…to Vietnam

Posts include days 258-283 in reverse chronological order. Also includes 1 day in Singapore. Click to read each short story.

24 Hours in Singapore (Day 283)

After a two-hour flight from Vietnam, I arrived in Singapore for a 24-hour layover. I was en route to Melbourne, Australia, and booked the ticket because it was cheap. I didn’t mind the delay because arriving and departing at 11:00 am would allow me to see a new country. I packed my carry-on backpack withContinue reading “24 Hours in Singapore (Day 283)”

Advertisements

Travel Tips to Thailand and Vietnam (Day 283)

The hotel that I was staying at in Ho Chi Minh City, GK Central Hotel, packed a thoughtful takeaway breakfast for me because their restaurant didn’t open before I had to leave for the airport. I had many bad experiences flying with Air Asia and VietJet Airlines from excess, unknown baggage fees to rude employees.Continue reading “Travel Tips to Thailand and Vietnam (Day 283)”

Advertisements

Day 282: My Last Day in Vietnam and An Urgent Note to Tourists

I signed up for a full-day tour during my last day in Vietnam. The van picked me up at my hotel at 7:45 am. It was similar to the VIP vans I had been on before and I was lucky enough to get one of the individual front seats that reclined. When the door opened,Continue reading “Day 282: My Last Day in Vietnam and An Urgent Note to Tourists”

Advertisements

Day 281: Stomach and Post Office Problems

After a quick breakfast, I took a taxi to the airport. I was leaving the island of Phu Quoc and flying to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam (formerly known as Saigon). I checked in at Vietjet Air and the combined weight of my suitcase and backpack were 34.4 kilos (75 lbs). They only allow 20Continue reading “Day 281: Stomach and Post Office Problems”

Advertisements

Day 280: Stabbed by a Sea Urchin

I signed up for scuba diving, but because my hotel was too far from the city center, I had to meet at the dive shop in the early morning and then get on the bus from there. Grab (like Uber) isn’t on the island, so I asked the front desk to call me a taxi.Continue reading “Day 280: Stabbed by a Sea Urchin”

Advertisements

Days 278-279: Island Relaxation

I arranged for a car to pick me up from my hotel and take me to the airport in Da Nang. The driver showed up early and had to wait on me for a few minutes. He angrily pointed at his watch, which I blew off since he was early. On the 45-minute drive, IContinue reading “Days 278-279: Island Relaxation”

Advertisements

Days 276-277: Friends When You Need Them

I continued to fight a cold and wanted to sleep in because I didn’t fall asleep until 12:30 am. At 7:40 am, there was a knock on my door. It was the front desk woman reminding me that I had a tour that day at 8:00 am. This was the second hotel in Vietnam whereContinue reading “Days 276-277: Friends When You Need Them”

Advertisements

Day 275: Alone in the Most Romantic City

I went to the small indoor/outdoor cafe that was at the hotel to eat breakfast. I asked the woman at the front desk (who also took my breakfast order) about the hot water because I couldn’t shower the night before without it. She explained that they don’t have a water heater and the pipes areContinue reading “Day 275: Alone in the Most Romantic City”

Advertisements

Day 274: Catching up with Old/New Friends in Da Nang

When I woke up, I could feel that my throat was swollen and I was feeling tired. I ate breakfast at the hotel since it was included with my room. The modern hotel was large and offered a wide spread of breakfast items. I was excited to eat some westernized food like eggs and toast.Continue reading “Day 274: Catching up with Old/New Friends in Da Nang”

Advertisements

Day 273: International Politics at a Vietnamese Amusement Park

I quickly ate breakfast at my hotel and was in the lobby ready for a tour of Ba Na Hills. A woman in her 30s arrived to pick me up and explained that we needed to walk a little bit to the bus because traffic prevented them from getting to my hotel. I noticed thatContinue reading “Day 273: International Politics at a Vietnamese Amusement Park”

Advertisements

Day 272 – No Glitter. No Party: My Introduction to Vietnamese Street Food

After spending a few days in Hue, Vietnam, I continued south to Da Nang. I had arranged for a van company to take me on the two and a half hour drive. At 11:00 am, I received a phone call from the driver, but he didn’t speak English. To communicate, he hung up and textedContinue reading “Day 272 – No Glitter. No Party: My Introduction to Vietnamese Street Food”

Advertisements

Day 271: Abandoned Amusement Park

I spent the morning in my Airbnb deciding what to see in Hue, Vietnam. I saw that there was an abandoned amusement park on the outskirts of the city, so I decided to go there. Why go to another museum or temple when I could visit an apocalyptic park? I walked downstairs and Jack’s parentsContinue reading “Day 271: Abandoned Amusement Park”

Advertisements

Day 270: Exploring Hue, Vietnam

The room I was renting in a house in Hue, Vietnam included breakfast. I slept in and the night before had a hard time communicating with the homeowner about what time breakfast would be provided. I opened my bedroom door and on the small plastic table was a plate of sliced dragon fruit and aContinue reading “Day 270: Exploring Hue, Vietnam”

Advertisements

Day 269: Train Ride to Hue, Vietnam

I took advantage of the free breakfast at my hotel and arrived at 8:45 am, 15 minutes before it ended. I was the only person there and enjoyed the buffet. On my way back to my room, I stopped at reception and asked if they could help me with the train. They didn’t speak English,Continue reading “Day 269: Train Ride to Hue, Vietnam”

Advertisements

Day 268: American Giant

After sleeping for three hours in my last-minute hotel in Ninh Binh, I woke up at 11:30 am. I had a headache and felt rundown. The older that I get, the more overnight busses and planes wear on me. I took some Excedrin and searched online for things to do. I only had a dayContinue reading “Day 268: American Giant”

Advertisements

Days 267-268: Travel Woes

I left Ha Giang after completing a four-day motorbike tour of the mountains in the north of Vietnam. The bus ride from Hanoi to Ha Giang was awful because it was their standard sleeper bus, which is too small for anybody over 5’5”. I booked the overnight VIP bus to return to Hanoi and itContinue reading “Days 267-268: Travel Woes”

Advertisements

Day 267: Driving a Motorbike in the Rain

It was cold at the homestay in northern Vietnam. I grabbed a blanket from the empty mattress pad next to me and put it on top of mine. That kept me warm and comfortable through the night. As I ate breakfast, I talked with the three travellers from Holland about medical school and how theyContinue reading “Day 267: Driving a Motorbike in the Rain”

Advertisements

Day 266: The Chinese Border

After we said goodbye to Erik and Melana, we continued our trek through the mountains in northern Vietnam. Ben and Berry rode on the back of the bike of two guides and I continued to drive my own bike. It was colder that day, 48°F (8°C), so I put my coat on instead of myContinue reading “Day 266: The Chinese Border”

Advertisements

Day 265: Being Silly

I woke up in a homestay in the northern mountains in Vietnam. I tried to use the bathroom, but was told the power was out and I needed to use the bathroom downstairs. Melana and Erik didn’t take a shower the night before because they were tired, so they had to take cold showers usingContinue reading “Day 265: Being Silly”

Advertisements

Day 264: Driving a Motorbike Through the Vietnamese Mountains

I woke up in my hotel, packed my bags, and asked the front desk where the nearest ATM was located. The man didn’t speak much English, but gave a few instructions. After walking for seven minutes and not finding the ATM, I asked store owners if they could help. I kept getting led astray andContinue reading “Day 264: Driving a Motorbike Through the Vietnamese Mountains”

Advertisements

Day 263: The Worst Bus Ride of My Life

It was time to checkout of my hotel in Hanoi and head north to Ha Giang. I talked with a woman at the reception desk about the best way to get there because it was a six-hour bus ride away. I asked her about the 10:00 am bus and taking a taxi to get toContinue reading “Day 263: The Worst Bus Ride of My Life”

Advertisements

Day 262: Learning about Vietnam

When I arrived at my hotel lobby, I intended to grab a quick breakfast, but my tour guide showed up early. The hotel staff, being concerned about my breakfast, made me an omelet to-go. As I walked to the van with my tour guide, Trung, he said, “Vietnamese don’t like empty stomachs.” The tour wouldContinue reading “Day 262: Learning about Vietnam”

Advertisements

Day 261: Vietnamese Prison

An old co-worker, Austin, was in Hanoi for the day before flying back to Thailand, so we met for breakfast. I hired Austin a couple of years earlier to work in sales. After earning his Master’s degree, he quit in the spring of 2018 to travel the world for a year. He was in hisContinue reading “Day 261: Vietnamese Prison”

Advertisements

Days 259-260: Food Tour and Exploring Hanoi

I skipped breakfast at the hotel again because it ended at 9:30 am and I wanted to be hungry for a food tour that I signed up for. When I walked through the lobby, the staff pointed out that I missed breakfast again and said the next morning they’d give me a wake-up call. IContinue reading “Days 259-260: Food Tour and Exploring Hanoi”

Advertisements

Day 258: Arriving in Vietnam

I arrived in Hanoi, Vietnam at 8:30 pm and headed to customs. There was a desk with various forms and I grabbed the one I needed, filled it out, and returned it to the man at the counter. The man instructed me to have a seat and wait for my name to be called. IContinue reading “Day 258: Arriving in Vietnam”

Advertisements

Advertisements
%d bloggers like this: