About Viet Nam (13 posts)
Sailing along Vietnam's central coast

Vietnam's central coast is emerging as a major tourism hotspot with many untouched areas waiting to be explored.

Authentic travel

Authentic travel (11/12/2013)

Top class hotels and resorts may provide visitors to Vietnam with plenty of options for comfortable trips with high-class facilities and services, but if you really want a local taste of life here, a homestay is hard to beat.
Viet Nam has world-class cuisine: chef Bobby Chinn
Editor’s Note: Bobby Chinn is a New Zealander chef who has lived for 18 years in Viet Nam. Chinn graduated with a bachelor degree in finance and economics in the United States, and then briefly worked on Wall Street. He moved to Hanoi in 1995, and now owns a restaurant, Restaurant Bobby Chinn, there. The chef hosts the television show World Café Asia for the Travel and Living Channel, BBC's…
Vietnam on Two Wheels: Part 9 - Surviving the Highlands
One thing that can be said about the Central Highlands is that the terrain doesn’t change very much as you travel through the region. After seeing mountains, paddies, karsts and coastal plains, often all in one day, during the first part of the ride, we would now see nothing but rolling hills, laterite dirt and scrub grass for several days.  
Vietnam on Two Wheels: Part 8 - Entering the Highlands
The two shorter days we had just completed were only a short break, for day 16 was arguably the hardest of the ride. The route from Kham Duc to Plei Kan, also known as Ngoc Hoi, spanned 115 kilometers and included our route’s longest climb: 20 kilometers, gaining 700 meters of altitude along the way. That huge hill was the last hurdle between us and the Central Highlands, a vast,…
Vietnam on Two Wheels: Part 7 - A Reprieve
Day 14, a 51 kilometer cycle from P’rao to Thanh My, got off to a late start thanks to strange circumstances. Upon arriving in P’rao the day before we had found out that every hotel in the town was full thanks to some sort of farming conference. We had a hard time believing that many people would visit such a nondescript place, but there really wasn’t a room to be…
Vietnam on Two Wheels: Part 6 - Into the Mountains
After two days of gorging on food in Hue, it was time to head into the mountains. Our route for the day was taking us more west than south, and by the end we would be right along the border with Laos in a town called A Luoi. The 75km cycle included two major climbs, set to be our biggest challenge yet. We had built up a lot of strength…
Vietnam on Two Wheels: Part 5 - On the ‘Hue’ to Hue
We rode out of Dong Le under another grey, drizzly sky for a 92 kilometer cycle to Dong Hoi. The first couple of hours took us through the incredible landscape of Quang Binh province, where bright rice paddies fan out until they hit majestic limestone karsts.  
Vietnam on Two Wheels: Part 4 - Epic nature
Day seven was our shortest ride yet, a trifling 54 kilometers from Pho Chau to Huong Khe, all on the Ho Chi Minh Highway. It was another completely overcast, yet thankfully dry day. There was little traffic on the way, and we cruised past verdant rice paddies and distant mountains. The team absolutely crushed the day, with everybody arriving in quiet Huong Khe by 11am. It had almost seemed too…
Bamboo puppets bring rural play to life
It is just another day in the Vietnamese countryside. A mother lulls her baby to sleep, a boy plays the flute while sitting on a buffalo's back, men and women sing as they harvest rice in the fields and a woman takes a boat through a lake of lotus flowers.    
Vietnam on Two Wheels: Part 3 - To the coast and back
On H2H’s fourth day, a 68km ride from Quan Lao to Tinh Gia, the sunny heat of the previous three days was replaced by dense overcast. Much of the leg would be spent on National Highway 1, which stretches the length of the country and is notoriously dangerous. I wasn’t looking forward to the hurtling, honking trucks and buses that populate the road, but at least the surface would be…
Vietnam on Two Wheels: Part 2 - Into the countryside
Day two of H2H 2013 got off to a warm, humid start. We stretched as a group at Hoa Binh’s stadium before setting off under an overcast sky. The day’s ride was shorter than the first, at 60km, but it included the first significant hill as well – a 260 meter ascent over 5.5 kilometers. As amateur cyclists we were all nervous, though I knew what to expect.  
Viet Nam on Two Wheels: Part 1 – Departure
Editorial's note: Having taken part in H2H twice, I feel that it is a unique experience that has deepened my understanding of Viet Nam, which I have called home for over two years. I have had the opportunity to see parts of the country I would've never visited otherwise and get a more 'real' experience than is often available in highly developed, westernized Ho Chi Minh City. Not to mention…