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

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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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Asia » Vietnam » Southeast » Ho Chi Minh City May 15th 2006

Saigon. Shit. I'm still only in Saigon. Whatchu talkin' bout, Willard? I'm loving it here. I flew from Bangkok to Hanoi, right back where I started out more than three months ago. A couple of Israeli boys and I pile into taxi, and since I am a Vietnam veteran of sorts and they know absolutely nothing about Vietnam they look to me for advice. "Thit cho is dog meat, seek or avoid accordingly" and "they drive kinda crazy here" are the only pearls of wisdom I can think of. The Israelis assure me that they can handle crazy traffic, because Israelis drive a lot crazier than us lame Americans. A couple minutes into the ride I hear them start gasping what I imagine is the Hebrew equivalent of "Oh my God, we're all gonna die!". Oh, ... read more
Hey you, where you go?
Saigon market
Watching the world go by

Asia » Vietnam » Southeast » Ho Chi Minh City May 12th 2006

Saigon was our last stop in Vietnam and, considering the fact that we had enjoyed everywhere else in the country so much, we weren't expecting to like the city a lot. We had also been warned from fellow travellers that it was noisy, overcrowded and a bit sleazy in places. Thankfully we were pleasantly surprised. To us, Saigon was a well developed buzzing city which had a lot to offer. We arrived to the usual gathering of 'friendly' touts, all promising top-notch cheap accommodation. Of course we were sceptical but after a bit of trudging to and fro we found a decent place in a central spot. We were starving as usual so Karen, Julia and I headed out to find some grub. Had just left the hotel when we ran into Steph, Steve and Vinh, ... read more
Looks can be deceiving..
Steve's Birthday Party
Mwaah ha ha!

Asia » Vietnam » Southeast » Ho Chi Minh City May 12th 2006

OK, first up, let me apologise for not having posted anything on the blog for several weeks. I am tempted to blame Stef but I have to take full responsibility here. Up until now, Stef had been doing most of the writing whilst I was in charge of the photos and other 'techie' bits of running the blog. I did promise Stef that I would write about our first parts of Vietnam and I have been procrastinating constantly. Whilst this is entirely in Character, part of me thinks that I have been delaying it because, to be totally honest, Vietnam has not been the experience we were expecting. In fairness, Vietnam is a country that is experiencing massive growth in the tourism industry, particularly from the backpacker and flashpacker crowds. As a result, the attitude amongst ... read more
My 15mins of movie stardom
Steve and Stef looking great ;-)
Steve coming out of the last stretch of the Cu Chi tunnels

Asia » Vietnam » Southeast » Ho Chi Minh City May 10th 2006

Well what was going to be the relaxing couple of days in the sun turned out to be anything but, I think I may have mentioned in the last blog Jane had booked a trip on a tourist boat out to a couple of Islands with some snorkeling, well what a trip. We did not stop laughing from the start to finish, the guides on the boat were a couple of characters one calling himself the Funky Monkey, when we left the harbour with creedence clearwater revival playing over the biggest speakers I was a bit unsure. It is hard to describe what an amzing day was had by the whole family, all of us snorkelling in crystal clear water, amazing tropical fish and an enormous lunch on board the boat. Floating in the south China ... read more
Nha Trang
Floating Bar
Sams School Mates

Asia » Vietnam » Southeast » Ho Chi Minh City May 9th 2006

In complete self-defense, I had meant to publish this blog much earlier. But Vietnam put a strange hold on me; it seemed much more important to live Vietnam in real time, without having to strangle my experiences by picking and choosing which to write about and to what extent. Now, with only three days left before I cross into Cambodia via the Mekong Delta, I can look back on everything that has come to pass with reflection, and it doesn't seem like such a crime to limit them to words, as now the complete experience is comfortably solidified in my mind and soul. I have fallen head over heels for this country, the people I have met, the things I have seen. I think that there is more life on one street corner in Hanoi or ... read more
Sapa
H'mong
Misty Mountain




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