Have you ever wished that you could just call back home and share your travel stories with your friends and family? When I travelled to Vietnam early this year, I realised how important a SIM card is to me. Having Internet data was the most important thing for me when I travelled abroad because with it, I can keep in touch with my friends and family. I tell them lots of stories – basically, I talked to them about my travel experiences and how Vietnam was like when I came over to the country. The first thing I did after I passed through the immigration checkpoint was buying a SIM card. I chose Vinaphone SIM card. I got it along with my taxi ticket at the Ho Chi Minh International Airport. I had to face language barrier as I didn”t have any Vietnam language basics. The salesgirls who entertained me were also not very fluent at speaking English. Despite the language problem, I managed to get myself what I wanted and left right after.
Waiting for the taxi was another different story. I got a bit annoyed by everyone because they were impatient. There was a young lady who was responsible to calm everyone down – telling them that the taxi will arrive soon. Some of the travellers were already showing faces to her. Poor girl. I had to wait for quite sometime before I got myself a taxi ride. My hotel wasn’t far from the airport. Thank God. It only took me about 15 minutes before I arrived at my destination.
I checked in at Hon En Hotel – a boutique hotel in Go Vap District. I won’t recommend this hotel to travellers who are planning to stay for a long period of time as it is very far from the city centre. If you had a travel buddy, you can really save up on taxi fare. I didn’t regret for staying at the hotel tho. I just wished that I have tried some other hotels during the rest of my days in Ho Chi Minh. Travelling alone from Go Vap to the city centre was very expensive for me (especially when you had to face dishonest taxi drivers). I was quite depressed for awhile. I felt a little lonely. Luckily, I had a SIM card with me. So, I sent some messages to a friend of mine who is currently living in Ho Chi Minh. His name was Chris and he is from Singapore. Chris and I met up for dinner and he showed me around. He gave me plenty of travel tips too. He also guided me on how to activate Internet data on my SIM card. I can’t believe how cheap Internet data was in Vietnam! I only used up Internet data when I was out from my hotel room. Whenever I stayed in my hotel room, I would use the WiFi instead – the connection was really good!
2 days before I flew back to my country, I felt like my days in Ho Chi Minh was getting a little boring. I would have gone to other places in Vietnam such as Da nang, Na Thrang, etc. However, I had to just explore the places nearby instead due to insufficient funds and very limited time. I was going through some emotional breakdowns (probably due to loneliness as this was my first time travelling alone). I don’t normally travel alone, but I told myself “Why not give it a shot?”. I was not scared when I travelled by my own. I just thought that it would be more exciting if I had a friend with me. I called up my friends via Skype (thanks to good WiFi) and told them about my likings and dislikes of the country. I would love to come back to Vietnam again if I had the chance, but hopefully with a travel friend. Some of my friends suggested me to hangout at the backpackers streets. I did. I went there yet I was not very comfortable hanging out with new people all by myself. I guess my trip to Vietnam was indeed memorable due to the hardship (my 2nd time should be better).
Vietnam has lots of nice people who would help you if you need one. But, it is advisable for any solo traveller to always stay alert and calm. Don’t trust strangers before you really get to know them better! As for me, I met really nice friends while I was in Vietnam. Thank God! 🙂 Because I was travelling alone the whole time, I felt a little bored as I didn’t have anyone to talk to. Thanks to my mobile phone + Internet data, I was able to talk to my friends on just about anything! Few hours before I left Vietnam, I had some difficulties at the airport. I wasn’t sure where to print out my boarding pass. I then realised that there was no boarding pass printing machine at the airport! I was a little upset because the lady who was suppose to entertained me did not bother to help me out with my problem. When a Vietnamese guy came and asked for help, she quickly entertained him and after she helped him out, she then said to me “Hi, how can I help you?” , with a smile on her face. At that time, I just felt like yelling at her and asked her why was she behaving that way. I thought that she probably didn’t want to entertained me because of language barrier, but I then realised that she could speak English all along! I panicked when she didn’t want to entertain me, so I had to text Chris to ask him about the boarding pass printing machine. Upon my return, I sighed and told my friends all my stories – it was a pretty challenging week. Language barrier is a big problem for me when I went to Vietnam. Perhaps I should learn some Vietnamese basics. I can’t expect everyone to speak English after all.
Learning other languages is also a very good and useful effort. I realised that communication is really important when I travel abroad. I am not sure if you all think the same way as I do; I just knew from the very beginning that I am the kind of person that needs to always stay connected with the world.
There is a travel SIM card that can help travellers like me to skip all the hassles that I went through while I was in Vietnam. Visit http://www.localsimkad.com I personally like the product and I believe that this product will work well for me. I like to plan before I travel. With this product, I can book my local SIM card before I travel and have my overseas mobile number in advance. I can also top up online and if I have any problems with regards to the service, I can always call its customer support. LocalSIMKad Vietnam is powered by Viettel. I may have chosen Vinaphone on my first visit, but trust me, I’ll pick LocalSIMKad the next time I come over to Vietnam! To find out more, visit http://www.localsimkad.com