Mar 16 2014

Mother Goddess worship

Published by under Culture

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Worship of the Mother Goddesses is the oldest religion in Vietnam, pre-dating even the Chinese occupation of Vietnam. Worship of Mother Goddesses, once dismissed as superstition, has recently grown in popularity and is now accepted and widely practised in Vietnam and in Vietnamese communities overseas. What does it all mean? Mother Goddesses are considered to … read the full post

Jul 08 2013

When’s the best time to visit Hanoi?

Published by under Practicalities

Now that's when you want to be in Hanoi.

Don’t be fooled by the fact Hanoi is in Southeast Asia and think shorts and T-shirts are good to go all year round. Hanoi has four seasons, and as the city’s in the northern hemisphere, that means the chilly winter starts in December and steaming summer hovers around July and August. It’s impossible to give firm … read the full post

Apr 17 2013

Quan Am, the bodhisattva of compassion, in Vietnam

Published by under Culture

Some stars never fade.

Anyone who spends more than a few hours in Vietnam will notice the many white statues of a divine woman usually holding an upside down vase. It’s not some feminine looking Buddha or an “Asian Virgin Mary” — it’s Quan Am (aka Kuan Yin, Kuan Shih Yin, Guanyin or Kannon), the bodhisattva of compassion. In … read the full post

Dec 30 2012

Review: The Village Noshery, Sapa

Published by under Sapa

An eclectic mix of furniture.

A new Sapa dining opening worth checking out in Sapa is The Village Noshery, which offers great coffee and Vietnamese and Western dishes in eclectic, interesting surrounds. The Village Noshery opened in mid-2012 on Cau May Street and its spacious downstairs area is inviting and stylish, decorated in similar  style to the H’mong Mountain Retreat … read the full post

Dec 15 2012

Review: The Hill Station, Sapa

Published by under Sapa

Take it easy on the wine if you sit upstairs.

Sapa hasn’t changed much over the last few years, but one new addition that stands out is The Hill Station. Located near the junction of Cau May and Muong Hoa Roads, it’s in the thick of things, but provides a cosy respite from the streets and hawkers outside. Set on two floors, with a narrow … read the full post

Sep 29 2012

Pronouncing Vietnamese — a starting guide

Published by under Vietnamese language

Grilled chicken, not fish.

Vietnamese is a notoriously difficult language to master, and in particular to pronounce. Here are some tips of a few of the sounds to help you get at least somewhere close. Almost a year ago I wrote about learning Vietnamese in Hanoi and shared a few key phrases: hello, thank you and the like. But … read the full post

May 02 2012

Hanoi people: the musician

Published by under Hanoi people

I’ve written before about how the live music scene in Hanoi has improved since my arrival here in 2010: new venues, active promoters and high profile events have helped with this growth, not to mention more and more local and expat musicians wanting to share their talents with the masses. One such artist is Zippy. … read the full post

Mar 21 2012

Hanoi people: The Consular Officer

Published by under Hanoi people

Nalini Sadai started work for Britain’s Foreign Commonwealth Office (FCO) 10 years ago. She started off in London and then, in 2007, moved to Jamaica as Vice-Consul. She’s now the Consular Regional Operations Manager for Vietnam and Burma. I met with her to discuss her consular work and to find out what advice and help … read the full post

Feb 22 2012

Hanoi people: The chef

Published by under Hanoi people

Tracey Lister, co-owner of Hanoi Cooking Centre, first came to Hanoi in 2000. Hoping to find voluntary work she was rebuffed by NGOs who didn’t “need chefs” but she came anyway, accompanying her husband, Andreas Pohl, who was working on an AusAid project. When she arrived in Hanoi she met Jimmy Pham, founder of Koto … read the full post

Feb 15 2012

Hanoi people: The travel agent

Published by under Hanoi people

As a way to bring you an insight plus some useful information about Hanoi, I’ve been interviewing people who can offer different perspectives on the city. Given that travel agents get a lot of negative press, I met with Lai, a travel agent well known and trusted within the expat community. Lai is from a … read the full post

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