Ho Chi Minh (Saigon), Vietnam

Ho Chi Minh (Saigon), Vietnam

[Recapping our trip, 197 days in]

On Sunday, November 20, we flew from Phnom Penh, Cambodia to Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam.

Ho Chi Minh (or Saigon) was the third time in our travels to have the incredible opportunity to see family as we traveled; Charley’s cousin Emma currently lives there, working as a music teacher and living with her boyfriend Stefan, who teaches English. This gave us two huge advantages: people who already knew how to get around, and a free place to stay! It was also great that we were able to visit during the US’s Thanksgiving week, able to finally spend an American holiday with family.

We spent most of our week relaxing and taking things easy, but we made sure to fit in some sightseeing while we were there.

Hi everyone! Reunited with family, and oh so warm here in Vietnam!

We made it to Vietnam!

Banh Mi streetcarts are the best source of $0.70 food I’ve ever encountered

This local couple was taking wedding photos in front of Ho Chi Minh’s Notre Dame Cathedral. I love glimpsing real life when we travel.

Notre Dame, but less famous than the Parisian version

The Saigon Opera House is beautiful

The real highlight of our week, though, was the evening we spent taking a “food tour” of the city with Back of the Bike Tours, who drove us around the city for an evening and guided us as we tried so much of the delicious Vietnamese food around the city.

Our menu for the evening – six courses in five stops. (The second and third courses came together at the second stop.)

I hold on for dear life and make a goofy face as Truc drives me from stop to stop. Charley looks on from the left.

At our first stop: Stefan, Emma, myself, and Charley pose for a picture with our four drivers

Charley’s SO EXCITED for food!

At our second stop, we toast along with the rest of the tourists who came along for this great food tour.

Our third stop (and fourth course), Banh Canh Ghe

It’s so good, you guys

Jack explains our fourth course, Banh Xeo

Charley gives a try to cooking it, with instruction from Jack, at our fourth stop

Yup, this one’s great too!

After the fourth course, I opted in for a secret extra dish: the Vietnamese take on Balut. I’ll let you read about it yourself if you don’t already know, but I had a really tough time with the mental aspect of it all!

It was so incredible being around family for the holidays. We had the privilege of meeting Emma’s friend Amy as well, who coincidentally arrived at the airport when we did and helped us get where we were going in record time. See everyone again soon!

Happy Thanksgiving from Vietnam!!!

Craig Chu

Craig Chu

Craig is a credentialed pension actuary who worked most recently as a software developer with Winklevoss Technologies, in Greenwich, CT USA, where he worked to maintain and develop ProVal, the world’s leading software product for pension valuation and forecasting analytics. A proud graduate of Caltech, he is a big fan of all things science-related, as well as (in no particular order of preference) beer, New York City, choral singing, and cats. He can be reached at craig@draftitinerary.com


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