This time last year, I was winding down from an epic month-long trip to Vietnam, the country of my birth and one which I left shortly afterwards for the United States.
Traveling with my mom, Grandmother and a few Aunties, I relished all the nostalgic family stories that they would retell. For nearly a month, I became acquainted with the land and people of my birthplace and all the while learning about my family’s history from our origins in China , to my grandparents’ migration to Vietnam and the new life they created, and to my parents’ harrowing boat escape out of Vietnam to America.
I stayed mostly in Saigon with my Auntie’s family during last year’s trip but also took some time to visit Hanoi, Halong Bay Hue, Hoi An (with a bit of scuba diving), and the Mekong Delta (including a family homestay experience).
The travel was amazing and so was THE FOOD! I had some great culinary experiences – eating, gawking, as well as wandering in and out of local markets.
What I didn’t blog about last year were the two days I spent in China immediately following my Vietnam trip. It was the first time I had ever visited China and since mom and I had an insanely long layover in Guangzhou, China on our way back to Dubai from Saigon, we took the opportunity to stay in Guangzhou for a few days to visit family friends and for mom to take me to see our ancestral home (all in ruins now).
Next week, I am traveling back to China and basing myself in Beijing with my sister Diana who has been living and working there nearly as long as Scotch and I have been living in Dubai.
This time, I will for sure blog about that experience as well as revisit last year’s initial encounter in China.