The Golden Tortoise takes readers on journeys through Viet Nam today, visiting its sights to replace images of suffering with images of healing. It records the fascinating, rapid, hopeful and troubling changes taking place in Viet Nam today as it heals its war legacy and struggles with the transition from a society that was closed, controlled and rural to one that is open, consumer and technology-driven. Tick writes of battlefields, Buddhist shrines, schools and villagers, expressing himself in the haibun form of Basho that combines travel narrative with poetry. As an Asian form of travel writing, it is ideally suited to his exquisite report on a pilgrimage where we may walk tedious miles for one moment that revivifies the soul. On meeting Vietnamese veterans as Ed brings American vets to their old firebases:
Red dusk, broken tarmac,
the enemy approaches
to shake hands
In The Golden Tortoise, Edward Tick has documented his annual practice for healing and reconciliation from war that began in 2000 when he started leading journeys for veterans back to Viet Nam in order to find peace.