Vietnam

River cruises in Europe have certainly matured in the past few years, offering the kind of amenities, luxury and cuisine once only found on ocean-going ships. As their popularity increases, all the river fleets are expanding rapidly, to the point where is can be almost …

The war for South Vietnam is officially over, but it’s not quite clear who eventually won. Although Saigon is now named for Ho Chi Minh and revolutionary banners and slogans are everywhere,  the locals still call the city Saigon. And it’s looking increasingly capitalist by the …

Hong Kong now boasts the world’s newest and largest cruise terminal. With security and baggage facilities to handle well over 10,000 people a day, Kai Tak Cruise Terminal is ready to smoothly handle arrivals and departures of multiple cruise mega-ships. But when I visited the terminal …

Life in Asia has always depended on rivers. Some of the world’s oldest civilizations developed along the Yangtze, the Mekong, the Irrawaddy and the Ganges. These rivers are still main sources of water, irrigation and trade, as well as places to do the laundry and cool …

  There’s something I always ponder when I visit royal fortresses. Were their high walls, moats and drawbridges mainly to keep marauding invaders out, or were they craftily built to keep the politicians in, so the people could get on with their lives? The historic photos …

The contrasts between old and new couldn’t be starker that in Vietnam today. As Oceania Cruises’ luxurious Nautica docked near downtown Saigon, a rust-eaten freighter at the next slip was being unloaded the same way it might have been centuries ago. A human convoy of …

In Bangkok, there always seems to be a buzz. The roads teem with motorcycles and un-mufflered three-wheeled cabs known as tuk-tuks. On the river, “longtail” boats get their push from growling V-8 engines that are mounted on their open decks and turn shafts whose propellers …