Old Da Nang and New Da Nang on a Starry Starry Night

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It was windy and cold in Da Nang last night. I was alone for Tet. I felt sort of free and alive in the cold night air. I decided to ride up to the headland. It was REALLY windy and …

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New years in Da Nang

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Mi really wanted to see the fireworks. She’d been counting down the days. Some days it was the first thing she’d tell me when she woke up… “Hey.. it’s only 2 days until the fireworks”. She taught me how to …

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Christmas in Da Nang

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This year I was living in Da Nang at Christmas and working for a small English centre called Eureka. Being the new teacher and being as enthusiastic about cooking as I am, my boss asked me if I’d like to …

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Family values in SE Asia. A friend flies home to save his mother

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A Taiwanese friend who lives in Saigon posted this Facebook update this week. I thought it was a beautiful and touching story about South East Asian culture and the importance of family. I wanted to share it with you with …

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Rap City: Saigon – an awesome rap tribute to Saigon !

This is Saigon at its best. This is everything you need to know about Saigon. It also features a shot of Bia Tuoi 102, my local bia hoi bar in Bui Vien, and my house which is next door ! …

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How to get a good price when haggling in Asia by dismissing cultural stereotypes

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I didn’t grow up in Australia even though I was born there. My parents travelled when I was very young and I actually grew up in Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands and other such remote places. My fifth birthday …

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Saigon Dep Lam – No chairs week in Bui Vien Street

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So, the police have been cleaning up Pham Ngu Lao in preparation for Re-unification day on the 30th of April. This means making all the vendors, hawkers, food stalls and street bars either close up or stop using the sidewalk …

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There are no backpackers in Bui Vien

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The “gated community” expats seem to have this weird idea that Pham Ngu Lao is “the backpacker area”. And it is… during the day. But at night, and especially on the weekends, you’ll be lucky to spot a foreigner on …

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The improvised suspension bridges of northern Vietnam

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In the mountainous provinces of northern Vietnam, fast-flowing rivers are common and many are crossed only by makeshift suspension bridges, often in desperate need of repair. Lai Chau province has around 140 such bridges. In February, “Chu Va 6” bridge …

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Old motorbikes and duct tape

A long time back when I had to park outdoors at a temporary street-side bike park in order to get to the waterfront for the new years eve fireworks in Saigon, my friend made the recommendation “Always try and park …

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