During the summer of 2011, I travelled to Vietnam, starting south and ending up north. The country is a cultural smorgasbord, with many influences. In the south, Indian and Hindu cultures had a lasting influence in the Cham temples. The food is spicy, tempered with coconut. The north is closer to Chinese influence. An enduring French colonial legacy,followed by an american interlude, more than 50 hill tribes, and today's softening but everpresent communist ruling party, make for a very unique country.