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 28 2012

Hanoi’s street food: Bun dau

Published by under Food

Not the most colourful dish

In the UK, tofu is largely considered as “food for veggies” and certainly not a food group that any hardcore carnivore would ever rave about. So before coming out to Asia I didn’t eat tofu. I can’t say I’d never tried it, I surely must have done somewhere, but it certainly wasn’t among my usual … 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 23 2012

Review: Moc Quan Pho Cuon, Hanoi

Published by under Food

With a bia Hanoi to wash it all down

I wrote some time ago about the pho-based dishes that are a specialty of the Truc Bach area of Hanoi; since then, a new place has opened up that makes pho cuon even more appealing. Based on Nguyen Khac Hieu street, on what is often referred to as Truc Bach island or Truc Bach village, … 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 15 2012

War Remnants Museum, Saigon

Published by under Sightseeing & activities

Get to the chopper!

Just few blocks from the entrance to the Reunification Palace, Saigon’s War Remnants Museum offers an alternative narrative of the war. Opened in late 1975 and located on Vo Van Tan in District 3 in the former US Information Service Building, the museum was originally called The House for Displaying War Crimes of American Imperialism … read the full post

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