Dear First-Time Vietnam Visitor

Lately, Budget Travel has been running a “Blog-Off Contest.” Yesterday, they announced the winner of the contest: Steve — known to Gadling readers as ourman from Our Man in Granada — earned the right to guest-blog at Budget Travel’s This Just In starting the week of May 21. He’ll also receive $500 in cash. Since he’s currently volunteering in Granada, he can probably stretch that money pretty far — I’m sure he can turn that into a few dozen bottles of Carib beer, at least.

Anyway, take a few minutes to check out ourman, er, Steve’s piece. Called “Dear First-Time Vietnam Visitor,” the piece beautifully explains the intricacies, contradictions, joys, beauty, and horror of visiting Vietnam. With his writing, ourman brings Vietnam to life. Even if you’ve never visited Hanoi, after immersing yourself in his piece, you feel like you’re right there beside him, haggling with vendors, stepping past people who’ve fallen in the street, negotiating traffic.

Dear First-Time Vietnam Visitor isn’t just travel writing. It’s travel transportation. It’s travel teleportation. It’s top-notch, and I’m really looking forward to seeing his contributions during the week of May 21. Congratulations, Steve! You totally deserved it.