Sunday, 3 February 2008

Postcard from Vietnam

Well what can I say? I've now been in Vietnam for pretty much exactly 7 weeks. And what a 7 weeks its been! One of those times where it feels like just yesterday that I was back home in Sydney packing my bags, and yet at the same time my first arrival into Saigon feels like a lifetime ago.

The first 4 weeks were spent sweating it out in the heat, humidity and traffic of Saigon, with a few weekend escapes, Christmas and NYE thrown in for good measure. Oh, and a month of work in the delivery ward of a major maternity hospital!!

Then we spent a week travelling north to Hanoi, where we had a rude shock weatherwise. We went from 30 degree days in Hoi An to the 10 degree winter chill of Hanoi in an hour. Hanoi is currently experiencing its coldest winter in 20 years, with daily temps 10 degrees below average. Schools have shut down, animals have been dying and we have been freezing our toes off!! We had our last day at the surgical hospital here a few days ago, where we've seen a lot of neurosurgery - the majority resulting from motorbike accidents, a sobering thought when you look at the traffic on the roads here.

I've been diligently taking hundreds of photos, but am sadly falling behind on uploading them to flickr - I'm still up to Christmas eve!!!

But here's a few from the first few weeks here...

Saigon traffic

Crazy Saigon traffic. Note the lack of helmets. A new law making them compulsory came into force the first Saturday we were here. Every traffic photo taken after this one is a sea of helmet wearers.

Dinner with Vi, Ngoc and Vo

Some of the amazing food we've eaten. Friends in Saigon treated us to an amazing steamboat feast one night!!!

Rice paddy

Some beautiful countryside to be seen once you escape the city edges!


Crazy enough to hold a snake. The brave before pic, and the scared after one as soon as it was wriggling around too much. Eeeek!!!


Tu Du hospital

Proof that we did actually make it to hospital!!

Beach on Phu Quoc island

Lazing on the beach on Christmas eve. That seems like a lifetime ago, especially in this cold!!!

Boat trip

A bit of patriotism, appropriate for the upcoming lunar new year. Chuc mung nam moi!!!!


alice said...

wow! what an experience! btw you look fantastic! whenever i go abroad to se asia i always lose a bunch of weight. maybe it's the heat and constantly being in motion or maybe it's because i'm a bit weary of the food so i eat smaller portions (tasting instead of engulfing). anyway, i can't wait for you to get back to syndey and upload the rest of the photos! so exciting! :)

shiny said...

aww i miss you!! but sounds like yr having the most FABULOUS time dahhhling ;)

enjoy xxx

( . )( . ) said...

I kept checking in and wondered where you went!! I thought you were on blogging hiatus forever!!

Sounds like you had a great time, 7 weeks is ages!! I would hate to see all those accidents though in the hosp. Would freak me out, I am already too scared to go anywhere near a motor cycle!!

Cant wait to see more pics!! xx

yublocka said...

Thanks for the lovely comments guys. I'm back now! And yes indeedy I did have a ball!!

Expect more pics over the coming days-weeks (however long it takes me), and maybe even a blog post in the not-so-distant future!

( . )( . ) said...

more! We want moree!!