Myanmar Family Adventure

This article is a guest post by Ian Woods, Group Business Development Director for ICS Travel Group

 

Myanmar, the Golden Land, lives up to its reputation.  I was fortunate to take a family vacation to Myanmar, joined by my parents who are visiting from the United Kingdom.  Of course we booked our journey through ICS Travel Group because of the expertise with multi-generational travel and knowledge of how to accommodate the various needs of different age groups.

The flight from Bangkok to Mandalay is short, and after clearing Customs and Immigration we were met by our guide, who was carrying an ICS Travel Group sign.  We were presented with a welcome packet including all the necessary documentation, vouchers and contact information for our guides and the local ICS Travel Group offices.

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Tet 2018 (Vietnamese New Year)

From 15 – 18 FEB 2018, Vietnam will celebrate Tet Nguyen Dan (Vietnamese New Year) or “Tet” as it is more commonly known. Our offices in Vietnam will be closed from 14 – 20 Feb 2018.

Tet is the biggest and most popular festival of the year

Tet is the largest, most important and most popular holiday and festival in Vietnam and marks the beginning of the lunar New Year. The festival is closely associated with the Chinese zodiac, and 2018 is a “Year of Dog.”

Preparation for the Tet holiday is a special and significant affair and begins well in advance of the holiday. Many Vietnamese cook special holiday foods and thoroughly clean their own home as well as the gravesites of their ancestors. Vietnamese begin cleaning early in an effort to get rid of bad luck before the New Year begins. One can not sweep during the holiday because one would be sweeping away the good luck. Painting one’s home, polishing all kitchen utensils and planting new flowers is common. Many people, especially children, purchase new clothes and shoes to wear on the first day of the year. Another well-known – and popular – custom during Tet is to put money in a red envelope and give it as a gift to children.

The first person to visit your home during Tet is considered a forecast of the coming year

During Tet, Vietnamese people visit their relatives and temples, attempt to make peace with anyone whom they have a grudge against, and hope for a better upcoming year. The first person to visit your home is considered a forecast of the coming year. Thus, the first visitor of the year is usually an invited guest who has been carefully chosen. Along the same idea, New Year is considered to be a lucky time to begin a business venture, such as opening a shop.

To all our parters, team members, and friends in Vietnam, we wish you a safe and prosperous Tet!

Portraits of Bagan

Spend the day meeting some of the inspiring people that live in Bagan. Meet U Myo Nyunt, a local expert on archaeology and the former Deputy Director of Bagan’s Department of Archaeology. He will reveal fascinating stories behind the sacred sites, as well as telling you about the conservation efforts and Bagan’s plight for recognition as a U NESCO World Heritage Site.

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