Monday, 29 August 2011

Food In Vietnam

I shouldn't be putting this post together just before lunch, but here is the amazing food from Vietnam, Yum yum yum!

Snacks from the plane

First meal at the Zoo. Rice and chicken

Beef Pho

And again. mmmmm

Chinese food at the beach

KFC. Knives forks and a salt shaker!

Yeah it was good. KFC in Korea is weird, this was much more normal style!


Pork cutlet, with green beans!!

Vietnamese spring rolls!

Saturday, 27 August 2011

Post-holiday Blues

I've not been back long, but I'm already sad to not be on holiday any more... I was ready to be back in my own bed, and I'm excited about having moved into my new place, although a little daunted about the unpacking that must commence tomorrow... This place is quiet, which is good, but for the last 4 weeks I've been surrounded by my friends, and other travellers constantly, so sitting here, catching up on eastenders and nosing through facebook profiles of people at home, I can feel the start of holidays blues setting in. Travelling and living abroad gives you some tremendous highs, but with that you also have to take the lows; long delays in airports, strangers staring at you, getting ripped off, being robbed, this feeling afterwards when you crash back to reality, and it's only in those small moments that I feel a little envy for those people back home who are settled in their jobs, relationships and homes and take a couple of holidays a year but are comfortable in their settled lives. I have chosen this life for a reason though, and I know that tomorrow, when I find something weird or exciting in the local supermarket I'll be in love with my life once again!

New beginnings and my belongings sprawled across the floor!

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Cu Chi tunnels

 When the Americans were fighting the Viet Cong in southern Vietnam, they knew the Vietnamese fighters were hiding out in tunnels but no matter what they tried (napalm to destroy the jungle amongst other things) they couldn't find them. Now you can take a tour around the tunnels area and if you are brave enough walk/crawl through the tunnels that have been made bigger for the tourists (and they're still not very big). 

On the way the tour stops at a factory where victims of agent orange and landmines make intricate pictures with egg shells.

This picture is not very good, but the trees were all planted in completely straight lines. I assume from having been replanted after the napalm destruction.

Booby trap spikes


Ho Chi Minh Sandles

The Fighting Bunker

Wendy: the only one brave enough to go all the way through.

Tapioca and peanut sauce

Our guide. He was a little bit crazy but very informative

The tunnels complex

Monday, 22 August 2011

Boyfriend Vs Girlfriends

For the last 3 years all the travelling I've done has been with my (now ex) boyfriend. After winter vacation I was desperate not to travel with him again, wanting to have some fun with my girl friends. So regardless of our break-up my summer holiday was always going to be with the girls, who I'm now currently sitting in the hostel lobby with. Since we've been on our travels for 2 1/2 weeks I've come to realise what is good about both travelling situations.

1. Transport. If you're tired with your boyfriend on the long journeys between cities or countries, you can lean on his shoulder, rest your legs across his and generally make yourself more comfortable. You're friends aren't quite so up for you drooling on their shoulder.  
B/F: 1 G/F:0

2. Weather. South-East Asia is hot. REALLY hot. Sweaty sweaty hot. Your friends don't care how sweaty you are, and you're not really trying to impress them so you don't mind feeling a bit minging with them around.
B/F: 1 G/F: 1
3. Shopping. He doesn't like it. He gets bored immediately. You feel bad dragging him around. He asks to go and wait in the bar with a beer for you. Shopping alone isn't half as good. Your friends are there with you, bartering for you, telling you what looks good, what doesn't, having a secret giggle about the horrible looking bags or weird accessories. Shopping is fun with them.
B/F: 1 G/F: 2 

4. Massages. He doesn't like them. He doesn't want one. You go alone. It's nice but lonely. He's waiting in the bar (can you see a pattern here?). Your friends are right there with you, discussing whether you are supposed to take off your bra or not, what's going on with her massage, if it's weird or not and generally having a bit of a natter. 

B/F: 1 G/F: 3

5. Men. When you're a white female in Asia you get a lot of attention for being white. Some men are sleazy. Perhaps if you are with a boyfriend you get slightly less attention. But there are still some pervy men. Your boyfriend doesn't see it, he thinks you're exaggerating. Your girlfriends scream in the pervy guys face 'NOT IN A MILLION YEARS MATE!!'  

B/F: 1 G/F: 4

6. Drinking. Your girlfriends understand the importance of buying that entire bottle of Pimms and share your excitement at having found it in the supermarket. 'Nuff said.

    B/F: 1 G/F: 5

Sleeping. In a cold place, it's nice to have a boyfriend to snuggle up with and keep warm together. In a warm place, you're glad you're in your own bed. You can stay in dorm room more often with girlfriends, because you don't have to have that privacy that a relationship needs, and therefore it's much cheaper. No clear winner... although my purse knows which one is better.

B/F: 1 G/F: 5


Nights-out. After your meal, you don't want to go to bed yet, but you're not on a crazy night out. With your boyfriend it's not weird to take a romantic stroll along the river/on the beach/back to the hostel.  
B/F: 2 G/F: 5

Saturday, 13 August 2011

A series of unfortunate events

So on Monday, when Fontaine arrived we decided to make a trip to the beach. I found out the way to get there and it all seemed easy enough so we headed to the bus station.What followed was a series of unfortunate events... but we did manage to get into the sea! Here are some pictures of HCMC and the beach day:

View from our hostel balcony

Local church

Outside praying section

How cool are the bins??!?
Soooo Similar to Chinese communist art
French Colonial building housing a museum

Majestic hotel

Little bit of Korea in Vietnam
Oh yesss!

Inside the Reunification/Presidential Palace


Inside garden

Notre Dame Church

Start of the beach bus journey

Moto to the beach

It was busy

but started raining also immediately

Once it eased off a little we went into the sea

To play with the waves

Fonts was too busy looking at the camera

and she got eaten by a wave

Motos back to the bus station

and on the way bak a guy slammed the door so hard the window fell out and smashed. We were waiting for them to sort it out so long that we missed our next connecting bus and had to get a taxi.

The bus with no window!