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My need to get away . . .

I have been restless since I got back home from my vacation. For some reason, the comfortable place, the access to all my stuff, the malls around me, the nice restaurants and whatever life I have back here in the city don’t seem to be what I like anymore. But hey, we don’t always get what we want in life, do we?!

Being in Metro Manila for 4 nights seem to be too long. Since I am not capable to go out of the country again, at least I need to go out of town. I could only think to go to my best friend since high school. She lives in Oriental Mindoro which is Southwest of Manila.

Today, I left my place at 4AM. I took a taxi, a bus, a ferry and a van to get to my destination. After almost 7 hours of commute, I’m reunited with my friend and her family (my family). I feel better. 🙂

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Back to my homeland…

I jumped in the shower right when I got home today. Boy, it was so nice to take a shower without having to take your stuff out of your bag and put it back after. I got plenty of clothes and shoes to choose from and I’m now again able to charge my 2 mobile phones, a power bank and my iPad all at the same time.

Since I was a budget traveler, I was eating street food (which was good) or cup noodles most of the time. I went  to Outback Steakhouse for dinner with my dear friend and as you can see, I am a happy girl. My tummy is happier though even you can’t see it. 😉

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Having access to all my stuff and even after I had this good food, I feel like this is not where I want to be though. I am home but I feel homesick. So weird! Something I never felt before. Maybe I just have to overcome this post vacation blues.

The people I met who became part of my vacation will not be forgotten.

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It was such an amazing and remarkable experience indeed and I can’t wait to do it again.

Physically in Singapore. Mentally in Vietnam.

So, I’m back in the Lion City. I’ll be here for 4 days before I return to the Philippines.

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I’m still thinking of Saigon though.

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I can still taste the Vietnamese food.

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I can still hear the Vietnamese people.

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I want to go back to Vietnam and live in different parts of the country. I want to experience the local life and not the tourist life.

Vietnam surely captured my heart. Whether it was the country, just the city, just the food or just the people. I’m looking forward to come back.

Củ Chi Tunnels

We decided to do Cu Chi Tunnels on my last day in Vietnam. The hostel was offering a tour for 130,000 VND/person excluding the entrance fee of 90,000 VND/person. We took a bus instead which cost us 26,000 VND/person round trip. That was way cheaper than the tour package. The first bus took us one hour and 45 minutes. It took one hour just to get out of the crazy city.

 

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The second bus took us about 30 minutes which was a nice ride because all you can see are rice fields. Then there’s the Cu Chi Tunnel.

 

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I thought I wouldn’t fit in here but I did! It was crazy inside. You can imagine how Vietnamese lived during the war. I got wobbly legs after the tour.

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We went to see this beautiful temple and sat by the river before we headed back to the city.

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The next morning, I took a bus back to Cambodia to catch my flight to Singapore. I sure didn’t want to leave Vietnam but I had to.

I then got this message from a Vietnamese girl I hang out with. How sweet!

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The remaining days . . .

I was going back to Cambodia to spend my last 3 days of vacation in Siem Reap before I head back to Singapore. I suddenly got a message from my Vietnamese friend telling me that the guys from Gibraltar that we met in Singapore are coming to Vietnam and that we should have dinner together. I surely didn’t expect to see these guys again. Specially, not that soon. I sent them a message on FB and gave them the address of the hostel I am staying at. They said they won’t land until around 10PM. I waited in the lobby then they arrived a little after 11PM. They got a room even without a reservation so we were all staying in the same hostel again.

They freshened up then I took them to my favorite place to get smoothie. They had dinner then we decided to go to sleep since they were tired too. I suggested for them to see the War Museum the next day but I will just accompany them since I’ve already done it. They wanted to do something I haven’t done yet so we just walked around the city.

We visited Ho Chi Minh museum which was boring but the surrounding was lovely.

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We stayed a while by the Saigon river though. Who would have thought I’d see them again?

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We then met our Vietnamese friend Lam for dinner.

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Some of the students who are member of Talking with the Tourist Group joined us as well. It was such a fun day and night.

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A Wistful Night

It is too early to sleep so I decided to go to the coffee shop nearby my hostel to relax and to also catch up on my blog. I was watching youtube videos and exchanging messages with my friends as well.

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I then realized that I’ll have to leave Vietnam soon. I’ll have to go back to my real world before I know it. I feel sad and I don’t know why. I have been to 6 other countries and I never felt this way before. Not even to my own country!

Why Vietnam? Was it the country or was it just the city? Was it the food or was it the Vietnamese people? Or maybe it was all of the above!

All I know is that I fell in love with Vietnam the moment I got off the bus from Cambodia and I feel the same way until now.

I really wish I could just stay in this country. I have to leave but I am definitely coming back.

Vietnam 2014 (A productive Day 9)

I woke up today feeling better and so was Ellen. We planned on going to the War Museum. They said it takes about 30 minutes walk from our hostel. We had lunch first then started walking. Since the War Museum will not open again until 1:30PM, we decided to go to Independence Palace which is just nearby.

On our way to the palace seeing all the crazy traffic, I told Ellen I have been wanting to have a picture with a lot of motorbikes in the background and here she captured one for me when we got the opportunity.

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Then we saw this coconut vendor who asked Ellen to carry his “whatever you call it”. Ellen asked me to do the same. Pretty fun but it was heavy and we didn’t want his coconut anyway so we kept going.

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When the security guard in front of the palace saw us, one guy immediately offered to take a picture of us which was nice.

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We had to pay 30,000 VND to get in. This was my first time to get in a palace. It was nice to see but it made me think of the homeless people. It made me think of my own country. It made me think of how many unfortunate people can this huge place accommodate. Wouldn’t it be nicer if this can be a shelter of a lot of homeless people rather than just a president of one country?! Oh well, I guess that is the benefit of being a president or even just a rich individual.

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The War Museum was only 15,000 VND per person to get in.

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This museum is all about the Vietnam War against America. We started on the ground floor. This first part gave me goose bumps the most. Although, the whole thing was crazy! It was unbelievable and it was hard to understand why this war even had to take place. It was so overwhelming though to know how many countries supported Vietnam during the war.

I saw this wall so I decided to write and I really meant what I posted here.

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I think we spent at least 2 hours in the War Museum. It was a very interesting experience. Definitely worth the time and money.

We were hungry so we decided to go to the food court in Diamond Plaza. We had such a good lunch.

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Across the street is this beautiful cathedral called Saigon Notre-Dame Basilica.

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We were walking from 11AM to 6PM. When we finally got back in the hostel, we rested for few minutes then we went to get smoothie and of course I got mango. I just gotta have it before the day ends!

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Vietnam 2014 (Day 7 & 8)

My 7th day in Vietnam was a lazy day. The last few days were tiring and I needed to get some rest. The girl from California (Ellen) was not fully recovered yet so we just went out to have lunch. Then, it was raining for the rest of the day.

On my 8th day, Ellen was feeling a little better so we decided to go to Ben Thanh Market. After a few steps from the hostel, it started raining so we decided to go to Trung Nguyen Coffee. I got tea because I felt like I was coming down with something while she got Vietnamese Coffee which she enjoyed a lot. We were stuck for couple hours but it was a relaxing one.

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When the rain finally stopped, we headed to the market but we didn’t spend much time in there because they pretty much have the same thing and stuff is expensive since this is where all the tourists go.

We then searched for a place to get her film developed. Yes, she has a film camera! It was challenging to find one but after all the walks, we finally found Kodak Express near the market. This made her happy because she has been waiting to see these pictures. It made me happy too because finally, the search was over.

We had to head back because I wanted to join the talking with the tourist group at 3PM in the park which she also did. I didn’t last for long though because I suddenly felt tired so I went back to my hostel. I took a shower then I felt like I was going to have a fever. I fell asleep until a whole bunch of noisy girls came in the room. I woke up with a headache so I walked out and went to the lounge on the 7th floor which was quiet for few minutes until the cleaners came to watch TV. I went back to my room and there was a girl packing her stuff so the lights were still on. She was talking to her friend in the room and at the same time was also on her phone which were slowing her down. I was not feeling well and how I wish I could tell them to shut up and turn the lights off but I know that I didn’t have a private room so I had to wait until I fell asleep.

Pretty much a terrible night for me but I knew tomorrow will be better.