Forty-fours years after first setting foot in Vietnam as a young naval officer, John Kerry has returned once more, this time as America's top diplomat.

Kerry arrived in Ho Chi Minh City on Saturday. It's his 14th trip to the southeast Asian nation since the end of the war that so profoundly influenced his political career and foreign-policy thinking. Kerry wants to bolster the friendly relations with the former U.S. enemy that he helped engineer as a senator in the 1990s.

Kerry will spend a day in the city he knew first as Saigon before heading to the capital of Hanoi for talks expected to focus on maritime security and territorial issues in the South China Sea, trade and human rights.

From Vietnam, Kerry will travel to the Philippines.