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Ben Bangs

 

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Hometown:

Orange County, California , United States

Biographical Info:

Hi! I'm Ben, and I've been involved with the Vietnamese since 1991. After ten trips to Viet Nam and three+ years of college study of their language, I've come to see the tremendous beauty of the people of that slender country -- people who've repeatedly turned back foreign aggression and asserted their independence despite being outgunned and outnumbered by one colonial "superpower" after another. The Vietnamese sense of identity and self-assured confidence is truly inspiring, as is their hospitality and openness to the right kind of visitor. I was born, and still live in Southern California. Little Saigon is just a few steps away from my front door, and I'm in grad school, with a plan to serve Vietnamese immigrants in a few short years. I've written for a Garden Grove-based newspaper and tutored ESL one-on-one. In March of this year, I appeared on SBTN, the Saigon Broadcasting Network's "Story of the Day" with Victoria To Uyen, where I explained how I learned such good Vietnamese and why Southeast Asian immigrants have touched my heart so much. You can read the transcript of that interview on my website: www.benbangs.com, where I've also got several articles on different aspects of Vietnamese language and culture, a page devoted to my favorite "Viet Kieu" singer and a place to contact me for teaching or translation services. I've also been to Taiwan, the PRC, South Korea, Thailand and Cambodia, but Viet Nam is still my favorite! When not traveling to or reminicing about Southeast Asia, I play Classical piano, watch Survivor and Amazing Race reruns and dabble in buying and selling Thuy Nga videos other assorted Asianna on eBay. Come visit me online, and keep looking for my stories at ThingsAsian dot com!!!!!

Ben Bangs's Recent Contributions

A Slice of Southeast Asia in Southern California

Ben Bangs - BenCam91 [963]

Some Lowdown On The Highlights of Little Saigon Do you need to board a plane to visit the Far East? No way! Just get off the 405 freeway in central Orange County, California and sample the delights of...

Destinations: Ho Chi Minh City | Vietnam

Anatomy of an Obsession:

Ben Bangs - BenCam91 [963]

Why and How One American Came to Love SE Asia ********** Maybe it happened one grey April morning in an anthropology class. Then again, maybe its roots dig back much deeper into the past. Who can...

Destinations: Ho Chi Minh City | Vietnam

Not nearly long enough in Cambodia (VN visa run)

Ben Bangs - BenCam91 [963]

If you ever find your visa about to expire someplace and want to make the most of a side trip to a neighboring country, DON'T do as I did May 1999 in Sai Gon, DON'T 'just' take the backpacker's bus to...

Destinations: Phnom Penh | Cambodia

Xe Do to Sai Gon

Ben Bangs - BenCam91 [963]

It's late morning in Ha Noi, and I find myself at the southbound ben xe looking at a forty-eight hour marathon ride to Sai Gon on the Vietnamese Greyhound, a xe do which, to be honest, looks more like...

Destinations: Ho Chi Minh City | Vietnam
Topics: Travel | Adventure

Beyond the Killing Fields: 6 Cambodian Survivors

Ben Bangs - BenCam91 [963]

* * * * * Haing Ngor, Someth May, Tedda Butt Mam, Chanrithy Him, Dith Pran and Sydney Schanberg. * * * * * Among Asiaphiles it is the most heartrending tragedy in the region's modern history. For...

Destinations: Phnom Penh | Cambodia
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