Dec 07 2012

Overnighting in Tam Dao

Published by under Hanoi excursions

Not recommended in winter.

While not a must-visit destination, if you’re not in a rush and are keen to explore less touristy spots in Vietnam, Tam Dao hill station is worth an overnight from Hanoi, especially to escape the capital’s summer heat. Here’s some advice on how to spend your time there. Leave Hanoi after breakfast — by bus, … read the full post

Dec 06 2012

How to haggle — or avoid haggling — in Hoi An

Published by under Shopping

Hit the streets of Hoi An for anything from a tailored suit through to a banh mi and you will be thrown into a state of confusion over what really is a fair price. With very few traders working to a fixed price it’s not too uncommon to sometimes feel like you’ve been had. Ask … read the full post

Dec 05 2012

Saigon’s best nightclubs

Published by under Bars & nightlife

Party time!

Saigon has an active and relatively cheap nightlife. If you’re wound up from your travels and want to unwind, you’ll find plenty of places where you can get the party started; here are a few places to kick back. Open since the early 90s, HCMC’s most famous, or infamous, nightclub is Apocalypse Now. Hidden on … read the full post

Dec 04 2012

Can I get food delivered in Hanoi?

Published by under Food

Want rice and pork chop delivered? Done.

Getting a delivery meal to your hotel room might not be what travelling and a holiday in Hanoi is all about, but sometimes a quiet night in front of the TV with a pork chop and rice is a welcome break from shopping and sightseeing. Now getting a delivery in Hanoi is as easy as … read the full post

Dec 02 2012

Hotels in Tam Dao

Published by under Hanoi excursions

A decent view from Gia Le Hotel when it's a clear day.

Tam Dao, a cooler-clime retreat you can easily get to from Hanoi, is so chock-full of hotels that it can be difficult to know where to start. Here’s our guide to a few places that might fit the bill. Although Tam Dao prices are on a par with, if not pricier than, Hanoi hotels, there … read the full post

Nov 30 2012

Getting to Tam Dao from Hanoi

Published by under Hanoi excursions

Quite a view.

At 80 kilometres northwest of Hanoi, Tam Dao hill station makes for a good overnight or one-day respite from the chaos of the Vietnamese capital. You can get to the cooler area, where there are plenty of hiking trails and pretty scenery, by bus, motorbike, taxi or private car; here’s a little about how to … read the full post

Nov 26 2012

Where to get a SIM card in Saigon

Published by under Practicalities

Get your SIM and some cigarettes.

Purchasing a SIM card is a top priority for many visitors on arrival in HCMC. While the cards are readily available, prices and options can vary wildly and many sellers have set themselves up to take advantage of the less than savvy travellers. If you can manage to steer clear of purchasing an overpriced SIM … read the full post

Nov 25 2012

Hanoi’s French Quarter

The centrepiece of Hanoi's French Quarter.

If you need a break from the chaos of Old Quarter, wander down to Hanoi’s French Quarter, where wide open streets, majestic buildings and high-end hotels, restaurants and shops await. Hanoi’s French Quarter lies to the southeast of Hoan Kiem lake. In the late 19th century, when the French occupied Hanoi, they demolished many of … read the full post

Nov 15 2012

Extending your visa in Hoi An

Published by under Practicalities

Compared with Saigon and Hanoi, extending your visa in Hoi An can be a costly and complicated process. Rules and prices change with every travel agent you speak to and prices can spiral out of control if time is not on your side. We spent a day finding out the options, from extending a first … read the full post

Nov 14 2012

Mid-Autumn Festival in Hoi An

Published by under Festivals

Party time in Hoi An

Hanoi and Saigon may be steaming ahead when it comes to modern development, but rural Vietnam and in particular Hoi An has kept a firm handle on its roots in tradition where generations of families still hold faith in myths, legends, fables and folklore which for thousands of years has formed the heart of the … read the full post

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