Jim Chevallier's Web Site




I went to Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City) for a week in October 2006. Though I had some hopes of traditional tourism, my real interest was in seeing the city before, like Beijing, it became Westernized and otherwise transformed. At first, I have to admit, I was discouraged: the city is largely unlovely, very hot and humid, crowded and noisy. But at about the mid-point of my trip I began to see what I had come looking for: the emerging, exciting Vietnam. The last night I was there, I was sitting in a new, elegant restaurant and suddenly thought "This is a great time to be Vietnamese".

This is partially a travelogue, partially a bit of a guide for others who may be headed there. As more and more people are...