Meet Saffron Travel At ITB 2018
Only a few days left until ITB Berlin 2018. Visit us in Hall 26C, Booth 333 and do not hesitate to contact us to make an appointment in advance at the following addresses:
We wish you a successful ITB!
Bangkok Airways Adds More Flights Between Bangkok And Phu Quoc (Vietnam) During High Season
In order to serve increasing demand during high season, an extra non-stop flight between Bangkok and Phu Quoc (Vietnam) has been added so the route now has a total of 5 flights per week: Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The flight takes 1 hour and 40 minutes departing Bangkok (Suvarnabhumi) at 11.30am and Phu Quoc International Airport at 1.50pm.
Meliá Hotels International Signs Four Further Properties In Vietnam
Meliá Hotels International has announced the management of three new properties in Ho Chi Minh City: Meliá Saigon Central, INNSIDE Saigon Central and INNSIDE Saigon Mariamman. All three hotels are centrally located, 30 minutes from Tan Son Nhat International Airport.
In The Footsteps Of The Quiet American – Saigon Special Tour
Follow the footsteps of Graham Greene to discover the other side of Saigon with its quaint, small streets, and historic landmarks. Start at the Notre Dame Cathedral. The bright red colour of the cathedral walls comes from the bricks which were brought from the Marseilles palace in Paris. From there, take a short walk to the old Central Post Office, and then off to the central quarter, showcasing the colonial ambience of the city. As you continue along, you will come across an old building called “The CIA” building, not listed on any tourist map. It is considered one of the most famous rooftops in the world, from where a US helicopter evacuated 15 people away to a new life in 1975. Continue on to the Hotel Continental where Alden Pyle and Thomas Fowler met for the first time.
The Saigon Opera House is nearby with its iconic eggshell white facades and arches. After that, drive to Fowler’s Saigon apartment” in Cho Lon / China Town. Wander around Medicine road and visit Thien Hau Temple, a temple with meticulous carving and sculpture. End the day with a drink at the rooftop bar of The Majestic Hotel on the banks of the Saigon River the way Greene did in the 1950s.
Note: if possible, book Room 214. It was the flat where the author supposedly stayed when writing the book
Expert Interactions Across Vietnam
Saffron Travel offers a wide range of choices for travellers to have a chance to meet and talk with the local experts across Vietnam. It can be a talk with a historian at the Temple of Literature in Hanoi, a home hosted dinner with a gastronomy artist in Hue, a meeting with a veteran to listen to his experiences during the war, or a visit to a local pagoda and talk with the monks to understand more about Buddhism in Vietnam.
If travellers are interested in art, we can organize an Arts Tour with knowledgeable artists touring the museums and galleries to get a deeper perspective on the contemporary arts scene in Vietnam. We can always organise friendly hosts and experts in every city willing to share and show you around.
In this newsletter, Saffron Travel would like to put a particular focus on Vietnam with some great information about destinations to visit and experience.
Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park
This national park contains some of the most extraordinary caves in the world many of which have only recently been discovered. These include the world’s largest cave – Son Doong – meaning “Mountain River Cave” since the cave is so big that it has a river, forest, and mountain inside it. It’s large enough to house an entire New York City block, complete with 40 story skyscrapers.
Ensuring the natural environment does not suffer due to poorly managed tourism initiatives is something we at Saffron Travel care deeply about. This region is spectacularly beautiful and Saffron Travel is committed to ensuring that any tours we manage are done so responsibly and in line with sustainable tourism principles. There are different travel options for travellers including sightseeing in Phong Nha Caves and Paradise Cave, caving in Tu Lan or Hang En, exploring Hang Tien and of course the most challenging trip is the Son Doong expedition itself.
Surrounded by breath-taking scenery, Halong Bay is a unique location that a tour of North Vietnam is not complete without. A visit to the spectacular views of more than 3,000 limestone karsts in this magnificent bay is one of the most memorable in the whole of Vietnam. The dramatic karst formations that sometimes seem as though they are floating in the sky will inspire and delight you, as will the selection of luxurious accommodation options, exotic spa treatments and activities you can enjoy in these extraordinary surroundings. In 1994 UNESCO declared the bay a World Heritage Site and its emerald waters, magnificent caves, legendary limestone formations and hidden lagoons continue to delight and mesmerize.
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.
Explore “The Kitchen Of The World”
Hanoi features some of the most sophisticated and complex cooking in Vietnam. To be truly complete, every meal needs to have a balance of bitter, sweet, sour, spicy and salty tastes. And from the preparation, cooking, serving and eating, each stage is considered an art.
Our recommended dishes for first-timers are:
- Vietnamese traditional noodle soup - Pho
- Fried spring rolls - Cha Cuon Chien
- Grilled pork ball with dipping sauce - Bun Cha
- Crab rolls - Bun Nem Cua Be
- La Vong Fish Cake – Cha Ca La Vong
Hoi An’s food is about simplicity. Dishes are created based on what’s growing in the garden. Restaurants pride themselves on using the freshest, locally sourced ingredients including seafood from the nearby river and water - used for making the noodles of the town’s famous dish, cao lau - from local wells.
Our recommended dishes:
- Noodles with braised spiced pork, and local greens - Cao Lau
- Chicken rice - Com Ga
- Fresh rice paper - Banh Dap
Hue’s old name was Thanh Hoa which means “peace” and “harmony”, and this spirit is preserved in its cuisine. Every ingredient in a dish must be in harmony with the others. Attention to detail is Hue cuisine’s signature. In the past the royal banquet consisted of a great number of small courses, each beautifully plated to be both pleasing to the palate and to the eye.
Our recommended dishes for first-timers are:
- Sticky rice steamed in lotus leaf - Com Hap La Sen
- Young jackfruit salad - Goi Mit Tron
- Hue noodle - Bun Bo Hue
- Lotus seeds and longan sweet soup - Che Nhan Long Sen
In terms of food, Saigon is the city where travellers can try a bit of every cuisine from across Vietnam. Saigonese food is sweeter but beyond delicious local food, Saigon often blends Western and Eastern cuisine.
Our recommended dishes:
- Crispy seafood rice pancake - Banh Xeo
- Prawn on sugarcane - Chao Tom
- Tamarind crab - Cua Rang Me
- Green mango salad - Goi Xoai
Hotel Of The Month: Banyan Tree Lang Co, Hue
Located on the right on the longest private beach in Lang Co, Hue, Banyan Tree Lang Co resort features 55 villas reminiscent of past Vietnamese dynasties complete with sophisticated modern amenities overlooking beautiful mountains and jungles. Banyan Tree Lang Co has several dining venues including 4 restaurants from beach front to cosy indoor dining that serving international and Vietnamese dishes.
Book a room here and you contribute to the support of underprivileged people and disadvantaged local youth through their seedlings program. They are trained to become cooks, waiters and waitresses and take turn to manage the restaurant 3 days per week.
Restaurant Of The Month: Home Finest, Saigon
Home Finest Saigon caters to those who wish to experience authentic Vietnamese cuisine in a fine dining environment with good quality service. The restaurant was renovated originally from an art deco style villa right in the city centre.
Serving authentic Vietnamese recipes cooked with modern techniques, Home offers a great choice of à la carte and set menus. The restaurant also has a many options of signature cocktails and an extensive wine list. Don’t miss the minced pork with summer fruit broth, caramelized tiger prawn with crispy garlic and our recommended dessert of homemade soft tofu in pandan syrup.
Vietnamese Egg Coffee
Egg coffee, a Hanoi specialty in which creamy soft, meringue-like egg white foam is layered on top of fragrant and rich Vietnamese coffee creating a fun yet delicious beverage.
- 1 egg
- 3 teaspoons of Vietnamese coffee powder
- 2 teaspoons of sweetened condensed milk
- Boiling water
- Brew a small cup of Vietnamese coffee.
- Crack an egg and discard the whites.
- Put the yolk and the sweetened condensed milk in a small, deep bowl and whisk vigorously until you end up with a frothy, fluffy mixture like the one above. Add a tablespoon of the brewed coffee and whisk it in.
- In a clear coffee cup, pour in your brewed coffee, then add the fluffy egg mixture on top.