Dec 19 2012

Christmas in Hanoi 2012

Published by under Events

Ding dong merrily on high.

Christmas may not be a Vietnamese holiday, but you’d never guess it: Hanoi is already decked with holly and baubles, and for those of you from the northern hemisphere the weather’s the right side of 20 degrees Celsius as well. Enjoy your Christmas in Hanoi at one of the hotels or restaurants or attend a … read the full post

Dec 18 2012

Saigon Opera House

Published by under Sightseeing & activities

Let's be honest, this place is probably haunted.

A fine example of turn of the century French colonial architecture, the Saigon Opera House, also known as the Municipal Theatre of Ho Chi Minh City, makes for decent picture on a stop during a tour of the city, or for a cultural experience for those interested in seeing a show. Easy to find in … read the full post

Dec 17 2012

Review: H’mong Mountain Retreat, Sapa

Published by under Sapa

Sapa with Kristel 066_LR

Those seeking to relax in stunning surroundings may not find what they’re looking for in busy Sapa town, but out of town accommodation, like H’mong Mountain Retreat, which overlooks the breathtaking Muong Hoa valley, provides a welcome alternative. The retreat consists of an 85-year-old stilt house, which was transported to its current location from a … read the full post

Dec 16 2012

Christmas and New Year’s in Saigon 2012

Published by under Festivals

It's either New Year's or an alien invasion.

The holiday season in Saigon sees grandiose decorations line the streets, people dressed as Santa Claus zip by on motorbikes and major downtown streets temporarily shut down. If you’re in town for Christmas and New Year’s, here are a few places where you can properly celebrate. Leading up to Christmas, decorations come out in full … read the full post

Dec 15 2012

Review: The Hill Station, Sapa

Published by under Sapa

Take it easy on the wine if you sit upstairs.

Sapa hasn’t changed much over the last few years, but one new addition that stands out is The Hill Station. Located near the junction of Cau May and Muong Hoa Roads, it’s in the thick of things, but provides a cosy respite from the streets and hawkers outside. Set on two floors, with a narrow … read the full post

Dec 13 2012

The Ho Chi Minh Trail with Hoi An Motorbike Adventures

Published by under Sightseeing & activities

Ba Hom accommodation might not come with room service, but who needs it with views like that!

With almost 1,000 miles of remote backwater paths and trails, paddy, narrow mountain passes, isolated hill tribes and dense jungle, Vietnam’s Ho Chi Minh Trail is one of the most rewarding and directionally challenging rides in the country. Unless you have a penchant for getting lost somewhere near the Lao border or breaking down on … read the full post

Dec 10 2012

Review: Saigon Mini 5, Ho Chi Minh City

Published by under Accommodation

A view from the busy street below.

In the middle of Saigon’s backpacker area of Pham Ngu Lao, the Saigon Mini 5 on busy Bui Vien offers a clean, affordable option for flashpackers and families. As the name would suggest, HCMC is home to several Saigon Mini Hotels, most of which are relatively close together, but offering different amenities and prices. Saigon … read the full post

Dec 09 2012

Christmas in Hoi An

Published by under Festivals

We couldn't resist!

If you are reading this from somewhere predominantly Christian in the West another mention of Christmas is quite possibly the last thing you need to hear; but for those of you lucky enough to be on the road, Christmas can be a tough time to be away from family and friends. But if you’re in … read the full post

Dec 07 2012

Overnighting in Tam Dao

Published by under Hanoi excursions

Not recommended in winter.

While not a must-visit destination, if you’re not in a rush and are keen to explore less touristy spots in Vietnam, Tam Dao hill station is worth an overnight from Hanoi, especially to escape the capital’s summer heat. Here’s some advice on how to spend your time there. Leave Hanoi after breakfast — by bus, … read the full post

Dec 06 2012

How to haggle — or avoid haggling — in Hoi An

Published by under Shopping

Hit the streets of Hoi An for anything from a tailored suit through to a banh mi and you will be thrown into a state of confusion over what really is a fair price. With very few traders working to a fixed price it’s not too uncommon to sometimes feel like you’ve been had. Ask … read the full post

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