Jun 11 2012

Review: InterContinental Hotel Hanoi

Published by under Accommodation

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Scorning the trend to build tall, the sprawling low-rise InterContinental Hotel in Hanoi stands quietly proud alongside its high-rise neighbour the Sheraton. Jutting out into the northern edge of West Lake, the Intercontinental makes up for its distance from the atmosphere of the Old Quarter with its lake views and its proximity to the restaurants … read the full post

Jun 11 2012

Travelling from Saigon to Dalat

Published by under Transport

Roughly 300 kilometres from Saigon, the Central Highlands city of Dalat is a great spot to escape the traffic and humidity of the big city. If you want to visit the former French playground, here are the best ways to go. The quickest way to get to Dalat is by taking a plane from HCMC’s … read the full post

Jun 08 2012

A bike excursion to Bridegroom Field

Published by under Hanoi excursions

Although the sprawl of Hanoi makes it time-consuming to reach the countryside proper, a short jaunt to the banks of the Red River will have you feeling like you’ve left the city behind. The best way to explore is by bicycle, so ask at your hotel about hiring a bike for the day, pack your … read the full post

Jun 07 2012

Ho Chi Minh City Fine Arts Museum

Just on the other side of the Troung Tran Nguyen Han roundabout from Ben Thanh market, behind the bus centre down Pho Duc Chinh, the Ho Chi Minh City Fine Arts Museum sits in a flamboyantly yellow colonial building. Established in 1987, the Museum houses works of art on three floors, each representing its own … read the full post

Jun 06 2012

Review: Hanoi Backpackers’ Hostel, Ma May

Published by under Accommodation

It’s impossible to miss the most recent addition to the Hanoi Backpackers’ Hostel stable, with its seven-storey, eight-metre wide frontage slap-bang in the middle of the most tourist-orientated area of Old Quarter. The original Hanoi Backpackers’, on Ngo Huyen near St Joseph’s Cathedral, is still going strong, but the new venue combines more modern styling … read the full post

Jun 03 2012

Hanoi’s 36 streets: Hang Be and Gia Ngu

Published by under Hanoi's 36 streets

While I often make a case for Hanoi’s Old Quarter having retained its charms and local life despite the influx of tourists, I am willing to admit that some streets have completely given themselves over to tourism. Hang Be is one such example, and despite my best efforts I have struggled to come up with … read the full post

Jun 02 2012

How much will I spend in Hanoi?

Published by under Money & costs

While Vietnam is still a cheap place to visit, relative to costs outside of the region, inflation has recently been the highest in Asia: it peaked at more than 22 percent year on year in 2011 and clocked in at 14 percent in March 2012. The dong has also devalued. Unfortunately this means that you … read the full post

May 31 2012

A walk around Hanoi’s Truc Bach lake

Truc Bach Lake lies about three kilometres to the northwest of Hoan Kiem Lake and is easily reachable on foot or by cyclo. It has plenty going on around its banks and no shortage of places to stop for a coffee, beer or lunch, so is worth a wander if you’ve time. Starting at Quan … read the full post

May 30 2012

Shopping for shoes in Saigon

Published by under Shopping

Shoes are among the most difficult thing I have managed to find during the fair amount of shopping I have done during my time in HCMC — those of us from the Western world have big feet, much bigger than your average local’s. If you’re on the lookout for a pair of shoes in Saigon, … read the full post

May 27 2012

Mui Ne kite surfing

Published by under Mui Ne

For some, a holiday on the beach is meant to be a relaxing, low-energy affair. Wake up late, shuffle to your beach chair, and never break a sweat. For others, a trip to the beach is a time for adventure and extreme sports — like kite surfing. If you’re a kite surfer, or a wannabe … read the full post

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