Recent Travelblog Posts

In early 2012, I spent a few months travelling around Australia and Southeast Asia—Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, and several weeks in Viet Nam. Viet Nam is a special place for me. First, I didn't go there during the US invasion, so I'm able to go with clean hands. Second, the resistance of the Vietnamese people to domination by many powers—China, Japan, France, and the US—was, and continues to be, heroic. (I agree they have their problems.) Will they be able to resist the most powerful force in history, capitalism? Remains to be seen.

I wrote several weblog postings about my experiences there, and published some photos. I'll leave them here for awhile, just in case anyone's interested. I especially recommend "My week in Ha Noi," which has received many favourable comments.

Recently my spouse Margaret and I spent a couple of weeks in magical Newfoundland. Photos, but no blogging, which is a solo endeavour.

Making the Mekong

Some may recall that one of the things I wanted to do a lot of on this trip to SE Asia was long-distance motorcycling.

As it turned out, there hasn't been a lot of that, and what there has been hasn't been all that successful (see "My Week in Ha Noi," March 3rd), even if fun and instructive as I was failing...

Nha Trang, some beach time

This'll be great, I thought. The bus fare will serve as my hotel bill for the night, and I can sleep all the way to the beach.

Nice theory, but it didn't work out in practice. My night on a "sleeper" bus turned out to be anything but...

Ho Chi Minh City, Reunification Day

The bus ride to Ho Chi Minh City was a leisurely affair.

In the first place, the bus was less than half full. I had the seat in the front of the bus, at the top, so had lots of room, and a pretty good view of what was going on. I worried that I'd be the first one crushed to death if we ran into the back of a truck...

Phnom Penh, Angkor Wat

We now know that US armed forces dropped more bombs on Cambodia between 1964 and 1975 than were dropped by all the Allied Powers in all countries during the Second World War.

So I'm plagued by cognitive dissonance by US currency being the preferred currency in Cambodia, over the native Cambodian rials...

A beach week in Cambodia

A place where you have to wait for the cows to cross the road, where you can hear roosters crow, and where you have to watch out for the chickens underfoot, is a place worth being in.

I would have liked it if that sentence had begun with, "I've always said..." but then it would have been untrue...

A gap in the tales

The astute reader will note there's a significant gap in this weblog, a gap of some two weeks. Oops, maybe closer to three.

It seems to have started when my sons and I separated—Duncan going back to high school, and Andrew staying on in Viet Nam...

Ha Noi with the lads

Not having much luck warming up to Ha Noi. Flew into Noi Bai airport for the second time on March 17th, accompanied by sons Andrew and Duncan, and the place looked pretty much the way it did the first time I was there: misty, rainy, wet, humid, very close.

The difference this time is that it wasn't 14C, it was more like 25C...

Hoi An and Son My (My Lai)

The lads and I flew into Da Nang in the early afternoon, and were picked up by our next hotel and driven to Hoi An, a little burg on the Bon River (Song Thu Bon) about a half-hour south of Da Nang.

Hoi An is a UNESCO world heritage site, a status it achieved in 1999. A great deal of effort has gone into preserving the remarkable architecture of the old buildings of Hoi An...

Sai Gon (I mean Ho Chi Minh City!)

Not having any luck with Vietnam Airlines. When I showed up to get my ride to Hue airport for a flight to Ho Chi Minh City, the nice folks at Binh Minh Sunrise Hotel let me know that my driver had called.

There was a 1.5 hour delay on my flight to HCMC, so I was to cool my heels for a while...

Hue, the citadel, the tunnels

Standing in the middle of Trang Tien bridge over the Perfume River, I was suddenly almost overwhelmed by the realization I was in the midst of so much history.

Hue, the Imperial city, seat of the Nguyen dynasty, one of the seats of the Champa Kingdom, once capital of "French" Indochina, and site of some of the most brutal fighting...

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