July Newsletter 2019


Luxperience in Sydney and WTM in London


Saffron Travel will attend the Luxperience trade show in Sydney and the WTM in London this coming October and November respectively. We will be very happy to meet partners, clients and friends there. Please email us to make an appointment in advance at the following addresses:




Laos Launches E-visa


Launched as a pilot project, the e-Visa will be applicable only for travelers entering the country through Vientiane’s airport or the Lao-Thai Friendship Bridge checkpoint at the border with Thailand’s Nong Khai province. The visa is valid for a single visit. Travelers can apply for a 30-day tourist visa online with pre-payment using a credit card, which is non-refundable.


A New Airport in Mondulkiri, Cambodia


Mondulkiri authorities have selected an area for the development of Mondulkiri’s new airport, an official of the State Secretariat of Civil Aviation said. This plot will now be submitted to the government for approval.


Promotion Of The Month


Anouvong is a new overnight cruise ship belonging to the Heritage Line family of cruise ships. It runs on the Laotian part of the Mekong River and hosts ten luxuriously designed staterooms and suites ranging from Deluxe to Deluxe Executive Staterooms (20 sqm/215 sqft, 4 on the main deck and 4 on the terrace deck). The design is a blend of traditional Laotian and French-colonial themes. Discounts of 20% are being promoted on all available departures between September 2020 – April 2022.

Saffron Travel hopes every traveller can have a chance to discover in South East Asia a passion for culture and gastronomy and bring travellers beyond the clichés promoted in most brochures and classic ‘box-ticking’ tours. We strive to create direct links between travellers and local people, introduce new and uncovered locations with an authentic and local touch. So herewith a taste of the real South East Asia which we think is even better than all the hype and picture-perfect postcards!


Myanmar – Pyu Ancient Cities, Myanmar


The Pyu Ancient Cities are stretched out alongside the Ayeyarwady River comprising the archaeological remains of a group of cities founded by the Tibeto-Burman-speaking Pyu people. The complex paints a vivid picture of the kingdoms that spanned eleven centuries from 200 BC to 900 AD. With various ruins from royal palaces, temples and production buildings, as well as remnants of a sophisticated irrigation system, they serve as a wonderful example of the rich Buddhist culture of the region


Saigon – Coffee Tasting


Immerse yourself in Vietnam’s rich coffee culture during this private culinary tour. Spend a few hours at a lovely coffee shop tucked away in a small alley of Saigon. Taste 5 of the bold coffees that Vietnamese people love and learn to ‘cup’ step by step following the standards of the SCA (Specialty Coffee Association). The knowledgeable barista will talk about coffee culture in Vietnam and then reveal the names of the coffee you taste earlier. The tour is private and best for a maximum of 5 people or fewer to ensure an intimate atmosphere and personalized attention from the barista. Travelers also have a chance to learn to how make a good cup of Ca Phe Sua Da – Vietnam’s unique way to drink coffee.


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.


Sam Neau, Laos


Sam Neau is the capital city of Houaphan province in Laos, in the northeast of the country. Sam Neua is one of the country’s least visited provincial capitals. The surrounding area is beautiful and includes the wonderful little town of Vieng Xay. Getting to Sam Neau requires a long ride along a windy road that climbs steadily into the mountains. The best season to visit Sam Neau is from October to March, as the rice fields are lush green, the weather is pleasant, and the trekking route is just lovely.


Hotel Of The Month: Cardamom Tented Camp, Koh Kong


Situated in Koh Kong province, the Cardamom Tented Camp is a pioneering and responsible Eco-Tourism provider, committed to wildlife conservation as well as supporting the local community. The Camp features nine basic but comfortable tents all with peaceful lake views. The tents are designed to provide guests with an all-encompassing nature experience, while actively contributing to the research, protection and conservation efforts of the existing natural reserves. Travellers can take ranger-guided hikes and fieldtrips into the lowland evergreen rainforest during which they will learn how to track animals, set up and evaluate camera traps, as well as monitor and evaluate the park’s natural resources. The tours and activities have been designed to provide guests with a meaningful and educational experience, without adversely impacting the surrounding environment.


Restaurant Of The Month: The Racha Room – Saigon


The Racha Room Restaurant (Racha meaning King) is a cool, funky space with high ceilings and graffiti on the wall. The Racha Room delivers Thai accented Pan-Asian cuisine matched with hand crafted cocktails & one of Vietnam’s most well stocked bars.  The food is Hot, Sweet, Salty and and sour using fresh quality ingredients imported from around the world.

Vietnamese Sweet And Sour Soup (Canh Chua)

A quick, easy and healthy version of Vietnamese sweet and sour soup (canh chua). This soup features salmon filets, plenty of vegetables and herbs, cooked in a flavorful sweet, sour broth. Ready in just 30 minutes.

 Prep Time 10 minutes

 Cook Time 15 minutes

 Total Time 25 minutes

 Servings 2 large servings


  • 8 oz salmon filets (cut into chunks)
  • 3 cups chicken broth (or water) (1)
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1/2 tablespoon oil
  • 2 tomato (quartered)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoon fish sauce
  • 1 teaspoon tamarind powder (2)
  • 1/2 cup pineapple chunks (fresh is best)
  • 6 okra (sliced half)
  • 1 cup bean sprouts
  • a handful of rice paddy herbs (ngo om)
  • 1 thai bird eye chili (optional)


  1. Heat oil in a medium stock pot. Once hot, add garlic and cook until fragrant. Slowly add in broth, bring it to a boil.
  2. Reduce heat to medium. Add in tomatoes, pineapple, okra and cook for 5 minutes until almost soft.
  3. After 5 minutes, add in salmon filets. Season to taste with tamarind, sugar, fish sauce. Simmer until salmon is cooked through, about 3 minutes.
  4. Add in a handful of bean sprouts, rice paddy herbs. Cook for another minute then remove from heat.
  5. Garnish with thai bird eye chili if desired. Serve.

Recipe Notes

(1) Homemade chicken broth is best in this recipe. If using store-bought chicken broth, be sure it’s less sodium broth. 

(2) Tamarind powder is sold at Asian supermarkets. If you can’t find it, replace with juice of 1/2 a lemon. 

Source: http://atasteofjoyandlove.com

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