Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Photies of first few days in HCMC


Our first international flight on Qatar Airways - from Joburg to Doha

Who knew - Joy even smiles when she sleeps =)

Our travel companion, Eeyore, enjoying the beautiful sunset from our window seat

Doha Airport catching the shuttle to our connecting flight to Ho Chi Minh City


Our first night in HCMC - seeing the city night lights with Franck, one of our fellow French dorm mates

The beautifully lit Opera House

DAY 1 - 27/04

Sampling our first bowl of traditional Vietnamese Pho...

...the first of many

The HCMH post office - need to make a phone call to least we'll know what time it is

Exercise in the park?

Danger: due to extreme heat, this should only be attempted at night

Relaxing at a water feature - wish we could take a dip

Notre Dame Cathedral

DAY 2 - 28/04

Rise and shine to the delicious famous Vietnamese coffee - it was certainly what we needed to keep away the jet lag blues...Joy is hôoked

Beautiful flower market while roaming the streets

Outside the HCMC Museum - intruded upon a wedding photo shoot...oops!

Couldn't resist taking a seat in this old classic car

Soldier Joy reporting for duty...can I steer?

...and seek

Funemployment is hard work 

Hidden tunnels beneath the Museum lead to this secret room
Outside view of the Museum

Daring to touch the scary gargoyle 

DAY 3 - 29/04

Water Puppet Show:

We are still mystified by the mechanics of how this was performed - It múst be magic

DAY 4 - 30/04 


We started off our day of spirituality with a cleansing session of Yoga in the park, guided by our American yoga instructor, Will. Cleansing in more than óne sense of the word as the heavens open up and it rained in sync with the session. Hence no photographic evidence.

Braved the local bus and visited the Vinh Nghiem Pagoda, the largest in Saigon 

Ding dong the gong has gone...time for afternoon mass
Side Pagoda

The sweet scent of Frangipani was welcomed in this bustling city of 'interesting' smells

The only friendly animal we have yet to encounter...we un-originally named him Felix 

Tuesday, 29 April 2014

First few days in Ho Chi Minh City

After a day and a half of flying we arrived at Tan Son Nhat Intenational Airport in Ho Chi Minh City. As we stepped off the plane we were hit by a wave of Asian heat which has now become a constant in our lives. On arriving at the airport we followed the signs to the landing visa area. This process was very efficient and took no longer than 30mins to be issued with our 3 month tourist visa ($45 stamping fee) and go through customs. Roxy even managed to sneak through with all her pills and protection devices (tazer and pepper spray).

We caught a taxi (R100 each) to our hotel/backpackers and were immediately struck by the chaos that was the traffic in the city center - which includes taxis, buses, tuktuks, bicycles and millions of scooters (we thought driving in Butterworth was tricky, but it ain't got nothing on this!!!!)

Luckily, upon arriving at our awesomely air conditioned backpackers (dorm style room for R60 per person per night), we met a couple of French guys who offered to show us around the city with all its bright night lights and more importantly...taught us how to effectively cross the roads. GOLDEN RULE - only yield to buses and cars, just walk straight and evenly across the road, the scooters will weave around you {just pray with ever fiber in your being that this principle is true =) }

And so our chapter in Ho Chi Minh City began...

[photos to follow...]

Friday, 25 April 2014

The adventure begins

Here we go! We are at OR Thambo at our boarding gate waiting to board our plane. Roxy had to use her lawyer skills to convince the authorities that our paperwork (visa forms) were legitimate. Now just holding thumbs that we don't get cut from this overbooked flight!!

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

The Packing Process

Packing is something that does not always ignite excitement but when the task is undertaken with the anticipation of the adventure ahead, it can make it a little easier. But the question still does one tackle such a chore.

Here is a 5 step process:
  1. Get the right equipment - for us it was proper big backpacks with lots of straps, steal reinforcement and everything...ooh
  2. Chuck everything out of your cupboard.                                                                                       Here is my 1st draft

      You just never know when you might need fluffy pink bunny ears. Haha!                                                        
  3. Cull - now, carefully go over all the items and cut out anything that isn't totally necessary. This may be more difficult than you think.
     Should I keep the pink wig? Haha!                                                                                                 Here is my 2nd Draft
  4. Choose a packing strategy - I decided to go for the classic 'rolling technique'. Apparently this method will save space, keeping your packing as compact as possible. Hopefully it all fits!                   
  5. Passport and Travel Document - double check, triple check, quadruple check!!!! Your passport is one thing you do not want to leave behind!!!!    
Okie we just gotta hold thumbs and hope that nothing is forgotten. Oh...and check for that passport again!!! Haha!