xxxriainxxx on GLN IELTS Review Centre
May 6th, 2013 at 11:32 am

They are on Philippine online news now:

"John dela Cruz* is a Filipino English teacher. Like many Filipinos, he yearns for greener pasture. And so he left the Philippines for Vietnam, teaching English to the Vietnamese. Dela Cruz signed on with the GLN English Learning Center as Head Teacher of their Main Branch.

The experience wasn't pleasant.


In his letter to the ambassador, dela Cruz wrote many alleged violations of GLN English Learning Center. In July 2010, according to Dela Cruz, General Manager Bui Thi Le Hang ordered then Tran Dai Nghia Branch Manager Hoang Nhung to forcibly take the Philippine passport of one Filipina teacher there. In the same year an electrical fire broke out at the Nguen Thi Dinh branch. According to his account, there were no fire extinguishers and no fire safety procedures in place, which he said was in violation of the Vietnam's Labor Code. According to him, there were still no fire extinguishers when he left their employ."

- From the Philippine Online Chronicles (Published April 29 2013)

The article's title was too extreme (too much of a media license, but story is true nonetheless)

Also on the National Newspaper: Manila Bulletin, GLN was mentioned in the last few paragraphs about its horrible practice.

"I received a letter from a besieged OFW, an English teacher in Hanoi, who was illegally dismissed without warning, leaving him helpless in a foreign land. His employer, a certain GLN English Center owned by Bui Thi Le Hang, refuses to settle her financial obligations, defying both their contractual agreement and Vietnamese Law.

Our kababayan sought help from the Philippine Embassy, which they readily extended by writing a letter to the employer. However, the embassy could not pursue other legal options as it did not have the resources to do so. I was told that our embassies only intercede legally when our citizens face the death penalty. In the end, our kababayan was hard-pressed to accede to the unjust treatment of his employer and swallow the moral, legal and financial damage resulting from it."


I used to work here, and at one point the owner (Mrs. Hang) asked us to write positive reviews on The New Hanoian. Since I am safely out of Vietnam, I can say that this is an awful place to work.

I hope TNH would allow the posting of the news links here so that others may be warned from working for this terrible place.

xxxriainxxx on Old Hanoi
December 18th, 2011 at 2:48 pm

For starters, I was never fond of Northern Vietnamese cuisine which I find too singular and characteristically bland for my taste. I literally avoided the cuisine for over a year, and occasionally having Central and Southern Vietnamese cooking instead. However, some of my expat friends kept on telling us about Old Hanoi so after months of trying to arrange a dinner, it finally happened last night.

I don't give a rat's ass if it was Gordon Ramsay who opened the restaurant, I was apprehensive and was prepared to be either impressed or spectacularly disappointed.

I let my friends choose the dishes for us: bahn cuon, pho cuon, glass noodle with soft shell crab, Ramsay's ribs and a meat dish with cinnamon sauce.

I was floored with the flavours: bahn cuon with the fried shallots and pho cuon are decidedly instant favourites and probably the tastiest Vietnamese dishes I've ever had. I could eat this stuff whole day. Definitely 10/10. I am not a big fan of glass noodles but their version was refreshing (I still don't like glass noodles no matter where I eat them).

Ramsay's ribs were lightly seasoned, and had a sweetish tinge to it. I thought it was a step up from the average (6.5/10) (Although personally I'd prefer that street bbq place on Hang Bong). My other friends loved the ribs tho (so I guess it's just a matter of preference). The beef {?} dish with cinnamon reminded me of Philippines' Pata Tim- meat was very tender although the sauce could use a little more flavour.

Overall, if I am gonna eat the tastiest Vietnamese dishes, this is my new go to place. I am convert. I wont be ashamed bringing my friends here. This is the BEST of Hanoi.

xxxriainxxx on The Rooftop Bar & Restaurant
December 14th, 2011 at 7:10 pm

Fantastic views of Hanoi and the interiors aren't bad either. This is where I usually take my friends on a visit to Hanoi.

I'll dock a star for cocktails - no one can seem to get a cocktail right in this city so I stick to my beer.

Great place to relax until you overhear a white boy asking a local on her HIV status.

xxxriainxxx on Pane e Vino
December 14th, 2011 at 6:37 pm


1. Ambiance
2. Friendly staff
3. Free Limoncello


1. Food. Ordered a set meal (for 2 which turned out to be for 1- that part of the menu was confusing.)- Amatriciana was bland (I figured the pasta came out of the packet) and the chicken with cream which was also bland looked like vomit on a plate. The dessert was alright.

2. Very slow food service.

So 3/5.

xxxriainxxx on Uma (The Manor)
December 14th, 2011 at 6:30 pm

While the prices aren't as competitive as IKEA, this is as good as it gets for disposable to semi-disposable furniture in Hanoi. (However,I don't think it's quite right to pay around 40USD for a bean bag.)

Great store, and quite friendly staff - make sure that you double check for defects before you pay or you might get stuck with drawer which doesn't work (AFAIK, sale items aren't returnable).

xxxriainxxx on Just Massage
November 15th, 2011 at 1:06 pm

We came here yesterday to have some hot stone massage for my birthday. Reading comments from other posters here, we thought it would be a good massage place and the fact that it supports under-privileged Vietnamese sealed that decision.

Overall, the massage was totally forgettable, and almost burned my back with the hot stones. I had hot stone massages before in other countries but this one leaves much to be desired.

I want to support this place but they should train their masseuses/masseurs better. Maybe in few months, I will come back to try again if they improved but for now... I'd rather not.

Next time I will take any other reviews here with more than a grain of salt.

xxxriainxxx on Exotissimo World Travel
October 31st, 2011 at 5:25 pm

5 stars may be a stretch but I think the place deserves it. Nowhere did I encounter such efficient service of any kind in Hanoi than from Ms. Hong. I used their services- ticketing, hotel bookings and tour bookings all this year and I never had any problems with her.

The thing is, my travel behaviour is quite different from a lot of people and I love to go on a real off the beaten track destinations and instead of being frustrated, Ms. Hong have been very patient with me and always have given me the best deals. They helped me a great deal with my trip to Burma, Indonesia, Philippines, Mongolia and soon India and Nepal.

It's no easy feat to organise trips from such a travel backwater as Hanoi, but with Ms. Hong, made my life much more bearable. :)

xxxriainxxx on VietnamOptical CO., LTD
September 17th, 2011 at 4:10 pm

Friendly and helpful, had my eyeglasses fixed and cleaned today for no cost!

xxxriainxxx on Da Paolo
September 13th, 2011 at 7:39 pm

Good pizza but can't deliver to my area at Nguyen Thi Dinh.

xxxriainxxx on Westlake Cupcake
August 8th, 2011 at 10:10 am

I love cupcakes and there are very few good ones in Hanoi (actually I never knew of any good ones since I arrived in Hanoi) until Westlake Cupcake of course. I love the Red Velvet and the Apple Cinnamon cupcakes - but my most favourite(so far) was their Red Velvet mini-cupcakes with Spanish chocolate ganache (chocolate bought by the baker all the way from Barca) which was absolutely toe-curling. Now this is real baking!