I came back to Finland for a couple of weeks after a fabulous week and a half in Vietnam. And I must already say, every bit of me already misses all of Asia. There’s something about that continent that makes me feel most alive and most at home. And I even feel a lot healthier whenever in Asia than over here in Finland! But luckily, not many more weeks to go until I get to go live my digital nomad dreams in Chiang Mai.
Last week, I participated in ITE HCMC travel expo and explored a bit of Ho Chi Minh City and Phan Thiet. And as you may have guessed by now, I fell head over heals in love with all of Vietnam. There’s something about the chaos that is Ho Chi Minh that just has you hooked. HCMC definitely made it to the top 3 of my favourite Asian cities!
After the busy days in Ho Chi Minh City, it was time to get on a 5-hour bus adventure to the coast, to Phan Thiet. On the way there, we made a little stop at Ta Cu Mountain to have lunch. To get to the mountain, the easiest way is to jump into a cable car – which I happen to fear to the bone. And why, you may ask. Well. I happened to be in Hong Kong in 2008 during a super typhoon, stuck in one of these monsters – so no, I haven’t been a fan since. But there are not many things I allow to stop me from exploring the unknown, so I jumped onboard without much of hesitation.
There we were, 600 meters off the solid ground, heading to Ta Cu Mountain. I walked up another set of few hundred stairs to get to a white big buddha laying up there in the woods. There’s seriously no cardio like +35 degrees heat and running up the stairs in the sunshine.
As I’ve said many times before, I enjoy travelling solo. So whenever I’m surrounded by people on my travels, I try to find some time to escape on my own paths to truly get the feel of wherever I am. I want to observe the locals going on with their daily life, feel the wind in my hair, and smell the scents in the air. I feel like I get closer to what’s around me if I’m alone.
But let’s get back to that tofu. I have never been treated better as a vegetarian in my life as I did in Vietnam on our trip to Phan Thiet. In Vietnam, a vegetarian is automatically thought of as a vegan, which made it all million times better. Sometimes on these media trips, it can be really hard to get the message through about not eating meat, and sometimes I end up munching down a carrot while everyone else is indulging into a juicy steak – but oh no, not here in Vietnam. Here, us vegetarians had our own table separated from the meat eaters to respect our choice of not eating animals. We had our menus with at least 5 different options on each meal. I’ve had the yummiest meals of my life on this trip, food has simply not been the same since Vietnam. All of this is thanks to the fantastic people behind Asian Trails!
And from that same urge to be a bit of a hermit on my travels, I wanted to go hang out with the wild monkeys of the temple while the rest of the crew was still having lunch. I saw someone trying to feed the monkeys chicken, but these smart furry friends wouldn’t eat something like that. But my tofu, they absolutely loved. So I chilled with the monkeys and we enjoyed my lunch together.
I mean, I know you shouldn’t get too close to stray animals on your travels, but I absolutely always do. What can I do if they are so cute. It’s all worth the risk of rabies. Kind of.
I was invited to Vietnam by ITE HCMC (The Mekong’s largest travel event) through Nordic Travel Bloggers Collective, but the opinions are always my own. Follow our journey in Vietnam on social media with #TBEVietnam