December 22, 2011

ACTIVETRAVEL ASIA launches New Year Promotion 2012


Human Christmas and New Year approaching, ACTIVETRAVEL ASIA (ATA) should send to all travelers of the faithful, heartfelt words to wish a peaceful Christmas and New Year exuberant grace of God. With the approaching of Christmas and New Year 2012, ATA is providing discount up to 7 % for all loyalty customers to buy ATA’s tours during the period from Feb, 1 2012 to Apr, 1 2012.


ATA runs the most adventure tours available in Indochina and Asia. ATA’s active trips are designed for all levels of outdoor enthusiasts, real people seeking real fun and adventure. Of course, a reasonable level of personal fitness, good health, and interest in outdoor activities is advisable, but the customers don't need to be a tri-athlete or be an expert in any of the activities you will undertake.

December 19, 2011

There be dragons – Halong Bay

The legend goes that the islands of Halong Bay were formed by dragons who spit out jade and jewels into the sea to help the Vietnamese build a barrier to defend against would be invaders. After attempts to conquer the area were thwarted, the dragons fell in love with the bay and took eternal residence there. One look at these giant, limestone karsts, and I couldn’t help but be overtaken with the sense that we were sailing among the sleeping beasts.

Traveling three hours east of Hanoi, we arrived in Halong City and boarded a traditional Vietnamese junk for a three day, two night tour of Halong Bay. Words can’t described how ethereal the bay is – emerald waters… giant, jungle topped islands… ancient boats… it was a different world.


 
Off the boat, we got to explore the bay and travel to island caves by kayak. Our main boat pulled into a small sheltered “lagoon” between the karsts that served as protection for some floating homes that had kayaks available for us.

Swimming in the Pacific, on the other side of the world, proved absolutely magical. Splashing around in Halong Bay, I couldn’t get it out of my head that I was swimming on the other side of the world.

December 13, 2011

Zooming Through Vietnam

The Vietnamese bus tout are convinced they’ll get business from us. “Bus to Sa Pa” they call as we tuck away our passports, re-attach helmets and roll bicycles down a short but sheer ramp from border control into Vietnam proper. “We go by bicycle,” we reply. They shake heads. “No…. you go bus.” I look the youngest and most hopeful tout in the eyes and assure him that we’re very strong. He shakes his head in response: “Sa Pa? You go by bus?”

 
Cat Cat village rice fields

We cross into the country with Mirko, an Italian cyclist who is also headed up to Vietnam’s premier hill top town. He (perhaps wisely) opts for the bus, leaving us to conquer the 28km climb alone. Pedalling away from the river, the border town of Lao Cai passes by in a blur of motorcycles and baguette stalls before the climbing really begins about 5km in. We’re soon in thick jungle interspersed with roadside shacks selling beer and food, following a road which heads relentlessly up. The heat is a new challenge and almost instantly the sweat factor is so high that the water is rolling off my cheeks.

December 06, 2011

EXPERIENCE SAPA

Attractive eco-friendly valleys, terraced slope attributes as well as tribes nevertheless subsequent their own historic customs — encouraged in order to Sapa.

Situated 350kms north-west associated with Hanoi, simply timid from the Chinese language edge may be the Lao Cai Land exactly where you’ll discover Sapa. It’s environment as well as amazing scenery tend to be about the reduce inclines from the Hoang Lien Boy hill variety, that additionally features Vietnam’s greatest hill Fansipan, having a elevation associated with 3142 metre distances.

Sapa is actually filled with a varied number of cultural minorities like the Hmong, Yao, Tay as well as Giay organizations. Considered to possess lived on the region because the 1800′s, these types of Sapa slope tribes continue to be close to these days ongoing their own life-style as well as customs because they did for hundreds of years.


The elements is extremely periodic, throughout the summer time it is very reasonable as well as wet. Throughout the winter season it may be chilly, misty as well as obtain the unusual compacted snow.

December 02, 2011

Amazing rocky walls in Cham Islet

When touring Cham Islet, or Cu Lao Cham in the ancient city of Hoi An in Quang Nam Province you are bewitched by splendid landscapes with wonderful sandy beaches, forested hills and the glorious clear, blue sea.

A view of Cham islet in Hoi An ancient town, Quang Nam Province
The location is a popular spot for tourists to go camping, swimming and scuba-diving to explore coral reefs and beautiful marine life.
However, with a small boat you can take a cruise around the islet and travelers will discover it is enhanced due to its rocky mountain walls.

Forested hills and the glorious clear, blue sea

Cham Islet, 20 kilometres offshore of Hoi An, has been named a global biosphere reserve by UNESCO’s International Coordination Council of Man and the Biosphere Program.

It takes about twenty minutes by boat or canoe but it is worth the short wait as you drift amidst the sky and sea

November 30, 2011

PU HU nature reserve

ACTIVETRAVEL ASIA and GIZ (Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit in Vietnam) working together in a survey of responsible tourism project in Pu Hu Nature Reserve, Thanh hoa province, Vietnam. 


The survey trip will be held in middle of December, 2011 by ATA team with support of GIZ Vietnam. ATA inspection team will spend about 3 days to scan this area, evaluating the suitable activities for a tourist site. This activity is a part of project “Protection of the forest and wildlife” implemented by GIZ Vietnam, under the management of Forest Protection Department of Thanh Hoa Province.

Pu Hu Nature Reserve is situated in the North-West of Thanh Hoa Province. It has a big diversity of plants and animals with 508 plant species and 266 animals species. It also has a role in protecting the catchment of the Ma river. The inhabitants of the nature reserve and buffer zone belong to the Thai, Hmong, Dao and Kinh ethnic groups.

November 28, 2011

Active Travel Asia announced the prizes for the contest “Indochina in Your Eyes”!

First word Active Travel Asia sent to you to joint our competition “Indochina in yours eyes” most sincere thanks!

“Indochina in yours eyes” contest lasted over 2 months (1st Sep 2011 to 20th Nov 2011) and ends on 20 Nov 2011. Organizing Committee has received many entries with unique ideas, deeply felt and very sincere, especially from customers love traveling and traveled to Indochina in a lifetime.

Now is the time to honor the winner.

November 21, 2011

Vietnam - A cultural feast

I envisioned hiking to remote villages to find mountain hill tribes; people living in indigenous villages, untouched by outside influences.

Instead, as we pulled into Sapa, in the northern part of Vietnam, a group of Black Hmong women gathered on the side of the road as our shuttle pulled into the center of town. A welcoming committee, perhaps?

As the van came to a stop, my jaw dropped as the entire group charged at our vehicle screaming “You buy from me!”

This was not the authentic

November 15, 2011

Ha Long Bay is New Wonder of Nature

Vietnam’s Ha Long Bay is one of the New Seven Wonders of Nature, announced the New 7 Wonders Foundation on November 12 after the first count of global voting ended a day earlier.


Halong Bay, Vietnam

In alphabetical order, the seven winners are the Amazon, Ha Long Bay, Iguazu Falls, Jeju Island, Komodo, Puerto Princesa Underground River and Table Mountain.

The New7Wonders of Nature campaign have been carried out over the past four years, starting with more than 440 locations from about 220 countries.

The New7Wonders of Nature have been chosen from the 28 finalist candidates, according to Bernard Weber, founding president of Switzerland-based New7Wonders Foundation.

According to the foundation, the results are provisional and based on the first tally of votes. The votes still need to be checked, validated and independently verified.

Once the voting validation process is complete, in early 2012, New7Wonders will then work with the confirmed winners to organize the official inauguration events.

November 08, 2011

Vietnam: gems of the north

Vietnam is increasingly becoming a popular destination for travellers each year. Its large chaotic cities are popular stop-offs for young travellers, and a great place to spend a few days. However, it can be nice to get away from the hustle and bustle, and northern Vietnam boasts fantastic scenery for those able to pull themselves away from the captivating capital of Hanoi.

Northern Vietnam boasts fantastic scenery

Hanoi is a bustling city, riddled with motorcycles, bright lights, and street vendors; it can be hard to keep up with. There is much to see in and around the city and plenty of culture to absorb in the ancient architecture which is dotted throughout the vibrant city.

November 03, 2011

Ha Long – a wonder of the creator


Located in Quang Ninh Province, Ha Long Bay includes the sea areas of Ha Long City, Cam Pha Town and a part of Van Don island district. With the admirable natural beauty and multiform, special values, Ha Long has become the must-see destination in Viet Nam for domestic and international visitors.

The legend has it that, once upon a time, soon after the Viet people established their country, invaders came. The Jade Emperor sent Mother Dragon and her Child Dragons down to the earth to help the Viet people fight against their enemy. When the dragons landed down on the earth, invaders' boats were rushing to the shore.

The dragons immediately turned into thousands of stone islands emerging in the sea like great walls challenging the invaders' boats. The fast boats couldn't manage to stop and crashed into the islands and broke into pieces. After the victory, Mother Dragon and Child Dragons didn't return the heaven but stayed on the earth at the place where the battle had occurred. The location Mother Dragon landed is present Ha Long Bay and Child Dragons landed is present Bai Tu Long Bay. The dragons' tails waving the water created Bach Long Vi (present Tra Co Peninsula). 


Ha Long Bay covers the area of 1,553km² and encompasses 1,969 islands of various sizes which are mainly limestone islands with tectonic age from 250 million to 280 million years. The process of long geological evolution created the unique Ha Long Bay in the world with thousands of islands which look like fantastic sculptural and artistic works of various graceful shapes such as Canh Buom (Sail) Islet, Trong Mai (Cock and Hen) Islet, Lu Huong (Incense Burner) Islet… All of them are vivid and soulful.

October 24, 2011

The first expedition to Son Doong Cave with ATA – Unrevealed stories!

On 28th Sep, 2011, carrying the eager to explore the grandeur of nature, the first travelers together with ATA’s product manager – Mr. Tony Tran had launched the discovery to Son Doong Cave, the biggest cave in the world.

Accompany with the group is Mr. Ho Khanh who found the Son Doong Cave as a tour guide. The first meet with Mr. Ho Khanh really impressed everyone. Just a warm smile, a strong handshake from him is enough to make everyone feel warm at heart. At Ho Khanh ‘s house, the group had the moments of relax with green tea, a simple lunch with steamed rice cake and salted peanut and an open conversation. All of that was promising for a memorable journey.

Mr. Ho Khanh in old costume of troop

The first obstacle for the group is leaches. They are everywhere and all in hungry for blood. It was really a nightmare at first but as time passes, the scare was fade when everyone got used to them and they weren’t the obstacle anymore. In the deep jungle under shade, the expedition team followed jungle trails that on limestone Mountains to the Swallow Cave.

October 12, 2011

Vietnam: ethnic tourism among the valleys with no name

A typhoon had blown in during the day. White rain clouds lay like a boiling sea in the valleys, creating the illusion that the twisting mountain pass was an ocean road. As our vehicle turned a blind corner we came across a gaggle of motorcyclists, caped against the rain and gawping over the edge.

A Red Dao mother and child

A lorry had gone over while overtaking another lorry, trusting to a hard shoulder that had gone soft in the rain. Through the clouds we saw that the plummeting vehicle had ploughed a vertical groove of red earth in the sheer mountainside. Its roof was visible, a couple of hundred feet below.

Incredibly, the driver had just been hauled up alive and whisked off to hospital. As the men continued to stare, a woman in a beautiful and strange costume strode away from the scene as if in disgust. She was the reason we had come to this remote, mountainous region in the north of Vietnam, just 50 miles from the Chinese border.

Her distinctive look – black tunic

August 09, 2011

Vietnam Cat Tien National Park Recognized Global Biosphere Reserve

On 30 June 2011, the United Nations added 18 new sites to its global list of biosphere reserves, bringing the total to 581 in 114 different countries, the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) reported.


Cat Tien is the new name of the former Dong Nai Biosphere Reserve in Viet Nam, which was designated in 2001. Two new core zones have been added to the site, bringing its total area to 966,563 hectares. Cat Tien National Park covers the area of Dong Nai, Lam Dong and Binh Phuoc Provinces in southern Vietnam. Cat Tien National Park is 15km north of Ho Chi Minh City (or Saigon).

Biosphere reserves are places recognized by MAB (The International Coordinating Council of UNESCO’s Man and the Biosphere Programme ) where local communities are actively involved in governance and management, research, education, training and monitoring at the service of both socio-economic development and biodiversity conservation. They are thus sites for experimenting with and learning about sustainable development.

July 19, 2011

ACTIVETRAVEL ASIA organizes the first trip to discover Son Doong cave for travelers

At the end of Sep, 2011, the first trip for travelers to discover SON DOONG, the world’s largest cave will be implemented by ACTIVETRAVEL ASIA. Mr. Ho Khanh, who is the first person to find the entrance to cave will be the tour leader of this adventure group.

The lucky tourist group is from Australia, they are researching scientists from the Victorian Department of Primary Industries in Australia. This group of four is going to take 3 days 2 nights to explore parts of the cave system where the regular tourists are still not allowed to go.

This trip not only brings the real experience but also is a challenge for tourists when they take 3 day trekking and 2 night camping in the cave.

Son Doong cave (meaning Mountain River Cave) is a cave in Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park, Bo Trach District, Quang Binh Province, Vietnam. The cave is located near the Laos-Vietnam border. 


It was first discovered by a local in 1991 (Mr.Ho Khanh), and surveyed by the British Cave Research Association from April 10 to April 14, 2009. According to the survey team, Son Doong is the Earth's largest known cave passage at present. It is more than 200 meters wide, 150 meters high, and at least 6.5 kilometers long, though the explorers said they were unable to explore it fully. 


With these information, Son Doong is much larger than Deer Cave in Malaysia, currently considered the world's largest, an explorer said (Deer is 90 meters wide, 100 meters high and 2 kilometers long). The Son Doong cave has replaced to take pole position as the world's largest cave.

Son Doong is formed by a system of grottos, flowing underground rivers, giant walls and deep lakes. In the 200m high arch of the cave, the sight is extremely magnificent with images of the Eden in the grotto, stalactites giant wall or the collection "Pearls" with thousands of years. The grandeur of the nature is really unbelievable.


“Son Doong Cave is the masterpiece of nature. It is the must-see destination once in a lifetime for those who love adventure”, Mr.Tony Tran – The product manager of ATA said. He also added: “I will join the first group in the expedition to Son Doong Cave this September”, showed his excitement about the next coming trip.

With ATA holding the adventure tour to Son Doong Cave will give travelers the chance to explore the world largest cave and see the magnificent beauty of nature. It also marked ATA as the first company organizes the tour to discover Son Doong cave.

Source of Photos: National Geographic

TOUR INFORMATION:
Ha Noi - Dong Hoi – Phong Nha-Ke Bang – Son Doong Cave – Chay Lap – Vinh Moc – Hue
5 days with 3 day trekking & 2 night camping
Grade: Moderate
Head office: Floor 12 Building 45 Nguyen Son street, Long Bien district, Hanoi, Vietnam
Operation office: 367 Ngo Quyen St., Son Tra Dist., Da Nang
Operation office: 108 Le Lai St., Dist. 1, HCMC
Support number: (04) 3 573 8569

July 18, 2011

Unforgettable Mai Chau

 
There is arguably no other place in Vietnam that enchants visitors as much as the northwestern region. And the place that leaves the highest number of indelible impressions on the mind is the Mai Chau Town in Hoa Binh Province, known also as the Mai Chau Valley.

With the cultural characteristics of the Thai ethnic minority residents lending added sparkle to a  landscape of lush green fields, mountains and streams, a world vastly different from bustling cities and towns can be found in Mai Chau.


Paddy fields in the Mai Chau Valley in the northern province of Hoa Binh

A popular way to get there is to drive a bike along National Highway 6, going past the 12 kilometers Doc Cun (literally meaning Cun Slope, but it is in fact a mountain pass) and the Thung Nhuoi Mountain pass to get to the valley.

The first sighting of Mai Chau, a hollow with terraced fields and thatched stilt houses is particularly striking during winter and autumn days when they are shrouded in fog and clouds. Not surprisingly, people tend to stop for a long time atop the Cun Slope to take in the view before proceeding, and thousands of pictures are taken here every day to give each person his or her panoramic view of Mai Chau.

July 14, 2011

Ba Be National Park, Vietnam – The beautiful Ramsar of the world

Ba Be Lake, the most important part of Ba Be National Park which forms the unique natural beauty in this area has just become the 1,938th Ramsar of the world and the third Ramsar of Vietnam following Xuan Thuy National Park in Nam Dinh Province and Cat Tien National Park in Dong Nai Province.

Located in Bac Kan province, about 300km from Hanoi capital, Ba Be lake is a highlight of northwest forest of Vietnam. Surrounding by limestone hills of up to 500-600 m above sea level, the lake consists of three parts, Pe leng, Pe lu and Pe lam of which the total length is 9 km, the width changes between 0.2 km and 1.7km and the average depth varies from 17 to 23 m (maximum depth reaching 38 m). 

 The beautiful Ba Be Lake

The Ba Be Lake is connected with the Nang River by Be Cam Channel, to which the water drains during the dry season. The lake thus serves as a natural reservoir for the Nang River system, while the Dau Dang Waterfall plays a role of dam for the lake.

The lake has an abundant ecosystem and also home to many types of water birds. In addition, surveys affirm the unique biodiversity of Ba Be National Park with 1,288 types of vascular plants. Noticeably, it supports a number of globally threatened species such as the endangered burretiodendron hsienmu (a species of flowering plant in the Tiliaceae family) which is considered as an endemic plant in Ba Be Lake and has a habitat restricted to Vietnam and southern China.

In terms of animals, the site includes 553 types of vertebrates with 81 beasts, 332 birds, 48 amphibians and 106 fishes. Many of which are listed on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red Book on endangered species such as the lutra lutra, miniopterus schrebersii, belomys pearsonii, trachypithecus francoisi, hemigalus owstoni and gorsachius magnificus.

With the values endowed by the nature, Ba Be Lake was recognized as one of 68 most important wetlands of high national and international environmental value. This recognition will advertise Ba Be National Park and Bac Kan Province to international tourists, has become a national pride. The potential for outdoor activities is great for adventure tours including trekking and river kayaking tours. The surrounding area make it a good place for trekking tours and exploring culture of Dzao and H’mong ethnic minorities who live in the national park. And the lake seems to be a heaven for kayaking.

Acording to Mr. Tony, The product manager of Active Travel Asia (www.activetravelvietnam.com),  - one of the most first-class companies in providing adventure tours: “I have traveled to Ba Be Lake several times and really impressed with its beauty and its potential for outdoor activities. Ba Be Lake with its location and stunning scenery is perfect for designing multi-sport tours. We are offering tours combining trekking in Cao Bang and kayaking in Ba Be”. He added: “Ba be lake is the paradise on earth for kayakers”

Ba Be lake is really a great destination for those who love adventure and want to explore natural beauty.

For more information about Ba Be Tours:

June 29, 2011

Steles in Hanoi named among UNESCO Memory of the World

Vietnam’s steles at the Temple of Literature is among the 45 latest namings recognized by UNESCO’s Memory of the World Program.

 

Steles in Temple of Literature 

Launched in 1992, Memory of the World program is one of the many international initiatives operated by UNESCO in an effort to preserve human’s cultural and traditional heritages. Unlike World Heritage program which celebrates the beauty of the place, Memory of the World is about archival holdings, missing documents, oral traditions and historical collections from all over the world. Vietnam’s steles at the Temple of Literature is among the 45 latest namings recognized by UNESCO’s Memory of the World Program.

Founded in 1070, the Temple of Literature is the oldest university in Vietnam, though it no longer functions as one. Located about 10 minutes away from the Old Quarter, this historical site attracts hundreds of visitors per day. Its tranquil environment, historic feel and cultural charm continue to make it a highlight in the travel agenda of Hanoians and non-Hanoians alike.

The steles, which sit on the back of stone turtles, record the names of 2313 Vietnamese doctorate holders since the 15th century. The studious traditions of Vietnamese are well reflected in the 82 steles, which have survived all the turbulent war time of Vietnamese history. The recognition of this symbols as UNESCO Memory of the World further strengthens these prides and honours of Vietnamese.

Every year in late January and May, many local high school students come and rub the head of the turtle, in the wish that they will pass all the coming examinations with flying colors.

Source: http://www.vietnamonline.com

June 24, 2011

Tram Chim National Park – a green island of red-headed cranes

If you visit Tram Chim National Park in the Mekong Delta province of Dong Thap during the time of day when the highest tides occur, normally from August to November, you can take a motorboat ride through forests rich with plants and flowers and green cajeput trees.

Tram Chim National Park is an eco-tourist area known as a “green island” with a typical natural landscape of the submerged region of Dong Thap Muoi. The park is home to many botanical species and nearly 200 species of water birds which account for about a quarter of the birds in Vietnam. 

This includes many rare and precious species of water birds. Among them, the most well-known are the red-headed cranes, one of 15 endangered species of cranes in the world. Nearly 60 percent of the population of red-headed cranes resides in Tram Chim National Park.


Red-headed cranes at Tram Chim National Park

The red-headed crane is the tallest among the flying birds in the world. Many of them are nearly 2m tall. They have smooth grey fur,long legs and a long neck. They walk slowly and stretch their wings wide when flying. The cry of the crane is loud and can be heard far away, up to 2-3km. This is because the crane has a long windpipe that creates a sound resonance phenomenon, just like the tube of a trumpet.

June 04, 2011

USA today recommends adventure travel tours to Cambodia

Trekking

Trekking in Cambodia offers a chance to meet local residents and experience the countryside firsthand. Active Travel Cambodia offers a trip called Trek Rattanakiri that features walking on jungle paths and on roads through towns. Rattanakiri is a rural area in northeast Cambodia known for its natural beauty, and trip activities include swimming in the shadow of pristine waterfalls. You also camp in villages and enjoy cultural interactions with ethnic minority tribes.

Trekking Rattanakiri
Kayaking

If you love the water, you can take a kayaking trip with companies such as Adventure-Cambodia. Tours range from one-day to multi-day outings. One trip features bird watching as you kayak on wetlands in the north, and others involve jungle or ocean kayaking. On an ocean trip, you kayak to islands, snorkel and stay in a beach bungalow. Adventure-Cambodia also has multi

June 03, 2011

Green stamp on jungle style

In a country best known for its temples, Jane Dunford finds a floating ecolodge that's a gateway to a pristine environment.

I am, it's fair to say, in the middle of nowhere. This is the Tatai River, east of Koh Kong, in the southern reaches of Cambodia's Cardamom Mountains. Halfway between Bangkok and Phnom Penh, this is a pristine area of rainforest and coastal mangroves that barely features on the tourist trail.

The Tatai River
The entire resort is waterborne - the brilliant idea of its Romanian owner Valentin Pawlik. You get here by boat, arriving at one of a series of floating wooden platforms. A central pontoon houses the bar, restaurant and library.

It's all very eco-friendly too, largely solar-powered and staffed mostly by locals - so you needn't have a guilty conscience. Move it away and there'd be little sign that it had ever existed.

Leaving the fireflies to party, I paddle slowly back to the lodge and feast on spicy shrimp and freshwater fish with coconut, cooked in banana leaves, before heading for a blissful night's rest, lulled to sleep by the gentle bobbing of water.

Most visitors to Cambodia flock to the revitalised capital of Phnom Penh further east and to the temples around Siem Reap in the north. This coastal region, part of the Koh Kong conservation corridor, is home to some of the country's most impressive natural sights.

Four Rivers, with its gorgeous setting on a bend in the river, is magical at all times of day - misty in the morning, glowing at sunset and prettily lit up after dark - and is as tranquil a place as you could wish for.

I spend much of my time here kayaking through the mangrove maze (spotting those fireflies and watching monkeys gather at the water's edge at dusk), swimming in the river from steps outside my tent and visiting waterfalls, where the pounding torrent gives a great back massage.

There are excursions into the jungle, led by a former poacher, to spot wildlife and visit villages and fruit plantations (overnight camping is a new option).

We stop at Koh Sra Lau, an island with one tiny fishing village, and wander around while women sit mending nets and offer us fried fish with tamarind sauce and papaya.

Cycling Angkor Temples
I'm keen to explore more, so the next day head to Chi Phat village and a community-based project started by conservation charity Wildlife Alliance, in the Southern Cardamoms protected forest.

There are several guesthouses but I choose a home stay on the outskirts of town with Chou and her young family, who sit underneath a stilted wooden house, a cow curled at their feet like a pet dog. A far cry from the luxuries of Four Rivers it may be but it's clean, comfortable and a great way to see everyday village life.

Chi Phat is all about outdoor adventure: you can trek or cycle into jungle and mountains for days at a time, sleeping in hammocks or rustic campsites, go bird watching, take boat trips or check out the nearby bat caves and an area dotted with mysterious, ancient burial jars.

I sign up for a 28-kilometre mountain bike tour to O'Malu waterfall. Crossing grassy plains and traditional farmland, we follow Lucky - a 23-year-old from the village who's been trained in everything from bike maintenance to wildlife spotting - up steep paths through the tangled jungle, with gibbons calling high overhead.

It's a challenging ride in parts but jumping into the cool pool at the base of the waterfall is a great reward.

Marvellous though the sights of Angkor Wat and the buzz of Phnom Penh are, I can't help thinking that it's Cambodia's more remote natural attractions that offer the best adventure.

Source: smh.com.au

May 28, 2011

Active Travel Asia Launches Great Vietnam & Cambodia Summer Promotion 2011

Active Travel Asia (ATA) is offering Great Summer Promotion 2011 in Vietnam and Cambodia. These promotions are guaranteed by luxurious adventure tours, add-on values and reasonable prices.


Active Travel Asia kicks off Special Summer Promotion 2011 covering all kinds of adventure tours include trekking, biking, motorcycling, kayaking and family adventure in Vietnam and Cambodia. All promoted tours are in Vietnam (http://www.activetravelvietnam.com), Cambodia (http://www.activetravelcambodia.com) and three others between Vietnam and Cambodia (http://www.activetravelshop.com). Depend on the value of tours; travelers are got special value-added services.

With this promotion is starting from May, 1st to Sep, 31st 2011, ATA guarantees the best Vietnam and Cambodia travel packages with good prices as well as attractive add-on values as below:
  • Travelers book tours and services with ATA under US$ 300, ATA offers free visa approval letter.
  • Travelers book tours and services with ATA from over US$ 301 to US$ 1000, ATA offers free visa letter, free water Puppet Show and free 2-hr rickshaw guided tour in Hanoi’s Old Quarter
  • Travelers book tours and services with ATA from over US$ 1000 to US$ 2000, ATA offers free visa letter, Free water Puppet Show +and free half-day guided city tour.
  • Travelers book tours and services with ATA from over US$ 2000, ATA offers free visa on arrival, free airport transfer (2 ways) and free guided half-day city tour.
Conditions:
  • This promotion is applied for group size from minimum 1 person to maximum 4 persons. If group is bigger than 4 persons, the promotion for 4 people is applied for the group.
  • This promotion is applied for booking from May, 1 to Sep, 31
The promotion provides travelers real experiences in hidden Indochina (Cambodia and Vietnam travel) with add-on valued services. This makes it suitable all types of groups and those who love any kind of adventure activities.

For the whole Summer Promotion of Cambodia and Vietnam Tours, please refer to http://www.activetravel.asia/special_offer/ or contact ATA at info@activetravel.asia

With the add–on values from this Great Summer Promotion 2011 of ATA, the hesitance will be replaced by the smart decision from who are exited in traveling and getting more real experience.

# # #

ACTIVE TRAVEL ASIA (ATA) is established in 2006 and has grown to become one of the Indochina's leading adventure travel companies. ATA offers a wide selection of Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and Myanmar adventure tours, including hiking and trekking, biking, motorcycling, overland touring and family travel packages.

March 25, 2011

Active Travel Asia promote tours to Sapa - the Cloud city of Vietnam

Nestled among the Hoang Son Lien Mountains, Sapa is an excellent gateway to the H'mong and Dao villages that dot the landscape of Vietnam

The first thing travelers should know about Sapa is that it is one of highlands in Vietnam - 1,600m above sea level. That means a leisurely stroll to the nearest tribe village is more like an hour-long trek up and down some steep slopes. It is not a destination that travelers should tackle without some mental and physical preparation.

Having said that, Sapa is a sight to behold. The Hoang Son Lien range of mountains, which dominates it and includes Fansipan - Vietnam's highest peak at 3,143m - is the eastern extremity of the Himalayas.

Conquering Fansipan mountain Vietnam
On a good day, travelers’ view is a myriad of colors merging onto textures of landscapes as vivid sky hues blend into the browns and greens of the mountains before cascading

March 18, 2011

Ba Be National Park recognised as Wetland of Internationnal Importance

The Ba Be National Park in the northern mountainous province of Bac Can has been named on the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands List as a Wetland of International Importance.

The biodiverse 10,048-ha park is home to 1,268 species of flora and fauna. The site earlier was recognized as an ASEAN Heritage Park in 2004.

Ba Be National Park, Vietnam

As summarized by Marian Gwilliam, regional assistant advisor for Asia-Oceania, Ba Be National Park supports the only significant natural mountain lake in

February 24, 2011

Motorbiking in Southeast Asia: two-wheeled adventures from mountain to coast

Southeast Asia is home to some of the greatest adventures on earth. Throw a motorbike into the mix and you’ll have the time of your life. Here’s our guide to a two-wheeled adventure in the Mekong region.

Vietnam and Laos – sublime scenery from mountain to coast

Ho Chi Minh Trails, VietnamHo Chi Minh Trails, Vietnam

To kick off, the infamous Ho Chi Minh Trail has been upgraded into a major highway running along the spine of the country and offers some sublime scenery. The stretch from the old US airbase of Khe Sanh north to Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park is a beauty.

February 16, 2011

Spanish magazine spotlights ‘Great Wall of Vietnam’

Spanish writer Mark Jenkin has extolled the wonderful beauty of Son Doong (Mountain River Cave) in Quang Binh central province.

In a reportage entitled “Vietnam Cave” published in theNational Geographic magazine in January, M. Jenkin wrote “There is a jungle inside Vietnam’s mammoth cavern.”

Son Doong Cave, VietnamSon Doong Cave, Vietnam

M. Jenkin cited his teammate Jonathan Sims, who was a member of the first expedition to enter the cave, as saying that his team could explore two and a half miles of Son Doong before a 200-foot wall of muddy calcite stopped them.

January 28, 2011

Visit to Vietnam and Cambodia in uncommon vacation

If you are the type that enjoys the uncommon vacation and exploring areas of the world that most do not, I have some ideas for you in travelling to Vietnam and Cambodia.

How about flying into Bangkok, Thailand and exploring this fascinating Asian city before moving on to Angkor Wat in northern Cambodia followed by a visit to Vietnam.

Fly on to Siem Reap in Cambodia from Bangkok. Here is the mystical temple complex of Angkor. You will have the opportunity to visit the new Angkor National Museum, which showcases the Golden Age of the Khmer Era.

A guide will walk you through the temple complex which is vast and set in the outskirts of jungle. Angkor Wat and Angkor Thom are former temples with carved smiling faces and detailed bas-reliefs depicting scenes of everyday life in the 12th century.

Angkor Thom, CambodiaAngkor Thom, Cambodia

There will also be the opportunity to visit Ta Prohm, a haunting, jungle-bound temple. Angkor Thom was hidden from the outside world until the earlier part of the 20th century until French explorers found the area and put together a work force to clear the jungle overgrowth. Later other countries sent people to assist in the work. It is now open to visit for your exploration.

January 22, 2011

Travel experience from Cambodia trip

There are a lot of temples to see in Cambodia. So, armed with our digicams, water bottles and a thirst for adventure, we journeyed to where the action was, or at least where it used to be.

A sigh of relief and excitement enveloped me as the plane touched down in Ho Chi Minh. I didn’t have a concrete plan other than getting to Siem Reap. But I knew I was going to have the grandest time.

I was with my friends and we were in search of a memorable adventure. We dropped the mainstream route of taking a plane to experience Cambodia - so off to the bus stop we went, and bought our 13-hour bus ride ticket. It was a great decision, because the intensely rich and picturesque surroundings kept us entertained the whole trip. When we got to Siem Reap, we were tired but we were in awe.

Angkor Thom, CambodiaAngkor Thom, Cambodia

There are a lot of temples to see in Cambodia. So, armed with our digicams, water bottles and a thirst for adventure, we journeyed to where the action was, or at least where it used to be.

January 21, 2011

Travel to Laos with Viajes Laos Agents

Many visitors to South East Asia miss Laos out in favor of the more widespread locations of Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia. Viajes Laos (http://www.laosviajes.net) suggests the travel destinations in Laos.

It may be true that traveling to Laos is nothing lower than an endurance test – however a ravishing, unspoiled wildlife and a sprinkling of beautiful temples ought to make the trip value it. With its exciting terrain, properly preserved natural ecosystems and numerous waterways, Laos is now emerging as a premier outdoor journey destination on this part of Asia.

Vientiane, LaosVientiane, Laos

Top of the line things about Viajes Laos (http://www.laosviajes.net), other than its rugged beauty and natural sights, is the low cost of accommodation, food and transportation. Your dollars will take you a good distance back and forth. It may not have such world-class cuisine as its neighboring countries, however it is not unattainable to seek out culinary delights in a lot of its cities.

January 06, 2011

Travel Vietnam & Cambodia - Fancy a Far East adventure

The New Year is fast approaching, so now is a good time to consider next year's break. With the economy slowly but surely improving, why not travel to somewhere a little more exciting in 2011?

Vietnam holidays are certainly an option worth considering, with the Far East nation offering visitors spectacular landscapes, a fascinating culture and a friendly population. A nation that has successfully emerged from the ravages of war, Vietnam is being explored by an increasing number of travellers, all of whom are keen to experience this most unique of destinations. While its recent history is inescapable, so too is its soaring mountains, stunning coastline and iconic rice fields.

Kayaking tour in Halong Bay, VietnamKayaking tour in Halong Bay, Vietnam

With so much to take in, travellers arriving in Vietnam will want to arrange their transport as early as possible. Trains are perhaps the most comfortable way of travelling around the country, although there is only one major line; that linking Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh, a journey that takes around 30 hours to complete.

Notre Dame Cathedral, Ho Chi Minh, VietnamNotre Dame Cathedral, Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam

Buses are a cheaper option, with intercity services tending to depart at the crack of dawn in order to beat the morning rush. Services take a while, however, so be prepared to give up a day or two here and there for travelling. Once you've arrived at your chosen destination, you will certainly want to get out and explore your surroundings; in which case, car rental might be an option worth considering.

While hiring your own car is only possible in Vietnam's main cities, you can hire a vehicle with a driver elsewhere. So, not only will you avoid having to negotiate the country's often hectic road network, you will be able to take advantage of local knowledge, possibly discovering places a little off the beaten track and learning a bit of Vietnamese along the way.

The Far East is a long way to travel, so there's no reason to limit your trip to a single country. Neighbouring Cambodia is another nation that has fully embraced tourism. Fortunately, then, there are a number of Vietnam and Cambodia tours for travellers to take advantage of.

Angkor Wat Temple, CambodiaAngkor Wat Temple, Cambodia

Angkor Wat is arguably the jewel in Cambodia's crown. The huge temple complex, one of the finest examples of classical Khmer architecture, has become the nation's symbol. Dating back to the 12th century, Angkor Wat is the World's largest religious building and has pride of place on Cambodia's flag.

While Cambodia is awash with culture and historical artefacts, travellers will inevitably want some downtime during their Far Eastern adventure. Sihanoukville, known among tourists as Snookyville, is a popular seaside town and home to the country's best beaches. Seemingly becoming more popular as each year passes, Sihanoukville was recently referred to by the New York Times as "Asia's next trendsetting beach".

Seemingly a million miles away, Phnom Penh, Cambodia's capital, is referred to as one of the Far East's remaining undiscovered destinations. Despite being deeply affected by war and revolution, Phnom Penh is a city of optimism and colour; a place of Buddhists, spice markets and a burgeoning economy. It's likely you'll visit the city during your Cambodian adventure, and while the inevitable assault on the senses may exhaust you, it's certainly worth spending a day or two here.

No visit to the eastern corner of Asia can be complete without seeing some of the region's wildlife, so a visit to the 1,581 sq km Bokor National Park comes highly recommended. Home to green peafowl, chestnut-headed partridge and even tigers, the park is well worth a visit, even if it's just to see the deserted French hill station, Bokor, that it contains.

Vietnam and Cambodia are two nations opening their arms to tourism. Why not discover each country next year before everyone else does?

Source : forres-gazette