Archive for August, 2014

One on one Ccie Security 5 day Weakness Areas Focused Training C se 5d

This package is designed for CCIE Security Lab exam candidates who have extremely busy schedule and need to focus on weakness areas before attempting the exam. You will be required to complete several most updated scenarios which are developed specialized on your weakness areas.

You will study with your instructor one-on-one during the CCIE Lab training. Our highly skilled instructors will step-by-step show you the best way to configure each scenario and strengthen your weakness areas in the meanwhile.

Before you finish this course, you will be provided a full set of our full-scale lab materials which highly reflect the most current lab exam. The materials contain CCIE Security questions, requirements and solutions, which can be comfortably studied and practiced during the gap between your course finishing date and the lab exam date.

Location: Guangzhou, China
Price: $7,000.00 USD

What is included:

5 days’ one-on-one classroom study
Day 1 ~ Day 4:
Complete several advanced, technology-focused scenarios accompanied by your personal CCIE instructors. These scenarios cover most lab exam content and are especially focused on your weakness areas. In addition, a detailed explanation will be provided about the technologies covered, interpretations of the questions, and common mistakes that students have made with relation to each topic.

Day 5:
Complete an eight hour full-scale lab. The exam is then graded and reviewed, step-by-step by your instructor. In addition, the instructors will review your performance for the entire class and give recommendations to take and pass the CCIE lab exam, along with suggestions of what topics to focus on during further preparation.

1 month after class support (could be upgraded to 3 months)
On the last date of your course, you will be provided with the study materials which contain the most updated full-scale labs which have not been practiced during the course. These materials reflect the latest update of the real lab exam and come with complete solutions.
Along with this, we will update your study materials free of charge and provide email support (48 hours response guarantee) for 1 month. Not enough? You can buy our Material update and technical support extension service (E-MUTS) at an affordable price. For detailed information, please check with your training advisor.
FREE 100 hours remote rack access
After the course, you will be provided FREE 100 hours remote access time so that you can practice the labs by connecting to our rack. Simply drop an email to to reserve your rack and we will make necessary arrangement.

This boot camp is held in Guangzhou, which is the biggest and the most developed city in South China. Learn more about Guangzhou

Traval & Transportation
It is very convenient to travel to Guangzhou.
You can either fly into Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport (CAN) or Hong Kong International Airport (HKG). There are direct flights from the following major cities to Guangzhou every week: Europe: Frankfurt, Helsinki, Paris North America: Los Angles, San Francisco, New York, Toronto Australia: Sydney, Melbourne Asia: Tokyo, Seoul, Dubai, Singapore
Also, there are over a hundred international flights to Hong Kong. You can fly to Hong Kong first and then transfer to Guangzhou by train (duration: 2 hours and the expense is covered by CathaySchool).

Our friendly staff will meet you at the airport or train station when you arrive and then transfer you to the hotel. This is free of charge.

Students will be accommodated at the 4-star luxury hotel (President Hotel or same grade hotel), which is across the road from our training center. Each hotel room has king-size bed, air condition, internet access (free of charge), tub, flat screen television, 24-hour room service and more. You also have the option to upgrade to a 5-star hotel (Royal Mediterranean Hotel, The Westin Guangzhou or Shangri-La Hotel GuangZhou). All these hotels are within 10 minutes driving distance from the school.

All meals are included.
Breakfast is provided in the hotel restaurant. For lunch and dinner, you will receive cash to be used at the wide variety of sit-down restaurants, cafes and buffets. MacDonald, KFC, PizzaHut and StarBuck are all within walking distance.
Drinks and snacks through out the date are also included.

After class activites
You will never feel boring in Guangzhou. After class, we can arrange the following activities at a reasonable cost:
Culture tour, Shopping tour, Zoo, Fun park, Hot springs, Disco bar, Show bar, B.Y.O party, Chinese traditional massage, etc.
You can choose all these options when you are signing up with us.

Advanced Upgrade Package

Training PLUS:
6 hours (per day) one-on- one guaranteed
Two month after training support (Materials update + Email support by instructor)
Accommodation & Meals PLUS:
Hotel accommodation (5 stars premium room)
Lunch and Dinner standard – 150 RMB / per day
Free unlimited laundry service
Unlimited access to the gym in the hotel
Add-on Service (complimentary) PLUS:
Chinese traditional massage/spa at one of the biggest spa in Asia (1 time)
A big entertainment show, including Chinese dancing, magic show and acrobatics (3 hours)
Car hire with driver (4 hours)
Price: $2,200.00 USD

Deluxe Upgrade Package

Training PLUS:
8 hours (per day) one-on- one guaranteed
Three month after training support (Materials update + Email support by instructor)
Accommodation & Meals PLUS:
Hotel accommodation (5 stars executive room)
Lunch and Dinner standard – 200 RMB / per day
Free unlimited laundry service
Unlimited access to the gym in the hotel
Add-on Service (complimentary) PLUS:
Airport pick up and drop off by Mercedes-Benz
Chinese traditional massage/spa at one of the biggest spa in Asia (2 times)
A big entertainment show, including Chinese dancing, magic show and acrobatics (3 hours)
Car hire with driver (8 hours)
Price: $3,800.00 USD

I. Bridging and Switching
A. Frame relay
B. Catalyst configuration: VLANs, VTP, STP, MSTP, RSTP, Trunk, Etherchannel, management, features, advanced configuration, Layer 3
C. Tunneling
II. IP IGP Routing
C. RIPv2
D. IPv6: Addressing, RIPng, OSPFv3
G. Filtering, redistribution, summarization and other advanced features
C. Filtering, redistribution, summarization, synchronization, attributes and other advanced features
IV. IP and IOS Features
A. IP addressing
D. IP services
E. IOS user interfaces
F. System management
K. Accounting
V. IP Multicast
A. PIM-SM, bi-directional PIM
C. Multicast tools, source specific multicast
E. Anycast
A. Quality of service solutions
B. Classification
C. Congestion management, congestion avoidance
D. Policing and shaping
E. Signaling
F. Link efficiency mechanisms
G. Modular QoS command line
VII. Security
B. Security server protocols
C. Traffic filtering and firewalls
D. Access lists
E. Routing protocols security, catalyst security
G. Other security features
R&S Equipment List: and IOS Version:
The lab exam tests any feature that can be configured on the equipment and the IOS versions indicated below. You may see more recent IOS versions installed in the lab, but you will not be tested on the new features of a release unless indicated below.
3725 series routers – IOS 12.4 mainline – Advanced Enterprise Services
3825 series routers – IOS 12.4 mainline – Advanced Enterprise Services
Catalyst 3550 series switches running IOS version 12.2 – IP Services
Catalyst 3560 Series switches running IOS version 12.2 – Advanced IP Services

Our one-on-one CCIE boot camp produces the No.1 one time passing rate in the industry. In the last 3 years, 90% of our international students pass the lab exam at the first attempt. At CathaySchool, We help you secure your investment by providing each student the unbeatable and practical triple insurance:

First guarantee – What happen if I am not satisfied with your training?
Each student has 2 days to evaluate our course. If you find our boot camp is not the one which will definitely help you pass your lab exam at first attempt, simply notify your instructor before the 3rd day to withdraw from the course and get your money back.
* For more information, please refer to our course cancellation policy.

Second guarantee – What happen if I failed the lab exam at the 1st attempt?
You will be provided an extended 2 months material update (including the lab questions, requirements and solutions), 2 months technical email support (guarantee 48 hours response) and 150 hours rack access time.

Third guarantee – What happened if I fail the lab exam again?
Come back and re-attend our one-on-one course again. This is free of charge, including 4-star hotel accommodation and meals (this definitely beats all our competitors again!!!). At CathaySchool, we believe that there is no reason to have students pay for anything when they need to re-take the course.

We want you to pass… so we are committed more than others
Comparing training vendors? Nobody is committed to your success like CathaySchool. Ask the other companies…
Do they have a similar pass guarantee program?
How long are you covered by it?
When you retake their class, do you get full access to a dedicated rack of equipment again?
Are the materials updates offered at no charge?
Do you have to pay for your meals, hotel and rack access when you re-take the course?
Do they provide one-on-one training?

1. We accept bank wire transfer, Western Union and major credit cards (1) .
2. To make a reservation, you are required to send a $1,000 USD deposit (2) (3).
3. The balance needs to be paid in full one week before your course starting date (4).
(1) Credit card payment will incur a surcharge of 8%.
(2) Deposit amount may be subject to change without notice.
(3) Your deposit is refundable. Cancel the course 60 days prior to the starting date will receive 100% of your deposit; A $500 administration fee will apply if you cancel the course within 30 – 59 days before the course starting date; Deposit is non-refundable if you cancel the course within 30 days before the course starting date.
(4) Balance is preferred to be paid by bank wire transfer. For credit card payment, you will need to afford 8% processing fee and provide scanned copies of both sides of your credit card when you arrive China.

Early bird – Save 5% by registering and funding full payment 30 days ahead.
Multi-student – Save 10% for 2 participants; 15% for 3 participants.
Group training – For four or more participants, please contact us for a substantial discount..
* Only one discount is allowed at a time.

Cheaper Flights over the Atlantic? The Open Skies Agreement.

The agreement

Last year, ministers across the EU gave their backing for an agreement that would allow any carrier based in the region to operate flights to the USA, while any carrier registered in America would also be able to run services to destinations across the EU.

One exception to the deal, however, is that EU airlines will not be given carte blanche to run their own domestic routes within the USA.

The pact will now come into force in March and has been praised by many for effectively liberalising the transatlantic aviation market and giving airlines more freedom to operate different flights between the two regions.

According to the Civil Aviation Authority, when the agreement starts, more than 60 per cent of passengers flying on long-haul routes from the UK will be under the jurisdiction of a “liberalised” agreement that does not attempt to constrict the number of international flights carriers can provide.

More than 90 per cent of the UK’s international air travel – including that in the European Common Aviation Area – will take place within the open skies agreement or other open aviation area-type pacts, it says.

A choice selection of cheap flights?

The most obvious advantage of the agreement for UK flyers is that there will be significantly more options to choose from when booking a flight across the Atlantic from Europe – and with more choice comes the possibility of cheaper fares.

“Liberalising the air transport market is good for consumers in bringing prices down and offering more choice,” comments James Fremantle, industry affairs manager at the Air Transport Users Council (AUC).

“There are cheaper air fares because there is more competition. It means that you have more choice of subject and airlines that are doing the routes, which ultimately means cheaper fares.”

A number of carriers have announced plans to launch new routes with effect from the end of March to take advantage of the deal.

Air France, Delta, Continental Airlines, Northwest Airlines and US Airways have all announced their intention to launch various new flights from London to destinations in the USA, while British Airways is poised to go one step further and launch an airline – with the original name of OpenSkies – that will focus on offering flights that it could not provide before the agreement was formed.

“British Airways have already started with their business class-only flight from Paris to New York direct, so that’s another choice for passengers [compared with] what was available previously,” Mr Fremantle explains.

“So it is starting already and I can’t think of anything bad that can come of it from a consumer point of view. It should really open up the market and provide better choice and cheaper fares.”

The Telegraph recently drew up a table comparing the different fares that are likely to be offer between Heathrow Airport and Los Angeles after March 30th this year. Out of the six airlines the newspaper selected, British Airways was found to offer the cheapest fare at £300, while the other prices did not surpass the £399 mark.

A plethora of destinations

So where exactly will passengers be able to fly to once the agreement comes into effect at the end of March? It is likely that there will be a leap in the number of flights being operated to New York, but there will also be extra options for those looking to fly to the likes of Los Angeles, Houston, Washington and more.

Of course, the same is true if you happen to be flying the other way. Round-the-world-trips are still popular among holidaymakers, so the ability to choose from more options when deciding on which airline to fly with when making the jump from Europe to the USA or vice versa is likely to be a strong benefit.

Heathrow troubles?

With Heathrow Airport currently running at full capacity, concerns have been raised that the open skies agreement could pile more pressure on the hub as more new routes are launched – raising the spectre of further delays and baggage issues. However, the AUC’s Mr Fremantle says that Heathrow should be able to increase capacity in tandem with the increase in new flights.

“We have supported extra capacity at Heathrow in general,” he states. “Heathrow’s full; [it is] running to capacity … so nothing more can be done at the moment, but we’ve supported it all the way.

“These two things go together actually; more capacity at Heathrow and open skies. This should create a situation where passengers have more flights and more choices.”

More open skies?

If the EU-USA open skies pact proves to be successful and beneficial for all concerned, we could see similar agreements enacted with other regions, bringing even more flight choice for passengers.

Last November, the Department for Transport announced that the UK government had signed an agreement with that of Singapore that removed all of the remaining restrictions on flights between the two destinations, opening up the aviation market in each country to both nations’ airlines.

Commenting on the deal, transport secretary Ruth Kelly said: “As the most liberal agreement of its kind to date, I hope it will set the standard for other comparable agreements in the future.”

Great Singapore Sale – “ Discover a truly extravagant shopping fiesta”

The Great Singapore Sale is an event totally dedicated to shopping lovers which attracts people from many parts of the world. It is an annual shopping sale that is organized collaborately by the Singapore Tourism Board and other retail stores and malls in Singapore. It can be called the grand annual shopping festival which offers a range of products such as apparel, jewellery, electronic items, fashion accessories, cosmetics and perfumes, toys, Singapore souvenirs and many more. It will be providing the visitors with product discounts as well as other special offers such as discounted tickets to Singapore Zoo, Singapore Duck tours, to Sentosa and various local attractions.

During the period of the Great Singapore Sale, Singapore’s main shopping malls will be open till midnight and on weekends even past midnight allowing the visitors to indulge in the grand shopping experience of their lives.

There are various privileges that will be offered to the tourists who will be visiting this impressive fiesta such as the special lifestyle promotions that will consist of exclusive dining facilities, coupled with exciting nightlife and numerous entertainment facilities. The Tourist Privilege Cards are on offer especially for tourists who yearn to enjoy unique discounts when shopping. The sale runs for eight weeks and it offers a great value for money for tourists who are interested in purchasing branded, luxury products as well as for tourists looking for bargained items.

The sale will be held from 23rd May to 20th July starting from Singapore’s main shopping districts of Orchard road and Marina Bay and will spread towards the Heartlands of Singapore. Another major deal for the tourists visiting the sale can be considered as the partner promotions offered by MasterCard ,Global refund, and other tax free options which offer a truly amazing shopping experience combined with value for money and special discounts.

The Great Singapore Sale has become a shopping fiesta which is not only limited to shopping but also a venue for various exciting events and grand prizes that will be gifted to lucky visitors.
Comfortable and accommodation is available in luxury Singapore hotels that are located near the Great Singapore Sale area providing tourists a pleasurable experience coupled with elegant facilities.

Prominent tour and travel companies are enlisting entire Singapore hotel list in its business chart

Singapore is a lusty vibrant island. It is known as one of the most controlled democracy. One should not dare to play with authority or try to engage in drug trafficking which may turned into the death penalty. It is the perfect business city. It has been widely recognized for excellent business and social infrastructure centre. It is politically stable and has favorable economic ties with world economies.

Such global reputation has encouraged several tour & travel company to enlist entire Singapore hotel list in its business chart. Hotels list Singapore is based upon several factors like locality, hotel rating and so on. This island-state is located in the Southeast Asia region and nicely connected with Malaysia by bridges. It is very much influenced with Indian, Chinese and Malay culture as well as influenced with tropical climate. There are endless things to do while you are on the trip to Singapore.

Shopping is a heavenly experience in Singapore. The well designed and colossally built shopping malls in the centre of Singapore are prominently inducing the shopaholics. Usually, stores are open seven days in a week from 10AM to 10 PM. Shops in Orchard Road and Scotts Road remains open till midnight. One can get verities of food in Singapore special quality verity can be found in Malay, Chinese, Indian, Thai, Japanese, French, Italian, American and other foods. Hawker centers can be marked as the cheapest and most liked places to eat. Hence, if one has dream to explore the dynamic Singapore then it is right time to embody the dream. The list of hotels in Singapore is available in verities of ranges from cheap budget hotels to luxury star hotels.

Strategically located Singapore is a sample of perfect amalgamation of wealth and diverse style of architecture. The brilliance of Singapore lays in the sincerity towards implementation the best of west with the flavor of the orient. It is a perfect recreational area which offers myriad of attractions for all age groups. Such attractions may be named as Butterfly Park, insect kingdom and dolphin lagoon. There are several important spots in Singapore like Sentosa Island, Jurong Bird Park, Chinatown, the Asian Civilization Museum and the various temples and churches which are prime attractions of the city.

Thus, one must visit once to explore the amazing mixture of age old civilization and beliefs and modern, contemporary styles where nature and progressive achievements are setting an example of fine compatibility.

Enjoying Your Visit to Singapore

Enjoying your visit to Singapore starts the minute you step off the flight on Singapore Airlines (of course) and start to move through the world class facilities at the Singapore airport. Touted as an airport like no other, the refreshing fountain at the end of any tired and long journey, the friendly staff, high beautiful architecture and the piped music set the record straight, Singapore tourism means business and it is here to make your trip as smooth, as comfortable and as enjoyable as possible.

While Changi airport is the firm handshake and the smile, the check in to the hotel is the massage and the warm pat on the back, assuring you that you will be taken care of on the length of your journey. Singapore boasts some of the best local and international chains of hotels, from the Hilton, the Ritz, the Sheraton and even local budget hotels that give you value for money and comfort for your strapped dollar. Located all over Singapore, you wont have any trouble finding a place to stay no matter how much you are willing to spend.

No one can truly enjoy their trip in Singapore without sampling its culture simmering in a pot of hearty curry and served with Singapore’s answer to the croissant. Local dishes and culinary cuisines pack in the exotism of the East and the rich flavours and spices to make great dishes. From rice dishes to noodle dishes – to even dishes which have no specific orientation, the flavours will overcome you and you will be coming back for more.

Ah, and for the ladies or anyone living constantly with the shopping bug on their neck, they must try Singapore shopping at its city centre and some more locations which are literally designed to thrill and words like bargain and discount are plastered more prominently than brand name billboards. There is no specific season for sale because it happens all the time and only in this tiny country can you find wall to wall shopping, where all roads lead to retail revery. Ladies, prepare yourselves and men, prepare your credit cards because shopping in Singapore is addictive and almost an adventure in itself. Don’t be limited to the huge complexes and pay smaller areas like Bugis and Serangoon road a visit for better deals and out of the world items you can show your friends when you return.

With world class facilities, more than 100 operating bars and clubs, a vibrant arts and cultural scene, your iterenary will be filled to the very last page with things to do. Even within the crazy pace of the city, you will find tranquility and peace, sipping on a hot coffee while looking at the world go by from the balcony of your hotel. If you are a beach bunny, then you will be able to drive down to any of our coasts and a dedicated island called Sentosa. And when it’s the end of your trip and everythings been said and done, there is one thing you can look forward to – is going back to our beautiful airport and fly back on Singapore airlines, the greatest way to fly.

Getting enough miles on Virgin Atlantic to fly from London to South Africa

Virgin Atlantic offers flights from London to either Johannesburg or Cape Town for the following amounts of Flying Club miles:

25,000 Flying Club miles each way in Economy

37,500 Flying Club miles each way in Premium Economy

50,000 Flying Club miles each way in Upper Class

Round-trips cost twice as many miles as one-way, of course.

Now that you know how many miles you’ll need, you have to earn them somehow. Fortunately, there are many ways to do so. First, of course, you’ll need to join Virgin Atlantic’s Flying Club frequent flyer program, which you can do on their web site,

Once you’re a Flying Club member, you’ll earn 1 Flying Club mile for each mile you fly on Virgin Atlantic. If you fly in the more expensive Premium Economy or Upper Class cabins, you will earn a higher number of miles – typically 1.5 miles for each mile flown in Premium Economy, and 2 miles for each mile flown in Upper Class. You will also earn Tier Points for each flight, based on how far you fly and in which cabin. Earning 15 Tier Points will make you a Silver member, after which you receive 25% bonus miles, and earning 40 will make you a Gold member, after which you receive 50% bonus miles.

You can also earn miles by flying on Virgin’s partner airlines – Air China, Air Jamaica, Air New Zealand, All Nippon Airways, US Airways, BMI, Caribbean Star, Continental Airlines, Delta Airlines, Gulf Air, Hawaiian Airlines, Malaysia Airlines, Scandinavian Airlines, Singapore Airlines and South African Airways. Tier Points are also earned on some of these partner airlines.

You can also earn Flying Club miles by renting cars from Avis, Dollar, Hertz, and (in Barbados) Stoutes, by using an American Express or Diners Club card, by converting points from hotel programs, or by doing business with certain countries with which Virgin has a partnership.

Since most of Virgin’s flights are long-distance, miles do add up quickly. If you fly between London and Cape Town regularly in economy class, and buy your tickets on a Virgin Atlantic credit card, every two paid trips you take will earn you enough miles for a free one!

Singapore Travel Tip: 3 Must-see Historical Buildings

Some historical buildings in Singapore have featured as settings in classic novels and local folklore. If you are visiting Singapore, remember to check out these 3: the Raffles Hotel, Thian Hock Keng Temple and Sri Mariamman Temple.

Raffles Hotel, Singapore:

This is the hotel that has enchanted writers such as Noel Coward, Rudyard Kipling and Somerset Maugham, all of whom have written about it. Even as early as 1910, the Raffles Hotel was a stopover for filthily rich visitors on round-the-world cruises. Such is its attraction that even a real tiger entered it in 1902. But without an invitation, it was eventually shot dead by a school teacher, who turned up at the scene curiously wearing pyjamas and carrying a hangover.

This is also a hotel not to be trifled with. Who else is able to get the Singapore Zoo to send 6 orang utans to a VIP’s room just for the guest’s amusement? Indeed, that was exactly what they did for Michael Jackson when he stayed at the Raffles Hotel in 1993. Of course the apes thrilled the superstar no end.

Thian Hock Keng Temple:

The Thian Hock Keng Temple is Singapore’s oldest temple, and is a must-see if you visit Chinatown. Before land reclamation, this temple was smack on the coastline. In the early days, grateful Chinese immigrants would visit Thian Hock Keng the moment their boats landed. Here they gave thanks to the temple’s patron goddess for granting them a safe passage.

You need not go to China to admire traditional southern Chinese architecture, for Thian Hock Keng is just that. For its construction, the most exquisite timber and stone were imported from China. The temple also made use of Scottish cast-iron girdles and English tiles. Skilled craftsmen from southern China arrived to work on the temple. The result is an intricate temple full of symbolism.

Get a good Singapore guide-book and wander around the temple ground. Find out why a vertical wooden board is placed across the main door. Or figure out which of the 2 guardian lions (statues) is male and which is female.

If the architecture does not impress you, the powers that dwell in Thian Hock Keng might. Apart from providing journey mercies, the deities are believed to grant gamblers lucky numbers for the local lottery. If you are visiting, test out this power for yourself. It might just pay for your vacation – but remember that it’s your own fault if you lose all your holiday cash!

In 1998, when the temple was being restored, workers found a scroll stashed in one of the roof beams. It was written by no less than the Qing emperor Guang Xu, who pronounced blessings on the local Chinese community. It just makes me wonder, “What else might still be discovered here?”

Sri Mariamman Temple:

It might surprise you that Singapore’s oldest Indian temple should be located in the middle of Chinatown. To explain why it is there will take another article. But the Sri Mariamman Temple continues to draw the local Indians, quite paradoxically, to Chinatown.

The temple had its origins in a small, ramshackle building made of wood and palm leaves. But in 1843, it was rebuilt into a concrete structure in the southern Indian temple style. The building was erected by Indian convicts shipped in from Madras. If they were frustrated with their lot, it did not show, for the temple is both sturdy and intricate even today.

Sri Mariammam Temple also hosts the annual Timithi Festival, known simply to non-Hindus as the fire-walking festival. To fulfil the vows made to Hindu deities, devotees walk – some actually run – across a pit of burning coals. It still baffles me that the only vehicles on stand-by outside the temple are police cars and not ambulances.

Welcome to Ho Chi Minh City!

Ho Chi Minh City was named after Ho Chi Minh, a Vietnamese statesman, who served as prime minister and president of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (North Vietnam). Ho Chi Minh led the North Vietnamese in the Vietnam American War until it ended in 1975. Ho Chi Minh passed away on the 2nd September 1969. Vietnamese unification followed and the former capital of South Vietnam, Saigon, was renamed Ho Chi Minh City in his honor.

Ho Chi Minh City is the largest city in Vietnam. The city center is situated on the banks of the Saigon River, 37 miles (60 kilometers) from the South China Sea and 1,094 miles (1,760 kilometers) south of Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam.

Over the past decade, Vietnam has been improving its legal infrastructure, banking systems and overall economic and social environment. On January 11, 2007, the country became the 150th member of the World Trade Organization. Today, the local business community is as enthusiastic about the country’s growth and future potential as foreign investors are. In fact, foreign direct investment in Vietnam is expected to reach US $15 billion in 2008, which is more than double from the same period in 2007.

Ho Chi Minh City is the financial hub of Vietnam with over 300,000 businesses in industries such as technology, electronics and construction. It is a fast-paced city that is growing rapidly both in terms of its industry and its population. The city’s vibrant culture and historical ambiance–combined with an optimistic workforce (many of which have no direct memories of the war with America that ended in 1975) –have catapulted the city into one of the fastest growing economies in Asia.

The metropolitan area, which consists of the city center and surrounding towns, is home to more than 9 million people, making it the largest metropolitan area in Vietnam and Indochina. Walking through the streets of Ho Chi Minh, one gets a sense of the modern mixed with traditional Asian ambiance.

The local language is Vietnamese but English is spoken almost everywhere. All foreign restaurants have English-speaking staff and most taxi drivers speak a little English. The street and store signs are in Vietnamese. Learning at least a little Vietnamese will make life easier and efforts to do so will be appreciated by the locals.

All foreign visitors are required to get a Visa. A foreigner who comes to live and work in Vietnam usually obtains a visa through his or her sponsoring organization. For a three- or six-month work visa, a passport and an invitation or assignment letter will need to be produced. The passport with a relevant visa is the most important document for a foreigner in Vietnam. It is recommended that all visitors register with their local Consulate or Embassy upon arrival in Ho Chi Minh City.

The local currency is Vietnam dong (VND). The dong comes in notes and coins, which range from 200 to 500,000 VND. It is advisable to take US dollars into Vietnam and exchange it upon arrival. US dollars can be used and changed although dong is the most commonly-used form of payment for everyday purchases such as groceries. Larger establishments accept credit cards but they will levy a 3-5% service charge. Smaller local markets only accept cash.

There are many foreign banks in Ho Chi Minh City and accounts are easy to open. Most banks are open Monday through Friday from 8am to 3pm. There are automatic teller machines (ATMs) available around the clock all around Ho Chi Minh City.

For expats seeking housing in Ho Chi Minh City, proximity to schools and the degree of security are the most important issues. Most expats choose to live in expat communities. Inside Ho Chi Minh City are a mix of older, French-style villas and modern serviced apartments. Expats seeking to live in houses tend to live outside the city, where there are larger villas with elaborate gardens and swimming pools. The international schools are also located in these areas outside of the main city. Expats typically rent their homes. Rental agreements require a deposit that is equal to three months’ rent and the renter will need to pay six months’ rent in advance.

Utilities are extra and will need to be paid separately and usually with cash. Furnished homes are decorated to suit the taste of the landlord, and such styles might not appeal to the typical expat. It is sometimes possible and becoming more common to negotiate with the landlords of unfurnished properties and purchase furniture to that of your own taste, dependant on the length of your lease.

Ho Chi Minh City is not, overall, a dangerous city. However, petty theft and house break-ins concern many expats. A home security system is not very expensive and is recommended.

International schools are very popular with Ho Chi Minh City’s expats. British, Australian, French, Japanese and Korean international schools are all available but they can be quite expensive. There are many to choose from but it can be difficult to secure a spot. The British International School and International School of Ho Chi Minh City have pre-school programs. The school year starts at the end of August and ends in early July.

The water in Ho Chi Minh City is not fit for drinking from the tap but is more than safe for brushing teeth and cleaning dishes. Bottled drinking water is delivered to the home or purchased from a store. “Pharmacy” in Vietnamese is “Nha Thuoc Tay” and they can be found throughout the city. The Vietnamese word for “doctor” is “Bac Si.”

It is recommended that travelers to Vietnam have a variety of vaccinations such as hepatitis A and B, Japanese encephalitis and typhoid, in addition to Malaria capsules. Visitors should bring an extra supply of prescription medications as they might be hard to come by in Vietnam. Healthcare facilities in Ho Chi Minh City are limited but are ever improving with the opening of International clinics.

There are a few foreign health care providers that have different things to offer. These include International SOS, Columbia Saigon Clinic and the Franco/Vietnamese Hospital. If the scope of care needed is beyond what’s offered at Ho Chi Minh City’s foreign hospitals, visitors can be evacuated to Singapore or Thailand. It is recommended that all visitors research this information as soon as they move into their new home.

The rapid growth of the city has created unbearable traffic throughout the city. Since traffic laws are not strictly enforced and driver’s education is limited, patience on the roads is mandatory. Visitors who wish to drive will need to obtain a Vietnamese driving license. Typically, expats have their own car and driver. People drive on the right side of the road. Ho Chi Minh City does have buses, but they are very crowded.

Motorbikes are by far the most common form of transport. It’s not uncommon to see whole families on one motorbike. They make crossing the street incredibly difficult. Visitors have to have the confidence to find a gap in the traffic, make eye contact with any oncoming drivers, and cross slowly, always walking forwards, do not hesitate and do not step backwards.

To travel outside of the city, there are trains going out every day and there are rental cars available. Taking a mini-bus is another option. These are small, air-conditioned and clean.

Expats might want to bring along their favorite designer-label clothing, cosmetics and sporting goods–as the genuine articles are hard to come by in Vietnam. There is more choice when shopping in Ho Chi Minh City than there is in other cities. For large-sized clothing or shoes, it is recommended that expats bring enough clothes to last through their stay. Finding apparel that fits can be very challenging, though custom tailoring is an option.

The stores of serviced apartments sell foreign items. Local markets are used for fresh dairy and produce where bargaining is the norm. It’s a good idea to learn the numbers in Vietnamese and it’s best to not seem too interested in an item. When bargaining, one should make an offer and leave if it’s not accepted. If the seller changes his mind, he will call the person back. A good rule of thumb when bargaining is to give a counter-offer of half the price originally offered, and then bargain to a middle point. Also, a smile goes a long way!

Counterfeit merchandise–from handbags to mineral water–is everywhere in Ho Chi Minh City. It’s best to buy such items from department stores or other official retailers rather than street vendors. For other household items such as cleaning materials and home furnishings, Ben Thanh Market and Diamond Plaza are two places to look for such items in Ho Chi Minh City. Ben Thanh Market is the home of everything one could ever need such as clothing, shoes, home furnishings, keepsakes as well as fruits, vegetables and some other very interesting food.

Spouses are permitted to work however, finding employment can be difficult. In addition, there are professional associations specifically for women. For recreation, joining a golf and tennis group is a popular option. Bars and restaurants are popular hangouts. Beside expat groups, clubs like the International Ladies of Vietnam, Amicale des Francais (a French association) and various business organizations are very popular.

Playing or watching sports, traveling to local beaches and riding in go carts are also among the city’s favorite diversions for kids. School-related activities are ideal for teenagers looking for something to do. Clubs and sporting activities are very very popular. One can enjoy tennis, squash, swimming, badminton and Rugby (Aussie rules) are just a few.

Written by:
Chris Draeger, Group Vice President of Marketing Crown Relocations

Crown Relocations has been providing international moving and relocation services since 1965. With 200 offices in 50 countries, Crown has “people on the ground” in all the major Expat communities around the world. Crown provides a range of services to help Expats and their families move and settle into their new home ranging from Orientation Tours, Home finding, School Search and more. Crown also organizes Expat Clubs with regular events to help people meet and socialize with other Expats.

We also serve corporate clients as they develop and manage the relocation policies and employee benefit programs for the staff moving overseas. Services include expense management, program development, policy counseling, customized online reporting and full departure and destination services for the employees.

Crown is a private organization headquartered in Hong Kong, with European HQ in London and Americas HQ in Los Angeles California.

Crown provides free moving quotations on its website at

The Best of Singapore Tourism

The Best of Singapore Tourism is an article that or a conversation that cannot be said in just a few words. Sit back, relax and have a cup of something sweet and steaming by your side, because it is quite a story to tell. You will be amazed at the tales, the legends and the possibilities that are possible from this small island nation on the tip of the Malaysian Peninsula. Are you ready? Ok look up!

The Singapore weather is unlike no other. Sitting close to the equator and in full flavor of the Sun, Singapore is an sunny island with sunshine and doses of Vitamin D freely available to those wanting to bask in it. Originally and island, Singapore has not lost its roots and the weather is testament to its ideal location. Sunscreen, sun tan lotion and swim wear should be the standard uniform of this island nation if his knotty thing called work doesn’t always get in the way.

Must visits are places like the Singapore flyer, the largest Ferris world known to mankind at this moment in time – we’ve heard of other country’s plans, but we will only believe it when we see it. Larger than the London Eye and with a view of the city skyline that would just take your breath away – it is an experience in itself to be slowly lifted to the landscape of those who fly, where the clouds are within easy reach and the birds are your friends – for as long as the trip lasts of course. We also have the vertical bungee’s located within areas of Clarke quay, where you can launch yourself to heavens or swing yourself sideways silly with a Viking ship like contraption. And when you get that high in the air, get the chance to look down and view the beautiful clubbing and pubbing phenomenon that is Clark Quay or look at the postcard perfect view of the Singapore River.

Tourism is also not complete without a journey through Singapore’s food paradise and if your taste buds are not singed, then you haven’t really experienced the culinary delights of our local fares at all. Hainanese cooking, spicy Indian food, delectable and flavorful preparations from the Chinese side of things. Take a walk on the wild side of things and try our more spicy preparations and if you are lucky, then you might have visited Singapore just in time for the food festival – which showcases the old, the new and te exciting dishes from the many local chefs in Singapore.

Singapore also has its fair of the normal dundurees of tourism, with a bird park in two locations, a fascinating zoo,a night safari which pits you close to wildlife who are are most comfortable in nocturnal surroundings. Add to that a potpourri of shopping, kids activities and an arts and cultural scene that is comparable to larger countries surrounding us; there is no limit to the fun you can have and soon you will be telling your own tales of adventures from the lion city.

Discount rate Singapore Hotels

A wonderful island nation at the Malay Peninsula’s tip today has become an outstanding stop off place for all kinds of travelers from various parts of world who like to visit this amazing country. Few interesting Singapore attractions are Japanese and Chinese Garden, Bukit Timah Natural Reserve, Jurong Bird Park, East Coast Park, Little India, Chinatown and other places.

Al-Abrar and Abdul Gafoor is a couple of most renowned mosques among travelers in the country. Abdul Gafoor Mosque is contemporary type of era ancient Al-Abrar Mosque. Originally, Al-Abrar was built of wood in the middle of 19th century and is reminded of a granite plaque. It comprises of decorated European-style columns and sunburst above the major entrance.
Discount rate Singapore hotels are simply available in the mosque’s proximity. A lot of them are situated Bukit Timah Nature Reserve area. They refer to those rich star inns that are being provided on discounted rate. The nice thing is no any compromise with service and quality of the hotel. It becomes an amazing opportunity to experience this developed country in the world. Such kinds of hotels are accessible near the famous locations like Chinatown Heritage Centre, Changi Golf Club, Singapore Zoo and Singapore Science Centre.