December Newsletter 2018


Meet Saffron Travel At FITUR 2019


Only a few days left until FITUR 2019. Visit us at 6D09 and do not hesitate to contact us to make an appointment in advance at the following addresses:

We wish you a successful FITUR!


Two New Caves To Welcome Visitors In Central Vietnam


Vom cave and Gieng Vooc cave have been open to welcome travellers since November. A standard tour to explore the caves is a 2-day 1-night one with different activities such as hiking, camping, or simply sightseeing this area. There is a large group of stalactites dripping down like waterfalls inside Vom Cave while visitors can find lakes, streams and stalactites with unique shapes in Gieng Vooc cave.


Song Saa To Open A New Resort


Song Saa Reserve is the name of a new vacation resort project in Siem Reap. It is expected to become the largest eco-tourism resort in Cambodia in the next three or five years. It is located 1km from Banteay Srei temple. This is the second project after the successful development of the Song Saa Private Island Resort in Sihanoukville.


Bangkok Airways To Launch First Non-Stop Flight To Nha Trang, Vietnam


Bangkok Airways will offer four flights a week (Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday) linking Bangkok and Nha Trang, starting from 25 January 2019. It is operated by a 144-seater Airbus A319 aircraft.


Awei Pila To Open December 15 Off the Coast of Myanmar


Awei Pila is going to open on December 15, 2018 in a remote tropical island of Myanmar,  Mergui Archipelago. To get there, travelers will take a 2-hour speedboat ride from the mainland. It is an exclusive 5-star resort featuring 24 air-conditioned tented villas with direct access to a white-sand beach, an open air restaurant, spa and swimming pool.

The rich and diverse culture across Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and Myanmar is often most vividly on display during the many local festivals that take place. These vary from country to country and even village to village. Some are national and some only take place in a particular region, town or even hamlet.


Bon Om Touk


Bon Om Touk, also known as Cambodian Water Festival, takes place once a year. It is the celebration of a major natural occurrence: the reversing of the river flow between lake Tonle Sap and the Mekong River. Schools close and most workers do not go to work. Millions of

Cambodians gather at the riverbanks to celebrate.

Colourful racing boats fill the river itself, with the largest boats over a hundred feet long and crewed with up to eighty oarsmen. Many boat crews are complemented with a colourfully-costumed lady at the prow dancing to the beat of the drums. Find a good seat at the terrace of the Foreign Correspondents Club on Sisowath Quay for a full view of the river races whilst enjoying a drink.

Festival start date: 24 November, lasts for 3 days


Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda Festival

This is one of the most famous pagoda festivals in Myanmar celebrating the rediscovery of four scared Buddha Images. Each village greets the four Buddha images with fanfare and celebrates every moment of the one-night stopover. Rowing competitions, Shan dances and martial arts on ceremonial boats are special features of this festival. People come to gain merit and enjoy this special occasion.

A visit to Inle Lake during this time combined with biking tours, visits to local vineyards and a night in a local homestay really enhances the festive atmosphere in the air.

Festival start date: 14 October, lasts for 18 days.


The Mountainous Area


This is the place to enjoy epic mountain scenery and an array of vivid folk cultures: a true celebration of life and nature. In Sapa in the North West, take a morning walk and wonder at the views of plunging valleys and cascading rice terraces. The morning mist rolls through this majestic landscape. The local hill tribe communities such as the H’mong people fill the town with spectacular textiles.

Ha Giang has multiple villages scattered along the mountains and valleys of Dong Van, Meo Vac, Yen Minh, and Quan Ba. The region has kept its stunning and untouched nature and is home to many ethnic minorities, including the Pupeo, the Lo Lo, the Dao, the H’mong and many more.

The surrounding areas boast massive limestone walls, granite outcrops, hanging valleys, rice terraces in the clouds and amazing roads carved into the mountainside.

There are so many lively and colourful festival takes places in this area throughout the year. Definitely worth participating if you are happen to be there whilst some festival is taking place.


Taunggyi – A Host Of Religions In Myanmar


Set spectacularly on a mountain ridge, Taunggyi the capital of Shan State and home to a large number of traditional ethnic tribes, including the Intha and the Pa-O who are instantly recognisable by the colourful towels that the women wear on their heads.

Travellers can find many bustling markets, a variety of tasty local Shan dishes, as well as a range of wines at the nearby Aythaya vineyard. On full moon day of the 8th month in the Burmese calendar, there is a dazzling fire balloon festival call Tazaungdaing or The Festival of Lights where the villages compete by letting massive handmade hot air balloons emerge into the sky. Also, thousands of pagodas which can be found nearby at Kakku are other reasons to visit this wonderful destination.


Hotel Of The Month: Templation Siem Reap


Located in a quiet and leafy area of Siem Reap, close to the UNESCO World Heritage sites of Angkor, The Templation Resort is a perfect place to slow down and relax. Designed to offer total privacy and exclusivity, the architecture is contemporary and delivers a boutique concept. Everything is simple yet gracefully furnished. The swimming pool reflects the surrounding palm trees and the vast expanse of tropical flora beyond. The Templation features 33 living spaces, most of them with their own private pools and many with jacuzzis inside. The restaurant has a varied menu featuring Asian and Khmer cuisine together with Western cuisine classics restyled with flair.


Restaurant Of The Month: The Mango Mango, Hoi An


The Mango Mango in Hoi An is operated by celebrity chef Duc Tran. The restaurant is located by the riverside offering guests a truly nice view. The owner has put a global spin on Vietnamese cuisine, with fresh, unexpected combinations of ingredients with great quality and freshness. The drinks, especially the cocktails, are another highlight of the restaurant that guests should try when visiting this place.

If you ever wish to have a cooking class with Chef Duc, he does it as well. Unlike  other  cooking  classes  where  everyone  rolls  a  spring  roll,  here guests get to prepare a variety of dishes and the class is full of fun and great conversations.

Shan Noodles

This Vietnamese fresh rice noodle rolls recipe is inspired by Hanoi Style pho cuon (in Vietnamese, Phở cuốn Hà Nội).



  • 400g flat rice noodle sheets
  • 200g beef fillet, thinly sliced bite-size pieces
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 small butter lettuce, separate leaves
  • 1 cup fragrant herbs, mint, coriander, basil, coriander (cilantro)
  • 1 carrot, julienned
  • 1 cucumber, cut into thin strips, skin on, seeds out
  • 3 tablespoons fried shallots
  • Nuoc cham dipping sauce (see separate recipe).


  • Prepare your fresh lettuce, herbs, carrot, and cucumber, and set aside.
  • Stir-fry the beef in a hot wok with a little vegetable oil and finely chopped garlic.
  • When just cooked through, remove the beef from the wok and set aside.
  • Place one flat rice noodle sheet onto a board.
  • On one side of the rice noodle sheet place in a neat line a lettuce leaf, then on top of this some fresh herbs (just a few leaves of each), 2-3 pieces of beef, then five strips each of the julienned carrot and cucumber.
  • Holding the filling in place, carefully roll to form a long, fat, cigar shape. As you’re using fresh rice noodle sheets, there’s no need to tuck the ends over as you would with dry sheets.
  • Set the finished roll aside onto a serving plate and repeat until all the mixture has been used.
  • Sprinkle fried shallots on top of the rolls.
  • Serve with nuoc cham dipping sauce.


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