When you travel, remember “Small Is Beautiful”

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“Small” mentioned here is applied for both luggage and travel group. Trust me, I’ve experienced enough pain traveling with big luggage and large group that I have learned “never to do it again!”

1. Luggage:

My travel mates in Poland. All of us were abroad first timers then

In my first trip abroad to Poland I brought with me a huge 23-kilo suitcase, plus a backpack, a small purse and a laptop, so those made 4 separate items in total. And it was funny how I ended up using only half of what I brought while still having to buy extra stuff during those 3 months. I carried with me high-heel boots, piles of clothes (since it was winter), hundreds of medicine types which I never used, but didn’t even think about bringing a hair dryer, slippers and an electrical adapter. Fail!

And another funny fact was that I managed to get my laptop lost right on the first day in Poland since I forgot it in the taxi from Warsaw airport to the bus station. However, during my solo and tiring trip across Europe under the snowy and gloomy sky I sometimes thought actually I was lucky not having to bring with me another 3-kilo laptop bag(!) Read the rest of this entry »

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All you bloggers should go to twitter!

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I don’t understand why there are bloggers who just don’t use twitter at all! Apparently they have other means to share their blog content such as Facebook, Emails, Instant Messengers, Google+, Linkedin, Forums, etc., but if they are on all of those, why are they NOT on Twitter?! I may sound biased because personally I’m quite a twitter fan, but there are always a bunch of reasons why so.

First of all, I completely prefer Twitter to Facebook! The thing about Facebook is that if you have 1,000 “friends” reading your updates you also have to read updates from those 1,000 people plus all the news from the pages you “like” and the groups that you are a member of. Overwhelming information – you may think? However, in fact, you never see all the updates from those 1,000 friends but just from a few of them. It’s because Facebook has their edgerank system, which means your updates also only appear to a certain percentage of people. Good news is you don’t have to read all the updates but bad news is your updates are also not all read.

Meanwhile, with Twitter, if you have 1,000 followers you don’t have to “suffer” from all of them because you can choose who you want to read news from by following them back or putting them into your lists and read from those lists. Updates on Twitter are less than 160 characters so they do not take up as much space as on facebook and very easy to follow. I even know a few people who only follow newspapers, magazines, news agencies and use Twitter as a mere info source. Read the rest of this entry »

African and Caribbean music in Hanoi

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Naby reggae concert in Hanoi
Naby reggae concert in Hanoi

A few years ago probably most Vietnamese people in Hanoi had no idea what reggae was and we also didn’t care if Jamaica was in America or Africa. And in fact even now a lot of Vietnamese people still don’t have a clue (not we are dumb at geography but Africa and Caribbean are just physically and “mentally” too far from Vietnam).

However, the modern trend of globalization is creating changes in the fastest manner! In Hanoi now we even have an African reggae band! How marvelous is that! Also we have to acknowledge a lot of efforts from the cultural institutes, especially the French speaking community such as L’Espace or the Wallonie-Bruxelles Delegation, for bringing many African acts to Hanoi, so that Vietnamese people can start to get used to a “new” taste of music. Read the rest of this entry »

Beautiful tropical beaches of Phu Quoc Island

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Sao Beach in Phu Quoc island, Vietnam
Sao Beach in Phu Quoc island, Vietnam

Phu Quoc has been famous among travel experts as the most beautiful island in Vietnam (obviously the biggest island of the country too). Although it has been a long-time tourist attraction, the island is quite under-developed and the roads here are such disasters. Either they have not been built at all or just half-way built and no one is actually working on building them. However, the beautiful beaches compensate for it all. And actually the road trip may turn out to be a memorable adventure.

(More info about the island, accommodation and things to do at the bottom of the post)
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Updates on my life in Saigon

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Saigon at Night

Image source: www.citypassguide.com

Once again I’m leaving my city Hanoi to look for a new adventure elsewhere. Poland, then India, and the next challenge now comes from my own country. Yes, the destination is called Ho Chi Minh City (or Saigon), a city in the South of Vietnam, also the biggest city of the country. I remember sometime ago a Saigon friend said to me that “Hanoi seems like another country to me”, I think I can now tell him the same thing “I feel like a stranger here in my own country”.

This is not the first time I’ve been to Saigon, but the last time was already 3 years ago when I was just a visitor touring around the city. So much fancy about Saigon then! Taller buildings, wider streets, friendlier people, better services, etc. But things have changed so much since, and especially when you live here it is a lot more different and more REAL than when you are only a tourist.

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HanoiTweetUp – finally faces are put to names!

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Finally!

After such a long time of waiting and being jealous with the tweeters in Saigon for their brilliant SaigonTweetUp, we, Hanoi tweeters, have eventually succeeded in having our own HanoiTweetUp, which was a great chance to network and to “put faces to names” as described by @AC220.

I would like to say thanks loads to all that showed up and to all that supported by spreading the news.

It was just great to have “face to face conversations with no 160 character limitation” (described by @hegroup)

And below is the list of people who came to the meet-up (randomly arranged):

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HanoiTweetUp – Meet up your TWITTER friends

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HanoiTweetUp

Tue 10 May, 6.30pm
SouthGate
28 Tong Duy Tan, Hanoi 

25 earliest comers are offered 25 free draft beer from South Gate

and 10 earliest comers will win 10 tickets for two to L’Espace concerts on 12 May and 27 May!

Non-twitter users are all welcome and hopefully you would join our diversified twitter community after the HanoiTweetUp!

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