My Top Locals

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So for a few days now, I’ve been following a discussion in an online group regarding travel in Vietnam. Of course criticisms and bad experiences about Vietnam eventually spilled into the discussion. Having lived in VN for a few years, I found some of the points unfair. This made me realize how much this country has grown on me. Even the motorbike mania.

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But hey, everybody is entitled to their own opinion and I can’t change the fact that those voicing out their concerns are tourists and haven’t really lived in Vietnam, especially in Ho Chi Minh City.

In our 6 years in Vietnam, I’ve met locals that have made our stay memorable, some named, some unnamed — but both equally making their mark in our Vietnam story.

When we were still living in our first apartment, Anh was our agent. She was young and ambitious and soon later, left her job to establish her own businesses. She’s quite an adventurer when it comes to business and I could hardly keep up with her. Anh is a generous soul and we did a couple of businesses together. Once, when my friend arrived and forgot his luggage in a taxi, Anh tracked down the cab all morning. She was relentless.

Phat is this Vinasun guy at Kumho. He’d call for cabs and assist passengers. One time, I didn’t have any small bills and the cab driver couldn’t give me change. Phat offered to pay my fare. Yup! How many taxi attendants will do that for you? I mean this guy earns way less than me and had faith that I will pay him back.

anh Nga
Anh Nga is my go-to cabbie in the morning. I’d send him a message and he’d pick me up from the apartment building. When I can’t pay in the morning, he’d shrug and just let me pay when I see him again.

Mai Linh Taxi Drivers
I’ve been in a couple of taxi cabs that couldn’t give me change and what would they do? They’d give me their number and ask me to pay them when I get back to their station near our apartment.

Hoa is currently our apartment agent. When stuff breaks down in our apartment, Hoa is just a Viber away. She never gets tired reminding us of our contract and police requirements and keeps all our paper up to date!

All you need to know about Tiffany is here. Love, love her cooking!

Khoa is ¼ of Photo Oi when it we were still running the show. Part of the success of Photo Oi is due to Khoa’s hard work. We couldn’t have hit the ground running without Khoa’s knowledge of doing business in Vietnam. We got lucky there!

I met Kimmy when she was promoting the AO Show Saigon. I just love AO Show and Kimmy has been wonderful to introduce me and friends to a different side of Vietnam culture.

Lunch lady along Nguyen Du St.
Whenever I need a bowl of warm yummy noodle soup, my go to lunch lady is the one along Nguyen Du.

Candle and Rosary vendor at the Notre Dame on Mondays
Chi would give additional candles, let me borrow her lighter, and open the church for me even beyond visiting hours. It pays to show up every Monday.

Bay is our ever dependable nanny. Some have tried to pirate her from our family but she is ever loyal. Our whole family dynamics is made smoother with her around.

And that’s just the locals! I’ve met lots of lovely foreigners in Vietnam who have made living here all the more richer.

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