When in Viet Nam


Ladies and gentlemen, I’m back..

After months and months of Mum ranting on about “this booked for Vietnam” and “that’s what we’re doing in Vietnam” and “what do you think we should do in Vietnam?”, the time came to leave for the Gold Coast to catch our flight. 3pm came and went as Cammy worked feverishly to get his assignment done before the library closed. We probably should have known it wouldn’t be done by 3, but no complaints here; I was suffering from a hideous hangover thanks to the girls, Rics, Woodland Bar, and tequila shots. So the valley of death was avoided, and 4 hours later the car was finally packed and off we went.

We got on the plane at some ridiculously early hour and in our first 12 hours of travel I already gained some memorable experiences. The first was the delicious curry served on the plane.. and I thought I’d seen it all! Secondly, standing in the Malaysian customs line, hearing Cut Copy, wondering where Cut Copy was coming from, and then seeing a Muslim man dancing to it.. is that even allowed? Anyway, as we left customs and went down the escalator, Cut Copy was still playing away and it turned out it was on Dad’s phone.. who knows how it got on that. Hilarious. Then as we were waiting for our next flight to Vietnam, we went to a chicken joint and Dad asked “do you take Australian dollars?”. . mucho hilarious. Finally, I finished “Eat, Love, Pray” which I have been struggling to read since Mancora, Peru. Hessle you were right- definitely not the best read.

So after the eventful day of travel we finally landed in Ho chi Minh, Vietnam and within 20 steps of the airport Cammy said “this city is a lot more developed than what I thought”. I have a feeling he thinks differently now. This city is definitely not how I remember it in 2008. I don’t know what part of the city I stayed in then, but the only things I recall are the Cu Chi tunnels, eating at a burger joint with Aliese, a giant fake snow Christmas thing, and Tandi’s bag getting left behind by the lift. This time we stayed only one street off “Le Loi” which is the main street of every Vietnamese city. In one part there were loads of fancy shops and restaurants such as Gucci, Chloe and Chanel and in another other part there were street stalls and markets. I love how there is so much traditional culture mixed with the modernity of the city, like the locals in traditional hats amongst those on motorbikes and the latest clothes.

On our first full day in Ho Chi Minh, we went to the Reunification Palace, the Post Office, the Cathedral of Notredam and The Ben Tanh Markets. Have I mentioned the heat yet? It is beyond hot. In fact I think mum was overheating as dad put it. I was also about to mention that Vietnam doesn’t have facebook.. “why is that?” you may ask.. all I can say is something to do with Libya and Eygpt. Oh and it’s only banned in Ho chi Minh, because for some reason I’m on it at this very moment in Hoi An.

Anyway so on our second day we went on a tour to the Mekong Delta. We visited loads of little local villages and were shown how they spend every day of their lives. I felt so sad that we had to buy something. I also drank loads of tea.. I must say it’s growing on me a bit. You may get some “T2” after all Tanz.. if you eat some cake.

Today we went to the War Remnants Museum and a Pagoda in China Town. This time we caught a taxi instead of walking around for ages.. those who know me know what happens when I take charge of directions.. toned thighs. The only problem was the taxi driver ripped us off and took about half an hour to take us somewhere super close.. he even claimed he wasn’t a “round about taxi driver”! Sure Mr. n00b.

This evening we flew to Hoi An.. definitely looking forward to checking it out tomorrow and adding to my wardrobe.. significantly!

Good to be back..