When travelling takes you

A guide to Ho Chi Minh City… Saigon.

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Bui Vien, District 1

Ho Chi Minh City feels like home to me. I spent just over four weeks there soaking up the atmosphere, meeting new travellers and learning where the best places to eat and drink where. We also did a fair bit of travelling around the city and a bit further afield.

We stayed in District 1! If you’re after cheap accommodation in the heart of the action it’s the place to be. The accommodation is all close to the main backpacker area located around Bùi Viện. So what is there to do when in HCMC and where to go to eat and drink?

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Top travel tips for Cambodia and their culture!

00023987If you’re off to travel around Southeast Asia and you’re popping in to Cambodia, here are a few travel tips to consider!

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A weekend in Kampot, Cambodia

DSCN0281Last summer I spent 4 weeks working on a maternity ward in Phnom Penh. One weekend myself and my two friends that I was on my medical elective with decided we needed to get out of our boiling hot hostel room and see another piece of Cambodia. We chose Kampot because we had heard rumours of great views. Our only requirements were to have accommodation with a swimming pool and an air con room, which wasn’t hard to find! We splashed out (for students travelling in Asia) and booked a room at the Villa Vedici.  We took a Giant Ibis bus (Giant Ibis stop is next to the night market in PP) for about 4 hours to Kampot where a tuk tuk took us to our accommodation. It was just what we needed.
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Transport in Vietnam: Your guide to navigating the country.

00020867“Taxi? You want a Taxi? Cheap cheap, very good price taxi!” And then multiply the noise by 4 or 5 as several taxi men fight for your business. Add in that it’s my first time in Asia with two equally inexperienced friends and 11pm at night. It was a recipe for disaster. We learnt a quick, painful lesson that night, in what not to do in Vietnam. For the next 6 weeks I travelled the country of Vietnam, doing extensive research into how best to travel around on a backpacker budget. This in-depth guide to negotiating Vietnam’s public transport has everything you need to know to get around the country. If you want more advice on how to get certain parts, please comment below and I’ll try help out.
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Hoi An is for tailoring…

00021014_Fotor…And so much more!! Vietnam’s half way house regardless of direction of travel is Hoi An. It’s smack back in the middle of most itineraries and for good reason. You’d be mad to come to Vietnam and not go to Hoi An. It was another all time top location on our travels, one we’ll certainly be returning to.

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Phnom Penh. Inside the killing fields


The killing tree

Cambodia, in mainland Southeast Asia was where I (Leanne) travelled to, to complete my medical elective. The Khmer Friendship hospital is one of the poorer hospitals in Phnom Penh and is over flowing with people. It’s fancy, spacious, white, recently opened Geriatric Department (paid for by the King’s Mother) really highlights how run down the rest of the hospital is. When the new department was opened there was a huge ceremony in which the King and his mother attended and the hospital was closed down to patients, including the maternity ward! If you were in labour you had to go elsewhere and if you’d just delivered, even though they would usually keep you in for a week, you had to go home too! Events like this made me realise you really have to go with the flow, because the culture and the government system here is very different to anything I’m used to.

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In love with Luang Prabang

View from top of Kuang Si

View from top of Kuang Si

Laos; land of a Million Elephants. Or in the backpacker community, where the tubing is/was in Vang Vieng. For us though… we love Luang Prabang. There was something special about it.

After 6 weeks in Vietnam, a change of country was needed. And we found our own little paradise right here…

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What to pack? Pack too much, spend a million

Ok, so my trip to Vietnam was a little different. I worked for 4 weeks and then travelled onwards and this meant I had work clothes taking up space. With the many market purchases (Cheap cheap, same same but different) and the inevitable suit or two from Hoi An, I was running out of room. The cheapest option was to send a load home. I never have, and probably never will hand over a million in cash for postage again in my life.

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The Great Saigon

00020094This beautiful, diverse, barmy city founded in me a love of Asia and Vietnam. Saigon, as it once was known, now Ho Chi Minh City is the largest city in Southern Vietnam. I was lucky to spend just over four weeks in HCMC as part of my medical degree working in the Cho Ray hospital. It’s from here that my travels began through Vietnam, into Laos working down to Cambodia. For a Newbie to ‘Nam, I hope this blog helps you plan a venture into HCMC.


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