Jun 16 2011

Movies, shopping and a massage at Vincom

Soon after we moved to Hanoi, the film Avatar was released. We were keen to see it and heard about the Megastar Cinema in Hai Ba Trung district, south of Hoan Kiem. Without high expectations we headed along to Vincom Towers — home to a shopping centre, spa, apartments, eateries and the cinema. These things aren’t top of … read the full post

Jun 09 2011

Books and book talks in Hanoi

Published by under Shopping

The Bookworm is the self-proclaimed “best little book cafe in Southeast Asia” and while some may argue, I see no reason to dispute the fact. The cool, tidy interior — though not spacious — is a pleasant spot for browsing and the choice of more than 10,000 new and used English-language books and friendly staff ensure … read the full post

Jun 09 2011

When should I go to Saigon?

Published by under Weather

Located just north of the equator and only a few metres above sea level, Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City) finds itself planted firmly in the tropics; its climate is constantly hot and humid, with an average temperature high of 32 degrees Celsius. The weather throughout the year can be broken into two seasons: the wet … read the full post

Jun 07 2011

Camping in Hanoi

Published by under Hanoi excursions

Son Tinh campsite, 40km from Hanoi’s centre (but still technically in Hanoi), provides a peaceful retreat from the capital’s maddening crowds. It had received favourable reviews — especially from families — since its opening earlier this year so we took a trip out to check it out. We went by motorbike which worked out well: the … read the full post

Jun 06 2011

Hiring a cyclo in Saigon

If you are anything like me when you travel you always tend to be in a hurry, trying to check all of the sights off your to-do list. It can get especially bad here because Ho Chi Minh City is such a fast-paced place. It’s easy to get caught up in the whirlwind of neon … read the full post

Jun 03 2011

The Poetry Bordello

Published by under Events

Ever wanted a private poetry reading? You know you have, oh most clever Travelfish.org reader in Hanoi … As luck would have it, the Hanoi Writers’ Collective is staging a seductive-sounding literary and musical event on Saturday June 4 at to raise money for victims of domestic violence and human trafficking via the Centre for … read the full post

Jun 03 2011

Karaoke: Become a star in Hanoi

Published by under Bars & nightlife

I’m a karaoke fan. I have been since I was younger and partook of the Western variety: pub, lots of people, get drunk, write your name down and hope no-one boos. Fortunately my boyfriend is also a fan and will rave about the time in Tallin on a stag do when he got the whole … read the full post

Jun 01 2011

Saigon market shopping etiquette

Published by under Shopping

Shopping and bargaining in markets is one of my favourite pastimes in Saigon. Here are my pointers for hunting down good deals and to make sure you don’t offend anyone. First, if you are looking for good deals at markets, early morning may not be the best time to shop. Many proprietors believe that if … read the full post

May 31 2011

Steak, wine and more wine at Chica Restaurant

Published by under Food

Chica Restaurant, centrally located on Hang Be Street, is a too-well kept secret; meaning that despite the good food, the great setting and the friendly staff it’s usually almost empty. I first visited on my birthday last year, having had a craving for steak and hearing that their steak and wine night was a great … read the full post

May 30 2011

Pickpocket safety tips for Saigon

Published by under Health & safety

Ho Chi Minh City is quite safe for cities of comparable size. Very few violent acts have been reported against foreigners, but it can still be dangerous to walk around flaunting your wealth. Here are a few commonsense steps you can take to ensure your safety while in Saigon. First, be cautious of wearing jewellery. … read the full post

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