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La Dalat, First Car in Vietnam
La Dalat, First Car in Vietnam

Throwback Thursday | La Dalat

La Dalat, First Car in Vietnam

La Dalat, First Car in Vietnam

In 1936, Citroën began producing a version of the Baby Brousse called “La Dalat.” This is the first car ever assembled, branded and produced in large scale in Vietnam. The most important parts such as engine, steering wheel, brakes, and suspension were imported from France, with the rest of the parts being produced locally. The model was a great success, partly because it was easy to customize since most of the parts were made in Vietnam.

The production continued until the fall of Saigon in 1975, but a few La Dalats can still be seen on the streets of Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) and in Laos.

#tbt

Brahmin Priest in Bali, Ubud, Tampak Siring
Brahmin Priest in Bali, Ubud, Tampak Siring

Story Behind the Image  |  Brahmin Priest

Brahmin Priest in Bali, Ubud, Tampak Siring

Brahmin Priest in Bali, Ubud, Tampak Siring

Among the well kept grounds of the Tirtha Empul Temple – better known as Tampak Siring Temple or Holy Water Temple – wander devotees, tourists and also Brahmin priests. These priests look after the temple site and the offerings which are made hourly.

Brahmin priests in Bali are easily identified by their white clothes and hats

The most photographed area of the Holy Water temple is the fresh water springs which shoot out of intricately carved stones.  The spring water collects into a wading pool where Balinese Hindus receive blessings before going to make offerings. Here a Brahmin priest inspects some of the offerings placed by worshippers. The Brahmin priests in Bali are easily identified by their white clothes and hats.

Ian Woods, ICS Travel Group, Travel Daily Asia, Pullman Hotels
Ian Woods, ICS Travel Group, Travel Daily Asia, Pullman Hotels

Congratulations, Ian!

Ian Paul Woods, Director of Sales, has entered and won Travel Daily Asia’s latest competition! Compliments of Pullman Hotels and Resorts, Ian will head to Khao Lak, Thailand to stay in a luxurious pool villa at the Pullman Khao Lak Katiliya Resort & Spa!

Congratulations, Ian!  When do we leave?

Ian Woods, ICS Travel Group, Travel Daily Asia, Pullman Hotels

Ian Woods, ICS Travel Group, Travel Daily Asia, Pullman Hotels

Thank you Travel Daily Asia and Pullman Hotels & Resorts

The Grand Palace; Bangkok, Thailand
The Grand Palace; Bangkok, Thailand

Top 10 Royal Palaces in Thailand

As the world’s longest serving monarch, His Royal Majesty The King of Thailand has many Royal Palaces and Residences from which to choose.  Here are ten of the best. . .

 

The Grand Palace; Bangkok, Thailand

The Grand Palace; Bangkok, Thailand

1 The Grand Palace

Visiting the Grand Palace is one of the most popular things to do in Bangkok. The huge complex is surrounded by walls built in 1782! Inside those walls is Wat Phra Kaew – Temple of the Emerald Buddha – which dates back to the 14th century.  Thai kings stopped living in the palace around the turn of the twentieth century, but the palace complex is still used for ceremonies and other important occasions.

 

Vimanmek Mansion, Dusit Palace

Vimanmek Mansion, Dusit Palace

2 Vimanmek Mansion, Dusit Palace

The first permanent residence in Dusit Garden was Vimanmek Mansion, built in 1900 by the royal command of King Rama V to serve as his Summer Palace. King Rama V moved from the Grand Palace to reside in Vimanmek Mansion for 5 years until the completion of the Amporn Satarn Mansion in 1906 where he lived until his untimely death in 1910. As a result, Vimanmek Mansion become deserted and the royal family moved back to the Grand Palace.  Vimanmek Royal Mansion is the world’s largest building made entirely of golden teak.

 

Ananta Samakhom Throne Hall

Ananta Samakhom Throne Hall

3 Ananta Samakhom Throne Hall, Dusit Palace

This impressive white, marble palace sits at the end of Royal Plaza, a ceremonial boulevard that’s often the focus of regal pomp and ceremony during royal celebrations.  Ordered by King Rama V in 1907 and finished by King Rama VI, it exemplifies neo-classical Renaissance architecture. Following the 1932 coup it housed the first Thai parliament, but today its ornate interiors serve as a prestigious venue in which to receive visiting dignitaries, hold state meetings and royal occasions.  Inside is a stunningly beautiful central dome, under which the Royal Throne sits.

 

Bang Pa-In Palace; Ayutthaya, Thailand

Bang Pa-In Palace; Ayutthaya, Thailand

4  Bang Pa-In Palace

Bang Pa-In Royal Palace, also known as the Summer Palace, is located on the Chao Phraya River bank in Bang Pa-In district, Ayutthaya.  Originally built by Ayutthayan King Prasat Thong in 1632 and abandoned after the sack of Ayutthaya in 1767, the site was partially restored by King Rama IV in the 1850s. The site as it stands today, however, is largely the work of King Rama V, who expanded the area into a Versaillesque garden filled with European-style buildings in 1872-1889.

 

Bhubing Palace; Chiang Mai, Thailand

Bhubing Palace; Chiang Mai, Thailand

5  Bhubing Palace

The Bhubing Palace is the royal winter residence in Chiang Mai where the Royal family stays during seasonal visits to the people in the northern part of Thailand.  The palace is also the royal guesthouse for prominent state visitors from abroad.

 

Sanam Chandra Palace; Thailand

Sanam Chandra Palace; Thailand

6  Sanam Chandra Palace

Named after a nearby natural pool which means “Moon Pond,” Sanam Chandra Palace is about 50 km south of Bangkok near the majestic pagoda, Phra Pathom Chedi.  King Rama VI planned for the site to serve not only as a retreat, but also as a stronghold during a national crisis.  In 1965, the palace grounds became Silpakorn University, a well known Thai university specialising in art and archaeology.

 

Royal Residential Hall of Pakpanang; Thailand

Royal Residential Hall of Pakpanang; Thailand

7  Royal Residential Hall of Pakpanang

The Royal Residential Hall of Pakpanang is reported to be the first and only royal residence in Thailand to be conceived by the Thai people.  In the past, the area had faced environmental problems which resulted in this once prosperous rice-growing region becoming the poorest area of the country.  To help people living in the area, His Majesty the King constructed several irrigation infrastructure projects to redevelop the region.

 

Klai Kangwon Palace; Hua Hin, Thailand

Klai Kangwon Palace; Hua Hin, Thailand

8  Klai Kangwon Palace

Klai Kang Won, meaning “far from worries” is aptly named after the peace and serenity of the surrounding landscape, fronting a secluded stretch of the Hua Hin beachfront. Klai Kangwon Palace is the primary summer royal residence of King Bhumibol (Rama IX).

 

Mrigadayavan Palace

Mrigadayavan Palace

9  Mrigadayavan Palace

Mrigadayavan was known as the “Palace of Love and Hope” because when Queen Indrasakdi Sachi was pregnant, King Vajiravudh was extremely hopeful in anticipation of an heir. The king took great care of her throughout her pregnancy, but regrettably the queen miscarried. King Vajiravudh finally got a daughter, Princess Bejaratana, just one day before he passed away.  Mrigadayavan Palace consists of 16 golden teak buildings which are divided into 3 groups. All are linked together throughout the palace by verandas on stilts to maximize the sea breeze and to ensure that the compound could easily be kept clean. Ants were controlled by niches for water around each concrete pillar and along the walls connecting to the ground.

 

Phaya Thai Palace; Thailand

Phaya Thai Palace; Thailand

10  Phaya Thai Palace

The construction of Phya Thai Palace began in 1909 at the direction of Rama V, but was only used for a short time as he died several months after the crowning of the new king.  The Queen Mother was invited to live there, which she did until her death in 1920, at which time Rama VI demolished and rebuilt the palace.  He lived there until the later years of his reign, when he moved to stay at the Grand Palace until his death.  Over time, the palace has functioned as an international hotel, as the first Thai radio broadcast station, and as the Phramongkutklao Hospital

Let us show you the Royal Palaces of Thailand!

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Story Behind The Image | The “Vertical Runway”

LAOS - Vientiane - Patuxai at night

Among the French-inspired architecture in the center of Vientiane, capital of Laos, you can find one of the most prominent monuments in the country. . . the Putuxai, or “Victory Gate.”

The Unites States donated funds and cement to build a new airport, but the Royal Laotian Government instead built the monument, which earned it the nickname “the vertical runway.”

Patuxai, Vientiane, Laos

The monument was built in the 1950s as a celebration of independence from France, and is designed as a locally-infused Arch de Triumphe complete with Laotian and Buddhist symbolism and art. Interior decorations reveal the gods Vishnu, Brahma, and Indra.

Putaxai, Vientiane, Laos

At the time Putuxzi was built, Laos was a constitutional monarchy and the monument was known simply as the “Anousavali” (“memory”), dedicated to the memory of the Laotian soldiers who died during World War II and the war of independence from France. However, in 1975 the communists seized power and ended the ancient monarchy. They renamed the monument Patuxai in honor of their own victory.

The five towers at the top of the monument represent the five Buddhist principles of “thoughtful amiability, flexibility, honesty, honor and prosperity.”

You can see Vientiane, including the “Victory Gate,” Vang Vieng, Luang Prabang and much more on our 9-day tour: Treasures of Laos.  Click the button below to find out more!

Treasures of Laos

 

Tradeshow | ILTM Cannes

ILTM Cannes banner

We will be attending ILTM in Cannes, France from 1-4 December 2014!!

Join us at our booth, located at F125

Please come by our booth and visit us!  You can find us at F125.  You can also make an appointment by contacting: Marie Tanniou (Director of Sales, Europe) or Karole Wittmann (Director of Sales, Americas).

See you there!

Marie Tanniou (Director of Sales, Europe)

Marie Tanniou (Director of Sales, Europe)

Karole Wittmann (Director of Sales, Americas)

Karole Wittmann (Director of Sales, Americas)


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Fam Trip | Poland in Cambodia

ICS Travel Group, together with Qatar Airways, recently organized a Familiarization Trip (“Fam Trip”) for a few of our clients from Poland.  Mariam Rodriguez, Sales Manager from the ICS office in Munich, Germany, accompanied 9 clients from Poland and 1 person from Qatar Airways Poland on a multi-day tour throughout Cambodia – Kingdom of Wonder.

We asked Mariam about her trip.  Here’s what she said:

Oudong, Cambodia Cyclo, Cambodia

 

Read more

Cambodian Apsara Dance

Apsara is a traditional Cambodian dance which has its origins in the sacred dances of the apsaras. . .the mythological seductresses of ancient Cambodia!

Cambodian Apsara Dance

There is a strong cultural tradition of dance in Cambodia which has influenced techniques of nearby Thailand and Laos.  The moves are intricate and particular dances can take years to learn.

Apsara are spirits of the clouds and water in Buddhist and Hindu mythology.

Dance also became a religious tradition because it was designed to bring divine blessings to the king and his people.  During the Angkor period classical ballet dancers were central to the royal court and followed a very structured form.

Folk dancing is less structured, with dancers responding to the rhythm of drums while they act out tales from Cambodian folk stories. The drummer has the most important role in folk music as he sets the rhythm. There is no system of written notation so the tunes are transmitted orally from generation to generation.

Dancers respond to the drums by acting out tales from folk stories

Not only are Apsara dancers found throughout the majestic ruins of Cambodia’s Khmer empire, the dance continues on as a cornerstone of Cambodian culture.  When you visit one of our many destinations in Cambodia, don’t forget to take the time to see this ancient and beautiful tradition.

To learn more about the Customs & Traditions of Cambodia, click here:

Cambodia – Kingdom of Wonder

 

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Did You Know?  |  Vietnamese Dragon Lord

Vietnam Creation myth

 

Did you know that the Vietnamese creation myth tells that Vietnam began with “Dragon Lord” Lạc Long Quân and his fairy wife Âu Cơ?  They had 100 children which are the main 100 family names in Vietnam.

They had 100 children which are the main 100 family names in Vietnam

Among these 100 children are some major spirits such as the Four Immortals (another popular legend in Vietnam). . .the giant boy Thánh Gióng, the mountain god Tản Viên Sơn Thánh, the marsh boy Chử Đồng Tử, and the princess Liễu Hạnh.

If you would like to visit the land of the “Four Immortals” consider our 9-Day Vietnam Classic tour!

  • Shop for bargains along the narrow alleyways of Hanoi’s Old Quarter
  • Cruise around the mystical landscape of Halong Bay and visit caves and grottoes
  • Get a glimpse of royal life in the Nguyen dynasty in the 17th century city of Hue
  • Experience incense filled temples and a deserted palace in Ho Chi Minh
  • Explore a floating river market and tropical fruit orchards in the Mekong Delta

Click Here to Learn More

Vietnam Classic tour