August Newsletter 2019


Flight Updates


1. Starting from December 10, 2019 Flydubai will operate new daily flights to and from Krabi with a stopover at Yangon. They will be code-shared with Emirates.

The flight will depart Dubai at 1030, arrive in Yangon at 1840 and then onto Krabi at 2205. The return flight will depart Krabi at 2305, arrive in Yangon at 0035 and then to Dubai at 0535.

2. Vietnam Airlines announced a new baggage policy starting from August 1 on all flights operated by the carrier between Europe and Vietnam. The new provisions replace the previous rules based on weight in kilograms. The new rule allows: 

  • in Business Class two pieces of hand-luggage in the cabin (total = 18 kg, with a maximum weight of 10 kg for the heaviest item) and 2 pieces of check-in luggage (total = 32 kg);
  • in Premium Economy, 2 pieces of hand-luggage in the cabin (total = 18 kg, with a maximum weight of 10 kg for the heaviest item) and 2 items of check-in luggage (total = 23 kg);
  • in Economy, one item of hand-luggage in the cabin (total = 12 kg, divided between a single item of a maximum weight of 10 kg and an accessory of 2 kg) and check-in luggage (total = 23 kg).


Myanmar Visa Update


German passport holders will be eligible to apply for visas on arrival at the Yangon International Airport starting from 1st October 2019.


Foreign Correspondents’ Club (FCC) Siem Reap Officially Managed By Avani 


The restored FCC is a historic colonial building previously popular with international journalists. This heritage site features 80 rooms and suites decorated with vintage items. New facilities include the Scribe Bar and the Visaya Spa, two outdoor saltwater pools, and surrounding gardens.

FCC Phnom Penh is scheduled to open following renovation in November 2020. 


Promotion Of The Month


Mekong Lodge is offering a 10% discount on their family room rate. The promotion is applied if 2 adults and 2 children under 11 years old book a pair of connecting rooms. Nestled along the banks of the Tien River, Mekong Lodge is a charming eco-resort where design, comfort and nature are blended seamlessly together. The resort has 4 inter-connecting pairs of rooms.

Sustainable Travel is not a very precise term. Its most popular connotation implies staying in eco-friendly or ‘green’ accommodation. Saffron Travel believes that as well as environmental sustainability, the cultural conservation of local communities is also a key part of Sustainable Travel. Here are some ideas about how travellers can support or give back to the communities that welcome them during their holidays in South East Asia.


Join A Cooking Class And Raise Funds For Street Kids, Orphans And Other Disadvantaged Young People


Travelers can enjoy a cooking experience in Hoi An, at a non-profit restaurant which was founded to provide culinary and hospitality training for street kids, orphans and other disadvantaged youths. As well as cooking with a local chef, activities include: visiting a local market, learning about the produce used in your cooking class. A key part of the experience is learning about the work of the organization and having conversations with the trainees. All of the money goes to running the programs that help the kids themselves acquire employable skills.


Volunteer Expeditions In Myanmar


Volunteer to help the poorer communities in the rural areas surrounding Inle Lake such as the remote villages of Inn Tine, Pan Pat and Myae Nae Lay. Guests will join a local organization and provide support with various tasks such as house building, renovating local schools or even constructing bridges and roads connecting the villages. These activities are not only of great help to the villagers themselves, they also provide an excellent way for visitors to get to know more about the real lives of the rural communities living in Myanmar today.


Mergui Archipelago – The Ultimate Island Escape


Myeik Archipelago is located in southern Tanintharyi Region and made up of more than 800 islands. Hiking, bird watching, diving, trekking and snorkelling are all avaialable. To help preserve the environment, travellers are banned from touching natural coral reefs and taking the shells of sea snails.

How to get to Myeik Archipelago:

+ From Yangon: travellers can  fly from Yangon to Kawthaung, and then hop on an express boat to reach Myeik. The flight takes around 1 hour and 40 minutes.

+ From Bangkok: travellers can consider either flights or car transfers. There are flights from Bangkok to Surat Thani. From there travellers can reach Ranong by car. It takes about 2 hours and 30 minutes for the car transfer. Ranong is around 40 miles from Myeik.

November to February is the best time to visit Myeik Archipelago as it is warm, sunny and the seas are calm.

Wa Ale Island Resort and Awei Pila Resort are at the forefront of eco-tourism in the archipelago and they offer amazing lodging experiences.


Long Lao Mai Village, Laos


Long Lao Mai is a Hmong village located 40 kilometers south of Luang Prabang. This serene village is nestled among scenic landscape of magnificent limestone mountains and sleepy green valleys. There are around 600 people living in the village and they are mainly farmers. By visiting the village and talking to villagers working in the fields, travellers can gain better insights into the cultures and traditions which have been preserved for generations. Recently, with the help of volunteers, the villagers have constructed some eco-friendly bungalows to welcome travellers who wish to have an overnight experience at Long Lao Mai Village. The project has contributed greatly to improving the life of the people here.


Hotel Of The Month: Can Tho Ecolodge


Can Tho Ecolodge is a new boutique resort in Can Tho which is home to Vietnam’s largest floating market.  The resort features 12 spacious thatched cottages (48 rooms) spread over the garden on the banks of Ba Lang River, all with generous private balconies. Can Tho Ecolodge follows the nature-friendly concept with wooden bathtubs, palm leaf rooves, bamboo furniture and locally made red bricks, all expressing the charm of the Mekong Delta. Visitors can bike past villages, fruit gardens and explore local life in a relaxing, meandering way.

The food at Can Tho Ecolodge is a highlight. The restaurant serves both set menus and a la carte options showcasing Southern Vietnamese cuisine.


Restaurant Of The Month: Vibe Café Siem Reap


For travellers who are looking for a 100% Vegan Café in Siem Reap, Vibe Café is our recommendation. It’s a 5-minute walk from the Central Market. Vibe offers a vibrant, nourishing, plant-based menu with the ingredients consciously and ethically sourced. Vibe is also engaged with a project called ‘Education for Nutrition’ which aims to provide nutrition education and feed 10,000 school children with healthy vegan food across Cambodia.

Ua Si Khai – Laotian Stuffed Lemongrass

Laotians love lemongrass. Not only is it good for health, its citrusy flavour is unique. Ua Si Khai is one of the most eaten Laotian specialities. To enjoy it to its best, served with steamed jasmine or sticky rice, slices of fresh ginger and small pimentos.


  • 6 stalks of lemongrass, trimmed to six inches in length (measuring from the bottom)
  • ⅓ lb ground pork (ground chicken or ground turkey will do too)
  • 2 green onions, finely chopped
  • 3 large cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 2 large eggs, slightly beaten
  • Vegetable oil for deep-frying


  • Wrap the lemongrass stalks loosely with a paper towel and microwave on high for up to 4 minutes.
  • Make several 4-inch cuts lengthwise all around the lemongrass stalks, starting about ½ inch from the bottom. By doing this, you’re turning each stalk of lemongrass into a basket, or cage, which will hold the meat. It’s imperative you leave both ends of the lemongrass stalks intact.
  • Mix all the ingredients, except the eggs and the frying oil. Divide the mixture into six portions.
  • Stuff one portion of the meat into each lemongrass “cage.”
  • Once you’ve filled the lemongrass stalks with all the meat, press each filled stalk with your palms (easier if your hands are moistened) to form a tight rugby ball-shaped capsule.
  • Heat up the frying oil until it reaches about 300°F.
  • Dip each filled lemongrass stalk into the beaten eggs, making sure it’s thoroughly coated, and drop it into the hot oil slowly and carefully.
  • Once the filled lemongrass stalks turn golden brown, give each one a light squeeze with a pair of tongs.
  • Transfer your Ua Si Khai from the oil and let them cool on a paper towel-lined plate.


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