historical romantic city Huê citadel palace gate

Historical and Romantic City of Huê

When I booked my train tickets and hotel stay in Huê, I didn’t know much about the city except that it is a historical city and its main attraction is the Imperial Citadel. I didn’t have high expectations either because all I wanted was a break from Hoi An, a popular touristy town in Central Vietnam. There was nothing wrong with Hoi An except that I wanted to break my one-week stay in Hoi An with side trips to the countryside and to another city nearby to avoid boredom. Historical Background From 1802 to 1945, Huê (pronounced ‘hway’) was the

Read more

The Scarlett Boutique Hotel Hue, Vietnam – Review

Throughout my trip in Central Vietnam, I had been lucky to stay at budget accommodation which were value for money with amazing 5-star services. I stayed in a guesthouse located deep in an alleyway in Hoi An and a budget hotel situated along the riverbank in the countryside. As the saying goes, good things come in threes, and indeed, the third good thing came in the form of a hotel called The Scarlett Boutique Hotel in Hue. You wouldn’t be able to identify The Scarlett Boutique Hotel right away on the main street unless your vision was clear enough to

Read more
travel from hoi an to hue at hue hue station

Three Ways to Travel From Hoi An to Hue

After spending two days in Hoi An admiring the picturesque Old Town and lazing by An Bang Beach, it was time for me to move on to another destination. A different destination for me to spend a night or two, preferably a place that was historical to suit a history buff like me. And that destination was Hue. Hue (pronounced as ‘hway’) is located 126km north of Hoi An in Central Vietnam and was formerly an imperial city for the Nguyen Dynasty from 1802 to 1945. Much of Hue’s tourist attractions is the tranquil atmosphere of the promenade and Perfume

Read more
visit and stay outside hoi an bridge over song do river

Visit and Stay Outside Hoi An

The very mention of Hoi An and immediately images of yellow heritage buildings and colourful lanterns pop up in one’s mind. This is the scene that most tourists associate with Hoi An – a town in Central Vietnam where tourists come in droves to walk around the quiet streets of the Old Town, admire the Chinese-influenced heritage buildings, cruise on the Thu Bon River, and to take lots of IG-worthy photos of various styles and poses. The Old Town of Hoi An is indeed captivating and pretty but has anyone wondered, is that all there is to see in Hoi

Read more
old town hoi an shop

Old Town Hoi An – Beautiful, Dreamy and Magical

It was the images of Old Town Hoi An that drew me back to Vietnam. Images of boats gliding on the river against the backdrop of bright yellow Chinese assembly houses, deep pink bougainvilleas and strings of colourful lanterns. Images such as these that I kept seeing in Instagram and on TV. My last trip to Vietnam was in 2011, after which I swore I would not return to the country again. Seriously. I don’t know why I felt this way about Vietnam. Hanoi did not impress me and Ho Chi Minh City had managed somewhat to persuade me that it

Read more

In Pictures: Mekong River Cruise

The Mekong Delta in Vietnam is often named as the “rice bowl of Vietnam”. It is such a fertile region that it produces half of Vietnam’s total agricultural output. Therefore, life for villagers in the delta centres on the rivers and canals, and their mode of transportation is obviously by river. You can experience a cruise on the Mekong River and boating along the canals – just sign up for a tour which takes you on a 2.5 hour journey from Ho Chi Minh City to My Tho, a former naval base and now a thriving port city in the Mekong

Read more

Explore Ho Chi Minh City: Cu Chi Tunnels

An introductory sightseeing of Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) can be done within a day, or a day and a half. After that, it’s time to venture outside of the city. Many tourists visit the Cu Chi Tunnels which are located about 2 hours’ drive from HCMC. At times there are way too many tourists heading to the tunnels and some may complain that the tours are just too rushed but I feel it’s a must see because of its historical importance. Would you be able to squeeze through that tunnel? While fighting against French colonialism in the late 1940s,

Read more

Explore Ho Chi Minh City: War Remnants Museum

In the second part of the Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) series, I wrote about exploring this city on foot. One of the places which you could visit when exploring and walking around in HCMC is the War Remnants Museum. The War Remnants Museum is a gallery showcasing war crimes and its legacy in Vietnam – first those of the French and then those of the Americans. Some people feel that this museum is “blatantly one-sided with the emphasis on anti-American propaganda”.  Regardless of one’s opinion on US involvement in the Vietnam War, one must visit this museum to learn,

Read more

Explore Ho Chi Minh City On Foot

I wrote about what you can do on your first day of arrival in Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) and here some suggestions you can do to on the second day. And a great way to do this is to explore Ho Chi Minh City on foot… Tai Binh Market This is not a market which sells souvenirs and handicrafts to tourists but a market where locals go to buy fresh produce. Tai Binh Market is located at the end of the backpackers’ area in District 1 and is best to go there before 10am. The market also sells street

Read more

First Day in Ho Chi Minh City: Ben Thanh Market Area

Ho Chi Minh City or HCMC is the largest city in Vietnam, and this metropolitan city was formerly known as Saigon. After the fall of Saigon in 1975, it was renamed to Ho Chi Minh City. But the old name of Saigon is still used by both Vietnamese and foreigners. If you are planning to be in HCMC for a short time, I would say 4D/3N is ideal. For starters, here are some activities you could do on your first day. Accommodation in Ben Thanh Market Area It is recommended to stay at District 1 of the city because of

Read more
1 2