I am going to make my third visit to Cambodia next month and decided to read Norman Lewis' fascinating travel book on Indochina, A Dragon Apparent: Travels in Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam (1951) for inspiration and preparation. Lewis travels to Vietnam in 1950 as the French are trying to hold onto their colonial possessions by employing tactics that will ultimately fail for the Americans as well. Most of his analysis comes from the French perspective, but near the end of his travels he meets with some Viet Minh people to get their perspective, which is independence ala India. He visited the Cao Dai temples on the outskirts of Saigon, which I still exist today and which I have visited. The Cao Dai is a strange universal religion which includes Joan of Arc, Victor Hugo, and Duc de la Rochenfoucald among its sacred people and fantastic designs of their temples. Another fascinating passage describes his meeting with General des Essars, commander of French troops in Cambodia, informally at Madame Shum's opium den resigned to the fact he will never make fighters of the Buddhist Cambodians. Every man spent a year in monastery and were taught not to kill any living creature. This seems ironic in hindsight when one considers the extensive killing that the Khmer Rougue did in the name of revolution. It is also interesting to read his anecdote of a woman who takes offense of Graham Greene's portrayal of British colonialism in Africa in his novel, In The Heart of the Matter (1948). Little does she realize that he will write about Vietnam in The Quiet American later in 1958. Lewis also travels to Cambodia and wanders among the ruins of Angkor Wat and then onto Laos where he will visit Vientiane, van Vang, and Luang Prabang much like those on the backpacker trail of today. It is a fascinating look at a Southeast Asian that no longer exists especially the isolated tribes like the Moi tribe he describes in detail the book.