Ho Chi Minh City – Part 2

Just before lunch we headed to the Reunification Palace in the centre of Ho Chi Minh City. Home to the president of South Vietnam in 1975 when the North's tanks came rolling in, it's stood in a virtual time warp ever since. To get to the palace, we walked through the large pale grey gates surrounding it and past an immaculate round... Continue Reading →

Ho Chi Minh City – Part 1

Ho Chi Minh City is Vietnam's financial capital. It's also the country's most global, most metropolitan city. Otherwise known as Saigon, the city is home to almost 8.5 million people. There's a noticeable Western influence in the city centre, more so than in other parts of Vietnam, with coffee shops on street corners and a large... Continue Reading →

Mekong Delta

Deep in the south of Vietnam, you'll find the laid-back Mekong Delta, an expansive network of water famous for its floating markets and traditional way of life. I'd arranged to spend a night in a home stay in the Delta to experience a slice of traditional Vietnamese hospitality and having spent almost two weeks touring the... Continue Reading →

Cu Chi Tunnels

The ingenious, sprawling network of tunnels at Cu Chi, 70km north-west of Ho Chi Minh City, were used as a base by the Viet Cong to carry out their guerilla war campaign against the US between 1960 and 1975. It's hard to describe just how clever and extensive these tunnels are. From the ground, you'd... Continue Reading →

My Son

Hidden away in the jungly hills of central Vietnam is the ancient religious complex of My Son. The ruined complex, built by the Cham people, is home to a series of ornate red brick temples. Sadly some of the most striking examples were destroyed by the US during the Vietnam War, but what remains offers a fascinating glimpse into a... Continue Reading →

Hoi An

The ancient trading port of Hoi An is utterly charming and its old town embodies traditional Vietnamese culture, as for the most part, it's remained unchanged for centuries. In 1999, it was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the pretty port is the perfect place to spend a few days mooching around – which is exactly what I did. Sights... Continue Reading →

Danang

On our way from Hue to Hoi An, we stopped off briefly in Danang, a bustling city on the banks of the Han River. The city is home to a majestic golden Dragon Bridge, which apparently breathes fire and sprays water. Sadly the weather was atrocious the day we visited and with the gloomy clouds... Continue Reading →

Vietnamese food

My main take away about Vietnamese cuisine is that the Vietnamese love to wrap their food. Even if you don't think it can be wrapped, it will probably be wrapped and then dipped in a sauce before being eaten. Spring rolls, summer rolls, pancakes wrapped around a filling which are then wrapped in a giant... Continue Reading →

Cycling around Hue

First off, I should probably start by saying I hate cycling. I mean I really, really, really hate cycling. The last time I'd been on a bicycle was a disastrous cycling trip around Richmond Park in London five years earlier. So when I was asked if I fancied spending the morning cycling around the countryside near Hue, I hesitatingly... Continue Reading →

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