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Vietnam Listed In Rough Guides’ Top-20 Most Beautiful Countries

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Rough Guides, a leading publisher of global travel guides, included Vietnam on its list of the top-20 most-beautiful countries in the world.

The British publisher's cited the country's wealth of natural beauty, including the impressive rock formations in Ha Long Bay and the terraced fields of mountainous Sapa, as the factors that influenced its choice.

“Despite its increasing popularity, Vietnam can still claim to be one of Southeast Asia’s bargain destinations in 2014. Street food in particular is famously good and cheap: dishes like banh cuonfor £1 are common, and even a meal in a simple restaurant is unlikely to be more than £3. If you can get the local rate, bus travel and motorbike hire are also great value,” described the popular travel website about Vietnam.

Another famous travel guide, the also cited the terraced fields outiside Sapa as one of the top-11 natural beauties in the world, while the US-based Travel and Leisure selected it as one of the 7 most-spectacular destinations. Sapa's ethnic minority groups also create a special cultural identity, appealing to tourists.

Vietnam is also famous for its stunning beaches, such as Cua Dai in Hoi An and Non Nuoc in Da Nang on the central coast, the magazine reported.

Topping of the list was Scotland, followed by Canada, New Zealand, Italy, South Africa, Indonesia, the UK, Iceland, and the US.

Other countries in the list were Slovenia, Mexico, India, Finland, Switzerland, Peru, Norway, Ireland, Croatia and Vietnam.

Direct Flight Connects Hanoi And Phnom Penh

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Cambodia Angkor Air (CA Air) on January 6 inaugurated the first non-stop flight route between Phnom Penh and Hanoi in a bid to meet the increasing transportation demand between the two countries.

The daily route is being flown by the short-to-medium range commercial passenger jet Airbus 321, which will make the 1,000km journey between the two capitals in about one hour.

The direct flight will also help boost the social and economic relations between the two countries, according to CA Air's CEO Trinh Hong Quang.


Quang said the new route is part of the airline's master plan to expand its networks.


Other new routes include Siem Reap - Bangkok, Siem Reap - Hanoi and Phnom Penh - Bangkok. Direct flights to Hong Kong, Seoul and Singapore are under consideration, Quang added.

The flight frequency between Phnom Penh and HCM City is also being increased. The Phnom Penh-based airline, a 51/49 joint venture between the Cambodian Government and Vietnam's flag carrier Vietnam Airlines, currently has 11 flight routes including three domestic flights and eight international flights.

After three years of operation, CA Air, which possesses five aircraft including three A320 jets, has registered 5,570 safe flights.


It transported 325,000 passengers in 2012, up 6 percent compared to the previous year with a seat occupancy rate of 68 percent.

CA Air plans to have 10,500 flights and carry 754,000 passengers in 2013


(Source: VNA)

USTOA Lists Vietnam As Top Tourist Destination In 2013

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United States Tour Operators Association (USTOA) recently predicted that Vietnam will be in the top group of emerging destinations for international visitors in 2013, along with Myanmar and India.


The next tourist spots on the list are Peru, Cambodia, Brazil, China, Colombia, Costa Rica and Ecuador.


Vietnam is ranked second among the emerging tourist spots for international visitors next year in a survey released Tuesday by the United States Tour Operators Association (USTOA), a professional association in the U.S.


Around 450,000 Americans visit Vietnam each year, which includes overseas Vietnamese.


The fact that Vietnam is listed in the USTOA top list is a good opportunity for Vietnam tourism to show its hidden potential.


Furthermore, Vietnam’s name on a U.S. tourism association’s list of tourist destinations that will become popular in 2013 will attract more visitors from the North American country.


In a survey in 2012, Vietnam also topped this list. However, the rapid political change in Myanmar turned the South East Asian country into a favorite tourist spot for American travelers.


Despite facing a lot of difficulties, Vietnam received more than 6.8 million foreign visitors in 2012, up 14 percent over 2011.


The highest growth was seen in the number of visitors from Russia with 71.5 percent, followed by Finland with 43 percent, the Republic of Korea with 30 percent, Malaysia with 28 percent, Laos with 27 percent, Thailand with 24 percent and Japan with 20 percent.


Those coming from other countries showed a drop, Spain by 3.6 percent, Germany by 6.4 percent, Belgium by 13.5 percent, Hong Kong (China) by 17 percent.


The number of visitors to Vietnam in 2012 for tourism purposes was up 14 percent, for business by 16 percent, for visiting relatives by 14 percent and for other purposes by 2 percent.


USTOA is made up of companies whose tours, vacation packages, and custom arrangements encompass the entire globe but it mainly conducts business in the U.S.


(Source: VIR)


HANDETOUR Office Closed For New Year Period

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HANDETOUR's Office will be closed from 29 Dec 2012 to 01 Jan 2013, reopening on 02 Jan 2013.

HANDETOUR's Office will be also closed from 07 Feb 2013 to 14 Feb 2013, reopening on 15 Feb 2013 for Vietnam Lunar New Year.

During this time you can email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or phone Hotline: +84 986507883 or Director: +84 913223338 and leave us a message, someone will get back to you when the office reopens.





Phu Bai Airport To Close 8 Months For Repair

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Phu Bai Airport in Thua Thien-Hue Province is expected to be closed for 8 months for runway repair, which could seriously hurt the province’s tourism sector, said the Vietnam Airlines Corporation (VAC).

The closure will likely be made from March to November 2013, according to a message issued by VAC to the provincial People’s Committee yesterday, said Le Truong Luu, deputy chairman of the committee.

Last year, the airport was also closed for one month from May to June for repairing the two ends of the runway to make it safer for aircraft in taking off or landing.

This time, the repair will focus on the remaining parts of the runway that have deteriorated.

The closure will substantially affect the province’s economic development, especially the growth of the tourism sector, Luu said, adding that local travel companies may have to use Da Nang Airport in Da Nang City as a temporary replacement.

(Source: TTN)

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