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Archive for October, 2019

13 interesting facts you should know for Vietnam travel https://www.indochinavoyages.com/travel-blog/things-know-traveling-vietnam

Vietnam is not new to the world travel map but still part of Asia; where a lot of exotic practices and cultural differences should be explored and crossed. Streets are full of motorbikes, crowded outdoor markets, people eating and drinking in the streets, etc. All these make Vietnam a vibrant country at its every corner in the eyes of foreign travelers. Therefore, getting to know these facts before traveling to Vietnam will help you not only enjoy the character of the destination but also let your Vietnam travel run smoothly without a hic-up; and that you know what is what along your journey.

1. Not all the side-walks are big enough, some are very narrow and fully packed by stuff, street shops; while you will have, without thinking, to walk in the streets. Then, you had better walking against the traffic flow so you can see what come up.

 

Vietnam traffic

Vietnam traffic might be crazy for first-time travelers

>> Experience walking in the streets with Hanoi Walking Tour

2. In Northern Vietnam, many bamboo smoke-pipes are found on the streets, at the tea shops. They seem to be communal ones as everybody can use and they are purely for tobacco, not opium at all. It is because opium is illegal in Vietnam.

3. Except in a fine-dining restaurant, most of the general others will expect you to sit down where available. The owner or manager will be happy if you find the space on your own, because they don’t have to go out and seat you in, especially in a busy restaurant.

 

Street food restaurant

A busy street food restaurant in Hanoi Old Quarter

>> Suggested Hanoi street food tourHanoi Street Food Tour

4. If you see two women sitting close together and one is searching on the other’s head, that simply they are picking out the grey hairs, not finding the head louse. Like most Asians, people don’t want to have a lot of grey hairs that make them look old.

5. In Vietnam, if the opposite and the back vehicle flash the headlights, it means that they are in a hurry and want to pass or take advantage to go/turn first. Sometimes, the one who flashed is getting close enough to road rage. Keep calm.

6. The majority of people in Vietnam will take breakfast out in the streets’ vendors/shops, around their neighborhood or on the way to work, school, instead of having it at home. Therefore, let’s get out in the early morning and see it once you are in Vietnam.

 

Vietnamese breakfast Pho

What is the typical Vietnamese breakfast? It is Pho

7. Holding hands of the two women in the streets is something very ordinary. Sometimes, it’s accepted if the boys doing so, depending on how “aggressive” they are. Yet gay and Lesbian are not widely be seen at public.

8. When having a sudden small cut from a knife or broken glasses that comes to a bleeding, people usually hurry for some tobacco at the street tea-shops or getting a cigarette to capture the cut and stop the bleeding. Surprisingly, it works very well.

9. In general, a glass of water is not served free in regular restaurants, while you have to buy it. This is because the traditional Vietnamese meal is always consisted of a big watery vegetable soup to share, so people don’t have such a habit to get water while having a meal.

10. When invited to a local home and having meal, you will learn that the family will just use a shared bowl of dipping sauce for all members. This is from the traditional communal lifestyle practice, but you can always request a separate one.

 

Vietnamese meal

Rice, pork/seafood, vegetable, watery soup and fish sauce for dipping are included in a typical Vietnamese meal

>> Learn to cook Vietnamese yummy food with Cooking Tour In Hoi An

11. The majority of Vietnamese who don’t have children will tend to have an adopted child. It’s because they want to have someone to live with and to lean upon when they grow old. It’s different from the Western’s side to adopt the child to give him/her home.

12. Though this culture seems to get less and less, some people are still eating dog meat. It’s based on an old thinking that having dog meat will help them put away the bad luck. These dog eaters will traditionally take it only after the full-moon period of the lunar month.

13. Known as the main transport means for people in Vietnam, a motorbike is also known as a method to transport goods, stuff and even animals as pigs and buffalos. You will see it everywhere from North to South. This is part of the country’s identity, no doubt.

 

 

>> Experience Saigon local life from the back of a vintage Vespa scooter with Saigon After Dark On Vespa Tour

With years in the travel industry, we have been learning that these facts are good explores to any foreigner traveler to Vietnam. The enjoyment of a trip is not only about where to go, what sight to see but to learn the differences in those cultural practices from local people and its country. That’s how your Vietnam travel memories will stay and your experience is enriched.

Suggested Vietnam tours

 

Tim Lee – Travel Specialist

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

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Top 10 best Vietnam holiday destinations in 2020 https://www.indochinavoyages.com/travel-blog/10-vietnam-holiday-destinations

Though Vietnam looks quite small on the maps, you could never find enough time to explore this country. Following is the instructions for visiting the best Vietnam holiday destinations in 2020!

 

Vietnam holiday destinations

The best holiday destinations in Vietnam

Hanoi

Hanoi is the first holiday destinations in Vietnam that should be in your Vietnam travel list. Being the capital of Vietnam since year 1010, Hanoi proves itself a center of culture, politics, and tourism with bundle of historical monuments such as Temple of Literature, Thang Long citadel, etc. ; or museums and scenic spots such as Hoan Kiem Lake, Hanoi Old Quarter, etc. Beside the local Asian architecture, there are major buildings and streets with French colonial style that has largely remained intact despite the war time.

Moreover, you can see plenty of street vendors in Hanoi as it is a part of our culture. That is the reason why Hanoi street food is highly recommended for the best local taste, the variety of dishes. Undoubtedly, cuisine is the essence of Hanoi!

 

Hoan Kiem lake

Hoan Kiem lake – a peaceful and quite place in the historical centre of Hanoi

>> Click here for suggested Hanoi street food tour

Halong Bay

Halong Bay is a must-not-miss, I promise you! Nearly two thousand limestone islands and islets covered by tropical trees and fauna system standing strongly on the Bay, in the Gulf of Tonkin, some are eroded by wind and sea water action. Here also offers a lot of amazing natural dry and wet Halong Bay caves such as Sung Sot Cave – the most famous one, Dau Go Cave, Thien Cung Cave, Thien Canh Son Cave, Luon Cave, Dark & Bright Cave, etc. 

The most enjoyable way to explore the Bay is by Halong Bay overnight cruises. Those are kind of big boat sailing the fixed routes, with en-suite cabins for couple, friends and families. It is like a floating hotel! Also, there are many things to do in Halong Bay. You can not only witness the stunning beauty of the Bay and explore the caves, but also do kayak, swim and visit the floating farms here.

 

Halong Bay

A trip to Vietnam cannot be complete without a visit to Halong Bay

>> Click here for suggested Halong Bay cruises

Tam Coc

Located in Ninh Binh province – 2 hours driving from Hanoi, there is a place called Tam Coc – meaning Three Caves in English. Here you will board on a small sampan, paddled by a local person by his/her foot which is quite unique, to discover three natural caves here on Ngo Dong River. These caves are nestled in a scenic landscape of limestone cliffs and rice paddies.

If you have time, climbing up the Mua Cave is also worthwhile as you can see the amazing panoramic view of limestone mountains and rice fields.

>> Click here for suggested Ninh Binh – Trang An Private Day Tour

Sapa hill-tribe villages

Sapa town is the most worldwide known for its rice terraces and numerous ethnic minorities. However, nowadays, it has become utterly crowded leading to the fact that a lot more hotels, resorts.. are built making this town a big construction. But that is not the reason you should skip Sapa in your plan. The local villages like Lao Chai, Ta Van are offering high standard homestays with beautiful view to the valleys and rice terrace – a new trend for adventurous travelers.

 

Rice terraces in Sapa

Visiting rice terraces is one of the most interesting things to do in Sapa

>> Click here for suggested Sapa Vietnam tours

Hue

Situated on the banks of the Perfume River in Central Vietnam, Hue once served as the imperial capital of the Nguyen dynasty. Today, the vestiges of this former glorious period are reflected in the city’s architecture, culture and cuisine, making it one of the best places to visit in Vietnam. Nha Nhac Cung Dinh Hue (Hue Royal Refined Music) was considered as Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO – was at its peak during Nguyen Dynasty.

 

Hue Imperial City

Hue Imperial City was one of the most important political centers of Vietnam

Hoi An ancient town

Also in Central region and 2-hour drive away from Hue, Hoi An Vietnam is known as a place for peace of mind. The old town is packed with well-preserved houses reminisced its heyday when it was a main silk trading port for Japanese and Chinese. Its other name – Faifo (French) – reflected the fact that it was an old famous port.

One of the special thing here is Hoi An lanterns – places everywhere on the streets. And it is even more vibrant in the evening where every house, shop, restaurant turning the candle on. On every full moon day, you can embark on a small sampan on Hoai River, leave lantern on the water and wish for the best things in life.

 

Hoi An ancient town

Hoi An ancient town is considered as one of the most beautiful towns in Vietnam

>> Click here for suggested Hue and Hoi An toursClassic Central Vietnam 5 Days

Dalat

At the altitude of 1500m compared with sea level, weather in Dalat is cool with fresh air all year round. Besides the sightseeing here like Tuyen Lam Lake, Bao Dai King Palace, Love Valley or Lang Biang moutain, etc. , Dalat offers the mysterious vibe with the pine forests and very friendly people!

Cu Chi Tunnels

About 60 km from the Saigon downtown, this is a site where  Viet Cong  hid  during  the  War.  It  is  now  a  popular  spot  for  both  Vietnamese  &  foreign  travelers  –  the network of over 200km of tunnels became legendary  when they played a vital role in the War. In their  heyday,  the  tunnels  were  functioning  underground  cities  including  numerous  trap  doors, specially constructed living areas, storage facilities, weapons factories, field hospitals, command centers and kitchens. There is plenty of evidence of the fierce battle that took place here during the 1960s when Cu Chi was a “Free Target Zone”.

 

Cu Chi tunnels

Cu Chi tunnels – an extensive network of tunnels is one of the should-not-miss Vietnam holiday destinations

>> Click here for suggested Cu Chi & Cao Dai Day Tour

Mekong Delta

Colorful floating markets, fruit orchards, rice paddies, sugar cane groves, bird sanctuaries and quaint villages are all what draw many to the Mekong Delta in southwestern Vietnam. Nicknamed “Vietnam’s Rice Basket,” the Mekong Delta is an agricultural region made fertile by the maze of canals and streams fed by the Mekong River. Stretching from the Gulf of Thailand to Ho Chi Minh City, the Mekong Delta feeds more than a third of the country from its rich plantations, orchards, rice paddies and fish farms.

 

Mekong Delta floating markets

Mekong Delta floating markets are an interesting way of life in the river

>> Click here for suggested Luxury Mekong River Cruise

Phu Quoc island

Phu Quoc island is the largest and most beautiful in Vietnam – according to millions of travelers. It is not easy to find a place with plenty of long beaches, white sand and clear water in the world like Phu Quoc. It is like Phuket island in Thailand but less touristy and even undeveloped. The island features pristine tropical forests and undamaged coral reefs.

>> Click here for suggested Phu Quoc tours: Phu Quoc Luxury Escape 5 Days

Suggested Vietnam tours

Hope that with these suggestions, you are able to plan out your Vietnam holiday destinations for your Vietnam tours 2020 without hesitation.

 

Daniel Nguyen – Travel Specialist

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

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Ta Prohm Temple – All things you should know before visiting https://www.indochinavoyages.com/travel-blog/ta-prohm-temple-travel

Among many beautiful temples in Angkor Complex, Ta Prohm temple in Cambodia is one of the most popular and fascinating one with many ancient trees roots snaking across crumbling stone walls. The place creates a mystical and secretive feeling during your Cambodia tours.

 

Ta Prohm temple

Ta Prohm is famous for the temples that are overgrown and covered by trees.

Ta Prohm history and facts

The temple was established by Khmer King Jayavarman VII in 1189 to honor the royalty and the first name of the Temple is Rajavihara meaning the Royal Temple. The temple is located in the east of Angkor Thom and over 12 km from the center of Siem Reap. During this time, the temple was used to be a monastery and school of Mahayana Buddism, which hold up nearly 13 thousands people including monks, priests, maids and dancers.

It is used to be a monastery and a school of Mahayana Buddism.

Furthermore, the temple was called “Queen’s Tomb” to worship King’s Mother. According to legend, the tomb was placed in four stone walls full of diamonds. It has been said that the treasures of the temple included up to 5 tons of gold dishes, 512 beds, 524 umbrellas, 35 pearls and 454 precious stones.

In 15th century, the capital was destroyed by Siamese, forcing Khmer King left to Phnom Penh. All the jewelries got stolen by the army and there is only holes left nowadays that travelers can see during their visit.

After being taken over, the temple was then covered by the jungle and had been forgotten many centuries until 1860, it was rediscovered by Herri Mouhot, a French botanist.

In 2001, the temple was chosen to be the movie set of Tomb Raider with the main character is Angelina Jolie. Since this movie has gained popularity in many countries, Ta Prohm has been more well- known to the world.

 

Ta Prohm temple

The roots attach to the sandstone for the water extraction

>> Suggested tour to Ta Prohm: Classic Angkor 4 Days

Layout and structure

Even though the temple was destroyed very much by Siamese before, Ta Prohm was left much when it was found. The layout of the site is relative simple – a typical Khmer temple, consisting of a number of one-story building.

Having been swallowed by the jungle many centuries ago, the interior temple has been continued inhabited by big trees. The interior temple used to be house of many people of royal families.

How to get to Ta Prohm

There are a couple different transportation options when it comes to visiting the temples of Angkor. We’ll review the pros and cons of each transportation option along with pricing.

There are few transportation options to visit Ta Prohm temple. You can consider these below options:

By bicycle

The cheapest way to get around Siem Reap is by bicycle, which may be free at your hotel or hostel or if rent, the rent free is from US$1 – 8 per day depending on types and quality of bike. Please be prepared for a long ride if you want to combine Ta Prohm temple with other temples. Since the weather in Siem Reap is quite hot and humid, nevertheless to say, bring enough water with you.

By tuk tuk

Tuk tuk seems to be the most convenient way to get around Cambodia, especially in Siem Reap. You can easily find tuk tuk drivers everywhere along the side of the road in Siem Reap. The price is ranging from US$15- 25 per day for temples located near by the city center.  A tuk tuk can hold up  4 people so you can always split the cost between friends. Most of tuk tuk drivers can speak English and know where to take you to.

 

Traveling by tuk tuk

Traveling by tuk tuk is the most convenient way

By private car

If your budget allows, the most convenient way is to get a private car with A/C, especially if you are going to visit places far from center such as Kulen Mountain or Beng Mealea. Depending on the number of people in your group and how many temples you visit, the cost is around US$35 – 50 per day. Furthermore, private car is a good way to combine your visit to Ta Prohm temple with Angkor Complex, Roluos group or Beng Mealea.

>> Suggested tour to Ta Prohm: Siem Reap In Depth 5 Days

Ta Prohm entrance fee

Ta Prohm is included in the temple pass for Angkor Archaeological Park, there is no separate entrance fee to visit temple. Please find further details as below:

  • 1 Day Pass: US37 per person, only valid for 1 day.
  • 3 Day Pass: US$62 per person, valid for seven days from the day you bought your ticket. You can use it to visit the temples on three separate days.
  • 7 Day Pass: US$72 per person, valid for one month from when you bought your ticket. You can use it to visit the temples on seven separate days.

Ta Prohm opening hours

The opening hours of Ta Prohm is from 5:00 am to 18:00 pm. If you want to get away from the crowd, let’s wake up early to see the temple. While most of other people go to Angkor Wat to witness sunrise, you will have much quiet atmosphere here in Ta Prohm. Also, remember to carry your valid ticket with you since it will be checked upon each park entry of the temple.

Ta Prohm Temple at Tonle Bati

Being built the same time with Ta Prohm Temple in Angkor by famous King Jayavarman, Ta Prohm Temple at Tonle Bati was a sanctuary for Hindu deities at the same time. Since the sixth century, this place used to be a Hindu place of worship which belonged to the maritime “empire”. The temple was located on the road to Tonle Bati, a small lake and popular picnic spot for the locals. You can get there by local buses from Phnom Penh or rent a private vehicle to explore this temple and the surrounding nature.

 

Ta Prohm Temple at Tonle Bati

Ta Prohm Temple at Tonle Bati was a sanctuary for Hindu deities

Travel tips to Ta Prohm

  • What to wear in Cambodia? During your visit to temple, make sure your legs and shoulders are covered.
  • Since Cambodia is hot all year around, make sure to bring enough water with you.
  • Wearing good walking shoes during your visit in all temples in Angkor.
  • You can get to the temple and visit it by yourself, but it is always much better to have a guide escorted to explain everything for you. It would be much more meaningful for your exploration.
  • Wearing colored clothes will give you a good picture as it is against the dark grey backgrounds.

Suggested Cambodia itinerary including Ta Prohm temple

Happy travelling!

 

Van Do – Travel Specialist

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

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