One of the perks of working in our field is the opportunities we get to go to exotic places for conferences. I always felt the HEP-MAD conference in Madagascar would top this list, but the one some of us went to in Vietnam can't be too far behind. The Rencontres du Vietnam conference series has been organised in the coastal town of Quy Nhon since 2011, covering different physics topics. This year, one of them was titled Physics at the LHC and Beyond, where I had the privilege of presenting ATLAS soft QCD results. There were talks covering all aspects of LHC physics, a dedicated session on detector performance with ATLAS and CMS speakers going one after the other, and intense discussion on future colliders. Nobel Laureate Francois Englert was the guest of honour at the conference, and he talked about the history of the Brout-Englert-Higgs mechanism.
The conference was held at the relatively new International Center of Interdisciplinary Science Education (ICISE), a beautiful facility right by the sea, with its own beach. The food was amazing too - with extensive buffets for breakfast (with fried rice and noodles no less!), lunch and dinner. At the conference dinner, we even got green coconuts filled with water. We were also taken to hill-top Cham temples, and saw local dance/martial arts performances. Jean Trân Thanh Vân, who is the founder of the renowned Rencontres de Moriond conference series, deserves a big thanks for organising this conference in Vietnam - which surely helps in making particle physics popular in south-east Asia.