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Southeast Asia Travel News

The Southeast Asia Travel Specialists Since 1999

Entire books have been written on the subject of languages of Southeast Asia so we’re limiting our post to the above countries and only including languages that are still spoken by at least significant-sized minorities in each country. With a few well-known exceptions – Basque, Sami and Hungarian spring to mind – all modern European languages belong to the Indo-European…

Where possible, rail travel is our preferred means of transport on our various Southeast Asia tours – especially for longer journeys. It’s certainly more environmentally friendly than hiring private buses, it avoids traffic, passengers can walk around – visit the buffet car, chat to other voyagers etc – views are often better than roadside ones and, these days, most Southeast…

You could spend a lot of time exploring Vietnam’s fascinating capital but the country holds a lot more to see, including no less than 8, UNESCO-listed World Heritage Sites as well as the sights of Danang and Ho Chi Minh City, (still Saigon to many of its inhabitants), so here’s a few of our favourites things to see and do…

Probably the most frequently asked question in respect to this part of Southeast Asia is ‘when’s the best time to visit Laos’. In our opinion, there’s no simple answer so read on for a brief overview of Laos weather and a few of the pros and cons of travel at different times of the year. The landlocked, mountainous Southeast Asian…

Current Sites The Vietnam World Heritage List forms a limited, albeit solid, portfolio consisting of five cultural sites, two natural and, with the Trang An Landscape Complex, one mixed cultural and natural listing. Although not exactly an abundance the extensive war damage during the 60s and 70s, a high population density (almost 100 million citizens) accompanied by the widespread and…

A new online, Lao E-Visa system is now in place and valid for entry at the following immigration points: Wattay International Airport Vientiane, Luang Prabang International Airport, Pakse International Airport and land crossings at the Lao-Thai Friendship Bridge Vientiane and the Lao-Thai Friendship Bridge II Savannakhet. (Note it is not available at the Friendship Bridge IV which connects Thailand’s Chiang…

Located in north-central Vietnam’s Quang Binh Province, Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park consists of over 1,200 square kilometres of primary and secondary forest set amid a particularly rugged and spectacular stretch of the Annamite Mountains. Happily, the area is now protected by both the Vietnamese government and UNESCO who granted it World Heritage status in 2003 as  “one of the…

Although certain purists may turn their noses up, some of the Flower Hmong gear to be seen on show these days at local markets such as Vietnam’s Bac Ha Sunday Market is quite remarkable. (The colourful Flower Hmong of Bac Ha are a subgroup of the Hmong ethnic group – in Vietnam often spelt H’Mong – who inhabit the area…

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…

In the light of a few recent incidents we’ve encountered, we’d like to reiterate some essential passport requirements to check prior to any travel in Southeast Asia. They may seem minor and are easily overlooked but aren’t necessarily so in the eyes of immigration officials or airline staff. We do already mention such requirements on our site but it is…

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…

So – wretched mosquitos and how to avoid them! First the good news: they are nowhere near as prevalent in Southeast Asia as many first time visitors imagine them to be. Especially in urban areas, particularly during the daytime and certainly outside of rainy season. In fact, we’ve been to many European tourist destinations with far higher population densities of…

A selection of Bac Ha photos from the famous hill-tribe market – Vietnam, taken on a recent visit during our Vietnam and China tour – South of the Clouds, Yunnan Province as well as some from an earlier Mountains and Hill-tribes – Lao and Vietnam tour led by Wi. The very colourful local market is relatively easily accessed from either…

Today we’ll mostly be posting boat photos! The spectacular limestone scenery of Vietnam’s UNESCO-listed Trang An in Ninh Binh Province. The spectacular region certainly lives up to its name  – ‘Halong in the paddy-fields’ – 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…

March, being the dry season, might not be the ideal time of year for Lao waterfalls but come May and June when the rains start they’ll be filling out, flowing fast and back to their lushest best so here’s a small selection of waterfall photos taken at sites included on our Mekong Adventure, Lao tour itinerary, beginning with the famous…

To round up our round-up of Southeast Asian World Heritage Sites last, but not by any means least, here’s a rundown on Vietnam World Heritage Sites as well as some of their 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…

Hill-tribes in Southeast Asia. You’ll have me across the term ‘hill-tribe’ in many of our Southeast Asia tour pages, or indeed those of most other operators running tours in the region, or for that matter in most of the relevant guidebooks you’ll find, and refers to the minority ethnic groups inhabiting the mountainous areas of northern Thailand,  Laos, Vietnam, Burma…