Incense Travel - BLOG

What to Know about Halong Bay & Lan Ha Bay?

What to Know about Halong Bay & Lan Ha Bay?

Last weekend, my wife and I came back to Halong Bay for an overnight stay on a wooden boat, being a tourist couple. Those were beautiful days of the north Vietnam’s autumn weather, the white painted wooden cruiser was teeming with eager, and the Gulf of Tonkin sparkled like wrinkled cellophane. The short trip was my wife’s first overnight boat experience, so she was moving around quite often taking photos of the islands and selfies around the vessel.


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Pho Cocktail: A New Signature Drink of Hanoi

Pho Cocktail: A New Signature Drink of Hanoi

Gone are the days when a fresh margarita and Negroni at a night club or a glass of wine at your hotel bar were the only options for a boozy night out in Hanoi. Thanks to the game-changers like Diageo Reserve World Class, which generated an impressive group of talented mixologists, many of whom went on to open their own bars, so there is no shortage of spots to sip inventive drinks in Hanoi.


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Where to Find the Best Vegan Restaurants in Hanoi?

Where to Find the Best Vegan Restaurants in Hanoi?

When I was first working as a tour guide more than a decade ago, some travelers came to Hanoi and went to a vegetarian restaurant in the Old Quarter. The next day, they told me how stunned they were as there weren’t any mushroom or tofu on the menu. Yes, being a vegetarian used to be a challenge in Hanoi, but it’s not anymore! As the vegetarian dining scene has blossomed in the last decade, and there are more vegetarian (and vegan) places in Hanoi than ever.


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Our Trip to Ninh Binh, Halong Bay and Sapa

Our Trip to Ninh Binh, Halong Bay and Sapa

September is the beginning of the best time to travel Vietnam, as it’s the harvest time in the region. Visitors to northern Vietnam this month will have opportunities to see the golden color of the ready-to-harvest rice fields, spreading from Red River Delta to terraces on the hillsides around Sapa. On my most recent tour, I took my clients from Hanoi to Tam Coc, to Lan Ha Bay, and to Sapa. Following is how we experienced the destinations in our 7 days exploring northern Vietnam.


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Top 6 Rooftop Bars in Hanoi with Stunning Views

Top 6 Rooftop Bars in Hanoi with Stunning Views

One of the best ways to discover a new city is to be at somewhere high up with a panoramic view, where you can get a visual grip on your new surroundings while sipping on a local drink. Imagine being elevated above the chaos of Hanoi traffic, where you can feast your eyes on the magnificent views and watch the city transform from day to night. There is no better way to experience the city and to enjoy a sundowner than looking down from a rooftop bar in the capital city of Hanoi.


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What’s the Betel Nut that Vietnamese are Chewing?

What’s the Betel Nut that Vietnamese are Chewing?

On my Hanoi food tours, we often walk by a respectful lady sitting by the foot of a giant iron wood tree on Hang Ma street. Her name is Van, 89 years old and she lives by herself. Chewing betel nut in her mouth all the time, she earns living by selling betel nuts and small fresh aroma like pomelo, jasmine and areca followers. A common question I have from my clients is; what’s that betel nut that she is chewing?


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Top 5 Pho Bo Restaurants in Hanoi

Top 5 Pho Bo Restaurants in Hanoi

On a recent survey conducted by the city of Hanoi, visitors were asked which Vietnamese dishes they had enjoyed the most, most responses were pho bo (beef noodle soup). That doesn’t surprise me, because pho bo is not only famous for its tenderness of the rice noodle, the texture characteristics of low fat thinly sliced beef and the sweetness of the stock attained from low simmering rich marrow bones overnight, but pho bo has also been a symbol of the Vietnamese cuisine.


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45 Typical Hanoi Street Foods & Places to Eat

45 Typical Hanoi Street Foods & Places to Eat

Hanoi has been known internationally as a melting spot of the Vietnamese cuisine, foods are served on a moving cranky bicycle, on the edge of bustling streets full of motorbikes, on the narrow sidewalks appropriated by sea of plastic stools, in a memorable passageway a meter wide, right at someone’s doorstep or up a spiral staircase overlooking the frenetic passing traffic and a lake. If you love eating, it’s almost impossible not to love Hanoi street food.


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Hanoi Street Food Tours with Buffalo Joe

Hanoi Street Food Tours with Buffalo Joe

There is no better way to really feel the city of Hanoi and savor the flavorful Vietnamese food than a guided street food tour. This private walking tour with Buffalo Joe is one of the best tours to truly experience the city and appreciate the food, it exposes visitors to not only the authentic flavor but also the city’s interesting history and culture.


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Is Vietnamese Food Really Healthy?

Is Vietnamese Food Really Healthy?

One of the must-dos while traveling in Vietnam is to sample Vietnamese food. It is so well known as one of the most important factors for Vietnam travel. Vietnamese food is exceptionally delicious and it is often recognized as one of the healthiest cuisines worldwide. To confirm this is a true statement I've spoken to some in-the-known Vietnamese chefs and here is the result.


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