Category: Vietnam

  • My People

    I think a lot about my identity as an Asian, though usually only when circumstances force me. Chinatown attacks on elderly Asian-Americans. Asian women shot for being too sexy. Even life in the Low Lands sometimes reminds me I am an Other. How would these experiences compare when traveling while Asian through Asia? Old School…

  • Kingdom of Cham

    The Cham are a people of Malayo-Polynesian stock, deeply influenced by Indian culture. They ruled central and southern Vietnam for 11 centuries. It was no easy task. The Khmer threatened from the west. The Đại Việt attacked from the north. From the sea came pirates from China and across the Indonesian archipelago. Yet the Cham…

  • Salon Saigon

    Salon Saigon is an art museum in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. It was one of my favorite destinations in Saigon for the beauty and grace of its 1960s design. The Salon Saigon collection shows cultural artifacts of the time as well as today’s Vietnamese artists. What strikes me now about Salon Saigon is its…

  • Private Dining

    As lockdown restrictions ease around the world, restaurants reopen. Take-out is no longer the only dining option. There’s outdoor seating with plastic shields between tables. Indoors, there are caps on the number of diners and a break between sittings to deep clean the restaurant. Fresh from a 7 month long trip around the world, I…

  • The Last Emperor

    Today is our last day in Vietnam. We started in the south in Saigon, traveled through central Vietnam, to end our 1 month stay in the capital of Hanoi. A month is hardly long enough to grasp the history of any country, let alone one with such a long and tortured past. I struggle to…

  • Into the Kitchen

    When my husband and I first considered this mad round-the-world adventure, the kitchen was always at the heart of the plan. For at least some part of our journey, we’d stay at a place where I could cook. Some travelers like to volunteer as their way of getting to know a country and its people.…

  • Saigon Stories

    Every city has its own creation myth and Saigon is no exception. The name alone offers so many possibilities. Saigon could reference the forest of kapok trees that once stood on this site, an embankment on the river or a royal city. Today, Saigon is not a beautiful city. Crowded, noisy, thick with scooters. The…