Vietnam: 100 Unusual Travel Tips

I can’t remember the exact moment I fell in love with Vietnam.

It could have been on my first night in the country, before the cycling trip with my Dad, when I watched bare-headed motorbike drivers zoom through absolutely insane traffic with serene faces.

Maybe it was a few days later, when I saw an elderly couple get a contagious case of the giggles over a shared mid-morning bowl of ice cream. They tried to suppress their mirth, but kept setting each other off with snorts every few minutes, like a pair of five-year-olds not the stately grandparents they first appeared.

Vietnam gave a new life, a husband, two children and a thriving business. That business, Saigon Street Eats, has allowed us to share our love of Vietnam with so many visitors, showing them our favourite street stalls, markets and temples and answering all their questions.

Now we’re trying to share our passion for Vietnam even further, with our new book, Vietnam: 100 Unusual Travel Tips and a Guide to Living and Working There. It’s a book-length love letter to Vietnam, a country that’s given me so much, and rekindled my love of writing.

The book answers all the questions I had when I first arrived in Vietnam. It also answers all the questions we’ve been asked by visiting friends and family, and by the thousands of customers we’ve taken our street food tours over the past three years.

It makes me think back to that bitterly cold morning in May 2007, when I left the Australian capital of Canberra for Saigon. My mission: to recapture that elusive holiday feeling and hold onto it for good.

My everyday life just wasn’t making my spirit sing, and so I left it behind — the bravest and craziest thing I have ever done. In hindsight, it was the best possible choice I could have made.

It’s a little bit scary, releasing this book to the world. But it’s time. It’s ready. I hope it makes you love Vietnam as much as I do.

You can buy Vietnam: 100 Unusual Travel Tips on Amazon. Click the image to go straight to the Amazon book store, where a paperback and a Kindle version are available. (The Kindle version can be downloaded and read on any computer, phone or e-reader).

Like any modern author (and I get goosies when I use that word about myself), I’m doing a book tour to promote my work. Not just any book tour, though. This is a virtual book tour, supported by my favourite bloggers — wheeee!

Over the next two weeks, you’ll see our book featured on some pretty amazing blogs, including the Bloggie-award winning Unbrave Girl, Grantourismo and Almost Fearless, the blog written by the 2014 National Geographic Travelers of the Year.

Today, the official book launch day, there’s an extensive writeup on Wandering Educators, run by the book’s publisher, Wandering Educators Press.


For more photos and other fun, follow Dropout Diaries on Instagram and on Facebook

8 years ago

By: Barbara

A career girl who dropped out, traveled, found love, and never got around to going home again. Now wrangling a cross-cultural relationship and two third culture kids.


  1. I’m heading to Ho Chi Minh City for the first time next month. Staying for a week by myself – nervous but excited. I’ll be ordering your book!
    Jennifer @ Solo Travel Girl recently posted..Break Away on a Caribbean Vacation Without Breaking the Bank

  2. lara dunston says:

    Congrats on the release of the book! I’m looking forward to sitting down to start to read it tonight with a chilled bottle of white and we have Vietnamese planned for dinner when I find myself with cravings. Can’t wait!
    lara dunston recently posted..Discover Cambodian Cuisine, Asia’s Most Misunderstood Cuisine

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