I'd been in Vietnam for about four hours before I got scammed. It was in Hanoi. It was my first-ever trip to Asia. I was sitting alone by the lake near the Old Quarter, trying to wrap my head around this amazing, chaotic place, when a young local guy approached me and started a conversation.
He ended up inviting me to lunch. That lunch, because I never looked at a menu and I was in a position of extreme vulnerability, cost me $US100.
And yet, I would go on to fall for Vietnam. How can you not love this country, this heady and sometimes maddening place, this delicious, daring, fascinating nation? I've been back to Vietnam plenty of times since that first trip to Hanoi, and I've always found something interesting, something adventurous, something tasty, something fun.
And I have a feeling I always will.
On this episode of Flight of Fancy, the Traveller.com.au podcast, I'm joined by the co-founder of Intrepid Travel, Geoff Manchester, and Traveller journalist Annie Dang to talk about one of Australian travellers' new favourite destinations, Vietnam. What is it about this place that we love so much? What can you do there? What can you see? And how do you avoid paying 100 dollars for a basic lunch?
Listen below or via your favourite podcasting app.