Springtime in Kyoto

Kyoto.  A week too late for the cherry blossoms, a week too early for the azaleas.  It didn’t matter. Kyoto was magical even without the blooms. From the mystical geishas tiptoeing off to entertain the evening’s guests, to magnificent temples, shrines and palaces – and magical alleyways filled with hidden restaurants waiting to be discovered […]

Hanoi, I did not like you

Hanoi was busy, dirty, loud and crowded.  We had been dropped right into the old town, which in every other city would have been full of charming architecture, tourist conveniences and a touch of culture.   In Hanoi, it’s not. Instead, we found ourselves right in the middle of a busy market selling every disposable […]

Central Vietnam: Hue

Hue is a popular spot in the tourist guidebooks. They’ve all been here. Frommers, TripAdvisor, and of course Lonely Planet. How do I know? Every restaurant and guest house in town has their @mentions printed on a sign out front. That’s all well and good, especially if Hue delivered the goods. But in my mind, […]

Vietnam: Hoi An and An Bang

Hoi An was one of the “bucket list” stops on our travels through Vietnam. A busy trading port until the 19th century when the river silted up, the old town is a colourful warren of wooden trading houses whose designs were heavily influenced by the Chinese and Japanese merchants that set up shop here for […]