May 09 2011

How to treat a motorbike burn

Published by under Health & safety

Every day in Saigon around four million motorbikes hit the street, and for every bike you also get an extremely hot exhaust pipe.  Whether walking by a parked bike on the footpath or riding on the back, even the most careful traveller may bump into one of these accidents waiting to happen. The first motorbike … read the full post

May 05 2011

A touch of art at 6 on Sixteen Hotel

Published by under Accommodation

The Sapa Rooms Hotel in central Sapa is run with a socially responsible philosophy: it is committed to working with, and supporting, local communities. It also recruits staff trained by KOTO, the training and employment centre for street and disadvantaged youth. But its social responsibility is matched by a high quality hotel and restaurant that makes it worth a visit even for … read the full post

Apr 26 2011

Buying a motorbike helmet in Hanoi

Wearing a helmet on a motorbike has been law in Vietnam since 2007. This applies to drivers and passengers over the age of six. Officials estimate that about 90% or riders now comply with this law and, given they save lives, you’d be daft not to wear one too. If you hire a bike it should come … read the full post

Apr 25 2011

Taxi tips for Saigon

Published by under Transport

Taxis in Saigon are easy to find and cheap to ride, but they can be a trap for the unknowing tourist. Here are a few tricks of the trade for you to know about the Saigon taxi business. Choosing the right taxi company is very important and will save you money. I stick to Vinasun … read the full post

Apr 21 2011

How to get an Indian visa in Hanoi

Published by under Visas

If you’re travelling extends beyond SE Asia and into India, you can sort out a 6 month visa for India in Hanoi. Yes, 6 months – single or multiple entry. I was surprised. As an aside, if you want to stay longer than 6 months it looks like you have to leave the country for 2 … read the full post

Apr 19 2011

How to get a Laos visa in Hanoi

Published by under Visas

For most nationalities, 30-day tourist visas for Laos are available on arrival at airports and most land crossings. At the airports, at least, it’s a straightforward and relatively quick process — fill in a form, provide one passport photo, pay your fee and it’s done — but if you’re travelling through a lesser used border or just like to be … read the full post

Apr 14 2011

The re-opened Vietnamese Women’s Museum

The Vietnamese Women’s Museum was closed for some time for extensive renovations but opened again recently. It’s well worth a visit for anyone interested in women’s studies or the culture of Vietnam: it gives a broad insight into Vietnam’s population, including its 54 ethnic groups, addressed through a lens of women’s issues. The positive impression … read the full post

Apr 06 2011

Getting a haircut in Hanoi

Published by under Health & safety

Neatly groomed hair might not be a priority when backpacking, but most of us need a haircut once in a while. So where’s a good place to get a haircut in Hanoi? Plenty of options for men The most interesting option is to stop at one of the roadside barbers scattered throughout town. I’ve not … read the full post

Apr 02 2011

Saigon motorbike taxi tips

Published by under Transport

When I am in need of a ride, the quickest, and my favourite, way to get around Saigon is by using one of the many motorbike taxis, or xe oms. Drivers can be found on nearly every Saigon street corner sitting, or laying, on their bike. Catching a xe om, especially during rush hour, will save … read the full post

Mar 17 2011

Renting a motorbike in Hanoi

Published by under Transport

As I’m sure you’re aware, motorbikes are THE mode of transport in Vietnam, and Hanoi is the epitome of this love affair with two wheels. For many visitors, a drive from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City or vice versa is the best way to see the country, but others are satisfied with just the experience of a … read the full post

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