Tam Coc

A picturesque backdrop of mountains, lakes and rice fields, Tam Coc is only a two hour train ride from Hanoi, making it an easy, low-prep weekend away for us. It’s well-accustomed to all tourist needs and anything from accommodation to motorbikes, bicycles and boat rides can be easily booked upon arrival. The heart of this village is its lake, where boat tours depart and take

On newly acquired habits, life discoveries and Uncle Ty’s Farmstay

In the last three months of living in Hanoi, I’ve accustomed myself to a bunch of new habits and tastes. For one, I’ve tamed my high Banh Mi standards and acquired an appreciation for the classic Banh Mi Trung (fried egg). You can also order grilled pork and various other fillings, but in general the Banh Mis here are a lot simpler with their garnishes

Instagrammable Hoi An

Overly generous with our allocation of “settling-in time”, it took 4-5 weeks before we planned our first trip out of Hanoi. After one too many weekends frequenting our regular cafes and bia hois (carefully coordinated around our cleaning lady’s schedule), we decided to book a trip to the central coast of Vietnam for a few days. Historically a port city, Hoi An is vibrant and

First impressions and meals

Stepping out of Hanoi Airport, that initial contact with the heat and humidity immediately had me retracting my eagerness to leave the Christchurch cold. The next 24 hours were largely spent taking cold showers and air conditioning my body back to a comfortable temperature. A little over a week later, I’m embracing the general sweating, sweat-stained clothing and my permanently sticky skin. I’m barely embarrassed about

Otago historic pub tour

Two weeks ago marked a wee anniversary and hence justified a long weekend kind of adventure. We looked into tramping options but the weather forecast changed our plans and instead we opted for a historic pub tour of Otago. We departed Friday morning in heavy downpour, oblivious to how this could evolve into a state of emergency for a number of Canterbury and Otago towns.

The Inland Pack Track

Late October last year, Christchurch crawled out of its prolonged winter and the weather warmed enough to take us out of hibernation. We eagerly took our chance at the first long weekend that came around and drove to the West Coast for the Inland Pack Track. The Inland Pack Track is one of many walks in the beautiful Paparoa National Park. It promised multiple river