Nov 14 2011

Saigon trivia nights

Published by under Bars & nightlife

Back in my college days, nearly every Monday night, my friends and I would go as a team to a local restaurant/bar to play trivia against other college students; we rarely won but still I love to play. So, when I left the comforts of home and came to Saigon I kept my eye out … read the full post

Nov 11 2011

Metropole’s old shelter re-discovered

Published by under Accommodation

A few months ago, workers renovating the Bamboo Bar at Hanoi’s historic Sofitel Legend Metropole Hotel hit a snag: they struck the roof of a long-buried air raid shelter that had all but been forgotten. After excavating more than two metres of earth and reinforced concrete, the workers jack-hammered through a 278mm-thick ceiling: below was around … read the full post

Nov 10 2011

Saigon’s best karaoke: iBox Karaoke

Published by under Bars & nightlife

Karaoke is a popular pastime in Asia (Bangkok and Hanoi for instance), and Saigon is no different. In fact, if you spend much time cruising the streets at night, you will quickly see that karaoke is one of the more popular activities in Ho Chi Minh City. Luckily for me, I love to sing and … read the full post

Nov 09 2011

Hanoi’s 36 streets: Hang Dieu

Published by under Hanoi's 36 streets

Hang Dieu comprises a strange melee of stores. Running north from the six-way junction at Duong Thanh until it turns into Hang Ga, it sold cigarettes in the 19th Centure and, more recently, leather shoes and sandals. Neither of these wares are in evidence anymore and now I think of it as “bedding street”, in … read the full post

Nov 07 2011

Saigon street food: Canh bun

As I’ve stayed in Vietnam longer I feel like I’ve slowly drifted away from pho. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still delicious, it’s just that I’ve been introduced to other soups that are chipping away from pho’s culinary alone time. One day, not too long ago in my street food infancy, I got brave and … read the full post

Nov 06 2011

Bia hoi in Hanoi

Published by under Bars & nightlife

Bia hoi: fresh and cheap and sometimes half decent, sometimes well… just fresh and cheap. Served straight from the metal kegs into distinct bia hoi glasses, it’s an iconic Vietnamese drink. Most visitors to Hanoi are familiar with International Bia Hoi corner: the junction of Luong Ngoc Quyen, Ta Hien and Dinh Liet. When I … read the full post

Nov 02 2011

How to get an airport taxi in Saigon

Published by under Transport

The flight to Ho Chi Minh City can be a tiring one — from my hometown of Seattle for instance, it takes about 17 hours. And once you land, you still have work to do: getting through immigration, which may include a wait at the visa on arrival desk, collecting your bags, and then stepping … read the full post

Nov 01 2011

War sights in Hanoi

A few places in Hanoi worth a visit if you’re interested in its military history

Oct 31 2011

Saigon’s 48-Hour Film Project

Published by under Events

It wouldn’t be a stretch to say I’m a bit of a film buff. One of the great things about living in Saigon is that between cheap movie theatres, which usually charge less than 100,000 VND for a ticket, and street DVDs, which cost about 10,000 VND a disk, I can pretty much get my … read the full post

Oct 27 2011

Hanoi’s 36 streets: Hang Ma and Hang Chieu

Published by under Hanoi's 36 streets

Our 36 streets series looks at streets in the Old Quarter of Hanoi, originally settled by artisan guilds, to see what is produced there today. Coming through the arch of Hanoi’s Old City Gate, the road straight ahead is Hang Chieu. A dozen or so shops have stayed reasonably true to the street’s original wares – Vietnamese grass tatami mats — … read the full post

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