Archive for April, 2013

Apr 30 2013

Custom-made shoes in Saigon

Published by under Shopping

Not sure if I could pull these off.

Finding shoes that fit a Westerners feet in Saigon can be a tough proposition. We’ve covered shopping for shoes in Vietnams’ commercial capital, mentioning some spots where you can find bigger shoes, but the town also has cobblers who can make you a shiny new pair of tailor-made shoes. These cobbler shops will make a … read the full post

Apr 29 2013

Review: The new Quan An Ngon, Hanoi

Published by under Food

Tofu and tomato - a failsafe option.

Quan An Ngon restaurant, on Phan Boi Chau Street, has long been a favourite of visitors to Hanoi. It provides a clean and reasonably comfortable setting in which to sample a range of Vietnamese street food dishes, but it’s often overflowing with customers, necessitating a wait for a table and a crowded and noisy environment. … read the full post

Apr 28 2013

Saigon parks: part 2

Published by under Sightseeing & activities

Pull my finger.

Though Saigon’s streets can feel grey and congested, scattered throughout the city are green spaces worth seeking out. We’ve highlight some parks around HCMC before, but really barely scratched the surface of what there is to find. If you’re looking for some green places to relax, here are a few more to choose from. Following … read the full post

Apr 27 2013

Photo essay: Wet market tour, Hanoi

Food can be semi-prepared for you.

Despite the growth of supermarkets, wet markets and street markets still play a pivotal role in the supply of groceries to Vietnamese households. Many people, primarily women, visit the market twice a day, working trips around school drop-offs and, for many, their paying jobs. Street market to us — and this may not be everyone’s … read the full post

Apr 25 2013

Luong Duong springs, Da Nang

Published by under Da Nang

springs

One of the lesser known natural wonders around Da Nang and an easy road trip from Hoi An is Luong Duong Springs, also known as Turtle Springs, a jungle-clad, natural waterfall surrounded by emerald spring pools. For nature lovers and families, Luong Duong Springs is worthy of a visit if you were to incorporate it … read the full post

Apr 21 2013

Review: The Hanoi Social Club, Hanoi

Published by under Food

We're assuming the chalkboard will change now it's 30C again.

With a relaxed vibe, eclectic decor and wholesome food, The Hanoi Social Club has etched out a unique positioning for itself and is a perfect spot for a tasty lunch, naughty afternoon cake or chill-out with a beer. When a new place opens in Hanoi we give it a while to settle down and to … read the full post

Apr 17 2013

Quan Am, the bodhisattva of compassion, in Vietnam

Published by under Culture

Some stars never fade.

Anyone who spends more than a few hours in Vietnam will notice the many white statues of a divine woman usually holding an upside down vase. It’s not some feminine looking Buddha or an “Asian Virgin Mary” — it’s Quan Am (aka Kuan Yin, Kuan Shih Yin, Guanyin or Kannon), the bodhisattva of compassion. In … read the full post

Apr 15 2013

Visa on arrival at Saigon, Vietnam

Published by under Visas

This is the shortest I've ever seen the line.

Compared to other Southeast Asian countries, getting into Vietnam is slightly more difficult, requiring most foreign travellers to apply for a visa weeks before visiting. Instead of visiting their nearest Vietnamese embassy, many fliers opt for Vietnam’s visa on arrival. However, the visa on arrival process at Saigon’s Tan Son Nhat can be confusing, especially … read the full post

Apr 15 2013

Hanoi’s 36 streets: Hang Quat

Published by under Hanoi's 36 streets

Almost as colourful as Hang Ma.

Hang Quat is one of the most colourful streets in Old Quarter and its time for coverage in our 36 streets series has now finally come. Quat means fans, and that is of course what was traditionally made on this street, be they from bamboo, paper or palm leaves. Villagers set up shop in the … read the full post

Apr 14 2013

Asia food tours: Food on Foot

Ours came in a bowl but these are prettier.

For my final street food tour adventure I opted for a budget-priced tour, joining a lunchtime trip with Food on Foot, operated by Vietnam Awesome Travel, with a great guide and plenty of stops. Usually pick-up is at your hotel, but given I haven’t lived in a hotel since first arriving in Hanoi three years … read the full post