Myanmar economy: facts you didn’t know

Myanmar economy is a fascinating topic. Myanmar (also known as Burma) is a country in Southeast Asia which is becoming increasingly popular as a tourist destination (you should check out Bagan if you haven’t already). Myanmar is a very interesting country given its recent turbulent history and politics – it has been locked away from the…

Vietnam: Capitalism, communist edition. Limited.

Why Vietnam? My advice to any real, fake or aspiring economist – Vietnam is a place very well worth visiting. The dual nature of the country, led by a communist government, yet embracing the tools of capitalism and globalization, is pretty fascinating from economic and political standpoints. Add to it a very turbulent 20th century…

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…

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…

Explore Vietnam Part 3: Halong Bay

Why Halong Bay? Well, what hasn’t been already said about Halong Bay (Ha Long Bay or “descending dragon bay”)? It is many people’s single favorite place in Vietnam. Not without a reason. The scenery of thousands of little limestone karst islets is absolutely gorgeous, enchanting and unique. Few people know, how to see Halong Bay cheap way,…

Explore Vietnam Part 2: Saigon

Hello, Saigon (ehm, Ho Chi Minh City)! Saigon was my entry point to/ leaving point from Vietnam and I spent a total of five days there (three days at the beginning of my trip and two days at the end). I think it is an optimal amount of time to get used to the city (the…

Explore Vietnam Part 1

Welcome to the first post in my Explore Vietnam series.  Explore Vietnam is meant to be a resource for travelers to Vietnam, which is based on my own travel experiences in the country and personal interest I have in the region. But why did I decide to put all my thoughts and observations in writing? Choose…