Wanderlust Tips | The leading travel magazine in Vietnam http://en.wanderlusttips.com For travel enthusiasts Wed, 04 Jul 2018 11:40:09 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.6 http://en.wanderlusttips.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/wanderlust-tips-303x294.png Wanderlust Tips | The leading travel magazine in Vietnam http://en.wanderlusttips.com 32 32 InterContinental® Phu Quoc Long Beach Resort – Vietnam’s most idyllic destinatio http://en.wanderlusttips.com/2018/07/04/intercontinental-phu-quoc-long-beach-resort-vietnams-most-idyllic-destinatio/ http://en.wanderlusttips.com/2018/07/04/intercontinental-phu-quoc-long-beach-resort-vietnams-most-idyllic-destinatio/#respond Wed, 04 Jul 2018 11:40:09 +0000 http://en.wanderlusttips.com/?p=7594 InterContinental® Phu Quoc Long Beach Resort, Vietnam, combines luxury with unique natural beauty within a protected UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.

Opening on 21st June, 2018, InterContinental® Phu Quoc Long Beach Resort is the latest addition to the InterContinental® Hotels & Resorts brand in Vietnam, and the 1000th IHG® (InterContinental Hotels Group) property to open within the Europe, Middle East, Asia and Africa (EMEAA) region. It is located on the pristine Phu Quoc Island, a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve off the southwest coast of Vietnam.

THE IDEAL LOCATION TO SOAK UP THE SUN AND ENJOY BREATHTAKING SUNSETS

One of the most captivating features of the resort is its position on Long Beach, one of Vietnam’s most stunning white-sand beaches, enjoying glorious sunset views. It is an easy 15-minute drive from Phu Quoc International Airport, and only 20 minutes from the cultural attractions of Duong Dong town.

Thoughtfully designed for families, couples and individuals alike, as well as both leisure travellers and meeting delegates, InterContinental® Phu Quoc Long Beach Resort features an exclusive beachfront, six restaurants and bars, 459 luxuriously appointed rooms, suites, and villas, as well as state-of-the-art meeting facilities, whilst seamlessly combining the sophisticated and cosmopolitan essence of the InterContinental® heritage with the heartfelt rustic charm of the resort’s surrounding local area and culture.

Resort guests are offered exclusive access to a secluded stretch of Long Beach, the perfect location to swim in shimmering waters, soak up the sun, and experience ocean sunsets. In each of the elegant rooms, suites, and villas, the deep bathtubs, walk-in rain showers, floor-to-ceiling windows and spacious balconies ensure a luxurious and inviting space for the ultimate escape in comfort and relaxation.

A CULINARY JOURNEY THROUGH LOCAL AND INTERNATIONAL GASTRONOMY 

When it comes to dining, InterContinental® Phu Quoc Long Beach Resort offers a tempting array of contemporary and stylish experiences, including the highest bar in Phu Quoc, INK 360, boasting breathtaking panoramic ocean and mountain views. Created by award-winning Australian designer Ashley Sutton, the bar is the perfect venue for a welcome toast or celebratory drinks, where guests can sip on a signature cocktail while watching a magnificent sunset and nibbling on tapas-style seafood, caviar and oysters.

Additional dining venues include Lava, a fine-dining seafood and specialty imported meats restaurant using the freshest produce cooked on charcoal grills and lava stone enhanced with a selection of locally produced aromatic peppers such as black, white, red and Tay Giang. Sora & Umi serves authentic Japanese and Vietnamese cuisine with the focus on the restaurant’s numerous live cooking stations, including robatayaki, teppanyaki and sushi. By the pool, Ombra serves home-made Italian cuisine and gelato alongside fresh juices and healthy bites. Beachfront restaurant Sea Shack serves comfort food, tapas, barbecue and grilled dishes such as the signature lobster roll, while beers and ciders are served in the Library area stocked with books about food, cocktails, Vietnamese culture, art, interior design and travel. Mercado is the place for coffee, tea and pastries, as well as themed picnic baskets including Traditional Vietnamese Delicacies, Mediterranean and Healthy.

RELAXATION AND ACTIVITIES

Guests are able to indulge in serene spa treatments at the award winning HARNN Heritage Spa, designed by Vietnamese architect Vo Trong Nghia, and inspired by traditional Asian medicine and naturopathy. In addition to full-body wellness and relaxation treatments, the resort offers holistic and adventurous activities including Yoga, Pilates, and water sports, as well as bespoke cultural experiences including local produce tours to the island’s renowned pepper and pearl farms, hiking in nature, and night markets.

A MYRIAD OF EXPERIENCES FOR THE LITTLE ONES

With captivating activities and thoughtful attention tailored for younger VIPs, InterContinental Phu Quoc Long Beach Resort is an entertainment paradise for children. The 250 sqm Planet Trekkers children’s club arranges numerous recreational activities and enriching excursions designed to both entertain as well as broaden the horizons of children of all ages. Providing a safe and engaging space where parents can feel comfortable leaving their children in the hands of the well trained staff, all of whom are certified teachers, the children’s club offers an array of activities that include children’s yoga, arts and crafts, beach volleyball and magic classes. The resort also boasts the dedicated Kids Can Cook cooking school where younger guests can learn how to make their favourite dishes under the guidance of the resort’s professional team of chefs.

THE IDEAL LOCATION FOR UNFORGETTABLE BUSINESS MEETINGS

The resort’s Conference Centre features over 2,000sqm of indoor event venues, offering privacy whilst being conveniently located in the main resort complex. The 870 sqm Grand Ballroom hosts up to 600 guests for banquets, a purpose built auditorium seats 130 delegates, and multiple break out rooms all offer state of the art audio-visual equipment. The Conference Centre provides a wealth of pre-function space for breaks, displays or trade exhibitions, while the al fresco Beachfront Garden is ideal for banqueting in beautiful natural surroundings.

We are absolutely thrilled to bring the glamour of the InterContinental life to Phu Quoc” said Piero Bellizzi, General Manager of InterContinental Phu Quoc Long Beach Resort. “With exceptional facilities for families, couples and business travellers, underpinned by genuine, heartfelt service, the resort promises to offer truly memorable experiences for all our guests. The island itself is a hidden gem, and the opening of InterContinental Phu Quoc Long Beach Resort helps to put the destination on the map for discerning international travellers.

OPENING SPECIAL OFFER

InterContinental® Phu Quoc Long Beach Resort’s Opening Special Offer starts from VND 6,500,000++ per room per night, with a minimum 2 night-stay, and includes:

• VND2,500,000 credit to spend at the resort’s restaurants, bars and spa
• Daily breakfast for 2 people
• Airport transfers
• Children aged 12 years and below dine for free when accompanied by a paying adult
• 2,000 additional IHG Rewards Club points

Prices are subject to 5% service charge and 10% VAT.

InterContinental Phu Quoc Long Beach Resort

Wanderlust Tips | Cinet

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Le Club AccorHotels launches incentive bonus points offer http://en.wanderlusttips.com/2018/07/02/le-club-accorhotels-launches-incentive-bonus-points-offer/ http://en.wanderlusttips.com/2018/07/02/le-club-accorhotels-launches-incentive-bonus-points-offer/#respond Mon, 02 Jul 2018 07:43:19 +0000 http://en.wanderlusttips.com/?p=7582 Le Club AccorHotels has launched an incentive bonus points offer to welcome Raffles, Fairmont and Swissôtel Hotels & Resorts into its loyalty program across Asia Pacific. Members will now be eligible to earn 1,000 additional bonus Rewards points for stays at Fairmont, Raffles, and Swissôtel properties across Asia Pacific during the promotional period from 2nd July to 19th August, 2018.

Elite members of Le Club Accorhotels will also enjoy exclusive deals that make their stay even more special and the program is about truly recognising loyalty members with personalized services when they stay at the Raffles, Fairmont and Swissôtel Hotels & Resorts.

This promotion is in celebration of the fact that AccorHotels is merging its Fairmont, Raffles and Swissôtel hotels into the group’s Le Club AccorHotels loyalty program after acquiring the Raffles, Fairmont and Swissôtel network in 2016. There are currently 29 Raffles, Fairmont and Swissôtel properties across Asia Pacific and to earn these bonus points guests simply need to register for the promotion and book online at accorhotels.com from 2 July to 19 August, 2018 for stays from 2nd July till 30th September 2018.

Guests staying at Sofitel, Mgallery, Pullman, Grand Mercure, the Sebel, Novotel, Mercure and ibis hotels that were already part of Le Club AccorHotels will also be able to celebrate the merging of the two programs, with the chance to earn triple rewards points at over 845 properties across Asia Pacific.

The integration of Raffles, Fairmont and Swissôtel into Le Club AccorHotels is a momentous occasion for us and we wanted to share the celebrations with our guests by offering them the chance to build up their points so that we can welcome them back to our hotels sooner.” said Henrik Berglind, Vice President Loyalty Asia Pacific.

With the introduction of the Raffles, Fairmont and Swissôtel hotels into one global loyalty program, our members now have even more destinations and more hotels to choose from around the world and our program is even stronger and more attractive as a result.

Winner of the Freddie Award for Best Loyalty Program for two years in a row (2015, 2016) in Asia, Australasia, Europe, Africa and Middle East and this year was named Best program for the third year running in Europe/Africa, as well as winning Best Redemption Ability, Best Customer Service and Best Promotion in the same zone, Le Club Accorhotels is the pioneering hotel loyalty program which allows members to use their points anywhere in the world, without any date or availability restrictions.

The program has more than 42.9 million members globally with 13 million members in Asia Pacific.

Wanderlust Tips | Cinet

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Wonderful Summer Days with Cable Car Package at Novotel Phu Quoc Resort http://en.wanderlusttips.com/2018/07/02/wonderful-summer-days-with-cable-car-package-at-novotel-phu-quoc-resort/ http://en.wanderlusttips.com/2018/07/02/wonderful-summer-days-with-cable-car-package-at-novotel-phu-quoc-resort/#respond Mon, 02 Jul 2018 07:01:38 +0000 http://en.wanderlusttips.com/?p=7576 From now until 30th November 2018, Novotel Phu Quoc Resort launches special package combining with Hon Thom Natural Park.

Specific package 2 nights, only with:

– Superior Room: VND4,690,000++
– Deluxe Twin: VND5,690,000++
– Suite Room/ Deluxe Bungalow: VND6,490,000++
– Deluxe Bungalow with Private Pool: VND7,690,000++
– 3-Bedroom Deluxe Villa: VND16,920,000++

Privilege:

– 02 tickets Hon Thom Nature Park entrance tickets/ room/ stay (6 tickets/ villa)
– Scheduled transportation from/ to Novotel Phu Quoc Resort & Hon Thom Nature Park
– 02 night-stay with daily Buffet breakfast at Food Exchange or Tropicana restaurant

Surcharge:

– VND2,545,000++/ extra person (included extra bed for 02 nights + 01 ticket)
– VND60,000++/ scheduled transportation round-trip for children over 6 years old

Terms and Conditions:

Not including entrance ticket for children (Guests buy ticket for children at Hon Thom station)
The package offer cannot be combined with any other Hotel’s promotion
The package is not applicable on Public Holidays
The rates are not inclusive of tax and service charge

Much more greater, guests can enjoy plentiful of complimentary benefits comprising of roundtrip airport transfers (subject to availability–first come first serve), welcome drink upon arrival, free of use Wi-Fi throughout the Resort, tennis courts, fitness centers, kid clubs and especially complimentary ‪‎shuttle bus‬ connects daily to Duong Dong Town.‬‬‬‬

Novotel Phu Quoc Resort is located at Duong Bao Hamlet, Duong Bao Commune, and approximately 10 minutes’ drive (8 kilometres) from Phu Quoc International Airport. Phu Quoc is also easily accessible through domestic routes: a 50-minute flight from Tan Son Nhat International Airport in Ho Chi Minh City and a two-hour flight from Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi.

NOVOTEL PHU QUOC RESORT

Wanderlust Tips | Cinet

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5 hot travel trends in Asia http://en.wanderlusttips.com/2018/06/21/5-hot-travel-trends-in-asia/ http://en.wanderlusttips.com/2018/06/21/5-hot-travel-trends-in-asia/#respond Thu, 21 Jun 2018 08:36:07 +0000 http://en.wanderlusttips.com/?p=7547 [Wanderlust Tips June 2018] “Travelling is the only thing you buy that makes you richer.” More and more people consider travelling as a way to broaden their horizon. Asia is the “rising star” of the global tourism industry; the number of tourists visiting Asian countries accounted for 25% of the total number of tourists in 2017. In 2018, this number is expected to grow thanks to new travel trends which can only be found in Asia. Wanderlust Tips would like to introduce five asian travel trends which are becoming increasingly popular.

1. REMOTE LUXURY

Speaking of luxury travel, you may think of expensive hotels with views of the majestic Mount Fuji in Japan, or luxury suites located in the expensive Gangnam district in Seoul, Korea.

However, people now have a new definition of luxury travel, which is enjoying a quiet and private holiday with amenities and experiences beyond expectation in a remote land, or a private island with no inhabitants. This is a new favorite trend of visitors from around the world when choosing Asia as their vacation destination.

With its advantages of diverse landscapes, pristine nature with mountains, sea, rivers, and caves, Asia is an ideal destination for visitors who are looking for relaxation at high-end accommodations that are close to nature, offering private and intimate spaces for visitors and completely separated from the outside world. Visitors can opt to stay in the bamboo forest in the Golden Triangle in Thailand or the idyllic private island, Song Saa, in Cambodia. They can even enjoy the excitement of sleeping in a royal tent amidst the pristine wilderness of Ranthambore National Park in India. In order to reach such resorts, visitors are picked up by seaplane, cruises or other unique means. It makes these remote destinations even more attractive. After arriving, in addition to enjoying the quiet space, completely immersed in nature, visitors can also participate in unique activities such as elephant riding, kayaking, attending Taichi or yoga, cooking, scuba diving classes, or trekking and exploring the forests. A holiday in which you disconnect from the outside world, stay away from technology, no longer thinking about work or problems of life will slow you down, purify your body and regenerate energy. However, the cost of these vacations is very expensive, prices in these remote resorts range from USD1000 per night per room.

W. TIPS RECOMMENDED DESTINATIONS:

– Four Seasons Golden Triangle:P.O. Box 18, Chiang Saen Post Office, Chiang Rai, Golden Triangle, Thailand
Tel: +66 53 910-200

– Aman-i-Khas:Sherpur, Khiljipur, near Ranthambore National Park, SawaiMadhopur, Rajasthan, India.
Tel: +44 20 3519 2700

– Koh Saen Private Island:KohRong Archipelago, near Sihanoukville, Cambodia
Tel: +855 23 886 750

2. MEDITATION RETREAT

It is not necessary to go far or take part in adventure activities to find relaxation. Sometimes, a trip will be more meaningful when you practice meditation to explore your inner world. For those who are living in narrow and polluted spaces in a city, a meditation retreat is a chance to bring you back to nature, find your true self, and practice mindfulness meditation with breath, the traditional practice of Buddhism.

There are many meditation retreats around the world, but Asian meditation retreats are more authentic. The greatest goal of meditation is to help raise awareness and gain insight, joy, and optimism about life. Amidst modern life, human beings are gradually finding ways back to nature and their own ego. Guests can take part in Ayurvedic meditation class (“the knowledge of life”), an Indian traditional meditation technique, find the meaning of a peaceful life with meditation in Cambodia, or enjoy mindful eating in meditation style by eating with a relaxed and quiet mind in Hue, Vietnam.

This type of meditation retreat directs visitors to travel to destinations with humanity, sacred and fresh places to bring a positive and comprehensive change to the visitors, leading them to a healthier and more balanced lifestyle.

W. TIPS RECOMMENDED DESTINATIONS:

– Osho International Meditation Resort:17, 1st Lane, Koregaon Park, Pune, Maharashtra, India.
Tel: +91 20 6601 9999

– Siam Healing Center:94/3 Moo 1, Koh Phangan, Thailand.
Tel: +66 89 965 8752

– Balitrees Retreats, Megati:Sedan, Tabanan Sub-District, Tabanan Regency, Bali, Indonesia
Tel: +62 813-3890-8565

3. WELLNESS TRAVEL

The demand for wellness travel is growing as tourists tend to use their holidays as a way to relieve stress, take care of the whole body and mind, and regenerate energy. Asia is an ideal destination for a variety of mysterious, natural and effective rehabilitation and wellness therapies.

Wellness travel is the harmonious combination of health and spirit treatment. Resorts and hotels which provide services relating to wellness travel in Asia promise to offer the best fresh space with ecosystems of tropical forests, hills, rivers, streams, and lush green lakes.

In Asia, Detox treatment combined with relaxation and appropriate diet focus on helping the body to be purified, eliminating toxins to maintain good health and a positive spirit. Guests are taught yoga techniques which help detoxify, cleanse the body, and regulate the airflow in the body. Visitors can attend lifestyle and physical training class and talk to dietitians who assist in improving their diet in order to keep their own body healthy and fresh every day. When combined with massage therapies, acupressure, ancient herbal therapies of Asian people, it will help visitors to be refreshed and full of energy after the holiday.

Experiencing wellness travel in Asia, visitors can choose to stay in resorts amidst the tropical jungle in Indonesia, hot springs in Malaysia, detoxify in a sauna in Korea, or experience unique onsen baths in Japan.

W. TIPS RECOMMENDED DESTINATIONS:

– Permai Rainforest Resort:Teluk Penyuk Santubong, Jalan Sultan Tengah, Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia
Tel: +60 82-846 490

– Hangzhou Banyan Tree Spa: 21 Zijingang Rd, Xihu Qu, Hangzhou Shi, Zhejiang Sheng, China
Tel: +86 571 8586 0000

– Kusatsu Onsen, Kusatsu:Kusatsu-machi, Agatsuma-gun, 377-1711 Gunma, Japan
Tel: + 29-88-0800

4. TRAVEL LIKE A LOCAL

Travelling like a local is a trend focused on experiences, in which visitors try to learn and explore typical local things in a region. According to a survey, 35.1% of travellers choose Asia as their destination for experience-focused travel, in which South East Asian countries such as Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, and the Philippines make up 17% of the total. It can be said that for foreign visitors from the Western world, Asia is a religious, historical, cultural, and mystical destination. Visitors travelling to Asia want to gain a diverse and exotic experience in every aspect of life such as culture, cuisine, and customs.

In addition, in Southeast Asia’s countries, especially Vietnam, travel like a local trend is extremely developed. Visiting the S-shaped country, you can take a motorbike tour to Ha Giang, the rocky plateau, explore the history through the traces of war in Hanoi, or down to the Mekong Delta to enjoy cuisine in a floating village area. In Indonesia, visitors have to use their hands to eat Gado-Gado, sleep next to the dead like Toraja people. Visitors can sit on a boat to watch the whale sharks in Donsol, Philippines, which is a unique experience only found in Southeast Asia.

Travel like a local requires travellers to get a deep insight into the life of locals and change new things to new experiences through living through living with the locals and eating as a local people do, then learn about their special customs. Experiencefocused journeys will give you many new perspectives on life.

W. TIPS RECOMMENDED DESTINATIONS:

– Living with the Mong people, going to the highland market, or taking the challenge of throwing stones to the cliff on Tham Ma Pass in Ha Giang, Vietnam.

– Snorkeling to watch the whale sharks at Donsol Bay (Philippines), Koh Tao (Thailand)

– Enjoying cuisine made from insects at famous restaurants in Lao such as Khop Chai Deu (54 Sethathirat Rd, Nam Phou, Vientiane), Kong View Restaurant (No. 183 Souphanouvong Street, Vientiane).

5. AGRITOURISM

Agriculture is considered a key economic sector in Asia, especially in Southeast Asia. The development of agritourism plays an important role to recover and contribute to the economic development of the region. Agritourism is considered a type of tourism, in which tourists can experience a variety of activities in an agricultural process.

At present, agricultural tourism is divided based on destinations such as scenic spots and agricultural production sites. Here, visitors can participate in useful agricultural experiences. You can go to the Kobe cow Farm in Japan to witness the well-qualified life of the Kobe cow, enjoy beef of USD300 per kilogram. Or you can visit Vietnam to meet local farmers, visit fish farms and large paddy fields, or experience the activity of growing vegetables in Hoi An. Visitors can also travel to Taiwan to enjoy fresh fruit and pick fruit at Tan Phong Garden in Xinshe, Taichung. At Xinshe Garden, there is also an amusement park, catering services and accommodation for visitors.

W. TIPS RECOMMENDED DESTINATIONS:

– Learning about cultivation techniques, ways to take care of and harvest vegetables with local farmers in Tra Que vegetable village, Hoi An, Vietnam.

– Learning to take care of, feed and massage the cows at Kobe cow Farm in Japan.

– Enjoy fresh fruit and fruit picking, milking the cows, feeding calves or enjoying fresh milk hotpot at Tan Phong Garden, Xinshe, Taichung, Taiwan.

Oanh Kim | Wanderlust Tips

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Hello World – Luxury travel to Korea http://en.wanderlusttips.com/2018/06/21/hello-world-luxury-travel-to-korea/ http://en.wanderlusttips.com/2018/06/21/hello-world-luxury-travel-to-korea/#respond Thu, 21 Jun 2018 08:33:25 +0000 http://en.wanderlusttips.com/?p=7541 [Wanderlust Tips June 2018] In May, the first journey of Hello World program, Hello Korea – luxury travel, organized by Wanderlust Tips magazine in cooperation with The Korea Tourism Organization, was officially launched. Hello Korea’s six guests, known as influencers in the travel community, including Model and Beauty pageant contestant Mau Thuy, Writer Rosie Nguyen, Travel blogger Nhi Dang, Travel blogger – Founder yêu máy bay Travip, Food blogger Family of a couple, and Photographer Vuong Thien Minh have enjoyed impressive experiences in South Korea.


The first destination of Hello Korea was Seoul. Seoul welcomed the members of Hello World in beautiful weather, clear blue sky, gentle sunlight, and lush green trees. Thanks to its rich cultural and culinary experiences it has to offer, this city has become a popular destination for visitors. Recently, people travelling to Seoul have chosen more luxury and high-ranking services and facilities. Accordingly, Hello World delegation have thoroughly explored Seoul City by experiencing the Premium Skincare package at Sulwhasoo’s flagship; enjoying fine dining at Seoul’s most famous restaurants which achieved Michelin stars such as Min’s Kitchen, Bamboo House, and Samcheonggak; staying at the 5-star hotel Signiel which offered breathtaking views of spectacular Seoul City; admiring the typical traditional house Hanok at the RakKoJae Seoul; watching impressive works at Choeunsook Art & Lifestyle Gallery; and finally, wearing traditional hanbok and visiting Gyeongbokgung Palace.

Saying goodbye to the vibrant city of Seoul, Hello World team continued on to visit the peaceful and green Jeju island. Jeju has long been known as a paradise getaway with a lot of enchanting luxury resorts, one of which is the Podo Hotel and Art Villas, where guests can enjoy luxury services and best relaxation. The journey to explore Jeju island brought visitors to stunning attractions including Bulgeun Oreum Natural Recreation Forest; O’sulloc Tea Museum where the guests of Hello World had the opportunity to learn about Korean tea ceremonies; the famous “Untitled, 2017” café which belongs to the singer G-Dragon – a member of Big Bang in the Jeju Shinhwa World; and WE Hotel to try the unique Water Therapy. The guests also enjoyed the fresh and delicious seafood of Jeju. One of the most popular cities in Korea is Busan. This beautiful port city is famous for its splendid beaches and luxury marinas.

After arriving in Busan, the Hello World team boarded the Yacht Tale to admire the sparkling nighttime scene in Busan. The first day in Busan, spending the night in premium rooms at the Hilton Busan helped the team recover quickly to prepare for the journey to explore other attractions in Busan. During the days in Busan, Hello World delegation visited Jeonpo Café District, went shopping at Shinsegae Department Store – one of the largest shopping malls in the world, visited and experienced skin care treatment at Mr. Kim Skin Clinic, tried Jimjilbang – Korean traditional spa at Spa Land, admired the night view of Haeundae beach from The Bay 101, and enjoyed the Famous Snow Crabs at The East in Busan.

During the 7-day and 6-night luxury journey in Korea, the guests were impressed by special exclusive travel experiences; the most thoughtful and classy services; as well as diverse destinations from vibrant and crowded cities, mysterious historic cultural monuments to the peaceful green island.

Wanderlust Tips

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Cape Town – The rendezvous of the oceans http://en.wanderlusttips.com/2018/06/21/cape-town-the-rendezvous-of-the-oceans/ http://en.wanderlusttips.com/2018/06/21/cape-town-the-rendezvous-of-the-oceans/#respond Thu, 21 Jun 2018 08:32:06 +0000 http://en.wanderlusttips.com/?p=7530 [Wanderlust Tips June 2018] Cape Town, the south-western city of South Africa, is blessed with typical mediterranean climate throughout the year. 

In the summer, the weather is cool and pleasant with the average temperature of below 26 degrees celsius, while the temperature in the winter is often higher than 8 degrees celsius. However, if it does not have a special geographic location where the indian ocean meets the Atlantic ocean and the hot current meets the cold current, if famous explorers did not choose this place as the rest stop on their expenditures, if bustling maritime trades hadn’t taken place over the centuries, Cape Town still might be a secluded place like many other destinations in Africa. All of the features mentioned above have turned Cape Town into the most beautiful city in South Africa, and it is likely to be the most attractive one in Africa. In fact, Cape Town is always in the top ten of mustvisit cities in the world by travellers. Moreover, Cape Town always makes you feel refreshed and excited by the breezes from the ocean that blows away the polluted air, and you are always rewarded with beautiful sunny days.

ACCOMMODATION

Onomo Hotel Cape Town Inn On The Square

If you want to stay in the heart of the city for a reasonable price, ONOMO is a perfect choice. With 165 3-star bedrooms, the hotel serves breakfast and includes all essential amenities for your stay. One of the advantages of this hotel is its extremely convenient location right next to the Hop On Hop Off. Moreover, Green Market Square is in front of the hotel; it is a local market that sells all kinds of extremely eye-catching souvenirs.

  • Address: 10 Green Market Square, Cape Town City Center, Cape Town, South Africa
  • Prices: from USD150 per room per night

Southern Sun the Cullinan

The hotel is located in the heart of the Mother City. It consists of 394 rooms with modern facilities that combine classic and contemporary architecture.

With its prime location at the centre, visitors can easily reach famous sites such as Victoria and Alfred Waterfront, Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens, Table Mountain, and Camps Bay Beach. Guests can enjoy fine cuisine delicately cooked by chefs at The Peach Tree while being immersed in the melodious music of a piano. You will also be satisfied when visiting the Stella Café & Bar as well as the large and beautiful outdoor heated swimming pool at the hotel.

  • Address: 1 Cullinan Street, Cape Town, South Africa
  • Prices: from USD200 per room per night

South Beach Camps Bay

South Beach Camps Bay with 19 5-star apartments with areas ranging from 41 to 107 square meters. The hotel is just a few steps from Camps Bay, one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Visitors can watch the sea and admire the mountains. If you want to cook, the apartment has a fully equipped kitchen and appliances. If you want to enjoy the sea breeze while enjoying meals outside, just stroll along the beach and you will find hundreds of restaurants with all kinds of seafood as well as European and American cuisine. The hotel has two magnificent swimming pools, and there are free bicycle services for visitors who want to explore the Camps Bay area.

  • Address: 06 Link Road, Camps Bay, Cape Town,South Africa
  • Prices: from USD350 per room per night

To save money and have more fun, then you might want to consider booking for a group on Airbnb. It is recommended to choose a hotel at the central area of Cape Town for a more convenient travel experience.

RESTAURANTS

Dining in Cape Town is easy because of the diverse cuisine from European, American, and Asian to African dishes, depending on the money. It is important to note that Cape Town always includes a tip for service staff, about 10% of the bill.

Ocean Basket, Camps Bay

Situated by the road along the Camps Bay beach, Ocean Basket is a great place to enjoy lunch and especially dinner while watching the sunset on Camps Bay. The restaurant serves seafood, sushi and other dishes all with reasonable prices. The peak time of the restaurant is in the afternoon, at sunset (6.30pm – 7.30pm). There is usually a 20-30 minute waiting time to be seated.

  • Address: 51 Victoria Road, Camps Bay, Cape Town, South Africa
  • Opening hours: 11.30am – 10pm
  • Prices: from USD30 per person

Harbour House Seafood V&A Waterfront

Here, diners can watch the entire Victoria & Alfred Waterfront and enjoy the fresh ocean breeze. The restaurant serves lunch and dinner, including seafood, sushi, beefsteak, and vegetarian food. Dishes that are highly recommended here are sushi, tuna and shrimp.The peak time is from 8pm to 9.30pm. There is usually a 30 minute waiting time to be seated.

  • Address: Quay 4 Pierhead, V & A Waterfront, Cape Town, South Africa
  • Opening hours: 12pm – 4pmand 6pm – 10pm
  • Prices: from USD80 per person

Bertha’s Simon’s Town

Situated in the heart of the beautiful and peaceful Simon’s Harbor, Bertha’s restaurant offers a more relaxed and tranquil ambience than any other wharf area restaurant. The menu is varied and rich, including seafood dishes that provide combos for your family or group. Fresh food, fast service and very enthusiastic staff.

  • Address: Quayside Centre, 1 Wharf St, Simon’s Town, Cape Town, South Africa
  • Opening hours: 7.30am – 10pm
  • Prices: from USD30 per person

Fish On The Rock

This South African style restaurant mainly serves fish and seafood in the form of fast food fish and chips. The prices are reasonable, suitable for backpackers or those who travel the town.

  • Address: 1 Hobour Road, Hout Bay, Cape Town, South Africa
  • Opening hours: 9am – 8pm
  • Prices: from USD10 per person

VISIT

Watch The Seals At Hout Bay

On the way to Cape Point, visitors often stop at Hout Bay, a small bay with picturesque fishing villages. However, the most attractive activity is a boat trip that lasts from 40 to 45 minutes to Duiker Island, also known as Seal Island. Thousands of extremely cute seals, sometimes even up to 6,000, will promise to overwhelm all visitors.

  • Address: Hout Bay, Cape Town, South Africa
  • Opening hours: The train runs every 45 minutes from 8.30am.
  • Ticket price: ZAR75 per adult

Watch The Penguins At Boulder’s Beach

If you come to the beautiful Simon’s Town, it is a must to visit the extremely cute African penguins at Boulder Beach. Walk along the wooden path down to the edge of the sea, then go over the sand dunes, you will see the penguins walking to their nest. When you reach the edge of the sea, you will be surprised when seeing tens of thousands of penguins swimming, sunbathing and playing around very naturally. African penguins are found only in South Africa and Namibia, so the authorities protect this species extremely carefully. However, unlike Australia’s policy, at Boulder Beach, tourists can freely take photos of the penguins.

  • Address: Boulder’s Beach, Simon’s Town, Cape Town, South Africa
  • Opening hours: 8am – 5pm
  • Ticket prices: ZAR35 per adult, ZAR10 per child.

The Colorful Houses Bo – Kaap

This area has a similar street structure to those in the heart of Cape Town, but it attracts so many tourists, especially photographers and travel devotees because of various houses painted colorfully. Stone or pebble paved streets and gentle slopes with deep corners promise to help you take a lively picture.

  • Address: From the bus stop No.81 on Long Street in the centre of Cape Town, after walking through several streets, you will come to Bo-Kaap.
  • Peak time: 10am – 5pm. Free admission.

Cape Point And Cape Of Good Hope

It can be said that these two places are so famous that any visitor to South Africa in general and Cape Town in particular tries to make time to visit this sight. More than 70 kilometres from Cape Town centre, Cape Point is the tip of the mountain that extends to the Southeast of the Cape Peninsula. Cape Point is the rendezvous of the Indian Ocean and the Atlantic Ocean, and the meeting place of the hot and cold currents. In order to have the best view of Cape Point, visitors have to climb up the mountains, where the ancient lighthouse is located. From the bottom of the lighthouse, you will see the waves lapping with white foam around Cape Point. To get closer, from the lighthouse, there is a path down the cliff to Cape Point.Cape of Good Hope is located more than 1 kilometre from the Cape Point. Regarding its geographical feature, the Cape of Good Hope is just a wild cliff, and for its history, this is where sailors from the Portuguese expedition had sheltered after being hit by a great wave. Before the Suez Canal was built in 1869, the only traffic way on the sea between Europe and Asia was through the Cape of Good Hope.There are many companies that offer tours to Cape Point for about USD100 per person for a nine-hour journey. You can use the Hop on Hop off service which costs about USD50 per person, not including ticket prices to attractions.

  • Address: Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve
  • Opening hours: 8am – 6pm (or till sunset)
  • Tickets to the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve: ZAR110 per adult, children will be charged half of the price for adult.

Table Mountain

The name Table Mountain just indicates the inherent nature of this mountain which is flat like a table at an altitude of 1,085 metres above sea level. Table Mountain is one of the seven wonders of the modern world. Furthermore, it is also chosen as a featured image on Cape Town’s flag and other government badges. If you want to experience it, you can climb from the foot to the top of the mountain, which will take about 2 hours. Otherwise, the super-fast cable system will take you up in an almost vertical direction in just a few minutes. The ocean climate at this altitude is really wonderful; you can breathe without feeling tired as the air is not diluted. The most amazing thing is the panoramic view; you will see Cape Town looking sparkling under the brilliant sunshine on one side, while in the opposite side, you can admire the deep blue ocean merging into the blue sky. In addition, Table Mountain has rich flora and fauna, but most of them are bushes and shrubs so they do not obstruct your vision.

There are many ways for you to travel to Table Mountain, you can go by Uber from the city centre (about 7 kilometres), or if you want to visit other places on the same day you can buy the Hop on Hop Off Bus tour to Table Mountain with the price of ZAR200 per person (online tickets are only ZAR180 per person). Hop on Hop off will stop at bus stop No.7, so you need to buy a cable car ticket on the bus before departing at bus stop No.6, so you will not need to line up to buy the ticket.

  • Address: Table Mountain, Cape Town, South Africa
  • Cable car ticket prices: ZAR290 per adult from 8am – 1pm, after 1pm, the price will reduce slightly to ZAR275.

Depending on the months of the year, the cable car has different departure time for the last ride, so you should carefully check the information board. In the winter, the last ride usually departs at 6pm, while in the summer it will depart at 9.30pm

SHOPPING

Victoria Wharf Shopping Center

Located in the heart of Victoria & Alfred Harbor, Victoria Wharf Shopping Center is home to hundreds of boutiques from high-end Louis Vuitton fashion brands to average brands such as Woolworths and Mr.Price; from the world-famous diamonds of South Africa to the fruits. Victoria Wharf has many restaurants from cheap fast food to expensive dishes. This place also closes the latest among the shopping centres in Cape Town.

  • Address: 19 Dock Road, Victoria & Alfred Waterfront, Cape Town, South Africa
  • Opening hours: 9am – 9pm

Cape Quarter Lifestyle Village

The area is home to around 100 small shops and restaurants but it is not as bustling as in Victoria Wharf. However, it still attracts tourists and locals who are looking for nottoo-noisy places but still feature Cape Town imprints.

  • Address: 27 Summerset Road, Green Point, Cape Town, South Africa.
  • Opening hours: 9am – 6pm (weekdays). Closed earlier on Saturday and Sunday

Green Market Square

This is a flea market with nearly 100 booths selling all kinds of handicrafts such as scarves, tablecloths, paintings of the “big five” which are symbolic animals of Africa, jewelry rings, and wooden furniture which are extremely eye-catching. Because it is a flea market, the price will depend on your bargaining skills. It is said that you should bargain down to about 40% of the initial price. This market is located in the heart of Cape Town’s trading centre, close to Hop on Hop off at 81 Long Street, so it is easy to find.

  • Address: Green Square, Burg Street and Longmarket Street, Cape Town, South Africa
  • Opening hours: 9am – 5pm

Old Biscuit Mill

Situated in the heart of Woodstock, Old Biscuit Mill, which was formerly a brewery, is now home to artists, people working in the art and cuisine field. This complex consists of hundreds of well-known restaurants, cafes, fashion boutiques, handicrafts, fine art and local product stores. You can find almost anything you want here for a decent price. On Saturday, The Neighborgoods Market is where tourists from all over the world gather, creating a multinational and multicultural meeting point with exciting festivals, events, and music.

  • Address: 373 – 375 Albert Road, Woodstock, Cape Town
  • Opening hours: 10am – 4pm.
  • The Neighborgoods Market: 9am – 3pm on Saturday, close on Sunday.

EXCLUSIVES

Enjoy The Wine At Beau Constantia

Beau Constantia is a farm that makes wine from the grapes grown on top of Constantia Nek at an altitude of 350 metres above sea level. With a cool climate all year round, this is home to the finest South African grapes which are used to produce a great variety of famous wines. Here, visitors can try the wine at a cost of just USD5 in a beautiful and cool space before deciding what to buy. You can book private tours to the vineyard or buy a Hop on Hop off Wine Tour; remember to check the bus route and stops.

Address: 1042 Constantia Main Road, Constantia, South Africa

Opening hours:

– Wine Tasting:11am – 6pm
– Lunch: 12pm – 2.30pm
– Dinner:5pm – 8pm

Clifton Beach

Clifton Beach is considered the best beach in South Africa and one of the top 10 most beautiful beaches in the world. This area is home to many cliffs overlooking the Atlantic Ocean and South Africa’s most expensive properties. The sand is smooth and relatively white, but there are many round rocks scattered on the coast. The water is clear but very cold due to the melting ice from Antarctic, even in the summer; just a few courageous people go there to swim. The most common activities of visitors here are sunbathing, paragliding or surfing. Remember that this beach has been recorded for shark attacks.

Address: Situated parallel to Victoria Road. From the parking lots, there is a path leading to the beach.

Kritenbosch Botanical Garden

At the foot of Table Mountain, to the west, there is the Kritenbosch Botanical Garden with an area of 528 hectares. It is also one of the seven most magnificent botanical gardens in the world. In the botanical garden, there are separate conservation and plantation areas for visiting or holding festivals, with the rule of not harming the nature reserve. The scenery is very beautiful in the afternoon when the honey sunlight speads over the plants and flowers. You should spend at least 2 to 3 hours to be able to see all of the garden.

  • Address:Rhodes Drive, Newlands, South Africa
  • Admission fee:ZAR65 per adult, ZAR15 per child
  • Opening hours: 8am – 6pm (winter), 7pm (summer).

W. TIPS

Weather 

South Africa also has four seasons, but it is not really possible to distinguish exact times of these seasons; summer lasts from September to March while winter is from April until the end of August. Because it is located in the Southern hemisphere, the winter time in Vietnam will be the summer time in South Africa.

Visa 

Applying for a visa to South Africa is not as difficult as in the United States or Canada, but it is not easy as it requires financial proof and invitation letter. The visa fee is VND1,192,000 per person.

Transporatation 

The most convenient route from Vietnam to Cape Town is flying through Dubai with Emirates Airlines. Or you can choose Singapore Airlines or Qatar Airways if you want to visit other cities in South Africa.

Currency 

ZAR (Rand), USD1 equals to ZAR11 – 12. Passport is required for money transfer, and the fee is quite high (about 5%)

Other notes 

>> Security in South Africa is also a matter of concern; it is recommended to go in groups and advoid going out in the evening. Handbags, phones and cameras must be kept safe. Do not wear too much jewelry.
>> Rainfalls in Cape Town are relatively low, so water shortage happens quite often. When travelling here, you need to show high responsibility to the Cape Town community in particular and the Earth in general by the act of saving water. This is highly recommended in public areas, hotels or restaurants.
>> Avoid unauthorized trades such as selling rhinoceros horns or tiger bones.

Thái Duy | Wanderlust Tips

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Hanoi Daewoo Hotel – Destination of the World Cup season http://en.wanderlusttips.com/2018/06/19/hanoi-daewoo-hotel-destination-of-the-world-cup-season/ http://en.wanderlusttips.com/2018/06/19/hanoi-daewoo-hotel-destination-of-the-world-cup-season/#respond Tue, 19 Jun 2018 06:03:56 +0000 http://en.wanderlusttips.com/?p=7517 During The World Cup 2018, Lakeview Sky Lounge – the rooftop bar of Hanoi Daewoo Hotel will be the ideal destination for football lovers with exciting programs.

ENJOY WORLD CUP 2018 LIVE ON BIG SCREEN

Join us at Lakeview Sky Lounge to watch thrilling matches on large screen and experience the best fellow football fan atmosphere. It’s time to gather friends to enjoy the exciting games along with premium F&B packages.

Destination for World Cup 2018

Choose your favorite among our packages including Free flow of Tiger draught beer at VND300,000/person, Free flow of Belenkaya Light Vodka at VND350,000/person, Trivento or Reserve Malbec or Mendoza Chardonnay package at VND 720,000 ++/bottle, Free flow of Taittinger Brut Reserve champagne at VND2,200,000 ++/person.

Lakeview Sky Lounge is ready to welcome football lovers

From 14th June – 15th July 2018, every female in sportswear visiting Lakeview Sky Lounge –rooftop bar of Hanoi Daewoo Hotel will receive a complimentary World Cup cocktail.

A free cocktail awaits

BECOME THE WINNER OF GLAMOROUS PRIZES

Cheer on your favorite team and enjoy exquisite beverages with the spectacular view of Thu Le lake. Football fans will have memorable evenings at our rooftop bar and have the chance to win special prizes including complimentary BBQ buffet voucher for 2 people at Café Promenade, 01 night stay at Hanoi Daewoo Hotel, 01 bottle of Beluga Goldline, Leather valued up to VND2,750,000.

Enjoy memorable evenings

Head to Lakeview Sky Lounge to experience one of the world’s most anticipated sports events.

HANOI DAEWOO HOTEL

  • Address: 360 Kim Mã, Ba Đình, Hà Nội.
  • Tel: +84 243831 5000/Fax: +84 43831 5010
  • Email: info@daewoohotel.com
  • Website: www.daewoohotel.com

Wanderlust Tips | Cinet

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Chiang Mai – pretty little town in Northern Thailand http://en.wanderlusttips.com/2018/06/19/chiang-mai-pretty-little-town-in-northern-thailand/ http://en.wanderlusttips.com/2018/06/19/chiang-mai-pretty-little-town-in-northern-thailand/#respond Tue, 19 Jun 2018 05:29:48 +0000 http://en.wanderlusttips.com/?p=7481 [Wanderlust Tips June 2018] I did not remember the reason why i chose Chiang Mai as a stopover for my days away from Saigon, away from the busy pace of life and noisy city. The only thing that remained most clearly in my mind was the balance of the experiences in this land.

AN IDEAL GETAWAY IN THAILAND

I travelled to a beautiful little town called Chiang Mai in the early days of summer when golden rain tree flowers blossomed on the streets. I like to call it a town rather than a city because even at the centre, you do not feel the oppressiveness or discomfort of a modern city.

Chiang Mai, which means “new city”, is about 700kilometres North of Bangkok. It is not difficult to find golden rain tree flowers in Chiang Mai because this is the national flower of the Land of a Million Elephants. The flower named Ratchaphuruek leaves a strong impression with its loving and gentle yellow color. June is the time when the flowers bloom. In the early morning sunshine, the flowers are even more gorgeous, bringing dreaming and charming beauty to the streets on the outskirts of the city.

Chiang Mai nestles on the hillside and sloping mountains so this is nestled on destination for nature lovers, couples or families looking for a quiet getaway. With a mild climate, visitors can visit Chiang Mai in all seasons of the year. The summer here is cooler than in other regions in Thailand, so many citizens and tourists choose this city for their holidays. November to early February is the time when many beautiful flowers blossom and the climate gets colder.

VISIT PAGODAS IN CHIANG MAI

I stayed in Chiang Mai for only five days. It would be regrettable if you did not visit ancient pagodas. After nearly two hours of travelling from a hotel in the city centre, I arrived at Doi Suthep hill which is famous for the ancient pagoda of the same name. Wat Phra That Doi Suthep was built in 1383. It is located at an altitude of 1,073metres, about 15kilometres away from the residential area. Visitors will have to climb 290steps to reach the gate or they can use the cable car service.

The statues painted in shiny golden that brings nostalgic features which will be the first thing to impress you. According to local folklore, the current location of the pagoda used to be the resting place of a matriarch elephant. Therefore, a white elephant statue is built right in front of the pagoda.The high tower, the place that worships Buddha’s holy relics, gradually appears when you go deep inside. Visiting the pagoda on a rainy day, I missed the opportunity to admire the panoramic view of Chiang Mai and neighboring countryside from above. But in return, this was probably the most memorable experience in my journey. Standing in front of the statues covered in the rain, I found true joy in my heart. Also, you can visit Wat Suan Dok or Wat Phra Sing, which are two more famous ancient pagodas in Chiang Mai. It is also home to many bustling activities during festive seasons.

DISCOVERING MANY EXOTIC ACTIVITIES IN CHIANG MAI

Leaving Doi Suthep, my companions and I went to an adventure complex on a mountain in Pong Yang. It is undeniable that adventure games are one of the most popular experiences in Chiang Mai. There are so many types of adventure games that are designed to be safe for travellers. There are exciting activities to take part in, such as zip-lining, roller coaster rides, zip lining through the air on bicycles, free falling and swings to name a few. Do you dare to surpass yourself to jump down from an altitude of about 20metres?

If you are an adventurer, this is probably the experience that is worthwhile for you. You can spend half or the whole day trying. A usual tour takes about 4-5hours depending on the number of games, while prices range from 1,600to 2,400baht (about 1to 1.6million Vietnam Dong).

A trip to Chiang Mai will not be perfect if you miss a Muay Thai match or a dinner watching traditional dances. The melodious sound of the instruments accompanied by the skillful movements of the head and hands of beautiful Thai girls in the Lakhon dance will mesmerize you.

Young people who love innovation and creation can go to Baan Kang Wat, a “village” that is home to traditional handicraft shops and dozens of small cafés. Baan Kang Wat is about 10kilometres to the West of Chiang Mai centre. Every corner of this village shows its artistic and creative features. People who love taking pictures will be amazed by the beautiful check-in corner. You can also buy items such as paintings, music boxes, pottery or tea as souvenirs.

Also, my nostalgia for Chiang Mai is about the mornings when I woke up without being surrounded by dozens of skyscrapers or the noise of traffic on the streets, which made me feel so strange. The pace of life in Chiang Mai is not too rushed. I miss the gentle and kind people, the look of a driver and shopkeeper at the night market Think Park, or the big smiles of a little girl on the street.

FAMILIAR YET STRANGE THAILAND CUISINE IN CHIANG MAI

“In Chiang Mai, there are more cafés than convenience stores” is a saying that many visitors tell each other after visiting this city. Under the mild sunshine of the early summer, I walked around the centre with my friends and visited many coffee shops without getting bored. You can enjoy a creamy latte in Baristro or a fragrant cake wit the smell of milk at Graph Cafe. Woo Cafe is a pretty little garden for girls to enjoy the flowers. It also has a rich menu, meticulous decoration of dishes and drinks. You can spend a morning leisurely exploring the coffee styles in the city.
During the days in Chiang Mai, I also enjoyed delicious dishes featuring traditional flavors of the land of A million elephants. Unlike Bangkok or southern provinces, the cuisine of this region is partially influenced by Myanmar and Laos. However, you will still find the spicy flavor of Thai cuisine in many dishes. Khao Soy, Sai Ua, Naem, Kanom Jeen Nam Ngeow are typical dishes that you definitely should try.

Visitors should also visit Saiyut and Doctor Sai Kitchen, where they offer a variety of traditional dishes. If you love vegetables, you can go to the Oh ka Jhu restaurant, which has an organic hundred-of-square-metre garden with a variety of vegetables. Raw materials for this restaurant are taken from this garden.

INTERESTING SHOPPING EXPERIENCES IN CHIANG MAI

Evening is an ideal time for shopaholics to walk around the mall. The shopping mall in Chiang Mai may not be as big as many megamalls in Bangkok, but it will definitely not disappoint you. Maya Lifestyle or Kad Suan Kaew is where you can find your favorite brand-name items.

In this “new city”, there are also many night markets for those who want to explore the nightlife of local people. Night Bazzar, located on the sidewalk on Chang Klan Road, is a night market open in the evenings of the week. This market is next to the Kalare Night Bazaar so you can discover both at the same time. The main products are clothing, jewelry, and souvenirs. In addition, Chiang Mai also has a weekend market on Wua Lai and Ratchadamnoen Road. The most prominent features of these markets are dining and foot massage services for 150baht (about VND120,000) per hour.

The future is unpredictable and we are never certain of who we might meet next, and there are certain places we may visit and people we meet that we will remember for a very long time. Packing my baggage and saying goodbye to the small town on a sunny day, I thought I would go back one day. On the flight from Chiang Mai to Hanoi of Bangkok Airways, I kept thinking about cool green forests, pretty little cafés, exotic vegetable soup with egg ants and the adventure games that I never tried before. There are no long lines of traffic like in Saigon or modern metro stations like in Seoul, there are not as many skyscrapers as in Tokyo or mysterious mosques as in Jakarta. Chiang Mai appears in my mind gently but is full of impression of a destination to find balance in life.

W. TIPS

TRANSPORTATION

>> Previously, to travel to the “new city”, Vietnamese travellers often had to fly to Bangkok and then to Chiang Mai. In addition to the domestic airlines which are actively operating these routes, you can choose from a number of foreign airlines. Currently, Bangkok Airways is the only airline offering 2-hour direct flights from Hanoi, a round-trip flight ticket is just over VND4million.

>> The shops in Chiang Mai have different operating times; most of them are closed early and open late. Therefore, for the convenience of searching, you should have a Sim with an Internet connection to searching information. You can buy one at the airport, 4G sim, 3-day 3GB package costs 199baht (about 150,000VND), 8-day 5GB package costs 299baht (about VND250,000).

ACOMMODATION

>> Chiang Mai offers a full range of accommodation including suburban deluxe resorts, hotels, homestays, or hotels at the centre. Most of them are located in the Nimman and Old Town. Prices vary according to your choice. At 4-star U Nimman Chiang Mai, room prices are only about 3,200baht per night (about VND2.2million). If you want to save money, you can choose to stay in a dorm room in the homestay or a cheap hotel room from 200baht (about VND150,000).

OUTFITS

>> Make sure you have sun protection clothing, elastic pants, and sneakers when playing adventure games. Prepare long clothing (at least knee length) when visiting pagodas.

OTHER NOTES

>> If visitors have enough time, they can book a two-day trip to Chiang Rai to visit monumental historic buildings.

Dã Phong |Wanderlust Tips

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Stand – up paddle boarding to explore Vietnam (part 1) http://en.wanderlusttips.com/2018/06/19/stand-up-paddle-boarding-to-explore-vietnam-part-1/ http://en.wanderlusttips.com/2018/06/19/stand-up-paddle-boarding-to-explore-vietnam-part-1/#respond Tue, 19 Jun 2018 05:20:19 +0000 http://en.wanderlusttips.com/?p=7489 [Wanderlust Tips June 2018] If you want to explore water destinations in Vietnam in a completely new way, SUP (stand-up paddle) is probably an ideal choice. SUP or also known as stand up paddle boarding help you discover beautiful nature, exercise, and experience a little adventure at the same time.

SUP is very new in Vietnam. No one can tell the origin of SUP, but this sport became popular in Hawaii, United States (similar to surfing). For SUP, you need a wooden hard board or an inflatable board, 10 to 12 feet long (about 3 to 3.6 metres), a paddle, fin, and lease. SUP also requires the same technique as Kayak, but is more flexible as you can change postures like kneeling, sitting, or standing, and use different paddle techniques like turning around, turning left, turning right, or even surf using the SUP board. SUP helps you burn a lot of energy, improve your abdominal muscles, upper torso and thigh muscles as you regularly do squats when rowing. The faster you surf, the higher the number of squats you have to do.

In addition to physical benefits, SUP helps you explore the nature of water areas in a completely new way. You can also relieve stress and relax, or even do yoga, meditation or muscle relaxants if you can find calm waters.

SUP TO FIND PEACE OF MIND

When I could not motivate myself to go to gym and I did not have enough physical strength to run, I accidentally discovered SUP when I was looking for information of outdoor activities in Ho Chi Minh city on Facebook. Since then, the SUP boards have become my companion on every nature exploration trip relating to water. I started my SUP journey with a trip to Tri An Lake in Vinh Cuu district, Dong Nai. Then, I went to Tuyen Lam Lake in Da Lat, Mai Waterfall in Dong Nai, Trai Tim Lake in Tay Ninh, Da Lake in Thu Duc district, Vung Tau beach, Tam Giang lagoon, Lang Co beach in Hue and Vu Gia river in Quang Nam.

In addition, I also took my SUP boards abroad to Thailand, Bhutan, and Singapore. The list will go on until I can no longer SUP. It would be a long time until the day I cannot handle standing up padde so I will continue to explore the nature with my paddle board.

For me, with an urban lifestyle, filled with so much stress every day, going far away from the noisy, dusty and complicated city to flow along the river or paddle against the wind and the resistance of water has become indispensable on weekends and holidays. I can watch the blue sky, look at the trees swaying in the wind, listen to the birds singing and watch them flying across the water. The moments when I look at the calm water surface with the waves gently lapping the hard board are so precious. SUP always brings peace to my chaotic mind, and when I go to new or familiar places for SUP, I feel refreshed and filled up with new energy along with creative inspiration to return to the city and face the tension and fluctuations of daily life. It can be said that SUP is a therapy that heals the invisible “wounds” that the stormy life has left in my heart.

TRI AN LAKE – HEARING BIRDS’ SONG AT THE DAWN 

Tri An Lake in Dong Nai is my favorite place to SUP in Vietnam. The natural scenery around Tri An changes each season with the fluctuation of the water level. Dawn was what I loved the most when thinking about SUP activities here, when I watched the red sun rising from the deep blue sea. I had to try my best to wake up at 4am, travel with everyone to Tri An, inflate the SUP board, and paddle out of shore to watch the sunrise at about 6am. Admiring the bright red sun rising up from the water surface made me feel refreshed; I felt the efforts to wake up early paid off.

Tri An lake is one of the major and largest hydroelectric dams in Southern Vietnam with an area of 232 square metres. Just more than an hour away from Ho Chi Minh City, with lush green nature and clean water without chemicals or wastes, Tri An is an ideal place to SUP, have a picnic, practice yoga on a SUP board, or simply paddle to a corner of the lake that is full of trees and sit still to listen to the birds singing at dawn. If you love to do exercises or muscle training, you can SUP to Dong Truong island or O Island which is 7 kilometres away with your guide. Doing SUP continuously can help you burn more than 800 Kcal in an hour, and outdoor practice amidst the beautiful nature in Tri An will bring unexpected benefits to your health and mind.

Tri An is an ideal destination to do SUP at any time of the year as the weather is very stable with cool winds and fresh air. Local people catch fish from the raft, and the specialty of this region is the hemibagrus. Hemibagrus hot pot or grilled hemibagrus with salt and chilli are the dishes you should not miss out on when travelling here.

TUYEN LAM LAKE – WHERE THE PINE FOREST IS FILLED WITH JOYFUL SOUND

Tuyen Lam lake is one of the most romantic places I have been to SUP, with the joyful sound in the pine forest whenever the wind raises, blue sky, gently drifting white clouds, golden sunlight covering flowers and green grass, and the calm transparent water. Tuyen Lam lake deserves to be the “muse” in the fanciful mist of the flower city Da Lat. Only 15 kilometres from the centre of Da Lat, at the foot of the Truc Lam Thien Vien, when paddling your SUP here, you can admire the beautiful surroundings while enjoying cool pleasant breezes, which is not easy to find in busy cities.

Tuyen Lam lake is even more charming from above with its attractive curves adorned with the fresh green of pine forests and sparkling water surface. This lake also plays a very important role to supply and reserve water for the whole city of Da Lat along with Than Tho lake, Tuyen Quang lake, and Xuan Huong lake. It will still be very enjoyable when you unfortunately fall into the water when doing SUP (with life jackets). The clear and fresh water gently lapping the bank will make you feel like you are being massaged by the cool water to beat the summer heat. You can also practice meditation or yoga on the SUP board in some quiet waters near the bank. A SUP trip to Tuyen Lam lake can last up to 3 hours, and you will see Mong Mo hill or a part of Love valley.

The best time to SUP in Tuyen Lam lake is in the Spring from February to the end of May, and in the Fall from October to the end of November when the rainy season comes to an end. If you would like to trek after exploring Tuyen Lam lake by SUP, you can trek to Cu Lan village or take the long-distance bus to Tinh crossroads (on the new road to Nha Trang) to trek to Andante Lodge Farm and experience one day one night without cell phone signals, 3G, or Internet. This will be a golden opportunity to help you stay away from the modern life and treat yourself more by reading, cooking, picking vegetables, feeding fish, and visiting the streams.

TAM GIANG LAGOON – WHERE THE TIME STOPS

I went to Tam Giang lagoon in Hue with my Philippino close friend and another friend I met through a SUP group in Da Nang. I had admired the rare shimmering beauty of Tam Giang lagoon for a long time and also visited this place many times, but that was the first time I stood up paddle board to enjoy the beauty of Tam Giang lagoon in a completely new way. On the transparent water surface like a big silver mirror, I paddled slowly to enjoy this rare beauty. Tam Giang lagoons are dotted by piles of fishing nets to keep fish rafts from floating away, creating extremely unique zig-zag chains on the water, which could not be found in other lakes.

You can SUP to watch the sunset. The whole bright purple sky was reflected on the calm water. Sometimes, we met a fishing boat on the way home, which created a poetic scene full of emotions. At that time, you would not hesitate to take out your camera to capture this impressive scenery. If you do not have a camera and do not want to do anything, you can just let the SUP board drift. However, at a place where time does not seem to elapse, even the SUP board did not want to drift so that the oarsman can enjoy the moment of watching beautiful nature.

At Tam Giang lagoon, besides SUP and admiring the nature, you can also set up camping tents on the mounds and sit by the fire to sing songs with friends. Of course, you should tie the SUP levee to a fixed place to prevent the board from drifting away, as well as prepare food and drink for camping as there are not many grocery stores around.

W. TIPS

CHOOSE THE APPROPRIATE TYPE OF SUP BOARD

There are two types of SUP boards: hard board and inflatable board. Depending on utility purpose – for yoga, pilates, meditation, or relaxing, you can choose the board that suits your body.

COST

>> A SUP board also has a range of prices, from USD350 to over USD2,000. The cheap SUP boards often cannot withstand high or too low temperatures for a long time and are easy to leak after a period of time (inflatable boards) or crack (hard boards). Therefore, you should consider buying a high-quality SUP board for regular use over a long period of time.

>> If you just want to occasionally relax with SUP, you can sign up for a SUP tour package (including transportation, SUP tools and boards, an instructor, safety equipment, and more). The price for a SUP tour ranges from VND740,000 in Ho Chi Minh city, and more than VND 2 million in Da Lat or Phan Thiet.

SOME IMPORTANT NOTES

>> If you have never done stand up paddle, you need to sign up for a SUP tour which includes an experienced tour guide travelling with you.

>> SUP requires good balance; when starting, you should kneel to paddle and get used to the water surface. After getting used to the board, you can choose relatively calm water and try to stand up with a squat movement and use the paddle to keep your balance.

>> To SUP, we use core abs and hands to hold the paddle to keep balance and paddle. When paddling, you need to flex your abdominal muscles and lean forward to create force to push the paddle backward so that the SUP board can move.

>> Always wear a life jacket regardless of how confident you are or how calm the water is. Always tie a lease to your legs and the SUP board so that if you fall into the water, the SUP board will become a breeches-buoy.

>> Sunscreen, sunglasses, water and some snacks (nuts or biscuits) should be put into a waterproof bag.

>> Always follow the instructions of the instructor or trainer to navigate and paddle properly.

>> If you fall into the water, do not panic because the life jacket will assist you. You will float on the water with your life jacket and SUP. Wait for your guide to help you climb up the SUP board.

Lê Hà | Wanderlust Tips

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Nostalgia for Davao http://en.wanderlusttips.com/2018/06/19/nostalgia-for-davao/ http://en.wanderlusttips.com/2018/06/19/nostalgia-for-davao/#respond Tue, 19 Jun 2018 05:16:58 +0000 http://en.wanderlusttips.com/?p=7474 [Wanderlust Tips June 2018] If i had to choose only 10 nostalgic memories, i would still choose the southernmost island of the Philippines, Davao. It is where people can proudly say that “life is here” because to them, living there is to enjoy what nature and life offers.

Tạp chí Du lịch Wanderlust Tips Nostalgia for Davao
If I had to choose 1,000nostalgic memories, I would choose Davao, the Philippines more than anywhere else in the land of more than 7,000islands. The seawater here is so blue, more than the dye used for the fabric. From the boat, sitting close to each other, we could watch the bottom of the sea, because the seawater is not only blue but also very clear. Do you still remember those moments of peace?

If I had to choose 100nostalgic memories, I would still choose Davao, especially the small island called Samal. Perhaps there is nowhere else in this country where dozens of storms happen every year that the sea is so beautiful and peaceful like in Davao. Hundred-hectare coral reefs will enchant anyone who visits this place. Snorkelling in this beautiful place, and you will realize that no words can be used to describe the magnificent scene under the sea.

If I could choose only 10nostalgic memories, I would still choose the southernmost island of the Philippines, Davao. It is where people can proudly say that “Life is here”because to them, living here is to enjoy what nature and life offers. I will always remember the smiles, words and the ways Davao people welcome tourists: gentle yet delicate and emotional, not extravagant but very warm-heartedly.

If I could only choose 1nostalgic memory, I would choose Davao. I miss the smiles that fascinated all visitors when they saw female dancers in the fire shows, the sailing dance of young men on Samal island, heard the powerful and persistent sound of drums and the lapping sound of waves by the boat, tasted the special dishes of the tropical country. I remember the afternoons by the seawhere it was only the two of us in the resort which is as beautiful as paradise, Pearl Farm Beach Resort.

Tạp chí Du lịch Wanderlust Tips Nostalgia for Davao

It was an afternoon in a faraway land, before the sunset shone its last light, the night came. You and I sat on a small balcony of one of Pearl FarmBeach Resort’smost beautiful bungalows, not talking or saying anything but admiring and listening. I saw everything, felt peace in every breath and on every boat drifting off the coast. I saw the sea covered in blue colour stretching to infinity; there were some pure white ships full of passengers approaching the coast. Farther away, there were some boats of fishermen, but the farthest was your faraway gaze when you leaned on my shoulder. And I felt like our two hearts beat as one, I heard the sound of the little gecko as if it was singing, I heard the coconut palm leaves swinging in the wind and heard the things that we seemed not be able to tell each other.

Sometimes we can describe our nostalgia in words, but sometimes we cannot, and this nostalgia always makes me think of Davao. It is a long journey from Hanoi or Saigon with a transit in Manila, and the total travelling time is more than 10hours. However the special memories that can be made here, may make visitor want to stay. It might be a little dreamy moment to see the world’s largest Monkey-Eating Eagle with its wingspan of more than 2metres; I wished I could be able to freely fly like a bird. Maybe it was an interesting curiosity when talking to the driver of a colorful Jeepney – the traditional transportation vehicle of Philippines, or a grandma sitting on the porch in the late afternoon. It can also be a memory of tasting the famous chocolate in Malagos Garden Resort or enjoying the sweet scent of the typical jackfruit from this land.

Davao is peaceful and beautiful, this may surprise you as the Philippines is known as the country of storms, and every year this country suffers dozens of storms. But it is miraculous that Davao is not affected. Philippines’ highest mountain, Apo, with its distinctive curved arches protects the southernmost land from the enormous winds of the sea and enabled stretching banana farmhouses to produce their freshest fruits. If you are a durian lover, I advise you not to go to Davao, because you are sure not to want to go back home. Durian in Davao is the best in the Philippines and is surprisingly cheap. In durian season, it costs only about 25pesos (USD0.5) per kilogram. Do not eat durians here if you do not want to become addicted, as I was addicted after eating two durians myself.

Tạp chí Du lịch Wanderlust Tips Nostalgia for Davao

When will the boats stop setting sail? When will travellers stop travelling? Throughout my life, I have visited a lot of new lands, met a lot of people, enjoyed the honey-like golden sunshine and swum in the clear blue water of the immense sea; those memories I will remember for the rest of my life. I miss the memory that seems to be immortal, but finally fades away with time. With its back on the mountain, overlooking the blue sea, the small bungalow looked so beautiful, making anyone who came here also fall in love. I let my soul guide my mind until the night came, the yellow lights reflected in the calm sea, and everything around was so quiet. Apparently, this was the most wonderful moments of my life when asking those without answers like, “When will life burdens stop bothering us: the fatigue, life matters, the hustles, the car horns, the hurried footsteps of people going to the office in the morning?”. All of these things have been forgotten during the flight to the Philippines. Only the moments during our visit remain. Life is the sea breeze caressing our skin, the sweetness of the wine like our first kiss, and the moments when we lie on the sofa listening to our own heart. Davao! When will dawn appear?

The night could not last forever; a dreamless sleep seemed to be not enough for a faraway traveller when visiting Samal. The morning sea rustled softly as if it was singing; sunlight shone through the soaring palm trees to the pool’s water surface; the sun rose above the mountain; several guests went trekking, explored the cave, and went kayaking or scuba diving. Samal is often referred to as the Island Garden City when talking about the greatness of this island with dozens of activities that will satisfy every need of its visitors. You can stay in the houses of people on the island, or in a bungalow of a luxury resort on the beach, which makes visitors think they are lost in Maldives. Samal still does not have many foreign tourists, so everything here still remains as wonderful as the generous nature of citizens here. They offer tourism services in their own style, no hurry or noise but slow as a boat floating freely on the sea.

I will never forget the images of the ordinary life of people there. On a colorful three-wheeled motorbike, a tan-skinned husband took a ride while his wife sat next to him carrying their younger daughter, and the older son sat behind with a schoolbag on his back. Life in Davao in particular and the Philippines in general is like that, this is a typical image of the lives of less well-off people. You can talk to them comfortably as well as try to drive that special motorbike. Davao used to be famous for murder issue, but now everything is completely different; there are not so many places where peace appears on every street corner or ferry like in here.

If you want to explore the whole Davao, it may take you a few months, but if you only have a few days, then Samal is a top choice. It takes about 30minutes on a ship or ferry to this beautiful little island where harmonious nature and life are one in the middle of the bay. Would you dare to visit Samal? Would you dare to leave all of the burdens of life to jump into the blue tranquil water to swim for pleasure, to admire the coral reefs which look like a flower forest under the sea, to lean on my shoulder watching the sunset, to hold hands and sit on the sofa listening to the sea whispering? Do you have the courage to ignore familiar tourist destinations in Thailand, Malaysia, or Singapore to explore a new horizon – Davao? I remembered every piece of the land as I thought back to the melodious notes rising softly amidst the candle lights on the beach that year.

Tạp chí Du lịch Wanderlust Tips Nostalgia for Davao

It is impossible to write down nostalgia, experiences or emotions about the Southernmost land of the Philippines because there are no words that can fully describe the beauty of this land. The colour of the sea at dawn, whether there is any camera or painter who can best capture that magical moment, or the taste of durian or the sweetness of chocolate which has just been made, who can describe it? It may be hard, only when you start your journey and open your soul, then you will feel the wonders awaiting in Davao. Like me, in the bungalow on the sea with the candle lights in a corner of the room, immersed in the smell of essential oil, a few birds chirping softly, I sat and read books on a chair on the balcony and fell asleep, startlingly woke up at night, grabbed a small notebook to write down a few words: Davao, nostalgia for Davao, Samal.

W. TIPS

VISA

The Philippines is one of the countries that allow Vietnamese tourists to enter without a visa. Under the visa waiver agreement between the two countries Vietnam and the Philippines, you only need a passport valid for a minimum of 6months and will be allowed to stay temporarily for 21days.

WEATHER

There are no storms in Davao. The city has good weather throughout the year, with an average annual temperature of 32oC and an average rainfall of 2,000mm per year.

ACCOMODATION

In Davao, you can choose to stay at budget hotels and resorts. However, in Davao in general and in Samal Island in particular, one of the best options is the Pearl Fam Beach Resort (Brgy Adecor, Kaputian – Samal – Kaputian Road, Babak, Island Garden City of Samal, North of Davao). The resort is located along the coastline, amidst lush greenery. With great services and picturesque scenery, it promises to bring you the most authentic experiences in Davao as well as Samal.

TRANSPORTATION

>> To Davao

There is no direct flight from Vietnam to Davao, so you will have to transit in another city before coming here. Normally, people often choose Philippine airlines like Phillipines Airlines, and Cebu Pacific to fly from Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City to the capital of The Philippines, Manila, and then fly to Davao.

>> In Davao

There are many means of transportation in Davao. The most convenient one is taxi. You can also opt for a cheaper colourful Jeepney, which is very popular with locals. Davao also has other transports such as buses, water taxis, E-tricke trams, or you can rent cars to explore Davao yourself if you have an international driver›s license.

CUISINE

Some of the dishes that you should enjoy when coming to Davao are grilled tuna, kinilaw na malasugu – fresh seafood salad with vinegar sauce, grilled pork – liempo served with rice, Bola Bolang Puso. In addition, dessert highlights include cassava dumplings, durian covered with cream, and other fruits.

LOCAL PRODUCTS

Durian and suha (similar to grapefruits) of Davao are extremely delicious while the price is quite cheap. Also, mangosteen candy or durian candy is also very popular to buy as gifts. And if you are a chocolate lover, you definitely should not miss the very famous Malagos chocolate.

Trần Giáp | Wanderlust Tips

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