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Vietnam domestic flights – All you need to know https://www.indochinavoyages.com/travel-blog/vietnam-domestic-flights

If you are having a Vietnam itinerary 2 weeks or less, flying is the most convenient and time effective way to travel. Assuming that you start your trip in Hanoi, you can take a domestic flight to main touristy cities including Hue, Da Nang, Da Lat, Nha Trang, Saigon or Can Tho (Mekong Delta). Then, how to book flights in Vietnam is a common question that often crops up. Normally, you can book Vietnam domestic flights directly on airlines websites or book with a ticketing agent. The first choice may save some money, but in case you need to change names, date, duration or cancel, having the support of a ticketing agent will be super helpful.

 

Booking Vietnam domestic flights

Booking Vietnam domestic flights through Vietnam tour companies is recommended when you travel in a big group

Check-in

There are three ways to check-in your flights.

Airport check-in

I am an easygoing person who never minds the seat on the plane so I choose to do the check-in at the airport counter. For most airlines, they open the check-in counters for domestic flights 02 hours prior to your flight scheduled departure time and close them 40 minutes before. For most cities, you can transfer to the airport around two hours before your flight leaves (by private car, for bus option, an earlier departure is highly recommended). This way, you will not have to be rush for Vietnam domestic flight check-in time.

 

Airport check-in

You shoule be in the airport check-in area at least two hours before your departure

Online check-in/Web check-in

In case you prefer to select your seats in advance to ensure your comfort during the flight, online check-in is an option. Most airlines allow you to check-in online when your flights depart from three main airports Noi Bai, Da Nang, and Tan Son Nhat.

If you belong to below special cases, you need to check-in at the airport:

  • You travel with your infant.
  • Your group has more than 9 people.
  • Or you need special assistance.

Web check-in is available from 24 hours before your flight scheduled departure time. The sooner you do the web check-in, the better seats you are able to block for your trip. After doing the online check-in, passengers without checked baggage can go straight to the boarding gate. Else, remember to check your bags at the airport before the check-in closes.

Kiosk check-in

You are at the airport and it is super crowded, the line is too long and you are an anti-fan of queuing. Kiosk check-in is another choice and I highly recommend it for those who travel with carry-on baggage only. You just need to enter your reservation code and follow the steps, get your boarding pass printed and go straight to the boarding gate. Still, kiosk check-in has just been available at three main airports, Noi Bai, Da Nang, and Tan Son Nhat. If you fly with Vietnam Airlines, Cam Ranh (Nha Trang, Khanh Hoa) is also a place that has kiosk check-in.

 

Vietnam Airlines check-in kiosk

Vietnam Airlines check-in kiosk at Noi Bai airport

Baggage Allowance and Restriction

Vietnam Airlines is the only airlines that offer 20kg checked baggage for all fare types. For other budget airlines, including Vietjet Air, Jetstar Pacific and Bamboo Airways, the Eco tickets include only 7kg carry-on baggage; and you need to pay extra for checked baggage. If you smoke, just note that matches or lighters are not allowed on checked or cabin baggage. Beverages containing 70% or more alcohol are prohibited from Vietnam domestic flights liquids. For checked baggage, please remember not to pack these things: valuable items including cash and jewelry, your phone, laptop, and camera. This note is important as it is time consuming to unpack your bags and take these items when required by airlines staff. You may be stressful, especially when you are on a hurry.

 

Checked baggage

Remember not to put your laptop or camera in checked baggage

Airlines reviews

There are four airlines that provide domestic flights within Vietnam: Vietnam Airlines, Vietjet Air, Jetstar Pacific, and the newest member Bamboo Airways.

Vietnam Airlines is the 4* airlines so the quality is the best. Even its fares seem higher than other competitors, it includes 20kg checked baggage for the lowest fares – promo. Vietnam Airlines also serves dry snack on short flights during mid-hours and main meals like breakfast, lunch, and dinner complimentary.

Bamboo Airways ranked second, yet it is a new airline so some routes have not been operated yet.

 

Bamboo Airways

Vietnam welcomes a new airline – Bamboo Airways at the end of 2018

Vietjet Air and Jetstar Pacific are two budget airlines with good prices. Yet, your flights on budget airlines may be delayed or canceled for commercial reasons.

In case you have a short time to visit Vietnam, it worth to pay a little extra for Vietnam Airlines to make sure that your plan will not be changed sharply due to a flight delay. Saving some tens of dollars but wasting half a day at the airport is not a smart choice; only suggested in case time is not a priority and budget is a real concern.

Suggested Vietnam tours

 

With the above sharing, you can choose suitable airlines based on your time, your budget and your interests. Having your Vietnam domestic flights booked and ready for the great Vietnam tours filled with amazing experiences.

 

Huyen Nguyen – Travel Specialist

#Indochinavoyages #Indochinatours #Timlee #Vietnamtours #Myanmartours #Cambodiatours #Laostours #Thailand tours

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What to do in Hanoi in September https://www.indochinavoyages.com/travel-blog/what-to-do-in-hanoi-in-september

The beauty of autumn in Hanoi appears in many local songs and poems in a subtle way. It is no surprise that Hanoi in September can be such inspiration for an artist like that. Besides having a wonderful natural scenery, September also has a cool and comfortable temperature that is a feature of the transition between summer and autumn.

 

Hanoi in September

Hanoi has special and peaceful atmosphere in September

Weather in Hanoi in September

Indeed, the temperature background in Hanoi does not change much within a day which is between 26 and 31 degrees Celsius in September. September is the last month of the rainy season in Hanoi, but there will be some sudden rainy days. The low air humidity with a cool breeze, bright sunshine, and the clear blue sky make Hanoi so romantic. Taking a walk on yellow leafy streets with a camera is a great option for anyone who likes to explore Hanoi and record a great time in their journey. However, Hanoi weather is really unpredictable, thus you should bring water along and wear comfortable light clothes for a trip in Hanoi during September.

Special features when visiting Hanoi in September

The first day of September is also the start of milk flower season – the very type of the national capital. If you cross Nguyen Du, Quan Thanh or Quang Trung streets in this season, you will find how milk flowers can be such a unique feature of Hanoi with a special smell. Even though this smell is quite strong for some people, it is undeniable that this is one of the characteristics that makes the autumn in Hanoi different.

On September 2nd, as the capital of Vietnam, Hanoi is celebrating Vietnam’s National Day with much special decoration as well as events organized around the city. Especially at the end of September, there is a fun Mid-Autumn Festival when you can enjoy Vietnamese moon cakes. Across the streets, especially the old town, are painted red with lanterns and children’s toys.

 

Beautiful and unique milk flowers in Hanoi September

Beautiful and unique milk flowers in Hanoi September

Top must-do activities in Hanoi in September

When the last summer rains poured into the city, September comes with the coolness, clarity in the air with many delicious autumn specialties. Now the question is which things to do in Hanoi in September.

Visit culture sites in Hanoi

As the cultural center of Vietnam, Hanoi has many culture tourist destination for you to discover. The first destination that you cannot miss to visit is Ba Dinh Square – Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum; where the president of Vietnam first declaration of independence to form the country. A note for you is that The President’s Mausoleum is open 5 days a week; including Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday mornings.

 

Ba Dinh Square

Ba Dinh Square in the national independent day

No less interesting, Hanoi old quarter is considered to be a unique feature of the capital with houses and streets that look from the late nineteenth century. Moreover, in this destination, you can find many famous and delicious dishes of Vietnam at quite a low price.

In the nearby location, you can find Hoan Kiem Lake that is considered as a “flower basket” in the heart of Hanoi and associated with the history of the nation. Coming here, you can enjoy walking around the lake to breathe the fresh air of Hanoi in September; or taking an ice cream of Trang Tien or Thuy Ta; and sitting on the side of this lake to see the hustle life of local people at different time in a day. All the these activities must be the great experiences for you.

 

Hoan Kiem lake

Beautiful and peaceful Hoan Kiem lake in autumn

And one of the most famous destinations on the journey discovering the history of Vietnam you cannot miss is Long Bien Bridge. Long Bien Bridge or also so-called the Paul Doumer bridge, was built from September 1898 to 1902 under Poul Domer construction. The bridge is the second greatest construction of the architect who designed the French Eiffel Tower. This was the most massive bridge in Indochina at that time. Up to now, this work of the Indochina colonization duration has been more than one hundred years old.

 

Long Bien Bridge

Long Bien Bridge – the historic cantilever bridge across the Red River

>> Click here for Hanoi tour suggestion: Hanoi Cycling Tour

Street food in Hanoi in September

When mentioning September in Hanoi, people who have visited Hanoi for once will come up with not only the smell of the milk flower scent, the cool air but also recall of the best dishes here. Let’s find out the best dishes that you must try on the journey to Hanoi in September.

Try to eat green rice

Referring to the gift of September in Hanoi, we must first mention nuggets – a dish that is considered the souls of Hanoi autumn. On all the streets of Hanoi old quarter in September, it is not difficult to see a woman with a bamboo basket selling nuggets. When you buy these green rice, or “Com” as the Vietnamese call it, the seller will wrap it in a lotus leaf into a square shape. That is the reason why when eating green rice, besides the aroma of the young rice, you can smell the elegant and unforgettable fragrance from lotus leaves.

 

Green rice

Green rice is one of the most unique specialty of Hanoi in September

Enjoy the Dracontomelon

As a special fruit that only finds in Southern China and Vietnam, Dracontomelon or so-called “Sau” is a specialty that you can enjoy in the journey in Hanoi. If the hot summer offers you with a sweet and sour cup of green Sau juice, the autumn of Hanoi will please you with a ripen Sau. Ripen Sau being dotted with salt or sugar with some paprika is a great dishes for you to try out. This snack is very “addictive” in the autumn of Hanoi.

 

Ripen Sau

Ripen Sau – the addicted street food vendor

Take a cup of beer or “bia hoi”

Hanoi in the afternoon is covered with the golden sunlight felling like the lemon wine of the autumn. At this time, you can see Hanoi people head to the lakeside or sidewalks restaurants to enjoy a cup of cool beer. Try to drink a cup of Bia Hoi in the sidewalk and see the hurried life of local people on the street; you can feel the enjoyment of slowly life and beauty of the old city. Apart from that, in this beer shop, you can also find out the beer drinking culture of Hanoi. People can drink with their friends or even stranger and talk about any topic; whether it is politics or entertainment news, you can find it all in this shop. Interesting, right?

 

A beer corner

A beer corner in Hanoi Old Quarter

>> Click here for Hanoi tour suggestion: Hanoi Street Food Tour

Some more suggested Hanoi tours

Let’s plan your Vietnam tours then getting to Hanoi in September and see what your experience might be. It is for sure one of your greatest ever.

 

Phuong Dao – Travel Lover

#Indochinavoyages #Indochinatours #Timlee #Vietnamtours #Myanmartours #Cambodiatours #Laostours #Thailand tours

Top 7 places & activities for your exceptional and memorable Myanmar travel https://www.indochinavoyages.com/travel-blog/top-7-places-activities-myanmar-travel

Opened to the rest of the world almost a decade, Myanmar had first branded up its name to many bespoke travelers; and soon becoming the world’s top 10 must go destinations in 2013. Since then, still,  some political conflicts between the army and the democratic Aung San Suu Kyi or some scattered fighting at India borders; plus the least develop of infrastructure hasn’t yet brought Myanmar travel industry to its fullest play.

At the same time, dramatically changes from the internet invasion, the flooding in of mass tourism from neighboring Asia has made the young tourism of Myanmar derailed here and there. Some of the travel sites that were beautifully heard 10 years ago have been now becoming very popular and touristy destination. Travel to Myanmar today can’t bring you enough emotions as of 10 years ago if you are a kind of traveler who is looking for more authentic, local touched experience.

 

Myanmar travel

You should plan an exceptional travel to Myanmar soon

Don’t know where to plan and start your most memorable Myanmar tours?  No worry, the top 7 places and activities below should be triggered at your plan and highly recommended to follow. Let’s do it soon and sooner before the country making its change very fast, along with the surge coming of internet to this once sleepy and exotic destination.

Sunrise in Bagan, how to get it

Located in the central of Myanmar and dotted itself with over 2000 ancient temples, Bagan is a really special travel attraction. When Bagan welcomes its new day, you will have the chance to see 2000 temples which are gradually and slowly appeared as the sun rising. Though, according to the new regulation since 2015, travelers are not allowed to climb up any temple for the lookout as before but some regulated areas are still, generally a hilly mount of land to offer the vantage point for sunrise moment.

Another costing but life time experience way is to book your balloon flight in advance. The reliable Balloon operator as www.balloonsoverbagan.com is now offering 2 packages to any traveler; flight only and combo flight & breakfast at the cost of US$350 and US$400 respectively. If you are a loyal customer to a powerful Myanmar travel agency, it is best to check from them for a possible discount price package. It is often that a detailed table of sunrise hours is shown at your hotel or guesthouse for your reference from the night before, to pick the best time for the best sunrise moment.

 

sunrise in Bagan

Legendary Bagan is appearing as the sun goes high

>> Click here for Bagan sunrise tour: Highlights Of Myanmar 8 Days

Is this worth visiting the Nyaung U market

Known as the biggest market in Bagan, Nyaung U market preserves its aged old custom of an outdoor buy & sell area like many others in Asia. All kind of live stocks, fruits, food, vegetables and necessities were brought here for people to trade. Every corner inside and outside the market can be the highlight of the visit; where you will enjoy the way people place their products; the way they scale (weight) it; the way the women go shopping and bring stuffs home.

The crowded ambiance plus the fresh smell of the market will easily make you feel like a photographer and memory recorder. Depend on how you interact with the visit, it generally takes 1.5 to 2 hours to absorb the charm and the discovery of this market to the best possible.  

 

Nyang U market

Nyang U market

>> Suggested Bagan tour: A day venture ot at Bagan

Why Sittwe Myanmar and its most fascinating fish market

Sittwe hasn’t yet a well-known place of travel in Myanmar travel map. This township belongs to Rakhine State; and lies to the West of Myanmar while bordering with India & Sri Lanka by the Bay of Bengal.

When traveling to Sittwe, most people consider it as a buffer zone for one night stay before getting to the remote Mrauk U. But some people rarely know that this coastal town will reward the stay a lot, generally the charm of this small town feel with its interesting fish market. At the market outdoor area, the seller, who come right from the bank of water will dock all his fishes on the floor and shout out loud like an auction sales. Who bid higher will get the deal. Inside the market, there are huge piles of dried shrimps, dried fish hanging next to the old-fashioned scale; making the exhibitions of the product so tempting and interesting to look at. The smell of fish, both from fresh stock and drying ground will make the market hours unforgettable.

 

Sittwe fish market

Sittwe fish market

Exploring the ancient temples in Mrauk U

Known as the capital and trading port town of Rakhine State in the 15 and 16th century, Mrauk U boasts a selection of untouched temples and pagodas. Beside a larger ruined area that made Mrauk U known as an archeological site, remind the today world travelers the gone glorious days of the Rakhine State.

Highlighted Mrauk U temples to see are the Koethaoung and Sitthaoung; which located in the lower lands and surrounded by the dense vegetation. The town is not stretching too far. A day venturing around will enhance your understanding of the once powerful Rakhine state; and why the local people took their pride in their olden days. For the best added value to your visit of these sacred temples, let arrange the visit during the monsoon season to get the best appearance; when the beauty of these ancient temples are found in their green cover.

 

Mrauk U temples

Visiting Mrauk U temples is like a whole new experience

How to get boat from Sittwe to Mrauk U

Daily local boat departs the Sittwe habour at 14 pm; and it takes roughly 5 hours to get there. Price is US$ 20 and can be varied a bit due to the local Kyat exchange. Morning public boat can be on daily basis or every two days, based on the season. Let’s check out more from your hostel or hotel. Another option is local bus, expected a bit bumpy ride, at the cost of US$25. It’s best to do the first ride by boat and the return one by bus, to gain a comprehensive travel experience of yours.

Discovering the hidden Chin Village

From Mrauk U, a 40 minute pumping drive will get you to a boat pier; then you will be transferred in a 2 hours boat ride along the Lay Mio River to access to the Chin Village, the unique village where some of the old women to be found with tattoo on their face. It’s said that the Chin girls were forced with facial tattoo at their childhood; so they will look less appealing or charming to the men who invading their territory. Along with the opening to the rest of the world, the practice has recently no longer existed. The facial tattoo ladies you found at the village might be the last generation of this custom.

 

The facial tattoo ladies in Myanmar

The ethnic minority ladies are well-known for their remarkable facial tattoos

The trip is enriched with some daily activities of the locals who live by the bank of the Lay Mio River, as well as chances to witness some traditional games played by the villages’ children along the village walk. A car or tuk tuk should be booked for your travel from town to the boat pier. Car is recommended though it might not be a decent and comfy one. Remember, you are at the very poor and remote area of Myanmar.

Taking a boat ride on Inle lake

Also locating in the central area of Myanmar, Inle Lake is 45 minute drive from Heho Airport, surrounded by the rugged mountain of Southwestern Shan State. The lake is huge and serene most of the time; and will be very scenic in a clear day with blue sky, moderate sun, dotted with villages on stills and floating gardens. This is the homeland, occupied by the majority of Intha people and other minority of Pa-o people who lived upon tending the floating garden and fishing with single-leg rowing technique.

Generally, you can arrange your boat time by mid-afternoon (roughly 3pm) to have more chances for daily activities of the local people when they are finishing their day from the garden or on the way home. Sunset moment to be likely happened, promising ton of photos to be taken. Beside the beauty of the Lake and its surrounding, interacting with Intha fishermen on the lake is really a highlight during your Burma travel.

 

The Inle Lake fishermen

The Inle Lake fishermen fishing with single-leg rowing technique

>> Here is a suggested Myanmar itinerary to admire the most surprising way of single leg rowing by local Intha fishermen at Inle Lake: Manmar Adventure 10 Days

Meditating by the magnificent Shwedagon Pagoda

Known as a collection of fainted houses and history – stained streets that once under the colonialism of the Bristish, Yangon has a lot to show in a day or two with some famous sites. You might hear from some as Sule Temple, the Parliament House, Chinese town, Scot Marke, etc. But above those, the famed Shwedagon Pagoda, which is located right in the central of Yangon, can’t be missed. Its large and stretching construction scales has made it the main and crowded relic sight to locals and popular tour spot for foreign travelers. The Pagoda is said to be constructed more than 2500 years ago and under the most serious preservation work by the Burmese people and its government.

 

Shwedagon Pagoda

Just close your eyes, enjoy the evening breeze and fall deep into your meditation

Once check in and after a nice walk around, the sacred and belief-driven ambiance, the splendid setting of the pagoda plus its spacious area will easily inspire you to sit down at a corner and do a short meditation. Regardless other visitors or prayers who are walking by, just close your eyes, enjoy the evening breeze and fall deep into your meditation at the most impressive pagoda in Myanmar. It can for sure enrich your lifetime experiences in this part of the world. Isn’t it special?

Other suggestions for Myanmar tours

 

Tim Lee – Travel Specialist

#Indochinavoyages #Indochinatours #Timlee #Vietnamtours #Myanmartours #Cambodiatours #Laostours #Thailand tours

Pak Ou Caves – A highlight of Luang Prabang Laos https://www.indochinavoyages.com/travel-blog/pak-ou-caves-luang-prabang-laos

Luang Prabang has been a tourist hub of Laos and the Southeast Asia thanks to its well – preserved architecture, rich culture and lovely nature. Situating next to the Mekong River, Luang Prabang Laos has a lot to offer to its visitors besides the Old town, the ancient shrines and temples. When making a visit to this city, make sure you put Pak Ou Caves into your bucket list.

 

Pak Ou cave

Pak Ou caves – one of the most treasured religious symbols of Luang Prabang

Pak Ou Caves facts

In the west of Luang Prabang, Pak Ou caves is 25 kilometers outside of the city. What makes this cave special is that there are thousands of Buddha statues insides, on the rocky cliff with faces overlooking to the Mekong river. The cave is actually combines of 2 smaller caves: lower and upper one. The lower cave is called Tham Ting and closer to water level; while the upper one, called Tham Theung, is reached by climbing up some stone steps.

 

Buddha statues inside Pak Ou Cave

Thousands of Buddha statues inside Pak Ou Caves

Tham Ting is the place for local people burn offerings; hence you will feel more of untouched vibe when going deeper to Tham Theung. In this lower cave, nature light is in good condition and there is no difficulty in going around. The Buddha icons, mostly wooden, are scattered on almost all shelves and clefts. The second cave is dark and it is necessary that you bring a torch along with you while climbing and exploring it. In order to get inside, you will need to climb for about 10 minutes.

 

Tham Theung

The entrance to upper cave Tham Theung

It is said that there are approximately 4000 Buddha statues existing inside Pak Ou caves. Those Buddha images follow various of positions such as meditation, peace and nirvana. The inhabitants of Luang Prabang have a strong belief that the statues have been left in the cave for hundreds of years. Most of the statues were made of wood; and the rest of them were made of resin and even earthenware and animal bones. Then, they are painted in red or black and covered with gold.

How to get to Pak Ou Caves

There are 3 main ways for you to see Pak Ou Caves: tuk tuk, boat cruise or group tour. Tuk tuk is everywhere to be seen in Luang Prabang; thus it is such a piece of cake to catch one from the main streets to get to Pak Ou Caves. Tuk tuk driver will take you to the nearest town and from there, you will need to get on a ferry across the river.

 

Pak Ou Cave Tuk tuk

Tuk tuk is used to get to Pak Ou Caves from Luang Prabang

Also, getting a boat cruise on Mekong River to Pak Ou Caves is probably the most desirable and charming way for a major number of travelers. If you are looking for reducing the cost, you can join in a boat cruise with other people; please note that time schedule is inflexible in this case. Besides, some people are into a more private space; so they would hire a boat for themselves only. You can expect the boat trip lasts for 2 hours and 1 more hour on the way back.

 

Boats to Pak Ou cave

Boats’ owners are waiting for their guests to visit Pak Ou caves

The third way to get to Pak Ou caves is joining in a group tour of half day or full day from Luang Prabang city center. The tour will provides pick up and drop off from your hotel; so we cannot deny the convenience.

Visiting Whiskey Village near Pak Ou Caves

The name of Whiskey Village is Ban Xieng Hai and it is on the way to Pak Ou caves. In here, you can find the traditionally homemade whiskey by the local people. Lao Lao is how local people call their type of liquor. It is produced from rice on open fire and distilled in earthen jars.

 

Wine production village

Ban Xieng Hai wine production village

Best time to visit Pak Ou Caves

Pak Ou caves is originally a spiritual as well as worth to visit; it is nowadays gets very touristy. Almost all tours depart for Pak Ou in the morning; that is the reason why the best time to visit Pak Ou is advisable in the afternoon. If you can book a boat trip in the late afternoon, you can witness a nice sunset on Mekong River on the way coming back. During the year, Pak Ou caves welcomes the biggest number of travelers in April; as known as the Laos New Year.

Suggested Luang Prabang tours

After all, are you already impressed by thousands of Buddha statues here? Do not hesitate to contact us – Indochina Voyages for your Indochina tours to Laos. Hopefully, you will find useful information in this article to visit one of the must-see place in Luang Prabang Laos, Pak Ou Caves.

 

Minh Vu – Travel Specialist

 

#Indochinavoyages #Indochinatours #Timlee #Vietnamtours #Myanmartours #Cambodiatours #Laostours #Thailand tours

A guide to understand and visit Silver Pagoda Phnom Penh https://www.indochinavoyages.com/travel-blog/silver-pagoda-phnom-penh-cambodia

Southeast Asia is an emerging tourism industry, therefore, countries there are welcoming more and more foreign visitors. Not only do travelers relax and entertain but they also come there in order to discover the culture, religion and tradition. To plan your Indochina tours, Cambodia is a country which worth exploring. If you want to dig into the religion especially Buddhism, you should never miss Silver Pagoda in Phnom Penh. This article would provide you with a basic guide about the destination.

History of Silver Pagoda Phnom Penh

Silver Pagoda is located in the south position of Royal Palace, Phnom Penh. The official name of the pagoda is Wat Ubaosoth Ratanaram which means Temple of the Emerald Crystal of Buddha; but people usually call Wat Preah Keo for short. The pagoda used to be a place where the King worshiped, prayed and practiced every Buddhist Silas Day. Besides, Buddhist ceremonies were also held by royal family. It was originally a wooden construction in 1892 under King Norodom. After 11 years, the opening ceremony was held, in other words, it was called Banchos Khan Seima ceremony. 

 

Silver Pagoda

A corner of Royal Palace and Silver Pagoda

Later, the temple underwent through a serious damage and Queen Kosamak Neary Rath asked for the repair. Then the pagoda was dismantled and rebuilt in 1962 in the same site with reinforced concrete under the lead of Samdach Preah Norodom Sihanouk; who was the Queen’s son as well as the head of the state at that time. In the reconstruction, the structure was remained; yet the floor was laid with silver titles and the columns were covered with glass stone. It is the fact that 5,329 silver titles were used to cover the floor, then it is called Silver Pagoda like today. 

Silver Pagoda travel guide

Not only is the pagoda covered with more than 5,000 silver titles but the staircase leading to the pagoda is made of Italian marble, with the temple home to a life-sized gold Buddha dripping with 2,086 diamonds. The largest is said to weigh a 25 carats. Moreover, there are about 1,650 art objects which are mainly Buddha figures inside the temple. They are made of gold, silver, bronze and other valuable materials. These statues are gifts from the King, the royal family, dignitaries and other people worshiping at Preah Vihear Keo Morakot where they pray for peace and prosperity, for happiness and the preservation of Cambodian cultural heritage for the next generation. 

Objects of particular interest in the Preah Vihear Keo Morakot include the Preah Keo Morakot and the Emerald Buddha which sits atop throne in the center of the temple. Statues in other cabinets are the keepsakes and decorated objects for royal and Buddha ceremonies. The surrounding of Silver Pagoda also impresses you with lofty gallery. The wall of the gallery is hang with traditional paintings of the entire Ream Ke epic. It is said that these paintings were done by 40 Cambodian artists between 1903 and 1904. The 642-meter-long Ream Ke painting starts from the south of the eastern gallery and run around the gallery. Therefore, visitors have to walk in a circle so as to understand the historical stories.

 

Overview of Silver Pagoda

The overview of Silver Pagoda – the most famous pagoda in Cambodia

In front of Preah Vihear Preah Keo Morakot, there are two stupas and a statue under the roof. The south stupas hold the remain of King Ang Doung, the great-great grandfather of King Sihanouk. The north stupas hold cremains of King Norodom, the great grandfather of King Shihanouk. Both stupas were dedicated on March 13, 1980. 

In addition, a bell hat is installed in the West of Preah Vihear Preah Keo Morakot. The bell hat is used in various ceremonies and to mark the opening and closing of Silver Pagoda. This bell, in the past, was used to call monks studying Pali language in the pagoda. 

When you go there, you will be introduced about Tipitaka, the fundamental scriptural canon of Buddhism, include Sutta Pitaka. The Sutta Pitaka, or a collection of discourse, is composed based on the conversation between the Buddha and people. It consists of five groups of texts: Digha Nikaya – Collection of long discourses, Mijjhima Nikaya – Collection of medium discourses, Samyutta Nikaya – Collection of grouped discourses, Anguttara Nikaya – Collection of discourses on numbered topics and Khuddaka Nikaya – Collection of miscellaneous texts.

 

Silver pagoda

Travelers would understand more about Buddhism once visiting there

Silver Pagoda entrance fee

In order to visit Silver Pagoda, you have to go through the Royal Palace, therefore, your ticket include the visiting fee for both places. The destination is open to public everyday of the week on the schedule from 7:30 to 11:00 and from 14:00 to 17:00 (except for important events, the place is only available for the royal family or the government). The entrance fee is US$3 and the fee will be fluctuated depending on whether you take photos or not. US$2 is added for taking pictures. However, photography is allowed in the outside exhibition areas only. Visitors should remember that exposed knees and shoulders are considered disrespectful.

Suggested Phnom Penh tours

In conclusion, Silver Pagoda is a guide to help you understand about Cambodian culture and religion. Certainly, your horizon about Southeast Asia in general and Buddhism in particular will be expanded. Don’t hesitate, hit your road, plan your Cambodia tour package to visit Silver Pagoda.

 

Mai Linh – Travel Lover

#Indochinavoyages #Indochinatours #Timlee #Vietnamtours #Myanmartours #Cambodiatours #Laostours #Thailand tours

What to wear in Cambodia – Top useful tips for Cambodia travel https://www.indochinavoyages.com/travel-blog/what-to-wear-in-cambodia

There are several factors to keep in mind when planning your Indochina travel. What to wear in Cambodia is not an exception which is related to cultural elements, climate and activities you are planning to do.

Factors affect what to wear in Cambodia

Cultural element – Buddhism rules

Buddhism is the main religion of the country with 97% of population followers. Buddhism plays an important role in the daily lives of Cambodian, thus, people are very modest and gentle. As a result, modest dress is the rule in Cambodia, particularly for women. Even though Cambodians are very open to tourism industry, you should be aware of cultural elements and socially accepted norms to wear in an appropriate way.

Some people carry with them cute shorts or tank top when travelling around the world and also wear them in Cambodia and some people ending wearing these clothes when seeing others do, but my advice is NOT. Cambodia is a conservative country and people are too polite to comment but they will consider it as a way of disrespect their culture. The best advice is to look at what people are wearing and cover as much as possible.

 

What to wear in Cambodia

You should be aware of cultural elements and socially accepted norms to wear in an appropriate way

Cambodia weather

When travelling to Cambodia, it is important to bear in mind that the weather will be hot no matter what time of the year. Between March and June is the hottest time of the year and it is coolest in January, although it is still in high 20 degrees. So remember to wear clothes which are airy and breathy such as clothes made of natural fabrics e.g line, cotton and silk.

From April to October, it can be hot and wet with lot of rain, so always remember to carry lightweight raincoat with you.

Cambodia activities

Cambodia is not only famous for temples, pagodas and palaces but there are lot of more things you could do in this beautiful country. Either spending time trekking in jungle in the north east or relaxing on the beach at Koh Rong island or Sihanouk Village would be another exciting experience to do as well. If you are going to do a trek in the jungle, you should wear long – sleeved clothes and strong mosquito repellent. Also, good walking shoes and leeches short is a must. If you are coming to the beach, swimming suite and bikini of course would be on your packing list. Still, it is highly recommended to cover your skin by sarong or dress when you are on sand.

 

Jungle trekking in Cambodia

Wearing long – sleeved clothes for jungle trekking in Cambodia

General styles wearing tips

Clothing tips for women in Cambodia

It is difficult and you should think twice what to where when visiting Cambodia. Due to that you want to respect the culture to dress appropriately but still want to be comfortable as much as possible when touring outside, a suitable choice of clothes will make you feel happy to enjoy the whole day trip.

If you are going to visiting religious places or worship places, definitely your legs and your shoulders must be covered whatever you wear. So what is most suitable? Skirt or jeans? T-shirt or a long sleeve shirt? My advice is that you should wear a long loose pants with a T- shirt. It is also suitable if you are also going on tour by car, by tuk tuk or by bike. If you are still like to wear a dress, make sure to have a long scarf to cover your knees and legs when you are walking steps for the view and seeing more of the temple.

 

A long scarf for temple visiting.

A long scarf to cover your knees and legs is recommended for the temple visiting.

Clothes for men in Cambodia

Local men in Cambodia typically wear collared, short sleeved shirt and long pants. Even though, wearing shorts and T-shirt is find for travelers, still, covering your shoulder and knees when entering temples and pagodas is what you should do. Avoid short shorts, tank top, tight stretch/yoga pants or other clothing that is too revealing.

What footwear to wear in Cambodia

Depending on what activities, you could choose the most suitable shoes for you. Most of people will spend there time touring in temple, pagodas and palaces of Cambodia, thus a sandals is the most suitable one as it not only safe but also easy to take out when you are entering a religious sites. A pair of trekking sandals can be a good options if you are going on a jungle trip too. Still, I believe a good walking pair of shoes is the most suitable choice in this case.

 

A good walking pair of shoes

A good walking pair of shoes is the most suitable choice

Other things to pack

  • As Cambodia is really hot country, you should always carry sunscreen with you. Besides, sun hat and sun glasses is top things not to forget.
  • When you go out for tour activities, you often found the toilet unclean because of so many people in and out every day. Also, you should take your own little first aid kit such as anti bacterial hand-wash.
  • If you are staying in basic accommodation, bring a sleeping bag, mosquito net and your own toilet paper.
  • Bring/Buy big bottle of water not only for drinking but also use for brush your teeth as tap water is really unsafe for your stomach.
  • As it is expected to rain a lot from April to October, remember to carry a light rain jacket when you are outside.
  • Combine your bag with a handy backpack that will carry your daytime essentials during your Cambodia tour packages.

Some suggested Cambodia tours for your reference:

In conclusion, for the question what to wear in Cambodia, you should bring long, light, loose and cool clothes. Not only these clothes are good for weather but also appropriate for visiting Cambodia temples. Do not bring too much as you can buy good and cheap clothes in Cambodia, plus, laundry is quite reasonable at price here.

 

Van Do – Travel Specialist

#Indochinavoyages #Indochinatours #Timlee #Vietnamtours #Myanmartours #Cambodiatours #Laostours #Thailand tours

Vietnam visa and all you need to know for Vietnam travel https://www.indochinavoyages.com/travel-blog/vietnam-visa-all-you-need-to-know

Vietnam with life-long culture, historic sites, beautiful scenery, and flavorsome food is becoming an all-around prime travel spot for worldwide travelers. Among the necessary conditions to enter Vietnam, Vietnam visa may be considered the prerequisite. This article is a thorough outlook about Vietnam visa when planning Vietnam tours.

Definition of Vietnam visa

Vietnam visa is the official ticket for any foreign travelers who want to immigrate into Vietnam and stay in the country within a specified period. It is issued by the competent authorities of Vietnam like Vietnam Embassy/Consulate or Vietnam Immigration Department.

 

Vietnam visa

How to get Vietnam visa

Types and codes of Vietnam visa

According to purpose of Vietnam travel, Vietnam visa is categorized into up to 20 types with equivalent code. Among them, tourist visa (code DL) and business visa (code DN) are the two most prevalent types of visa applied by travelers to Vietnam.

According to the number of entries, Vietnam visa is categorized into two types of single entry visa and multiple entry visa. For single entry visa, you must stay in Vietnam during the visa validity. Once you have gone out of Vietnam’s border, even before the granted expiry date, your visa will automatically become unacceptable. If you want to come back to Vietnam, you will need to apply for a new visa. However, when you have a multiple entry visa, you can leave Vietnam and then re-enter the country during the visa period without applying for a new one.

According to visa validity, Vietnam visa is categorized into 1-month visa, 3-month visa, 6-month visa and 1-year visa.

 

A multiple entry tourist visa

A multiple entry tourist visa

Vietnam visa exemption policy

At present, Vietnam government frame an open visa exemption policy for foreigners.

For holders of a popular passport

From January 2019, regular passport holders from the following 24 countries do not need a tourist visa for Vietnam

Countries Passport Required Maximum stay
Chile Yes less than 90 days
Cambodia, Indonesia, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand Yes less than 30 days
Philippines Yes less than 21 days
Belarus, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Norway, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom Yes less than 15 days
Brunei, Myanmar Yes less than 14 days

For holders of a non-popular passport

The range of countries who adopt Vietnam visa exemption policy seems longer when their citizens have diplomatic or service passports. Significantly among them are Vietnamese counterpart countries in ASEAN like Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, some big countries in Europe like France, Germany, Italy and great friends in Asia like Japan, South Korea, China, India. Visa waiver agreements for diplomatic and service passports were signed with Ethiopia in August 2018, Greece in July 2018, Namibia on 19 Nov 2013 and Cameroon in December 2017 but have not come into force.

For those traveling to Phu Quoc Island

All travelers who directly visit Phu Quoc Island from a third country will be exempted from Vietnam visa requirements for up to 30 days. Travelers who are not exempted from visa requirements can visit Phu Quoc without a visa for up to 30 days.

Vietnam visa application – How to get Vietnam visa

Applying for Vietnam visa is getting easier and easier. Up to now, there are 3 convenient ways to get a valid and legitimate Vietnam visa. They can be named as applying for visa before arrival (at Vietnam Embassy/consulate), applying for visa on arrival, and applying for e-visa. Now, let’s find out about each individual way.

 

application for a Vietnam visa

There are 3 convenient ways to get a valid and legitimate Vietnam visa

Apply for visa at Vietnam embassy visa

This is the conventional way to achieve a visa for Vietnam. Visa will be issued by Vietnam embassy or consulate. To get this kind of visa, applicants will have to:

  • Log onto the website of the embassy/consulate with which they need to apply for the visa;
  • Complete the form, stick your photo there and sign it;
  • Travel to the embassy/consulate of Vietnam to submit the form together with original passport and other documents (as required) and pay the visa fee;
  • Come back home and wait;
  • Travel to the embassy/consulate again to receive the passport together with visa stamp.

The entire process may take 3 to 5 working days. And it is available for both tourists and business travelers to Vietnam. Cost of this kind differs by visa type and embassy as well.

Vietnam visa on arrival (VOA – also known as Vietnam visa at airport)

This type of visa is issued when travelers arrive at the airport. This option is the most frequently used way to get the visa today because it helps to save time, money and energy. Its application covers 3 simple steps as follows:

  • Applicants need to access to website of a Vietnam visa center, and register in advance by completing an online form, and making payment of service fee to such center;
  • After a certain period of time, normally 2 working days, they will receive a visa approval letter via email;
  • Then they will use the letter to pick up the stamped visa at the landing airport. They also have to pay the stamping fee at this time.

This kind of visa is accessible for both tourists and business travelers to Vietnam with a validity of up to 1 year. But it is for those traveling to Vietnam by AIR only. The Vietnam visa cost may vary by visa type, normal or urgent processing, number of applicants in a group. In addition, Vietnam visa fee also depends on the center which supplies the service for Vietnam visa on arrival.

 

Vietnam visa-on-arrival

Getting Vietnam visa on arrival at the immigration checkpoint in Vietnam international airports

Vietnam electronic visa (or Vietnam E-visa)

This is the newest way of getting a visa to Vietnam. It has been introduced since February 1, 2017 in a 2-year pilot duration. This kind of visa takes 3 working days for processing, costs US$25 and is granted for single entry visits for maximum of 30 days to nationals of the 80 eligible countries (the data has been updated since February 2019)

To apply for e-visas, those citizens need to access to the Vietnam visa online official website https://evisa.xuatnhapcanh.gov.vn/web/guest/trang-chu-ttdt, complete the form with required information and documents. After that, they will receive an application code and will be asked to pay a non-refundable fee online. After around 3 working days for tourists to find out if their applications have been approved or not. If yes, they will receive a loose-leaf e-visa with a QR code. This visa should be then printed and showed to the immigration officer at arrival gate in Vietnam as a part of the immigration process.

Vietnam visa requirements for US citizens

 

Vietnam visa requirements for US citizens

Vietnam visa requirements for US citizens

The visa regulation for US citizens has a considerable change since August 30th 2016. Before this time, the U.S citizens had several choices of visa to Vietnam. They were 1 or 3 months visa, single or multiple entries, depending on personal traveling plan. Also, the visa types were for either tourism purpose or business purpose. For business visa type, it can be up to one year and for multiple entries only. It’s very important to know that for the new regulations, 1 month or 3 month visas are no longer available. The only choice for US citizens now is 1 year visa to Vietnam for both purposes of tourism and business.

However, there is a huge difference between 1 year tourist visa and 1 year business visa. For 1 year tourist visa, you have to exit the country after 3 months of staying. But for 1 year business multiple entries visa, you can stay up to 1 year in Vietnam. Therefore, this type of visa is absolutely recommended in case you don’t want to run for the visa for every 3 months.

The article has basically given almost necessary information about Vietnam visa. If you need any more question, please contact Vietnam tour companies or our Indochina Voyages team for the best assistance here >>https://www.indochinavoyages.com/contact-us

 

Giang Tran – Travel Lover

#Indochinavoyages #Indochinatours #Timlee #Vietnamtours #Myanmartours #Cambodiatours #Laostours #Thailand tours