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


Asia » Vietnam » Southeast » Ho Chi Minh City March 25th 2019

It seems to have been all about the eating for me since the last post. Not so much for Lyn who has been working like a trojan. It's all about convincing the students to come to Paraparaumu you know and there is a heap of competition - I think she's doing OK. As many of you know the food here is awesome and you can find great food at small prices if you're prepared to look around the alleys and back streets. The Secret Garden was one of those. We'd never have found it if it wasn't for a couple of other teachers on the trip who had been there. Nine of us ended up there and it was superb. Beer and Vietnamese food goes SO well together! Prior to that we had all been (including ... read more
Saigon Fair panorama
You wan massage

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

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 Two January 24th 2019

My mate in Saigon, I don't even know his name! Hence, Mr Saigon Express. Met him at a nice Pho restaurant in Distict X...Takes me everywhere in his little kapcai (slang term for rusty small motorbike in Malaysia). Has a heart of gold. Really takes care of me. Makes sure no one takes advantage of me.Always give him a little something as he doesn't have much. The Pho place probably uses his services but pays him a pittance.In his spare time, he is a motorbike parking attendant. He directs the bikes ... read more

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 Two January 23rd 2019

The simple things I am in Saigon, Vietnam. The name is over 300 years old. Its new name, Ho Ch Minh City, is fairly recent. Been here many times over the last year. Loved it so much I decided to move here. They didn’t renew my contract as a lecturer at the university in Malaysia. Whatever the reason, matters little now. This might indeed be a blessing. I came here to Vietnam out of a hunch. Needed a holiday. Had some cash. Oz is too expensive. Why not try somewhere new? Lived in Oz for 15 years . Nice. Can’t complain. Some of the best times of my life were had there. Ask Mick. Ask Warren..Heather, Jo-fin (God bless her soul), Tossbag and Sabita… The list is endless. I miss Australia. Back to Saigon. Someone told ... read more

Asia » Vietnam » Southeast » Ho Chi Minh City January 16th 2019

Noël est passé et nous avons encore deux jours à profiter de Leslie et Tiffany.... Nous ferons donc une excursion au Temple Cao Dai ainsi qu'aux Tunnels du Cu chi avec eux. Je les remercie de nous avoir accompagnés car ce n'était pas une première pour eux... Il y a pas mal de kilomètres et si il y en a bien deux pour les kilomètres sont devenus une corvée c'est bien eux... Mais le plaisir était d'être à nous 4 et cela nous l'avons tous compris tout au long de la journée ! Nous étions déjà venus ici en 1999... nous en avions gardé un bon souvenir et c'est pour cela que nous souhaitions y retourner : La structure du Grand Temple caodai repose sur neuf niveaux pour symboliser les neuf marches menant au paradis. Au ... read more
Barvo, ils se sont levés tôt et sont arrivés en moto-taxi
sur la route on rencontre de tout...
si vous n'avez pas pris votre petit déjeuner...

Asia » Vietnam » Southeast » Ho Chi Minh City January 15th 2019

Point final de notre petit voyage.... Nous laisserons ici Shanti Travel que nous ne pouvons que remercier vivement car tout fût parfait... Un seul petit couac... on oublie de venir nous chercher à l'aéroport à Saigon pour nous mener vers notre hôtel... mais ce n'est vraiment pas la panique car nous remarquons tout de suite qu'ici les choses ont bien changées... rien à voir avec notre première arrivée en décembre 1999 où PA devait se bagarrer avec un chauffeur de taxi pour qu'il veule seulement bien nous prendre tous... (nous étions 4...), accepte de prendre nos valises mais surtout veulent bien mettre le compteur... Plus rien ne ressembe à tout cela et nous ne reconnaissons absolument pas l'environnement... Après un petit contact avec Mathieu, notre agent Shanti (merci encore Shanti pour cette carte SIM qui nous ... read more
avant l'embarquement !
approche de Saigon

Asia » Vietnam » Southeast » Ho Chi Minh City November 29th 2018

It's Thursday morning and, sadly, our tour of Indochina is over! The rest of our group have most of the day to chill in/explore Siem Reap, before catching a flight this evening to Hanoi, followed by a 1.00 am flight back to the UK. But for the Secret Six, plus Chris (now the Magnificent Seven, I suppose!), we're off to the seaside! To the, allegedly, fantastic beaches of Mui Ne on the coast, east of Ho Chi Minh City, for our 4 day/3 night rest and recuperation extension to the trip. Departure was at 7.45 am and although we did see one or two of the group at our early breakfast (and Paul & Julie got up especially to see us off!), the majority, quite rightly, took the opportunity for a lie in this morning. Dee ... read more
The Magnificent Seven’s meal
Bamboo Village Gardens - 1
Bamboo Village Gardens - 2

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