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Vietnam Travel Brief 16 October

2009-10-21 (GMT + 7)

Jetstar accepts ATM card payment, Mountain homestays in Hue, Festival to celebrate cityhood

Jetstar accepts ATM card payment

Jetstar Pacific has begun to allow passengers to pay for air tickets through the 1,000 ATMs operated by Bank for Investment and Development of Vietnam (BIDV).

Under a joint programme between the budget carrier and BIDV, those who own ATM cards issued by the bank can choose to pay for tickets booked online or via phone. The carrier has recommended that the payment is made within 48 hours of booking and at least 48 hours before the flight.

Mountain homestays in Hue

Tourists to the ancient city of Hue can now enjoy homestay tours to mountainous villages in the central province of Thua Thien-Hue’s Nam Dong district.

For only VND500,000 (US$28 ) to VND700,000 ($39), the tours offer visitors the opportunity to discover the special beauty of the landcape and witness first hand the daily life and customs of ethnic Co Tu and Van Kieu residents. They can also enjoy local fresh water fish specialties and directly experience the traditional ways of living.

The tours are part of a project to preserve the bio-diversity of Bach Ma National Park via community tourism initiated by the Hue Centre for Social Science and Humanities under the sponsorship of the Ecosystems Grant Programme and the International Union for Conservation of Nature of the Netherlands.

Festival to celebrate cityhood

The provincial authority of Binh Thuan will organise a culture and sports festival to mark the day Phan Thiet Township is upgraded to a second-tier city.

Highlights of this event, which will be held in Phan Thiet city from October 22 to 24, include beach volleyball and football, traditional boat races, traditional arts such as bai choi featuring folk songs and a lantern exhibition.

Tourist boats to get star ratings

The Viet Nam National Administration of Tourism will soon begin classifying tourist boats that offer on-board overnight stays based on the quality of infrastructure and services.

The new ranking will have a major impact on boats operating in Quang Ninh province’s Ha Long Bay, as most boats that accommodate tourists overnight operate there.

Nguyen Anh Tuan, head of the administration, said the tourist boats will be classified in the same way hotels are rated, from one-to five-star standards. He added VNAT will recognise tourist boats from three-star and upwards, while provincial authorities will recognise those of two-star and lower levels. According to VNAT, 100 of about 460 tourist boats operate in the bay will qualify for star rating.

Source VietNamNet/Viet Nam News

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