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 05 2013

Review: Sans Souci IV, Hanoi

Published by under Accommodation

Bedroom2LR

While Sans Souci IV may stretch its claims somewhat on its website — “unbeatable service combined with unparalleled accommodations” and “our rooms are the best-looking and best-equipped in the Old Quarter” made us smile — this is a solid Hanoi hotel choice in its price range, with smart, well-equipped rooms, good staff and a lively and convenient … 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 29 2013

Review: Vaia, Hoi An

Published by under Accommodation

Perfectly tailored to your needs.

With its grand French colonial facade, classic wrought-iron balconies and art deco lines, you’d be right to think there was some serious design clout behind Hoi An’s newest boutique offering, Vaia. Vaia is the first venture into the hotel scene by super power tailor, Yaly’s. A stone’s throw from the old town on the better end … read the full post

Jun 25 2013

Review: Green Street Hotel, Hanoi

Published by under Accommodation

Bedroom_2_lr

Green Street Hotel on Ma May Street is a good budget choice in Hanoi if you want to go a step up from a dorm room; it’s not fancy, but it does the job competently for under $20 and plops you in a good location. Green Street isn’t much to look at from the front: … read the full post

Jun 22 2013

Saigon street food: Banh canh

Published by under Saigon street food

Those are some thick noodles.

One favourite soup of the south, and a must try on a trip through Saigon, is banh canh — a soup that’s probably not as recognisable to the typical travellers as perhaps pho or bun bo hue. Banh canh includes a noodle that’s much thicker than what you typically find in a Vietnamese street soup. It’s about as … 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 18 2013

Review: Hoang Trinh Hotel, Hoi An

Published by under Accommodation

Making the most of a gloomy ground floor outlook.

Peeking out from behind a courtyard decorated with colourful French cafe-style tables and chairs, bright red umbrellas and a frangipani tree, Hoi An’s Hoang Trinh Hotel is an excellent, quiet, under-$20 place to stay surrounded by some of the town’s most beautiful architecture. Front-facing rooms and the second-floor breakfast balcony look straight over the magnificent Confucius temple … read the full post

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