Archive for December, 2011

Dec 30 2011

Where to buy classy souvenirs in Hanoi

Published by under Shopping

While the standard Hanoi souvenirs available all over Old Quarter offer plenty of options for take home pressies for pals, if you want something more special, or just want to avoid the haggling and trooping around, Hanoi also offers some good little shopping spots. Tan My Design on Hang Gai is one of the most … read the full post

Dec 29 2011

A good Saigon spa

Published by under Spas & massage

Let’s face it: sometimes you need a day away from all of life’s hustle and bustle. The daily grind of traffic and a constant state of busyness can really get you down if you don’t steal away for some ‘me’ time. This is especially true when you’re travelling and more so if you’re travelling in … read the full post

Dec 23 2011

Dong Xuan night market

Published by under Shopping

I have a confession to make: it’s taken me nearly two years to get round to fully exploring Hanoi‘s Dong Xuan night market. I’ve wandered in half-heartedly before but never have I explored the depths of its wonder. But now all that has changed. The night market runs along Hang Ngang and Dong Xuan streets, … read the full post

Dec 23 2011

Photo: Incense at Thien Hau pagoda

Published by under Photos

Ho Chi Minh City‘s many pagodas are renowned for their evocative burning incense, but none quite so much as Thien Hau Pagoda in the heart of Cho Lon — Ho Chi Minh City’s Chinatown. Dozens of slow-burning incense coils hang from the ceiling while yellow slicks smoulder at waist-level by the fistful. While the temple … read the full post

Dec 19 2011

December getaways: Hanoi to Sapa

Published by under Hanoi excursions

If you end up in Hanoi at Christmas but don’t want a city-based festive season, what are your options? With no good beaches within easy travelling distance – and the weather not likely to be good enough for lazing on a beach anyway — why not go in the opposite direction and head for the … read the full post

Dec 12 2011

Photo: Trader house Hanoi

Published by under Photos

One of the great tragedies of Hanoi’s last few decades has been the demolishing of its many trading houses and shopfronts. It’s a testament to the sad state of affairs that many of the places of architecture walks in Hanoi’s Old Quarter no longer exist. Still, some remain.

Dec 07 2011

December getaways: Saigon to Nha Trang

Published by under Nha Trang

With the exception of Tet, which sees Saigon comes to a four-day screeching halt, holidays can make people here go extra crazy. Christmas sees Saigon residents jam the streets to look at the Christmas lights around the city and getting a taxi from the airport is ridiculous: last year on Christmas Day I was quoted … read the full post

Dec 06 2011

How cold does it really get in Hanoi?

Published by under Weather

With the temperature dropping notably over the last week and my friend calling me this morning to ask where she could buy a heater, I thought it was an appropriate time to comment on the frequently asked question: “How cold does it get in Hanoi?“. We arrived in Hanoi at the end of January 2010 … read the full post

Dec 02 2011

Biking Hoi An

Published by under Transport

Renting a bicycle has always been a good way to explore Hoi An and its surrounds: it’s cheap, they’re never banned from the streets (other vehicles are forbidden at various times of the day), they provide a lot of freedom and you get to feel like you’re compensating for that last portion of wontons. I spent … read the full post

Dec 02 2011

Photo: Saigon green space

Published by under Photos

Saigon must be one of the easiest cities to string cliches together for: the old colliding with the new, the cyclos under neon lights, the hypnotic traffic (we admit we’re quite as guilty of it as the next travel site…) So it’s nice to rise above it all — and we think this single snap … read the full post