Mar 06 2012

Saigon’s Thien Hau Pagoda

As I have mentioned before, Saigon has no shortage of places to worship. There are churches, pagodas and mosques sprinkled throughout the city. While most are of the newer variety, there are some pagodas that have stood the test of time for hundreds of years. Although older pagodas are spread throughout the city, a high … read the full post

Mar 05 2012

Hanoi’s 36 streets: Ta Hien

Published by under Hanoi's 36 streets

Try as I might, I can’t find out what “Ta Hien”, one of Hanoi‘s 36 streets, originally sold, although according to a friend’s father, it sold food when he was young and during his parents’ generation — whether that was the original wares sold here or not, I’m not sure. Perhaps this lack of information … read the full post

Feb 29 2012

Hanoi street food: Lau (hotpot)

Published by under Food

Lau — pronounced something like ‘low’ — is perhaps one of the most popular dishes in Hanoi, particularly in the cooler months. It’s a similar set up to that seen in other countries in the region (I recall a particularly good experience in the Perhentians): a pan of simmering stock is put on a gas … read the full post

Feb 27 2012

Saigon’s Suoi Tien Cultural Amusement Park

Published by under Saigon excursions

Saigon isn’t the most kid-friendly city in the world. There are certainly lots of kids in the city but very few places seem to cater to them. Most theme parks and water parks in the city, or country for that matter, have dangerous elements. So I was surprised to find a safe and kid-friendly park … read the full post

Feb 26 2012

March events in Hanoi

Published by under Events

A couple of upcoming events in Hanoi are worth bringing to your attention: opera, history and art exhibitions. On March 9 and 10, Hanoi Opera House will be home to a German opera night. Conducted by Jonas Alber, the Vietnam National Symphony Orchestra will perform excerpts from works including Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte, Beethoven’s Fidelio and … read the full post

Feb 22 2012

Hanoi people: The chef

Published by under Hanoi people

Tracey Lister, co-owner of Hanoi Cooking Centre, first came to Hanoi in 2000. Hoping to find voluntary work she was rebuffed by NGOs who didn’t “need chefs” but she came anyway, accompanying her husband, Andreas Pohl, who was working on an AusAid project. When she arrived in Hanoi she met Jimmy Pham, founder of Koto … read the full post

Feb 20 2012

Saigon’s Jade Emperor Pagoda

Saigon is a city filled with places of worship; it seems that every street has at least one pagoda or church — from the roof of my old house in District 3 I could see at least seven. Most of these spots are nothing particularly special in terms of architectural or historical significance but Saigon … read the full post

Feb 18 2012

Weddings in Hanoi: Before the day

If you’ve seen a tent being erected on the pavement in the middle of Hanoi and wondered what on earth is going on, it’s likely that there’s a wedding in the offing. Let me backtrack a little and give you a whistle-stop guide to marriage in Vietnam. To give you a full understanding of the … read the full post

Feb 16 2012

Enjoying street food at Saigon’s markets

Published by under Food

I’ve mentioned before that I think the greatest thing about my city is the food and the best food is usually on the street. Obviously, I talk a lot about street food but honestly I get most of my “street food” from markets. The problem is that besides Ben Thanh Market, and maybe Binh Tay, … read the full post

Feb 15 2012

Hanoi people: The travel agent

Published by under Hanoi people

As a way to bring you an insight plus some useful information about Hanoi, I’ve been interviewing people who can offer different perspectives on the city. Given that travel agents get a lot of negative press, I met with Lai, a travel agent well known and trusted within the expat community. Lai is from a … read the full post

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