Ben Bangs


Orange County, California, United States

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:, 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!!!!!