|Charlie reading Bao Ninh's The Sorrow of War at a resort in Vietnam|
I actually felt sorry for a person I saw alongside the same pool at our resort reading Helen Fielding’s latest offering. ‘You’ve in Vietnam!” I thought to myself. “How could you?” We do have a Five Books interview on Vietnam with Karl Marlantes, a Vietnam vet and novelist. So after getting home, I read his book, Matterhorn (also about the war). A guy from the US Embassy in Beijing saw it in my handbag, and said “Oh, if you’re enjoying that, you must read this…” And so it went on. To say that reading these books made the holiday more interesting would be an understatement. It helped it one of the most fantastic holidays ever. And I don’t even like sunbathing.
|First stop Hanoi! I was not able to see quite as many museums as I would have liked as the kids refused to leave the hotel swimming pool.|
|We stayed at the Metropole Hotel|
|We took the overnight train, the "Reunification Express" from Hanoi down to Da Nang on the coast (info for parents: yes the tooth fairy does service this line!)|
|Looking out of the train window on the "Reunification Express"|
|Part of the reason I got so obsessed with reading Vietnam War books - I think -- is that the Vietnamese are so gentle and friendly, I just couldn't imagine how anyone could get into a war with them.|
|The Victoria Resort in Hoi An. Highly recommended. The manager is French, so nice things happen like you unexpectedly find bottles of red wine in your room.|