Ho Chi Minh city, aka Saigon, through a little girl’s eyes

I have not posted info about Ho Chi Minh city (HCMC), aka Saigon in detail on my blog. So, let’s start with a very brief introduction about this city by reading a quote I copied from wikipedia.org

Ho Chi Minh City (Vietnamese: Thành phố Hồ Chí Minh About this sound pronunciation), also known as Saigon (Sài Gòn About this sound pronunciation is the largest city in Vietnam. It was once known as Prey Nokor, an important Khmer sea port prior to annexation by the Vietnamese in the 17th century.

Under the name Saigon, it was the capital of the French colony of Cochinchina and later of the independent state of South Vietnam from 1955 to 1975. In 1976, Saigon merged with the surrounding Gia Định Province and was officially renamed Hồ Chí Minh City (although the name Sài Gòn—formally known as District 1—is still commonly used.)

The city center is situated on the banks of the Saigon River, 60 kilometers (37 mi) from the South China Sea[3] and 1,760 kilometers (1,094 mi) south of Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam.

The metropolitan area, which consists of the Hồ Chí Minh City metropolitan area, Thủ Dầu Một, Dĩ An, Biên Hòa and surrounding towns, is populated by more than 9 million people, making it the most populous metropolitan area in Vietnam and the countries of the former French Indochina. The Greater Ho Chi Minh City Metropolitan Area, a metropolitan area covering most parts of Đông Nam Bộ plus Tiền Giang and Long An provinces under planning will have an area of 30,000 square kilometers with a population of 20 million inhabitants by 2020.According to the Mercer Human Resource Consulting, Economist Intelligence Unit and ECA International, Ho Chi Minh City is ranked 69th on the list of world’s most expensive cities and the 3rd most expensive city of South-East Asia (after Singapore and Hanoi).

I have been staying in this city for a bit – not too long and not too short. Yet, my feeling is the same: I do not like to live here for a long time. I do know there are many good chances for my tourism career; for my networking, etc. I still want to go back my hometown somehow.

Working with many hotels in District 1 and District 3, I think I can help my family and my friends for their Viet Nam trips. From 2 star to 5 star hotels. From a crowded centered position to a a-bit-far-away-from-the-center place. From state hotels, private hotels to international hotels. From super deluxe hotels to very budget guesthouses.

Making tours within Viet Nam; connecting to Cambodia and Laos  – probably soon to Thailand, I think

From what I learned and experienced last summer, I can prove myself in such a great “playing yard”.

I have had kind of cool working time with my colleagues and enjoyed a working environment. It still sucks after work though. Traffic is driving me crazy. I hate it a lot. When I do not have any work, meeting or business stuff to be done, I swear I will not go to District 1 – or any central district of Saigon. Motorbikes and cars are everywhere. Well, I do not mind this thing. They annoy me when they do not follow the traffic rule. They do not know how to pass over another vehicle. They do not know how to stop their vehicle at the right place of the traffic lights. They do not know how to use horns. They do not know where is their line to run. They do need to re-take driving exam again!

Food is quite expensive and other daily necessaries as well. It is true that Saigon is the 3rd expensive city in Southeast Asia. Luckily, I am sharing an apartment with my friends where we cook ourselves most of the time. We save a bunch of money actually and we do not worry about our food quality. I hardly find some of my fav food here, such as banh tet, banh it, chuoi nuong nep, etc., which are a lot back home. Maybe they are selling them somewhere but hell yeah I am often get lost in this city :D, aka I do not know any direction 🙂

Last night, one of my very good friends took me around and we had some good food 🙂 We also enjoyed beer Saigon Red with boiled peanuts. We talked about everything. I enjoy spending time with him as usual.

The other night, I met another good friend of mine who just got back from EU. We had an Indian dinner while it rained a lot. Indian food in Bui Vien area is not that good but not too bad. Anyway, after talking to her, I was wondering whether I should settle down for real or just for a short time. I still have many longed-for trips to many places. Things will be changed if you have a family to take care.

Last week, I hung out with another girl friend and enjoyed bubble tea together. Same questions. Same situation.

Among my busy friends, I still manage to meet and hang out with some. Real ones. I am happy for that.

I know when I go back my routine, I will have to think a lot for many questions, which is not a good habit.

Life is not that easy. Struggle. Fight. Maintain. Go forward. Keep balance. Love. Laugh. Live.

I am making the best of what I have had in my hands. Appreciated much. Enjoy more. Complain less.



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