Aug 02 2013

Riding Thanh Nam, Hoi An

Published by under Sightseeing & activities

Fish bunting: an aromatic alternative to the endless silk lanterns of the old town.

Thanh Nam fishing village, a short bike ferry from Cua Dai harbour, is a popular stop-off for early morning bicycle tour groups and you can see why: as the sampans park laden with the day’s catch it’s a vibrant, bustling backdrop of conical hats, pyjamas and of course, fish. Fabulous for photographers, it’s well worth … read the full post

Jul 23 2013

Hanoi’s train station

Published by under Transport

As high tech as it gets.

Most visitors to Hanoi will have some occasion to use the train station, whether travelling north to Sapa or down the coast on the Reunification Express. So here’s a quick guide to where it is, how to buy tickets and what to expect when you get there. The train station is split into station A … read the full post

Jul 11 2013

Hoi An tailor shop scams: Part 1

Published by under Shopping

For the best tailor shop experience; leave the rose tinted glasses at home.

If we were to tell you that upon almost every purchase made in a Hoi An tailor shop, 40 percent of the price you pay goes straight out the door into a third party’s pocket, would you be a little bit shocked? Or that the average price on cutting and sewing a man’s suit is … read the full post

Jul 08 2013

When’s the best time to visit Hanoi?

Published by under Practicalities

Now that's when you want to be in Hanoi.

Don’t be fooled by the fact Hanoi is in Southeast Asia and think shorts and T-shirts are good to go all year round. Hanoi has four seasons, and as the city’s in the northern hemisphere, that means the chilly winter starts in December and steaming summer hovers around July and August. It’s impossible to give firm … read the full post

Jul 04 2013

Co Tu hilltribe harvest festival

Published by under Festivals

Dancing, chanting, gongs and a few fashion helmets in the crowd.

Live music, dancing, a bucket load of moonshine… This is the basic formula for a good festival the world over, even when that festival happens to be that of an ancient hilltribe village in the Central Highlands of Vietnam. Quang Nam’s Co Tu tribe are no strangers to a good festival; apparently there are 92 … read the full post

Jun 30 2013

Thong Nhat Park, Hanoi

Expanse of water? Stick some swan boats on it.

Thong Nhat Park, a 15-minute ride from Hoan Kiem Lake, is the perfect spot during the day to relax with a book or enjoy a stroll without having to avoid Hanoi’s motorbikes and street vendors. Thong Nhat Park covers an area of more than 50 hectares in Hai Ba Trung district, to the south of … read the full post

Jun 21 2013

Budget drinks with views in Hanoi

Published by under Bars & nightlife

Now that's a view worth ending on.

You’ll have to spend a bit more than you’d pay for bia hoi or a cha da on the street, but with so many lakes it’s not too hard to find somewhere with a view and cheap drinks in Hanoi. Let’s start with the Old Quarter. Here, our pick for best spot is Cafe Pho … read the full post

Jun 17 2013

Ms Dzung’s Massage, Hanoi

Published by under Spas & massage

Welcome.

An offshoot of long established social enterprise Just Massage, Ms Dzung’s Massage employs blind and partially-sighted staff and offers quality massages in a calming environment at good prices in Hanoi. Just Massage closed in 2012 (it has now re-opened — see below) so Ms Dzung, a skilled blind masseuse and trainer, decided to set up her own massage … read the full post

Jun 06 2013

Getting shoes made in Hoi An

Published by under Shopping

Tong Art Shoe on Phan Boi Chau. One of the better cobblers in town.

Hoi An has got a bit of a reputation as a place to shop, and one area it excels in is shoes. Cobblers are lined back to back just outside the old town, each one displaying an arousing selection of dusty, dirty, badly glued pumps and sneakers, sandals and the odd bejewelled, eight-inch stacked heeled … read the full post

Jun 05 2013

A few good family-style guesthouses in Saigon

Published by under Accommodation

The sheets look clean.

Before the new crop of hostels in Saigon emerged, the best deals for a bed in the city were found at guesthouses. While guesthouses may no longer be the cheapest places to sleep in HCMC, they still offer some of the best bang for your lodging buck. If you value your privacy and want to stay … read the full post

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