Friday, May 28, 2010

Step by Step Guide to Organize your Adventure Vacations

Last day my friend Gabriele went to Australia for his wedding travel…I told him: “How did you organize your trip?”

(P.S. If you want to travel in Australia I suggest you read this site for cheap flights)

He answered: “Sure I’m a travel agent. I know what to do”.

I’ve never been to Australia and I’m not a travel agent, so I’ve decided to do a little search in Google and try to organize it by me…what a confusion!

Here you are a scheme that can help you in many situations.

You can avoid my mistakes and quickly find what you need to organize your trip.

These are the Steps I follow each time I want to plan a trip.

1. What activities practice?
2. How to Choose the destination?
3. Where find general info?
1. Search for videos
2. Search for maps
3. Search for weather conditions
4. Search for destination guides
5. Search for tips, advices and news about your destination
4. How to Plan a Trip?
1. How to find cheap flights?
2. How to buy the right insurance?
3. What to pack? Accessories, gear, digital cameras, etc..
5. How to compare the offers of various travel companies?

1. What activities practice?

If you already know what activity to practice, you can skip this step.

If you don’t have a clear idea of what to practice…then answer these questions first:

* What are the risks?
* Do I need a physical training before?
* What is the minimum skill level?
* Where can i practice my activity?
* What’s the best period?

Consider Skiing as an example.
Ski is an intensive sport activity especially for legs. If you plan to do a winter vacation, be sure that your legs are well trained. (So you can prevent leg diseases, muscle problems, etc…)

To help You choose Your activity, here, You can find a list of possible types of adventure tourism activities.

Help you choose activities

2. Choosing the right destination

Now it’s time to choose the destination. There is not a special way to do this. You can follow friend’s recommendations, advertising, news, your desires and so on…

* Each year the major travel companies release surveys about what’s hot for the next touristic season.
* Here Suman gives a list of possible tips to choose unusual destinations.
* You can also see this pdf report about tips to choose the right adventure travel destination

3. Search for general info

This is the critical point of the planning process. At this point you should know what to do and where to do it.

The first thing that could come up in your mind is to perform a Google search to find more travel info…then good luck!

If you prefer to find unique and clear travel info start a specific search…

Instead of searching for “destination”+Adventures or “destination”+travel etc…search for:

* “Destination”+Tourist board
* “Destination”+wikitravel [Note: Wikitravel is the Wikipedia like travel encyclopedia]
* “Destination”+”Hiking tours” [Or another activity]
* “Destination”+”Adventure travel companies”

At the end of this process You’ll have a general view of what attractions are worth a visit, distances, best period to travel and where find more detailed information.

3.1 Search for destination guides

Be sure to learn at least these simple facts before you land.

* Communications (Internet points, Postal services, Cell phones, Public telephones, Foreign language)
* Transports and transfers (Public transports, Hub points, Freeways, Airports, Railways, Ferries, Buses)
* Documents (Passport and visa, Customs, Baggage)
* Health and Safety
* Converters (Currency, Weight, Length, Temperature, Liquid, Electrical current)

The best way to do this is through a guidebook. The best I can suggest you are:

* The Big Book of Adventure Travel
* The Definitive Guide to Adventure Vacations
* Rough guides to all world destinations

3.2 Search for videos

Video is the fastest way to preview a location. You can watch the other traveler's experiences and see what other think about it. Here there is a comprehensive list of video sharing websites where watch travel videos.

3.3 Search for maps

Maps are a great tool to plan a vacation. You can use them to learn the distances and see the main transfers points. The best way is to use the Google maps. You can perform a search to find custom maps.

You can see the travel itineraries of other people. For example I’ve created a custom maps of the Top 10 adventure travel spots of Italy

Google has a good list of sights and maps. You can search by category or by keyword.

3.4 Search for weather conditions

Weather is a difficult factor to consider because it’s difficult to find correct forecast for long term periods. So it’s better to search for a climate chart.

3.5 Search for tips, advises and news about your destination

The last (or the first) thing to do is to find real travelers advices. On the net there a lot of trip sharing websites and forums.

Here Guillaume gives a list of the new Travel 2.0 websites where you can find reviews and trip stories

4. Trip planning

You can skip this steps if you decide to book and organized adventure travel package. Here Tim gives some useful tips to travel adventurous on a budget

4.1 How to find cheap flights

There are thousand of flight companies, so it’s very difficult to search for airfares in different websites.

Here Markus provides a list of the best cheap airfares aggregators to save time and money during the search.

4.2 How to buy the right insurance

* The Truth about Travel Insurance
* Travel Insurance is Important!
* Travel safe – some useful tips and advice!

Trekking in Ba Be National Park, Vietnam

4.3 What to pack: Accessories, gear, digital cameras, etc..

* Make photocopies of important documents (Check, passport, visa, etc…)
* Consider what allowable necessities you can carry-on luggage
* Buy comfortable walking shoes
* Rain Gear
* Photography & Electronics
* Carry with you some medications: Anti-diarrhea medicine, aspirin, extra tampons, travel packages of Kleenex, antibacterial hand cleaning gel
* Bring a long-sleeved shirt or sweater

* Include:
o Shorts/tights
o Quick-drying jerseys
o Drytex socks
o Stiff-soled shoes
o Cycle gloves
o Rainwear

* Traveller’s point offers a list of packing tips and accessories

5. Compare the offers of various travel companies

Here a list of tips to find and choose adventure companies worldwide.

At the end buy your travel package and Enjoy!

Source: tripadventure

Thursday, May 20, 2010

ACTIVETRAVEl ASIA recommends kayaking and cruising places in Vietnam

ACTIVETRAVEL ASIA (ATA ) aims to advise travelers places to kayak and cruise in Vietnam. Travelers have the chance to discovery the breathtaking landscapes, remote scenery and get exciting experiences.

Kayak Halong Bay, VietnamKayak Halong Bay, Vietnam

In the northern Vietnam, Halong Bay is the most spectacular sea kayaking destination. The bay’s name means “descending dragon”, and the mythical beasts are said to have created the rocky islets that form a maze of protected waterways. Guests will explore the sea arches, caves and hidden lagoons in this vast archipelago, swim in the jade-colored water and relax on beautiful sand beaches.

The scenery isn’t the only thing that makes Halong Bay amazing. It is home to Cat Ba langurs, the rarest primate on Earth. There are only a few dozen of them left, but sometimes they emerge to feed in a hidden cove, and we catch a glimpse of them from travelers’ kayaks.

Kayak Babe lake, VietnamKayak Babe lake, Vietnam

The next destination is Babe Lake. Ba Be is Vietnam’s largest natural lake and is now the centerpiece of an extensive National Park. The park and the surrounding area is limestone country, so lakes, waterfalls, caves and unusual rock formations abound. The whole area is richly forested and is home to many ethnic minority communities. Ba Be National Park has been recognized as a Natural World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Kayakers will explore peaceful river, beautiful lake, daily life, local market...

Mekong Delta, Vietnam - Float MarketMekong Delta, Vietnam - Float Market

In the southern Vietnam, cruising Mekong River means exploring narrow channels, floating markets, daily life, and orchards in the Delta. Floating markets, magnificent sunrise and sunset are highlight for cruising in Mekong River. The favorable conditions of calm water, light current, good mother-boat are also to enable to build kayaking tours in Mekong River.

These are some main destinations for kayaking and cruising in Vietnam in which tourists definitely have fun and challenge!!

Recommended in kayaking and cruising in Vietnam:
- Kayaking tours in Vietnam
- Cruise in Vietnam
- Summer Promotion 2010 in Vietnam and Cambodia with ATA


Monday, May 17, 2010

Phu Quoc Island is a quiet place to get some rest in Vietnam

Mango plantations, sandy beaches - perfect after 10 days of cycling

Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam — my outdated Vietnam guidebook devoted a scant two columns on its last page to obscure Phu Quoc Island, but it was enough to assure me that it was the perfect place to put up my feet and do nothing after 10 days of cycling around the country.

Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam

Phu Quoc, less than an hour's flight from Ho Chi Minh City - formerly Saigon - is just 15 miles off the coast of Cambodia. A teardrop-shaped island roughly the size of Singapore, it was a surprisingly untrammeled gem that reminded me of Thailand's Phuket and Koh Samui in the 1970s, before they were besieged by development.

Blanketed with the largest remaining swath of tropical rain forest in Vietnam and trimmed in sandy beaches, it is home to only 75,000 people.

A battered taxi picked me up in a blast of tropical heat outside the airport, which was almost in the center of the main city, the tiny fishing village of Duong Dong.

We headed 5 miles north to secluded Ong Lang Beach over a spectacular potholed road. When we bumped through an old mango plantation and arrived at a string of beachside bungalows amid palms and banyan trees, I knew I'd found the epicenter of tropical idleness.

Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam

Mango Bay is a laid back eco-resort. My rammed earth bungalow was naturally cool - and rustic but stylish: white cotton, wicker and terra-cotta.

Breakfast was high-octane Vietnamese espresso and baguettes with jam - a legacy of French colonialism - and the open-air restaurant/bar tempted at lunch and dinner with waft scents of sautéed garlic and a blackboard menu promising marinated and grilled black kingfish and green papaya salad with shrimp.

Ong Lang Beach is great for honeymooners and travelers looking for seclusion, but for more action - though not much more - the island's main attraction is Long Beach, 17 uninterrupted miles of white sand.

There is one sizable two-star resort called Saigon Phu Quoc that clearly focuses on the tour bus set, and a chic new five-star resort called La Veranda. Otherwise, a dozen or so signs point down narrow lanes through tropical bush to guesthouses, cottages and bar/cafés.

On the palm-lined beach, a few sunbathers splayed on towels were being attended to by a clan of masseuses who stroll the strand. No touts, no crowds, just beachside cafes where you dine on world-class seafood for $10 a couple. It's something akin to a miracle that one of Asia's most beautiful beaches still exists so untouched within an hour's flight of a metropolis of 7 million.

Source: By Margo Pfeiff, Special to The Chronicle -

Recommendation in Vietnam:
- Hotels & Resort in Phu Quoc, Vietnam
- Flight to Phu Quoc, Vietnam
- Vietnam adventure travel

Friday, May 14, 2010

Vietnam: Great First Trip to Asia

Larchmont families considering a first trip to Asia might want to think about Vietnam. Given its small size, you can visit the main highlights easily over a 10-12 day spring vacation break. And the pricing is very attractive, even for the best hotels, private guides, and private transportation.

Given our history, Americans tend to think it’s still 1969 there, but 40 years have passed. Peace means that the beautiful landscapes, Buddhist temples, rice paddies, water buffaloes, and farmers with conical hats now dominate the images, along with the motorbikes.

Saigon carries echoes of the war of course, but you can focus on that as much or as little as you wish. The Cu Chi tunnels outside the city demonstrate the human cost of the war for both sides and there is a stark War Museum as well. But there are also the rooftop bars at the Caravelle Hotel and at the Rex. These favorite haunts for the US officers and journalists still bathe you in the tropical breezes that provide a welcome relief from the heat of the day. You can invoke Graham Greene as you gaze down at the Hotel Continental, cited in The Quiet American.

For a glimpse of traditional rural village life, take a daytrip to the remote island of Ben Tre in the Mekong Delta. Women sit under canvas awnings making coconut candies. Others manufacture rice paper, dipping the flat round iron in the batter and rolling it out to dry in the sun on bamboo mats. Perhaps a small musical trio will play while you sip honey tea in a simple pavilion.

Halong Bay Vietnam
A short flight will bring you to ancient Hue which served as the imperial capital for over 100 years. The citadel with its beautiful temples and court buildings evoke the luxury of life for the “haves”. After your visit, catch a boat ride along the Perfume River to absorb the slower pace of life here. You can stay at the French Governor’s digs, now converted into a beautiful boutique hotel. The infinity pool, lit by torches at dusk, offsets the shimmering river beyond for an ethereal atmosphere.

Next is Hoi An, reached by a gorgeous three hour drive over the mountain pass. Originally a trading post for Chinese and Japanese merchants, Hoi An nestles along the riverfront. A 2-3 night stay will let you enjoy a town full of excellent restaurants, myriad shops for all kinds of local handicrafts, and lovely resort hotels.

A short boat excursion brings you to a small village where the locals carve everything from knickknacks, to laughing Buddhas, to king-size beds. Nearby, another village is full of pottery makers, working their small kilns as they have for hundreds of years. Pots, whistles, wall fountains, plates, bowls and more take shape under the skilled hands of the villagers.

Perhaps the biggest surprise for Americans is Danang, no longer an airbase but rather the site of an incredible explosion of luxury hotels and houses along a beautiful shoreline. You’ll see the marker showing the spot where the Marines came ashore in 1965, but you’ll probably goggle more as you pass hotel after hotel under construction. China Beach is now particularly “hot” for second homes, and as a result, there are golf courses, too.

Archaeology buffs will want to stop by the local museum to see the first-rate exhibit of ancient artifacts from the Cham people, some of which are currently on display at New York’s Asia Society.

Another easy flight will bring you to Hanoi, city of lakes. The center of this busy city offers a respite from the cacophony of the motorbike in a beautiful central park with its lakes, temples, and an ancient Turtle. Nearby, a unique water puppet show performs throughout the day. You might also catch an impromptu performance at the ethnic museum. The beautiful Temple of Literature with its topiary, pagodas, and reflecting pools harks back to the ancient respect for education and knowledge.

One last word about the motorbikes: This writer saw a man carrying 18 large porcelain jars strapped all over him as he drove a motorbike on a highway. She also saw a live pig strapped to the back of a motorbike passing by. I don’t know who was more surprised: the pig or me. Anything goes!

Source: Larchmont Gazette

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

ACTIVETRAVEL ASIA Promotes Vietnam & Cambodia Motorcycling Tours in Summer 2010

ATA promotes two motorcycling tours in Vietnam and another one in Cambodia. These blazing hot promotions guarantee more activities and bigger adventure for the same price. Travelers will get incredible driving and deep in the countryside and historical trails.

Motorcycling on Ho Chi Minh trail, VietnamMotorcycling on Ho Chi Minh trail, Vietnam

In Vietnam, travelers will ride through the historical trail named Ho Chi Minh Trail. The legendary trail was the supply line used by North Vietnam to link North and South Vietnam during the American War. Soldiers, ammunition, weapons and supplies were carried by hand, bicycle and truck for hundreds of kilometers through the otherwise impenetrable jungle that covered Vietnam’s mountainous border with Laos. A testimony to the ingenuity, fortitude and commitment of the northern Vietnamese, the trail slipped from use at the end of the war and was taken back by the jungle. Recent road work follow original sections of the trail have changed this.

The first one, “Taste of Ho Chi Minh Trail” is organized for first time rider and easy adventure, offers a stunning motorcycling route with great exploration of nature and culture of northern Vietnam. Travelers will spend 3-day motorcycling with homestays in villages.

Joining in this tour, the special offer is a free of charge add on boat trip on Ma river in the afternoon of the first day. If rider group up to 6 persons, a free traditional Thai musical show will also be offers.

The second tour called “Motorcycling the Ho Chi Minh Trail - Half Challenge”. This 11-day trip with 7-day motorcycling takes in the charming ancient trading town of Hoian, Khe Sanh battle site and DMZ. Travelers also take time to stay overnight in a traditional Thai hill tribe and visit to some tribal villages on the way.

Taking this tour, after a long trip, in the tenth day, riders will get a free body massage in Hoian. Moreover, for any pre or post trip in Vietnam, travelers will receive a 10% discount for the trip.

Besides, in both tours, if riders upgrade their motorbikes to dirtbike 175CC or 250CC, they will get the 40% discount for bike rental fee. Especially, to make the trip more comfortable, a free silk sleeping bag will be provided for each traveler.

In Cambodia, riders spend 14 days with 11 days motorcycling through the country. This is the best way to get to the remote and hidden corners of Cambodia. The adventure starts in the capital city and we will travel on 250cc dirtbike northward through scenic villages, mysterious temples. Highlight of the tour is the amazing Angkor Wat Temples. From Angkor Wat we head east to the hidden land of Mondulkiri, the land of exotic ethnic minorities and great nature scenery.

Booking this tour, tourists will get free Visa-on-arrival to Cambodia and a body massage in Phnom Penh. Moreover, a welcome diner in Phnom Penh will be offered for the group from 6 persons. Traveler will be provide 5% discount on any pre or post trip to Vietnam or Laos.

This Hot Summer Promotion validity is from 1 May, 2010 to 30September, 2010.

For more information and details of this promotion, please visit: Summer Promotion with ATA

Or contact:
#31, Alley 4, Dang Van Ngu street, Hanoi, Vietnam
Tel: +84-4-35738569 | Fax: +84-4-35738570
Email: | Website:

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Vietnam offers much in Halong Bay tours

According to ACTIVETRAVEL ASIA’s tours to south-east Asia, travelers want to visit some marvelous places in Vietnam that have been recommended by travel experts and reporters.

kayaking in Halong Bay, VietnamKayaking in Halong Bay, Vietnam

Jocelyn Abraham in has listed a number of attractions to be found in Ha Long Bay as great beautiful islands includes Rooster Island, Incense Burner Island and Lonely Island, all named after their shapes.

Ms Abraham described Heaven’s Cave as an "enormous grotto" that gets its name because a spiral of sunlight shines in through the rooftop, revealing "a labyrinth of giant stalactites and stalagmites" that makes the attraction "look like a Hollywood movie set".

She added that people might also wish to take a multiple-day tour of the bay, which can include kayaking in lagoons and trekking through the National Park on Cat Ba Island.

In a bid to attract more tourists to Vietnam, the country’s government recently announced that it is to waive the visa fees of all foreign visitors who are going to arrive there in August and September. If you need to get free visa arrangement support, please contact Active Travel Vietnam

ACTIVETRAVEL ASIA also offers Special Promotion in Summer 2010 for kayaking tour in Vietnam, Please visit: Kayaking Halong Bay 3 days