Archive for July, 2012

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 09 2012

Review: Restaurant Bobby Chinn, Saigon

Published by under Food

Sometimes the weirdest sounding dishes are the best.

The centrepiece of the Link at the Kumho Asian Plaza, Restaurant Bobby Chinn is the Saigon version of celebrity chef Bobby Chinn’s popular Hanoi restaurant. Trying to help fill the void of luxury dining in Saigon, the restaurant does its best to impress without seeming overly stuffy. Inside the mood is relaxed, the lights are … 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

Jul 06 2012

Massage at Huong Sen

Published by under Spas & massage

No, the metal door isn't the massage bed

It’s been well over a year since I wrote about getting a cheap and decent massage in Hanoi, and that’s proven to be a popular post, so: time for another massage-related post. In the name of research, I headed to Huong Sen Healthcare Centre. I mentioned Huong Sen II in my last post, but this … read the full post

Jul 05 2012

Review: Long Hostel, Ho Chi Minh City

Published by under Accommodation

Don't judge a book by its cover.

Formerly known as the Long Guesthouse, Long Hostel has moved into a new, larger building in Saigon’s Pham Ngu Lao backpacker area. While the location has changed, walking into the Long Hostel is still like walking into someone’s house. Long Hostel doesn’t actually look much like a hostel and in fact there is only a … read the full post

Jul 04 2012

Review: Saigon Backpackers Hostel

Published by under Accommodation

Welcome to a hostel.

Tucked into the middle of Saigon’s Pham Ngu Lao backpacker’s area, Saigon Backpackers Hostel is one of the few true hostels in the city. Somewhat hard to find on a first visit, the hostel is actually just a short walk down an alley hidden behind Thai Binh market. This is one of the only spots … read the full post

Jul 03 2012

Review: Phuoc An Hotel, Hoi An

Published by under Accommodation

A tiny little oasis

The Phuoc An (be careful how you pronounce this one — it’s “fou an”) is a little gem of a hotel. A modern take on the Chinese-style architecture that Hoi An is famous for, by day it hides its light under a bushel but by night it sparkles beneath a blanket of vibrant yellow and … read the full post

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