May 15 2012

Review: L’Usine in Saigon

Published by under Food

Tucked away down a tight alley in the heart of Saigon, one of the city’s most pleasant cafes perches in an upstairs loft. Only a short walk from most of the city’s major sites, like the Notre Dame Cathedral and the Saigon Opera House, L’Usine is a quiet oasis. Although it’s on the major shopping … read the full post

May 10 2012

Saigon street food: Mi xao

As an avid fan of Saigon’s street food scene, I try to encourage everyone who visits the city to try at least one dish on the streets; but I’m not kidding myself, street food can be a little scary. Before most people come to the country one of their friends or someone on a travel … read the full post

May 09 2012

Hanoi street food: bun bo nam bo

Published by under Food

Bun Bo Nam Bo on Hang Dieu (number 67) was my first real eating-with-the-locals experience in Hanoi. It’s not just that the main dish served here of bun bo nam bo is quintessentially street food, but the environment and atmosphere of the restaurant are typical of a local lunch-time venue: it’s loud, it’s crowded, there’s … read the full post

May 09 2012

Saigon’s must-see places of worship

Saigon has no shortage of places of worship; some of these temples, pagodas, and churches are among the oldest sites in the city while others are worth a stop for a quick shot of local culture. If you have time to spare, when you’re not running off to Cu Chi or the Mekong, here are … read the full post

May 05 2012

Taking a cyclo in Hanoi

Published by under Transport

Ignoring the gaggles (for want of a better collective noun) of cyclos carrying tour groups, which clog up streets all over Hoan Kiem district, I’m a fan of cyclo rides and think it’s worth taking a cyclo for an hour or so at the start of a visit to Hanoi. Some will say walking is … read the full post

May 04 2012

Review: Barbecue Garden in Saigon

Published by under Food

Within walking distance of many of Saigon’s more popular sites, such as Ben Thanh Market and Notre Dame Cathedral, barbecue restaurant Barbecue Garden is located in a surprisingly peaceful spot considering it is in the middle of some prime real estate. Barbecue Garden isn’t a fancy looking spot; it’s about a hundred tables on an … read the full post

May 02 2012

Hanoi people: the musician

Published by under Hanoi people

I’ve written before about how the live music scene in Hanoi has improved since my arrival here in 2010: new venues, active promoters and high profile events have helped with this growth, not to mention more and more local and expat musicians wanting to share their talents with the masses. One such artist is Zippy. … read the full post

May 01 2012

Saigon’s Hem 71

Published by under Food

Saigon has street food on every corner and restaurants down every street and tight dark alley; some alleys have seemingly nothing but restaurants, not just local hole-in-the-wall spots but pleasant new restaurants. One such alley, filled with higher end eats, is 71 Mac Thi Buoi. Also known as Hem 71, the alley in the middle … read the full post

Apr 30 2012

Hanoi’s skate ramp

Skateboarding is probably not the first thing you think of when you think of getting around in Hanoi: after all, where would there be room? But things are changing, and a few months ago a mini half-pipe was constructed at Hanoi Rock City. I spoke with 25-year old Englishman Sam Murdoch, one of the brains … read the full post

Apr 29 2012

Saigon street food: Xoi

Although I love Saigon’s street food, some of the dishes that you’re served streetside can have portions on the small size; some of them are plenty for one person, but others may require a second serving. When I’m feeling extra hungry and I want to make sure that I’m going to be full, I go … read the full post

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