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Vietnam for my birthday!

Travel Forums Asia Vietnam for my birthday!

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11. Posted by phuong87 (Budding Member 66 posts) 7y Star this if you like it!

if i were you, i will spend my birthday party on the boat in Halong Bay

12. Posted by dbloom (Travel Guru 586 posts) 7y Star this if you like it!

From an ex pat's bloq

Dear Live and Invest Overseas Reader,

"I'll never forget the first time I went to Asia," writes Correspondent from that part of the world Wendy Justice.

"My husband and I spent three magical weeks exploring Thailand and Cambodia. Everyone we met was friendly, every site was exotic, the food was awesome, and we couldn't get over how outrageously low the prices were. At the end of our planned visit, I wasn't ready to return home to my job, and I knew that I would be back.

"Two years and a lot of determination later, we returned to Asia. This time, we bought one-way tickets, celebrating the beginning of our early retirement. Young enough to envision decades of high-quality life abroad ahead, we couldn't have been more excited.

"Just as during our first time in Asia, we couldn't soak everything in fast enough. Over the next year, we explored China, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia, Singapore, and Burma. It was fantastic!

"But being perpetual travelers, we found, is not an easy life, and we decided to change our strategy and to linger in some of our favorite spots and replenish our energy.

"We chose Hanoi, Vietnam, as our first Asian base. Living in the heart of the Old Quarter, simmering with activity from dawn to dusk, home to some of the most welcoming people on the planet, we thought life couldn't get better.

"Or could it?

"Hanoi has many wonderful features (most in the Old Quarter), but there are drawbacks to living here (as there are drawbacks anywhere). For me, having lived outside the United States for almost a year at this point, one important drawback was the food.

"Vietnamese cuisine offers some of the most varied and sophisticated dishes available anywhere in the world. The aroma from delicious bowls of hot, steaming pho wafts from kitchens on every street corner. Tasty noodle dishes, fresh vegetables, and some of the freshest meat that you'd find anywhere await hungry diners at every turn.

"So, why, I found myself wondering, was it impossible to get a decent hamburger?

"Finally, one day, I bought hamburger meat and cooked burgers for my Vietnamese friends. They had never encountered this exotic dish before. And they insisted on using their chopsticks to eat it.

"Watching this, I recognized just how alienated, disconnected, and disoriented I was feeling. Little things had grown in importance, becoming almost obsessions. All I wanted was a decent hamburger! More order, less chaos! A little peace and quiet!

"Most people who leave their countries to live expat lives go through a honeymoon phase, as I did, during which everything different is interesting, new, and exciting.

"This is followed, for almost everyone, again, as it was for me, by a difficult period of adjustment.

"Many (perhaps most) people become disoriented or frustrated...even depressed or angry. The power is out again! The Internet is too slow! Why does the repairman say he will come in the morning and then not show up until late afternoon? Why does no one speak English? The traffic is horrible!

"And why can't I find a decent hamburger!

"It took a long time for me, living in Asia, to make it through this adjustment stage. After my honeymoon period, I questioned not only whether Asia was the right place for me, but even whether living a global lifestyle was really the right decision in my case.

"I'm happy to say, though, that I stuck it out.

"My perspective changed slowly, subtly, without me realizing it at first.

"Then, one day, I went for breakfast to a hotel restaurant, where I was offered a choice of dim sum (oriental dumplings) or noodles. Eggs were not an option.

"And, for the first time, that dim sum sounded great. Just what I wanted!

"I learned to sleep through noise levels that at one time had been causing me grief to no end. I accepted that bargaining was part of a lifestyle that not only structured commerce in this part of the world, but that also could make for lasting friendships and relationships. I resigned myself to the fact that, if I wanted a real American-style hamburger, I would have to make it myself.

"It takes perseverance to get through this adjustment stage. How do you do it?

"You make local friends, take a class, become involved with the community...

"You make an effort to learn the local culture and to deepen your understanding of the people you're now calling neighbors. You accept that what is normal in your adopted culture is nothing like what is considered normal back home.

"Once you accept and embrace the differences, you reach the final stage of the expat adventure: acceptance.

"It isn't easy to become 'bi-cultural.' But with determination, patience, a positive attitude, and a ready sense of humor, acculturation is a gift, however subtly it arrives.

"One day, in your adopted country, you'll suddenly realize that 'back home' is no longer home. Your new home is where you belong now.

"And you wouldn't have it any other way."
I am a Viet Nam Vet 1966 to 68 so happy how well things worked out over there, reconciliation, a group of us vets went over in 1998 and were met and greeted and saluted by veterans of the VC and NVR, some of our group were in wheelchairs, some guys cried, then we were given tours of cong war museum and tunnels by the vets of vc and nvr.

In States, outside of recovery and vets groups.I was generally treated like a leper, am an ex pat on another continent, yah still struggle with ptsd and other disorders but here where I live I have respect. Do me a favor, apoligize to and thank the older vietnamese people you meet over there.
I am an ex pat now until I die, have ptsd was treated like a leper in the

13. Posted by lindasuki (Budding Member 3 posts) 7y Star this if you like it!

I spent 2 days 1 night on Halong Cruise. it is very romantic. I like natural landscape, sea food and the atmosphere in Halong Bay.

[ Edit: Sorry, no promos please. ]

Post 14 was removed by a moderator
15. Posted by ems99 (Budding Member 31 posts) 7y Star this if you like it!

Hey!! we left Vietnam 1 week ago and yeah the rain is a RIGHT pain!! We eventually found sunshine on the island of Phu Quoc, a hours cheap'ish flight from HMC. Gorgeous island, but definitely not crazy nightlife.

However, we celebrated my boyfriends birthday in HMC just before we flew to Phu Quoc, on 1st November, and we were staying right in the middle of backpacker area and there were some brilliant bars around there... nightlife going on until 2/3am ... Buffalo Bar was good and Allez Boo bar and also Eden Bar all the Vietnamese staff were really up for it around there too, so makes a good night.

It's not going to be as picturesque as Halong Bay or Nha Trang by the beach.. but if it's still raining what's the point in being in those places anyway for your birthday... go for the nightlife of HMC I'd say!

Def don't celebrate your birthday in Hue, there's really not that much nightlife there. Hoi An is BEAUTIFUL and sooo many lovely restaurants and bars, but it's def got more of a chilled vibe to it... didn't find anywhere with a dancefloor. Suppose it depends what' you're really after.

HMC all the way I'd say!

Happy Birthday!

[ Edit: Edited on 19-Nov-2010, at 09:42 by ems99 ]

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