Destination Saigon: Adventures in Vietnam (Google eBook)

Front Cover
Allen & Unwin, 2010 - Travel - 255 pages
3 Reviews
From the crazy heat and colour of Saigon to the quieter splendour of Hanoi, Walter Mason gives us a rare, joyous and at times hilarious insight into twenty-first century Vietnam. Seduced by the beauty and charm of its people, and the sensuousness of its culture, we can almost taste the little coconut cakes cooked over a fire in a smoky Can Tho kitchen, or smell the endless supplies of fresh baguettes and croissants just out of city ovens.

As colourful city cafes and bars make way for visits to out-of-the-way shrines and temples, we take an impromptu visit to forbidden fortune tellers, and glimpse a little of the Cao Dai religion, made famous in Graham Greene's The Quiet American. Escaping on impulse to a far-flung province, a brief imprisonment culminates in an invitation to local wedding celebrations.

Travelling off the beaten track to far-flung villages and lesser-known towns, we cruise along the Mekong, board hopelessly overcrowded local buses or perch perilously on the back of motorbikes. Behind-the-scenes visits to Buddhist monasteries reveal a quieter and more transcendent world beyond the busy day trips of tourists. And in the process we begin to see the country through the eyes of its people.
  

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Destination Saigon: Adventures in Vietnam

User Review  - Melissa Aho - Book Verdict

From the heat and crowds to the exotic foods to the kindness of residents, Australian writer Mason gives readers an engrossing glimpse of a modern, poverty-stricken, mysterious Vietnam. He weaves his ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Dale_Riechers - LibraryThing

This is 1st rate engaging story telling. There was some insistent self referencing that could be distracting occasionally, but a good read all the same. Read full review

Contents

Monks and Movie Stars
1
Hairdressers and Seamstresses
7
Consuming the Corpse Fruit
12
Telling Lies About Confucius
18
Jasper Prayer Beads
23
Latin Quarter
28
Mystical Hanoi
34
When Cheap Isnt Cheerful
41
Tattooed Dragon
139
Losing Hope in Hue
144
Our Lady of La Vang
148
Cinnamon City
154
Perfume River
162
Gentle Mother
165
Mr Buddha
169
Begrudging Compassion
174

The Towers of Binh Dinh
47
Ice Cream in Quy Nhon
53
Fish Beer and Bananas
61
The Can Tho Feast of Asking
68
Dont Pay the Ferrymans Wife
73
Crazy Delta Dancing
78
Dads Place on the Mekong
84
Feeding the Chickens
87
Grandmothers Secret
92
Tay Ninh Oi
97
Cao Dai
103
Dressing Up
109
Off to See the Black Lady
112
Feng Shui and Flower Arranging
120
The FurnitureBreaking Demon
124
Forgotten Ancestors
131
Hello Kitty
136
Gas Masks and Goggles
178
The Hermit on the Hill
183
Pastel Pink and Porcelain
190
Patron Saint of Hairdressers
196
Cafe Society
200
Familiar Spies
205
Trysts and Dubious Treats
211
Salted Plums
215
Escape to Mui Ne
221
An Invitation to Party in the Old Market
225
Fishermens Karaoke
230
The Big Buddha of Phan Thiet
235
In Police Custody in Tra Vinh
242
Homeward Bound
247
Bibliography
251
Back cover
256
Copyright

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About the author (2010)

Walter, a former bookseller is well known in industry, has several blogs, and is a popular figure on the speaking circuit. He's a brilliant raconteur, good media talent, and has a strong eye for the quirky.

Bibliographic information