I barely saw Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam because I was too busy having a complete and utter meltdown. A little over a week into my three week trek around Cambodia and Vietnam, I was missing my family, stressed that I was having trouble accessing more cash, and overwhelmed at war’s effect on a country.
In other words between calls to my bank back home and my mother, I was wailing in my boutique hotel room.
In eight days I’d been to two war museums, The Killing Fields, and a genocide memorial. When I arrived in Vietnam from Cambodia, I just couldn’t take any more I suppose.
The little that I did see centered around food and The War Remnants Museum.
Cuc Gach Quan is a traditional Vietnamese restaurant with a huge menu. When the waitress set the phone book-thick menu in front of me, it was hard not to get overwhelmed. I ate crisply fried spring rolls, brown rice sprinkled with peanuts and chili sauce, a delectable chicken dish, and fried banana with ice cream for dessert.
The place that brought me back from the emotional ledge was, ironically, a rooftop restaurant. Shri was one of my favorite dining experiences in Vietna
m. The staff was super attentive, and I didn’t get the “You’re dining alone?” “Just one?” “You’re traveling by yourself?” questions that followed me all over Cambodia and Vietnam.
Between the bread basket, wine, butternut squash soup, fried spring rolls, and the view, I could feel my tension dissipate.
I might try to return to Ho Chi Minh one day while I’m here in Asia. If I do, I’ll head to more museums and definitely return to Shri.