November 30, 2016

Selfless Travels in Vietnam

*Foreword: This is just the first of a series of blog posts featuring the beautiful country of Vietnam with a highlight on it's people, culture, places, and food.

Just a few months ago, God has blessed me immensely when He allowed me to travel to Vietnam. It was His providence that had led me this far and I know that it was His guidance that had brought me there.

I always dreamed of going to Vietnam. Why? Because it is just near the Philippines and I am so intrigued by the photos of my friends during their visit there. In addition to that, I also had that longing to complete #ProjectSEA, my personal project to travel to all Southeast Asian countries before I reach the age of 30 (or 40). Vietnam is now the 7th country that I have explored and I have yet to book my flights to Myanmar, Brunei, and Timor Leste. 3 more to go! Woohoo!

Photo op at the Independence Palace (also known as the Reunification Palace.)

I was really excited to go to Vietnam. In fact, I watched a lot of YouTube videos featuring the places and food in Vietnam. I also researched a lot and read plenty of blogs and travel guides. One thing is sure, I really wanted to get the most of my stay there.

I arrived early in the morning in Ho Chi Minh City. Keiko, my friend from One Year in Mission, fetched me at the airport and we headed to the place that we rented for a couple of days. We stayed in a place where it's quite near to District 1. It was really a blessing to have some friends there who are locals! They knew the places well. They brought us to the best food spots in the city. They arranged everything for us. They were really amazing. Plus I really enjoyed listening to them talking in their own language. (Shoutout to Keiko and her sister, Chau, and to her group of friends. Thank you so much. See you all again soon.)

Early morning arrival at the airport in Ho Chi Minh City.

We had at least 7 days in Vietnam. Although most of the time we travel or we explore, but we also had a special mission while we were there. Our task was to document and record the ministries of the One Year in Mission team in Ho Chi Minh City. And I was also given the privilege to give my personal testimony to the brethren at the Seventh-day Adventist Church in the city and to give a presentation on "Making Travel Worthwhile" to the young adults in their cafe small group meeting. It is really amazing how God is working through the Adventist youth there!

As we all know, there are some religious limitations in Vietnam. So religious programs and activities are prohibited outside the premises of the church. Christians in Vietnam are very few and evangelism there is really challenging.

In Ho Chi Minh City, we visited their famous landmarks and tourist sites. Plus we ate different types of Vietnamese food and street food almost every meal. (Though, I had some trouble sometimes because I really need to eat rice to satisfy my Filipino stomach.) Their noodles and street food there are awesome!

First meal in Vietnam. First variety of Vietnamese noodles.


We also had the chance to explore Nha Trang, a beautiful coastal city on the south-central part of Vietnam. It's a grueling 6-8 hours (overnight) bus ride from Ho Chi Minh City. While there, we had the chance to wander around the city and we did some island hopping too.

Off to Nha Trang's island-hopping adventure!

My trip to Vietnam last August is really the highlight of my 2016 travels! It's really memorable and one that I will treasure for the rest of my life!

Have you been to Vietnam? Kindly share your experiences in the comments section below. Thank you!

*PS. Watch out for my next blog posts about Vietnam! Coming up soon!

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