Feb 14 2011

Sankara: Changing the face of Mui Ne

Published by under Mui Ne

Mui Ne is often referred to as “quiet” and is considered to lack the buzz and nightlife of Nha Trang, a fact that can be off-putting to party-seeking travellers. While this may be true, the new kid on the block — Sankara — has certainly injected a bit of style and life into the bar scene. When … read the full post

Feb 11 2011

Hidden gems: Hanoi House

Published by under Bars & nightlife

There are a few neatly tucked away cafes and bars around Hanoi, and Hanoi House is one that is worth seeking out. Its inauspicious entrance is enough to put off the faint-hearted: it’s down a rather dingy alley, up a narrow flight of stairs and past their grotty toilet — don’t come here with a full bladder … read the full post

Feb 10 2011

Cabaret in Hanoi

Published by under Events

For those itching to to show off their vocal talents beyond a karaoke performance, L’Espace, the French Cultural Centre in Hanoi, is giving you just that chance. On 12th February and 5th March at 8.30pm they are having ‘Cabaret Nights‘ when song-writers and singers are invited to perform on stage. Anyone can participate but the organisers … read the full post

Feb 08 2011

The cheapest way to get around Hanoi

Published by under Money & costs,Transport

Firstly: walking! The Old Quarter itself is reasonably small and it makes more sense to walk as then it’s easier to pop into shops, stop for a drink, take photos and generally observe. From the Old Quarter it’s not too far to the French Quarter and although the the Ho Chi Minh Memorial Complex is … read the full post

Feb 01 2011

Buying paintings in Hanoi: from copies to works of art

Published by under Shopping

Copying is rife across Vietnam, and art is no exception. Hanoi’s Old Quarter is littered with art shops selling life-size copies of a wide range of artists’ work: from Van Gogh to Da Vinci to Klimt. These aren’t prints; they’re freshly-painted by talented copy artists whom you can often see tracing and painting away in the shops. They’re generally sold … read the full post

Jan 26 2011

Live music in Hanoi: Hanoi Rock City

Published by under Bars & nightlife

The live music scene in Hanoi has been looking up recently. I don’t want to over claim — it’s certainly not London or Singapore — but it’s good to see new venues opening and the occasional visiting band. I was tempted along to Hanoi Rock City for the first time on Saturday night by the promise … read the full post

Jan 25 2011

Hanoi over Tet in 2011

Published by under Festivals

I’ve noticed a few forum posts recently with visitors worried about what they’ll find when they arrive in Vietnam during the 2011 Tet holidays. Yes, the country pretty much closes down for a few days at least, and yes, travel is difficult, but it’s really not the end of the world: hotels are available, tourist … read the full post

Jan 19 2011

Yes, Hanoi has cheap and decent massages

Published by under Spas & massage

I love a good — or even a reasonable — massage. So although I was happy to settle down in Hanoi I did feel a bit disappointed that there were no obvious places to get a $5 massage, such as I’d been used to in places like Thailand, Cambodia and Laos. But then to my joy I … read the full post

Jan 17 2011

Exhibitions for art lovers in Hanoi

Published by under Events

Three exhibitions — and a German film screening — caught my eye this week and might be of interest to art lovers visiting Hanoi. The first is simply entitled “Love” and is being held until February 12. It features works by Nguyen Quang Huy, primarily portraits but also landscapes, a video and neon sculptures. All explore … read the full post

Jan 13 2011

Eating pho like a Hanoian

Published by under Food

Pho – the staple of Vietnam – is available all day and, for my post-drinking eating pleasure, all night. A quick resume: steaming fragrant broth, thick rice noodles, beef or chicken. Simple and tasty as that. It’s not a tricky dish to eat but, for those of you who have as yet been unwilling to venture into the unknown … read the full post

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