HCM City-based VinPimgrimage Co has launched the first Buddhist pilgrimage tour, offering a chance to explore the religion, to learn skills of living freely and peacefully, to practise meditation and to worship Buddha within the tranquil atmosphere of pagodas.
The pagodas tourist will visit during these tours include Hue Nghiem in HCM City s District 2, Vinh Trang in Tien Giang, Ngoc Vien in Vinh Long, Kh Leang and Doi (Bats) pagodas in Soc Trang, Quan Am in Can Tho, and Phat Lon and Van Linh in An Giang.
400-year-old temple turtle mended
The specimen of a 400-year-old turtle, which has been kept at Sword Lake s Ngoc Son Temple since 1968, was mended last week by experts from the Ha Noi University of Natural Sciences. Vu Ngoc Thanh, from the University said the specimen is in good shapes but mould had developed inside the glass box. He added the materials used for the repair are gypsum, latex and glue.
Da Nang preps for fireworks fest
Five teams have registered for the third international fireworks competition which will be held in Da Nang on March 29. The organising board will build a 20,000-seat pavillion and issue 10,000 tickets, costing VND200,000 each for tourists, and another 20,000 free tickets for guests. Professional art programmes will also take place during the event.
Cyclists invited to hit the road
The HCM City-based Viking Travel and Media has launched a special tour to Cambodia and Thailand by bicycle with the first tour to kick off in HCM City on March 15. To participate in the tour, travellers will have to ride 960 km between HCM City and Bangkok, before flying back to HCM City on the 11th day.
The 11-day tour costs US$550 per tourist who will travel on their own bicycle, excluding an air ticket from Bangkok to HCM City of $200-250 per passenger. According to the company s director Tran Xuan Hung, 12 travellers, all being businessmen, have booked for the first tour. He added the tour operator only accepts bookings from from travellers who have experiences of biking and good health as in some days [of the tour], travellers must ride for 150km.
Tet tour prices on the rise
As the number of travelers booking overseas tours is 25-30 per cent higher than the same period of the last year, air carriers have announced that they are charging higher fees.
Viettravel said airfares for popular tours to Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand has increased by 35-45 per cent over ordinary days, which has led to a higher tour fee. Ha Noi Redtour said that airfares for traveling to Thailand have increased to US$120 and then further to $160 compared with the usual prices of $80. The airfares to Hong Kong and Singapore have also seen similar increases. The airfare for Ha Noi-Hong Kong flight, which is normally between $120-140 has risen to $180, while the airfare to Singapore has increased by $40.
As the result, Ben Thanh Tourism asked travel firms to raise tour fees. Travelers to Thailand will have to pay $420-430 for the trip at Tet, compared with normal fee of $260-270. VNS