Brian Letwin

in Travel

The Quiet Calm of Hiding From the Heat Under Phan Rang's Grapevines

The punishing mid-day sun dictates the pace of life in the corridor between Phan Rang and Cam Ranh, where locals escape to their living rooms or hammocks, and tourists seek the cooling breeze of the beach, seafood restaurants or resort pools. Perhaps one of the most underrated ways to take refuge from the heat is to duck into one of the nearby grape vineyards where winding vines create a natural oasis.

Paul Christiansen

in Travel

The Curious Case of Quy Hoà Leprosy Colony's Park of Busts

A delightfully bizarre place, Quy Nhơn’s Quy Hoà leprosy colony deserves exploration in full , but clustered in a grove of...

in Saigoneer Getaways

On Japan’s Shonan Coastline, a Wintry Vista of Mount Fuji

It was my first trip to Zushi Beach and the sun was beginning to set. 

in Saigoneer Getaways

Finding Solace in the Placid Water of Trị An Lake as a City Dweller

I took a deep breath, realizing that I was suspended in the midpoint of everything, above the calm, glassy surface of Trị An Lake and beneath the vast, enveloping azure sky that blanketed Mã Đà forest.

in Travel

In Gò Vấp, a 'Floating Temple' Stands the Test of Time and River Currents

On an isle amid the Vàm Thuật river in Gò Vấp District, Phù Châu Temple, colloquially known among locals as the “floating temple,” has welcomed religious practitioners looking for a serene quarter in fast-paced Hồ Chí Minh City for over three centuries.

in Saigoneer Getaways

Just 12km From Huế, a Hidden Lake Welcomes You to a Night of Stargazing

If you’ve been meaning to embark on a trip to escape from the chaos of daily life but aren’t quite keen to plunge straight into the wilderness, Huế might be the perfect next destination. The city center embodies calm, quietude and a sense of poetic beauty — these are all great qualities that have long drawn visitors to it, but not many are aware that there’s an entirely different side of Huế if one just takes a short ride away from the urban heartland alongside the Perfume River.

in Saigoneer Getaways

Tà Năng, One of Vietnam’s Most Beautiful Trails and Best-Kept Secrets

Whether we choose to participate or not, most of us are fascinated by Vietnam’s motorbike culture.

in Saigoneer Getaways

Hà Giang's Thôn Khun Is a Soothing Oasis for the World-Weary Traveler

Located in the heart of a valley surrounded by verdant stretches of forest, the little hamlet of Khun retains much of its pristine natural charms. From the enigmatic beauty of the local Bó Mỳ Cave to babbling creeks, Khun is a must-visit destination during northern Vietnam’s sweltering summer season.

Back Travel

in Travel

Spain, Land of Churches, Castles and Wine - Part 1

Although I grew up in Spain, it’s been nearly 20 years since I left the country to overseas, so this summer I decided to go back and visit family and friends while showing the country to my Vietnamese...

Brian Letwin

in Travel

Vietnam Tourism Struggles to Keep up with ASEAN Neighbors

It’s long been known that Vietnam is lagging behind its ASEAN neighbors when it comes to the quality of tourism workers. With the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) agreement on mutual re...

Brian Letwin

in Travel

[Updated] Vietnam Moves Closer to Joint Visas with Thailand, Cambodia, ASEAN

[Update Below] After years of discussion, Vietnamese, Thai and Cambodian foreign relations authorities are getting closer to a joint visa agreement.

Brian Letwin

in Travel

Vietnam Enjoying Tourism Growth in 2013

According to the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT), Vietnam has reeled in more than 677,000 foreign tourists in August, a 22% increase from last year.

in Travel

Wine, Grapes and Relaxation

Although there are many reasons to visit Spain, including good weather, history and food, wine tourism has become one of the latest trends with foreigners and locals alike. You may enjoy drinking wine...

Brian Letwin

in Travel

VietJetAir Offering (Nearly) Free Tickets to Celebrate Milestone

A few times per year, VietJetAir offers insanely low ticket prices and one of these promotions is fast approaching. From August 21 – September 19, the budget airline is offering VND3,000 (US$.14) tic...

Brian Letwin

in Travel

Shanghai's Rapid Development Captured in a .Gif

Prior to World War II, Shanghai, like Saigon, was a major trading port, controlled by foreign powers. Following communist victory in 1949, most international firms relocated to Hong Kong to prote...

in Travel

Trouble-free Travel with Flight Travel JSC

Whether you travel for business or pleasure, we all hope for a trouble-free experience either to be able to relax or conduct business as planned. However, experience has taught me that in general, and...

Brian Letwin

in Travel

New Online Services are Changing the Face of Tourism

Over the last decade, the tourism industry has been learning how to better leverage the internet to provide unique services for customers. First came online reviews and bookings, allowing us to gather...

Brian Letwin

in Travel

Japan Eases Visa Requirements for Vietnamese

The struggles of Vietnamese applying for visas to European and North American countries are well documented and probably won’t be changing anytime soon. But it will soon be easier for Vietnamese to vi...

Brian Letwin

in Travel

Interactive Saigon Bus Map

Believe it or not, buses are a great way to zip around Saigon. They're cheap, reasonably fast (unless it's rush-hour) and service nearly every corner of the city. But for non-Vietnamese speakers, taki...

Brian Letwin

in Travel

What to do Along the Mekong

There are many things that set Saigon apart from other sprawling cities – the laid back lifestyle, the food, the people. But no matter how unique, the hustle and bustle of rush hour traffic and heat p...

Brian Letwin

in Travel

Escape to Hong Kong

Traditional masks in Hong Kong. Photo by Jon Sanwell While we don’t get to travel much, many local bloggers do and frequently post articles about their recent adventures. Photographer Jon Sanwell rec...

Brian Letwin

in Travel

Beautiful Hoi An

Vietnam's first truly international port, Hoi An was developed by Chinese and Japanese merchants who believed that the "heart of Asia" lay beneath the small town. While that has yet to be proven, ther...