Vietnam-visa.com is among a few leading websites in Vietnam entrusted by thousands for providing foreign tourists and businessmen with Vietnam visa on arrival every year. With more than 10 year experience in visa service, the website http://Vietnam-visa.com has been a familiar name among travel community.
Recently, an upgraded version of Vietnam-visa.com has been released with more user-friendly interface and new features that are tailored to users’ needs. The launching of new version has received positive feedback from users.
On the celebration of the upgraded version going online, Mr. Nguyen, CEO of Vietnam-visa.com, stated: “The new version with updated content and featured tools promises to bring a new look to the website as well as to enhance its usability in providing customers with the best experiences possible while using Vietnam-visa.com. The changes and innovations represent our effort to reach out and fulfill expectations from internet users and our potential clients. Furthermore, it reflects our ambition in striving to be better and do better.”
The upgraded version of Vietnam-visa.com allows users to easily surf through important pages with updated information about Vietnam visa as well as other Vietnam travel issues. A new Q&A page was designed for customers to submit questions directly to the website. The questions will be displayed and answered by our support staff and any other website user who wishes to share their experiences. Along with the Q&A section is a page for Vietnam visa tips which covers all visa-related guides categorized for users from specific nationalities.
Aside from Vietnam visa application service, the new version also features other extra services including Vietnam visa extension service, Vietnam hotel booking service, Transportation service and Tour booking service. We are happy to include in the new version a tutorial video to guide customers through the visa application process and brand-new tools for checking visa processing status and calculating service fees.
In launching the upgraded version, Vietnam-visa.com also offers special discount programs including VIP Account and Corporate Account program. While VIP account is run as a special thank you to our frequent customers, Corporate Account is designed to best assist clients representing big companies or organizations. More information regarding these programs can be found at http://www.vietnam-visa.com/corporate.html.
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By Allison | Vietnam-visa.com
Family festival at the Majestic Hotel Saigon
To celebrate Vietnam Family Day on June 28, the five-star Majestic Hotel Saigon will host ‘Family festival’ at the Cyclo Restaurant from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. on June 24 and 25. There will be stacks of games for kids who will also receive gifts. The whole family can enjoy a buffet party with traditional Vietnamese dishes and drinks. Tickets are priced at VND399,000 per adult and VND199,000 per child.
Local and foreign beer promotions at Bier Garden
Located in downtown HCMC on Dong Khoi Street, the open-air Bier Garden is an ideal rendezvous for revelers to relax and feast on Western and Asian food. The fried tartar clam and battered fish is done British style and there are other dishes like salmon salad, pumpkin soup with crouton cake or grilled beef with banini cake.
The restaurant is offering a Local Beer Package priced at VND155,000++ for five bottles of beer, Sapporo priced at VND210,000++ per five bottles or happy hour-buffet draught beer from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. priced at VND120,000++.
This month the restaurant has introduced a new menu with American beef dishes such as beef salad with teriyaki sauce and beef wrapped with bamboo and mushroom.
The Majestic Hotel Saigon is located at 1 Dong Khoi Street, HCMC’s District 1.
The Bier Garden is at 125 Dong Khoi Street in HCMC’s District 1.
Village life in Vietnam is the richest form of ancient culture tinged in modern times. Vietnam is located in South East Asia and is an “S” shaped country. About 3.77 million people visit the country every year and the main tourist attraction for the country is its village life. Vietnam has beautiful highlands and glimmering green rainforests.
The face of the country is made of its societal forma and structures. The interaction amongst the social agents and other socio-economic organs, craft the cultural heritage and reform legacy with sustenance of the original roots of development. Villages are the basic units of Vietnam society. Most villages have typical architectures like village gates made of bamboo and wood, bamboo hedges around the houses, common wells for all, expanded greenery of fields, pasture lands to roam, chirping birds, cattle and the masters’ shout, alleys and enchanting fresh air to breathe in. Village life in Vietnam is characterized by the ancient form of religion. In every village there is a temple and the tutelary God is worshiped there.
Village life in Vietnam has distinctive features of robust people, hard work, agricultural activities and ancient form of handicraft. The finest beaches grace this country. The ocean waves kiss the white sand beaches in all laziness, creating a melodic atmosphere during dawn and dusk. The gentleness of the environment has blessed village life in Vietnam with purity of thoughts and cooperation. It is hard to believe that even in this era of bloodshed, genocide, war and rages, nature has still nurtured a natural oasis of peace, purity and greenery of innocence.
Village people in Vietnam value social events and traditions like birthdays, temples of forefathers, ancestral fete etc. They live in big families and it is found that most of the village habitats share the same lineage or in some way relate to the same blood connections. There you would find the village democracy with man-woman equality, helping the organization and flourishing of the villages. Nearly all villages are agro-based and hence agriculture and dazzling handicrafts form the very basis of their economic activities.
Collected by Vietnam hotels
Fansipan is the highest mountain in Vietnam and Indochina, at 3,143 meters. It is located in Lao Cai province in northwest Vietnam, 9km southwest of Sa Pa Township in the Hoang Lien Son Mountain Range.
Fansipan is dubbed “the Roof of Indochina”. It is also one of the very few ecotourist spots of Vietnam, with about 2,024 floral varieties and 327 faunal species.
The topography of Fansipan is varied. Muong Hoa Valley, at the lowest altitude (950 to 1 000m), is created by a narrow strip of land at the base on the east side of the mountain. It can be climbed in a steep and fairly strenuous hike.
“Hunting clouds” on the Roof of Indochina has been always an interesting tour for adventurers. The feeling of bobbing on clouds to see the grandiose landscape of the nature is worthy for their efforts to conquer this 3,143m peak.
How to get there?
The most popular means of transport chosen to save your time and money is train. From Hanoi, you can get the train at Tran Quy Cap railway station to Lao Cai, then get a bus to Sapa and start your adventure.
You should book train tickets 1-2 weeks before the trip, especially if your trip is scheduled at the weekend. The ticket price may be different if you book it directly at the railway station or through travel agents. You should also book the return ticket early at your hotel or travel agents in Sapa or Lao Cai.
To adventure the Fansipan, you need the license granted by the Hoang Lien Son National Par to get into the park. You can take the license in the morning, when you start to visit Fansipan.
There are many ways to the peak of Fansipan. There are four major roads. The first way is from Cat Cat to Sin Chai. This is the most difficult road in Lao Cai to conquer Fansipan. Those with good physical strength and want a long trip often choose this road to adventure the Roof of Indochina.
The second way is from Cat Cat to Tram Ton. This road is good to see Fansipan clearly. However, it is quite long.
The third way is from Sapa to Tram Ton: This is the shortest and most simple road for everyone. You can hire a car of a travel agent to go from Sapa to Tram Ton. You should book the return.
From Tram Ton, you will get into the jungle at around 10 am. You will pass many streams and stop at Bai Soi for lunch at around 12.30-1 pm. From Bai Soi, the road will be more sloping. After two hours of walking from Bai Soi, you will reach a camp at the height of 2,200m and you will rest there.
The next day you will continue the trip to the camp at the height of 2,900m and then to the peak. This is a long and sloping road so you should walk slowly to maintain their breath. You can have lunch on the peak and return to the camp at the 2,900 or 2,200m for a night rest and return the next morning.
The route to Fansipan doesn’t require so-good physical strength but endurance. You should practice exercises on a daily basis at least one week before the tour.
Pictures of Fansipan:
The road to Fansipan
Wild flowers on the Fansipan
Thuy Thom (photo: quycoctu.multiply.com, phuot.com)
Collected by http://Vietnamhotels.net
Dense jungles, brooding mountains, endless waterways, towering cliffs, hairpin bends: the potential for adrenaline-fuelled adventure is limitless in Vietnam.
Whether you prefer to scale the heights of jagged peaks or plumb the depths of coral reefs, Vietnam will deliver something special. Heck, just being here is one long adventure, but these experiences will take it to a whole new level.
Kayak Halong Bay
Photo by Halongluxuryjunks
Use paddle power to explore this incredible forest of karsts that jut out of the South China Sea like stone sentinels. Kayaks go where other boats cannot, such as into hidden caves and secret lagoons, and will reveal to you the very best of the bay.
Conquer Mount Fansipan
Photo by Tuoi Tre Newspaper
OK, so it is not Mt Everest, but at 3,143m, it is the highest peak in the country. Meet some of the people on the trek before tackling the elements to arrive on the roof of Vietnam.
Motorbike through the deep north
Photo by Tieu Phong
Saddle up for the ride of a lifetime in the mountains of Vietnam’s deep north. The roads are absolute rollercoasters, the scenery is simply stunning.
Cycle the Mekong Delta
Photo by Nam Vinh
Forget about those newfangled engines and pedal through the back roads of the Mekong Delta – a patchwork of emerald greens. Stick to the roads less travelled or jump on the odd boat or two for the full Mekong experience.
Photo by Tuoi Tre Newspaper
See Vietnam from a different angle by scuba diving off its curvaceous coast. Tank up, buddy down and explore the reefs off Nha Trang. Other options are Phu Quoc Island or, the final frontier, Con Dao.
Photo by Tuoi Tre Newspaper
If all that underwater stuff sounds too deep, then float above it all with something more carefree like kitesurfing. Mui Ne is the unashamed kitesurfing capital, but the sport is (literally) taking off, up and down the coast.
Explore Vietnam’s national parks
Tourists explore Ninh Thuan national park – Photo by Phung My Trung
Vietnam’s jungle is massive – well at least in some of the protected areas. Track shy wildlife, hike to hidden waterfalls or mountain-bike down paths less travelled in one of the country’s remote national parks, such as magnificent Cat Tien.
Source: BBC/ Lonelyplanet
To many people, stilt houses are just a distant memory, but Roda Nai Linh from Don Duong District in the province of Lam Dong lives in one of those unique houses, full of Tay Nguyen (Central Highlands) artefacts.
The house was built more than 60 years ago by Nai Linh’s father, and still has many of the original architectural features of the Co Ho ethnic group. Sitting 2m above the ground and split into two rooms, the house faces southeast and is 60 sq.m in area.
Many of the artefacts in the house are still used in the everyday lives and customs of the Co Ho, such as decanters, gongs, wooden trays, fishing-tackle, blankets and papooses, including one that belonged to Nai Linh’s great grandmother. There is also a valuable jar more than 100 years old through which ruou can (rice wine) is drunk out of a jar through pipes.
“All of them are from my great grandmother’s era. The Co Ho people in our M’ Lon Hamlet like to look after their antiques and maintain their cultural values. I hope the next generations will continue to uphold the traditions of our people,” said Nai Linh.
Her eldest daughter has spent over VND100 million (US$4,700) restoring the rear of their house.
Nai Linh’s house attracts many tourists. It is also the venue for family gatherings and ceremonies. However, there are very few stilt houses left in Lam Dong, due to the Co Ho tradition of dividing their property when their children marry.
The Co Ho people have a long history of traditional culture, but with the development of the economy and society, many of these traditions are gradually being buried. Nai Linh realised this, and was determined to preserve the house and artefacts that were handed down to her from her father and sisters. In her efforts to preserve and promote national cultural identity through her stilt house and artefacts, Roda Nai Linh deserves to be praised.
Collected by Vietnam hotel
Vietnam has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to show its beautiful landscapes on famous television channels CNN or BBC, or to advertise on taxis in London. However, Vietnam remains an unknown and hidden charm to foreign travelers.
The arrow that failed to reach the target
In recent years, Vietnam has been paying more attention to promoting tourism. However, the result remains modest. In the second half of 2010 alone, Vietnam spent 5.3 billion dong to run advertisement campaigns on CNN, which gobbled up 12 percent of the total budget for the yearly national tourism promotion program.
A mini survey conducted by the Vietnam Economic Forum conducted on 200 foreign travelers showed that 77 percent of foreign travelers have never seen information about Vietnam’s tourism in mass media, advertisements or at tourism trade fairs. Ninety-three percent of polled tourists said they never see the advertisement pieces on BBC and CNN.
Vietnam also spent money to place advertisements on 27 taxis out of 10,000 taxis in London in the UK for six months. However, local dwellers said they never see the advertisements.
Vu Huy Vu, Deputy General Director of Saigon Tourist, said Vietnam needs to do many more things to popularize Vietnam’s tourism in the world. “Vietnam needs to have more and more publications introducing Vietnam’s tourism potentials. It needs to set up tourism representative offices in other countries to promote tourism,” he said, adding that other regional countries like Thailand, Singapore and the Philippines all have representative offices in Europe and the US for tens years.
Meanwhile, a cheap but effective communication channel – Internet – has been ignored.
Ben Chua is a Singaporean person who builds and runs vietnam720, an website that uses interactive products like videos, audios to introduce attractive destinations in Vietnam.
“If you access to yoursingapore.com, you will find everything about Singapore. For example, if you type “art”, the website will show all the information about arts, from the events to places for excursions or the hotels near art centers,” he said.
Ben Chua said he has an account on Twitter to listen opinions from people about Vietnam. There is a tweet posted in every 10 seconds, which means 36,000 opinions come every hour. However, no official agency has replied to the opinions.
What is a new image for Vietnam?
In mid January 2011, the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism VNAT officially announced the result of the logo creation competition for the new period. The slogan “Vietnam – a different Orient” has won the competition. However, after two months, the slogan has not been approved to become the new slogan of Vietnam’s tourism in the new period.
It seems that foreigners still see Vietnam as a war torn country, rather than an attractive destination in peacetime. It is because Vietnam is still busy looking for a new suitable slogan to be introduced to the world.
“Vietnam is a friendly, joyful country, where the prices are reasonable. However, the images Vietnam introduces to the world do not reflect these things,” said Tim Russell, Managing Director of Come & Go Vietnam travel firm.
He believes that since Vietnam cannot build up a reasonable tourism brand, only five percent of tourists return to Vietnam for the second time, while 50 percent of tourists come to Thailand for the second time.
He went on to say that Vietnam only has been trying to attract the tourists who are interested in the culture and discoveries, while it has not been trying to attract holidaymakers. Meanwhile, tourism does not only mean discovery, but also means relaxing, sunbathing, playing golf and water sports, meals, nightlife and anything that is a part of a comfortable life.
He believes that Vietnam should look for professional consultants and should carry out surveys in many places in order to build up a professional marketing strategy.
Collected by Vietnam hotels
|Foreign tourists on Hon Tam, an islet offshore Nha Trang City, Khanh Hoa province. Atracting more tourists to ilands is the main target of Vietnam’s tourism this year.
Under the title “Exotic Beaches and Islands,” the upcoming National Tourism Year 2011 hosted by Phu Yen Province and its seven south-central coastal neighbors is mainly aimed at developing the region’s sea tourism, creating a base for the whole country’s sea tourism development. According to information announced by the event’s organizing board at a meeting held late last year in Hanoi, over 30 cultural, sport and tourism programs will be held from March to December this year in eight central coastal cities and provinces from Danang City to Binh Thuan Province. Some highlights are an ASEAN traditional festival, the first international chorus festival and a fireworks display contest (see more in the box).
A chance to lure more tourists
This is the first time the national tourism year is held in more than one locality. The hosts have been endowed with beautiful beaches and unique cultural values. But, they have also been notorious about weak cooperation to develop the region’s sea tourism and create unique products and services that are exciting enough to attract local and foreign tourists who will return again and again.
This is the reason why the national and local tourism authorities see this event as a good chance to start developing the regional sea tourism – a strong point of Vietnam with a coastline of over 3,600km.
At the meeting, Phu Yen Province’s authorities said that to carry out the event effectively, the province has prepared for three years, including infrastructure, transportation, re-setting up some festivals and creating some new products and services. It also organized a media trip to the province to promote the event as well as promotion trips to Singapore, Russia, Thailand, Myanmar and Cambodia to popularize the national event.
On the online newspaper of the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism (www.toquoc.gov.vn), Le Kim Anh, vice chairman of Phu Yen Province, says: “We know what our weak points are, so we need prepare carefully to get a good development. Phu Yen is still a poor province despite owning potentials of beaches and islands. So, the National Tourism Year 2010 is a golden chance to popularize and promote tourism to attract more tourists. However, the ambition is not too big. We are happy when more and more people know us after the event.”
Some VND24 billion is needed to organize events in Phu Yen alone, including over VND10 billion from sponsors.
The province has prepared 88 accommodation facilities with about 2,000 rooms and 10 tourism and entertainment facilities. The province will have some more hotels and resorts put into service in the coming time.
On the online newspaper of the Saigon Times Group, www.thesaigontimes.vn, Tran Quang Nhat, deputy director of the province’s Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism, says that the central coastal province of Phu Yen expects to welcome half a million tourists during the national tourism year in 2011, up about 180,000 compared to 2010.
The province also expects the festive year will help Phu Yen make a big change for tourism development, and make Phu Yen better known to tourists.
The national tourism year has been made an annual event and is alternatively organized in each potential province or city each year. The ministry has asked the Government to allow provincial governments to organize the annual national tourism promotion program from 2012 to 2017.
The national tourism year 2012 will take place in Thua Thien-Hue Province, followed by Haiphong City in 2013, Lam Dong Province in 2014, Thanh Hoa Province in 2015, Kien Giang Province in 2016 and Lao Cai Province in 2017.
Since the event was first organized in the northern province of Quang Ninh in 2003, the year-long annual program has been organized in Dien Bien, Nghe An, Quang Nam, Thai Nguyen, Can Tho and Hanoi.
|Source: Saigon times
Collected by Vietnam hotel
In 2011, the national plan to develop Vietnam’s tourism industry will highlight island and sea attractions.
There will be 30 events organised in the south-central region of the country, including the International Boat Racing Festival in Binh Thuan; mountain climb race contest in Phu Yen; the 1st International Choir Festival & Competition in Hoi An Town; Goddess of Mercy Festival in Danang City and Sea and Islands Festival in Quang Ngai.
Phu Yen Province will set off an event to mark the 400th anniversary of its founding.
Also, this year will see the 17th Vietnam Film Festival. This event will include a conference on the scientific and cultural heritage of the south central region.
This is a good time for the south-central coastal region, not only to promote their viability as a tourist destination, but to highlight their maritime economy.
Le Kim Anh, the Vice Chairman of the Phu Yen People’s Committee, said the locality is preparing infrastructure to welcome tourists. He also disclosed that, so far this year, the number of foreign visitors to the province has increased by 20% from last year.
This year, Vietnam has set a goal of attracting 5.3 international visitors.
The commencement ceremony for the new year in tourism will be held on April 1.
Some photos of people and landscapes in Phu Yen:
Bai Mon Beach in Phu Yen Province
National relic of Mo and Luong Van Chanh Temple, a beauty spot in Phu Yen
Nhan Moutain and Da River at sunset
Hoa Da cake
Coconut shells made into handicrafts
Mang Lang Church
Dong Cam Dam
A big catch
Cat Tien National Park Bau Sau (Crocodile Lake), one of the beautiful vistas at the Cat Tien National Park
Just 160 kilometers northeast of Ho Chi Minh City, Cat Tien National Park, one of the largest treasure troves of biodiversity in Vietnam, offers some of the best ecological and cultural experiences even as it reenergizes our body and soul with its beautiful natural landscapes.
There are several tour options designed and provided by the Cat Tien National Park’s Ecological Tour Center, and we decided to follow the highly recommended “night safari.”
After a short trip around the park in the afternoon, we gathered at the park’s office at 8 p.m., ready for a two-hour cruise into the jungle. A jeep came to pick ten of us up and our “night safari” in Cat Tien began.
|A two-day trip is just right for taking in Cat Tien National Park. From Ho Chi Minh City, you can easily make a backpacking trip by motorbike, car or bus to the park. If you drive your own motorbike or car, follow National Highway No. 1 A and then No. 20 which takes you right to the park. You can also take a bus to the park from the Mien Dong Bus Station.
A langur on the tree in the forest
The whole forest was plunged in darkness. The air was really wet and cold. We sat closer to one another and strained our eyes to see through the dark. Everything seemed to be in a deep sleep, until I spotted a civet cat running at the foot of a huge tree and a small squirrel climbing fast and jumping from one tree to another. Why were they up and about at this time? What emergency was it that kept non-nocturnal creatures up at this time, I wondered. Was it us?
The jeep drove slowly through dense forest. We began spotting owls, rabbits and even butterflies, a few porcupines, wild boar, bulls and other creatures.
The jeep finally took us to a large grassland about 10 kilometers away. I looked at my watch. It was 9 p.m.
“This is the place where you can see many kinds of animals come for food,” our guide said. “This tropical forest is home to some of the world’s most endangered species. The park was established in recognition of Cat Tien’s unique wildlife and the importance of protecting it.”
We relaxed our mind and inhaled the pure, fresh, invigorating air. Through the headlights, we could see some herds of deer grazing, some kingfishers waiting for their prey near a small pond and heard the noisy croaking of frogs. Our guide said that the animals here were accustomed to the presence of visitors at night so we could watch them very easily.
Later at night, life in the jungle seemed more exciting. We were treated to thrilling sights and sounds here before we drove back at 10 p.m. An oriole, which we would hardly get to see in daytime, put in a surprise appearance and sent us along with some beautiful melodies.
Reported by Phong Lan