Someone I know who spent some time in Vietnam (and Hue) "during the conflict" has posed the question of whether the driver provided to us on weekends might really be a government minder taking note of where the Americans go and what they do during their free time. An interesting point to ponder ... and perhaps keep in mind if I decide to do National Novel Writing Month in 2009 and use the trip as a plot element.
Another thing to think about is how to take books, and possibly a lot of them, along with us. Kindles are pretty pricey, and we might need/want more than one. There is always Project Gutenberg since we'll have Internet access at the hotel, but that limits us to the classics or other works out of copyright. I need to investigate whether there's a way past the 4,000-odd character limit on text files put on an iPod. In other words, is there a way to use an iPod as an e-book reader and not just for audiobooks?