Part 5: John Doan’s Southeast Asia Tour to Phan Thiết – From Dragon Fruit to a Dragon Festival Parade, a Secret Concert and Secret Beaches, sleeping in a restaurant and other Adventures on Buses and Motorcycles

Map Ho Chi Minh City to Phan Thiet

Phan Thiết is due west of Ho Chi Minh City a mere 125 miles but 6 and a half hours by bus!

7. I Call Out Smile But They Just Honked Their HornsIt takes that long because there are no freeways, just surface streets filled with mopeds and various other obstacles!

John Doan harp guitar on Bus Vietnam

On the bus I could lay down but there was not much room to store my harp guitar. A nice boy who was getting off at the next stop offered to hold it for me.  Although the thought crossed my mind that this was one way to introduce the harp guitar to Vietnam I decided to hold on to it for the duration of the trip. Continue reading

Part 4: John Doan’s Southeast Asia Tour – Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam – From Mopeds to life in City Parks, to Posing with a Model, to Resourceful Street Vendors, from the former President’s Palace to a Rooster on the Street

1.Vietnam a Century Ago



Vietnam a century ago was occupied by the French but still retained many of its former traditions.



2.Vietnam a Century Ago



The Dan Nguyet or “Moon Guitar” was a popular instrument played in Vietnam before guitars were introduced in the 20th century.






3. Memories of By Gone DaysMoon guitars can still be seen today in Vietnam hanging on the back walls of antique stores like a memory of a distant time. Continue reading

Part 3: John Doan’s Southeast Asia Tour – Penang, Malaysia, Where Nature Grows Out of Buildings, People Dine From the Trunk of Their Cars and He Perform On the Top of a Birthday Cake!

1. Penang, Malaysia John Doan



Although Penang is an island just off to the north east of peninsular Malaysia it seems like a world apart.  Unlike Malaysia’s capitol of Kuala Lumpur, there are many streets that have been left just as they were over a century ago.



2. Penang, Malaysia John Doan


Back then carts were pulled by strong men. Continue reading

Part 2: John Doan’s Southeast Asia Tour – Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Meeting Harp Guitar Maker Jeffrey Yong and Brand Laureate Award – World’s Leading Harp Guitarist

Coming to Malaysia from Oregon was almost like entering a fairytale world of endless summer (95 degrees every day of the year!), palm trees, and exotic foods and products reflecting a multicultural and multi-ethnic people.

Hovering just above the equator in the South China Sea it has for centuries been a trading stop for many peoples of the region.  In addition to the indigenous and Mayla people, there is a strong presence of Chinese and Indian Culture.  Having been taken into the British Empire in the 18th century English is the common language spoken on the islands. Continue reading

Part 1: John Doan’s Southeast Asia Tour – Xi’an China, 1000 Seat Hall Sold Out, Discovery of 1400 Year Old Pagoda and Meeting With China’s Leading Guitar Builder

I returned to Xi’an China for the second time this year and was received at the airport by the concert promoter Yilin Wang and our guitarist friend Adam Varjavandi.

1. John Doan Welcomed at Xian Airport


There is nothing quite like being greeted with a bouquet of flowers (even though I had to fight to get into the picture).

2. Deirdra flowers Airport Continue reading