Browsing Category Ho Chi Minh City

Exploring Saigon – District 1

sunsetd1Living in an area that has literally everything you need has its perks. I don’t have to travel far to go to the gym, get groceries, see some awesome sights, get a massage or pedicure. But this also means that I’ve become quite comfortable in my little neighborhood and haven’t really ventured that much outside of Phu My Hung, which is tragic considering all the amazingness that Saigon has to offer.

The past 2 weekends have changed that though. Johnny and I planned date days to see outside of our little area and go explore more of Ho Chi Minh City. Somewhat like Paris, HoChi Minh City is split into different districts, with district 1 (D1), being the city center, where most of the tourist attractions, best bars, best coffee shops, and best shopping are. The first time I went to D1, I was completely overwhelmed. All of the stereotypes about Saigon were blatant… motorbikes coming at you from every direction, horns blaring, tons of pollution. I nearly had a panic attack trying to cross a busy intersection. I don’t think I was really in the mood the first time I went, and was a tad bit overwhelmed. We did manage to see a bit of the historical sites: the Notre Dame cathedral, the Saigon post office, the opera house, and the backpacker district. The second time we ventured out was a blast. I think because I’d already experienced what sort of chaos goes down in D1 that I was a little bit more prepared. We went shopping near Ben Thanh market, had drinks and watched the sunset at the BITEXCO building, ate banh mi on the side of the street, snapped photos of everything, and found a topshop where I bought some amazing leather sandals (thank god!).

Saigon is just such a beautiful city. I love the architecture, the lush greenery, the friendly people, the food. I’m just so happy to be here. The job hunt will be starting soon though, so I gotta take advantage of all the free time I have, while I have it. Hope you enjoy the photos! And in the meantime, let me know if there’s anything you’d like to see on the blog – info about Saigon, new beauty reviews, more photos, more daily life stuff. I have a ton of reviews in the pipeline, but I also want to focus on the travel side of my blog too. Let me know in the comments any ideas or questions that you have!

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My New Neighborhood – Phu My Hung

Hi Everyone!

It’s been almost a week that I’ve moved to Vietnam, and it weirdly feels like I’ve been out of Korea for ages now. I am so incredibly happy here. Ho Chi Minh City is freaking fantastic. The weather is gorgeous. It’s hot and humid, but it’s not the ridiculously stifling heat of Korea. The nights are particularly wonderful, with a great breezes and tons of outdoor cafes, wine bars, and restaurants to hang out in and people watch. Our apartment is freaking fantastic too! It’s actually Johnny and I’s first apartment together. We’ve always had roommates or lived separately. It feels so nice to have a place we can call our own (for now).

Johnny and I live in District 7 in Saigon, in an area called Phu My Hung. This area is a favorite for expats, as there are a lot of schools, restaurants, cafes, malls, bars, grocery stores, spas, massage parlors, nail salons, all within at least a 10 to 15 minute walking distance. This is particularly helpful for me, as I’m not even toying with the idea of riding my own motorbike (although I’ve rode with Johnny and it’s pretty fun/completely insane). Literally everything I could ever want or need is within walking distance. The food options are limitless, with options including Vietnamese, Korean, Indian, Chinese, Western, you name it. It’s such a stark difference for me because for 2 years I lived in areas where my dining options were pretty limited. It’s like a whole new world for me! And the area is so gorgeous, featuring really wide tree lined streets and gorgeous villas that look like they belong in Beverly Hills…swoon. Apparently each little neighborhood in Phu My Hung was assigned to a different designer, so every little area has it’s own flavor. And there isn’t nearly as much traffic here as in other districts like D1…where I swear that I was going to get murdered by a giant crowd of people on motorbikes.

And everything is just SO CHEAP. No one was exaggerating the costs here. There’s a fresh fruit juice stand on my corner that has juice for basically a dollar. I got a world class pedicure (with ADORABLE nail art) for about 12 dollars. I even got a facial randomly the other night for about 15 dollars. And I don’t even want to get started on the food. THE FOOD. Sigh. It’s amazing. So cheap, so delicious. I think I’m officially addicted to pho.

I’m giving myself a 2 week vacation to just sort of relax after my time in Korea, to learn my new neighborhood, to polish my resumes and media kit, and work on my pitches for freelance work. I’m so much more productive here. I don’t know if it’s the endless sunshine, the great weather, or the fact that I’m eating so many fruits and veggies now, but I just feel great. I’ve been waking up early (without an alarm!), making myself breakfast, and working on my blog/writing work until the afternoon. After that, Johnny and I usually go and have lunch, walk around, then hang out and grab a drink somewhere before coming home and relaxing, where I usually end up doing more blog work.

All in all, I was a bit worried that I was making a wrong decision by leaving Korea, but I can say with 940534985% certainty that I made the right decision. I just feel like there’s been this huge weight lifted off my shoulders. Once I start going to the gym, and hopefully doing yoga, I’m going to be unstoppable!

Before I go, I wanted to show you all some photos of my new neighborhood. I hope you like them!

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