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58 Quốc Tử Giám, Văn Miếu, Ba Đình, Hà Nội 100000, Vietnam
Don't skip Temple of Literature when you visit Hanoi, especially if it is during the time of the New Year Celebrations. This is when students and their families will come and pay a visit and calligraphists will assemble outside the temple and...
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A girl and her younger brother sell paper candle boats during the Tet New Year celebrations in Hoi An, Vietnam. After purchasing these boats, a wish is made for the new year and the boat is released into the Thu Bon River.
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Boating Through the Jungle
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Words can do little justice to the scenery that awaits travelers to Ha Long Bay, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Hundreds of forested limestone karst formations rise from emerald-green waters, looking like slumbering creatures ready to stir. The...
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Bãi Sao An Thới, Thị Trấn An Thới, Phú Quốc, An Thới, Phú Quốc, tỉnh Kiên Giang, Vietnam
The beach that will leave you speechless. Bai Sao (South Beach - in English) is located on the Vietnamese island, Phu Quoc. This place oozes relaxation. The mood on the island is very different from mainland Vietnam and if you have any inclination...
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Hàng Đào, Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội, Vietnam
Vietnam has a coffee culture all to its own and in Hanoi, this includes a few cafes that serve it with egg. Whipped with sweetened condensed milk, the egg sits atop the slow roasted coffee, providing you with a hot afternoon treat that you'll...
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15 Phố Ngô Quyền, Tràng Tiền, Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội 010000, Vietnam
A landmark in Hanoi’s French Quarter since opening in 1901, this colonial building with distinctive green shutters and gleaming vintage Citroën Traction cars out front has welcomed presidents, ambassadors, and literary and cinematic...
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118 Lê Duẩn, Văn Miếu, Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội, Vietnam
My first day in Ha Noi, I was lucky enough to meet up with fellow AFAR traveler Heather, who also aimlessly wanders to get a sense of a new place. Soon after dropping off our bags, we started following our curiosities. At some point in the...
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Hội An, Quang Nam Province, Vietnam
An important destination for East Asian traders in the 16th and 17th centuries, Hoi An is famous for its traditional Chinese silk lanterns. This shop’s family has produced its own lotus-shaped versions for generations. Du Kien Thanh. 49 Le Loi...
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10 Đặng Tất, Tân Định, Quận 1, Hồ Chí Minh, Vietnam
Recalling Saigon's past, Cuc Gach Quan offers fine Vietnamese fare in a cozy setting that re-creates the home of the owner’s grandmother—a French-colonial house with worn, wood-plank floors; retro furnishings; warm lighting; and a...
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Set along the evocatively named Perfume River, Hué is a good place to get a feel for the conflux of Vietnam's history, French colonial influences, and postwar life—and this riverside hotel is the perfect base from which to soak it all...
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xã Ba, Đông Giang, Quảng Nam, Vietnam
Pedal past rice paddies, lotus ponds, and Khmer temples in the Mekong Delta on a SpiceRoads bicycle tour. The company offers 13 cycling journeys around Vietnam, from a one-day meander through the villages that surround Hanoi to a 10-day, 329-mile...
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Cooking schools seems to be popping up everywhere in Hoi An – and most of them also include some sort of market tour that will familiarize you with the how the market operates as well as explain those many unique fruits and vegetables that baffle...
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341 Cao Đạt, Phường 1, Quận 5, Hồ Chí Minh, Vietnam
Whenever I get the urge to complain about my lack of space in the US, I remember the efficiently packed tight way that almost everyone else in the world lives. For instance, SE Asians are the masters of balancing their wares on bicycles. They also...
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Thanh Kim, Sa Pa, Lào Cai, Vietnam
This luxurious Ecolodge located in the remote northeastern part of Vietnam is the perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of Hanoi. Topas is perched on top a mountain located about 50 minutes from the town of Sapa. The lodge boasts an infinity...
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73 Phan Bội Châu Sơn Phong tp. Hội An Sơn Phong tp. Hội An Quảng Nam 越南, Cẩm Châu, Hội An, Quảng Nam, Vietnam
When I traveled to Hoi An, the prettied-up UNESCO-protected town on Vietnam's central coast for AFAR, I wanted to unravel the mysteries of the town's iconic (and secretive) noodle (and noodle dish of the same name), cao lau. One family has had a...
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73 Đường Mai Thị Lựu VN, 73 Đường Mai Thị Lựu, Đa Kao, Quận 1, Hồ Chí Minh, Vietnam
Emperor Jade Pagoda is a fascinating temple full of haunting carvings, figures and altars. The peeling courtyard walls evoke a sense of time and history.
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175 Cửa Đại, Cẩm Sơn, Hội An, Quảng Nam 560000, Vietnam
My friend and I stayed at a beautiful little inn on the river in Hoi An. Vietnam was originally not on our trip list but, since we were visiting Thailand and Cambodia, we threw it in. We were so glad that we did! Vietnam is such a beautiful...
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There’s a reason there are no McDonalds in Saigon- they can’t compete with this lady. Her product is simple; fried and scrambled eggs, jerky, cilantro, cucumber and Chin Su chili sauce in a hot French baguette that was made just hours prior. Douse...
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706B, Khu phố 5, P.Mũi Né, Mũi Né, Phan Thiết, Bình Thuận 800000, Vietnam
I took my good pal Roy Orbison to visit Mui Ne's sand dunes. At first, Roy was somewhat skeptical - sand dunes? On the ocean? no way - but it didn't take long for Roy to see the light. Mui Ne is frequently passed up as visitors shake and move from...
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Cẩm Kim, Hội An, Quang Nam Province, Vietnam
A 10 minute slow ferry ride away from the Ancient Town in Hoi An, Cam Kim sits years back from the rest of town, separated by a small inlet of water. Hop off the ferry and explore by bicycle the thin alleys, rice paddies & floating bridges, and...
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38 Nguyễn Ư Dĩ, Thảo Điền, Quận 2, Hồ Chí Minh, Vietnam
Arriving at the Deck Saigon, a restaurant in District Two on the Saigon River, is often one of the highlights of an evening here—many customers come by boat directly from District One to dock right at the restaurant’s waterside steps....
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19, Ngu Xa Street, Ba Dinh District, Trúc Bạch, Ba Đình, Hà Nội, Vietnam
Sweet corn, lightly battered and fried, served sizzling hot with a bowl of dipping sauce - SO delicious. I couldn't remember the name of this amazing dish, so I emailed an expat we met living in Ha Noi. Matt told me it's called ngo chien...
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Hàng Đào, Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội 100000, Vietnam
Intricately stacking and securing goods onto the back of a bike was a fairly common, but always fascinating, sight in Vietnam. Next time I visit, I'll find a place to sit with a better background (probably on the side of the main road which is...
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Careful cookery, with good enough service, too. When I return to Hoi An, I'll just dine here every day, it's consistent to the core, every other restaurant in town is a bore. [Feature dish: White Rose (banh bao): steamed prawns in rice dumplings...
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phường 11, Vũng Tàu, Ba Ria - Vung Tau, Vietnam
Cao Dao Temple in Vietnam
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Chợ, Lê Lợi, Phường Bến Thành, Quận 1, Hồ Chí Minh 700000, Vietnam
Jackfruit and dragonfruit on display at a fruit stand in Banh Thanh Market in Ho Chi Minh.
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Once the imperial capital of Vietnam, the small, genteel city of Hue (pronounced “Hway”) is renowned for its elaborate cuisine—a legacy of the 19th-century emperors who lived here and reportedly feasted on 50 different dishes at every meal. Hue’s...
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Hương Sơn, Mỹ Đức, Hà Nội, Vietnam
A three hour journey from Ha Noi (by bus, boat, gondola and foot) will bring you to Perfume Pagoda. This ancient temple attracts thousands of visitors in its peak season (February 15th- March) when many Vietnamese take a pilgrimage up the steep...
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11 Hàng Gai, Hàng Trống, Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội 100000, Vietnam
Yes, you read that correctly, ca phe trung is a Vietnamese coffee specialty with a whipped and sugared egg. It's frothy and delicious. The coffee shop at 11 Hang Gai in Hanoi's old quarter is also a fantastically well kept secret (or maybe not...
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Chợ Đồng Xuân, Đồng Xuân, Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội, Vietnam
One of the best parts about visiting Hanoi as a traveler is the food—so fresh, so delicious, and so abundant that you can literally trip over it when trying to navigate the city's notoriously crowded sidewalks. This vegetable vendor outside Dong...
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25 Ngũ Xã, Trúc Bạch, Ba Đình, Hà Nội, Vietnam
Via AFAR.com, I met some American pilots now living as expats in Vietnam. They were nice enough to take us out to some delicious local dinner spots and on motor bike rides through the outskirts of the city! This place, Pho Cuon Huong Mai, was far...
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89B Bà Huyện Thanh Quan, Phường 7, Quận 3, Hồ Chí Minh, Vietnam
It’s been said that when the Buddha was on his deathbed, his followers stood by ready to turn his remains into relics to spread throughout the world. The Xa Loi Pagoda houses one such artifact. Visit on Sundays from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. to join a...
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Hội An, Quang Nam Province, Vietnam
A short drive south of Da Nang, Hoi An is a spellbinding UNESCO World Heritage site, with intact 16th-century architecture that celebrates its origins as a trading port that long welcomed merchant ships from China, Japan, and Europe. The Old Town...
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42 Đường Phan Bội Châu, Cẩm Châu, Hội An, Quảng Nam, Vietnam
I used to call Hoi An "The Venice of Vietnam" as its narrow streets and colorful houses remind me of Venice. The city is well-known for its lanterns. Highly recommended to stop by for few days, here in the center of Vietnam.
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Chàm Islands, Tân Hiệp, Hội An, Quang Nam Province, Vietnam
Amazing one/two day trip away from Hoi An, snorkeling or diving, afternoon in the sun and ocean, spend the evening sleeping under the stars on the deserted beach, head back the next afternoon
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29-31 Tôn Thất Thiệp, Bến Nghé, Quận 1, Hồ Chí Minh, Vietnam
My taxi driver and I circled the block twice before locating this cleverly hidden gem. The Temple Club is, like all good spots, a challenge at first to find. The street entrance features an unobtrusive red sign, and the entrance is lit with...
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This Place is Perfection
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Xuyen Trung, Cam Nam, Cẩm Nam, Hội An, Quảng Nam, Vietnam
Hoi An is one of my favorite travel destinations in all of Asia. Sure, it's undeniably touristy, but it's also quite laid back and relaxed - nothing like other South East Asia tourist hotspots like Chiang Mai, for instance. Hoi An has a wonderful...
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Perfume River, Thua Thien Hue, Vietnam
Hue is my favorite place to soak up late afternoon colors and enjoy an evening wandering the local streets, in all of Vietnam. Hue is located in central Vietnam on the banks of the Perfume River, just a few miles inland from the South China Sea....
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Admittedly, I was confused walking in to this little coffee shop. The entrance is a scarf shop, and you walk through a dimly lit narrow hallway to get to the actual entrance of the cafe. But it is worth it when you find it, a small garden oasis in...
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189 Nguyễn Văn Hưởng, Thảo Điền, Quận 2, Hồ Chí Minh, Vietnam
For a long, luxurious spa day in a gorgeous setting, hit up Spa Authentic at Thao Dien Village. We chose the "Authentic" package: a 60-minute massage, 60-minute facial, 60-minute foot massage, and a ticket to the facility's gorgeous pool...
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1 Phường, Phường 1, Thành phố Đà Lạt, Phường 1 Thành phố Đà Lạt Lâm Đồng, Vietnam
Dalat in Vietnam is a food producing area for the country, with many greenhouses and small farms where vegetables are grown. A visit to the Central Market is a highlight. This two story building has everything for your home and kitchen. Here a...
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Ninh Thắng, Ninh Bình, Vietnam
Visitors have a love hate relationship with Tam Coc - and Ninh Binh in general - thanks to the aggressive nature of the touts that descend upon them the moment they disembark from their day trip tour buses from Hanoi. Solution? Don't get on the...
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tt. Bắc Hà, Bắc Hà, Lào Cai, Vietnam
Visiting markets is a passion of mine. Sometimes I head for home with a hefty bag full of just picked veggies; warm, steamy-fresh bread; or flowers from someone's garden. Sometimes I carry nothing but photos or wonderful memories. While wandering...
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288 Nguyễn Duy Hiệu, Cẩm Châu, Hội An, Quảng Nam, Vietnam
The Old Quarter of Hoi An is incredibly well preserved and photogenic. Head there at nightfall when the lanterns are lit and begin snapping some incredibly beautiful photos. Between the lanterns, the gorgeous architecture, the boats, and the...
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strolling through the off-the-beaten-track areas of central Saigon you come across unusually gorgeous sites... like the Jage Pagoda
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Dương Tơ, Phú Quốc, tỉnh Kiên Giang, Vietnam
Situated closer to Cambodia than Vietnam in the Gulf of Thailand, Phu Quoc has arguably the best beaches in the country. An international airport opened in 2012, raising the island’s profile and bringing in droves of visitors. Despite this,...
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tt. Sa Pa, Sa Pa, Lào Cai, Vietnam
We had spent more than three weeks in Vietnam by the time we arrived in the mountains of Sapa. We started in the southern tip in the Mekong Delta and made our way north. Vietnam is full of great travel experiences but my favorite place was Sapa...
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Sao Beach, Phu Quoc, Kien Giang, Vietnam
Sau Beach at Sunset
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55 Bát Sứ, Hàng Bồ, Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội, Vietnam
Situated to the south and east of Lake Hoan Kiem, the French Quarter has a different feel from the rest of Hanoi—one characterized by a profusion of space. The French began shaping this part of the city in the late 1800s (in part by knocking...
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Phường Minh An, Hội An, Quang Nam Province 560000, Vietnam
At Morning Glory restaurant, there is a plethora of local dishes to choose from -- morning glory salad, Cao Lau and White Rose (banh bao vac) to name a few. Or a highlight in itself is to rise early in the day and sit outside and sip on Vietnamese...
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Ngọc Hiệp, Nha Trang, Khánh Hòa, Vietnam
Contrary to belief wallowing in a muddy mess is perfectly OK, in fact it’s almost therapeutic! But before you run out into your backyard and dive in, please understand that I am rambling on about the type of mud that contains minerals and...
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70B Lê Lợi, Phường Bến Thành, Quận 1, Phường Bến Thành Quận 1 Hồ Chí Minh 700000, Vietnam
Fabulous coffee/snacks on the second level and amazing clothing and home decor on the first. It is a hidden gem on the busy city street.
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Số 4 Lê Phụng Hiểu, 4 Lê Phụng Hiểu, Tràng Tiền, Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội, Vietnam
In many ways, the total number of fine Vietnamese dining options in Hanoi surpasses what's found in Ho Chi Minh City. This is yet another example of a solid restaurant in Hanoi. Excellent cuisine, wine list, service, and pinkly décor.
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103 Nguyễn Thái Học, Phường Minh An, Hội An, Quảng Nam 560000, Vietnam
"The beauty of Silence" nestled in Hoi An, a calm oasis. Reaching Out tea House is a social enterprise, ran entirely by young adults with speech and hearing difficulties. Talking is discouraged, all communication is done by notes, signs, gestures...
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Trần Hưng Đạo, Dương Tơ, Phú Quốc, tỉnh Kiên Giang 92000, Vietnam
Out walking one morning I spotted a fisherman out on the break, when I stopped to look at what was in his basket he began walking toward me. When he was close enough I gestured toward his basket inquisitively. He put his hand toward his mouth with...
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57B Đinh Tiên Hoàng, Hàng Bạc, Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội 100000, Vietnam
While the art of puppetry is common throughout much of Asia, Vietnam has the unique discipline of water puppetry. These puppets are carved from wood and then lacquered to protect them from the water. The stage for a show is a pool of water, with...
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62-64 Núi Ngọc, đảo Cát Bà, Cát Hải, Hải Phòng, Vietnam
Halong Bay, Vietnam is a UNESCO world heritage site for good reason. Picture a cluster of 3,000 limestone cliffs majestically jutting out of the Pacific Ocean - most covered in thick green forestation and some encased by ancient fishing villages....
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Thôn 1, Việt Hải Cát Hải Haiphong City, Việt Hải, Cát Hải, Hải Phòng 180000, Vietnam
We were over it. My husband and I stopped for a pizza (yes, a pizza in Vietnam) in Cat Ba Town. We needed a minute to rest and rejuvenate our brains after a long day of travel and it was only noon. It was time to decide if this quest for the...
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03 Nhật Lệ, Thuận Thành, Thành phố Huế, Thừa Thiên Huế, Vietnam
While motorbiking around Hue, Vietnam, I spotted an edgy oasis from afar - a cafe that could have been plucked from the Lower East Side, NYC and dropped off in the ancient, walled city of Hue. With graffiti artwork adorning the walls, huge silver...
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151/5 Đồng Khởi, Bến Nghé, Quận 1, Hồ Chí Minh 700000, Vietnam
We spent an afternoon shopping in Saigon and made a stop at L'Usine. The retro decor and merchandise was somewhat akin to Anthropologie. On the way out we passed by the cupcakes but they also offer sandwiches and various beverages.
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Duy Thu, Duy Xuyên, Quảng Nam, Vietnam
A UNESCO World Heritage site in a mountain valley about 40 miles west of Da Nang, My Son is a vestige of the Champa kingdom, a culture that was heavily shaped by Hindu beliefs and practices. Built between the 4th and 14th centuries, the temples...
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41, Mường Hoa, TT. Sa Pa, Sa Pa, Lào Cai, Vietnam
Sapa is the highest region of Vietnam, boasting the tallest mountain in South East Asia, Fansipan, at 10,312 feet it's called 'the roof of Indochina'. I hired a guide and we drove on motorbike up through the mist towards it, mountains spiking all...
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7 Trần Quang Khải, Lộc Thọ, Thành phố Nha Trang, Khánh Hòa 650000, Vietnam
Unique boat made in bamboo basket to float on the sea? Would you dare sail the coast in it? Vietnamese do! The only control they have is a paddle.
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38 Ngõ Cầu Mây, TT. Sa Pa, Sa Pa, Lào Cai, Vietnam
The Hmong women of Sapa are a strange breed of delightful entrepreneurs, possessed of ridiculous amounts of guile, persistence and charm when it comes to flogging you the many trinkets they carry around with them. This diminutive hardy beauty let...
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40 Nhà Chung, Hàng Trống, Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội 100000, Vietnam
A girls gotta do what a girls gotta do....manicure, pedicure, wax, facial. A Top Spot -- located at 52 Au Trieu Street, Hoan Kiem District -- will help with most preening needs while away on your travels. It's clean, comfortable and gets the job...
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tt. Phát Diệm, Kim Sơn, Ninh Bình, Vietnam
A beautiful mix of European and Vietnamese architecture, wood and stone, with numerous buildings to visit. Active church services are still held and offer a peek into the Christian minority that live in Vietnam.