Category Archives: Travel News

2018 Tet Flower Road to open in February

The 2018 Tet (Lunar New Year) Flower Road on Nguyen HuePedestrian Street in District 1 will open in February 13, Saigontourist, the organizer, announced on Wednesday.

This year’s Flower Road event, to be held from February 13-19, will be titled The Great Ambition, showcasing a modern city that still keeps its traditions.

The 720-metre long Flower Road will feature many tableaux composed of animals, plants, flowers, or gardens in addition to plants traditionally used during the Tet holiday, the Ochna Integerrima (popularly known as the Vietnamese mickey-mouse plant) with yellow flowers and peach blossom trees with pink flowers.

The themes of several decorations such as flower boats will be related to the Vietnamese countryside.

To celebrate the Year of the Dog 2018, the entrance gate will be decorated with statues of dogs of around 2 meters tall. The statues are modeled after the Phu Quoc dog, which are known for their intelligence, while statues of puppies will feature bobbing heads.

Stalls for refreshments will line the pavements on Nguyen Hue Pedestrian Street.

The Flower Road event has been held every Tet holiday for the past 15 years.

 

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Explore the H’mong King’s Palace in Ha Giang

The H’mong King’s Palace is considered a gem of the northern mountainous province of Ha Giang, and is a popular tourist destination besides the Dong Van Stone Plateau.

Lying some 130 kilometres north of Ha Giang Town, the century-old palace is still the largest construction in the area and boasts special architecture style.

According to a tour guide who is also a woman member of the King’s family at the palace, Vuong Chinh Duc (1865 – 1947), known as the king of the H’mong or Meo ethnic minority group in the area, built the palace which cost 150,000 Indochina silver coins equivalent to VND150 billion (USD 6.61 million). Duc earned his fortune from growing and trading opium.

The palace is in Sa Phin Valley in Lung Phin Commune, Dong Van District at the base of a mountain, backed by cliffs and topped by a mass of clouds.

The palace that is built from stone, fir wood and terracotta tiling in a combined Chinese, French and H’mong traditional architectural style.

Covering a total area of 1,120 square metres, the palace was used as a residence and fortress during the Vuong Dynasty.

The two storey, 50-metre long palace took eight years to build and has four long houses and six wide houses with 64 rooms for the king’s wives, children and soldiers.

All the walls are 50-60 centimetres thick. Surrounding it is a stone wall which is two metres high and 80 centimetres thick. The palace is divided into many areas such as dining room, bed room, kitchen, opium store, rooms of his wives, a prayer altar and an area for criminal executions.

The Vuong family gave the palace to the state in 2004 and it has been turned into a tourist site. A woman member of the family, Vuong Thi Cho, is now working as a guide at the palace.

The palace is well maintained by the provincial government. Visitors can still see old furniture and tools here including wardrobes, fireplace, beds, flour-mill, crossbow and pan-pipe.

Explore the H'mong King’s Palace in Ha Giang, travel news, Vietnam guide, Vietnam airlines, Vietnam tour, tour Vietnam, Hanoi, ho chi minh city, Saigon, travelling to Vietnam, Vietnam travelling, Vietnam travel, vn news

A corner of the H’mong King’s Palace in Ha Giang Province.

Explore the H'mong King’s Palace in Ha Giang, travel news, Vietnam guide, Vietnam airlines, Vietnam tour, tour Vietnam, Hanoi, ho chi minh city, Saigon, travelling to Vietnam, Vietnam travelling, Vietnam travel, vn news

Tourists take photo at the palace.

Explore the H'mong King’s Palace in Ha Giang, travel news, Vietnam guide, Vietnam airlines, Vietnam tour, tour Vietnam, Hanoi, ho chi minh city, Saigon, travelling to Vietnam, Vietnam travelling, Vietnam travel, vn news

Explore the H'mong King’s Palace in Ha Giang, travel news, Vietnam guide, Vietnam airlines, Vietnam tour, tour Vietnam, Hanoi, ho chi minh city, Saigon, travelling to Vietnam, Vietnam travelling, Vietnam travel, vn news

Explore the H'mong King’s Palace in Ha Giang, travel news, Vietnam guide, Vietnam airlines, Vietnam tour, tour Vietnam, Hanoi, ho chi minh city, Saigon, travelling to Vietnam, Vietnam travelling, Vietnam travel, vn news

Explore the H'mong King’s Palace in Ha Giang, travel news, Vietnam guide, Vietnam airlines, Vietnam tour, tour Vietnam, Hanoi, ho chi minh city, Saigon, travelling to Vietnam, Vietnam travelling, Vietnam travel, vn news

Explore the H'mong King’s Palace in Ha Giang, travel news, Vietnam guide, Vietnam airlines, Vietnam tour, tour Vietnam, Hanoi, ho chi minh city, Saigon, travelling to Vietnam, Vietnam travelling, Vietnam travel, vn news

Explore the H'mong King’s Palace in Ha Giang, travel news, Vietnam guide, Vietnam airlines, Vietnam tour, tour Vietnam, Hanoi, ho chi minh city, Saigon, travelling to Vietnam, Vietnam travelling, Vietnam travel, vn news

A woman member of the family, Vuong Thi Cho, is now working as a guide at the palace.

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Vietnam to promote tourism in Australia

Vietnam will introduce and promote tourist destinations in three Australian cities – Perth, Sydney and Melbourne – as part of the 2017 National Tourism Promotion Programme, from August 12 to 19.

The initiative is an opportunity to promote the country’s landscapes, people and culture and draw more tourists to Vietnam from Australia, as well as a chance for businesses from both nations to explore co-operation activities and expand their market.

Speaking at a conference on tourism promotion on Thursday, Hoang Nhan Chinh, head of secretary of the Tourism Advisory Board, said that in the future, the General Department of Tourism, Vietnam Airlines, Hanoi Investment, Commerce and Tourism Promotion Centre, and the Tourism Advisory Board would co-ordinate and set up tourism booths at leading global trade shows, such as WTA London in the UK and ITB Berlin in Germany.

In 2016, Hanoi city spent US$2 million on CNN (Cable News Network) promoting tourism and investment in the country. This April, CNN telecast a 30-minute programme showcasing some of the capital’s stunning landscapes and its popular spots, including the iconic Returned Sword Lake, the bustling Old Quarter, as well as some of its signature cuisine.

Vietnam aims to welcome 13-15 million foreign tourists this year. Currently, the country’s annual budget on tourism promotion is $2 million. To compare, Thailand spends $60 million and receives over 30 million international tourists every year.

 

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Frantic prostitutes online market

No need to “practice” on the sidewalk and not have to rent a scooter to get genuine visitors, online prostitution are many prostitutes, gigolos favored.
Attractive Offer

sexual-onlineFacebook fan page “prostitutes” appeared from 2012 to now has more than 12.000 members. Avatar is a beautiful girl, attractive and sexy with enticing invitation: “Getting to know more about me, hope you will teach me more about things. I would love to talk and share with everyone “- Nguyen Thuy Linh, student nurse, 300,000 VND ($14) a night, who needs massage can contact her through the phone number she provided.

Most of the participants are young people, use social network Facebook with a picture of their own representatives or alternate form. Sellers are willing to show the body, carefree buyers pay the price, as a market where public activity, frantic day and night. Whenever customers need can post, negotiate directly. Not only through Facebook, a series of web pages, forums also offer paid sex with the exchange of phone numbers, images publicly. At the same time, not only women but also prostitution both male prostitutes, gigolos service frantic place. In addition to the transaction via Facebook website and advertisers also attached. Aphrodisiac products are introduced most.

Legal wriggle

Ordinance on prevention and prohibition of prostitution as buying sex acts, prostitution, organizing prostitution, other acts related to prostitution as prescribed by law. However, such acts can only be considered a violation of the ordinance if the transaction is completed and prostitution had been caught red handed. However, on the website, forums, social networks, commercial sex acts are considered as “advertising” at no cost. All publicly traded though, easy success, but it is difficult for authority to keep track and deal with. A prostitute nicknamed Cave VIP,  who believes her personal page is where direct sales, do not hesitate to share: “No need to stand road, no need to wave, just call if you have a desire “. Online sex work has long been a destination for many prostitutes and the buyers who want sexual supply but do not want to go out to look for prostitutes. In fact, there are many successful transactions from this online business model, but the authorities still can not control it all. Though it is the virtual world, but the consequences are real.
This article according to Ho Chi Minh City Police

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Vietnam plans to spend more on tourism promotion to boost growth

In a new effort to attract more foreign visitors, Vietnam’s tourism authority seeks to increase spending on marketing three-fold to VND120 billion (US$5.24 million) next year.
Foreign tourists are listening music in Mekong Delta

Foreign tourists are listening music in Mekong Delta

A fund for tourism promotion is set to be established with an initial corpus of at least VND300 billion ($13.11 million), news website Saigon Times Online said Saturday, citing a proposal by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism.

In the long term, a maximum of 30 percent of the fund would come from the government, with the rest coming from beneficiaries of tourism, it said.
Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Nguyen Ngoc Thien said at a meeting in Hanoi on July 13 that poor marketing is one of the reasons for the lackluster growth in tourism.
Other reasons include a dearth of outstanding products and quality human resources and services, he said.
The proposal, which is waiting for local governments’ feedback, is expected to develop tourism into of the economy’s flagships through a range of measures such as extending visa waiver policy with longer visa-exempt stays and easing the issuance of visa on arrival, the website reported.
Though Vietnam has great potential for tourism growth with its rich cultural and natural assets and good connectivity with other Southeast Asian countries, its international arrivals are only 27 percent of Thailand’s, 31 percent of Malaysia’s and 52 percent of Singapore’s, according to figures released at the meeting.
In 2011-15 its tourism grew an average of 7 percent a year, compared to 12 percent in Thailand and 10 percent in Singapore.
In fact, its performance was also poorer than that of second-tier countries such as Laos, Myanmar and the Philippines, which recorded growths of 15 percent, 51 percent and 8 percent.
However, arrivals rose 21.3 percent year-on-year to more than 4.7 million in the first half of this year, according to data from the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism.

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Vietnam to open airport near Ha Long Bay in 2017

An airport near Ha Long Bay will be opened at the end of 2017 to serve two million passengers a year, news website Dau Tu reported on Tuesday, citing authorities in the northern province of Quang Ninh.
The province’s vice chairman Nguyen Van Thanh made the announcement at a meeting with the Ministry of Transport. The project has been delayed for nearly a year due to a longer than expected feasibility study process.
With a cost estimate of nearly VND7.5 trillion (US$331.7 million) for its first stage, Quang Ninh Airport will be built on Van Don Island, about 50 kilometers from the famous bay.
It will cover an area of around 290 hectares with one runway, one terminal, and parking spots for four medium to large aircraft.
The airport is expected to be expanded after 2020 to serve five million passengers a year.
A group of South Korean investors, including Korea Airports Corporation and POSCO Engineering and Construction, was originally assigned to build the airport under a built-operate-transfer arrangement.
After they made an exit early last year, real estate conglomerate Sun Group reportedly took over the project.

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Vietnam to offer visa waivers as visitor drop hurts economy

Foreign tourists travel on bamboo boats at the Van Long natural reserve, Vietnam’s largest natural reserve of wetland, in Ninh Binh province, May 13, 2015. Photo: Reuters
Vietnam will offer more visa exemptions and set up a $100 million tourism fund to promote the country’s attractions in a bid to reverse a drop in foreign visitors that’s hurting the economy.
“The hassle of getting a visa is seriously hampering Vietnam in attracting tourists,” Nguyen Van Tuan, head of the National Administration of Tourism, said in an interview in Hanoi Wednesday. “The application process is easier, faster and more convenient in other countries in the region.”
Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung has agreed to offer “unilateral visa exemptions” to countries that have sent high numbers of visitors to Vietnam in recent years, Tuan said, declining to give more details.
Vietnam offered visa exemptions to visitors from Russia, Japan, South Korea, Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Finland starting this year until 2019. Tourism officials have asked Premier Dung to add nine more countries — France, Italy, Germany, Spain, the UK, India, Canada, Australia and New Zealand — to the list.
Tourist arrivals in the Southeast Asian nation fell for a fifth month in May, with the biggest declines from China, Cambodia and Thailand.
Tourism contributes about 6 percent of Vietnam’s gross domestic product, according to the government, which is trying to spur economic growth to above 6 percent this year. About 3.3 million tourists visited the country through May, a 13 percent drop from the same period last year.
The planned fund will be used to train workers in the industry, hold roadshows and set up tourism offices overseas, Tuan said. Up to 30 percent of the money will come from the state budget, with the rest from tourism companies, he said.
To better compete with countries such as Singapore and Thailand, Vietnam aims to improve its facilities and simplify the visa process, Tuan said. Tourists are sometimes asked to pay an “unofficial” fee in addition to the official tariff.
“We need to improve the domestic tourism environment to be more attractive to visitors,” Tuan said. “It’s crucial.”

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9 in 10 foreign tourists are happy with their experience in Vietnam: survey

 Foreign tourists in Ho Chi Minh City. Amid unabated criticism about the quality of tourist services in Vietnam, the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism has released a survey showing that more than 94 percent of foreign visitors to the country rank their experience as “good” to “very good.”

Less than 0.5 percent of the respondents said it was “poor,” according to the survey conducted through direct interviews with 13,980 tourists speaking six different languages, and questionnaires sent to 1,000 travel companies and 63 tourism departments.
The survey also found that 32.98 percent of foreign tourists returned to the country at least once.
Of the return tourists, 18.1 percent came back for the second time, and nearly 5.8 percent for the third time.
While the tourism administration, often known as VNAT, did not provide comparable data, an EU-funded survey among English-speaking tourists last year pegged the return rate at 11.2 percent.

For comparison, around 55 percent of tourists in Thailand are reportedly return visitors.
With its latest survey, VNAT also found that foreign tourists spent an average of 9.73 days in Vietnam.
Their daily expenditure was estimated at nearly $126, of which more than 33.1 percent was spent on accommodation and over 23.7 percent on food and beverages. The rest was spent on gifts, entertainment and others.
In 2013, a similar but smaller-scaled survey by the General Statistics Office found that the average length of foreign tourists’ stay was 11.3 days and the daily expenditure was $95.9 on average.
A travel and tourism competitiveness report released by the World Economic Forum early this month found that Vietnam ranked 75th out of 141 polled destinations, up five places from 2013.

A country’s performance depended on its scores in a variety of fields like policy and infrastructure.

Vietnam scored worst in infrastructure, a category which includes tourist service, with 2.93 points out of 7.

Officials data showed that the country received 7.87 million international arrivals last year, including 4.76 million leisure travelers.
According to VNAT estimates, 690,440 international tourists traveled to Vietnam last April, an 11 percent increase from March, but down 7.4 percent compared to April 2014.

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Buddhist monk spends life saving rare bamboo species

Rare plants: The bamboo garden, which is located on Son Tra Mountain, is free for all visitors. Bamboo groves are being replaced throughout Viet Nam and the plant is not as common as it once was.

Rare plants: The bamboo garden, which is located on Son Tra Mountain, is free for all visitors. Bamboo groves are being replaced throughout Viet Nam and the plant is not as common as it once was.

Buddhist bikku (monk) Thich The Tuong has been working hard to turn his one hectare farm into a bamboo conservatory on the Son Tra Mountain, which protects over 110 bamboo species.

Of these, four are almost considered extinct in Viet Nam.

The garden, located on the Son Tra mountainside, eight kilometres from the city centre, is open to all visitors, who wish to see bamboo conservation in a rural setting, along with a fishing pond and a stone installation.

“It has been a long and hard journey since I planted the first bamboo. I have loved gardening since I left my native village of Vy Da to enter religious life at a small pagoda in Con Hen in Hue,” said Tuong.

“I left the pagoda after my master died and found the Quan The Am Pagoda in Da Nang to continue my religious life.

“The garden was donated by a farmer in Son Tra after he became too tired to plant any trees. I worked the land and grew different bamboo species that I had collected from different provinces,” he recalled.

“I have collected a third of the total 300 bamboo varieties in Viet Nam. Bamboo plantation has grown over the past decade, dotting the sloping hills of the Son Tra Mountain.”

He said he had named the garden Son Tra Tinh Vien (Son Tra Tranquil garden).

Bamboo, religion

The 48-year-old monk said he had settled down in the area and started looking after the garden as he wanted to continue with his religious work and preserve the bamboo gene at the same time.

“I studied literature at HCM City’s Social Sciences and Humanities College, so I found a connection among bamboo, literature and Buddhism,” he explained.

“The Bamboo garden is my effort to preserve nature on the Son Tra Mountain, which has been recognised as a nature reserve. It would help protect the evergreen peninsula in the tourist city in the future,” he said.

“Bamboo has inspired me to compose poems and literature, as well as lead a religious life. I have also created a tranquil corner in the garden for religious meditation,” he said.

The monk added that the existence of the bamboo garden follows his life as a Buddhist.

Four bamboo species are listed in the Red Book of Viet Nam, include the Truc den Ha Giang (Phyllostachys nigra Munro); Truc Hoa Long (Phyllostachys); Truc Vuong (Chimonobambusa quadrangularis); Tre Mien Nam (Sirocalamus aff latiflorus McClure). All have been growing well in the garden.

Meditation pool: The bamboo garden and surrounds are a perfect place for meditation.

Le Thi Thoa, an ex-student of biology and environment at the Da Nang’s Teachers’ Training college, said the garden was a full of a collection of bamboo genes.

“I spent two years working on a thesis on bamboo, and the garden was my approach for research. The monk assisted me considerably in my study of bamboo,” Thoa said.

“It is a precious garden of bamboo genes in Viet Nam as bamboo forests on the riverheads have been over-exploited or destroyed. Bamboo is rare in villages as the local people prefer to grow cash crops or profitable plants,” she said.

Thoa, who is a teacher at a junior secondary school in A Luoi District of Thua Thien-Hue, said she had proposed the idea of growing bamboo in environmentally polluted areas in Da Nang.

“I had read a document saying that bamboo reduces the content of dioxin in soil or air. Other plants cannot grow because of the chemical contaminating the air or land, but bamboo can develop well anywhere,” she said.

The 25-year-old teacher said the development of more bamboo conservation centres would help protect valuable sources of flora and their genes in Viet Nam.

“Bamboo also plays a role in biodiversity, along with other plants. It is a source of food for animals in the forest. Bamboo can slow down heavy floods in riverheads and smooth downstream flows,” said Nguyen Thi Tinh, a biologist from the Frankfurt Zoological Society of Germany.

“Land for bamboo in rural villages has been reserved for easy money farming or urban development. So, the ever green plant has gradually disappeared,” she said.

She said bamboo was also symbolic of the vitality and powerfulness of Vietnamese culture and its people.

The monk said he had brought species from Japan, Thailand, India and Africa, whenever he visited these countries. “Bamboo can be grown as bonsai in a family garden or can be sold in the market. People just think bamboo is for construction of cottages, but it can be a source of craft in rural areas,” he explained.

“Bamboo is also be used a raw material for production of bamboo charcoal-based toothpaste or tooth brushes in China and Korea,” he said.

The monk is worried that he will not be able to preserve the garden as the city plans to convert the farm into a tourist resort.

“I had proposed better alternatives for the bamboo conservatory, but the city’s departments or agencies are yet to respond,” he said.

“The directorate of the private Duy Tan University had asked me to move the garden to the university village as a field research project for students. However, I am still hesitant as I am waiting for a decision from the city authorities regarding the garden,” he said.

“I will devote the garden to Da Nang as it could promote the city as a bamboo conservation centre in Viet Nam,” he said.

The garden is a favourite photography spot for young people on the weekends, since it is still rare to find a precious genes garden of bamboo in the central region. — VNS

 

 

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Phu Quoc named world’s 8th best honeymoon spot

Phu Quoc island

                    Phu Quoc island

Phu Quoc Island has been ranked eighth in a list of 20 best honeymoon destinations by Rough Guides, a leading British publisher of travel and reference information.

It has been slotted behind Treasure Beach (Jamaica), Santorini (Greece), Buenos Aires (Argentina), Kwazulu-Natal (South Africa), Venice (Italy), The Great Ocean Road (Australia), and Kerala (India).

“Asia is full of honeymoon-worthy islands, but Phu Quoc remains one of the most appealing,” the website said.

“Though it has undeniably been ‘discovered’ now, the level of development here is still relatively low key, enabling you to really kick back and enjoy the palm-backed soft-sand beaches and warm waters.

“Phu Quoc is also a starting point for tours to the unspoilt An Thoi Islands, the water around which are ideal for snorkelling.”

 

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