And so our journey begins…

Xin chào! Hello!

Sean and I have been in Ho Chi Minh City for the past four days and I can’t get enough of it. Yes, it is dirty, most people don’t know any English, and simply crossing the street can be a nightmare but I see all of this as a challenge that I am happy to accept. So far, everyone I have spoken with has been kind and patient and it’s always satisfying to find that hole in the wall with the most delicious bánh mì, phở, or cỏm tấm.

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Sean about to dig into some phở
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Cỏm tấm (broken rice) with chicken and egg, all for 38,000 đồng or $1.67!

To be honest, we haven’t done a whole lot besides eat, walk around, and do some work on our laptops at cafes. We flew here with EVA Air which is an asian airline that I’d never heard of but ended up really liking. We were lucky to get the exit row so Sean had plenty of stretching room (super important for a 6’6″ dude on a 15 hour flight!) The meals were decent and on top of that, the airline has a super cute with a Hello Kitty theme. From the time we left Carolyn’s apartment in Chicago to the time we got to our hostel, a total of about 30 hours passed. Needless to say, we were exhausted, especially Sean who was sick at the time but is getting better. Once we got through customs, we faced our first real challenge, getting to the hostel across town. We decided to avoid taxis at all costs since they’re known to overcharge and we were lucky to find the buses. Luckily one of the other passengers was able to do some translating for us so we could figure out how the bus system worked. What a relief it was to finally set down our heavy backpacks, clean up, and take a nap in our comfy, cozy room at GoCo Hostel. The friendly hostel staff helped us find a dinner place for phở which ended up being exactly what we needed to nourish the body and soul.

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Lots of leg room and Hello Kitty themed meal, not to mention matching tickets, pillow, and plane!
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Our room at the GoCo Hostel
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New Urban Coffee where we spent a few hours studying and drinking lychee and strawberry smoothies
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A market near our hostel, selling everything from fish to clothes to shampoo
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Writing the Chicago blog post at Cộng Cà phê with some Honey Kumquat Cinnamon trà (tea)
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A rare clearing in the bustle of traffic, mostly made up of motorbikes

Since that first day, we’ve eaten some truly spectacular yet very inexpensive food, think $1-2 per meal. We are slowly learning some key phrases although we have a long way to go and we have already gotten a lot better at weaving through the hectic motorbike traffic.

Derick and David are currently flying here and we should be meeting up with them later tonight. Thanks for reading and hit that follow button if you want to follow along as we make our way across Vietnam and beyond!

 

3 Comments Add yours

  1. Zac says:

    Looks like a great time and you’re really integrating into the culture! What are your travel plans?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. christina_mcm says:

      Thanks for the comment, Zac. We really do love it here! The basic itinerary for Vietnam is Ho Chi Minh City, Da Lat, Da Nang, Hue, Phong Nha Ke Bang, Ha Long Bay, and Hanoi, all over the next two weeks. After that, we’ll stay in Hanoi for two months, Shenzhen, China for two months, and Chiang Mai, Thailand for one month. Not sure what comes after that but excited to see where our travels take us!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Zac says:

        Sounds awesome. We were just in Chiang Mai, its a great place!

        Like

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