vietnam

Content tagged as vietnam.

Various: The Rough Guide to the Music of Vietnam (Rough Guide/Elite)

Various: The Rough Guide to the Music of Vietnam (Rough Guide/Elite)

Frankly my two periods travelling around Vietnam didn't involve much searching out of music -- although by my desk I keep a photo of a poor woman singer leading her blind guitar-playing brother through a market in the village of Hoi An. She sang songs of such ineffable sadness that tears flowed from her eyes and the market came to halt to...

DENGUE FEVER INTERVIEWED (2008): Taking it all back to Cambodia

DENGUE FEVER INTERVIEWED (2008): Taking it all back to Cambodia

When Pol Pot’s murderous thugs drove people out of Cambodia’s capital Phnom Penh and into the countryside in the mid 70s, it was the beginning of the end. Figures vary but some say around two million people -- a quarter of the population -- were killed or died as the Khmer Rouge reconfigured the country based on an agrarian society...

Elephant Polo in Thailand: Days of the Raj remembered (2006)

Elephant Polo in Thailand: Days of the Raj remembered (2006)

"The English invent the most stupid of sports," says John. He should know, he's English and we've been talking about cricket. We're sitting at the poolside bar in the sumptuous Anantara Resort and Spa near the coastal town of Hua Hin, three hours south of Bangkok. The reason for his outburst is the game we have spent this September...

Ullungdo, South Korea: The lure of the lair

Ullungdo, South Korea: The lure of the lair

God knows what I was thinking when I went to Ullungdo. It certainly wasn't for the well-advertised local attractions which are, in no particular order, dried squid, dried seaweed and -- its special delicacy -- pumpkin candy. Ullungdo is a spectacular lump of rock a few hours off the east coast of the bickering Koreas. It rarely makes it...

Golden Triangle, Thailand: Where the girls are

Golden Triangle, Thailand: Where the girls are

Pale fingers of mist weave through the tree tops of the jungle. At just past dawn it is almost silent, only the faint call of birds and the distant putter of a long-tail boat on the Mekong River beyond the hill. I step onto the terrace of my hotel room into the balmy air. Already you can feel that the rains will come later today. I sniff in...

NEXT STOP IS VIETNAM: The sound of history being debated

NEXT STOP IS VIETNAM: The sound of history being debated

On Christmas Day 1969, at age 18, I flew in to Saigon. It was 10 months after the Tet Offensive which saw Vietcong soldiers at the door of the American embassy in Saigon and the war was at a peak. I went to Vietnam because I was curious . . . and because could. In fact, surprisingly, anyone could. Saigon, the capital of South Vietnam,...

Ernest Tubb: It's For God And Country and You, Mom (1965)

Ernest Tubb: It's For God And Country and You, Mom (1965)

War always produces songs from all sides of the trenches and Vietnam was no different: a slew of patriotic and tally-ho songs in the early days then more cynical, anti-war sentiments coming through as the body count rises. Here Ernest Tubb and His Texas Troubadours deliver one from those early days of US military involvement when some saw...

Becky Lamb: Little Becky's Christmas Wish (1967)

Becky Lamb: Little Becky's Christmas Wish (1967)

In 2003-04 John Michael Montgomery's Letters From Home was one of the biggest hits in America -- although its success there didn't translate internationally. But if you check the clip below -- not the official video, many people adopted it as their own and posted personalised You Tube versions -- you will see why: America was in a war and...

MOVE ON; STORMING THE GATE, a doco by ALEX JORDANOV and SCOTT STEVENSON (Roadshow DVD)

MOVE ON; STORMING THE GATE, a doco by ALEX JORDANOV and SCOTT STEVENSON (Roadshow DVD)

Because it in their interest to do so, many people exaggerate the power and influence of the internet. Websites inflate their readership and traffic, bloggers would pretend to have more sway than they actually have, and the champions of the new technology -- now quite old in fact -- see its power in every flicker of changing public taste....

HUONG THANH AND NGUYEN LE: Fragile Beauty reviewed (2008)

HUONG THANH AND NGUYEN LE: Fragile Beauty reviewed (2008)

These days world music compilations are pretty thick on the ground -- largely because they have been thrown there by disillusioned buyers who thought they might be getting a decent collection but discovered some lazily cobbled-together Thailand-lite or Indo-groove tracks which commit that most grave of sins: they are boring. The high...

Hanoi, Vietnam: Milking it

Hanoi, Vietnam: Milking it

Marcel was so French you could spot it across the cafe. The shrug of the shoulders, the downturn of the mouth and sulking bottom lip, the sleepy eyes and cigarette permanently attached. He was a beret short of a stereotype. It was Hanoi on a hot afternoon when we met, both of us escaping from the sticky humidity. I had been around the city...

Nga Trang, Vietnam: He wears my ring

Nga Trang, Vietnam: He wears my ring

Within an hour of us meeting, Mama Thiu was knocking me up for money. Then her brother had a go. It was at Nga Trang in Vietnam and Mama ran a small, outdoor restaurant at the northern end of the gorgeous beach close to the port. Mama's place was near the centre of town but it wasn't a favoured area with tourists who headed for the quieter...

Mekong Delta, Vietnam: History and its victim

Mekong Delta, Vietnam: History and its victim

Hai was using English again. He'd learned it many years before but it had been beaten out of him. Literally. It was a humid afternoon on a ferryboat on the Mekong when I noticed him through the crowd. He was making his way toward me, his eyes wide with yearning. As with so many Vietnamese he wanted to practice his English, and like so many...

Vietnam, China and Elsewhere: First cut is the deepest

Vietnam, China and Elsewhere: First cut is the deepest

Much in the way that I always take a photograph out of the window of any room I stay in when I travel (if there is a window, and often there hasn't been), it has also been a habit of mine to have a shave in a country I am passing through. It's always an interesting experience and, if a cut-throat razor is involved as it often is, then a very...

Sydney, Australia: High, wild and gone

Sydney, Australia: High, wild and gone

Frank was never going to make old bones. He was an Aussie wide-boy and after a wild, suburban youth and service in Vietnam he'd returned to Sydney and become a stuntman. He was stocky, but larger than any room he occupied. His speaking voice terrified children and his raucous laugh set off car alarms, but he was gentle with his young...

Thailand and Vietnam: Things have changed

Thailand and Vietnam: Things have changed

Good news came by e-mail: Raymond is in touch again. The last time I saw him was a year ago when he was managing a luxury hotel in Thailand's Golden Triangle. He was a young and handsome Swiss guy who had the world's best job: making sure the lodge ran smoothly, tasting imported wines, being nice to nice wealthy people, eating beautiful food,...

Dan Bao Vietnam: Rider in the Sky (date unknown, Nineties?)

Dan Bao Vietnam: Rider in the Sky (date unknown, Nineties?)

The albums in the Rough Guide series can offer world music as a kind of portal into a very different culture and consciousness. And even when world music artists take on tunes which we might recognize -- perhaps even especially when this happens -- it can be like being beamed into an alternate reality. This piece -- a live treatment of...

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