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Descending the Dragon
Dispatches From the Edge of Vietnam
Explorer Jon Bowermaster is calling in dispatches from his unpredictable, 800-mile (1,287-kilometer) kayak odyssey down the northern Vietnam coast.
The expedition is racing to reach Da Nang before midsummer’s stifling heat hits. To do that, they’re averaging 15 to 20 miles (24 to 32 kilometers) a day through steamy, monsoon-soaked seas—it’s nothing if not an adventure. But it’s also a National Geographic Society expedition.
From the Chinese border to China Beach, Bowermaster and his four expedition mates are chronicling little-known cultures and corners: floating fishing villages, pirate junks, beachside pagodas, ancient outposts ensnared by the jungle. And they’re taking you along for the voyage.
An Adventure contributing editor, Bowermaster has dog-sledded the Antarctic, paddled the Aleutians, and run an untested Chinese river. His work has appeared in National Geographic, The Atlantic, and a new book, Birthplace of the Winds: Storming Alaska’s Islands of Fire and Ice (preview).
A BBC producer until recently, Getzels is on his first staff assignment for EXPLORER.
Born near Vietnam’s Mekong Delta, Nguyen fled Saigon with her family on the last day of the Vietnam War, in 1975. Since then she has studied at Tulane and Harvard University, worked with UNICEF, and visited Vietnam 20 times.
While Nguyen’s father was flying helicopters for the South Vietnamese Army, Green’s father was based in Da Nang, fighting with U.S. Army troops.
The Canadian-born Howard’s work has appeared in Men’s Journal, National Geographic Adventure, Outside, and other major magazines.