Ho-Chi-Minh

Pousse Pousse in Saigon

As I had the opportunity to take my exam in a french school in Ho-Chi-Minh city, I first flew to Singapore (article to come) and then, Ho-Chi-Minh. I have to admit that I was a bit scared of heading to Vietnam on my own. For the first time since I traveled alone, the culture was completely different and I had no language basis. At the same time, I was excited. My first two roommates in Melbourne were vietnamese and if their home country were as nice as they are it would be awesome. And it was! Vietnam is one of my favorite memories of 2014.

Though, I made a stupid mistake when I booked my hotel… I just arrived at the airport by midnight, 10 days before my exam, I wouldn’t have thought my night would be so intense, my entire fault. First, I struggled to get my tourist visa as I didn’t have all papers… I was the only one left, still waiting, at the arrival area. After an hour or so, I went to find my suitcase which was in lost property by that time. Then, I changed my money, bought a SIM card and jumped in a taxi. I realized I was going to have language troubles; I was far from fluent in english + nor are most vietnamese people. Arrived in Bui Vien, in a backpackers street, I was checking in at my hotel Hong Han until the receptionist realized I made actually the reservation three days later. The hotel was fully booked so I had to be relocated until my room was ready! Thanks to the great services of the hotel, I found  a room to stay next door. OUF!

Here we are Vietnam, let the good time begin…

Bui Vien - HCM city -
Bui Vien – HCM city –

I usually don’t get beers but I LOVE trying new and “cultural” things when I am abroad. Cultural or Tourist things? I am not sure but I enjoyed my time chilling there. #SAIGONBeer

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The view from my room.
The view from my room.
The view from my room.
View from Hong Han's terrace. Bui Vien street - busy as always.
View from Hong Han’s terrace. Bui Vien street – busy as always.

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This is the picture of a homemade Bubble Tea by my friend, Nhung – met at my hotel. She was the receptionist and had a second job, she and her brother owned a Tea shop together. She brought me there and we enjoyed sharing our experiences, stories and cultures.

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You’re right. This is definitely not a vietnamese cultural thing but – that was reaaaally good! Though, I can’t post this picture without mentioning the associated anecdote. I knew vietnamese women were very pretty. Jolie, my friend in Melbourne, is beautiful inside and out, + she has long straight black hair, she can curl it as she wants. During my free time, I love to observe people who are around me and, as a conclusion, I found out in Starbucks that vietnamese women have perfectly long straight hair. (Did I really need some time alone to get this!?)

On my way back, I ran into a Haircut shop. Was it a sign? I suppose it was.

I decided that I wanted the same as the Vietnamese but, when I met the staff I realized we wouldn’t understand each other – at all. Helped by her iPad, the owner asked me to sit down and to show her what I wanted. Google Translate helped the two of us but still – she wanted me to pay 1,000,000 dong for it (I don’t remember how much it was but, it’s a lot for just an hair cut). I asked just to cut a bit and when it was finished, my hair was not straight, not long, but luckily, still black!

The woman was very smily and did a good job, but I would only recommend to those who speak Vietnamese or to get some help from someone local.

I am sorry that I don't understand Vietnamese but this souvenir still makes me smile. :)
I am sorry that I didn’t understand Vietnamese but this souvenir still makes me smile. 🙂
Ellie
Ellie

First day that I met one of my two favorite English friends! And, this was the first day as a Backpacker for her. Now, she is doing amazing things! After backpacking through Laos and Thailand, she headed to Fiji to work for a charity for three months. Then, she flew to my favorite city, Melbourne, and started her visa. She is now travelling through New Zealand with her boyfriend whom she met in Fiji! 🙂

We were wandering in Vietnamese streets and about to go to the Market…

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Ben Thanh Market
Ben Thanh Market

Some Vietnamese meals…

Fried rice with shellfish
Fried rice with shellfish
Fried rice with vegetables and chicken
Fried rice with vegetables and chicken

One thing I have been very surprised is the circulation in Ho-Chi-Minh city…

Circulation in Saigon.
Circulation in Saigon.

To end, one of my favorite picture of my stay in Ho-Chi-Minh city is the last one. It shows how people are friendly and kind there. They are pure, helpful, generous and really inspiring. I loved spending a few days in this beautiful city and was really sad when I had to leave…

Pousse Pousse in Saigon
Pousse Pousse in Saigon

More articles about Vietnam to come

and already more pictures on Instagram @Lauraussie

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