Ranch & Coast Magazine

October 2022

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Peaceful Vietnam I think the first time we traveled with a guide was in Vietnam. American visitors weren't permitted to drive, so renting a car wasn't an option. Instead, we planned an itinerary with Ann Tours, a travel company in Ho Chi Minh City, and they provided driver-guides. After we arrived in town, I realized the wisdom of our decision. e traffic was so fast and furious that I was afraid to cross the street. After exploring the city, we set out on a road trip with our guide, ach. I'm not shy about asking questions and soon learned that he had worked as an interpreter for a U.S. Army general during the Vietnam War. It was a long trip to Dalat, and later, Nha Trang, but good conversation made the time fly. Along the way, he provided a running commentary on the sights, cheerfully made numerous photo stops, and took us to his friend's restaurant. ach set a high bar, but our next guide, Hein, measured up. He met us at the Hanoi airport and over a few days took us to see the sights. At some point, I mentioned that I had hoped to buy an antique Vietnamese vase, but hadn't been able to find anything but knock-offs. Before I knew it, he had a quick conversation with the driver and we were on our way to Bat Trang, an outlying village known for producing traditional pottery. ere, he led me past rows of shops selling new goods and then down a side street and up some stairs to the one place dealing in antiques. I fell in love with a gorgeous piece, which the owner agreed to crate and ship. e large vase occupies a special place in our home, and every time I look at it I remember the story and the serendipity of finding it. Ann Tours founder Tran Ngoc Ann worked for the American Embassy during the war. Her touching life story can be found on her company's website at anntours.com. Detour destinations << @ranchandcoast ranchandcoast.com 108 OCTOBER 2022 RANCH & COAST MAGAZINE A private guide enables special moments like this one at Vietnam's Truc Lam Zen Monastery Machu Picchu was discovered by a Yale professor in 1911

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