This Transgender Bodybuilder is Crushing Barriers in Vietnam

(Narratively, November 2016: http://narrative.ly/this-transgender-bodybuilder-is-crushing-barriers-in-vietnam/) Photography by Vinh Dao As a conservative country’s LGBTQ community finally finds its voice, one athlete fights for the right to compete as his true self in a hyper-masculine sport. It’s Sunday morning in Ho Chi Minh City. Blistering heat is vaporizing last night’s downpour on the streets of District 7, an upscale area southeast of the city center and popular with expats. … More This Transgender Bodybuilder is Crushing Barriers in Vietnam

Good vibrations: the Vietnamese inventor helping the blind to ‘see’

(Southeast Asia Globe, October 2016) Nguyen Ba Hai has developed haptic technology that helps the blind and visually impaired navigate the world around them, all while managing to stave off corporate interests and attract international praise “Humans are the same everywhere… We help people not only because they are Vietnamese but because they are human” … More Good vibrations: the Vietnamese inventor helping the blind to ‘see’

The Last Days of the Mekong Snake Hunters

(Roads and Kingdoms, August 2016) Trampling through thick vegetation off a remote trail near the southeastern coast of Vietnam, Ba looks back, grinning boyishly, and then dives into a wall of green. All morning, the 36-year-old snake hunter had been taciturn, guarded, but now, under a scorching midday sun in the Mekong Delta, he’s suddenly … More The Last Days of the Mekong Snake Hunters

Vietnam wakes up to its human trafficking problem

(IRIN News, September 2016) Human trafficking is on the rise in Vietnam, although poor crime statistics means the government doesn’t know exactly by how much. Advocacy groups say victims are increasingly being lured on social media. Between 2011 and 2014, the number of human trafficking cases rose by at least 11.6 percent over the previous … More Vietnam wakes up to its human trafficking problem

Hops and Dreams

(AsiaLIFE cover, February 2016) Craft beer has been ruffling the feathers of the big corporations for some years, and now the seeds for a showdown have been planted in Vietnam. Lorcan Lovett talks to the pioneering brewers leading the campaign for better tasting tipples. Photos by Vinh Dao. Until two years ago, beer drinkers in Vietnam searching … More Hops and Dreams

Serving up Success

(AsiaLIFE, February 2016) A charity in Hoi An gives some of the poorest youngsters in Vietnam the skills they need for high-flying careers in the hospitality sector. With a new base in Saigon on the cards, Lorcan Lovett talks to its founder, Neal Bermas, about the inspiring work at STREETS International. Lifelong traveller and hotel consultant … More Serving up Success