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Southeast Asia Travel News

The Southeast Asia Travel Specialists Since 1999

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…

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…

Cambodia – Street Photography by Jeff Perigois. Getting those picturesque photographs of Cambodia’s sublime landscapes or spectacular, atmospheric shots of jungle-clad temple ruins is a relatively straightforward task. You’ll need someone to ensure you get to the right place at the right time then hope for a fortuitous monk to stroll past the stone carvings or an old ox-cart to…

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…

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…

Perched atop a nearly 5,000 ft mountain the old French hill-station of Sapa in Vietnam’s far northern reaches can get a bit stuck in the clouds from time to time so a big cheer all round as we awoke on the morning of our projected one-day Sapa trek to this magnificent view. This was the breakfast vista from the restaurant…

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…

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…

To discover another of our very favourite spots in Vietnam, the riverside town of Chau Doc, we’ll travel to the opposite end of the country from the hill-resort of Sapa and the rugged mountains of the Chinese border to the lush Mekong Delta region in the country’s far south. This small yet bustling riverside town is located right on the…

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…

The term Tai describes the broad ethnic group (the Tai-Kadai linguistic family) which includes the Thai (Siamese), Lao, Shan, Northern Thai, Thai Lu, Red Tai, White Tai etc who occupy a wide band of Asia from the Assam region of India, through southern China, Burma’s Shan States, Laos, Northern Vietnam and of course Thailand itself. We touched on the migration…

Continuing westwards from the Flower Hmong of Ha Giang and Black Hmong of Lao Cai we reach Lai Chau Province and its colourful Red Hmong sub-group. Their villages are quite widely spread across the northern and central parts of the province, being replaced to the south and west by Tai and Lao sub groups.  Occasional White Hmong villages can be…

The Black Hmong sub group of Northern Vietnam are particularly well known due to Sapa’s place on the well-trodden tourist trail. Although the town itself is actually inhabited by Vietnamese traders and cafe and hotel staff Sapa is totally swamped on most days by Hmong from the surrounding villages. You’ll also come across the distinctively dressed Red Dzao, the more…

Below, a photo fo a  Flower Hmong girl taken at Bac Ha’s Sunday Market. Don’t intend to be patronising – these guys have as much right to a cellphone as anyone – but it does look incongruous next to their centuries-old traditional costumes! The ‘Flower Hmong’ or ‘Variegated Hmong’ is one of the numerous sub groups of the Hmong ethnic…

And here’s a photo of the famous ‘Japanese Bridge’ at Hoi An – for no reason other than we haven’t posted a Vietnam pic for a while! The 16th or 17th-century bridge is known as the ‘Japanese Bridge’ since it connected the Vietnamese Town with the enclave of Japanese traders and merchants on the other bank of the river. Hoi…