Sunday, March 13, 2011

A glimpse of Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

On the way from a short trip to Vietnam, I saw an inflight video, “Hereafter”, in which an overwhelming terror of tsunami was showed. Now I can’t believe my eyes to see  exactly the same thing is happening here in Japan.  I am OK but it’s heart-wrenching to think of the sufferers and aftermath. My thoughts and prayers are with them.

Before the memory of the trip is fading away, I’m writing down some. Well, the first thing we noticed on the way from the airport to our hotel in Ho Chi Minh City was a chaotic traffic of the motorbikes. There were few signals except the busiest intersections, still a large number of motorbikes of helmeted and masked drivers together with two or three on a single motor-cycle, were surging forward within an inch of cars with constant honks. Interestingly it seemed chaotic but somehow functioning well at the same time. The flow never ceased from morning till night. Ho Chi Minh City was a bustling city.

The street in front of the hotel. On the right side of the street runs Saigon River. 
  I couldn’t get up enough nerves to cross the street to take the pictures of River view due to a constant flow of oncoming motorbikes. They never stop. Later I learned “to move slowly across the street at the cross walk” so that drivers tactfully pass through in front or behind me, and better yet, to find someone else to cross together with would work, you know, “safety in numbers”.

One of beauties of a trip is; to enjoy country’s cuisines. The breakfast in the hotel was far more than satisfactory. I tried not to eat more than I should but they were irresistibly delicious starting with rice noodle soup with rich clear broth to dessert, fruits and coffee. Vietnamese cuisines use a wide range of herbs, fresh vegetables, beef, pork, chicken and various kinds of seafood. I love the way they were served; colorful and beautifully arranged.

Banh xeo, a type of crepe made of rice flour with shrimps, pork, sliced onion, mushroom or whatever stir-fried.

On the second day, we visited the town of My Toh at the side of Mekong River, one hour and a half drive from the center city. The warm weather and fertile soil at Mekong Delta help produce abundant variety of fruits, vegetables and live stocks.

 Cruising on the Mekong River, (it was like an ocean but the color of water was not ocean blue but muddy) took us to an orchard islet where we enjoyed tropical fruits.

The temperature reached around 35℃ in the daytime, so a ride on hand-rowed sampan through small inlets under a lusty green canopy of water- coconut trees made us feel cool

The rooftop of the hotel made an excellent place for elevated views of the city, without feeling threatened by the motorbike. After a brief sprinkle, I could see a rainbow arched over the Saigon River.


  1. I think that walking slowly to across the road is a good idea, besides it would be very difficult for me to do so between motorcycles which run with fairy high speed.

    I enjoyed the aroma and tropical breeze on your blog.
    Vietnam is one of the countries where my husband and I are interested in.

  2. I'm afraid I shouldn't have posted this kind of carefree nonchalant pictures as the enormity of the catastrophe gradually came to light.

    Now the minister in charge asked us people to cooperate by saving on electricity for impending shortage of it.That's the least we could do.

    Anyway, haricot, I'm glad to know you and your husband are interested in Vietnam. Thank you for your comment.

  3. You've been kind and busy taking care of your parents. This is a well-deserved rest and trip. I'm happy for you as you enjoyed yourselves. I look forward to your souvenir talks when we see next time.

    Photos are beautifully arranged in a frame. Excellent!

  4. Budddha learned this lesson from an old musician that strings of a musical istrument
    were too tightened, they would snapp off.

    Vietnamese food! I realy love them, raw spring roll! Especially the last photo is so beautiful!!

    Don't worry! See you.

  5. sorry.
    istrument → instrument

  6. Stardust and snowwhite, thank you for your kind remarks.
    In Vietnam of course we shouldn't forget about their tragic history. At War Remnants Museum, a lot of pictures with sobering observation about the cruelty of war struck me.

  7. Thank you for sharing about this tropical country. Pictures are very beutiful. The fifth one's color is especially, is this a bougainvillea? Many kind of fruits and cuisines look so delicious.
    By the way, do you know "Miss Saigon"(musical)? Sumi Jo(Korean's singer)sings "I Still Believe" in it.I like it very much.

  8. Hi Sarah, I haven't seen "Miss Saigon" but I know a little Honda Minako's Kim. Now that you mentioned "I still believe", I listened to it through youtube. I couldn't find Sumi Jo's version, though.
    Agony and subtleties of human nature tossed up and down by the times conveys through an overlapping composition and beautiful music.
    Thank you for the comment.

  9. One's destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things. Cheap Flights to Ho Chi Minh City


Thank you for visiting and leaving comments. It's really encouraging!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...