Asia / My Travels / Vietnam

Revisiting Ho Chi Minh: Owning Up to Responsibility

“Right is only the goodness you carry in your heart…wrong is all that comes between you and the love.”
– Papa from Heaven And Earth


Nón lá , a Vietnames hat | October 2009

I first visited Ho Chi Minh (or I still prefer to call it Saigon!) in May 2009 just over the weekend, then few months after that, around October 2009, I went back with my high-school BFFs, my sister, and my nephew, to become their “guide” haha!

Click HERE to see a separate entry for that first trip in HCM.

My friends’ original plan was only visiting Siem Reap, Cambodia. However, at that time they couldn’t get a flight going to Siem Reap only the return flight. So I suggested they fly in HCM, and take a sleeper bus to Siem Reap as there are daily bus trips from here to Phnom Penh, which is only US$12.

They liked the idea so they could also visit HCM. However, I have to go with them! A 12-hour bus ride. Deymn.

Anyway, since it’s a rare thing to happen that the three of us will go on a trip, and since they are not really the “backpacker” type of travellers, I agreed to come with them, since I also want to visit HCM again to see the Cu Chi Tunnel that I missed last time. My sister and my my 5-year old nephew decided to join at last minute. I wasn’t sure if I was doing the right thing, and so help me God. Haha.

Click HERE to see our Siem Reap, Cambodia trip.

Eating Pho

Eating Pho and othe Vietnamese food.

We stayed on the same guesthouse we stayed on my first visit at Phan Lan Hotel, then on our second day we went to a Cu Chi Tunnel tour.

Cu Chi Tunnel is a 200km interlaced tunnel used to be the battleground during the war. There was a video presentation at the beginning of the tour that boasts how they won the war against the Americans and the anti-communists. Then they will take you to the tunnels and try it yourself.

If you are claustrophobic, you will not like this part. It’s a shame that we thought my 5-year old nephew will be okay with this, it turned out he was freaking out inside even if he was walking inside whilst we all crawl (because it’s that tight!). The bad thing was, once you’re in it, there’s no turning back, you have to go on at the other end if you want to go out. I feel bad for my nephew, but I’m proud of him that he made it to the end. And we hope he forgave us already hehe.

I don’t remember much anymore of this trip apart from eating lots of Pho (Vietnamese noodles). My friends and I did a lot of catching up because it has been so long since we last see each other, when I moved to Singapore. And so the 12-hour sleeper bus ride seemed not that butt-painful too, because we laughed at almost anything, just like the old days.

Being the only one in the group who is experienced to this kind of trip, I feel responsible for all of them. I thought at first it will be difficult, but it turned out it wasn’t a wrong idea at all. Perhaps in this case it was different. Maybe because I didn’t feel I had to do this for them because I was obliged to be responsible for them. I am responsible for them simply because they are one of the few people in my life that I truly care, therefore, I want to look after them.


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