After spending the first two nights of our Vietnam tour in Hanoi, and another in Halong Bay, we travelled south – half way down Vietnam’s coast to our third destination; the hippest heritage town on the Vietnam trail – Hoi An. (more…)
How many motorcycles in Ho Chi Minh City? Apparently there are over two million scooters, mopeds and motorcycles teeming through the streets (and on the pavements) of Vietnam’s largest City, and they are an attraction in their own right.
Totally mesmerizing to watch, they buzz about their business, inches apart; streaming down avenues, weaving, wending, intertwining their way across town and performing hair’s breadth manoeuvres at every cross-road. Young women wearing peaked helmets sit straight-backed at the traffic lights. Families ride pillion – four up plus baby. A wardrobe passes by. The blasting of horns and the screech of brakes is constant, the air is fume-filled and the traffic relentless. But it’s fascinating. (more…)
New Year in Ho Chi Minh City
New Year in Saigon, or Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) as it’s officially known, is a blast and we’ve joined the city’s celebrations twice. We loved it so much we went back a few years later. For our first New Year’s Eve in Ho Chi Minh City we weren’t sure what to expect. We knew that the lunar New Year, Tet, is widely celebrated towards the end of January, but would the Western New Year be a non-event? We weren’t disappointed; Vietnam most definitely sees in the Gregorian New Year and they do it big time. We loved every minute of Saigon’s sparkling celebrations. (more…)
Samode Palace sits in the hushed Aravalli hills of Rajasthan, an hour’s drive from Jaipur. It’s a very special place. If the truth be known I’d prefer to keep Samode Palace Hotel and it’s 480 years of secrets to myself but this is a place that really should be shared…
I’m rather partial to a nice cup of tea – not too strong, not too weak, no sugar. So when feeling a little parched in New Delhi I had a very unexpected but pleasant surprise at the Taj Palace Hotel.
It was mid-morning, we fancied a cuppa, and we were right on the doorstep of the Taj Palace; they’ve gotta be serving tea and coffee we thought and popped in. The first sign that this was something a bit special came with the menu – an encyclopedic menu! It took a while to select from the large, hard-backed tome which offered over 90 estate teas and 20 premium coffees from the world over. After much dithering – it’s never good for me to have too much choice – I went for a medium strength Darjeeling.