Monday, September 27, 2010

Floating Markets of the Mekong Delta, Vietnam

Vietnam is incredible and still authentic – it’s not “spruced up” for tourists. Nowhere is this more obvious than in the Mekong Delta, with its floating markets, where locals live, work and earn a living from the many tributaries of the river. You can easily get a feel for the real workings of this country and how things are done. Here, everyone is an entrepreneur of sorts!

floating market, VietnamFloating market, Can Tho, Vietnam

As the food basket of Vietnam, the Mekong Delta covers an immense area winding its way over 3000 mi. from Tibet through Cambodia to Vietnam’s Peninsula, where it spills into the South China Sea. It is marvelously fertile, and views here are all related to riverside life, orchards, rice paddies and any food-related small industry. From snakes swimming in whisky to coconut candy, everything here reflects the flavors of Vietnamese culture.

The floating markets in the Mekong highlight the shape of life here, where people live, shop, sell and eat from and in their vessels and homes on the water. Getting to the area involves a lot of boat/bus/ferry/foot combinations, but its well worth the effort. We arrived from Saigon on our 3-day trip, which included Can Tho and Vinh Long.

The journey down was a long, hobbling, creaking bus ride, passing paddy fields and other fields with every variety of food being grown here. We stopped for lunch in Vinh Long. We walked around the “land” market of local shops with their goods set up in baskets on the street, where all kinds of colors and scents greeted our senses. A small motor launch took us along a peaceful tributary (away from the madding crowd of the main river) where each bend brought a new surprise and gorgeous scenery before we reached the home of a local farmer for lunch.

We arrived in vibrant Can Tho, the delta’s largest city, in the late afternoon and spent the time exploring this busy and lively port city. We rose the next morning at 4 am in raw anticipation. The day on the river begins at the crack of dawn and floating markets are held every morning from about 5 am till noon. We got into a small motor boat and made our way up the river to our first “stop” – the Phung Hiep market, the largest of the floating markets, located at the crossroads of 7 major canals.

The picture that greeted us was like laundry hanging out to dry. A maze of hundreds of sampans spread out on the busy river, hoisting samples of their wares on towering bamboo poles, to be seen from a distance. Coconuts, melons, mangoes, a heap of turtles, snakes, vegetables, fish, urns and vases and so much more all piled high on the vessels.

floating market, VietnamFlowers in floating market, Vietnam

A beehive of activity where traders snapped up everything by the bushels to resell at local markets; where smaller merchants weaved their way between larger boats and suddenly, a spectacle of pineapples or cabbage flying through the air between vendor and shopper. In between, floating restaurants, floating bars, floating gas stations and many other floating shops winding deftly between the boats. The lively, near –frenzied pace here was an unmatched view into local culture.

We made our way to land for an afternoon cycling trip through the quiet lanes near Can Tho, biking through small villages and beautiful countryside, and in spite of the language barrier, meeting some very pleasant and friendly people.

Early the next morning, we visited the Cai Rang floating market for a second taste of this experience. Primarily a produce market, it is always busy, bearing all the characteristics of local life. After the market, we visited some small home industries where villagers made everything from coconut candies to rice paper. We ended our trip with a trek through lush orchards and bee farms. The highlight of the afternoon was a visit to the Dong Nam snake farm, where over 20 varieties of venomous snakes are used in drinks and food for medicinal purposes – some soaked in large flasks of whisky!

The Mekong Delta, with its hustle-bustle, its genuine locals, its overgrown streams and great scenery, and above all, its characteristic floating markets is one of the most fascinating parts of this fascinating country and a springboard for getting to know Vietnamese culture and its people up close.

Source: familyadventuretravelworks

Recommendations for traveling in Mekong Delta,Vietnam:
Mekong Explorer
The Mighty Mekong

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Vietnam: Get ready to Discover Adventure

One of the most enriching countries in the world,Vietnam is an absolute assault on the senses. This is a country which offers highly rewarding adventure travel, active vacations and cultural immersion in a wonderfully exotic way of life.

Blessed with captivating cities, lush soaring mountains, over 1500 km of coastline with white sandy beaches, and home to colonial palaces, pagodas, tombs and temples and hill-tribe peoples, Vietnam is an adventure waiting to be discovered.

Hanoi and the North

Hanoi, VietnamSword lake in Hanoi, Vietnam

Northern Vietnam is breathtaking with its high mountains, emerald green forests and valleys, its picturesque seascapes and lush scenery. Elegant Hanoi, a blend of Indochinese and French influences and Vietnam’s capital, is one of the loveliest cities in Asia. Teeming with lakes and monuments, an Old Town with narrow streets crammed with artisans’ shops, and a French Quarter characterized by beautiful colonial buildings, it is a city to explore on foot.

Halong Bay

Kayaking Halong bay, VietnamKayaking in Halong bay, Vietnam

Nothing compares to the beauty of Halong Bay, Vietnam’s most dramatic natural asset. A UNESCO seascape, its thousands of lush limestone karsts rise majestically from the sea in spectacular fashion. Hidden caverns, forested islands and floating isles are accessed by overnight cruises on local junks, by kayaking, boating or simply swimming in the calm bay waters.

Northernmost Sapa

Sapa, VietnamTerraced field in Sapa, Vietnam

The stunning offerings of Vietnam’s Northern provinces around picturesque Sapa feature some of the best hiking and trekking opportunities in the country, and a glimpse into one of Vietnam’s most fascinating cultures. The lush scenery of soaring mountains, staggered rice terraces and plunging valleys interposed by small hill-tribe communities take away the breath. The alpine scenery affords treks to Indochina’s highest peak, Mt. Fansipan and its environs, homestays with natives for an up-close encounter with local life, and visits to remarkable ethnic markets where everything from colorful hand-made crafts to buffalo are sold. This is the best region for hiking and adventures including jeep safaris, boating and kayaking.

The Central Coast and Highlands
Vietnam’s east coast and central highlands are a traveler’s delight, featuring glorious beaches, lively resort towns, sleepy fishing villages and the imperial former capital of Hue. Inland, awesome scenery, lakes covered with lotus blossoms, neatly ploughed hillside fields and an ideal climate greet travelers.

Nha Trang
Distinguished by crystal-clear waters, modern resorts and great nightlife, lovely Nha Trang and its vicinity is Vietnams’ watersports’ Mecca. Pristine white and red beaches, invite with kayaking, snorkeling, diving and swimming.

UNESCO World Heritage Sites: Up the coast, 3 of Vietnam’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites cluster in proximity. Hoi An, an old sleepy river town, famed for its tailoring, lovely pagodas, a Japanese bridge and pretty French Quarter is a colonial gem. Nearby, My Son Sanctuary, with its ruins of impressive Hindu temples and royalty grounds, is the capital of the ancient Champa Kingdom. Set on the Perfume River, imperial Hue, the once-capital of Vietnam and home to emperors of the past, boasts an ancient citadel with ornate pagodas, royal tombs and a Forbidden City.


Dalat, VietnamDalat, Vietnam

Inland, the charming hilltop town of Dalat is perched on the cooling mountains of the central highlands. This center of romance is small, beautiful and very French, and houses Emperor Bao Dai’s summer palaces. This is the area of forested mountains, ice blue lakes and grand waterfalls where hiking, walking, boating and cycling enhance the spirit of romantic adventure.

Saigon and the South
Cosmopolitan Saigon, with its glass skyscrapers, its brightly colored, ornate pagodas, its host of modern shops, its cacophony of horns and shouting, and its unique mode of traffic – 4 million motorbikes – is glitzy, chaotic and mesmerizing. Its history sets it apart: A main venue during the Vietnam War, it overflows with tragic remnants.

Mekong Delta, VietnamMarket floating, Mekong Delta, Vietnam

Just south of Saigon, the Mekong Delta, with its network of tiny canals and unique backwater tributaries, is one of the most fascinating Vietnamese destinations. Life here is as it was 100 years ago. Water buffalos wallow in rice paddies, women in traditional conical hats tend their fields, and stilt houses and floating islands dot the river banks. My Tho, Vinh Long and Can Tho, the main launching ports for fascinating boat trips, take travelers to native floating markets and local home factories, while cycling through the delta’s quaint villages affords a first-hand acquaintance with local life.

From the lush Mekong Delta in the south to the remote Sapa valleys in the north, Vietnam reveals a vibrant culture, a traditional way of life and an infectious energy. This is a country to expect the unexpected:
Get ready for adventure!

Source: familyadventuretravelworks

Trekking tour in Northern Vietnam
Mekong Biking tour

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Is Vietnam the Right Destination For Adventure Travel?

An exciting experience from any dangerous situation is called “Adventure”. It may cause physical dangers, financial or psychological risks. Adventure experience creates physical or mental arousal. It can be positive or sometime negative. Most of the travelers are interested to explore adventurous areas. They love to be the adventurers. The adventure traveling activity includes skydiving, mountain climbing, scuba diving, skiing and any kind of extreme sports.

Sapa Vietnam
Sapa Vietnam

I would like to watch only adventurous sports. It creates an excitement and makes us to avoid moving. It was the initial stage when I attracted towards this adventure. My first adventure started traveling on mountainous areas for mountain walking. Slowly I moved to the next step of trekking. Now, my interest includes mountain walking, hiking, trekking and mountain climbing.

I found Vietnam is a wonderful destination for your trekking. Vietnam is surrounded by beautiful mountains. They are feasible for trekking or hiking or mountain walking. The queen of the mountains in Vietnam is Sapa. It is a wonderful destination for the beginners as well as for the experienced trekkers.

Sapa looks spectacular with lofty mountains. The fabulous scenery surrounding sapa attracts more trekkers into Vietnam. It is easy to undertake hikes through the valleys around Sapa. It has endless places for hiking. The nearest village within walking distance is Cat Cat. It is steep and wonderful place for hiking. Another popular trekking area is Phin village.

You can enjoy adventurous hiking experience on the Hoang Lien Mountain range which is surrounding the sapa. It is called as Tonkinese Alps by the French. It is at the tail end of Himalaya.

Sapa is accessible in all the season. Trekkers should be fit and well equipped to face the challenges. The walking space is very wet and can be slippery. The climate is cold on the mountains. Travelers should be prepared to travel to Sapa.

Black Virgin Mountain is also a wonderful place for your mountain walking in Vietnam. The mountain has some historical story. It is called as the center of a myth about Ba Den, a Vietnamese woman. This mountain has theme park. Study their weather and start your trekking trip.

Thinks you should consider before your hiking trip:

1. It is essential to be fit before taking any trip. It is better to do a medical fitness check up done. It is good to have a vaccination for malaria, cholera, tetanus, typhoid and hepatitis according to your travel destination. It is advisable to carry medicines related to ailments from which you are previously suffering.

2. Dehydration is a common issue when you go for trekking. Keep enough fluid items to keep you rehydrate.

3. Choose proper shoes for trekking. Rough pair of shoes can severely hurt your feet while trekking.

4. Remember to carry food items that made up of carbohydrates. It will help you to hike with enough energy.

5. Always take important medicine and first aid box with you.

6. It is important to cover your neck area, mainly in frequently changing weather.It can lead to serious neck problems and pains.

7. Do not forget to wear stockings or thick woolen socks while trekking. You can also use Synthetic blended socks as these socks are especially designed to prevent feet moisture.Get things ready before going for trekking. Enjoy your hiking in the majestic mountains of Vietnam.

Best Vietnam Adventure travel Website

Active Travel Vietnam is a website dedicated to profesional adventure travel in Vietnam. This is a professionally designed website where you can easily find useful travel information on popular adventure destinations in the country, the different and unique available tours include trekking, biking, kayaking, motorcycling, and about the country itself. The website also has informative articles about the Vietnamese culture, its history, and its holidays. There is also a page advising you what you can do and what you should not do in Vietnam in order to have a pleasant journey.

Motorcycle Vietnam is a website dedicated to motorcycling travel in Vietnam. This is a professionally designed website where you can easily find useful information on popular motorcycle trails or dirt road in the country, the different and unique available motorcycle tours, and about the country itself. The website also has informative stories about the Vietnamese culture, its history, and its holidays from travel motorcyclists. There is also a page advising you what you can do and what you should not do on roads in Vietnam in order to have a memorial journey.

Source: booshnews

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Tet Trung Thu (Mid- Autumn Festival) in Vietnam

In Vietnam, Têt-Trung-Thu (tet-troong-thoo) or the Mid-Autumn Festival is one of the most popular family holidays. It is held on the 15th day of the 8th lunar month.

Lantern in the mid-autumn festival, Vietnam

Vietnamese families plan their activities around their children on this special day. In a Vietnamese folklore, parents were working so hard to prepare for the harvest that they left the children playing by themselves. To make up for lost time, parents would use the Mid-Autumn festival as an opportunity to show their love and appreciation for their children.

Appropriately, the Mid-Autumn Festival is also called the Children’s Festival. Trung-Thu activities are often centered around children and education. Parents buy lanterns for their children so that they can participate in a candlelit lantern procession at dawn.

Lanterns represent brightness while the procession symbolizes success in school. Vietnamese markets sell a variety of lanterns, but the most popular children’s lantern is the star lantern. Other children’s activities include arts and crafts in which children make face masks and lanterns. Children also perform traditional Vietnamese dances for adults and participate in contests for prizes and scholarships. Unicorn dancers are also very popular in Trung-Thu festivities.

Moon cakes in the mid-autumn festival, Vietnam

Like the Chinese, Vietnamese parents tell their children fairy tales and serve mooncakes and other special treats under the silvery moon. A favorite folklore is about a carp that wanted to become a dragon. The carp worked and worked and eventually transformed itself into a dragon. This is the story behind the mythical symbol, Cá hóa Rông. Parents use this story to encourage their children to work hard so that they can become whatever they want to be.

There’s also a story about how the Moon Lady ascended to the moon. A man named Chu Coi found a lucky tree that had special healing powers. Because this tree was sacred, people were forbidden to urinate at the foot of this tree.

Unfortunately, Chu Cuoi’s wife, Chi Hang forgot the rule and urinated on the tree. On day, while she was sitting on the tree’s branch, the tree started to grow and grow. Eventually, it reached the moon, Since then, Chi Hang lived on the moon for the rest of her life as a punishment for desecrating the sacred tree.

Source: familyculture

Tours in Vietnam

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Viajes Indochina Introduce New Viajes Camboya Website

Viajes Camboya and travel guide with tips, advice and useful information on travel activities on tours provided direct from Cambodia tour operators. This guide helps traveler find out what to see and do and plan the travel itinerary.

Angkor Temples, Cambodia

Viajes Indochina is pleased to announce the launch of a new website section that features Viajes Camboya ( which are supplied direct from tour operators based in Cambodia. Take no chances with the next vacation, travel with those who know the destination by experience.

Cambodia is a great travel destination in Indochina, offering many beautiful sightseeing, UNESCO’s Heritages such as Angkor Wat to explore, and cultural depth unlike anything else seen on earth. The Natural sights and culture tours complemented with modern amenities makes Cambodia becomes an ideal vacation destination on several levels.

Cambodia is a country most people have heard of but until recently few have had the opportunity to visit. It was not until the early 1990s that the first intrepid travelers started arriving. Things have come a long way in the past decade and visitors from all over the world are now discovering what a hidden gem of a country Cambodia is. Brilliant green rice fields, exotic temples and pagodas, grand colonial buildings, bustling city streets, thatched coconut huts, grand colonial buildings, exotic temples and pagodas, , conical straw hats, colorful ethnic minorities, delicious cuisine, great outdoor activities luxurious hotels, much more, it’s all here in Cambodia.

The great metropolises of the country is the elegant Siem Reap city with Angkor Wat, one of The World Wonders in Cambodia.

A Cambodia tours should combine with Vietnam itinerary to Indochina. The sightseeings systems are beautiful, the unique culture is unmatched anywhere on earth, all without giving up the comfort of civilization, with hotels and other amenities located nearby.

To contact Agencia de ViajeIndochina and book Cambodia tours today, please call 0844 3573 8569 within the Cambodia.
For More Details:

Monday, September 13, 2010

Discover the treasures of Southeast Asia

From its sweet and spicy cuisine to lush and dense jungles and stunningly gorgeous beaches, there is not a whole lot not to like about Southeast Asia. Culturally rich and breathtakingly beautiful, this area (Thai Lan, and the jewels of Indochina - Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos) of the world has long been a favorite destination for adventurous travelers.

Kayaking in Ba Be, VietnamKayaking in Ba Be, Vietnam

Ancient temples dotting the green hillsides, white sand beaches, rice terraces and food that will wow your taste buds distinguish this gorgeous part of the world. Southeastern Asia’s turmoil in the past few generations have only proven the resiliency and spirit of the people and both Vietnam and Cambodia in particular have healed their wounds and rebuilt in a way that preserves the countries’ ancient past with its future.

If you are wondering how best to explore this unique and incredible area of the world, a great way can be to sign up for a small group adventure tour. This way, you are sure not to miss a beat as you travel to all the best destinations in Southeast Asia and get to experiences places and people in ways that would be impossible on your own.

So, ok, I know what you are thinking. “A travel tour? Isn’t that what old people do?” The answer is no. The truth is travel tours have come a long way since the days of giant air-conditioned buses and old ladies. Today there are tours designed specifically for the independent, adventure traveler. That’s right—active, interesting and adventurous tours that allow travelers to explore and experience a foreign place. First off, they keep the groups small, usually capping out at 16 people, so you won’t be traveling around with some awkwardly huge group of gawking tourists. Second, these tours don’t just scratch the surface of the places you visit.

In fact, by using a combination of local and experienced guides, you’ll often see and experience MORE than you would on your own. Also, because these tours have already been developed to showcase the best of the best, you’ll save yourself from countless hours of potentially pointless research trying to find out where to go and what to eat. Oh, and don’t worry, you definitely won’t be experiencing any part of Southeast Asia from the window of some bus the entire time. Even the shorter Southeast Asia adventure tours have travelers moving about on longtail boats, trains, ferries, foot, tuk-tuks and even on elephants.

East Coast Island Hopping
Thailand boasts some of the finest islands and beaches in the world, with azure waters, white sands and lush forested interiors that all combine to create this unique paradise.

Our relaxed trips to southern Thailand combine island hopping between exotic locations with time to experience a little of the local life through the traditional way of life and of course the food. You will have the chance to snorkel with tropical fish, indulge in the art of Thai cooking and even ride an elephant. Or you may simply decide to relax and pass away the time away under a coconut palm!

From October to April we head to the west coast, and from May to September we visit the islands in the Gulf of Thailand, giving you year-round options to relax and experience these beautiful areas.

Asian Explorer
This is the big one. Four countries – the jewels of Indochina in thirty three days. It is an exciting and memorable trip, taking in Thailand, Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia with their breathtaking contrast in cultures, history and scenery.

Take the journey that is sure to delight and inspire you. This adventure trip will guide you to all the must see places in South East Asia. You will have the opportunity to see the amazing people and places that have survived wars and genocide to thrive in an amazing and beautiful place to make South East Asia what it is today. A vibrant and culturally rich region of the world.

The Great Indochina Loop

Angkor Temples, CambodiaAngkor Temples, Cambodia

Get set to discover something new and different every day, as we travel from the hidden treasures of Thailand and the laidback lanes of Laos, to the fabulous vibrancy of Vietnam and the engaging charisma of Cambodia. Get to know the locals, sample sumptuous cuisines, sail over pristine waters and scramble through a wealth of temples on this great adventure that gives you a chance to experience the heart of enthralling Indochina.

Best of Cambodia and Vietnam
The best of Cambodia and Vietnam is unveiled on this journey from Bangkok to Hanoi. Discover the region’s culture and beauty as we visit the stunning temples of Angkor, take a cross-border boat journey along the Mekong and immerse in Vietnam’s markets and vibrant streets. Add to the adventure an overnight boat-stay on Halong Bay, friendly locals and lots of scrumptious food, and the only thing left for you to do is choose a date.

Source: bootsnall

Vietnam adventure tours
Cambodia adventure tours

Friday, September 10, 2010

Dambri in Da Lat, Vietnam, the girl longing for love

Once upon a time, in a village near a big river in Dalat, there was a young couple who were deeply in love.

Dambri waterfall in Dalat, Vietnam

They wanted to spend their life together but the girl’s father was a rich village chief who wouldn’t allow his daughter to marry the young man from a poor family. The chief then forced the boy to leave the village causing his daughter great sorrow.

She came to the river to cry every day, longing for her lover to return but he never did. The girl died in desperation, turning into green leaves on the hill and her tears flowed into the river forming a beautiful waterfall that was named Dambri or "Longing for love".

This is the legend of Dambri waterfall, about 20 minutes ride from Bao Loc Town. Many like to retreat to the more comfortable pace of Bao Loc to getaway from the city for a few days. The cooler weather is another draw card.

From the center of the town, the road winds around the hills to the fabled waterfall. Riding a motorbike is the best way to get there - the cool air on your face, French colonial houses and the great smelling tea plantations along the road. The waterfall is down in a green valley and the stairs can be a little slippery. From half way down you can hear the roar of the roaring water like thousands of elephants running, as if the grief of the girl is pushed to the limit.

The seasonal heavy rains at this time of the year, have made the force of the falls unstoppable. Water from the upper streams thunders down from the 60 meter falls, smashing into white foam and mist on the water-worn stones below.

The majestic power of the waterfall is bordered all around by nature. After the soaking at the waterfall’s misty base, you can go to the top to Chau Ma minority village, where you can learn how to playing traditional musical instruments, and make brocatelle fabric products under instructions of Chau Ma villagers.

The tea and coffee processor, Tam Chau of Bao Loc, that manages Dambri has opened restaurants, souvenir stores, remade the paths and erected statues. There is a gentle roller coaster and for tourists who are too lazy to climb the stairs there is a lift right next the falls. Some people have criticized the developer for interfering with the pristine beauty of the place.

With or without human interference Dambri is a natural wonder. The water from the falls also supplies the local tea and coffee plantations.

Source: VietNamNet

Recommendations in Dalat, Vietnam:
Dalat City Guide
Jungle Fever - Trekking Dalat