Wednesday June 19, 2013
Image of Hue imperial tomb © Mike Aquino, licensed to About.com
For sure, the lovely country of Vietnam has an aggressive tout problem; I experienced it firsthand in the Central Vietnamese city of Hue, when a cyclo driver I'd given the time of day kept following me around like a hungry vulture tracking a dying savannah creature.
The tourist scam problem, though, runs deeper than aggressive cyclo drivers: Vietnam in particular is often singled out by tourists for the larger-than-usual number of seemingly scruple-free tour providers. (Read our article about Scams in Vietnam.)
Overcharging is one horror story that, like slasher movies, spawn sequel after sequel. VietnamNet recounts the experiences of a tourist charged VND 840,000 ($40) by a local who permitted their picture to be taken, and another who was charged VND 1.3 million ($62) for a taxi ride. Read More...
Monday June 17, 2013
We've talked about the Hotel Fort Canning (compare rates) before - set in a former Army GHQ building, the hotel stands beside the Fort Canning Park at a comfortable remove from Singapore's hustle and bustle. The hotel's facilities and services (as explored in our review of the Hotel Fort Canning) has earned it a TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence Award, coinciding with its first official anniversary.
Only establishments that consistently achieve outstanding traveler reviews on TripAdvisor get this rare honor: Read More...
Saturday June 15, 2013
Image of Bayon sculpture courtesy of Getty Images.
A group of Australian scientists may have discovered a lost city that predated Angkor Wat by over 300 years - Mahendraparvata, the purported birthplace of the Khmer Empire, where King Jayavarman II proclaimed his kingdom's independence from Java in 804 CE.
For centuries the mountain of Phnom Kulen has remained a holy place where tens of thousands of pilgrims come each year to bath and perform spiritual rites.
Archaeological research of sculptured caves and riverbeds shows the area remained occupied throughout the Angkor period between the 9th and 16th centuries.
But the lidar technology has confirmed that Mahendraparvata was built on Phnom Kulen before Jayavarman II descended from the mountain to build another capital near where Angkor Wat now stands.
"This is where it all began, giving rise to the Angkor civilisation that everyone associates with Angkor Wat," Evans said.
For the complete article, proceed to the Australian publication The Age. For more on the more well-traveled Khmer Empire sites, read our articles about Travel to Siem Reap, Cambodia and Must-See Temples in Angkor.
Friday June 14, 2013
Images courtesy of Fullerton Hotel, used with permission.
Singapore seems to keep careening headlong into the future, with its ever-changing skyline and ever-more-modern attractions. Places like the Fullerton Hotel Singapore (compare rates), set in the Fullerton Heritage precinct, stand out amidst the winds of change buffeting the island-state: the hotel, built in 1928 and restored in 2001, show what colonial Singapore must have been like before the wars of the 20th century changed the status quo.
Guests of The Fullerton Hotel (and its sister property, The Fullerton Bay Hotel - compare rates) who want to look back instead of forward now have two complimentary guided tours to enjoy: Read More...