May 28, 2010

How choose the best adventure destinations

The world is big, if you search for unusual travels, you’ll have to search for unusual places…

After the first tutorials on planning an adventure tour and choosing an adventure company, it’s the turn of choosing a destination.

Offroad riding,VietnamOffroad riding, Ho Chi Minh Trail, Vietnam


How to choose the right destination

It’s not easy to choose the right destination. We could talk with our friends, read news papers, internet etc…but generally you’ll find only well known, crowded and “Tourists Shopper” destinations.

Step by step guide to find new destinations quickly

Let me share my experience:

“I live under the Etna in Sicily. When I’ve started my first blog on the Volcano Etna I started to search for new travel info. The results were amazing! I discovered a lot of new places I’ve never heard before.”

So…if I can’t know all the travel destinations in my home country, how can foreign traveler do?
Here 3 simple ways to find new destinations

1. Emotional, getting the right inspiration

Emotional means finding destination while you are not searching for them.

* You can “steal” the ideas of other traveler by following forums or communities
* Take a Globe and choose a random point
* …Or use Random Country
* Go in a travel agency and grab as much as brochures possible. Use them to playing cards
* Sum your date of birth and see what’s the country code result. Mine is 27-April-1983 2+7+4+1+9+8+3=34 Spain
* Subscribe to Google sightseeing
* Be inspired by the blogger
* Subscribe to See before you die place of the day

Place of the day

2. Go Social, do what other people already do

Searching on the web is hardly. There are so much websites to read that it’s very difficult to grab a piece of good information.

You have to register a profile, then deep digger the website and at least read the same info on multiple people’s reviews and stories.

If you trust word of mouth or reviews sharing websites here how to find the right info in the easiest way.

* Ask your friends, family, people you meet in the street and so on…
* Read this list of what’s hot for the next season
* Follow Wikitravel off the beaten paths
* Facebook’s has a good application to see what’s hot among its users
* Travelistic (The Youtube for travel) gives a list of the top destinations
* Browse the popular tags on Flickr to find pictures of places you’ve never heard before

3. How to find and choose scientifically

Here the step by step process

1° Define what’s you traveler your profile

Type of traveler:

* Solo
* Women
* Gay
* Family
* Elderly
* Pet
* Couple
* Honeymoon

Type of activities

* Multi sport
* Adventure
* Trekking
* Mountain Bike
* Cycling

Type of destination

* Mountain
* City
* Beach
* Country
* Sea
* Natural parks

Type of service

* Independent
* Small groups
* Vacation package

2° Mix them all, here some examples…

* Independent adventure travel destination for a couple
* Small groups active trips for elderly
* Family vacation package spots
* Honeymoon adventure travels
* Women only adventure destinations
* And so on…

3° Type a search phrase in Google or other search engines.

That’s it!…Good luck and happy vacations!

Supported by: www.activetravelmagazines.com

May 26, 2010

Tips for choosing the best adventure travel companies of Asia

This is a quick guide on how to find and choose adventure companies worldwide.

You can read a series of resources and find the right places to start you search…

Trek Babe,  VietnamTrek Babe, Vietnam

Have you ever tried to do a Google search for “Adventure travel companies in Asia” or similar?

The last time I did this I’ve found only a Jungle of websites with thousand of offers for packages, discounted tours, etc…

How could I choose the best one between a so big list of agencies and trips in quick way?

Sure! (I said) The traveler's review of the best adventure tour operators of Asia provided by the Nation Geographic, Lonely Planet or tripadvisor will help!

I have to say that the directory is really good and comprehensive.
You can browse the companies by:
  • Quality score
  • Type of activities
  • Destination
  • Price
I’ve to say that maybe it’s to much detailed. It lists agencies that have travel itineraries around different countries.

But there is a problem. If you try to do a search, you’ll find the same tour companies in the top of the list.

Search n°1 (Search for Overall quality + Biking / Cycling + Africa)
Search n°2 (Search for Overall quality + Biking / Cycling + Europe)
Search n°3 (Search for Overall quality + Biking / Cycling + U.S. and Canada)

In the top of the list there the same 3 tour companies

Make the URL of the page changing so I send a page with my search or save it for the future
It’s not possible to browse by country but only for continent.

Tips to search and compare Adventure companies

The greatest thing you can do is to search following these 3 simple steps:
  • Set the country of interest (ie. Adventure travel companies in Italy)
  • Set the type of activity (i.e. Bicycle tours, Trekking trips, etc..) or specialty (family, small groups, women only, etc…)
  • Mix up the words and make a list to search on Google (synonyms are good ways to find new concepts)
More specific means exactly results.

For example you should search for:

Vietnam adventure travel companies
Adventure travel agencies in Vietnam
Bicycle tours company in Vietnam
Company specialized in Trekking tours in Vietnam
Directory of Adventure travel packages
Tour operator that organizes small group tours
And so on….
Once you do the searches You’ll have a list of companies…and now?

How to rate the tour operators

To valuate them you can:
  • See if they are listed in the National geographic directory and traveler's reviews in Lonely Planet or Tripadvisor
  • See if they provide information to trip participants
  • See how environment friendly they are
  • Evaluate the level of customer service (chat, mail timing, etc…)
  • See how effective adventurous they are
  • Search for traveler reviews or similar (Word of mouth, etc…)
  • If they are registered with the Adventure Travel Trade Association
Source: www.tripadventure.org

Supported by: http://www.activetravelmagazines.com

May 24, 2010

The Future of Tourism - Vietnam and world


What’s the future of the tourism industry in the next five years?

While many in the tourism industry are asking that question most are already seeing and adapting to the inevitable changes.

Those in the know seem to feel that although there will be a decrease in the overall numbers of people traveling it won’t be as awful as you might assume. The trend so far seems to be that vacationers will still travel, but their tourism plans will be closer to home with traveling long distances being curtailed.

What this means is that vacationing families will plan their trips to be closer to home than in the past and they will combine some of their travel with visiting family at holidays or with business.

Other changes in the tourism industry will be that those traveling will stay longer at each destination in order to keep expenses as low as possible. Additionally it seems to follow those lines that there will be more use of recreational vehicles by those owning them instead of hotel or motel stays and possibly more people taking camping type vacations.

With the use of either recreational vehicles or camping; food and lodging costs could be kept more closely within a family’s normal budget.

Some of the ways that the industry will be able to combat the changes will be by offering discounts to travelers to encourage longer stays, group discounts, better meal prices by encouraging family style dining and those types of changes.

Already as a means to cut expenses many hotels and motels are requesting that consumers not have their bedding and towels changed daily, but instead using these items for two or three days in order to keep laundry costs down as well as labor costs for housekeeping staff. It’s less time consuming to pick up a room and make the beds than it is to strip the linens and remake the beds thereby cutting costs.

For those wishing to travel longer distances especially by air there will be more need to plan ahead in order to take advantage of lower costs, but as the tourism industry changes there will be more reward for those that do plan ahead.

Another way a consumer may look at travel and tourism is to look for all inclusive packages for travel, lodging and food similar to how cruise lines package their cruises.

May 19, 2010

ACTIVETRAVEl ASIA recommends kayaking and cruising places in Vietnam

ACTIVETRAVEL ASIA (ATA ) aims to advise travelers places to kayak and cruise in Vietnam. Travelers have the chance to discovery the breathtaking landscapes, remote scenery and get exciting experiences.

Kayak Halong Bay, VietnamKayak Halong Bay, Vietnam


In the northern Vietnam, Halong Bay is the most spectacular sea kayaking destination. The bay’s name means “descending dragon”, and the mythical beasts are said to have created the rocky islets that form a maze of protected waterways. Guests will explore the sea arches, caves and hidden lagoons in this vast archipelago, swim in the jade-colored water and relax on beautiful sand beaches.

The scenery isn’t the only thing that makes Halong Bay amazing. It is home to Cat Ba langurs, the rarest primate on Earth. There are only a few dozen of them left, but sometimes they emerge to feed in a hidden cove, and we catch a glimpse of them from travelers’ kayaks.

Kayak Babe lake, VietnamKayak Babe lake, Vietnam


The next destination is Babe Lake. Ba Be is Vietnam’s largest natural lake and is now the centerpiece of an extensive National Park. The park and the surrounding area is limestone country, so lakes, waterfalls, caves and unusual rock formations abound. The whole area is richly forested and is home to many ethnic minority communities. Ba Be National Park has been recognized as a Natural World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Kayakers will explore peaceful river, beautiful lake, daily life, local market...

Mekong Delta, Vietnam - Float MarketMekong Delta, Vietnam - Float Market


In the southern Vietnam, cruising Mekong River means exploring narrow channels, floating markets, daily life, and orchards in the Delta. Floating markets, magnificent sunrise and sunset are highlight for cruising in Mekong River. The favorable conditions of calm water, light current, good mother-boat are also to enable to build kayaking tours in Mekong River.

These are some main destinations for kayaking and cruising in Vietnam in which tourists definitely have fun and challenge!!

Recommended in kayaking and cruising in Vietnam:
- Kayaking tours in Vietnam
- Cruise in Vietnam
- Summer Promotion 2010 in Vietnam and Cambodia with ATA

Sources: www.activetravelvietnam.com

May 17, 2010

Phu Quoc Island is a quiet place to get some rest in Vietnam

Mango plantations, sandy beaches - perfect after 10 days of cycling

Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam — my outdated Vietnam guidebook devoted a scant two columns on its last page to obscure Phu Quoc Island, but it was enough to assure me that it was the perfect place to put up my feet and do nothing after 10 days of cycling around the country.

Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam

Phu Quoc, less than an hour's flight from Ho Chi Minh City - formerly Saigon - is just 15 miles off the coast of Cambodia. A teardrop-shaped island roughly the size of Singapore, it was a surprisingly untrammeled gem that reminded me of Thailand's Phuket and Koh Samui in the 1970s, before they were besieged by development.

Blanketed with the largest remaining swath of tropical rain forest in Vietnam and trimmed in sandy beaches, it is home to only 75,000 people.

A battered taxi picked me up in a blast of tropical heat outside the airport, which was almost in the center of the main city, the tiny fishing village of Duong Dong.

We headed 5 miles north to secluded Ong Lang Beach over a spectacular potholed road. When we bumped through an old mango plantation and arrived at a string of beachside bungalows amid palms and banyan trees, I knew I'd found the epicenter of tropical idleness.

Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam


Mango Bay is a laid back eco-resort. My rammed earth bungalow was naturally cool - and rustic but stylish: white cotton, wicker and terra-cotta.

Breakfast was high-octane Vietnamese espresso and baguettes with jam - a legacy of French colonialism - and the open-air restaurant/bar tempted at lunch and dinner with waft scents of sautéed garlic and a blackboard menu promising marinated and grilled black kingfish and green papaya salad with shrimp.

Ong Lang Beach is great for honeymooners and travelers looking for seclusion, but for more action - though not much more - the island's main attraction is Long Beach, 17 uninterrupted miles of white sand.

There is one sizable two-star resort called Saigon Phu Quoc that clearly focuses on the tour bus set, and a chic new five-star resort called La Veranda. Otherwise, a dozen or so signs point down narrow lanes through tropical bush to guesthouses, cottages and bar/cafés.

On the palm-lined beach, a few sunbathers splayed on towels were being attended to by a clan of masseuses who stroll the strand. No touts, no crowds, just beachside cafes where you dine on world-class seafood for $10 a couple. It's something akin to a miracle that one of Asia's most beautiful beaches still exists so untouched within an hour's flight of a metropolis of 7 million.

Source: By Margo Pfeiff, Special to The Chronicle - articles.sfgate.com

Recommendation in Vietnam:
- Hotels & Resort in Phu Quoc, Vietnam
- Flight to Phu Quoc, Vietnam
- Vietnam adventure travel

May 11, 2010

ACTIVETRAVEL ASIA Promotes Vietnam & Cambodia Motorcycling Tours in Summer 2010

ATA promotes two motorcycling tours in Vietnam and another one in Cambodia. These blazing hot promotions guarantee more activities and bigger adventure for the same price. Travelers will get incredible driving and deep in the countryside and historical trails.

Motorcycling on Ho Chi Minh trail, VietnamMotorcycling on Ho Chi Minh trail, Vietnam


In Vietnam, travelers will ride through the historical trail named Ho Chi Minh Trail. The legendary trail was the supply line used by North Vietnam to link North and South Vietnam during the American War. Soldiers, ammunition, weapons and supplies were carried by hand, bicycle and truck for hundreds of kilometers through the otherwise impenetrable jungle that covered Vietnam’s mountainous border with Laos. A testimony to the ingenuity, fortitude and commitment of the northern Vietnamese, the trail slipped from use at the end of the war and was taken back by the jungle. Recent road work follow original sections of the trail have changed this.

The first one, “Taste of Ho Chi Minh Trail” is organized for first time rider and easy adventure, offers a stunning motorcycling route with great exploration of nature and culture of northern Vietnam. Travelers will spend 3-day motorcycling with homestays in villages.

Joining in this tour, the special offer is a free of charge add on boat trip on Ma river in the afternoon of the first day. If rider group up to 6 persons, a free traditional Thai musical show will also be offers.

The second tour called “Motorcycling the Ho Chi Minh Trail - Half Challenge”. This 11-day trip with 7-day motorcycling takes in the charming ancient trading town of Hoian, Khe Sanh battle site and DMZ. Travelers also take time to stay overnight in a traditional Thai hill tribe and visit to some tribal villages on the way.

Taking this tour, after a long trip, in the tenth day, riders will get a free body massage in Hoian. Moreover, for any pre or post trip in Vietnam, travelers will receive a 10% discount for the trip.

Besides, in both tours, if riders upgrade their motorbikes to dirtbike 175CC or 250CC, they will get the 40% discount for bike rental fee. Especially, to make the trip more comfortable, a free silk sleeping bag will be provided for each traveler.

In Cambodia, riders spend 14 days with 11 days motorcycling through the country. This is the best way to get to the remote and hidden corners of Cambodia. The adventure starts in the capital city and we will travel on 250cc dirtbike northward through scenic villages, mysterious temples. Highlight of the tour is the amazing Angkor Wat Temples. From Angkor Wat we head east to the hidden land of Mondulkiri, the land of exotic ethnic minorities and great nature scenery.

Booking this tour, tourists will get free Visa-on-arrival to Cambodia and a body massage in Phnom Penh. Moreover, a welcome diner in Phnom Penh will be offered for the group from 6 persons. Traveler will be provide 5% discount on any pre or post trip to Vietnam or Laos.

This Hot Summer Promotion validity is from 1 May, 2010 to 30September, 2010.

For more information and details of this promotion, please visit: Summer Promotion with ATA

Or contact:
ACTIVETRAVEL ASIA
#31, Alley 4, Dang Van Ngu street, Hanoi, Vietnam
Tel: +84-4-35738569 | Fax: +84-4-35738570
Email: info@activetravel.asia | Website: http://www.activetravel.asia

May 08, 2010

Vietnam tourism growth ranked fourth in the world

Vietnam stands fourth in the world in terms of tourism growth in the first four months of this year, according to a new report by the World Tourism Organization.

Halong Bay, VietnamHalong Bay, Vietnam

The United Nations group said very few countries have been able to record double-digit growth in tourism this year.

But Vietnam grew 36 percent, just after Sri Lanka, Arab Saudi and Israel.

Vietnam had attracted 1.8 million visitors by the end of April, up 35 percent year-on-year, including 432,600 last month for a 31.3 percent increase over April last year, according to the National Administration of Tourism.

Malaysia’ minister of tourism Ng Yen Yen was recently quoted by the country’s Star Online as saying Vietnam and Cambodia are emerging as fearsome tourism opponents in Asia.

The World Tourism Organization ranked Malaysia ninth among the countries attracting the most visitors in 2009.

France topped the list.

Source: VNA

May 05, 2010

Vietnam offers much in Halong Bay tours

According to ACTIVETRAVEL ASIA’s tours to south-east Asia, travelers want to visit some marvelous places in Vietnam that have been recommended by travel experts and reporters.

kayaking in Halong Bay, VietnamKayaking in Halong Bay, Vietnam


Jocelyn Abraham in Suite101.com has listed a number of attractions to be found in Ha Long Bay as great beautiful islands includes Rooster Island, Incense Burner Island and Lonely Island, all named after their shapes.

Ms Abraham described Heaven’s Cave as an "enormous grotto" that gets its name because a spiral of sunlight shines in through the rooftop, revealing "a labyrinth of giant stalactites and stalagmites" that makes the attraction "look like a Hollywood movie set".

She added that people might also wish to take a multiple-day tour of the bay, which can include kayaking in lagoons and trekking through the National Park on Cat Ba Island.

In a bid to attract more tourists to Vietnam, the country’s government recently announced that it is to waive the visa fees of all foreign visitors who are going to arrive there in August and September. If you need to get free visa arrangement support, please contact Active Travel Vietnam

ACTIVETRAVEL ASIA also offers Special Promotion in Summer 2010 for kayaking tour in Vietnam, Please visit: Kayaking Halong Bay 3 days