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Posts tagged ‘Vietnam’

2013: a year in review

Candidasa Sunset, Bali

Candidasa, Bali, Indonesia

I thought it would be hard to top 2012, but the past twelve months have proven me otherwise! The year kicked off with a family trip to Saigon in January as the city geared up for Tet, Vietnamese Lunar New Year. I loved Saigon for its contagious, effervescent energy and the touches of French influence on an already rich culture. Read more

Beyond Cholon, the scars of history

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Founded by Cantonese settlers on a tributary of the Saigon River, Cholon is the symbolic heartland of the Hoa, the Sino-Vietnamese community. Ethnic Chinese residents know her as Tai-Ngon, named for the embankments that buttress the town. On my final day in Saigon I had come here in search of a personal connection. “No need for Vietnamese,” I was told. “Maybe you can talk to people in Cantonese or Mandarin.”

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Gallic echoes in old Saigon

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Saigon is a pleasant enough place to idle in for a few days… It is very agreeable to sit under the awning on the terrace of the Hotel Continental, an electric fan just above your head, and with an innocent drink before you to read in the local paper heated controversies upon the affairs of the Colony and the faits divers of the neighbourhood. Read more

Saigon: pulse of the rising dragon

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The Boeing 777-300 makes its final descent through the afternoon haze, over rice paddies and a jigsaw of narrow buildings like slices of layer cake. We are just a stone’s throw from the delta of the mighty Mekong, whose brown waters I had seen eight months earlier in Laos. Read more