News from Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos
Thursday, 8th December 2016
Vietnam's varied transport: more than getting from A to B
When planning a trip to Vietnam it is very easy to get excited about the sights along the way, but forget about the actual travelling part. That would be a shame, however, as this corner of Southeast Asia offers some fantastic modes of transport and experiencing them is all part of the fun. See how many you can tick off during your time in Vietnam.
The bicycle rickshaw, known as a cyclo in Vietnam, has long been in the transport mix in this part of the world. An environmentally friendly way to get about, travelling in this way is a quintessential experience that should not be missed. Arrive armed with a map and a general idea of the distance you want to go, as haggling for a good price is imperative. Start up a conversation with your driver, as this is a great way to find out some of the stories of the local people.
Have you ever heard of the Honda dream? Originally it referred to a model of motorbike, but has come to represent much more than that in Vietnam. In a country where cars are prohibitively expensive due to import taxes, motorbikes are much more affordable for the general population and can be seen just about everywhere. Whether you fancy riding the length of the country on one or enjoying the brief thrill of getting back to your hotel from across town, be sure to buy into the Honda dream at least once during your stay.
With a name as
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Wednesday, 7th December 2016
Experience the wildlife of Laos at the Bokeo Nature Reserve
If you are an animal-lover who enjoys surrounding themselves with nature, there are few better places to visit than Laos. It is here, in the far north-west of the country, you will find the Bokeo Nature Reserve and its accompanying Gibbon Experience, which is an absolute must-see for anyone who adores exotic wildlife.
The reserve was initially set up in 1996 to protect the black-crested gibbon, a species that was previously thought to be extinct but is now listed as critically endangered. It also manages the forest, employing local people to help conserve an environment under threat from illegal logging, slash-and-burn farming and many other practices.
So, why should you visit? Well, in addition to helping the conservation efforts of Bokeo Nature Reserve's staff, you will also be treated to one of the most wonderful experiences of your life: a stay in some of the tallest treehouses in the world, amongst the wildlife of the jungle.
Built 30 to 40 metres off the forest floor - enabling you to look out over the forest's canopy - the houses are built on top of or suspended from some of the jungle's largest trees. To get to and from them, a network of over 15 km of ziplines has been constructed. This is a low-tech way to get around, but it is safe, easy and fun!
The packages the Gibbon Experience offers include several days of trekking in the jungle to spot some of the exotic wildlife that lives there. First and foremost, there are the gi
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Thursday, 1st December 2016
Cambodia's best beaches
There are many different reasons to visit Cambodia and no doubt you have your own, whether it be the stunning temples at Angkor or the incredibly friendly people. On top of the attractions and activities you’re keen to tick off your bucket list, be sure to factor some days at the beach into your tailormade holiday. After all, Cambodia has some fantastic stretches of sand. Read on to find out which ones you should include in your itinerary.
Otres Beach, Sihanoukville
By far the best beach in Sihanoukville, Otres is set away from others in the area and therefore has brighter sand and cleaner water. It’s worth making your way beyond the headline to reach this beach and find a spot on the sand all your own. When you’ve had your fill of sunbathing and snorkelling, refuel at one of the seafood shacks or beach bars.
Long Set Beach, Koh Rong Island
A fantastic destination night or day, Long Set Beach has much to offer the restless traveller, who likes the idea of kicking back and relaxing but can’t lie on the sand for more than half an hour. Pass the time wandering the shoreline admiring the shells or take a dip beneath the waves, as Long Set is among the best places for diving in Cambodia. After dark, the luminescent plankton can be seen in all their glory.
Long Beach, Koh Ta Kiev Island
The golden sand and turquoise waters of Koh Ta Kiev’s Long Beach are onl
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Friday, 25th November 2016
Vietnam's yellow city: Hoi An
The port city of Hoi An in in central Vietnam has been gaining attention with visitors in recent years. This is mainly down to its incredible food scene and the beautiful handmade silk lanterns that are created locally. One thing that has not gained so much attention, however, is the vibrant hue in which many of the houses are painted.
Yellow is an auspicious colour in Vietnam, as it symbolises royalty and superiority, as well as giving the feeling that sunshine is coming out of the walls of the place. At night, when the city’s famous lanterns are lit, Hoi An takes on an even warmer glow from its yellow facades.
Not every house and shopfront is painted in the exact same shade, but while bright, the hues are not vulgar and have led to Hoi An’s nickname The Yellow City. Even on a cloudy day, the colour is uplifting and puts you into a happier disposition.
Some say that yellow inspires creativity, which could account for all the artisans and artists that call Hoi An home. Others believe that the colour reflects heat and therefore keeps houses cool in the bright Vietnamese sun. Either way, it makes for a stunning backdrop to an exciting city and lends itself to plenty of photo opportunities.
Hoi An is a United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage Site, with 844 of its ancient buildings documented by the body as of historical importance. Strict building regulations ensure that the city retains
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Vietnam Airlines is making travel for those with impaired mobility a priority.