Jun 11 2013

Hoi An street food

Published by under Food

You just can't beat the atmosphere of a popular local stall.

There’s something about camping down on a tiny plastic stool and experiencing dining the Vietnamese way in Hoi An, even if said stool is hanging treacherously over the gutter of a busy road, you’re ankle deep in bits of screwed up paper and you’ve not a clue what you’ll be served because you’ve followed that … read the full post

Jun 09 2013

Review: Hoang Ty, Ho Chi Minh City

Published by under Saigon street food

Chairs with backs, unbelievable.

Saigon has a quite a few street food-style restaurants with great reputations, such as Hoang Ty, which stands out for a few dishes: banh canh in the mornings, morphing into banh trang dishes from lunch-time onwards. While the restaurant has a thick menu, featuring a version of most southern dishes, banh canh is what you should go for to … read the full post

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 04 2013

Street food Hoi An: Com ga

Published by under Food

Com Ga.

Com ga originated a few tens of kilometres down the coast, away from Hoi An, in Tam Ky. It’s similar to the Hainanese dish wenchang, which was introduced by immigrants to Central Vietnam during the marine silk road trading era. Hoi An then claimed the title of being the main shipping and R&R port for … read the full post

Jun 02 2013

Review: Hibiscus Hotel, Hanoi

Published by under Accommodation

Decorative wall art.

Rooms at Hanoi’s Hibiscus Hotel come in three shapes and sizes: the front, the back and the attic. Standard rooms are spacious and reasonable value, but the attic room is the best we’ve seen for the budget price and the whole reason we are reviewing this place. Be warned though: there’s only one. Rooms at … 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 31 2013

Review: Especen Hotel, Hanoi

Published by under Accommodation

The quiet alley outside.

Especen Hotel is in a great Hanoi location, near to St Joseph’s cathedral, the lake and heaps of shops and food spots, and offers bright and well decked out rooms at really good value. It’s a good choice for those prepared to spend a little more than backpacker rates for extra comfort and space. Rooms differ slightly depending … read the full post

May 28 2013

Review: Kim Loan Guesthouse, Ho Chi Minh City

Published by under Accommodation

A little cluttered.

If you’re looking to stay on the cheap in Saigon, the Pham Ngu Lao backpackers area has plenty of low-priced hostels. However, if you’re willing to stay a little off the more heavily trodden path, the small alley between the streets of Co Bac and Co Giang offers bargain priced alternatives, such as Kim Loan … read the full post

May 28 2013

Hoi An’s cao lau noodle

Published by under Food

Straight from the steamer.

If there ever was a recipe shrouded in mystery, it’s got to be Hoi An’s cao lau noodle. Misinformation runs rife. Only made from the water of the Ba Le Well? Sort of. Brought to Hoi An’s shores by foreigners during the 16th century marine trading boom? Apparently not. Japanese/Chinese origin? All Chinese whispers. One thing … read the full post

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