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)