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All by Myself in Sapa: How I Learnt That Traveling Alone Doesn't Have to Be Lonely

One item on my “bucket list” is a journey to discover an exciting new land on a solo trip. It’s not a simple aspiration so I didn’t think that I would get a chance to accomplish it any time soon, but right on my 19th birthday, Châu, my “big boss” and mentor at Urbanist Travel, surprised me with an unforgettable vacation to Sapa.

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Brise-Soleil, Đá Rửa, and Other Modernist Curios to Befriend on a Walk Across Saigon

My non-existent architectural background leaves me unable to do anything beyond expressing a distaste for tacky constructions and a vague idea of what constitutes a well-designed building. I can speak on the tasteful placement of a brise-soleil with as much confidence as a nervous five-year-old cooking beef wellington for an unhinged Gordon Ramsay. I hadn’t even heard of Vietnam’s modernist architecture movement until a few weeks ago, but when I was given the opportunity to take part in Urbanist Travel’s modernist architecture tour, I was intrigued to learn more about the stories behind the remnants of history I drive past in Saigon on a daily basis.

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Introducing the '2 Years of Memories' Travel Writing Competition

To celebrate the 2 nd anniversary of Urbanist Travel , we are excited to invite you to participate in Saigoneer ’s first-ever ...

in Travel

Meet Urbanist Travel, Saigoneer's Sister Company Bringing the World Closer to Vietnam

Loyal readers might know Saigoneer as a home where all things fascinating, whimsical and insightful about Vietnam are celebrated, but not many are aware that for the past years, we have been a tiny bit more than just writers. Two years ago, we officially welcomed our sister company Urbanist Travel into the family.

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The Punishing, Breathtaking, and Fulfilling 14 Days in Nepal to Reach Everest Base Camp

Our trek to Everest Base Camp from Lukla begins on the first days of summer. Just two weeks into May, throngs of mountain climbers have already congregated here, despite the bitter cold, striving to conquer Earth’s highest base camp.

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Vọng Cảnh, the Picturesque Hill in Huế That Even Emperors Cherished

The poetic Hương River flows calmly, the fresh air and breeze whisper through the lush pine forest, a coming sunset colors the peaceful natural spectacle. All of this can be experienced during a late-afternoon visit to Huế's Vọng Cảnh Hill.

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New App ConstructionBnB Helps You Explore Vietnam's Beautiful Construction Sites

If you live in Vietnam, chances are you live next to a construction site: hotels, condos, shopping centers, etc. But why see the same old site every day when there are so many different ones out there to experience?

Back Travel

Chris Humphrey

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[Photos] The Majesty of Crossing Myanmar on Colonial-Era Trains

Whether on the slow train carving its way through the Shan Hills near Kalaw, the Mandalay to Yangon Express, or the 4am train to Hsipaw that crosses the great Goteik Viaduct, traversing Myanmar on gri...

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[Video] Sauntering Down Hoi An's Color-Doused, Sun-Soaked Hẻms

Hoi An is something of a paradox. Frequently, people seem to decry its changes from a small, halcyon town into a major tourist destination. But bemoaning its current influx of foreign visitors not onl...

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Anatomy of a Teen Magnet: Da Nang's Golden Bridge and the Giant Hands

In the midst of the forest high above Ba Na Hills outside of Da Nang, the Golden Bridge has grabbed visitors’ attention thanks to its striking appearance.

in Travel

[Photos] In Saigon's Buu Long Pagoda, a Meditative Escape and Pan-Southeast Asian Architecture

It all started with a sparkle on the horizon, a beam of solar brilliance bouncing off a garish metallic surface.

in Travel

[Photos] A Visit to Binh Thuan's 'Forgotten Land' Where Sand Comes to Life

Forgotten Land, a new sculptured sand park in Binh Thuan Province, may be perfect for tourists who like sand, but aren't a fan of the ocean.

in Travel

[Photos] The Japanese Village That Replaces the Departed With Creepy Dolls

More than 10,000 towns are facing depopulation in Japan, but in Nagora — a village hidden away in Shikoku Valley — locals are returning in bizarre fashion: as dolls that replace the dead.

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Urbanist Travel Getaways: Discovering Serenity in Bhutan – The Other Hermit Kingdom

Only a handful of pilots can manage the treacherous flight into Bhutan’s tiny international airport. As the plane tilts for the final descent, passengers gather by the windows — smartphones recor...

in Travel

Hoi An Puts Immediate Stop to Proposed Cable Car Project Near Ancient Town

Vietnam’s unhealthy obsession with cable cars needs to stop.  

in Travel

Urbanist Travel Getaways: Exploring the Izakayas of Japan

“I always liked side-paths, little dark back-alleys behind the main road,” Dostoyevsky writes in his 1879 novel, The Brothers Karamazov. “There one finds adventures and surprises, and precious metal i...

Chris Humphrey

in Travel

[Photos] Exploring Dala Township on the River Yangon's South Shore

Only a 10-minute ferry ride from central Yangon, Dala is a blur of motorbike horns, trishaw drivers peddling scams and old ships rusting on the riverbank.

in Travel

[Photos] The Infinite Greenness of Ca Mau Cape Biosphere Reserve From Above

Ca Mau Cape was recognized as a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve in 2009.

in Travel

[Video] An Aerial Tour of Vietnam Through the Ultra-Definition of 4K

With the rise in popularity and drop in price of drones, gorgeous aerial footage is not hard to come by in recent months.

in Travel

[Photos] Naypyidaw's Ghostly Central Train Station

Naypyidaw central train station, 11am. A heavy cloud hangs over the entire place. The moment you set foot in the city, it gives you the chills.

in Travel

Urbanist Travel Getaways: Finding Tranquility on Japan’s Shonan Coastline

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

in Travel

[Photos] Saigoneer Getaways: Ha Giang's Mighty Loop

I’ve spent seven years in Vietnam and traveled from south to north on many occasions, but I have never seen a place as charming as Ha Giang Province.

Chris Humphrey

in Travel

Soviet Accommodation, Forest Cabins and a Hobbit House: The Eccentricity of Nha Ben Rung

“It is a rocket center. The Soviets, they stayed there to control the rockets…” These are not exactly the kind of words you expect to hear from a homestay owner in northern Vietnam, especially not whe...

Michael Tatarski

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Saigoneer Getaways: Vietnam's Best 'Secret' Beach Destination

When it comes to tourism in Vietnam, it's hard not to be depressed by the frequent news of ruinous cable cars and mega-resorts, often accompanied by bulldozed natural areas.

in Travel

Nepal’s Annapurna Circuit: A Beautiful Trek Amidst Change

In through your nose, out through your mouth. You can do this. In through your nose, aaaaand out through your mouth. I keep reminding myself how to breathe.

in Travel

[Photos] The Rugged Beauty of Indonesia's Komodo National Park

Most people think of dragons when they hear about Komodo. While the world's largest lizards are one reason to journey to this remote corner of the world, the rugged vistas and incredible biodiver...

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Vietnam Is Getting a New Budget Airline, Bamboo Airways, This Year

The new FLC Group-owned airline will begin operations in Vietnam by the end of the year.

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