Monday, June 11, 2007

Vietnam Trip - Fruitful and Touching

I am back in Singapore! I went to Vietnam with my Army friend, Firmin. Boarded Silkair MI633 with nothing much to expect. Cause I seriously did not know what's the environment in Vietnam like. We actually transit at Cambodia airport, before we headed towards Vietnam. Firmin was telling me what will I be expecting in Vietnam, yet that image was still quite blur in my mind.

Cambodia Airport

Both of us think it looked like Singapore Chalets...

Having lunch on plane...the food tasted good!

Actually Firmin had a purpose for this Vietnam trip, and that is to recee for his next project in another vietnam orphanage in December. Since he was asking if anyone wanted to follow him, I volunteered myself, since I'm curious in going to a 3rd World Country.

Shopping in Dong Bah Market

Chilling out in one of the cafe

Most of the time I just tagged along with firmin, must really thank him for bringing me around Vietnam despite of his busy schedule. We traveled around in Vietnam by Motorbike, and we don't need to wear helmet lo! Haha, firmin drove me around lah, as I'm not very used to the traffic in Vietnam. The traffic in Vietnam is very dangerous and disorganised too, you can hear horns of motors signaling people and vehicles to give way, and you will be able to see buses trying to overtake one another. Horns here horns there...everywhere! I'm glad that we are safe, phew!~

Tu Duc Tomb

Firmin brought me to this places of interest in Vietnam - Tu Duc Tomb. We actually lost our way , and spent around 1 hour to get there. As we were riding on the motor, both of us were totally burnt by the hot weather, when we finally reached our destination. It's only 10km away from our starting point. If firmin was driving at 60km/hr, we could have reached there in 10 mins. Lol. We just keep on ask people, and luckily there were many friendly vietnamese around to guide us along.

I'm so tiny!

The architecture of the building...very oriental right?

Posing with the statues

Firmin and myself

We also went to the handicraft village...saw the making of incense and hats...

Wah...joss sticks got so many different colour one sia...

So many hats!

Look so gayish , lolx.

Both of us also went for a massage, 1 hr for $12 only! Very shiok...don't worry, we didn't do anything funny, its purely massage only!!!

Outside the massage parlour

Firmin told me remember to give tips to the massage lady. I gave her 20 000 DONG, (S$2), she demand higher, and wrote on paper , 50 000 DONG (S$5). So I gave it to her, but who knows during dinner time, I realised something amiss. I still remembered I had 2 piece of 500 000 dong note , (S$50) in my wallet , then when I was about to pay for dinner, realised I only left with 1 piece of 500 000dong note!!!! Till then I realised, I mistook 500 000 dong note as 50 000 dong note. So my passage is worth a total of S$62 inclusive of the tips!!! When I told firmin this story, he laughed his head off, ARGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH. I'm always so blur.

The bitch who cheated my money!! ARGHhhHh!

On top of that, Firmin also brought me to this orphanage in Vietnam, and the children were the ones who made my trip a very meaningful and touching one. I really think that Singaporeans kids are too fortunate. I'm so touched to see their smile, when they recieved something from us. They were very appreciative. It further moved my heart when they hold on to my hand when I brought them out. They maybe around 12-16 years old, but whenever they held on to my hand, I knew that they were feeling insecure.

With my closest kid, Mint tan

Eating breakfast with Mint tan, and my 2nd closest kid, Dou, he's very sweet, when I left, he gave me all his little cranes and flowers that he had folded

Chung, my shifu who taught me vietnamese...he's a very sweet kid, though we are unable to communicate well, but we use drawings to understand each other.

I was doing up shuting's birthday video, and listening to this song, 'When you say nothing at all'. The lyrics really touched my heart, especially when I thought of the orphans. "Its amazing how you could speak right to my heart, without saying a word, you light up the dark". Its really amazing, because 2 different people, who didn't know each other language, were able to understand each other, and without saying a word, his actions touched me, and moved me to the max.

Children's day party, with the kids, my face so red, because I drank too much...but I'm not drunk!

Van tan, this guy is very sensible. Always remind me to put my pouch infront, as there are many thieves in Vietnam. He constantly reminded me. He will be leaving the orphanage in July. On my last day, I saw him on his bike, and wave goodbye to him, tears well up in my eyes. He has really help me alot.

Sleeping in the orphanage on my last night in Vietnam, haha, playing with the children.

Firmin and myself enjoying our last dinner with the children. It was their children's day party.

We also bring all of them to the amusement park. Mint tan enjoying...

Fab and Hao playing. Fab is a very cute boy, 14 years old, he's firmin favourite pet. haha

Fab, firmin's darling. Lol

The whole group at the amusement park

Abstract from the song 'when u say nothing at all', chrous, 'The smile on your face let me know that you need me, there's a truth in your eyes, saying you never leave me. The touch of your hand says you catch me, whenever I fall... you say it best, when you say nothing at all'.

I don't have to explain further, it just explains how firmin and myself felt towards the kids. I asked firmin to listen to that song, and he also agreed that its very emo.

Mint tan in my hotel. I helped him to make over before he attended the party. Mint tan cried on my last day. I couldn't control my tears as well. Mint tan also used a vietnamese note, 200 dong, (S$0.02) and folded into a heart. When I saw it, I was very emo.

I told myself not to cry, but the tears just naturally flows down. Initially I just pretended yawning, so that people will not know I'm crying. But my childhood days were about the same as them, I totally understand how they felt. I still cried in the end.

My shifu also cried...

He's very clever. I thought him how to use my digicam, and he will constantly take alot of pictures and asked me if its nice. He took the following picture and I was completely stunned...

The sunrise of vietnam! Its so well-taken, I developed the photo and gave this to him.

Goodbye for now...but I will definitely go back to see them again! I missed their smiles and laughters!

The little gifts i recieved from the children...

I also did a little video for the orphanage... I still cannot get over my feelings. Still feeling very emo right now. My heart is still in Vietnam. You will only understand me when you fly to Vietnam and see for yourself personally.

More photos :

View more pictures here:
Vietnam Trip part 1
Vietnam Trip part 2

View more detailed write up on Vietnam trip
Firmin's blog

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