Aug 02 2012

Hiring a motorbike in Hoi An

Published by under Transport

Monkey mountain, beats Clarkson's 'Deserted ribbon of perfection' hands down.

If you are a confident motorcyclist, Hoi An is the perfect base for some astonishingly good rides and the greatest thing about it is it’s really hard to get lost. There are some fantastic routes that you can easily cover in a day, from meandering along rivers fringed with coconut palms through to the magical … read the full post

Aug 02 2012

Avoiding scams in Saigon

Published by under Health & safety

This is what a good taxi looks like.

We’ve recently done a few posts on common Vietnamese scams from Hanoi; one about avoiding general scams in Hanoi and the other about avoiding taxi scams. Saigon has many of the same problems, but here are some things to look out for that are specific to the city. The most common place to be scammed … read the full post

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 26 2012

Saigon movie theatres

Published by under Sightseeing & activities

It actually looks like a normal theater.

Seeing a movie at a Saigon theatre is a cheap and easy way to spend a few hours and, since they play both Hollywood blockbusters and Vietnamese movies, you don’t have to understand Vietnamese to enjoy them. Movie theatres can be found in several easy-to-find locations, with two chains dominating Saigon. Galaxy Cinema, with several … read the full post

Jul 25 2012

Cham Islands, Hoi An

Published by under Sightseeing & activities

Walking the plank..

The Cham Islands aren’t just about diving. The lure of some of the most unspoilt islands in Vietnam and the chance to camp out under the stars on an incredible stretch of beach has made the islands the perfect escape between tailor fittings. The marine-protected Cham Islands are located a 20 kilometre boat ride from Cua Dai … read the full post

Jul 20 2012

The Ba Le Well, Hoi An

Published by under Sightseeing & activities

After 20 months and as many alleys, I finally found the Ba Le Well!

Of the 80 or so ancient wells located in Vietnam’s Hoi An, Ba Le Well is possibly the most talked about — along with being the most difficult to find. Water from the well, thought to have been built in the 10th century by the Cham people, is famed for its use in the town’s … read the full post

Jul 19 2012

Saigon motorbike driving tips: Buying a helmet

Published by under Health & safety

All the cool drivers in Saigon wear helmets.

Contrary to what it may seem, Saigon does actually have some traffic laws. If you plan on using a motorbike yourself to get around the city, we suggest brushing up on these laws as well as how to deal with Saigon’s police. One of the most important laws to abide by is HCMC’s helmet law. … read the full post

Jul 18 2012

Ho Chi Minh City’s Dong Khoi art galleries

Published by under Shopping

The finest gallery in town.

Art is sold almost everywhere in Saigon, but much of what you will find is paint-by-the-number reproductions. If you want to see quality original pieces by local artists, there are a few places to go besides the Ho Chi Minh City Fine Arts Museum; to see the latest and greatest in local art, take a … 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 11 2012

Travelling from Saigon to Siem Reap

Published by under Transport

You take a pretty small plane.

Saigon and Siem Reap are relatively close; as the plane flies only a little more than 400 kilometres separate the two cities. But looks can be deceiving, and travelling between the two cities can be complicated, expensive and time consuming. Here are your options. The simplest way to get to Siem Reap is by plane. … read the full post

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