Expat tour guides are becoming more numerous here in Vietnam, and some of the locals aren’t happy about it. One Vietnamese tour operator recently said, “The government cannot know what foreign tour guides are telling international tourists about Vietnam. It is totally possible that they cause misunderstandings about Vietnam’s culture, history and customs”. Thus betraying an all-too common misunderstanding of what tourism is really about.

Traditional stage performance is taking a battering. Photos by Dominic Blewett

“You only get along with westerners,” is the oft-said opinion of many people who’ve only just met me. I find it odd to be classified in such a way, and wherever I go my instinct is to cry out, “But, I’m Vietnamese!”

Chris Makos (left) and Paul Solberg

It all started in New York. The Hilton Brothers, aka Chris Makos and Paul Solberg, were about to set off for China.

It's Bob in 'Nam, Man!

After all the controversy surrounding Dylan's gigs in China, his show in Ho Chi Minh City followed suit with some of his best-known tracks not making the set list. But songs like It Ain't Me Babe, Highway 61, Like a Rolling Stone, Forever Young and A Simple Twist of Fate were all performed with that rasping voice that Dylan has, quite literally, rasped to perfection.

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