This time of year is ideal for a trip to Cao Bang Province, 280km northeast of Hanoi, as the terraced rice fields turn yellow, buckwheat flowers bloom and Ban Gioc Waterfall is at its most spectacular. Luckily for those who've never ventured to this remote region before, Hoang Tuan Anh from Hanoi has some useful suggestions for you. Photo by Thanh Tung You can book a ticket for VND200,000 (around $9) at My Dinh Coach Station for an overnight coach that leaves Hanoi at 10 p.m. and arrives in Cao Bang at 5 a.m. In Cao Bang you can hire motorbikes at homestays or hotels, which you can easily find in Cao Bang Town, for around VND150,000 per day. Anh said he stayed at Primrose Homestay, a nice place not very far from the coach station. Photo by Tuan Anh Ban Gioc Waterfall is more than 80km from the town. A motorbike trip is a good way to get there while enjoying the paddy fields, mountains and forests along the way. Photo by Thanh … [Read more...] about How to travel to one of the most beautiful places in northern Vietnam like a pro
Bamboo forest kyoto how to get there
To the Editor, There are many foreigners in Viet Nam, but to my knowledge none seem to have a Vietnamese motorbike or car licence. And, the odd thing is, there seems to be no pressure on them to get one, from police or employers or society as a whole. Police almost never pull over a foreign driver, but if a foreign-driven vehicle hits someone – even if the foreigner is the innocent party – the lack of a licence can cost heavily in financial and social terms. It is not uncommon to hear of foreigners being deported after paying out tens of millions of dong in compensation. So, in the name of justice for all, would someone please explain how one goes about getting a licence? Is it similar to the endless "run-around" one has to go through to get a visa extension? One would hope not. John MacDonald, Quan Su Street, Ha Noi Dear John, We believe everyone is equal before the law. There is no biased arbitration on who should be blamed for an accident, no matter who he or she is, a … [Read more...] about How to get a driving licence
Citizens and residential foreigners in Ho Chi Minh City can apply for an International Driving Permit (IDP) starting Thursday, the municipal Department of Transport said Wednesday. Last year, the Directorate for Roads of Vietnam announced that IDPs would soon become available in the Southeast Asian country. An IDP is a multi-page identity document that allows the holder to drive in any country that recognizes the permit, following the 1968 Vienna Convention on Road Traffic. The Vienna Convention on Road Traffic is an international treaty designed to facilitate international road traffic and increase road safety by establishing standard traffic rules among the contracting parties. The convention was agreed upon at the United Nations Economic and Social Council's Conference on Road Traffic and concluded in Vienna on November 8, 1968. It came into effect on May 21, 1977. Among the 73 countries that ratified the agreement are Austria, Belgium, Germany, France, Italy, the UK, and Vietnam, … [Read more...] about How to get an International Driving Permit in Ho Chi Minh City?
When in Vietnam, have fun the native way. Getting high has long since been a thing for many. Each person has their own way of taking a break from the monotony of everyday life to buy themselves some time away from it all. Try taking a hedonistic journey to find where Vietnamese fly to for a break from the mundane. ‘Thuoc lao’ The Vietnamese way to get a nicotine hit: smoked in a bong, bamboo or plastic, rather than rolled in paper, and filtered through water instead of, yeah, filters. The sound of bubbles surfacing as the smoker takes a deep toke on the “inhaler” and the thick fog that follows have opened many eyes and claimed so many tears and, I’m afraid, saliva. Even its veterans are not excluded. Said to carry three times more nicotine than cigarette tobacco, 'thuoc lao' is absolutely not something to mess with alone. Type 'hut thuoc lao' (literally smoking Vietnamese tobacco) in Google or Youtube, and the videos that show up are no inferior … [Read more...] about How to get high the Vietnamese way
Dangerously crossing rivers in Vietnam's mountainous Central Highlands has become a way of life for locals. Locals in these areas have developed numerous creative, albeit risky, ways to cross the rivers. Rafts made out of bamboo or banana tree trunks are a common sight and gradually, those hand-made rafts have become an indispensable means of transport for the people here. From the Ho Chi Minh Trail, the section that passes through Tay Giang District, Quang Nam, the sight of local people, crossing the Avuong River, would shock many visitors. Amid the river, made cloudy by recent floodwater, young children guide rafts across the river. For adults, their fields are often situated far away from their homes, meaning river crossing is inevitable. In order to till their fields or collect firewood, people often have no choice but to cross the quick-flowing rivers, despite frequent accidents. Arat Pol, a local from Xa Oi 2 Hamlet, Avuong Commune, Tay Giang District, said, "In my … [Read more...] about Risking it all to get across