Hello all! I am back from Vietnam!! Wheeeee~ ~ We had a fantastic time and I’m super glad J came along with me. :)
More photos on Facebook ^^
Sadly we didn’t have the time for the northern / middle part of the country (Sapa, Hanoi, Hoi An, Hue, Dalat, etc) and only managed to explore the South which consists of Ho Chi Minh City (aka Saigon) as well as Nha Trang which is famous for its beautiful beach.
We stayed with J‘s Vietnamese friend for one night and got to see the more authentic side of local Viet life, and then stayed in two different hostels for the other nights in Saigon (at Halo Guesthouse, which was so-so; I’m sure there are better hostels around the Pham Ngu Lao area but this guesthouse wasn’t toooo bad) and Nha Trang (at Truong Giang Hotel, which was pretty impressive for a humble hostel because of its wonderful staff who were exceedingly helpful and nice to us).
We had fun:
1. Manoeuvring the crazy traffic especially in Saigon – 90% of the vehicles on the road were motorbikes, and everyone was honking non-stop and pretty much ignoring traffic rules haha. Traffic lights were quite useless in the minor roads and vehicles don’t stop for pedestrains; they swerve around you. Even after 7 days in Vietnam we still found crossing the street exciting and scary!
2. Snorkelling at the islands around Nha Trang – my first time snorkelling! I still don’t know how to stay afloat with the flippers on!! But anyway it was super cool for me and J said it was a lot better than he expected, because the waters were extremely clear and beautiful, and the corals and fishes were really prettyyyyy~ ~ It was surprisingly gorgeous considering how Nha Trang is such a heavily-touristy destination.
3. Eating, eating, and eating – pho, coffee, spring rolls, rice cakes, seafood… Viet food is pretty awesome!! :) Roadside stalls were aplenty and we ate at some of them but only because we were accompanied by a local friend most of the time and weren’t worried about food poisoning, haha. J is in love with the Vietnamese coffee.
4. Cycling in Nha Trang – ok, this wasn’t really fun because I was DYING from the unbelievably hot morning sun but it was still cool to bike around together with the traffic (instead of being a pedestrian all the time!). Pretty fun to cycle together with the crazy motorbikes and cars and buses, I must admit! And Nha Trang’s roads weren’t as hectic as Saigon’s (but no doubt still very busy) which made it easier and less scary for us.
5. Riding pillion on motorbikes – J‘s friend ‘Panda’ as well as Panda’s friend brought us around on their motorbikes which was quite fun too although I didn’t dare to take my hands off Panda’s shoulders LOL I felt like I was about to fall off the bike any minute. o__O But J was *ahem* braver and didn’t think twice about checking his phone for messages or taking photos of me while he was riding pillion. -_-
6. Haggling at the local markets – of course it wasn’t the first time we bargained for something in a foreign country but it was good fun nonetheless (to J particularly). :P
7. Learning Viet – this is more for J because he is weirdly enthusiastic about picking up Vietnamese LOL but it was still interesting picking up basic Viet words and awkwardly trying to pronounce them. Hehe. Viet is such a difficult language to learn though! But J likes to act cute by spouting (bad) Vietnamese to locals……… -_- and they always laugh (good-naturedly) hahah.
8. Getting a tan – just kidding, this is only for me!! :P J is dark enough heheehehehehee.
9. Sightseeing – Saigon and Nha Trang had some great sights! We went to tour the Cu Chi Tunnels and Mekong Delta, visited places like the Notre Dame Cathedral, the Post Office, Nha Trang’s cathedral, Long Son Pagoda, and Po Nagar Cham Towers. Even though I’m sure Northern Vietnam would be heaps more beautiful what with the mountains and villages and colder weather, Southern Viet certainly didn’t disappoint either. :)
There were some parts of the trip I/we didn’t like (e.g. the train and bus rides), but on the whole we had a great trip and I enjoyed myself a lot! It was made all the more special with the help of locals like Panda, Aunty, Tony, Vy, and others whom I contacted through CouchSurfing. :) Would definitely visit Vietnam again (probably the North)!! Hehehe.
I’m thinking of making a short video collage of the trip, but it’s goodbye for now~~!!! Will upload the video collage if I succeed in creating it hehe.
P.S.: I got accepted by NTU USP!!! Yay!!!! :D :D Very surprising since I thought I flunked the interview. But no news yet from WKWSCI… :/ Anyone knows whether acceptance by NTU USP means I’m also accepted by NTU in general? Hmmm. I hope I don’t get rejected by WKWSCI ’cause that’s surely gonna suck balllsssss. :(