Hello, I am Dr. Lee’s son, Zach. This blog that I am writing is not the typical “dentistry” blog, but a blog sharing my family’s experience in Vietnam. In the midst of our busy schedules, this past June we were able to take some time off and travel to Eastern Asia. Since it was our first trip to Vietnam, we did not know what to expect, but, as we counted down the days, our level of excitement continued to grow. The day of our departure arrived and my mom, dad, sister, and I were ready to go!
After a long 7,500 mile journey we finally arrived to our destination, Ho Chi Minh City, the capital of Vietnam. It didn’t take us much time before we realized that there were two things that you can’t escape in the capital city, the heat and the motorbikes. Everyday it was about 90 degrees with 100% humidity which made it feel like 105 degrees, we would be dripping in sweat after walking. In addition to the heat, there were motorbikes everywhere. Every single street was filled with motorbikes, in a typical road it would be ten motorbikes wide and as long as the eye could see. We saw families of four sitting on a six foot long motorbike! The bikes would come from every which direction, making it almost impossible to cross the road.Ho Chi Minh City is defiantly a city of hustle and bustle. In the middle of the chaotic city there is a town center that has an old post office and cathedral remaining from the Vietnam War. We also visited the famous Saigon Square, this indoor market puts Pikes Place Market to shame. Saigon Square is a huge indoor market that contains a wide variety of objects, from home-made knick knacks to knock-off clothes and accessories, such as fake Louis Vuitton purses(that look close to real according to my Mom).
We also got to experience Vietnamese foods and drinks. Vietnamese cuisine contains many different kinds of herbs such as mint, parsley, and cilantro. One of my favorite foods we had was Pho, a traditional noodle soup. I don’t normally drink coffee but Vietnamese coffee was exceptionally delicious it was very sweet and creamy, it was even better than a Starbucks drink!Another fun thing we did was we went up the Bitexco Tower. The 845 feet tall sky scraper looked over the developing city. As soon as I saw the tower it reminded me of Tony Stark’s tower from Avengers! After spending a few days in the city, I’ve come to realize that the people there are very friendly. Ho Chi Minh City is a very unique city because there could be a block in the city that looks like a third world country, but the very next could be very industrial with modern buildings just like the ones we see in the U.S. For our final day in Vietnam we decided to go to the Mekong Delta. The Mekong Delta is a river in the Southern Part of the country. On this tour we got to visit what Vietnam is like outside of the big city. We took a boat along the river and saw floating markets, which are boats that sell common items that you would find at a 7-11. Farther along the river we made a stop to visit a local farmers market. People were making and trading their products. We saw rice crackers being made that tasted like popcorn, there were also people making bracelets and other crafts. We were treated with some of the snacks that we saw the people make and were given Vietnamese Tea to try. This concluded our visit to the farmers market, we then rode the boat again to take us to another spot along the river. At this stop we were given the opportunity to ride bikes through a traditional Vietnamese neighborhood. We embarked on a peaceful bike ride crossing bridges, looking at livestock, and enjoying the delightful scenery. At the end of our bike ride they had a traditional summer lunch waiting for us. It was a spring roll but instead of rice paper it was a pancake-like wrap which made for a very delicious and refreshing roll. This meal concluded our memorable experience of the Mekong Delta. This was my favorite part of the trip because we got to be submerged into Vietnamese culture by eating their foods, watching them make crafts, and riding through their neighborhoods. Looking back at our time in Ho Chi Minh City and the Mekong Delta, all I remember are good times and a place I would definitely recommend to visit.