Archive for November, 2012

Nov 30 2012

Getting to Tam Dao from Hanoi

Published by under Hanoi excursions

Quite a view.

At 80 kilometres northwest of Hanoi, Tam Dao hill station makes for a good overnight or one-day respite from the chaos of the Vietnamese capital. You can get to the cooler area, where there are plenty of hiking trails and pretty scenery, by bus, motorbike, taxi or private car; here’s a little about how to … read the full post

Nov 29 2012

Review: Quan Nem, Ho Chi Minh City

Published by under Food

This is what the inside looks like.

You don’t have to head north from Saigon to enjoy quality renditions of specialty dishes from that region, as proper northern establishments have set up shop in the big city down south. One such joint is Quan Nem, a restaurant specialising in the crispy, northern crab spring roll nem cua be. Occupying a two-floor building, … read the full post

Nov 29 2012

Banh bao in Hoi An

Published by under Food

The full moon 'Buddhist' Bahn Bao

If like me you were once one of those neanderthals where the best nights out you ever had somehow always ended up at a kebab stall then you will thank me for this heads up on late-night food snacking in Hoi An. I’ve researched this article with perhaps a little too much enthusiasm after taking … read the full post

Nov 26 2012

Where to get a SIM card in Saigon

Published by under Practicalities

Get your SIM and some cigarettes.

Purchasing a SIM card is a top priority for many visitors on arrival in HCMC. While the cards are readily available, prices and options can vary wildly and many sellers have set themselves up to take advantage of the less than savvy travellers. If you can manage to steer clear of purchasing an overpriced SIM … read the full post

Nov 25 2012

Hanoi’s French Quarter

The centrepiece of Hanoi's French Quarter.

If you need a break from the chaos of Old Quarter, wander down to Hanoi’s French Quarter, where wide open streets, majestic buildings and high-end hotels, restaurants and shops await. Hanoi’s French Quarter lies to the southeast of Hoan Kiem lake. In the late 19th century, when the French occupied Hanoi, they demolished many of … read the full post

Nov 24 2012

Vietnam’s most famous bahn mi?

Published by under Food

UPDATE, November 04, 2013: Phuong has now moved to a stall outside the central food hall (to the left), along with opening her first Banh Mi Phuong shop at 2 Phan Chau Trinh Street, where along with her usual selection of mouthwateringly, more-ish banh mi, she’s launched her first dessert menu: ice cream, in many … read the full post

Nov 21 2012

Review: Vesper Homestay, Hoi An

Published by under Accommodation

Vesper Homestay's Standard room.

Pulling up outside the cheery blue three-storey family home Vesper Homestay with its windows flung open to views of far flung paddy is reward enough for the amount of trouble you will have finding this place. If you were looking for off the beaten path then you’ve come to the right place: Vesper is right … read the full post

Nov 19 2012

Review: An An Hotel, Ho Chi Minh City

Published by under Accommodation

Look at the pretty colors.

With an easy to find, prominent location on the busy street of Bui Vien in Saigon’s backpacker area of Pham Ngu Lao, An An Hotel is one of the better choices in the immediate area for flashpackers searching for that needle in a haystack of low-end guesthouses, hostels and dodgy hotels. A tall turquoise and … read the full post

Nov 18 2012

Review: Com Tam Ba Ghien, Ho Chi Minh City

Published by under Saigon street food

So tender you can cut it with a spoon.

Hidden away down a sidestreet in Saigon’s Phu Nhuan district, Com Tam Ba Ghien is known far and wide for their specialty com tam suon, or a pork chop served over broken rice. About a 20-minute taxi ride out of downtown, eating at this street spot will require you to overlook some grungy conditions, with … read the full post

Nov 17 2012

Street food on Ngo Trang Tien, Hanoi

Published by under Food

Chopsticks are easier.

If you love street food but want to try something other than pho and bun cha for lunch in Hanoi, head down to Ngo Trang Tien near the Opera House for an enticing array of goodies. Ngo Trang Tien is a narrow street running between Nguyen Khac Can and Phan Chu Trinh, to the south … read the full post

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