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Ho Chi Minh City…

December 27, 2015
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So this is our winter vacation and I have say it is very different than any other we have taken. First of all, it is the farthest I have flown- almost 16 hours from Newark to Hong Kong and then another 2 hours and change to Ho Chi Minh City, also known as the Paris of the orient!! What… shoot me now! Also, we normally venture to Europe which had a completely different look and feel! Although I have been meaning to come to Vietnam for a while, for the food… the journey has always scared me away. It must have been a weak moment almost 9 months ago when my husband convinced me to take this long journey… I will not lie- I was not looking forward to being on the plane for so long. After a lot of contemplation, I decided to change my attitude and be grateful for having an opportunity to visit an amazing country. I decided to look forward to the plane ride…I downloaded a bunch of shows to binge watch as well as some podcasts.
I ended up watching quite a bit of my show and surprisingly slept for a few hours. We arrived in Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) nearly at midnight… We got into a cab and were in our hotel in no time. Even at that hour the city was surprising alive. The smell and feel of the city reminded me of home (Delhi). After 7-8 hours of sleep, we got up, ate some yummy fruit and actually got a late start to the day. The heat and humidity slapped us in the face…it was in the 90’s!
We walked around and made our way through the very heavy traffic. The hotel warned us about all the cars and 2 wheelers around…It was quite interesting- almost thrilling to be able to make our way around, weaving through the crazy traffic… there are hardly any traffic lights, so one is on their own. We made our way to a restaurant called, Thuc Don which was recommended by a local woman we chatted with at the post office. The restaurant was lovely with an outdoor courtyard and a line of women grilling and preparing the food right outside. We ordered some flat noodle dumplings, some stir fried noodles and grilled shrimp. The food was delicious assaulting our taste buds with yummy crunchy herbs and vegetables.

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I drank a delicious glass of passion fruit juice. I love, love passion fruit and eat it every chance I get. Unfortunately, I don’t get them very often in the East coast and when I do, they are very expensive. Here, they seem to be everywhere and I am taking every opportunity to consume them. As we walked around some more, we came across a street food market where I drank the most delicious passion fruit mojito…. and then after dinner I ate the most yummy passion fruit custard with passion fruit sauce! OMG, I am in heaven!
After walking some more, we decided to take a break and go for a foot massage and a neck and back massage. The spas here are plentiful and very reasonable… I got a 30 minute food massage and a 30 minute back and neck massage for $20!! I am going back tomorrow!!!
Anyway, after a very relaxing break, we walked around some more near the river, exploring the architecture and made our way to Hoa Tuc which was highly recommended on Trip Advisor. We enjoyed fried tofu and bbq beef that came with rice paper, herbs, veggies and rice noodles- we had to put the rolls together and dip them in a delicious sauce before devouring them. We also ordered a delicious red snapper and some noodles. I drank a yummy glass of rose and finished the evening with the yummy custard!
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So, I guess the long trip over here was worth it… I think so… it is a fascinating country and I am really enjoying the food and the people are very friendly…So what else does one want?? Well, I guess it would be nice if it was a 2 hour flight instead of 18 hours!!! I still can’t get over that! How am I going to visit Australia and South Africa??? I think it will take me a few days to be convinced if it was worth it! Stay tuned….

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