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The Northwest impressed me with the most majestic mountainous scenery. We went through five provinces located in the Northwest region during five days this year. We passed over 1000 km by experiencing Vietnam by motorbike, went for trekking to A Pa Chai – the West pole, had a view of terraced rice fields in Mu Cang Chai and Sapa in fog and conquered three of “Four great passes” in the North.

All of our Northwest Traveling Schedule, Experience and Expense in August are shared in this post. I hope that they will be useful for travelers who desire to drive on challenging and majestic mountain roads.

Preparation

Roadmap 

Google map is the best choice. It’s necessary to save topographic maps, offline maps and mark some destinations on road.

Budget

Our estimated expense would be around 2,000,000 – 2,500,000 VND/person. We separated cash, ATM cards and kept in different things like backpacks or brought along with us. (Detailed budget included at the end of this article). 

Identification

ID, Passport and driving license were put in different things. These are significant for the flight back, motorbike or hotel rent, etc.

Gear

  •  3/4 or full-face helmet was compulsory for the safety. Armor protection also needed.
  • A raincoat set per traveler, raincoat for backpack
  • Sleeping Bag
  • Ties to fasten backpack and sleeping bag
  • Technology devices and backup battery and members’ phone numbers as well.
  • Snacks and dry food.
  • Drinking water and gasoline reserves

Flights

All four of us were from Ho Chi Minh city, so we decided to fly to Noi Bai airport at night and return Ho Chi Minh city in the early morning after five days wandering through the Northwest.

Vietnam has three major flag carriers. The price is fairly cheap at Traveloka VietNam Consider VietJet Air  and Vietnam Airlines

Schedule

Total distance is approximately 1041 km.

Day 0: Sai Gon – Hanoi

Sapa in a shining day (on the far side, Hoang Lien Son range and Fansipan summit appeared)

Sapa in a shining day (on the far side, Hoang Lien Son range and Fansipan summit appeared)

Day 1: Sapa – O Quy Ho pass – Muong Te – Pac Ma (242 km). Maps did not show a road segment in day 2. From Muong Te, the route should have been Muong Te – Pac Ma – Chung Chai – A Pa Chai, but Muong Te – Muong Nhe – A Pa Chai as in the map).

Silver Fall

Silver Fall

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affordablehousingkohsamui

Thanks to its exotic weather with year-round sunshine, glossy and soft sandy beaches, high-end attractions, restaurants, hotels, and incredible experiences; Thailand is loved by many foreigners who decide to extend their stay in this country after their first visit. If you are one of them then keep on reading to learn how to afford to live like a resident in Koh Samui;  one of the most popular islands in Thailand with local traditions and modern activities. This is a gorgeous place with fantastic and contrasting mixtures of several activities for anyone.

Long Term Apartment for Rent in Samui

You can choose either an affordable Thai style apartment or a luxurious house according to your wallet and interests. You can live well in Koh Samui on a budget of $1,800 to $2,200 a month. If you decide to rent a smaller house and do shopping in the local market then you’ll save much money.  The best thing about this island is that it is full of gorgeous beaches around to rent your dream apartment. 

Renting apartments in Samui is so popular because per the property ownership rights for foreigners in Thailand there are several things to be considered regarding visas to continue living in the country. Visas need to be renewed every year. The best way to find affordable, long-term apartments on Koh Samui is by driving around the island looking for rental signs or by word-of-mouth. The majority of travel agencies offer apartments only for short-term tourists and they are generally expensive. If you do that research yourself you’ll find out many properties that are not listed with local real estate agencies. One of Koh Samui’s most popular expat areas where you can find the desired is Bophut. It’s a northeastern town with a slow pace of life. Another advantage of this place is that it’s near the Samui International Airport, which makes the life easier and more convenient.

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elvinAre you planning to go on a vacation with your family or unaccompanied? What kind of weather do you love to spend your free time out – winter or summer? Some people really want to escape from the cold weather and spend quality time with their dear ones somewhere warm, whereas some love the ice cold weather and plan out a vacation accordingly. Along with weather there are a lot of things to consider while planning a vacation like transportation, luggage & sometimes travel insurance

January – The Yucatán Road Trip

Filled up with several name-brand restaurants and resorts, the Yucatán road-trip is the best place to visit in the month of January if you want the real taste of the real colonial Mexico. Although the season remains quite high in January, you can literally enjoy significantly lower prices as compared to those in the peak months – December and March.

Important Tip: You must visit Apoala for your lunch that costs about $6, inclusive of drinks, in case you’re looking to save money for other interests of yours.

February – Mont-Tremblant, Quebec for Skiing

Since the beginning of 2015, the price of U.S. dollar, in comparison to the Canadian dollar, has risen over 12 percent. Consequently, the skiing option in the mountains of Mont-Tremblant, Quebec is now available with a significant discount of 30 percent in comparison to that of its competitors, viz. Killington in Vermont, United States.

Important Tip: Make sure you visit Nansen, amongst 96 trails of the mountain, 3.7 miles run overlooking the village and the Lake Tremblant.

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chefchaouen_franx

Why save all your vacation fantasizing for the summer? In fact, why fantasize at all? Many of the world’s most exotic locations are no longer so desirable or accessible. Far from being the exclusive domain of the rich and famous, stunning locations from St. Lucia to Saint-Tropez are today enjoyed by us ordinary folk, as we learn to take advantage of increasingly favorable deals on flights and accommodation, not to mention the bareboat charter / cruise industry and all it has to offer.

Here are some of the destinations that perhaps you’d have been unable to enjoy yesteryear, but you can now explore by virtue of the fast-changing world of travel.

Morocco

Located just a few miles south of Spain, Morocco has long been an adventurer’s paradise. Starting from northern Morocco make your way to the blue city of Chefchaouen. Here just about every building in the Rif Mountain town is painted blue. Take a brief walk to the town church in order to sip on freshly squeezed orange juice as you feast your eyes on one of the most stunning views of this utterly enchanting town. After your colourful trip to Chef, journey to the historic city of Fez. Here you’ll find the oldest university in the world located in one of the oldest in-tact medinas. If you get lost enough in the UNESCO-protected medina of Fes el Bali you might just find your way to the world-renowned tanneries.

Sailing Around the Caribbean

When we leave our minds to wander we tend to give life to the many what-ifs that leave us paranoid and petrified in our tracks. A Caribbean bareboat charter might sound like an impossible dream to some, but it is in fact a fast-growing alternative break for friends and families, who get the chance to see some of the planet’s most photogenic islands, while enjoying some of the world’s best snorkeling. And even if you have been lucky enough to experience this part of the world before, nothing quite compares to the sense of freedom and magic that a bareboat charter can give you. Amazing waters, amazing fishing, amazing sailing!

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There’s nothing quite like being on the road, seeing incredible landscapes, stumbling upon offbeat spots, and stopping in small towns. Road tripping is a glorious American tradition, one that inspires carefreeness in us. It’s also an unforgettable way to bond with new girlfriends, reconnect with old ones, or simply squeeze in alone time.

Image courtesy of Patxi Izkue under Creative Commons License (CC BY 2.0)

From majestic Alaska to big sky Montana and idyllic Massachusetts, the country is every woman’s oyster for epic adventures on the open road. So pack your RV rental, and get ready for the journey of a lifetime.

Anchorage to Valdez, Alaska

Drive north on AK-1, which meanders along Matanuska River, from Anchorage then south on Highway 4 to Valdez. This 300-mile route is one of Alaska’s most scenic drives, rewarding travelers with panoramas of mighty glaciers, peaks and lakes. As a fitting finale, a series of lovely waterfalls waves you past in Keystone Canyon outside Valdez.

Historic Columbia River Highway, Oregon

The 75-mile Colombia River Highway in Oregon is the first ever planned scenic roadway in the US. That fact alone makes this drive a worthy addition to any road trip list. The breathtaking views of the Columbia River and the Cascade Mountains it offers make it a memorable one. Essential stops include the Crown Point and the Bridge of the Gods.

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