Phuoc Truong

Halong Hub proudly sponsored the “Love Vietnam Rooftop Party”

Love Vietnam Rooftop Party was hosted by the Vietnam is Awesome community and Saigon SOS to help the NGO ChangeVN raise money for good causes. These include: raising awareness of people, fighting against the use rhino horn, and improving Vietnam’s environment.

Around a hundred people joined the event to show their solidarity with the causes; raising an enormous amount of money in the process.

halong-hub-sponsor-for-love-vietnam-rooftop-party
Source: AnyArena.com
halong-hub-sponsor-for-love-vietnam-rooftop-party
Source: AnyArena.com

Guests could contribute by buying raffle tickets at VND100.000 (US$4.38) for 10 tickets. Prizes included many different vouchers for bars, restaurants and events. Halong Hub was honored to sponsor the Grand prize of the event: a free Halong Cruise Tour Trip of 2 days 1 night for 2 people.

halong-hub-sponsor-for-love-vietnam-rooftop-party
Source: AnyArena.com
halong-hub-sponsor-for-love-vietnam-rooftop-party
Source: AnyArena.com

Halong Hub also held 2 Give Away events before with a similar prize. The winners would have a chance to experience the majestic scenery of Halong Bay with its magnificent limestone karst formations, caves and other scenic attractions, among pristine waters of the bay.

This is one of Vietnam’s amazing UNESCO World Heritage Sites, as well as being placed in the top 25 Destinations of Traveler’s Choice Award by TripAdvisor.

Staying overnight on 4-star Glory Legend Cruise, one of the best Mid-range cruises in Halong Bay, is a superb experience and was a highly sought after prize. Activities available include: kayaking, squid fishing, early morning tai chi classes, and cooking classes.

The dining room onboard serves wonderful Western and Vietnamese style cuisines, prepared and presented by Glory Legend Cruise’s own chef.

The lucky winner was Mrs. Carmel Leonard; she won the Halong Cruise Tour, valued at US$230.00.

halong-hub-sponsor-for-love-vietnam-rooftop-party
Mrs. Carmel Leonard – the luckiest one and our Sales Executive, Roxane Gil.

Love Vietnam Rooftop Party took place on Cafe Restaurant’s rooftop, a lovely venue right in the heart of Saigon. The guests delighted in the live music and cool drinks, all served up in a friendly atmosphere. The evening was a great success!

It was Halong Hub’s pleasure to contribute to the social values and meaningful activities, involved. The company hopes to support more such opportunities in the future.

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DJ Miller stole the night! Source: AnyArena.com
halong-hub-sponsor-for-love-vietnam-rooftop-party
Source: AnyArena.com
halong-hub-sponsor-for-love-vietnam-rooftop-party
Hundreds of people came to the event! That was huge success for us.

Halong Bay, Vietnam – My Beloved Second Home!

Kittisak Srichan, the Manager of a 5-star Orchid Luxury Cruise in Halong, told us in an interview that Halong Bay Vietnam is his second home and he loves the place more than anything.

kittisak-srichan-and-his-staffs-on-orchid-cruise-halong
Kittisak Srichan and his staff on Orchid Cruise Halong.

He was born and raised in Nakhon Sawan province which is 240 kilometers away from the capital Bangkok. In an exciting and warm tone of voice, he shares how he first knew about Halong Bay in 2005 through a friend of his who was working in the tourism industry in Halong Bay. Kittisak immediately noticed Halong Bay as a spectacular nature gift with huge limestones, karst caves, magnificent scenery and pristine blue water which motivated him to move here and works as a staff at Halong Plaza Hotel, one of the 4-star hotels around then, that was also well-known at that time. After 10 years working in the hotel and restaurant field, and earning lots of experience, management and organizing skills, Kittisak then moved ahead chose Orchid Cruise Halong as a new challenge.

Orchid Cruise Halong
Orchid Cruise Halong – one of luxury cruises sailing Lan Ha – Halong itinerary

Living and working in Vietnam for 12 years now, Kittisak Srichan can speak Vietnamese fluently. His daily routine and living style are like Vietnamese as well. In fact, if you meet him for the very first time, you will definitely think that he has a Vietnamese soul. He shared this words with us emotionally “I know I’m in love with this city, with this Bay at first glance. I love its unspoiled gorgeous scenery as well as friendly locals here. Halong Bay is a starting point and an end of my journey as well.

Like many foreigners, this Thai guy is inspired by Vietnamese culture, one of the most interesting point that he loves is Tet holiday in Vietnam. He’s totally impressed by the atmosphere brought by Vietnamese during these days, especially 2 to 3 days before the first day of the New Year. In these days, the streets are filled with people and motorbikes, the traffic is going crazy. Everyone gets busy on preparing traditional customs, shopping at malls, supermarkets or even vendors. Kittisak loves to see that atmosphere, everywhere on the streets, houses and stores are decorated with various kinds of flowers, lights and traditional stuffs like “bao li xi” which are red envelopes having lucky money inside, “cau doi” which is Chinese poem written on a long rectangle red paper and so on.

kittisak-srichan-loves-tet-holiday-in-vietnam
kittisak Srichan loves Tet holiday in Vietnam

Kittisak’s Vietnamese wife has helped him a lot in explaining and guiding him to blend to Vietnam culture. According to him, New Year eve in Thailand and Vietnam are quite the same. He told us about Thai’s Tet and tradition of his hometown with a bit of sadness in his voice because it has be a long time, living far away from his own country and it is not easy. I feel that Tet Holiday is something more than culture, it’s very sacred in every Vietnamese heart. This is the time people spend for family, time for the reunion of long lost friends, and for “Li xi” it’s really fun. Everyone loves lucky money from children to the old. Hmm, Tet’s foods are the best. Love their flavors and decoration styles!” said Kittisak Srichan.

Kittisak wishes all Vietnamese people the very best as well as travelers planning to travel to Halong Bay. May happiness, fortune and strong health come to everyone.

Top Travel Tips for Tet Holiday in Vietnam

Tet plays an important role in Vietnamese culture because it’s the time for family reunion, new chances, and hope- as well as forgetting troubles about the year gone by.

It usually occurs in late January to mid-February; this year Tet holiday is coming a bit sooner because the first day of the lunar year is January 28th.

Like any country’s holiday time, things go a little crazy at this time of year. This article is going to outline some travel tips for Tet holiday time.

Tet Holiday
Ao dai – traditional costume of Vietnam – is usually worn during Tet.

“A Cheerful Time of the Year”

Tet is referred to as a cheerful time of the year, because it brings together the Vietnamese themselves, as well as foreign expats and foreign visitors who’ll be in the country during this time.

Tet embodies a truly Eastern celebration, with interesting activities and customs that are unique to this part of the world.

A week before the first day of New Year, streets, houses and stores are decorated with flower plants and lights. The main color associated with Tet is red, which symbolize luck, happiness and success.

Depending on locality, Vietnamese decorate their living room with chrysanthemums and marigolds, which stands for longevity in southern Vietnam, and paper flowers and lavender in northern Vietnam.

Tet Holiday
Nguyen Hue walking street.

Tet Holiday

You can really feel Tet “in the air”, streets, malls and supermarkets because they are more crowded and also various kinds of entertainment and shows are held throughout the cities.

Our travel tip for Tet holiday: Be prepared for things to be busier than normal at this time of year.

Tet Holiday Customs

The first sacred custom is preparing a large tray that consists of foods, candies and incense to say farewell to the ‘kitchen god’.

After the ritual, you have to release a carp into nature (the fish stands for transportation to help kitchen god travel back to meet with the emperor and other gods).

Similarly, on December 30th of every lunar year, Vietnamese believe their deceased ancestors will visit the family so they prepare a sumptuous meal to invite and welcome back the ancestors.

Customary foods during Tet include glasses of tea and rice wine, cooked rice, stewed pork, bitter melon filled with mince soup and the most well-known traditional Vietnamese food: “banh chung”.

Our travel tip for Tet holiday: enjoy the feasts and local flavours, and take the opportunity to try something new.

Tet Holiday
“Lixi” Custom is quite fun!

During the first three days of the New Year, people will visit a pagoda to pray for happiness and prosperity for their family, and then visit relatives and friends to give them best wishes and fortunes.

During this period, people try to avoid arguments or say bad things.

“Lixi” is an interesting custom, where a red envelop containing “lucky money” is given as a gift. Although the amount is usually quite small, it’s a way to show respect to the old and generosity to kids.

Tips for travelers visiting Vietnam during Tet Holiday

Our travel tip for Tet holiday: Shops are usually still open for Tet

Tet Holiday

In the past, commercial activities stop for about 5 days during Tet, but nowadays, since tet part of Vietnam’s “high season” shops usually stay open to reap the benefit of people’s extra generosity at this time of year.

Just few shops close now, and it is usually just for 1 day.

Our travel tip for Tet holiday: Higher prices than usual

During Tet, everything will experience a price hike, from a bowl of pho to a suit made to order. Moreover, many restaurants may not have their regular full menu either.

Our travel tip for Tet holiday: Transportation and accommodation

People generally take long trips and travel home at this time of year, so getting tickets for transportation is hard (even when you try to book in advance).

So if you want to take a trip to popular destinations like Halong Bay, Hoi An, Da Nang, Hanoi, or Saigon, book plenty in advance.

Our travel tip for Tet holiday: Be careful when bargaining

People believe at this time of year that any “unlucky signs” could be telling of financial losses for the year to come. Hard bargaining with merchants during Tet can cause some upset.

If they’re getting angry for no reason, you might find that buy the smallest or cheapest product in their shops resolves the issue.

Our travel tip for Tet holiday: Prepare lucky money – “li xi”

Tet Holiday

If you really want to make someone smile, prepare lucky money in envelopes and give them out to people you come into contact with.

If you obtain services in shops, foods and drinks at coffee shops or hotel rooms, remember to give staff “li xi”. You likely won’t miss a dollar or two, but they will absolutely go crazy for it.

Have you ever traveled to Vietnam during Tet? How did you feel? We’re glad to hear your stories and the experiences of the trip in the comments below.

Vietnam is Safe to Travel!

Many tourists have asked the question:”Is it safe to travel to Vietnam now?”. The answer has been always YES. “The Travel Risk Map for 2017” report has been published by medical and security experts from international SOS and control risks. Through the report, it is said that Vietnam is safe to travel. It’s deeply researched in various behaviors and experiences of travelers from around the world. The Travel Risk Map 2017 launches alongside a comprehensive Ipsos MORI survey of over 1,000 business decision-makers, responsible for their organization’s travel risk mitigation in 75 countries, representing in excess of 500,000 travelers globally.

Rob Walker, Security specialist at International SOS and Control Risks commented: “It is essential for decision-makers to have a reliable source of objective information to help them implement travel risk policies and individual travel plans. The extent of the preparation and support employees need could be determined either by medical or security risks, or by a combination of both. Companies need to take a comprehensive view when preparing their employees for travel and assignments abroad.”

Vietnam is safe to travel!

Vietnam is safe place to visit
Source: International SOS

“The Travel Risk Map for 2017” has listed Vietnam as an ideal place to travel especially for backpackers and female solo travelers for a trip, since the dangers and risks happening to visitors are quite low. Vietnam is in the same league as Canada, Germany, France, and Australia when it comes to safety. Particularly due to low level of criminals, thieves,  violence, racism and political instability. Terrorism in Vietnam is also a non-issue currently. There is a zero-tolerance policy concerning any terrorism or domestic obstruction. Infrastructures and services are also well developed.

In contrast, among Southeast Asian countries, Thailand, Cambodia and Philippines, there is a high risk of many of these previously mentioned issues occurring. The King of Thailand, Bhumibol Adulyadej, died recently and this has lead to several political problems. Tourism is also affected. Until the Thai king’s funeral next year, no big festivals or celebrations are allowed to be held.

According to the report, most of the visitors concern about terror attacks (51%), followed by Zika virus (49%) and civil unrest (36%). Rob Walker concludes, “Travelers are much less likely to encounter unexpected or avoidable problems if they plan ahead. Using objective advice to prepare travelers, and by staying up to date on any changes and how they might affect plans, will further reduce, both the likelihood of people experiencing problems, and the extent of the impact.“

More and more people travel to Vietnam because it’s safe

Millennials travelers consider Vietnam as an ideal place to visit.
Millennials travelers consider Vietnam as an ideal place to visit.

Among developing countries, Vietnam is a perfect place to plan your trip. Famous for its beautiful, wild and unspoiled tourist spots, and friendly people. Millennials and baby-boomers are the main tourist groups in Vietnam. Based on a Report of Culture, Sport and Tourism Department of Vietnam, a number of travelers has increased to 812 017, 25,4% more than the same time in 2015.

Moreover, Vietnam is a well-known destination for budget travelers as well as one of safest countries to travel. The price of products here is quite reasonable. There are plenty of cheap hostels and guest-houses in most cities ($10 per night). Food costs are even lower and street foods are among the best in the world. Life is inexpensive. Even in the biggest metropolitan areas like Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City, you can get by for a whole day with $15.

Vietnam is a truly hidden gem that only those visiting the country themselves will be able to tell. Vietnam is not short of natural and human-made World Heritage sites, either: Halong Bay, Phong Nha Ke Bang caves, Hoi An Ancient Street and Cham Islands are all recognized for their intense beauty. Services of these famous tourist spots are now well developed for convenience and safety of foreign travelers.

Monkey island - Lan Ha Bay
A worth trying destination in Southeast Asia.

Halong Bay is widely known as an exciting spot for foreign travelers. Formation of limestone karsts makes the bay look stunning. If you hear some of your friends talking about aspects to Halong Bay like it is too crowded and you don’t want your vacation to become terrible, Lan Ha Bay and Bai Tu Long Bay are great choices for you. While Bai Tu Long Bay is bigger and less touristy, Lan Ha Bay is a hidden gem of the region.

In conclusion, Vietnam has become a safe place to travel for foreign travelers. 2017 is about to come, have you got any plans for your next journey yet?

How was your last trip in Vietnam? Was it safe and exciting? We’re excited to hear your stories about all things Vietnam. Share with us in the comments below!

 

Halong Beer: Let’s taste Halong Bay Spirit!

Who says Germans are the only fans of beer? Pack your stuff and head to Vietnam to see how the local people get crazy over a glass of beer. Brew is so common that you can find it everywhere you go. From local groceries to fancy restaurants, vendors to five-star hotels, and from the urban areas to the countryside – you’ll never run out of beers to drink.

Besides the imported brands such as Heineken, Tiger, and San Miguel, the local Vietnamese people have developed and produced their own taste of beer that can be explored with brands like Bia (beer in Vietnamese) Hanoi, Bia Saigon, and Huda Bia.  Halong Beer is one of the local beers that you should try. A cold Halong beer on a cruise sundeck on a hot afternoon is a real pleasure.

Halong Beer
A must-try drink in Halong Bay region

Light, Fresh, and Extremely Cheap

With all exported ingredients and modern production infrastructure, Halong Beer has become increasingly more popular to consumers. The price is absolutely reasonable. You only have to pay VND15,000 to VND20,000 for each can of  Halong Beer. Don’t worry about drinking too much, in fact I’m sure that this kind of beer can’t knock you down at all because the alcohol content is only about 5%, quite low. Honestly, super-light draft beer, also known as “bia hoi” in Vietnam, which many people have tried in Hanoi is not a good deal. At first, with an extremely cheap price about VND5,000, or 25 cents for a glass, you may ask me why I say this. The reason is these local beer producers are not controlled and you must know already, not everything cheap is good.

Halong Bay Beer
Cheer!

Relaxing Atmosphere

Taste is different for everyone, but perhaps the number-one reason why people love Halong beer is because of the atmosphere it brings. The modern, technologically-driven life, pressures from work making everyone stressed out – thus making everyone, regardless of age and background, come to Halong Bay to drink beer there. To relax, unwind, and share their life stories with each other. Just two cans of beer can bring two strangers closer.

Halong Bay Beer
Halong Beer goes perfect with snacks in Halong Bay’s evening.

Halong Beer makes you relaxed. As you know, each cruise tour has many fun activities like karaoke at night, a BBQ party on the beach or dining in the cave systems. Halong Beer would totally fit in.

Halong Bay Beer
Absolutely outstanding on a night like this!

Halong’s Special Drink

If you’ve ever heard that “you’ve never been to Halong if you didn’t eat Squid Sausages”, it’s also true about Halong Beer. Halong Beer appears everywhere in the normal life of local people, from family reunions, celebrations, bonding, to special occasions like weddings and anniversaries. Among cruises, Halong Beer is the most common kind of drink. Therefore, drink Halong Beer in Halong Bay! Sounds fun, right?

Halong Bay Beer
When Halong Beer becomes an inspirational taste. Source: IG @adamyeahbro

Have you tried a Halong Beer before? How does it taste? I’m sure that you had a good time with your family, friends and beloved. Share with us your party night or experiences in Halong Bay. We’re glad to read your stories in the comments below.

Top 5 Places to Celebrate Anniversary with your Significant Other

What is the best way to celebrate marriage? With a trip, of course! If you are looking and you want to do something special for your beloved, Southeast Asia is one of the best choices. Here they have delicious food with a variety of tasty flavors, diverse cultures and exciting festivals with many special ways to celebrate. Moreover, countries in the region like Vietnam, Singapore, Cambodia, Thailand, Philippines and Indonesia have tons of romantic spots that are beyond wonderful for having memorable experiences together.

From wallet-friendly honeymoon destinations to ultra-luxurious honeymoon packages, you’ll find almost everything to suit your desires on this continent. Here are our picks for dreamy fairytale anniversary locations in Southeast Asia.

Koh Rong, Cambodia

Koh Rong is located about 25 kilometers from Sihanoukville, in the Gulf of Thailand. The island has 43 km of beautiful sandy beaches along both its Eastern and Western shores.

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Now, this really is the jewel on this list. If you want your party to have a tinge of Robinson Crusoe to it, this is the place for you.

It’s not about the craziest parties, it’s more about the atmosphere. It’s still in the embryonic stage, where travelers have found a piece of paradise, tell others, and slowly they all congregate. Think beers on the beach ‘round a fire (though there are the bars with their sound systems too). The real gem on this island? The glowing phytoplankton in the calm, picturesque sea at night. Who needs neon lights when you have nature?

celebrate anniversary

Boracay, Philippines

This tropical paradise was hailed as the 2013 Best Beach in Asia by TripAdvisor, and took second place in the 2013 World’s Best Islands list in Travel and Leisure. Besides the stunning, powdery white-sand beaches, Boracay is also ideal for couples to celebrate their memorable anniversary. You can find affordable hotels on Boracay island that are close to the myriad of fun activities you can enjoy.

celebrate anniversary

Adventurous couples can participate in exhilarating sports and outdoor activities such as snorkeling, scuba diving, parasailing and windsurfing on Bulabog Beach. Both can discover the island’s beauty through an afternoon of horseback riding as well. Sounds great right? You and your beloved can also have front-row seats to the captivating Boracay sunset by renting a paraw sailboat, or by simply setting up a private picnic or dinner by the beach.

celebrate anniversary

Halong Bay, Vietnam

There is nothing quite like the thrill of adventure and exploration of something new to bring you closer to the one you love. Halong Bay is the perfect place to spend time with someone special, to reconnect and rekindle old flames, or to celebrate the beginning of your journey together on your honeymoon. Whatever the occasion, here in Halong Bay you’ll find the romance and the fun that you’re looking for.

celebrate anniversary

Dining in the caves, BBQ on white sandy beaches at night or watching the sunset in the evening are all great activities for couples. It’s a great time for taking some memorable picture of you and your beloved since the view is beyond imaginable.

celebrate anniversary

Phuket, Thailand

Phuket is well known as the “Pearl of the South” or the “Pearl of the Andaman Sea” and this place definitely lives up to its flashy nickname because of pleasant weather, majestic sandy beaches, and bustling nightlife. The largest and most visited island in Thailand is perfect for a couple’s anniversary because of the various kinds of entertainment choices available from the first light of morning until midnight. There is a designated beach for every type of person visiting Phuket. Couples who prefer mingling with crowds can enjoy noisy and hedonistic Patong beach, while the laid-back ones can take pleasure in the ambiance of Karon beach. The South of Kata has beaches that are nice and quiet as well as less touristy, so does the North of Patong and Kamala such as Surin, Bang Tao, and Nai Yang.

celebrate anniversary
Phuket – land of luxurious resorts.

Besides relaxing at the beaches, couples can also visit the town’s busy markets, Sino-Portuguese architecture and Chinese herbal clinics. You can easily rent a car or scooter to check out Phuket’s viewpoints for sunset.

celebrate anniversary

Bali, Indonesia

Bali stands for “heaven”. So, technically speaking, you really have the chance to visit heaven. This small island in Indonesia has landscapes that you’ll find only in fairy tales. From volcanoes to lush green fields, Bali remains a dreamy honeymoon destination in Asia for lovers, offering a fantasy-like experience.

celebrate anniversary

An intimate paradise experience awaits couples on the island of Bali. This Indonesian attraction boasts crystal blue waters, white and black sand beaches, tropical forests, lush landscapes, and ancient temples. There are several activities to choose from, like aquatic sports, cycling, or a guided walk through the rainforest and the beautiful temples. For those who want some food variety aside from hotel fare, they can enjoy a delicious dinner experience from the rooftop restaurants in Seminyak.

celebrate anniversary

And here are some tips just in case you need more

  • Don’t procrastinate: Booking plane tickets and specialty suites need to be done well in advance.
  • Work as a team. Plan the anniversary together as planning is always an important step. This ensures a balanced vacation that both can enjoy and afford.
  • Seek advice.  Ask your friends who have traveled to Southeast Asia before for advice, hotels and restaurants, but don’t copy their itineraries step-by-step. Be sure your trip is as unique as you are.
  • Budget accordingly. While it is possible to book a budget-friendly anniversary trip, be sure you set aside enough money to cover a quality vacation. If you can’t afford a long trip in a far-flung locale, consider a shorter trip or vacationing closer to home.

Finally: HAVE FUN!!!

So what are your choices for your anniversary? Tell us your plans in the comments below.