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

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Asia » Vietnam » Southeast » Ho Chi Minh City » District 1 August 8th 2019

It’s the last day of our holiday today, so we thought we would get ourselves in the right frame of mind (it’s now that we could do with those early morning tai chi sessions - see ) and go out to do battle with Ho Chi Minh City’s eight million mopeds again. It was raining again first thing in the morning, but, again, it had stopped by the time we came to leave our hotel. Our guide book had recommended the Jade Emperor Pagoda. Ho Chi Minh City / Saigon is split into a number of numbered districts, which sounds a bit Hunger Games-ish. Our walk to the pagoda took us out of the apparent security of ‘District 1’ and into the wilds of the untamed ‘District 3’. It seemed pretty much the same to us, ... read more
Jade Emperor Pagoda
Ho Chi Minh City Footpaths
Running Bean

Asia » Vietnam » Southeast » Ho Chi Minh City » District 1 August 7th 2019

Our hotel room is on the 20th floor with a view over the river, but that wasn’t high enough to dilute the constant sound of horns below all through the night. In the morning, it looked very overcast outside, but it wasn’t until we got to nearer the ground that we saw just how heavily it was raining. We still went out, armed with our raincoats, but the rain stopped almost immediately as we left the hotel. Our first stop was the Ben Thanh Market and to say that that was full-on would be putting in mildly. From the moment we walked in, “You want shoes?” “You want bags?” “You want scarves?” “You want watches?” “You want purses?” “You want t-shirts?” “I show you Gucci.” “I show you Nike.” “I show you Calvin Klein.” “Why you ... read more
Ben Thanh Market
Independence Palace
Main State Room

Asia » Vietnam » Southeast » Ho Chi Minh City » District 1 June 4th 2019

Pete and I, it would appear, still have itchy feet so this time we chose to explore some Asian countries that we have never visited before, opting to do it our own way rather than an organised tour. (There were some days when we both thought it would have been better to be herded around by a tour guide and especially when we seemed to be spending too much time organising internal buses, flights, trains and accommodation but on the whole we think our way was better as we could stay as long as we wished and move on when we were ready.) Hong Kong was amazing with its neon lights everywhere and hundreds of people on the streets which made me feel very much like a sheep being moved along! We visited the major tourist ... read more
View from Victoria peak on Hong Kong Island.
Bronze Buddha,  Lantau Island.
Fishing village on bamboo stilts

Asia » Vietnam » Southeast » Ho Chi Minh City » District 1 March 22nd 2019

It has been an unusual experience to be so far away from NZ while all the grief, anguish and outpouring of goodwill for the victims and wider affected community of the mosque massacres has been going on. There has, as far as I can tell, been little or no coverage here in recent days on TV news stations and no Vietnamese we have spoken to have brought it up. The news feeds on line are keeping us engaged and aware and I can say that it is rather eye watering at times to read the international acclaim for our PM. Certainly, for this, the right person in the right place at the right time irrespective of what anyone thinks of her Government's performance in other areas. Here, Lyn's work goes on apace. More school visits, agent ... read more
Majestic rooftop
Majestic Rooftop view
Majestic  View 2

Asia » Vietnam » Southeast » Ho Chi Minh City » District 1 March 21st 2019

Lyn was up and off to work by 8.00am. She had school visits to get to along with the rest of her group. There are about 36 Kiwis here on this education trip all doing the same thing; visiting schools, attending seminars and generally promoting New Zealand's education system. Lyn stands out by carrying a blow-up Kiwi with her and waving it around whenever she can when the occasion presents itself. I'm pretty sure the Vietnamese remember her. While she's out working I get to be a tourist and explore the city so it's not a bad life. This morning I walked to the Ben Thanh market, the big market that sells cut price stuff as long as you're prepared to haggle for it. I wasn't there to buy, just to wander through and experience the ... read more
Moon
Lights

Asia » Vietnam » Southeast » Ho Chi Minh City » District 1 March 20th 2019

18/03/19 Packed up, picked up and left Karen's place on Monday morning at 6.20am for the airport. Checked through to Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon from now on) and on the plane to Auckland. Then a Dreamliner to Singapore. We had booked a Sky Couch as Lyn said she would have felt sorry for me if she had gone Premium Economy as usual, with me in the cheap seats. That meant three seats for the two of us with the seats folding into a "bed" which took up all the normal seat and legroom space. I say "bed" because once we came to use it Lyn's shrieks filled the cabin as she tried to manouvre herself into the TINY space and still leave room for me to lie next to her. We ended up topping and ... read more
Caravelle rooftop bar

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




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