Tag Archives: Vietnam

Oh, Saigon! It was a name familiar to those of us who grew up in the West: first as an exotic part of France’s colonial empire, until – as Saïgon – it achieved a hard-won independence in 1955, and then as a component of the evening news for its pivotal role in the Vietnam War; the city now known as Ho Chi Minh (HCM) has been at a […]

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I had a map and a plan. Turns out, I needn’t have bothered! We were headed into Đà Nẵng for a February afternoon, and I had done my homework. But, as soon as my husband and I alighted from our resort shuttle bus, we were greeted by a smiling pedicab driver who cheerfully persuaded us we […]

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Irony: the future of the little city of Hội An has literally been saved by it’s own past demise. Hội An (會安) means “peaceful meeting place”. Once upon a time, particularly between the seventh and 10th centuries, this strategic port near the mouth of the Thu Bon River was part of the Chăm Pa Kingdom (192-1832). The Cham, who were seafarers and traders, controlled the spice […]

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It can be relaxing to travel like a “tourist”: to find a haven in crisp sheets and smiling staff who speak your language, after a hectic day in a bustling foreign environment. I usually avoid up-market resorts – mostly because I’d rather travel twice as often than pay twice as much. But, every so often, an offer comes to my attention, one that fits […]

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It’s mesmerising: sitting in a rustic wooden boat, gliding across pristine emerald waters through a jaw-dropping karst landscape while listening to the gentle splash of the rhythmic rowing. The tops of the mountains are shrouded in cloud as a gentle rain falls. Bai Tu Long Bay in North Vietnam was designated a National Park in 2001. It adjoins the UNESCO World Heritage-designated Halong Bay […]

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