Top 5 Unique Markets in Myanmar

Referring to Myanmar, most people only think of a magnificent country with temples, pagodas, architecture or sculpture. But Myanmar also has a large of good markets where you can buy many traditional as well as cultural items.
Let’s take a look the following top 5 markets to see how these destinations attract many tourists around the world when they come to our Myanmar private tours.

1. BogyokeAung San Market

BogyokeAung San Market, sometimes called by its old British name, Scott Market, is the most popular market in Myanmar. It is situated on BogyokeAung San Road, in the heart of Yangon. This market has more than 2000 shops with a variety of luxury and interesting items – from local ingredients, trendy clothing, accessories, and footwear to homewares, jewelry, medicine, and antiques. There are also food stalls where visitors can try exotic dishes like spicy fried pig’s ears, tongues, intestine, and many traditional recipes of Myanmar in the market.


2. TheingyiZei Market

TheingyiZei is one of the most sprawling and lively markets in Yangon among the locals. There are a variety of cheap things sold in this daily market with housewares and clothing, as well as traditional herbs, cosmetics, and medicines. This place is well-known for traditional herbal shampoo, made by boiling the bark of the Tayaw shrub with acacia pods, which helps Myanmar women’s hair smooth and glossy. Moreover, TheingyiZay is also the top nightlife spot in Yangon with bars, discos, and karaoke at night.



3. Pakokku's Local Market
Located not too far from Bagan. Pakokku Market town will be definitely a must-visit market to put in your bucket list. The city was once a very important trading port in Myanmar, but it's still happening to be a bustling trading center between Yaw Rivers and the Chindwin. Visiting the market, you will have the access to the best agricultural products of the country such as peanuts, rice, sesame etc.


Pakokku is an interesting to walk around. You can also walk away from the city center to the archaeological site of Pakhangyi.
To reach Pakokku and its interesting market, you can catch the daily local buses, ride your own motorbike or join an exclusive itinerary with the Sanctuary Ananda Cruise.


4. Jade Market

Jade Market is widely considered to be the best quality of stone and gems in Myanmar. You will see thousands of people gather to cut, polish, and trade the precious stones every morning here. Therefore, if you are interested in the beauty of stones, gems, and jewelry, Jade Market is absolutely a great choice for you.



5. Zegyo Market

Located in downtown Mandalay and built during the reign of King Mindon, Zegyo Market is the oldest, busiest, and most central markets of the city. In Burmese, Zegyohas a meaning is 'cheap price'. Most of the daily products are sold in here from vegetables, citrus fruit, cotton, wheat, tobacco, personal items to more senior items such as jewelry and handmade products. Along the market, it is easy to buy gold embroidery, gold leaf or gilded souvenirs in jewelry stores. A large number of travelers visit here to get the feeling of Myanmar’s life with rich culture and friendly of local people. 


In conclusion, the above are top 5 popular markets in Myanmar. If you wondering how to get these destinations, it will be beneficial to let myanmarrivercruises help you.

Myanmar - Perfect Winter Escape in 2017

Have you planned to take excursion to somewhere for seeking warmth in this winter? 
If your answer is ‘YES’, let’s check out 6 following reasons why running off to Myanmar where combines all of ideal conditions including the cool weather as well as breathtaking sceneries is a superb idea.

1. A trip to the Shwezigon Pagoda certainly warms everyone’s spirit.

Actually, no trip including your Bagan tour to Myanmar would be perfectly completed without stopping by the Shwezigon Pagoda in Bagan. Unrivaled in sheer awesomeness of gold-leaf decorations, the Shwezigon heartedly welcome thousands of visitors who come here every month. Specifically, it is worth for you to get there by Strand cruise in order to walk on for a cooler, quieter, and more spiritual in the afternoon when the Myanmar’s sunset gets started.


2. Instead of shoveling through snow in winter, why don't you try exploring one of Myanmar’s spectacular caves?

With a modest amount of population that is half a million, Hpa-An still maintains a rarely-noisy town. Excitingly, Kayin State's central city is proudly given special gifts by Mother Nature when being surrounded by dramatic, rugged landscape and several amazing caves. In particular, Saddan cave possesses a breathtaking beauty which can lure you easily. Located approximately 17 miles from Hpa-An, this cave is not only a hollow of wonderment but also famous for its Buddha wall carvings.

3. Sailing around the mostly untouched Mergui Archipelago islands

If you want to explore the potential beauty of mysterious lands of Myanmar, sailing around Mergui Archipelago islands as much as you can with a view to feeling something new, something unique or even something entirely different is a rewarding selection. Mergui Archipelago cruises definitely do not let you miss out on every corners of this earth’s last paradise.


4. Trading mulled wine for a glass of vino with a view at Inle Lake

There are no more wonderful things than drinking in a gorgeous view of Inle Lake in Shan State from atop Red Mountain Estate. Located approximately three miles outside of Nyaung Shwe, vineyards as well as the winery seem to see the whole of the southern tip of the lake and surrounding areas. In case of having too much wine to be consumed, wandering back instead of riding a bike is always a viable option.


5. Trekking away somewhere for exploration 
Hsipaw in Shan State which is surrounded by ‘no-go-zones’ has landed a reputation for its hilly treks because of a perfect safety. This area is outstanding when generously giving backpackers more sense of a rural Myanmar's genuine glimpse. Obviously, most people tend to regard it as a relaxed, quiet destination with a collection of cultural and historical values.

6. Taking part in making local handicrafts for perfect Christmas gifts 
Taking a trip to Myanmar at the beginning of the winter season will give you superb opportunities to seek for several unique handmade products which can be used as special gifts for welcoming Christmas. Let's make this idea come true by supporting Burmese artisans at tiny local markets as much as possible.

To sum up, January which provides all of ideal travel conditions is one of the most worthy months for taking a trip to Myanmar. Nevertheless, this peak travel season also needs you to book accommodation and excursions early with the aim of experiencing what makes Myanmar the perfect winter escape.

HUE– VIETNAM’S ANCIENT CAPITAL

Located in the Central part of Vietnam, Hue once was the place of imperial power until 1945 .The glorious past may have faded, Hue regardless remains an important economic and cultural centre of the nation. Moreover, the city is now emerging as a thriving travel destination. With all of its spectacular features, Hue definitely shouldn’t be missed on your “to -go” list.


Among numerous tourist attractions in the city, Hue Imperial Citadel always stays on top of any destination list suggested. The citadel construction began in 1804, after the Emperor Gia Long’s consultancy with geomancers to choose the most suitable location for the capital of his newly-established dynasty. The building completed in 1832, under the reign of Emperor Minh Mang – Gia Long’s successor. Over the past 200 years, the citadel has gone through endless ups and downs. Noticeably, in 1968 a fierce fight broke out between North Vietnam’s soldiers and US troops, which caused not only considerable casualties to both sides but also sadly substantial damage to the Imperial Citadel. Fortunately, its originality is still relatively preserved with nearly 140 small and large constructions staying intact. Restoration is being undergone hoping to bring back its glorious time. Referring to Hue Citadel, it would be a shortcoming not to mention its splendid architecture. The whole complex is a blend of traditional Vietnamese building art together with French influence, which can be easily spotted in the style of the French military architect Vauban combined with Oriental palace characteristics. Wandering around magnificent palaces and temples of grandeur architecture in the Purple forbidden Citadel and enjoying the serenity of royal tombs would be an unforgettable experience for tourists, especially those with endless appetite for foreign cultures. It is like getting lost in the country’s rich and beautiful history.

Another noticeable destination is Dong Ba market, the biggest traditional commercial centre of the region. Previously, a market called “Qui Gia Thi” was opened under Emperor Gia Long reign marking the return of Nguyen dynasty to Phu Xuan (Former name of Hue). However, the market got destroyed in 1885 and revived 2 years later with its current name, Dong Ba. During the old days, Dong Ba served as the main source of food for the palaces, hospitals, army camps and dormitories of the surrounding universities .Nowadays, the market has changed significantly, including its location and architecture. Yet, Dong Ba’s functions still stay similarly important to the lives of the city dwellers. This market always buzzes with the sound of women’s bargaining, the smell of fish, vegetables lingering through Vietnam’s hot and humid air. Here, various products ranging from agricultural specialties to modern machines could be easily found along with special cultural gifts and souvenirs of Thua Thien Hue. One of them is “non la bai tho”, which together with “Purple Ao dai” is a symbol of Hue elegant women and its charming cultural values .In addition, people will also be amazed by small but colorful vendors of street food with fragrant aromas offering mouth-watering plates of Hue delicious cuisine. Your visit should not be called “complete” unless you try “Bun Bo Hue”, which many locals argue to be the best Vietnamese noodle soup, even better than “Pho”- Vietnam’s nation dish.

For those fascinated in religious sites, Thien Mu pagoda will be surely an ideal choice. “Thien Mu” means “Heaven Fairy Lady”, which rooted from a legend about an old woman appearing on the hill where the pagoda stands today, telling local people that a Lord would come and build a Buddhist pagoda for the country's prosperity. Geographically, it lies on a beautiful spot overlooking the Perfume River, beside a river road that runs along Northern bank, about 3.5 kilometers west of Trang Tien bridge. The pagoda can be easily spotted aloof by its unique bell tower which features images of the Buddha and inscribed with traditional Vietnamese calligraphic writing. Also, it is preserving “Dai Hong Chung”, an enormous bell dating back from the 18th century. The bell is considered a treasure for the great size of 2.5m high and 3,285 kg weigh, thus, it gets praised as a great achievement of Vietnam bronze casting technology. Thanks to the old folk and its magnificent architecture, Thien Mu is becoming a popular tourist attraction with a great number of travellers from both inside and outside the nation. Put your feet step by step to the top of the tower, look over the sparkling Perfume River in the beams of warm sunlight, you will find yourselves at peace.

Contrary to many foreigners’ beliefs as a country of wars and conflicts, Vietnam is granted with stunning landscapes and Hue is one of them. Pay yourselves a visit, enjoy life and experience all of these, you absolutely will be attracted by the allure of this dreamlike city.

Source : Indochina travel, Vietnam travel

Dalat - A Charming Highland in Vietnam

No one can deny that Da Lat is the central city of Lam Dong province, Viet Nam with the all-year-round cool weather, romantic pine tree forests, awe-inspiring flower fields, French boulevards and villas from the colonial period. 
Are you eager for visiting this paradise land?
If ‘YES’, let’s take following top 5 worth-spending-time destinations into consideration when making plan to ‘get lost’ in Da Lat of special miracles.

1. LangBiang Mountain

Being called the “roof” of Da Lat, LangBiang Mountain not only is an impressive tourist attraction but also hides legends about a passionate love. 
According to the elderly, there was a love story of K’Lang (a boy of Lat minority people) and Ho-Biang (a girl of Chil minority people). Nonetheless, due to different tribes, Ho-Biang could not getmarried to K’ Lang. Hence, they had to choose the death to entirely keep their affection and oppose the draconian customary law. The tombs of Lang and Biang then turned into two mountains standing with each other thatmany generations are familiar with calling them with the name LangBiang .
Nowadays, LangBiang has been known for its multiform biology of plants, animals and adventurous activities such as mountain climbing, conquering high peaks, paragliding, and trekking.
Surely, a trip to LangBiang Mountain is one of the ideal excursions inVietnam.

2. Valley of Love

Because of proudly possessing tiny streams, lush green lawns and rolling hills, Valley of Love has been selected as the most poetic and dreaming destination for those who are on Vietnam honeymoon holidays.

You will seem to be lost in a dreaming paradise with a wonderful array of magical space when immersing in the windy nature. Valley of Love also attracts the huge number of travelers from different corners of the country and all over the world by interesting activities, such as canoe - pedalo, tandem bicycle, horseback riding, aerial gliders, jeep excursions or ancient trains and paint- gunfights.


3. Da Lat Railway Station

Da Lat Railway Station is one of the most unique French monuments that tourists cannot miss when coming to Da Lat. 
The station started its construction in 1932 and completed in 1938. With a total length of 87km railway from Phan Rang to Da Lat, the station is strongly influenced by French architectural style. Annually, a wide range of visitors all over the country as well as foreign nations come there to explore and take nicest photos. Moreover, this station is also an ideal place to record sacred moments right at the old trains existing over the time for wedding photographs. 
Retaining the old and impressive beauty, Da Lat Railway Station is definitely a must-see tourist site in the journey of exploring Da Lat.


4. Truc Lam Zen Monastery

Truc Lam Zen monastery was designed by Mr. Ngo Viet Thu, who used to design Independence Palace, Ho Chi Minh City. Situated in a mighty mountaintop called Phoenix Summit, this monastery has great views of Tuyen Lam Lake and the surrounding highlands, where you can “leave this world of dust'', hide away from everyday worries and regain yourself in the greatness of nature. Visiting Truc Lam Zen Monastery in the quietness of hills and mountains, you can wander around the grounds for hours that’s lined with fragrant and pine trees.


5. Tiger Waterfall

Tiger Waterfall is a pristine landscape nestling in the pine forests surrounding Da Lat. 
According to a Chil's ethnic legend, there used to be a very fierce tiger living in this area, causing lots local people's death. A brave Chil warrior killed the tiger to save his village. There is currently a statue of that brave warrior drawing his bow close to the waterfall. Under the waterfall is a large den where has been said to be the home of the tiger, so that people named the fall "Tiger's Den". Besides, pine trees and creepers grow up around the falls and the water is clean enough to have a refreshing dip in the rock pools.


You see, you will surely enjoy the feeling that can be found nowhere when setting foot on this wonderful land!


Things to See in Saigon at Night

Happened to be the top economic cultural political center of Vietnam, Saigon or Ho Chi Minh City must be an unmissable destination in your Indochina holiday packages. Beyond impressive architectural and historical sites to see during day time, the beauty of the city is also showed up at night, when a wide range of nightlife activities is waiting to be discovered. After reading this post, you might have some ideas of things to see in Saigon at night.

Nguyen Hue Walking Street

Nguyen Hue is one of the few walking streets in Saigon, which allows you to experience a wide range of Saigon nightlife activities. Setting foot in this spot, you will be amazed by a large system of full-of-fun groups of people including both Saigon residents and foreign tourists. It is time for you to observe a lot of interesting activities and fun games hosted by the local consisting of traditional folk games, singing contests, dances etc. If you are interested, then you can feel free to take part in these games to communicate with friendly Vietnamese people and learn more about the culture.

For those who want to experience Vietnam food tours, then a visit to Nguyen Hue Street won't be a disappointment. Indeed, you have a various choices of street food here thanks to a lot of local food stalls on the sidewalk and on both sides of the street including many not-to-be-missed specialties of Saigon.

Moreover, you can spend time admiring the streets on many rooftop and street-viewed cafes, where you can take good photos of nightlife in Saigon.


Bui Vien Street

For some expats working or living in Saigon for years, Bui Vien Street must be one of their favorite spots in Saigon when the night falls. Located at the heart of District 1, it is the most bustling and exciting street for international tourists to stay and chill out thanks to a wide range of charming restaurants, party-all-night backpacker hostels and nice coffee shops. On weekends, the street turns into a walking heaven for you to witness many traditional art shows, folk music and local activities.
Bui Vien is also well-known for best sidewalk beer shops in Saigon, where expats and natives sit together on plastic chairs, drink beer, chat and taste attractive street foods. You will be absolutely surprised to taste the freshest cups of beer ever in Saigon at pretty reasonable prices.


Ben Thanh Night Market

Ben Thanh Night Market happens to be the biggest and must-see of its kind in Saigon, where you can experience a real shopping trip in this bustling city. Ben Thanh Market is not only the symbol of Saigon but also an extremely important spot for the daily life of Saigon city. The night market, which often takes place on Phan Boi Chau Street from 19:00 to 23:00, is a great place for you to buy souvenir stuffs, handicrafts, essential households and a large number of Saigon specialties. Once arrived, you will find it quite hard to reach all corners and blocks in the market because of its large area, then you might feel satisfied and pleasure to see some local trading activities and customs or many unique goods you will not see often in your country.


Saigon Opera House

If you are eager to see the beauty of architectural buildings in Saigon at night, then paying a visit to Saigon Opera House is a must. Built in the late 19th century by a French architect, Saigon Opera House or Municipal Theater will be an ideal place for you to take some good photos of its well-preserved design and learn more about the influence of the French on Saigon’s culture and architecture. At night, the building turns into a mysteriously beautiful spots because of being shined by a large system of electric lights.

The Opera House is still used for staging both Opera shows and a wide range of modern & traditional folk music and dances, which guarantees you the opportunity to enjoy Vietnamese art performances in your free time.

Best Things to Do for Children in Siem Reap

Thanks to many fascinating tourist attractions and interesting entertainment spots, Siem Reap is definitely an ideal destination for you and your children during your family holidays. If you are still considering of which activities to take, have a look at our suggestions of the best things to do for children in Siem Reap

1. Take a tour to see Siem Reap's countryside 
Siem Reap is not really a big town, but it is surrounded by a large area of rustic villages with immense rice paddies, huge banana plantations, stunning caves and forests, which is really suitable for a countryside discovery tour for your beloved family. The tour will guarantee you and the children the opportunity to learn more about simple daily activities of local farmers in Siem Reap, pay a visit to nice ancient temples in the area or extend knowledge of Siem Reap's rich biodiversity.


2. Explore butterflies of Banteay Srey Butterfly Centre
Banteay Srey Butterfly Centre is the largest butterfly exhibition in Southeast Asia and not only preserves these beautiful insects, but also provides benefits to the local community. The breeding programmes here support zoos and exhibitions around the world, as well as protecting a large area of natural forest and providing sustainable income to local Cambodians. Visiting the center, your children can have a chance to extend their knowledge of natural environment, which helps them raise awareness of protecting our Mother Nature.


3. Make pottery stuffs at Khmer Ceramics Fine Arts Center
While the Khmer Ceramics Fine Arts Center is mostly known as a shop for buying unique local souvenirs, the cultural centre also offers pottery and ceramics painting classes for US$25 each. Also, bizarrely, they offer quadbike tours, which is certainly a fun way of relaxing after nearly two hours of fiddly finger work at the pottery wheel.


4. Take a look at Angkor Wat
Although Angkor Archaeological Park is considered as the key attraction of Siem Reap, but with seemingly endless ancient ruins, even the most avid temple-hunter will be worn-out by the seventh or eighth. For kids especially, a full day of walking around in the hot Cambodian climate will turn an awe-inspiring experience into an endurance challenge. Limiting your exploration to a half-day tour will help to ensure that the spectacle remains a memorable one for the right reasons.


5. Explore the floating villages on Tonle Sap Lake
Tonle Sap Lake is Siem Reap’s second major attraction – hardly surprising, given that it’s the largest freshwater lake in Southeast Asia. The floating villages in the mangroves by the lake shore are the most interesting attractions there. The hodgepodge of ramshackle stilted buildings containing shops, schools, houses and restaurants are fun to explore while taking a peaceful raft ride through the mangroves is a great family activity.
Another unique way to explore floating villages on Tonle Sap Lake is to take one of Mekong river cruises .
The cruises will also offer you the chance to experience Vietnam family tours by transfering from Cambodia to its beautiful neighborhood.


8. See the old planes at War Museum Cambodia.
Located at the heart of Siem Reap, War Museum will be an exciting place for your children especially little boys who are eager about military history. There, you and your children will be able to see a large number of real exhibits including helicopters, aircrafts, tanks, cannons and many other notorious vehicles.


5 Reasons to Travel By Motorbike in Vietnam

Vietnam is said to be one of the best choices for tourists for their Indochina tour packages thanks to its many world heritages, well-preserved nature, long-term history and rich culture. Among a lot of travel services and various vehicles, many tourists from different countries choose motorbikes as their friends to discover Vietnam more deeply. If you are wondering why, we would like to bring to you 5 reasons to travel by motorbike in Vietnam.



1. A combined trip of cultural and natural discovery

Touring by motorbikes helps you get into the mysterious regions of Vietnam, which you cannot experience in other normal group tours. Particularly, you can challenge yourself travel on the most dangerous passes of northern Vietnam, or narrow rugged jungle paths or hill trails where no cars and buses can reach. Moreover, the motorbike tours in Vietnam always guarantee you the opportunity to explore the real life of local people, especially those in remote areas. Thus, you will be able to not only admire stunning landscape but also extend your knowledge of Vietnamese culture.


2. Good Food

Vietnam is widely well-known for a rich culinary culture with a lot of beautiful specialties. Travelling to this country will sure offer you the chance to taste some of them, which will definitely delight you. Actually, you can choose among a wide range of choices of transportation to transfer from regions to regions in Vietnam during your culinary tour. However, you can only experience a unique cuisine in remote areas in Vietnam by motorbike. Because riding a motorbike is very convenient for you to pay a visit to some local families in mountainous areas of Northern Vietnam or some floating villages in central Vietnam, where you can observe and experience many unique dishes made by the local.


3. Beautiful Routes

It is understandable that Vietnam is an ideal destination for motorbike expeditions thanks to its diverse terrain and magnificent scenery. If you come to Vietnam just to have a look at some outstanding attractions or famous and touristy ones like Halong Bay, Hanoi, Hoi An, NhaTrang then you will not see the real Vietnam. Our real Vietnamese routes for motorbike are located far away from the cities, they can be the tranquil countryside roads where you can admire rustic villages and immense rice paddies, they can be the adventurous pass roads where you can conquer the highest mountains in Indochina, they can be long seaside roads where you can experience a wide range of terrains throughout 3 regions in Vietnam.


4. Friendly Locals

When travelling by cars, buses or boats, you might reach your destinations easily and stably but you cannot meet and communicate with the locals during the trip like travelling by motorbike does. Not like the ones who are running business or selling stuffs in big cities, the Vietnamese local people in the countryside are always helpful and friendly. Most of them just are not familiar with seeing foreigners in their areas, so do not feel unsecure when they glance at you all the time. You will soon recognize that they are always ready to help you in every situation. Ride and meet some now!



5. Flexibility

Taking a motorbike trip will offer you the opportunity to enjoy the most comfortable experience ever when you can do whatever you like, rest whenever you need or stop wherever you want to take beautiful photos. Besides, you can feel free to choose your own roads, or experience many obscured trails firsthand.


>> Interested in motorbike tours in Vietnam? Join us now:
http://excursionvietnam.com/vietnam-motorbike-motorcycle-tours

Explore The Charming Inle Lake

The peaceful life in Inle Lake

The image of boats sailing in the early morning, fishermen rowing boats and birds hunting for food… have featured Inle Lake, one of the two-largest freshwater lakes grasping peaceful and romantic beauty in Myanmar.


If you visit Myanmar without drop by Inle Lake (or inlay), it must be a big regret. The name of “Inle” means a large lake – one of two largest freshwater lakes. The lake belongs to Shan State, about 600 kilometers from Bagan and spreads an area of about 220 km2, the deepest about 6 meters.

From Bagan, you might take a bus to get Inle Lake. In order to fully explore the beauty of the lake, you should get there from 8 p.m to 4.30h of the next day. The bus fare is 11,000 kyat per person and visiting fare is 12,500 kyat per person. This visiting expense does not offer the train. Therefore, you must hire a boat which can carry 4 guests at the price of 12,000 kyats per day.


The ideal time to visit the lake is at 5.30 a.m. You definitely enjoy the cold air and foggy frosty weather of the morning at 15oC.

The sun begins to rise at 6 p.m. The very first sunlights of the morning that shine into the mist create a sparkling and alluring scene. This definitely makes you love at the first sight.

In addition to the immense beauty, Lake Inle impresses its visitors by the “weird” fishing method- rowing with one foot of fishermen.

The fishermen clamped their other leg in a cage. This cage will be raised high and lowered into the water.The thin nets around the cage prevent fishes from escaping. Some of them thrash the oars into the water to chase fishes into cages.


This traditional fishing method is considered to be environmentally friendly and safe for the ecological system of the lake.

The hovering seagulls on surface of the sea…

The fishermen start their catching journey when the frosts evaporate from the surface of the lake. Morning light probably makes it alluring as a charming water painting.

Travel to Myanmar & Inle Lake: http://myanmarprivateholidays.com/ | Inle Lake Day Tours

The sun climbs higher in the sky at 8 a.m. The gentle lake reflects the shadow of traditional stilt houses.


Inle Lake is home to Inthar people, a minority ethnic group in Myanmar. In Myanmar, Inthar means "lake-dweller".

You might see baby boys and girls selling Thanaka, a long-lasting traditional powder of this country. Thanaka Powder is said to be cool to the skin, tighten pores and prevent X-rays of sunlight.

Thakana powder is shaped in cubes. To put it on your face, you have to rub it on the “kyauk pyin” (a special dish made of stone), mix the powder with the water, then apply a thin layer on your face. All Burmese people use Thakana and consider it a great pride.


The Charming Phu Quoc during Rainy Days

As being raised and educated in the midland, I have long been familiar with the sea. However, I still dream of a “must – be – memorable” trip to Phu Quoc,  the “pearl” island of Vietnam.


On the first day, I was available at Tan Son Nhat Airport at 12:30 p.m to do the procedures for the flight to Phu Quoc at 2: 30 p.m. I stepped foot in that amazing land at 3 p.m. There was one thing interesting that the pearl island “welcomed” me by the drizzle. Therefore, I immediately thought of the situation that a young lady greeted her lover by an unknown emotion.


In the evening, I made an appointment with a group of friends on a business trip there. At 7 p.m while it was still raining outside, we met at the locally famous 343 restaurant that offered a variety of tasteful dishes at reasonable prices. I dropped night market where fresh seafood restaurants, coffee shops, and pubs gathered as Bui Vien Street in Saigon. In addition, the market sells unique souvenirs and local specialties, so you might buy as gifts for friends or family.


On the second day: We woke up in the early morning to greet the very first rays of sunshine penetrating into our room. Then, we made a visit to Sao Beach, one of the most beautiful beaches on the island. The beach was 25 kilometers from our hotel, so we got there by motorbike. Setting foot on the beach, we were immediately overwhelmed by the pristine blue sea water, smooth sandy beaches, and fresh air. Therefore, we couldn’t help staring at the sea. Imagining that you lie leisurely on the beach on a sunny day and listen to the melodious songs of the wave kissing the shore, you definitely find your life wonderful. Thus, the beach could be an ideal place for those who want to “escape” from the hustle and bustle of the urban life.  


We got back to the hotel to begin our journey to famous tourist attractions on the island. We had lunch at Le Giang restaurant and grasped our time to relax after that. Interestingly, it was still raining as if a “’ falling  - in – love” young lady was crying. Thus, I fully enjoyed the change of season on that amazing island.


Our first destination in the afternoon was Dinh Cau temple, the symbol and hottest tourist spot of the island.  It is an odd-shaped natural formation in Phu Quoc Island, in which the fishermen pray to before heading out to the open sea. Located just next to Duong Dong Fishing Habor, it features a brightly-coloured lighthouse and Buddhist shrine, making it a popular spot for photography among travelers.


Dinh Cau Temple was constructed in 1937 to commemorate Thien Hau (the goddess of the sea), whom the locals believe in providing protection for fishermen heading out to the open sea. There are 29 winding steps to reach this temple’s rooftop terrace, where you can hold panoramic sunset views of Dinh Cau Beach, traditional fishing boats, Duong Dong Town, and neighboring islets.


We also dropped by Son Sim Wine shop (at Group 1, Cua Lap Hamlet, Duong To Commune) to learn the process of processing the special wine made from a local fruit named  « sim », a specialty of Phu Quoc. Moreover, you definitely enjoy this flavor wine for free. How amazing!


In the late afternoon, we made a visit to the famous Van Ninh fishing village to explore local daily life. Sauntering around the village, we saw an 80 – year – old grandmother immersing herself in water to sell what she did catch, so we did support her. Additionally, we enjoy fresh seafood right on the raft boat of a fisherman.


The next morning, woke up in the early morning to have breakfast in Duong Dong Market and buy some specialties as gifts for friends and families.



Before leaving the amazing island, we visited the bee farm to explore the process of breeding bees and processing honey. Bees are bred in small boxes placed in the durian and rambutan garden. Bear in mind, you should wear a special hat to avoid being bitten by queen bees, drones, and worker bees. Moreover, you definitely observe the whole process of making honey if you buy it and enjoy tasteful products made of honey.


Thus, we came back Ho Chi Minh city while still thinking of the marvelous island. 


Exploring The Cloud – and – Star Paradise 150 Kilometers from Hanoi

If you do not have enough time to travel to the Northwest of the country to explore the “breath – taking” cloud paradises of Ta Xua and Y Ty, you could definitely make a visit to the charming Dong Cao wild prairie that is only 150 kilometers from Hanoi.


Located in Thach Son commune, Son Dong district, Bac Giang, the 600 meters – high Dong Cao Steppe has fascinated visitors by the flat terrain, vast lush green lawn, and cool and fresh air all year round. Therefore, it is undoubtedly an ideal destination for camping for families and young travelers. Giving it a try, you surely grasp “unforgettable” moments and “nice” pictures to “show off” with your friends.


Passing such a winding road of the gentle terraced rice fields and the scattered Dao village, we “embraced” two memorable days in Dong Cao. Tent, fire, all necessary gadget were all available so that we could fully enjoy 2 – day vacation in this amazing land. There is one thing interesting that the local residents offer firewood, place of setting up the tent, even burn the fire for you, so every thing is ready for a warmly BBQ party, dance, and sing. How amazing!


When it was getting dark and the fire was burned, we faced an amazing scene that seemed to “melten” our little heart. We saw the sparkling “full – of – star” sky that we could not see in the city. To fully enjoy that “extraordinary” scenery and moment, we just lay leisurely on the grass and reach the hand to the sky. Surely, you also can’t help being “mesmerized”’ by that scene.


If you get there, you should wake up early to greet the charming dawn and “hunt” the cloud that seems to be touched by your hand. You must be “overwhelmed” by the cloud paradise facing you. The images of the thick white clouds “blanket” the whole valley and the golden sun “bathed” the sky are surely “ one – of – all – kind” scenery that you have a chance to witness in your life. I called my friend to climb up to the mountain to watch the exhilarating sunrise and captured that moment with the camera on our hands.




The higher it gets, the more extraordinary and immense the cloud paradise is. Only a moment later, we had a chance to see the first rays of sunshine sparkling in the thick clouds, red and yellow color mixed to create the most charming dawn that I have ever seen. Then the sky is blue and the sunshine bathes in the whole prairie. 


Standing on the steppe, you definitely see little boy raising buffalos. Thus, you will see how peaceful and tranquil the life is. As a result, Dong Cao is really an ideal place to "escape" away from the urban life for those who do not have much time at the weekend. 


The best time that you should make a visit to Dong Cao is the summer (from June to August) to avoid rain and the autumn (from September to November). Bear in mind, you should prepare all necessary things for camping and clear the garbage before leaving.