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Beauties in Rocky Garden

Nguy Ha

During the 160 kilometres from Ha Giang to Dong Van, you can experience the beautiful and dangerous mountain passes that snake between rocky mountains and an ocean of clouds. Ha Giang’s landscape is beautiful all year round.. In the spring, Ha Giang may be cold but it is good time to come in order to see peach, plum and mustard flowers blossom, and experience the ethnic minority peoples’ new year, offering the chance to take part in their traditional games.

Hitting the right spot

Nguy Ha

With bars, cafes and restaurants in Hanoi’s Old Quarter playing up their gritty, Old Hanoi faux-French colonial credentials, it comes as a pleasant surprise to find a place that is willing to grasp modernity, comfort and the tastes of home as their guiding principle.

My 2011 Vietnam Tourism Wish List

Tim Russell

2010 was a great year for Vietnam’s tourism industry, with an estimated 5 million visitors – the best ever. Here are my hopes for 2011…

1. Visa on arrival
I know I bang on about this incessantly but there is little point marketing Vietnam as a tourist destination and then making it difficult for people to actually get in. Introducing a genuine visa on arrival process, and scrapping visas for key markets altogether, would see a huge leap in numbers for both new and returning visitors.

Expats in Vietnam caught up in suspect visa scams

EAS Staff

EAS has recently learnt that people have been surprised by several changes at the Vietnamese Embassy in Phnom Penh. Firstly, new application forms, secondly,  a $10 increase in the price of a 3 month multiple entry visa, and thirdly, people are being offered 6 and 12 month multiple entry visas which have not been available for some time now.

More Hotel WiFi Lunacy

Tim Russell

By far the most popular blog posting I’ve made all year was my September piece about hotel wifi charges, about how 5* hotels have the nerve to charge for internet access on top of their already high room rates, while 3* hotels usually provide it for free.

Tiger Translate Metropolis

Nguy Ha

In the middle of November, 4000 Vietnamese rock fans had the chance to experience the combination of Rock and Temporary art show, Tiger Translate Metropolis, with the performances of local bands Ngu Cung (Pentatonic), RoseWood, the Canadian native metal band Hail The Villian and two painters Tran Trung Linh and Bertrand Peret.

Hanoi: Around the clock

Nguy Ha

Sample 24 hours of non-stop entertainment in Hanoi, as we go from the traditional to the modern.

5 am: Exercise
The whole of Hanoi stirs gently as if it is itself waking from a sound sleep. Autumn breezes make the weather cooler, and the scent of milk flowers hangs in the air. It is the best time to breathe in Hanoi’s air at its purest. Many people start the new day with morning exercise. People flock to Hoan Kiem Lake, Thong Nhat Park and Thu Le Zoo to exercise. No one pays attention to others but all of them concentrate on the music from old radios. Old people in white outfits slowly dance with swords and fans, creating an idyllic picture of morning which lacks the usual bustle of Hanoian life.

The Theory of Rent

The Word HCMC

Asking what makes some districts more desirable to live in than others is like asking why red sportcars are more popular than pick-up trucks. It’s obvious, isn’t it? Jeremy King explains

Have you ever wondered why we live where we live? You may have thought that developers use a ‘pin the tail on the donkey’ approach to choosing the next residential hub, or that, like a flock of sheep, we see one person moving to a desirable looking area in pastures new and get this overwhelming urge to follow. You may be surprised to learn then that there is, in fact, an anthropological reason behind where we reside. There’s even a scientific formula to explain it.

The bus run - Phnom Penh to Saigon

Vanessa Vrdoljak

For my regular commutes between Saigon and Phnom Penh I usually take the Mekong Express Bus. Yesterday I decided to try the Sapaco Tourist Bus for a change. Finally reaching the safety of home I can now laugh about the journey as I sit here safely ensconced in my familiar surroundings, so unless you are completely barmy, or a thrill seeking nutter, this company should be avoided like the plague.

My day with a Vietnamese soldier

Gabi Yetter

I spent today with a lieutenant in the Vietnamese army, sitting behind him for seven hours as he showed me the sights of Dalat's countryside and told us about his life in the war.

Huang Van Hong is now one of the members of Dalat's Easy Rider Club , a group of 80 motorbike guides who whiz around the countryside (and beyond) to show visitors the beauty of this region up in the hills of the Vietnamese Highlands.

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