Indochina – Chapter 3: Hue and Hoi An

Steve Aldridge Silver Travel Advisor, Forum Moderator and Award-Winning Travel Write     The Vespas and the Lanterns Our second night in Hue was amongst the most enjoyable we had spent in Asia. We were picked up from our hotel by two drivers with Vespas and taken on a food safari. Riding pillion on a scooter in Vietnam is an experience in itself but by now we were used to the ‘road etiquette’ (such as it was). So we relaxed and let our drivers guide us through the city lig...
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Indochina – Chapter 2: Halong Bay and Hue

Steve Aldridge Silver Travel Advisor, Forum Moderator and Award-Winning Travel Writer  The dragons and the roof Halong Bay was the chance to slow things down after the excitement of Hanoi. We took the 2 night cruise on Paradise Luxury 1, a wooden junk that provided a lovely mixture of good service, rich woods and comfortable decor combined with modern fittings.  Cue the inevitable legend (there’s often more than one version) attached to this UNESCO listed area. The gods are said ...
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Why You Should Travel to Vietnam in Rainy Season

It arrives in Vietnam with a vengeance; the rainy season. No rain for months and then it just starts; daily downpours that relieve you from the heat and make you run for cover. Most people hear the words “Vietnam rainy season” and immediately start looking at other vacation alternatives. But I say embrace the rainy season, traveling in rainy season is one of my best kept travel secrets and I always wonder if I should tell people what they are missing when they skip countries or locations due to ...
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The Top 3 Reasons Why I Love Vietnam

Vietnam is a country that often evokes strong opinions from travelers. Some love it. Some absolutely hate it. Me? I definitely fall into the former category. Sure, there are travel scams in Vietnam. There are taxi drivers and touts who will try to rip you off. There are market vendors that will swear at you and swat you away if you don't want to pay their prices. There's a really big pollution problem, especially in northern cities like Hanoi. But, these issues are not confined t...
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One Day in Hue

Background Our time in Hue was short but sweet, and for us one day in Hue (a very full day!) was enough. In fact, at one stage we even contemplated whether we should have included it on the itinerary at all. This isn’t to say that Hue has nothing of interest for the independent traveller. Far from it! However once you look beyond the food, unless you’re a mad keen tomb raider or history buff you may find yourself at a loose end. Hue is a small city with a very rich history. In fact, from the...
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Hue’s Green Locations

BACH MA MONASTERY Truc Lam Bach Ma monastery is located in the Loc Hoa Commune, Phu Loc District, Thua Thien Hue Province, Vietnam. It is in the foot of the Bach Ma mountain, between the Truoi lake and areas Loc Hoa. Though it’s a little bit far from the central city ( about 30 km from the South-west of Hue city), this is still a very attractive place for tourists because of its peacefulness, romantic view, and impressive construction. Truc Lam Bach Ma monastery – a destination near Bach m...
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‘Kong: Skull Island’ director asked to make monstrous change to tourism in Vietnam

Jordan Vogt-Roberts is expected to arrive in Hanoi to accept an offer to become a tourism ambassador. Vietnam's Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism on Thursday agreed to a proposal to appoint Jordan Vogt-Roberts, director of "Kong: Skull Island", as an official tourism ambassador. “Kong: Skull Island”, which was filmed in some of Vietnam's most stunning locations, is hitting global theaters on Friday. The proposal, submitted by the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism, got the n...
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On Location: Director Jordan Vogt-Roberts on Filming ‘Kong: Skull Island’ in Vietnam

“It became my mission to put this country on screen and to let the world know how spectacular it is." Finding the perfect place to shoot a major motion picture is an early issue any studio must face. Will they film in a studio? Will the jungle be computer-generated? The decision sets the aesthetic for a film and can often make or break a production. For Jordan Vogt-Roberts, director of “Kong: Skull Island,” it was not a matter to be taken lightly. “I made the decision very early on that I ...
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Ngọ Môn at Sunrise

The gate with the Chinese characters saying “South Gate” on it. Many Westerners as well as the local people mistranslated Ngọ Môn – the main entrance to Hoàng Thành (Huế Royal City) is Noon Gate. This happens as the word “Ngọ” in ancient Chinese – Vietnamese language means “noon” when talking about time but it indicates “South” when referring to direction. Ngọ Môn of Huế Royal City actually has the latter meaning: the gate facing to the South. I see Ngọ Môn as a venue of transition between...
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Vietnam offers two visa options for US visitors

Previously, American travelers to Vietnam were usually limited to a one-or three-month, single- entry visas. Photo credit to the Vietnam National Tourism Administration American tourists can now acquire single-entry visas again for only $25. Vietnamese immigration officials have made it easier for American tourists to acquire visas with the introduction of an electronic visa system. American tourists, along with 39 other nationalities, can now apply for 30-day single-entry visas for...
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