Vietnam Travel Tour: Planning a Peaceful Invasion

Perhaps for most of us, Vietnam is more likely to be associated with epic war films due to its historical background. But there’s more to it than being a mere battleground in movies. Its rich culture intermingled with breath taking highlands and terraces, pristine beaches and diverse island landscapes make it an ideal option for the next big adventure trip. Thus from north to south, here’s a ‘debriefing’ travel guide for you to conquer Vietnam’s top tourist attractions.

Infiltration and Timing

There are two approaches in ‘invading’ Vietnam, landing by plane in Hanoi and going south, or through Saigon heading north. Moving in and around the country can be through buses, trains or domestic flights. The optimal season to visit northern Vietnam is from May until October during summertime as winter times are cold and gloomy. Meanwhile, December to April is the best time to drop by the southern part as this is the dry season of the year.

Conquering Strategic Sites

Starting from Hanoi which is the country’s capital, one immediate jump-off is the Hoan Kiem Lake, which means “Lake of the Restored Sword”. This beautiful lake is one of the foremost scenic spots in the metropolis being embedded with a rich cultural history. Approximately 165 kilometers northeast from Hanoi is the Ha Long Bay. It is set in a 120 kilometer long coast line and literally means “Bay of Descending Dragons”. Being the top tourist attraction in Vietnam, Ha Long Bay comprises more than a thousand islands, each capped with abundant jungle vegetation, forming a fascinating seascape of limestone pillars. Some of the islands are hollow, having enormous caves within. No wonder it is among the UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Numerous travel tour companies provide packages for cruising the bay.

Meanwhile, located near the Chinese border northwest of Vietnam is the Fansipan Mountain, which is the highest peak in all Indochina at 3,143 metres. Also, Sa Pa rice terraces can be found situated in the Muong Hoa valley, between Sa Pa town and the Fansipan mountain. Local tour companies will arrange hikes to both the rice terraces and summit taking a few days.

Going Further South

Marching downward the map, one should not miss the tallest pagoda in Vietnam, the Thien Mu Pagoda. Comprising seven stories high, it overlooks the Perfume River and is considered as the unofficial representation of the former imperial capital. Then, next stop is the fishing village of Hoi An situated on the South China Sea coast. It is commonly called the “Venice of Vietnam” because of the narrow canals that traverse part of the town.

Advancing further down, Nha Trang is Vietnam’s most popular seaside resort town positioned along the second most outstanding bays in the country. It also happens to be the country’s scuba diving capital. It features beautiful beaches with pristine sand and crystal clear water.

Don’t forget to pass by the Cu Chi Tunnels. They are an immense network of underground connecting tunnels located roughly 40 km northwest of Saigon. They were utilized by the Viet Cong guerrillas as hiding places during the Vietnam War. They have now become a favorite tourist attraction in Vietnam.

Take a glimpse of how life is in the Mekong Delta, a region in southern Vietnam which is a very rich and lush area that produces nearly half of Vietnam’s agricultural output. Interestingly, all the villages are often accessible by river rather than taking the road.

Before the battle is to be won, plant your victory flag in Phu Quoc, the largest island in Vietnam located in front of Cambodia. The island’s features and intact coral reefs will surely calm your wary soul. One of its beaches, named Bai Dai (Long Beach), was even selected by the ABC News as one of the five clean and beautiful beaches. Phu Quoc is also known for producing the best nuoc mam or fermented fish sauce in the world. Sounds fishy? Take the Vietnam travel tour challenge and see for yourself.

Cheap Car Insurance and Car Safety – Loss of Driving Licence

The loss of a driving licence can be both a hugely practical problem for a number of people and a very costly process in terms of having to compensate for not having a licence and the cost of insurance for your car or motor vehicle when you eventually receive your licence back. Most people assume that you lose your licence mainly as the result of a drink-driving conviction. This can certainly be true but there are many other circumstances where it is possible to have your licence revoked, suspended or taken away from you any length of time.

There will normally be a proviso either in statute or on your licence that stipulates you must be in good health in order to have a driving licence. This means in effect that if your health changes in certain circumstances you are under an obligation to notify the authorities. This may result in them taking your licence away or requiring you to have certain medical tests at certain period of time that will determine whether your medical condition affects your ability to drive and not. It is difficult to generalise about what medical conditions are because is normally the severity of the condition rather than the condition itself that determines the approach that the authorities will take.

As an example if your eyesight deteriorates significantly over any period of time that it is obvious that that poses a risk both to yourself and to driving generally and is a condition that needs to be notified to the proper authorities. Equally if you have certain types or degrees of epilepsy, that may affect your ability to drive in a safe manner. Equally if your epilepsy is able to be controlled and managed through a variety of means including medication then that would not be a barrier to having and keeping a licence.

Aside from health concerns that need to be notified, conviction of a drink-driving offence is the most common reason probably why people lose their licences. Be aware also that you can lose your licence for refusing to give a breath test. In effect this is taken as an admission of guilt by the legal system and by courts, and inevitably you will be treated as if you had given a breath test and had failed it and been found guilty.

You can also lose your licence by an accumulation of points. Motorists and car owners are normally given points on their licence that are deemed to be minor or not so minor traffic offences – quite often speeding or driving through red lights or similar infractions of the motor code. Speeding is a good example where minor speeding infractions may lead to a relatively few number of points that can quickly add up, if you’re convicted of speeding several times in a given period of time and exceed the overall limit of points that you have on your licence. In that respect and regard you would then lose your licence for a specified period of time. Bear in mind that motorists can lose their licence as the result of one speeding offence if that speeding offence is deemed to be of a significantly serious nature. It is not uncommon for certain states to advise motorists on entry to that state that in the event of being caught speeding they will also be sent to jail. Whether that is a serious threat or not is not something that should be tested.

The other type of situations might involve losing a licence can relate to having an accident. In the event of the motorist being involved in an accident they have certain obligations under law to notify the relevant law enforcement authorities and to assist as best they can to prevent any future accidents. If they do not comply with these then it is certainly possible that the courts would take away their licence for a certain period of time.

How to Obtain Lower Rate Car Insurance

If you are paying too much for you car insurance, the easiest way to obtain lower rates is by switching to a new insurer. Yet, the hassles of switching to a new plan mean that consumers may look at ways to save money with their current insurer instead of switching. Read on and we will look at ways you can reduce your car insurance premiums, by offering you money-saving tips that you are certain to welcome.

Your Credit Score

That three-digit number known as your credit score can have a big impact on your insurance rates. In some states, insurers are allowed to determine rates based on your credit history and will write a policy accordingly. If your score is in the tank, consider working toward raising it first before making a switch. Clean up your credit and pay down your outstanding balances. You will be rewarded with a higher credit score and a lower auto insurance premium.

Raise Deductibles

As your car ages, your insurance cover should change as well. New cars should be fully covered and you deductibles low. You may even opt for gap coverage if you are leasing your car. For older vehicles, raising the deductible and even eliminating some coverage can save you a bundle. Your 10-year-old sedan with more than 150,000 miles on the odometer may no longer require costly collision coverage.

Point Reduction

For drivers with a spotty driving record, points can result in higher premiums and take at least three years to disappear. You can help move the process along by taking a defensive driving course if offered in your state. Such courses routinely wipe out three points from your driving record, an effort that is rewarded by insurers with lower premiums. Contact your state’s Department of Motor Vehicles for authorized driving schools.

Insurance Companies

You have tried and tried, but your insurance premiums are still too high. Or at least that you think they are. At this point, you need to contact other insurers and give them information about your car including your current insurance coverage. Obtain quotes and then compare prices. If prices are 10 percent or more lower, than consider making a switch. You can also work with an insurance broker to help you find a better deal. Instead of dealing with one insurance company, this broker will pull up quotes from several companies. Brokers represent you, not insurers — hire a broker if you need help finding a better insurance plan.

Additional Savings

Insurers may offer additional savings based on other factors including multi-policy insurance, customer loyalty, college grades and your employer. If you are not certain about what discounts are available, simply ask. You may be able to shave off more money by qualifying for such discounts.

Country Bathroom Remodeling – Ideas and Tips

Are you prepared for total relaxation and tranquility? Then switch to country bathrooms. They are simple, fresh and inviting.

When you say “country bathroom remodeling project”, fresh, simple, antique, airy, pedestal sink, vintage, French, English cottage are the images that we invoke in our mind. This idea can be lot different from what an interior designer has in mind.

You can include elements from other rooms of the house, to give the bathroom an authentic country feeling. For example, chandeliers are generally placed in the dining room. You can incorporate small chandeliers with a vintage appearance in your bathroom. This will look great when it is hung just above a claw foot tub.

You can use items like checked curtains or mirrored cabinets to the country bathroom remodeling. You can also use bookshelf from the living room or .a dull cupboard from the bedroom for storage. Armchairs or bamboo chairs make great corner pieces in a bathroom. Wire baskets used in kitchen make perfect storage containers for towels or toiletries. These small changes make a country bathroom luxurious and relaxing. You can enjoy a long soak in the tub now.

Rustic accessories like wooden pegs and antique furnishers are great if you have a historic home. You can also use painted wooden shutters and wooden frames for bathroom remodeling. If you do not have antique furnishings, use look-alike knobs in existing furnishings and give them an impression of antique.

You can contact a contractor or an interior designer to put your thoughts into action. If you are hiring an interior designer or a contractor, make sure that they understand your plans on country bathroom remodeling. Country means different things for different people, as this is just an art of being creative, and creativity varies from person to person. Make sure your contractor understands your requirements, and put your plans on paper. Communication is vital in country bathroom remodeling and time will be wasted if communication is not effective.

Property Guide To Alicante

In the south-east corner of Spain between Valencia and Murcia, is Alicante province. Dubbed the ‘California of Europe’ by some, this part of the Spanish coastline became known as the Costa Blanca or ‘White Coast’ because of its 200kms of pristine sandy beaches and crystal clear waters.

Prior to the tourist boom, Alicante was comprised mainly of fishing villages, wine and citrus farms. However all that changed when the first air routes to the Valencia region opened up in 1957. Today, Alicante is a tourist mecca with first-rate infrastructure and leisure facilities, receiving around five million tourist visitors annually, making it an excellent place to invest in holiday letting properties.

Already fairly populous with nearly two million permanent inhabitants, Alicante has over the years become home to a thriving community of foreign retirees and lifestyle immigrants, many of them British or German, attracted by the healthy Mediterranean climate, unspoilt beauty of the lush, rocky coastline and natural salt marshes, as well as the fresh local seafood. Today, English is probably the second-most commonly-spoken language in Alicante after the native Valenciano.

Traditionally divided into a more affluent north and less well-heeled south, since the Spanish property boom, such demographics have become meaningless. All along the Costa Blanca, you’ll find luxury beach resorts, spacious villas and modern housing developments, as well as marinas filled with yachts.

The province has not lost all of its original charm though – there are still quaint Mediterranean villages with charming cobbled streets, ancient churches and historical architecture to be found; and the old quarters of many towns such as Altea and Javea continue to act as major drawcards for their historical value and cafĂ© culture by day, and their restaurants and bars by night.

The capital, Alicante, is a genteel city with an international airport – the main point of access for the province – as well as many historical buildings, tree-lined boulevards, parks, palm-fringed beach and eye-catching harbour with marina.

Other places worth mentioning are Benidorm – the tourist capital of the Costa Blanca with first class entertainment facilities and pleasant micro-climate; Torrevieja -with its great golf courses and bird sanctuary in the natural salt marshes nearby; and Javea – a lush enclave of exclusive cliffside villas.

Property prices in Alicante are generally 3% higher than the Spanish national average, but buyers can still get good value for money if they do their research. Currently real estate sales in Alicante tend to centre around major tourist centres where holiday rental yields are still healthy, although bargains can still be found in the less-crowded outskirts.

Second home buyers and retirees tend to prefer quieter, less crowded or developed areas such as Benitachell, Denia and Javea. However, this less commercial aspect has begun to take on a certain cache, so that property here is not as cheap as one might expect.

Still, though, for health, lifestyle and quality of life, the Costa Blanca is hard to beat and property in Alicante is well worth considering.