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Climate in Vietnam

Climate in Vietnam

Vietnam lies in the East Asian monsoon zone and is affected by the south-western and the winter monsoon seasons. Because of the country’s 1,600km length, each region has definite different weather patterns that must be factored in when planning your trip. There are three distinct regions where the climates differ: North, Central and South Vietnam. Northern Vietnam North Vietnam is ...

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How to get a Visa to Vietnam

How to get a Visa to Vietnam

Getting a Visa to Vietnam can be a draining and all around difficult process. From choosing the correct visa category, duration and fee, to arranging the right documents, checking your passport and finally beginning the application process itself, for so many travellers entering Vietnam can seem almost impossible. Where do you even begin? Do I need a visa? If you're Australian or America th...

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Why You Should Not Give Up Learning Vietnamese

Why You Should Not Give Up Learning Vietnamese

Learning Vietnamese language is hard. In fact, I had an easier time learning Chinese! My problem is not the process itself, but rather the reaction of the people. Is that any reason to give up? Read on to find out why you should not giving up on learning Vietnamese. Recently, Word magazine published an article with the bottom line: “Learning Vietnamese is not worth your time.&rdquo...

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Traffics Fines and Penalties in Vietnam: Know the Risks!

Traffics Fines and Penalties in Vietnam: Know the Risks!

We tell you what happens if you are caught speeding, not wearing a helmet or seatbelt or using a phone while driving, plus, the cost of parking fines in Vietnam. You break the law and you are arrested If you are caught red-handed — for instance if you have forgotten a turn signal or crossed into the wrong lane — in the sight of a policeman, they will walk into the street, point at...

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7 Saigon Bloggers You Must Bookmark Now

7 Saigon Bloggers You Must Bookmark Now

Saigon’s tourism scene is stuck on a plateau. Unlike other popular destinations like Bangkok, New York, Paris, etc., all is not revealed – secrets remain and an air of mystery still permeates even rudimentary tasks like going to a doctor and understanding traffic patterns. There’s a severe lack of official documentation and foreign language support that grants Ho Chi Minh City...

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The Last Hope for Vietnam’s Declining Hotel Market

The Last Hope for Vietnam’s Declining Hotel Market

Last month I wrote that Vietnam’s government should focus its entire marketing and products towards Asia’s new middle class travelers because a government’s mandate is to maximize employment, income per capita, and foreign direct investment. If you have any doubts about this strategy, take a look at the chart below. Source: The Atlantic Monthly Vietnam is geographically in...

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Google's New Update Affects All Hoteliers

Google's New Update Affects All Hoteliers

Breaking news: Your online bookings may be at risk Did you hear that explosion? Google just set off its Mobile nuke. Media's calling the new algorithm update "mobilegeddon." Basically, if your site is not mobile-friendly, you can expect a significant drop in your search rank. And since 90% of search engine clicks occur on the first page (Chitika), that could spell disaster for many unprepared...

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10 Months of Declining Tourism - Reversed?

10 Months of Declining Tourism - Reversed?

By now everyone has heard it. Ten straight month-on-month declines of international arrivals to Vietnam. It is not coincidence that going back ten months brings us to the anti-Chinese riots last May. In fact, I can practically guarantee that the streak will end this June when we start comparing 2015 to the post-riot reality. So is this a tourism problem or is it a Chinese tourism problem? Below...

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Adapting To Vietnam's Influx Of South Korean Tourism

Adapting To Vietnam's Influx Of South Korean Tourism

Last month I wrote about the increasing growth of South Korean inbound tourists in the 2nd half of 2014. Since that time, VNAT released two months of inbound statistics and the trend has not only continued, but accelerated. The rate of growth for January and February (versus same period in 2014) was 41% and 68% respectively. Even more interesting, February was the first time on record the Chine...

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The Most Important Trend In Vietnam’s Tourism Today

The Most Important Trend In Vietnam’s Tourism Today

"Analyst Mark Gwyther tells the latest about the recent trends in tourism in Vietnam. With all of the changes this unique city is experiencing over the years, whether it be construction, increase in foreign residents, or business growth, tourism by far is one of the leading developing changes this country is encountering." Mark Gwyther As we flip our calendars to 2015, it is a perfect tim...

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Survey about foreigners returning to Vietnam. Are they jumping to conclusion using bad data?

Survey about foreigners returning to Vietnam. Are they jumping to conclusion using bad data?

The headline seemed to say it all; “Only 6 percent of foreign visitors return to Vietnam”. The impressively named Environmentally and Socially Responsible Tourism Capacity Development Program announced their survey results in early November which was quickly followed by numerous newspaper/website critiques about the reason why the figure was so low. Teeth gnashing and the blame gam...

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5 Points Check List Before Hiring a Hotel Marketing Agency

5 Points Check List Before Hiring a Hotel Marketing Agency

Marketing for business in the hospitality industry is a constantly evolving field, whether is in the shape of a new social media channel, an app that facilitates booking management and customer service or tools to analyse website visitor´s behaviour. The hotel marketing landscape can be a profitable but very time consuming task. Due to the lack of time, resources or expertise, many hotel...

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The East Sea Dispute Cost Vietnam One Million Hotel Nights In Five Months

The East Sea Dispute Cost Vietnam One Million Hotel Nights In Five Months

I’ve been asked several times just how badly Vietnam’s hospitality business was affected by problems resulting from the East Sea dispute with China. From the investor’s point of view, it is much worse than most people realize. Back in April (the anti-Chinese riots occurred mid-May) Vietnam’s inbound international arrivals were up 27% for the year, buoyed by a 47% increa...

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Mobile Usage Changes Traveler Behavior – Placeable Research

Mobile Usage Changes Traveler Behavior – Placeable Research

By Emilio Piriz The rapid move to mobile research and bookings means travelers require easier ways to access content. In 2014, approximately 40% of leisure travelers and 35% of business travelers will use mobile search engines to find hotels, and this number will only grow, with 72% of travelers worldwide saying that the ability to book via mobile device is useful. Gone are the days when trav...

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The Thirteen Mistakes of First-Time Visitors to Vietnam

The Thirteen Mistakes of First-Time Visitors to Vietnam

By Regina Vladimirova, Peter Mahomet, Rob van Driesum and Phuong Tran1. "I never burn"Tourists at Vietnamese beach resorts are divided into three broad categories, based on the severity of their sunburn. Category I, also known as “Snow White”, applies to those who arrived yesterday morning fresh off the plane from some grey, winter-locked country, jumped out of the airport taxi and ...

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The Four Golf Major Championships

The Four Golf Major Championships

THE FOUR MAJORS The golfing season is well under way and already our thoughts are heading towards the four major championships and the excitement and scintillating shot making from the best golfers in the world. The first major of the year is the MASTERS.  Last year, the Australian Adam Scott won his first major after a sudden death playoff against Angel Cabrera, with a birdie on the 1ot...

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Hottest Events from March's Third Week

Hottest Events from March's Third Week

Tuesday 18th of March Apocalaughs Now is one of Saigon's biggest  and best alternative comedy nights. Last time it was on show, over 200 people joined  and enjoyed the night. This Tuesday Cargo Bar brings back this show which will be directed by two head co/median: Dave Callan and Daniel Kinno, who are visiting Vietnam as part of their Southeast Asian tour. Both are well known altern...

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5 tips to manage your online reputation on Trip Advisor

5 tips to manage your online reputation on Trip Advisor

It would be a dream job if you were the manager of a hotel or restaurant where day-to-operations always ran smoothly. How lovely would it be to walk around your business seeing everyone with big smiles on their faces? However, reality is far from this illusion and running these businesses comes with a price: dealing with unsatisfied and disappointed customers who didn’t receive the treatm...

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The art of bargaining in Vietnam

The art of bargaining in Vietnam

While Ho Chi Minh City has it’s share of shopping malls plying Guess handbags and froyo in air conditioned comfort, shopping at one of the local markets can give one a better sense of the city’s cultural, social and culinary heartbeat. These markets, mainly ones tailored to tourists offer a wide range of affordable clothing, souvenirs and handicrafts. However, finding the right...

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Tips for travel insurance while on holiday in Vietnam

Tips for travel insurance while on holiday in Vietnam

While you’re on holiday in Vietnam, travel insurance is one of those things you don’t think you need. That is until something happens, then you wish you had some. Accidents happen and it is best to not be caught unprepared when they do. While local hospitals can be cheap compared to western counterparts, bear in mind that cheap also tends to mean basic and very local. Going to a lo...

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Vietnamese language

Vietnamese language

The Vietnamese language In Southeast Asia, the Vietnamese language is considered the hardest to (verbally) learn for foreigners, due to its reliance on tones. Since most westerners are not used to tonal languages like Mandarin Chinese, Cantonese and in our case Vietnamese, it may appear like some sort of singsong, strange to our ears and and very hard to understand. On the other hand, the mod...

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5 Tips to take pictures of fireworks in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi

5 Tips to take pictures of fireworks in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi

With Tet Festival just around the corner and fireworks displays in the works in the major city centres in Vietnam, we thought it best to give you some pointers on fireworks photography. This type of photography is very technical but we have to broken it down to you in five easy steps. The fireworks displays are organized annually as part of the Vietnamese Lunar New Year celebration. When the cl...

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Traveling during Tet Festival... Is that a Bad Idea?

Traveling during Tet Festival... Is that a Bad Idea?

If you had to pick one holiday of the year as the most important to Vietnamese, the Tet Nguyen Dan would be the one. The festival falls on the same day as Chinese New Years celebrations and is celebrated in Vietnamese communities all over the world. The Tet Festival is a great time to visit as the days building up to the Festival are abuzz with activity. Houses are cleaned or even repainted and...

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How to get VAT refunds in Vietnam

How to get VAT refunds in Vietnam

How to get VAT refunds in Vietnam If you purchase expensive products during your travel in Vietnam, it is very easy to get a VAT refund if you follow our instructions below. A pilot programme was implemented in 2012 at Noi Bai and Tan Son Nhat International airports which allowed foreigners to receive VAT refunds in Vietnam. As of early March 2015, the VAT refund to foreigners programme has e...

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Tips for Renting or Buying the Right Motorbike in Vietnam

Tips for Renting or Buying the Right Motorbike in Vietnam

Are you planning on buying or renting a motorbike in Vietnam? If yes, the first question you should (seriously) ask yourself is whether you can drive well. You have probably noticed that few rules apply when it comes to traffic in Vietnam. You should always be extremely reactive and able to anticipate changes, either because of a pothole on the road or a driver suddenly switching lanes without...

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Facebook redesigns business pages with new look

Facebook redesigns business pages with new look

Facebook redesigns business pages with new look After redesigning its news feed personal accounts last week, Facebook announced that it will roll out a new look and feel for business pages. This affects the Online Reputation Management (ORM) service that we at City Pass provide to premium clients in the Travel and Hospitality sector in Vietnam; therefore we should take these changes into consi...

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5 Rules for Luck in the Tet Holiday

5 Rules for Luck in the Tet Holiday

1. Do not clean the house or use a dustpan This old belief warns that if anyone cleans the house during Tet holiday, they will also sweep away all the New Year luck and thus the family will have bad luck all year round.This belief began from a story in China, recorded in the ancient Chinese book, the God Collection Book. As the story goes, a businessman named Au Minh crossed the Thanh Thao Lak...

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Story of the cakes made for Tet holiday

Story of the cakes made for Tet holiday

Emperor Hung-Vuong had many sons. Some pursued literary careers. Others excelled in martial arts. The youngest prince named Tiet - Lieu, however, loved neither. Instead, he and his wife and their children chose the countryside where they farmed the land. One day, toward the end of the year, the emperor met with all his sons. He told them whoever brought him the most special and unusual food ...

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Top 5 tips for preventing theft in Vietnam

Top 5 tips for preventing theft in Vietnam

Travelling in Vietnam can be a life changing experience with its beautiful scenery and rich cultural history. The main hassles you’ll encounter will be the milder sort, such as pushy vendors and over enthusiastic touts. Nevertheless, petty theft is on the rise. Travellers tend to be targets not just because of the cameras or money they carry but also due to their unfamiliarity of their s...

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Advantages of train travel in Vietnam

Advantages of train travel in Vietnam

The trains in Vietnam are relatively cheap, comfortable and scenic. Train travel is Vietnam is underutilised by visitors to the country and is a great mode of transportation for those looking to see a bit more of the country while relaxing in leisurely surroundings. As you plan your journey around the country, read on to find out other advantages of using trains when you travel. 1. Easy and Re...

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Keeping your digital camera clean

Keeping your digital camera clean

Destinations to clean your digital camera If you are traveling throughout Vietnam, you’ve probably brought your camera along. If you didn’t, I would be shocked as this country is picture perfect for shutterbugs. Other than the obvious problem of dropping your camera, there is another less obvious problem that can arise with camera gear. Lens fungus is the bane of camera lenses and...

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5 photo tips for travelers in Vietnam

5 photo tips for travelers in Vietnam

How to capture and keep the Vietnamese breathtaking moment? For shutterbugs, Vietnam is a paradise full of photographic opportunities. Whether you are into landscapes, street or even food photography, Vietnam has it all. We have put together five tips for taking photos in this picturesque country. 1. Be respectful. When taking photos of people, take the slow approach. Usually a smile or a ges...

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Top Five Tips for Crossing the Street in Vietnam

Top Five Tips for Crossing the Street in Vietnam

With over six million people crowding the streets of Ho Chi Minh City, the motorbike is the preferred mode of transportation and it is estimated that over five million take to the roads of Saigon on a daily basis. In most metropolitan cities, a high concentration of traffic on its own is no cause for concern. Add drivers with little regard for traffic rules however and you have a recipe for the...

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Things not to do in Vietnam

Things not to do in Vietnam

Following the post about “Tips to spot and avoid scams and pick pockets”, City Pass Guide provides a list of things not to do in Vietnam that can secure visitors and help them to make their trip in Vietnam enjoyable. On the street To avoid being robbed or becoming victims of pickpockets, we highly recommended travelers not to carry more money than they need when walking around the...

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