Archive for the 'Hanoi' Category

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 17 2012

Avoiding taxi scams in Hanoi

Published by under Money & costs

Be careful not to get stranded

As I mentioned in my earlier post on scams in Hanoi, taxi cheats are probably the one thing people complain most about. While unlikely to cost you a fortune, it’s still annoying to be over-charged or — literally — taken for a ride. So here’s some info about what to watch out for and how … read the full post

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 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 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

Jun 29 2012

Hanoi’s Food Street

Published by under Food

Noodles are easy to find

One could argue that all of Hanoi’s streets are food streets, in that it’s hard to find any that don’t have at least one vendor selling pho or banh my or any of the other delicious street foods on offer here. But two things make so-called “food street” different and worthy of its name: firstly, … read the full post

Jun 22 2012

Lotus flowers in Hanoi

Spot the frog

It’s lotus flower season in Hanoi and the West Lake area is awash with the beautiful blooms. Lotus flowers hold particular significance in Vietnam, as they are considered one of four graceful flowers and plants, along with pine, bamboo and chrysanthemum. They are a symbol of purity, commitment, optimism for the future, beauty, majesty, grace, … read the full post

Jun 12 2012

Dau pagoda and Horn village

Published by under Hanoi excursions

Heads up

Dau pagoda, considered Vietnam’s oldest, is located 24 kilometres south of the centre of Hanoi, in Bac Ninh province, and takes about one hour to reach by road. In the third century, the area in which it is located was the capital of Giai Chi, at the time Vietnam’s political, economic and cultural centre. Khau … read the full post

Jun 08 2012

A bike excursion to Bridegroom Field

Published by under Hanoi excursions

Although the sprawl of Hanoi makes it time-consuming to reach the countryside proper, a short jaunt to the banks of the Red River will have you feeling like you’ve left the city behind. The best way to explore is by bicycle, so ask at your hotel about hiring a bike for the day, pack your … read the full post

Jun 03 2012

Hanoi’s 36 streets: Hang Be and Gia Ngu

Published by under Hanoi's 36 streets

While I often make a case for Hanoi’s Old Quarter having retained its charms and local life despite the influx of tourists, I am willing to admit that some streets have completely given themselves over to tourism. Hang Be is one such example, and despite my best efforts I have struggled to come up with … read the full post

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