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Joshua Zukas

Writer | Fixer | Strategist

Hanoi-based writer covering travel, culture, architecture and innovation in Asia. 

Travel writer for Lonely Planet, CNN Create, Fodor's Travel and Ink Global, which manages the award-winning travel content for Southeast Asia's biggest airlines. National and regional tourism organization experience with Vietnam National Administration of Tourism, Philippine Department of Tourism, Korea Tourism Organization, Visit Wakayama, Kerala Tourism and Jeju Tourism Organization.

Travel and culture stories published in The Economist, 1843, BBC News, Travelfish, AFAR, Hidden Compass, The Independent, The Red Bulletin, The Toronto Star and The Diplomat. Architecture and design stories published in Wallpaper, Interior Design Magazine, Icon, Frame, Wired UK and Vietcetera.

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Highlight Journalism and Travel Writing

Vietnam: Beyond the Stereotype

Vietnam is awash with antiquated and orientalist fantasies. Travel media outlets manufacture nostalgia for a colonial heirloom with crowded street kitchens and conical hat-wearing hawkers. Foreign travel companies overrepresent Vietnam’s beaches as if the country exists to serve sun-starved Northeast Asians and Europeans. And although Vietnam has been at peace for over four decades, American films continue to portray a perilous place reeling from war.

Vietnam’s Ghosts Are Hungry for iPhones

It’s 8pm in Hanoi’s labyrinthine Old Quarter and shop-owner Tran Thu Hien places her last $100 bill on the crackling street-side fire. I’ve watched her burn through thousands of dollars, but it’s still not enough. Hien, crouched over the blaze and dripping with sweat, has exhausted the cash. So she unpacks a box of personal items, pre-prepared for incineration: a gold Rolex, a pair of designer sunglasses, a pack of Cuban cigars and an iPhone X. Finally, Hien turns to a black Toyota Camry. The ca

Is This Hotel Misleading Guests About Its Colonial Heritage?

In Vietnam, an abandoned university-turned-beachfront hotel seems to be a shining example of the country’s colonial past⁠—except that its history is entirely made up. Gracing the southern tip of Vietnam’s Phu Quoc Island is Bai Khem, one of the tropical haven’s most alluring beaches. Here, a thicket of palm trees bows to a cerulean sea as it tenderly laps a crescent of dimpled sand. Hills canvased in the jungle rise behind cordial palms, leading to the island’s craggy interior. At the bay’s so

Meet The Architects Using Creative Design To Tackle The Climate Crisis

Furious typhoons hammer the land, triggering torrential downpours and earth-shaking winds. In coastal settlements, some communities sit submerged while others wash away entirely. In the highlands, devastating landslides sever roads and bury farms. This isn’t an eschatological prophecy, but the reality central Vietnam faced in 2020, an abnormally calamitous year. The press reported that natural disasters – probably exacerbated by the climate crisis – caused $1.6 billion worth of damage, five tim

Making Sense of Vietnam's Ethnic Diversity

Vietnam is home to a vibrant collage of ethnic groups. There are 54 recognised ethnicities that filter into hundreds of subgroups. Wondering where to start? The best way to understand Vietnam’s ethnic makeup is through hands-on experiences. From mountain homestays to medicinal herbs, encounters with ethnic culture are a highlight of any trip to Vietnam. Here are five easy ways to get to know the Yao, Hmong, Tay, Bahnar, and Khmer ethnic groups. The Yao (often spelt Dao or Dzao) have been in Vie
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