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The REAL Easyriders! | Vietnam travel forum

The REAL Easyriders! | Vietnam travel forum


Travelfish

I am struggling to work out who the real Easyriders are... I have three websites that all look great... : Travelfish Vietnam travel forum

The Best Apps To Buy Cheap Flights On Your Phone (Updated for 2018!)

by Bruno B. @ Geeky Explorer | Travel smart

Finding a good and reliable travel app can be a hard task. In this article I will try to answer the question: which are the best apps to find cheap flights on your phone? Booking flights before vs now Not many years ago, you need an appointment with your travel agent to book a flight. We booked […]

The post The Best Apps To Buy Cheap Flights On Your Phone (Updated for 2018!) appeared first on Geeky Explorer | Travel smart. Travel smart!

Cu Chi – the Best Place for Ho Chi Minh Tunnels Tour

by Cuong Nguyen @ Travel Sense Asia

If you take a Ho Chi Minh tunnels tour, the must-going place is Cu Chi tunnel – one of the greatest works constructed by the Vietnamese. Cu Chi tunnel system serves as the living and hiding place for the Vietnamese soldiers during the wars. Visitors reaching there can not only experience the great tunnels but […]

The post Cu Chi – the Best Place for Ho Chi Minh Tunnels Tour appeared first on Travel Sense Asia.

7 awesome ways to meet locals when travelling Vietnam alone

7 awesome ways to meet locals when travelling Vietnam alone


Inspitrip Blog

Getting to know the locals can really enrich your experience and I found this is particularly important when travelling Vietnam alone.

Working Women of Hanoi Exhibition

by ViF - The Scribe @ Vietnam in Focus – Photo Tours

The streets of Hanoi are alive with traders, couriers and incredible cooks, the vast majority women. In celebration of International Women’s Day, drop by to enjoy our exhibition of photos taken by participants on our recent Working Women of Hanoi workshop, as well as special guest […]

The post Working Women of Hanoi Exhibition appeared first on Vietnam in Focus - Photo Tours.

All aboard the Re-Unification Express

by ViF - The Scribe @ Vietnam in Focus – Photo Tours

The post All aboard the Re-Unification Express appeared first on Vietnam in Focus - Photo Tours.

My Mom Says This Blog is Boring

by NomadicMatt @ Nomadic Matt's Travel Site

Last month, my mom told me she thought this blog was boring. “Where’s all the fun stuff? I want to see more photos of you traveling. I don’t care about these other updates.” “Mom, I live in Austin now. You know I’m not on the road that much,” I replied. “I know but still….I want […]

The post My Mom Says This Blog is Boring appeared first on Nomadic Matt's Travel Site.

The Real Cost of Travel in Vietnam

The Real Cost of Travel in Vietnam


Be My Travel Muse

What can you expect to spend in Vietnam, even during the Tet holiday? What kind of budget is realistic? This post evaluates the cost of traveling in Vietnam

Bali’s Volcanic Eruption: What You Need To Know

by Bernie Augstein @ Ultimate Adventure Travel

The post Bali’s Volcanic Eruption: What You Need To Know appeared first on Ultimate Adventure Travel.

Monthly recap: March travels

by Jo @ Twourism

In March we ticked off our third new destination of the year, Kraków, tickling a desire to explore more of Poland and central Europe. Here’s a recap of our month! Wondering what we got up to last month? Check out our February recap. Every generation has made its mark on the Wawel Hill cathedral. 🏰🏰😍😍 […]

The post Monthly recap: March travels appeared first on Twourism.

Routeperfect Review

by Anna Faustino @ Adventure In You

As much as I love to travel (heck, I travel for a living), I absolutely hate trip planning. Over the years, I’ve caught on to my partner’s happy-go-lucky attitude towards travel and very rarely plan for things in advance. Let’s face it. Trip planning is time consuming, stressful, and can definitely be overwhelming at times. […]

The post Routeperfect Review appeared first on Adventure In You.

SIGNATURE HOTELS

by Jennifer LaPerle @ Merit Travel

Book your hotel today and receive exclusive amenities!

The post SIGNATURE HOTELS appeared first on Merit Travel.

How To Prepare For Your Gap Year In Australia

by Lexi Smith @ Ultimate Adventure Travel

The post How To Prepare For Your Gap Year In Australia appeared first on Ultimate Adventure Travel.

How to Know When to Travel Anywhere – The Rove.me experience

by Bruno B. @ Geeky Explorer | Travel smart

We live in a rushed era where the “fast-food” concept has arrived to the travel world too. Many people out there can do a life of travel based on keeping a count of countries visited and bragging themselves because of it. But is that really the essence of traveling? For me, the whole purpose of […]

The post How to Know When to Travel Anywhere – The Rove.me experience appeared first on Geeky Explorer | Travel smart. Travel smart!

Indische Küche – Diese beliebten indischen Gerichte musst du probiert haben

by Annika Ziehen @ Intrepid Germany

Indien ist ein unglaublich vielseitiges Land und das spiegelt sich auch in seiner Küche wider. Was indisches Essen gemein hat, sind Gewürze, Curries, Fladenbrote und Reis, die du auf jedem Teller findest. Dazu hat jede Gegend in Indien ihre ganz eigene Küche und Gerichte, die besonders beliebt sind. So ist das Tandoori-Hähnchen in Nordindien zu […]

The post Indische Küche – Diese beliebten indischen Gerichte musst du probiert haben appeared first on Intrepid Germany.

How to Spend 1 Week in the Seychelles

by Amanda @ A Dangerous Business Travel Blog

Located in the Indian Ocean off the east coast of Africa, the Seychelles are a group of 115 islands that are basically the definition...

The post How to Spend 1 Week in the Seychelles appeared first on A Dangerous Business Travel Blog.

Bánh xèo – the unique pancake of Vietnamese cuisine

by Hanoikids @ HANOIKIDS CLUB

Bánh xèo – also known as crispy Vietnamese pancake, crepe or sizzling cake – is a famous street food which is widely believed to originate from France during its occupation of Vietnam.… [...]

The post Bánh xèo – the unique pancake of Vietnamese cuisine appeared first on HANOIKIDS CLUB.

Living Lagom in Sweden: An Interview With Lola Akerstrom

by NomadicMatt @ Nomadic Matt's Travel Site

Lagom is the key to unlocking the Swedish psyche, and it governs all aspect of Swedish society. In this interview, Lola A. Åkerström talks about why lagom is about more than just balance, and what it's like to assimilate into life in Sweden as a writer and photographer.

The post Living Lagom in Sweden: An Interview With Lola Akerstrom appeared first on Nomadic Matt's Travel Site.

St. George, Utah: More Than Just a Gateway to Zion

by Amanda @ A Dangerous Business Travel Blog

I'll be honest with you: I only knew two things about St. George, Utah, prior to this year. For one, I knew it had...

The post St. George, Utah: More Than Just a Gateway to Zion appeared first on A Dangerous Business Travel Blog.

And the winner is….

by NomadicMatt @ Nomadic Matt's Travel Site

I received thousands of submissions for my round the world contest, and I enjoyed reading every single one of them. Unfortunately, there can only be one winner. Today, I'm very excited to announce the official winner of the round the world contest! The journey begins next month.

The post And the winner is…. appeared first on Nomadic Matt's Travel Site.

6 (Non-Millennial) Solo Female Travelers Share Their Travel Wisdom

by NomadicMatt @ Nomadic Matt's Travel Site

Solo female travel isn't just for millennials! In this column, Kristin Addis introduces us to some older solo female travelers who are following their dreams to see the world. These women come from all backgrounds and all walks of life, proving it's never too late to start traveling.

The post 6 (Non-Millennial) Solo Female Travelers Share Their Travel Wisdom appeared first on Nomadic Matt's Travel Site.

The Ultimate Itinerary of São Miguel Island (Made By An Azorean)

by Bruno B. @ Geeky Explorer | Travel smart

São Miguel in the Azores is a vibrant garden in the middle of the Atlantic. With so many different landscapes and things to do there, planning a route to explore the island is essential. This is the exact road trip itinerary I use when I get friends visiting São Miguel island and now I’m sharing […]

The post The Ultimate Itinerary of São Miguel Island (Made By An Azorean) appeared first on Geeky Explorer | Travel smart. Travel smart!

A Year in Review (And a Needed Break)

by NomadicMatt @ Nomadic Matt's Travel Site

As dawn broke on this year, I was excited for a fresh start. Last year, I dealt with panic attacks and anxiety from taking on too many projects, a breakup that left me heartbroken, and a mini-identity crisis from settling down. But that “greatest worst year of my life” set the stage for a year […]

The post A Year in Review (And a Needed Break) appeared first on Nomadic Matt's Travel Site.

Mekong River Cruise CanTho ChauDoc PhnomPenh 3 days

by Sinh Le @ Sinhbalo

Mekong river cruise CanTho ChauDoc Phnompenh provides you an opportunity to see bustling floating markets, natural arroyos system and river life on the mekong from Vietnam to Cambodia. Tour Code: SBL18A Day 1: SaiGon – CaiBe – CanTho (Lunch) We depart at 8:00am and head south to the river town of Cai Be, a rural…

The post Mekong River Cruise CanTho ChauDoc PhnomPenh 3 days appeared first on Sinhbalo.

Traveling in Vietnam: The best travel route through this S-shaped country

by Hanoikids @ HANOIKIDS CLUB

Vietnam is an astounding mix of natural highlights and cultural diversity.… [...]

The post Traveling in Vietnam: The best travel route through this S-shaped country appeared first on HANOIKIDS CLUB.

The 19 Best Travel Accessories To Save Space, Time And Money In 2018

by Bruno B. @ Geeky Explorer | Travel smart

This article is a comprehensive list of all the items and travel accessories that make your life easier when you are on the road. Based on my personal experience and the latest trends out there. How many have you got already? Let me start by saying I’ve seen loads of lists of “must-have” travel accessories […]

The post The 19 Best Travel Accessories To Save Space, Time And Money In 2018 appeared first on Geeky Explorer | Travel smart. Travel smart!

Mixtape (Bar and Lounge) - Pittsburgh Small Business

Mixtape (Bar and Lounge) - Pittsburgh Small Business

by Madeline Quigley @ Blog - The Gal-ivanter Travel Blog

The real story behind this post:  Grant and I were tipsy, impassioned by our love of Mixtape, and started writing the follow list on my phone..... while still in the bar. It took us under 2 mins to come up with everyone below. 

Why I'll Never Return to Vietnam

Why I'll Never Return to Vietnam


Nomadic Matt's Travel Site

My trip through Vietnam, my awful experience, and why I never want to go back there for the rest of my life.

Awesome Sprinter Vans on Instagram That You Need to See

by Anna Faustino @ Adventure In You

If you find yourself scrolling down Instagram for hours on end in search of some travel inspiration, chances are, you would have stumbled on to a few photos of #vanlife. Recently, there has been a huge rise in young people opting to forgo living in a traditional home. Instead, their habitat of choice is a […]

The post Awesome Sprinter Vans on Instagram That You Need to See appeared first on Adventure In You.

Visit Mekong Delta on a trip to Vietnam | Audley Travel

Visit Mekong Delta on a trip to Vietnam | Audley Travel


Audley Travel

Mekong Delta is just one of the places you could visit on your tailor-made trip to Vietnam. Let Audley help you to create your perfect itinerary

Travel Experts Choice: 27 of the Best Tourist Spots in the Philippines

by Hannah Lukaszewicz @ Getting Stamped

There are 7,641 islands in the Philippines how do you decide which ones to visit? We asked 30 travel experts what their favorite place in the Phillippines was and made this list of the best tourist spots in the Philippines. No matter where you go...

The post Travel Experts Choice: 27 of the Best Tourist Spots in the Philippines appeared first on Getting Stamped.

Magisches Marokko: Die schönsten Orte im Land aus 1.001 Nacht

by Denise Yahrling @ Intrepid Germany

Marokko ist ein faszinierendes, lebhaftes, buntes Land voller Magie und Herzlichkeit und eines, das mich zutiefst begeistert, berührt und manchmal auch nachdenklich gestimmt hat. Nach Marokko zu reisen ist ein wenig so, als würde man eine Zeitreise unternehmen in eine völlig andere Welt- eine Welt voller Zauber, Sagen und Mythen. Anfang dieses Jahres habe ich […]

The post Magisches Marokko: Die schönsten Orte im Land aus 1.001 Nacht appeared first on Intrepid Germany.

Landing on a Glacier!

by Bonnie and Bill Neely @ Real Travel Adventures

New Zealand, which has recently been officially declared the eighth continent and named Zealandia, is a Wonderful place to visit. With a population of about four million, half of whom live in the capital city of Auckland, the countryside drives and villages and towns throughout North and South Islands are like none in other countries because the roads are well paved and maintained but most of the way are narrow two-lanes, with one “S” curve after another, and no shoulder. The most memorable highways are banked on one side by a cliff towering above you and on the other side by the ocean below you! Other highways are through beautiful pastoral scenes of grassy rolling hills dotted with thousands and thousands of sheep.  We saw beautiful small farms with people plowing, planting, and harvesting various crops. The air is so pure and crystalline clear that the colors in all your surroundings appear more beautifully brilliant and true.  Lakes and rivers abound in this bottom of the world continent and the water is as pure as the air, not yet contaminated by huge populations. Yet the country is modern with all the Twenty-First Century conveniences you could want, but also it maintains its rich cultural history of the Maori tribes. A majority of the streets and towns are named in the native tribal language. School children are taught both languages and many tourist places demonstrate the original customs, ways of life, food and dance.  You will never lack for things to do and unduplicated vistas of nature to witness. The land is still in its creation infancy and volcanoes and earthquakes are not unexpected, but this adds to the adventure of the unusual landscape. We drove over 3,000 miles to see and do as much as we possibly could in three weeks of January, which is during their summer season below the equator.  It was all beautiful and wonderful, welcoming and fun, with super clean hotels and B&B’s, good cars to rent, excellent food and very friendly, welcoming people. However, with the necessity to import many of modern life’s necessities, food and gasoline are expensive. Perhaps the greatest highlight of our trip was with the The Helicopter Line New Zealand when we flew by helicopter to land on a glacier! We were journeying through the South Island with the number one choice of things to do was a heli ride.  We first tried to fly from the village of Franz Joseph, but the weather did not cooperate. Helicopter Line New Zealand service takes NO CHANCES of danger. They can only confirm trips a half hour before boarding time because the winds and rain during this season are fickle.  These ‘copters do fly under dangerous conditions. The company’s helicopters go out in pairs, and each one has well-trained and highly experienced pilots, emergency equipment, and good phone/radio communications with each other and with the control tower below. Our tickets would be good at the next location of this excellent Heli service which for us was Fox Glacier. Again this late spring/early summer weather in the Southern Hemisphere prevented our take-off. We enjoyed hiking to see the glacier from a distance and then journeyed on and stopped at Wanaka to enjoy many fun things to do by the lake. On our third chance for the glacier trip we were treated with a sunny day and little wind. We were elated! At first Bonnie (whose motto is be prepared) packed food, first aid, a change of warm clothes (in case of emergency encampment in a frozen atmosphere thousands of feet above sea level,) binoculars, camera, and who knows what all in her heavy backpack. We didn’t dream we had to weigh-in about an hour before boarding while we were awaiting the final verdict about the weather, which changes almost instantly in the region around glaciers.  She was shocked to learn her 20 pound backpack had to be left behind, but also was assured that the pilot already had on board all the items she had thought to bring. Her worries were useless as the pilot even had extra heavy coats for anyone who had arrived in summer clothes. The only items we needed besides proper clothing and shoes were sunglasses and camera. People from many countries were awaiting previously booked ‘copter rides and we piled in with five young people from Korea and our excellent pilot Peter, who makes this helicopter trip about 14 times each day when weather permits. Everyone was so excited and cameras and cell phones began clicking as we took off with the thrilling whir of the propeller above us. Each passenger was given a head-set of ear phones and microphone to communicate with the pilot. As we ascended quickly above the https://www.queenstownnz.co.nz/   The Remarkables, mountains which are the backdrop of the lovely city, we were so glad our trip actualized in the city of Queenstown because these knife-edged mountains from above appeared to have jabbed through the earth with a rugged rock surface at the back and beautiful lush vegetation on the side facing the city. To fly over these was our first treat. Soon we were over an enormous valley with a large river winding through it, so beautiful from above.  We flew over many mountains of the Southern Alps, each with a different landscape and of varying huge size.  The scenery changed from green spring/summer lushness to jagged rocky cliffs,  then snowy peaks, and then many glaciers appeared! In many of the highest crags and valleys of these enormously high peaks there were vast accumulations of snow which had never melted in centuries and had become compacted into glaciers…so many in one vast area within our 360 degree view. Peter and the other pilot landed one after the other on the glacier, which was larger than a football field and just as flat. As soon as the propeller stood still we were allowed to emerge onto the glacier to walk around and take pictures for 10 minutes.  We had not known to expect soft new snow on the surface of the ancient frozen plateau of ice.  We each stared in wonder, directing our video cameras in the complete circle of wondrous, indescribably pure beauty of pristine white’.  We had sunny vividly blue sky all around us to the horizon at our feet, only interrupted by mountain peaks in various places. It was BEAUTIFUL!!!!  For a few minutes no one could utter a word…Speechless was our true description as we gasped in joy at the simplicity of unspoiled nature.  The time in this PEAK experience of our lives was over far too quickly and we piled reluctantly back into the helicopter and were lifted away between mountains with new scenery below. Because we were the second helicopter we could look at the other and see what ours looked like, a tiny speck by comparison to every enormous mountain top around and below us. Our return landing at the little heliport was smooth. We thanked Peter and The Helicopter Line of New Zealand for the most incredible experience of our lives, which went by far too quickly but will be at the front of our joyful memories for the rest of our lives. Summer down below in this beautiful country is approaching, so we urge you to make your reservations now and head there for a wonderful holiday. There are many other helicopter locations for this company to fly you to Mount Cook or Milford Sound and more. For More Information:  http://www.helicopter.co.nz  https://www.queenstownnz.co.nz/  https://www.queenstownnz.co.nz/stories/queenstown-walks-and-hikes/  https://www.queenstownnz.co.nz/plan/itineraries/free-or-very-cheap-activities-for-adventurers/  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Remarkables  

The post Landing on a Glacier! appeared first on Real Travel Adventures.

Vietnam’s Black Hmong Saleswomen

by Mary Walker Clark @ Vietnam – Real Travel Adventures

If sales are all about forming relationships, then the women of the Black Hmong tribe in northwestern Vietnam should write the marketing book. This discovery was made on a recent trip to visit Vietnam’s small ethnic minority tribes, many of them located in the mountains surrounding Sapa. These include the Black Hmong, Flower Hmong and Red Dao people. Thanks to its cool weather in the long, hot summer months, Sapa was a hill station retreat for the French when they colonized Vietnam. It fell into disrepair until recently. As Vietnam has attracted more travelers and as more Vietnamese have been able to vacation, the area has grown into quite the resort, sporting over 100 hotels. This has been a financial blessing to the local tribes whose villages are near Sapa. I was traveling with two girlfriends. Our plan was to trek through the valley with a guide and explore some local villages. As we walked out of Sapa, we were surprised to be joined by six women of the Black Hmong tribe dressed in their colorful headresses. They are named for the dark indigo dye used in their clothes. Two of them paired up with one of us. “Hi, what’s your name? Where are you from? How many children do you have?” At first, I was resistant to their questions, but they were so friendly and kind that I opened up and began to question them also. They had items to sell but there was no mention of that. We meandered down into the valley, chatting and visiting. The path became very steep, muddy and slick as we turned off the main road. The women gently took our arms and steadied us as we descended to the river level. Our group paused at one of the women’s houses for her to briefly nurse her baby. At Lao Chi, we stopped at a restaurant where our guide was to cook us lunch. It was there, two hours after the start of the trek, that we finally looked at the women’s goods. They had invested much of their time getting to know us (and we them,) hoping we would buy something. Obviously, we did. It helped that they had some nice selections of the embroidered purses, pillow covers, and wall hangings that we had seen in Sapa stores. But we would have bought something anyway, simply because we were now on a first name basis and had shared so much personal information. After hugs, Yen, Coo, Zoa, Lillie, My and Zaa left, and we had lunch seated in an open air restaurant overlooking the river and dormant rice fields. After lunch we discovered that this marketing system was not limited to one walk. As we continued on, twelve new Hmong women joined us. “Hi, what’s your name? Where are you from? How many children do you have?” I don’t know if the word got out that we were generous buyers, but more women continued to join us. When we finally stopped at our destination, 22 women were walking with us. We couldn’t buy from all of them and actually we bought very little from the second group. But they candidly said that was okay, “there would be other visitors.” From our walks with the women (there were more walks), we learned that the men are too shy to sell. Because the women are now selling, the men have assumed extra chores, including minding the children. The villages have even brought in English teachers to help them with the vocabulary they need. There is a system among those selling in the villages. Only one sale per person is allowed until all in the group have made a sale. They share goods among themselves to be sure everyone gets a sale. During the next couple of days, we would see some of our new friends in the marketplace or on the streets of Sapa. They always smiled and said hello but did not ask us again to buy. Not all of the Hmong women were so disciplined as we were often approached on the Sapa streets to buy. It is certainly a risk that this new found industry could seem like begging. But we were impressed with the self-imposed rules that the village women used to protect both us and them. The business schools in our universities could learn some lessons from the Hmong women. After all of the business, marketing, and financial plans, the decision to buy is an individual one. And being on a first name basis can tip the scale.

The post Vietnam’s Black Hmong Saleswomen appeared first on Real Travel Adventures.

7 Reasons You NEED To Do Surf Camp Australia

by Laura De Wispelaere @ Ultimate Adventure Travel

The post 7 Reasons You NEED To Do Surf Camp Australia appeared first on Ultimate Adventure Travel.

Why Skydiving Is A MUST DO On Your Gap Year

by Felicia Lindqvist @ Ultimate Adventure Travel

The post Why Skydiving Is A MUST DO On Your Gap Year appeared first on Ultimate Adventure Travel.

Vietnam Travel | Places to visit in   Vietnam

Vietnam Travel | Places to visit in Vietnam


Rough Guides

Explore places to visit in Vietnam with Rough Guides: find out when to go, view itineraries and read about lakes, bays, street food and water puppets.

The 8 Commandments of Traveling with Your Partner

by Hannah Lukaszewicz @ Getting Stamped

In collaboration with Jewelers Mutual Insurance Group We have been traveling the world together for over 1,600 days (and counting) straight. Luckily, we travel pretty well together – but travel can be a big test of a relationship. A few things about traveling with your significant...

The post The 8 Commandments of Traveling with Your Partner appeared first on Getting Stamped.

Kuba: 7 Fragen an einen Einheimischen

by Kai Wieland @ Intrepid Germany

Kuba ist dieser Tage (und das völlig zu Recht) in aller Munde. Das Land Che Guevaras und Fidel Castros, der Zigarren und Oldtimer, der Traumstrände und des Tanzes hat einen ganz besonderen Charme. Warum es darüber hinaus einen Besuch wert ist, erklärt uns Yanniel. Yanniel ist 31 Jahre alt und einer unserer Guides in Kuba. […]

The post Kuba: 7 Fragen an einen Einheimischen appeared first on Intrepid Germany.

We Are Back From Our Twourism Break!

by Screndels @ Twourism

After a bit of a break from Twourism, we’re back on the blogging scene with a new-look website, some brand new content, and a greater commitment to giving you the best travel tips. We know it’s been a while. We’re sorry. Some of the content here will now seem quite dated, but we’ll refresh it […]

The post We Are Back From Our Twourism Break! appeared first on Twourism.

A History Lover’s Guide to Dublin, Ireland

by Amanda @ A Dangerous Business Travel Blog

You might know a thing or two about Dublin. For example, you might know that it's the capital of Ireland and that it's the...

The post A History Lover’s Guide to Dublin, Ireland appeared first on A Dangerous Business Travel Blog.

Vietnam Encounter Photography Tour

Vietnam Encounter Photography Tour


Vietnam in Focus - Photo Tours

Encounter Vietnam through Travel Photography. 15day guided tour from Hanoi to Saigon, Join us to discover the real Vietnam and take Pro-Level Photographs

Why a self-catering apartment is your best budget bet

by Screndels @ Twourism

Endless ice cream in summer sun; enough drink to drown in; snacks swiftly supplied to suppress even the hint of hunger. The all-inclusive package was a pretty good deal. When I was 12 years old. Then I matured and the glossy package holiday where everything was included didn’t seem quite as valuable through adult eyes. […]

The post Why a self-catering apartment is your best budget bet appeared first on Twourism.

Test7

by Arturo Guerrero @ Legend Travel

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Nulla fermentum elit turpis, quis dapibus leo convallis vel. Mauris finibus ut lorem a auctor. Etiam dictum libero libero, quis tempus erat interdum ut. Aenean placerat molestie porta. Pellentesque pulvinar arcu sed consequat suscipit. Nam ac malesuada...

The post Test7 appeared first on Legend Travel.

Dong Travel Pass

Dong Travel Pass


Stray Asia

Travel Vietnam on the Stray Backpacker Bus! Have the adventure of a lifetime with a great group of backpackers on our most popular Vietnam tour.

Top 5 hostels for backpackers in Saigon

by Khue Nguyen @ Inspitrip Blog

Hostels are the way to go for budget-oriented travelers. Visitors can enjoy full of services with small angles, affordable rates. the suggestions below will give you the perfect choice. The Common Room Project Bizarre in concept yet strangely nice in the way it brings it all together, The Common Room Project is where hotel meets […]

The post Top 5 hostels for backpackers in Saigon appeared first on Inspitrip Blog.

Test4

by Arturo Guerrero @ Legend Travel

The post Test4 appeared first on Legend Travel.

The heart of south-east Asia by boat

The heart of south-east Asia by boat


Traveller

Cruise the Mekong River and you get ample opportunity to meet the locals.

The Trionic Veloped: Changing Lives All Over The World

by Linda Oatman @ Real Travel Adventures

One innovative product can change millions of lives, and the Trionic Veloped is doing just that. Opening possibilities all over the world, the Veloped is known as the only off-road walker on the market. From Swedish snows to beaches in Australian to mountains to hiking trails everywhere, Trionic’s Veloped is making outdoor life possible for people of all ages who previously struggled with varying disabilities. Designed and developed in Sweden, the Veloped has enhanced the health and happiness of Pennsylvania resident Jill Groves, 37. “It’s amazing how much the Trionic Veloped has impacted my life in such a short time,” reported Groves, who began using the walker in August of 2017, when she and her husband embarked on a cross-country road trip during the time of the eclipse. “I’ve been disabled for about 10 years, with varying levels of functioning that affect mostly my stamina and my ability to walk. I’ve acquired multiple devices through the years, trying to find the best option to allow me to remain active.” Jill Groves owns a plethora of walking aides: everything from canes to forearm crutches to a rollator walker to a 3-wheeled walker to a wheelchair. She relies mostly on the cane for short distances and the rollator walker for longer treks. In 2017, Groves began to become more active and adventurous, with the support of family and friends. She walked several 5K charity events with the rollator, which was somewhat helpful but also a bit of a hindrance. “When using the rollator off-road, it would constantly get caught and pitch forward on grass, stones, sticks, and bumps,” Jill recalled. The friction of the rollator also caused irritation and blisters on Jill’s palms if she didn’t wear gloves. Because of these inconveniences, Groves began searching the internet for a more user-friendly walker that might work better in off-road conditions. She knew that increased tire size would be important, and her goal was to find a walking aide that would assist in future 5K walks and her upcoming cross-country vacation. Finding www.trionic.us during that web search changed Jill’s life. The Trionic Veloped was perfect for her needs. “I couldn’t wait for the day it would be delivered and I could test it out,” Jill said. The day that the industrial-size box arrived, with two handles reinforced with plastic (making even the delivery employee’s life easier!), was an exciting one. The assembly instructions were very easy to follow,” said Jill. “Basically I just needed to attach the tires and adjust the handle height.” The Veloped’s tires easily detach with the push of a button, making the walker simple to transport, and the handles have numbered notches for reminders of favorite settings. It was love at first step for Jill Groves that summer day. “I tried the Veloped in the yard. I could easily walk on grass, and over tree roots and paver stones. I even tested it by rolling it over the stone fire pit that was piled with small logs and sticks. None of this stopped the Veloped, and I was in love with it.” A week after the Veloped’s arrival, Jill used it for the next 5K. “I walked quicker than I have for any of the others,” Jill said. “I was able to walk without stumbling or getting caught on anything, including curbs, stones, and sewer drains, all of which would have impeded a regular rollator walker. The sliding seats allows for space to walk within the walker for better support, giving me the ability to take bigger steps without hitting the walker with my feet or shins. The basket is great for holding bottles of water and other items without fear of them falling out. It even has a build-in cover to protect items in the basket from rain.” The Veloped garnered lots attention that day, with many asking about the off-road mobility aide. “Because it doesn’t look like a regular walker, I felt less disabled and more empowered,” Jill said. “For the first time in years, I kept up with non-disabled people . . . and during a race!” Then came the planned cross-country trip with her husband Derrick. The Groves were traveling in a small car, but transporting the Veloped was no problem. They attached the walker to a bike rack on the back of the vehicle. The first stop was a campground in Missouri, where the Groves would view the eclipse. “I was able to walk all over the campground, and I used the Veloped to carry my laundry when it was time to do the wash,” Jill reported. “The owner of the campground used a rollator walker, but I introduced her to the Veloped and she loved it. She used it to get around the campground and to personally visit each campsite.” After the total eclipse of the sun, the Groves continued on to Arkansas, where they would visit a gem-mining field. It was there that Jill gave the Veloped the nickname of “Jasper,” the gem that the Groves dug up the most. “It was acres of tilled field with a few gravel pathways. The only thing that stopped the Veloped was the deep rows of soil. I was able to get around all the rest, including the muddy patches where others didn’t want to go. I was also able to walk around the town where we stayed, and visit shops and restaurants. Not all areas had sidewalks, but I was able to keep going as if there were.” If it sounds as if the Veloped is magic, it is. “Climbing to the peak of Mount Mitchell was our next destination,” Jill said. “The Veloped helped me to walk all the way up to the peak viewing area.” Groves now looks forward to future hiding adventures that without the Veloped were inaccessible. The final destination of the Groves’ road trip was North Carolina, where they visited several beaches along the coast. “I had apprehension and I thought that maybe the Veloped had met its match, and that I would have the normal struggle or inability to walk on the dry sand and down to the water line,” Jill recalled. “Boy, was I wrong! I walked right onto the beach and down to the water without a struggle or losing my balance. It’s been about ten years since I could do that! I was then able to take a romantic walk along the surf at sunset with my husband. It felt so great; I didn’t want to leave at the end of the evening.” Jill’s trip was an absolute dream, she said, and she was thrilled at being able to participate in activities that would have been impossible with the Trionic Veloped. And now, the future looks bright for Jill Groves, with Jasper in her life. “The Veloped has truly improved my life and my confidence in myself to do more and to explore many more new adventures in the future,” Jill said. The Trionic company, founded by a few young men in Sweden, is changing and improving lives all over the world. Disability has become ability, and the impossible has become possible.  

The post The Trionic Veloped: Changing Lives All Over The World appeared first on Real Travel Adventures.

A perfect itinerary for your two-day Mekong Delta tour suggested by a local

by Phan Len @ Inspitrip Blog

The Mekong Delta, otherwise known as the ‘rice bowl’ of Vietnam, is a colourful display of various shades of green. Here in this water world, boats float in the lazy rivers, buffalos wander in the rice fields and ripe fruits adorn the trees. It is also here that visitors will get a true taste of […]

The post A perfect itinerary for your two-day Mekong Delta tour suggested by a local appeared first on Inspitrip Blog.

Travel Sense Asia(TSA) will attend The Travel Mart AEC from Jan 16 – Jan 19 2018 in Myanmar

by Cuong Nguyen @ Travel Sense Asia

The Travel Mart AEC is the overarching voice of travel trade partners in the ASEAN Economic Community. It was first conceptualized by travel and leisure gurus as the go-to marketing arm of businesses who wish to showcase their travel products and services locally and abroad. Fueled by their passion and determination to see the industry […]

The post Travel Sense Asia(TSA) will attend The Travel Mart AEC from Jan 16 – Jan 19 2018 in Myanmar appeared first on Travel Sense Asia.

12 Incredible Travel Experiences I Found Through Instagram

by Hayden Myers @ Adventure In You

We all know Instagram is the favored place for people to post what they had for breakfast, post their #sundayselfie, their #ootd and pretty much anything they think will get the Insta-universe liking and following their posts. However, there are less cringeworthy types of posts – believe it or not – and they come in […]

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Mekong River Cruise PhnomPenh, ChauDoc, CanTho, Saigon 3days

by Sinh Le @ Sinhbalo

At Phnompenh, the Mekong splits into two main branches: the HauGiang (Tonle Bassac) which flows via ChauDoc, LongXuyen and CanTho to the sea; and the TienGiang (Tonle Mekong) which splits into several branches at VinhLong and empties into the sea at six points. The Mekong river cruise from Phnompenh to ChauDoc, Cantho and onto Saigon…

The post Mekong River Cruise PhnomPenh, ChauDoc, CanTho, Saigon 3days appeared first on Sinhbalo.

How to Make Driving Abroad a Smooth Experience

by Screndels @ Twourism

Driving abroad could be classed as a hobby of mine. There’s no better feeling than finding your own special destinations out on the open road. But all freedom comes with a price. With driving, it literally comes with a price that’s often quite high. Luckily there are some tips and tricks to make driving abroad […]

The post How to Make Driving Abroad a Smooth Experience appeared first on Twourism.

Lune Production

by Hanoikids @ HANOIKIDS CLUB

Lune Production was established in Saigon, Vietnam, in 2012, under Square Group Investment Holding.… [...]

The post Lune Production appeared first on HANOIKIDS CLUB.

The Most Complete Travel Guide to Pico Island, Azores

by Bruno B. @ Geeky Explorer | Travel smart

This easy-to-follow Pico travel guide contains all you need to know to explore Pico island in Azores. Find out the best places to go and how to budget and plan your itinerary. And of course, what and where to eat. Let’s get started! Each island in the Azores has its own charm and appeal. There’s […]

The post The Most Complete Travel Guide to Pico Island, Azores appeared first on Geeky Explorer | Travel smart. Travel smart!

Vietnam Holidays | Independent & Meaningful | 2018/2019 - Rickshaw Travel

Vietnam Holidays | Independent & Meaningful | 2018/2019 - Rickshaw Travel


Rickshaw Travel

Discover the real Vietnam with Rickshaw's independent & meaningful Vietnam holidays. Get close to the locals, history & culture with our specialist's help.

What backpacking in Vietnam is REALLY like.....

What backpacking in Vietnam is REALLY like.....


The Gal-ivanter Travel Blog

And after months, and months, of being the person begging for advice....it sure does feel good to be the one dispensing it. In Cambodia, I meet a lot of people headed to Vietnam.  I tell them I have already done the damn thing (Hanoi to Saigon) and they, just like me, want advice. Well gather round'

Motorbike Nation

by Peter Kauffner @ Vietnam – Real Travel Adventures

Vietnam has no room left for walking around.  It is a nation on a motorcycle, or sometimes a bicycle or pedicab.  Yes, there are sidewalks.  But in the Vietnamese view, a sidewalk is for parking your motorcycle on, eating on while sitting on a low plastic stool, and selling wares – almost anything except walking, at least judging from the stench that arises after a few days without rain. A whole family can ride on a motorcycle, daddy drives while in the back mommy carries junior, who is somehow able to sleep soundly despite the roar and honking of rush hour traffic.  No one wears a helmet and few are without the scars of an accident. Motorbikes are not just for getting from one place to another either.  You wouldn’t want to leave your bike unattended, because then it might get stolen.  Most Vietnamese pay someone to watch their motorcycle when they park it, but others save money by sitting on it all day long.  There are groups of motorcycle taxi drivers who even eat and sleep on their vehicles while waiting for fares. On Saturday evening in Ho Chi Minh City, formerly Saigon, men drive their dates to the waterfront and park.  In open areas of the city, you can see rows of couples sitting on their bikes while talking or necking.   This is a perhaps as much privacy as these couples ever get as it is common for a one bedroom apartment to have twelve residents. There is no real reason to walk around in Ho Chi Minh.  The car taxi fare for a short distance is about a dollar and no tip is expected.   I was once charged a mere $18 for a ride out to the suburbs, yet managed to feel outraged and ripped off.   But as a former New Yorker, I like to walk around all the same. This raises the ire of the motorcycle taxi drivers, who shout “Motorbike! Motorbike!”  or  “Motorbike you!” at me every few minutes.  Meanwhile, I struggle for the nearest Vietnamese equivalent to, “No, I prefer not to ride in your deathmobile today.”  Actually, to call these people “motorcycle taxi drivers” is to glorify this behavior since it is often just a guy with a motorcycle who happens to be driving by. One driver got pretty steamed at me, came up and said, “Every day, I see you walk around.  You just want to save money!  It’s not good! Not good!” So when I was planning my trip to the Mekong Delta village of Thanh Phong, it was with some trepidation that I realized that getting there would require a lengthy bike ride. Of course, I could have rented a car, but I figured that would attract unwanted attention. Thanh Phong gained considerable notoriety in April 2001 when former Senator Bob Kerrey (D.-Neb.) confessed to having committed “an atrocity” when he led a commando raid on the village during the Vietnam War.  I wanted to find out what effect this ruckus had on today’s residents. Kerrey’s U.S. Navy SEAL team killed up to twenty-seven villagers in the raid, which occurred on February 25, 1969.  One victim was an old man and the rest were women and children.  Kerrey claims that his team fired only in response to enemy fire, but this claim is disputed by a member his own team as well as by Pham Tri Lanh and Bui Thi Luom, both survivors of the massacre.   Kerrey received the Bronze Star for his conduct that night.  He is now president of the New School University in New York. Just so that I don’t keep you in suspense any longer, I will now address the common questions people ask about Vietnam.  No, I don’t encounter much anti-Americanism.  My students at Vietnam National University talk about former North Vietnamese President Ho Chi Minh as if he is a god, but they don’t express much in the way of political opinion beyond that.   When I asked why she liked Ho, one student responded, “He could speak six languages and drove out the French.” (Apparently, this is a version of Ho’s life redacted to avoid offending the American teacher.) As far as current government policy goes, everyone seems to be a happy camper.  They may not have a choice, however.   Several people I talked to seemed frightened when I asked them political questions and told me that the police arrested people who discussed such issues. Yes, Vietnamese still wear pajamas in public, even in the cities.  Nowadays, it is almost always women who wear them and most have abandoned traditional black in favor of brighter colors.  In addition, conical straw hats are still common, especially in the countryside.  The hats prevent tanning, which Vietnamese associate with manual labor. Finally, the traditional dress, called an ao dai, really is gorgeous.  The high school girls wear a blindingly white, gossamer ao dai as a uniform. (To keep it clean, they have to wash it by hand every day.)  Shop clerks and bank tellers wear less revealing ao dais of various colors.  Otherwise, you don’t see the dress all that often nowadays. Thanh Phong is only 75 miles from Ho Chi Minh, but the village is far from major roads and in a remote part the undeveloped Mekong Delta region.  To get there, I first took a two-hour bus ride to the city of Mytho, which is located on the edge of the delta.   I had heard horror stories about Vietnamese buses and was pleasantly surprised to find that the national bus company now has used buses recently purchased from South Korea. Mytho offers a wide selection of boat rides to tourists seeking views of delta.   Did I mention the boat rides?  There are as many people selling boat rides in Mytho as there are real estate salesmen in Orlando. I went to the several travel agencies and finally found one that connected me with Sang, a driver who spoke some English.  The trip from Mytho to Thanh Phong takes three hours and requires using three ferries. We took an off road through banana and coconut groves, lush forests, and villages that time forgot.  Children guided farm animals by the side of the dirt road, which later narrowed to single lane bicycle and motorcycle path.  Huts made of bamboo, board, and thatch lined the path. Those villages won’t be forgotten for long.   The whole of southern Bentre Province, which includes Thanh Phong, is a hive of construction work.  Brand-new buildings dot the landscape while workers with heavy equipment build new bridges. Getting back to the main road confirmed my suspicion of Vietnamese motorcycles.  A bike in the oncoming lane veered into our lane, attempting an impossible pass.   With a family of four bearing down on us, I flinched in a futile attempt to use Sang as a steering device and – WHAM  — the foot rest of the oncoming vehicle whacked my foot as it passed.  Sang moved over to the right and stopped while the other driver continued his grand prix racing practice. “He is really crazy,” Sang said as I got off and hobbled around.  I checked my foot and it looked OK, although by that evening my middle toe had turned blue.  After a minute or two I got back on and we continued toward Thanh Phong. After the third ferry, the road turns to dirt with deep ruts.  The forest disappears and there are paddies and thatch huts on both sides of the road.  A sign marks the border of Thanh Phong commune. This commune was formed by merging the original of village of Thanh Phong with five nearby villages, creating a town of two to four thousand residents. The first family we met in Thanh Phong commune invited us into their house and served us tea.  Eleven villagers gathered around, laughing and smiling as Sang translated my questions.  Nguyen Van Ri, the head of the household, explained that he had, “only seven children.” Ri, 45, was once a woodcutter, but now earns his living by raising shrimp and fish.  A year earlier, the family had moved into a newly built modern house, which cost them about $13,000.   Before they moved to the new home, they had only a battery-powered radio.  Now they have a television.  But unlike every television I saw in Ho Chi Minh and Mytho, this one was turned off. One older woman said she had been burned by napalm as a child during the war.  The others said they were too young to remember anything from that time. However, they did remember the reporters who came to Thanh Phong at the time of the revelations concerning Kerrey. “A lot of foreign reporters came to Thanh Phong,” Ri said.  “Most of them were African.” No one in the family knew who Kerrey was or even who Lanh was, although she is a celebrity in Vietnam and I wrote out her name for them. The villagers are certainly very friendly people and without grudges.  When I showed interest in one of the daughters, her mother laughed and said, “No, take this one” and offered me her eldest daughter.  I declined the offer. After taking our leave, we proceeded passed some graves, more paddies, and the commune’s volleyball court to arrive at the center of town.  This is was Thanh Phong village proper, judging from an old U.S. Army map I consulted later.  (Modern maps for sale in Vietnam have very little detail – can’t give away military secrets.) In 1969, the village had about one hundred residents who lived in four or five communal huts strung out along the shoreline.  Behind that, there was only forest.  On my visit, I saw family huts, several storefronts, a restaurant, a police station, a primary school, and a post office, all of which looked like they were built years ago.  Only a few patches of forest remained near the shore. At the time Kerrey made his confession, Thanh Phong’s residents were described in press reports as the poorest of the poor.  The village is now in the grip of feverish development, with earth moving tractors and new houses all over town.   There is even a brand new church and freshly built monuments to commemorate the commune’s role in the war. These monuments do not relate to Kerrey’s raid, but rather to Thanh Phong’s status as a center for seaborne gun running.  A plaque describes the commune as the southern terminus of a “Ho Chi Minh Seaway” by which the Vietcong rebels in South Vietnam received weapons from North Vietnam.  I find no suggestion in historical literature that the commune played a major role in weapons smuggling. We finally stopped at a café, or perhaps I should say a counter with some plastic stools on the dirt in front of it.  Villagers began to gather around as soon as we sat down.  These still lived in thatch huts.  They raised shrimp and did manual labor, earning about $1 a day, they said. “People move here, but they are rich people,” said one.  “They come here to do business.  The villagers here are still poor.” Those who fought with the Vietcong have either died or retired and gone to Ho Chi Minh, they told me.  They themselves are too poor to move, they said. The villagers who were at the café when I first arrived had no memories of the war and knew nothing about the controversy surrounding the village.   But later a woman came by and showed me an old scar. “In 1972, I was burned by napalm,” she said.  “Five people died and two were injured.” At this point, the interview was cut short when several policemen arrived and directed us to follow them to the station, which turned out to be across the road and just behind some trees.  The police chief told me he didn’t want me talking to people or taking pictures. Although the monuments and the write-up about Thanh Phong in literature put out by the provincial tourist office suggest that the commune is being prepared for tourism, the local police do not seem to be on board as of yet. “Tell him I talked to the Bentre tourist office before I came,” I said to Sang.  “I told them I would come here and talk to people.  No one told me that there would be any problem.” The chief was unimpressed.  “He says that if you want to talk to people, you need to get permission from the police before you come,” Sang told me. After about an hour, the police gave me back my passport.  I figured it was time to leave, got up and walked out.  But then the police took Sang’s identity card and told us we had to wait for an officer from Bentre City to come and interview me. In the meantime, I teased the children who stood outside the office, gawking at the exotic beast that had suddenly arrived in their village.  I also entertained Thanh Phong’s finest with the wonders of digital photography. When the officer from Bentre arrived, he began by talking to me in Vietnamese, apparently trying to trick me into answering in Vietnamese in the manner of an interrogator in a spy thriller.  However, as I have cleverly neglected to learn the language, I managed to remain one step ahead. From the officer’s questions, I gathered that his primary concern was that I might have been talking about politics with the villagers.  I told him I that I was interested in writing only about the daily life of the local people and he seemed satisfied.  He then asked to see my pictures and listen to the tape I made. “You should always travel with a guide,” the officer warned.  “It is not safe.  Many people hate Americans.” After spending a total of six hours at the station, I was finally released.  The delay meant I would have to do something I worried about a lot more then meeting people who hated Americans: biking across the delta after sunset. The now invisible ruts tossed me around like I was on a roller coaster ride. When we got to the paved road, the ride became even less comfortable.  The private homes we passed were unlit, presumably not wired for electricity.  Rural stretches were as dark as caves and I worried irrationally about whether Sang could see the traffic. As we approached a turn, flames leaped up from a spot straight ahead of us, creating a spectacular fiery show.  It was a motorcycle wreck by the side of the road.  The driver was attempting to put out the fire with a small bowel of water.  He had apparently taken the turn at too high a speed.   By the time I got the Bentre and checked into a hotel, I was exhausted from worry.  Bentre, the provincial capital, played a cameo role in the Tet offensive as the town the U.S. Army had to “destroy in order to save.” The next day I went to the tourist office, but now they wouldn’t tell me anything and just referred all my questions to the “people’s committee” (provincial government).   When I arrived at the people’s committee building, I noticed that it is also police headquarters.  Since I really didn’t want to deal with the police anymore, I took the bus back to Ho Chi Minh. For Kerrey, Thanh Phong is a memory that haunts him. But I will remember the beautiful countryside and the hospitality of warm and inquisitive villagers.  It is still a poor place where most residents live in thatch huts without electricity, yet people seem happy to be with their families and in their hometown.  It is also a town in a hurry to join to the twenty-first century, where modern buildings and conveniences sprout like mushrooms.

The post Motorbike Nation appeared first on Real Travel Adventures.

Top Vietnam Travel Tips from Enchanting Travels' Experts

Top Vietnam Travel Tips from Enchanting Travels' Experts


Enchanting Travels

What are the top Vietnam travel tips? Our destination experts share an overview on what to do and what to expect during your Vietnam vacation.

Visa to Vietnam

by Sinh Le @ Sinhbalo

The Government has agreed to electronic visa to Vietnam for citizens of six countries including Australia, Cananda, India, the Netherlands, New Zealand and the United Arab Emirates. According to the Resolution No. 124 / NQ-CP on the addition of the list of countries with citizens to be piloted electronically, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc signed…

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Nustay Review: How to Save on Your Next Hotel Booking

by Anna Faustino @ Adventure In You

Disclaimer: This post was written in partnership with Nustay as part of their #NuStayExplorers team. As always, my opinions are my own. While traveling, accommodation usually takes a large chunk of your travel budget. Although I am a go-with-the-flow kind of gal, over the years, I have also become quite picky about where I stay. With […]

The post Nustay Review: How to Save on Your Next Hotel Booking appeared first on Adventure In You.

How to Hire a Travel Agency in Hanoi, Vietnam

How to Hire a Travel Agency in Hanoi, Vietnam


TripSavvy

How to find a trustworthy travel agency in Hanoi, Vietnam. What to ask and what to expect. A list of travel agencies of some repute based in Hanoi.

How To Spend 14 Days In New Zealand

by Abbie Redman @ Ultimate Adventure Travel

The post How To Spend 14 Days In New Zealand appeared first on Ultimate Adventure Travel.

5 need-to- know tips to minimise lost luggage risk

by Screndels @ Twourism

When we’re travelling, one of the biggest fears we have is finding out our bags end up in lost luggage. We’ve been lucky in all of our travels. Or have we just been careful? Well here are five top tips on what you can do to try to minimise the risk of your baggage ending […]

The post 5 need-to- know tips to minimise lost luggage risk appeared first on Twourism.

What NOT To Do On Your Gap Year In Australia

by Felicia Lindqvist @ Ultimate Adventure Travel

The post What NOT To Do On Your Gap Year In Australia appeared first on Ultimate Adventure Travel.

Rose Bowl Parade Float Decorating

by Bonnie and Bill Neely @ Real Travel Adventures

For many of us New Year’s Day begins with the tradition of watching the beautiful Tournament of Roses Parade preceding the Rose Bowl Football Game in Pasadena, California. Each year we have marveled at the enormous figures on the floats with intricate designs and wondered how on earth they were covered entirely with real flowers and other plant material in time for the parade. In late December 2016 we got to watch the creating of the floats for the 100th anniversary of this famous parade, begun in 1917.  What a thrill! Admission is charged for viewing the floats at the various sites outside or near the Pasadena Rose Bowl Stadium. The four float decorating places are Rose Palace, Rosemont Pavilion, Brookside Pavilion, and the Rose Float Plaza South, in the City of Irwindale, California. In huge warehouses we watched the hundreds of workers who volunteer to make these impressive and colorful floats. Professional designers and committees are ready with the basic forms of the huge floats set up and waiting for the volunteers who show up from all over the USA and from some other countries to have the enjoyment of saying with pride, “I helped create that one!” to their friends and family as the floats go by on Colorado Avenue, Pasadena, or on TV sets all over the world on New Year’s Day. There were many different work stations set up in each of the barns: glue stations, brush cleaning places, tables of dried flowers, bark, seeds, herbs, spices, grasses, and any other part of nature which could be applied during the two weeks before the big day. Fresh flowers, which complete each of the floats are applied in the last 48 hours before the parade. To decorate one float about 60 volunteers work 10 hours a day for 10 days. The group cooperation looks like fun, but the positions they must stay in for some of the decorating looked painful and very tiring! But volunteers ranged from 13 years old to senior citizens and all were happily industrious in applying all their artistic energies to their particular assigned part of the huge floats. In the final decorating hours when the thousands of fresh flowers are applied in small vials as quickly and securely as possible, it takes an amazing 20 daisies, 30 roses or 36 marigolds to cover one square foot of a float area! And approximately a half million roses are used in the parade. Growers from all over the world are necessary to fill and deliver the orders on time. What a fete! It is produced by the nonprofit Pasadena Tournament of Roses Association. I asked how the floats were made in the early days a century ago when planes did not fly flowers in from all over the world. In the early days the Tournament of Roses Parade flowers were locally grown in the Fanny Morrison Horticultural Center to decorate horse-drawn carriages.  Today professionally designed floats are required to be covered with plant material. Three civic and floral industry leaders judge the floats and award prizes in 24 categories. Awards are announced at 6 A.M. on parade day. Length of parade is 5.5 miles (8.9 km), about 2.25 hours long at 2.5 miles (4.0 km) per hour pace. You can volunteer too! Plans for next year’s floats will begin a few weeks after this year’s glory has been dismantled! And designers and architects start their work and by February the theme for the following year is announced. So begin to plan now to join the volunteer fun which extends from the day after Christmas until the last of December.   The Showcase of Floats begins at Sierra Madre and Washington Boulevard in Pasadena. Parking is free, but limited. Last year there is a free shuttle location at Pasadena City College, 1570 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena; and the Rose Bowl Stadium Lot B. Well before the parade as each float is completed it is moved from the warehouse facility to line up on Orange Grove Boulevard, Pasadena. FOR MORE INFORMATION: https://www.tournamentofroses.com/events/float-decorating http://www.pasadenastarnews.com/2015/12/16/how-to-volunteer-to-decorate-a-rose-parade-float/ http://www.sharpseating.com/Rose-Parade-Festivities.php http://www.pasadenastarnews.com/2016/12/27/where-to-view-2017-rose-parade-floats-before-and-after-the-pasadena-parade/    

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Test1

by Arturo Guerrero @ Legend Travel

The post Test1 appeared first on Legend Travel.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year 2018 from Travel Sense Asia

by Cuong Nguyen @ Travel Sense Asia

Christmas is about spending time with family and friends. It’s about creating happy memories that will last a lifetime. Thank you for choosing us for your travelling. We hope to bring the best experience for you in the new year… Merry Christmas and happy new year to you and your family!

The post Merry Christmas and Happy New Year 2018 from Travel Sense Asia appeared first on Travel Sense Asia.

Wonderful family trip to Vietnam

by Cuong Nguyen @ Travel Sense Asia

It is likely that building a strong family bond and exploring new lands will be two of the most popular resolutions in 2018, as strengthening the family relationship and discovering new cultures will significantly change the life of each person. So, obviously, a wonderful family trip to Vietnam will be a stone killing two birds […]

The post Wonderful family trip to Vietnam appeared first on Travel Sense Asia.

Traveling in Vietnam: The best travel route through this S-shaped country - HANOIKIDS CLUB

Traveling in Vietnam: The best travel route through this S-shaped country - HANOIKIDS CLUB


HANOIKIDS CLUB

Vietnam is an astounding mix of natural highlights and cultural diversity. The scenery ranges from jagged peaks seen from winding mountain passes down to verdant paddy fields painted every shade of green in the palette… Coming to Vietnam with the excitement and willingness to discover all things about this S-shaped country, tourists may be lost

Ho Chi Minh vs Hanoi: 6 highlights and you’ll get your perfect choice

by Phan Len @ Inspitrip Blog

Finding reasons to love Vietnam is not a difficult task, especially when you look at the charming landscapes, sprawling beaches, mesmerizing mountains and unique scenery only found in Vietnam. With all this, it is easy to forget the big cities of Vietnam, such as Ho Chi Minh and Hanoi. We are going to compare and […]

The post Ho Chi Minh vs Hanoi: 6 highlights and you’ll get your perfect choice appeared first on Inspitrip Blog.

Our 2018 Goals: Trek Everest, Live Van Life, Make $20,000 a month

by Anna Faustino @ Adventure In You

Whew! Is it just me or was 2017 a huge whirlwind of events and experiences. For my partner Tom and I, this year literally flew by so fast. To some, our life looks like it’s made up of epic adventures, non-stop travels, and fancy hotels. While some of this is true (#bestjobever), we also go […]

The post Our 2018 Goals: Trek Everest, Live Van Life, Make $20,000 a month appeared first on Adventure In You.

Ha Long Bay in Vietnam: A True Surrealistic Watercolor

by Fyllis Hockman @ Vietnam – Real Travel Adventures

Descending the steep, narrow plank, inch by inch, hand over hand along the long pole, I thought: “This better be one hell of a cave!” Exploring the other-worldly interior of Hang Trong Cave was to be one of many surreal experiences I was to have traveling along Ha Long Bay in northeast Vietnam. In the 1992 movie Indochine, credited with putting Ha Long Bay on the map, Catherine Deneuve describes it as “the most remote outpost of Indochina.” Today, the bay still retains that end-of-the-Earth, Lord-of-the-Rings-on-water quality. The very few guesthouses at that time have now flourished into almost 300 accommodations of every comfort level and the few Chinese junks plying their trade have metamorphosized into more than 400 tourist boats. I visited as part of a Myths and Mountains Tour, which also included several days in Hanoi and Sapa in northwest Vietnam, an area home to several minority villages. But more on that later. The almost 600 square miles comprised of thousands of karst (limestone) islands, caves and inlets create a solitary natural environment that belies description and inspires awe. I kept thinking how many times can I use the word surreal in one travel article? The basic boat we called home, replicating an old Chinese Junk, was…well basic but we dined well and huddled about the crew as they studied tidal charts to determine our daily itinerary. Inflatable canoes, powered by guides, were our vehicle of choice for purposes of exploration. Cave opening too small to navigate? No problem — just let some air out of the canoe. Very versatile. Some caves were so dark we donned headlamps to maneuver through. Others so small, the entire trip was negotiated on our backs. But those that enthralled the most were comprised of tortured, grotesque shapes hanging from the ceiling and reflected in the water below. I felt stuck in a huge open mouth badly in need of dental work; I was Jonah inside the whale, the cave itself its gaping jaw, and the jagged stalactites above and below giant misshapen teeth. Some days we paddled into the caves. Others we trekked through them. One-hundred-forty steps up a sheer cliff brought us to Hang Sung Sot — the over-100-foot-high, multi-chambered Surprises Cave — which indeed it was full of. Some chambers were back lit by sun-filled gaps in the limestone, others artificially lit for dramatic effect. I was told the name referred to the enormity of the cave — a mile and a half walk from end to end; for me it was the huge highlighted outcropping protruding at a suggestive 45-degree angle as you rounded one of the bends, clearly a pornographic symbol that elicits giggles — if not outright guffaws – from all who come across it. I could envision a small civilization existing here in a former lifetime, and was not surprised to hear that many Vietnamese hid in the caves during the bombings of Hanoi during the Vietnam War — or, as they see it, the American War. What did surprise me was some historic insight we received from our Myths and Mountains guide, arguably the best in Vietnam, Le Van Cuong. When I asked why the people of Vietnam were so welcoming to Americans after we destroyed so much of their country, he patiently explained that on their historic timeline, the Americans were just a blip: “The main reason is that historically my country has been invaded by so many countries over centuries that the Americans were responsible for just a small part of their suffering. And it is just the very nature of Vietnamese people to forgive and forget.” Very candid about the good and bad in his country and the pros and cons of the government, his perspective on the current political climate in Vietnam was also interesting. Although the government is Communist — what Cuong describes as “flexible communism” — the burgeoning economy reflects capitalism. “Perhaps you can smell democracy in the air but it’s going to be a while before it settles to the ground,” he observed. But back to paddling through Ha Long Bay. Exiting the caves often brings you into a still lagoon, mirroring the multiple majesty of the soaring peaks. Jagged and ragged, alternately solid and porous, the gauzy spires seem lost in the horizon while alternately sinking below the surface of the water. Being of a certain age — and eyesight — I thought perhaps the surroundings appeared that way because of my cataracts — all filmy and out-of-focus. But it is more valid vista than vision — and therein lay their beauty. Defying convention, one delighted paddler exclaimed as his canoe re-entered the world: “Oh my God, it’s Shangra-La.” Expanding on his initial reaction, Charles Guinn from Kansas City, Missouri, continued: “This is the most unique place I’ve ever seen in all my travels. I suspect there’s no other place like it in the world.” Back aboard our floating home, we traveled past a complement of water-borne vehicles that challenged the imagination: multi-colored fishing boats sporting multi-faceted protrusions; floating houses on wooden platforms with shrimp, crab and fish farms caged underneath; bamboo basket boats, and rowboats and kayaks manned by kids playing hide-and-seek behind the small islands in the Bay. A young woman in a basket boat pulled up alongside ours selling chocolate, crackers, cookies, nuts, wine and cigarettes. Somehow all that junk food seemed appropriate considering the nature of our boat (Need I remind you we were on a Chinese Junk…?). Relaxing on deck, we play the ancient game of what do you see in the strange formations in our midst. Or, more appropriately on Ha Long Bay …mist. “Hey, that looks like George Washington,” “Nah, a fisherman,” “No, I think it’s a goat’s head” until the boat moves on to the next imaginary challenge. Ruth Lerner of Venice, California, reflected on the surroundings: “Such quiet, endless beauty, so breath-taking with no two formations alike.” Her favorite part? “Floating in the kayak through pitch dark, absolutely quiet caves and emerging into lagoons as still as glass.” Such are the wonders of Ha Long Bay, which were only a part of the memorable Myths and Mountains itinerary (or Mist and Mountains, as one of my companions deadpanned…) which also included Hanoi’s vibrant, colorful Old Quarter where streets are still named for the products they sell to the city’s modern sections on the verge of globalization to the mountains of Sapa where several minorities, practicing their own language, customs and clothing, still live in primitive villages as they have for centuries. Vietnam — a country torn between then and now, what was juxtaposed with what will be, poised in economic boom and political transition. Go now before luxury high-rise hotels flood the landscape and Westernization erodes the culture. For more information, contact Myths and Mountains at 800/670-6984

The post Ha Long Bay in Vietnam: A True Surrealistic Watercolor appeared first on Real Travel Adventures.

Fighting Cocks of Hanoi

by ViF - The Scribe @ Vietnam in Focus – Photo Tours

The first rule of Fighting Cock Club is ‘Don’t squawk about F…’ No, actually it’s not clear what the rules are, other than it’s a fight to the death.  Even then, some of the small circle of men surrounding this hastily-constructed ring, or cockpit, in Hà […]

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Discover real Vietnam in 18 Days 17 nights

Discover real Vietnam in 18 Days 17 nights


Go Asia Travel

Explore the vibrant and fascinating country of Vietnam, with stop overs in 5 top tourism centers: Hanoi, Hue, Hoi An, Nha Trang and Ho Chi Minh City.

Wissenswertes Kuba: 5 Dinge, die du vor deiner Reise wissen solltest

by Kai Wieland @ Intrepid Germany

Du wolltest schon immer mal nach Kuba, fühlst dich aber noch etwas unsicher und weisst nicht genau worauf du achten musst? Dann habe ich hier 5 Dinge, die du unbedingt wissen solltest, bevor du dich auf den Weg nach Kuba machst: Fleischlastige Küche Die kubanische Küche steht im zweifelhaften Ruf, etwas einseitig und langweilig zu […]

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Vietnam by Motorbike: The Best Six Weeks of my Life

Vietnam by Motorbike: The Best Six Weeks of my Life


Adventure In You

Vietnam by motorbike is an epic adventure! You hear some horror stories but for me traveling Vietnam by motorbike was the best decision I made. However...

Bún bò Huế – A great balance of flavors

by Hanoikids @ HANOIKIDS CLUB

Bún bò Huế (Hue beef noodle soup) is a speciality of Huế – former capital of Vietnam.… [...]

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Sinhbalo - specialized in Mekong delta tours & cycling Vietnam

Sinhbalo - specialized in Mekong delta tours & cycling Vietnam


Sinhbalo

Sinhbalo - specialized in Mekong delta tours. We have been organizing Mekong delta tours in Vietnam for more than 20 years. Our tours made by a delta local.

Quarry Trail FAQ: Der „andere“ Weg nach Machu Picchu

by Kai Wieland @ Intrepid Germany

Okay, du willst also nach Machu Picchu wandern, sehr schön. Wusstest du aber, dass es mehr als einen Weg dorthin gibt? Jeder kennt den Inka Trail, die zurecht sehr beliebte klassische Route. Da wäre aber auch noch der Quarry Trail, von dem du wahrscheinlich noch nie gehört hast, was allerdings nicht weiter schlimm ist, denn […]

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Peru in Bildern: Was du auf einer Rundreise durch Peru erwarten kannst

by Intrepid Travel @ Intrepid Germany

„Peru, das ist doch das Land mit den vielen Lamas und Machu Picchu, oder?“ werden wir häufig gefragt und unsere Antwort ist immer die gleiche. Jein. Ja, weil die Inkastätte Machu Picchu (ganz nebenbei eines der sieben Weltwunder der Moderne) in den Anden darauf wartet, bei Sonnenaufgang entdeckt zu werden und man auf dem Weg […]

The post Peru in Bildern: Was du auf einer Rundreise durch Peru erwarten kannst appeared first on Intrepid Germany.

TRANSAT DISTINCTION COLLECTION

by Jennifer LaPerle @ Merit Travel

Unlock new levels of indulgence with these extraordinary extras!

The post TRANSAT DISTINCTION COLLECTION appeared first on Merit Travel.

Test5

by Arturo Guerrero @ Legend Travel

The post Test5 appeared first on Legend Travel.

Things to know for travel in Vietnam - CHOICE

Things to know for travel in Vietnam - CHOICE


CHOICE

Where to get the best cash rates, phone rates, phone apps for maps and currency conversions, and why you should blame sharks when the internet cuts in Vietnam.

Lisbon 3-Day Itinerary: What to See In Europe’s Hipster Capital

by Bruno B. @ Geeky Explorer | Travel smart

This Lisbon 3-day itinerary is ideal for anyone visiting for the first time the portuguese capital. It’s packed with insider advice of what’s REALLY worth to do and hipster tips to see the major sights. Bem-vindo a Lisboa! Oh Lisbon. The city oozing the million-dollar combination of tradition, charm and modernism. The alluring culture, the […]

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2016-2017 SKI VACATIONS

by Avi @ Merit Travel

Our team lives and breathes ski , so you can rest assured that we will create the perfect ski getaway for you whether it be for 3 days or 30. We offer an industry leading lineup of ski vacation packages for families, groups, couples, meetings and incentives. We customize with a concierge style, while providing […]

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Six things to know about Sweden before your Eurovision trip

by Jo @ Twourism

Are you busy packing your sparkly wig, facepaint and Swedish kronor while randomly blurting out ICEEEEBREEEAAAAAKEEEEER? Have you listened through this year’s line-up and picked your favourite? Between all those key changes and wind machines, here are six things to know about the weird and wonderful world of Swedish Eurovision. As a Swede, travel blogger, […]

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Vietnam Tips And Tricks: 26 Key Things To Know Before Your Trip

by Bruno B. @ Geeky Explorer | Travel smart

This list of useful tips and tricks of Vietnam is mostly intended for first-time visitors but it can help anyone achieve a safe and worry-free travel. It should alert you for common mistakes and prepare you for traveling to one of the most amazing countries on Earth. I mean it. Not gonna lie: Vietnam is […]

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11 Sure-Fire Ways To Organize Your Planner and Get Work Done

11 Sure-Fire Ways To Organize Your Planner and Get Work Done

by Madeline Quigley @ Blog - The Gal-ivanter Travel Blog

I'm sharing my planner system because it really works for me. If this post helps you at all on your organizational journey, it's all worth it. 

Cheryl – Client Testimonial

by Rida Nawab @ Merit Travel

Darren Prashad at Merit Travel made our honeymoon the most amazing adventure we have ever been on – a trip up Kilimanjaro (the highest mountain in Africa!), the Ngorongoro crater, Stone Town and the beaches in Zanzibar. We encountered nature and animals up close and personal, breath-taking vistas, cultural interactions and exhilarating experiences. From the […]

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The Secret Sauce Behind Scott’s Cheap Flights

by NomadicMatt @ Nomadic Matt's Travel Site

Scott Keyes turned a simple newsletter into a popular travel hacking site, Scott's Cheap Flights. In this interview, Scott tells us how he and his worldwide team find cheap flights using a combination of manpower and knowledge of industry trends. Every flight is hand-searched!

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7 Unique Experiences and Things To Do in Pico Island, Azores

by Bruno B. @ Geeky Explorer | Travel smart

These are some of the most unique things to do in Pico you can’t miss when you’re in the island. Pico is the second largest island of the Azores archipelago – after São Miguel. Despite being the most obviously volcanic, it still boasts an incredible variety of landscapes. Between the green meadows, the lava fields, […]

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Monthly recap: April travels

by Jo @ Twourism

In April we’ve been busy planning our upcoming trips and doing work – y’know that activity that funds our travels? (And, in all honesty, is an interesting and challenging way to spend most of our days.) We’ve booked three short trips for May and a long one for June so some home time has been […]

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Is Southeast Asia Safe To Travel To?

by Lexi Smith @ Ultimate Adventure Travel

The post Is Southeast Asia Safe To Travel To? appeared first on Ultimate Adventure Travel.

Vietnam War Photographer Malcolm Browne

by ViF - The Magician @ Vietnam in Focus – Photo Tours

Burning Monk Iconic Photos from The Vietnam War Revisited 2018 will mark the 50 year anniversary of the Tet Offensive, and the beginning of the end of US involvement in the Vietnam War. The NVA and Viet Cong’s co-ordinated attack during Lunar New Year may have […]

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Vietnam-Interesting Sights, Sensual Delights Aboard An Exotic Asia Crystal Cruise

by Larry and Gail Taylor @ Vietnam – Real Travel Adventures

Vietnam… this is the place to visit, many have told us. Being from the generation raised during the Vietnam War four decades ago, we hadn’t really thought of this as a tourist destination. But reports, regarding how interesting the country is and how friendly the people are, perked our interest. Thus, when we read about Crystal Cruise’s 11-day Exotic Asia Cruise in late April, we signed up-the itinerary included four days in Vietnam. Statistics show that over the past 10 years Vietnam has seen an extraordinary growth in tourist numbers-almost 300 percent since 1998. Of course, with the current economic downturn, tourism is off. This may be a good time to sign up, with travel bargains in the offing. On the cruise, we embarked from Hong Kong, and crossed the South China Sea. First port-call was Chan May, not far from Hue. A guided tour of the ancient capital was the first of several excursions we would take while on the cruise. Our first stop was at The Royal Citadel, a walled imperial city from the 18th Century. On a hill, it impressively rises above the city. We were struck immediately by its resemblance to Beijing’s Forbidden City, on which it was modeled. The complex is like a series of boxes within boxes. Surrounded by a wide, zigzag moat, the first structure consists of the defensive wall fort with 12 gates. Within, there are two other monarchal areas, the Imperial Enclosure and the Forbidden Purple City, reserved for the private life of the royal family. We were particularly impressed by the beauty of this section with its red, purple and gold columns and lavish furnishings. Following this visit, we boarded a “dragon boat,” colorfully painted, with the bow, a fearsome dragon head and the stern, a long dragon tail. Our group then settled in for a leisurely sail up the Perfume River, observing the river life on houseboats and sampans. After a half hour, the towering 17th century seven-story pagoda, Thien Mu, perched above the shore, came into view. Ironically, it was the site of violent protests in the early sixties against the U.S.-backed Diem regime. Today the temple is a serene place where monks deliver incantations. Next, we went to a local hotel for lunch. Prominent on the buffet table were shrimp, prepared in various ways. Farm-raised shrimp and seafood are among Vietnam’s staples and one of its fastest growing exports. After lunch, we entered the vast Dong Ba Market, one of the must-see sites for its size and variety of commodities. The intense colors and mix of smells is almost an assault on the senses. All manner of food-vegetables, meat, fish, seafood-as well as clothing, crafts and jewelry is on display. Everything appears fresh, but in the stifling 90-degree heat and high humidity, the sight of un-refrigerated pork next to writhing crabs didn’t seem appetizing. Back on the bus, there was one more stop-the magnificent tomb of Minh Mang, considered the most brilliant of the Nguyen Dynasty which reigned in the 19th – 20th centuries. This turned out to be one of the highlights of that day’s tour. The tomb is located eight miles outside of Hue in a beautiful country setting. It overlooks the Perfume River, on one side, and a lake, on the other. Cool and tranquil. Statues of horses and elephants guard the entry to a series of temples and pagodas, leading up to a massive burial mound. The tomb’s lovely green and yellow tiles glisten in the sun. Because of road-repair work, our return journey on the two-lane highway that connects north and south was particularly tedious. During the war’s aftermath, the population has exploded, and the country’s infrastructure has yet to catch up. Our driver also had to be wary of the trucks which were often stopped by officers along the roadside. He said that the cops were “shaking down” the drivers. “The police are getting rich this way,” he said, cynically. Our next day at sea took us farther south toward Ho Chinh Minh City, Saigon, as it was known before 1975. A sea day gave us another chance to appreciate our ship, Crystal Symphony. Not only beautiful, she is well-planned with numerous comfortable lounges in which to relax or listen to live music or enrichment lectures. Those waking up in time could avail themselves of breakfast in the Crystal Dining Room or in the Lido Cafe, a buffet on the pool deck. Either spot presented attractive and delicious offerings such as light, crisp waffles, fluffy omelets or assorted hot and cold cereals. Executive Chef Markus Nufer and staff presented the finest cuisine we have ever had on board a ship. From the Bon Voyage Dinner through the Farewell Dinner, each evening’s selections were attractively presented, delicious and just the right size. One of our table mates enjoyed duck prepared numerous ways over the course of our journey, while the rest were enthusiastic about the various steak, lamb and seafood offerings. Another at the table was on a gluten-free diet and was pampered with special breads by Mukesh, our efficient and friendly server. Two other dining rooms-Silk Road for Asian fare and Prego for Italian-offered outstanding options, the latter renowned for its signature cream soup of selected Italian mushrooms. Twice on our 11-day journey the crew prepared a luncheon buffet poolside-one an Asian buffet and the other an All American barbecue with meats, chili, apple pie among the tasty selections. The attention to details is what makes this ship so special. Whether it’s the decor in the dining rooms or the design and colors in the staterooms it is a gorgeous ship. Thick pile carpets in either blue, rose or lavender mark the cabin passageways. Once inside, cabins are light and airy and feature a large closet with sliding doors. The cruise also had a golf theme. For golfers our stops in Chan May, HCM city and final destination, Bangkok, Thailand, provided opportunities to play. Crystal offers three golf-themed cruises a year in destinations throughout the world. As ours did, each has a PGA instructor on board to give special attention to players. We had two days in Ho Chi Minh City which gave us many options for activities. A city tour was our first-day choice; the next we went on our own. Going to town, we noticed the bus was in a thicket of motor bikes. Only an occasional car or truck was spotted amid shoulder-to-shoulder cyclists. Of the near seven million people in HCM City, we learned, one-half own a motorbike. With virtually no public transportation, all day seemed like rush hour. Nearly every family member-husband, wife, teenagers-have a motor bike, our guide said. He also pointed out that there are an alarming number of accidents; careless driving and hazardous roads are a major problem. Because Vietnam was a French colony-French Indo China from 1887 to 1947-there is a decided European influence on the city’s architecture. On the list of tour stops was the mammoth Central Post Office. This gothic building was designed in the early 20th Century by famous architect Gustave Eiffel. Its high ceiling brings to mind Parisian market halls; fans hum among ornamental pillars and sunlight streams from windows above. Across from the post office, we visited Notre Dame Cathedral, built in 1880. With white twin spires atop the red-brick building and beautiful stained glass windows inside, this is a stately companion to the lively Buddhist temple close by. The exquisite 19th Century Thien Hau Temple is the country’s most popular religious site. The Vietnamese are largely Buddhist and, along with monks and tourists, there were many worshippers. As we entered, incense wafted amidst twirling metal mobiles hanging from the ceiling–the total effect was dizzying. Along the temple wall, were delicately carved scenes from epic battles and daily life. We could have spent a half-day here, but it was soon time to move on. Next, we went to the impressive Reunification Hall. The seat of government for President Diem of South Vietnam at the beginning of the war, it became the site of the official handover of power to the Communists after the fall of Saigon in 1975. This is the location of the only large, park-like green area in the heart of the city. Young and old gather here to stroll or relax on benches. While heading back to port, we noticed many small, narrow three-to four-story buildings. The guide said that numerous extended families, including his own, live in these type homes. Since government provides no social security, he said, the young have to support the old. Typically, three generations live in one dwelling. In the guide’s family, his parents live on the first floor. He and siblings with their families live on the other floors. His sister-in-law does the cooking, and the household of 12 eat together every day. Since every family member from teenage on needs a bicycle, he said finding parking places for them could be a problem. In the city, we had seen as many as five on a bike, though. The last day we first visited the controversial War Remnants Museum. Divided into five sections, the museum deals with the cause and origins of the war, according to Vietnam officials, that is. The “Requiem” part is the most moving with photos taken by journalists worldwide; the most contentious portion is the “Vestiges of War Crimes and Aftermath,” showing photos of war victims, injured from such as bombings and “Agent Orange” attacks. The photographs of the debilitated and dead are both haunting and sickening. As guide books point out, this exhibit is not politically balanced, with much undocumented. We later talked to Vietnam War veterans aboard ship who had visited the museum. Some were angry about the exhibits; others moved by them. Regarding the Vietnam War, there were several ship excursions listed, most notably Memories of War. This included a stop at the Cu Chi Tunnels, an immense network of connecting underground tunnels located near the city. These are part of a much larger network of tunnels that underlie much of the country. The tunnels were used by the Viet Cong as hiding spots during combat. They served as supply routes, hospitals, weapon caches and living quarters. The role of the tunnel systems in winning the war should not be underestimated, experts say. Among other things, the tunnels indicate the stubborn persistence of the North Vietnamese in prolonging the war, eventually persuading the weary Americans to get out. For lunch, we wanted to go to eat pho at a place where the locals go. We had eaten pho a few times in Southern California’s Little Vietnam and loved this succulent noodle dish. We asked our guide about it the previous day. He recommended a couple places but stressed that we go to Pho 24. When we got there it was obvious that this was a cut above small eating places we had passed. With its decorator touches and clean cut furniture it looked more like a Corner Bakery in the U.S. It became obvious the guide thought we should go to a sleeker place. We found later that this is one of a chain of several in Vietnam and Cambodia, geared for the better-off and tourists. As it was, the pho was great…the bill for two, plus drinks, only seven dollars. Time to say goodbye to Vietnam. We sailed that night for Bangkok. For us, Vietnam and the cruise were everything we hoped for and more. For information on Crystal Cruises, call (800) 711-4230 or www.crystalcruise.com. Photos by Gail Taylor

The post Vietnam-Interesting Sights, Sensual Delights Aboard An Exotic Asia Crystal Cruise appeared first on Real Travel Adventures.

Đồ Sơn Dreaming

by ViF - The Magician @ Vietnam in Focus – Photo Tours

The post Đồ Sơn Dreaming appeared first on Vietnam in Focus - Photo Tours.

Olympus OMD field tested in Northern Vietnam

by ViF - The Magician @ Vietnam in Focus – Photo Tours

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Ein letztes Mal Cuba libre? – Ein Reisebericht aus Kuba

by Kai Wieland @ Intrepid Germany

„Wie ist das denn dort mit dem Sozialismus?“ Das war es, was die Leute am meisten interessierte, als ich ihnen erzählte, dass ich kürzlich aus Kuba zurückgekehrt war. Um ehrlich zu sein, habe ich vor Ort gar nicht so sehr darüber nachgedacht, denn unter der tropischen Sonne, mit einem kühlen Bier in der Hand und […]

The post Ein letztes Mal Cuba libre? – Ein Reisebericht aus Kuba appeared first on Intrepid Germany.

Francois and Elizabeth – Client Testimonial

by Dmitry Sadchenko @ Merit Travel

We just wanted to send out a quick note to thank you and Merit for your help in finding us great vacation destinations with out Heart and Stroke lottery winnings. Nathan Bowler has been assisting us throughout the last 2 years in planning and implementing the best stress free, worry free and hassle free vacation […]

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We’re Trekking Mt. Everest Basecamp…Come Join Us!

by Anna Faustino @ Adventure In You

Ever since I was a child, I could remember spending hours looking at my uncle’s old National Geographic magazines, gaping at the photos of exotic destinations and epic adventure experiences. At that time, I thought going on these adventures would remain nothing but a far-fetched dream. Little did I know that the little travel blog […]

The post We’re Trekking Mt. Everest Basecamp…Come Join Us! appeared first on Adventure In You.

Ninh Binh: A Detailed Travel Guide to Vietnam's Hidden Gem

Ninh Binh: A Detailed Travel Guide to Vietnam's Hidden Gem


Geeky Explorer | Travel smart

The ultimate travel guide to Ninh Binh, Vietnam. What to see, do and eat and the updated travel tips to explore Tam Coc and its surroundings easily!

Test2

by Arturo Guerrero @ Legend Travel

The post Test2 appeared first on Legend Travel.

Best restaurants in Hanoi: Wander in the map of tastes

by Phan Len @ Inspitrip Blog

Hanoi has complex layers of culture to distinguish itself from others big cities in Vietnam. The border between the ancient Hanoi and the Hanoi of modernity and luxury one is not chaotic but unusually remarkable: With a walk down the same street, one can admire an antique Buddhist temple and soon after, the French architecture […]

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Why Families Are Getting Behind The Camera Instead Of In Front Of It

by ViF - The Magician @ Vietnam in Focus – Photo Tours

Holiday Snaps: Why Families Are Getting Behind The Camera Instead Of In Front Of It When we think of holiday photos, most of us still imagine the whole family awkwardly posing in front of famous landmarks, often boasting angry sunburn or embarrassing hats. But times are changing and […]

The post Why Families Are Getting Behind The Camera Instead Of In Front Of It appeared first on Vietnam in Focus - Photo Tours.

CAODAI CALLING

by John M.Edwards @ Vietnam – Real Travel Adventures

A traveler to an architectural oddity in Tay Ninh, Vietnam, tunes in to the otherworldy call of a wacky bizarro cult “What on my first two visits has seemed gay and bizarre (was) now like a game that had gone on too long.” –Graham Greene, on Vietnam’s Caodai cult. It really didn’t make sense. There in front of me, outside the smudged bus window, was “The Great Divine Temple” at Tay Ninh, Vietnam—a whacked-out EPCOTy architectural hallucination resembling Gaudi on opium—and I didn’t really want to go inside. The idea of occult cults creeped me out. Er, would they try to abduct and brainwash me? I had come all the way to Vietnam to investigate a weird supernatural religion called Caodaism, an attempt to fuse the ideal faith, “a universal religion,” from a potboiled spiritual pho centered on Spritism (which swept the Americas in the 19th century with its occult séances, tarot cards and crystal balls) and just about every other religion on the planet. You name it. But what really attracted me was that their adherents whimsically and wisely worshipped Victor Hugo, author of Les Misérables and The Hunchback of Notre Dame, as a saint! Also venerated are Sun Yat-Sen, the leader of the Chinese Revolution of 1911; Trang Trinh, a Vietnamese poet and prophet; Shakespeare; Joan of Arc; Descartes; Lenin; and Pasteur. How cool is that? Talk about a “cult of personalities.” Way wacko! But the cult sounded at least playful and rococo enough to intrigue me into traveling to a former enemy nation that I was not too keen on visiting. I still imaginatively associated Vietnam with The Deer Hunter, Full Metal Jacket, Platoon, and Apocalypse Now (also, alas, Hamburger Hill, one of the messiest war films ever made). I don’t think any of these films would go over well with the communist authorities; but a British traveler on my bus, bursting with laughter, swore he saw Rambo, dubbed into Vietnamese, on a long-haul bus between Dalat and Saigon. Okay, the Caodais. So this is what I’ve got so far. Here’s the skinny. A bunch of crazy dong tu (mediums) contact the spirit world, querying, say, Charlie Chaplin in his “talkie phase,” via séances—utilizing the usual abracadabra bric-a-brac of Ouija boards (the popular game), table tapping (a table jiggled which taps out letters), and corbeilles a bec (long radiating sticks attached to pens). This is the Caodai Calling. Collect. They also use “pneumotographie,” where a blank card is sealed in an envelope and hung above an altar. When opened, the paper purportedly has a message on it: “Having a great time. Wish you were here. . . .” Postcards from the edge of the grave. Tay Ninh, less than 60 miles northwest of Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) is an unlikely locus for the headquarters of a major religion, the third largest in Vietnam after Buddhism and Catholicism. Bordered by Cambodia on three sides, Tibet-like Tay Ninh is an almost island of upheaval in a commie country giving babysteps capitalism a go. Our bus passed a scowling teen wearing a Tommy Hilfiger T-shirt peddling Pepsis on a roadside stand, as well as a “picturesque” old coot doffing one of the ubiquitous conical hats and plowing rice paddies with his water buffaloes. More serious, along this road was the site of the famous wartime photo of a young running girl scorched by napalm. Caodai, which means “high palace,” refers to the supreme palace where the Supreme Being dwells (Heaven) and God Himself. But the “palace” rising before us seemed a daring departure from reality. As we got off the autobus and whistled at the Great Divine Temple, the scene became real “Indochine,” with a sea of lithe bicyclists draped in white ao dais on their way to attend one of four daily religious ceremonies. We had come to join them. Featured in Graham Greene’s “The Quiet American,” the temple, built between 1933 to 1955, is a favorite stopping point for Saigon’s Sinh Café bus tours. Mostly yellow on the outside, with red roofs, the temple is built on nine levels representing a Stairway to Heaven. It is 140 meters long and 40 meters high, with four towers. According to my Lonely Planet guide, it is a mix of “a French cathedral, a Chinese pagoda, the Tiger Balm Gardens, and Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum.” But I think Graham Greene described it best : “Christ and Buddha looking down from the roof of the Cathedral on a Walt Disney fantasia of the East, dragons and snakes in Technicolor.” But still: “This is it?” a Vietnam vet named Bill from Brooklyn groused. “Yeah, I thought it would be more, I don’t know,” a Canadian girl with long black hair and a scent of patchouli dittoed. “It is very yellow,” I stuck up weakly. It wasn’t until we shucked off our shoes and stepped inside that the architecture revealed itself in its full glory. Immediately, I noticed a cool mural of Saint Victor Hugo and other luminaries writing out the psychic slogans “God and Humanity” and “Love and Justice.” Shuffling along a colonnaded hall and sanctuary, I felt like I was literally entering a delusion, since I was slightly buzzing from my antimalarial Larium. All of a sudden, my eyes were alit by an image like deranged kamikazee mosquitoes upon some windows with arabesques of intertwined flowers and vines bordering uncanny eyes in triangles. By the altar—dressed up with offerings of flowers, fruit, wine, tea, candles, and incense (plus a lamp symbolizing Eternal Light)—was a snaking spiral staircase which seemed to be hissing “Don’t tread on me!” Most evocative, up above on the domed ceiling was painted a night sky, divided into nine parts, filled with Van Goghy stars and clouds. Beneath the dome was a blue globe, representing the Earth, with the supreme symbol of the Caodais painted on it: the “Divine Eye,” which bears a suspicious resemblance to the eye in a pyramid featured on the back of U.S. dollar bills. I stared at the Eye and waited for one of us to blink. “You are welcome, Mr. America,” jokes one of the white-robed priests with a Shangri-la smile. He had the easy manner and confident smile of one used to dealing with tourists. The elaborately garbed priest, whom I dub “Les Miz,” is old enough to have witnessed the horrors of the Vietnam War, but didn’t seem the type to hold a grudge. Probably for good reasons. The Caodais were never exactly neutral. In fact, despite their prohibition against harming people or animals, they had their own renegade armies, beginning in 1943 as a response to Japanese invaders. In the Franco-Viet Minh War, the Caodai Army, made up of some 25,000 troops, supported the French, and specialized in making mortar tubes out of auto exhaust pipes. During the Vietnam war they were staunch SVA, fighting on the side of the Americans. In 1975, when NVA troops overran the U.S.-backed South Vietnam, Caodaism was violently repressed and banned by the Viet Cong, who confiscated the church’s lands. There were the usual stageshow executions. But behind the scenes Caodaism continued, with its prayer meetings and séance rituals, surviving even a series of brutal cross-border raids by the genocidal Khmer Rouge. I pulled out a dollar bill and showed Les Miz our own version of The Eye, possibly a Masonic symbol, itself maybe derived from eyes on Buddhist stupas. The Mizter examined the bill with great interest and nodded approvingly. His asterix eyes focused on the hidden footnotes inherent in the symbol itself. After an eternity, his concentrated prune pout relaxed into the palimpsest of a smile. “It was nice meeting you. Now I must go.” He wanders off, still smiling but looking a little shaken. Founded in 1926 by the French-educated Vietnamese mystic Ngo Minh Chieu, the Caodais claim the “All-Seeing Eye” was first seen on the island of Phu Quoc in 1919. God, or Caodai, appeared and said, “The eye is the principal of the heart from which comes a source of light. Light is the spirit. The spirit itself is God.” Then on Christmas Eve, 1925, Caodai reintroduced himself rather grandiloquently (and cryptically) as “Jade Emporer, alias Caodai, Immortal, His Honor to the eldest Boddhisattva, the Venerable Saint, Religious Master of the Southern Quarter.” The starry-eyed Le Van Trung (the first Caodai pope) and his posse presented their “declaration” to the French governor of Cochinchina in 1926, and Caodaism was officially born. By the 1950s, one in eight South Vietnamese were Caodais, carving a sort of feudal state in Tay Ninh Province and the Mekong Delta, filled with thanh that (holy houses). Today there are over 8 million Caodais in Vietnam (roughly the population of Sweden), plus some 30,000 members scattered across the world like chess pieces, usually in places inhabited by Viet Kieu (overseas Vietnamese). Positioning ourselves on the balcony to view the ceremony, we watched the red, yellow, and white robed faithful wearing conical floppy hats pile in. Men came in from the right, women from the left, making their way in a mincing Mozart-like minuet to kneel before the altar. In the back a group of musicians played atonal tunes and chanted hypnotically. It sounded a little like a group of approvingly purring Siamese cats cuddling, then rutting. What what? I almost fell asleep. Oddly, the faithful are not permitted to be photographed, except during ceremonies. After the ceremony we walked to the autobus under a sky with a ghastly pewter pall and a vague threat of rain. “So what do you think?” I asked Bill from Brooklyn. “I think it’s a crock,” he responded. But I wasn’t so sure. As the bus departed, I stared out through the streaming strands of rain at all the Vietnamese faithful getting on their bicycles. Then, too good to be true, I saw a Vietnamese guy with thick Elvis sideburns and a bomber jacket kickstarting his moped and showing off popping wheelies. Way out here in otherworldly Tay Ninh, we were a long way away from Graceland (certainly as showy as the Caodai Temple), but with all these cuckoo cultists capering around like Psychic Friends Network stars, maybe it is not quite as far as we might think. Stuck in the psychic grooves of my gray matter were the words of the Bard, William Shakespeare, “There are more things on heaven and earth than are dreamed of in your philosophy.” Apropros of nothing at all, I resolved to never ever return to Vietnam.

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The best shopping experiences in Ho Chi Minh City

by Phan Len @ Inspitrip Blog

99 percent of first-time travellers to Ho Chi Minh City will beeline for Ben Thanh Market in hopes of fulfilling all of their shopping needs. Locals, however, hardly frequent or recommend this market. Though it remains a must-see attraction, there are plenty of other shopping arenas that will delight all shopaholics visiting the city. Here, […]

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Travel to Vietnam before it's too late! - Blog | Ultimate Travel

Travel to Vietnam before it's too late! - Blog | Ultimate Travel


Ultimate Adventure Travel

Is Vietnam on your Ultimate Bucket List? Here are some reasons why you should travel to Vietnam sooner rather than later..

Sun And Sea Vacations For Newlyweds Through Vietnam Holiday Package 2018

by Cuong Nguyen @ Travel Sense Asia

Thanks to its colonial structures, sparkling bays, gorgeous beaches, stunning landscapes, exotic cuisine, and colorful culture, Vietnam is always appealing to many honeymooners in all parts of the world. So, if you are newly married couples and wondering where to go in the S-shaped country for unforgettable and meaningful experiences, then Vietnam Holiday Package 2018 […]

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Using a Smartphone Camera Lens Kit To Boost Your Photos: Pixter Review

by Bruno B. @ Geeky Explorer | Travel smart

Looking for a clever, effective and inexpensive way to boost your photos on your smartphone? Pixter might be the answer you’re looking for. This is a detailed review on of their attachable smartphone camera lens: the Super Fisheye! I confess I had a bit of prejudice against smartphone accessories. It’s just that I’ve seen so […]

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Visit Myanmar 2018 Tips For Newcomers To Gain Unforgettable Memories

by Cuong Nguyen @ Travel Sense Asia

Fall in love with the Buddhist temples and monasteries, pristine white beaches, and ancient Asian culture? Then, it is time to visit Myanmar, or commonly known as Burma. Here is a must-see destination for those who are fond of Buddha and beaches. What makes the country apart from the crowd is a collection of numerous […]

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When Best to travel to Vietnam?

by Cuong Nguyen @ Travel Sense Asia

Decide when best to travel to Vietnam will give you some confuse because Vietnam is the tropical monsoon climate. That is the reason why you should choose the best time to visit each place in Vietnam, however, there are some months which is suitable for all parts of Vietnam. This article will show you the […]

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LONGSTAYS HAWAII

by Jennifer LaPerle @ Merit Travel

Spend 28 nights in Maui, Hawai‘i on this HOSTED vacation.

The post LONGSTAYS HAWAII appeared first on Merit Travel.

10 Amazing Fairytale Castles In Germany You Cannot Miss

by Hannah Lukaszewicz @ Getting Stamped

Did you know there are over 20,000 castles in Germany? Yeah, neither did we! Deciding which German castles to visit can be a daunting task. We’ve traveled to Germany 6 times and seen a ton of gorgeous castles in Germany. Let us help you pick...

The post 10 Amazing Fairytale Castles In Germany You Cannot Miss appeared first on Getting Stamped.

Halong Bay to Homestay: How I discovered the Real Vietnam - Ecophiles

Halong Bay to Homestay: How I discovered the Real Vietnam - Ecophiles


Ecophiles

Sail in Halong Bay, explore lantern-spangled streets, or a Vespa food tour in Saigon, visit the Mekong Delta Markets & try a homestay in Authentic Vietnam

Israel: Apart From This World

by Perry and Brandi Montoya @ Real Travel Adventures

Photographs by Perry and Gannon Montoya As a young man, while living in the western state of Utah in the United States, I read a fascinating copy of David S. Boyer’s (December 1958) archived National Geographic article entitled, Geographical Twins: A World Apart. As I read, I felt as if I’d been adopted into a long, lost family. I knew the day would come that I’d leave the younger of those twins (my hometown of Salt Lake City, Utah) to reunite my heart with her older sibling in the Holy Land that is Israel; never would I have believed at that young age that it would be as a tour guide of the region. Israel and Salt Lake City, Utah twins? Boyer’s article aptly details some of the irrefutable likenesses such as each boasting: heightened and lessened elevations in the area, rich natural resources, fertile farmlands flanked by desolate salt flats, fresh water lakes connected (interestingly enough, both by a river named “Jordan”) to dead, salty seas, and the list goes on and on. I tell folks preparing to come with me to Israel that there are at least four must-see regions/experiences in this area. Perhaps some detail from each region will entice and edify those who are teetering on a visit. THE MEDITERRANEAN COAST Arrival (for westerners at least) in Israel comes from the Mediterranean seaside of the country. Most, and we’re no exception, fly in to Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion Airport. The airport is clean and modern and welcomes the world through this constant cradle of travelers. Whether during one’s arrival by air or while distancing from the airport, each offers inviting glimpses of the Mediterranean Sea. Seaside lifestyle abounds in this region of Israel. Sand, surf, beach-goers, fun and costal beauty are staples of the terrain. I’ve been to coasts around the globe and Israel’s shores are much like any other – peaceful, soothing, and restorative. We frequent ancient Joppa (modern day Jaffa or Yafo) on this leg of the trip. As an extension of Tel Aviv, Yafo is both historic and modern at the same time. One can hear timeless calls to prayer from the minaret while gazing at spectacular sunsets. Other notable stops along the coast include Caesarea Maritima (one of many surreal, standing relics from Herod the Great’s prolific building prowess), modern day Haifa (with its tech heavy work ethic focus coupled with wonders like the Bahá’í Gardens) and even a college-feel as found in Netanya (named for Jewish American, Nathan Strauss) which has been one of the most recent of the coastal towns to be populated. SEA OF GALILEE (Tiberias) Oriental (or Eastern, as in, “We Three Kings of Orient Are”) verses Occidental (or Western, as in, “Excuse me, but there isn’t any ice in my drink”) ways of living, speaking and defining is always a challenge when in Israel. Put simply, when in Israel, Western words and thoughts must give way to Eastern culture, language, and customs. Sometimes it’s good to have a “conversion chart” of sorts. For example, as a generalization, “mountains” in the Middle-East are like “hills” in the United States; “valleys” are akin to ravines, and “seas” (Mediterranean as a prime exception for sure) are like “lakes”. To call the Sea of Galilee a true western visual of a “sea” would be to call Mt. Vernon – well, “Mt. Everest”. Indeed, the lake (named Tiberias, or Kinneret, Lake of Gennesaret or Galilee) is, on a clear day, almost small enough to see shore to shore on all sides. And those views can be spectacular, especially at sunrise as even the trees, waves and clouds appear to give obeisance to the east-rising morning sun. Yet, despite its mini size, this region boasts a near constant flow of visitors. Where Joppa was “beach life”, Tiberias is spending days at “the lake”. However, this isn’t just any ol’ lake. Most visitors come for the historical and faith-based focus of “walking where Jesus walked”. Out trips from Tiberias include many half day or day trips to locations of historical and spiritual import to their visitors. Highlights of some of the lakeside New Testament sites include Tagba (traditional location for the multiplication of loaves and fishes and where Simon Peter fished), Magdala (thought to be the home of Mary Magdalene), Capernaum (where Jesus was “in the house” – KJV of Mark 2:1), and the picturesque Mount of Beatitudes or traditional location of Jesus Christ’s Sermon on the Mount. THE “WILDERNESS” Returning to the twin sisters comparison of Salt Lake City and the Dead Sea region, most compelling might be the fresh water lakes that are connected to hypersaline bodies of water, each with no outlet (or “dead”) coupled with the fact that both are fed by tributaries known as “The Jordan River”. Indeed, the contrast of this region compared to the others in country is stark and abrupt. This is desert as found in few other places on earth. Ask 100 people of their thoughts of Israel (or the Middle-East in general) and this is the picture they have in their minds. The region of the Jordan Valley is certainly arid and dry. Sites like Masada (a fabled defense location for the last of the Jews attempting to stave off Roman rule in the times shortly after Jesus Christ walked the land), Beit Shean with its Roman ruins (see below), and Qumran (site of the found “Dead Sea Scrolls”) adorn hillsides while the Dead Sea looms nearby below each. The Dead Sea has become a draw for spa hounds worldwide. A float in this seemingly curative and revitalizing water is a must.   JERUSALEM City life mixed with religious and racial tensions is the unfortunate rap that has been affixed to Jerusalem in the state of Israel. The truth is far from those extremes on a day to day basis with the wonderful people you’ll meet and interact with while in this iconic city and country. That said, if the aforementioned tensions exist, Jerusalem is (and always has been) at its heart. Three of the world’s major religions trace their roots to this fortress in the “mountains”. Judaism, Christianity and Islam all trace this spot to their “Father Abraham” as the land given of God to him and his posterity. In the “old city”, one could spend all day people-watching at the Western Wall (especially on a celebratory Sabbath Friday evening), become happily “lost” wandering and shopping in the streets of the Jewish or Muslim or Christian Quarters, or become engulfed in combing the fabled quarters for ancient history and remains. Atop all other options while in Jerusalem, as with most who come to these storied streets, Jerusalem is a magnet for people of faith. While in town, people of faith take time to reverence such sights as: “The Temple Mount” (Mt. Moriah) which is also the location of Islamic holy shrines and mosques (The Dome of the Rock and Al Aqsa respectively). Gethsemane, The Garden Tomb and The Church of the Holy Sepulchre (sacred locations to Christians worldwide as the locations of the suffering and salvation of Jesus Christ). Hezekiah’s Tunnel (of Old Testament era fame) wherein water was brought into the city millennia ago. Take in a modern concert at the Center for Near Eastern Studies (https://www.byu-jc.org/concerts/tickets) Concert Tickets – BYU Jerusalem Center www.byu-jc.org. Tickets are free; however, you are invited to make a donation after each concert. Your entire donation is given to the performers . . . and the list goes on and on . . . Israel is like no other place I’ve been on earth. Its diversity of peoples, geographies, cultures, languages, foods and experiences seem never ending. Many feel this location to be the navel of the earth and it’s plain to see why. This land, considered holy by so many across the globe, is truly a “world apart”. Though it shares a geographical likeness with a modern sibling in Salt Lake City, Utah, it offers its own ancient and storied past with a host of regions and adventures that make it an obligatory destination for any serious traveler.  

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Middle Island – On the Margins in the Heart of Hanoi

by ViF - The Magician @ Vietnam in Focus – Photo Tours

The post Middle Island – On the Margins in the Heart of Hanoi appeared first on Vietnam in Focus - Photo Tours.

26 Most Common Scams in Vietnam - Travelscams.org

26 Most Common Scams in Vietnam - Travelscams.org


TravelScams.org

Vietnam is a beautiful country to visit, but almost every tourist here would have experienced a scam. Click here to learn how to protect yourself!

A Journey Through Madagascar: Notes on the Privilege of Travel

by NomadicMatt @ Nomadic Matt's Travel Site

We travelers are a lucky bunch. It's easy to forget just how privileged we are to be able to travel the world. The truth is, most people rarely even leave their own country, let alone visit destinations all over the globe. My recent visit to Madagascar reminded me that it's important to keep this perspective in mind, and to give back to organizations that help the places we visit.

The post A Journey Through Madagascar: Notes on the Privilege of Travel appeared first on Nomadic Matt's Travel Site.

What to See in North Vietnam?

by Cuong Nguyen @ Travel Sense Asia

Thanks to the perfect geographical location, Vietnam has inherited many wonderful landscapes from Mother Nature and absorbed the essence of neighboring cultures. This makes people wonder what to see in North Vietnam. Because I have spent almost all of my life here, I can confidently say that I know this area inside out. My friends […]

The post What to See in North Vietnam? appeared first on Travel Sense Asia.

GP Travel – Travel to open the world

by Hanoikids @ HANOIKIDS CLUB

GP Travel is a private owned company established in 2005, with over 10 years experience in the tourism market, our team is well trained and work with mind of services.… [...]

The post GP Travel – Travel to open the world appeared first on HANOIKIDS CLUB.

The Real Cost of Travelling Through Vietnam

The Real Cost of Travelling Through Vietnam


Twourism

Travelling through Vietnam is one of the most rewarding experiences you'll ever have. So grab a map, a guide book, and start planning that trip!

Parading in Gay Taipei

by Emma Krasov @ Real Travel Adventures

Photography by Emma Krasov Taiwan’s growing prosperity, its high tech developing alongside upscale retail and hospitality, the freedom-loving stance and the innate friendliness of Taiwanese people, many of whom speak good English, make this East Asian country an attractive vacation spot for American tourists. I was fortunate to visit the tropical island before and during one of the major annual events – 2017 Taiwan LGBT Pride Parade – the largest in Asia, attended by more than a 100 000 people, that was taking place in the capital city of Taipei. The 15th Taiwan LGBT Pride started on a warm October Saturday morning on Ketagalan Boulevard, between the Presidential Office building and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and proceeded in three directions, looping back to the thoroughfare, where the main stage was set for the community activists, famous musicians, and representatives of LGBT organizations from Taiwan, Japan and Korea. This year advocacy theme was “Make Love, Not War – Sex Ed is the Way to Go” stressing the importance of gender equality, sex education and a humanistic approach to sex and gender issues without discrimination and stigma. The message of acceptance sounded loud and clear in the Pride chanting, “No matter who you are, no matter who you love, stand proud!” Topical activities of the event included Gender Equality Education, Social Movement Stand Together, and Marriage Equality – the latter expected to be finally legalized in Taiwan in two years term. A giant rainbow flag, almost the length of a city block, carried by dozens of college students and members of non-governmental organizations; elaborate costumes, music, laughter, and a generous scattering of rainbow crowns, ribbons, fans, and plumes turned the always busy, congested with traffic capital of Taiwan into a festive flowerbed, studded with happy smiling faces. What an amazing show of unity and joy! This reporter was especially impressed with the seemingly self-regulated crowd. Not a single episode of rudeness, impatience, or any kind of conflict. A lone protester with a sign invoking religious prohibitions on homosexuality was guarded by two police officers, but the biggest harm done to him or any of the parade participants was the incessant flashing of photo cameras. By the time evening traffic started to accumulate, rainbow-marked guys and girls dispersed into buses, subway trains, and to the surrounding streets on foot, mixing with the daily crowd, entering it as a part and parcel of the big city. Our group of American travel journalists, in Taipei primarily for the Pride, had nevertheless a full tourist program, exploring the gorgeous island with its natural wonders, historical monuments, and superb culinary scene. From the windows of AMBA Taipei Songshan, a new boutique design hotel – a playful brand, originated in Hong Kong – near Xinyi shopping and business district, we took our first glance at the Keelung River, circling the city in the north, and at the bamboo-shaped Taipei 101 Observatory, not long ago the tallest building in the world. A tour of the 101-story tower included and exhilarating elevator ride that took us from the 5th to 89th floor in 37 seconds; breathtaking panoramic views of the city and its environs, and a gourmet lunch at the world-famous Din Tai Fung on the ground floor of the observation tower. Here, in the spacious dining room, separated by a glass wall from a pristine kitchen, where all workers were clad in white sanitary suits and masks, our group was greeted by my Taiwanese namesake, Emma, a deputy supervisor of catering department. The young woman with an infectious smile, dressed for business, and speaking effortless English, she conveyed to us the history of the notorious dumpling restaurant, awarded multiple stars, medals, and mentions by the international foodie authorities. According to the legend of Din Tai Fung, it all started in a cooking oil retail shop back in 1958 that gradually turned into a “fast food” restaurant specializing in xiao long bao, or “soup dumplings” made with pork meat and pork fat jelly that turns into aromatic liquid during steaming. The original process of kneading, rolling, filling, folding (18 folds, no less no more) and steaming the dumplings is still meticulously followed in all the kitchens of Din Tai Fung in more than 100 locations all over the world, and of course in its flagship restaurant in Taipei. Only now more than 50 kinds of dumplings, wontons, buns, noodles, and rice dishes grace the menu, appreciated by the tourists as well as regulars who dine here a few times a week. That is not to say that other restaurants lack fans among the local and international visitors. Some of the highlights of Taiwanese cuisine, like steamed fish, crab with bamboo shoots, thousand year egg, black chicken soup, and countless others can be enjoyed in practically every small or large eatery throughout the country. Before we left Taipei for further exploration, we visited a festive night market – one of several, each stall teeming with eager customers attracted by the delicate aromas of pork buns, green onion crepes, and other amazingly enticing local dishes. We also spent a good chunk of time in two remarkable museums, representing the historical past and the assertive future of the country. The National Palace Museum contains immense treasures of the Chinese imperial court, transported to Taiwan for safekeeping after the fall of the last dynasty. Among the most popular exhibits at the museum is jadeite cabbage, carved from a single stone with auspicious color variations, presenting the humble vegetable in a noble form of an exquisite art piece. The never-yielding crowd around the display case wouldn’t let me take a good picture of the precious artifact, so I had to settle for a back view that still conveys the fragile elegance of the awesome work. MOCA Taipei, Museum of Contemporary Art, brings to the public attention the bold and edgy art created here and now. During our visit, a major exhibition, called “Spectrosynthesis – Asian LGBTQ Issues and Art Now” created in collaboration with The Sunpride Foundation curated by Sean C. S. Hu was on display, showcasing 22 artists from Taiwan, China, Hong Kong and Singapore. On our way to the city of Taichung via HSR high speed rail, we spent a wonderful sunny day at the serene Sun Moon Lake, taking a boat tour and then cycling to Xian Shan visitor center, where we could see the open air exhibition of bonsai and decorative arts against a backdrop of the turquoise lake. At least four-five weddings were conducting their photoshoots along the shores. At lunch at Lusihan – an aboriginal restaurant – we’ve not only tried the most exotic foods, like “wax apples” stuffed with dried shrimp and seaweed, and sticky rice baked and served in bamboo cups, but also learned about the tribal history of Taiwan – of 16 different tribes composing the island nation. The Lin Hotel Taichung welcomed us into its luxurious fold offering boldly decorated rooms in red, gold, and black-and-white; supremely comfortable beds, and a breakfast hall filled with freshly made wonders of all imaginable cuisines. The day program started with a visit to the historic 1927 Miyahara building – formerly a Japanese eye doctor’s hospital, currently the sought after Dawn Bakery, where dressed in Japanese military uniform sales clerks dish out samples of heavenly cheesecakes, and give cautionary warnings on expiration dates of pineapple cakes and mooncakes, packed in dainty boxes made of Japanese wrapping paper. Then we headed to a fun and exciting Pearl Milk Tea Workshop with Chun Shui Tang Cultural Tea House. In a special classroom on the top floor of a popular restaurant we were educated on producing the real original bubble tea, invented here four decades ago by the founder Liu Han-Chien. We learned the difference between bubble tea (shaken into foam) and boba tea (with added tapioca pearls), and upon successful completion of our course each of us received a certificate of our iced tea mastery! Traversing the entire country, next we landed in the Southern city of Tainan, a former capital, densely populated with historical monuments, like Chihkan Tower (Fort Provintia) a former Dutch outpost on Formosa, built in 1653 during the Dutch colonization of Taiwan, and Anping Old Fort near a “tree house” – a skeleton of an ancient structure completely overwhelmed by an overgrown banyan tree. We marveled at the enlightened austerity of Tainan Confucius Temple and at the lavish gilded décor of The Grand Matsu Temple, a.k.a. the Great Queen of Heaven Temple, where at the time of our visit middle-aged priestesses in bright-yellow silk robes performed a ceremony to the sound of drums. At the Du Hsiao Yueh noodle house we all took the same picture of a beautiful blue and white plate of noodles with a bright orange shrimp on top – the same that serves as the restaurant’s logo and is served to every diner who ever ventures in. At the designer boutique hotel, Jia-Jia at West Market, we slept in artfully decorated rooms, ate at a communal table in the cozy lobby filled with inventive artwork, and participated in one of the hotel’s cultural activities – a kind of a cosplay, when we all donned Taiwanese garb, offered by the staff, and walked around in it through the lively stalls of the historic West Market. Apparently, the hotel CEO, also an artist, creates these fashions from vintage fabrics, formerly found at the West Market. She offers her guests an opportunity to try them on and walk in them, reaching a double goal – to familiarize foreigners with the traditional Taiwanese attire, and to remind the locals of their national traditions. Posing for a group photo in my gorgeous vintage dress (which I eventually bought from the hotel and brought home to wear on special occasions) I thought that traveling in a company of gay men – well-mannered, kind and with a great sense of humor – for moi had its undeniable advantage. More information on Taiwan travel at: www.taiwan.net.tw.

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5 Things to Do in Zion National Park That Don’t Involve Hiking

by Amanda @ A Dangerous Business Travel Blog

When it comes to national parks in the United States, the secret has long been out about Zion National Park. It's one of the...

The post 5 Things to Do in Zion National Park That Don’t Involve Hiking appeared first on A Dangerous Business Travel Blog.

Pandaw’s Red River Cruise

by Sandra and John Scott @ Real Travel Adventures

When I was on Pandaw’s Halong Bay and Red River Cruise I truly understood the quote, “Don’t tell me how educated you are, tell me how much you have traveled.” I have watched movies, documentaries, and read books about Vietnam but until I walked down the narrow road of a small, riverside Vietnamese village and could hear the pounding of metal and see the sparks fly did I really feel the pulse beat of the Vietnam people. Small villages along the Red River tend to focus on making one main item be it knives, noodles, bonsai trees, wood objects, bamboo products or rice paddy hats. They make the items the way they have for generations not just for a show-and-tell presentation created for tourists. In Tien Du village the ladies were making paddy hats called “Non La.” With our guide explaining every step in the process I learned that they start with palm leaves which are dried for about a week, flattened and then fashioned and sewn around a frame. It was impressive. One lady was 80 years old, sitting on a small block of wood, threading a needle and sewing on the leaves. Each lady specialized in one step of the process. They make about one dollar a day. They were working not selling their wares but we also visited a pottery-making village and where there were plenty of shops selling their pottery. A great place to pick up gifts/souvenirs. Besides learning about how products are made in the traditional manner I learned more about the culture. During a visit to Hung Lo Temple a local group performed a traditional folk song, “Hat Xoan.” “Hat Xoan” is seeking recognition as a world cultural heritage to be preserved. Xoan singing is believed to have been developed during the reign of the Hung Kings (2890 to 250 BC). It has been passed on within certain families for generations. I was impressed with the seriousness of the young boy leading the group.  He was the grandson of the person who is currently the head of the group and some day it will be his job to preserve Hat Xoan and pass it on. Water puppets and Vietnam are synonymous. I have enjoyed the shows in Hanoi’s puppet theater but seeing the show in Thanh Ha village was special.  Water puppetry dates back to the 11th century when it originated in the Red River Delta villages like Thanh Ha.  The puppeteers stand in waist-deep water hidden by a screen. They control the lacquered wooden puppets by an unseen bamboo rod so that the puppets appear to dance on water accompanied by drums, cymbals, and gongs.  The puppet vignettes relate traditional folktale complete with a fire-breathing dragon plus day-to-day activities such as farming and fishing. The show was schedule for Pandaw guests but it drew the local people also, especially the children who took delight in the unexpected, free performance.  At the end of one of the shore trips we were entertained on the wharf by a lion dance, an integral part of the Vietnamese New Year’s celebration. The Pandaw RV Angkor crew thinks of everything.  They brought chairs from the vessel so we could enjoy the show in comfort.  The lions, two people in one costume, are incredibly agile as they perform especially when the lions, one person on the shoulders of their partner, have to jump “battle” to get the lettuce that is held on a high spot.  It is a traditional part of the dance as it portends good luck for the coming year. The cruise also included wonderful shore trips that showed off the amazing scenery of the area. The crew had arranged small boats to take us to Stork Island that protects the flora and fauna of the area. One morning we were bussed passed green rice paddies to the area called “Halong Bay on Land” where small wooden boats awaited. For an hour a lady rowed, using her feet, along the stream that passed by towering karst formation through two caves to a pond-like area where we stopped, I thought to give the rower a rest; not so, it was so she could give us a back massage! The cruise around Halong Bay was magical and, once again, the Pandaw crew arranged for a small boat trip in the area, through a cave, and to a place where we were in luck. We saw several of the endangered lemurs flitting from tree to tree. When we returned to the RV Angkor after a shore trip there were staff members waiting: one with a refreshing lemongrass scented towel, one with a refreshing fruit drink, and one to take our shoes and clean them. How’s that for service? Accommodations, staff and meals were five-star but attire is casual. There were also onboard presentations: a cooking demonstration, musical presentations, cultural presentations, and in the evening, movies set in Vietnam. Before dinner one of the crew members explains the next day’s tour; along with evening turndown service there was a copy of the next day’s schedule. Pandaw guests get to see and experience things the average tourist does not. Pandaw is the pioneer in the Red River but they offer other cruises in Myanmar, Cambodia, and Laos. Pandaw has revived Burma’s Old Irrawaddy Flotilla Company. The RV Angkor like most of Pandaw’s vessels is hand-crafted and traditional in design but with all the modern conveniences, accommodations are large, there is even internet connection. The cruise is all-inclusive including the tip – I like that. The average number of passengers is usually in the mid-20s (maximum capcity is 32) most of whom are well-traveled. I was surprised to find that all but five passengers had been on more than one Pandaw cruise, it was the fifth trip for one couple.  There is no better recommendation than that! If you go: For more information on any of Pandaw’s expeditions log on to www.pandaw.com or call 1-844-361-6281 toll free from North America, or email usa@pandaw.com. Pandaw offers pre- and post-trip extension trips. To visit Vietnam a visa is required.

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Ho Chi Minh City Walking Tour – You’ll find it’s more than a modern city

by Phan Len @ Inspitrip Blog

Ho Chi Minh City – also known as Saigon – is no longer a strange destination for travellers visiting Vietnam. Arriving at Tan Son Nhat Airport, you are free to venture and explore a number of destinations in Vietnam, but believe me, don’t mistake Ho Chi Minh as another sprawling modern city without personality. With […]

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18 Must Know Anguilla Travel Tips

by Hannah Lukaszewicz @ Getting Stamped

Anguilla is the Caribbean’s best-kept secret. Just a few miles away from busy St. Martin, Anguilla couldn’t be more different. One trip is all it will take to fall in love with this Caribbean gem, but there are a few things you should know before...

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Top 5 exciting shopping experiences in Hanoi

by Phan Len @ Inspitrip Blog

Besides visiting famous places or trying authentic cuisine, shopping is one of the activities everyone should have on their list while traveling. Hanoi offers so many shopping options for any kind of interests. Find out more what you buy and where to shop in Hanoi. Hanoi Shopping Malls Keangnam Hanoi  Shopping malls are the best […]

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TRAVELLING SOLO?

by Jennifer LaPerle @ Merit Travel

Travel, made easy and affordable for singles over 50!

The post TRAVELLING SOLO? appeared first on Merit Travel.

Climbing Mount Pico: All You Need To Know For an Epic Hike

by Bruno B. @ Geeky Explorer | Travel smart

During my last trip to Azores, I had the pleasure of climbing Mount Pico in Pico island. Here’s my experience and how you can get to the top safely. While it’s not by any means amongst the tallest in the world, Mount Pico can be deceptively difficult to conquer which leads to many failed climb […]

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Cuba on a Shoestring – ein Reisebericht

by Kai Wieland @ Intrepid Germany

Drei Australier, ein Neuseeländer, zwei Irinnen, eine Polin, zwei Engländerinnen, zwei Deutsche, ein Samoaner, zwei Portugiesen, eine Italienerin, eine Ungarin und zwei Kubaner sitzen in einem Bus. Was sich wie der Beginn eines schlechten und verwirrend langen Witzes anhört, entwickelte sich schon nach kürzester Zeit zu einer der schönsten Reiseerfahrungen meines Lebens. In dieser illustren […]

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How To Get From Lisbon Airport to City Center (Without Getting Scammed)

by Bruno B. @ Geeky Explorer | Travel smart

Find out how to conveniently get to some of the most popular places in Lisbon’s city center. First tip: stay away from taxis! Lisbon is one of the most charming capitals in Europe. There are many unique things to do, see and taste here, ensuring you have a memorable time. I recommend that you stay […]

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Test6

by Arturo Guerrero @ Legend Travel

The post Test6 appeared first on Legend Travel.

Hanoi vs Ho Chi Minh City: Which Vietnam City Is Right For You?

by Bruno B. @ Geeky Explorer | Travel smart

Struggling making a decision between Hanoi vs Ho Chi Minh for your upcoming trip to Vietnam? In this article I’m comparing both cities in terms of food, safety, places to visit and overall vibe for you to decide its overall travel potential. Which one is the right for you? Vietnam is not the easiest of […]

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Real Food Adventure Vietnam & Cambodia | Intrepid Travel

Real Food Adventure Vietnam & Cambodia | Intrepid Travel


Intrepid Germany

Intrepid Germany | Chop, slice and chomp your way through the diverse flavours of South East Asia on this mouthwatering Real Food Adventure from Vietnam to Cambodia. From pho and ancient buildings in Hanoi to banh khoai and imperial citadels in Hue, ...

Tour with Hanoikids: More than just Hanoi free tours

by Hanoikids @ HANOIKIDS CLUB

Founded in 2006, Hanoikids is a student-run, voluntary organization which provides free tours for foreigners in Hanoi, Vietnam.… [...]

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Cycling Mekong Delta Vietnam to Cambodia |CanTho ChauDoc HaTien 4 Days

by Sinh Le @ Sinhbalo

Cycling Mekong Delta Vietnam to Cambodia | CanTho ChauDoc HaTien 4 Days Tour Code: SBL9B Day1: Sai Gon to Cai Be, Vinh Long and to Can Tho (Lunch, dinner) 8.00 am our shuttle will take you out of town on an approx. 2hrs drive to Cai Lay where you collect your bicycles and enjoy a…

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On and Off the Cobblestone Path in Prague and Environs: Four Days in the Czech Republic

by Saul Schwartz @ Real Travel Adventures

Prague is a vibrant European capital city with lots of atmosphere. It is a city rich with a repository of Baroque, Romanesque, Art Nouveau and Medieval buildings that stir the imagination.  Little remains from the dreary days of Communist domination (1948-1989), except for some brutalist movement buildings.  For example, one is now the large InterContinental Hotel near the city center. In 1993, the central European Czech Republic split off from Slovakia. About 1.3 million of the country’s 10.5 million inhabitants reside in Prague.  My wife Fern and I really enjoyed our four day stay in June. Our lodging at the Corinthia Hotel, PragueThe Corinthia is located within the same complex as a Metro Stop (Vysehrad), two stops from the city-center. This large hotel is at the top of one of Prague’s seven hills. The Corinthia has one of the nicest executive lounges, with local food delicsies throughout the day and evening, and a very friendly staff. Both the executive lounge and the large indoor pool on the hotel’s top two floors have breathtaking panoramic views of the Prague skyline, where we could view many of the city’s “hundred spires.” We particularly enjoyed the fully equipped fitness center which features both aerobic and weights options, located right next to a day spa. Daily breakfast buffets were extensive in variety (e.g., featuring four different granola options). The buffets included some Czech cuisine and were very tasty.Walking through Vysehrad (Day 1)Vysehrad means castle on the heights; it is a rocky outcrop above the river. We walked on the many streets paved with centuries old cobblestones. These streets were the castle grounds of the first Czech royalty princes and kings and a fortress for the seat of power. The first castle was built in the 10th century and was rebuilt many times.We toured the neighborhood’s largest structure, the Neo-Gothic basilica of Saints Peter and Paul. The basilica’s twin spires can be seen from a great distance. The first church on this site dated from the 11th century. This version was rebuilt in 1903 after fires destroyed the original.  We also toured the area’s smallest structure, the tiny Romanesque Rotunda of Saint Martin which was built in the 11th century and is the oldest Christian house of worship in the Czech Republic. This tiny church was reconstructed in 1878. We briefly strolled through the small Vysehrad national cemetery (dating from the 1870s), the last resting point of some of the country’s most famous figures and luminaries. We left the neighborhood through the Leopold Gate which contains decorative sculptures on the gate itself. Although off of the normal tourist paths, this neighborhood contains enough sites to see for a full day. Once through the Taborska (Tabor) Gate we walked among the ruins of Charles VI’s restored Vysehrad’s fortifications from the 14th century. Vysehrad was originally fortified in the 10th century and redone again in the 17th century. Far enough from the city center to be largely tourist free, Vysehrad is a peaceful neighborhood and it contains several small parks. Within the parks are several large restored statutes which represent figures from early Czech history. The statutes were originally on Palacky Bridge but were relocated after being damaged during US bombardment in February 1945. Stopping at the view points on the ramparts and fortifications, we enjoyed unrivaled views of Prague’s panorama, including many places overlooking the Vltava River from far above where we could see marvelous views of Prague’s spires. Terezin (Day 2) Touring the former ghetto and concentration camp is a sad and dramatic experience. Terezin is about one hour from Prague by car.  Originally Terezin was an historic fortified city built by the Hapsburgs.  The fortress town was conceived in the late 18th century when the Hapsburg Emperor ordered the construction of Theresienstadt, named after his mother Empress Maria Theresa.  Terezin was later established as a town in the newly formed Czechoslovakia. Nazi Germany took over the town in 1940 and transformed it into a ghetto and later, a notorious concentration camp. Most of Prague’s Jews were moved to Terezin.  We saw the former prison cells, residences of the Gestapo and some of the extensive underground corridors.  At first Jews and political prisoners were imprisoned in Terezin and then deported by rail to various concentration camps in German occupied Poland.  As the war continued tens of thousands were killed there.  A very large number of Jews died in this camp after the 1945 liberation due to outbreaks of typhoid and malnutrition. Landmarks of Judaism in a Medieval City – The Jewish Quarter, Josefov (Day 3) In the 18th century the Jewish Quarter was named Josefov after Josef II who relaxed discrimination against the Prague Jews.  At the reservation center in Josefov, we purchased the Jewish Museum in Prague ticket which includes (1) the Old Jewish Cemetery, (2) the Maisel Synagogue, (3) the Pinkas Synagogue, (4) the Klausen synagogue, (5) the Ceremonial Hall, and (6) the Spanish Synagogue.  For an additional fee, we purchased an audio guide and were able to also tour the Old- New Synagogue.  These sites are closed to the public on Jewish Holidays and Saturdays.  Kosher restaurants are scattered throughout the Quarter with names like King Solomon restaurant and the Golema restaurant. Jews are thought to have settled in Prague as early as the 10th century.  Today the small district lies within the larger Old Town and is a rich repository of Jewish history. The Old Jewish Cemetery is the largest of its kind in Europe. We felt that the jumble of crumbling and leaning tombstones is a moving memorial to Prague’s Jewish community.  It is estimated that 100,000 graves were built in layers on top of each other from 1439 to 1787, up to twelve layers deep. Across the street from the cemetery is the gothic 13th century Old New Synagogue, the oldest active synagogue in Europe.  This synagogue has been a place of refuge during pogroms.  This Orthodox synagogue still separates men and women, with the women sitting in the vestibule watching the services through windows.  We found it ironic that this congregation was originally called the New Synagogue until another synagogue was built nearby (that no longer exists). Just down the street, the neo-gothic Maisel Synagogue is now a museum. It was built during the 16th century Golden Age of the Jewish Ghetto.  Mordecai Maisel was then the Jewish mayor and one of the richest citizens in Europe.  This building now features displays of Jews in the Bohemian lands during the 10th to 18th centuries (including religious artifacts, furniture and books).  Much of the collection had been looted by the Nazis from other synagogues, with the horrid intention of founding a museum of an extinct people. Adjacent to the cemetery is the Pinkas Synagogue. Founded in 1479 by Rabbi Pinkas, this synagogue is now a memorial to Holocaust victims from Bohemia and Moravia.  The names and dates of death of approximately 80,000 Jewish victims of the Holocaust cover the walls (including quite a few named Schwartz).  Equally moving, this synagogue features a touching exhibit of children’s drawings and writings while at the Terezin concentration camp during 1942 to 1944. Maisel also commissioned the building in 1694 of the elegant baroque Klausen synagogue which also borders the cemetery. Klausen is named after Jewish houses of prayer and study.  This building now contains exhibits and prints featuring Jewish customs, festivals, family life and traditions.  The adjoining ceremonial hall explains the role of the Jewish burial society. Several blocks away, the conservative Jewish movement still holds services, concerts and events at the Spanish Synagogue, featuring an opulent Moorish interior and containing an organ from 1880. Additionally, this building features displays on the history of the Jews in Bohemia and Moravia. Not all buildings within the Jewish quarter are open to the public. We were able to view from outside the original Jewish town hall that features a clock with Jewish letters.  Because Hebrew reads from right to left, the clock hands turn against the clockwise direction! Prague Castle, Old Town and the Charles Bridge (Day 4) Few cities embody the past as authentically as Prague. Our English language tour guide exemplified how Prague clings to its history with her unwavering passion for its colorful past. During our guided walk through the Prague Castle (a UNESCO world heritage site), we learned that this fortress is really a complex of many impressive courtyards, palaces, churches and gardens. Outside the main entrance, two of the castle guards were wearing their blue summer uniforms, with impassive stares.  Once the seat of Bohemian kings, the castle now serves as the office of the President of the Czech Republic.  It is the world’s biggest castle complex. Within the complex, the St. Vitus Cathedral may be Prague’s most distinctive landmark. The largest church in the Czech Republic, its spires can be seen throughout Prague.  Building of this imposing gothic structure began in 1344, but continued over almost 600 years!  The interior contains beautiful stain glass windows.  Outside the cathedral, an intricate mosaic of the Last Judgment from the 14th century shines in gold over one of the main entrances.  Gargoyles jut out over gutter spouts. After leaving the castle, we walked across the Charles Bridge, a pedestrian only bridge (with gothic towers) which crosses the River Vltava. Constructed in the 14th century, the bridge contains a series of 30 baroque statutes (some of which are reproductions).  Crowded with tourists, there are many artists and musicians selling their wares on the bridge.  The 1700 feet long bridge connects the castle complex to Old Town. We were told that the highlight of Old Town may be the mesmerizing Astronomical clock, dating from the 15th century.  On the hour, bells ring, cocks crow and a series of wooden statutes of apostles take turns popping through window openings.  Situated high atop the old town hall, the display is currently partially impaired by repairs to the building.  The hourly showing only lasts approximately one minute and arguably is overrated! Final tips Prague is a wonderful city, but we also enjoyed seeing some of the countryside outside of Prague. There is life beyond Prague in the Czech Republic. On the way back from Terezin, we made a brief stop in Litomerice and had lunch and a “mini” tour at a microbrewery. The microbrewery Minipovar Labut is located in the cellar of a small hotel. It has a nice brewery room with copper kettles and a limited menu that features local food. When in doubt, try an Italian restaurant. We really enjoyed Pepe Nero, in Old Town just outside of the Jewish Quarter. The staff spoke English fluently. The breads, salads and pasta were tasty and inexpensive.The streets in the city center are mostly cobblestone so comfortable shoes are a must. We used Czech coins for public restrooms (as the Czech Republic is not on the Euro), but most restaurants and museums took credit cards for payment.

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Can I Wear Capris in Egypt? (Or a Complete Egypt Packing Guide for Women)

by Amanda @ A Dangerous Business Travel Blog

When I was preparing for my tour in Egypt, I had so many questions about what to pack. This was going to be my...

The post Can I Wear Capris in Egypt? (Or a Complete Egypt Packing Guide for Women) appeared first on A Dangerous Business Travel Blog.

Vietnam: The Real War – in pictures

Vietnam: The Real War – in pictures


the Guardian

From Malcolm Browne’s photograph of the burning monk to Nick Ut’s picture of a nine-year-old girl running from a napalm attack, the Associated Press’s Saigon bureau captured the realities and tragedies of the Vietnam war

Off the Beaten Tracks in Hanoi

by ViF - The Magician @ Vietnam in Focus – Photo Tours

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Photo Tips – Hanoi

by ViF - The Magician @ Vietnam in Focus – Photo Tours

The post Photo Tips – Hanoi appeared first on Vietnam in Focus - Photo Tours.

8 Highlights in Rajasthan die du nicht verpassen solltest

by Annika Ziehen @ Intrepid Germany

Indien ist ein unglaublich vielseitiges und beeindruckendes Land. Traumhafte Sandstrände im Süden und verträumte Bergdörfer im Norden, lebhafte Dschungel und einsame Wüsten, Chaos und Stille –ein Land der vielfältigen Kontraste, in dem jeder Reisende irgendwo auf seine Kosten. Doch keiner der 29 indischen Staaten verkörpert das klassische Bild von Indien so wie Rajasthan. Der Bundesstaat […]

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Der ultimative Guide für 7 Tage Kuba – 3 Ideen für deine Reiseplanung

by Kai Wieland @ Intrepid Germany

Es gibt Länder auf dieser Welt, über die man schon alles zu wissen scheint, bevor man überhaupt dort gewesen ist. Kuba gehört zu diesen Ländern, und woran die Menschen in aller Regel denken, sind Zigarren, Rum, Oldtimer, Che Guevara, Sozialismus und von Palmen gesäumte Traumstrände. Zugegeben, all diese Dinge gehören zweifellos zur kubanischen Kultur und […]

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Is Naples Safe For Tourists? What You (Really) Need To Know

by Bruno B. @ Geeky Explorer | Travel smart

It’s 2017 so time to sort this drama once and for all. Is Naples safe for tourists or not? Let’s spill the truth! It’s the elephant in the room of every discussion around Naples. Just like happened when I visited Rio de Janeiro, most of my conversations before heading to Italy’s third largest city had […]

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Joanne – Client Testimonial

by Dmitry Sadchenko @ Merit Travel

There are no words that can adequately convey our sincere and huge appreciation for everything Jeremy Hall did to make this adventure such a success and so incredibly enjoyable, every step of the way. From the very first moment we were in touch with you through email, we felt a strong and wonderful connection with […]

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33 Travel Memes That Accurately Describe Going On A Vacation

by Bruno B. @ Geeky Explorer | Travel smart

A collection of funny travel memes and GIFs that are real AF and perfectly describe any of your last vacations. Featuring some of my favorite ones ever! Going on a trip is full of funny situations that happen over and over. I’ve put together what usually happens to me and went looking for memes and […]

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La Jolla Getaway

by Howard Hian @ Real Travel Adventures

After Labor Day, the tourists have headed home, the weather is ideal, and there’s plenty of parking. What a perfect time to visit San Diego’s favorite “village,” La Jolla.  Vacationing in my hometown was very appealing.   Where To Stay I jumped at the chance to stay at the Pantai Inn. It has earned a prestigious #1 ranking for La Jolla hotels at TripAdvisor. Perched fittingly on the corner of Coast and Ocean Streets, this small gem sits amid beautifully landscaped gardens and patios, overlooking the Pacific. The Pantai Inn pays homage to Balinese art with its furnishings and design. Included in the rate is free parking, complimentary buffet breakfast, and high speed Internet. Coffee, tea, bottled water, plus freshly baked cookies are available throughout the day. Turndown service includes chocolates at night.  It’s easy to understand how the Pantai Inn received such high rankings with its little touches and attention to detail. Footloose Stroll north from the Pantai Inn along the bluff to The Cove, then double back to the Children’s Pool. Both have been populated by seals and sea lions, which have become a bitter issue with residents, business owners, and environmentalists.  Wander through the shops and art galleries on Prospect and Girard.  Grab your swim gear and drive to the Shores Beach. Go at low tide and take a long walk north past Scripps Pier to Black’s Beach (bathing suit optional). A Day At the University of California San Diego Stop first at the Birch Aquarium now celebrating its 25th anniversary. It’s part of the internationally famous Scripps Institution of Oceanography. On campus, don’t miss the Geisel Library (thanks, Dr. Seuss) and the outdoor Stuart Collection, especially Fallen Star, Sun God, and The Wind Garden. The Theater District features the Mandell Weiss Center for Performing Arts and the historic La Jolla Playhouse. The latter was founded in 1947 by Hollywood stars Gregory Peck, Dorothy McGuire, and Mel Ferrer. Over the years, it has won 35 Tony Awards for productions that have moved from there to Broadway. Get Physical Take a hike through Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve (only one of 14 California State Parks so designated). Six trails loop through the park and there are free public guided tours on weekends and holidays at 10 AM and 2 PM. Golfers, take note: the world famous Torrey Pines golf course is open to the public. Where To Eat Duke’s is a short walk from the Pantai Inn. It’s named in honor of Duke Kahanamoku, Olympic swimming and water polo medalist, the father of modern surfing, and a royal Hawaiian family member.  This casual oceanfront restaurant serves contemporary twists on traditional island favorites. We arrived in time for “Pau Hana” (Happy Hour).  Request a table upstairs on the terrace. When we couldn’t decide between a couple of wines, the server brought out tasters (no charge); classy touch.  We opted to split the crab cake appetizer.  Our two entrees were the Hawaiian style baby back ribs, served with amazing grilled cornbread, and a perfectly prepared Kaffir crusted ahi steak. The decadent Hula Pie ended the dining experience in time for a sunset stroll back to the Pantai Inn. Cusp Dining & Drinks is where fresh coastal cuisine rules. The menu features locally sourced, seasonal ingredients. At happy hour, along with discounted drinks and “bites,” champagne starts at $4 per glass and the price goes up $1 on the hour ($5 at 5 PM, etc.). Chef Ingrid Funes, from El Salvador, not only oversees the kitchen, she is the pastry chef.  While enjoying unique cocktails, we split a rock shrimp, chorizo and Manchego cheese flatbread.  Our dinner choices were lamb loin with roasted beets and carrots and the uniquely prepared seafood special of the day.  Dessert was a decadent chocolate crunch bar. A Cusp bonus is the dramatic 11th. floor ocean view. Look for the elusive “green flash,” an optical phenomenon that sometimes occurs as the sun sets. Information Birch Aquarium – There’s free parking and lots of kids’ activities. For schedules, etc., go to www.aquarium.ucsd.edu. UCSD – Logon to www.ucsd.edu for maps, campus tours, and parking info. Stuart Collection – Find background and an art location map by logging on to stuartcollection.ucsd.edu. LJ Playhouse – Information for the schedule, to purchase tickets, directions, and parking can be found at www.LaJollaPlayhouse.org. Torrey Pines State National Reserve – Discover hiking and walking options at www.TorreyPines.org. Duke’s – Their menu can be found at www.DukesLaJolla.com. Eight Duke’s Restaurants can be found in Hawaii and three on the mainland: La Jolla, Malibu, and Huntington Beach. Cusp Dining & Drinks – It’s located atop the Hotel La Jolla, Curio Collection by Hilton. There is complimentary valet parking and a $30 price fix menu on Thursday nights. Check it out at www.CuspRestaurant.com. Pantai Inn – More about this special place can be found at www.PantaiInn.com or call 858-224-7600 for reservations.  

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What To Expect From Trek Sapa Tour Within 2 Days?

by Cuong Nguyen @ Travel Sense Asia

As an old French Hill station in the past, Sapa is now a beautiful and peaceful town in Lao Cai Province, Northwest Vietnam. Close to the Chinese border, the town has its name reputable for its unique weather, breathtaking natural beauty, and the wide variety of hill-tribes locals (Red Dao, Tay, Hmong, Xa Pho, and […]

The post What To Expect From Trek Sapa Tour Within 2 Days? appeared first on Travel Sense Asia.

How to Make Cloud Eggs

How to Make Cloud Eggs

by Madeline Quigley @ Blog - The Gal-ivanter Travel Blog

I have been dreaming of making cloud eggs for weeks, but I had to wait until I was home for the holidays to turn it into a reality. Luckily, once the mixer had been procured, they were very easy to make. File this one under "So easy, even I can do it!" 

2016-2017 GOLF VACATIONS

by Avi @ Merit Travel

No matter what time of year we’re ready to tee-up your upcoming golf vacation. Our dedicated, well-travelled team of golf vacation specialists share over 170 years of experience and are ready to insure your next golf trip is memorable and one you won’t soon forget. It is what we do best!

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Lisbon Travel Blog: Complete City Guide for 2018

by Bruno B. @ Geeky Explorer | Travel smart

This Lisbon travel blog and guide has all you need to know to plan your trip to the trendiest hotspot in Europe right now. Budget, tourist traps and places not to miss vs main tourist traps, places to eat and of course insider tips. After all I’ve lived in Lisbon for a decade! I know […]

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The Best Of Siquijor: Itinerary, Tourist Spots and Budget in 2018

by Bruno B. @ Geeky Explorer | Travel smart

This Siquijor travel guide and itinerary has all you need to know to plan your trip to one of the best hidden gems of the Philippines. Dreamy waterfalls, secret tropical beaches and memorable sunsets await you in Siquijor: the island of fire! Siquijor island has been known as land of witchcraft, enchantments and sorcery. So […]

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13 Amazing Vietnam Destinations | Traveling To Vietnam

13 Amazing Vietnam Destinations | Traveling To Vietnam


Getting Stamped

Traveling to Vietnam and looking for the best Vietnam destinations? When planning a trip to Vietnam narrow it down to the best places to visit in Vietnam.

MONTE SANTO RESORT: CARVOEIRO, ALGARVE

by Jennifer LaPerle @ Merit Travel

Spend 28 nights exploring the best of Algarve & Lisbon!

The post MONTE SANTO RESORT: CARVOEIRO, ALGARVE appeared first on Merit Travel.

Vietnam Alive - Discover the real Vietnam & Indochina!

Vietnam Alive - Discover the real Vietnam & Indochina!


Vietnam Alive - Discover the real Vietnam & Indochina!

Vietnam Alive Travel is the boutique private tour operator in Vietnam. We offer customized travel services for individuals, families, groups and businesses

My 31 Favorite Travel Tips From My 31 Years Of Age (Auch!)

by Bruno B. @ Geeky Explorer | Travel smart

Looking at my travel resume, I have been fortunate to have visited more than 30 countries in 4 different continents. About time to put together my favorite ever travel tips that work anywhere in the world. This year I’ve turned 31 years old (auch!) which also means 31 years of collecting travel experiences. With every […]

The post My 31 Favorite Travel Tips From My 31 Years Of Age (Auch!) appeared first on Geeky Explorer | Travel smart. Travel smart!

How to Use Your Social Network to Travel the World

by NomadicMatt @ Nomadic Matt's Travel Site

Celinne da Costa spent a year traveling the world and relying on the kindness of strangers to host her. She stayed with 70+ strangers in 17 countries across four continents. In this interview, Celinne tells us how she did it all, with surprisingly very few hiccups along the way.

The post How to Use Your Social Network to Travel the World appeared first on Nomadic Matt's Travel Site.

8 of the Best Ancient Sites to See in Egypt

by Amanda @ A Dangerous Business Travel Blog

Even though Egypt has some exciting large cities and an interesting contemporary culture, I won't lie: the main reason I wanted to visit was...

The post 8 of the Best Ancient Sites to See in Egypt appeared first on A Dangerous Business Travel Blog.

Let’s Send Another Set of Students Abroad (Exciting Updates from FLYTE)

by NomadicMatt @ Nomadic Matt's Travel Site

Two years ago I started FLYTE, a charity designed to help students from underserved communities see the world. Since then, we have raised over $100,000 and sent three classes on trips around the world. Here are updates on the organization.

The post Let’s Send Another Set of Students Abroad (Exciting Updates from FLYTE) appeared first on Nomadic Matt's Travel Site.

Mekong River Cruise and Homestay in CanTho

by Sinh Le @ Sinhbalo

Mekong river cruise and homestay in Cantho 2 days, a wonderful and relaxing way to see the river life and tropical gardens in mekong delta Vietnam. A lengthy cruise ~ 45km through islands and branches of Mekong river, we cruise down narrow waterways to remote villages. Tour Code: SBL6B Day 1: Sai Gon to Cai Be…

The post Mekong River Cruise and Homestay in CanTho appeared first on Sinhbalo.

How To Visit The Amalfi Coast, Vesuvius and Pompeii From Naples Independently

by Bruno B. @ Geeky Explorer | Travel smart

I’m sharing my full planning insights to visit Naples, Pompeii, Vesuvius and Amalfi Coast on a fully independent trip. I’ve used no expensive tours or agencies and I now show you how you can do the same. This is the fun and adventurous Italy! I just came back from a surprise trip I prepared to […]

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Independent & authentic Vietnam holidays - Rickshaw Travel

Independent & authentic Vietnam holidays - Rickshaw Travel


Rickshaw Travel

Discover the real Vietnam with Rickshaw's authentic independent holidays. Get closer to local communities, history & culture with our specialist knowledge.

Tips and Tricks for Taking Killer Instagram Pictures + JORD Watches

Tips and Tricks for Taking Killer Instagram Pictures + JORD Watches

by Madeline Quigley @ Blog - The Gal-ivanter Travel Blog

When the folks at JORD Watches reached out to me, I saw an opportunity. A beautiful watch - such as the ones JORD makes - can really enhance a photo. I'm using this JORD collaboration to share some of my favorite Instagram tips and tricks.   

Cyber Monday: All Books and Courses Up to 50% Off!

by NomadicMatt @ Nomadic Matt's Travel Site

This Cyber Monday, all of my books and courses are up to 60% off! If you've ever thought about learning to blog, improving your writing or photography, or wanted to become a travel vlogger then you'll definitely want to check out this sale! There is something for everyone, but the sale won't last so don't wait!

The post Cyber Monday: All Books and Courses Up to 50% Off! appeared first on Nomadic Matt's Travel Site.

Adv-Asia-Vietnam-real-food-adventure-vietnam-800 - Merit Travel

Adv-Asia-Vietnam-real-food-adventure-vietnam-800 - Merit Travel


Merit Travel

Local Delicacy. Vietnam, Asia.

Where to Stay in Bangkok Can Make or Break Your Trip

by Adam @ Getting Stamped

Deciding where to stay in Bangkok, more than in many other cities, can really make or break your trip. Thailand’s capital city of Bangkok is home to more than 9.5 million people. If you look at a map of Bangkok you’ll be more than overwhelmed...

The post Where to Stay in Bangkok Can Make or Break Your Trip appeared first on Getting Stamped.

Vietnam

Vietnam


Khiri Travel

Apart from the highlights that Vietnam has to offer, the best part of this country is to be out on the streets. Walking around Hanoi’s Old Quarter, Ho Chi Minh City’s Ben Than Market, Sapa’s terraces, Hoi An town, and trekking Vietnam’s numerous National Parks is what makes this country special.

Vietnam cycling holidays travel guide. Helping Dreamers Do.

Vietnam cycling holidays travel guide. Helping Dreamers Do.


responsibletravel.com

Vietnam cycling travel guide. Honest & easy to read Vietnam cycling travel guide with details of the best time to go on a Vietnam cycling holiday, and what the trip entails. Find out more in our Vietnam cycling travel guide.

Exploring Vietnam's History | Jacada Travel

Exploring Vietnam's History | Jacada Travel


Jacada Travel

Uncover Vietnam's fascinating history, with a focus on the American conflict, and experience the country's emergence into the 21st century on this 12-night luxury tour. Begin in bustling Hanoi, learning about its journey from being the capital of an independent North Vietnam to the unification in 1975. Meet a local veteran for a first hand insight into life in Hanoi during the war, visit the infamous 'Hanoi Hilton' and wander the extensive Army Museum. You'll also spend a day out of the city boating down the incredible rivers of Trang An. Venture south to Hue, an ancient imperial capital that saw some of the most intense fighting of the Vietnam War. Tour the sight of famous battles near the DMZ such as Hamburger Hill and Khe Sanh. Follow the coast down to the beautiful old town Hoi An close a stretch of sand known as China Beach to Americans sent here on R&R. End with three nights in Ho Chi Minh City, formerly known as Saigon, contrasting the remnants of the Vietnam War such as the Cu Chi Tunnel System and Reunification Palace with ancient pagodas, French colonial architecture and gleaming skyscrapers on in depth private tours.

An Awesome 2-Week Thailand Itinerary (For First-Timers)

by Bruno B. @ Geeky Explorer | Travel smart

This article will help you craft your very own Thailand travel itinerary. After reading this, you’ll be ready for a trip to one of the most adventure-packed destination in the world! Thailand is a one of a kind place in the world. Despite getting 30M of tourists every year – some spots are already lost […]

The post An Awesome 2-Week Thailand Itinerary (For First-Timers) appeared first on Geeky Explorer | Travel smart. Travel smart!

Review: Vietnam Express Southbound with Intrepid Travel

Review: Vietnam Express Southbound with Intrepid Travel


A Dangerous Business Travel Blog

Some posts on this site contain affiliate links, meaning if you book or buy something through one of these links, I may earn a...

The Healing Powers of Ashland

by Emma Krasov @ Real Travel Adventures

Photography by Yuri Krasov Traveling to Ashland, Oregon, is enticing and rewarding all year round. For a relatively small urban area (population below 22,000) it has an enormous amount of festive public events to enjoy, excellent wineries, breweries, and restaurants, and – tax free shopping to cherry-top your cake! In winter, there’s Festival of Light, Victorian Christmas Celebration, Rogue Winter Fest, and Festival of Trees. In spring, Ashland Independent Film Festival, Pear Blossom Festival, Oregon Cheese Festival, and Oregon Chocolate Festival. In summer, 4th of July Celebrations, Medford Beer Week, Britt Music and Art Festival, and Oregon Wine Experience. Finally, in the fall, there’s Ashland Culinary Festival, Southern Oregon Music Festival, and Harvest Festival. Not to mention the most famous of them all, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, founded in 1935, that goes on every year from early spring to late fall, and produces eleven plays on three stages every season. The culinary festival became a reason forme and my husband to drive up north from our California home at the very beginning of November, when San Francisco’s East Bay inland temperatures refused to go down, and the sweltering summery heat infused with post-fires’ residual smoke was becoming a nuisance. We were hoping for the healing powers of Ashland that manifest themselves not only in the mineral springs that bubble to the surface from the Earth’s crust, but also in the serenity of the surrounding nature and in the unhurried balanced lifestyle of its residents. Passing the snow-capped Mount Shasta on our way, we were pulling out our winter coats faced with the freshness of Oregon air; reminded once again of the Russian origins of the word Shasta (which means “happiness”). A short drive and walk around the city yielded plenty of poetic views of leafy trees changing color, Ashland Creek running among the old grows of Lithia Park, and even a couple of deer grazing peacefully in someone’s front yard one block off the main drag. We were taken by the quiet beauty of red, orange, and yellow leaves shining line precious jewels against the cloudy sky. I was thinking of how important it was to see this tempest of colors, to feel the autumnal air, to walk in silence, and – to sip from a public drinking fountain some Lithia water, so called because of natural lithium oxide deposits that presumably produce a healing tonic effect…   Upon checking in at the Lithia Springs Resort, we were greeted by the friendly staff, and immediately invited to the afternoon tea that is taking place daily in the beautifully decorated Tea Room, Library and lobby with a fireplace, designed by the owner/creative director, Becky Neuman. High-quality tea, home-made scones with lemon curd and jam, and fresh berries were surely rejuvenating after a long drive, and made us feel welcome, however, the best was yet to come. What a wonderful surprise was awaiting in our Hillside King Suite, overlooking a wooded hill in fall colors, and with a large tub to enjoy a hot mineral bath right in our bedroom! A two-sided fireplace, open to the bedroom and to the spacious living room, a cozy kitchenette with a breakfast nook, and a plush sofa with a coffee table and armchairs – the suite was luxurious, and oh so welcoming! It seemed there was no necessity to go outside, if it weren’t for the 11th Annual Ashland Culinary Festival Kickoff Event that was happening at the Ashland Hills Hotel & Suites and included Celebrity Quick-Fire Cooking Challenge, the 2nd annual Mixology competition where local bartenders competed for the title of Top Mixologist, wine tastings by the Bear Creek Wine Trail, and small bites from the best Ashland restaurants. The Cooking Challenge Teams were studded with celebrities: Judge and Emcee Cory Schreiber & Rolar Yondorf, a former Festival Judge, from Porters Restaurant; Judge Fabiola Donnelly & Chef Kate Cyr, the Festival Committee Member, from the Neuman Hotel Group; Judge John Ash & Dennis Slattery, a former Festival Emcee, Ashland City Councilor and SOU Professor; Top Chef 2007 & 2008, Neil Clooney of Smithfields & Trish Glose from KTVL Channel 10. Bartenders from eight distinctive restaurants took part in the 2017 Mixology Competition: Arturo Almazan – Smithfields Pub & Pies; Freddie Herrera – Hearsay Restaurant, Lounge and Garden; .Jess Jeffery – Alchemy Restaurant & Bar; Ross Jones – Larks Restaurant; Sondra Mayer – Brickroom; Blake Satre – Ostras Tapas and Bottle Shop; Saphire Stevens – Oberon’s Restaurant and Bar, and Greg Waites – Black Sheep Pub & Restaurant. The next day, hands-on culinary workshops were held at different locations, spreading throughout the city, and the 2017 Junior Chef Competition showcased Junior Chef Teams of Ashland High School – China Larsen & Quinn Vogel; North Medford High School – Coy Wimberly & Dezmond Barros; South Medford High School – Chase Tonini & Kyle Smith; Grants Pass High School – Kassidy Kipert & Cecil Dowdy. Junior Chef Competition was followed by a daily festival program, Sip, Sample, and Taste with a long list of vendors, and Chefs Competition of 12 local chefs competing while using ingredients from local farms and artisans. This competition went on for two days, and involved the following chefs and restaurants: Josh Dorcak – MÄS; Brent Herud – Larks Restaurant; Melissa McMillan – Sammich; William Shine – Hearsay Restaurant; Shawn Alamo – The Black Sheep Pub & Restaurant; Javier Cruz – Simple Café; Skye Elder – Brickroom; Alfredo Nava – Omar’s Fresh Seafood and Steaks; Stefano Cipollone – Standing Stone Brewing Co.; James “Cyrus” Gray – Southern Oregon University (The Hawk Dining); Tony Efstratiadis – Plancha; and Jackson Kelsay – Amuse Restaurant. We were pleased to check out Luna Café & Mercantile, located right there, where the Festival headquarters were, in the Ashland Hills Hotel & Suites – very modern, with astronomy-themed decor. By using products grown and raised in Oregon, namely in the Rogue and Applegate valleys, the restaurant supports local farmers and artisans, and serves the freshest, healthiest food as well as local wines and cheeses, specialty coffee and handmade chocolate treats. Free range rotisserie chicken with herb relish, and burgers with Tillamook cheddar and Luna sauce on a house bun are some of the delicious hits of the menu! For a formal dinner with great cocktails and wine, we headed to Larks restaurant in the iconic Ashland Springs Hotel – the most prominent and famous landmark of the city. White wine and garlic steamed mussels, pork osso bucco with celeriac potato puree and wilted spinach, and local rabbit cacciatore with house-made pappardelle, bacon, and manchego black pepper sour cream were surely memorable creations of the “home kitchen cuisine” by the Executive Chef Franco Console, followed by the flourless chocolate cake and ice cream for dessert. Our short “long weekend” in Ashland proved to be relaxing, healing, and energizing. To learn more, visit: www.travelashland.com, www.ashlandchamber.com, and www.neumanhotelgroup.com.  

The post The Healing Powers of Ashland appeared first on Real Travel Adventures.

17 Instagram Pics That Make Us Want To Travel To Bali NOW

by Lexi Smith @ Ultimate Adventure Travel

The post 17 Instagram Pics That Make Us Want To Travel To Bali NOW appeared first on Ultimate Adventure Travel.

Gallery: Some of Our Favourite Nepal Pictures

by Screndels @ Twourism

Oh, Nepal. What a wonderful place. With Jo a seasoned Nepal veteran, it only left me (Ash) to discover this backpacking paradise, full of nature, stunning views, perhaps the friendliest people you’ll meet on your travels, great food, and much more. We’ll be blogging about our three-week trip in the near future with guides on […]

The post Gallery: Some of Our Favourite Nepal Pictures appeared first on Twourism.

The Best Lisbon Hidden Gems and Secret Spots

by Bruno B. @ Geeky Explorer | Travel smart

This is a curated list of the major Lisbon hidden gems and secret places. No touristy bullshit or pretentiousness here. Whether you are living in Lisbon, have a few extra days to explore or you’re an hipster looking for the off the beaten track, this article is for you. Lisbon holds a special place in […]

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Memories of the Memorial Day Weekend in Connecticut

by Saul Schwartz @ Real Travel Adventures

Connecticut is the third smallest state in size. My wife Fern and I sought to cover many Connecticut highlights over the three-day weekend.  Using Hartford’s central location as our base, we discovered quite a few great experiences in the Constitution state. Day 1: Hartford The Mark Twain House and Museum one hour tour provided us with information on the life of Samuel Clemens and this house.   The extensive home was built for Clemens and his family in 1874 in a beautiful West End neighborhood; then an art colony called Nook Farm.  He lived in this 25 room Victorian Gothic home for 17 years until his financial troubles caused him to sell.  The brick mansion features large porches and towering turrets.  Highlights included the billiards room where Clemens penned many of his famous books; the ornate interior with stenciled and carved woodwork designed by Louis Tiffany, and numerous exotic items belonging to Clemens and his family.  Adjoining the house, the museum center contained a series of exhibitions related to Clemens, including photographs and films, as well as some of the most humorous Mark Twain quotes inscribed on the walls.  The museum docents were extremely knowledgeable about Twain’s life and times.  We found it both ironic and tragic that although Twain became an international celebrity, he faced financial ruin and outlived all but one of his daughters. The Harriet Beecher Stowe house sits directly across from the Twain House. Although more modest than the Twain House, the gothic style Stowe house built in 1871 (which is currently in the middle of restoration) contains 14 rooms and many items from Stowe and her family.  Because of the restoration, the center’s docents tell part of the life of Stowe in the adjoining Katharine Seymour Day House.  Day was Stowe’s grandniece.  The one hour tour was very interactive.  We learned that Stowe was one generation older than Clemens and that they had limited social interaction.  Stowe wrote Uncle Tom’s Cabin before she moved in this house in Nook Farm.  First published in serial installments in an anti-slavery newspaper, the book became known all over the world.  By the time she retired to the Hartford home, she also had achieved international celebrity status, but none of her later books replicated her success. Also in West Hartford, the Elizabeth Park Gardens are a pleasant oasis of over 100 acres where we felt far away from the surrounding urban environment. Although only a few varieties of roses were in bloom, we enjoyed strolling along the paths, meandering by formal gardens, green houses and ponds.  The historic gardens (first opened in 1897) are free to the public and maintained by a conservancy.  We particularly enjoyed seeing adults taking pictures sitting on a huge wooden chair, where you feel like a character in an Alice in Wonderland scene.  White we were there, quite a few brides and their wedding parties used the park as a backdrop for their wedding photos. Day 2: Castles, an Ivy League university and cats that wrestle About one hour south of Hartford, Gillette Castle State Park is a gem worth seeing in East Haddam.  The park overlooks and provides beautiful scenic views high above the Connecticut River.  We thoroughly enjoyed touring the fieldstone Gillette Castle, the focal point of the park.  We began to tour by viewing a short film which explained how William Gillette became a leading actor, playwright and director of his day (in the late 19th century into the early 20th century), most notably for his portrayals of Sherlock Holmes on stage and screen.  The 24 room mansion was designed by Gillette and built in 1919 to look like a medieval European castle.  Inside the castle, the state employee docents regaled us with their extensive knowledge of the castle itself which contains many whimsical design elements (including  secret doors, hidden mirrors for surveillance of the public rooms, unusual door knobs and locks).  Without descendants, Gillette’s career might have been lost to obscurity if the state of Connecticut had not purchased the property and its furnishings. Close by the castle, we lunched at the Two Wrasslin’ Cats coffee house and café. We were drawn in by the catchy name and the cat decor, as well as a large sign welcoming minority groups to come in and eat.  After a discussion with the owner (biologist Mark Thiede), Fern and I learned that the café has become a focal point for solidarity promoting various vigils in support of minority groups at the café’s parking lot.  The food was tasty but it was the inspiration for the owner’s good works that made us happy we stopped by. Almost one hour further south, we ended the day in New Haven, walking through the ivy-covered buildings of Yale University.  Starting out at the Mead visitor center, we wandered by the gothic-style dormitories with towers and turrets, courts and iron gates and two cathedral towers.  The visitor center featured traditions and many firsts from Yale’s 300-year old history (such as first Ph.D. awarded).  Some historic Yale buildings are scattered throughout New Haven and its public greens, which were too edgy for us to comfortably enjoy. Day 3: Above, along and under the sea Approximately one hour south of Hartford, Groton is the home of the electrical boat division of General Dynamics and the U.S. Navy Submarine Force Museum.  The Museum features a free self-guided audio tour of the U.S.S. Nautilus, the world’s first nuclear powered submarine, commissioned in 1954 and decommissioned in 1980.  The Nautilus was built by General Dynamics, the nation’s largest submarine producer, and completed the first undersea voyage to the North Pole in 1958.  We were fascinated to see how small the quarters were for the crew of 100 as we walked through the sub.  The museum is relatively small, but is full of displays featuring a complete history of submarines. Two friends recommended we eat the famous lobster roll at Abbots Lobster in the Rough in Noank, nearby Groton, along the Mystic River. I am not a fan as I found the lobster roll to be tiny, overpriced and not particularly tasty.  Our other dish, the pasta in the rough (with shrimp and marina sauce) was much better.  The views are vintage New England, as we ate on the screened deck, watching boats along the water. We ended the day in the picturesque coastal town of Mystic, along the Mystic River.  Fern and I first watched a superb Memorial Day parade, featuring farm animals, school bands, fire engines from nearby towns and military vehicles.  After crossing the quaint draw bridge over the river, we wandered in and out of the specialty shops, particularly enjoying a very large and well-stocked independent book store.  We concluded our trip with a stop at Mystic Pizza, made famous by the 1988 movie with Julia Roberts.  The movie shows continuously on several screens inside the restaurant.  The plain pizza was very tasty, with especially good sauce and seasonings.                As the weekend ended, we concluded that Central Connecticut offered plenty of attractions to fill a holiday weekend with fun-filled and educational experiences.

The post Memories of the Memorial Day Weekend in Connecticut appeared first on Real Travel Adventures.

18 Travel Bloggers with Different Perspectives to Follow in 2018

by Amanda @ A Dangerous Business Travel Blog

Here's a fun fact for you: There are more than 2 million blog posts published online every single day. Tens of thousands of those are...

The post 18 Travel Bloggers with Different Perspectives to Follow in 2018 appeared first on A Dangerous Business Travel Blog.

Test3

by Arturo Guerrero @ Legend Travel

a test

The post Test3 appeared first on Legend Travel.

Why you NEED to learn to Surf on Your Aussie Gap Year

by Bernie Augstein @ Ultimate Adventure Travel

The post Why you NEED to learn to Surf on Your Aussie Gap Year appeared first on Ultimate Adventure Travel.

Midori Spa

by Hanoikids @ HANOIKIDS CLUB

Located in the Old Quarter, Midori Spa is a massage parlour which aims at providing job opportunities for blind Vietnamese people.… [...]

The post Midori Spa appeared first on HANOIKIDS CLUB.

Guide For New Visitors On Where To Go Myanmar

by Cuong Nguyen @ Travel Sense Asia

Wonder where to go Myanmar for the most meaningful memories? The following is our 7-day travel itinerary on the top-ranked destinations in the country you can have a chance to visit all. Also called the Golden Land, Myanmar is a spectacular country which is still relatively untouched by tourism. Thanks to thousands of iconic sights […]

The post Guide For New Visitors On Where To Go Myanmar appeared first on Travel Sense Asia.

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