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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 ...

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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

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National Geographic: Phu Quoc a Top-3 Winter Destination

Another week, another set of subjective travel ratings, this time from National Geographic Traveler Magazine. The publication just released their 2014 list of “Best Winter Trips” in which Phu Quoc ran...

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Epic Road Trip: Ha Giang to Ca Mau

If you’re like us, slaves to the internet and our computer overlords, it can be easy to forget that Saigon is an urban bubble. In a reminder that there’s a whole other Vietnam out there, 4 friends – C...

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30-Day Visa Exemption for Foreigners Visiting Phu Quoc

Starting March 10, international travelers to Phu Quoc will enjoy a 30-day visa exemption. The visa waiver is part of decision No. 80 signed by Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung on December 27 with the ...

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Spain, Land of Churches, Castles and Wine - Part 2

This is part 2 of Spain, Land of Churches, Castles and Wine. Click here for part 1. Of the many Rioja wineries that have opened their doors to wine lovers, we visited one of the best known in in the...

Brian Letwin

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Video: Hanoi to Saigon by Train, in 9 Minutes

Last week Vietnam announced plans for a US$16 billion, 8 line railway that will provide modern rail service to the south and central regions of the country. There is of course, the current, century ol...

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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

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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

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[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

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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.

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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

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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

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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...

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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...

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