Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Vietnamese ISPs now allowing access to Facebook?

Vietnam restricts access to Facebook no longer?
Recently, about the past 1-2 months, I noticed that I could access the Facebook on my Galaxy Nexus using Viettel 3G.  This was not possible before.  Before you would just get a "404 error".  I thought, "Huh... must be a glitch or something in the system" but fortunately I can still access Facebook from my phone. So I'm guessing they lifted the restriction on Facebook.  At least I thought so.

I still couldn't access Facebook from my home internet service (we use FPT).  But about a few weeks ago I noticed that I too could access Facebook from my home internet service.  No VPN, DNS, or whatever else tweaks necessary.  So I guess we can come to the conclusion that Facebook access is available to all Vietnamese now?  What do you think?  Are you able to access Facebook without any tweaks using a Vietnamese ISP?  Let me know in the comments.

ibVPN releases their All in One VPN Client


ibVPN recently released a beta version of their all in one client.  Before you would have had to manually configure the VPN each time you wanted to switch servers.  Now with their new client is simple as can be.  Just select a server from a drop down menu and your done.  The client also handles all connection modes (open vpn, pptp, l2tp).  Best of all it's completely free to free and paid users.  Download link and more info after the break.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Quickie: Apparently beer is a cure all according to this student

"To alcohol the cause of and solution to all of life's problems."
Picture is of a test at one of the locations where I am an English teacher.  This student, needless to say, did not pass the test although he did get brownie points for making me chuckle.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Quickie: Tofu sweet dessert!

Vietnamese tofu sweet dessert "đậu hũ" or "tàu hũ"
This is a popular (I think) sweet dessert that I had a chance to try since coming to Vietnam.  It's made of tofu in a ginger broth with a bit of coconut juice and you can even get it with boba "pearls".  It is served hot (the way I prefer it) or cold.  Usually, you can hear street vendors yelling at the top of their lungs asking if anyone wants to buy some.  Price is about 6-7K VND.  Pretty good stuff.  Give it a try!

A! May Tinh Bang

A! May Tinh Bang's website
I was recently in the market for an inexpensive android tablet to compliment my Galaxy Nexus.  I wanted it mainly to use it as an e-reader, gaming and internet browsing device.  After doing some research I settled on the Ainol Novo 7 Aurora.  The spec sheet was great and the price fit.  So when it came time to finally buy it I faced a choice.  I could a) buy it online and have it shipped to my home in California where I then had to have it shipped to Vietnam or b) buy it here in Vietnam.  Total approximate cost going with the former is $180-190 and a wait time of about a month or $180 and immediate satisfaction with the latter.  So I decided to just purchase it here.  Again, after doing some research I came upon A! May Tinh Bang who had it in stock (according to their webpage) and was located here in HCMC.

Quickie: Vectors no longer available

Due to a lack of customer interest I have decided to pull the vector characterizations.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Quickie: Epic Sax Guy Ringtone

A bit late but I made an Epic Sax Guy ringtone you know in case you are looking for a new one.  The ringtone is 30 seconds long in MP3 format.  It also has metadata and a "cover".  You can find the download below.  Please feel free to share this by directing people to the post and not directly linking to the download. Thanks :)

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Taco Bich

Taco Bich, Mexican Food HCMC

I was really (really) in the mood for Mexican food last week.  Fortunately, in Ho Chi Minh City you do have a selection of places that serve the Latin cuisine, like Alfrescos and Mexico Lindo to name a few.  I've tried Alfrescos, the service was good not great and their Mexican food was again good and not great.  I tried their nacho platter with a quesadilla, and washed it down with a strawberry daiquiri.  I won't elaborate too much on what I thought about it other than saying the daiquiri was horrible and the quesadilla was good.  No this post isn't about Alfrescos, this post is about Taco Bich.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Still here...

Vietnamese Seafood Rolls

Just wanted to update really quick to let everyone know that we are still here alive and kicking!  I've been terribly busy with my new job so I haven't had much time to update.  Anyways, I have some new and interesting ideas for posts that I should write out in the following weeks.  Some of which will be:
  • Things I hate about driving in Vietnam (with pictures!)
  • Viettel 3G speed tests (with pictures!)
  • Restaurant Reviews (you better believe with pictures!)
 So check back later.  For now I leave you with a pretty bad photo of us making Vietnamese seafood rolls.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Quickie: 5,000 Views!

Vietnamese school children right before English class.

Can you believe it?  We are at 5,000 views.  I started this blog in Febuary 2011 and one year later I managed to attract 5,000 unique views.  Some may scoff at that number/performance but I think it's actually very good for a humble blog centering on mostly Vietnam and my ramblings.  I'm not sure exactly how to celebrate so I'll just post this picture of some Vietnamese school children who seem to be having fun.  As usual here are some of our stats:

Most popular post: How To: Enable 3G on Viettel UPDATED 1/31/2012
Most readers are from: Vietnam
Highest referral URL:
Highest referral site:
Most popular search keyword: lotteria

Here's to another 5,000 views.  Please feel free to post up some comments.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Vector Portraits Available! Updated 4/17/2012

Vector Portrait
UPDATE 4/17/2012:  Vector portrait service has been canceled.  Click for info.

As a new business venture I have decided to sell custom vector portraits.  If you would like to have your picture done up in a vector art style please click here to learn more.  You can use the portraits as avatars on your favorite forum or social network.  These can also be used to print and hang on your wall or give them to friends and family.  Price is fixed at $8 if you order from this blog and turn around time is usually less than a week.  We accept PayPal for your convenience.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Quickie: How To Viettel 3G Has Been Updated

I updated the how to enable Viettel 3G article with information about an unlimited 3G service plan.  You can read all about it here and remember to post your thoughts in the comments.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

How To: Use GrooVe IP & Google Voice to Make & Receive Free Calls to the US

Use Google Voice & GrooVe IP to make and receive free calls while in Vietnam!
 So if you are like me and have family and friends back home in the US but are currently living (or vacationing) in Vietnam then you want an easy and inexpensive way to call your loved ones for free... well almost free.  A lot of people already know about GrooVe IP and Google Voice and have successfully used it to their advantage.

Friday, January 27, 2012

50% Off On All VPN Services

ibVPN is having their annual anniversary sale.  You can get 50% off by entering the promotional code 2YEARS50.  So if you have been hesitating on purchasing VPN access now is the time.  According to ibVPN "this is the single, greatest discount of the year and it’s only available this Saturday, the 28th of January, 2012,"so don't procrastinate too long :)  Click the banner up top or here to go to the ibVPN website.

Street Fighter in HCMC

Street Fighter in Vietnam?
 I am a fighting game fan, have been since days of NES.  I remember playing Kung Fu, Wrestlemania and others in my early childhood days.  As Nacho put it "a nice pile-drive to the face.. or a punch to the face..." can be very satisfying (err I mean in video games).  More recently, I have been playing Street Fighter IV and the subsequent newer versions.  I consider myself a novice player, but I can hold my own.  I wanted to improve my skill so I went as far as to purchase an arcade stick, two in fact.  When it came time to move to Vietnam I brought one of my arcade sticks with me. 

Tet Holiday 2012

District 1, HCMC during Tet 2012
New Year or Tet is the biggest holiday in Vietnam.  This year I stayed home in HCMC and took in the sights.  District 1 was busy as can be.  I figured since everyone goes home for Tet that HCMC would be relatively a ghost town... it wasn't.

Random Vietnam Picture

Reunification Palace, Ho Chi Minh City
A panoramic picture I took of the Reunification Palace, taken with my trusty Samsung Galaxy Nexus during Tet 2012.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Traditional Vietnamese Weddings

Photo by: Mike Fernwood

Weddings in Vietnam are a sight to see.  The Vietnamese have a strict traditional culture on how, when, where, and even who one marries.  Having only lived here for a year, I have already been to about 4, maybe 5, weddings.  Every day, someone somewhere is getting married in Vietnam.  It’s not uncommon to see the bride and groom taking wedding pictures at the local park and throughout the city in full wedding dress and tuxedo.  It’s actually pretty big business here, I would imagine.  In fact, the street I live on just so happens to be a bride’s dream come true.  There are bridals all along my street.  Almost every single storefront is a bridal.  Hence, it has been dubbed “the wedding street".