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Descending the Dragon
Item # 6200304




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Sometimes the longest journey begins with great patience. When Jon Bowermaster proposed an 800-mile kayak expedition along Vietnam's northern coastline, the country's government responded, "That will be quite impossible." Negotiation saved the day, and Bowermaster and his team of five—including a Vietnamese-American woman who had fled Saigon as a child on the final day of war in 1975—made the unprecedented voyage.

Bowermaster met thousands of Vietnam’s citizens—rich and poor, fishermen and entrepreneurs, almost all beach dwellers who live and depend on the sea. For many, he was the first American they had ever encountered.

In chapters flowing from north to south, his highly personal story and Rob Howard's compelling images bring to life Vietnam's vibrant edge.


  • Softcover
  • 176 pages
  • 32 color photos and 48 duotones
  • 8 1/4'' x 10''
  • © 2008

Author Info

Jon Bowermaster writes about adventure, the environment, and exotic corners of the world for National Geographic, The New York Times, Atlantic Monthly, Outside, and other major publications. His travels have taken him to seven continents and have resulted in documentary films and eight books, three with renowned polar explorer Will Steger.

Rob Howard, photographer, has taken pictures around the world for Conde Nast Traveler and many other publications.

Press Quotes

"Bowermaster is a descriptive writer, who is as adept with a pen as he is with a paddle."—Adventure Blog

"I brought a copy of his new book Descending The Dragon, which recounts Jon's experiences paddling through Vietnam. When I handed the book over to get it signed, I was surprised to find that Jon not only knew who I was, but also about this blog...I've written about Jon and his expeditions on a number of occasions, but I had no expectations that he would have a clue who I was. Jon was very approachable and easy to chat with, and as you'd expect, an incredibly interesting guy."—The Adventure Blog

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