Travel

Springtime, just before the new century began. As Laos is now the new Cambodia, Vietnam was then the new Thailand, and my girlfriend and I had arrived – with our backpacks – to see what all the fuss was about. The capital Hanoi had dazzled, and we were due to take the train 420 miles down the coast to Hué. We were late, though. We were always late.

Half a million 15-year-olds were tested in 65 countries - and we were 26th in maths and 23rd in reading

Bottom of the class: UK literacy and numeracy standards slip down international rankings

Half a million 15-year-olds were tested in 65 countries - and we were 26th in maths and 23rd in reading

John F Kennedy: Assassinated, 1963

Kennedy’s assassination had such an impact that even those of us who were very young at the time carry the memory with us

What it was like to be six years old on that day in  November 1963

Don McCullin, pictured in front of one of his powerful war pictures, says he wishes he had spent more of his life taking photographs closer to home

‘Forget foreign conflicts, chronicle Britain’ says war photographer Don McCullin

Celebrated war photographer urges next generation to record UK’s ‘social wars’

Devastation: The scene in Tacloban in central Philippines after it was hit by Haiyan

Typhoon Haiyan: David Cameron pledges £6m in aid to Philippines after millions left homeless

The Prime Minister has offered the Philippines president the UK’s full support in dealing with the aftermath.

Devastation: The scene in Tacloban in central Philippines after it was hit by Haiyan

Tourists in Vietnam braced for arrival of Typhoon Haiyan

Tourists in northern areas of Vietnam are bracing themselves as one of the most powerful storms on record makes its way towards them after devastating the Philippines.

Vietnam deadly fireworks factory blast kills 21 and injures 100

Fireworks and plumes of smoke could be seen for miles outside the factory, which employs 300 people

Vietnam holds state funeral for General Vo Nguyen Giap

150,000 people lined up to pay respects to the so-called 'Red Napoleon'

Book review: Hollywood Left and Right, By Steven J Ross

Tinseltown's most radical put the glitz into politics

Anthony Lawrence: ‘A BBC man of the old school’ whose focus was on the story rather than personal projection

Obituary: Anthony Lawrence

Journalist who reported from the Far East for the BBC across three decades

Vietnam General Vo Nguyen Giap dies aged 102

The celebrated Vietnamese general who oversaw key victories against France and America and effectively ended French colonial rule in the region has died aged 102.

A woman mourns her dead husband after identifying him by his teeth in a mass grave

Slaughter of the innocents: The Vietnam war as never seen before

Images chronicle the work of press photographers in the front lines of the conflict that was the 'last newspaper war'

Click image to enlarge

On the agenda: Jude Law; The X Factor; end of the classic VW camper van; online vouchers

Middle-class problems: Online vouchers

Jamie Dunkley: The red flag is still flying high but Vietnam is back on the growth path

It has been almost 40 years since North Vietnamese tanks rolled through the gates of Saigon’s Presidential Palace, marking the end of the country’s civil war.

Martin Luther King Jr at the Lincoln Memorial in 1963

Secret cold war files reveal US spied on Muhammad Ali and Martin Luther King Jr

Declassified documents reveal National Security Agency put anti-war critics on a watch list

Investors given access to first Vietnam equity fund

Dragon Capital will today launch Vietnam’s first ever Equity UCITS Fund to give investors access to one of the continent’s fastest-growing markets.

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Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there