Category Archives: Vietnam

On Being an American in Vietnam

On Being an American in Vietnam

One thing people have asked us about our travels in Vietnam is whether we experienced any hostility because we’re Americans. The answer is basically no. Sometimes, on asking and hearing our nationality, people would noticeably bristle Read More

Hanoi in Pictures

Hanoi in Pictures

Hanoi (a city I loved) is a frustratingly difficult place to convey, in words or pictures. I often wished for much more time–and much cooler weather–to wander and better explore this city, which seemed full of fascinating moments waiting to be captured by my camera. Read More

City Life in Hanoi

City Life in Hanoi

Our month in Vietnam began and ended in the capital, Hanoi. It’s hard to convey the feel of this crowded, noisy, friendly, and fascinating city, but I’ll try (though Melissa’s pictures may do a better job than my words). Read More

An Bang Beach

An Bang Beach

With temperatures in Hoi An hovering around 90F, we left the muggy town for a few days in a rental house at nearby An Bang beach. There we introduced AJ’s baby, Francesca, to beach life, including playing in the waves, lounging under palm-thatched sun shades on the sand, and eating lots of local seafood. Read More

Eating Our Way Through Hoi An

Eating Our Way Through Hoi An

While in Hoi An, Melissa, AJ, and I took the wonderful half-day Taste of Hoi An Food Tour, in which we got to sample 43(!) local dishes in a culinary extravaganza. The tour began with a walk Read More

Hoi An by Lantern Light

Hoi An by Lantern Light

The town of Hoi An, Vietnam, was a major trading port from the 15th to 19th centuries, until its river harbor silted up and trade moved 30 kilometers north to the port of Da Nang. During its heyday, Hoi An attracted traders from Read More

Hue: The Abode of Emperors

Hue: The Abode of Emperors

Despite having only about 300,000 residents, Hue (sounds like “way”) is one of the most famous cities in Vietnam. It was the nation’s capital for 143 years—the seat of the 13 emperors of the Nguyen Dynasty, Read More

Phong Nha Cave Gallery

Phong Nha Cave Gallery

Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park in central Vietnam was created to protect part of the biggest limestone (karst) region on Earth. It’s home to some of the planet’s largest caves—one of which, Phong Nha, is easy to visit by boat. Gliding along the cave’s river, we marveled at the massive, colorful, intricate shapes formed over millennia by water dripping through… Read More

Above and Below Ground in Phong Nha

Above and Below Ground in Phong Nha

Vietnam is famous for many things—its military victories over France and the United States, its beautiful green landscape, its noodle soups—but did you know that it also has the world’s largest cave? That cavern, located in Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park in central Vietnam, made history in 2009 when it was measured at 75 miles… Read More

Tam Coc Area Scenes

Tam Coc Area Scenes

Most visitors come to Tam Coc for a few hours on a bus tour, just long enough to take the famous river ride. Being slow travelers, we stayed in Tam Coc for several days. That gave us time to go out on the river twice and to walk among the beautiful rice fields and limestone hills… Read More

Tam Coc River Trip

Tam Coc River Trip

Ninety kilometers south of Hanoi, the small town of Tam Coc sits amid some of the most famous scenery in Vietnam: a series of tree-covered limestone hills rising from a plain of rivers and rice paddies. Small row boats—which local people often paddle with their feet—carry visitors on tours through this watery world. A popular river… Read More

Travels with Francesca

Travels with Francesca

Traveling with a baby does pose this problem: We’re generally too busy traveling with the baby to write about traveling with the baby. Every day that the baby gets fed, changed, washed, played with, and coaxed to sleep a couple of times feels like a victory. If we also manage to see some sights, post… Read More

You’ve Come a Long Way, Baby!

You’ve Come a Long Way, Baby!

During the Vietnam War, Americans tried unsuccessfully to win over the “hearts and minds” of the Vietnamese people. They might have fared better if they’d traveled with 10-month-old Francesca Ferraro. Read More

Vietnamese New Year in Hanoi

Vietnamese New Year in Hanoi

We landed in Vietnam on Tet, the first day of the new year according to this country’s lunar calendar. That wasn’t our plan, but airfares were especially cheap that day (like flying on Christmas Day back home). Tet resembles an American Thanksgiving in that people travel far to spend time with their families Read More