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35 Years After the War | Hà Nội, Việt Nam

If I mention I went to Vietnam last month then, at least in this country, I’ll get quite the quizzical look from most people. Words like “Hanoi” and “Saigon” cause people conjure up images of war and soldiers dying. In contrast, it now boasts a thriving tourist industry, giving foreigners a chance to see a very different Vietnam compared to 35 years ago.

Very exotic, and always an adventure, Vietnam is a place that will challenge and inspire. I must say, not too many Americans take them up on the offer, but the Vietnamese harbor no hard feelings, and you’ll bump elbows with many a French, German, Aussie, or Kiwi soul, plus get the chance to get your very own “Asian tatoo” from the hot muffler of a motorbike taxi (think blister, not ink)! Hint: a cold can of Coca Cola will do the trick as ice is hard to come by. Thank goodness I learned my lesson the first time I was there, but I did manage to drink loads of the sugar-not-corn-syrup version of “Coca,” as they say. Yum.