VIETNAM is a responsible local DMC with rich experience and endless passion for travel. Our quarterly newsletter will bring up-to-date information of the country and surroundings. To get more information, follow us on Trip Advisor, Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus.

HOT NEWS

The heart-breaking beauty of Mu Cang Chai, Vietnam

The astounding and breathtaking beauty of the terraced rice field in Mu Cang Chai District in Vietnam is truly the most heart-stopping exquisite beauty our mother Earth has to offer. During the time of harvesting season, September and October every year when the autumn is ending, is the most recommended period to visit these marvelous terrace rice fields. During this time, the whole mountainous areas are being covered by a beautiful long silk scarf gradually turning its colors from green to yellow, standing against the bright cerulean sky together makes a remarkable natural picture.

Not only the magnificent beauty of nature but also the people’s kindness, humbleness, graciousness, and their hard-working attitude will leave you stunned and breathless. Click here to see a fly-cam video record beautiful scenery throughout Vietnam and terrace rice field with up high view from the sky. (Source: When on Earth)

Vietnam among top destinations for Virtuoso Luxury Travelers this fall

Quarterly survey of Virtuoso stated that fall travelers are seeking cultural appeal, favorable climate and relative value of Vietnam and India, which both can be seen through major increases in future bookings. The increasing trend is also similar for European countries like Spain and the Netherlands, aided by the favorable exchange rate between the dollar and euro. For South America destinations, the amount of bookings to Argentina and Peru is increasing rapidly. And the same pattern is applied for popular sun destinations like French Polynesia, U.S. Virgin Islands and Costa Rica.

Those countries seeing the biggest jump in year-over-year bookings for the fall include: Viet Nam (+270%), India (+212%), French Polynesia (+91%), Spain (+53%), Argentina (+46%), Canada (+34%), U.S. Virgin Islands (+32%), Peru (+28%), Costa Rica (+27%) and Netherlands (+25%). (Source: Virtuoso)

Lao Cai among top 10 world’s most beautiful places

The Richest, the world’s leading website about entertaining and lifestyle, has released a video naming 10 most magnificently beautiful places in the world. Vietnam’s Northern Province Lao Cai is one of them.

The video noted that the beautiful man-made rice terraces in Lao Cai help supply rice, the most staple food item for Vietnamese people. And rice grain requires a flat surface and lots of water to grow, which isn’t typical in the country, so people had to improvise and figure out an alternate way to grow their food. “Their endeavors resulted in a beautiful colored landscape”, says The Richest.

Asides from Lao Cai, the other places in the list are Salar de Uyuni in Bolivia, Geiranger Fjord in Norway, Maldives, Yosemite National Park, Midway Island, Pamukkale in Turkey, Meteora in Greece, Zhangye Danxia Landform in China, and Fiorland National Park in New Zealand. (Source: The Richest)

Con Dao among the top 25 remote islands

According to Business Insider, a leading business and website of the USA, has stated that Vietnam’s Con Dao is one of the top 25 remote islands tourists should visit once in their lifetime.

“It’s hard to relax when you’re surrounded by thousands of other tourists", said Business Insider. Therefore, the website recommended travelling to Con Dao by “instead of visiting a well-known island, try something a little more remote”.

Other islands perfect for the peace seeking travelers also make it into the top 25 remote islands to explore are: Easter Island of Chile, Ulleungdo of the Republic of Korea, San Juan Islands of the US, Solomon Islands of Papua New Guinea, Los Rogues of Venezuela, Orkney Islands of Scotland, the 64 Penghu Islands of Taiwan, Rock Islands of Palau, Devil’s Island of France, Flores island of Portugal, Lord Howe Island of Australia, and Koh Phayam of Thailand. (Source: Business Insider)

UPCOMING FESTIVALS

Kate Festival (11 - 12 Oct 2015)


Just in October, the central province of Ninh Thuan is bustling by the sound from Saranai trumpets and Ginang drums, which signals the coming of the Kate season. In the 7th month of the lunar calendar (around October), the Brahmin Khmer prepare for the Kate festival. The festival takes place with a lively atmosphere in the whole month at Khmer temples, villages and households. Kate is not only connected with ancient tower temples where the highest technical and aesthetic values of Khmer culture are stored, also other cultural aspects such as votive things, costumes, unique folk singing, dancing and music.

Keo Pagoda Festival (25 - 27 Oct 2015)


Located in Vu Nhat Commune, Thai Binh Province, Keo Pagoda was built in 17th century and the festival is annually held at the pagoda for three days, from 13th to 15th of the 9th lunar month to worship Buddhist Duong Khong Lo. On the 13th, the festival begins with a procession to remind people of the death anniversary of Buddhist Duong Khong Lo. Then an interesting boat race and a literary recitation competition are held in the afternoon. When the night falls, it is time for a trumpet and drum competition. On the morning of the 14th, Khong Lo's birthday is celebrated. It is followed by a procession including a red and white horse pulling a carriage accompanied by eight flag bearers and 42 men carrying a classical Vietnamese weapon. On the 15th, visitors can take part in traditional games such as duck catching, rice cooking competition, firecrackers hurling contest.

International New Year (01 Jan 2016)


Most of the festivals, anniversaries and traditional cultural events of Vietnam are in accordance with its lunar calendar; however, nowadays, Christian calendar is widely used throughout the country. Annually, on the first day in this Western Calendar - January 1st, joining in the modern breathes of the world, Vietnam also celebrates the International New Year Day. People love to go out, meet others and participate on exciting trips. Special programs would be broadcasted on local as well as national channels, and countdown parties would be taken place at places like Opera House or major avenues.

SPECIAL TOURS AND DESTINATIONS

This time of year is perfect for traveling as winter holiday is coming soon. In Vietnam, the weather is clearly divided in two regions: the north and the south of the country. In the north, the climate is drier and cooler making activities such as trekking on mountainous cities. Meanwhile in the south from Da Nang to Phu Quoc, visitors may enjoy diverse types of tour related topography. Sunshine, blue skies and beaches along Vietnam's territorial sea or cultural exercises in Mekong Delta or adventurous activities on Central Highlands are what travelers may expect to find in this part of the country.

North

Hanoi and all Northern provinces are experiencing coolest period in the year as the winter comes. To the north, there are mountainous areas bordering with the southern part of China. Imposing pictures of mountain ranges, terraced rice fields, huge lakes and colourful traditional costumes of different ethnic groups would delight your vacations in Vietnam. During this time, yellow and pink are two highlighted colors of ripening rice fields and tam giac mach - a kind of buckwheat blossoming in October. Tam giac mach is expected to see in the northeast province Ha Giang while terraced rice fields could be found in all northern mountainous areas. Because of the geography of plateau, the climate is colder and visitors may feel swallowed by mist. Many people said that this experience like "walking on the cloud" making their trek definitely more impressive.

Highlighted destinations: Hanoi, Sapa, Ha Giang and customized tours to other parts of Northern Vietnam


South

This quarter is coming with warmer weather. This time is ideal for sun-worshippers taking breaks from intensive days of working. Lovely beaches with tranquil water stretch miles along the East Vietnam Sea as Nha Trang, Mui Ne, Con Dao, Phu Quoc. The metropolitan cities of this part are Da Nang and Ho Chi Minh City. Visitors can enjoy coastal cities of Da Nang, Nha Trang, Binh Dinh or reach to Central Highlands - home of numerous ethnic minorities with diversified cultures or experience daily life activities throughout Mekong Delta or savor in separated islands in harmony with the creature.

Highlighted destinations: Nha Trang, Central Highlands and Phu Quoc



NEW HOTELS AND RESORTS

VIETNAM

Vinpearl Nha Trang Resort (5*) www.vinpearl.com

As an adornment to finish the stunning beauty and luxury of Nha Trang's charming landscape painting, Vinpearl Nha Trang Resort - an international 5 star hotel in the Vinpearl Nha Trang complex of hotel, resort, tourism and recreation- is called “a sparkling pearl glued on the crown of the Sea queen” by the tourists.

Promotion: Vinpearl offers two packages, including:
+Package 1: Bed & Breakfast for 2
+Package 2: Bed & Breakfast and unlimited access to Amusement Park
+Starting from only USD180/net/room/night


Intercontinental Nha Trang (5*) www.intercontinential.com

InterContinental Nha Trang is the latest modern luxury beachfront hotel in town. Located in the heart of Nha Trang, a mere 40-minute scenic drive from Cam Ranh International Airport, come and experience the perfect blend of local charm and elegant embellishment, the epitome of natural lavishness.

Promotion:

Early Bird Offer:
+ Stay Period: 1 September till 30 November 2015
+ Room Rate: Deluxe – VND 2,360,000 nett per room per night inclusive of breakfast for two

Advanced Purchase:
+ Stay Period: 1 September till 30 November 2015.
+ Room Rate: Deluxe – VND 2,560,000 nett per room per night inclusive of breakfast for two


Amanoi Resort Ninh Thuan (5*) www.amanresorts.com/amanoi

After a scenic drive through Nui Chua National Park, guests ascend a broad bank of stairs to Amanoi’s Central Pavilion. On reaching the top, one experiences an unforgettable sense of arrival, as the panoramic views of the sea and coastline spread before one are simply breathtaking.

Promotion: Enjoy the deal of a three-night Amanoi hideaway that includes daily breakfast and à la carte dinner for two people (excluding beverages), and one different daily activity per stay. The deal offers a luxurious experience at Amanoi starting from USD2670 until 30 Nov 2015. Click here.


LAOS

Thavonsouk Resort Vang Vieng Vientiane (3*) www.thavonsouk.com

Ideally located on the bank of the Nam Song River, this is a luxury hotel with charm and character. It is laid out around one of the most inviting swimming pools to be found in Laos, and offers stunning views of the surrounding lush landscapes and forest-clad limestone mountains.

Promotion: 3 nights and enjoy a 33% saving over the best available rates. The deal includes: Luxury accommodation; daily buffet breakfast; free bicycle use; 10% discount at bar, restaurant and gift shop. Please note that this special offer must be booked online and is not cancel able, changeable or refundable. Click here.


Villa Nam Song Vientiane (3*) www.villanamsong.com

Villa Nam Song is in the perfect location in Vang Vieng, with commanding views of the mountains and river. Tranquil yet close to town, beautiful garden setting, and fine restaurant.

Promotion:

1 NIGHT "NAM SONG DISCOVERY" package:

  • From 17 April to 30 September 2015: 90 – 105 USD
  • From 01 October 2015 to 16 April 2016: 125 – 140 USD

2 NIGHTS "NAM SONG EXPERIENCE" package:

  • From 17 April to 30 September 2015: 160 – 190 USD
  • From 01 October 2015 to 16 April 2016: 230 – 260 USD

Kamu Lodge Luang Prabang (3*) www.kamulodge.com

Whether you're a looking for a company retreat or a family getaway, our Laos eco hotel's overnight package featuring a boat cruise on the Mekong River with a stop-over the Pak Ou Caves, interesting cultural activities and one night in a comfortable tent is perfect for a short trip to the Lao countryside.

Promotion: Kamu Lodge An Overnight Package starts from 118USD nett/person and sets the validity all year around.


CAMBODIA

Anantara Angkor Siem Reap (5*) www.angkor.anantara.com

Each Anantara Hotel and Resort draws its strength from the rich cultural traditions, historic heritage and natural beauty of its destination. As such, every experience is a unique voyage of discovery and inspiration that is distinctly Anantara.

Promotion: Short Breaks Special - Stay for 2 nights or more between now and 31 Dec 2015, and benefit from daily breakfast, 20% discount on dining and spa throughout your stay, as well as complimentary room upgrade.


Sokha Angkor Resort (5*) www.sokhaangkorresort.com

The resort is conveniently walking distance to the near famous Pub Street, popular local handicrafts and Old Market, 10 minutes drive from the majestic Angkor Wat temples, 10 minutes from the golf course, and 15 minutes to the International and domestic airport.

Promotion: Enjoy up to 30% off your room rates with free unlimited wifi and stay period is valid until Mar 2016.



TRAVEL POLICIES

Vietnam waives visa for tourists from six European countries

According to the new Vietnam Government Decree, nationals of the UNITED KINGDOM, FRANCE, GERMANY, SPAIN and ITALY are given free (single) entry into Vietnam for 15 days, which is effective from 01 Jul 2015 to 30 Jun 2016 and then, the policy will be reviewed and renewed by Vietnam Government.

Nationals of BELARUS are given free (single) entry into Vietnam for 15 days, which is effective for five years from 01 Jul 2015 to 30 Jun 2020.

Currently, citizens of ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) member countries do not need a visa to enter Vietnam. The country also waives visa for single-entry visits of up to 15 days for Danish, Finnish, Japanese, Norwegian, Russian, South Korean, and Swedish nationals starting this year until 2019.

Please note that you still need a visa to enter Vietnam for periods of 15 days and longer and if you wish to re-enter Vietnam within 30 days of their departure. Make sure you get the correct visa for the purpose and destination of your trip.

Visa extension of 15 days during the stay in Vietnam is permitted. If you wish to extend your visa after 15 days, please contact us at sales@tourvietnam.vn or contact our hotline +84 9 3600 9908 (viber).

TRAVEL TIPS

Vietnam’s weather varies a lot from north to south and changes each season. Studies show that we are around the same weather with Bali, Indonesia and Phuket, Thailand although it looks to be on the same equator. Visitors can try different activities in different seasons. Here are some useful tips for travelers to Vietnam during this season.

Weather

In Vietnam, the weather in mountains of Sapa and Ha Giang is dry and clear promising some of the best trekking conditions of the year. It is a good time to visit the Tonkinese Alps and ethnic minority hill tribe villages and contemplate lush shades of green and yellow during the harvest season. The rainfall in the centre of the country is close to its peak and heavy storms can occur. The temperatures in Hoi An and Hue differ with Hoi An and Da Nang being the hotter end of the Hai Van Pass (average temperature: 24- 27°C). The heavy rains in Da Lat and the Central Highlands starts to break especially towards the end of the month when good conditions for outdoor activity return. The beaches of Phu Quoc, Phan Thiet and Mui Ne are starting to recover from the winter months and the sun starts to shine once again.

Across Cambodia in October the flora and fauna is in full bloom and the moats at the Angkor Temples are full of life (average temperature: 27°C). One great benefit of travelling in Cambodia at this time is that the Angkor Temples will be far less crowded. On the south coast, in Sihanoukville and Kep, rain is still a possibility although this will become less frequent as the dry season soon starts in November when the return of the sunshine makes the beaches of Sihanoukville and the entire south coast become busy again. Visit Cambodia in December and enjoy excellent weather conditions throughout the country, with blue skies, little or no rain and relatively cool temperatures.

In Laos, temperatures in October are close to their coolest for the entire year (Luang Prabang & Vientiane average temperature: 24°C, further south average temperature: 26°C). It’s a great time to travel throughout the entire country, with low visitor numbers and improved weather conditions bringing a wealth of benefits. The dry season starts in November and 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. The weather conditions remain the same in December.

Enjoy the hustle and bustle of the big cities

No other place in South-East Asia gave me more of a sense of wonder than Hanoi. It is just pure chaos and anarchy. There are so many scooters around that the city makes you feel more like you’re caught in a giant swarm of wasps. Much in Vietnam takes place on the street; people eat and drink there, get their haircut, read the newspaper and play games. Compare to September, October’s weather is even milder since its temperature is getting more favored. Hurry up to enjoy Hanoi’s autumn!

Shopping in Sapa

This is one of the most sensitive things while traveling in Sapa. Many local woman especially Black Hmong and Red Dzao tribe will approach you, talk to you  and persuade you to buy something for them. Just say “No, Thanks” not “Maybe” if you don’t want to buy, otherwise they will follow you until you buy something for them.

Photographing

Vietnamese people generally don't mind being photographed - particularly in less developed areas. Try to establish a relationship with people by learning a few words of Vietnamese or even just smiling and gesturing. Or you can travel with someone Vietnamese who can convince strangers to be in your photos. Of course, if someone tells you not to take a picture of them, don’t!

Every town and city has a market, which is a great place to begin your photographic journey. The wholesale markets in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City’s Chinatown are particularly lively. The floating markets near Can Tho are also worth visiting.

In the mountains in the far north, you’ll find hill-tribe culture still remains largely intact. The Sapa market has become a tourist destination, but the markets around Bac Ha are still very authentic. Most hill-tribe people don't mind the camera, but the Dzao and some other ethnic groups prefer not to be photographed.

CONTACT US

Emma Duong Nguyen
skype. duong-hanoi
cell and viber. +84 9 1230 4000


Ha Noi
83A Tran Quoc Toan St., Hoan Kiem Dist, Ha Noi, Viet Nam

t.+84 4 3942 6585
f.+84 4 3822 8008
e. sales@tourvietnam.vn


Ho Chi Minh City
M1906, 19th Floor, Central Garden, 328 Vo Van Kiet, Dist.1, Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam