Johnny C.Y. Lam                                   

A journey through Vietnam with my father


I grew up listening to stories of my father’s childhood in Vietnam, swimming in the Mekong river, climbing fruit trees and getting into trouble with his friends. He often mentioned how much he would love to return to his hometown and pay respect to my grandfather at his resting place in a small Chinese cemetery, since he had never made it to his father’s funeral.

In January 2019 I offered my father a gift, to travel to Vietnam with me for the first time since he left nearly 60 years ago. We started our three-week journey from the north in Hanoi, to Ha Long Bay, then traveling south to Hue, Hoi An, Ho Chi Minh City and eventually arriving at his hometown Sa Dec, in the Mekong Delta. We stayed at simple hotels, ate mostly at street stalls, took two overnight trains as well as numerous boats and buses to experience the energetic, colourful and rapidly changing country that is Vietnam.

The story was published on father’s day in The Globe and Mail