Food Stories 3. Danang – Foodie Heaven.

Danang, Vietnam, January 2020. Food is very important to the Vietnamese. They eat a lot. And when they’re not eating they’re thinking about eating. ‘I eat out twice a day’, Anh told us. Nearly all Vietnamese eat breakfast on the street. ‘We get up very early, we’re not really awake and no-one has time to make noodles for breakfast’. Any morning, any place in Vietnam, … Continue reading Food Stories 3. Danang – Foodie Heaven.

The Charm of Being in a Place Where There is Nothing To Do.

Quy Nohn, Vietnam, January 2020.  We went to Quy Nohn only because we were trying to get to Kum Tum. We knew nothing about it. And sometimes that’s the best place to start from. No expectations. No musts. Just endless possibilities. We drank iced coffees and sugar cane juice at a beachside cafe, sitting under fluttering blue umbrellas, watching food vendors touting their wares to … Continue reading The Charm of Being in a Place Where There is Nothing To Do.

Village Life. Visiting the Jarai and Bahnar People.

Kon Tum, South-West Highlands, Vietnam. January 2020. The cow burned on a fire. Black and bloated. A shirtless lad poked it with a tree branch while an old man occasionally flecked water over it’s rigid body. Plumes of smoke created a heat haze and masked their somewhat macabre business. Other men squatted on their haunches and rocked back on their heels, smoking cigarettes and barbecuing … Continue reading Village Life. Visiting the Jarai and Bahnar People.

Mui Ne.

Mui Ne, Vietnam, New Year’s Day 2020. A strange place. At first I almost hated it. Palm trees yes, tropical paradise no. A 15 km strip of ‘resorts’ squeezed between a litter-lined beach and a busy main road, between discarded plastic and horn-tooting ‘open tour’ backpacker buses. Mui Ne is a curious mix of kite-surfers, Russian tourists, and traditional fishing villages. Our first meal was … Continue reading Mui Ne.

Food Stories 2: Eating With A Vietnamese Family.

Christmas Day, Saigon 2019. A motorbike would have been easier. But we’d not yet figured out how to grab a bike for the two of us, so we went by car. To a neighbourhood district north of the city centre. Streets like strips of ribbon, flexing and turning. Bikes beeping behind us. Those that could not wait, over-taking on the inside, as the driver tried … Continue reading Food Stories 2: Eating With A Vietnamese Family.

A Journey of a Very Different Kind.

And I sit. I just sit. For years I’ve been saying I want to ‘do nothing’. For me though, ‘doing nothing’ is never doing nothing. It’s just not going out. I tell myself I’ll ‘have a day off’ which means I’ll be catching up with things; doing something. There is no down time. There is no free time. There is no respite. I don’t write … Continue reading A Journey of a Very Different Kind.

From Independence to Reunification – A Palace Full of History.

Saigon. December 2019 I didn’t know much about Vietnamese history. But I did know that the Reunification Palace is a bit of a must for history buffs. We’d walked past it a few times. A 1960’s ugly block of a building, which cast a sort of eerie shadow over the city, palm trees and manicured gardens notwithstanding. When we visited I had the approach and … Continue reading From Independence to Reunification – A Palace Full of History.