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 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 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 28 2013

Saigon parks: part 2

Published by under Sightseeing & activities

Pull my finger.

Though Saigon’s streets can feel grey and congested, scattered throughout the city are green spaces worth seeking out. We’ve highlight some parks around HCMC before, but really barely scratched the surface of what there is to find. If you’re looking for some green places to relax, here are a few more to choose from. Following … read the full post

Apr 27 2013

Photo essay: Wet market tour, Hanoi

Food can be semi-prepared for you.

Despite the growth of supermarkets, wet markets and street markets still play a pivotal role in the supply of groceries to Vietnamese households. Many people, primarily women, visit the market twice a day, working trips around school drop-offs and, for many, their paying jobs. Street market to us — and this may not be everyone’s … read the full post

Apr 25 2013

Luong Duong springs, Da Nang

Published by under Da Nang

springs

One of the lesser known natural wonders around Da Nang and an easy road trip from Hoi An is Luong Duong Springs, also known as Turtle Springs, a jungle-clad, natural waterfall surrounded by emerald spring pools. For nature lovers and families, Luong Duong Springs is worthy of a visit if you were to incorporate it … read the full post

Apr 17 2013

Quan Am, the bodhisattva of compassion, in Vietnam

Published by under Culture

Some stars never fade.

Anyone who spends more than a few hours in Vietnam will notice the many white statues of a divine woman usually holding an upside down vase. It’s not some feminine looking Buddha or an “Asian Virgin Mary” — it’s Quan Am (aka Kuan Yin, Kuan Shih Yin, Guanyin or Kannon), the bodhisattva of compassion. In … read the full post

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