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 »


8 Mar

The road to a good time is paved with good intentions. I’m pissed. Again. May Allah strike me down, I’d every intention today of settling in a quite coffee house, cool and airy, to pass a few hours perusing my … Read More »

We do not Already Know

7 Mar

My mission takes me deep into the covered market. I pass though its outer quadrang­ular layer of dried fish – pungent but not unpleasantly so – and lethal ironmongery, into the penumbral heart where more banal items are sold by … Read More »


6 Mar

On a bicycle with “up yours Germaine!” emblazoned on its belly, it could not look more incong­ruous. Insinuating its all-things-considered remarkably graceful path across the tarmac to my feet, the eighteen inch Mekong Catfish dodges tyre and sandaled foot alike … Read More »