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Tony the Tiger

By: Duncan Forgan Posted: August-26-2010 in
Duncan Forgan

Seventeen years after setting up shop in an undeveloped country in dire need of foreign investment and expertise, Anthony Salzman has become one of Vietnam’s most valued friends in the business world. Duncan Forgan meets the entrepreneur to hear his remarkable tale.

Soothsayers and mystics might want to argue the toss, but accurately predicting the future is generally a pastime fraught with danger.

Fighting the Fear

By: Johhny Vagabond Posted: August-10-2010 in
Johhny Vagabond

It’s early morning and I’m on the motorcycle in very heavy traffic. I’m anxious, paranoid, and can’t stop thinking about crashing — I’m close to panicking. I know what the problem is but I don’t want to admit it. I’ve got the Fear.

Riding a motorcycle requires a certain amount of trust. Trust in your own abilities, in being able to spot trouble ahead and anticipate what others will do, adjusting accordingly. Trust in the physics that makes it possible to balance on two wheels at high speeds without falling off or the bike flopping over. Trust in your bike, knowing that the tires’ contact patch will still hold if you lean the bike just a few more inches because you came into that corner too hot.

Vietnam’s National Assembly Votes on Contested High Speed Rail Project

By: Kim N. B. Ninh Posted: August-07-2010 in
Kim N. B. Ninh

This summer has been one of the hottest summers on record in Vietnam, with temperatures often rising above 100 F in many parts of the country. Low rainfall has rendered the country’s network of hydroelectrical power plants virtually useless, and rising energy consumption has outstripped the capacity of the state-owned energy sector, leading to rolling blackouts throughout the country in recent months.

Dive Into the Delta

By: Tim Russell Posted: July-14-2010 in
Tim Russell

With the recent opening of the Trung Luong Highway, the Mekong Delta is now a mere 90 minutes’ drive away from HCMC. Yet given its proximity to the metropolis, allied with its sleepy, laid-back ambience, its friendly people and its beautiful countryside, it’s amazing that so few HCMC expats bother to spend much time down there.

I suspect it’s because we all visit the Delta soon after arriving in Vietnam, usually on a rushed one-day tour being dragged from one fake ‘tourist village’ to another, and end up wondering what all the fuss is about. The fact that there is little in the way of decent accommodation in the region doesn’t help either.

A Visitor’s Guide to Saigon Taxis

By: Tim Russell Posted: July-07-2010 in
Tim Russell

I wrote this piece a couple of years ago for the Duxton Hotel blog. If anything the taxi situation in the city has gone from bad to worse, so time to tweak & repost it!

A frequent complaint from foreign visitors is of being overcharged, ripped off and generally mistreated by the city’s taxi drivers, particularly those operating at Tan Son Nhat Airport. Indeed, a 2007 survey discovered that the number one reason cited by tourists as to why they would not return to Vietnam was being overcharged by taxi drivers.

Avoiding Restaurant Rip-offs

By: Tim Russell Posted: June-16-2010 in
Tim Russell

A great and very useful feature on the excellent Travel Rants website about how to avoid being ripped off in tourist restaurants. Personally I would go even further and advise people to avoid tourist restaurants altogether, especially in Vietnam where tourist restaurant = same food you would get in a local restaurant, only with aircon, nicer chairs and and plenty of extra $$$ on the bill.

24 Hours in Hanoi

By: Tanja Wessels Posted: February-18-2010 in
Tanja Wessels

The Vietnamese capital has long been on my destination shortlist and when the boyfriend came to visit I didn’t think twice about telling him how vital a visit to Hanoi was on his first trip to Asia. (After a visit to Angkor Wat first- of course). On the 10th of October this year Hanoi will be turning 1000, it’s a good thing cities don’t get cakes with candles them. Having spent 5 days getting to grips with it, I have taken the highlights and compiled the ideal day in Hanoi.

A new breeze

By: Nguy Ha Posted: December-03-2009 in
Nguy Ha

“If I have tourist friends come to visit me, I always have to take them to see the water puppets; that’s all I can do. But they don’t really understand what’s going on. Now I can take them to something like this. It is such a wonderful opportunity for tourists to gain an understanding of Vietnamese culture. The play is hilarious, funny and they can understand what happening, without having someone Vietnamese to explain the concept or what the story about.

Dental Program Celebrates Milestone of 50,000th patient treated

By: Expat Advisory Posted: November-25-2009 in
Expat Advisory

Da Nang: The East Meets West Dental Program celebrated a major program milestone over a decade in the making. Le Thi Yen Nhi, a 12-year old girl from Que Son District, Quang Nam Province was the 50,000th patient to receive treatment from EMW's dental team. Served on January 15, 2008, her treatment represents the tremendous growth and success this program has achieved. During its 12-year history, the Dental Program has provided over 175,000 dental services worth an estimated value of $8.5 million USD.

The name game

By: Nguy Ha Posted: November-06-2009 in
Nguy Ha

Giving names to children has never been so fraught with difficulties, as Vietnamese parents are bombarded with advice on tones, meanings, lucky numbers, family traditions and the pressures of adapting to increased use of English.

Names in Vietnam are heavy with meaning. Parents think that a child’s name plays a key role in the destiny of their children. Often names and derivative meanings of names are passed down through generations, partially as a way of paying respect to their ancestors.


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