Archive for April, 2012

Apr 30 2012

Hanoi’s skate ramp

Skateboarding is probably not the first thing you think of when you think of getting around in Hanoi: after all, where would there be room? But things are changing, and a few months ago a mini half-pipe was constructed at Hanoi Rock City. I spoke with 25-year old Englishman Sam Murdoch, one of the brains … read the full post

Apr 25 2012

Frozen yoghurt in Saigon

Published by under Food

Over the past couple of months temperatures have been rising in Saigon; this usually isn’t much of an issue because there are so many ice cream shops… but now that I’m planning to run a half marathon I need to start eating a little healthier. So I’ve switched from ice cream to frozen yogurt, meaning … read the full post

Apr 24 2012

Hanoi’s 36 streets: Ngo Gach

Published by under Hanoi's 36 streets

In London, Brick Lane is famous for its Indian food; in Hanoi, it used to sell bricks. Ngo (lane) Gach (brick) is a small road that runs between Hang Giay and Hang Duong and is one of those streets very easy to miss, but a shame not to visit. While there’s nothing unmissable along its … read the full post

Apr 21 2012

Phu Quoc half-marathon

Published by under Phu Quoc Island

I’m a runner; I try to run whenever I can. I run anywhere I can, mostly in the gym because I live in the city of Saigon, but I particularly love running on the beach. Luckily for me, Vietnam has some awesome beaches for running. Since Saigon can be a bit of a grind, I’m … read the full post

Apr 21 2012

Exhibitions at the Women’s Museum

Published by under Events

I wrote about the Vietnam Women’s Museum around a year ago, just after it re-opened following extensive refurbishments. I was impressed then and remain so, particularly having visited their three current temporary exhibitions: Worshiping Mother Goddess, Women and Flowers, and Shining Night. Shining Night is an exhibition set up by the Institute for Development & … read the full post

Apr 16 2012

The electric bus route in Hanoi

Published by under Transport

A couple of years ago, vehicles reminiscent of golf buggies started appearing on the streets of Hanoi. As if the motorbikes, bicycles, cyclos, cars, buses and trucks weren’t enough. But I mustn’t complain, the carts are there in the name of green tourism: Hanoi’s attempt to cut down on the pollution caused by the other … read the full post

Apr 13 2012

Hanoi’s 36 streets: Hang Giay

Published by under Hanoi's 36 streets

Hàng Giầy is right in the centre of Old Quarter: running from Luong Ngoc Quyen to Hang Chieu. Giầy means shoes — if it were giay it would be paper, which is why I’ve added the tones — but nowadays there are very few shoes on sale along its stretch. There may not be shoes, … read the full post

Apr 10 2012

Motorcycling around Ha Giang

Published by under Hanoi excursions

Motorcycling from Ha Giang offers arguably the best scenery in Vietnam or even Southeast Asia, and provides the opportunity to explore a stunning region as yet relatively untouched by tourism. Unless you’re a really keen motorcyclist or have lots of time to spare, travelling to Ha Giang by bus and hiring bikes there is a … read the full post

Apr 07 2012

Getting VND in Saigon

Published by under Money & costs

The currency of Vietnam, known as dong or VND, is non-convertible, meaning, in short, it’s a little tricky. Outside the country it’s hard to get a hold of and almost unusable; inside the country, it’s the preferred method of payment, especially off the beaten path. It used to be that US dollars were accepted throughout … read the full post

Apr 03 2012

Getting from Hanoi to Ha Giang

Published by under Transport

Last week I was fortunate enough to be able to join a team of doctors going to Ha Giang (in northwest Vietnam) to carry out surgeries on children from the mountain, supported by Child Surgeries Vietnam and HIWC. Not only was this an amazing trip from the point of view of the surgeries but it … read the full post