48 years ago today …

16 Mar

March 16, 1968: seventy miles south of Danang, where US forces first landed in 1965 and where  with customary serendipity I’ve washed up, a lieutenant in his mid twenties led the First Platoon of Charlie Company into a village a … Read More »

Hai Phong street scenes

14 Mar

In two days I’ve seen one farang in Hai Phong, Vietnam’s third city. Tourists don’t come. In the face of stiff competition Hai Phong is also the friendliest place, town or country, I’ve seen in my six trips to Vietnam.


11 Mar

“We have a saying in the north”, Sa tells me. “We let our young people go south to fight. So many never returned, and now we wonder why they went.” There’s a sheen to his boyish features. A dash too of … Read More »

To Ban Lien market and back

10 Mar

North-west Vietnam has the greatest ethnic diversity of all. The Sunday market in Bac Ha, where I’m staying, is predominantly Flower Hmong, the women in multicoloured dress. Today I biked south west to Ban Lien, where the dominant group is the … Read More »

For God’s sake

27 Feb

Walking on Ecclesall Road a few minutes ago, two young New Zealanders stopped me. “Hey, we’re new to Sheffield and wondering what there is to do around here.” “Well it’s no great shopping Mecca and not big on architecture either … Read More »