Blog Tales from the road

The train from Phan Thiet to Saigon
18 Jul 2017

The train from Phan Thiet to Saigon

We travelled by train from Phan Thiet on Vietnam’s southern coast back to Saigon. Was a great ride - highly recommended.

TAGS: Vietnam, Mui Ne, trains, local life, Phan Thiet

Saigon travel update 2017 - 3 cool new hotels
28 Jun 2017

Saigon travel update 2017 - 3 cool new hotels

These three new Saigon hotels deserve a look. They all opened over the past year and they’re all doing things a little differently.

TAGS: Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh City, boutique, design, hotels

A most unlikely place - Vietnam's cutest village?
20 Jun 2017

A most unlikely place - Vietnam's cutest village?

It’s an unlikely place to be described as Vietnam’s cutest village, but Quy Hoa, outside of Quy Nhon, is a charmer. It’s home to an amazing...

TAGS: Vietnam, Quy Nhon, quy hoa, leper colony, history, architecture

Vietnam’s first international resort was simple and low impact. What happened after that?
12 Jun 2017

Vietnam’s first international resort was simple and low impact. What happened after that?

We revisit Coco Beach Resort in Mui Ne - Vietnam’s first international beach resort - and ask what’s happened to resort development since it opened...

TAGS: Vietnam, Mui Ne, resorts, tourism development, Phuket, environment

Talking plastic with Vincent Mourou from Marou chocolate
01 Jun 2017

Talking plastic with Vincent Mourou from Marou chocolate

Last week we began a little initiative to reduce the amount of plastic waste in Vietnam’s hospitality industry - and to help raise public awareness...

TAGS: Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh City, Marou Chocolate, Maison Marou, Plastic waste, Vincent Mourou

 The battle for Saigon’s pavements is over - the motorbikes won
29 May 2017

The battle for Saigon’s pavements is over - the motorbikes won

If Saigon's recent pavement clearing campaign was designed to make the city safe for walking, it's failed. Meanwhile, Hanoi's embracing walking with...

TAGS: Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh City, walking, city planning, traffic

Environment: Doing something about Vietnam's plastic problem
22 May 2017

Environment: Doing something about Vietnam's plastic problem

Cities and countries around the world are getting serious about reducing the amount of plastic waste they produce. In Vietnam, the tourism industry...

TAGS: Vietnam, Phu Quoc Island, plastic, pollution, environment

Meet this adorable Hanoi couple
17 May 2017

Meet this adorable Hanoi couple

Check out this beautiful old Hanoi couple. They’ll warm your heart.

TAGS: Vietnam, Hanoi, people, Hanoi, adorable couple

Beautiful ruins: The abandoned Franciscan Mission in Dalat Vietnam
22 Apr 2017

Beautiful ruins: The abandoned Franciscan Mission in Dalat Vietnam

We love a good ruin. This crumbling complex of church buildings, an abandoned Franciscan Mission outside of Dalat, maybe the most stunning we’ve...

TAGS: Vietnam, Dalat, ruins, Franciscan Mission, architecture

The rise, fall, and rise and fall, of the Dalat Palace Hotel
11 Apr 2017

The rise, fall, and rise and fall, of the Dalat Palace Hotel

In Vietnam, historic hotels mostly don’t get much love. The Metropole in Hanoi and the La Residence in Hue are exceptions. In the past, you’d have...

TAGS: Vietnam, Dalat, Dalat Palace Hotel, heritage, renovation

An unexploded shell on An Bang Beach, Hoi An
04 Apr 2017

An unexploded shell on An Bang Beach, Hoi An

Unexploded ordnance (UXO) still kills in Vietnam. Victims tend to be poor farmers and their family members. I’ve never heard of a tourist being...

TAGS: Vietnam, Hoi An, An Bang Beach, shell, ordnance, UXO,

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,

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