(or what I did pretty much all the time while in Ho Chi Minh)

As much as I wanted to be the cultured and classy person that you all think I am, the truth is that on my teen years, my world revolved around cable TV.  This affected me in so many ways: at 15 my dream job was to be a MTV VJ (fortunately, this has changed, else I will still be unemployed), I thought Rachel Ray was a genius making 30 minute meals (still do, but still can’t make anything other than fried eggs in 30 minutes!) and “Oh Tokyo” at WINS made my day (seriously, bring it back).  The cool life as I knew it existed on the tube and people in there seemed to have more fun than I do.  Perhaps the ultimate life-changing TV show for me were the Lonely Planet series shown on Discovery Channel when I was a bright-eyed teen.  It opened my eyes to the wonderful world and all the fun of traveling.  They featured places like Paris, Thailand, New York and Havana and every time I would swoon and wish that I could go there someday.  But no other episode of theirs has stuck in my memory than the one they had of Vietnam.  To be precise, nothing in that episode has struck me more than when they started featuring food: Spring Rolls, Bahn Mi and bowls and bowls of steaming hot and delicious Pho.  Oh. My.  I used those two words way before you met Christian Grey, Ana Steele.  And I am completely PG.

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Gone for the Weekend: Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

I have a friend, E, who balks at the idea of a trip to Ho Chi Minh.  She complains that there really is not much there aside from the cheap North Face bags being sold there.  But surely there should be much more to this city other than factory overruns right?

Right! For as soon as my friends and I stepped-out of our hotel on our first day in Ho Chi Minh, or Saigon, as it is popularly known among the locals, I knew that E could have been balking at the wrong city.  The revving hordes of motorcycles winding through the roads of Ho Chi Minh is  already a reminder that this is no boring place.  Saigon is also well represented in the “East Meets West” adage of most cities for its history of being once the capital of French Indochina.

So before you go and buy your dirt cheap and brand-new backpacks, grab the most reliable one you have first and get ready to dance with motorcycles, be french with you architectural tastes, brush up with important history and open your eyes to a glimpse of life on the riverside (yes, get out of the city for a while!)

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