Rusty Compass - an independent travel guide to Cambodia and Vietnam

Travel guide to
Cambodia · Laos · Vietnam

handpicked · independent

From the archive: The Last President's Driver

Photo feature

From the archive: The Last President's Driver

This man, Cu Thach Banh, was the driver for South Vietnam's last President, Duong Van Minh. I met... enlarge

FEATURES

Is the tide turning against heritage destruction in Vietnam?

Ho Chi Minh City Blog

Is the tide turning against heritage destruction in Vietnam?

The past decade has been devastating for Vietnam’s built heritage. Three recent decisions suggest that the tide may be finally turning in favour of the country's rich... more

The other remarkable thing about Pu Luong Vietnam? No piles of plastic

Pu Luong Blog

The other remarkable thing about Pu Luong Vietnam? No piles of plastic

Pu Luong, around four hours south of Hanoi, looks set to become the “next’ destination in Vietnam’s breathtaking mountainous north. And... more

One of Vietnam's most historic churches faces demolition

Hanoi Blog

One of Vietnam's most historic churches faces demolition

Vietnam’s three decades of rapid economic growth have not been so good for the country’s built heritage. The distinctive Bui Chu Cathedral... more

Vietnam in the 1990s - Qantas returns to Saigon

Ho Chi Minh City Blog

Vietnam in the 1990s - Qantas returns to Saigon

In December 1990, I was aboard the first post-war Qantas flight to operate between Australia and Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon). It... more

Vietnam's first international tourism campaign - from 1991?

Hue Blog

Vietnam's first international tourism campaign - from 1991?

I’m gonna hazard a guess that this was the first post-war Vietnam tourism promotion in a Western country. It was 1991 and Vietnam was just... more

Introducing a special new tour by Rusty Compass - Vietnam by the Book

Hanoi Blog

Introducing a special new tour by Rusty Compass - Vietnam by the Book

It's more than 25 years since I ran my first tour through Vietnam. After a long break from leading tours, I now head back out on the road... more

The drone - a symbol of heavy-handed self-centred tourism

Hoi An Blog

The drone - a symbol of heavy-handed self-centred tourism

The drone has arrived. These high-impact flying machines are coming to a beautiful place near you. The drone has transitioned from... more

RECENT REVIEWS

Casa Italia Restaurant, Hanoi

Hanoi eating

Casa Italia Restaurant, Hanoi

Part restaurant and part showroom for Italian luxury brands - Maserati, Vespa and Armani - Casa Italia is located in a grand colonial-era villa in... more

Tam Vi Restaurant, Hanoi

Hanoi eating

Tam Vi Restaurant, Hanoi

Delicious Vietnamese cuisine - the stuff Vietnamese eat rather than a hybrid for tourists - in a cool design space. These places are rare in Hanoi.... more

Hoan Kiem Lake, Hanoi

Hanoi see and do

Hoan Kiem Lake, Hanoi

An early morning or late afternoon spent wandering around legendary Hoan Kiem Lake is a perfect way to start or end any Hanoi day. The lake is the... more

Long Bien Bridge

Hanoi see and do

Long Bien Bridge

A Hanoi icon in all senses, the Long Bien Bridge - formerly known as the Paul Doumer Bridge - was one of the greatest engineering accomplishments of... more

Train Street - Hanoi

Hanoi see and do

Train Street - Hanoi

Hanoi’s “Train Street” is a narrow stretch of railway line through the heart of the old town that became an Instagram sensation in 2017. It's now... more

Hanoi see and do

Hanoi see and do

Hanoi see and do

Hanoi is one of Asia’s most visually exciting cities. Its packed streets are also some of Asia's craziest. Watch your step as you negotiate the... more