Blog Tales from the road

Saigon's pavements still a disaster for tourists and walkers
23 Mar 2017

Saigon's pavements still a disaster for tourists and walkers

Saigon’s campaign to clear sidewalks sounded like a great idea for tourism. Now we’re not so sure.

TAGS: Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh City, tourism, pavements, motorbikes, walking

Kong saved Skull Island - can Vogt-Roberts save Vietnam’s besieged natural treasures?
20 Mar 2017

Kong saved Skull Island - can Vogt-Roberts save Vietnam’s besieged natural treasures?

Jordan Vogt-Roberts, director of the recently released, “Kong: Skull Island” has been made a tourism ambassador for Vietnam. We hope he uses his new...

TAGS: Vietnam, Halong Bay, Quang Binh, Kong Skull Island,

Hanoi or Saigon - which of Vietnam's big cities is best for travellers?
12 Mar 2017

Hanoi or Saigon - which of Vietnam's big cities is best for travellers?

A traveller’s guide to making decisions between Vietnam’s two main cities - Hanoi and Saigon aka. Ho Chi Minh City.

TAGS: Vietnam, Hanoi, travel, things to do,

A walk along the railway tracks in Hanoi
27 Feb 2017

A walk along the railway tracks in Hanoi

You wouldn’t normally recommend walking along railway tracks  - but we had a surprisingly interesting wander along the northern line in the centre...

TAGS: Vietnam, Hanoi, trains, local life

This beautiful Vietnam heritage resort may never see the light of day
23 Feb 2017

This beautiful Vietnam heritage resort may never see the light of day

Vietnam has built thousands of hotels and resorts over the past twenty years. Few have made an effort to capture the essence of traditional...

TAGS: Vietnam, Ninh Binh, heritage, architecture, Tam Coc

Exploring the amazing Catholic churches of Ninh Binh and Nam Dinh
17 Jan 2017

Exploring the amazing Catholic churches of Ninh Binh and Nam Dinh

While visitors flock to Ninh Binh in Vietnam’s north to see the remains of the ancient capital of Hoa Lu, and the spectacular caves and karst...

TAGS: Vietnam, Ninh Binh, churches, Nam Dinh. Bui Chu, Hai Ly, Phat Diem

Video: Future Saigon - change at Pasteur and Le Loi downtown
28 Dec 2016

Video: Future Saigon - change at Pasteur and Le Loi downtown

The corner of Pasteur and Le Loi streets in the heart of Saigon, reveal a lot about the future shape of the city - good and bad. There are also some...

TAGS: Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh City, architecture, downtown, Saigon Centre,

2016 - our favourite travel videos
21 Dec 2016

2016 - our favourite travel videos

A little collection of favourite videos from our travels in 2016 - Saigon, Hanoi, Laos and more. Enjoy!

TAGS: Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh City, videos,

The sad tale of Sapa's old market
06 Dec 2016

The sad tale of Sapa's old market

Sapa now has a cable car to Vietnam’s highest mountain, but it's lost its old market. 

TAGS: Vietnam, Sapa, market, old market, Hmong, Dzao

Village walks around Sapa, Vietnam
29 Nov 2016

Village walks around Sapa, Vietnam

The countryside around Sapa in Vietnam’s northwest, is glorious. This video captures an afternoon walk we took in Sin Chai village not far from Sapa...

TAGS: Vietnam, Sapa, Sin Chai, trekking, walking, walks,

Vietnam's best museum? The Ho Chi Minh Museum, Hanoi
26 Nov 2016

Vietnam's best museum? The Ho Chi Minh Museum, Hanoi

The Ho Chi Minh Museum in Hanoi's Ba Dinh Square is unique in a country with no shortage of museums. It brings together the incredible life of Ho...

TAGS: Vietnam, Hanoi, museums, Ho Chi Minh,

Heritage tourism: Is Vietnam finally getting serious about its incredible history?
22 Nov 2016

Heritage tourism: Is Vietnam finally getting serious about its incredible history?

After decades of neglect, there are signs Vietnam may be about to finally get serious about heritage and historical tourism.

TAGS: Vietnam, Hanoi, heritage, tourism, history

Scaling Fansipan, Vietnam's highest peak - by cable car
01 Nov 2016

Scaling Fansipan, Vietnam's highest peak - by cable car

A cable car to Vietnam’s highest peak, Mount Fansipan, opened in early 2016. It’s transforming tourism to Sapa, the once sleepy hillstation set...

TAGS: Vietnam, Sapa, fansipan, cable car,

Walking the colonial era gems of Hanoi's French Quarter
20 Oct 2016

Walking the colonial era gems of Hanoi's French Quarter

Hanoi's French Quarter is a great place for exploring the city's French colonial architectural heritage. The walking is easy and there's a great...

TAGS: Vietnam, Hanoi, French Quarter, architecture, Ernest Hebrard,

Airbnb in Saigon - a colonial era ruin springs to life
03 Oct 2016

Airbnb in Saigon - a colonial era ruin springs to life

Airbnb is taking the travel world by storm. I recently visited a couple of Airbnb apartments in one of Saigon's most interesting colonial era...

TAGS: Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh City, Nguyen Van Hao, architecture, history, Airbnb, hotels

Ernest Hebrard’s Indochina - a tour of the buildings of the Indochine architect
25 Sep 2016

Ernest Hebrard’s Indochina - a tour of the buildings of the Indochine architect

Indochine architect Ernest Hebrard's work is impossible to miss if you're travelling in Hanoi. He left his mark on Saigon, Phnom Penh and Dalat as...

TAGS: Vietnam, Hanoi, Ernest Hebrard, architecture, colonialism, Saigon, Phnom Penh

The streets of Saigon, then and now - the 90's and 2016
08 Sep 2016

The streets of Saigon, then and now - the 90's and 2016

I recently uncovered some more video of Saigon, shot from the back of my Honda Cub 50 in the early 90’s. Back then, Saigon was a city of bicycles...

TAGS: Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh City, architecture, then and now, 1990's, Dong Khoi St, development, history

Visting a leper colony - Quy Hoa in Quy Nhon, Vietnam
30 Aug 2016

Visting a leper colony - Quy Hoa in Quy Nhon, Vietnam

It’s hard to imagine anywhere less enticing, or less appropriate for tourism, than a leper colony. But Quy Hoa leper colony on Vietnam’s central...

TAGS: Vietnam, Quy Nhon, Quy Hoa, leper colony, Han Mac Tu

Cold War relic - the hydrofoil from Saigon to Vung Tau
08 Aug 2016

Cold War relic - the hydrofoil from Saigon to Vung Tau

The old Russian hydrofoils plying the Saigon river to the coastal city of Vung Tau, give an interesting experience of the river, and a fantastic...

TAGS: Vietnam, Vung Tau, Vung Tau, hydrofoil, Saigon River,

Avoiding dodgy tourist taxis in Saigon and Hanoi
04 Aug 2016

Avoiding dodgy tourist taxis in Saigon and Hanoi

A little reminder that tourists are targeted by dodgy taxis in Saigon and Hanoi - and the country’s most popular tourist sights seem to be lending...

TAGS: Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi, taxis, scams,

Returning to Long Tan and Nui Dat - 50th anniversary
01 Aug 2016

Returning to Long Tan and Nui Dat - 50th anniversary

We return to Nui Dat and Long Tan, 50 years after the establishment of Australia’s Vietnam War base there - and weeks before the 50th anniversary of...

TAGS: Vietnam, Vung Tau, Nui Dat, Long Tan, Vietnam War, Australia, 1st ATF,

Two old architectural gems in Hanoi
20 Jul 2016

Two old architectural gems in Hanoi

I managed to get up close with two old French colonial gems in Hanoi at the weekend. They're favourite creations from French architect, Ernest...

TAGS: Vietnam, Hanoi, Ernest Hebrard, architecture, Indochine architecture,

Saigon in 2001 - making Graham Greene's
04 Jul 2016

Saigon in 2001 - making Graham Greene's "The Quiet American"

There was plenty of excitement in Saigon in 2001 when Hollywood descended for the film remake of Graham Greene’s classic novel, The Quiet...

TAGS: Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh City, The Quiet American, film, 2001, Phillip Noyce, Graham Greene

Neil Finn plays Saigon, Australia Day 1998
28 Jun 2016

Neil Finn plays Saigon, Australia Day 1998

In 1998, legendary Kiwi singer songwriter Neil Finn, headed up to Ho Chi Minh City Vietnam with Mark Seymour from Australian rock band Hunters and...

TAGS: Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh City, Saigon, Neil Finn, Australia Day

Lunch in Cabramatta with Kim and Carl Robinson - Weekly walk 6
19 Jun 2016

Lunch in Cabramatta with Kim and Carl Robinson - Weekly walk 6

We meet old friends Kim and Carl again - this time in the Sydney suburb of Cabramatta. Cabramatta is another Vietnamese enclave in the city with...

TAGS: Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh City, Cabramatta, Sydney, refugees

Weekly Walk 5 - lunch in Bankstown with Kim and Carl Robinson
10 Jun 2016

Weekly Walk 5 - lunch in Bankstown with Kim and Carl Robinson

In this weekly walk, I head to Bankstown in Sydney’s west for a Vietnamese meal with old friends Kim and Carl Robinson.

TAGS: Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh City, Carl Robinson, Bankstown, eating, Go Cong

Bob Kerrey, the War Remnants Museum and Fulbright University
06 Jun 2016

Bob Kerrey, the War Remnants Museum and Fulbright University

Fulbright University, a new private institution in Ho Chi Minh City affiliated with Harvard's Kennedy School, has appointed former US Senator and...

TAGS: Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh City, Thanh Phong, War Remnants Museum, War Crimes,

Farewell Cargo Saigon - you'll be missed
02 Jun 2016

Farewell Cargo Saigon - you'll be missed

Last week Saigon bade farewell to Cargo, a live music and event space in a converted shipping warehouse that's played an outsized role in enriching...

TAGS: Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh City, cargo, nightlife, city planning,

The Nam Ou river journey between Muang Khua and Nong Khiaw to Luang Prabang, Laos
16 May 2016

The Nam Ou river journey between Muang Khua and Nong Khiaw to Luang Prabang, Laos

The slow boat along the Nam Ou River between Muang Khua and Nong Khiaw - is one of Asia’s most spectacular. But things are changing quickly here...

TAGS: Laos, Luang Prabang, Muang Khua, Nong Khiaw, Nam Ou River, slow boat,

Presidents, poisoned fish and protests - a travel guide to a big week in Vietnam
16 May 2016

Presidents, poisoned fish and protests - a travel guide to a big week in Vietnam

Barack Obama, protests, mass fish poisonings and National Assembly elections - a travel guide to a big week in Vietnam

TAGS: Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh City, fish poisoning, protest, President Obama, elections