Hoi An

In May 2019, Tino has his second overseas trip; this time to Hoi An, Vietnam, visiting 3 UNESCO sites all at once. Among which is the Hoi An old town.

Despite being his third/fourth flight ride, Tino still felt unease.

It's only an hour and a half journey, yet he slept in an hour of it.

This holiday spanned over grandpa's 60th birthday.

And also popo's birthday.

Dinner at Morning Glory overlooking Hoi An's signature landmark.

Covered Japanese Bridge (来远桥). The landmark of Hoi An UNESCO site.

Three-brothers - three types of rolls.

Hoi An traditional set.

We stayed at a resort at Hoi An old town with river view.

Tino enjoying his stay, yet we planned a packed visiting schedule.

Tino is yet to learn to swim...

Our villa for 4 nights.

Lazy boy, being tired from travelling.

The bridge links up the historical Chinese and Japanese communities.

The bridge dated back to the 16/17th century.

It also housed a temple for Taoist God of Weather.

Old quarter building.

View from Cargo Club Cafe.

We had yummy fusion of Vietnamese

and western (French influenced) food.

The old quarter is full of traditional buildings.

Quite many of them are meeting halls from different Chinese region. 

Year of Pig lantern.

Local style lanterns.

Exploring the long strip of beach front of Vietnam.

Famous An Bang Beach.

The sun shine is quite severe.

Tino is hiding from the sun and beach.

Trying coconut juicy.

Exploring the water valley of Hoi An.

Here we tried the coconut boat.

Tino cried during most of the ride...

Despite being small, the ride is smooth.


Hue is the capital of Vietnam from 1802 to 1945, mainly for the Nguyen Dynasty. This vast imperial palace is a UNESCO site, a 3 hours drive from Hoi An. The view in the picture is the sight from the King's legislation pavilion while all his officers line up at the foray.

PaPa, Tino, YeYe

PoPo and YiPo

The King's seat. The Vietnam war had destroyed much of the palace.

Most buildings in the palace are rebuilt. The rest of them are just ruins...

Interior of waiting hall.

Pond at King's grandma quarter.

East gate of the palace.

Gate of the King's mom quarter.

Long palace corridor.

The pagoda of Celestial Lady.

Y Thao Garden - the home of a famous scholar - turned into a restaurant.

The famous dish of spring rolls on peacock.

The garden is full of greenery. Peace and serenity.

Delicate piece of art, with chills turned into a flower.

My Son

Another UNESCO site of Hindu ruins constructed in the 4th-14th century in 1.5 hours ride away from Hoi An. The temples are dedicated to the worship of the God Shiva.

Over 70 temples constructed;

only 20 remained after the Vietnam War.

we arrived the site at 9am to escape the heat, but it's already too hot...

It's good to shelter inside some temple chamber.

Dance performance only in the morning.

Music with drum and string instruments.

Grandpa is the prime caretaking of Tino. Hope he has a memorable 60th birthday with family and grandson. 

Tino has experienced quite allot and got excited (hyper) through out the trip. Definitely he is happy (and naughty).

We booked our car at for most of our journey through whatsapp. Quite a good service and smooth ride.

We all got tired after the 5 days journey. Yet we all cherish this wonderful family memory. <3 <3 <3

2010 - The most valuable asset I gain from this Vietnam visit is the understanding of the history of the Vietnam war. The war was a result of the US effort in fighting communism and warning other countries no to do so. Is the US bad using force and ammunition meddling foreign countries' internal affair? There are so many questions in life which are tough to define right or wrong. I am not in position to judge the history but I do feel resentment on the acts and weapons adopted by the US army during the invasion...
In March 1965, the US government sent troops to Vietnam. Each US soldier coming there received a booklet called "A new war style" stating that "We come here to help the people and conquer the South Vietnam. We come here to save the whole South East Asia from communist aggression and oppression. By that action, we can boost the security for the United States". But what the US soldiers had done were arresting and killing normal people, including children, women, seniors; destroying houses, schools, hospitals; spraying defoliants to devastate forests, crops..."

The war lasted for 17 years and 2 months. The US had set 14.3 million tons of bombs. More than 58,000 died in this war...

During the Vietnam war, between 1962 and 1971, the United States military sprayed 20 million gallons of chemical herbicides and defoliants in Vietnam, eastern Laos and parts of Cambodia. 4.8 million Vietnamese people were exposed to Agent Orange, resulting in 400,000 people being killed or maimed, and 500,000 children born with birth defects. The dioxin will remain in the gene for three generations. The decision to spray the defoliants was inhuman...
The war museum.

Devastated forests
Cu Chi Tunnel. (over 120 km)

The tunnels were used by Viet Cong as hiding spots during combat, as well as serving as communication and supply routes, hospitals, food and weapon caches and living quarters. The role of the tunnel systems should not be underestimated in its importance to the Viet Cong in resisting American operations and eventually culminating in an American withdrawal.

The tunnel I was in is thtop layer amongst three. It has been enlarged to cater tourists, but is unbearable to me, to move and breathe. I can't imagine what the condition was like during war and fighters lived here for years. War is horrible...
Dozens type of booby traps inside the tunnels.

Ant-hole. Entrant to the tunnel system...
What we enjoyed in Saigon is the Vietnamese food! They are natural and simple, and thus, very healthy. Not to mention that they are very cheap. Pho and coconut, what a good combination.  

Mekong Delta islands. Good to just chill at a local village.

Met some new friends in a pub. My JJ-replacement who turns out to be cute model.

Sweet couple, in Vietnamese bridal gown. ->

HCMC is full of motorcycle. Traffic will become a hectic scene during rush hour.

Uncle Ho, in front of the city hall.

Juxtaposition of renovated and original building at the heart of HCMC.

HCMC has quite some developments.
This Bitexco Financial Tower is becoming a business center icon the Ho Chi Minh City. With its stylish architectural outlook, the building has redefine HCMC's skyline as a business center. However, the area surrounding the building is still less developed.

My overall view of HCMC is that the city is dry...  There isn't much that surprises me. Perhaps, I've seen quite lot from other cities. But it's good that I was spending good time with friends.