A love letter to Asia

If I could only tell you one thing I learned on our trip to Vietnam and Cambodia, it would be that I LOVE Asia. If my idea of Asia was a person she would be incredibily kind, assertive, slightly rude, quick to smile, concerned with your well-being, unconcerned with what other’s think, smart, humble and beautiful. She is a person you are going to love or hate. I happen to be in love.

In a word Vietnam is vivid. The colors, food and people all seem full of life and flavor. The country’s most popular dish, pho, lives up to its good name and the people are quick to smile and engage in conversation. One can’t help but sit on a balcony and watch these people live. On our last day we skipped a museum in Saigon to just sit and watch from a bar balcony. Whether it is 6AM or 6PM, you can bet something is going on. It might be an old woman making pho for breakfast, or lines of scooters going around people and cars like water going around rocks in a stream.

Our time in Cambodia was too short, but the place and people left a lasting impression. Kids sold things all over and weren’t bad at it either. They learn their English from tourists and make strong arguments about why you should buy their stuff. Angkor Wat also lived up to its reputation. This is a country I am not sure I could get enough of, but it is not for the faint of heart. It is one of the poorest countries I have ever been in, and you will find yourself struggling with what you see. But if these people are sad, at least in the snapshot I got, I didn’t notice it in too many faces.

Lindsay and I marked this trip with our friends Sam and Rik as another worthwhile trip in Asia. The Vietnamese and Cambodians, like the Chinese, Thai and Koreans we have encountered, left us wanting to get to know this beautiful, strange, friendly and quirky woman a whole lot better.