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 30 2012

Review: Stella, Ho Chi Minh City

Published by under Food

The Stella Special does have anchovies.

Sitting in the middle of Saigon’s backpacker area of Pham Ngu Lao, Stella, or the New Stellar depending on which sign you’re reading, is a standout restaurant serving Italian and Vietnamese cuisine on a street where there is no shortage of competition. Like most of its neighbouring restaurants, Stella has a laidback atmosphere. Seating is … read the full post

Jul 29 2012

The Sunshine Hotel, Hoi An

Published by under Accommodation

I'm sorry I seem to have been having a bad camera day.. This is the shallow end of the Sunshine's rather large pool.

The domineering, brand spanking new Sunshine Hotel sits midway between An Bang beach and the old town; from here it’s a good 20-minute walk to either, but that’s okay because every guest gets a free bicycle to potter around Hoi An, and it’s outstanding value. As is the norm with Hoi An hotels, every room … read the full post

Jul 28 2012

Hanoi’s street food: Bun dau

Published by under Food

Not the most colourful dish

In the UK, tofu is largely considered as “food for veggies” and certainly not a food group that any hardcore carnivore would ever rave about. So before coming out to Asia I didn’t eat tofu. I can’t say I’d never tried it, I surely must have done somewhere, but it certainly wasn’t among my usual … read the full post

Jul 26 2012

Saigon movie theatres

Published by under Sightseeing & activities

It actually looks like a normal theater.

Seeing a movie at a Saigon theatre is a cheap and easy way to spend a few hours and, since they play both Hollywood blockbusters and Vietnamese movies, you don’t have to understand Vietnamese to enjoy them. Movie theatres can be found in several easy-to-find locations, with two chains dominating Saigon. Galaxy Cinema, with several … 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 24 2012

Review: Thien Hong Hotel, Ho Chi Minh City

Published by under Accommodation

Crafty use of the Windows logo.

In the middle of a tight Pham Ngu Lao alley in the centre of Saigon’s backpacker district, the Thien Hong Hotel has found one of the few quiet spots in the area and offers great family-style service, with better rooms the higher up the hotel you trek. About 50 metres off the main road, the … read the full post

Jul 23 2012

Review: Vinh Hung 3 Hotel, Hoi An

Published by under Accommodation

Feelin' hot, hot, hot

Rather a mixed bag, the 24-room towering midranger Vinh Hung 3 sits behind a veil of tumbling bougainvillea on the outskirts of Hoi An on backpacker-popular Ba Trieu Street, a five-minute walk to the old town and right opposite the new Highway 4 restaurant — which means if you are a bit bored of hotel buffet … read the full post

Jul 23 2012

Review: Moc Quan Pho Cuon, Hanoi

Published by under Food

With a bia Hanoi to wash it all down

I wrote some time ago about the pho-based dishes that are a specialty of the Truc Bach area of Hanoi; since then, a new place has opened up that makes pho cuon even more appealing. Based on Nguyen Khac Hieu street, on what is often referred to as Truc Bach island or Truc Bach village, … read the full post

Jul 21 2012

Review: Ngoc Phan Guesthouse, Ho Chi Minh City

Published by under Accommodation

The room is a little empty.

A short walk down an alley off of Bui Vien, in the middle of Saigon’s Pham Ngu Lao backpacker area, few spots in the city could offer a more convenient location than what you’ll find at Ngoc Phan Guesthouse, a six-room flashpacker operation with great friendly service. Saying a guesthouse is down an alley in … read the full post

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