So you think you can shop...!!!

Trip Start Mar 13, 2010
Trip End Mar 25, 2010

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Flag of Vietnam  ,
Monday, March 15, 2010

Well here we are - in Ho Chi Minh City. We finally made it and the heat has hit us a little but it's the massive shopping opportunities which have made the biggest impact!

All the team have become expert at bargaining and negotiating "best price" for a massive variety of items - t shirts, designer undies (yes, Jack with 10 pairs, Simmo with 5 and Rosie with a straight half dozen)! Mrs Crisp was checking out some oversize Calvin Kleins but decided in the interest of good taste that there was a limit! (Although she did buy 2 pairs for Mr Crisp)!!

Our tour guide Tri is an absolute gem - bright and bubbly. He knows all the good places to shop, exchange money and eat. We've also managed to source some awesome iced coffees, fruit frappes and other delicious refreshments.  All the students have made the most of the opportunity of sampling a variety of food already - beautiful stir frys, curries, spring rolls. Today we had lunch at the restaurant that President Clinton ate at when he was here last........just a bit of name dropping there!

Our hotel rooms are comfy and all have yes, both hot and cold running water!!!  Air conditioning is an absolute must and the TV is just fine with 24hr CNN broadcasts.

Sophie has been the megastar so far in the bravery stakes. She has so far been the only student to hit the public toilets at a market no less. No big deal you may be thinking but the first time in a public (squat) toilet in Vietnam is an experience!!

Jacob takes the cake in the fire eating stakes - sampling entire (hot) chillies. He's looking forward to dinner tonight I'm sure! Jarrad is our shopping and fashion guru sporting his local dragon shirt. Joe is leading the count for most sunglasses with a tally of 17 to date (and yep, it's only day 2 here)! With most of the group coming away without a watch most of the group are now sporting 'real' fashion watches from prestigious makers such as Rolex, Tag Heuer, even Burberry!  We're sure they'll all last for years....!

By a long shot the highlight so far has been our cyclo ride around the city. What a mad, mad experience. 26 people with their bikes and pedallers hitting the busy peak hour traffic around the main blocks in Ho Chi Minh City. Utter madness!! But it beat any ride at the Gold Coast theme parks. As there are no (?) traffic lights in the city traffic management is utter chaos - all traffic just keeps going and cars and scooters thread themselves amongst along the roads in multiple directions. As a cyclo passenger in the middle of this mayhem it was an experience for the most hardened thrill seeker!

Our visit to the War Remnants Museum was a sobering experience and provided an opportunity to learn more of this period of history. All the group came away with a heightened awareness of the torrid times faced by the Vietnamese people during this time.

Tomorrow brings a trip to the Mekong Delta for our homestay. The biggest problem will be getting all the group up early!!! Maybe after a more restful day and a good nights sleep last night everyone will be raring to go bright and early.

We're having a fantastic time. Everyone is fit, healthy and happy and things are going along just brilliantly. Keep up the good work with the comments, even if our encounter with Guy Sebastian obviously filled someone with deep envy.

Love yous all!!!
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Mel (Rosie's mm) on

Wow! You've all been busy. Glad to hear it's going well. xx

Catherine Duggan on

My God , sounds like you all are having a fantastic time . . . Amelia and all who have worked so hard to get there; make the most of every minute.... To Pam, Nic, Heather & Steve : thankyou.... Amelia thinking of you all the time, knowing what a wonderful experience it must be.... Loving the up dates .....,

Chloe's Mummy on

Hi again happy travellers. Well no wonder we have been waiting so long for the 3rd entry. Well you guys have been busy 2day with all that shopping,just dont know how you do it hahaha! It was so nice 2 chat with you b4 chloe. Please make the most of this great opportunity you have been given and try not 2 feel homesick.B4 you know it you guys will be on your way home. Make the most of every minute,b happy and stay safe. I hope you all enjoy your homestay 2morro. Tyson has stayed with Nan for the past 2 nights so i feel like i am on holidays 2 lol. Keep looking after my Chloe 4 me plz Daniel.Bye 4 now lots and lots of love Mum xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx Ps Did any1 buy me anything i love ROOSTERS

Adam,Tamara and Jordy Lou on

Howdy from Melbourne...
I hope you are all having a wonderful time in Vietnam especially you Chloe. Shop it up chic and dont forget that if it looks like chicken and smells like chicken its probably a good thing to order the fish...
Anyhow stay safe and we will cya when we come over in April.
Make the most of it.
Tamara xxx

Leanne Sveen on

Thanks so much for the jam-packed update. Sounds like you are all having an amazing time. Really appreciate the photos as we follow your journeys from the home front.

June Prior- Bendigo on

Fabulous commentary .... am really enjoying the trip with you all. Wonderful photos!!! Take care and enjoy the "experience of a lifetime"!!

Maddie (Ebony, Tia and Amelia's Buddy) on

Looks like you guys have had fun so far, i miss you guys so much its like quiet as at school wioth out you guys here. what have you guys doen so far? do you get to ride elephants? When are you guys coming back? What are you gonna do 2moro? ok enough questions lol haha bye miss you guys.

Diane Balding on

I have really enjoyed following your travels and reading about your experiences. I don't like the sound of the squat toilets!

Megan Graham on

Wow! You guys are seeing so much and obviously having a ball. It's great to see all your smiling faces - this travel blog was a fantastic idea!!! Can't wait to see the photos of your next adventure ... post lots, we love to see them all! Stay safe and do everything you can possibly fit into each day :-) I'm dying to find out whether Cripy's found a jumeau yet???? Tell her to keep a look out and bring a couple home home for me, too - LOL!!! Have fun, Cheers, Megan

George on

Hello Amelia are you having a good time. Theodore misses you.Hope Tia is having a good time.Cheers from George.

anne on

it all sounds wonderful wish i was there' spoke to scarlett this morning, can't wait to see the bargains.sounds like you are all doing a great job haggling. it is great seeing the photos-waiting patiently to see one of scarlett. the hotel sounds good. weather has been hot here, 31 yesterday. not as hot and humid as you are having though. it is great reading about your adventures- thanks, it brightens a mums day

Christine (Tia's Mum) on

Glad to hear your having fun Miss Tia... Keep safe and don't eat anything crazy!!
Jack and Douglas don't miss you but little Noah does he keeps asking 'Tia Tia'
You guy's all take care ok!
Love Mum

PS we lost the tv remote! Have you got it?

Danielle on

Hey there! Great to hear all the news of your adventures Thrillseekers!
Have fun.......
Danielle, Allan, Joel and Harry R

Lou on

Hey everyone including Steve Who
Good to here about your adventure, all those beautiful smiles tells the story. We are all able to enjoy the journey too. Huonville is still here so have a great time and savour the experience!

Jack Huett on

hello Chloe and all others ,
sounds like you are all having a great time .So enjoy it while you all have the chance ,take care

monicka lee on

hi guys

keeping up with your travels everyday as we hear what you guys are up to. Its a great opportunity for us to keep in touch with you all. Well it certainly sounds as if you are having a fantastic time despite the heat. As Ms Smith says its only day two and you have been spending up big. Isn't bargaining great fun. Your guide sounds like a fantastic person...just the right person.

bye for now and looking forward to hearing from you again. The photos you keep sending are brilliant.
Mrs Lee

Freya Gale ... (joe's sister) on

Joseph Gale yo lucky bugger!! you bet to bring me home a present :) cya soon x

Crellin Family on

Hi Ebony, Glad to see you all are having a great time, hope u all are liking the heat, its been warm here aswell. Sounds like the accomadation is good, tv hot and cold water sounds like yous are being spoilt! Anyway all take good care talk soon love Joe Janet Amelia Aleshia and Amber xxxx

the wicked as tameika on

Annabelle i want u to come back now. i need ur help with my physical science work its too the bus trips are boring with out u ...and have to go to town with eliza now......:) hay tia (dont eat the spider...please)and amelia and daniel and everyone else, hope use are having fun.....:)

Channi and Shaz on

hello to all, special hello to Chloe :) we miss you little lovely! sounds like yous are having an awsum time. sorry to hear about your toothpaste and sunscreen lol :) keep up the shopping and dont forget to buy us something CHLOE hehehe lots of love! have fun and take care! xoxoxoxox

Chloe's mummy on

Hi there travellers! Hope you all are having the best time ever.Just thought i would share with you all,your departure photo has made front page of the huon news!!!!!!!!! Hope you guys are drinking heaps of bottled WATER and that means you 2 Chloe, dont 4get. Waiting patiently{hahaha} 4 the next entry. Bye 4 now xoxoxoxo

Katie Hill. on

Hey Guys,
just so Scarlett knows
i miss her heaps.
god i don't know what its going to be like when i go to Africa...
sounds like your having a hell of a good time,
who got the pics with Guy Sebastion?
your so lucky that you can actually use computeers there.
love you all,
your little sheep.

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