Blogs from Ho Chi Minh City, Southeast, Vietnam, Asia - page 223

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Asia » Vietnam » Southeast » Ho Chi Minh City May 27th 2006

So we've finally left the family for our first night out on the town in Saigon! We've got a hotel book (US$10 - for a simple, clean room, with hot water and a/c!) What more could we ask for!? This morning started off early with a city tour of Saigon, with 4 people from Malaysia, 2 from Argentina and one very non-enthusiastic tour guide. Our young tour guide obviously had better things to do on a Saturday morning, and was just not into showing us the sights. It's hard to get mad about such things here in Asia, as you learn that patience goes a long way! We started off with a visit to War Remnants Museum which showcased an interesting collection of photography from worldwide war correspondents from the Vietnam war. It was a tough ... read more
Notre Dame Cathedral
Thai and Budha and Jade Emperor Pagoda
Mandarine Spring Rolls

Asia » Vietnam » Southeast » Ho Chi Minh City May 27th 2006

I can't believe that I've been in HCMC for 6 days. I haven't been to any museums, attractions, etc. in the city. Most of the days are spent in the AC room avoiding the heat and evening eating and drinking with friends. According to what I have heard, there is nothing really to see in the city perhaps except for War Remenants Museum (which used to be named Museum of Atrocities of War committed by Japanese and Americans). I am pretty squeamish when it come to blood and gore so I don't think I'll enjoy pictures of deformed individuals. Nevertheless, I'll probably steel my nerves and force myself to go there just to see what man is capable of doing to other man. I'm leaving for Mekon Delta tommorow and probably return on Sun before leaving ... read more
Traffic at HCMC
Friends
Friends

Asia » Vietnam » Southeast » Ho Chi Minh City May 26th 2006

It was a hot evening... I had lived in Vietnam for nary a month, and we were sitting under an umbrella at Highlands coffee behind the opera house in down town Ho Chi Minh City. My roomate Martina and I had just finished a 1.5 hour bickram yoga class, and we were still sweating despite ourselves. I was unfortunately dressed in my classiest pair of trekking shorts and oversized t-shirt, she still in her yoga pants. From beyond the gates came a bounding bundle of excitement... Esther Arthur, 5' something and shimmering all the way. She met her own description to a tee; "the brown girl" she called herself. She was dangling with jewellrey and rings and even a scarf (of which the secret of a good scarf can never be revealed). She spoke loudly, laughed ... read more

Asia » Vietnam » Southeast » Ho Chi Minh City May 26th 2006

Yet another 6am wake up call. With exciting things ahead of us, there are no complaints (from Thai) this early in the morning! We had to get ready for our tour to two very popular sites near Saigon. This was our first "free" day away from the family, and as much as we all love our families, it was time to explore the city on our own! We finally felt like travellers and all the excitement of discovering a city on your own, with just the Lonely Planet Bible (btw...bootleg copies of Lonely Planet books are available, and so cheap) and each other it was fun to finally set off on our own. Our bus left at 8: 30am with our funny tour guide "Slim Jim". Full of Aussie slang, he made the US$7 trip very ... read more
GI Bianca

Asia » Vietnam » Southeast » Ho Chi Minh City May 25th 2006

As a Vietnamese born Canadian who has returned “home” for the first time I am bombarded by different emotions and experiences. I have always maintained a universal ideal about who I am and where I fit in but, I it is difficult to maintain that perspective when our culture, my culture, predicates definition of some sort. Our first few days in Saigon has brought on mixed emotions. Here are a few random thoughts: #1The diversity in appearance of the Vietnamese people is wonderful. I have often been puzzled by the fact that I have often been told I do not look Vietnamese by Vietnamese people. I most often get called Philipino ;) #2 The incredible action in the streets of Saigon have brought two truths to light. First, Asian people are good drivers. Vietnamese people are ... read more
Saigon Night

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Asia » Vietnam » Southeast » Ho Chi Minh City May 22nd 2006

So Day 2 in Saigon has been filled with all the makings of a perfect day filled with Vietnamese goodies! We woke up at 6am today (and you know if this was Toronto, Thai would be complaining!). Cousin Ha, a lovely, sweet 13 year old took us out for a wonderful, steaming bowl of pho for breakfast. 3 bowls, plus one Fanta cost us the equivalent of a whopping US$ 3 ! We then jumped on a bus with The Aunties to head down to another Aunty's place closer to the city. Airconditioned buses, thankfully! The city was coming alive. The motorbikes were out and in full force. Thai needed a haircut. All my attempts at trying to get him to have a haircut in Toronto were in vain, as he insisted he only wanted to ... read more
Head Massage
Some of The Aunties
Marketplace

Asia » Vietnam » Southeast » Ho Chi Minh City May 21st 2006

After many tedious weeks of preparation and a long build of anticipation for our trip we left late Friday night on the first leg of our plane trip to Hong Kong. We were caught of guard by the announcement that we would have a refueling stop over in Alaska for an hour. Bianca and I had both been heavily sold on a direct flight to Hong Kong so we were less than impressed at not being informed of this by anyone. Suffice it to say this disappoint was quickly replaced by the giddy travellers joy of the possibility of adding another interesting location to pin on our travel map. We both slept through the night and missed Anchorage entirely, so does it still count? We won't tell if you don't. After 19 hours of flight time ... read more
Thai and his cousins

Asia » Vietnam » Southeast » Ho Chi Minh City May 20th 2006

I'm sorry... I fell off the wagon... I didn't mean to. In fact, I did my very best to avoid it, but I couldn't... Hello, my name is Stacey and I'm a resort-a-holic. See, the problem was there is only two places to stay in Mulu - the national park headquarters, or the plush Royal Mulu Resort - and I'd been told by a number of sources that it's not a good idea to just turn up without having booked accomodation, because if it's full you're pretty much screwed. So i spent almost an entire day trying to sort out flights to, and accommodation in, mulu, but I couldn't get hold of the national park, so I had no other choice than to book a deluxe room (there were no standard rooms available) at the resort. ... read more
Bats
Proboscis monkey
The atrocities of war

Asia » Vietnam » Southeast » Ho Chi Minh City May 17th 2006

It's been a while since we last updated our blog, but we've been so busy soaking up the delights of Vietnam! We flew from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh and spent a few days exploring the city. This southern capital is rapidly being transformed into a southeast Asian western style city. The city moves at breakneck pace, faster than Hanoi! We knew it was time to move on when we got caught in the middle of a huge tropical storm that turned the streets to rivers. We thought the storm would pass pretty quickly but after 20 mins standing in a phone box watching the water rise above our feet with the thunder and lightning getting closer, it was time to run/swim for a cab! From there we braved a night bus North East to the ... read more
The Cu Chi Tunnels
In one of the larger tunnels
A street in Ho Chi Minh

Asia » Vietnam » Southeast » Ho Chi Minh City May 16th 2006

14th May (Sun) - We took a bus from Phnom Penh to the Cambodia-Vietnam border. The tiny bus was packed with passengers and the road was damn bumpy. At the Vietnam border, we queued for a long time because the immigration officers were paid by travel agencies to settle the passports of the people in the tour groups... Since we were not in any tour groups, we couly only helplessly watch the tour operators pushing piles and piles of passports to the immigration officers. After sometime, my mum and some fellow passengers in our bus were fed up and they complained loudly in front of the tour operators and the immigration officials... The tour operators, being scared by our loud voices, finally let us go through the immigration first... After another 2 hours, we finally reached ... read more
Ben Thanh Market
A golden statue of a Vietnamese hero in front of Ben Thanh Market
Municipal Theater




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