Aug 14 2013

Staying safe on a night out in Hoi An

Published by under Bars & nightlife

This is never a good idea.

We’ve been hearing some disturbing stories from late night revellers caught off guard that suggest Hoi An is not the safe place it once was, with motorbike taxi gangs and bar-owning chancers taking advantage of the drunk and confused. Until recently, if you were looking for a misspent night dancing on the pool table till breakfast in … read the full post

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 13 2013

Museum of Ho Chi Minh City

Published by under Sightseeing & activities

Not jam packed with exhibits.

While some of Saigon’s more popular museums can draw big crowds, a few museums around town that are worth at least a quick stop seem to fall to the wayside. The Museum of Ho Chi Minh City, housed in a fine example of French colonial building prowess, is one such oft-overlooked museum. The displays inside, … 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

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