Archive for September, 2012

Sep 29 2012

Pronouncing Vietnamese — a starting guide

Published by under Vietnamese language

Grilled chicken, not fish.

Vietnamese is a notoriously difficult language to master, and in particular to pronounce. Here are some tips of a few of the sounds to help you get at least somewhere close. Almost a year ago I wrote about learning Vietnamese in Hanoi and shared a few key phrases: hello, thank you and the like. But … read the full post

Sep 28 2012

Is Hoi An hell if you don’t shop?

Published by under Shopping

For those that need a little assistance finding the sea - you might want to sign up for a lesson!

If you have a proper look around Hoi An you can’t fail to notice that the tailor shops win hands down in terms of numbers, with restaurants coming in a close second, shoes third and sneaking in at number four a whole new wave of spas. It would seem that this is a town for … read the full post

Sep 24 2012

Review: DC Bistro, Hanoi

Published by under Food

Saves on print costs.

Fine dining restaurant La Verticale has been dishing up French and Vietnamese fusion cuisine from its 1930s villa since 2007. But for those whose wallets don’t stretch that far, founder and award-winning chef, Didieu Corlou, has opened a new venture a few doors away: DC Bistro. DC Bistro, as you’d expect from the name, is … read the full post

Sep 22 2012

The Hai Van Pass

Published by under Sightseeing & activities

The Hai Van Pass? Hell yeah!

I always feel a bit embarrassed saying this, but that bloody Top Gear Vietnam special a few years back was the final nail in the coffin for a comfortable life back in good ol’ Blighty. Seeing the cast struggle with the Hai Van Pass also put achieving it on the top of my must-do list … read the full post

Sep 21 2012

Cinemateque in Hanoi

A drink in the courtyard and a classic movie you say? Done.

If you want to catch a film while in Hanoi, be it as a break from roaming the streets or drinking coffee and bia hoi, or because a must-see blockbuster has just been launched, a few large cinema complexes are located around the city, such as Megastar at Vincom Tower. While these places offer comfortable … read the full post

Sep 19 2012

Ben Thanh Market, Ho Chi Minh City

Published by under Sightseeing & activities

Enter at your own risk.

Ben Thanh Market is one of Saigon’s icons and forms the heart of downtown District 1, bustling with activity from early morning until late at night. The market has existed for quite some time in one fashion or another. The current location, renovated in 1985, was the site of another relocated market, called Les Halles … read the full post

Sep 15 2012

Hoi An lanterns

Published by under Shopping

I want that one!

After an evening stroll through the old town its fairly likely that you’ll fall in love with the iconic Hoi An silk lanterns that set an ambient glow outside every restaurant, tailor shop and hotel; if that doesn’t get you, then a quick glimpse in the direction of the night market will. And just like … read the full post

Sep 13 2012

Full moon lantern festival, Hoi An

Published by under Festivals

The magical street lighting in old town Hoi An.

On the 14th day of every lunar month, the old town of Hoi An switches off its lights and closes to motorised traffic, the old town is transformed by flickering candlelight, multi-coloured lanterns and hoards of visitors who’ve come to see the full moon lantern festival. For the locals the night of the full moon … read the full post

Sep 12 2012

Saigon day tour

Published by under Saigon excursions

All aboard!

A quick walk through Saigon’s backpacker area of Pham Ngu Lao will lead you past several locations selling tours. While most feature longer tours to popular areas around the city, like tours of the Mekong Delta and the Cu Chi Tunnels, most also sell a generic five-hour day-tour of Ho Chi Minh City. If you … read the full post

Sep 09 2012

Exploring Bac Kan province

Published by under Hanoi excursions

Corn is so important that it's given its own tent

You don’t always have to stick to the tourist trail in Vietnam; simply striking out somewhere for the hell of it can be richly rewarding. Bac Kan province is little visited by tourists, although its main point of interest, Ba Be Lake, attracts those looking for natural beauty outside of Ha Long Bay. We took … read the full post

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