Category Archives: Vietnam

Vietnam, November 2001-February 2002

Unexpected hazards

I wanted to end my last travelogue from Vietnam with a few random thoughts that haven’t really fitted anywhere else. Vietnam is full of hazards, some more expected than others. Conical hats, for example. Yes, people do still wear them, … Continue reading

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Eating Dog Food

Well, whaddayaknow? I have now met two people who have eaten dog. One did it kind-of by accident, the other most certainly deliberately.  (Yeah, I know eating cow is gross to Hindus, it’s just I grew up viewing dogs as … Continue reading

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Damned in Danang

It was in Danang that I abandoned all hope of making it to Kon Tum. The hotel where I was staying could book minibus trips, but the member of staff who handled bookings was out when I tried to book. … Continue reading

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Mission Impossible: Vietnam’s Central Highlands

HOW do you (re)visit almost every city you’ve already been to, reach almost none of the towns you wanted to go to, but find yourself in a host of places you’d never planned on seeing? Head for the Central Highlands … Continue reading

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Park and shite – Saigon/HCMC

One of the most noticeable changes since I was here before is that there is now a lovely park in Phan Ngu Lao. A couple of years ago, there were two big areas surrounded by hoardings. Now one set of … Continue reading

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Getting Closer to God – in Vung Tau

January 2002 I was standing within the arms of a gigantic Jesus on the top of a mountain and looking out over a heavenly view. Exactly how much closer to God could I get? This Jesus has been watching over … Continue reading

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War on Repeat

Today my favourite newspaper vendor (see my last post) delivered me a story in person rather than within the pages of the newspapers he sells. For today he told me how he had been born and brought up in Saigon. … Continue reading

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Vietnamese New Year v Western New Year

Hoi An, February 2002 One of the most common expressions I’ve encountered in Viet Nam is: “Same same but different,” and I think that’s a pretty good description of the relationship between “our” festive season and the Vietnamese New Year, … Continue reading

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Cai Rang

Rice milling and making rice noodles On the way back to Saigon (where I’m writing this), we stopped at Cai Rang floating market, where all kinds of fruit and vegetables are sold. The traders advertise their wares by spearing them … Continue reading

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Soc Trang

15 January 2002 An edifying, thought-provoking day, although not for the reasons you might expect. I went “off tour” again, this time to the town of Soc Trang, famous for its “clay pagoda” and “bat pagoda”. The “clay pagoda” is … Continue reading

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