Sleepless in Saigon

Despite the fact that I'm sorely broke [not that I have been shopping, it's that I haven't been paid my last month's salary! But more about that another time], because we booked the tickets quite early, the boys and I spent our weekend in Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam, previously known as Saigon. I like the name Saigon much better, it evokes some sort of mystery and romanticism, don't you think?

The best thing about Vietnam, I think, is the incredible food. Spring rolls, beef-anything, and Pho?! How I have lived my whole life without devouring a bowl of piping hot Pho for $3.30 accompanied with Vietnamese iced coffee after a two-hour sauna-steam bath-scrub-massage combo, I know not. But now I know that it is really really good.

We also took a boat tour along the Mekong River, which is, according to Wikipedia, one of the world’s major rivers. It is the world's 10th-longest river and the 7th-longest in Asia. From the Tibetan Plateau this river runs through China's Yunnan province, Burma, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam. All these areas except China and Burma belong to the Mekong River Commission.

I think while there are a lot of places I've been to that I yearn to live in, visiting places like these is also terribly humbling. Not only because these people live in conditions I could never see myself in, but also because of how happy they are knowing that at least for tonight, there will be food for the family on the table, and shelter over their heads while they sleep.

I mean, out of all the countries in Southeast Asia, I am pretty lucky to be born in Singapore. Had I been born in a middle income family somewhere else, I would be a completely different person today. I was thinking about it last night and I sorta startled myself; the idea of having your geographic location affect your entire being, even though it's within Southeast Asia.

I think my travelling in Southeast Asia is going to take a rest for a bit, especially since after Myanmar [or Burma] this year, I've officially done all the Southeast Asian countries. Need to save up for a bit before I can take on other parts of the world... like Mexico and Brazil! (o;