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

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: