Showing Off Viet Nam: Our first Visitor!

It’s a tall order to ask friends and family to come visit when you (literally) live halfway around the world. They’re always invited but we certainly don’t expect it. So when our friend from Wisconsin who moved to Japan decided to visit us, we were eager and excited when she told us she was coming to Viet Nam. Alas, 11 months in to our new lives, and got to show it off a bit to our first visitor.


It was a great week and a good reason to visit some tourist attractions we had not yet seen. We began in Sai Gon (Ho Chi Minh City) for a long weekend and enjoyed Viet Nam’s National Day in the largest city in Viet Nam! We took in the sites, including their famous post office, war remnants museum, book street, and ben thanh market. Sai Gon is known to be ever-moving, crowded, and loud and it didn’t disappoint. We were moving constantly and because it was National Day, we were joined with millions of our closest friends.

We then hopped on a sleeper bus (first time for Maya) and headed to where we live, Tra Vinh. It’s a nice change of pace from the hustle and bustle of Sai Gon. Tra Vinh offered more leisure time but really gave her a real peek into the lives of people in this country. Our colleagues graciously invited us to eat at their homes or meet up for coffee. We enjoyed several beers, dishes that are popular to this area. Justine, a master planner, created an extensive list of everything to see and do (and eat) and we checked off about 95% of the list!

We hope she had fun and learned about Vietnamese culture. One of Justine’s favorite things to do is play ‘highs and low’s (peaks and valleys from her grad school days) and we did that before Maya left. Hers was everything, including the kind people, amazing food, and beautiful sights. For us, we were just happy to be able to share a slice of our present lives with someone who knew us in our past lives, too.

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