Wanderlust Wendy

Saigon Chronicle

From Saigon Vietnam to Taichung Taiwan

What a wild year 2020 has been! I rang in the new year in Taichung, Taiwan, helping my parents settle back into our home after 20 years of living in the United States as immigrants. The homecoming was bittersweet for them, and I was grateful to be there as emotional support. At the time, I had no idea that I would be making this announcement 10 months later: We are bidding … Read more

The Anam, Nha Trang, Vietnam

In the 15 months that I’ve lived in Saigon, I’ve only managed a handful of weekend trips outside of the city. Mostly because during the first six months, we were still recovering from our year-long around-the-world travel and wanted to stay put. Saigon is chaotic and full of energy. A periodic trip away is helpful to decompress and reset.  Here are the trips that I’ve taken and recommend. Hope you … Read more

Saigon Living Guide

It’s taken me over a year of living in Saigon to finally feel like I have a decent grasp of life in this chaotic city. Even still, I’m learning about new spots that make life just a tad easier every week. I am paying it forward here with a list of things I wish I had known during week 1 of Saigon living. I hope you find these tips useful!  … Read more

Saigon Living

In college, a four-month study abroad trip was life-changing. In my 30s, living in a new country for a year is a mere warm-up. Celebrating one year of living in Saigon has felt somewhat anticlimactic. In so many ways, I feel we’ve only just arrived in Vietnam. We seem to be barely dipping our toes into life in this chaotic city and have the faintest understanding of Vietnamese culture.  After … Read more

Ho Chi Minh City, more commonly referred to locally as Saigon, is a vibrant and energetic city. The rapid urban development leads to an ever-changing city, balancing between the new and old. My favorite thing to do in Saigon, as is in any city, is to wander aimlessly, looking into alleyways. Saigon has no shortage of hidden gems. I love discovering a charming café or sophisticated wine bar nestled within … Read more

Ho Chi Minh City, Saigon, Vietnam

By now, you are probably so tired of reading about Covid-19, the novel coronavirus that has led to a global pandemic. I’m impressed if you even clicked on the link to get here. If you got here by accident, feel free to close the tab. My feelings won’t be hurt. Like most of the writing on this blog, this post is for my future self to remember this major point … Read more

Chocolate Cake, Community

Last month, before a trip back to Shanghai, I struggled to find my place in Saigon. Unlike previous moves abroad, the integration this time around feels slow. Partly, because I’ve adopted to living slower, but also I’m in a different stage of life – married and in my 30s. In month five, things seem to begin to click. Perhaps it’s due to a change of mindset post-Shanghai, but this city … Read more

I’ve just returned from 10 days of visiting Shanghai. This was my first trip back to the city since we bid farewell in June 2018. Since arriving in Saigon four months ago, despite my best effort to be objective, I couldn’t help but compare this new home to Shanghai, a city that I knew so intimately well. I suppose our experiences in this world are shaped relative to our previous … Read more

I learned on an episode of Sincerely, Hueman recently that the U.S. government’s refugee resettlement program lasts only 90 days. Refugees are expected to be self-sufficient within this time frame. This week, we, the privileged expats in Vietnam, approach our own 90-day milestone. The dichotomy of our experience versus that of refugees is on my mind. Living abroad and settling into a new life is daunting, but the complexity increases … Read more

Hair Donation Saigon

Since turning 30, my desire for elaborate birthday celebrations has waned. Instead of large gatherings, I now prefer to retreat and reflect. Recently, there’s been a trend to raise funds for birthdays on Facebook, to support a good cause. This year, in keeping with the “being uncomfortable” theme, I decided to have a makeover, and do some giving of my own – with a hair donation to the Breast Cancer … Read more