6–25 October 1999

Why Vietnam? That was the most common response when I told people where I was going on holiday this year. It was a hard one to give a really satisfactory answer to. I knew very little about the country. I had heard that it is very beautiful, and that the people are very friendly and welcoming. In the final analysis, there are so many places in the world that would be worth visiting, Vietnam being one of them, that perhaps the best answer was simply ‘why not?’

My travelling companions were the same three friends from church who accompanied me last year to Peru and Bolivia—James, John, and Jay. We begin at the Broadmarsh Bus Station, Nottingham...