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5 Incredible Attractions To Visit In Vietnam At Least Once In Life

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With the various beautiful landscapes from the tropical sandy beaches to the majestic mountains, Vietnam places to visit are interesting enough to keep your foot more than one time in the country. With the enthusiastic support of Asia package travel-a Vietnam based tour operator, you completely have a memorable trip in the beautiful country. Here are top 5 incredible attractions we recommend you to visit to firstly have an oversight of Vietnam.

Sapa

Leaving the busy tasks behind, taking a Hanoi-Lao Cai train to have a Sapa tour to feel the romantic and majestic of mountains and rivers. Located at the altitude of over 1000 meters above the sea, Sapa is a small mountainous town in the northwest of Vietnam. Firstly discovered by French in the early of the 20th century, Sapa quickly became a summer retreat of French thanks to the temperate climate. From a small village, there were the blocks of villas, and concrete buildings filled and the appearance of Sapa was changed. From that time, Sapa is an ideal tourist destination in the north for tourists to relax and escape the heat of summer. There are many beautiful sites in Sapa that you have to visit to see in your own eyes such as Sapa Catholic Church, Sapa night market, etc. Especially, coming to Sapa in the ripe rice season, you will have a chance to see the yellow silks of  the most beautiful rice terraces in Vietnam which is extremely gorgeous. Besides that, Sapa has the exciting trekking routes for those who love adventuring, and the trekking route to Mt. Fansipan is the most expecting trekking route in the area.

Sapa

Halong Bay

Among the amazing tourist sites in Vietnam, Halong Bay is the most popular site that receives a lot of applause of tourists. With the breathtaking natural beauty, there is no wonder it is one of the new seven natural wonders of the world.

The best way to admire Halong Bay is cruising. While cruising, you will have the chances to see huge limestones around and beautiful blue color of the sky. There are many interesting activities to do in your cruising trip, you can get a kayaking boat to explore the sea area with friends under the guidance of tour guide. In the itinerary, you will visit the caves on the small islands. Besides that, swimming and snorkeling here shouldn’t be missed as well.

Of course, don’t forget to watch the beautiful sunrise and sunset in Halong Bay, all of the interesting things make Halong Bay magical and more famous every day.

Halong Bay

Ho Chi Minh City

Ho Chi Minh City aka Saigon is located in the southeastern part of the country and the largest city on the scale of economic, population, and culture. Amazing street food, vibrant lifestyle, and mixed architecture that are the markable points of the city impress tourist’s heart. There are plenty of things and places keep tourists busy around the city such as Notre Dame Cathedral, the War Remnants Museum, Ben Thanh market, Bui Vien walking street, etc.

The best things to do in Ho Chi Minh city are the river trips from Saigon River. Recently there is a bus route on the Saigon river for tourists to witness the city, it receives a lot of care from local people and tourists. In the suburb of the city, the Cu Chi tunnels is a historical site you should visit to know deeper about the Vietnam war.

The night in the city is extremely vibrant. Let’s go out at night and wander around Nguyen Hue street, Bui Vien street to know how the phrase “life is short but the night is still young” really is.

Dalat

Nestled in the southern part of Vietnam’s central highlands, Dalat is the city of thousand kinds of flowers. Located at the altitude of over 1000 meters above the sea, Dalat luckily owns the temperate climate which is cool and fresh all year round, so it is very suitable for planting the temperate flowers and vegetables. There are thousands of flowers blooming all the year which create the poetic and romanced beauty of the city. In the heart of the city, Xuan Huong lake is like the eye of a beautiful girl with the long and pretty eyelashes of the lush pine trees.

Dotted with French architectural villas, the city is an ideal destination for the couples who want to have a sweet honeymoon week.

Dalat

Danang

Danang is the most livable city in Vietnam located on the banks of Han River and facing to the South China Sea, this is a must-see destination in Vietnam that all tourists should visit at least once in life. The city features many interesting and beautiful tourist sites such as My Khe beach-one of the cleanest beaches in Vietnam, Bana Hills, Son Tra peninsula, etc. Moreover, the city is near to many tourist destinations in Central Vietnam such as the former capital of Hue in the north, Hoi An ancient town and My Son sanctuary in the south, etc. The cuisine of the city is extremely delicious and various, so when visiting Danang city, you must take a food tour to enjoy the food in the street food stalls to feel the flavor of the sea city.

Asia package travel offers a wide range of tours from beach breaks, relaxing trip to cultural and historical journeys in the beautiful tourist sites in Vietnam as well as the neighboring countries of Vietnam such as Laos, Cambodia and Thailand. Let’s book a tour via our website to have the best trip in life. If you need more detail about tour or itinerary, please contact us. Thank you!

When is the best time to visit Lan Ha Bay?

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Lan Ha Bay on the sunny day

Situated in the east of Cat Ba Island and in the south of Halong Bay, Lan Ha Bay attracts a large number of tourists by the system of about 400 small and large islands and the sandy beaches with the wild beauty. If you are planning a Lan Ha bay trip, here is the best time to travel.

General information about Lan Ha Bay

Located between Halong Bay and Cat Ba Island, Lan Ha Bay is an arc-shaped bay with about 400 small and large islands in the different shapes. All Lan Ha Bay islands are covered with the green trees or the vegetations with the unique natural values. The limestone mountains of the islands also account for a large percentage on Lan Ha Bay. The beautiful limestone mountains on the surface of the sea water are divided into the small islets which have not yet been discovered. There are a lot of limestone mountains which has the familiar shapes such as a turtle, a bat, a clog. The local people here have named these mountains according to their shapes such as Doi islet, Guoc islet. Moreover, the stalactite caves of Halong Bay have also existed in Lan Ha Bay such as Do Cung Cave, Ham Rong Cave, Ca Cave. Furthermore, there are also the calm blue sea water areas such as Monkey Island, Sen island, Cu Island and the beautiful large beaches in the middle of the sea such as Tung Gau, Cat Dua, Ang Vem beach which make tourists feel like losing in the fairyland.

Lan Ha Bay

The weather of Lan Ha Bay

Located in North Vietnam, Lan Ha Bay has four distinct seasons. Spring starts from March to April, with the warm temperature which is the appropriate time for flower blossom. Summer usually lasts from May to early October. At this time, the temperature in Lan Ha Bay increases with the heavy rainfall. Autumn usually runs for two months later with the pleasant weather, has less rain. Finally, the winter is from November to until February, cold and dry. The average temperature is around 17 – 22 degree Celcius. The vacation from July to September will be difficult due to the hot Lan Ha Bay weather with heavy rains which cause a lot of fluctuations on the sea.

Best time to go to Lan Ha Bay

When is the best time to go to Lan Ha Bay? Because of the cool climate, visitors can enjoy Lan Ha Bay at any time of the year. However, Lan Ha Bay is an island area, so the ideal time to visit Lan Ha bay is in the summer. At this time, the weather of Lan Ha is quite hot, tourists will want to enjoy the cool space of this place and immerse in the sea. When coming here in summer, visitors can take part in many activities such as diving into the sea to watch the coral reef, kayaking to explore the bay. In particular, you should not be here in July to September because there will be heavy rains or storms which is not convenient for the trip.

May

May is the best time to travel to Lan Ha Bay. However, it is often difficult to forecast the weather. Rainfall will be more than and accompanied by high temperatures which cause the weather to become hot. The average temperature of about 29 degrees with the wet climate will make you uncomfortable. In return, the cool breezes on Lan Ha Bay will make you much more comfortable. At this month, you should bring your shorts, tank top or T-shirt. In particular, remember to bring your swimsuit because you will want to jump into the blue sea water at any time. Last but not least, the dress and the umbrella are what you need to pack into your suitcase. Tourist can take part in water activities on the sunny days.

Lan Ha Bay on the sunny day

June

In June, the weather brings the full characteristic of the summer with the high temperatures and heavy rain. For people who prefer hot sunshine with summer rain showers, this will be the Lan Ha Bay ideal time. With an average temperature of about 30 ° C, you should prepare your clothes for the summer with a raincoat.

October

When is the best time to go to Lan Ha Bay? The sky is clearer and the rainfall is reduced significantly in October. The heat of the summer also disappears and replaced by the pleasant, moderate of autumn. The temperature dropped to 26 degrees Celsius. Shorts, T-shirts, and swimwear are perfect for Lan Ha weather in this season. However, you may suddenly encounter a heavy rain, especially in early October. This is one of the Lan Ha Bay best time to travel. There is plenty of time for you to see Lan Ha Bay from the airplane or visit beautiful fairy caves. Besides, the temperature of sea water is also warm enough for you to participate in fun activities. No more rain or heat, the relaxation experience becomes much more enjoyable. Tourists can go hiking or biking around Lan Ha bay.

It is the fact that Lan Ha Bay with its beauty makes a strong impression on the feeling of many domestic and foreign tourists. Share the best time to travel Lan Ha Bay if it is useful to you. Have a nice trip!

Guide to traveling in Hanoi (P2)

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Some more tips to avoid troubles in Hanoi

>>Understanding Hanoi in 5 minutes (P1)

14. Eating

You can’t come to Hanoi and not eat pho ga (chicken noodle soup). In fact, you can’t avoid it. Other “delicacies” such as cobra blood wine and dog meat get written about a lot, but aren’t common and are mostly avoided by locals.

15. Drinking

You can’t come to Hanoi and not find yourself at least once sitting on a tiny plastic seat that feels like its about to buckle under you sipping on a mild beer in a frosted glass. Hanoi’s bia hoi are about drinking beer, and that’s it. Best to arrive at 5 p.m. as they tend to run out of beer around 8 p.m.

16. Sleeping

There’s a wide range of accommodation in Hanoi. Here are a few select options:

Budget

Especen Hotel, 28-38 Tho Xuong St. and 41 Ngo Huyen St., Hoan Kiem; +84 (0)4 3824 4401; especen@gmail.com. New rooms, good service.

Mid-range

Joseph’s Hotel, 5 Au Trieu St., Hoan Kiem; +84 (0)4 3938 1046; info@josephshotel.com. Free Wi-Fi, comfy rooms, nice service, well located.

Premium

Sofitel Metropole Hanoi Hotel, 15 Ngo Quyen St.; +84 (0)4 3826 6919; sofitelhanoi@hn.vnn.vn. Grand, historical, heritage-listed and opulent.

17. Shopping

Vincom city tower Ba Trieu @ Bao Thanh Tra

Hanoi’s old Quarter is lined with various fashion stores, souvenir stalls, snack and trinket sellers. But if you’re looking for an air-conditioned mall experience head for the Vincom City Towers where you’ll find luxury brands, a cinema and a colorful gaming area. Vincom City Towers, 191 Ba Trieu St., Hai Ba Trung.

18. Doing

Various popular tourist activities include Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum/Museum, the Hanoi Hilton prison (officially called Hoa Lo Prison), Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre and “green” city tours on electric carts. They’re all worth a peek, and you could do all these in one afternoon.

Don’t miss the night market in the Old Quarter, from 7 p.m. on Fridays and Saturday. More about strolling around aimlessly than shopping.

And make sure you check out Long Bien bridge, an awesome spectacle bolted together by history.

19. Coffee

If Hanoians aren’t drinking beer, they’re drinking coffee. Check out Café Pho Co, a café hidden behind a home hidden behind a souvenir shop, and one of the best places to get a view across Hoan Kiem Lake. 11 Hang Gai, Hanoi; +84 (0)4 3928 8153

20. Don’t bother with

The one-pillar pagoda. A hut on a cement column is just a hut on a cement column, no matter how old.

21. Internet

If scooters are the most obvious Hanoi quality, Internet cafés come not far behind. They’re everywhere. All hotels have connections too.

22. Traffic

Hanoi traffic @ Youtube

When Hanoi people move they tend to do it on scooters. And if you wait for a break in the flow of scooters when trying to cross the road, you may miss your flight home. Walk out with intent, and they will avoid you. We promise.

23. Day trips

Trips out of Hanoi are easily arranged via hotels or tour agents. If you want to check out Halong Bay (and you should) spend a night on a boat there too. It’s too far for getting there and back comfortably in one day and this way you can explore some great caves and do some kayaking too.

Or take a trip to the Perfume Pagoda 60 kilometers away. It’s a great way to get some fresh air and chill out on a boat ride for a day.

For a longer getaway, consider a trip to Sapa for a few days. You can travel the 350 kilometers from Hanoi by train and minibus and it has some amazing mountain treks. Hiring a guide is essential.

24. Photography

You’ll be tempted to snap away at everything so photogenic is Hanoi, especially the Old Quarter. But many locals find it rude to be photographed, especially the older ones, so be polite and ask first.

25. Don’t be scared

Hanoi can overwhelm you, but that’s what’s great about it. Try everything, go everywhere, and if you do get lost, physically or mentally, just ask someone for help. A smile can solve anything in this city.

Hope you enjoy your time in Hanoi!

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Guide to traveling in Hanoi (P1)

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Some tips to survive in Hanoi

>> Phu Quoc guide to rent a motorbike

1. Visa

 You can pre-arrange a visa on arrival online but you run the risk of waiting up to 90 minutes in Hanoi airport while the visa officers decide whose turn it is to do some work. Better to get it sorted before you leave, through your local embassy or travel agent.

2. Flights

Don’t book your flights too soon, but don’t leave it too late either. Airlines tend to jack their prices up six months before the travel date, slowly bring them down until two to three weeks before travel, then start to raise them again.

3. Booking

 When you do book, best options from Hong Kong can be found at these carriers:

Air Asia

Cathay Pacific

Dragon Air

Hong Kong Airlines

Vietnam Airline

4. Taxis

A reliable taxi company @ Hanoikids

Hanoi cabs are cheap and pretty decent. A ride into town from Noi Bai airport costs around VND 350,000 (US$17) and a 10-minute ride in-city around VND 30,000. Your hotel may also arrange a pick-up and drop-off service from and to the airport.

Most reputable cab companies are Hanoi Taxi (+84 (0)4 3853 5353), Taxi CP (+84 (0)4 3826 2626) and Mai Linh Taxi (+84 (0)4 3861 6161).

5. Shuttle buses

Are cheaper: VND 40,000 (US$2) from the airport to the Old Quarter, but drivers may try to persuade you into staying at “their cousin’s hotel” by saying a typhoon in Halong Bay means your chosen hotel is still full. Don’t believe them.

6. Buses

Are cheaper still, VND 5,000 (US$0.25) from the airport to the Old Quarter, but they won’t take your baggage unless you offer a small “luggage fee.” In town a ride costs a standard fare of VND 3,000.

7. Scooter taxis

 The best way to experience the rush and blur of daily Hanoi life, just make sure you are equipped with a helmet. And as they don’t have meters make sure you know what you’re paying before you set off. A typical 10-minute ride should cost around VND 10,000-15,000 (US$0.50-0.75).

8. Communication

Most locals speak a few phrases of English, but don’t count on it. You could try your luck with a Vietnamese phrase book, but it’s a tonal language and so your pronunciation may not be quite up to it. Best bet is to hire a personal tour guide or just wing it with the international language of wild bodily gesticulation.

9. Tours

Everywhere offers guided tours, but one of our favorites is an innovative concept from a student-run NGO: Hanoi Kids Tours. The idea is for tourists to get a flavor of the city by being shown around by local children. www.hanoikids.org; hanoikidsvn@gmail.com;

10. Currency

Currency in Vietnam @ Asia Times

There are around 20,000 Vietnamese dong to one U.S. dollar, so don’t freak out when the bar tab comes along. U.S. dollars are also widely accepted.

11. ATMs

Cash is king and cash dispensers are everywhere. International ATMs include HSBC and ANZ Bank but many have a maximum withdrawal of VND 1 million (US$50). If you need more head to the ANZ ATM near Hoan Kiem Lake, which has a limit of VND 9.9 million.

12. Climate

An intolerable mix of heat and humidity in the summer (June-August) reaching 40 C, a pleasant shower-splashed spring (March-May), a gorgeous walking-in-the-park-every-day fall (September-November) and a cold yet humid winter (December-February).

13. Vaccinations

Travelers are always advised to get themselves protected against the most common diseases, including: Hepatitis B, tetanus-diphtheria and typhoid. Also wise to take anti-malarials if you’re spending long periods outside the major urban areas or traveling in the hot and humid months.

To be continued…

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Phu Quoc’s guide to rent a motorbike

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Motorbike rental is quite suitable for tourists who have the skills and the adventure blood to experience Phu Quoc in their own way. This is also suitable for those who get car sick and does not want to sit behind a motorbike taxis driver. Here are some of the best destinations to rent a motorbike in Phu Quoc.

>> Sapa traveling tips that might be useful

Top destinations to rent one

Motorbike for rent @Phu Quoc Day Trips

YELLOWPHUQUOC
Service: Delivery to door – Helmet – Tourist Map
Address: Bach Dang night market, Duong Dong town, Phu Quoc
Contact: 0932 620 779 (Mr. Cuong)
Per day, from 120.000 – 150.000VND a day Free delivery to Phu Quoc airport and in the nearby Duong Dong town. Email: xemayphuquoc@gmail.com

Van Tinh
Address: Phu Quoc Airport
Contact: 0939161743

Mr Minh
Address: Duong Dong Town, Phu Quoc
Contact: 0983846982

Mr Chanh
Address: Duong Dong Town, Phu Quoc
Contact: 0918 072661

Mr Toan
Address: Duong Dong town, Phu Quoc, Kien Giang
Contact: 0983 519 330

Vu Linh
Address: Phu Quoc international airport
Contact: 0909 895 969

Be Ba
Address: 118/6 Tran Hung Dao, Duong Dong town, Phu Quoc
Contact: 0939 009970 – 0949 457094

Minh Trung
Address: Phu Quoc international airport
Contact: 0947 203093

Phu Quoc motorbike for hire
Address: Duong Dong Town, Phu Quoc
Contact: 0989 696 775

Thanh Tam
Address: Phu Quoc Airport
Contact: 0939 923934

Nguyen Hong Chau
Address: Duong Dong Town, Phu Quoc
Contact: 0915 857015 – 0932 009424

Anh Phat
Address: 92 Tran Hung Dao, Duong Dong town, Phu Quoc
Contact: 0985 46 5555 – 01249 678 888

Mr Thanh
Address: Duong Dong Town, Phu Quoc
Contact: 0918579218

Thanh Hai hotel
Address: 118/2 Tran Hung Dao, Duong Dong town, Phu Quoc
Contact: 0918 214624 – 077 3847842

Thanh Luom
Address: Phu Quoc international airport
Contact: 0949 678676

Van Vu
Address: Phu Quoc Airport
Contact: 0913 753710

Unknown
Address: Duong Dong Town, Phu Quoc
Contact: 01255 808118

MR TINH
Address: Phu Quoc international airport
Contact: 0987539960

The Vinh
Address: Near Dinh Cau night market, Duong Dong town, Phu Quoc, Kien Giang
Contact: 0975 503856

Mr Huy
Address: Duong Dong Town, Phu Quoc
Contact: 01688880608

62 Tran Hung Dao
Address: 62A Tran Hung Dao, Duong Dong town, Phu Quoc
Contact: 077 3994920

Mr Nhan
Address: Phu Quoc Airport
Contact: 0946487311

Mr. Bay Ngoc
Address: Phu Quoc Airport
Contact: 0919397450

Further information

A scooter for rent @ Vienam private Tours

Motorbikes can be rented at many of top end and mid range hotels, or you’ll find local owners outside the hotels and airport very keen to either rent their bikes or even adopt you and guide you around the island. Bikes rental rates will vary depending on the condition of the bike and your bargaining skills, here is guide to prices;

  • Per hour, from around 30,000d
  • Per day, from US$6-12 dollars a day (depending on the bike and your negotiation skills)
  • Per week, around US$45-60, again depending if you can negotiate any discounts.

One thing to consider is that busy dirt roads that are yet to be sealed can get quite dusty, due to the increasing number of cars and trucks on the island. This is particularly the case on the roads leading from Duong Dong, like the road along Long beach south of Duong Dong Town, and the road to Ong Lang Beach heading north, so we recommend buying a mask in town before heading off on your adventure.

It is now illegal to ride on a motorbike without wearing a helmet, so please ensure you request a helmet when renting a motorbike. All operators are aware of the laws and will provide you with a helmet.

Hope you enjoy your time in Phu Quoc!

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Sapa traveling tips that might be useful

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Some tips that might be helpful when you are in Sapa

>> Phu Quoc transportation guide

Getting there

Train to Sapa @ Travelmoment.vn
By train: There are various options to get to Sapa from Hanoi.However there are no flights, with international visitors having to disembark at Hanoi Noi Bai International Airport and travel by rail or road to the town. The mostpopularistosign up for one of the overnight trips which includes a train journey to Lao Cai followed by minibus transfer up to Sapa. The train is slow, but reserving a sleeper seat means you can enjoy the trip and the stunning scenery in relative comfort. There are daily overnight trains heading in each direction, with the journey taking around nine hours. A number of standard and tourist trains also make the overnight run from Hanoi. You can make arrangements with any travel agent for a small fee, or do it yourself at the Hanoi Railway Station. Prices range from $16 for a hard berth to $30 for a soft berth with air-conditioning. There is also the new Victoria’s Orient Express that runs between Hanoi and Sapa, offering more luxurious rail travel facilities and services. All trains to Lao Cai/Sapa depart from the Hanoi Railway Station.

To get to Sapa from the train station in Lao Cai, you’ll need to transfer by car for the 1 1/2- to 2-hour ride from Lao Cai station. The road is cut into the hillside and is bumpy and windy, but the views of the terraced rice farms of the valley are beautiful as you ascend (ride on the left side).

By road: from Hanoi is the longest option and a minimum ten hour drive by car or bus with the journey taking up the entire day. There are many possible routes to Sapa, and visitors can plan their road trip via the route that most matches their special interests. Driving in the mountainous northwest region is often dangerous, so care should be taken to avoid excessive speeds and select vehicles or bikes suitable for all types of terrain. The rainy season should be avoided if you plan an off the beaten track route, unless you are a very experienced offroader. Any tourist cafe or travel agent in Hanoi can arrange trips by private jeep or a combo jeep and train tour. Apart from Sapa, the vast tracts of the north are best visited through a tour company, many offer comprehensive itineraries. Especially for areas off the beaten track. Avoid the temptation to book budget tours with the tourist cafes

When to Go

The dry season is from January to June with March to May the best time to visit. Temperatures in January and February are regularly around 0ºC. The rainy season falls in June and August. September marks the end of the rainy season which is a good time to visit then by mid-December temperatures start to fall significantly making this September to mid-December period the best time to be there.

Banks & Communication

BIDV bank at Sapa @ Wikimapia
The post office is in the town center, but most hotels can send postcards and letters and have stamps for sale. There are a few storefront Internet cafes, but service is slow and unreliable. All hotels provide exchange service for traveler’s checks and even credit card cash advances. There is a local bank on Cau May where you can cash traveler’s checks for the same 2% fee as at your hotel, but there are also some ATMs here.

Tips:

  • It can be too much of an adventure trying to get there as individual traveller. Arrange the trip with a reputable tour operator to ensure smooth, risk free travel.
  • Traveling on week days is both easier and cheaper than weekends (lower hotel costs, more relaxed travel schemes)
  • Always make sure you have return tickets in hand.
  • Get to Hanoi and Lao Cai at least 30 minutes before departure – but be ready for a sudden or late departure without any explaination.
  • Make sure there is something to define the person who picks you up (i.e, his name, cell number and so on)
  • Say “no” very firmly when someone offers you something you do not want to buy. If you show the slightest interest, they may well follow you all the way up the road, until they find anther likely target.
  • Expect to bargain everything down to about half the original price asked. And expect most products to be Chinese instead of being authentically local.

Hope you enjoy your stay in Sapa!

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Phu Quoc transportation guide

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A combinations of small tips on to get around Phu Quoc island easier.

>> Vietnam traveling guide

Why Visit Phu Quoc?

@ Saigon Cantho Hotel

Phu Quoc is the kind of place where you could get stuck for weeks just chilling out in a hammock. To be honest, there’s not much to ‘do’. Rather, there is this captivating laid-back, tropical vibe that seems to make it difficult for travellers to leave. We spent our days eating delicious street food sitting on tiny chairs by the side of the road, and cruising around on our scooter from beach to beach.

Phu Quoc is mercifully free of tourists – you won’t find the ugly high-rise apartment blocks of Nha Trang here. There’s not much tourism infrastructure, which means you also won’t find the big party hostels here. Instead, you will be getting back to basics with a couple of hammocks and a fan.

Phu Quoc is slightly more expensive than mainland Vietnam, given that everything needs to be flown or shipped into the island. But there are still budget food and accommodation options available if you look hard enough.

We stayed at Island Life Hostel, which lacked air conditioning but made up for it with its cheap beers and relaxed atmosphere. There was also a good value motorbike hire shop conveniently located next door! A word of warning: Phu Quoc is extremely hot so if you struggle with the heat then invest in a room with air conditioning.

Phu Quoc’s Best Beaches

Our absolute favourite beach on Phu Quoc was Sao beach. This beautiful, white sand beach is quite isolated but that is what makes it so great. There are a few beach side bars dotted along the shoreline, where you can hire an umbrella and a beach chair to enjoy a cocktail or two while the sun slips below the horizon.

Cua Can and Ong Lang beaches, located right next door to each other, are also a must-see. Take a couple of beers and escape the heat by going for a swim in the crystal-clear water. The beaches are also quite close to the town of Duong Dong, where there are a few cheap accommodation options if you don’t mind staying in a busy and kind of ‘meh’ town

Hiring a Motorbike on Phu Quoc

 A Yamaha @ Phu Quoc Travel.

There is pretty much no public transport on Phu Quoc. However, you will find heaps of motorbike/scooter hire shops dotted around the island. You can hire motorbikes for as little as US$8 per day (including helmets). Be prepared to bargain, especially if you are renting for more than a few days. The longer you are renting the cheaper it should be!

Phu Quoc’s traffic is nothing like Ho Chi Minh or Hanoi. The island is pretty quiet traffic-wise, so even first-time motorbike riders can get around without too much hassle. You can buy a tank of petrol for just a few dollars – keep an eye out for plastic bottles with petrol sitting on the side of the road. Most of the island’s beaches are within an hour’s drive of each other.

A word of warning: many travel insurance policies do not cover you for motorbike accidents, especially if you don’t have a motorbike licence at home. Check your policy carefully.

Hope you enjoy your time in Phu Quoc!

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Vietnam traveling guide

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Vietnam can be an overwhelming place it first, but if you keep your wit and listen to these tips, surely you will be able to overcome any obstacles and enjoy your vacation in the friendly South East Asia country.

1. Keep smiling

Despite the grumbles of many visitors, Vietnamese people are mostly just as friendly as their Southeast Asian counterparts. However, unlike in Thailand, Cambodia and Laos – where local residents are genuinely curious about who you are and where you’ve come from – Vietnamese people tend to ignore lost-looking foreigners unless you actually ask for help. But be assured that if you ask a local a question with a smile, you’ll almost certainly have it answered and the smile returned.

2. Be wary of taxi scams

Taxi meter in Vietnam @ An unexpected journey

For many, motorcycle taxis are the only way to truly see the thronging streets of Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh. However, although unlikely, scams can happen and your best protection is a decent knowledge of where you are going and points along the way. If you think you’re going the wrong way, simply tell your driver to pull over and flag down a new bike – those that stop should at least know the English names of the main tourist sights. Also, organise for a hotel pick-up from the airport – scam taxis are rife and, as my quickly lightened wallet can attest, far more expensive and stressful than the $5 you supposedly could save.

3. Know your night buses

Overnight buses are a great way to cover long distances and save on accommodation costs, but make sure you book a top bunk as far as possible from the loo (normally situated near the back). Not to put too fine a point on it, a lot of buses don’t have working bathrooms and the further back you are, the worse the smell gets. Also, unless you have an iron bladder, don’t drink more than absolutely necessary, as rest stops seem to be purely at the whim of the driver and are skipped completely if the bus is running late. On one seven-hour bus trip – that ended up being a 16-hour voyage – I was very glad to have followed this tip. Not all of the other passengers had done so – enough said!

4. Avoid nightlife trouble

Vietnam has possibly the cheapest beer in the world but it pays not to overdo it. In Hanoi there is an official curfew on bars and nightclubs, which the police may turn up and enforce unless the owner has paid a suitable ‘fee’. Hiding in the dark as the club pretends to be closed while a police car drives by can be amusing, but it sucks when half your group gets thrown out by the cops and can’t get back in. Meanwhile, Nha Trang leaves a sorry trail of wallet-lightened backpackers who experienced the not-uncommon misfortune of running into pickpocketing prostitutes – and attendant gangs – on their way home after a night out.

5. Motorcycle safely

Vietnam’s traffic @ Youtube

Vietnam is not the place to learn to ride a motorbike. I have rarely been as scared as the moment I had to cross a traffic-light-free four-lane junction where scooters dodged each other by mere inches. The roads are truly terrifying and unfortunately the stories of tourists killed attempting a two-wheeled adventure are all too based in fact.

6. Be bold

Most important of all: don’t be scared. Vietnam can seem intimidating and overwhelming at first, but keep a sense of humour and everything will work out fine. Just like the streets of Hanoi, where to cross the road you have to wade out into moving traffic whispering prayers to any and every god that you won’t get hit, the worst thing you can do is freeze. Keep moving at a steady pace and the bedlam will slowly envelop and glide around you – until magically you are right where you wanted to be without a single scratch!

Hope you are able to enjoy your vacation in Vietnam with ease.

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The amazing “Banh My” of Vietnam

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Banh My ( Vietnamese Baguette Sandwich) is one of the traditional food of Vietnam in general. Banh My appears everywhere in the country. In different region, Banh My is made differently ( mainly because of the differences in sauces and seasoning). It is also popular to foreign tourists as a lot of tourists seem to enjoy this food a lot. All in all, Banh My is surely gonna satisfy your hunger and also gives you unforgetable memories about one of the most symbolic dishes in Vietnam.

>> Best drinks to have in Vietnam

WHAT IS BANH MY?

Da Nang’s Banh My via Du lich Da Nang

Vietnamese baguette sandwiches, called Bánh Mì, have attracted a loyal fan base like never before. Like a musical band with rock star status, these sandwiches have an almost cult-like following of epicurean devotees. The uniqueness of these sandwiches not only lies within the French influenced baguette, but it’s also the flavor packed, savory Viet fillings that what makes the marriage of the two main ingredients a true love affair.

Vietnamese baguette is commonly made with rice and wheat flour, which makes for an airy crumb.  Light crispy baguette (not the chewy rustic kind) is essential for encasing without overshadowing the other ingredients, such as finely cut strips of carrot with just the perfect sugar-vinegar sweetish tang and fresh cucumber. The combination of filling and accompaniments should pop with layers of flavors ranging from salty, sweet, sour & spicy from the fresh jalepenos. The lingering numbness of the chilli and beautiful flavor of cilantro should remain long after you brush away the ‘unavoidable’ left over crumbs.

The classic version, bánh mì thịt nguội, sometimes known as bánh mì đặc biệt is made with a combination of nem nuong (BBQ pork), chả lụa, thit nguoi, and along with the pâté and vegetables. QT also offers bánh mì chay, a vegetarian option, such as lemongrass tofu or tofu sautéed with onions and mushrooms.

There is essentially one sandwich in Vietnamese cooking and it is quite a tour de force.  Treat yourself to a banh mi sandwich today!  We guarantee it will be love at first bite.

HISTORY

Banh My @ Best Price Vietnam – Blogger.

Bread was first introduced to the Vietnamese in the late 18th century when Vietnam fell under French colonial rule. The first Bánh Mì was a French baguette with ham or pâté — the traditional, minimal Parisian sandwich. In 1954 French rule ended, and the Vietnamese people began to impose their own influence on Bánh Mì – with a special spread, cured hams, pickled vegetables, coriander (cilantro) and fresh chilies were added for flavor. What started as emulation produced a hybrid copy far superior to the original.

The world first got introduced to Bánh Mì with the influx of Vietnamese refugees in the late 1970’s and 80’s following the Vietnam War.  In the early 1980s, these sandwiches occupied the food craze spotlight in the Vietnamese-American community.  The Vietnamese refugees set up small bakeries producing Bánh Mì for their community but as time went on it started to become very popular outside these communities and today Bánh Mì is found all over the world, including places such as New York, California, London, New Orleans, Texas, Canada, Germany, France  Australia, and of course, Pennsylvania.

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Best drinks to have in Vietnam

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Vietnam can be particularly hot in summer because Vietnam is a tropical country. This could create a huge barrier for westerners who are used to the cold as well as normal tourist’s endurance during the adventure. Luckily, a variety of drinks is sold everywhere around Vietnam, from street vendors to cafe’. They are delicious and surely will give you back the energy for the upcoming adventures in Vietnam.

>> Banh Xeo: Top dish in Saigon

1 Coffee

Coffee filters through a phin atop a coffee cup via VietnamCoffee
Viet Nam is the world’s largest coffee producer of Robusta beans. Although Robusta beans are not as highly appreciated as Arabica beans, people around these parts know how to make the most of what they have. As a result, Vietnamese coffee is made with a special recipe and maintains its own unique taste. Coffee beans are roasted with butter and grounded well then reserved in airtight bags.

Vietnamese people would use a metal drip filter to brew coffees extract (a traditional method). In Viet Nam, the two most popular types of coffee are cà phê sữa đá (iced coffee with condensed milk) and cà phê đen đá (iced black coffee with no, or little, sugar).  You can’t walk down any block around the country hoping to not see someone enjoying a coffee while reading a newspaper or chatting with friends.

 2 Iced tea

Vietnamese Iced Tea via Beth Puliti 
Following feudalism under China’s rule, tea has gradually become a very popular drink in Viet Nam. In the early days, to match the North’s climate, tea was only served at a scalding hot temperature. Until it came to the South, a very hot region, people usually left their tea to cool before drinking.

Later, along with the advancement of science and technology, ice freezing equipment such as the refrigerator has been widely used. Consequently, instead of drinking “natural” cold tea, some people tried dropping ice cubes into the tea glass with the purpose of cooling off on hot days, which formed thetrà đá – “copyright” of Southern people in Vietnam, especially Saigon.

3 Fresh coconut water

Coconut water via Serious Eats

Fresh coconut water is a popular drink in Vietnam.

You won’t see the packaged stuff here, though: It is drunk straight out of the coconut—and this coconut water is grassier, sweeter, and more naturally flavored than anything you’ll find in a package. Coconuts are usually harvested when they are about seven weeks old —any earlier and the juice is gassy, any later and it tastes too salty. Generally, the smaller coconuts are sweeter than the larger ones.

4 Smoothies

Smoothies via Youtube
In Vietnam, smoothies are made from various kinds of fruit, especially the native fruits from tropical climates. Some deliciously popular flavors of smoothies are from avocados, dragon fruits, custard-apple, jackfruits, and many more. You’ll find smoothies ground with condensed milk or yogurt.

5 Sugarcane juice

Sugar Cane Juice via Weird Wonderful Vietnam

Although it has natural sickly sweetness, sugar cane juice is another drink that’s considered “cooling”. It’s usually sold by street vendors who use electric squashing machines, not unlike an old-fashioned wringer, to squeeze the juice from stalks of sugar cane. It’s usually then mixed with a tiny sour citrus fruit in order to enhance its taste.

The finished product has a crisp grassy flavor that’s very refreshing on a hot, sweltering day. Sugar cane vendors advertise their wares openly with a bucket of sugar cane stalks in front of their stall. They can also be identified by what looks like a ship’s wheel on the side of the stall, part of the electric wringer mechanism that juices the cane before your eyes.

Hope you have a wonderful time in Vietnam and do not forget to try out these drinks on a hot summer day.

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