Travel Updates – March 2024

March marks the blossoming peak of flowers in Mai Chau, Northwest Vietnam. The landscape in this region is like a poetic canvas, with plum and bauhinia flowers glazing the hills and roads in white.
Honoring nàng Ban - goddess of the Bauhinia flower, the Hoa Ban festival is one of Thai’s biggest celebrations. Dressed in traditional costumes, they pray for peace and good weather for plentiful crops all year. When the night falls, they join in folk dances next to the campfire.
A hidden gem of the Mai Chau
Plum blossom Mai Chau

Avana Retreat in Mai Chau is new luxurious resort nestled amidst the breathtaking landscapes of northern Vietnam, offering a perfect escape for both families and couples seeking a romantic getaway. Located just a scenic 3-hour drive from Hanoi, this award-winning retreat was honored as Asia’s Leading Retreat in the 28th annual World Travel Awards in 2021. Whether you’re looking to relax and unwind with yoga and meditation,  or embark on outdoor adventures, Avana Retreat Hotel caters to all preferences. The combination of luxury amenities and proximity to nature makes it an ideal destination for those seeking a harmonious blend of comfort and serenity.

Hiking and camping
Da lat camping

Located in Vietnam’s Central Highlands, Da Lat is the more laid-back sibling of the country’s popular beach towns. The French previously made this mountain resort town their summer retreat, and their influence is evident in the numerous lakes and French Colonial villas. While the main lake of Da Lat is the hub of activity, the hills surrounding it conceal incredible natural beauty.

Our Co-founder, Han, has just taken an off-the-beaten-track adventure deep into the pine forests and spent overnight camping by Tuyen Lam Lake. The 14km – hike was a challenging one, with half of the road being uphill, but the sightand scent of nature didn’t disappoint her. The trails through herb plantations, villages, and Robusta coffee trees led her to the pine forest hidden away just outside Duc Trong Jungle. “This was the moment I had been waiting for, in the middle of the Da Lat pine forest, with clear blue skies, small trails, and the poetic scent of the jungle” – said Han. A BBQ dinner was like cherry on the top of the adventure, together with the scent of burning wood and the cozy tent settled next the the lake.

The three-storied high-speed boat, named Thang Long, which is 77.46m in length and 9.5m in wide, will better serve the traveling between Con Dao Island and the mainland.
Vung Tau – Con Dao high-speed ferry launched

A high-speed ferry service connecting Vung Tau City, Ho Chi Minh City, and Con Dao Island was launched on March 8 by Phu Quoc Express JSC.

The three-storied high-speed boat, named Thang Long, which is 77.46m in length and 9.5m in wide, will better serve the traveling between Con Dao Island and the mainland.

The island of Con Dao is situated approximately 230 kilometers southeast of Ho Chi Minh City and 180 kilometers from the city of Vung Tau. The beaches here are famous for their white sand, crystal clear water, and vibrant coral reefs. During the conflict, the island was transformed into a prison by the Americans and French colonizers, housing revolutionary warriors from Vietnam.

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Hanoi countryside tales by traditional crafts

Today, drive an hour along the Red River to Ha Noi’s neighboring countryside through immense rice fields and fruit farms. Visit the village that birthed Vietnamese incense upon arrival. This village’s incense, made from over 30 herbs with skills passed down from generation to generation, is known for its pure, light scent. A guided stroll through the hamlet with older residents will take you to various family-run workshops to see the entire incense-making process and hear about the glory days of this traditional craft. Help the host make incense.

Take another short drive to a rural community behind endless rice fields and duck farms. The locals’ 200-year-old fish-pot crafting heritage includes bamboo weaving. Walk around the village to see the typical Northern countryside architecture: dark brown tiled roofs, three-room houses with elders sitting in front weaving fish-pots and chatting. Visit a local artisan who rode his bike across Vietnam to proudly promote his village’s unique traditional craft. Create your own fish pot with his help and give it as a present.


  • Availability: Morning
  • Suggested time: 08:00
  • Duration: 6 hours

*Optional to add Nha Xa silk village
*Incense making at Thon Cao, Hung Yen. Fish-pot making village at Thu Sy, Hung Yen.
*Possible to have lunch at Hung Yen