Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Travel tips: 3 weeks backpacking in Thailand itinerary

Looking for a 3 weeks backpacking Thailand? Hereby is our Thailand itinerary, including what to do in Thailand and attractions, all wrapped up into a mini guide to Thailand!

Week 1: Chiang Mai and Bangkok

Let’s begin 3 weeks in Thailand itinerary with Chiang Mai, Thailand’s second biggest city. You can refer our schedule: adventuring Chiang Mai in 4 nights and Bangkok the other 3 nights.
Old Town
Wat Phra That Doi Suthep
Here you can visit loads of temples and markets and eat some fantastic food. Walk around Old Town which is filled with markets, shops and spas, then when your feet get tired stop for the fish spa. Wat Phra That Doi Suthep (the temple in the mountains), Sunday night market, Thai secret cooking school and Pad Thai are some Thailand travel tips for
Hostel Pai, Thailand
From here, you can head over to Pai for some hippie relaxation and backpacker fun. Spicy Pai is on the edge of town but don’t be put off, it’s very social and an easy walk or motorbike ride into town.
Pai Canyonn
One of backpacking in Thailand tips is to hire a motorbike. Motorbike to the Mor Paeng waterfalls, head to Pai Canyonn and look for the sign on the right side of the road for the “Land Split” – go there if you have time!! Then catch the latest bus back to Chiang Mai.
From Chiang Mai, take the sleeper train down to Bangkok. It saves a night of accommodation, is a really fun experience, and avoids the hassle of taxis to the airport. 
Some typical touristy spots in Bangkok are Wat Pho, Grand Palace, Khao San Road, Chatuchak Weekend Market, Asiatique.

Week 2: Thailand islands

After experiencing the two major cities in Thailand, it’s time for you to get to your first island in your Thailand backpacking itinerary.
Koh Samui
Flying to Suratthani, then you take a transfer bus to the port, ride the ferry to Koh Samui. Take a jeep tour around the island – on the tour you will see monkeys, drink fresh coconuts, visit the mummified monk to get your fortune, recieve a blessing from a monk, slide down a waterfall water slide, off-road to the magic Buddha garden and the big Buddha, catch an amazing view of the entire island.
Koh Tao
You’ll catch your departure on Lomprayah Ferry to Koh Tao, Thailand. Hop on the boat early in the morning for a day trip around the island, snorkel, explore a private island and then head back to town.
Koh Phangan
Full Moon Party
After 2 days in Koh Tao, you may make your journey over to Koh Phangan. Hang out in town or grab a taxi straight to your accommodations, lounge at the pool, enjoy a BBQ dinner and spend the nights playing trivia and going to floating bar. Koh Phangan is infamous for Full Moon Party!

Week 3: Krabi, Ao Nang, Koh Phi Phi, Phuket

From Koh Phangan, book a ferry + van ticket combo to Krabi, Thailand through one of the many agents on the island to continue 3 weeks in Thailand itinerary. Just remember to shop around for the best price.  
Rock-climbing in Railey
For the first 2/3 days explore Ton Sai Bay, Railey beach, and Ao Nang beach. All of these areas are located extremely close to each other, and are a great way to meet others backpacking in Thailand. I’d also highly recommend rock-climbing in Railey!
From there, make your journey to the paradise known as Koh Phi Phi. It’s incredibly beautiful, with an amazing island hopping tour, but it is notoriously known for having some of the wildest parties at night.
After spending a few days checking out Koh Phi Phi, then make your way over to Phuket. You can spend a day or two there, but it’s another very touristy part of Thailand. From there you can either catch your flight home, or back to Chiang Mai or Bangkok.
This is my suggestion to enjoy 3 weeks in Thailand. It is guaranteed to be an amazing trip here!

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Recommended Halong bay budget tour package from Hanoi, 2 days 1 night overnight cruise for backpackers

Ha Long Bay, one of 7 wonders of the world is honorably chosen as a destination for travelers to come when they want to escape from life for a while to reenergize your body because of its magnificent and spectacular landscape created by nature. Normally, you have to spend a decent budget to travel to Ha Long bay. However we would like to share with you some tips to save your money and still have nice time there. There are a lot of activities that you can do such as: taking boat ride in Ha Long, climbing Bai Tho mountain, going shopping at Hon Gai market, wandering around Ha Long night market, enjoying the scenery of Ha Long bay from Bai Chay bridge and entertain yourself at Tuan Chau island. The following are recommended halong bay budget tours

halong bay vietnam, halong bay tour 2 days 1 night

Tips on travelling to Ha Long bay

Ha Long is located about 177km in the northward of Hanoi city, the capital of Vietnam. You can take a local bus at Luong Yen or My Dinh bus station. There are many bus companies with different time that you can take. It often takes 4 hours to go to Ha Long Bay. Here are some trusted bus companies: Phúc Xuyên, Kumho Việt Thanh, Hoàng Long.

fighting cock island in halong bay, hanoi halong bay tour package

2 days is proper period of time for your Hanoi Halong bay tour package. In the first day, you take the earliest bus to go to Ha Long Bay at 7 am. You arrive to the intersection of Tuan Chau around 11h30, get off from there and then take a motorbike to Tuan Chau international port. (From 1/1/2016, the international port was moved from Bai Chay to Tuan Chau). Arriving there, you can choose a local restaurant for lunch with reasonable price, often they have menu for choose. In the early afternoon, you buy ticket to visit Ha Long, you also have to pay for renting a boat. The price is often from 5- 7$/per person for a group boat. You can find there some “brokers” to ask for sharing the boat with others. And don’t worry about the price because it is normally fixed. If you go with friends or family, you should hire a private boat, price is from 7- 8$/per trip from 4-6 hours (in peak season from May to August, the price can be higher).

halong bay vietnam, halong bay overnight tour from hanoi

Note: If you arrive to Ha Long early, you should go to Bai Chay to book a hotel first before going Tuan Chau. The distance between Bai Chay and Tuan Chau is about 15km. There are some hotels in Tuan Chau island but not many and the price is often more expensive.
There are two types of cruise tickets: 4 hours and 6 hours for day trip in Ha Long. With 4 hour ticket, you are able to visit Thien Cung and Dau Go grotto, Fighting Cock island, and make a short cruise in the bay. With 6 hour ticket, you are able to visit Thien Cung and Dau Go grotto, Fighting Cock island, Titop beach and spend more time in a further distance cruising in the bay.

Thien Cung cave in halong bay, Recommended halong bay budget tour

If you are not tired after the bus drive from Ha Noi, you should go to climb Bai Tho mountain first in the afternoon and in the second day take a 6 hour ticket boat ride (you can see more). In the afternoon of second day, take a bus back to Ha Noi. Bai Tho mountain is located in Hon Gai area, closed to Bai Chay bridge. From the top of mountain, you can have overview of Ha Long City and part of Ha Long Bay. This place is not popular in the tour yet.
Tuan Chau island Halong, Recommended halong bay budget tour

If you are student and want to have Halong bay budget tour from Hanoi, you should stay overnight at a guesthouse near Long Tien pagoda (there are some cheap guesthouses there with price about 7$/ 2 persons, the quality is like a dorm). On the bus to Ha Long bay, ask the bus driver to drop you off at Long Toong intersection, from here about 15km to Long Tien pagoda. There are two very good local restaurants  opposite the cinema. And if you stay here, you should visit Bai Tho mountain in the afternoon because it is quite closed. However, from this area, you have to take a local bus to reach Tuan Chau island that can take you from 15- 20 minutes.
halong bay in vietnam, recommended halong bay tour
Besides, when you stay at Long Tien area, it is very convenient to travel to Quan Lan island because of the short distance from Long Tien to Hon Gai harbor (about 400m) where you can find a ferry to Quan Lan. You can stay one night at guesthouse and take a ferry to Quan Lan in the early morning next day.

Ha Long Bay 2 days 1 night tour (spending 1 night on the boat)

With Halong bay 2 day cruise for backpackers, you can do more activities, especially spend the night in the bay. Most of tours spending night on the boat are chosen by foreigners, domestic tourists often stay overnight at hotel because they worry about the service and safety on boats. But in my opinion, the main reason why domestic tourists don’t choose stay overnight on boat is because of high price.

Titop beach in halong bay, Recommended halong bay budget tour

The service and safety of the boat have to be qualified so that Ha Long Bay Management Department gives these boats license. The price for these tours is from 90$- 110$/per night with 3 star boat and higher with 4 and 5 star boat (170$-400$/per night).  Which boat you choose depends on your budget and expectation.
fighting cock island halong bay, halong bay budget tour from Hanoi

A popular 2 days 1 night tour itinerary:

Day 1:

kayaking in Halong bay, halong bay tour 2 days 1 night
From Ha Noi to Ha Long Bay, you spend 4 hours on the bus, and arrive there around 12h30. After that, you get on boat and start your journey around the bay. While the boat is navigating, you have lunch. The boat will stop at Titop beach or Amazing Cave at 2pm for your visit there. At the end of the day, you may do some kayaking at a specific place (or maybe you do it in the morning after)
Have a sleep on Halong bay overnight cruise.
sunset in halong bay vietnam, Recommended halong bay budget tour

Day 2:

For the second of halong bay 2 day 1 night tour package, going some kayaking, having breakfast, and after that, the boat will take you back to the harbor in a different route. You can have lunch on the boat or at local restaurant at Bai Chay. In the afternoon, come back to Ha Noi.
Tuan Chau Ha Long, Recommended halong bay budget tour
The place where you go kayaking is different from different tour company. With 3 days 2 nights tour, you can go to Cat Ba island in the second day and come back Ha Long in the third day and back to Ha Noi.
thien cung cave in halong vietnam, halong bay budget tour from Hanoi
Note: If you need help to book a tour or some advice you can contact us. You can leave your email below or contact directly to

Guesthouses and hotels at Ha Long

Ha Long is divided into 2 parts: Hon Gai and Bay Chay connected by Bai Chay bridge. Bai Chay is the main tourist area with a long beach and port. Hon Gai is administrative center. You should stay in Bay Chay because it is more convenient for transporting and eating. Most of hotels and guesthouses are located at Vuon Dao street. The price is from 12-17$/per night, more expensive in summer. There are some good restaurants in this area with reasonable price. Don’t forget to try Squid cake- a special food here.

Some entertainment spots in Ha Long

Hang Thien Cung, Dau Go: you go by island Dau Goisland, continue walking through the steps, enter the cave, explore caves inside, should go both caves. There are many animal shapes and beautiful stalactites. In the evening you can go to Ha Long night market, buy some souvenirs and do not forget to bargain.  In addition you can also walk downtown to the post office, rent a horse car to go around. If you go to Bai Chay Bridge at night, you should go home early for your safety.
bai tho mountain peak, halong bay budget tour from Hanoi

Bai Tho Mountain presented above. Also if you are in the area of Hon Gai, though it is far from the tourist center, but close to Halong city, you can enjoy the cuisine and learn about local people's lifestyle of Ha Long. In this area you can visit the Long Tien Pagoda, enjoy rice pancake with grilled Squid, the food here are less expensive than the tourist center. You can take the bus to move between two areas, Hon Gai will be more suitable if you are a student.

Cat Ba and Ha Long combined tour

If you can go both to Ha Long and Cat Ba , it would a perfect trip. In order to get to Cat Ba,you must take a ferry from Tuan Chau. There are specific time for ferry so you should look for it carefully. You can stay in Tuan Chau on the second day and take the last ferry to Cat Ba. When arrive to Gia Luan wharf, Cat Ba you must hire motorbike or taxi to get to the center. You can contact us to book a taxi or car for you because people often overcharge you here. You spend the night in Cat Ba town, and on the last day go swimming and visit the Fish Market. In the afternoon take Hoang Long bus to Hanoi (the ticket is included ferry), last bus is at 3pm.
Cat Ba island Halong bay, halong bay tour 2 days 1 night

You want to have more information about tour to Cat Ba, please contact us.
From 2014,Halong bay sightseeing ticket fee has been increased, in particular as following:
From 6:30 to 18:30 during the day is 120,000 VND / ticket(general visiting Halong bay, excluding tickets visitingislands , caves,  etc) The fee for some spots invested by the government such as Cua Van Floating Village, Soi Sim island, Titop island is from 30.000- 50.000 VND)
Generally visting and staying 1 night in Ha Long Bay is 320,000 VND (about 15$). Staying 2 nights and general sightseeing on Halong Bay is 470,000 VND and staying 3 nights and general tours on Halong Bay is 520,000 VND. Children from 7 to 15 years old ; senior citizens aged 70 years and over , the poor , people with disabilities will be exempt from 50% entrance fee . For those who have contributed to the revolution, children under 7 years old will be free from entrance ticket.

Vietnam visa exemption list
Vietnam visa is a compulsory paper for foreigners who want to enter Vietnam for business, travel or visit. The following is Vietnam visa exemption list by Vietnam Immigration Department:
vietnam visa examption, vietnam visa examption list
  1. Those who are Cambodian, Thai, Malaysian, Indonesian, Singaporean, Myanmar and Laotian citizens are granted Vietnam visa-free entry with no more than 30 days of residence.
  2. Philipino citizens are granted Vietnam visa-free entry with no more than 21 days of residence.
  3. Japanese, Korean, Swedish, Norwegian, Dane, Russian and Finn citizens are granted Vietnam visa-free entry with no more than 15 days of residence.
vietnam visa examption paper, vietnam visa examption list
4. Bruneian citizens are granted Vietnam visa exemption with no more than 14 days of residence.
5. French citizens with valid Diplomatic Passport (DP) or Official Passport (OF) are granted Vietnam single or multiple visa-free entry with no more than 90 days of residence in total during 6 months since the date of very first entry.
6. Chilean citizens with valid Diplomatic Passport (DP) or Official Passport (OF) are granted Vietnam visa-free entry with no more than 90 days of residence.
7. From July 01, 2015 to June 30, 2016: English, French, German, Spanish and Italian citizens are granted Vietnam visa-free entry with no more than 15 days of residence.
vietnam visa examption in Spain, vietnam visa examption list

8. From July 01, 2015 to June 30, 2020: Belarusian citizens are granted Vietnam visa-free entry with no more than 15 days of residence.
9. Those with APEC business travel card (ABTC) belong to member economies of APEC (The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum) are granted Vietnam visa exemption with no more than 60 days of residence.
10. For those who travel Phu Quoc island, Vietnam: Foreigners and Overseas Vietnamese entering Vietnam through international border gate and then traveling to Phu Quoc island Vietnam will be granted Vietnam visa-free entry with no more than 15 days of residence. Passport validity of at least 45 days is required. In the event that tourists want to visit other places or stay at this island more than 15 days, they will be granted a Vietnam visa right in Phu Quoc island.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Vietnam tourist itinerary: splendid & most quiet places of interest to travel and visit
During long holiday, you may not want to turn your precious trip into something inflicting yourself when you have to hustle in the midst of a press, rightBalotravel will give you suggestions on some most quiet places to visit in Vietnam. Quiet as they are, the beauty of them is undeniable.

Phan Rang – Ninh Thuan

2 quiet places to visit in vietnam
Coming to Ninh Thuan during the last days of April, you can understand why people describe Ninh Thuan as a land of scorching sun and dried wind. Possibly, due to the harsh kind of weather, Ninh Thuan is not so popular among tourists, making it one of Vietnam quiet places to visit during the holidays. However, willing to take a little pain and you may figure out that this is an ideal place for those who want to seek the peace in mind.
1 vietnam quiet places
Not to mention Vinh Hy bay, which has already been famous, the beauty of the coastal road near Binh Thuan beach is enough to satisfy the choosiest visitors. Besides, Ninh Thuan has a plethora of exclusive activities from which you can choose to enrich your trip to this place: exploring Ca Na lagoon, Dinh head lighthouse, Nam Cuong sand dune, or visiting Truc Lam Vien Ngo Zen monastery located on Da Chong Mountain and watching thousands of sheep in an immense space of the grassland.
3 vietnam tourist itinerary

Quy Nhon – Binh Dinh

4 splendid vietnam travel
It takes only 1h15m to fly from Hanoi to Quy Nhon. What is awaiting you here is a comfortable sense of calm. This place  is blessed with the harmonious beauty of mountain and sea. To escape from the hustle and bustle of cities like Da nang, Nha Trang, Vung Tau or Phan Thiet, This is ideal for you.
5 most quiet places to visit in vietnam
The roads are so broad that “we have never been through any kind of traffic jam” proudly said a taxi driver. Along the street is a perfect half-moon shaped coastal line wrapping the city. On the opposite side stays a vast park with grassland and trees, contributing to the freshness of the city
6 most quiet places to visit in vietnam
Coming to Quy Nhon-one of quiet places to visit in Vietnam, you can visit Hon Kho, Cu Lao Xanh whose the sea is crystal-like, or jaw-dropping Ky Co beach and superb Eo Gio looked as if it is about to take off towards the vast ocean. From Xuan Dieu street casting a farther look to the left, you may see the Ghenh Rang peak under the clouds where stays the tomb of Han Mac Tu the famous poet. To the right is the lying-dragon-shaped range. Every day, Lang Mai bay welcomes hundreds of boats coming home from the long-distant journey to land fish.

Buon Ma Thuot – Dak Lak

7 most quiet places to visit in vietnam
It is not a tourism city but for those who want to find quiet places to visit in Vietnam,  they will surely to be charmed by Buon Ma Thuot Dak Lak whose atmosphere is calm and congenital. Not as crowded as Da Lat city is, the city on mountain is beautiful in her own way.
8 most quiet places to visit in vietnam
Legenday Serepok created superb waterfalls namely Dray Sap, Dray Nur, Gia Long, Trinh Nu, Bay Nhanh, Krong Kmar, Bum Bip, etc which make interesting tourist spots. To explore every corner of this waterfall, it takes you 2 days at least and considerable effort to climb. However, to make up for such hard time, Serepok has a splendid landscape for you: immense thick forest decorated by spectacular white waterfalls.
9 most quiet places to visit in vietnam
Rambling on the roads in Buon Ma Thuot, you easily catch sight of seemingly endless field of coffee trees. Visiting Bun Me Thuot right before or right after Tet (Lunar New year holiday), you can enjoy the dance of spotless white coffee flowers covering small hills. The aroma of these flowers will linger in the air and stirring tourists’ hearts.

Phu Quy island – Binh Thuan

10 most quiet places to visit in vietnam
Located in Binh Thuan province, Phu Quy island charms the senses of visitors with its crystal sea, colorful corals and fresh cool air. As a visitor to Phu Quy island, you can discover small islands, join campfire, stroll along the beach or catch squid & shrimp. Unspoiled as it may seem, its basic services such as food or drinks are of good quality.

11 most quiet places to visit in vietnam

Hardly ever does anyone miss the scenery of the sun kissing the horizon. Every person has their own reasons to watch the sunset but one thing they surely have in common is that they cannot look away once they catch a glimpse of Phu Quy’s sunset. Suggested places for a best sight are Ngu Phung, Thay Nai, Trieu Duong bay, etc. Linh Son pagoda is the most popular one because from here, you can get a panoramic spectacular view of vivid horizon of different shades of orange.
Spending 10 minutes on canoe, you can now be able to walk under the shade of trees and know more about the life in fishing village. Visiting Hon Hai - the starting point of shark-fishing ships or giant whale bone in Van An Thanh is an option for your journey. Besides, you can visit Cao Cat, Cam mountains or Linh Buu, Linh Quang and Thanh Lam pagodas.

Binh Lap – Khanh Hoa

12 most quiet places to visit in vietnam
Located within Tu Binh sea in Cam Ranh but Binh Lap is barely known by tourists because of its isolated position. IN Binh Lap, Binh Chau beach is a famous place thanks to it easy-to-find location along with a variety of shops and restaurants. Ngang beach lies in front of Dao Hoa Vang Villa. Crystal and clear as its water is, Ngang beach is chosen by locals to be a place to keep shrimps and by tourists as a Vietnam places of interest. From here, you can hire a boat to visit Con beach and other unspoiled ones around Binh Lap.
13 most quiet places to visit in vietnam
Still looking for something imbued with Binh Lap’s style, don’t ignore small fishing villages near Sao Bien Ecotourism site. The funny thing is people in this site are mostly locals and tourists who lost their way literally. First thing you can feel is cool winds from the sea even in the middle of the day. at the end of this village is a small bay used as a port for small boat of locals.
14 most quiet places to visit in vietnam
Many people consider Binh Lap a miniature of Maldives but BaloTravel thinks there is nothing in common between these two places. Binh Lap is simply a small isolated and quiet peninsula where live the countrified people leading a calm and peaceful life. There is no luxury resorts here, high-class services as well. coming here, you will feel like coming home after a hard day a work, finding everything staying the same.

Con Dao

15 most quiet places to visit in vietnam
Simply stated, Con Dao has a perfect beauty, as it is blessed with all what needed to make a beautiful beach.
16 most quiet places to visit in vietnam
The calm and quiet in Con Dao will suit perfectly to whoever wants to relax in a green-clean-and-beautiful place where the pace of life is not that fast. Con Dao offers blue ocean, sun-kissed beach and poetic roads less traveled-totally contrast with that in Vung Tau, Nha Trang, or Mui Ne. Vietnam tourist itinerary often includes Con Dao because this island has historical monuments since Vietnam War.
17 most quiet places to visit in vietnam
Surrounding Con Dao are island of all sizes like Bay Canh, Tai, Tre, Trung, Trac, etc. This is a place with highest density of coral in Vietnam, ideal for you to discover the wonderful marine life. Riding on coastal roads of Con Dao means you can enjoy the immense ocean on one side while on another is lush forest.
Most of visitors to Con Dao island conclude that this is an island of unspoiled landscapes and fresh air-a well-preserved and heart-stopping beauty.

Van Long – Ninh Binh

18b most quiet places to visit in vietnam
In addition to being a nationl park, Van Long is also a splendid Vietnam travel destination. Van Long has long regarded as a Halong bay without wave, as tourists will feel as if they are floating on a giant mirror reflecting strong thresholds of limestone mountains around it, namely Meo Cao, Mam Xoi, HomSach, Da Ban, Nghien, Mo Coi, Co Tien. So clear is the water that you can almost see through it till the bottom.
19 most quiet places to visit in vietnam
There are 1000 caves in Van Long, in which a large number of caves is potential for tourism such as Ca, Bong, Rua, Chanh. This cave system is the home of various kinds of fish.
20 most quiet places to visit in vietnam
Tourists to Ninh Binh often follow the route through Bai Dinh-Trang An, Tam Coc-Bich Dong and ignore Van Long or Thung Nham bird park.