Generally, tourists are oblivious to the narrowness of their expectations during periods of travel, do little in the way of studying weather and climate of the destinations they intend to travel to let alone any research into what they might realistically see and do at the time of their visit. Consequently, a bad travel experience is often a consequence of bad planning and unrealistic expectations. Few if any destinations possess the perfect weather sought by visitors all of the time, and the pressure within the tourism industry to disperse peak season tourist numbers into the shoulder and low seasons has never been stronger. However, for some regions, particularly Asia the impact of climate and weather become important when travellers consider their travel options. Two distinguishing features dominate Southern and Eastern Asia; monsoons and typhoons, both of which have largely determined the annual cycle of life for many Asian communities. A greater depth of information is needed for travellers considering travel to Asia in low and shoulder seasons.
UNESCO’s World Heritage sites are recognised as possessing outstanding universal value, and provide visitors with unique experiences within the world’s exceptional Natural Heritage or Cultural Heritage locations . Central Vietnam possesses three cultural sites, Hoi An Ancient Town, Complex of Hue Monuments, and My Son Sanctuary, all in close proximity of each other. The cultural characteristics and timeline of the three cultural sites are distinct from each other and provide diverse slices of ancient Vietnamese history. The sites are a must see for travellers regardless of their personal interest in history and heritage.
Travellers should consider visiting the south-central area as it has a variety of attractions that are steeped in history. There are three UNESCO heritage sites within close proximity of each other, seemingly unrelated. The interaction and conflict between the Dai Viet in the North, the coastal Champa Kingdom, and the Khmer Empire, have had significant impacts on the development of Vietnam. Taking the time to look at the region’s history not only makes sense of it but provides greater understanding of how the earlier peoples living in Vietnam lived their lives.
Situated in almost opposite areas of Asia, China and India differ vastly in their ethnicity, culture and natural landscapes. They sit somewhat uneasily apart, separated by a raft of smaller Asian nations along the coastal expanses and the wall of the Himalayan Mountains in the interior reaches. There is significant diversity in what it means to be Asian, and much centres around the traditional religions that flourished in each area. Religion was not merely a part of life, it was inseparable from the way of life and determined almost all aspects of societal activities.
Nepal is one of the destinations that captures the imagination of travellers, that few others can match. For venturesome people, Nepal identifies as one of those last undiscovered places on earth where true experiential travel could be found. However, despite development initiatives it remains an extremely poor country with rural Nepali continuing to live a stoic lifestyle, marginally above the poverty line. The development of trekking has as much to do with returning Gurkha soldiers, as any real desire to create a tourism industry. In many ways becoming a Gurkha soldier was seen as a way in which families could step away from the poverty trap. With a more worldly outlook, returning veterans kindled the belief that tourism was a way forward, where the dependancy of the Lahure way of life could be diminished and ultimately replaced.
Who said that trekking is not for ordinary travellers ? The Poon Hill Trek, in Nepal, is a great example of the accessibility of trekking for travellers if they are prepared to do a bit of groundwork, and have a moderate level of fitness. For those who take the time, it will sit beside the most memorable travel adventures that they have undertaken. The Annapurna area in west-central Nepal is renowned for its array of mountain peaks and stunning scenery, making it a sought after trekking region for international tourists. The diverse and contrasting landscapes are a highlight for travellers, and a multitude of treks are available. On the Poon Hill Trek, the crowning moment is the early morning view, and at that moment the appreciation of being surrounded by some of the tallest mountains in the world overtakes those viewing the sunrise.
Is Vietnam a niche destination for venturesome travellers ? or merely another Asian country looking for an angle to attract tourists ? Being isolated from the world after the Vietnam War, the country suffered from a lack of development for decades. However, this has allowed it to create a point of difference in todays tourism market, appealing to venturesome travellers, and those who want to visit authentic destinations. While possessing a wide selection of natural and cultural resources, visitors to the country will remember most, the richness and affable nature of the Vietnamese people.
If you are thinking that you would like a new challenge in your travels, here is a suggestion. Perhaps not something that you would normally think about, but seriously consider going trekking in Nepal. You will not regret it ………… well perhaps climbing up and down innumerable steps will have you thinking, but the views, the villages along the way, the “tea” houses, the people and the challenge more than compensate.