Sep 19 2012

Ben Thanh Market, Ho Chi Minh City

Published by under Sightseeing & activities

Enter at your own risk.

Ben Thanh Market is one of Saigon’s icons and forms the heart of downtown District 1, bustling with activity from early morning until late at night. The market has existed for quite some time in one fashion or another. The current location, renovated in 1985, was the site of another relocated market, called Les Halles … read the full post

Sep 15 2012

Hoi An lanterns

Published by under Shopping

I want that one!

After an evening stroll through the old town its fairly likely that you’ll fall in love with the iconic Hoi An silk lanterns that set an ambient glow outside every restaurant, tailor shop and hotel; if that doesn’t get you, then a quick glimpse in the direction of the night market will. And just like … read the full post

Sep 15 2012

Review: Phan Anh Backpackers Hostel, Saigon

Published by under Accommodation

With six beds expect it to get cozy.

Down a narrow alley, hidden behind a market in Saigon’s backpacker area of Pham Ngu Lao, Phan Anh Hostel is a top example of a new wave of HCMC budget lodgings and is worth considering if you’re after a cheap bed but aren’t too fussed about socialising with other travellers. A little hard to find … read the full post

Sep 13 2012

Full moon lantern festival, Hoi An

Published by under Festivals

The magical street lighting in old town Hoi An.

On the 14th day of every lunar month, the old town of Hoi An switches off its lights and closes to motorised traffic, the old town is transformed by flickering candlelight, multi-coloured lanterns and hoards of visitors who’ve come to see the full moon lantern festival. For the locals the night of the full moon … read the full post

Sep 12 2012

Saigon day tour

Published by under Saigon excursions

All aboard!

A quick walk through Saigon’s backpacker area of Pham Ngu Lao will lead you past several locations selling tours. While most feature longer tours to popular areas around the city, like tours of the Mekong Delta and the Cu Chi Tunnels, most also sell a generic five-hour day-tour of Ho Chi Minh City. If you … read the full post

Sep 10 2012

Review: Saigon Youth Hostel, Ho Chi Minh City

Published by under Accommodation

Probably a good sign if its full of people.

Packed into a tight alley filled mostly with guesthouses and hotels in the middle of Saigon’s backpacker area of Pham Ngu Lao, the Saigon Youth Hostel is one of the few spots in the city that offer dorm-styled rooms. Although it says ‘youth hostel’ on the can, the Saigon Youth Hostel doesn’t actually have any … read the full post

Sep 09 2012

Exploring Bac Kan province

Published by under Hanoi excursions

Corn is so important that it's given its own tent

You don’t always have to stick to the tourist trail in Vietnam; simply striking out somewhere for the hell of it can be richly rewarding. Bac Kan province is little visited by tourists, although its main point of interest, Ba Be Lake, attracts those looking for natural beauty outside of Ha Long Bay. We took … read the full post

Sep 06 2012

Touring a Saigon lacquer factory

Published by under Sightseeing & activities

A lacquer artist hard at work.

If you find yourself shopping in Saigon, a walk through any market or mall will inevitably lead you, sooner or later, past a souvenir stand selling lacquer art. Lacquer can be very impressive to look at but the process of making it is also quite interesting. If you have time to spare while visiting the … read the full post

Sep 03 2012

Review: Golden Lotus Hotels, Hanoi

Published by under Accommodation

An unusually clear shot across a road in Hanoi

From the outside, the Golden Lotus Hotels look much like any other mid to upper-range place in Hanoi: narrow frontage, gold signs, big-glass doors and a uniformed doorman, but these would be our affordable luxury choice in Hanoi and would suit a couple with a mid-range budget or looking for a treat while in town. … read the full post

Sep 02 2012

Cooking classes in Hoi An

Published by under Food

Cooking boat trip

Once you see past the tailors you might just notice that Hoi An is a food lover’s paradise and once you’ve pigged out at a few of the restaurants and stalls the next thing on your list should be a cooking class. Not only will you be able to bore your friends back home with … read the full post

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