Vietnam

Halong Bay’s Emerald City

Way down yonder in Vietnam.

After an hour of downhill and uphill hiking immersed in semi-darkness, we finally emerge out of the bowels of Sung Sot Grotto, or Surprise Cave, into the sunlight, greeted by a sensational surprise: an eye-popping ...

A lesson in Vietnamese road culture

For the Westerner, traffic invites mistakes and adventures alike.

How I ended up in Hai Phong, Vietnam, with 10 other teachers is somewhat of a mystery. Being the only tays (meaning “Westerner” in Vietnamese), we were pseudo-celebrities in this small town. It was not ...

Cuc Phuong, Vietnam: a typhoon experience

Category 3 storm on a motorbike.

It was October 27th, 2012, and the sun was shining down on North Vietnam. My friends and I had planned a motorbike trip to the national park of Cuc Phuong, some 120 kilometers south. Due ...

Riding the Reunification rail

Discover authentic Vietnam on the Saigon–Hanoi train.

I’ve always loved riding trains: Pacific Surfliner, Starlight Express, Eurail, etc. The sound of the train whistle never fails to spark my wanderlust, and I find the combination of comfort and adventure when riding the ...

Motorbiking the Ho Chi Minh Trail

Experience Vietnam's magic on this two-week route from Hanoi to Saigon.

The Ho Chi Minh Trail follows the infamous supply route created by the North Vietnamese guerrillas during the Vietnam War. We began our motorbike journey from Hanoi (left), headed toward the south to Ho Chi ...

Hill Tribes of Sapa

A camera gives the author license to steal in Northwest Vietnam.

“Also, being a photographer gives you a license to steal experiences that you ordinarily wouldn’t have. You enter into other people’s worlds who are usually very highly specialized, very rare.” ~ Jay Maisel I love ...

An American in Dalat

(Before Americans were allowed in Dalat.)

“Welcome to Dalat. Please give me your passports. You are American? How do you come here?” Not an unusual greeting from the young female receptionist in a white ao dai local dress at the Dalat ...

Trying to Fit In at the Củ Chi Tunnels

An American in Vietnam.

Vietnam is a unique country in many ways. First, it’s Southeast Asia’s “skinniest” country. Second, the country is still divided over geographical, political and cultural lines. The North and South divide is an active component ...

I Am a Superhero in Kon Tum, Vietnam

While the rest of the world was going gaga (not Lady Gaga) over the movie The Avengers, I was busy playing the part of superhero for some kids in a village in Vietnam. The town ...

Saigon: Be Careful What You Shop For

“So, you’re going to Vietnam? Can you pick up an ‘ao dai’ for me while you’re there?” If a casual female friend ever says this to you, politely decline. Say you’re sorry; you’ll be too ...

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