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Tag: Vietnam

Back in Hanoi

We dodged the traffic… we tried the egg coffee… visited the Temple of literature… ate some delicious banh mi… visited the markets… watched a water puppet show… and ended the night with some jazz…

A Sapa Christmas

The night before Christmas we venture into Sapa. The layer of fog gives the city a mystic feeling, as if everything is moving slower and calmer than the reality of flashing lights and unending requests to “Buy from me now”. We stumble into a Christmas Eve market piled high with Asian tourists and raw meats […]

A night in a local home near Sapa

An overnight train combined with hours of carefully teetering over rice fields in the mountains of Sapa left us exhausted. Sam led the way up one last hill in the village of Ta Van to our home for the night. We’d opted to stay in a local house, but didn’t fully understand what that meant […]

Surprises of the Hmong

The Sapa Sisters tour that we took while in Sapa is run by local Hmong women. Sam was our wonderful guide! 1.) As recently as 20 years ago, the Hmong women got married at just 14 or 15 years old. A man would decide which woman he wanted to marry, then find 10 friends to […]

Colors and shades of Halong Bay

Today’s adventure: crossing the street

The biggest adrenaline rush today comes in between activities, in between meals, and in between destinations.  It is the literally about the journey.  The chaos that is the streets of the old quarter in Hanoi give us a new found appreciation for traffic lights and walk signals.  Sidewalks are crammed with scooters so that’s not […]

The American War, Revisited

The two spots I wanted to visit while in Saigon were the Cu Chi Tunnels, where the Viet Cong guerrillas hid during combat, and the War Remnants Museum. Both sites left a strong impression. I felt guilty though I played no role, ignorant though the extent of the American atrocities were not taught in school, […]

From The Calm to The City

Getting into Saigon was a shock after my time in central Vietnam. The paddy fields were replaced with buildings and the rivers with roads. However, the bustle of the city was made more manageable as I toured around with my new friend, Hoa on her motorbike. She showed me the post office with its elaborate […]

Vietnamese Countryside Craft

While in Hoi An and in central Vietnam, I wanted to see what the goings-on are of the countryside. I found a bicycle tour that would take me around the islands adjacent to Hoi An and explain some of the local craft and handy skills. While on the tour, I saw wood steam-bending, shell cutting, […]

My Son and The Boys

My Son is a Vietnamese name for a cluster of temple ruins that bears no relation to its English meaning. The phrase “the boys”, however, is intended to have exactly its American connotation. In an attempt to avoid the tourists at My Son, I left in the mid-afternoon from Hoi An and pay a motorbike […]