Vietnam’s 5-star cruise has just received a TripAdvisor award, launched from the inspiration of the “king of ships” Bach Thai Buoi, room rates from 6 to 8.5 million VND/night
In the prestigious award category “TripAdvisor 2022 Travelers” Choice on Trip Advisor – the world’s largest travel website, based on thousands of comments and reviews from travelers from all over the world. Heritage Binh Chuan boat of Vietnam was honored to receive this award in the top of the best yachts this year.
Inspired by the ancient cruise of “shipping king” Bach Thai Buoi, Heritage Binh Chuan was launched in 2019 – the 100th anniversary of the birth of the first Vietnamese ship of businessman Bach Thai Buoi. This is a ship designed by an art lover, so the interior of the ship is designed with a heritage space.
Making use of every space in the cruise as a place to enjoy art and the scenery of Lan Ha Bay, Heritage Cruise owns an Indochinese design style based on the inspiration of the old Binh Chuan ship. Along the corridors of the yacht are photos of old Vietnam, designed to use maximum natural light with skylights, arched stairs, and windows.
The cruise has 4 floors, of which 3 floors include 20 luxury rooms with 4 room types with an area of 33 – 48 m2. Sundeck is located on the 4th floor, where passengers can recline on deck chairs and admire the beauty of the entire bay. The space inside the yacht is a series of long corridors and impressive winding stairs.
At Heritage Binh Chuan, guests can feel comfortable anywhere, from restaurants, bars, swimming pools, reading rooms to rooms with large windows overlooking the sea or rooms. Bathing close to the window, freely watching the green Lan Ha Bay floating in sight. In the 2 days 1 night cruise on the cruise, the destination of Ba Trai Dao and Bright Dark Cave is a big plus for visitors to have the opportunity to be closer to nature. There are activities such as snorkeling, kayaking, swimming…
Each room is prepared with 2 sets of Vietnamese costumes for men and women, serving the needs of tourists to take pictures and “relive” the old space on the ship. To enhance the experience for travelers, the staff are all “dressed up” in 1930s costumes such as four-piece dresses and scarves. The average room price ranges from 6 to 8.5 million VND/night.
Source: Channel/Kenh 14
(Hanoi, June 14, 2022) For the first time, the historic cruise ship Heritage Binh Chuan received the most prestigious award, TripAdvisor 2022 Travelers’ Choice Awards “Best of The Best”.
On the largest website in the world, Trip Advisor has just announced that Heritage Binh Chuan cruise (www.heritagecruises.com ) has received the prestigious TripAdvisor 2022 Travelers’ Choice award, based on thousands of comments and reviews of travelers and guests from all over the world. Heritage Cruises is one of the top cruise ships in Vietnam to receive this prestigious award.
Travelers’ Choice Awards https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g293924-d15122257-Reviews-Heritage_Cruises-Hanoi.html is TripAdvisor’s highest award. Based on millions of comments and opinions from travelers worldwide about hotels, destinations, landmarks, brands, and products, this annual award honors the “best of the best” on the criteria of service, quality, and customer satisfaction.
“Each year, we aggregate all the reviews, ratings, and archives shared by travelers globally — and use that information to find out the best locations. All will be honored by Travelers’ Choice Best of the Best.” “Tripadvisor awards Travelers’ Choice awards to accommodations, attractions, and restaurants that consistently receive great reviews from travelers and are ranked in the top 10% of properties on Tripadvisor.”
The most luxurious cruise in Vietnam has many cultural features, bringing with it the stories of cultural and historical heritage, fine art, architecture, fashion, and the quintessence of Vietnamese cuisine. The yacht is newly built based on the Binh Chuan ship built by the ship king Bach Thai Buoi, the first Vietnamese to launch a ship from Hai Phong to Saigon. From the point of departure 100 years ago, today’s Heritage Cruises Binh Chuan takes travelers on a journey to discover Lan Ha Bay in style, a vast sea area with hundreds of islands, lagoons, and beaches, large and small, an experience recognized by the world. Channel 14 describes it “as beautiful as a dream” and Leonardo DiCaprio praises the ‘paradise’ beauty of Lan Ha Bay.
About the award, TripAdvisor wrote: “This year, TripAdvsior made the most of every trip—big or small. We have become neighborhood explorers, masters of the outdoors, and adventurers who have gone where no one has been and done things no one has ever done. Through all the reviews, recommendations, and stories, we’ve helped each other around the world. It is you who decide where to award the Traveler’s Choice Best of the Best: the flesh-and-blood travelers who have come, tried, and shared your experiences. These are the best places in the world according to the wonderful community of travelers everywhere.”
On the cruise, travelers can discover the authenticity of Lan Ha Bay, Binh Chuan Heritage Cruise will bring travelers into a traditional cultural space, the glorious legend of the intangible heritage, and enjoy the beauty of the natural heritage of Vietnam. Heritage Binh Chuan Cruise will bring the most authentic experiences with a minimum of 40 guests and a maximum of 60 passengers on a magnificent and sophisticated cruise operating in the Gulf of Tonkin. Savored travelers will immerse into the culture, history, art, and people of Vietnam when cruising on a unique cruise amidst natural wonders. On this heritage cruise, travel connoisseurs can go upstream of history and culture to learn the business story of “Vietnam’s king of ships” Bach Thai Buoi and the life of the “Vietnamese Picasso“, Pham Luc, through a rich collection of 100 of his works collected and introduced by the owner Pham Ha in various locations.
“We have been operating continuously for 2 years and serving 12000 passengers per year, and because of Covid 19, one of the most popular and favorite cruises in the Gulf of Tonkin has created the trend of “Vietnamese people going on a cruise vacation”. The entire team and I, personally, are very proud of the 100-year heritage brand Heritage Binh Chuan. We are honored to receive the TripAdvisor 2022 Travelers’ Choice award after 3 years of operating on Lan Ha Bay, a port city in Hai Phong. We thank the travelers who have traveled with us and contributed to their choice of the best yacht in 2022.” Founder and CEO Pham Ha said:
“We are proud to be the pioneer in heritage tourism and experience in the luxury cruise business, combining adventure in Vietnam’s most beautiful bays such as Ha Long Bay and Cat Ba Islands on an ocean liner. The 4-day and 3-night tour allows visitors to explore, dream, discover, relax, experience, and immerse themselves in the natural heritage of this bay. We are proud of our passionate, enthusiastic team that always focuses on customer satisfaction and claims the right of 100% customer satisfaction. It’s great that for the first time we have received this prestigious award as voted for by our own customers on the world’s largest social network, TripAdvisor. We are more confident to expand the brand to Quy Nhon, Nha Trang, Phu Quoc in Kien Giang province, and Cat Ba archipelago in Hai Phong city, for unique yachting experiences in the coming year.”
Cruising is all about places, experiences, and memories. After 3 years of operation, Heritage Cruises has continuously received many prestigious awards in Vietnam and the world such as The Guide Awards, Booking.com, Vietnam National Administration of Tourism’s best cruise ship, TripAdvisor’s Certificate of Excellence 2020 and most recently, the best small charter yacht in Vietnam awarded by the US Luxury Lifestyle Awards 2021, and Travel and Leisure presents this boutique cruise as a masterpiece of natural wonder for families to visit and experience exploring the most beautiful bay in the world in Vietnam. www.heritagecruises.com
No country can truly be grasped in a single trip, whether it be a foodie weekend, a two-week family vacation, a six-month backpack, or even a multi-year immersion as an expat. Personally, I’ve lived in Vietnam almost 6 years, I’m married to a Vietnamese woman, and I speak enough Vietnamese to get to know people (assuming they can handle my heavy accent), but I still find it requires a lot of effort to dig deep into the culture and history to get a feel for the place. Most trips to the countryside give me the tiniest scratch of the surface into the joys and struggles of the people there and even visiting every significant place of interest in a new city only raises more questions and leaves me wanting more to feel satisfied with my experience. Recently, however, I’ve come the closest I’ve ever been to having an all-encompassing experience of Vietnam and it all took place in 24 hours.
Ok, I know this article is called Vietnam in a day, but really my experience was over the course of 24 hours, and after all there are 24 hours in a day so I’m sticking with it. At noon I boarded the ship named Heritage Binh Chuan (not having a clue how changed my life would be just 24 hours later) and by noon the next day I was back at my port of entry. This particular cruise of Ha Long bay was to celebrate my first anniversary with my wife (I’ll accept your congrats in the comments, thank you, thank you) so we decided to splurge on a luxury cruise, something neither of us have ever considered before this occasion.
The cruise started as any good luxury cruise should, with a welcome from the manager and captain, but before we were even escorted to the dining room for the first complimentary drink and lunch there was one jaw-dropping detail that stood out to us. The first detail which surrounds you is the Indochine interior design. Every inch of the boat has been carefully crafted to transport you back to the time of Bach Thai Buoi, the shipping entrepreneur who revolutionized the Vietnamese shipping industry by leading the movement to have ships designed and built solely by Vietnamese hands. As a history nerd I indulged in the pamphlets scattered about the ship that told of his fight against colonialism and gave greater context to the interior design of the ship. Even someone not as enthralled with history as I am, though, cannot help but be immediately thrust into the French colonial period as the ship is essentially a living history museum with the stylized, wooden decor and early photographs from around Northern Vietnam.
The food served at the lunch buffet was excellent, but paired with the exemplary service from the staff it made the first dining experience on the ship top notch, a standard which the crew upheld the entire cruise. Anyone should expect the food on a luxury cruise to be good so I won’t go into detail about that, but one special touch unlike anywhere I’ve stayed before is the dinner “dress code”. Every room on the ship has an áo dài, the traditional clothing of Vietnam, for each guest in that room and the majority of guests wore theirs to dinner. This is a gesture that says, “You’re not simply WITH Vietnamese for dinner, you ARE Vietnamese, even if just for tonight.” It gives you more than just a taste of Vietnam.
Another set of clothes in every room is the martial arts clothes so you can feel comfortable joining the sunrise Vovinam class, very much like Tai Chi. This class is on the sundeck of the ship, a place that offers far more than this class and even more than any human culture could. The sundeck offers a 360 degree view to millions of years of geology. All throughout Vietnam there is a similar type of geological feature, called karsts, formed from the limestone spread across half of the country. You can see these sharp, jagged peaks that Vietnam is famous for in every province in the north and you drive past miles of them taking any highway through the countryside. The biggest difference is that all these landlocked karsts are visible only from the road, which is the bottom of any karst valley. The sundeck of Heritage Binh Chuan places you many feet above sea level and with this elevated view you begin to get a scope for how widespread this feature is and how influential it has been on the shaping of Vietnamese culture. Luckily the sundeck is not the only place on the ship with magnificent views as every exterior wall in every room, bathroom, library, and gallery is framed with massive windows peering into the bay. The ship, though wonderful, can be described in words, but for the bay I must quote cinema and say, “No one can be told what Ha Long Bay is, you have to see it for yourself.”
Every single outside wall of the ship is a window looking out to the bay, but those aren’t the only carefully considered walls on the vessel. Every inside wall is decked either in early photographs as mentioned before, or something even more stunning, paintings of daily life from around Vietnam. One moment you can be in the Mekong delta and with a few steps across the ship you’re in the living room of a wealthy Hanoian family. You can see scenes of war juxtaposed with traditional musicians. All, or at least most from what I can tell, of the paintings are by the same artist, so the style is consistent throughout the ship. Clearly painted by the hand of a master, they are not realistic, but heavily stylized to put the viewer into a dreamlike state. They are ethereal, yet almost tangible, like the lives of those we’ll never know whose experiences echo into our own. They are windows also, but unlike the outer windows of the ship which look onto the landscape that shaped the culture of Vietnam, they are windows that peer into the Vietnamese soul.
At once, the cruise was modern yet steeped in history, it was artificial ringed with the natural, and it was exciting but tinged with the somber. It was humanity at its finest in the ways that any culture can reach its zenith, however it was characteristic of the Vietnamese in only the ways that they can be Vietnamese. When it came to an end I must admit I was sad, but I did not feel like I had missed or overlooked anything, in fact my wife and I couldn’t talk about much else for the next few days because even then we were still digesting the experience.
Through the sadness of it having ended, I felt incredibly lucky that I live in a time and place where something like that is possible. I feel fortunate that the small price of a ticket could stamp my memory with more than just a trip or a taste of luxury, but it could allow me to know a place, and even more importantly, allow me to know a people.
Joseph A. Lewis
Like boutique hotels, boutique cruises are characterized by their intimate atmosphere and idiosyncratic style. They distinguish themselves from larger chain cruises by offering personalized attention and stylish, themed accommodation.
Small is beautiful and chic
A burgeoning niche industry revolves around small vessels – a wide-ranging group that includes yachts, rugged expedition ships, riverboats and classic sailing schooners – where passenger counts top out at closer to 200, rather than 2,000 or more.
Beyond offering a cozier atmosphere, the small size of these ships creates a completely different experience, both onshore and on board. Smaller ships allow easy access to remote, less-visited ports that the larger vessels just can’t get to, leading to refreshingly unique itineraries.
Unique, Experiential and Personal
Boutique cruises like Heritage Cruises make it their business to get their guests to secluded locations, where they can enjoy activities like biking, walking, boating, kayaking or snorkeling.
On board, the crowd-free experience is predictably more intimate and sociable. You can expect more personalized service from the crew and are much more likely to get to know your fellow passengers, as you regularly see the same faces on deck and in the lounges, a bonus if you like to make new friends while traveling.
Expect destination-driven itineraries that are enhanced by creative programs and hosted excursions, often led by historians, naturalists and other knowledgeable pros such as photographers, an Iron Chef, naturalists, art guides, and wellness experts…
Top Ten Characteristics
Today’s travelers’ never-ending search for something “new and different” inspired the evolution of boutique hotels and cruises. But what exactly is a boutique cruise?
While there is no strict definition of a boutique cruise, the genre does tend to have some common features. Here are top ten characteristics of boutique cruises such as Heritage Cruises: Size, Individuality, Design, Character, Culture, Service, Gastronomy, Clientele, Sense of a place, Authenticity.
Size – Boutique cruises are typically small, with 10 to 100 cabins. They are intimate in scale, creating the ambiance of being a personal guest in a private floating home away from home, rather than just a cruise passenger. They often have communal “social spaces” where guests can interact.
Individuality –They are often operated independently and are not affiliated with a major cruise chain. The ships have a distinctive vibe and never have the “cookie cutter” feel of being one in a series. Their experiences are personal, authentic and unique. The staff remember your name and make your journey a truly memorable one.
Design – The architecture and interior design of a boutique cruise is as unique and special as its operations, always high end and often combining historic detail with chic elegance. The lines may be sleek and contemporary or quaint and homey – or even an artistic amalgamation. The guest cabins have private balconies, panoramic windows and are individually styled using upscale fabrics and with exclusive amenities.
Character – Boutique cruises usually have a quirky personality. They are fun and funky, trendy and offbeat. Their sense of humor might be exhibited through the design and creative guest offerings. Each day is an adventure.
Culture – As an extension of the unique personality of each ship, boutique cruises often celebrate local flavor by incorporating locally-sourced materials and reflecting the location’s heritage through color and art. Themed boutique cruises build the entire guest experience around a particular subject, such as fine art, fashion or sport.
Service – Highly personalized service is a hallmark of boutique cruises. The cruise director will welcome you in person and the staff will know your name on the first day of your stay. Bespoke luxury amenities are provided, such as an extensive pillow menu and luxury toiletries, as well as offering sumptuous spa services.
Gastronomy – Boutique cruises craft unique dining experiences, not just menus. Their restaurants and bars tend to be smart and trendy, serving locally-sourced, high-quality cuisine, making these dining and drinking spots popular with locals as well as guests.
Clientele – The types of travelers who are attracted to boutique cruises are as individual as the cruises themselves and tend to be just as sophisticated. Guests from Millennials to Baby Boomers who enjoy creative design, quirky character, and personal service will be right at home on a boutique cruise.
Sense of a place – Operating in the historic Gulf of Tonkin, capturing the quintessence of north Vietnam, combining it with the nostalgia of 1930s Indochina and the heritage ships of Bach Thai Buoi, Heritage Cruises has been designed for a journey of discovery, a sanctuary where travelers can feel a sense of place and create their own memories.
Authenticity – A devotion to simplicity, heritage, boutique and product authenticity. Cruising is all about destinations, experiences and memories. Our ambition is lofty: to provide a spectacular experience based on elements of exclusivity, comfort, elegance and style. As well as a passionate team, we have incredible partners who will help ensure your Heritage Cruises experience is rich in memories.
Heritage Cruises categorizes its ships not only using stars but also by character, quality, style and the overall special experience, which together ensure that our cruises have a story to tell.
Originating from China, Feng Shui has a 3000-year history and Vietnam, like many other Asian countries, continues to practice it in daily life, in its architecture and interior design. Our heritage-inspired cruise ship, Heritage Cruises, has been created with the balance of ying and yang in mind, with the five elements of Metal, Wood, Water, Fire and Earth on board harmonizing with the surrounding environment.
Feng Shui affects our health, relationships, quality of life and, of course, experiences when we travel. Cruising is all about you and your experiences. We have designed our cruise and accommodation with the best practices of Feng Shui in mind for your greater comfort, restorative sleep and a memorable experience while you are staying with us.
All our suites are designed using Feng Shui principles including the lighting, neutral colors, no TV, and the bed facing the ocean, respecting the free flow of Chi in the suite. You can see the ocean from every corner of your suite and we create a warm and pleasant ambiance for you to create your own memories. We even have a tree in each suite, there to bring good fortune.
Here are the top ten elements we include in the suites to conform with Feng Shui rules and to heighten your senses.
1. Design with a purpose
Our suites have been thoughtfully designed for our guests with safety, authenticity, sincerity, protection and great comfort in mind. All 20 suites are located on the main and upper decks, far from engine noise, public and social areas and with easy access to all the exit areas both in the rear and at the front of the ship. The main stairs are at the heart of the ship benefiting from both natural light and fresh air.
2. Neutral colors and warm space
We use Indochine style heritage-inspired designs in neutral colors, using natural materials which create a warm, elegant, pleasant ambiance for our high-end guests. We ensure we give our clients the ultimate in luxury and sophistication with our extraordinary on-board facilities.
3. Feng Shui bed position
There is space above and around the bed to balance the Dragon and the Tiger (the white tiger represents female energy). With a classic colonial-style bed and wooden headboard, the bed is placed to avoid straight lines and positioned to fully enjoy the floor-to-ceiling windows and bring you energy.
4. The free flow of vitality.
Clutter in a bedroom hinders the free flow of Chi and the flow of air and vitality. Our suites are decorated minimally so that objects do not disturb the vitality, but are very neat, simple, and elegant, in a distinctive boutique style.
5. Tree in the suite – the wood element
The suite has a small tree which is the wood element of Feng Shui, together with an Indochine colonial-style bed with wooden headboard, lamp table, sofa, and smart luggage rack.
6. Slow pace of life
Each suite is designed with absolute privacy in mind, giving you the space to appreciate life and enjoy the wonderful views. There is no TV in the suite, so you can truly escape surrounded by the natural wonders of the bay. Indeed, you will be able to capture every romantic moment as every second counts while you are on board.
7. Connecting with nature
We use sustainable materials and neutral colors to enhance your mood and create the perfect ambiance for you and your companion, so that you can connect with nature as well as appreciate the culture, arts, people, food and heritage.
8. The language of art
You can enjoy wonderful works of art with different themes on the Red River Delta, the ocean and heritage by one of the most famous artists in the country, Pham Luc. You will also learn about the early 20th-century pioneer, Bach Thai Buoi, the King of the Ocean and River Cruises, who inspired our team to follow in his footsteps and to apply ethical business practices in everything we do, ensuring you a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
9. Natural light
We understand the importance of illumination, and the suites have been tastefully designed to benefit from natural light and air circulation. With your own private balcony, you can spend time outdoors or stay in the comfort of your suite.
10. Make it simple
Simplicity is the ultimate in sophistication and luxury in the design of our suites. We avoid sharp-angled and reflective objects, ceiling fans, and vanity units which can become cluttered.
Kindness, decorum, uprightness, wisdom, and faithfulness.
We sail responsibly with 6 pillars including: protecting natural resources and the environment, social and community responsibility, creating jobs, developing the local economy, customer satisfaction, and profit for our company.
10 Regulations for Luxers
1. Excellence – You are experts, work and serve from your heart.
2. Passion – Work with passion, put all of your soul into even the smallest things you do for excellence and success.
3. Attitude – Attitude is everything and your purpose must be blended into the organization’s mission, vision, and values.
4. Customers first – Our people are company assets. We do everything for 100% customer satisfaction as is their right.
5. Sustainable cruising – We sail responsibly with 6 pillars including: protecting natural resources and the environment, social and community responsibility, creating jobs, developing the local economy, customer satisfaction, and profit for our company.
6. Individual responsibility – When something goes wrong, take the personal responsibility first, “It is my faut”.
7. Oriented-results organization – Results say it all. Refer to the numbers in our company for the proof of excellence.
8. Be active and creative – Always remember! Never say “no”, always give two solutions for each problem!
9. Team work – Work with your team effectively. Competent and mature people do not need supervisors.
10. Integrity – Be honest, kind, and authentic people. Think rightly in words, actions, and results.
Here are 31 reasons why you should choose Heritage Cruises, the most unique cruise compared to the 500 other boats here.
1. Cruise and celebrate 100 years of history and heritage on the first boutique style cruise in Vietnam.
2. The first four-season swimming pool in Vietnam, the largest in the Gulf of Tonkin, integrated with jacuzzi, using electrolysis to clean the water, which is good for your health.
3. The largest and first swimming pool bar in Vietnam, an ideal place to enjoy cocktails and watch the sunset.
4. Contemplate the first designed ship gallery, the largest floating art exhibition in Vietnam and Asia.
5. 100 stories and experiences on the cruise ship, on the shore, and on and under the water.
6. Enjoy a SUP experience and try the first transparent kayak in Halong Bay and Cat Ba Archipelago.
7. The cruise serves the quintessence of Northern cuisine, unique egg coffee, and fine dining with musicians playing in the background.
8. Large bedroom and bathroom in all suites, plus panoramic views all in accord with feng shui. All rooms have no TV, see nature passing by through the window. With the constantly changing landscape it’s the largest TV in the Gulf of Tonkin.
9. The largest wine cellar in the Gulf of Tonkin with a wide selection of fine wines
10. 1000 luxurious check-in spaces, virtual living and ecstatic beauty.
11. The cruise ship has the most public and social space among the 500 boats and ships in Halong Bay and Cat Ba Archipelago.
12. The largest ship in the Gulf of Tonkin with the fewest rooms, excellent safety, plus environmentally friendly, with the most unique architecture in Vietnam.
13. A cruise built from the passion, mind, vision, and talent of the investor, as well as of the luxury experts, and built from the customer’s perspective, satisfying the aesthetic taste of the elite.
14. We don’t just sell a cabin, but the whole experience, story and cruising dream of the king of ships in Vietnam: Bach Thai Buoi.
15. Sundeck space, swimming pool, reception room, and the best panorama restaurant for the most luxurious wedding party in the Bay.
16. The most ideal cruise in the Gulf of Tonkin for luxury MICE and wedding events.
17. These cruises have the most worthy culinary experience in the Gulf of Tonkin.
18. The cruise has an art lobby space, skylight, Indochine stairs and vintage style, the largest and most beautiful lobby space among yachts on the Gulf of Tonkin.
19. The cruise has both a basement for living and space for service staff.
20. The cruise ship has a 1:1 employee-to-guest ratio for the first time in the Gulf of Tonkin.
21. This cruise has the first high-speed cruise experience for the thrill of adventure when traveling and exploring in the Gulf of Tonkin. Two speedboats, external engines, the strongest and fastest moving in the Gulf of Tonkin.
22. Experience the first 4-day expeditions in the Gulf of Tonkin.
23. The library named Bach Thai Buoi has the most cultural and historical books in the Gulf of Tonkin.
24. The most kid-friendly cruise with 30 board games. The first yacht to be pet-friendly for dogs and cats.
25. The first cruise to have a centralized air conditioning system, instead of a separate air conditioner for each room. There is a heater and the room always has fresh air and a good private balcony, it’s always cool and relaxing for passengers.
26. Heritage Binh Chuan Cruise offers creative services such as breakfast in bed, couples floating breakfast at the pool, or romantic fine dining with candles and private accomodation in the wine cellar or outdoor lounge.
27. We provide room service 24/7 free.
28. Two spa rooms with sauna service, free sauna for self-service guests to experience 24 hours a day.
29. In Particular, we designed two pavilions on the sundeck for admiring the dawn, sunrise, and sunset, completely private and romantic for couples.
30. Free afternoon tea at Song Hong Lounge, with music. Guests can even play piano and guitar for themselves.
31. You also have the choice of doing nothing, just resting, relaxing, exploring, dreaming and discovering in your own way as a world class travel connoisseur.Go to hear, see, touch, smell, taste, and experience more. This means that the body gets to live and the anxious mind and passionate heart finally have the opportunity to be jubilant and excited.
It is full of new feelings, unforgettable impressions of landscapes, people, stories, and unexpected encounters. The breadth of human life never ceases to amaze.
As a famous tourist destination, Cat Ba Archipelago, including Lan Ha Bay with its 400 islands and 150 beaches, converges on 5 national and international titles: Scenic Landscape – Special National Heritage, World Biosphere Reserve, National Park, Marine Conservation Area, and National Park. It is one of the most beautiful bays in the world.
Explore, dream, discover, enjoy, relax, experience, and immerse yourself in heritage right away, learn more at www.heritagecruises.com
Vietnam has a wealth of attractions that make it one of the must-visit destinations in the world. It is a beautiful country with a stunning coastline, highland areas inhabited by colorful hill tribes, miles of lush green rice paddies, several World Heritage sites, a rich imperial history, delectable cuisine and fun-loving, friendly people.
Here are the top ten reasons to visit Vietnam, selected by Anita Sach of Lux Cruises, a member of Lux Group.
1. The people
It goes without saying that Vietnam is a particularly beautiful country, but this is enhanced by its people, who are hardworking, forward looking, hospitable and who have a wonderful sense of humour.
2. The variety
Vietnam is a country of contrasts with its lush green patchwork of rice paddies, dramatic mountains, unspoilt coastline and the watery worlds of the Mekong and Red River deltas. Other top attractions include the enigmatic limestone karsts in Halong Bay, bustling Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, laidback Hue and also Hoi An.
3. The accommodation
Whatever your budget there is somewhere to stay that is perfect for you from simple mini-hotels, through to welcoming mid-range hotels, stylish boutique hotels and smart international chains.
4. The food
Vietnamese food combines the best of Thai and Chinese cuisines with a twist of French heritage and Vietnamese creativity. Seafood is fresh and a hearty bowl of pho a must. Whether you choose to dine in a roadside café with the kitchen out front where you can watch your selection being freshly cooked or in a chic restaurant in an old colonial mansion, you won’t be disappointed. Of course, if you are hankering for a burger, curry or pizza, you won’t have to look far.
5. The culture
Culture vultures won’t know where to start! Take in ancient temples and pagodas such as the Temple of Literature in Hanoi, the Jade Emperor in Ho Chi Minh City and Cao Dai temple in Tay Ninh. In Hue, wander round the intriguing, beautifully landscaped tombs of the Nguyen dynasty emperors and try to imagine how the imperial palace would have looked in its heyday.
6. Colonial history
Wherever you look you will see the remnants of the French colonial period from the freshly baked French-style bread to the gorgeous old villas in the former hill stations. Dalat could be a typical Provencal town surrounded by alpine scenery. The hill tribes selling vegetables in the market are a reminder that you are actually in Vietnam.
7. Luxury journeys
With new luxury hotels and world-class golf courses opening as well as helicopter tours and sea plane flights over Halong Bay Vietnam is fast emerging as the world’s latest luxury destination. For train lovers, the evocatively named Victoria Orient Reunification Express is a must.
From the decks of a smart river cruiser, enjoy viewing river life as you cruise along the waterways from the Mekong delta deep into Cambodia or overnight on Halong Bay. Nha Trang Bay now offers its first overnight cruises on Emperor Cruises and Heritage Cruises
Leave plenty of space in your suitcase for those must-have items, clothes, silk bags and lacquerware all of which can be found in the colourful markets. Enter into the fun by bargaining hard!
Travelers always want new and exotic experiences, plus value, both in terms of personal value and value for money. They seek new destinations, new hotels and new experiences. They want to be the first to discover a destination. Many have moved towards a quieter understated luxury and plan their trips with a focus on authenticity and experiential travel, particularly enriching once-in-a-lifetime experiences. For travel experts, it is essentially about creating a experiential travel that is personal as well as authentic and memorable.
Vietnam now has world class hotels and resorts, beaches and cuisine, in addition to its natural beauty, rich history and traditional culture.
“Wow Vietnam” was created with an aim to attract discerning travelers, who wish to experience its defining characteristics: thrills, nature, heritage, festival, pristine, experiential travel, scenery and essence.
As travel expert, Pham Ha President and CEO of Lux Group advises TAB, VNAT, Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, here is my definition of uniqueness and difference that the slogan of Vietnam tourism must be promoted in all trade shows, embassies, all media, travel players even local people.
Depending in each market and need, the marketing campaign can be focused and bespoke such as endless of discovery, food, nature, culture, shops…
The thrills oﬀered are endless and span a wide range, including: hiking, trekking, biking, kayaking, climbing, rafting, snorkeling, scuba diving, fishing, hot air ballooning, camping, yachting and more. Some of the locations where these activities can be enjoyed include: Sapa, Halong Bay, Cu Lao Cham, the Central Highlands, the Mekong Delta, Nha Trang, Phan Thiet, Con Dao, the Phu Quoc Islands and many more.
The nature amazes visitors, from the green beauty of the national parks, reserves and ramsars, to the mountains, waterfalls, rivers, lakes and grottoes. Halong Bay is among the new Seven Natural Wonders of the World. Visitors will discover the natural allure of Vietnam by indulging in a wide array of accommodations, tour packages and attractions at places such as Mai Chau, Sapa, Ha Giang, Ba Be, Halong Bay, Phong Nha Ke Bang, the Central Highlands, Nam Cat Tien and many more.
With its long history and unique way of life, Vietnam has a rich heritage. There are many interesting and diverse sites to be found around the country. Halong Bay is a tourism icon for Vietnam Tourism in the world. Trang An has been just named world heritage listed site, Vietnam now boasts 8 world natural and cultural heritage sites, not to mention many intangible cultural heritages.
WOW Festivals and lifestyle of Vietnamese
Many colorful festivals can be enjoyed year round. The time after Tet Nguyen Dan (Vietnamese Lunar New Year) is especially exciting. Other festivals include the Perfume Pagoda, Hung King, Kate, and Lim and Giay Festivals, just to name a few. 54 nationalities with 54 various cultures and lifestyles to discover in the country. Vietnamese is friendly and hospital, always with smiles.
Many pristine islands and beaches are to be found in this tropical country. Vietnam has 3,620 km of coastline, with beautiful white sand beaches and world class resorts. Of these, you should not miss the stunning sand and clear waters of My Khe, Cua Dai, Nha Trang, Ninh Van Bay, Quy Nhon, Mui Ne, Vung Tau, Phu Quoc and the Con Dao Islands.
Holidaymakers have the choice of new and trendy boutique hotels, spas, golfing, cruises, shopping centers, restaurants and nightlife. With new luxury hotels and world class golf courses having recently opened or set to open soon, and the introduction of luxury train journeys, exclusive cruises and upscale private tours spanning the length of the country, Vietnam is fast emerging as an exciting luxury destination in Asia.
Spectacular scenery and a diverse landscape exist from North to South. Mountains, forests, nature reserves, rivers, beaches, and islands are all here to be enjoyed. Verdant patchworks of rice paddies and pointed lampshade-style hats are just a small part of what there is to be seen in this formerly war ravaged country. Visitors will see more than the economic repression often portrayed on worldwide television and in newspapers. There is also natural beauty, a harmonious array of ethnic cultures, imperial monuments, timeless traditional villages, idyllic sea resorts and dynamic cities.
Vietnam boasts scores of traditions, lifestyles and religions. The friendly and hospitable population has been influenced by the cultures of China, France and America, and this is reflected in the country’s lifestyle, architecture, cuisine and art. Vietnamese cuisine is acclaimed worldwide and become the buzz words of all travelers. Should promote Vietnamese gourmet cuisine or heritage as an UNIQUE SELLING PROPOSITION
Travel is all about destinations, experiences and memories. CEO Lux Group Pham Ha suggests a new slogan and tagline for Vietnam Tourism.
The gods did not compromise when they chose to endow this small Far Eastern country on the coast of the East Sea. Resembling the shape of a serpent, Vietnam has an array of natural and cultural riches that make it one of the world’s must-visit destinations.
The tagline for Vietnamese tourism, “Touching the heritage,” invokes the country’s blend of heritage and modern life for travellers who wish to experience the defining characteristics of V.I.E.T.N.A.M.
V – Varied landscape
Vietnam is one of the favourite playgrounds of Mother Nature, boasting a wondrous blend of mountains, highlands, caves, rivers, plains, beaches, and epic delta regions.
With Mount Fansipan, as its backdrop, Sapa is home to terraced rice fields, cascading waterfalls, and secluded tribal villages perched on distant slopes. Halong Bay is the perfect getaway to experience luxury cruises as well as outdoor activities such as kayaking. It is an enthralling experience to cruise amidst the towering limestone karsts jutting out of the Gulf of Tonkin. The endless spectacle of the limestone world continues further south in Trang An and Tam Coc located in Ninh Binh province, offering limitless opportunities for travellers.
Complementing the Central Highlands, exquisite pristine beaches enrich the beauty of Central Vietnam. Son Doong Cave, the world’s largest cave system, is a particular highlight, although it remains difficult to explore. However, this imposing cave kingdom in Phong Nha and Ke Bang features many more, easy to explore yet stunning caves, grottoes, and underground rivers. Impressive coffee plantations sprawl over the highlands of Buon Ma Thuot, whilst Dalat is surrounded by spectacular scenery and churning waterfalls. The sandy shores of Cham Island, Nha Trang, and Quy Nhon meet the turquoise sea where scuba divers can explore the rich aquamarine ecosystem. Following the course of the mighty Mekong River, South Vietnam is equally photogenic. The river branches off into many estuaries, drawing up an agritourism paradise.
I – Indigenous culture
The country’s indigenous cultures bear the marks of China, Japan, and France and a homestay within the ethnic communities is a special way to learn about their culture. Whether in the north, centre or south, there are significant cultural treasures and celebrations by individual communities expressed through festivals and performances. The A-O show portrays the rural lifestyle of farmers and fishermen nationwide. The Quintessence of Tonkin show narrates the ancient tale of the Thay Pagoda, Buddhism, and literature. Traditional music and folk art can be gleaned through the performances of Xoan and Cheo singers, while the captivating Water Puppet show in Hanoi, which originates back to the Red River Delta, is also a must-see. Mythology is an integral part of Vietnamese culture and beliefs and legends revolve around four sacred creatures – the Dragon, Phoenix, Turtle, and Unicorn. There are many colourful festivals observed all year around while the most important one is Tet – Vietnamese Lunar New Year which foreign visitors need to experience at least once.
E – Exotic beaches
Undeniable luxury and incredible visual treats are on offer along the nation’s 3,260-kilometre coastline, home to some of the most romantic beaches and islands in the world. Mystical hideaways, secluded beaches, and coves on remote islands, the stretches of white and golden sands fringing the seas at My Khe, Nha Trang, Vung Tau, Phu Quoc, and the Con Dao archipelago are high on the wish-lists of beach lovers. The crystal-clear water offers unrestricted visibility of colourful marine life as well as swimming, snorkelling, scuba diving, and kayaking. Luxury beach resorts and hotels offer idyllic accommodation. Even the most remote are home to boutique resorts for luxury in seclusion, allowing discerning travellers to experience life close to nature.
T – Timeless charm
Emerging from a painful past, much has been done to restore Vietnam’s many treasures and add even more. It is not only the natural world that draws visitors in, but also the people, culture, lifestyle, cuisine, and art. The honking of the ever-moving traffic in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City are a complete contrast to the tranquility of the countryside. The country presents a plethora of unforgettable images, from epic landscapes, ethnic cultures, legendary cuisine, and imperial monuments and continue through to its timeless village traditions, idyllic sea resorts, and bustling cities. The taste of egg coffee, using chopsticks to enjoy traditional dishes such as pho bo or bun cha, the ubiquitous conical hats, and the twinkling lanterns of Hoi An make for images that travellers will cherish forever.
N – Natural heritage sites
Vietnam takes pride in its diversity and has been blessed with some stunning UNESCO-recognised Natural Heritage Sites, such as Halong Bay, Trang An, Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park, and Cat Ba Island. The world’s largest cave system, Son Doong stuns visitors with its otherworldly splendour and ecosystem.
Halong Bay, featuring a cluster of 1,600 islets, is one of the world’s natural wonders. Cruising through this karst landscape is a cinematic experience. Sailing beyond Halong Bay, visitors can get to Cat Ba Natural Heritage Site nestled in the heart of Lan Ha Bay, a treasure trove of flora and fauna. Trang An is another limestone world where the footprints of prehistoric humans and the fossils of extinct animals have been discovered. A bamboo boat ride along the Sao Khe River leads to mysterious underground caves and grottoes as well as ancient cave pagodas and temples.
A – Ancient cities
Hoa Lu in Ninh Binh was the ancient capital of Dai Co Viet (the ancient name of Vietnam). This ancient city, full of temples and pagodas dedicated to former kings, has witnessed many historical events. Its annual festival welcomes tourists from near and far. Hue is the last imperial capital of Vietnam and still preserves many relics from the royal empire. The Imperial Citadel of Hue, the royal tombs of King Minh Mang, King Khai Dinh, and other emperors along with the ancient Thien Mu Pagoda are just some of the major attractions of the former capital. UNESCO-protected My Son sanctuary dates back to the Pre-Angkorian era and was the capital of the Cham Dynasty. Hoi An was the most important port for trading in ancient Southeast Asia. The tranquil ambiance of this UNESCO-protected town, with its colonial architecture, traditions, and coffee culture, makes it a magnet for travellers. Further south, Dalat was one of the favourite hill stations for French garrisons and is filled with a plethora of colonial buildings. The Imperial Citadel of Thang Long marks the origin of today’s capital, Hanoi, dating back to the 11th century and the reign of the Ly Dynasty. Ho Chi Minh City is also an ancient establishment from the prehistoric era and witnessed one of the earliest Asian civilisations.
M – Memories to cherish forever
Nothing quite compares to the charm that Southeast Asian countries and Vietnam have developed as a great holiday destination for both leisure and business travellers. It is a truly memorable experience travelling across the country, exploring the treasures of Halong Bay on a luxury cruise, savouring tasty Vietnamese dishes in the finest restaurants of bustling Ho Chi Minh City, relaxing on the idyllic sandy beaches of Phu Quoc Island or strolling through the lantern-lit alleys of ancient Hoi An. Holidaymakers will definitely fall in love with the food, landscapes, and lifestyle of Vietnam.
Once a hidden paradise, Vietnam is now fast emerging as an exciting upmarket destination in Asia, with a sophisticated hospitality industry. The recent development of world-class golf courses has opened a new avenue for golf tours to the nation. The introduction of luxury train journeys, boutique cruises, and upscale private tours spanning the length and breadth of the country has escalated the demand for new destinations and journeys. Travel is now all about places, experiences, and memories.