Vietnam Is Poised for a Revolution, One Text Message at a Time

Andrew Lam

Vietnam, a police state where freedom of expression can come with a multi-year prison term, is awash in cell phones. Whether for talking, texting or taking photos, Vietnamese are buying up mobile devices at a rate exceeding the country’s own population. A sign of the communist nation’s rising affluence, it is also undermining the state’s monopoly on information. With phones available for as little as $20, ordinary consumers are buying up sets that would otherwise have been bound for foreign shores. 

Have Passport, Will Travel: Notes From a Globetrotter

Andrew Lam

To travel, to really lose oneself in a new setting, is, after all, to subvert. In that C-130 full of refugees, I was moving not only across the ocean but also from one set of psyche to another. Yesterday my inheritance was simple -- the sacred rice fields and rivers, what once owned me, defining who I was. Today, Paris and Hanoi and New York are no longer fantasies but a matter of scheduling. My imagination, once bound by a singular sense of geography, expanded its reference points across the border toward a cosmopolitan possibility.

Bowing to China, Vietnam Prepares for ‘Propaganda’ Trials

Hao-Nhien Q. Vu

When Dang Thi Kim Lieng set herself ablaze in a self-immolation to protest the local communist administration in Vietnam on July 30, the country's dismal human rights records once again caught the world's attention. But, unlike other dictatorships before them, the Hanoi rulers' oppression of their citizens is increasingly being viewed as something even more ominous: More and more, the Communist Party is seen as unpatriotic, as selling out the national interest to secure their own grip on power.

Vietnam Promises ‘La Dolce Vita’ Only for Those Who Can Afford It

Nguoi Viet

It has been months since Le Thi Nu has had breakfast. A street vendor who travels around Hanoi on a bicycle selling plastic slippers, high prices have forced her to cut spending on eating, even though a baguette would cost 15 cents. Standing outside a crowded restaurant on Quan Su Street, where a bowl of soup would cost more than half her monthly income, she finds it difficult to come to terms with the spending of the rich.

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