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Lao Cai is about 340km from Hanoi...
Non-sleazy, non-hostess bar with a busy pool table, great sea-facing terrace and sociable vibe. As the name indicates there's a viewing diet of sports events – from test cricket to Aussie Rules. Also serves pub grub.
Markets & Bazaars
Lung Phin market is between Can Cau market and Bac Ha, about 12km from town...
Run by a friendly, experienced team, this dive shop's mantra is 'no troubles, make bubbles'. They've a large boat and also a speedboat for zippy transfers. Their overnight snorkelling and camping trip costs US$80.
Food & Drink
This huge shopping complex is officially a supermarket but, like a traditional market, sells a little bit of everything. It’s a great place to stock up on treats for a day trip to nearby Cham towers or a long bus ride.
Museums & Galleries
With displays on Vietnamese medicines, Stone Age tools, local ceramics and a small room devoted to the island prison, this five-floor privately owned museum is an informative introduction to Phu Quoc history and cult...
Breakfast & Brunch Spots
With a name like this, it could only be a backpacker cafe and it’s one of the better ones in town. All the Vietnamese staples are here, plus some Western favourites, including a healthy smattering of vegie dishes.
Small Group Tours
Terrific tours, mainly shortish rides around along beautiful backroads in Hoi An area (from US$40) but longer trips up Son Tra, to the DMZ and Hue are also offered. Well-maintained classic-looking Minsk bikes are used.
An old trombone, a Che poster and a bicycle poking out of an exposed brick wall are just some of the oddments decorating this indie hang-out right across from Christie’s. Live bands play upstairs three times a week.
Upmarket noodle chain offering street-style noodles without the street-side location (and exhaust fumes). It’s all very well done indeed: the pho is great and the restaurants are modern and inviting...
There’s not a lot left to see of Vinh’s citadel (1831) apart from the sludgy green moat and three gates: Left Gate (Cua Ta; Ð Dao Tan), Right Gate (Cua Huu; Ð Dao Tan) and Front Gate (Cua Tien; Khoi 5 Ð Dang Thai Tha...
Boating & Cruises
A stunningly converted traditional rice barge, the name plays on the ever-present eyes painted on fishing boats throughout Vietnam...
Moored on the river behind the Victoria Hotel, this boat makes a pleasant setting for a cocktail if it is not chugging up the river. Or try the lobby bar in the hotel, which has a colonial ambience and a pool table.
The name says it all – British pub meets French cafe-bar – and the pomegranate-coloured result, ranging over three floors, is a hit...
Ice Cream & Gelateria
The place for French-style ice creams and sorbets in Hanoi. During the right season try the com, a delightful local flavour extracted from young sticky rice; other innovative flavours include ginger and green tea.
Bakeries & Patisseries
Yes, it’s a chain, but a good one...
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