ROUND & ROUND (Not the Ratt Song)

A RIDE ON YANGON’S CIRCULAR TRAIN A British travel photographer I met here – pressing well into his middle ages, but with close-cropped dyed-black hair, and looking like he’d double as Brutus’ cousin in a Popeye cartoon – told me Burma’s like any other ex-British colonial place: ‘As soon as they got in, they’d build a train.’ Yangon’s ‘circular line’ ($1 per ride … Continue reading

First Impressions of Yangon

It’s odd to go to any place that’s experienced recent disaster — Phuket after the tsunami, the World Trade Center site after 9/11 or here in Yangon after peaceful protests by monks in robes turned violent across TVs and newspapers worldwide a couple months ago. Being back in Yangon, my first time here in three years, feels remarkably the same — as it … Continue reading

ReidOnTravel Update

A BREATHER & A HARD TRIPThe past several months have been busy for me — finishing up maps for the website, tracking the Central Vietnam floods, and finishing up the last text for the free Vietnam guidebook. I’ve also been talking with a publisher about making a pocket-sized ‘alternative guidebook’ to Vietnam, which I’d like to see IF it can be made for … Continue reading

Visiting My Lai

SOBERING DAY-TRIP FROM HOI ANThe following is an unedited preview of the online guide entry, which will be posted on by September… One of the most grisly moments in the “American war” makes a sobering, memorable out-of-the-ordinary day trip out of Hoi An. On March 16, 1968, US soldiers troops killed either 347 or 504 villagers (the number is still debated) in … Continue reading

Starting Up Again… DALAT overview

I’m back in Brooklyn, but thought I’d post some raw excerpts as I start writing up the various sections for the rest of my online guide…DALAT: HILL TOWN OF THE SOUTHOnly a century old, Dalat has long been the place – for French colonials at odds in the tropics, Vietnam’s last king looking for hunting grounds, communist-era locals on honeymoon – to go … Continue reading

Stopping for Now

I’ve been sidetracked by the mad dash of my last two or so weeks of research and abandonded this blog thing. I head home today and will be writing up Hanoi, Halong Bay, Ninh Binh, Sapa, Hue, Danang, Hoi An, Nha Trang and Dalat to expand the online guide to match 99% of most travelers’ itineraries. Meanwhile, I offer these suggestions: DON’T BUS … Continue reading