What’s behind Korea’s economic success?

For every economist South Korea is a fascinating country. In the 1960’s it was one of the poorest nations in the world with GDP per capita lagging behind that of Vietnam or Democratic Republic of Congo. In fact, the nominal GDP per capita in 1960 was around $100, while in 2010 it reached $20,000 (source: nationmaster.com).  The country is…

Explore Vietnam part 6: The tale of Hoi An

The tale of Hoi An – rich port town Hoi An is a top position on any decent “Vietnam – things to see” list and not without a reason (being UNESCO-listed is only one of them). It is perhaps one of the best examples of traditional Asian trading ports which survived the test of time. Between 15th…

Explore Vietnam Part 5: Isn’t Dalat cute?

Petit Paris From the moment I arrived in Dalat, I couldn’t help but think of it as a Vietnamese version of Paris. I can almost hear all the French saying “blasphemy!” now… But the truth is, the town has a very European feel to it. The walk-able alleys, parks, little cafes and bakeries reminded me of…

Explore Vietnam Part 4: Sa Pa rice terraces and more

Sa Pa is perhaps my favourite place in Vietnam. The views, the local tribes, unique food… I definitely enojyed it more than the craziness of Saigon or Hanoi. The place has a very mystical vibe. Day 1: Arrival in Sa Pa First stage of my journey to Sa Pa was an overnight train from Hanoi. In…

Explore Vietnam Part 3 continued: Cat Ba Island

Day 3: Exploring Cat Ba Island itself Cat Ba Island itself has plenty of beautiful nature to boast about. A good idea is to rent a motorbike (60k VND for a day) and drive around the island. The highlights include the Hospital Cave and the Cat Ba National Park. The Hospital Cave is another proof…

Halong Bay tour – cheapest options

If you are interested in a Halong Bay Tour, but have limited budget, you should definitely consider Cat Ba Island as your base for exploring the area. There are many tours and cruises you can book online, but the cheapest options are definitely the ones you can book yourself without any middle men. There are Halong…