Lek was my tour guide through Vietnam. Picture the typical guide you’d expect to be allocated to take a bunch of skint, giddy young people through South East Asia. You’re probably thinking of someone with nice teeth, a fifty million Dong smile, charming crow’s feet around their eyes, adventure-dyed skin, wrists a-jangle with bangles, a faded scar or two, hair free flowing, voluminous and wild, full of stories and quirks and gleeful chaos and, and, and… no. Shovel all that shit out of your head now. That wasn’t Lek. Continue reading
I still remember the first backpackers I ever saw. It was the first stop of my big world trip, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Arriving at the hostel after our flight, exhausted already by the sticky heat and boisterous Vietnamese city life, my friend and I spotted 15 or so bedraggled western backpackers lounging in the foyer. Even at a glance, it was plain to see they weren’t normal tourists. I wanted to say hi, but I was too shy.