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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Visit the little noodle shop featured in Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown
A guide to Vietnamese culture

 

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
Top 5 Vietnamese dishes that are highly rated by foreigners

 

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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Top 5 Vietnamese dishes that are highly rated by foreigners
Important lessons for crossing the road in Vietnam