TRAVEL IN BRIEF 22/7

Beaches, islands top destinations

Popular islands and beaches have received more local travellers this month.

Nguyen Cong Hoan, deputy director of Ha Noi Redtours, said the number of registered tours to the central and southern regions has increased by 50 per cent, with more people choosing Nha Trang and Da Nang.

People choosing to travel to the north have favoured tours to Quang Binh, Hue and Lang Co.

 

Tours to beaches remain the hot favourite though many have tended to go to nearby ones this summer to save money. Holidaymakers from HCM City go to nearby places like Vung Tau, Phan Thiet and Ninh Chu in Khanh Hoa Province.

Con Dao and Phu Quoc islands are no longer top choices for southern travellers because of the high fees, the lowest rate being VND4.5 million (US$225) for a three-day-two-night trip.

However, the two places have become increasingly popular with northern travellers, especially with Air Mekong launching direct flights between Ha Noi and Phu Quoc.

Mekong province to host boat race

The Mekong province of Hau Giang will host this year’s national boat racing competition at Xa No Canal in Vi Thanh District on August 19-21.

The event organisers said they have received entries from Can Tho, Bac Lieu, Ca Mau, Soc Trang, Kien Giang, Hau Giang, Vinh Long and Tra Vinh provinces, with all eight sending a men’s and women’s team each.

There will be 800m and 1,200m races for men and 600m and 1,000m for women.

HCM City-Vung Tau boat tour sets sail

The Kien Giang-based Hai Au (Sea-Gull) Express Boat JSC has recently launched a one-day boat tour between HCM City and Vung Tau.

The tour, inaugurated with a four-hour trip on the Duong Dong Express, offers great views of the Sai Gon River, Can Gio biosphere reserve, and Vung Tau Town.

The US$2.5 million Duong Dong Express can carry up to 250 passengers and has facilities like restaurants and wifi connection.

It will leave Sai Gon passenger port in District 4 at 8am and return at 3.30pm from Vung Tau.

Tickets cost VND280,000 for the common deck and VND350,000 for the VIP deck.

Nguyen Dat Danh, CEO of Sea-Gull Express JSC, said his company is working with Ben Thanh Tourist to develop more night tours and services on the Sai Gon River.

Giant ferry eases transport problems

The HCM City-based Cat Lai Ferry Enterprise has launched a 200-tonne ferry which can carry 40 cars, 16 light trucks and 500 passengers, double the capacity of the ferries operating now between HCM City and Dong Nai.

The ferry service on this route helps vehicles travelling from the Mekong Delta to Vung Tau shorten their journey by 40km.

Ha Noi hotels cheaper than HCM City

Ha Noi hotels offer lower tariffs than those in HCM City as occupancy rates are lower.

According to market researcher Savills Viet Nam, the average room rate in Ha Noi in the second quarter was US$87 per night, or $4 lower than in HCM City. The occupancy rate in the capital was 55 per cent compared to 60 per cent in HCM City.

The report said room rates were down 12 percentage points from the first quarter in HCM City and two percentage points in Ha Noi.

Life resort unveils deals for expats

Dutch-owned Life resort is offering discounts for expatriates of selected nationalities living in Viet Nam every month at any of its properties in the country.

Under the deal, a night at Blue Ocean Resort in Mui Ne and Life Wellness Resort in Quy Nhon will cost US$65 and a superior room at the Life Heritage Resort in Hoi An, $75.

The deal is for Chinese expats in July, Americans and Canadians in August, Singaporeans and Malaysians in September, Japanese and Koreans in November, and Australians and New Zealanders in December.

Vietnamese and all expatriate residents can avail the offer in October.

Green label criteria for hotels to be announced

The Viet Nam National Administration of Tourism will issue the criteria for hotels and guesthouses to obtain a certification of sustainable tourism development by the end of this year.

The “Bong Sen Xanh” (Green Lotus) label will be conferred on hotels and guesthouses that make an effort to protect the environment, use natural resources efficiently, and preserve the country’s cultural heritage.

Source:  Vietnamnet

digg delicious stumbleupon technorati Google live facebook Sphinn Mixx newsvine reddit yahoomyweb