I’d been itching to travel again. I felt like I had lost myself, working for the sake of living, not being fulfilled within my job, and living in a place that didn’t give back to me. I finally made the decision to put myself first and do what I’ve been thinking of for 2 years.
Vietnam has always been on the bucket list. My friend Carlene brought it to my attention in Korea and ever since then it was locked within. I knew it would change me but boy did I not see the adventures and challenges (good and bad) coming my way! To say I fell in love with Vietnam is most certainly true, but what made me truly happy were the people, not forgetting my gorgeous students.
Local or foreign I suddenly had a bunch of amazing beings who brought out all the happiness I couldn’t ever contain myself, even if I wanted to. Twist Saigon’s madness into it and well you have a recipe for fun, fun, fun! (Amidst a thousand bikes)
I think it’s only fitting to mention the one place I constantly found myself in during my time in Saigon – BUI VIEN.
So now many will say Bui Vien the backpacker street in Saigon is not much but let me tell you as much as we wanted to try to go to other places nothing could ever compete with that place. I called her our “crazy ex girlfriend” – you didn’t want to see her, or make that trip at midnight, you knew you’d feel guilty the next day, but it always felt so damn good to go back! She always gave you exactly what you wanted, leave alone the fact that the further you walked down the street the more debauchery you’d witness! Cheap Beer, great street food and restaurants, bars, balloons, flame throwers, rats, backpackers, secret deals, I’ve said too much. Point is – You honestly didn’t know what you could run into, even the Romans came out to play.
I worked for ILA – a company/academy with about 22 centres around Vietnam, and for some reason the ILA hangout was this small 24 hour bar play your own music, outside chairs, small dance floor, red lit booming place called 185. We loved it! Every ILA teacher has chilled at this place, and the guys there upon knowing you as a regular always made you feel right at home!
That was the greatest thing tho, all the locals are super friendly and willing to help you. I can’t even begin to tell you how blessed I felt in some not so great situations when a kind Vietnamese soul whether a stranger or friend was there for me, be it the motorbike accident I was in, to one my friend was in and a stranger helped us to the hospital, or being very sick and having someone look after me, needing to find out the best options for travel , the list is endless, but the point remains – a helping hand was always found.
Vietnam has a lot to offer. Road trips to the beaches, music festivals, secret hidden rooftop pools with stunning views, some of the best food, bar fights with sticks and chairs (literally), bus drives to other parts which are filled with its very own magic.
Natural beauty at some of its finest in many parts of this diverse country. I’d like to go through each place I visited in Vietnam, I think it’s worth the tale. I mean a lot is different but for the most part, same same.