Through periods of freedom and suppression, Vietnamese art continues to make an impression as it reveals culture and history to a curious world.
A full day on the streets in Saigon doing absolutely nothing, or at least the next best thing: Stop, look and listen.
Even for an expatriate who has strained to distance himself from Western culture: Sometimes, you’ve just got to have a hamburger.
Modern Ho Chi Minh City, the former Saigon, is the sum of its historical parts. Many of the city’s most memorable buildings reflect the French colonial era.
Vietnamese coffee is a stronger brew than most foreigners expect to find here. The author learns about its robust beans with the help of a South African friend.
A selection of the author’s photos, each of them a memory from a year of Travels in Vietnam.
COVID-19 vaccinations haven’t yet arrived in the Central Highlands in any significant quantity. The author is more than ready.
There are contradictions galore in contemporary Vietnamese culture. “You can’t kiss in the street, but you can piss in the street,” one longtime resident noted.
Vietnam is not one of China’s biggest fans. The reasons may be rooted in a long and combative history, but they extend today to a perceived lack of respect.
Learning to speak Vietnamese may be harder than it first appears, no thanks to 11 vowels, six tonal diacriticals and a handful of regional dialects.
“Sometimes you win. Sometimes you lose. Sometimes it rains.” — Tim Robbins as Ebby Calvin “Nuke” Laloosh in Bull Durham (1988)
Dating in a new culture is like finding one’s self as a Stranger in a Strange Land. As any local might tell you, it’s “same same … but different!”
A move from Ho Chi Minh City to the coffee capital of Buôn Ma Thuột, in the rural province of Đắk Lắk, brings relief from urban air pollution and big-city traffic.
The Saigon Zoo & Botanical Gardens, one of the oldest such parks in the world, shares its urban campus with a wonderful history museum.
When COVID-19 reared its ugly head in early 2020, the educator-author began to scramble for other means of supporting his lifestyle. He liked to eat: Why not become a chef?
Ho Chi Minh City’s most profoundly emotional collection is displayed at its War Remnants Museum, where visitors learn more than they wanted about what is called the American War.
Vietnam’s biggest annual holiday celebration is Tet, the lunar new year. It’s kind of like Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day rolled into one.
Ho Chi Minh city can be a lonely place if you’re not ready to climb aboard a motorbike. But beware the crosswalks.
The Vietnamese beach town of Mui Ne is one of the best places in Southeast Asia to take up the sports of kite surfing and paragliding.
English teaching is big business in Vietnam, where it seems everyone wants to learn the world’s most widely spoken language. But it can be a challenge for a novice instructor.