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

Jun 01 2013

Acupuncture in Saigon

Published by under Health & safety

You can smile through the pain.

While everybody raves about the low prices of massages in Saigon, fewer people know that you can find great prices for other wellness treatments. Acupuncture, called cham cuu locally, is just one you can get at pennies on the dollar compared to what you’d find in the West. Here’s what to expect in HCMC. Acupuncture, … read the full post

May 21 2013

Saigon’s best Western restaurants

Published by under Food

Salads done right.

If you’ve been travelling for an extended period, you may hanker for a taste of the West rather than chowing down on local cuisine for yet another meal. In the last year Ho Chi Minh has been flooded with fast food joints, but if you’re craving a meal that reminds you of home — you … read the full post

May 18 2013

Review: Saint Honore, Hanoi

Published by under Food

Sorry, no cake photos.

Saint Honore is a bakery, deli and restaurant in Hanoi’s West Lake area which offers the best cakes in Hanoi and is an excellent choice for a delicious breakfast, a bistro-style lunch or dinner, or an indulgent afternoon tea. Let’s start with breakfast. If the array of sweet and savoury pastries isn’t enough to tempt you … read the full post

May 12 2013

Tan My Design, Hanoi

Published by under Shopping

A tower of goodies.

Although Tan My Design stocks some of the same traditional items, as its parent Tan My Embroidery, it’s predominantly a showcase for stylish, modern designer items and makes for a unique and calming shopping experience amid the mayhem of the streets of Hanoi. Established in 1969 at 66 Hang Gai, Tan My Embroidery has spanned … read the full post

May 11 2013

Cu Chi Tunnels day tour

Published by under Saigon excursions

This is one of the wider sections.

As one of the most popular daytrips from HCMC, finding a way to get to the Cu Chi Tunnels is as easy as a walking through the Pham Ngu Lao backpacker district. Almost every travel agent in Saigon offers a one-day tour of the tunnels but some are light on the details. If you’re considering … read the full post

May 08 2013

Tourist etiquette in Hoi An

Published by under Practicalities

The naturally camera shy local fishermen.

Getting to grips with the right or wrong way to go about things in any country is always a minefield of ever-changing goal posts. In Vietnam, luckily the people are largely very forgiving of our faux pas and a little bit of common sense and humility goes a long way in bridging the gap between … read the full post

Apr 30 2013

Custom-made shoes in Saigon

Published by under Shopping

Not sure if I could pull these off.

Finding shoes that fit a Westerners feet in Saigon can be a tough proposition. We’ve covered shopping for shoes in Vietnams’ commercial capital, mentioning some spots where you can find bigger shoes, but the town also has cobblers who can make you a shiny new pair of tailor-made shoes. These cobbler shops will make a … read the full post

Apr 29 2013

Review: The new Quan An Ngon, Hanoi

Published by under Food

Tofu and tomato - a failsafe option.

Quan An Ngon restaurant, on Phan Boi Chau Street, has long been a favourite of visitors to Hanoi. It provides a clean and reasonably comfortable setting in which to sample a range of Vietnamese street food dishes, but it’s often overflowing with customers, necessitating a wait for a table and a crowded and noisy environment. … read the full post

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