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The Beauty of Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Let me start this by saying I have never travelled. I had been to Florida twice, once for 5 days the other time for literally 2. So by "I have never travelled" I truly mean it. I was going to live my life thinking I would never see white beaches, eat exotic foods, greet animals not behind a glass wall or dip my feet in the ocean. A year ago my life changed completely and I decided to walk down a path that I had to create myself. Boy am I glad I did that. A part of that path led me to an amazing career that I absolutely love and the newfound love of travelling. I decided to skip the Cancun or Bahamas resort vacations and go straight into the wild and gorgeous landscapes of South East Asia. I had two and a half weeks left of vacation at work and managed to create the best itinerary, shoving as much experience as I possibly could into such a short timespan. The trip went like this: Vietnam, followed by Singapore, Cambodia and 4 places in Thailand. I hopped on a plane at 12:30 am and spent nearly 24 hours travelling to my final destination, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

This city was alive with movement. The street were filled with hundreds of mopeds and scooters at any minute, all swerving and looping through traffic, amazingly avoiding accidents. I think we can learn a lot from them. You have to pay attention when you are crossing the streets, and never, I repeat, NEVER have your cellphone out when doing so, snatchers are at every corner looking for their next victim. Getting around the city is fairly easy. While the streets are filled with chaotic travellers, the sidewalks are filled with pedestrians and street vendors.

If you plan to get anything on the streets of Ho Chi Minh City, get yourself a sugar cane drink. Not only is it cheap but its incredibly refreshing especially with the hot weather. While I did not spend as much time as I would have liked in this city, I was able to take in amazing architecture, food and people. I even got on the back of one of those scooters and drove around the city! Thankfully I knew my driver very well so I trusted her as we weaved in and out of traffic. Terrifying but thrilling at the same time. Yes you MUST wear a helmet!

Here it was that I had Pho for the first time. In the middle of Ho Chi Minh City is Pho 2000, a popular restaurant due to the visit of Bill Clinton in 2000. Hence the name. I can tell you that it's not just the celebrity visit that makes people come back day after day. The Pho was AMAZING, and I learned how to properly use chop sticks here!

We spent most of the first day exploring the city, eating the amazing food and watching as the entire city got together to watch a soccer game in the middle of the street!

Our view of this event was from Saigon Oi, a delightful little cafe high up in the cafe apartments. An old apartment building turned business district with beautiful skyline views. Oh and their coffee was amazing as well.

The end of that day brought upon us a deep and confusing sleep. Jet lag got the better of us, but the next morning we were up early and ready to take on the Cu Chi tunnels. A half day tour with a hilarious tour guide, deep into the forest located in the Cu Chi district. These tunnels were used during the Vietnam war by Viet Cong soldiers as hiding spots during combat. They also served useful for communication and routes of supply for hospitals, food and more. If you do plan to add this to your itinerary do. not. forget. bug spray. I cannot stress enough the amount of bug spray you will need in these areas. Better safe than sorry!

I would recommend Vietnam to anyone travelling. It has amazing food, landscape, people and experiences. I wish I had more time, but right now in my life, there is no such thing as saying I'll never go back.


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