Mar 29 2012

Saigon motorbike driving tips: Dealing with police

Published by under Health & safety

Traffic in HCMC is ridiculous: it’s noisy, congested and totally awesome to navigate. To look at the traffic from the outside it would most certainly seem chaotic; people driving on the sidewalk, almost no regard for traffic lights, people swerving around people at whatever speed they desire. It’s so crazy that most people would be … read the full post

Mar 24 2012

Loss, theft and police in Vietnam

Published by under Health & safety

I’ve been through the theft part twice while travelling. I had cash stolen out of my bag in China — they sliced it open while it was by my feet on a bus — and a camera and iPod stolen from my baggage on a flight (yes, I know I shouldn’t have packed valuables in … read the full post

Mar 24 2012

Saigon’s Tomb of Le Van Duyet

Lately I’ve been talking about a few of the more popular pagodas in Saigon. All of these temples are revered places of worship where people actively go to pray and ask for guidance. Each one has had something unique: turtles, incense, or being the oldest temple in town. One thing that they all have in … read the full post

Mar 21 2012

Hanoi people: The Consular Officer

Published by under Hanoi people

Nalini Sadai started work for Britain’s Foreign Commonwealth Office (FCO) 10 years ago. She started off in London and then, in 2007, moved to Jamaica as Vice-Consul. She’s now the Consular Regional Operations Manager for Vietnam and Burma. I met with her to discuss her consular work and to find out what advice and help … read the full post

Mar 21 2012

Saigon ice cream

Published by under Food

It’s usually pretty warm in Saigon — even the early mornings of December and January rarely dip below 20 degrees Celsius — but the last couple of weeks here have been hot! We’re only in March; things are going to get even hotter over the next month. If you’re walking around the city when it’s … read the full post

Mar 17 2012

Shopping in Saigon

Published by under Shopping

Saigon offers plenty of great reasons to visit: every corner you turn on the street can lead you to great food, there are some cool pagodas and theme parks, and it’s a great spot to start a new adventure into other parts of the country. Decent shopping can also be done in my city — … read the full post

Mar 15 2012

Jetstar check-in and airport bus in Hanoi

Published by under Transport

Efficiency of check-in at Hanoi’s Noi Bai airport is hit and miss, and this can lead to frustration, so there’s a certain advantage to checking-in before you arrive. Jetstar doesn’t offer a web check-in but does have a check-in desk at its office at 206 Tran Quang Khai, on the main road just north of … read the full post

Mar 12 2012

Saigon’s Giac Lam Pagoda

I’ve recently covered a few of Saigon’s many pagodas — here and here — and you may have noticed a common theme emerging: they are small and are being chocked out by surrounding buildings. But there is a pagoda that staked its claim early enough, and far enough out of downtown, that it has still … read the full post

Mar 11 2012

Weddings in Hanoi: The day itself

Apologies. It’s taken me longer to write part two of this blog than it usually takes a couple in Hanoi to get engaged. So let me get straight into it and recount my Hanoian wedding experience. First I should say that the wedding I went to was in the suburbs and was what I believe … read the full post

Mar 09 2012

Saigon’s biggest cocktail?

Published by under Bars & nightlife

In Saigon there is no shortage of places to get a drink; pubs, rooftop bars, taverns, and places on the street with plastic stools all serve a variety of drinks, from locally made 3,000 VND a glass beer to fancy martinis. After I wrote a post about a big cheeseburger recently, which with a bigger … read the full post

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