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Digital Subscriptions > Gay Times > December 15 > Vietnam

Vietnam

While Hoi An is a touch of the past, Hanoi thrusts you into the future. It makes Vietnam the best of both

LONG HAUL

Bustling Hoi An, with its streets of 19th century wood-beamed shophouses, Thu Bon river almost feels like an oasis of calm compared with the growing modernity and dynamism of Vietnam’s cities. The charm of Indochina seems to be fading as the spark of industrialisation burns bright in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) and Hanoi, still destinations in their own right. Yet it’s in places like Hoi An where a sense of a bygone Asia remains, one that hasn’t been bombed or bulldozed.

FOOD, GLORIOUS FOOD With direct flights from China, Korea and Singapore to this region, it’s easy to understand the profusion of planned resorts and golf courses but Hoi An, the Unesco World Heritage site, a bustling port from the 17-19th centuries is still a delight, a real gem. The old town is traffic free and at night is adorned with multi-coloured lights as though visitors have stepped into Wonderland.

There’s a profusion of local businesses catering to visitors, which have thrived since Vietnam opened back up to the world in 1986. The food alone is a reason to visit, with myriad restaurants to choose from, one of the best being the family owned Miss Ly, featuring local specialities like cao lau (flat noodles with sliced barbecued pork) and “white rose” (steamed shrimp in rice paper). For under a third of the price you’d pay in London, Mango Rooms is a real pleasing spot overlooking the river, although a little on the expensive side. Aside from the usual tourist tat, there’s shops selling authentic Asian artefacts to put on your mantelpiece and a number of galleries featuring local work.

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In the new GT cover star Seann Miley Moore who talks with us about his future plans, Nick Grimshaw and all things X Factor. And just wait until you see his fierce photoshoot. Also in this issue: Ben Whishaw talks about his new TV series, London Spy. 67 films every gay man should see. The women of Star Wars. Eddie Redmayne. Have we lost our queer identity? Dating app dangers. Can you be gay and Christian? Amy Poehler. Dawn French. Our tips for this years must-give presents in our Christmas gift guide. See pictures of our GT: The Next Chapter Party. And keep up to date with latest trends in our newly expanded style pages. And don't forget all our new regular features: Fitness with Charlie King with Chris Jones. Date night with Edd Kimber and the Gastro Gays. Ask Aled. Dear Josh. Michelle Visage. Benjamin Cohen. Michael Alig. Modern Family. Positive Luke. PJ Brennan. The Guyliner. Last but not least, enjoy bonus videos and images exclusive to this digital edition.
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