Ha Giang. Photo by Nick Ross

The alternative guide to travelling in Vietnam.

Jesse Meadows goes in search of a mountain 20km south of Hanoi and gets caught up in a parade

Photo by Jesse Meadows 

Jesse Meadows goes in search of a mountain 20km south of Hanoi and gets caught up in a parade

Front Beach Home to an unusual array of statues and fishing boats

Vung Tau is a go-ahead kind of place. In the first six years that I lived here, the city hosted the World Youth Chess Championships, the International Women’s Beach Volleyball Championships, Mrs World, the International Kite-flying Championship, the World Food Festival, and the Russia-Vietnam Surf Championship.

Bagan with a Holga. Photo by Julie Vola

Julie Vola visits the ancient capital of Myanmar and escapes the crowds

Front Beach Sand, sea, coffee and nightlife.  Front Beach is the place to go in  Vung Tau for some action…

Expats in Vietnam don’t rank Vung Tau highly on their lists of ‘must-visit’ places. They’re inclined to view it as a slightly run-down beach resort that may appeal to local weekenders from Ho Chi Minh City, but with nothing of note to attract a foreigner. At the risk of sounding like a know-it-all, they’re mistaken about that. Vung Tau is a pretty cool place.

Known for its fabric market, Ninh Hiep also has a long tradition of weaving and medicinal herbs. Jesse Meadows makes the 20km trip out to this small village in Gia Lam

 Photo by Jan Adrian Venter 

Jon Aspin completes his transition to the dark side, qualifying for his advanced diving certificate on Phu Quoc at the invitation of Jeremy Stein from Rainbow Divers

Phu Quoc as seen from the ferris wheel above Vinpearland. Photo by Nick Ross 

The next Koh Samui, Langkawi or Boracay? Difficult to tell. One thing’s for sure. Phu Quoc is changing beyond all recognition. Words and photos by Nick Ross

A former French-built hillstation, the villas of Ba Vi have long-since been consumed by the jungle. Jesse Meadows goes in search of one of the area’s best-known landmarks — the church

Boracay

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Boracay. Photo by Nick Ross

Once a travellers’ destination, today Boracay is competing for tourist spoils with Koh Samui, Phuket, Langkawi and Bali. Nick Ross flew to the Philippines to see for himself

Western Himalayas on the Manali-Leh highway 

Bordering the Himalayas, India’s far northwest is as similar as it is different to the rest of the subcontinent. Matt Dworzanczyk crosses some of the highest passes in the world to enter this magical, cut-off land

Tri An Lake. Photo by Francis Xavier 

Only a couple of hours from Ho Chi Minh City, Tri An Lake is home to large swathes of untouched, undeveloped jungle. Francis Xavier took a trip out to Cao Minh Island with Stu’s Explorer Club

Nam Dinh. Photo by Nick Ross

Often passed over for the scenery of neighbouring Ninh Binh, Nam Dinh offers something that no other province in Vietnam can provide. Churches. And lots of them. Words and photos by Nick Ross

Con Dao

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Con Dao. Photo by Nick Ross

If you like nature, sun, sea and diving, but don’t care so much for nightlife, then the remote islands of Con Dao could be for you. Words and photos by Nick Ross

Mia Nha Trang. Photo by Nick Ross

Everyone loves a beach holiday; cocktails and beer by the pool, swimming in the sea, sunbathing on the sand, freshly cooked seafood on the terrace. People love it so much that they fly thousands of miles for the pleasure. Yet for those of us who live in Vietnam, it’s right on our doorstep.

Bhutan

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Bhutan. Photo by Hang Le

Tran Cam Thu takes a trip to the ‘happiest place on earth’ hoping to learn something about the art of being happy. Photos by Hang Le

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