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Southeast Asia Travel News

The Southeast Asia Travel Specialists Since 1999

A new tweak on our two Vietnam tours – Hanoi to Saigon and the rather aptly named World Heritage Sites of Vietnam – will see the exciting addition of the awe-inspiring Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park. The park, lying amid the Annamite Mountains in north-central Vietnam’s Quang Binh Province, received UNESCO status in 2003 due to both its spectacular geographical…

One of our favourite Vietnam destinations, the so-called ‘Halong Bay in the paddy-fields’ – Trang An in Ninh Binh Province – lies just a couple of hour’s drive south of the capital Hanoi. It features similar landscapes to World Heritage Halong Bay, albeit on a smaller scale, with dramatic limestone outcrops scattered across a wide area. The difference here of…

Happy to say that Vietnam is falling more into line with neighbouring Southeast Asian nations and visa and entry regulations are becoming both easier and cheaper. For an increasing list of nationalities visa exemption is now in practice and while this is valid for 15 days only their e-visa and visa on arrival systems also seems to work efficiently. As…

6 more countries including Australia, Canada and New Zealand have now been added to the list of nationalities eligible for the Vietnam visa online scheme.  Rates are $25 for a single entry, 30-day visa with processing time set at 3 working days. Passport holders of 40 countries including the UK and Ireland are all already eligible for such e-visas and…

An opportunity to post a few pretty photos from our recent visit to the fascinating, highly colourful and still very traditional hill-tribe market at Bac Ha. Every Sunday this otherwise quiet and somewhat remote little town in the mountains of northern Vietnam bursts into life as vendors from outlying villages flock into town to sell their wares; farm produce, household…

Today we’ll mostly be posting boat photos! The spectacular limestone scenery of Vietnam’s Ninh Binh Province, which certainly lives up to its name ‘Halong in the paddy-fields’, is…..well spectacular, but unluckily the weather was a bit overcast on the day we visited so our photos conspicuously fail to do justice to the landscapes. With our somewhat limited photographic capabilities, (we’ll…

To round up our round up of Southeast Asian World Heritage Sites last, but not by any means least, here’s Vietnam’s entries and would be entries. Vietnam weighs in with seven sites currently inscribed on the list and whilst you may think that’s not a huge return on it’s spectacular and varied landscapes and wealth of historic buildings  there are…

One of our very favourite spots in Vietnam, the picturesque town of Sapa lies amongst the high ranges of the ‘Tonkinese Alps’ in the far northwest of the country, close to the border with China. This small, mountain-top settlement became popular during the French era as a cool retreat for colonists from the rigours of the Hanoi climate.   Now…

This year’s Lausanne Alpine Club’s, (Club Alpin Suisse, Lausanne), Southeast Asia tour took the form of a Vietnam odyssey from Hanoi to Saigon including side trips to UNESCO World Heritage Halong Bay plus the spectacular Sapa hill station in the far north. Some great images here of the colourful Bac Ha Sunday Market and its equally colourful Flower Hmong clientele…

Whilst Tai groups had probably been gradually infiltrating southwards into what is now northern Vietnam, Laos and Thailand for several centuries from their homeland in Southern China the process was hastened during the late 12th and 13th centuries as the Mongol armies under Genghis Khan & Kublai Khan also extended their empire southwards. Ethnic Tai clans and tribes who would…

Plenty of great markets to wander around in Vietnam and indeed the wet market across the river from Can Tho is also a favourite but we do particularly like this market because it is one of the increasingly rare, genuine ‘floating’ ones. The famous Damnoen Saduak market near Bangkok – featured on innumerable postcards and TAT ads, (Tourism Authority of…

We’re really pleased to see that Vietnam Airlines are now promising to introduce direct flights from Saigon to London later this year which will make Vietnam trips simpler and cheaper so hopefully giving a big boost to both our All Points East tours of Vietnam as well as tourism in general in a country that, as S. E. Asia goes,…

Although the ambulant Akha street vendors of Khao San, Tha Pae Gate and other tourist hot spots are very successful and the Lisus in Pai night market do well in the high season, across Southeast Asia it’s the enterprising and commercially minded Hmong that dominate the hill-tribe handicraft market. Their bright colours and bold patterns can be, and have been,…