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Post your trip reports, travel experiences, and updates abroad. Or your expat story if you already live overseas. Note: To post photos and images, insert the image URL between the tags [img]and[/img] after uploading them to a third party site.
5 posts • Page 1 of 1
Hey guys. This is my first post here although I've known Winston and Ladislav from the good ol AWS site although it's been many years since I talked to them. I'm a 48 year old insurance salesrep from Seattle and I'm married to a very lovely 28 year old Filipina who I brought over from Cebu 4 years ago.
A few of my friends went to visit Vietnam and it peaked my interest so I decided to take Cathy and another friend over for a visit. Granted, this trip was actually a side trip from Koh Samui (had to give my wife some much needed R&R on the beaches), we went to Ho Chi Minh for 3 days and it was enough to get a good feel for the place.
We had booked a hotel at the Spring Hotel which is right in the middle of District 1 for $35 a night. The hotel had a great location along with a clean room, free internet and free breakfast. Everything was great with the exception of the hard beds that are common in mid range Asian hotels.
While checking in, my wife immediately ran over to the Family Mart for sundries. The bellhop made it clear that attractive massage girls would come to your room for $17 US. Well since I was with my lovely wife, I'm not sure what the $17 entails but my I'm assuming that if you wanted so company all it would take is to whip our your DONG (lol Vietnamese Currency) and all would be taken care of.
The following day, the wife and I took an all day trip to the Mekong River which is a two hour air conditioned bus ride away. They took us on a river cruise, fed us, took us to a neat tour of Agent Orange victims who work at an arts and crafts factory, gave us coconut wine etc. It was a good experience to get out into the country to see how the average Viet lives and works. The neatest thing was the overall price which was $9 per person!!!
A trip to the Chu Chi Tunnels followed the next day. This is a tour of the elaborate tunnel system built by the Viet Cong to fight the American soldiers. It was a fascinating trip and it was well worth the $6 tour price. Yes the cost of the trips is comical because tour guides wouldn't drive you around the block here in Seattle for $6.
Back to Ho Chi Minh. It's a town with 2,000,000 motorscooters. Now just imagine that for a moment. The traffic is the craziest thing you've ever seen in your life. Yet them all seem to find their destinations accident free. It's simply mind boggling.
The Vietnamese people are great. They do tend to have the Chinese business attitude about them so they are VERY different from the Thais and Filipinos. If I were to use one word to describe them it would be CURT. Some of this might have to do with the language barrier however. So they are neither overly friendly or overly rude.
So for all you single guys out there, I am having a difficult time trying to determine they approachability of the Vietnesese women. Obviously I didn't try because the lovely Filipina chick was cramping my style....ah I joke. Having said that, I FIRMLY believe that Vietnamese women are the prettiest in Asia HANDS DOWN. My god I thought I was in heaven in Phils but the Vietnamese women are slender, big breasts, tan skin and beautiful faces and they are all over the place. They take the cake for the world's most feminine women.
You know if you could come in and trek around for 6 months by staying in $15 a night hotels (completely do-able) I think you would have a great time visiting HCMC, Hanoi, Nha Trang, Da Nang etc.
I definitely want to go back and check out more of this amazing country.
Would like to know how the society reacts when they see a white guy with a Viet girl. Because I am in Mindanao now and no one will even give you a second look. Girls here are all over me. I went to a restaurant and waitresses there assaulted me. What hotel are you staying at? Wife? No wife? How about her? What room? We will go there. No these were not hookers. Most were 18-24. Not bad to be hit upon like that when one is pushing 50.
Now how would things be in VN? The main attraction of the Philippines is a very low degree of racism towards anyone and fairly little significance of the race factor. S humongously mixed population consisting of 100+ ethnic groups. Now how would that be in VN. No one wants to end up in a place where one gets daily hostile looks.
A brain is a terrible thing to wash!
Whereabouts in Mindanao?
Common MSM wisdom says that island is too dangerous with the Malay/Indonesian radicals in the south, but you know how the US MSM is...
What city? Any good hotels like the Cebu Century Hotel?
Thanks in advance.
General Santos City. Been to the mountains nearby a couple of times. Been coming to Mindanao for 12 years now. One of my female companions belongs to a native ( never colonized) tribe from the mountains.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CPXSZ492 ... re=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hlaC0_jU ... re=related
No Spanish temperament or last names, no American wanna-bes among them. A tonal language that sounds like Cambodian. The culture is ancient and this is what the Philippines was like before all the Western conquerors came. They did not conquer these guys, though. No one ever did. They do not kowtow to Westerners and do not give a darn about foreign cultures. I love them! I was the first Western guy they had ever met.
They know everyone here and they made sure I would be protected. They even introduced me to the head of local Muslims. The indigenous tribes get along with the Muslim inhabitants and have for centuries. Their friend is not to be bothered.
Do not go to the mountains here if you do not know anyone. Not recommended.
Having lived in Puerto Rican slums and next to hard black ghettos and having taught in S. Central LA, having spent time in rough criminal neighborhoods in Russia where people had guns and could shoot you any time they did not like your face, having had a family who went through horrors of war and ethnic cleansing and been shot and killed, having had immediate family in concentration camps, friends of a family hung like dogs from a tree, Mindanao is a breeeeeeze. Stay in cities, do not go wondering alone into small Muslim villages around here. Hotels are OK and cheap, although frequent black outs and bad food make the place uncomfortable. The people are lovely though. The best in the Philippines. I am with three ladies from a hill tribe. Are they cute!
A brain is a terrible thing to wash!
Hello Ladislav... My wife is a Mindanao girl from Iligan City.
Back to Vietnam, it's hard for me to answer that question because I was with my wife the entire time in Vietnam so obviously I had zero interaction with any of the local Viet girls. However you wouldn't have the "every white guy in the country is here to have sex with hookers" stigma in Vietnam that happens in Thailand.
The vibe that I got was that Viet girls were a bit shy possibly because very few speak english. Also the Viet girls seem to be more "Chinese" in character meaning they are serious, careful, curt and not flirtateous...in other words a 180 degree from Filipinas.
But...and it's a big but, I still think you could have them eating out of your hands because women will sell their souls to the devil for a guy with a $1000 a month pension (see Maslow's Hierarcy of Needs). You might just have to work a bit harder in Vietnam.