Perfume Pagoda, A Day Trip Outside of Hanoi, Vietnam


Day Trip to Perfume Pagoda The Perfume Pagoda, named for the smell of the flowers that bloom in the spring, was built by a powerful lord in the 17th century. This temple, which is built in a cave high atop a mountain is one of the most sacred places in the country for Vietnamese [Read more …]

Eating and Sleeping In Hanoi Vietnam

tomato roses that we made

Hidden Hanoi Cooking Class As we love Vietnamese food (especially The Slanted Door in San Francisco) we decided to take yet another cooking class…this time in Vietnam. This three-hour course, provided by Hidden Hanoi, the same company that we used to tour around Hanoi, had four of us cooking four different dishes for lunch. Fresh [Read more …]

Hanoi’s Highlights and Sights


There is so much more to see and do in Hanoi in addition to touring the Old Quarter and French Quarter. Among our most interesting experiences were: Surviving Hanoi’s Motorbike Culture. One of the first things you will notice is the city is dominated by motorbikes, which are much less expensive and can zip [Read more …]

Hanoi Vietnam: History, Old Quarter, French Quarter


We loved Hanoi, Vietnam on our first visit there about ten years ago: the charm of the crowded and hectic Old Quarter, the broad tree-lined buildings and grand French colonial buildings of the French Quarter, the tranquil park oasis around Hoan Koem Lake and the history, especially that surrounding Ho Chi Minh and the American [Read more …]

Cat Ba Island in Beautiful Halong Bay Vietnam


Part of our 3 day/2 night adventure to Halong Bay, Vietnam included a side trip to Cat Ba Island, Vietnam—the largest island in Halong Bay. After an overnight on our boat in Halong Bay, we were transferred to another boat for a beautiful hour and a half cruise to this island. Once landed, we went [Read more …]

The Still Beautiful Halong Bay

Halong Bay Joyce and Tom

One of our favorite places in the world is Halong Bay, Vietnam. Majestic limestone karst formations, of all imaginable shapes, shooting out of the water and into the sky. A cruise around the bay yields an ever-changing panorama of 1,969 different islands. Every angle yields new surprises. And even the same scene looks very different [Read more …]