Holy Crap on a Cracker! Hà NộI is nothing what I expected. This city has it all for those looking for a vibrant (actually manic) environment. The streets have a deranged energy that only the young or courageous should travel. To even look at traffic, hurry, or dodge is a sign of trepidation. Dozens of […]
I begin my day listening to Big Sister blasting from speakers in the trees, spouting propaganda, reminding me of traffic laws, encouraging me to be a good citizen. Then I board my bus for the 100-mile, four-hour bumpy ride over The People’s roads to the overtly capitalized Hạ Long Bay.
Between Hôi An and Đà Nẵng are the finest beaches in Vietnam. Waves crash onshore as we walk barefoot upon a stretch of fine sand – we stroll China Beach, where US soldiers went for R & R during the war. The water of the China Sea is warm. Vietnamese call it the East Sea to avoid […]
What’s not to love about Hôi An? This UNESCO World Heritage Site is a small, walkable city of shops and restaurants, friendly people, and old-world charm with its mustard yellow buildings interspersed with colorful temples, art galleries and meandering canals. The sales pitch is low-keyed so this is the place to shop. Cooler temperatures make […]
I arrive in what is known by even the Vietnamese as Sài Gòn. I admit I am shocked. The parks, busy shopping streets, tall skyscrapers, familiar brand names, and business complexes are not what I expected. This great city of South Vietnam, “liberated” by the North Vietnamese and Viet Cong” in 1975, is much the […]
A chartered boat slowly takes us down the Mekong from Phnom Penh into Việt Nam. Việt Nam or “the Việt people of the south” means the people south of China, thus distancing themselves from the Chinese. The Mekong is much as I expected: wide, brown, vegetation along the sides with large clumps of water hiyanths scattered […]