Monday, September 8, 2008
I am very happy to have had the experience to live in Vietnam. I don't think travelling through for a few weeks would have had the same impact. I got to interact with locals on a daily basis and not just as a tourist. I enjoyed seeing the different vendors every day. They were all so friendly and wished me well when I got home. They also all asked me when I would come back. Maybe in the next thirty years (since it took me that long for my first visit!)?
As I finish up with this blog, I remember some post ideas that I never ended up writing. One was the "What If?" post, as in "What if my parents never left Vietnam?". Well, the obvious answer is, I wouldn't be Canadian and I would not have had as many opportunities as I have. Would I still have become an engineer? Who knows? Would I own my own house? Probably not. Would I have been worst off? I think both worlds has its advantages and disadvantages but I do realize Viet Kieu's are lucky. Our parents sacrificed a lot for us to have a better life.
One last note, I have really enjoyed writing this blog and writing in general. I've also had the chance to make good friends (like Miss Gastronomer) and to discover the world of blogging. I want to continue blogging so I've decided to start a new blog, based at home (probably no more travels for a while, sigh). I think it will be mainly about food with a side of house projects. Please check it out: Miss.Adventure at Home.
My trip started less than ideally when I could only get a boarding pass from HCMC to Seoul because I was first traveling with Korean Airlines and then Air Canada. This meant that I would need to check in again in Seoul. I was hoping to save myself this task so I could save on time. When I arrived at 7 am I rushed to the Air Canada counter to get my boarding pass, but it was only opening at noon. So I decided the heck with it, I was going to explore Seoul!
I exchanged 60 USD for Korean won's. I went outside and found the bus stop that went to Insadong, my first stop in Seoul. Buses come at 20 minute intervals and their routes are very clearly illustrated. I went to buy a ticket for 9000 won (about 9 USD). It took about an hour to get to Insadong. Bus stops were announced by an automated voice in Korean and English. I arrived in Insadong at close to 9 am. Unfortunately, nothing was opened until 10:30 am except for a few souvenir shops. I could not even find a restaurant serving breakfast. So I walked around and took a few pictures.
On the way out of Incheon - looks like my previous employer, the big D.
Am I back in HCMC? Tous Les Jours Bakery just opened an outlet near my old place in District 1.
As you can see, Insadong was very quaint but still sleeping.
The menus looked appetizing but I could not find an open restaurant!
As I was exiting the subway station, I could hear drums beating. There was some type of procession going on.
The Palace with the mountain backdrop.
National Palace Museum of Korea.
Sunday, September 7, 2008
View from our hotel room on our first night in HCMC.
Careful there! So many electrical wires!
Rex Hotel. Dammit, I never had a drink on the patio!! However, I did get a Swedish massage at the hotel thanks to The Gastronomer.
Old houses in District 5.
Line of vendors lined up, selling ... I don’t know what. I always meant to try it but never got around to it.
Vegetarian thali at our favourite Indian restaurant, Mumtaz, at 226 Bùi Viện. I’ve had many thali‘s and this is one of the prettiest! The Boyfriend and I ate there every few weeks!
Bánh mì thịt bò nướng, fancied up (and the price showed it!)
Bánh cam Vendor.
Can you say traffic?
Family friends from Montréal in front of city hall.
Park by Phạm Ngũ Lão St (near the backpacker’s district).
Carved stone depicting traditional Vietnamese musicians.
Bright yellow Jaspas restaurant from where we ordered 2-for-1 pizza on Mondays and Thursdays!