Vung Tau-Con Dao Express Ferry

Vung Tau→Con Dao Express Ferry

Using modern fast ferries, this sea crossing to the magical Côn Đảo Islands is a great alternative to flying for travellers who value an experience over convenience…

Dam Tre Bay, Con Son Island, Con Dao Archipelago, Vietnam

Dam Tre Bay | Con Son Island

Turquoise water & abundant coral rimmed by forested hills & dramatic cliffs, Đầm Tre is one of Vietnam’s most pristine, remote & utterly magical bays…

Car Ferry from Cần Giờ (Ho Chi Minh) to Cần Giuộc (Long An)

The Can Gio→Can Giuoc Car Ferry

This ferry enables travellers with their own wheels to bypass Saigon completely when travelling between the southeast coast & the Mekong Delta…

Núi Đá Bạc Mountain Trekking Guide, Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam

Núi Đá Bạc Mountain Trek | Phu Quoc Island

Offering stupendous views, this is a fun & rewarding hike to the top of one of the jungle-clad escarpments lining Phu Quoc’s eastern flank…

Camping on Dragon Beach & the Northern Bays, Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam

Camping on Dragon Beach & the Northern Bays | Phu Quoc Island

Sleeping on the sands of the beautiful & deserted northern beaches is a real adventure & an experience that will stay with you for a long time…

Trekking to Đỉnh Tiên Sơn Peak | Phu Quoc Island

Trekking to Đỉnh Tiên Sơn Peak | Phu Quoc Island

Ascending steeply through thick rainforest, a pathway leads to a nest of giant boulders atop Đỉnh Tiên Sơn, from where there are stunning 180-degree views…

The Spring-Hopping Loop, Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam

Spring Hopping Loop | Phu Quoc Island

Several refreshing streams run cool & clear off the spine of jungled mountains along Phu Quoc Island’s eastern flank, all linked by quiet back-roads…

Vung Tau: City by the Sea, a travelogue & guide

Vung Tau | City by the Sea

An illustrated travelogue-cum-guide to Vung Tau intended to inspire a trip to this rejuvenated city by the sea…

Film: A Day in Saigon, Redux

Film: Saigon, My Saigon [Redux]

Revisiting my short film of a day in the life of my local neighbourhood in Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City), where I’ve tried to capture the rhythm of life over 24 hours in the rainy season

First Rains: An Ode to the Monsoon in Vietnam

First Rains: An Ode to the Monsoon

Monsoon downpours & tropical storms are the quintessential expression of the tropics, representing the exotic & the mysterious. For me, the monsoon embodies the excitement & romance of living far from home….

The New Can Gio-Vung Tau Car Ferry

The Can Gio→Vung Tau Car Ferry

A great boon to travellers, this new ferry connects two of the most popular destinations near Ho Chi Minh City: Can Gio mangrove forest and Vung Tau beach…

Saigon Waterbus, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Saigon Waterbus: Guide & Itinerary

The Saigon Waterbus should be near the top of every visitor’s itinerary for Ho Chi Minh City. As a way of seeing the city’s skyline, of experiencing its many different neighbourhoods & for sheer value for money, the Saigon Waterbus is practically unbeatable…

Phu Quoc Island, North & East Coasts

Phu Quoc Island: North & East Coasts

Newly completed roads have opened access to the beaches, bays, forests & hamlets of the north & east coasts of Phu Quoc Island. Previously difficult to get to, these parts of Phu Quoc are the least developed, most characterful & charming on the island….

Thien Thanh Limousine bus, Saigon to Rach Gia, Vietnam

Beach Bus: Saigon↔Rach Gia Limousine | Passengers & Motorbikes

Thien Thanh Limousine runs luxury buses between Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City) & Rach Gia in the Mekong Delta, gateway to Vietnam’s islands in the Gulf of Thailand. This is a great service for passengers & motorbikes…

Pirate Islands (Dao Hai Tac), Travel Guide, Vietnam

Pirate Islands (Đảo Hải Tặc) | Travel Guide

Lying in the Gulf of Thailand, just off Vietnam’s southwest coast, Pirate Islands is a rugged archipelago, only recently opened to foreign visitors…

Phu Quy Island, travel guide, Vietnam

Phu Quy Island: Travel Guide

A new & exciting destination, Phu Quy Island is but a drop of green land in the vast blue ocean, and has only very recently opened its doors to domestic & foreign travellers. A fascinating place with a real sense of isolation, this is my comprehensive guide to Phu Quy Island….

Hon Son Island, travel guide, Vietnam

Hon Son Island: Travel Guide

Hon Son Island is a gem. It’s a rugged yet green & exceptionally beautiful isle. With jungle-covered mountains rising from the ocean, peaceful fishing hamlets in picturesque bays, and palm-fringed beaches, Hon Son has got it all…

Sketches of Saigon, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Sketches of Saigon: 5 Scenes

Over the course of a week, I sat & wrote for half an hour on five separate occasions at five random locations in Saigon, and described the scenes as they appeared to me, in the hope of capturing something of the spirit of the city….

Nam Du Islands, Kien Giang Province, Vietnam

Nam Du Islands: Travel Guide

A glistening archipelago of small tropical islands off the southwestern coast of Vietnam, Nam Du is beautiful & undeveloped. With mesmerizing beaches & bays, a jungle-clad interior, and over 20 outlying islands, Nam Du is a treat…

The Southern Dry Season in Vietnam: Travel Guide

The Southern Dry Season: Travel Guide

A period of glorious, warm, sunny weather in the lower regions of Vietnam, the southern dry season lasts from November to May. Here are some of the best places to travel & stay during this time of year.

Exploring life along Saigon's railway line, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Exploring Saigon’s Railway Tracks: A Guide

Lined with intriguing architecture, temples, shrines, pagodas, fruit trees, flowers, cafes, casual dining & other such urban miscellanea, exploring the lanes alongside Saigon’s railway tracks, on foot or on two wheels, is a fascinating experience….

Soc Trang to Con Dao Superdong ferry, Vietnam

The Ferry from Soc Trang to Con Dao

This new ferry route connects Tran De Port in Soc Trang Province with Con Son Island, meaning that travellers can now add the Con Dao Islands (which is, without doubt, one of the most remarkable destinations in Vietnam) onto their Mekong Delta itineraries….

Núi Dinh Mountain, Ba Ria-Vung Tau, Vietnam

Núi Dinh Mountain & Springs

Some 90 minutes from Saigon, Núi Dinh Mountain is an unexpected swell of high ground rising above flat floodplains. The mountain offers a peaceful retreat into trees & streams on its rocky slopes, upon which perch dozens of temples & pagodas….

Tan Lap Floating Forest, Long An, Vietnam

The Floating Forest of Long An

Only 100km west of Ho Chi Minh City, Tan Lap Floating Forest is an enchanted patch of wetland where cajeput trees rise from the black, swampy waters, creating beguiling corridors through which canoes glide and raised walkways wind….

Binh Chau Hot Springs Resort & Spa

Minera Binh Chau Hot Springs Resort & Spa

Just a couple hours’ drive from Saigon, Binh Chau Hot Springs Resort & Spa has improved it’s facilities and aesthetics in recent years: it’s now a lush, relaxing and satisfying retreat from the city….

Ha Tien: Jewel of the Mekong Delta

The most attractive place to be in Vietnam’s Mekong region, Ha Tien’s irresistible combination of bustling markets, languid backstreets, crumbling shophouses, forested hills, delicious food & local temples, makes it the ‘Jewel of the Delta’….

La Nga River & Thac Ba Waterfall

The La Nga River and Thac Ba Waterfall offer freshwater bathing, lush jungle, mountain scenery and opportunities for wild camping, all within a few hours’ drive of Saigon. It’s a great inland escape for city-dwellers with their own wheels….

Saigon to Vung Tau by Ferry Boat

Taking the boat between Saigon & Vung Tau is one of Vietnam’s most underrated journeys. It’s a fascinating voyage from downtown Saigon, along several rivers, and across open sea to Vung Tau. New, comfortable & more reliable boats now ply this route…

Vung Bau Beach, Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam

Vung Bau Beach: Go Now

Vung Bau beach is one of the last vestiges of ‘old’ Phu Quoc. Located in the northwest of the island, the largely undeveloped sands are lapped by a sapphire-coloured sea, a reminder of what Phu Quoc’s western shore was once like…

Cam Ranh Bay, Cam Lap Promontory, Vietnam

Cam Ranh Bay: Cam Lap Promontory

Cam Lap Promontory is one of those rare places that’s easily accessible yet largely undeveloped and utterly beautiful. It’s the kind of place you fall in love with, and one that really does deserve the overused epithet of ‘hidden gem’….

Ho Tram & Ho Coc beaches, Vietnam

Ho Tram & Ho Coc Beaches

Just 120km from the city, Ho Tram & Ho Coc are by far the best beaches within easy reach of Saigon. Forget Vung Tau, Long Hai & Can Gio, this is where you should head for sun, sea & sand when you don’t have time to go to Mui Ne or Phu Quoc.

My Saigon Video, by Vietnam Coracle

VIDEO: Saigon, My Saigon

My Saigon is not the high-rises or attractions of downtown. My Saigon is the local neighbourhood where I live – the alleyways, the market, and the people who inhabit it. In this film I’ve tried to capture the rhythm of daily life over 24 hours on a rainy season day in the area I live in…

The Saigon River, Vietnam

VIDEO: The Saigon River

Exploring the waterway that flows through my adopted home: this is my film of the Saigon River…

The Saigon River, Vietnam

The Saigon River: A Guide

Many cities are closely associated with a major waterway that runs through them: Saigon has the Saigon River. Currently, the city is in the process rediscovering and redeveloping its river. This is my personal reflection & guide to the Saigon River…

Camping the Ocean Road: Saigon to Nha Trang

Camping the Ocean Road: Saigon to Nha Trang

Pitch your tent under a coconut palm just metres from the surf & enjoy Vietnam’s south coast sleeping in the open air: This is my guide to camping on the beaches along the Ocean Road from Saigon to Nha Trang….

Con Dao or Phu Quoc?

Southern Islands: Con Dao or Phu Quoc?

Con Dao and Phu Quoc islands are the two most alluring beach destinations in Vietnam. But these two southern islands are very different in character, and therefore appeal to different types of travellers. As most visitors or expats only have time to go to one, which island should you choose?

Saigon's Parks & Open Spaces

Saigon’s Parks & Open Spaces

Saigon might be known as a burgeoning city full of motorbikes and exhaust fumes, but it still has a great many green spaces in which to escape the heat, noise and pollution. From lush gardens dating from French colonial times to sleek, modern, waterfront promenades, here are Saigon’s best parks and open spaces…

Phu Quoc's Beaches, Vietnam

Phu Quoc’s Beaches: A Guide

A halo of sand encompasses this green & forested island in the Gulf of Thailand. But Phu Quoc is currently undergoing major development, so now is the time to visit its beaches, before it’s too late (in some cases, it already is)…

Dalat's Waterfalls

Dalat’s Waterfalls: A Guide

Dalat is located in Lâm Đồng Province, a mountainous region that boasts lots of waterfalls. I visited them all, in order to compile this list & guide to the waterfalls of Dalat & the surrounding area. Many of the falls are truly spectacular, while some are ruined by tourist development…

Phu Quoc Island by ferry boat, Vietnam

Phu Quoc Island by Boat

Taking the boat between the Mekong Delta & Phu Quoc Island is fun, cheap, convenient & relatively hassle-free. A huge increase in fast boats & car ferries operating on several routes, means it’s now easier than ever to reach Phu Quoc Island by sea….

Con Dao Islands on a Budget

Con Dao Islands on a Budget

Despite several high-profile luxury developments, travel to the Con Dao Islands needn’t be too expensive. Budget travellers & backpackers can still enjoy this beautiful archipelago by taking certain steps. This is my guide to how to keep the cost of visiting one of Vietnam’s most enchanting destinations to a minimum.

Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City)

TOP 5: Things To Do in Saigon

Saigon is a fantastic city, but it’s not one that’s filled with typical tourist attractions. To get the most out of this city, leave the so-called ‘must-see’ sights behind, and follow my Top 5 Things to Do in Saigon.

Saigon's markets

My Top 5 Markets in Saigon

Saigon’s markets seem to exist in another dimension to the rest of the city. In downtown District 1 you’d be forgiven for thinking that the traditional Vietnamese market no longer exists; replaced by generic high-end shopping malls. But local markets outside the city centre continue to thrive: here are my favourite wet markets in Saigon…

Exploring Saigon's alleyways, Vietnam

Walking Saigon’s Alleyways

Between all the busy main roads, Saigon is riddled with narrow alleyways, which are quiet, cool, charming and great for walking. Here are some of my favourite areas in the city for alley walks….

23 of the Best Beaches in Vietnam

23 of the Best Beaches in Southern & Central Vietnam

With a coastline of over 3,200km & thousands of islands lying offshore, Vietnam is a great beach destination. Blue bays, hidden coves, white sands, swaying palms & dramatic cliffs, Vietnam has it all….

Top 5 Swimming Pools, Saigon

13 Public Swimming Pools in Saigon

If you’re not lucky enough to be staying at one of the smarter hotels with a pool, or if you’re an expat looking to escape the heat & clamour of the city, Saigon has plenty of good & inexpensive public swimming pools to choose from…

Con Dao Islands, Vietnam

Video: Con Dao Islands

From the moment you step off the plane on the Con Dao Islands, you know you’re somewhere special. The main island of Con Son has a tragic past as a penal colony, set up by the French colonial administration. But today, it is the gorgeous natural beauty of this archipelago that’s attracting attention.

The Con Dao Islands

The Con Dao Islands: A Guide

With its wild and beautiful beaches, rugged, jungle-covered interior, and fascinating but tragic history, the Con Dao Islands is a remarkable place. Once a brutal penal colony, established by the French colonial administration, today the Con Dao Islands is one of Vietnam’s most beguiling destinations…..

Destinations Map

This is a map of all my Travel, Destination & Information Guides. Zoom in, click a marker, then click the link in the description to go directly to the guide.

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