Oct 22 2012

Drinking beer in Saigon’s Pham Ngu Lao

Published by under Bars & nightlife

The famous Saigon Red.

In Saigon’s backpacker district of Pham Ngu Lao you won’t have to walk far to find an ice cold beer. However, in hopping from one bar to another, you’ll quickly notice that prices vary widely from establishment to establishment. Here’s a rundown of what you’ll find where, and how much you can expect to pay. … read the full post

Oct 21 2012

What to do with your kids in Hanoi

No, they're not mine.

The busy streets and hectic traffic in Hanoi make it less than child-friendly, but don’t let that put you off: the city offers many activities that children will enjoy. Here’s a selection you might want to consider during a stay. Most people want to explore Hanoi’s atmospheric Old Quarter, but walking around the area with … read the full post

Oct 20 2012

Review: La Veranda, Phu Quoc

Published by under Phu Quoc Island

It has a nice view too.

With its muted yellows and terracotta tiles, colonial-styled La Veranda, right in the heart of the developed stretch of Long Beach on Phu Quoc Island, harks back dreamily to Vietnam’s French-ruled period. If you’re a romantic, and you’ve coin to spare, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a more luxurious and tasteful spot to stay on the … read the full post

Oct 19 2012

Hanoi street food: Banh my kebab

Published by under Food

Not a noodle in sight.

Banh my (or banh mi in Saigon) — bread — is a staple breakfast and lunch dish in Hanoi when served with a filling of pate, egg (trung) or cured pork (cha). Although banh my pate stems from the French colonial era, a more recent addition to many menus here — banh my kebab — … read the full post

Oct 12 2012

Review: Blah Blah, Hanoi

Published by under Bars & nightlife

That's all the men hear.

Narrow Blah Blah, on Hanoi‘s Hang Be Street, may be difficult to spot, but you’ll be glad you did: it’s intimate, friendly and well-priced. My first experience of Blah Blah bar was on Lunar New Years’ Eve (Tet) earlier this year and afterwards I had two memories of the bar: one, it was small and … read the full post

Oct 11 2012

An Bang Beach, Hoi An

Published by under Sightseeing & activities

Deserted stretches of white sandy beach at An Bang.

Think casuarina-lined white sandy beaches, just the right balance of great restaurants and bars, green lawns, island views and year round swimming in the tropical East Sea and you’ve got An Bang Beach in Hoi An. Just four kilometres from the UNESCO-listed town of Hoi An and 30 kilometres from the international airport in Da … read the full post

Oct 09 2012

Drinks with a view at Ho Guom Plaza

Published by under Bars & nightlife

A quiet moment at the junction.

Almost as iconic a Hanoi landmark as Hoan Kiem Lake, though not as picturesque, Ho Guom Plaza, also known as Shark Jaws, looms over the southern edge of Old Quarter and provides no fewer than six different eating and drinking options. The best place to view its majesty, and get an idea of what’s inside, … read the full post

Oct 07 2012

Navigating Ben Thanh Market, Ho Chi Minh City

Published by under Shopping

You'll never know what's in every bag.

While a visit to Saigon wouldn’t be complete without a visit to the popular Ben Thanh Market, it’s by no means an easy place to navigate. Here’s a guide to help you find what you’re looking for, from T-shirts to pho to fresh meat. With little signage available to direct you through the market’s interior, … read the full post

Oct 06 2012

One-dollar bar crawl in Hoi An

Published by under Bars & nightlife

Street Beer Stall Hoi An

I’m going to quickly establish that there are not actually many bars in this Hoi An bar crawl guide, but plenty of plastic chairs on the street and quite a few restaurants, not all of which have what you would call toilet facilities, but that’s part of the fun, surely? Prices are based on two … read the full post

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

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