Tag Archives : Vietnam

Diane Lee - An expat in the time of coronavirus

An Expat in the Time of Coronavirus


An expat tells why being a foreigner in a foreign land wasn’t a good thing in the midst of a global pandemic I’ve been based in Hanoi, Vietnam for almost four years, and as an expat, I’ve neither seen nor experienced anything like the xenophobia among the local Vietnamese — towards foreigners — that has occurred as a result of the coronavirus. For one…

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How to be a freelancer in Vietnam - Travelling Homebody

How to be a freelancer in Vietnam


Freelancing in Vietnam Thinking about jumping on the bandwagon and freelancing in Vietnam, or using the country as a base if you’re a digital nomad? In this post, I’ll tell you the one thing you absolutely, positively need to know if you want to be a freelancer in Vietnam — and it’s the one thing that no one tells you.…

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Travelling Homenbody - Three Stages of Being an Expat

3 stages of being an expat in Vietnam


I have a confession to make. At 53 years of age, I had never lived outside Australia. I’d raised my daughter as a single parent and, well, had neither the time, money or inclination to move overseas. Hell, I didn’t even start travelling internationally until I was 47. The first country I visited? Vietnam. When I was in my twenties,…

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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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Hoi An: great food and even better shopping!


Have spent the last couple of days wandering around Hoi An. So far, this is one of my favourite places in Vietnam. Great food, lovely – but persistent! – people and a welcoming atmosphere. It’s one of the cleanest cities I’ve seen so far here. I decided to get some clothes made, and that was an experience! The turnaround time…

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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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