It's one of the most glorious seascapes on earth: thousands of limestone pillars rising from the bay, clothed in jungle green. Listener Emma Browning, who was literally just there, shares her experiences cruising among the islands and even shares the real-life sounds of the bay.
When I say Vietnam, most Americans expect an episode on the US-Vietnam War of the 1960s, but no, I'm going to discuss another superpower's invasion of the land of the Viet and their subsequent failure against Vietnamese resistance and guerilla warfare.
Yes, the Yongle Emperor is getting Robert McNamara'd into submission, this time by Vietnamese nobleman turned freedom fighter Lê Lợi There are magic swords, marketing guys with water metaphors, and so much more.
Finally, we get my personal story of Vietnamese catfish. And in honor of that, I give you cá kho tộ, catfish caramelized in a clay pot. It is maybe my favorite thing to eat ever.
Filek-Gibson, Dana. Vietnam (Moon Guide)
Goscha, Christopher E. Vietnam: A New History
Kiernan, Ben. Viet Nam
Stewart, Iain. Lonely Planet Vietnam
Viet Vision Travel “Vietnamese Legend: The Lake of the Restored Sword”
Photograph and audio samples courtesy of Emma Browning
It's unfathomably huge. The Forbidden City, a city within the city, and the Yongle emperor's crowning achievement, is almost too big to comprehend. 8,886 rooms, nearly 135 football fields in area, it's huge.
The Yongle Emperor also sent out Zheng He and the Ming Treasure Fleet to exert China's superpower influence across Asia and even to Africa.
Chris Stewart from the History of China podcast returns to talk about the Forbidden City and the great naval voyages, while listener Jesse Oppenheim returns to discuss visiting the palace as well as sharing some Beijing taste treats, like Mao's favorite braised pork belly.
Bedford, Donald. China (DK Eyewitness)
Fodor's Essential China
Haw, Stephen G. A Traveller's History of China
Humphreys, Andrew. Top 10 Beijing
Keay, John. China: a History
Wood, Michael. The Story of China: The Epic History of A World Power From the Middle Kingdom to Mao and the China Dream
Photograph by Asadal
A Star Wars special!
For May 4, 2021, I contributed a mini-episode for the No Redeeming Qualities podcast's annual Star Wars Day special. To spare you having to listen to 30 minutes of grown men complaining about the sequel trilogy, I'm offering this to you.
In the early days of the Clone Wars, separatist forces were on their way to conquer Ryloth, an important trading point in the outer rim. One man would lead the Republic garrison: Jedi Master Ima-Gun Di.
While on Ryloth, Master Di would visit the remarkable Floating Rock Garden, a uniquely powerful place, where the force of the wind makes the impossible real. And if you're on Ryloth, only the best Gruuvan Shaal Kebabs will do.
Star Wars: Clone Wars, episode 3.3 - "Supply Lines"
Monroe-Cassel, Chelsea and Marc Sumerak. Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge: The Official Black Spire Outpost Cookbook
The Holocron wiki for Star Wars Combine online simulation