Notes on Da Nang, 2018 edition – Maybe I will retire here

My latest trip to Da Nang marked a flippening of sorts in my Da Nang / Hoi An travels. Usually I have come to Da Nang on the way to Hoi An (Da Nang being the airport city for Hoi An). I noted in my 2017 trip report how Da Nang is becoming a destination in itself, and escaping from the shadow of Hoi An. This was the first time I went to Da Nang …

Biking the Mekong Delta in Vietnam

I met Matt and Kat in Ninh Binh in northern Vietnam. They were a British couple cycling across Southeast Asia for six months. Being the only people in our guesthouse, we spent a couple evenings eating, drinking beer, and talking. We became friends out of necessity, less for them because they…

5 Reasons Why Cruising the Mekong River in Vietnam is a Must

Mekong River Vietnam is a country of contrasts, tasty food, and jaw dropping natural beauty. As a place that’s full of rivers, bays, thousands of miles of coastline, and even islands, you can imagine that many of the ideal spots to visit in Vietnam are near the water. However, one place that stands out …

Where I’m At: May, 2017 – Mui Ne edition

[Where I’m At; a monthly update of what I’ve been up to, site news, and where I’m going next.] Where I’ve Been Greetings from Mui Ne! After returning from Shenzhen at the start of the month, I’ve been in Vietnam for the rest of the time. I was away from Saigon for a month, which is a long time in this fast-changing city. There is lots of construction going on now with the new metro line, and the continued mania of knocking down heritage buildings. I would guess that there is no other city in …

Where I’m At: February, 2017 – Year of the Rooster edition

Where I’m At; a monthly update of what I’ve been up to, site news, and where I’m going next. Where I’ve Been The month began in Nha Trang where I got the train back to Saigon. In the time I was away the Santa Claus decorations that were all over Saigon were transformed into roosters. There was still a few weeks to go of the Monkey year, but already the Rooster was making …

Find a NEW New Year’s Eve

It’s around this time of the year that I start to say obvious and repetitive things like: “Can you believe it’s nearly 2017?!” And: “It feels like January was only five minutes ago!” Other people always nod and agree enthusiastically so I don’t think it’s just me! The next question someone involved in this annual conversation is likely to ask is… what are you doing for New Year? It’s an innocent enough question and yet people do not like it. New Year is, it appears, generally…

The Other Side of Vietnamese Food

1Dad1Kid.com There are parts of Vietnamese food that are famous, or perhaps infamous, but there is a whole different side to this delicious food culture. Vietnamese Food Ingredients Generally speaking, Vietnamese food sustains a balance between sweet and salty. I like to believe this equilibrium represents the reality of life, recognizing that daily existence contains both of these elements. Or, perhaps it is related…

Tra Su Forest, Vietnam

One of the lesser-known attractions of the Mekong Delta region of Vietnam is the Tra Su Forest. The forest is a former plantation that is now a wildlife reserve. There are canals which are flooded (usually between November to March) and there are boats that will take you on tour. The forest is about 20km from Chau Doc, which is …

Where I’m At: Saigon – February, 2016

Greetings from Saigon and another edition of Where I’m At; a monthly update of what I’ve been up to, site news, and where I’m going next. Where I’ve Been I’m still on my single-entry Vietnam Visa so I spent the month in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi. Ho Chi Minh City [A decaying colonial-era building in Cholon, District 5, Saigon.] Like the month before, I started the month in Saigon …

Nomadic Boys – Gay Vietnam – Discovering Gay Saigon With a Local

Vietnam was one of the more gay friendlier countries we visited in Asia: It has never had any anti gay laws (unlike the US and UK). On 1st January 2015, the Law on Marriage and Family came into effect, outlawing the ban on gay weddings. It held its first (peaceful!) pride parade on 5 August 2012 in Hanoi and has been going strong since. Although we found Vietnam to be a relaxed and tolerant country towards us as gay …

Propaganda posters and a parade – the 40th Anniversary of the reunification of Vietnam

April 30, 2015 marks the 40th anniversary of the day the North Vietnamese Army arrived in Saigon and ended the war. The day is known in Vietnam as liberation day, in the US as the fall of Saigon, and to overseas Vietnamese as Black April. In Ho Chi Minh City (or Saigon) there are hardly any war monuments and…

Notes on Phu Quoc Island – Southeast Asia’s next big thing

Phu Quoc is an island of Vietnam in the deep south of the country, off the coast of Cambodia. I had never heard of it until I came to Vietnam, and having been in Vietnam for much of the past two years I’ve since heard varying opinions about it. For my …

Ben Thanh Market, Ho Chi Minh City – Vietnam

Saigon is collecting a fair selection of rooftop bars, and one of the best views of the city can be found at OMG, next to the Ben Thanh Market. Get here around 5pm for happy hour and you can watch the skyline light up as the evening approaches. It’s also a good spot to do a video of Saigon traffic in hyperlapse. Part of why I wanted to …

The changing face of Saigon

[Old and new Saigon: Bitexco Financial Tower and a French colonial-era building.] I’ve been basing myself in Saigon off-and-on for the past two years, and my first visit here was in 2005. In this time I’ve been watching the city transform as it catches up from decades of underinvestment. It’s an interesting time to be here; to see a city become what it hopes to be a world-class international metropolis. A metro system is finally being built, skyscrapers are going up, and there …