Encounter today’s Vietnam: a country with an emerging global economy, a complex national identity and a Communist Party still holding power.
Stranger’s Guide: Vietnam takes us to the heart of this extraordinary place, which has quickly become a top destination for international travel. You’ll storm the streets in celebration of the country’s soccer team, and discover the ongoing debate over pho, the nation’s favorite dish. You’ll also witness quieter, more revealing moments: citizens who relied on their informal networks of friends (and friends-of-friends-of- friends) to get what they needed under COVID lockdown in Saigon, and domestic moments with members of Vietnam’s LGBTQ community, young and old, taking leisure time in their homes.
Throughout, you will have a window into daily life in a country that’s quickly taking its place on the global stage. But modern Vietnam emerged out of conflict and the echoes of division are also here. Hear the experiences of refugees, fighters and civilians during the Vietnam War, collected by Pulitzer Prize winner Viet Thanh Nguyen and his students. Meanwhile, Nguyễn Phan Quế Mai, author of The Mountains Sing, offers her family’s story of moving from North to South Vietnam after unification, while photographer Pipo Nguyen-duy explores childhood and conflict through his powerful images of children standing in sites destroyed by Agent Orange.
At Stranger’s Guide, our mission is to provide nuanced portraits of place by the authors and photographers who call that place home. We explicitly seek locations often subjected to lazy cliches, with the hope we can turn stereotypes on their head. We count on subscribers to do this important work and hope you’ll consider becoming a part of the SG community today.
Thank you, as always, for joining us on this journey,
Kira Brunner Don and Abby Rapoport
Co-founders, Stranger’s Guide