I can barely believe I am typing this, I’m going to Vietnam!
For years, I have wanted to visit this country. My father served there in the 60’s, I have local friends in the DC area from there, and my travel guru, Anthony Bourdain referred to it as his favorite place on Earth!
It is my first trip to Asia and the trip begins in a month, with a 15 hour flight from DC to Hong Kong.
My travel partner will be my friend Michael. Michael and I have been friends and neighbors for 25 years, watching our children grow into adults, and sharing many fun experiences. Our wives have opted out of this adventure–and so it may be a bit more adventurous!
Michael is also a blogger, author of the mcframblings blog; and we will be both be posting throughout the trip. Michael’s blog is featured on my home page down the right hand side.
Our two stops in Vietnam will be Ho Chi Minh City in the south, and Hanoi in the north. The trip will also take us to a city in Laos called Luang Prabang, and will wrap up with a 2-day layover in Hong Kong.
Since committing to this plan, Michael and I have done a ton of research, constantly sending each other links, blog suggestions, Bourdain snippets, and book suggestions. We have both consumed a lifetime’s worth of content about the Vietnam War. For Michael that means numerous books and documentaries. For me it means the entire Ken Burns series on the Vietnam War. We have had many planning meetings at local Vietnamese restaurants.
Since we live right outside DC, we visited the Laotian Embassy to obtain our travel visas, and we have asked everyone possible about where to stay, what to do, and how best to do it.
For me, the food looms above all. The legendary Asian street food scene is now a month away! There is, however, so much more. Buddhist temples, and the prospect of meditating with Laotian monks, an overnight cruise on Ha Long Bay, the notion of walking the streets of Ho Chi Minh City where my father was when it was called Saigon, it all awaits!
I expect there will be many fun and colorful blog posts, so stay tuned. We depart March 20th!