Let’s say you want an off-the-beaten-path destination, a country where you’ll find an adventure without a lot of hand-holding. Vietnam may very well be your jam. But, wait, you’d rather find a developed country where visitors will feel comfortably taken care of? Again, I’d like to recommend my good friend and colleague Vietnam.
And therein lies the appeal of this spindly southeast Asian country that unspools more than 2,000 miles of coastline. My partner and I chose it for a big trip, figuring we’d get to try stellar pho, maybe crash some jungles and beaches and jungly beaches. We arrived to find more beauty and complexity than we bargained for. It’s officially communist, yet overrun by what feels like unfettered capitalism. It’s packed -- 92 million people stacked in a land area the size of New Mexico -- yet somehow still serene. And if anything, the food was even better than we’d imagined.