Blogs from District 1, Ho Chi Minh City, Southeast, Vietnam, Asia

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Asia » Vietnam » Southeast » Ho Chi Minh City » District 1 January 23rd 2019

thiws blog is about Saigon and me. first this is me: The only summary I could find was this, written in 2013. It's true to date, save for a few additions: 1.I moved from Canbera to my native Malaysia in 2013. 2. I then moved to Saigon on Jan 5, 2019 (more in the coming blog entries) I was interviewed by the Canberra Times more than 2 years ago. The story read “Doctor makes dough to pay medical fees”, or something to that effect. A month or so before that, I had just walked out of the university, where I had been since the summer of 2001. I sent in my (immediate) resignation letter at 5.45am to the John Curtin School, then started working with John and Rosemary. The warm and friendly couple run a grocery ... read more

Asia » Vietnam » Southeast » Ho Chi Minh City » District 1 November 16th 2018

It's day three of our tour although, quite unbelievably, it's only day two in Vietnam. It really does seem as though we've been here ages already. And Day 3 always promised to be quite an intense day and intense it was. Today, our trip focused on the history and horrors of the war. But which war you might reasonably ask? Vietnam seems to have been at war for centuries, whether it was with the original Khmer occupiers from Cambodia in the south, between the Kings and Lords in the north, with the Chinese on and off for ever, or with French colonialists until 1954. But in modern times, when people talk about conflict in this area, they mean The Vietnam War from the mid 60s until 1975. But, here's the thing, whilst we call it 'The ... read more
Jackie - 2
The Tunnel Rats - 1
The Tunnel Rats - 3

Asia » Vietnam » Southeast » Ho Chi Minh City » District 1 November 14th 2018

For those of us of a certain age, watching the helicopters lift the last remaining Americans from the rooftop of the US Embassy in war torn Saigon back in 1975, the prospect of visiting the communist countries of Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia for a holiday was, simply unthinkable. But time, as they say, is a great healer and we're off on an 18 day trip to Indochina, with 13 days in Vietnam, 2 in Laos (it's not very big after all!) and 3 in Cambodia. A trip that promises to be full of culture, history, beauty and, hopefully, amazing food! But who are 'we' you may well ask. Well on this experience, it is Mandy and I (however I try, I just can't shake her off!), our good friends Steve and Lily Forbes, their daughter Sarah ... read more
The Secret Six - Minus One!
The Post Office 1
The Post Office - 2

Asia » Vietnam » Southeast » Ho Chi Minh City » District 1 August 4th 2018

Saigon is massive and in desperate need of a metro system, or something else to alleviate the traffic. That being said, most things to see are walkable from the main tourist area, and it's quite a spectacle to walk down Bui Vien at night. It's comfortable enough for a night or two, especially as a bookend for a longer trip. The thing to do is a day trip to the Cu Chi Tunnel complex, about 2-2.5 hours. It's dirt cheap to arrange, but like most tourist destinations in Vietnam, has become super-crowded and like moving through an assembly line. I'd skip it.... read more
Ant Hill / Ventilation for Tunnels
Tunnel Entrance
@WarRemnants Museum

Asia » Vietnam » Southeast » Ho Chi Minh City » District 1 March 21st 2018

My last post just to fill in some detail around leaving Vinh Long and a final hiccup in Singapore. I was travelling in Vietnam on a tourist visa and was living in the language school, actually a 5 storey house but empty apart from the school on the first two floors and a couple of staff sleeping in two bedrooms. That was me too. When you stay at a hotel in Vietnam your passport is recorded and you are then registered at that address for the benefit of the immigration authorities. The language school shoiuld have registered me when I arrived but didn't and it didn't occur to me I had to do anything. The night the Immigration Officers arrived en masse they were agitated because I hadn't registered and then became more agitated because they ... read more
Road crossing
Singapore Airport
Singapore Prop

Asia » Vietnam » Southeast » Ho Chi Minh City » District 1 March 19th 2018

I'm leaving this afternoon. Saigon is a bustling, noisy, smelly, sometimes dirty, jigsaw of a city with all the pieces piled on top of one another yet all seeming to have a place in the overall picture. And then there's the traffic. The bikes buzz from dawn to dusk and the horns play the accompaniment. The fabled crossing of streets works well enough - I haven't seen anyone hit yet - it's a matter of choosing one's moment and not changing one's line when the crossing begins. Unlike the locals I still tend to keep an eye on the traffic as I "stroll" across. It's an intriguing mix of areas. This morning I walked to the Post Office about 20 minutes away, which is a work of art designed and built by the French - Eiffel ... read more
The Crib 4
War Museum 4
War Museum 5

Asia » Vietnam » Southeast » Ho Chi Minh City » District 1 February 28th 2018

Saigon: Trong chuyen di nay toi den Saigon trong nhung ngay dau tien, trong nhung ngay Tet, trong nhung ngay giua chuyen di va ngay cuoi cung. Saigon bao gio cung nang triu trong tam tu toi. Toi voi den roi voi di...nhung khong lia xa Saigon duoc. Trong chuyen di 11-2018 cach day 3 thang toi den Viet Nam, toi bat dau di tu bien gioi Tau-Viet den bien gioi Mien -Viet. Lan nay toi di nguoc lai tu bien gioi Mien-Viet den bien gioi Tau-Viet. Toi di xe do nhu nhung nguoi dan ngheo kho khac de toi hieu su dau don cua dan toc toi. Moi cac ban doc bai viet va hinh anh cua toi chup ve chuyen di nay. img=https://i9.ytimg.com/vi/yp_0axvCKaY/default.jpg?sqp=CNif3tQF&rs=AOn4CLAmZe2JrajGtUMsPWuWIjtawGjZ7g 3:44Tet Mau Tuat 2018: Duong hoa Nguyen Hue HD url=https://w... read more
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Asia » Vietnam » Southeast » Ho Chi Minh City » District 1 February 28th 2018

Cong ty Giay Lee and Man cua Trung Cong ben bo song Hau o Can Tho. Headquarter o url=https://www.google.com/search?q=Dongguan+China&stick=H4sIAAAAAAAAAOPgE-LSz9U3MDEzLanIVeIEsY1NjQxKtLSyk63084vSE_MyqxJLMvPzUDhWGamJKYWliUUlqUXFAIqVVZpFAAAA&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjJlsTescrZAhUFRqwKHZX_DAAQmxMIrAEoATAQDongguan, China.: Cong ty giay Lee and Man lam o nhiem nuoc cua song Cuu Long, Can Tho img=https://i9.ytimg.com/vi/G51yPl5PGYg/default.jpg?sqp=CNif3tQF&rs=AOn4CLDICuq4_qwulVoMRzHxbMw6c-jJdQ 2:33Cong ty giay Lee& Man cua Trung Cong o Can Tho... read more
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Asia » Vietnam » Southeast » Ho Chi Minh City » District 1 January 17th 2018

Worst night’s sleep EVER! For me, at least, Sam was oblivious and passed out unconscious. Maybe I should have had more cocktails. The cute restaurant opposite the hotel is now another trashy bar, in fact there are a whole line of them, catering to a specific type of clientele. Even the side rooms at the hotel are not exempt from the noise now. Earplugs didn’t even take the edge off it. At 4am it stopped but then the vendors on their bikes, some with loudspeakers, were up and down the alley selling thugs we didn’t want. If we come here again we won’t stay on this street, it has changed such a lot. Sad face! Awake at 6.30,at breakfast at 7.30 feeling non too special. The breakfast was very good, large array of cooked items and ... read more
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 View from window
Free stuff.

Asia » Vietnam » Southeast » Ho Chi Minh City » District 1 January 16th 2018

So our bargain BA direct flight to Singapore, which we were quite excited about, despite it costing £100 more than our last year’s long haul, turned out to be a bit of a trial. Sam and I were on different bookings as a our return day dates are different, so we were on the phone to each other as soon as check in opened. The plane was a huge one with a big upstairs which also had economy seating, so we were hopeful of getting a row of 2 seats at the side without having to pay £60 extra for them. To our disappointment there were only about 5 seats free to change to on the entire plane, up and down, and as Sam was entering her API they were popping off the screen like balloons ... read more
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