Hanoi

HanoiTweetUp Jan 2013

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HanoiTweetUp-minimized

#HanoiTweetUp is a networking event initially organized for twitter users in Hanoi to meet face-to-face with their virtual “friends” and “followers”. However, the concept soon changed into an event for everyone who are interested in social media and want to broaden their network. HanoiTweetUp was originally inspired by this same event in HCMC called #SaigonTweetUp, organized by @Vietnam720.

There have been 4 events of this type in Hanoi:

– The first one in May 2011 and the second one in July 2011 by me @MienHPham
– The third one in October 2011 by @playingwithsid and @philip_arthur (when I was in HCMC)
– And the fourth one in January 2013 by @HanoiGrapevine (my team)

Grapevine would like to say thanks to @potsnpanshanoi for the host, to @ourman for the interesting talk about animal rescue in Asia, and to everyone who turned up.

Here is the list of participants, in no particular order: Read the rest of this entry »

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Road trip: Hanoi – Bac Kan – Cao Bang – Lang Son

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WholeGroup
My travel group of 6 people, all Vietnamese

After the motorbike road trip in September to Mu Cang Chai and Sapa, our travel group set off again for the new year holidays. This time our trip covered a famous route in the North of Vietnam: Bac Kan – Cao Bang – Lang Son (Cao – Bắc – Lạng). It was almost a border road trip because we drove mostly along the border between Vietnam and China. Roughly 1,000 km (620 miles) in 4 days! And each of us spent less than 1.5 million VND (USD 75) including petrol, food, drink, guest house, etc.

Day 1: Hanoi – Bac Kan, 230 km (143 miles)

We had an unlucky first day. It was drizzling the whole morning so the road was super dirty. However, we were totally aware that dirt was a certain part of a motorbike road trip so we didn’t bother too much.

We left Hanoi around 8am and arrived in Bac Kan in the afternoon. The destination was Ba Be Lake (Hồ Ba Bể), the biggest lake in Vietnam.

You can take a canoe to go around the lake and explore the small islands. The whole package will take 5 hours. We didn’t have time since it got dark very quickly in winter, thus, we cut the canoeing time real short to only 1.5 hour.

BaBeLake Read the rest of this entry »

Quan Son Lake in Hanoi – the “Ha Long inland”

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Quan Son Lake in Hanoi, Vietnam


Just 50km away from the central Hanoi, Quan Son Lake is a perfect place for nature lovers to enjoy a weekend out of the city’s dirt and noise. Quan Son used to be a part of Ha Tay Province. However, since the whole province was merged with Hanoi (which made Hanoi now become one of the largest capitals in the world) Quan Son Lake has been turned into a part of the capital itself.

Generally speaking, Quan Son tourism is still under-developed. Almost no services or activities yet, not so many people know about it either, and I guess only locals are going here because this place is nowhere to be found in any English materials. Up to now Quan Son is still wonderfully non-commercial, there is no hawkers, no beggars and no English language(!)

A lot of people refer to Quan Son as “Ha Long inland” because of its numerous mountains arranged beautifully on the surface of the water. It is said that the lake is about 850 hectare large with more or less 100 limestone mountains. Read the rest of this entry »