Vietnam Birthday Parties and Rice Fields

Ho Chi Minh City Travel Blog

 › entry 13 of 26 › view all entries
View from Dinner in downtown
So on the bus ride to Ho Chi Minh (aka Saigon) I met another solo traveller, this swiss guy named Cyrill. He'd been living in China for a year before hitting the road to explore the rest of SE Asia. Anyway, he knew a girl in Ho Chi Minh through a website called English Friends, which I guess is a website for non-native speakers to connect. She invited him to her friend's friend's birthday party, and he invited me. So not long after we got to Ho Chi Minh, we were on a bus to the outskirt rural area, an hour and a half away. While the backpacker areas are full of western travellers and smiling locals, the countryside is a very different scene. Most of the rural people have never seen a white person, so I got a lot of stares.
Hai Yen and Nha Phuong


Cyrill, Hai Yen, Nha Phuong, and I arrived at the birthday party, where we met their friends. We had a great soup/bbq like we had with Kay in Thailand. Everyone got a kick out of us, even if we did get stares from other tables. And no birthday is complete without cake! We took pictures and smiled a lot and finally parted ways before walking to Nha Phuong's house to sleep.

The road to Nha Phuong's house was a muddy path that meandered through rice fields and farmland for about 1km. And we did it in the dark. Needless to say, we were damn muddy when we arrived at her house. We washed off and met Nha Phuong's parents, who were very nice and receptive. We went to bed, with Cyrill on a mat on the floor and me in a mini hammock. The next day Nha Phuong's mother made us an amazing breakfast and lunch.
The way back from Nha Phuong's house.
The food was really, really, really good. Omelets and rice and salad and fried fish and soup... yum. They eat meals outside on the tile floor, with everyone sitting cross-legged on the ground surrounding the food. We spent the first part of the day hanging around the house, chatting.

People in Vietnam are still very sensitive about the Vietnam war, though they don't seem to have any animosity towards Americans. They seem to understand that our government's actions don't represent our own beliefs, and generally have a good nature towards the whole thing. Nha Phuong's father says that we lost the war because we don't know how to live in the jungle and because Americans can't walk without their shoes (true). We were the first foreigners ever to step foot in their house, and we were treated like old friends.

I love this culture.
Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!
View from Dinner in downtown
View from Dinner in downtown
Hai Yen and Nha Phuong
Hai Yen and Nha Phuong
The way back from Nha Phuongs hou…
The way back from Nha Phuong's ho…
Cyrill, Nha Phuongs father, and m…
Cyrill, Nha Phuong's father, and …
View from the house
View from the house
Vietnamese Birthday Party
Vietnamese Birthday Party