Thai Air News Newsletter from
16 June 2002
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This issue - Vietnam
This week we look at Vietnam. And what better way to enjoy reading this newsletter than listening to some contemporary Vietnamese Music. Links open in a separate window so that you do not lose this newsletter while browsing.
Don't forget you can easily find cheap air fares from any starting point to any destination, using the ConnectedGlobe cheap fares page.

For accommodation, you can find real bargains in good hotels if you book with Agoda.
This is like discovering the crown jewels by accident. A real treasure cave of images and sound files covering all aspects of Vietnam. Arranged in the following categories:
  • Scenery
  • People
  • Arts
  • Monuments
  • History
  • Poetry
  • Midi Files
There are also additional sections on:
  • An ethnology exhibit at the Museum of Fine Arts in Hanoi.
  • Buddhist Statues in North Vietnam.
  • Pictures of Daily Life in the Mekong Delta : An album of recent (summer 1996) photographs by Mark W. McLeod.
  • The photographs of Nguyên Hoài Thu Phong.

All of this can be found at:
The Vietnam Multi-Media Archive
A wonderful account by Graham Simmons of a typical side street in the Old Quarter of Hanoi city. As Graham himself puts it 'With layer-upon-layer of life filling out its spaces and stretching out the day, it's a good place to study life-in-miniature'.
From the start of the day ("By dawn, the street is as clean as a Swiss whistle. Householders set up little electric motors to draw water from the wells beside the kerb") to the end ("Come nightfall, the people of Hang Bo Street still use the pavements as a sitting room, dining room and kitchen combined") the activities of this little street are keenly observed and charmingly described. This is travel writing at its best - local life as it is.

Thoroughly recommended at:
A Day in the Life of Hang Bo Street
Youth is wasted on the young! These two youngsters had more fun getting to Vietnam from Cambodia than I've had in years. Undaunted by the advice that "it would be a long, arduous journey involving various modes of transportation, but it could be done, in theory" they set off and rapidly find that "the dirt road had fallen off into the river and now looked longingly at its other half 100 metres away". But the young haven't yet learned the word "impossible" and they arrive in Saigon there tale about how and where they entered the country "was always met with the same reaction-utter awe and disbelief". As always, life is great if you really want it to be!

The Road less Travelled
Of course, back-packing through the mud isn't everyone's idea of fun, and you may prefer this alternative approach. Walter Glaser sets the tone with his opening comments: "This is Suite number 407. Could you please send up some Beluga Caviar? Five minutes later a petite German Stewardess arrives with a large silver tray bearing a sizeable dish of these Caspian pearls, together with the usual accompaniments." Their visit to Vietnam is very different from the adventures of the backpackers, but gives an interesting insight into how Vietnam is developing. The blend of the American Legacy, the oriental spirit and the communist government is well portrayed and it makes fascinating reading.

Exploring Vietnam in Luxury
As Patrick Morris says, "Cycling is undoubtedly the best way to explore and experience a place if the opportunity is there". Some excellent practical advice and a suggested route make this a vital resource if you are thinking of attempting this middle way between back packer and luxury cruise. And even if your idea of cycling is 5 minutes on a static exercise machine at you local gym, at least you get a feel for what independent travel can be like in this fascinating country.

Cycling Vietnam
For useful books on travel, you will find a comprehensive listing with prices and reviews on my books page (with links to buy direct from on:
Hotel accommodation in Asia is plentiful and using a reputable agent can secure you substantial discounts. AGODA can usually find you a good deal and you can check their availability here:
  • Agoda is our favourite hotel booking agent. They are based in Thailand and have an excellent reputation for great bargains and excellent customer service.
Back issues of this newsletter are available. You can find them on:

The countries covered in other issues are:
Far East Air Fare deals:
Don't forget you can easily find cheap air fares from any starting point to any destination, using the ConnectedGlobe cheap fares page.
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