Tag Archives: Travel

Just how to Strategy Your Next Vietnam Travel Excursion

Taking a trip to Vietnam

Vietnam keeps an unique location in my heart, whenever I go to, I completely take pleasure in the lifestyle as well as folks that make Vietnam what it is. Taking A Trip to Northern Vietnam and also checking out the country side while visiting residents in their homes is actually a particular favorite of mine. If you haven’t attempted a homestay before, I would advise locating an excellent Vietnam tour firm to assist you. These providers collaborate with the neighborhood villages and also aid deliver them vacationers which aid improve the natives standard of comfort as well as supply an income source for their households. When you’re trying to find a Vietnam Scenic tour business, be sure to view just how they help the areas you travel to. Discovering a tour business that returns to their areas is actually extremely necessary. A number of the much larger scenic tour companies deliver bus loads of folks to the main attractions as well as shuttle all of them out prior to they can actually get to know the people. Traveling in Vietnam along with an excursion company that will offer little custom scenic tours, is a far more individual expertise and normally along with a little research, these firms provide a lot back to the communities they help serve.

The common income in Vietnam is actually under $300 monthly as well as considerable amounts of families count on profit from tourists to assist them get ahead in lifestyle and also put their little ones with institution. To me, there is absolutely nothing better then being able to help a household on your travel as they walk out of their means to show you a good time and allow you possess a glance of their society and also lifestyle. Therefore on your following trip to Vietnam, consider planning a homestay.

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Currently I recognize very most tourists, don’t wish a homestay for their whole getaway, there are actually a lot of fabulous hotels and also turn to remain at and place to experience. Listed here are actually a number of my leading favorites.

1. Ha Long Gulf Boat Trip

Taking a voyage on Ha Long Gulf is a need to perform task if you are actually taking a trip to Vietnam, This UNESCO Globe Culture internet site is actually an astonishing place to see as well as experience. Taking a 2 – 3 time cruise on Ha Long Gulf is actually a fantastic way to come to observe the only thing that it needs to deliver.

2. Hanoi Urban Area Scenic Tour

Seeing Hanoi is actually an excellent means to experience the hectic metropolitan area lifestyle of Northern Vietnam. There are actually lots of excellent destinations as well as spots to check out as well as purchasing in Hanoi’s aged sector is actually a really special expertise, you just must make an effort. There are likewise dozens of awesome bistros in Hanoi, some tucked back in alleys and quite challenging to find. Don’t be afraid to try new things, however keep in mind that our western way of livings may not be made use of to the consuming water, therefore make an effort to consume mineral water unless you like surviving on the advantage.

3. Tone, Vietnam

Tone, Vietnam is actually an exclusive city along with a bunch of past history in central Vietnam, there are considerable amounts of splendid social events in this field and lots of excellent background. Visiting the Hue Fortress is actually a should do activity if you reside in Hue, likewise possessing lunch time at a monastery is actually a fantastic way to experience the society and also delight in an one-of-a-kind tasty food.

4. Hoi An, Vietnam

This unique beach front city is an excellent means to take pleasure in the seashores of Central Vietnam and treat your own self. A few of optimum retreats on earth lie in Hoi An, including the Nam Hai an incredible 6 star resort which gives a spectacular knowledge you’ll be actually difficult pushed to find anywhere else on earth. The beach fronts are actually terrific and also it’s a wonderful means to kick back from your journey as well as devote a couple of days exploring the town as well as a number of the local area tourist attractions.

5. Saigon, Vietnam

If you reside in Southern Vietnam, you’ll must go to Saigon, officially called Ho Chi Minh Metropolitan area, many people still refer to this city as Saigon. This metropolitan area has actually been actually additional westernized at that point others in Vietnam, however you may still experience a considerable amount of very unique society and also there are actually dozens fabulous destinations to explore while remaining here. There are some gorgeous hotels that are actually very affordable to stay at. Often Saigon is a great starting and ending aspect for a Southern Vietnam scenic tour. There are considerable amounts of unbelievable towns around Saigon that possess the tiny individual adventure lots of are actually searching for, however you can easily still delight in huge urban area hotels and fantastic dining possibilities if you may not be approximately devoting all your time in smaller sized towns.

Properly, there are a great deal much more incredible areas to observe when you travel to Vietnam, however there are a number of the leading 5. To learn more regarding Vietnam Travel plus all that there is actually to observe as well as do in this excellent country, look into our web site at http://www.evietnamtravel.com. Our company provide pointers and also tricks when traveling to Vietnam as well as place evaluations and scenic tour providers to look at when going to Vietnam. I wish this article was actually useful to you and also you can easily appreciate your upcoming excursion to Vietnam.

Starling’s marketplace banking rollout adds pensions, savings, travel insurance and mortgages

 Starling, the U.K. challenger bank that offers a mobile-only current account, continues to execute on its marketplace banking strategy. Following the required regulatory approval, the Starling Marketplace is adding a number of financial services integrations, spanning pensions, savings, travel insurance and mortgage brokerage. Read More

Travel quiz: March edition

Travel-Trivia

Do you know which US state has a name meaning ‘snow-covered’ in Spanish? Or what you’d traditionally find hanging from your door on your 25th birthday in Germany? Test your knowledge of travel trivia with the March edition of our monthly quiz. Give it a go and showcase your score on Twitter and Facebook.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Up for more travel trivia? Have a go at last month’s quiz.

Find quizzes just like this, plus plenty of travel inspiration and planning tips in Lonely Planet Traveller’s UK edition.

Path to resistance may travel through faith

There are countless ways to resist the current (and with any luck, temporary) occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

Ever since the 2016 election and a year into Donald Trump’s presidency, people across the country have found ways to fight back. To resist.

Almost immediately, grassroots organizing evolved into local Indivisible groups. The thousands of groups across the country are locally based and have local agendas, although the group offers coordinated actions each week. “We’re not the leaders of this movement: you are,” the Indivisible website reminds us. The website also lets users search for local groups and events in their own areas.

Marching; attending town halls; calling, emailing, and pressuring elected officials; running for office; and (especially!) voting and getting others to vote all have been hallmarks of the modern resistance movement. While those tactics are hardly brand new, they have intensified and multiplied. But people have always protested, worldwide.

Some images of protest are burned into our brains. Who can forget the anonymous man who faced down Chinese tanks in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square in a huge student-led protest in 1989? The wave after wave of Indians protesting the British salt tax during the 1930 Salt March led by Mohandas Gandhi, only to be beaten and arrested by British troops? And we remember the searing image of Georgia congressman and civil rights icon John Lewis as a young man in 1965, joining the throngs going across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama, on a voting rights march and getting his skull cracked by state troopers’ batons.

More recently, there was the July 2016 photo of a calm lone woman who stood up to police officers dressed in riot gear amid the protest of cops shooting an unarmed black man in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The protestor, Iesha Evans, was detained, and she later took to Facebook to assure friends that she was alive and well. Just as important was her message: “I appreciate the well wishes and love, but this is the work of God. I am a vessel!”

Anyone reading this may or may not believe in a higher power, and even such beliefs may not lead to political activism. But for some, the path to resistance is grounded in their faith.

Here's What North Korea Lets You See When You Travel There

North Koreans pay their respects at the Mansudae Grand monument in Pyongyang.

Fabian Muir

Fabian Muir is an Australian photographer whose documentary work aims to develop humanistic narratives in otherwise politically isolated regions of the world. After years documenting places like the former Soviet Union, Iran, and Cuba, his next series focuses on a country that epitomizes the phrase “hermit kingdom”: North Korea.

Since 2015, Fabian Muir has traveled to the isolated nation of North Korea five times to capture a side of life that many Americans may be surprised to see as nonconfrontational and somewhat relatable.

Here, Muir shares with BuzzFeed News the story of his journey and his thoughts on the pictures he walked away with:

The series began with many of the same expectations that anyone would have before going there — bleak cityscapes, expressionless people, soldiers everywhere. It’s difficult not to have such preconceptions since the dominant visual narrative pushes these tropes. I had hardly ever seen an image of a smiling North Korean before visiting.

So to start, I was also looking for things to confirm these expectations, no doubt exacerbated by the fact that my first visit took place in winter, which is excruciatingly cold there. After several days, however, various unexpected layers began revealing themselves, not least the way in which I observed North Koreans interacting among themselves and the fact that they can actually be very warm.

Schoolchildren make their way from the leaders' statues in central Hamhung.

Fabian Muir

Traditional female Korean haircuts and a customer at a Pyongyang hair salon.

Fabian Muir

A cyclist rides through rural North Korea.

Fabian Muir

With repeated visits the project became increasingly personal as I realized how limited most people’s understanding is of the country, making me feel a kind of obligation to tell the story. I’m not talking about the understanding of the political dimension, but rather of ordinary North Koreans in day-to-day contexts.

It’s estimated that up to 200,000 people are incarcerated in North Korea’s prisons, which are constantly in the media spotlight, but what about the other 25 million there, who are leading “normal” lives? These are the people I wanted to discover: What is a normal life in North Korea? How do they relax? What does family life look like? What do they read? What music do they like? What do they know about the outside world? How do they operate within their political framework? How do they respond to foreigners? What are the similarities and differences between us and them?

There are so many questions in this vein, and the fact that the answers at times ran counter to popular assumptions meant that the work initially hit brick walls in some quarters. At times, people were unwilling to entertain the notion of a “human” North Korean and instead suspected I had fallen for elaborate setups or that the North Koreans had stage-managed my photography. Occasionally things are indeed set up, but this is rather rare and very obvious when it does occur.

Nervous anticipation as locals prepare for the launch of a ride in Kaeson Youth Park in Pyongyang.

Fabian Muir

Munsu Water Park in Pyongyang.

Fabian Muir

Pyongyangites play volleyball at Munsu Water Park in Pyongyang.

Fabian Muir

It’s important to mention that any foreigner who goes to North Korea is assigned at least two guides/minders, who will almost always accompany you whenever you leave your hotel. They are trained as guides, usually charming, and do provide a lot of information, but part of their role is also to control your movements. This means that by definition there are significant constraints, so the possibility of an absolutely definitive survey of North Korea does not currently exist, even though one can indeed travel through large parts of the country and photograph quite freely.

This doesn’t mean there was someone on my shoulder every time I took a picture, but they were rarely more than 50 meters away other than the relatively few occasions when I was allowed to roam free for an hour or two. That said, my own experience was that the guides are also in a position to facilitate a great deal if you simply treat them normally, and I was frequently surprised by the access I was given considering the circumstances.

They generally offer frank responses to questions. It’s clearly not the ideal arrangement, but if one tries to understand their own sensitivities and thinks of them as fixers it’s possible to work quite effectively even within these parameters. As mentioned earlier, I’ve not experienced intervention in my photography there, nor did they ever try to prevent me from interacting with locals.

North Korean fast food and US '50s outfits in Munsu Water Park in Pyongyang.

Fabian Muir

Locals enjoy a picnic on Moran Hill in Pyongyang.

Fabian Muir

Locals admire Kimjongilia (red) and Kimilsungia (purple) flowers at a flower festival in Pyongyang.

Fabian Muir

It has occurred to me that perhaps some people feel certain images are contrived because their composition makes them feel like tableaux. Such skepticism riles me since it’s difficult not to take it personally when an individual who has never even visited North Korea believes they know more on the topic than someone who has completed a two-year project and studied every text available. So it certainly became a personal mission on two levels: first to supplement the established narrative through a balanced survey of ordinary North Koreans and, as it turned out, lending them a dignity that has previously been lacking; and second, the task of convincing armchair skeptics that the images are truly candid.

The image of people laughing at a picnic is important to me since it is the last thing most viewers might expect to see in a body of work on North Korea. I've occasionally been challenged on this photo by people thinking it was staged, yet it was a completely spontaneous moment. Since it was a national holiday, there must have been thousands of picnickers in the park, and this particular group were laughing when a man in a neighboring gathering, who had evidently had one soju too many, stood up and began swaying in the breeze while singing painfully out of tune.

North Koreans never interfered with my image-making, deleted photos, or instructed me on what to shoot. The conviction that the whole thing is a huge Truman Show for visitors can take on extremes — for example many Westerners genuinely believe that the Pyongyang Metro only actually runs when a foreigner is on it!

Students participate in a mass dance on Kim Il-sung Square in Pyongyang.

Fabian Muir

A newlywed couple outside Pyongyang Folklore Park.

Fabian Muir

A guide translates a female soldier's comments about the Wangjaesan Monument in North Hamgyong province.

Fabian Muir

People in provincial North Korea pass before a mural of the leaders standing upon the North Korean “sacred mountain” of Mount Paektu.

Fabian Muir

As mentioned, it was my experience of North Koreans as thoughtful, kind, and humorous people, in many ways not different from us, that I found most illuminating. Children are cheeky and fun. Obviously the people are indoctrinated, but the automatic conclusion that they have all been completely desensitized to become unthinking cogs in the state apparatus is an exceedingly simplistic analysis and typical of the kind of assumption one makes without having been there — I had made it too.

I hope that the images open up unexpected perspectives on the country and particularly its people, and help viewers to attach a different face to North Korea from the bombastic version the state tends to project on the world stage.

A man runs past monumental mosaics at Pyongyang film studios.

Fabian Muir

A child sings at a kindergarten performance in Chongjin, North Korea. Talented children are trained to a very high level from an early age.

Fabian Muir

Young girls perform at a kindergarten in Chongjin.

Fabian Muir

A nurse tends infants in an orphanage in Nampo.

Fabian Muir

Children line up in an orphanage in Nampo on North Korea's west coast.

Fabian Muir

To see more of Fabian Muir's work, visit his website at fabianmuir.com.

The Pet Travel Policies for North America's Top Airlines

Airlines have found themselves knee-deep in drama recently due to misunderstandings over their pet travel policies.

Between the peacocks and the hamsters, we are here to set the record straight. While some airlines in North America are more welcoming to animals than others, all of them have clear pet policies.

To make sure your furry friend encounters no trouble in the friendly skies, we have rounded up the pet travel policies of North America’s eight largest airlines. This includes the rules for service animals, emotional support animals and beloved pets.

The next time you are preparing to travel with your loyal companion, make sure to study up, so you can choose the airline that suits the needs of you and your cuddly co-traveler.

American Airlines

Service animals are allowed on all flights at no charge. They need to be able to fit on your lap, at your feet, or under the seat, and cannot block the aisle. Service animals are also not allowed in exit rows. The same rules apply for emotional support animals. Emotional support animals and psychiatric service animals will need to submit a doctor’s letter, less than a year old that meets several requirements, to the airline 48 hours before the flight.

For those flying with pets, only small cats and dogs are allowed in the cabin at a $125 fee and they must stay in a carrier, that fits under the seat in front of you, at all times. Travelers can also fly their cats and dogs in the plane’s cargo hold for $175 fee with some capacity and weather restrictions.

Delta Airlines

Delta recently changed their policy on service and emotional support animals. Owners need to submit the airline’s required documentation 48 hours prior to the flight to be able to board with their service or emotional support animal. The animal should be able to fit on the passenger’s lap or in the space under the seat in front of the passenger. Delta reserves the right to refuse service to owner’s of animals with disruptive behavior.

For passengers traveling with a pet, small cats, dogs and household birds are allowed to travel in the cabin for a fee that varies based on the traveler’s destination. The pet must remain in a carrier at all times and the carrier must fit comfortably in the space under the seat in front of the passenger. Delta can also ship animals via Delta cargo, prices vary. This service is only open to warm-blooded pets.

Southwest Airlines

Southwest allows service and emotional support animals to fly on flights. The animal can be no larger than a child the age of two, and has to be able to be placed on the passenger’s lap or on the floor in front of their seat. Service and emotional support animals cannot be placed in an airplane seat. Those flying with emotional support animals will need to bring a  letter from a medical health professional that meets the requirements of Southwest.

Cats and small dogs are allowed to travel with their owners for a fee of $95. Approved pets must remain in their carrier at all times and be able to fit under the seat in front of their owner. Southwest does not fly pets in the cargo holds of their planes. Only six pets are allowed pet flight.

United Airlines

United allows trained service animals in cabin for qualified individuals with a disability. A service animal should sit in the floor space in front of the customer’s assigned seat but cannot protrude into the aisles. The same rules apply for emotional support animals, which also need to be trained to behave on plane. Owners of emotional support animals also need to present certain information and documentation to United before traveling.

United allows domesticated cats, dogs, rabbits and household birds (excluding cockatoos) to travel accompanied in the aircraft cabin on most flights within the U.S. for $125 service charge. The pet must stay in their carrier, which must fit completely under the seat in front of the customer and remain there at all times.

Air Canada

Air Canada allows service animals to travel in-cabin with their owners. The airline recommends that the animal boards the plane with a harness or in a carrier. For flights over 8 hours in length, Air Canada requires service animal owners to notify the airline about the animal 48 hours before the flight. If you are traveling with an emotional support or psychiatric service animal, you must advise Air Canada Reservations 48 hour in advance of travel, and provide supporting documentation in the form of an original letter on the letterhead of a licensed mental health professional. Air Canada does not accept animals other than dogs as emotional support or psychiatric service animals.

Air Canada welcomes cats and small dogs in the cabin as long as they are small enough to fit and stay comfortably in their carrier and under the seat in front of the traveler. The fee to fly with and in-cabin pet varies based on the traveler’s destination. Air Canada Cargo also ships a wide variety of animals, including cats, dogs, hatching eggs, insects and tropical fish.

Alaska Airlines

Service animals fly for free and must occupy the travelers own space without obstructing aisles. Those traveling with emotional support animals must present current documentation, prior to boarding, to one of our customer service agents. It must not be more than one year old and it must be on letterhead from a mental health professional or medical doctor who is treating your mental health-related disability. Several types of emotional support animals are prohibited from flying.

Pets allowed in the passenger cabin of Alaska Airline include dogs, cats, rabbits, household birds, and tropical fish. Dogs and cats must be at least eight weeks old and must have been fully weaned for at least five days prior to travel. The fee to travel with a small pet is $100, the pet must stay  in their carrier and be able to fit under the seat in front of the traveler or in the adjacent seat, when that seat is purchased. There is a limit to how many pets can fly on each plane, so travelers need to reserve in advance. Most pets are also allowed to travel in the cargo hold as well for a $100 fee.

JetBlue Airways

Service animals are welcomed on JetBlue free of charge. They must remain on the floor unless the animal can fit completely and comfortably in the owner’s lap. The owner should also make sure to add their service animal to their reservation before flying. The same rules apply for emotional service animals, which should also be well-behaved and have their required documentation. There is a large list of emotional support animals that are not accepted on the JetBlue Airways even with documentation.

JetBlue gladly accepts small cats and dogs in the aircraft cabin on both domestic and international flights. There is a pet fee of $100 each way and the combined of the pet and carrier may not exceed 20 pounds. The pet must remain inside its carrier while at the airport and in the aircraft for the entire flight, and underneath the seat in front of the traveler during taxi, takeoff, and landing. Only four pets are allowed pet flight.

Spirit Airlines

Spirit only allows small domestic dogs, domestic cats and small household birds on the aircraft, this applies to emotional support animals. Service animals are allowed on Spirit flights with the verbal assurance that the animal is trained to help the owner with a disability. Emotional support animals are allowed on Spirit flights as long as they board with the correct documentation that is under a year old.

Spirit has a limit of four pets per cabin. The fee to travel with your pet is $100 per pet carrier. Guests are only allowed to fly with 1 or 2 pets. The carrier with the pet must under the seat in front of the owner and the animal must stay in the carrier for the entire flight. Spirit does not fly animals in their cargo hold.

#lpexperthour: solo travel

#lpexperthour - solo travel

Setting off across the world, completely alone, can easily be both an empowering prospect and terrifying notion.

Not having to answer to the call of anyone but the wild, nor worry about the specific requirements of any fellow travellers can make for a truly personal travel journey, allowing you to connect on a deeper level to the places and people you come across. But, undertaking a solo travel trip for the first time is understandably daunting, and presents many challenges alongside its advantages – what if you don’t feel safe? What if you get lonely? What if you can’t afford to pay a single traveller premium? To answer some of these perennial questions, and to celebrate the release of our new Solo Travel Handbook, our next #lpexpert hour will be dedicated to the nuanced subject of travelling alone.

Join us on Thursday 15 February at 16:30 GMT, as solo travel blogger and Lonely Planet Trailblazer Dan Clarke of Dan Flying Solo, and travel writer and solo travel enthusiast MaSovaida Morgan take the reigns of our Twitter account to answer all of your queries regarding travelling solo. They’ll be ready with advice, inspiration and personal anecdotes on everything from planning a solo travel trip to dealing with homesickness and how to make friends on the road.

How do I take part?

  1. Follow @lonelyplanet and the hashtag #lpexperthour on Twitter on Thursday 15 February at 16:30 GMT/ 8:30 PST.
  2. Tweet us your questions by including our handle @lonelyplanet and the hashtag #lpexperthour.
  3. Stay tuned to our feed to see advice and answers direct from Dan and MaSovaida. While we’ll do our best to answer your questions, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to address each and every one.

Introducing our hosts:

MaSovaida Morgan

masovaida

MaSovaida is professional travel writer, editor, photographer and video host. Throughout her career, MaSovaida has undertaken countless solo travel trips, during which she has hiked through the Andes, learned the traditional Rapa Nui dance in Easter Island, and ridden a sky bike in Ecuador, on a wire 200 feet above a river gorge!

Daniel Clarke

MeVietnam

Daniel has been a full time traveller for the past three years and loves the freedom, excitement and local interactions you get from travelling solo. With around 60 countries under his belt, and many of those visited alone, he’s passionate about exploring the world while kicking the fear of going solo. He records his experiences on his hugely popular blog Dan Flying Solo.

Heading off alone? Check out our top trips for solo travel, and ask our Thorn Tree community for tips, advice and inspiration. 

WeTravel builds a group payment platform for small travel businesses

 WeTravel wants to be the payment platform for small travel companies and group trips. Founded by three immigrant entrepreneurs who met at University of California, Berkeley, the company has just closed a $2 million seed round to expand its business among the small and medium-sized agencies that still play a role in tourism and travel. Last year (its second full year as a business) the… Read More