Oct 22 2012

Drinking beer in Saigon’s Pham Ngu Lao

Published by under Bars & nightlife

The famous Saigon Red.

In Saigon’s backpacker district of Pham Ngu Lao you won’t have to walk far to find an ice cold beer. However, in hopping from one bar to another, you’ll quickly notice that prices vary widely from establishment to establishment. Here’s a rundown of what you’ll find where, and how much you can expect to pay. … read the full post

Oct 20 2012

Review: La Veranda, Phu Quoc

Published by under Phu Quoc Island

It has a nice view too.

With its muted yellows and terracotta tiles, colonial-styled La Veranda, right in the heart of the developed stretch of Long Beach on Phu Quoc Island, harks back dreamily to Vietnam’s French-ruled period. If you’re a romantic, and you’ve coin to spare, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a more luxurious and tasteful spot to stay on the … read the full post

Oct 11 2012

An Bang Beach, Hoi An

Published by under Sightseeing & activities

Deserted stretches of white sandy beach at An Bang.

Think casuarina-lined white sandy beaches, just the right balance of great restaurants and bars, green lawns, island views and year round swimming in the tropical East Sea and you’ve got An Bang Beach in Hoi An. Just four kilometres from the UNESCO-listed town of Hoi An and 30 kilometres from the international airport in Da … read the full post

Oct 06 2012

One-dollar bar crawl in Hoi An

Published by under Bars & nightlife

Street Beer Stall Hoi An

I’m going to quickly establish that there are not actually many bars in this Hoi An bar crawl guide, but plenty of plastic chairs on the street and quite a few restaurants, not all of which have what you would call toilet facilities, but that’s part of the fun, surely? Prices are based on two … read the full post

Sep 29 2012

Pronouncing Vietnamese — a starting guide

Published by under Vietnamese language

Grilled chicken, not fish.

Vietnamese is a notoriously difficult language to master, and in particular to pronounce. Here are some tips of a few of the sounds to help you get at least somewhere close. Almost a year ago I wrote about learning Vietnamese in Hanoi and shared a few key phrases: hello, thank you and the like. But … read the full post

Sep 28 2012

Is Hoi An hell if you don’t shop?

Published by under Shopping

For those that need a little assistance finding the sea - you might want to sign up for a lesson!

If you have a proper look around Hoi An you can’t fail to notice that the tailor shops win hands down in terms of numbers, with restaurants coming in a close second, shoes third and sneaking in at number four a whole new wave of spas. It would seem that this is a town for … read the full post

Sep 22 2012

The Hai Van Pass

Published by under Sightseeing & activities

The Hai Van Pass? Hell yeah!

I always feel a bit embarrassed saying this, but that bloody Top Gear Vietnam special a few years back was the final nail in the coffin for a comfortable life back in good ol’ Blighty. Seeing the cast struggle with the Hai Van Pass also put achieving it on the top of my must-do list … read the full post

Sep 15 2012

Hoi An lanterns

Published by under Shopping

I want that one!

After an evening stroll through the old town its fairly likely that you’ll fall in love with the iconic Hoi An silk lanterns that set an ambient glow outside every restaurant, tailor shop and hotel; if that doesn’t get you, then a quick glimpse in the direction of the night market will. And just like … read the full post

Sep 13 2012

Full moon lantern festival, Hoi An

Published by under Festivals

The magical street lighting in old town Hoi An.

On the 14th day of every lunar month, the old town of Hoi An switches off its lights and closes to motorised traffic, the old town is transformed by flickering candlelight, multi-coloured lanterns and hoards of visitors who’ve come to see the full moon lantern festival. For the locals the night of the full moon … read the full post

Sep 09 2012

Exploring Bac Kan province

Published by under Hanoi excursions

Corn is so important that it's given its own tent

You don’t always have to stick to the tourist trail in Vietnam; simply striking out somewhere for the hell of it can be richly rewarding. Bac Kan province is little visited by tourists, although its main point of interest, Ba Be Lake, attracts those looking for natural beauty outside of Ha Long Bay. We took … read the full post

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