Apr 24 2012

Hanoi’s 36 streets: Ngo Gach

Published by under Hanoi's 36 streets

In London, Brick Lane is famous for its Indian food; in Hanoi, it used to sell bricks. Ngo (lane) Gach (brick) is a small road that runs between Hang Giay and Hang Duong and is one of those streets very easy to miss, but a shame not to visit. While there’s nothing unmissable along its … read the full post

Apr 21 2012

Phu Quoc half-marathon

Published by under Phu Quoc Island

I’m a runner; I try to run whenever I can. I run anywhere I can, mostly in the gym because I live in the city of Saigon, but I particularly love running on the beach. Luckily for me, Vietnam has some awesome beaches for running. Since Saigon can be a bit of a grind, I’m … read the full post

Apr 21 2012

Exhibitions at the Women’s Museum

Published by under Events

I wrote about the Vietnam Women’s Museum around a year ago, just after it re-opened following extensive refurbishments. I was impressed then and remain so, particularly having visited their three current temporary exhibitions: Worshiping Mother Goddess, Women and Flowers, and Shining Night. Shining Night is an exhibition set up by the Institute for Development & … read the full post

Apr 19 2012

Saigon Flea Market

Published by under Shopping

Saigon is a city where you can shop till you drop; plenty of markets, stores and boutiques are eager to help you part with your cash. Many of these places however have become a little too focused on tourists and visiting them may give you little in the way of a cultural experience. Add that … read the full post

Apr 16 2012

The electric bus route in Hanoi

Published by under Transport

A couple of years ago, vehicles reminiscent of golf buggies started appearing on the streets of Hanoi. As if the motorbikes, bicycles, cyclos, cars, buses and trucks weren’t enough. But I mustn’t complain, the carts are there in the name of green tourism: Hanoi’s attempt to cut down on the pollution caused by the other … read the full post

Apr 14 2012

Saigon’s Notre Dame Cathedral

The past few weeks I have written a few posts about some of the city’s more popular pagodas and temples; these focused mostly on Buddhist temples, but HCMC happens to be home to a large Catholic community and it wouldn’t be fair if I didn’t talk about another popular religious destination in Saigon, the Notre … read the full post

Apr 13 2012

Hanoi’s 36 streets: Hang Giay

Published by under Hanoi's 36 streets

Hàng Giầy is right in the centre of Old Quarter: running from Luong Ngoc Quyen to Hang Chieu. Giầy means shoes — if it were giay it would be paper, which is why I’ve added the tones — but nowadays there are very few shoes on sale along its stretch. There may not be shoes, … read the full post

Apr 12 2012

Saigon’s Reunification Day

Published by under Festivals

Everyone knows that travelling to Saigon during Tet can be a bit of a headache, with many restaurants and shops closed and transportation is limited. Tet, however, isn’t Vietnam’s only celebrated holiday that can throw you for a loop: Reunification Day on April 30 (followed a day later by May Day on May 1) marks … read the full post

Apr 10 2012

Motorcycling around Ha Giang

Published by under Hanoi excursions

Motorcycling from Ha Giang offers arguably the best scenery in Vietnam or even Southeast Asia, and provides the opportunity to explore a stunning region as yet relatively untouched by tourism. Unless you’re a really keen motorcyclist or have lots of time to spare, travelling to Ha Giang by bus and hiring bikes there is a … read the full post

Apr 07 2012

Getting VND in Saigon

Published by under Money & costs

The currency of Vietnam, known as dong or VND, is non-convertible, meaning, in short, it’s a little tricky. Outside the country it’s hard to get a hold of and almost unusable; inside the country, it’s the preferred method of payment, especially off the beaten path. It used to be that US dollars were accepted throughout … read the full post

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