Here we have in Vietnam the day after Christmas. The mornings start kinda cool and cloudy but never really cold. We did have colder weather awhile back for a week or so. I bought a warmer coat online. Most people think cooler temperatures will return so I’m set. I also bought some newer clothing online for myself for Christmas. Underwear, socks and some pants since all I had were shorts. If I were in central or southern Vietnam or most other places I lived in Southeast Asia I would not need a jacket. Some places outside the classic boundary of ASEAN get colder like Taiwan, Korea, Japan. There warm clothing is needed. Last year in Taiwan I stopped to get a hoodie since my last weeks there had turned colder. Tokyo is downright cold this time of year.
So considering all these things and needing something of a change I had decided to visit central Vietnam for a few days and then Saigon some weeks after. I had arranged these trips when I thought I was leaving in February but no sense in not going. Everything is very reasonable cost wise. So on January 4th I fly down to Da Nang and then off to Saigon. Since I don’t know how long I will stay or where I’ll go, I may do another trip later. The usual cost for flights is less then $50 round trip and a hotel may be $75 if I get a nicer place.
friends here and there
I’ve heard from a few retired friends that live here in Vietnam and two that live in Cambodia. The two in Cambodia live in the same city. Siem Reap is home not only to Angkor Wat but a larger number of retirees. I think both are traveling within Cambodia now. One is in Phnom Penh and the other is in Sihanoukville.
It would be nice to get back to the Kingdom to see retiree and some Khmer friends. I cannot see that happening but who knows.
perhaps this or that
Someone now in Singapore asked about what I think could happen. He and I go way back to the halcyon days of Linux startups and the .com days. In the realm of dreams and desires it’s easy to speculate and sometimes fun to merely consider whims and possibilities. Right now I can travel to Singapore rather easily. Singapore unilaterally opened its borders for travelers from Vietnam with a few requirements. It’s not where your passport was issued but where you have been. Then a form is done, a covid test completed when landing, and then quarantine. Then I could go about tourism business for three months. Visas are not needed for American passport holders.
There is strict tracing there and you must install a mobile tracing app on your phone. Singapore is about rules. If you have never been, it’s probably the cleanest city you have ever seen. No graffiti, trash is not thrown on streets and often gum is not chewed. Cigarettes are prohibited in many public and lots of private places. That’s good. Disgusting and dirty habit.
Traffic laws are obeyed and pedestrians will have the right of way in cross walks. Amazing! It’s a city state though. The entire country is a city. Many people would go to neighboring Malaysia which normally is an easy visit. Until now. Now I could go there but I cannot come back or go on to Malaysia. I could go back to the US which has been part of the dream or the maybe part of things.
I could fly to Singapore and spend three months and then see what happens. Some believe Vietnam and Singapore will open borders for each other. There’s some work supposedly on this bubble idea. Then I could go for however long but come back to Vietnam. It’s all dreams and sometimes fun to consider but that’s a long way from happening. There’s nothing I need to decide.
Now it’s the countdown here in Vietnam to New Years and I read there will be fireworks on New Year’s Eve. I will do some shopping this morning for things needed like coffee and toilet paper. There’s a little walk in store across the street that sells most everything. I shop there a lot. The stores are common across Southeast Asia. Same with corner stands selling water, sodas, Red Bull, and beer. I think I’ve mentioned shopping here is totally different and much easier. I get stuff, the Vietnamese guy totals it snd shows me his calculator. I pay. There’s never a doubt about honesty or not receiving correct change here. I trust Vietnamese shopkeepers and restaurants and coffee shops implicitly. Street food has the prices often not printed but they show you a sample currency. The prices are so low I would never suspect any dishonesty. Buying fresh vegetables and fruit is the same.
Anyways, so much for the day after Xmas. Now it’s time for some room coffee.