Bangkok named the best-value long-haul city break in the world

Governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) Yuthasak Supasorn said that Instagram is where the world keeps its holiday snaps, so it is nice to see that Bangkok has created so many happy memories. People "like” the kingdom for its vibrant atmosphere and amazing food and culture. Hoppa’s report into the most "shared” cities on photo-sharing platform Instagram looked at 50,000 photos taken over the course of a month in the world’s 50 most visited destinations. Bangkok came second in terms of "liked” photos, with Los Angeles taking the first place. London and Taipei came third and fourth and Miami came fifth. Bangkok has been on the "World Best Cities” list created by the US-based magazine Travel and Leisure for 20 years. Thai food was also one of the factors that led to readers of Travel and Leisure voting Bangkok as one of the world’s Top Overall Cities in the magazine’s influential World’s Best Awards 2015. Bangkok took sixth place on the list. As well as cuisine, destinations were judged for friendliness, shopping, and city landmarks. Bangkok was popular with readers for its street food and blend of ancient culture and modern luxury. The MasterCard Asia Pacific Destinations Index 2015 also revealed that Bangkok was the top destination in the region, ranked by international overnight visitors, overnight stays, and visitors’ expenditure. Since its founding as the capital city in 1782, Bangkok has grown to become an important political, social, and economic center of Southeast Asia. Its influence in the…... [read more]

Vietnam's capital city of Hanoi has been selected in the top five best Asian cities in 2005 by readers of the US magazine Travel and Leisure. Hanoi ranks fifth in 2005 compared with its fourth position in the 2004 poll. Bangkok is the best Asian city, followed by Chiang Mai of Thailand, Hong Kong and Kyoto. th annual World's Best Awards readers' survey For the eighth time in 10 years, Sydney, known for its iconic opera house, Harbor Bridge, and stunning beaches, has topped the list. The Thai capital Bangkok is in second place in the list of the world best cities, with Italy's Rome and Florence in third and fourth places respectively. The northern Thai city of Chiang Mai made its first appearance in the top 10, placing fifth. (Source: travelandleisure.com - Compiled by Thanh Hang)... [read more]

Meet Morgan Ommer, a Vietnamese-German-French photographer based in Saigon. This week, he presents to us his work half-way between fashion and tourism. Working with several magazines including Travel + Leisure, Time, Vogue and Monocle, Morgan Ommer was born and grew up in Paris, with his German father and his mother, originally from Hai Phong. He began his career in Hong Kong where he worked as a fashion photographer and set photographer for movies. Vietnam is a stunningly beautiful country, and very accessible which makes it easier to go out and take pictures. So then I try and mix the best of both worlds. Pretty people in a beautiful landscape. You allow us to discover a country from a very particular point of view with meticulous work, as much on the level of light as on the level of composition. Some may say a nostalgic realm, a colonial Vietnam straight from romantic cinema. What do you think? My inspiration is Wong Kar Wai’s director of photography, Chris Doyle, in Wai’s early movies like Chunking Express or Happy Together. I enjoy reflections in darkness lit by neon lights in lively and decaying backgrounds. You also work a lot on urban space. Can you talk to us about Hanoi? Hanoi is the first place I visited in Vietnam back in 1993, and I immediately fell in love with it. Vietnam has changed a lot since the mid 90s but the spirit of the people is the same. I live in HCMC but I…... [read more]

Park Hyatt named best hotel in Asia By Pham Le in HCMC Park Hyatt Saigon has been voted "World's Best Hotel in Asia" in the 13th Annual World's Best Awards Readers' Survey conducted by Travel + Leisure, the American travel and lifestyle magazine. "Our goal is to continue to raise the bar in service excellence and further develop Vietnam as a luxury travel destination catering to the discerning traveler," Golden said. Readers of Travel + Leisure annually select their favorite providers of travel facilities around the world, naming the very best in travel, from hotels, spas, airlines and cruise liners to cities and islands. Last year, Park Hyatt Saigon was voted "Best Hotel in HCMC" for the third consecutive year by DestinAsian magazine, Asia's leading luxury travel and lifestyle publication. The hotel and also been awarded "Best Luxury Hotel" by the TripAdvisor travel community and "Best Business Hotel in HCMC" by Business Traveler Asia Pacific magazine in its annual Readers' Choice Awards.... [read more]

Nam Hai launches kid club By Nhan Tam in HCMC The Nam Hai, which last year won "World's Best Resort" in Travel + Leisure's annual Design Awards competition, has built a 100-square-meter playground for kids. "It will have everything our youngest guests could want in a play area," said Herbert Laubichler-Pichler, the resort's general manager. "But it's just a small part of what the Activities Club will offer." Recreational consultant Ryan Ford has created daily programs for 4 to 6 year olds and 7 to 12 year-olds that start and end at the facility, but in between take in beach excursions, sporting competitions and swimming pool games under the supervision of qualified hotel staff. Depending on the day of the week, the older group also gets to participate in afternoon treasure hunting, baking, cooking, kite making, Vietnamese language and art learning or water balloon fighting. "We want kids to have fun, but we want them to do it in the context of interacting with other children and having cultural experiences," said Ford. "These itineraries are dynamic. We've even incorporated 'surprise visits' to places like the kitchen, so they can see how our F&B team works together to prepare their lunches." Activities Club registration is from 8 a.m. until 8:20 a.m. daily. Programs for both age groups conclude at 6 p.m. Set lunches are also available. To coincide with the opening of the Activities Club, The Nam Hai is offering 'Family Summer Retreat', a package featuring guided tours at World Heritage…... [read more]

Four seasons in Sapa Located 38km from Lao Cai City, Sapa is a mountainous district of Lao Cai Province 1,600m above sea level. With an average temperature of about 18 degree Celsius , Sapa lures tourists all year round with its splendid mountain landscapes, ethnic villages and terraced rice fields. In the spring, Sapa is blanketed with flowers. In the summer, tourists can escape the heat for the endless green of the terraced rice fields. In the fall, the region seems to be a golden carpet under the glistening sunlight. When winter comes, the town is covered by mist and clouds sneak down almost to touch the villages and valleys. And this is the only part of the country that sees snow. However, the best time to witness the scenic beauty of Sapa is April and May when Sapa's flowers bloom in a wild profusion of color. Sapa is not only endowed with an ideal climate but also has many natural sites such as Ham Rong Mountain, Bac (Silver) Waterfall, Ta Phin Cave and a large bamboo forest. Sapa is also considered a must-come destination by climbers and scientists who want to reach the top of Fansipan Mountain, the highest mountain in Vietnam at 3,143m, of the Hoang Lien Mountain Range. The fresh, cool air in Sapa is ideal for growing temperate vegetables such as cabbage and chayote, precious medicinal herbs, fruit trees such as plum, pear and peach and many kinds of flowers such as daisy, peach blossom and…... [read more]

Legend Metropole Hanoi ranked in top four By Mong Binh in HCMC International travel journalists and tourism experts have voted the 109-year-old Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi in the top four urban hotels in the world in the Fifth Annual Hotel and Resort Survey of Cigar Aficionado. The 364-room hotel was ranked after Four Seasons George V in Paris but on par with the Peninsula in Hong Kong and the Oriental in Bangkok by the jury of people from Virtuoso, CBS News, Forbes Life, National Geographic, travel agents and operators. It is one of 21 awards that the Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi has won in 2010, a record for the luxury hotel on Ngo Quyen Street, Hoan Kiem District in the capital city. “Really, in the hotel’s long history, this year has been unprecedented,” said Kai Speth, general manager of the hotel. “With recent accolades from such prestigious publications as Conde Nast Traveler, Travel + Leisure and from organizations like PATA, we’ve been moved to a new echelon entirely.” Besides being honored as one of the world’s top four city hotels, the prestigious North American lifestyle magazine also trumpeted the Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi as one of Southeast Asia’s top three hotels, together with the Peninsula in Hong Kong and Oriental in Bangkok. Cigar Aficionado, which is popular in the United States and claims a readership of 1.9 million, commented that “If you’re going to stay in a colonial grand hotel, you have to pull out all the stops. The Metropole…... [read more]

Three Vietnam hotels rank in top 20 for value By Binh Nguyen in HCMC American travel magazine, Travel + Leisure, named three luxury hotels in Vietnam in its ‘World’s Best Hotel Values’ list in the March issue. The Caravelle Hotel in HCMC, the Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi and the Hilton Hanoi Opera appeared in the ‘Top 20 Hotels for Value Overall’ list in Travel + Leisure, making Vietnam second only to the United States in the number of hotels among the 20. “Value is one of the hottest travel trends of 2011,” said John Gardner, general manager of the Caravelle, in a statement obtained by the Daily. “Given the recent global slump, and uncertainty over the kind of rebound the economy has actually made, we expect this trend to continue through the year.” Travel + Leisure readers chose the winning hotels in the magazine’s World’s Best Awards Survey. Each of the hotels in the list offer rooms for US$300 a night or less. The accolade is just one of many international recognitions for the three hotels and others in Vietnam recently. The Caravelle Hotel won a place in Travel + Leisure’s list of the top 500 hotels in the world. The Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi also won this honor and had its name in the Conde Nast Traveler Gold List, as well as more than 20 other sought-after lists in 2010. In the March 2011 issue, Travel + Leisure included Sheraton Nha Trang Hotel & Spa in a lengthy feature…... [read more]

Sofitel Legend Metropole No. 3 in Asia By Binh Nguyen in HCMC Popular worldwide travel magazine Travel + Leisure named the Sofitel Legend Metropole as one of the top three city hotels in Asia. In its August issue, Travel + Leisure placed the hotel after the Mandarin Oriental in Bangkok and the Ritz-Carlton in Beijing. Last year, the Sofitel Legend Metropole ranked 14th on the same list, determined by the travel magazine’s readers. Kai Speth, general manager of the Sofitel Legend Metropole in Hanoi, said: “Vietnam is at last a world-class player when it comes to hotels. Until recently, all of the acclaim went to the big hotels in Tokyo and Hong Kong, the Mandarin Oriental in Bangkok, the Peninsulas but this seems to be changing.” The hotel is also 38th in the magazine’s list of 100 top hotels in the world. The Park Hyatt Saigon, overlooking the Opera House, came in at 10th in the magazine’s list of Top 25 Hotels in Asia. The top hotels in Asia and the world were voted by Travel + Leisure readers at TLWorldsBest.com focusing on rooms and facilities, location, service, restaurants, food and value.... [read more]

Promotion at Saigon-Con Dao Resort By Dat Tien in HCMC Con Dao, located in the East Sea about 97 nautical miles from Vung Tau City, is considered a beautiful pearl of Vietnam’s sea tourism. The Travel + Leisure magazine has recognized Con Dao as one of the world’s top 20 mysterious islands. Endowed with smooth beaches shaded by evergreen trees, fresh air, clear blue water, primitive forests and abundant wildlife, Con Dao is drawing tourists every day for its stunning landscapes, tourism services and historical secrets and relics. Con Dao has 20 beautiful sandy beaches, mountains and primitive forests that create a poetic landscape. There is also colorful coral in Dam Trau Beach, Bay Canh Islet, Nhat or Lo Voi beaches. After swimming on Dam Trau Beach, tourists can go fishing on Bong Lan Island, squid fishing on Tau be Cape, snorkeling on Tre Islet and witness turtles laying eggs on Bay Canh Islet. Also there is the option of trekking into the forests for a panoramic view of the island. If touring Con Dao, Saigontourist-Con Dao Resort, under management of Saigontourist, is recommended for accommodation. Located on the center of the island, the resort has 120 rooms which are well-equipped and accompanied with other services such as swimming pools, tennis courts, a business center, karaoke and massage. The resort always offer tours for tourists to discover the island. The Saigon-Con Dao Resort has cooperated with Vietnam Air Service Company (Vasco) to offer a promotion program. Until December 12, when…... [read more]