When people ask me if Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh is a better city to visit I usually tell people that Hanoi is a better city for tourists, and that HCMC is a better city to live in. My home city of Melbourne constantly ranked as the world’s most liveable city, though most people would put visiting Sydney on the top of their Australia list (of course I still tell people to visit Melbourne first).
For me, Saigon is a great place to live and work in.
Most of the time, my currently awesome friends from back home in Vancouver are the ones who put me in touch with them.
It’s almost like blind dating – I’ll ask friends if they know anyone in a particular place, and they’ll often introduce me to others who welcome me with open arms to wherever they may be living (as a local, an expat, or just a temporary nomad, like me).
I’ve been coming to and from Saigon for over two years now.
It has become so familiar to me that I haven’t thought to do a big write up.
This is one of those iconic gigs that most people only ever dream of attending, but I was determined to make it happen. I’ve been working there since I arrived in Vietnam, and also spent a couple of years in its sister Language Center before quitting that to focus on full-time career teaching.As I was saying in an earlier post, I’ve been trying to get to Vietnam for several years now as I’ve already covered most of Southeast Asia, but I kept getting caught up in other places for longer than expected.This year, I knew it was absolutely the time when it needed to happen.There are a number of streets in Chiang Mai which could be called "massage districts" due to almost every shop being a massage shop - 100 baht for 30 minutes, 200 baht for an hour. The city as a whole shuts down early, including the Old City.It's the complete opposite of Bangkok's Khaosan Road. Chiang Mai's cafes are clustered in the Nimmanhemin / Nimmanheminda neighborhood outside of the Old City.