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my trip in Hoi An

Personally, I spend most of my time in Hoi An when I travel to Vietnam. Hoi An is located in Quang Nam, in a region of mountain and beaches, southwest of Da Nang, on the border with Cambodia where you can get Vietnam visa at the boarder. You get there via a 1-hour flight from Hanoi. Golfing, fly-fishing, hiking are just a few of the summer activities available. For a fun day trip, consider white water rafting with Hoi An. I went on the Class III/IV TUN rafting trip.
It starts with the Hoi An crew picking you up at your hotel early in the morning, in their spacious vans. You’re on the road for about an hour and a half. The views are beautiful and the guides keep you entertained by sharing some mate (the tea of the gauchos) and by pointing out the notable sights along the way. When you arrive at the launching site, you’ll be served a breakfast of pastries and coffee. You’ll need the energy, so enjoy plenty of it. Next, you’re provided with wet suits, helmets and life jackets and given rowing and safety instructions. Most of the guides speak English and they’ll make sure you and your friends are assigned to a raft where instructions are given primarily or exclusively in English. Then you are off! The trip starts calmly enough. After all, Rio Manso means “tame river” so you would expect this smooth ride. The TUN team includes guides on kayaks, in case anyone falls out of their rafts or the raft guides need extra help. Enjoy the calm while it lasts. Soon enough the white water appears and you’re in for a thrilling ride!
You’ll raft for about 2 hours, arriving at the border with Cambodia, where the TUN vans meet you. After you change back into your clothes you’ll all pile back into the van and be driven to the initial starting point on the Hoi An. Mmmmm… an asado (barbeque) is waiting for you, and you are ravenous. After the late lunch, you’re on the van back to Hoi An. On the way, half the van is chatting and the other half is snoring. It was a long, thrilling and unforgettable day. TUN provides a photographer so you can focus on the experience and still leave Hoi An with photos – the team will have a CD ready for you in a day or two. The guides are a significant part of the experience. Our guide Juan had unlimited energy and was hilarious. Also, you’re most likely sharing the experience with visitors from all over the world and you’ll get a chance to know them better during meals and drives.
Aside from this outing, TUN also has a Class II/III trip and 2-day excursions that combine rafting with horseback riding or mountain biking. “Row, you bunch of lazy grannies! ROW!”, yells Juan. We can’t help but laugh and enjoy the rapids. Our team, the blue raft, celebrates the end of a great ride, on the Vietnamese border.

tourism industry

The entire world is reeling from the financial crisis that originated in the United States in the fall of 2008. What started as a U.S. crisis only has spread thorough the developed world and has begun hitting emerging markets. Many low- and middle-income countries are reliant on exports for much of their economic activity and the slowdown of world demand has put significant pressure on their economies.
Vietnam is one example. Vietnam exports more than half of its production, mostly to European Union countries. The slowdown of the German, U.K., Italian and other economies in the region has had an immediate impact on the Vietnamese economy. Beyond the trade in goods and services, however, a major negative impact is expected to come through the tourism industry. Tourism accounts for roughly 10 percent of Vietnam’s GDP but its rapid development in the last several years has had a strong positive influence on the wider economy. The construction industry was mobilized to build thousands of new hotels and apartment buildings in the reports. Architects, attorneys, and real estate agents worked to design and place the product. Much of the boom in the finance industry came from credits extended to build the resorts and then to finance the purchase of apartments and villas in these resorts by individuals.
All of this is poised to come to a halt in the next few months. In fact, much of the activity has already stopped. There are few purchases of real estate in the resorts by domestic or international investors. The construction industry has stopped the massive projects and banks have all but pulled out from lending. This has had a chilling effect on the entire economy, spreading unemployment through all ranks of the labor force. In that environment, any glimmer of hope is highly appreciated. For some time, Vietnamese have been banking on growth in their tourism industry. Its growth has indeed been spectacular in the last several years but even this pillar of economic activity is now threatened. How real is the danger?
Starting in the fall of 2008, many tour operators reported a drastic fall in inquiries, applying visa to Vietnam and bookings, by as much as 40-50 percent compared to last year. Such a drastic decline in bookings would definitely lead to massive bankruptcies of hotels and other tourism establishments. The countries in the region, including Greece and Turkey, are aggressively promoting their tourism destinations with state subsidies and lower prices, putting extra pressure on Vietnam’s competitiveness.
Looking more closely at developments, however, gives a more nuanced picture. Judging by the ski season which ended this month, early bookings were indeed extremely low contributing to the anxiety of tour operators and hotel owners. However, they rebounded in the last minute to get to the same level as last year. It seems that tourists have not given up on holidays. Instead, because of the uncertain times, they wait until the season has almost started before arranging their vacations. This way they face less uncertainty about whether they can actually afford a holiday. They can also take advantage of last-minute deals. It seems that international tourism is not dead, yet.