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Best Hikes and Trails at Zion National Park

Zion National Park rocks

Red, orange, yellow, gray striated layers of windswept sandstone spike and drop dramatically through Utah’s Zion National Park. Less famous than its near neighbour the Grand Canyon, but no less spectacular in its raw desert beauty, Zion National Park is a mere 2 ½ hour’s drive from the center of Las Vegas, Nevada.

This national park features hikes and walks for all ability levels and holds two of the most spectacular (potentially dangerous) hikes in all of the National Park system.

Zion National Park

How to get Zion National Park

Located in the south of Utah, Zion is within driving distance of the majority of the Southwest. Only 7 hour’s drive from Los Angeles and 2 ½ hours from Las Vegas. The drive to the park features several tourist stops, including roadside natural history museums, the Valley of Fire state park, dinosaur tracks and the Native American Moapa Reservation.

Classic to the iconic American Road trip, these unexpected detours present limitless opportunities for exploration. Getting around the Park itself depends on the time of year of your visit. In the busy summer months, the park runs two free shuttle services.

One runs from the bottom of the town of Springdale to the park entrance with several stops at local hotels, campgrounds and restaurants, allowing visitors to park and ride to the main gate of Zion.

The second shuttle service runs through the center of the park with stops at the most popular trailheads. In the summer, vehicles are no longer allowed inside of this part of the park, so the shuttle is the best option of transport to the trailheads.

The shuttle operators offer guided tours on the ride up the valley, providing the passengers the history of the park as well as information on hikes, trail conditions and locations of restaurants, restrooms and water fill stations.

Zion National Park Brew Pub

Accommodations and Dining at Zion National Park

As with most National Parks, there are a variety of options when it comes to accommodations. Hotels, motels and cabins abound in the neighbouring towns with Zion Lodge being the only hotel located inside of the park.

Zion has two campgrounds of its own, which offer car-style camping but no showers. Backcountry camping is also allowed, but permits must be obtained from the park rangers at the information station.

For those who wish to bring their pets, be warned that Zion National Park only allows dogs on one of its trails, and they are forbidden from the rest of the park. Because of this, many accommodations also do not allow pets. Make sure to check the current policies before you pack up your furry friend.

Located directly outside of the gate of Zion is an RV and tent camping site which offers free showers and is central to an in-town shuttle stop.

I highly recommend this location. My husband and I tent camped, and our site was private, near the river, came equipped with a picnic table, grill and fire pit and was conveniently located across the street from several fabulous restaurants (most notably the Spotted Dog) for the nights we decided to skip dinner over the fire.

For the nights we did decide to cook, the general store located at the entrance of the park contained easy grill food, a surprisingly abundant choice of gourmet cheeses and even replacement camping gear as our camp stove failed to make it into the car and our tent was missing a pole. We appreciated its convenient location and reasonable prices.

The most popular hikes at Zion National Park

While there are many great hikes off the beaten track at Zion, my husband and I focused on the most popular hikes of the park for our first visit. The following four hikes can be accessed via trailheads which are all stops along the free in-park shuttle.

Zion National Park Angel’s Landing

Angel’s Landing

Consisting of a 5 mile round trip up 21 switchbacks, through a narrow canyon and topped with a .5 mile hand-over-hand boulder and chain crawl along a ridge which is at times 3 feet wide and 1,200 feet to the canyon floor, Angel’s Landing is Zion’s most popular hike as well as its most thrilling.

Not for the faint of heart or for those with a fear of heights, but for all others in search of a challenge and iconic view down the canyon, make it part of your must do list. It is listed as strenuous, and in the heat of summer, temperatures can reach to over 100 degrees, so remember to bring water. Rangers advise at least 2 liters per person per hike to combat the desert heat.

The Narrows

Zion National Park - The NarrowsDebated as one of the best trails in all of the National Park System, the Narrows offers an unusual hike for nature enthusiasts. The term trail is misleading, as it is actually a walk up and down a canyon, in the river.

Depending on the time of year, hikers will spend 60-70% of the hike ankle, knee, waist or shoulder deep in water.

The canyon soars hundreds of feet above you and is at times 30 feet from wall to wall. There is a danger of flash floods and sections of the trail with no high ground, so it is best to be prepared and check with the rangers regarding weather conditions for the day.

There are two ways to hike the Narrows, either as an up and back day hike or a through hike. Up and back hikers can travel 6 miles up and back without obtaining a backcountry permit.

For those wishing to hike the entire 16 miles of the trail, obtain a permit from the information center, and consider making it a two day camping adventure.

The Zion Adventure Company offers rental equipment for this hike, including canyoneering shoes, neoprene socks, walking sticks, dry bags and dry suits for cooler weather. They also offer maps and tips for the hike.

Emerald Pools

Located near the middle of the park, the Emerald Pools is actually made up of three trails, the lower pool, middle pool and upper pool, with the lower pool being the easiest and the upper pool being the most challenging.

All three trails are connected and it is easy to incorporate them all into one long hike if you wish, the entirety which should only take a couple of hours. Those hikers interested in only the challenging trails should not skip the lower pools however, as they offer a walk behind a 100 foot waterfall.

Zion National Park - Emerald Pools

Watchman’s Trail

Not advertised on the shuttle service (as its trailhead is located behind the visitor’s center) this little jewel was recommended to me by a regular Zion hiker. Barely used, this trail is a contrast to the highly popular Angel’s Landing, Narrows and Emerald Pools, and walkers get to feel that they are discovering Zion as its first visitors.

This hike is moderately difficult in its climb (450 foot gain), and can be hot, so remember to bring water. Because of its light usage, we encountered much more wildlife on this trail, and were often tripping victims of scurrying lizards.

The top of the trail opens up on a plateau with a circular hike allowing views of different parts of the valley with every turn a photographic opportunity.

Other Activities

Hiking is not for everyone, and Zion National Park offers trails which are wheelchair accessible and lookout points which are only a hundred feet from the shuttle stops. The park also offers trail rides from their stables located at the trailhead for the Emerald Pools, and an air conditioned IMAX theater.

The Zion Adventure Company rents tubes and coordinates rides for the adventurer who would rather float than climb.

Happy traveling!

Destination Morocco: Maroc N Roll 2016

Marocn rollIt is this time of the year again that you have to choose a destination for you summer holidays.

You have worked hard, you saved a bit of money, not enough but you are getting there. However, you can’t make up your mind where to go for your summer vacations.

You have looked into many brochures, you searched on-line but they all look the same boring package holidays, there is nothing exiting for you.

Not anymore we have a suggestion for you “ Maroc N Roll 2016 ”

“ Maroc N Roll 2016 ” will take place next summer between the 4th and the 21st of June. It is a 2 to 3 week road trip around Morocco, a group of 20 plus travelers will be taking part in this adventure. Staying in a variety of accommodations from rooftop terraces to desert hotels, Berber tents and even sleeping under the stars.

The trip has been organized and run by Barney and Lizzie who are both former students of Oxford Brookes University. Most of the participants of the trip are 18 to 35 year old but all are welcome as long as they have a healthy sense of humour and a love of adventure travel.

Maroc N Roll 2016 bus

The highest mountain in North Africa; the largest desert in the world; goats that climb trees; a camel burger; a camel ride (not the same camel ;), big jumps off waterfalls and camping out with nomads. These are just a fraction of what’s on offer in this summer’s Maroc N Roll 2016 adventure!

Highlights include

  • Sahara desert camel trek
  • 100 ft. waterfalls of Ouzoud
  • Climbing North Africa’s highest mountain Toubkal
  • Shopping in the markets of Marrakech
  • Atlantic coast beaches
  • Rock climbing in the magnificent Todra Gorge
  • Quad biking, horse riding, wind surfing….and much much more…

camel riding at Maroc N Roll 2016

“ Maroc N Roll 2016 ” Full Itinerary

Day 1-3 What better place to start a trip than on a beach – Essouaria, a great surfing town on the windy Atlantic coast this is the perfect spot to start our trip.

Horse riding, quad biking, surfing and wind surfing are all options here where we stay together in one huge apartment in the centre of the old medina.

Day 4  Marrakech – for those of you still wondering at the wonderful sunsets on the beach and the lapping of the waves on your toes…wake up!!

This is Marrakech – one of the most vibrant and hectic cities in the world. Keep your wits about you or we’ll lose you to the never ending market souks where you can buy anything from a Magic carpet to a talking chameleon. Staying on the rooftops of Hotel Ali looking out over the famous Jemma Fna square

Toubkal mountain in North Africa - Maroc N Roll 2016

Day 5-6  Toubkal is North Africa’s highest mountain and at half the height of Everest this is no picnic. It takes 2 days and nights to summit but for those of you that make it it’s worth every enduring step!

There’s no experience or equipment needed here, it’s a simple case of mind over matter as you head past tiny Berber villages and up the slopes of the High Atlas mountains before sleeping at the base camp and making your final push for the summit through the odd pile of snow left over from the winter.

Day 7   Back to Marrakech to rest and recuperate – you’ll need it.

Maroc N Roll 2016 jumping in the waterfalls

Day 8-9  Cascades D’ouzoud – the largest waterfalls in Morocco these are really spectacular. Over 100 ft. high and surrounded by campsites and restaurants you can even take a tiny boat and get rowed into the falls themselves – as long as you don’t mind getting wet!

We’ll be staying in some Berber tents down below the falls giving us a great view for 2 days whiling away the time jumping off high things or exploring the pathways on foot.

Day 10  Ait Benhaddou – ‘Hollywood of Morocco’ this is the setting of numerous movies and TV including ‘Gladiator’, ‘Babel’ ‘Kingdom of Heaven’ and more recently ‘Game of Thrones’. One night here sleeping on the rooftops before heading towards the desert.

Day 11-12  Todra Gorge – A couple of hours from the desert and we’re in a completely different setting but just as stunning. A huge gorge in the rocks here opens up to offer spectacular views and some great climbing opportunities. Ropes, helmets and harnesses supplied for those of you wanting to scale the cliffs.

For the rest of you just chill out by the pool washing the sand off yourselves from the desert or walk through the beautiful palmery that covers the river bed below.

Maroc N Roll 2016 Sahara desert

Day 13   Sahara & Erfoud – Arriving in the desert kingdom of Erfoud we’ll have lunch a look around this interesting ‘gateway to the desert’ town. Then in the afternoon we’ll head off to Merzouga where we chill out in a plush hotel with swimming pool before our night in the dunes commences.

If a night in the dunes just isn’t for you then yes you can stay in the plush hotel for the same price as the camel trek. As evening draws in it’s off road into the desert by camel for a 2 hour trek into the dunes.

Sleeping under the stars or in a bed – the choice is yours – you’ll dine in the dunes before sleeping then waking up to the sun creeping over the sand. Leaving before it gets too hot out here we head back with our camels for our next adventure.

Maroc N Roll 2016 crossing the desert by bus

Day 14   Camping with the Nomads. Now that you’re familiar with the culture let’s go and meet some locals, and enjoy their hospitality. Heading south towards the desert we’ll stop over and camp under the stars surrounded by forests where you may well spot a monkey or two as well as learn to make some bread or weave a carpet nomad style.

Day 15-17   Chefchaouen – Hidden in the Rif mountains and only really visible once you are upon it, Chefchaoeun is a stunningly beautiful, chilled out blue and white village where we begin our adventure.

A day trip to paradise falls here in Akchour make this an unforgettable way to start the journey and bring you gently into the dramatic culture change from Europe to North Africa. Staying in a small hotel in the centre of the town.

The Overlanders

Day 18   Heading back to London from Tangier or Rabat on the coast.

This is not a holiday, this is the travel adventure of a life time.

So you better hurry up as places are getting filled up really quickly.

For more information on how to book your “Moroc N Roll 2016” adventure please contact Barney and Lizzie on Facebook.

 

Maroc N Roll 2016  https://www.facebook.com/events/1035610683137415/

The Overlanders  https://www.facebook.com/foreveroverland/

 

Six autumn days on the beautiful island of Crete

 

The beautiful island of Crete

A late October escape to the beautiful island of Crete begins with my arrival in Chania. My gamble to visit the island so late in the season seems to be blessed by the Ancient Gods, as the sweet Aegean sun is still most definitely shining in this part of the Mediterranean; the summer hordes of holiday tourists have long since departed and the island is begging to be explored.

Base camp for this autumn adventure, the ancient and “off the beaten track” village of Aptera, situated on the north-west coast of Crete between the towns of Souda and Kalives. Aptera lies approximately 13 km east of Chania. A hidden treasure of a location; unspoilt, and unique in its rich history and local hospitality.

Home to two importantAptera Castle and impressive historical sites. The ruins of the Ancient City of Aptera and the Fortress of Sousbasi, also known as Koules of Aptera. Both sites just a stone’s throw walk away from the Aptera Hotel, a small family run complex of modern studio apartments, with a most spectacular view of Souda Bay and the White Mountains.

Traditionally furnished, spacious, self-catering apartments, well equipped, with all necessary amenities and complementary Wi-Fi access.

A place to call home after a long day out, on the road, mountain or beach out exploring Crete and all it has to offer its guests.

With the relatively short time I have to spend on the island a hire car is a must, as I wish to see as much as one can possibly see in Crete and the freedom of having your own transport to accommodate your schedule offers a freedom of possibilities and destinations.Aptera cisterns

The island roads are well maintained and destinations for the most part well signposted.

The first port of call is the Old Town of Chania and its famed Venetian built harbour. The quaint narrow shopping streets and waterfront restaurants, all housed in old buildings of Venetian or Turkish design make you feel like you’ve stepped back in time.

I recommend taking a lengthy stroll through the town, taking in all the sights, sounds and smells it has to offer – which are plentiful. Then pick a spot to rest, order a meze and some tsikoudia (the Cretan raki drink) and watch the world go by, the backdrop of the Venetian lighthouse and the Mosque of Yiali Tzami is sure to make the moment magical.

My second day in Chania, Crete is spent exploring the local area. In the morning I set off by foot, a visit to the ruins of the Ancient City of Aptera and the Fortress of Sousbasi. What a nice way to start ones day.

I won’t lie, I’m no history buff and I’m not here on a quest to enhance my knowledge of history and classical antiquities but my mornings walk through the Roman ruins has been a wonderful, serene experience and the views from the top of the hill have stolen my heart.

The most impressive monument on the site, in my humble opinion, is the impressively preserved Roman cisterns which have survived centuries and earthquakes galore in order for me to feel like Lara Croft exploring them.

The Fortress is also astonishingly well preserved and an imposing landmark I can look to in awe, in order to guide myself back to Aptera if I find myself geographically challenged during my travels.

I then travel by car, to explore the neighbouring villages of Kalives and Almyrida, the October sun still guiding my travels, I take a stroll in Kalives and stop foSamaria Gorger a coffee, astonished to still see tourists still swimming in the crystal blue waters so late in the Autumn season.

I then drive a few kilometres east to Almyrida where I stop for fresh fish and glass of wine, watching the sun set and planning my adventure to Samaria Gorge the following day.

An avid adventurer and a keen walker the main reason I wanted to visit Crete was to walk the famous Samaria Gorge. Knowing that visits to the National Park are only allowed from the beginning of May to the end of October and fully aware that weather this time of year may very well take a turn for the worse, I was keen to attempt to cross the Gorge as soon as possible.

Research taught me that the usual way to “do the Gorge” was to take an organised tour, from Chania by bus to the starting point of Omalos, travelling through breath-taking mountain scenery, and then departing on the beautiful yet treacherous 13km trek through the Gorge, arriving in Agia Roumeli some 5-6 hours later.

The only way to then leave Agia Roumeli, which is only accessible by foot, and return to Chania is by boat via Chora Sfakion or alternatively to Sougia. This is the usual way to pass the Samaria Gorge.

However if you’re up for a challenge and are physically able to, there is another way. Drive to Omalos in your own hire car, arrive early, (you can call the Park Rangers the previous evening to confirm opening time on +30 28210 67179), pay your 5 euro entrance fee and depart on a most adventurous and exciting journey of a lifetime.

Kri-Kri Samaria GeorgeWalk through well-trodden paths, with plentiful water stops, take in the stunning scenery and stop off to say hello to the Kri Kri (indigenous to Crete and protected species of mountain goat), walk joyful mile after mile, appreciating the wilderness along the way.

You arrive in Agia Roumeli, take a well-earned break and then … well you walk back up to Omalos again! The Park Rangers give a guideline time of this route of 10 hours, so if you are trusting of your ability to undertake such a walk and allow plentiful time you can appreciate the Gorge twice fold and experience both routes.

Only the last 4km are of a significant physical challenge, where the gradient increase rises back up to 1236m quite rapidly and unforgivingly. Those with weak knees should not attempt this. Walking the Gorge in late October, providing the weather is on your side is an unprecedented experience. No long queues of busloads of tourists littering the way, fair weather and a sense of achievement await those who go to Samaria.

Fourth day in Crete and understandably after the challenging walk down and back up Samaria Gorge it is a relatively easy going day. A nice, easy going, excursion to Lake Kournas just 30 minutes away from Aptera, provides an ideal location to relax, recuperate and take a slow pedalo journey across the mystical mountain lake.

lake cournas

An afternoon visit to Souda and the Souda Commonwealth War Cemetery is a worthwhile drive, to pay respects to the fallen soldiers of past Word Wars. A serene, beautiful and peaceful place of rest, worthy of our respect and reflection.

A visit to Rethymnon, another stunning Venetian built harbour town of Crete, greets my fifth day on the island. After a walk up Mt Vrisina a few kilometres north of the town, where poor weather now prevents summiting, a rainy October walk leads me into town.

There I seek refuge one of the towns welcoming and hospitable tavernas and pass away the time, sharing stories and travel experiences with other travellers.

My final day in Crete beckons me to try my luck walking another Gorge, this time the Gorge of Agia Eirini, inland towards Sougia. The lesser known sister of Samaria Gorge is a much easier trek of 7km down a gradient of 500metres.

Agia Eirini Gorge

Alas the previous day’s rains have made the Gorge impassable after the 3rd kilometre so the planned journey is cut short. Onwards and upwards through mountains to the beautiful southern seaside town of Sougia, where the sun is still shining and people are still swimming in its luscious bays.

There I stop off to walk along the shore, watch fishermen head out to sea with their boats and feed local stray cats the leftovers of my most delicious fish supper.

My six autumn days on Crete have too swiftly come to an end. What a diverse, lovely landscape I have been treated to in the last few days. What generous, hospitable and honourable people I have met along my travels. One thing is for sure, I will return to the beautiful island of Crete as my journey here is far from complete.

To be continued….


Travel blog by El MEl Mitropoulouitropoulou.

Travelling solo around the Globe, seeking adventure and challenge.

Namaste

Good news from Greece! Greek tourism is UP!!

Good news from Greece

Greece Infinite Inspiring Amazing

Good news from Greece, after a rough 2012 when tourists, scared off by political and social unrest and images of protests, strike and riots stayed away in droves, 2013 is shaping up to be a rebound year with more than a million more visitors than last year expected.

The good news came from the head of the Association of Hellenic Tourism Enterprises, Andreas Andreadis, who spoke to the Bank of Greece shareholders’ meeting on Feb. 25.

Andreadis said figures show that the British market is reporting a rise of 20 percent, and the markets of Germany, France and the Scandinavian countries displaying growth of 15 percent.

Developing tourism markets such as Russia, Ukraine, Israel and Turkey are also showing a rise in demand, leading to an increase of more than 20 percent in the number of seats available, he said, according to the newspaper Kathimerini.

Andreadis cautioned though that there are concerns about the markets of Italy, Spain and Bulgaria, as their financial troubles may cut back on visitors traveling from those countries. He said there has been increased interest in maritime and cruise tourism, though incoming conference tourism remains somewhat lackluster because Athens and Thessaloniki are not seen as favorable destinations.

Good news from Greece - Holidays in Santorini

Holidays in Santorini

Domestic tourism isn’t looking good though as Greeks buried under austerity measures are cutting back or giving up on visiting their own land. Last year Greeks spent only 1.5 billion euros ($1.98 billion) in Greece, half of the levels of the pre-economic crisis year of 2008. He said a further decline, although smaller, is expected this year.

Andreadis added that the targets of 17 million foreign tourists and 11 billion euros ($14.4 billion) in revenues from tourism are likely to be attained or even exceeded. Should a few crucial measures be taken, he noted, Greek tourism could in the next two to three years reach up to 20 million visitors, adding some 3 percent to the country’s faltering Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and tens of thousands of new jobs.

The Greek news agency AMNA reported that he also said tourism is  strong supporter of the Greek economy after achieving its targets of attracting 16 million international arrivals and 10 billion euros in tourism receipts last year, although that was less than the previous year and achieved despite the crisis.

Andreadis said that annual investments worth 2.5 billion euros ($3.27 billion) were needed to raise tourism’s contribution to 40 percent of the country’s future economic growth. He said it could be attained stressed that the first 11 significant new investment plans were currently under licensing procedures by Greek authorities.

Meteora Greece

Meteora Greece

Promotion of an ambitious privatization program and the sale or lease of idle tourist real estate assets by banks were also expected to help towards achieving this year, he noted, although the country’s international lenders say the expectations are far below projections.

He said it was critical  to speed up procedures for visa issuing, reducing the 23 percent Value Added Tax (VAT) on the restaurant industry to 13 pct and of the VAT on coastal shipping to 13 pct, with the goal of reducing a VAT on tourism to 6.5 pct.

Source: http://greece.greekreporter.com

Indian Cuisine: A Food Lover’s Guide to India

Indian cuisine - a variety of Indian spices

A variety of Indian spices

Modern day explorers are taking a cue from Christopher Columbus’s original itinerary and setting their sights on a direct route to India. The country known for its diverse geography, colourful landscape and distinctive culture is fast becoming a holiday hot spot for the world’s adventure seekers.

Indian cuisine often reflects the country’s cultural and geographic variations, but despite the differences, the creative use of spices always serves as a common thread that binds the country together. Experiencing the dishes that makes each region of the country famous is certainly one of the best ways to enjoy India holidays.

North Indian Cuisine
The geography and associated agricultural products of each Indian region serve as an appetising palette for India’s culinary creations. North Indian cuisine, prepared in the country’s states of Kashmir, Punjab and Rahasthan, offer visitors a taste of India that includes spicy meat dishes as well as those prepared with rich creams.

North Indian dishes are influenced by popular religious beliefs of the people, and lamb is used in many of the meat dishes instead of beef or pork.

East Indian Cuisine
Ingredients used in East Indian dishes, such as those found in the state of Orissa, heavily reflect its coastal environment. Fish and shellfish are used extensively in these mildly spiced regional dishes. Common spices used to flavour vegetable dishes are cumin, fenugreek and mustard while turmeric is also used for mild curry meat dishes.

West Bengal, another East Indian state, provides a spicier contrast to Orissa. Its vegetable, rice, lentil and fish dishes make extensive use of chillies as well as other regional spices.

West Indian Cuisine

The dishes and food preparation methods of West India cuisine may contain the most internal variations than all the regions of India. The region known as the Konkan coast provides a picturesque setting during one’s India holidays to enjoy seafood dishes often flavoured with locally grown coconuts.

West India dishes range from extremely spicy to relatively subdued.

South Indian Cuisine

The cuisine of South India includes rice-based dishes flavoured with chutneys of varying levels of spice and heat. South Indian food often uses lentils and legumes, particularly the popular chickpea. Chickpeas are used whole as well as ground to flour for traditional baked goods. Sweets play a prominent role in the culture of the people of South India regions; visitors may sample tasty pastries and rich sweetened rice fritters.

One of the best things about Indian food is that it is so accommodating to many different dietary preferences. Vegetarians find a host of delicious meal options available in most regions while non-vegetarians are never at a loss for a healthy, varied menu either.

Indians are not only extremely skilled at weaving together the complex blends of spices needed to produce their tasty dishes, but they also happen to enjoy the process very much. Becoming an official tourist taste tester is certainly a way to win new friends and maybe even learn a secret recipe or two while on India holidays.

Author: A food lover’s guide to India was writen by Tom Browne who visited India in 2012.  India holidays are an explosion of colours, scents and tastes and Tom instantly fell in love with the unforgettable cuisine on offer.

Vietnam Tips – A First Timer’s Travel Guide

Going on Vietnam holidays for the first time is extremely exciting, but can also have you wondering what to expect. So many thoughts about the weather, the culture, and what it will be like when you get there, may make you a little nervous. So here we gathered some great Vietnam tips for you. Knowing more information about Vietnam can help lessen these nerves, allowing you to relax and look forward to your trip.

Vietnam Tips

Hoi An in Vietnam

The weather varies greatly depending on the area in which you are planning on spending your Vietnam holidays. If you have chosen to stay in the Northern hills area, you will want to make sure that you pack warm clothes, its cold and it snows during the winter months.

In stark contrast the south of Vietnam is extremely hot, getting up to forty degrees Celsius, and is very dry. Parts of the country around the Mekong Delta are warm all year. If you determine exactly where you will be spending your time and what time of the year you will be going, then  you can then pinpoint the type of weather and temperatures you will be staying in.

Vietnamese people are most often friendly and willing to help if you are lost or need assistance with something. In some parts of the country, the locals may watch you and be curious about you and where you came from. They may not go out of their way to help you if you look like you are lost, but if you ask them a question with a smile on your face; they will likely give you an answer and return the smile.

While on your Vietnam holidays, there are several ways to get around. You can choose to take a taxi, ride the bus, or rent a motorcycle. When taking a taxi, try to stay aware of where you are going. Knowing certain points along the way to your destination will help to ensure that the driver is not taking the long way around in order to charge you more.

Riding a motorcycle is one of the most popular ways of getting around in Vietnam. If you do not know how to ride a motorcycle, this is not the time or place to learn. There are not many things scarier than riding on a motorcycle and having others pass you by with just a few inches of space between you and them.

Vietnam Holiday

A Vietnamese local

There is so much to see and do while in Vietnam. Remember that you are on your Vietnam holidays and you should take in everything you can while there. Enjoy yourself, relax and have fun. We hope you enjoyed our Vietnam tips and when you get back from your holidays drop us a line with your Vietnam tips.

Author: Travel writer Tom Browne visited the Far East in 2012. He wished to give first time visitors some useful information about this rich culture and landscape before they embarked upon their own Vietnam holidays.

A Photo Guide to the Northern Lights

Have you ever looked into the sky and had the galaxy gaze back?

The Northern Lights, also known as Aurora Borealis, are a breathtaking natural phenomena and one of the undoubted highlights of many Iceland holidays. But you’ll want to be careful during your travels: The lights are fleeting and rare, so to make sure you catch them, you’ll want to choose a destination that ensures the greatest chance of success. Click here to read more »