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

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

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