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The Indochina Chronicles: Travels in Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam
by Phil Karber
From old Viet Cong guerrillas to the new tycoons of Saigon, from hookers and highwaymen to bartenders and ambassadors, Phil Karber has met them all--and had a drink with most. Nobody knows the red states of Indochina better than Phil Karber. This book is sweeping, provocative, and poignant.--Mark McDonald, Foreign correspondent, Knight Rider
Paperback, 336 pages
Published September 1st 2007 by Cavendish Square Publishing
(first published August 31st 2007)
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This is an amazing book. I read alot of travel books, and often one must overlook sophmoric writng and just enjoy the interesting places traveled. Not so with this book, at all. It is a near perfect combination; the author's history as a traveler, the cultural, natural, and political histories of the countries, and wonderful descriptions of the current places and situations. This is a great read for anyone, but any interested in such places or planning a trip there would be especially pleased by ...more
An interesting travelogue / memoir / history as we revisit Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia with the author, and Vietnam Veteran, Phil Karber. Karber does not shy away from the troubling legacy left by the war in these countries but somehow manages to evoke a sense of hope for the local people who have suffered so much and for the veterans. Not a page turner but a thoughtful book filled with insight and food for thought.
While reading this book, I enjoyed reminiscing about my own adventures through Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam, having visited many of the same places. I especially liked his depiction of "Pancakers," those semi-hippy travelers who all frequent the same places, where they always have banana pancakes on the menu. This book also brought home, yet again, the terrible and still-ongoing impact of America's involvement in SE Asia (both for SE Asians and for American war vets). Not sure why it took me so ...more
I give up. Can't finish it. To someone who has few points of reference for Indochina, this book was a rambling and hard-to-follow tangle of unfamiliar names and activities. It reminded me of a personal diary, and though I tried to hang on, I finally succumbed to being completely and helplessly adrift. When I finally put it down for good, I had no idea what was going on, unfortunately, and no interest in trying to figure it out.