In Hotel, Travel | On 28-04-2012
Every day hundreds of tourists stroll along Dong Khoi -- the tree-lined artery that runs along the southwest side of the Caravelle Hotel -- oblivious to the stories contained within its buildings.
Many of the landmark structures in Graham Greene’s novel, ‘The Quiet American’, the historical reference points we associate with the country’s notorious war, and the best signs of emerging Vietnamese enterprise are clustered side-by-side on Dong Khoi’s pic... [More]
In Hotel, Travel | On 29-01-2012
Ask any Vietnamese and they will tell you, in the most sincere voice, that the Tet holidays are a quiet time for relaxing with family. But in the days leading up to lunar new year, Ho Chi Minh City is electrified with its own merrymaking. A week before the official countdown, it looks as if a yellow, red and gold flower farm has exploded downtown. Wives descend in a mass raid on markets, dancing dragons shimmy on pavements, parking lots are transformed into calligraphy art galleries, and y... [More]
In Hotel, Travel | On 15-12-2011
Seems I can’t open a magazine these days, or browse a news Web site that hasn’t cataloged the Top 5 This or the Top Five That. It’s as if media the world over have decided we can’t bother reading stuff that’s not bulleted or otherwise numbered in terms of priority. I can’t say I mind this trend. And thus I’m prepared to talk a bit here about the top five attractions, and why I like them, along Dong Khoi Street, which runs by one side of the Caravelle Hot... [More]
In Hotel, Travel | On 10-11-2011
Ho Chi Minh City is a big city and getting bigger, with all the usual growing pains. Though tourism arrivals are up 10 percent from 2010, of all the destinations in Vietnam, HCMC posted the smallest gains. Why? I dare say traffic and pollution have something to do with it. This city is one of Asia’s most dynamic, and it’s also bursting at the seams.That’s not surprising. It’s been 150 years since French urban designers established the present footprint. Now, the People&rs... [More]
In Hotel, Travel | On 05-07-2011
In the five years since I first unpacked my bags at the Caravelle Hotel, echoes of transformations have been sounding all over this city. Just months ago, change came to our corner and to the view I’ve woken up to morning after morning. That’s when the bulldozers came calling on the historic Eden Building located diagonally across Lam Son Square from the Caravelle. A few days before the Eden closed its doors for the last time, I attended an open house farewell that drew a generous mi... [More]
In Hotel, Travel | On 31-05-2011
After winning a 2nd place finish in a major Hong Kong bartending competition, Dinh Quang Nam shows off his flair at the Caravelle Hotel's rooftop bar.
In Hotel, Travel | On 05-05-2011
An expatriate friend once said this about Saigon: ‘Even if you’re standing still, you still feel like you’re getting ahead.’ Anyone who lives or works in Saigon, or who visits for even a couple of days, will know exactly what this phrase is all about. [More]