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Laos Guides

Laos Guides

This land-locked mountainous country is gaining a reputation as an ecotourist destination. Its many rivers criss-crossing the country and unspoilt national parks are ideal for activities such as trekking, kayaking and caving. The capital, Vientiane, and the other major towns have been spared major modern developments with traditional and colonial architecture still dominant.

The weather’s partly cloudyLaos has two distinct seasons — the wet and the dry.

Laos’ wet season runs from around May to October, and as with many Southeast Asian countries, the wet season is characterised by a downpour for a few hours each day rather than all-day torrential downpours. While the rainy season tends to strike Laos pretty much uniformally, there are a couple of regional oddities. Laos’ wet season tends to hit Phongsali a little early due to it catching a bit of rain from southern China, while Hua Phan and Xieng Khuang tend to get a little early rain from Vietnam.

Generally speaking, the higher you are, the more rain you get, and the towns along the Mekong River south of Vientiane get the least rain.

As with Cambodia, the most obvious effect of the wet season is damaged infrastructure. Landslides are common, as are severely rutted roads. While the road network is generally far better (that is, sealed) than Cambodia’s, the topography of Laos (pretty mountainous) lends itself to landslides, some minor, some not-so-minor. Also, with all this rainfall, the rivers can become beastly and delays due to bridges being down are not uncommon. Don’t be surprised if your trip takes longer than expected.

All in all, land transport during Laos’ wet season can be slow and soggy.

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Cambodia Guides

Cambodia Guides

The kingdom of Cambodia (also know as Kampuchea) is a Southeast Asian Nation flanked by Vietnam in the east, Laos in the North and the Gulf of Thailand to its Southwest. Cambodia has recently re-established it self on the tourism map and is now known for its idyllic beaches and exotic temples.

Cambodia possesses a tropical monsoon climate. The country is best visited during the dry season from November/December to April, as the weather is cool and dry at this time thanks to the northeastern monsoon.

The humid southwestern monsoon arrives from May to November. At this time, much of Cambodia is visited by heavy showers – these rains account for up to 80% of annual rainfall, starting seasonal floods throughout the country between July and August and making travel very difficult to certain areas.

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Traditional Vietnamese cooking is greatly admired for its fresh ingredients, minimal use of oil, and selective use of herbs and vegetables. The balance reached between fresh herbs and meats as well as the selective use of spices has earned Vietnamese food the reputation of being one of the healthiest cuisines worldwide. Historical influences Due to long periods of occupation by China and France, Vietnamese cuisine now shares many of its characteristics with food from both countries. The Chinese introduced many different noodle dishes, moon cake, fried rice and many pork dishes as well as many others. They were also responsible…
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Phu Quoc is a large tropical island located 50 Kms off the west coast of Vietnam in the Gulf of Thailand and is the largest Island in Vietnam. Due to the fabulous beaches, clear seas and warm temperatures, Phu Quoc is a great place for swimming, snorkeling or diving. Temperatures range from overnight minimums of 22 deg C to daily maximums of 34 deg C throughout the year with the wet season being in June to October. During the period 1760 to sometime in the 1780s, Pigneau de Behaine a French missionary was based on Phu Quoc and he is…
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The Mekong Delta is often referred to as the rice bowl of Vietnam as it produces three harvests per year. The fertile Mekong Delta is also famous for its tropical fruits and flowers. The Delta area marks the end of the Mekong Rivers 4,500km journey made through six countries to reach the ocean. Traditional transportation in the Delta is by boat along a vast network of canals and channels.
Saigon is a city full of contrasts as street vendors selling fruit and vegetables can be seen next to modern businesses and boutiques. In 1859 the city was captured by the French and from 1956 until its demise in April 1975, it was the capital of the US-backedRepublic of Vietnam. Saigon’s history is only 300 years old but today, renamed Ho Chi Minh City at the end of the American war, is very much the heart of Vietnamese business. However, the city still retains its connections to the past, particularly in Cholon, Saigon’s Chinatown. Evidence of the French occupation can…
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