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Vietnam Romance and Intrigue

Posted on Sunday, June 26, 2016 in Books, Featured, travel

Ever since I led my first tour to Vietnam I have had this sneaking sense of unease.  I don’t at all understand why the Australian government so willingly joined America’s war in Vietnam but I do get why Australian troops went there, especially the ‘Nashos” (National Servicemen).

Britain decided not to get involved (we had a Labour government at the time) but since we Brits had basically created the bloody mess by handing the country back to the French, rather than the Vietnamese, at the end of World War II, our hands aren’t exactly unbloodied.

Another thing that intrigues me is why so many Vietnamese (especially in the south) are so welcoming of Australian tourists. But I suppose a story told by someone I met on my second visit kind of sums it up. His father and Grandfather had fought on opposite sides in the “American War”.  When the south fell to the Viet Cong, the father was evacuated out, leaving his family, and given a new life in the USA.

Years later, the father came back to Saigon and the grandfather came south from Hanoi to see his son again. It was a meeting they both longed for and dreaded.  But then the grandfather said: “We both fought for what we believed in and that’s all that matters.”

My next tour,  Vietnam Romance and Intrigue, will try to see beyond the battlefields and bravado. Sure we’ll see the tunnels at Cu Chi – we know their story better than most – but we’ll also visit families in Saigon and Hanoi to find out how they are living now.

Mainly we’ll be following inthe footsteps of Graham Greene and his novel The Quiet American, visiting the locations in the book as well as the 2001 Phil Noyce directed Michael Caine move, and soaking up the splendours of Ha Long Bay as deepicted so spectaculalrly in the 1992 film Indochine (starring Catherine Deneuve) .

It’s a varied itinerary and you can find out more by clicking HERE.

Bring on the comments

  1. Robyn says:

    Hi Jimmy
    I have chosen your, “A Sappers War” for my book club book to be held in Kojonup WA on 25th July. I have also read “Tunnel Rats”.My group are all much younger than me, so Vietnam war has not affected them as such.
    My brother & cousin both were conscripts with very different stories. My cousin was in 6 battalion, foot soldier and drove tank type guns on tracks. His story was that what happen in Vietnam caused him to suicide age 26.
    My brother was in the signals & from the little that has been spoken of came back unscathed.
    Is it possible for you to send any information to me that may captivate even more than your book has?
    I would love a map of Vietnam showing the major places, ie where Sandy went down the first tunnel.Where the major battles were.Anything.
    Kind regards

  2. admin says:

    I’ll see what I can dig up. Unfortunately my Tunnel Rats website is temporarily off line but you can take what you want from there when it’s back up (

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