Sunday, September 10, 2017

Biz Trip - Vietnam HCM (11 - 17 June 2017)

It has been 3 month since my last business trip. In order to move on, I thought I'll blog everything as soon as possible and get it over with. Everything about this trip was off track from my normal business trip. So let's start with the "I Love Vietnam" photos above taken from the airport on my way home, lol. This was the very first business trip I couldn't wait to get home, in fact by mid week, I was already feeling damn exhausted and wondering why I was even there. But anyway, let's try to be positive for this blog's sake and carry on....

I traveled with one of my colleague together on this trip, and his boss booked us into Bay Hotel, a Singapore run hotel chain. When I heard the name, I was already not looking forward to the trip, having stayed in the Bay Hotel Singapore before once. The experience was terrible, and in Vietnam, well, I wasn't expecting much either. Interestingly, they provide free laundry service daily. I used it once, and decided I'll wash my own clothes after that. Mini bar was free, which means most drinks ended up with our Vietnam colleague. Breakfast was ok. The location was extremely colourful, colour here mainly referring to the colour "red". Cause every night, the street turns into an entertainment district mainly catering to Japanese Business Men. But what I really really really missed about this trip was a nice long bath tub, which Bay Hotel doesn't provide :(

Anyway, above are two photos from my room. I can see the river, and it is kinda pretty, especially every morning when the sun shines in. I sleep with my window curtains open, so it's lovely watching the sky turning shades of orange.  I'm usually up by 6am just to watch this, down by 7am for breakfast, and a 10mins walk to the office. Usually we finish quite early as compared to my other trips, so we had plenty of time to wonder around nearby to look for food. Basically this whole trip was mainly on food. I'll blog separately on that. 

One of the thing I was nervous about when I found out I was going to Vietnam was whether I would be able to cross the road. The traffic was terrible there! Cars and motorcycles everywhere! And on the first day, I was kinda nervous when I followed my colleague around town. But after a few days, I realise that I wasn't going to get hit by any moving vehicle, my mind set started to change about Vietnam. Here, people actually acknowledge your existence and avoid colliding into you. This is strangely different from in Singapore where cars would speed up and brake at you or horn at you. Here, people just move out of your way! It was totally amazing! On my last day, I was totally comfortable moving about by myself, even though I did get lost on my way back....

Interesting story to note. Initially I wanted to visit Hanoi instead of Ho Chin Minh, reason being Halong Bay, and Sapa was nearby and I wanted to extend my stay to travel. My colleague who was posted to Hanoi and I were already even making plans to travel together. But for many weird incomprehensible reason, I was sent to HCM instead. The photo on top is sent from my colleague who ended up in Hanoi. On mid week, Hanoi was flooded! Lol. Looks like India to me! I share the photo with my boss and thank him for making me go HCM instead of Hanoi, and all he did was laugh at me.

Anyway. I made it back alive, and very much 'changed' from the trip. I hope I can make it through all the post on Vietnam without tripping myself over. But don't get me wrong, I love Vietnam! I am even planning a trip at the end of the year to finally visit Halong Bay and hiking in Sapa. Would I want to go back HCM again? Sure, why not. Preferably with the same colleague cause without him, my trip would have been dead boring, peaceful (more peaceful if the hotel has a long bath....), but well... Let's just say, it won't be the same. Do I regret this trip? Well, "No" from the perspective of life experience, and a probable "Yes" from the perspective of the madness that I had to go through this past 3 months. But let's just leave it as that. I am feeling much better now. Let's move on. 

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