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


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 May 19th 2019

Just outside of Saigon are tunnels used by the Vietnamese people to fight the French and then later the Americans and Allies during the Vietnam war. The tunnels were used extensively, and have been widened to allow for the passage of tourists (even local Vietnamese, with more nutrition and different lifestyles, need wider tunnels than those used in previous time periods). We saw several of the traps used and learned some more about guerrilla warfare. It's quite strange to look at war through the eyes of the other side.... read more

Asia » Vietnam » Southeast » Ho Chi Minh City » District Two May 16th 2019

I have arrived! It only took a mini airport breakdown and a couple days to get here, but I have made it. The flight over was probably the best I have ever had, though my stop in China was held up as Customs agents inspected my visa from Bolivia - telling me it looked fake! Why would someone create a fake visa to get into Bolivia and then use it in China? It makes no sense, but they were very worried about me for awhile there. I met another traveler while there though who had his passport stolen in the Beijing airport and was in China for 3 days trying to get his paperwork sorted. Life is hard overseas without a passport - always (always) copy your passport and email it to yourself so you can ... read more

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

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