Blogs from District 1, Ho Chi Minh City, Southeast, Vietnam, Asia - page 6

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Asia » Vietnam » Southeast » Ho Chi Minh City » District 1 March 6th 2013

(Sorry I haven't been able to update the blog recently; after searching high and low, I finally found my good friend Wi-Fi again! So prepare yourself for a flood of entries in the couple of days while I can take full advantage of free hotel access...hope you enjoy!) Picking up from my last entry, I did indeed spend the entire day exploring Ho Chi Minh city on my own, and I honestly had a fantastic time. Stepping out that morning made me realise that what I had previously thought was horrendous traffic, was in fact nothing compared to the huge numbers of cars and motorbikes on the roads before me. My near-death toll pretty much tripled in the first hour. The 'traffic lights' are ignored and it's really just a mass of vehicles going in whichever ... read more
Agent Orange Exhibit

Asia » Vietnam » Southeast » Ho Chi Minh City » District 1 March 2nd 2013

You've spent 17 hours in the air, excluding a stop at Doha, Qatar. Your legs are aching and you are completely shattered. After arriving at the HCM airport you've waited for 2 hours to finalise your visa and YES, you can finally get your stuff and leave! Now, imagine your frustration when you look for your bag on the conveyor belt, and it's not there. 'Welcome to Vietnam'. Yesterday evening was difficult. It was around 9.00 pm when I made my way to lost baggage, face palming on the way there. I was so annoyed that my first memory of this country was already tarnished with the stress of this situation, which was only magnified when 5 or so forms were dumped in front of me to fill in. This being said, my major worry that ... read more

Asia » Vietnam » Southeast » Ho Chi Minh City » District 1 February 27th 2013

Eating frog skin last night seems to have had a slightly dodgy effect and woke up feeling none too special, but nothing serious. New place for breakfast - Vietnamese Kitchen - OK, but full of westerners, but wasn't feeling too adventurous and trying to chase frog out of my thoughts! Hop off, now!! After breakfast I explored a new pharmacy - melatonin even cheaper there - bought some (P!) and then went to see if my xe om guy was in his usual spot. Word has spread along the street it would seem. At first no-one offered me a ride (you don't see so many westerners on them, and most local people don't recommend it) but now I walk along the street to 'Motorbike motorbike!' Anyway, he wasn't there. What to do? Didn't want to take ... read more
Sunset
Roof bar - 23rd floor
Deary me - a cosmopolitan to suffer!

Asia » Vietnam » Southeast » Ho Chi Minh City » District 1 February 26th 2013

Walked over to ILA, where Beth was finishing her afternoon session and she had a couple of trainees to talk to. Exited 4.50. Water Puppet show at 5, and at least a 10min taxi ride, and at 5 the roads are starting to get mega-busy. No taxi in sight! We staked out a corner and found a Vinasun - phew - but were thinking we wouldn't make it. So many scooters, and the taxi had to force across a stream of them about 5 wide (Beth and I, eyes closed....) and we got there with a minute to spare. Then waited for another 15 as a group from a tour company hadn't arrived. I was chanting a mantra - don't laugh, don't laugh - as apparently the singing and narrating was supposed to be a bit ... read more
Water puppet show musicians
Water was rather murky
Cute puppet dudes

Asia » Vietnam » Southeast » Ho Chi Minh City » District 1 February 24th 2013

Info: strangely, I can always get facebook on my iphone here, but sometimes not on my notebook in hotels. No idea why this should be, and not clever enough to sort it out myself. Communal items available for use in public loos: flipflops (you sometimes have to leave your own shoes outside - just put them on and don't think about it too much) and COMBS in case your hair is a mess - eeeuw! I think not! Oh, and if like me you occasionally have moments of picture dyslexia, the word for men is NAM - luckily it was not busy and I was able to emerge unseen...... Wifi - you can get it just about everywhere, and there are many unsecured networks which I've been using, but if you need a password, just hand ... read more
Bui Vien
Bui Vien the other way - the blue hotel on the left is the An An, where Beth is staying
This lady picked up recycling from the restaurant, paid them 60p for one sackful and attached it to her cart with bungees

Asia » Vietnam » Southeast » Ho Chi Minh City » District 1 February 20th 2013

Vietnam – eine beeindruckende Geschichte. Ein Land, welches sich innerhalb kürzester Zeit von enormem Leid erholt hat und dabei ist, eine wichtige Rolle in Asiens Wirtschaftsnationen zu übernehmen. Es bietet eine unglaubliche Vielfalt zu entdecken und hat den wohl zumindest für mich beeindruckensten geschichtlichen Hintergrund meiner bisherigen Reise. Aber knüpfen wir nun erst einmal am letzten Blog an. Von unseren kleinen Straßenüberquerungsproblemen in Hanoi und dem kleinen Ausflug in die Ha Long Bay habe ich euch bereits im letzten Blog berichtet. Als wir uns in der Hauptstadt am 11.02. gleich morgens früh bei 12 Grad und Regen auf zum Flughafen machten, wartete nicht nur die alte Haupt- und Kaiserstadt Hue auf uns, sondern auch ENDLICH eine Garantie an warmem Wetter – dies wurde nach nun 5 Monaten, weiß Gott wie vielen Klimazonen, Temperaturunterschieden von minus 15 ... read more

Asia » Vietnam » Southeast » Ho Chi Minh City » District 1 February 17th 2013

I sure hope I’ll be able to cut and paste this onto the website, as there seems to be no useable wifi at the domestic airport! Yesterday (Saturday), Beth being free, we decided to not do very much at all. Waited for her on the corner of De Tham, usual place, and spotted Peter, American living in the Philippines, who’d been on the delta tour with his wife a few days earlier. He joined me for a chat, and said that he’d been out for a walk very early, 6am, and that the bar was still in full-swing then, and that several young local ladies had asked if he wanted to go home with them. Not a noticeable phenomenon in the daytime. As we chatted, a sunglasses seller came up and despite having bought several pairs ... read more
Ears, trotters and a tongue - not for the fainthearted!
Smiley fruit lady
The Deck - beautiful

Asia » Vietnam » Southeast » Ho Chi Minh City » District 1 February 17th 2013

Feb 17 2013 Don’t want to go back to work and coldness! Today is the last day of my holiday and I couldn’t have had more fun… Well that’s not true because if I had the money I would have been able to indulge myself more. BUT with what I had, things turned out well. And for all this “hard work” I’m indulging myself today. Saigon takes credit card! = I had an amzing breakfast with Inida before she left for her morning flight back to Hanoi and now I’m sitting in a river side grass area soaking up the Saigon sun, reading and writing and reflecting. You for traveling alone for 2 weeks, I had very little time alone. I’ve met some really awesome people. There is this super tall skyscraper in Saigon that caught ... read more
district 1
district 1
the river

Asia » Vietnam » Southeast » Ho Chi Minh City » District 1 February 15th 2013

'Oh, it's good to touch the Green, Green Suites of home!' So the famous Tom Jones song goes - with a little adaptation by my good self! But it really is a little like 'coming home'! Danny Yum, the security guard/kitchen porter/waiter/odd job man/ and various other responsibilities, gives us each a huge bear hug and greets us like long-lost relations - and I'm not even convinced he was here when we last stayed! Lang, the charming young Vietnamese receptionist, has a hugh smile and greets us through misty eyes! If we ever had any doubt about it, we have been sorely missed! We have arrived at the Green Suites, carrying our backpacks through a mass of late night diners who sit on primary school sized plastic chairs in the tiny alleyways and gradually spread and ... read more
I think I have found it.
Reunification Palace
Notre Dame church Ho Chi Minh

Asia » Vietnam » Southeast » Ho Chi Minh City » District 1 February 15th 2013

Day 152 (Wed 6thFeb) I got the bus to Saigon at 8am. It got me there around 2pm and dropped me 1 street from my hostel which was perfect. I walked through a little park with my gear and headed straight in, paid and got sorted. My friend Amy who I’d also travelled with in Laos had booked in yesterday so I sent her a message and we met up for a quick wander around town. We didn’t go too far then headed back to the hostel where I had a kip. In the evening we went 2 blocks away to where the main backpacker area and drinking spots are. We got tea at a small road side cafe thing. These are very popular here and I love it. We just sat there, had some food, ... read more
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