Happy New Year

2015 New Year Fireworks over the Gustave Eiffel's Truong Tien Bridge - Hue, Vietnam

2015 New Year Fireworks over Gustave Eiffel’s Truong Tien Bridge – Hue, Vietnam

Chuc Mung Nam Moi to all of my Vietnamese friends and everyone else through Asia celebrating the new year today.  May it be a prosperous and happy one!

Chuc mung nam moi

Lady Buddha – Da Nang

Lady Buddha - Da Nang, Vietnam

Lady Buddha – Da Nang, Vietnam

In Da Nang there is a statue.   And her name is Lady Buddha.

She stands 72 meters tall and dominates the landscape for up to 35 kilometers. She can be seen everywhere in Da Nang and surrounding areas, including out to see. She is thought, by the locals, to be the protector of sailors. Continue reading

Hoi An

DSC02395

Hoi An, also known as Faifoo, is a beautiful old town with a population of around 100,000. Even better, it feels smaller, cozy even.  Originally a port and trading city, the influences from countries around the world are omnipresent. The Old Quarter is also a UNESCO World Heritage site, so hopefully the charms will remain in the face of Vietnam’s rapid growth everywhere else.

Continue reading

Kopi Luwak – It’s Shit

Kopi Luwak

Kopi Luwak

Kopi Luwak is a category of coffee produced from….(ahem)….the excrement of Asian jungle cats called Civets. It’s also known as Weasel Coffee and Cat Shit Coffee.

Who was the first person to think…..’hmm, I bet that might taste good?’ And who were the idiots that believed his lies and tried it next? Continue reading

Pop Quiz: Driving in Vietnam – Ten Questions

Saigon Traffic

Saigon Traffic

I’ve never sworn so much in my life as when I am driving in Vietnam. Often I am glad I have a visor over my face to muffle the language. Frequently I cuss at people in Spanish just to be sure they can’t understand me. If I ever were to learn how to swear proficiently and throw a shit-fit on the road in Vietnamese, it could be very detrimental to my health.

Predictability is something that does not exist on the roads of Vietnam.  Take this pop quiz to see if you’re ready to drive here. Continue reading

Gotcha: Extending a Vietnam Visa

Vietnam Immigration Law

Vietnam Immigration Law

Popular opinion is that renewing a Vietnam visa is easy.  They say, “if you have a three month visa, you don’t even need to leave the country, either go to immigration or have a service process your extension for you…three more months…no problems.”  You can do it three times – a full year of Vietnam travel without ever having to leave the country.  Excellent!

Well, not so much.  Be forewarned, sometimes it’s not all that straightforward.

I recently got denied entry into Thailand.  Here’s my (cautionary) Vietnam visa tale. Continue reading