Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Hello, Vietnam... Hello? Can you hear me now?

So you are coming to Vietnam on vacation/business and would like to make local calls but aren't sure how to get started?  Never fear, I'll go ahead and walk you through all the information you need to start calling up your friends, family, or business contacts.  It's actually quite easy.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Random Vietnam picture of the week

Viettel Prepaid Cellphone Card
OK, this week's "random picture" is not so random.  I'm actually going to be posting an article on how to use these bad boys to add credit to your GSM phone with a Viettel SIM card (along with some general mobile/cellphone information for those who are planning to visit Vietnam for more than just sightseeing).  It's a fairly easy process, in fact on the reverse side of the card there are English instructions. But just in case, I'm going to be running down through the process.  Also, in a later article, I'm going to be showing you how to activate 3G service on the Viettel network using your 3G GSM phone.  So stay tuned!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Unlocked! How to bypass internet filters.

Before moving to Vietnam I knew that I had to take some measures in order to experience the internet in full.  As you may know Vietnam employs a web filter as a means to restrict Vietnamese citizens (and tourists/visitors) from accessing certain websites, namely Facebook.  Also, certain services that I subscribe to are only available to users who's IP address originates from the USA, such as NetFlix, Pandora, and Hulu.  Fortunately for us there are ways of bypassing these restrictions and getting the information and services that we want.  Some easier than others and some are free while others cost a monthly fee.  So if you have to have your Facebook fix while on vacation in a country that censors the internet read on.

Did someone say Bayonetta?

Bayonetta is a stylish, adrenaline pumping, action packed game from game creator Shinji Mikami.  Developed by Platinum Games and published by SEGA it is my favorite game of 2010.  I really enjoyed this game and have nearly 100 hours of playtime.  I wanted to reflect my love of the game in the form of a wearable good, namely a tshirt.  I hit the internet on the hunt for a quality Bayonetta tshirt.  Having only come up with cheap ebay copy and paste crap I decided to make my own. (Unfortunately, SEGA does not sell an official Bayonetta tshirt.  They did make some tshirts as a limited run but they were only available as prizes from SEGA, IIRC).  So off I went and came up with a few different designs, which you can see and buy from here.  Tell me what you think and if so inclined feel free to purchase one.  I originally had the idea of just creating a one off for myself but figured there might be other Bayonetta enthusiasts that would like a tshirt.  And if you haven't played Bayonetta give the demo a try or purchase it from

Bayonetta Tshirts

Random Vietnam picture of the week

Sidewalk vendor cart in HCMC, Vietnam.

This week's random Vietnam picture is a familiar sight if you've ever spent some time in Vietnam.  There are literally hundreds of these vendor carts all across Vietnam's streets.  They sell everything and anything; books, newspapers, clothing, raincoats, drinks, cigarettes, lottery tickets, food, helmets, fruits, shoes, sunglasses, etc etc etc...  This particular vendor sells noodle soup, Cambodian phnom penh noodle soup to be exact.  I'll be honest here I know it doesn't look like the most appetizing place to eat from but I have to say the soup does taste very good and the price is right.  It makes for a good, cheap meal for when you are on the run, in a hurry, late at night, or when you are hung over.  Like the saying goes, sometimes the best way to experience the local cuisine is not from that fancy restaurant but from the sidewalk vendors, outdoor markets, or hole in the wall places.  As you can see in the picture you clearly make out the dish cleaning area and food preparation area.  What you do not see is that the vendor also sets up small tables and chairs so that patrons can enjoy their soup comfortably under the hot Ho Chi Minh City night sky.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Random Vietnam picture of the week

Traffic on a street in Vietnam quickly pulling over.

The traffic on this street in Vietnam just prior to the sudden rainfall was so dense it would make you wonder if the above picture was taken in Vietnam.  It was actually pretty crazy to see.  Traffic so dense you can't move a foot in either direction before hitting someone, then suddenly the rain falls and the street is cleared just as fast as the rain came.  The people are pulling over to put on their raincoats.  Those caught without a raincoat either pulled over and waited until the rain passed or kept on going through the pouring rain.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Testing mobile blogging

BigC Supermarket, HCMC Vietnam
I'm here at BigC waiting to checkout when I decided to check out the Blogger mobile application.  Quick pic...