Dec 23 2011

Photo: Incense at Thien Hau pagoda

Published by under Photos

Ho Chi Minh City‘s many pagodas are renowned for their evocative burning incense, but none quite so much as Thien Hau Pagoda in the heart of Cho Lon — Ho Chi Minh City’s Chinatown. Dozens of slow-burning incense coils hang from the ceiling while yellow slicks smoulder at waist-level by the fistful. While the temple … read the full post

Dec 22 2011

Canyoning in Da Lat

Published by under Dalat

When you’re travelling in Vietnam, taking tours can become a common theme of your trip. Tours can be great, but after you’ve done a few they can get a little repetitive. Lately I’ve been looking for a little more adventure in my travels around Saigon so when my friend recommended I take a quick weekend … read the full post

Dec 19 2011

December getaways: Hanoi to Sapa

Published by under Hanoi excursions

If you end up in Hanoi at Christmas but don’t want a city-based festive season, what are your options? With no good beaches within easy travelling distance – and the weather not likely to be good enough for lazing on a beach anyway — why not go in the opposite direction and head for the … read the full post

Dec 14 2011

A Christmas day in Hanoi

Published by under Festivals

Despite Christmas not being traditionally celebrated in Vietnam, the Christmas spirit has certainly arrived this year, with decorations proudly lacing many an office and apartment building. I celebrated early on Saturday, as I’ll be in the UK over Christmas this year: Santa hats and decorations were purchased on Hang Ma, Secret Santa (anonymous) gifts were … read the full post

Dec 12 2011

Photo: Trader house Hanoi

Published by under Photos

One of the great tragedies of Hanoi’s last few decades has been the demolishing of its many trading houses and shopfronts. It’s a testament to the sad state of affairs that many of the places of architecture walks in Hanoi’s Old Quarter no longer exist. Still, some remain.

Dec 07 2011

December getaways: Saigon to Nha Trang

Published by under Nha Trang

With the exception of Tet, which sees Saigon comes to a four-day screeching halt, holidays can make people here go extra crazy. Christmas sees Saigon residents jam the streets to look at the Christmas lights around the city and getting a taxi from the airport is ridiculous: last year on Christmas Day I was quoted … read the full post

Dec 06 2011

How cold does it really get in Hanoi?

Published by under Weather

With the temperature dropping notably over the last week and my friend calling me this morning to ask where she could buy a heater, I thought it was an appropriate time to comment on the frequently asked question: “How cold does it get in Hanoi?“. We arrived in Hanoi at the end of January 2010 … read the full post

Dec 02 2011

Biking Hoi An

Published by under Transport

Renting a bicycle has always been a good way to explore Hoi An and its surrounds: it’s cheap, they’re never banned from the streets (other vehicles are forbidden at various times of the day), they provide a lot of freedom and you get to feel like you’re compensating for that last portion of wontons. I spent … read the full post

Dec 02 2011

Photo: Saigon green space

Published by under Photos

Saigon must be one of the easiest cities to string cliches together for: the old colliding with the new, the cyclos under neon lights, the hypnotic traffic (we admit we’re quite as guilty of it as the next travel site…) So it’s nice to rise above it all — and we think this single snap … read the full post

Nov 28 2011

Finding a good tailor in Hoi An

Published by under Shopping

by Anna Heimbichner Hoi An is home to possibly the world’s highest concentration of tailors per capita, who will stop at nothing to get you to buy clothing you think you need. Having clothes custom made for you can be highly tempting; I certainly wanted to give it a shot. I met travellers who visited … read the full post

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