Vietnam has been our home for nearly 2 years now and we realized we’ve been delinquent in not sharing some photos of our daily life here. It is quite an impossible task to narrow down dozens of experiences to just a few photos, but we’ve tried our best. Things we will miss most when we leave Vietnam in no special order
1. The food – Phở, Hủ tiếu Nam Vang, chả giò (fried spring rolls), đậu hũ nước đường (soy bean pudding…insanely delicious), nước mía (sugarcane juice), Bánh cuốn (steamed rice rolls), bún bò Huế…sigh, the list is endless. We will definitely miss the food the second we get on that plane!
2. The people – we’ve felt completely welcome here over the past few years. It will be hard to say goodbye to everyone who has touched our lives in some way.
3. The weather – we like all seasons Saigon has to offer, definitely preferring hot and humid to cold and snowy. Goodbye tank tops and flip flops…we’ll really miss our lazy, beach bum attire!
In 2020, we plan to be back in Vietnam for more language lessons and new travel adventures in this part of the world. Until then, tạm biệt Việt Nam! Chúng tôi sẽ nhớ bạn rất nhiều!
Day 1 and Robby is already partaking in the Vietnamese tradition of "đi nhậu" (to go drinking)
Saigon Zoo - open since 1865, it is Vietnam's largest zoo. We drove past this every day on our way to Vietnamese language lessons at VLS
Thankfully, it only took us a few weeks to understand how to ride a motorbike in Saigon, hands down the best way to get around the city
Surgical masks and sunglasses are a must when riding around Saigon city!
Rain ponchos - another necessity during monsoon season
Chatting with a group of students studying English; September 23rd Park
Buying a brand new Honda Blade with Dì Tám's assistance
5 on a bike!
Notre Dame Cathedral, built in the 1880s by French Colonists; Saigon
Robby practising figure 8 loops during off duty hours in preparation for his motorcycle driver's license test
A bountiful feast of endless dishes at Dì Sáu's house
Group photo with Becky's extended Vietnamese family
International Food Festival 2017...this foodie's delight was packed!
Crispy noodle dishes, one of dozens of booths at the International Food Festival
Who is the skinniest?
Fried spring rolls (chả giò), dipped in nước mắm...one of our favorites!
Endless rounds of beer at Becky's cousin's wedding reception...and its not even noon yet!
The ladies all want to stand next to Robby!
Foreigners are VIPs at a Vietnamese wedding with strangers coming up to propose a toast. Put your game face on as it is gonna be a long day of drinking!
Robby successfully climbed a jackfruit tree
Massive golden dragon statue
One Pillar Pagoda; Thủ Đức District
Reclining Buddha at Buu Long Pagoda (Chùa Bửu Long)
Ladies show off their pretty "áo dài" (traditional dress); Buu Long Pagoda
Pomelo wine for sale on Tân Triều Island
Learning how to make "Bánh tét", a glutinous rice cake; Tân Triều Island
Thumbs up from Robby after he makes his "Bánh tét", not an easy feat!
Duck farm; Tân Triều Island
Becky next to a massive pomelo; Tân Triều Island
Vietnamese spring rolls (gỏi cuốn)
Miniature Ben Thanh Market; Tet 2017 display
Young and old alike dressed in their best flock to Nguyễn Huệ flower street to celebrate Tet
We loved all the traditional outfits on display during Tet; Nguyễn Huệ Flower Street
Ho Chi Minh statue in front of Saigon City Hall
Feng Shui Gods of Wealth, the Three Wise Men display during Tet 2017
Saigon Opera House
Lion dance during Tet 2017 celebrations
A pretty lady strikes a pose; Nguyễn Huệ Flower Street
The Café Apartments; District 1
Ben Thanh Market gets a temporary face-life during Tet celebrations
Kiwi, watermelon and mango display - one of Dì Phương's artistic designs
Tet snacks - a lot of eating and drinking required during the week long celebration!
Basket boats on display at Ho Tram Beach
Orchids at Ho Tram Beach Boutique
Ho Tram Beach Boutique Resort & Spa
Robby and Chị Xuân - she would feed us breakfast, lunch and dinner daily
Flying back into Saigon after a 6 month break
Making mid-Autumn lanterns for under-privileged children at VLS, our Vietnamse Language School
A herd of water buffalo near our apartment in District 9
Walking dogs - our twice daily activity
Taking our aunts to see Lee Kirby, an English singer who specializes in Vietnamese songs
One of two kittens we rescued from certain death - abandoned by cruel owners in the countryside
Bali running away from the neighborhood pigs
Becky comforts an abused greyhound; Animal Rescue and Care in District 2
Village scene near our apartment. Can you believe we are only 6 km from downtown Saigon?! This landscape will change quickly over the upcoming years
Robby turns 43!
Best dress contest during "Teacher's Appreciation Day", VLS School
Saigon Hash House Harriers - a great way to see the countryside!
Downing Wild Turkey shots during the Thanksgiving day run; Saigon Hash House Harriers
Yay! We made it to the end of the run...celebrating with a bit of water and beer; Saigon Hash House Harriers
Playing with one of Dì Sáu's puppies
Christmas in Saigon
The rat killers - Ahmah and Lucky to the rescue!
View from Cô Binh's apartment; Phú Nhuận District
Tuấn Anh smiles in an apron as we prepare "Cá thu nướng nghệ" (grilled tuna fish)
Becky smiles before digging in to our delicious homemade lunch
Into the woods we go...hashing with the Saigon Hash House Harriers
River crossings don't faze us; Saigon Hash Club
Becky's cousin dressed in a traditional outfit...such a cute photo!
Huy and Robby on Bui Vien Street (famous backpacker drinking area); Saigon
District 1 prepares to ring in the New Year; downtown Saigon
Ba Thien Hau Pagoda, a Chinese style Buddhist Temple built in 1760 by Vietnam's Cantonese community
Burning incense; Thien Hau Temple
Museum of Fine Arts housed in a spectacular colonial era mansion; Saigon
Artwork on display at the Museum of Fine Arts
Robby and Tuấn Anh strike a pose; Museum of Fine Arts
Drawing class for school kids; Museum of Fine Arts
Tiny stores packed with an array of antiques and reproductions; Le Cong Kieu St (Antique Street)
Rickety bridge; Long An Province
This portion of our Saigon hash run required boarding a boat to cross the river!
Our babies - Bali, Balat, Ahmah and Lucky
Saigon street scene
Robby taking in Saigon's skyline at The View rooftop bar on Bui Vien street
Dusk view of Saigon
Saigon hash run ending at a waterfall
Bear and Bull statue at the Saigon Stock Exchange
Craving a taste of home at Quán Ụt Ụt, an American BBQ joint in Saigon
Becky's birthday meal
Dressed in their best - locals take photos during Tet 2018; Ben Binh
Fruit trees and flowers for sale; Ben Binh
For a week leading up to Tet, dozens of boats from the Mekong Delta will line up at Ben Binh to sell flowers and fruit trees in a temporary "floating flower market"
The pink scene; Ben Binh
Coconut plants for sale; Ben Binh
A nice selection of áo dài for sale; Ben Binh
Robby befriending a Vietnam vet who spoke impeccable English; Ben Binh
Rex hotel preparing for Tet 2018; Saigon
Tet 2018, Year of the Dog
Locals striking a pose by Ho Chi Minh's statue; Saigon
Making "Bánh chưng" at Cô Binh's apartment. This traditional Vietnamese rice cake consists of glutinous rice, mung beans and pork
Cô Binh shows us how easy it is to make Bánh chưng
Birthday party banquet dinner for one of Becky's aunts
The daughters gather on stage to pay tribute to their mom on her 69th birthday
Our trekking group prepares to start our 3 day hike; Tà Năng
The boys smile on our ride out to the starting point; Tà Năng
Other groups opt to hire a horse to carry their gear on the Tà Năng to Phan Dũng route
Day 1 and we are still full of smiles; Tà Năng
It is early March and the ground is still parched, which makes for easy hiking but a lack of greenery
Becky stopping to admire the scenery on our Tà Năng - Phan Dũng trek
The trekking wasn't as grueling as we were led to believe; Tà Năng - Phan Dũng
First night's campsite by a river
By the end of Day 2, we reached a waterfall. Happy times!
Jumping for joy at the end of Day 2's trek
The poor chicken that hiked for 2 days with us ended up being dinner tonight. Becky unsuccessfully tried to rally for its freedom
A hot cup of tea after an uncomfortable night's sleep...check out those rocks!
Day 3 and we have several river crossings
Our trekking group on the 3 Day, 55 km hike from Tà Năng to Phan Dũng
Smiling as we reach the end of our hike!
Becky strikes a pose with a farmer's basket
Vroom, vrooom...we are ready for our ride out to freedom. Hot showers here we come!
Happy baby on a hammock
Ann and Becky by the AO show bicycle...a must see cultural show
The newest member of Becky's family...such a cutie!
Grilled shrimp for dinner
Enjoying free drinks before the AO Show; Saigon Opera House
Our Turkish wedding carpet finally gets put to use in our Saigon apartment
Wine and oysters by the pool side
Saigon landscape on our short domestic flight to Nha Trang
View of Nha Trang, our week long mini-break from Saigon
Nha Trang's long sandy beach
Communist propaganda poster; Nha Trang
Locals passing time at Nha Trang's port
Boner Kebab anyone?
Lobsters for sale; Nha Trang
Crocodile and snake, two popular meal options in Nha Trang
Night market; Nha Trang
Lotus tower; Nha Trang
View of Nha Trang from Skylight Bar, where 2 for 1 sunset cocktails can be enjoyed daily
Park statue; Nha Trang
Swim through tunnels on our SCUBA day trip with Rainbow Divers; Nha Trang
Posing with our amazing Vietnamese teacher, Hiển Dương. We will miss our daily lessons with this guy!
An emotional farewell...Robby and Tuấn Anh hug it out
VLS staff and students "đi nhậu" (to go drinking)
A bowl of delicious "hủ tiếu Nam Vang", one of our favorite noodle soups
Frogs and fish for sale; Saigon market scene
Fresh pineapple for sale (and the seller will cut it for you), for about 40 cents
Durians, jackfruits, watermelon and bananas for sale; Saigon fruit seller
Buddhist Temple; Saigon
Posing with staff and students on our VLS shopping trip to a local market