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Cruises to Ha Long Bay

Tourist market international ship had positive signs since the beginning of the year, some ship tours take tourists to Ha Long have soared, many large carriers have increased the frequency to bring tourists to Ha Long without applying Vietnam visa in-advance. This is really a good sign, and promising new prospects for tourism in Quang Ninh step into 2013. This again confirmed that Ha Long was selected as the ideal location of the ship luxury cruise taking tourists to visit.
Right from the early days of the new year 2013, Ha Long Bay to become more beautiful, more vibrant with the frequent occurrence of the luxury cruise ship as: SuperStar Aquarius, Seabourn Pride, Costa Victoria... of carriers popular tourist beach in the world put thousands of international tourists visiting Ha Long. Quyen Vu Thi Hong, deputy director of Saigontourist Travel Company of Quang Ninh branch, the largest travel unit ships pick in Quang Ninh, said that starting from January to April this year, the the branch will be more busy, average weekly unit welcomes approximately 5 trains. Notably, the company ships Star Cruises (Malaysia) run fixed routes itineraries Sanya - Ha Long also increase the frequency up from 3-5 visits / week. She said Quyen, visitors crowded ship, the company had mobilized hundreds of tours guides welcome. This year, Ha Long ship to focus on the most vibrant in January and February, the market tourists mainly from Southeast Asia, where the majority are Chinese tourists. This is actually a good sign, as predicted by the influence of the world economic situation, this year's tourist seasons the number of tourists come from international markets in Europe, the United States still does not have the improved. However, the number of tourists from the ship to the China market growth will be quite clear.

Along with the sea carrier routing seasonal, monthly by the TUN Travel Service Company mining customers, starting from May 12-2012, Tourism Corporation and Hong Gai services also trying to catch the running train the Chamber routing - Halong dock at the 6th week and the trip is not fixed in the week brought hundreds of international tourists to Ha Long. Besides the shipping companies routing seasonal, month by TUN travel service company mining customers, Tan Hong Travel Company, Quang Ninh Branch also welcomed the ongoing international tourist boats take visitors high to visit Ha Long. This year, Tan Hong Travel Company continues to exploit expats line, from the U.S. to ship as: Shilver Shadow, Seabourn Pride, Nautica, SS Voyager, Crystal Sumphony ... each trip taken from 200-800 guests Ha Long Bay.

The excitement of the trip ship early 2013 helped confirm the attractiveness of the destination Ha Long in the eyes of international tourists. Remember, in a meeting when asked their feelings about Halong Bay, Carl Rohan Nilermak, SuperStar Aquarius ship captain, a ship often take visitors to Ha Long has had to say "Ha Long Bay of the you are so beautiful. Each ship in the Gulf is a time for me to add the new sense of the beauty of Halong Bay... ".

According to the assessment tour operators, currently in Vietnam, compared to all the ship's stopover in Vietnam as international Thua Thien Hue, Da Nang, Ho Chi Minh City and so on. Then Halong remains attractive destination for cruise tourists attracted most. Because this stops the huge advantage is closer to China, a potential market of ship travel segment, where a lot of international shipping vessels to travel to mining. In addition, Ha Long is also the closest point to the North Asian markets such as Taiwan, South Korea and Japan should more conditions to attract tourists. Representatives of the Travel Service Company said vessel density in Halong very large, including ships from Europe and Asia...
More details: khách sạn ở Hạ Long

My Son in Hoi An

My Son is the major site in Vietnam from the ancient Champa Kingdom which flourished between the 2nd and 15th centuries. Descendants of the Champa civilization still live along the coast of Vietnam though they are now fully integrated in Vietnamese society. The Kingdom at My Son dates back to the 4th century and remained fully occupied through until the 13th century which makes it the longest occupied of all the major monuments of SE Asia. It served as a religious and intellectual center where Champa kings were crowned and buried. In 1999 it was named a UNESCO World Heritage site. The site is often compared with some of the other great Indian influenced archaeological sites of SE Asia including Borobudur in Indonesia, Angkor Wat in Cambodia, Ayuthaya in Thailand and Pagan in Burma.
Unfortunately, events during the American War destroyed many of the site’s temples. The VC had used My Son as a key base which forced US bombing of the site leaving about 20 of the original 70 structures intact. Bomb craters next to some of the temples are clearly visible. A major restoration project is underway though nobody from our high-tech world has yet managed to work out how the Chams were able to get their baked bricks to stick together during construction!

Getting to My Son
Every travel agency and hotels in Hoi An is selling excursions to My Son for unbelievably cheap prices. We took the Dulichso coach tour which collected us at 8am then proceeded to collect more passengers until the bus was full. On arrival it’s a 2km walk from the car park to the site though jeeps run back and to constantly. We were given a guided tour, returned to the bus that dropped us off at a river stop from where we returned to Hoi An by boat with lunch on board. This whole trip cost a mere $5 plus 60,000 VN ($4 US) entrance fee.
For a more rewarding experience it would be a good idea to get there before the tour buses arrive. You can hire a car and driver in Hoi An for around $20 and aim to be there at sunrise (truly atmospheric) which is preferable to being there amongst the hordes of tourists. But then again that depends on your budget. The cheap coach trip was fine.
Chau Doc on the edge of the Mekong Delta is the stepping stone to Vietnam for travellers arriving from Cambodia. We arrived on the back of motorbikes that had collected us at the Cambodia/Vietnam border near the town of Tinh Bien which is 30km from Chau Doc (see Vietnam-Cambodia border crossings).
They dropped us at the very nice Trung Nguyen Hotel which overlooks the main market in the town center. Nice, clean rooms with very helpful receptionist at just $10 a night. Another good budget option is the Thuan Loi Hotel which is right on the river where the ferry from Phnom Penh docks. The Song Sao Hotel is a good mid-range option located almost next to a small bookshop called ‘the English Bookstore’. The charming owner loves to practice his English and will take you on private tours of the river.
The town is a busy, lively place with few tourists so not much hassle other than cyclos wanting to take you to Sam Mountain. It was good to be back in Vietnam again and a spicy lunch at Bay Bong restaurant was a nice change for the many coconut-based dishes on the Cambodian menu.

visit Hanoi in Vietnam

The main Hanoi sights seem less important in this old French colonial capital than absorbing the atmosphere of a city on the move. The main attractions are found around the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum complex which lies some 3km away from the hotels in Hanoi Old Quarter where you’ll probably be staying. We took a cyclo from our hotel to the Mausoleum then walked back via some other city attractions which we’ve listed below. You’ll have no problem getting a cyclo in the Old quarter, or anywhere else for that matter, as they’re all over the city touting for business (see Hanoi transport and get Vietnam visa for more information).
The price agreed for this journey was 35,000 Dong ($2US) which is an absolute bargain for two reasons. First of all, we got where we were going to and secondly, we experienced the madness of sitting in the middle of Hanoi’s traffic (more than once I closed my eyes as we crossed junctions!). Anyway, we survived and are here to tell the tale. Below are the main Hanoi sights with a brief explanation and opening times. They are listed in the order in which we visited them.

Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum
Opening Hours: Tuesday to Thursday & weekends from 8am to 11am
Closed: October & November (Opened in 2005 on December 5th)
This cold, grey block of marble is Ho Chi Minh’s final resting place where, in spite of his wishes to be cremated, his body lies in state similar to Lenin, Stalin and Mao, other great communist leaders before him.
It is difficult to appreciate the national reverence to Uncle Ho and pilgrims from all over Vietnam travel to visit his mausoleum in Hanoi. There are strict behavioral rules and dress code at the monument for instance you cannot take bags or cameras inside, you must not wear shorts or hats and you must enter in silence. Every year the embalmed corpse returns to Russia for maintenance so the mausoleum closes for a couple of months.  You can still visit the mausoleum complex when the actual mausoleum is closed as there is more to see.

Presidential Palace & Ho Chi Minh’s Stilt House
Opening Hours: 8am to 11am & 2pm to 4pm
Take the path that leads behind the mausoleum (you’re unlikely to go wrong with all the guards around) and enter grounds where you’ll come to the large, yellow Presidential Palace which was the former home of the Governor General of Indochina. Next, you’ll come to a pond stocked with carp before arriving at the stilt house which was reputedly the home and workplace of Ho Chi Minh from 1958 until his death in 1969. It seems the area would have been invitingly open to US bombers.

One Pillar Pagoda
Opening Hours: Daily from 6am to 6pm
Still within the complex continue beyond the gift shop and you’ll come to Hanoi’s One Pillar Pagoda which dates back to the 11th century.

Ho Chi Minh Museum
Opening Hours: 8am to 11am & 1.30pm to 4pm
Closed: Monday & Friday
As you’re heading away from the One Pillar Pagoda you’ll see the Ho Chi Minh Museum at the top of the steps ahead of you. This is a fascinating museum with displays of memorabilia and photographs showing the history of Vietnam’s and Ho Chi Minh’s fight against imperialism.
Leaving the museum, we had decided to walk back to the Old Quarter via a few sights on the way. Approached by one of the men hanging around outside we were asked,” Do you want a motorbike?” “No thanks”, we replied. “What do you want?” was the next question to which I’m still formulating an answer. Having escaped the motorbike and cyclo riders we continued on and visited the following Hanoi attractions.

Fine Arts Museum
Opening Hours: Tuesday to Sun from 9:15am to 5pm
The evolution of Vietnamese art is shown on the three floors of this former French Ministry of Information building.

Temple of Literature
Opening Hours: Daily from 8am to 5pm
Directly across the road from the Fine Arts Museum is the back wall of the Temple of Literature which is a haven of peace away from the incessant traffic and attention of cyclo riders. It is architecturally interesting and was the site of Vietnam’s first university. Certainly, one of the Hanoi sights well worth finding time for. If you’re here around lunchtime you must go to the KOTO restaurant on the street you’ve just walked along from the Fine Arts Museum. They offer an excellent Vietnamese menu and all the chefs, waiters and kitchen staff were street kids who have been trained to work there and a fine job they do.

Hoan Kiem Lake
After lunch at KOTO we walked back to the Hoan Kiem Lake which dominates the center of the capital. A stroll around the water edge is a welcome break from the chaotic and claustrophobic streets of the Old Quarter. Cross the wooden bridge at the northern end of the lake which takes you to the Ngoc Son Temple.

Hanoi Water Puppet Theatre
Performances at 6.30pm and 8pm daily and at 9.30am on Sundays. On our last morning in Hanoi we went to see a show at the Hanoi Water Puppet Theatre where most spectators are Vietnamese children with their parents. The art form of water puppetry dates back over 1000 years when it was started by rice farmers in North Vietnam. The Hanoi Water Puppet Theatre have performed their art worldwide. Well worth an hour of your time.