Vietnam. The mere mention of the name of that country in South-East Asia brings to mind the unpopular war. In the American mind Vietnam and the war are inextricably connected.
When I hear that countries name I think of Graham Green’s ‘The Quiet American,’ of lush green forests, the undeniable beauty of Ha Long Bay, now a world heritage site that my eyes have never seen. I think of Hanoi, and of making my way from there to the Capital, Ho Chi Minh City.
At the starting and the finishing point there is night life, beautiful temples, architecture and style. The places in between offer simple life, simple food, and sites to be seen no where else in the world.
What makes Vietnam so special to me? I long to see it from the saddle of a bicycle; all 1,713.5 Km of it. I would no doubt arrive in Ho Chi Minh City, then cycle along the beautiful coastline to Hanoi. The food is largely vegan and vegitarian. It is cheap but good.
When I arrive at my destination, Hanoi near the border of China, it will be easy to take a train, or four back to Ho Chi Minh City to catch a flight back home.
I have traveled to and through many countries, yet Vietnam keeps calling to me. Maybe someday. Maybe.