Archive for July, 2012

Jul 31 2012

Viet Pride 2012 in Hanoi

Published by under Events

Testing the flags. Photo courtesy of Ms Nguyen Thanh Tam

While not openly anti-gay, homosexual relationships and practices remain taboo in Vietnam and negative social attitudes and stigmas still exist. But now, for the first time, “Pride” comes to Hanoi in a series of events being hosted under the Viet Pride 2012 banner. Organised by Ms Nguyen Thanh Tam and volunteers from the LGBT community, … read the full post

Jul 25 2012

Cham Islands, Hoi An

Published by under Sightseeing & activities

Walking the plank..

The Cham Islands aren’t just about diving. The lure of some of the most unspoilt islands in Vietnam and the chance to camp out under the stars on an incredible stretch of beach has made the islands the perfect escape between tailor fittings. The marine-protected Cham Islands are located a 20 kilometre boat ride from Cua Dai … read the full post

Jul 20 2012

The Ba Le Well, Hoi An

Published by under Sightseeing & activities

After 20 months and as many alleys, I finally found the Ba Le Well!

Of the 80 or so ancient wells located in Vietnam’s Hoi An, Ba Le Well is possibly the most talked about — along with being the most difficult to find. Water from the well, thought to have been built in the 10th century by the Cham people, is famed for its use in the town’s … read the full post

Jul 19 2012

Saigon motorbike driving tips: Buying a helmet

Published by under Health & safety

All the cool drivers in Saigon wear helmets.

Contrary to what it may seem, Saigon does actually have some traffic laws. If you plan on using a motorbike yourself to get around the city, we suggest brushing up on these laws as well as how to deal with Saigon’s police. One of the most important laws to abide by is HCMC’s helmet law. … read the full post

Jul 17 2012

Avoiding taxi scams in Hanoi

Published by under Money & costs

Be careful not to get stranded

As I mentioned in my earlier post on scams in Hanoi, taxi cheats are probably the one thing people complain most about. While unlikely to cost you a fortune, it’s still annoying to be over-charged or — literally — taken for a ride. So here’s some info about what to watch out for and how … read the full post

Jul 11 2012

Travelling from Saigon to Siem Reap

Published by under Transport

You take a pretty small plane.

Saigon and Siem Reap are relatively close; as the plane flies only a little more than 400 kilometres separate the two cities. But looks can be deceiving, and travelling between the two cities can be complicated, expensive and time consuming. Here are your options. The simplest way to get to Siem Reap is by plane. … read the full post

Jul 10 2012

Avoiding scams in Hanoi

Published by under Health & safety

Keep an eye on your dong

Vietnam, and Hanoi in particular, has been getting a bit of a bashing in the Travelfish.org forum recently. While I can’t really counter the “Vietnamese are unfriendly” comments with any practical advice, I can try to address bad experiences caused by scams in Hanoi and suggest ways to avoid them. First, let’s get some definitions … read the full post

Jul 08 2012

Walking tour of 1930s architecture in Hanoi

Published by under Hanoi excursions

Get on those ballgowns

I recently attended a talk at The Bookworm entitled “Stories houses tell” and given by Linda Mazur, a Canadian who has been living in Hanoi since 1998. Not only are the stories fascinating in themselves, but the buildings she focuses on — built during the 1930s — are worth a look for anyone interested in … read the full post

Jul 08 2012

The best time to visit Hoi An

Published by under Sightseeing & activities

Er.. Rush hour?

Usually low season in a popular tourist destination means rubbish weather and a seasonal shutdown of things to do. In Hoi An, it’s the complete opposite. From May to July, when the crowds thin, it’s perfect beach weather around Hoi An, with temperatures averaging around the mid-30s Celsius. This means it’s not only great for … read the full post

Jul 07 2012

Desserts in Saigon

Published by under Food

Pacey's cupcakes are smaller so you can eat more.

Saigon is a town for food lovers, and although it is better known for its pho, there’s no shortage of great shops for you to visit after dinner (or before because remember life is short) selling delicious, sweet treats. If you have a sweet tooth, here are some places you can go for dessert. It’s … read the full post

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