Archive for February, 2012

Feb 29 2012

Hanoi street food: Lau (hotpot)

Published by under Food

Lau — pronounced something like ‘low’ — is perhaps one of the most popular dishes in Hanoi, particularly in the cooler months. It’s a similar set up to that seen in other countries in the region (I recall a particularly good experience in the Perhentians): a pan of simmering stock is put on a gas … read the full post

Feb 26 2012

March events in Hanoi

Published by under Events

A couple of upcoming events in Hanoi are worth bringing to your attention: opera, history and art exhibitions. On March 9 and 10, Hanoi Opera House will be home to a German opera night. Conducted by Jonas Alber, the Vietnam National Symphony Orchestra will perform excerpts from works including Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte, Beethoven’s Fidelio and … 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 18 2012

Weddings in Hanoi: Before the day

If you’ve seen a tent being erected on the pavement in the middle of Hanoi and wondered what on earth is going on, it’s likely that there’s a wedding in the offing. Let me backtrack a little and give you a whistle-stop guide to marriage in Vietnam. To give you a full understanding of the … read the full post

Feb 16 2012

Enjoying street food at Saigon’s markets

Published by under Food

I’ve mentioned before that I think the greatest thing about my city is the food and the best food is usually on the street. Obviously, I talk a lot about street food but honestly I get most of my “street food” from markets. The problem is that besides Ben Thanh Market, and maybe Binh Tay, … 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

Feb 13 2012

Saigon Cyclo Challenge

Published by under Events

Although Saigon has many forms of transportation, like motorbikes and taxis, one of the most unique ways to travel the city’s streets is by cyclo. You sit in the front, kind of like royalty, and you are peddled to your destination. I would almost say that your trip to Saigon wouldn’t be complete without taking … read the full post

Feb 08 2012

Flying domestically in Vietnam

Published by under Transport

An often-asked question on the Vietnam forum is, “Should I book my flights in advance or when I get to Vietnam?” The answer depends on a number of factors, most notably when and where you want to fly, how flexible your flight times are and what your budget is. So it’s not an easy … read the full post

Feb 06 2012

Saigon Pub Crawl

Published by under Bars & nightlife

Besides having cafes and street food, Saigon also has a fair share of bars and clubs, I guess you need something to do once the cafes close. Since there are so many bars sometimes it can be hit and miss to find a place with people without walking all over town. The best way is … read the full post

Feb 02 2012

Hanoi people: The editor

Published by under Hanoi people

In my quest to bring you alternative perspectives on Hanoi, I met with Ian Paynton, deputy editor-in-chief of Word magazine. Word is two bilingual publications aimed at foreign residents and locals in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City and is available free at various locations around town as well as online. We met one drizzly … read the full post