Bravado in every bite, strength in every sip. A visit to the Snake Village might seem worthy of a brag, but it undermines everything environmentalists are trying to accomplish in this country
For environmentalists in Vietnam, reminders they face a near impossible task are everywhere. However, one particular group expected an Old Quarter bar to be a safe haven.
The Bamboo Train, Battambang
You’ve read about it in the rip-off copy of Lonely Planet Cambodia bought on the Riverside. But have you done it? It’s a train ride after all, and doesn’t the romantic in us all love one of those? Of course, this being Cambodia, it didn’t turn out quite as expected. I’d seen the train featured recently on Lonely Planet’s ‘Roads Less Travelled’ programme on NAT GEO TV. Inevitably the intrepid travel writer found herself riding with the locals. That must have been on a different stretch to the few miles I travelled. A friend who’s taken the trip on several occasions warned me not to expect a truly ‘authentic’ experience. But what were the Police doing there organizing events?
The Mirror, Vol. 15, No. 700
At the occasion of the ASEAN Tourism Forum, which was held in Phnom Penh from 15 to 21 January 2011, an ASEAN Tourism Strategic Plan was adopted, covering the years 2011 to 2015. Thailand has been appointed to lead the working group for marketing and communication, and Vietnam will be deputy chairperson of this group.
Otres has long been my favorite Sihanoukville beach. Twin sister of Ochheuteal Beach (the next beach south, a 3 kilometer crescent of white sand facing southwest) but much more relaxed and far less touristed than Ochheuteal, largely because it is completely undeveloped and a bit difficult to get to. Comparatively close as the crow flies, it still something of a small project to get there. It was only recently (a few years ago) that the road over the headland from Ochheuteal was opened, and that only to motorcycles.
Ian Paynton looks for everything luxurious during a 24-hour pit-stop visit in Hoi An. Photos by Aaron Joel Santos
Just over an hour's drive from Yangon, a few more kilometers before Bago town, lies an interesting place called Hle Gu township. This is where I made an unforgettable trip, which included a number of outdoor activities and a lot of natural scenery to delight my eyes.
Hle Gu is a farm village teeming with crops like rice, peas, gourds, chillies and some sunflowers.
During the 160 kilometres from Ha Giang to Dong Van, you can experience the beautiful and dangerous mountain passes that snake between rocky mountains and an ocean of clouds. Ha Giang’s landscape is beautiful all year round.. In the spring, Ha Giang may be cold but it is good time to come in order to see peach, plum and mustard flowers blossom, and experience the ethnic minority peoples’ new year, offering the chance to take part in their traditional games.
2010 was a great year for Vietnam’s tourism industry, with an estimated 5 million visitors – the best ever. Here are my hopes for 2011…
1. Visa on arrival
I know I bang on about this incessantly but there is little point marketing Vietnam as a tourist destination and then making it difficult for people to actually get in. Introducing a genuine visa on arrival process, and scrapping visas for key markets altogether, would see a huge leap in numbers for both new and returning visitors.
How do I get from Bangkok to Angkor Wat?
That is the question most often asked in the Guest Houses of Kaosan Road and Travel Agencies throughout the city of Bangkok.
The answer is relatively easy for those who just want to get there as quickly as possible, but not as easy for the truly adventurous who like to take the route less traveled and avoid airlines whenever possible, or those who are traveling on a very tight budget.
When I travel, I am always looking for something special in my accommodation. I am not a backpacker, so guesthouses are not my game. My preferred hotel must have some basic features like internet, breakfast, restaurant, television and friendly staff. But even more important is that they MUST be special. In Phnom Penh, it is the Pavillion, in Bangkok it is Le Fenix and in Vientiane, it is Ansara Hotel.