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Archive for December, 2015

Our last temples today will be the Bayon – a popular temple that have seen somewhere. The giant stone faces of Bayon have become one for the most recognizable images connected to classic Khmer art and architecture. Most of towers sporting four carved faces oriented toward the cardinal points.

Who the faces might represent is a matter of debate but you can not deny that these face make this place really mystery and a bit scary if you are here alone. Indochina tour Cambodia

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The smiley face is carved on most tower in Bayon

Now, since part 1, you might wonder, “where are the crowded tourists and visitors in these pictures?” Many friends of mine, they was surprised when I show them these pictures so I’m happy to share with you some tips here:

  • Don’t go in a common way. Most temples in Angkor have 4 gates with the main gate faces to the East and most of them can be entered. So, to avoid crowded people, let take start at the opposite gate in the West.
  • Travel in low season, from June to September. But, please aware that this is also summer time and the heat could be easy to knock you down.
  • Be patient but fast at the same time! Even following 2 things above, these temples are always busy. Just let people go first then you will have time for your photos and do it quickly if you don’t want to stay there forever.

Now, bring your camera with a huge memory card and a big bottle of water then you are ready for this!

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2. Jasmine cruise – the middle child

Being the gracious middle-child, Jasmine was built in December 2007 in the style of a traditional Vietnamese junk, with three tawny sails and dark wood-cladding.

With 23 cabins, Jasmine is the biggest sister in the family with 12 Superior cabins (17m2, window), 09 Deluxe cabins (18m2, small balcony of 2m2) and 02 Jasmine Junior Suites (24m2, small balcony of 2m2). This elegance child is covered in polished wood, lending her the stately air of an Indochina-era cruising boat. Guests can convene in the formal dining room, enjoy casual barbecues on the terrace and marvel at the bay’s moonlit beauty on the Jasmine’s wide Sundeck.

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The décor is classy – with marvelous wooden finishing. Pleasing paintings and well designed amenities decorate this room.

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A small lounge with a bar sits next to the restaurant area where fine cuisine with set menu for dinner is served.

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With the same high quality & great quantity of food as all products of Heritage Lines, the outstanding meal on-board the Jasmine should be the BBQ dinner with various food to be served to your table.

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We confidently rate this cruise as Upscale Deluxe or Luxury category, a very well-organized junk on which gives guests a lovely view of the Bay from above. Sturdy and strong – with a decidedly languid air, let Jasmine transport you around our Halong World Heritage!

 

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Not surprisingly, Philip Kotler, the father of modern marketing, has mentioned Vietnam as “the world’s kitchen” and “eating and drinking in heaven”. Vietnam’s best eating is found everywhere, from the elegant, fine dining restaurants, to small stalls on every street corner. Tours Indochina VietnamVietnam food.jpg

If you want to eat like a local, step out of the hotel and check out any vendors. Most of them are run by a single family, you just need to make an order, sit down on the low plastics chair then enjoy the delicious food at the sidewalk.
1Vietnam has many different types of noodles, “Pho, Bun, Mien, Banh Da, Cao Lau, Hu Tieu…” – all are made from rice. Among them, “Pho bo” (Beef noodles) and “Bun Cha” (Grilled pork and Noodle) are great dishes introduced to the world many times over.Vietnamese Beef Noodle Soup

Banh Mi is a famous fusion food. Undoubtedly, French culinary has made a major influence here. But Vietnamese have made it another famed brand. Banh mi is a baguette with different fresh ingredients inside. Passing by a stall, and you will see how they prepare the bread in front of you. The crusty bread is sliced down on a side, filled with layers of some various sorts of meat, such as luncheon meat or grilled pork patties, fried egg then pate, cucumbers, fresh herbs and finally a bit of chili sauce and spicy peppers.

Banh Mi

The third name on the list of favorites is seafood. It is nutritious, abundant, and very cheap. If you are a seafood lover, I highly recommend you spend time at the coastal area, such as Halong Bay, Danang, Nha Trang, Vung Tau ỏ Phu Quoc… Strolling around the beaches and you will find many roadside stalls of live seafood: clams, crab, shrimp, sea urchins and lobsters… all are fresh. There are million ways of cooking; Just 5 to 15 minutes, you see the seller making the dishes in front of you, and everything is ready to eat.

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There are 3 regions in Vietnam (North, Central and South, each area has its exotic dishes… the people always pride on the diverse cuisine … If you are planing a trip to our country, a food tour is a must-not-miss….

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5. Dragon (1952, 1964, 1976, 1988, 2000, 2012…)

Perhaps the figure most used for decorative purposes in Vietnam is the Dragon. It is to be seen in temples, on silverware, and cloth of all kinds, and next to the depiction of bending bamboo is perhaps the most familiar symbol of that land. The dragon is the most important of the four symbolic animals of Vietnamese mythology–to the Vietnamese it symbolizes nobility and power and is believed to be immortal. Vietnam travel packages

Dragon people therefore are supposed to be born talented however arrogant and tactless. As placed at the position of king, their image are associated with at royal places such as palace and on king’s robe. It is said that dragon person never live poorly but would be wealthy or at least well-to-do. However, it is also said if a dragon one can balance between big things and small affairs, their life would be perfect.

6. Snake (1953, 1965, 1977, 1989, 2001, 2013…)

Vietnam wet climate is definitely a prime land for snake to live. The interaction between snake and human and snake use for medicine have put snake in the important place of an animal that symbolizes a great part of Vietnam culture. While snake always appears dangerously, its venom and skin are very useful in medicine. Don’t you be surprised to see a snake person so lucky! That’s one of the most prominent features of snake sign. On the other hand, a snake one is extremely charming: once you are caught in love with a snake girl, you can hardly escape the relationship.

7. Horse (1954, 1966, 1978, 1990, 2002, 2014…)

Horse plays a prime role in transportation in Vietnamese society in the past. As road in this country did not well develop, horse is thee almost only choice for transportation, both in daily life and in army. With a country having ¾ mountainous and forestry area, horse is respected for its usefulness. It helps people trek across forest, climb up mountain and especially did very well its passenger role at the time mailing was limited by low-tech transportation.

Horse person as stated above is fated to move and move all their life. Staying at a same place is something unbearable for a horse one. This characteristic contributes to build an errant personality of horse sign. A horse man is often very generous, has a lot of friend and treats them like siblings. Horse person’s independence is another prominent characteristic. Besides, he is very confident, the feature that helps him achieve success in life.

8. Goat (1955, 1967, 1979, 1991, 2003, 2015…)
Born in the mountainous area, goat loves the airy atmosphere there and the thing that goat likes the most is grazing grass and sleeping dreaming in even day time. Poem maybe the best thing that a goat person may make since this kind of zodiac is believed to be the most dreamy one among the 12 zodiacs. When goat is thrown to the fierce life, he may feel life is unfair and despair completely.

However, if a goat person knows that dreaming is his both stronghold and weakness, he can apply it properly and become successful in some areas such as painting and performance arts.

(tobe continued)

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Halong bay, a major tourist attraction in Vietnam, proudly to be recognized twice by UNESCO as a World Natural Heritage Area for its exceptional scenic beauty and one of the world’s greatest natural wonders. As the sun rises over the thousands of karst islands that dot Halong Bay, the three stunning crafts, the “Three Sisters” vessels elegantly welcomes guests on an intimate journey through one of nature’s true marvels. They are Ginger, Jasmine and Violet – the true masterpieces belong to Heritage Line.

1. Ginger cruise – the eldest sister

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Built in March 2006 to resemble a traditional wooden junk, the Ginger features wood-paneled lounges, shimmering silks and Indochine-style furnishings. Simple yet elegant, the cabins feature large windows – perfect for viewing the Bay’s ever-changing scenery.

With only ten cabins, divided into 2 categories – Superior (12m2) and Deluxe (14m2), the Ginger offers an intimate means of exploring Halong Bay. The wooden floor and ceiling create a warm ambience of the rooms. Large windows offer a spectacular view to the Bay. We think this cruise serves best for couple, in a romantic and relaxing way. There are two major interesting activities on the 1st day, which are cave visiting and kayak/ rowing boat which do not feel rush at all. Besides those, you have plenty of time to lounge on the sundeck or in your cabin, to take in the breath-taking scenery of this gorgeous bay.

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Savor delectable cuisine at the cozy restaurant. The warm color tone, coupled with candle-light and panoramic windows will certainly ensure that your meals are memorable experiences.

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Food on this cruise is just to die for, of excellent quality and quantity. Food varies from a buffet lunch with delicious Vietnamese salads to a lovely à la carte dinner in lovely decoration – everything tastes just more than good!

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This cruise is rated in our Deluxe category, a solid choice for travelers who want to stay in a not so big junk, with excellent service, efficient organization of activities, good facilities & amenities, plus excellent food. We confidently trust Ginger junk will bring you an amazing experience and well worth the money spent!

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Are you looking for an ideal place for relaxing and enjoying in the uplifting moments spa in Siem Reap?

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If you visit Siem Reap, you have to get a massage. You have to try it because a) they’re incredible and b) they can be SO CHEAP. Come into exotic world of beauty, serenity and pleasure. Choose an individual treatment that is perfect for you. Spend an hour or an afternoon. You will enjoy a complete menu of treatment and therapies: scrub, wrap, facials, reflexology and body massage, Jacuzzi, outdoor shower, steam baths and much more. Indochina tours Cambodia

Spa in Siem Reap was inspired by traditional aspects of Khmer culture

Spa in Siem Reap was inspired by traditional aspects of Khmer culture

I like to think of the massage places/spas in Siem Reap in three tiers – you have your daily massage shops, then places that have a little more class, then the real deal spas that rival anything at home for half the price. The question isn’t if you should get a massage or not, but how many to get and where to go. There are some to be found that offer really excellent massages and other treatments across all of the price ranges:

1. Sokkhak Spa

In Khmer, Sokkhak means ‘tranquility’. They are using the combination of nature inspired décor with a soft, warm and tranquil atmosphere to relax, refresh and indulge our clients. we have carefully chosen products containing botanical and marine home-made ingredients with nature’s very own powerful herbs, to give the skin a vibrant and healthy glow and total body wellness. Don’t miss this place!

Open everyday from: 10am – 10pm

Add: Sok san street, Next to haven restaurant, (Old market area), Siem Reap, Cambodia

Tel: (855) 63 763 797

Web: sokkhakspa.com

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Spa in Siem Reap has been created for your complete relaxation, where tranquility prevails throughout the exquisite, elegant.

2. Frangipani Spa

Frangipani Spa was created in 2000 after discovering that good spa facilities were only available in costly five star hotels. Objective was to provide an excellent day spa service and they have tried to create a calm and comfortable environment, with a personal and relaxing atmosphere. Their staffs are professionally trained and qualified and use only the highest quality natural products. Cambodia travel packages

Opening hours: Tuesday – Sunday: 10am – 08pm. Last appointment at 07pm. Mondays closed.

Add:  No.24 Hup Guan Street, Siem Reap.

Tel:  +855 (0) 12 982 062or  +855 (0) 63 964 391.

Web: frangipanisiemreap.com

Coin VIP Frangipani SPA Siem Reap

Coin VIP Frangipani SPA Siem Reap

3. Bodia Spa

Conceived as a sheltering cocoon and using organic products, Bodia Spa is an absolute sensory experience dedicated to pampering both body and soul in the most natural way possible. The concept of the spa is presented with modern Khmer architecture and also reflects the traditional well-being. The spa itself is a space of physical, mental and spiritual healing. The calming aspect of the healing reflects traditional, non – clinical and holistic based therapies.

Open everyday from 10 am – Midnight, Last booking 10pm

Add: Old Market (Phsa Chas) above U-Care Pharmacy, Siem Reap

Tel: +855(0) 63 761 593

Web:  bodia-spa.com

Bodia Spa in Siem Reap

Bodia Spa in Siem Reap

4. Lemongrass Garden Beauty and Massage

Home of massage in Siem Reap. The wonderful team is fully trained and professional, and it is our aim to offer. After visiting Angkor Watand other surrounding temples, what better way to relax and enjoy more Cambodian culture then by having a traditional massage, or feel reborn with our wonderful health and beauty treatments.

Opening Hours: 11am – 11pm

Add:

– Location 1: 202 Sivatha Boulevard, Siem Reap, Cambodia (near Pub Street)

– Location 2: 105B Sivatha Boulevard, Siem Reap, Cambodia (near KFC)

Tel: (+855) 077 369 025 or (+855) 012 387 385

Web:  lemongrassgarden.com

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At the budget end, there are many good massages in town in a simple, unadorned but clean and air-conditioned set up that perfectly meets the purpose for which it was established.  They offer Khmer and oil massages, with a Khmer massage in a large, communal room with curtained off mattresses.

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Staffs at Frangipany Spa

After massage snack

After massage snack

Step into world of care, where time is left at the door and a new journey begins…

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You might read somewhere on Lonely Planet that the best time to visit Sapa is during Spring and Fall when the weather is gentle with sunshine and beautiful rice terraces are at their best. Still, there are many other things can be expected in this mountainous town and that makes winter also a not bad time to pack your bags and visit Sapa. Vietnam Cultural Highlights tour

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During winter, approximately counted from the beginning of December to late February, it becomes very cold in Sapa, I can say cold enough to freeze the balls off a brass monkey, especially at night. Still, the reward for those who can bear the cold is that they might given the chance to admire the sunrise over Muong Hoa Valley in the next morning. Recently, it might even snow in some days and when the sun rises, the snow melts on unique stilt houses of local people, on wild flower and on small paths, right at that moment Sapa becomes picturesque and romantic than ever

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Best occasion to enjoy traditional herbal bath of ethnic people, together share a steaming salmon hot pot or sit down at a street vendor to try savory, warm and filling street food. After several hours trekking through different villages of different ethnic groups in the cold of winter, soak your body in a wooden tub with warm herbal water is absolutely relaxing. I am pretty sure that the typical weather of Sapa contributes to create its unique cuisine which are best served in winter. With a group of 3 to 5 people, nothing better than together enjoy a famous salmon hot pot of Sapa while sipping a cup of special corn wine. I am a huge fan of street food and I love Sapa in winter as I can find street vendors grill everything from bamboo rice, corn, sweet potato to beef and even vegetables

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Last but not least, you will learn to more about the difficulties of people in tough weather
During winter, you will see simple and somewhat shabby stilts houses of local people in cold days, small children without warm clothes and shoes running on the villages paths, etc.. you will better understand your situation and learn to love people in deprivation

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Come, experience and complete the list with your own reasons to visit Sapa in winter!

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