Quiz: Where in the World are the Misadventurists?

by Stax Beej and I are sometimes so intent on not following the beaten path that we do things like visit major tourist attractions at night when everything we would want to see is already closed. Then instead of sleeping in regular places like “beds,” we opt for open-air train station benches, covering ourselves with…

Saigon/HCMC Vietnam: Pham Ngu Lao-cious

by Beej McKay The 23/9 Park across from Pham Ngu Lao street in Saigon’s backpacker district is swarming with activity from 6 am on. This being a large Vietnamese city where authority is centralized, most of the activity is pretty tightly regulated. The first day we’re there, dozens of organized groups are kicking the shuttlecock…

DALAT, VIETNAM: Weirdness at Datanla Falls

If you find yourself in DaLat and awash in cash, you can book a motorcycle trip with one of the “Easy Rider” tours that leave from the center of town and visit such places as a mountain lake populated by tribes of elephants, silkworm farms, and other far-flung locales around the highlands.. But if you…

Dalat, Vietnam: A lotta Dalat

We are driving our motorbike at sunset along a winding road atop a high mountain pass. Far below lies a landscape of intensely green rice paddies, dark turned earth, sprawling coffee plantations, forest glades, and copses of fruit trees. A panorama of the Central Vietnam highlands spreads magnificently out over the lip of the road….

Saigon to Da Lat, Vietnam!

Fellow Misadventurists! Greetings from Da Lat, Vietnam. Why are we in Da Lat, an eight hour bus ride up into the mountains, so soon after arriving in Saigon? To quote Senor Inigo Montoya, let me explain. No, there is too much. Let me sum up. After our long flight from Hong Kong to Manila; the…

Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam: Welcome to HCMC Part 2

And I never saw Beej again. Just kidding. I’m sitting at Highlands Coffee (a major chain in Vietnam), taking big gulps of my Vietnamese style iced coffee (syrupy and strong coffee, sweetened, and then sweetened some more with sweetened condensed milk). The big gulps serve two purposes. One, I’m thirsty and it’s freaking hot out…