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Published: January 6th 2013
One of the iconic buildings in HCMC
Back to Ho Chi Minh city for the 4th time in 2 years, feels pretty much the same and a sense of familiarity engulfs me as I attempt to spend the few days in the city living like a local. Had the opportunity to meet up with some Singaporean friends who are there as well. And perhaps an indication on how well i manage to disguise as a local will be wandering off to the streets in the morning, rubbing arms with aunties in the wet market and pretending to be interested in fishes and veggies and also the ease at crossing the seemingly daunting death-junctions and roads (for first-time tourists).
Did some particularly interesting things (and some quite crazy) this time round, such as attempting to cross the roundabout in front of Ben Thanh market, taking pictures with the Christmas lights in the middle of the road and taking the local bus in pretendence of knowing what to do and reply when the local bus ticket collector asked for money in Viet. lol. Stayed back at the previous hostel I stayed in, Nga Hoang, just off a small alley in district 1. Highly recommended for short stays, if you
Together with lightings during the X'mas festive season, the whole city lights up in life
are not in the mood for an unnecessary quarrel with the lady boss, who has quite a temper. But the conditions of living is no doubt very value for money for 6USD per night in the 9-men mixed dorm.
Went back to Ben Tre this time with local friends (a continued mission!) to visit the teachers who hosted us during our community work the previous round in May. Was a pillion behind my friend's motorbike and it felt pretty safe, largely due to the fact that we never exceeded 60km/h anyways. Stopped by at 'hammock coffee places' for rest before continuing (as they call it as they hang hammocks and sell drinks for drivers/motorists to take breaks during long rides). Took about 4 hours to get back to Ben tre but it was really a heartwarming feeling going back. Saw the enthusiam in the eyes of the teachers who were delighted to welcome us back, whipping up sumptous lunch that could last us for the whole day. Went for fishing around the school and home and managed to catch more than 10 small fishes! Definitely had to go back to Nhuan Phu Tan 1 school to recollect the wonderful
memories of putting in immense effort there. It felt exactly the same! 6 months ago and 6 months later. 😊 Really nice feeling visiting overseas friends and them having so much warmth and passion in hosting you and knowing that the feeling is mutual. Even though there might be language barrier, like the saying goes, friendship is not said, it is felt. Though people may or may not see each other again, it does not mean that they can't treat each other as their very own.
This trip taught me plently. Especially made me resolute on coming back here again, perhaps on an annual basis. Perhaps next time even further, to Dalat! (heard its awesome)
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