(Apologies for the delay in posting, but as this is kind-of a travel blog, I feel like the excuse “I was off travelling and just really started learning how to play around with the shutter speed on my camera, so I didn’t want to post any crappier-than-usual pictures taken from my tablet” is as viable as I can get!)
So to get you all up to speed, as soon as I found out I get a “study” week off of school at the end of the regular semester and before exams (in addition to recess week mid semester), I spent what felt like eons planning this 1 week + 1 day trip to Vietnam and Cambodia while trying not to fall too behind on my schoolwork. Since I’m a tourism student, using this week to “research tourism strategies in the developing nations of southeast Asia” seemed like an acceptable use of my time. So the minute after I finished my last presentation of the term, I was off on a plane to Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) (aka Saigon), Vietnam.
After a typical flight in with Tiger Airways (read: slight delays / cramped seating / what can you expect, you’re paying a third of the price of any other airline), and a lengthy (over an hour long) process of getting a tourist visa, which I had, for the first time ever, applied for in advance, I was in Vietnam! Although the country is currently under a communist regime, it’s a beautiful country full of friendly people and great pho (which, as I learned, is pronounced like the French word for fire, “feu”). Maybe even more importantly, its biggest city, which, like Toronto, is not the national capital, is home to the amazing Hong Han Hotel. At less than 10$ a night, it grants you a comfy bed, cozy blankets, a clean private washroom, a mini fridge and AC. Compared to dorm life, I felt like I was staying in a palace and proceeded to prance around the room, squealing about how much I loved every detail.
The next morning was even more ridiculous when I was given Vietnamese drip coffee (more on that later), scrambled eggs with tomatoes and onions, bananas and a viet-baguette.
Which I found out is shorter, fluffier and fatter than a Cambodian baguette, which is skinnier and thinner than the traditional French variety. To map it out for you, here’s a table comparing the three:
|Fluffiness||Crispy on the outside, light on the inside||Like eating a delicious cloud||Softer than a rock, I guess|
|Size||Can’t even make it into a sandwich, its too massive||Perfect length/width proportions for banh mi sandwiches||1 lettuce leaf and a cherry tomato would fill it|
|Taste||A certain je-ne-sais-quoi? (Read: flour and yeast)||Heaven||You’re eating bread in Asia instead of rice or noodles, clearly its still pretty good!|