Ryan van Velzer

About the Author

Ryan van Velzer Ryan Van Velzer is a journalist, poet and photographer from Phoenix, Arizona. Awarded for in-depth reporting, he’s covered government, politics, food, culture and world events from Southeast Asia to Central America. Carving a niche as a travel journalist, Ryan’s passionate about capturing the essence of the communities, countries and curios he encounters on his journeys. In his pursuit, he’s written about everything from Hanoi traffic, Bangkok floods and Laos UXO to Cambodian homestays and eating crickets in E-san.

Laos has a lot to offer the eager traveler: the untainted beauty of its mountains, its ancient temples, the hidden villages lost in time, the wild adventure of its treks. There are two other reasons to visit a country often forgotten in the midst – and mists — of Southeast Asia: humility and perspective.

Delta arteries

Two hours outside the electric, neon rush of Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) is the Mekong Delta: 40,000 sq km of rivers, streams and islands where the Den and Sau rivers (local names) meet the ocean. Half-day tours of the Mekong Delta take travelers through farmland, mangroves, and jungles that seem to have more in […]


Kayaking, caverns, sunsets and a ‘post-apocalyptic’ seascape await visitors to Halong Bay in Vietnam. An Evening in Halong Bay Carved from the sea, winds and rain formed over millions of years, Halong Bay’s islands are one of the premier tourist attractions in all of Southeast Asia. The ancient karst landscape is made of 1,968 islands […]

The-Japanese-Bridge-in-Hoi-An 2.03.14 PM

Ryan van Velzer samples the intricate tastes and heritage of a Vietnamese town with many centuries-old Chinese and Japanese influences. In the center of the Old City at the Chinese Fujjien Assembly Hall locals preserve the legend of the Holy Mother; a deity said to watch over the people of Hoi An, protecting sea merchants […]


Ryan van Velzer salutes an association that is working against the odds with young people to keep a dignified Khmer art form alive. The history of the Khmer people is written across the walls of Angkor Wat. There, etched into the sandstone are images of dancers immortalized in the poses of ancient art of Apasara, […]

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