Saigoneer

Vietnam Enjoying Tourism Growth in 2013

According to the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT), Vietnam has reeled in more than 677,000 foreign tourists in August, a 22% increase from last year.

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Wine, Grapes and Relaxation

Although there are many reasons to visit Spain, including good weather, history and food, wine tourism has become one of the latest trends with foreigners and locals alike. You may enjoy drinking wine, but the next step is visiting the cellars.

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VietJetAir Offering (Nearly) Free Tickets to Celebrate Milestone

A few times per year, VietJetAir offers insanely low ticket prices and one of these promotions is fast approaching.

From August 21 – September 19, the budget airline is offering VND3,000 (US$.14) tickets for travel between September 5, 2013 and December 31, 2014.

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Shanghai's Rapid Development Captured in a .Gif

Prior to World War II, Shanghai, like Saigon, was a major trading port, controlled by foreign powers. Following communist victory in 1949, most international firms relocated to Hong Kong to protect their assets.

With China's move toward globalization in the early 90s, Shanghai returned to its former glory, reaping vast economic benefits.

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Trouble-free Travel with Flight Travel JSC

Whether you travel for business or pleasure, we all hope for a trouble-free experience either to be able to relax or conduct business as planned. However, experience has taught me that in general, and in Vietnam in particular, this is not usually the case! With very few exceptions, I have had nothing but horror stories when making bookings through Vietnamese travel agencies or even directly through Vietnam-based airlines.

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New Online Services are Changing the Face of Tourism

Over the last decade, the tourism industry has been learning how to better leverage the internet to provide unique services for customers. First came online reviews and bookings, allowing us to gather information and search for the best available deals. Recently, a number of websites have taken things a step further, throwing traditional models by the wayside, instead relying on locals to guide tours. This not only allows for a more personal experience but ensures that profits go directly to your guide instead of a large company. One such site is WithLocals.com which just recently launched and offers tours across SE Asia.

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Japan Eases Visa Requirements for Vietnamese

The struggles of Vietnamese applying for visas to European and North American countries are well documented and probably won’t be changing anytime soon. But it will soon be easier for Vietnamese to visit Japan as the island nation plans to ease its visa requirements for most ASEAN countries.

Yabai!

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Interactive Saigon Bus Map

Believe it or not, buses are a great way to zip around Saigon. They're cheap, reasonably fast (unless it's rush-hour) and service nearly every corner of the city. But for non-Vietnamese speakers, taking the bus can be slightly intimidating as there are not always bus maps and timetables at bus stops.

Luckily, one of our readers tipped us off to an online interactive bus map!

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What to do Along the Mekong

There are many things that set Saigon apart from other sprawling cities – the laid back lifestyle, the food, the people. But no matter how unique, the hustle and bustle of rush hour traffic and heat permeating from the concrete jungle are inescapable reminders that you are truly an urban dweller. Luckily, if one travels a few hours in any direction, they are likely to encounter one of Vietnam’s magical natural settings. One of these places is the Mekong Delta, only a stone’s throw from Saigon.

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Escape to Hong Kong

Traditional masks in Hong Kong. Photo by Jon Sanwell

While we don’t get to travel much, many local bloggers do and frequently post articles about their recent adventures. Photographer Jon Sanwell recently returned from Hong Kong and posted some great pictures and information on his blog, Without an H.

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Beautiful Hoi An

Vietnam's first truly international port, Hoi An was developed by Chinese and Japanese merchants who believed that the "heart of Asia" lay beneath the small town. While that has yet to be proven, there's no doubt that Hoi An is a unique place - one of those rare instances when beautiful architecture, delicious food and floating lanterns can render you almost blind to the hoards of tourists.

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