Vietnam Journals


Our Short Trip to the Mekong

Mui Ne

Hoi An - The Second Time

Elisa's Introduction to 'The
Traveling Life'


From Sapa to Bac Ha

An Overnight Train Ending in
Photo Albums
Saigon and Mekong Delta

Mui Ne

Hoi An

Hanoi, Sapa and Bac Ha
Links relating to
my trip

Park Hyatt Saigon -
A little
dose of 'vacation life' while with
my friends in Saigon.

Bamboo Village - A nice place
that we stayed at in Mui Ne

Greenfield Hotel (in Hoi An) -
Definitely not the greatest...but not
the worst either ($25/night).

Other Sites:

Restaurant Bobby Chinn
- Probably the best meal
Elisa and I had during her entire

Wrap & Roll - I absolutely
adored this casual Vietnamese
restaurant in Saigon.

Xu - Absolutely the best meal I
have had in a long time (in

Le Camargue - Our French
colonial dining experience in
Saigon (16 Cao Ba Quat - but is
moving soon).

Mai o Mai - Found several
things in this great boutique in
Saigon (40 Dong Khoi St).

Yaly Couture

Linh Chi

Morning Glory- This was
where Elisa and I took a 'street
food' cooking class. So fun - and
for only $9!

Mango Rooms - Excellent
drinks and food. Though we
found out in a cashless drunken
stupor that they don't accept
credit cards.

Cargo Club - Same restaurant
group as Morning Glory - great
white roses and crab wontons.
Also great pastries (like the
Chocolate Louver)!
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My Vietnamese Experience...

Highs: The food and restaurants in Saigon (especially Xu); my entire time in Mui Ne; taking motorbike
rides again; getting clothes made in Hoi An.

Lows: Feeling, once again, like I didn't have enough time in Vietnam; 26-hour bus ride to Laos; getting
in a verbal blowout with a taxi driver in Hanoi.

Best Moment: Getting some incredible clothes made in Hoi An with Elisa. Sad but true.

Craziest Moment: For sure this has to be our taxi ride from the airport to the Old Quarter in Hanoi.
We were quoted $8 for the ride and when we arrived, he was insisting on another $20 and would not give
us our luggage in the trunk. He was not going to get one over on me - we ended up prevailing after much
frustration, yelling and getting other Vietnamese people in on the situation.

Smells: Fish sauce factories; burning of garbage.

Sounds: Horns of motorbikes; Christmas music (yay!).

Sights: Lots of shops; Mekong Delta; Mui Ne and the surrounding sand dunes; fishing village in Mui Ne;
many tailors in Hoi An; Ho Chi Minh's mausoleum; the water puppet show.

Tastes: Banh cuon; green mango salad; bamboo shoot salad; heart of palm canneloni; banana creme
brulee; Saigon Crush (drink at the bar at the Park Hyatt); fruit skewers passed around at the Park Hyatt
pool; banh xeo; fresh spring rolls; grilled tuna in Mui Ne; baguettes; pho; banana flower salad; white
roses; tropical fruit; different local Vietnamese candies; excellent food at Restaurant Bobby Chinn in Hanoi

Purchases: Silk flip-flops; tote bag; 'Tin Tin Au Vietnam' t-shirts; black silk jacket; black wool coat; a
new 'LBD'; a wrap-around dress; silk scarves; a skirt; a shirt for work; chopsticks and bamboo placemats;
a small piece of art on lacquer; set of three lacquer bowls. .

Experiences: Motorbike ride all over Mui Ne; Mekong Delta trip; boat ride on the river in Hoi An;
getting many o' clothes made at the tailors in Hoi An; 26-hour bus ride to Laos; show at the Water
Puppet Theatre.

Street Food: Pho; banh; fruit.

Western Companies Out Here: KFC; Gloria Jean's Coffee; Pizza Hut; designer stores like Gucci,
Louis Vuitton, etc in Saigon.

Other General Info...

Visa needed? Yes. It is necessary to get this before arriving. But make sure it's multiple-entry if you
even have an
idea of crossing into another country in between visiting north and south Vietnam.

Type of currency? Vietnamese Dong. About 16,000 dong are equivalent to $1 US.

Wallet Friendly? Yes! Hotels, great restaurants, clothes - everything is pretty cheap! Though things
do get a bit more expensive in Saigon.

Things Vietnam Is Known For: The War (which they appropriately call 'The American War');
excellent food.

Departure Tax: $14 US.

Religion: A combination of Buddhism, Taoism and Confucianism.

December 1-10, 15-20, 2007
Locals on the side of the highway.
Beautiful Vietnam scenery near Mui Ne.
My Vietnamese-chic look.