Pax Thien – from shy Vietnamese boy to strong, masculine man

Pax Thien – from shy Vietnamese boy to strong, masculine man

Pax Thien, the adopted son of stars Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie is all grown up, often seen hanging out with his mother.

Pax Thien (real name Pham Quang Sang) is the adopted Vietnamese son of ex-couple Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie. Pax was adopted in 2007 in Ho Chi Minh City and later this year, he will be 15 years old. After 12 years, the Vietnamese boy transformed from being malnourished, timid, and scared of the media to being a young man who is confident and masculine.

At birth, Pax was severely malnourished, with skin complications and frequent illness. Angelina gave her son the name Pax Thien, meaning “peaceful sky” with a desire for a better future for the Vietnamese boy.

The way back to America however was not smooth. Pax Thien became the target of kidnap for ransom with a $ 100 million threat. The sudden change of lifestyle also affected the psychology of Pax Thien and had to go to a psychiatric hospital with Brad Pitt.

In the early years to the US, Pax Thien is often shy and doesn’t talk too much. He is always seen clenching his arms in the photographs of the family walking together. After more than six months of living in a completely different world in the United States, Pax gradually adapted and became comfortable with his new family. The boy always demanded to be carried by his mother, Angelina, and occasionally show her childishness like crying in front of the crowd. 

Pax Thien, Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt's adopted Vietnamese child

The Hollywood parents revealed that their Vietnamese adoptive child has a hobby of cooking and helping them. Pax Thien is also allowed to learn Vietnamese to not forget his mother tongue along with other skills such as photography and painting. 

From a young age, Pax Thien has a strong, masculine style. He often wears shorts, simple T-shirts with sport shoes.

The actress has a lot of affection for his Vietnamese adoptive son and regularly takes him to important events. In 2018, during the Golden Globe Awards, Pax looks dapper in a suit matching her mother’s elegant dress on the red carpet. He’s also wearing a badge supporting the #TimesUp sexual harassment campaign.

Pax Thien, Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt's adopted Vietnamese child

The Vietnamese-born child is more attached to his mother than Brad Pitt. Pax Thien often accompanies her mother to attend big events. He regularly wears luxury suits and looks very mature now.

Pax Thien is often seen walking beside Angelina Jolie on the street, whether they went out to grab food or did some shopping. Each appearance, the boy looks brave as he carries his mother’s bag and very protective.

Like his brother Maddox, Pax is also involved in the production of  First They Killed My Father, a movie directed by Angelina Jolie. In addition, the 14-year-old has a special interest in music and enjoys playing DJs. He has also been encouraged by his mother to develop his artistic ability from a young age, enabling him to participate in activities related to film, music and photography.

Growing up, Pax got accustomed to being the focus of attention by the Paparazzi so he was able to develop a calm and confident demeanor when hunted by the press. Since Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt divorced, Pax Thien and Maddox became the supporters of their mother.

Even though Pax Thien’s parents are A-list actors, he still lives a normal life as he is usually spotted going out with friends just like any other teenager. 

Pax Thien, Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt's adopted Vietnamese child

 

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42 Nguyen Hue is the Apartment block you won’t wanna miss

42 Nguyen Hue is the Apartment block you won’t wanna miss

The cafe apartment at No.42 found in Ho Chi Minh City is a sight to behold. It houses hip boutiques, independent artisans, and third wave coffee shops facing Nguyen Hue Walking Street. The historical building is a nine-story apartment that can be best described using a popular quote from Forrest Gump; it’s like “a box of chocolate – you never know what you’re gonna get!”

The apartment at 42 Nguyen Hue was built in the 1960s. It was used as a military housing for American troops and high-ranking officials working for the southern government. After the fall of Saigon, some of the properties were given to shipyard workers. As tourism flourished and the city developed, some rented out their units to cafes and shop owners albeit illegal. The government however have taken steps to close down the shops with a series of eviction notices. The shops are still open but their future is uncertain.

42 Nguyen Hue Cafe Apartment block Ho Chi Minh City travel tips to Vietnam, foodie wanderlust

The history of the place gave it its unique style mainly because it was originally intended as an apartment block. The building as a result, offered a layout different from most commercial spaces. You can instantly feel the homey vibe to it; the cozy feeling of the residential staircase and peaceful neighborhood.

With over 30 businesses inside, you are sure to find a perfect hang out space that caters to your need and liking. Tea and coffee aficionados will have the most fun sipping their drink while looking at the nice scenery at Nguyen Hue. We won’t be able to list all the shops in the building so we recommend you to check out the place for yourself and find the ambiance and style that suits you.

42 Nguyen Hue Cafe Apartment block Ho Chi Minh City travel tips to Vietnam, foodie wanderlust

42 Nguyen Hue Cafe Apartment block Ho Chi Minh City travel tips to Vietnam, foodie wanderlust

42 Nguyen Hue Cafe Apartment block Ho Chi Minh City travel tips to Vietnam, foodie wanderlust

42 Nguyen Hue Cafe Apartment block Ho Chi Minh City travel tips to Vietnam, foodie wanderlust

42 Nguyen Hue Cafe Apartment block Ho Chi Minh City travel tips to Vietnam, foodie wanderlust

42 Nguyen Hue Cafe Apartment block Ho Chi Minh City travel tips to Vietnam, foodie wanderlust

42 Nguyen Hue Cafe Apartment block Ho Chi Minh City travel tips to Vietnam, foodie wanderlust

 

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The Golden Bridge is the new top destination in Vietnam
Visit the little noodle shop featured in Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown

 

The Golden Bridge is the new top destination in Vietnam

The Golden Bridge is the new top destination in Vietnam

A new bridge just outside Da Nang is getting all the rave right now because of its unique design.

The Golden Bridge is located on the grounds of  Bà Nà Hills resort, in the Trường Sơn Mountains west of the city of Da Nang. The resort is already a favorite tourist spot offering wonderful scenery and amusement rides for thrill seekers. Their latest attraction, the Golden Bridge, is designed to feel like a walkway in the sky held up by two gigantic stone hands.

Golden Bridge Ba Na Hills Resort Da Nang travel wanderlust architecture design infrastructure hands of god

The bridge, designed by Ho Chi Minh-based firm TA Corporation, is part of a $2 billion project to promote tourism in the area. The 150-meter-long-structure is suspended at 1,400 meters (4,593 feet) above sea level  and extends over the edge of the cliff that offers a perfect 180° view of the Bà Nà mountains. According to the firm, the design of the bridge symbolizes the hands of God pulling a strip of gold from the land. The hands are also painted and decorated in such a way that it looks like a part of the jungle with mosses and leaves dangling all over it. Another ornament not to be missed are the purple Lobelia Chrysanthemums lined on each side of the walkway. It’s a design to evoke a perfect balance between human and nature.

Golden Bridge Ba Na Hills Resort Da Nang travel wanderlust architecture design infrastructure hands of god

This novel architecture has been a favorite instagram spot for both international and local travelers since it opened in June. The structure sits atop the mountain so the climate is a little different and can be foggy at times which adds to the ethereal effect of the place. Walking the Golden Bridge is a nice bucket list addition to anyone who is planning to visit Vietnam. You can also try the Bà Nà cable car – the worlds longest non-stop, single-rope cable car system that can also be found at the resort.

Golden Bridge Ba Na Hills Resort Da Nang travel wanderlust architecture design infrastructure hands of god

Golden Bridge Ba Na Hills Resort Da Nang travel wanderlust architecture design infrastructure hands of god

 

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A guide to Vietnamese culture

 

A breakdown of Vietnamese pop music

A breakdown of Vietnamese pop music

Over the years, Vietnamese pop music has evolved and is slowly catching up to the global music trends of today. The country of Vietnam is full of talented singers and musicians known traditionally for their slow-heartwarming ballads. Like the rest of Asian Pop, the current local music scene is heavily influenced by western beats and the flourishing k-pop aesthetic but with their own unique twist to it. Here’s a list of Vietnamese pop music stars redefining the industry:

Son Tung M-TP

Vietnamese pop music Son Tung M-TP entertainment news

Son Tung M-TP is no doubt the biggest pop star in Vietnam as of late. He became the first Vietnamese artist to get a Gold Play Button – a recognition from Youtube for channels that surpassed one million subscribers. He is a trailblazer for the reinvention of Vietnamese pop music, often blending genres of hip-hop, R&B, and pop music. Song Tung M-TP is not only recognized by his revolutionary music style, but also his presence that is usually identified by his bad boy urban style.

MIN

Vietnamese pop music MIN entertainment news

MIN is originally a member of the popular dance group, St.319. She parted ways with them and started her own musical career. The style of her sound is very unique; it has an ethereal and dreamy vibe to it which is made possible by the sweet tone of her voice. Her music videos are very youth oriented, stylized by pops of color and dramatic story telling that is highly marketable to the hip crowd.

Mỹ Tâm

Vietnamese pop music Mỹ Tâm entertainment news

With a career spanning almost two decades, Mỹ Tâm is regarded as one of Vietnam’s most notable pop balladeers. Her songs are considered cult classics which gained her a fair share of international success. Her album Tâm 9, released in 2017, coincidentally reached number nine on Billboard’s World Album Chart. No doubt Mỹ Tâm’s career will continue to grow for another decade.

Soobin Hoàng Sơn

Vietnamese pop music Soobin Hoàng Sơn entertainment news

A new comer to Vietnamese pop music, Soobin Hoàng Sơn started garnering attention after the release of his music Phía Sau Một Cô Gái (Behind a Girl) in 2016. He had been in the underground scene for sometime before blowing up in mainstream music. Despite being new and at the top of his career right now, he still chose to allot some of his time to mentor up and coming artists on the side which gained him even more respect from the fans.

Hương Tràm

Vietnamese pop music Soobin Hoàng Sơn entertainment news

Hương Tràm was a product of a popular singing competition, The Voice of Vietnam. She won the first season back in 2012 and has since become a household name in the field of pop ballads, often singing about unrequited love. Her music video Em Gái Mưa, released in 2017, reached more than 100 million views making it one of the most viewed videos by a Vietnamese singer of that year.

 

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Visit the little noodle shop featured in Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown

Visit the little noodle shop featured in Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown

Bún Chả Hương Liên was just an ordinary, small time noodle shop in Hanoi until it blew up after being featured in Anthony Bourdain’s CNN travel show, Parts Unknown, on April 2015. The show’s guest, former US President Barack Obama, made it twice as interesting. Of course viewers of Parts Unknown are already familiar with Bourdain’s adventurous and exotic taste, often exploring street food and go-to restaurants of the common local folks. But nobody imagined a foreign president to be able to casually dine and share a few cold Hanoi beers with Bourdain in Veitnam.

Bún Chả Hương Liên was like any other noodle shop in Vietnam’s capital – they have low plastic stools for seating, presence of cigarette smoke mixing with the smell of grilled meat, and cheap but delicious food. A month after the visit, Bún Chả Hương Liên would never be the same.

Bún Chả Hương Liên Anthony Bourdain and Barack Obama in Hanoi, Vietnam for Parts Unknown 2015

The hole-in-the wall restaurant only had 10 reviewers on TripAdvisor but is now reaching nearly 500 with mostly positive feedback. The Bún Chả, shared by Bourdain and Obama, obviously became their most sought after dish. It was eventually rebranded, marketing the dish as Bún Chả Obama and the entire meal set now predictably called the Combo Obama.

The easily missed, three-story establishment is now a cornerstone shop in Hanoi, offering authentic and delicious Northern Vietnamese cuisine at an affordable price. Drop by early or prepare to wait in line if you plan to visit Bún Chả Hương Liên as the place is now jam-packed most days with locals and tourists flocking the place.

Bún Chả Hương Liên Anthony Bourdain and Barack Obama in Hanoi, Vietnam for Parts Unknown 2015

(Also read: Sorrow at the Vietnamese noodle shop where Bourdain dined with Obama)

 

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A guide to Vietnamese culture

A guide to Vietnamese culture

Vietnam is a country known for keeping its rich culture and traditions. The people of Vietnam are instilled with a deep respect for the environment and their ancestors. Having been colonized by France and occupied by the Japanese,  their history have strengthened their nationalistic ideologies and fought hard to emancipate themselves from foreign hold. Vietnam has a single-party socialist republic government and have mainly kept to itself but times are changing, and so is the country. Slowly, tourists are coming to the country and is becoming a popular destination among backpackers.

As visitors, it is important to know the Vietnamese culture to avoid messy situations. Here are some things you should know before touring the country:

People don’t want to be humiliated

If you come from a country with a liberal and outgoing personality, you might be surprised at how quite and passive people can be in Vietnam. Don’t take it as being rude; they are actually talkative people once you get their trust. They also don’t like to be humiliated in public so you should avoid arguing or bartering too aggressively that the locals might feel diminished or belittled. They are non-confrontational people.

Vietnamese culture Hanoi Ho Chi Minh travel tips wanderlust blog

Education is top priority

If you get a chance to speak to students in Vietnam, you will learn how strict their routine is. With a booming economy such as Vietnam, the environment can be a little competitive. For students, getting at the top of their class is a must if they want to secure a decent job after graduation.

Vietnamese culture Hanoi Ho Chi Minh travel tips wanderlust blog

Respect the elders

Vietnam is built on Confucian beliefs where respect for one’s parents, elders, and ancestors is a virtue. That means, don’t bring up any inappropriate topics such as death or sex when you are with them. Their advice is also greatly valued as they account old age as being wiser and more experienced. It can be a little bit frustrating when an older person speaks down to you, especially in an office setting, but respect their views and be patient with them.

Vietnamese culture Hanoi Ho Chi Minh travel tips wanderlust blog

War history is an important and sacred topic

Don’t ever besmirch their war veterans or speak ill of anything related to the war for that matter. It is a sensitive topic for them so unless you have something important to say, don’t include it in the conversation. Also, turning it into a joke doesn’t give you a pass. It is a very serious issue for them and again, they are a group of nationalistic people so their history is an essential part of their being.

Vietnamese culture Hanoi Ho Chi Minh travel tips wanderlust blog

Learn how to negotiate

Shopping in Vietnam is fun, especially when you understand the art of negotiation. As a foreigner, expect that the local vendors will charge you more for their products. It is their initial feeling of having all the cards against you. This is where you have to stand your ground and be wise about transactions. Negotiate the prices down up to the lowest they can offer and then, walk away. They will come back at you and give you their best reasonable price.

Vietnamese culture Hanoi Ho Chi Minh travel tips wanderlust blog

Tipping is not customary

Vietnamese people rarely tip in restaurants or bar. If you feel that a staff’s service was excellent, it is okay to tip but be very discreet. It is definitely not expected so do it at your discretion. However, tips are usual on salons and spas.

Vietnamese culture Hanoi Ho Chi Minh travel tips wanderlust blog

Food is a part of Vietnamese culture

If you are visiting as a guest, especially in someone’s home, you can expect that they will prepare and cook for you. No matter how full you are, never say no to a food being offered as they can take it as being rude. But don’t take more than you can eat! They respect the land and the food that is created from it; daily sustenance is a blessing for them. Obviously they are going to hate it if you waste food.

Vietnamese culture Hanoi Ho Chi Minh travel tips wanderlust blog

 

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After a period of silence, the “lingerie queen” Ngoc Trinh is back!

After a period of silence, the “lingerie queen” Ngoc Trinh is back!

A series of clips recording the behind-the-scenes of Ngoc Trinh’s latest photo shoot is receiving a lot of attention from netizens. 

Always in pursuit of bold and sexy style, Ngoc Trinh definitely owns the title “lingerie queen.” The first time she set foot in the showbiz industry, she was met with a lot of criticism because of her seductive and daring look. In recent months however, Ngoc Trinh switched up her image and had a significant change in her style. She is showing lesser skin than before and looks impressive with a more feminine image. Gentle, but no less seductive.

But after a period of silence, Ngoc Trinh is now officially back showing her full set with a bold photo shoot. She attracted a lot of attention when she started posting behind-the-scenes footage of her latest shoot on her Instagram account.

 

 

 

After a brief period of change to young, feminine style, Ngoc Trinh  is back to show off her extremely hot and sexy body. As expected, she “burned the eyes” of her fans by revealing her attractive figure. According to her, she got interested in doing the shoot to preserve the “beauty of youth” before she turns 30. Here are pictures from the launch:

Hot girl Ngoc Trinh sexy asian girls viet lingerie model erotic photo shoot HappyLuke

Hot girl Ngoc Trinh sexy asian girls viet lingerie model erotic photo shoot HappyLuke

Hot girl Ngoc Trinh sexy asian girls viet lingerie model erotic photo shoot HappyLuke

Hot girl Ngoc Trinh sexy asian girls viet lingerie model erotic photo shoot HappyLuke

Hot girl Ngoc Trinh sexy asian girls viet lingerie model erotic photo shoot HappyLuke

Hot girl Ngoc Trinh sexy asian girls viet lingerie model erotic photo shoot HappyLuke

Hot girl Ngoc Trinh sexy asian girls viet lingerie model erotic photo shoot HappyLuke

Hot girl Ngoc Trinh sexy asian girls viet lingerie model erotic photo shoot HappyLuke

 

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Top 5 Vietnamese dishes that are highly rated by foreigners

Top 5 Vietnamese dishes that are highly rated by foreigners

The S-shaped country of Vietnam is divided into three regions: North, Central, and South – all distinct from each other not only in their landscape, but also in their culinary culture. Tourists visiting the different regions of Vietnam are blessed with the local specialties and their diverse flavors. No matter where you set foot in the country, you are guaranteed to enjoy the unique and delectable Vietnamese cuisine. 

The increasing number of tourists going to Vietnam has helped spread the culinary and food culture of Vietnam to the world. Foreign journals also conduct surveys to find the most popular food in the country. Regardless of the selection criteria and ratings of different magazines, the following Vietnamese dishes always make it to the top five in the hearts of international travelers.

Let’s find out what they are!

Noodle soup or Phở

If you ask any foreigner about Vietnamese food, you will most likely get Pho as a top recommendation. For most locals, nothing is better than having breakfast with a delicious bowl of pho! The secret ingredient that truly makes this popular street food a winner lies in its tasty broth. 

In an updated article from CNN Travel, Pho ranked 28 in “The world’s 50 best foods.” Not only that, an article by Suzy Strutner that was published in HuffPost called it a “bowl of heaven.”

Vietnamese dishes, beef pho noodle soup in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City

Sandwiches or Bánh mì kẹp

Vietnamese sandwiches are enjoyed by many visitors, especially American tourists. Why is this seemingly ordinary dish so popular?

Vietnamese bread is popular with many international tourists. There is even a book about Vietnamese bread: The Banh mi Handbook, widely read by international folks. 

Condé Nast Traveler, a US travel magazine, rated Banh Mi as one of the 12 most attractive street foods in the world. They ordered their grilled bread and meat at District 1 – Ho Chi Minh City, on the sidewalk of Nguyen Trai Street. The National Geographic magazine also selected Nha Trang sidewalk Banh mi in a similar list.

Vietnamese dishes, banh mi sandwhich in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City

Bún chả

Bun cha is another popular street food in Vietnam. Even former US President Barack Obama on a trip to Vietnam also enjoyed this special dish!

Bun cha is a cold noodle soup that locals love to eat during the summer. It is served with grilled pork, vermicelli pasta, fresh vegetables, and a broth that is based on sugar, vinegar and fish sauce. The Vietnamese dish is thought to have originated from Hanoi so it may be difficult to find the unique taste of Bun cha in other parts of the country.

Vietnamese dishes, bun cha, vermicelli pasta, noodle soup in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City

Chả cá Lã Vọng

This is another famous dish that should not be missed when going to Hanoi. It was brought to international attention when Patricia Schultz listed No. 14 Cha Ca street in her book, 1,000 Places to See Before You Die.

Cha ca La Vong is a dish made from sliced fish cooked together with yellow onions and dill. Peanuts, fragrant herbs, and a sprinkle of shrimp sauce is added to complete the taste of this Hanoi specialty.

Vietnamese dishes, Cha ca La Vong in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City

Bún riêu cua

Bun riue cua is a variety of the traditional Vietnamese meat rice vermicelli soup. It is served with a tangy tomato broth coupled with pounded crab meat, noodles, deep fried tofu, and congealed blood. Shrimp paste and fresh vegetables are offered on the side.

The dish is very simple and easy to serve making it popular in sidewalk food stalls. The combination of rice vermicelli, light brown crab meat, golden fried green herbs, and red tomato soup in a bowl looks so attractive. The taste doesn’t disappoint either! It is really an all around delectable dish.

Vietnamese dishes, Vermicelli crab, bun rieu cua, in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City

Of course, the list only covered the top 5 most popular Vietnamese dishes but the country obviously has more hidden gems than the aforementioned. Vietnamese food culture is becoming more popular especially in the social age. It is one of the most sought after cuisines in the world.  Truly, Vietnamese food has become a tourist attraction on its own.

 

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Important lessons for crossing the road in Vietnam
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Important lessons for crossing the road in Vietnam

Important lessons for crossing the road in Vietnam

To get across the street in Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City, you have to be brave, focused and a little bit reckless.

Caroline Morse, Travel Editor of SmartTravel , made a trip to Vietnam and recorded her great experiences, including the road trips in big cities:

“In cities like Hanoi or Saigon, where there are very few pedestrian lights, many people pass red lights and thousands of motorcycles go unchecked. The road in Vietnam is a scary but an unforgettable experience.

crossing the road in vietnam - busy street in Hanoi

Here are the lessons I have learned from the road in Vietnam:

1. Be brave : You can’t stop traffic, just like most opportunities in life will not stop for you. You will have to pursue what you want, whether on the road or finding a new job. Like the famous saying “Fortune favors the brave,” remember that every time you hesitate in fear.

2. Know when to seek help: On the way to the city, the tour guide would take us across the road. It can be embarrassing sometimes to ask for help but the truth is, we were able to get to the other side much faster than doing it all by ourselves.

crossing the road in vietnam - busy street in Hanoi

3. Just focus on your path: Ignore other distractions. Walk in a straight line, focus on the target and ignore the obstacles around you. Be predictable and you will notice that the traffic will flow around you. Don’t hesitate and change your mind midway!

4. Follow the locals and veterans: One of the best ways to walk across a busy street is to follow a local person, and walk beside them when they cross the street. You should do the same in life, find someone who is more experienced and follow them, whether it’s when you’re in the gym, on the road or in your career.

crossing the road in vietnam - busy street in Hanoi

5. Ignore those who complain: There will be people honking or even swearing, but ignore them and focus on what you are doing.”

And finally, celebrate when you get to the other side of the road in one piece! Crossing a road in Vietnam can be daunting at first but take the tips mentioned above and you will be good on your own in no time.

 

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Let’s explore Hoi An by bike

Let’s explore Hoi An by bike

Hoi An is famous for its pedestrian streets around the old town. However, if you want a new experience, try exploring this world heritage on a bike.

You will discover secret nooks and other incredible sights when going around the old town by bike. It can also easily take you through the enormous tree-lined street corners, see paper lanterns on the porch, and the rows of green moss-covered houses.

At the end of the road, visitors slowly pedal through the large bridge connecting the old town and enjoy the cool breeze from the Hoai River. If your legs feel tired, you can stop at the roadside tea and enjoy their cool, sweet drink.

bike Hoi An travel tips at HappyLuke

You will have more time to explore the city of Hoi An via bicycle. Most hotels, restaurants, cafes in the Old Town have bicycle rental services by the hour or day and the price is not too expensive.

bike bicycle motor Hoi An travel tips at HappyLuke

The ideal time to bike around Hoi An would be starting from 3 p.m. when the sun is not harsh and some light wind.  If you are lucky, you can catch the romantic scenery of sunset by the river before ending the day. It is also recommended to ride the bike around town in the morning, preferably before 8 a.m. when tourists have not yet arrived.

We can also suggest getting a 3G/4G sim card at the airport to really take advantage of biking around town. You can get lost and go to random places but still have the ability to check an online map when you feel like going home. Also, having an internet connection can help you find interesting spots and check reviews.

In addition, Hoi An have been discouraging people to use motor vehicles. The best alternative to travel the area is by using a bicycle. The Old Town for one is a biker friendly place with little noise, very calm and poetic.

bike bicycle motor Hoi An travel tips at HappyLuke

 

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