Jul 13 2012

Review: Kem Ho Tay, Hanoi

Published by under Food

Quick, eat it before it melts

If you drive north along Hanoi’s Duong Thanh Nien, which passes between Truc Bach Lake and West Lake, on a sunny weekend afternoon, be prepared to swerve around the crowds gathered outside of Kem Ho Tay: West Lake Ice Cream. While there’s plenty of seating inside by the lake, it seems most customers prefer the … 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

Jul 10 2012

Avoiding scams in Hanoi

Published by under Health & safety

Keep an eye on your dong

Vietnam, and Hanoi in particular, has been getting a bit of a bashing in the Travelfish.org forum recently. While I can’t really counter the “Vietnamese are unfriendly” comments with any practical advice, I can try to address bad experiences caused by scams in Hanoi and suggest ways to avoid them. First, let’s get some definitions … read the full post

Jul 08 2012

Walking tour of 1930s architecture in Hanoi

Published by under Hanoi excursions

Get on those ballgowns

I recently attended a talk at The Bookworm entitled “Stories houses tell” and given by Linda Mazur, a Canadian who has been living in Hanoi since 1998. Not only are the stories fascinating in themselves, but the buildings she focuses on — built during the 1930s — are worth a look for anyone interested in … read the full post

Jul 08 2012

The best time to visit Hoi An

Published by under Sightseeing & activities

Er.. Rush hour?

Usually low season in a popular tourist destination means rubbish weather and a seasonal shutdown of things to do. In Hoi An, it’s the complete opposite. From May to July, when the crowds thin, it’s perfect beach weather around Hoi An, with temperatures averaging around the mid-30s Celsius. This means it’s not only great for … read the full post

Jul 07 2012

Desserts in Saigon

Published by under Food

Pacey's cupcakes are smaller so you can eat more.

Saigon is a town for food lovers, and although it is better known for its pho, there’s no shortage of great shops for you to visit after dinner (or before because remember life is short) selling delicious, sweet treats. If you have a sweet tooth, here are some places you can go for dessert. It’s … read the full post

Jul 06 2012

Massage at Huong Sen

Published by under Spas & massage

No, the metal door isn't the massage bed

It’s been well over a year since I wrote about getting a cheap and decent massage in Hanoi, and that’s proven to be a popular post, so: time for another massage-related post. In the name of research, I headed to Huong Sen Healthcare Centre. I mentioned Huong Sen II in my last post, but this … read the full post

Jun 30 2012

Saigon’s Reunification Palace

Published by under Sightseeing & activities

Thunderbirds go!

In the heart of downtown District 1, just a short walk away from some of Saigon’s other famous sights such as Notre Dame Cathedral and the Saigon Post Office, Reunification Palace sits as a time capsule of the city’s past surrounded by green lawns and iron fences. Formerly known as the Independence Palace, the Reunification … read the full post

Jun 29 2012

Hanoi’s Food Street

Published by under Food

Noodles are easy to find

One could argue that all of Hanoi’s streets are food streets, in that it’s hard to find any that don’t have at least one vendor selling pho or banh my or any of the other delicious street foods on offer here. But two things make so-called “food street” different and worthy of its name: firstly, … read the full post

Jun 27 2012

Things to do in Cholon

Published by under Sightseeing & activities

What a big market you have.

Most travellers visiting Saigon stick only to the main points of interest in the city’s downtown District 1, but just a short taxi ride outside of District 1 lays one of HCMC’s most interesting areas: Cholon, or Chinatown. If you’re in Saigon, and have the time to spare, spending a day in Cholon is worthwhile. … read the full post

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