Tag Archives : Vietnam

Travelling Homebody - getting around Hanoi like a local

Zoom zoom: how to get around Hanoi like a local

Getting around Hanoi like a local Despite first appearances (crazy traffic, anyone?) and more than 9 million people, Hanoi is a relatively easy city to get around. Transportation — especially modes that are used by locals — is cheap and convenient. Even taxis, which can be pricey in other countries, are surprisingly cost effective in Hanoi, and Vietnam in general.…

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Autumn: the best time to visit to Hanoi

One of the best times of the year to visit Hanoi, Vietnam is in autumn —  October through to December. The days are warm, with plenty of sunshine and the nights are cool. Rain is rare, and if it does come, it doesn’t hang around for long. Maybe an afternoon, or a few hours in the evening. Hanoi, unlike Saigon…

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Ladies of the Flower Market Hanoi Vietnam - Travelling Homebody

Ladies of the Flower Market, Hanoi

Back in September, I did a three-day film course. It was aimed at photographers, but I was the only photographer there. To cut a long story short it was terrible (so terrible that PayPal gave me a refund) but I did get out and about and shoot some film. The Quang Ba Flower Market is a hive of activity from…

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A Taste of Vietnam - Travelling Homebody

A taste of Vietnam like a local

Recently, I had the pleasure of being a guest on Better Homes & Garden’s Tastebud Traveller podcast, giving listeners a taste of Vietnam, like a local. I’ve lived in Hanoi since the end of 2016, and I’m always up for chatting about my experiences, insight and — of course — offer  up my insider tips. I share the spotlight with…

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Vegan Festival Hanoi - Travelling Homebody

First vegan food festival in Hanoi

Going vegan in Vietnam The Vietnamese are a nation of meat-eaters. Pork, beef, chicken, duck and other meats (you don’t want to know) feature in most dishes. Old wives tales and superstitions abound, where it is considered positively unhealthy if you don’t eat meat at every meal. True story! Despite this, younger Vietnamese — and some older folk — are…

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Travelling Homebody - Cao Bang - Vietnam - Photo Essay

Cao Bang – Vietnam – Photo Essay

I visited in Cao Bang Province in 2017 and it could have killed me. You can read about the whys and wherefores here. Needless to say, it was pretty scary and a solid reminder that press trips are often not what they’re cracked up to be. And because I couldn’t write a glowing review, I submitted my pictures… which were…

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View across West Lake, Hanoi at sunset

Hanoi: an insider’s guide – Part 1

Friends and friends of friends who travel to Hanoi often ask me what they should do in this wonderful, vibrant city. Hanoi is more than the Old Quarter (which is interesting in and of itself), more than traffic (which is not as bad as Saigon), more than the pho (which is awesome). So to save time, energy and repetition on…

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Travelling Homebody is living in Hanoi. Find out what the first three weeks have been like!

My first three weeks living in Hanoi

I have been living in Hanoi for just over three weeks, and it’s been crazy-amazing and challenging. I’ve found out things about myself that I didn’t think would apply here, because, well, I’m not in Australia. But I am me whether I am in Australia or Vietnam or the Antarctic—who knew?! Here’s what I’ve been up to (and not) since my…

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Travelling Homebody toured Ninh Binh aka Halong Bay on Land

My first week in Hanoi, Vietnam

I’m here in Vietnam for at least 3 months, volunteering for KOTO. For those of you who don’t know the story, when I was in Vietnam in 2010, as part of the tour I was on we visited KOTO Restaurant in Hanoi for lunch. KOTO (which stands for Know One, Teach One) was started by an Australian, Jimmy Pham, who—while…

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Another gorgeous photo taken by the Travelling Homebody, Diane Lee.

Serenity, Halong Bay, Vietnam

Vietnam was the first country I ever travelled to and it has a special place in me heart, just like a first love. I was a terrible photographer back then, but this is one of my better pictures. Halong Bay is one of the most beautiful places on earth… Contact me if you’d like to purchase this photo.

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First overseas trip ever: what I learned

I loved, loved, loved my first trip to Vietnam. It was hard (in places!) and tiring, but amazing at the same time. Would I do it again? Absolutely! Would I do it differently? Some things, possibly, but that’s only because hindsight is 20/20. So here goes. This is what I learned. 1. What didn’t work so well: Don’t take two separate…

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Hanoi: so many people!

Hanoi and Thang Long celebrations We landed in Hanoi during the Thang Long Hanoi – 1000 year celebrations.  Apparently it’s wall-to-wall people at the best of times, but was even more so because of Thang Long. It was crowded. Really crowded. People, cars, buses, motorbikes everywhere. Every inch of space was taken up with people, or their activities.  It was…

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Rubbish and street vendors

A couple of (sad) things I have noticed about Vietnam: rubbish and street vendors. The rubbish – mostly plastic bags – literally litter the landscape. In some places, there are piles of it. It would be a major job – probably lasting a couple of years – to clean it all up. The river running through Saigon and feeding in…

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Pampered on the Eastern Sea

No sun today. Well, maybe a little, and not for very long. And it’s a pity, because the tour activities were centred around the sea. We toured a fishing village on Mieu Island, just off the coast of Nha Trang. It was raining bucketloads, and I wore my poncho (see last post!) to stave off the rain. We waded through…

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What a difference a day makes…

The drive to Nha Trang from Da Lat as stunning. We drove through cloud-covered mountains and villages where it seemed a subsistence lifestyle was still being maintained. The roads snaked in and around cliffs with sheer drops, and the clouds hung quite low. The city of Nha Trang is as western as Da Lat is French; it is a seaside…

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Mini-meltdowns and zen gardens

Have you ever just sat down in the middle of Saigon airport and just cried? Well, I hadn’t either until yesterday. I’m not sleeping too well, and yesterday, we had to get up at 4am to fly out of Saigon into Da Lat. Cruel and unusual punishment when you are averaging about 4 or 5 hours of sleep a night.…

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A day of contrasts: rebuilding Vietnam

A sombre day today. We visited the Cu Chi tunnels, the War Memorial and the Reunification Palace. We saw the worst and the best of human endeavour. We saw how cruel and ruthless humans are in a war, and how creative they are in rebuilding a country afterwards. The drive to the tunnels was spectacular. We drove through crowded, hectic…

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Sleepless in Saigon

It’s nearly 5am in Saigon. I hardly slept a wink all night. Overtired, methinks. And my brain had too much stimulation for one day, and is wired, can’t relax. Or so it seems. I did sleep from about 9.30 until about 12. After that I dozed, dropping in an out of sleep and not quite falling into oblivion. So what…

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