Up next: trip to Vietnam, Cambodia, Bangkok, Taipei

betty ming liu Inspiration 5 Comments

Get ready for our mother-daughter trip to Asia! That would be thrilling enough. But, there’s more. After two weeks together, my princess goes home. Then, I journey alone another week. It’ll be my first real vacation as a single woman. Even though I’m a bit nervous, the queen is excited about celebrating her independence.  :)

Here’s the plan…

Once the Fall 2016 semester ends, we’re off  to Vietnam and Cambodia with an action-packed itinerary:

  • We’re visiting awe-inspiring ancient temples, coastal vistas and villages. For cities, we’re going from Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City to Siem Reap and Phnom Penh.
  • We’ll walk historic sites from the Vietnam War (1954-1975), which the Vietnamese call the American War. The DMZ, Cu Chi tunnels and Killing Fields are on the list.
  • Our stops include Cho Lon, Vietnam’s Chinatown. This was home for my dad, the #1 son of a farmer’s widow, who later studied in Paris on a French scholarship.

For the holidays, there’s Christmas in Sai Gon (Vietnam) and New Year’s Eve in Phnom Penh (Cambodia). These places are famous for off-the-charts, fantastic food. Any ideas on where we should dine, and what to eat?

Then, the start of 2017 brings us Part 2 of this trip. That’s when my daughter returns to the States. Meanwhile, I’ll visit two more countries — Thailand and Taiwan. I only have enough time to tour their capitols. Three days in Bangkok, where I’ve never been. And, five days in Taipei, which I toured briefly as a kid on a family vacation.

At the moment, all I have are two guide books and reservations for Airbnb apartments in each of these famous cities. I’m wondering what to do next. Any thoughts? Bring ’em on.   :)


My shrink once said that vacations are so powerful that even the act of planning one can lift the spirit. For sure, mapping the logistics for this entire trip gave me the joy of anticipation.

I look forward to exploring the land of the ancestors. More importantly, I’m beyond excited about traveling with my daughter, just the two of us. Then, to go beyond my comfort zone by facing fears of traveling alone — and maybe, being alone in general — well, it’s time to get over myself, right?

So that’s the plan. Would love to hear any suggestions or thoughts you about visiting these places, what you’ve loved about your own vacations, your plans for the upcoming holidays. xo

P.S. — I’ll still blog weekly during the trip. But if you’d like to see more pics more often, you can follow my personal Facebook profile (user name: BettyMLiu).  :)

Comments 5

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  1. Hello Betty, I took one of your classes throught Mediabistro a very long time ago. I recently lived in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. I wanted to leave some tips:

    1. If your Airbnb is not confirmed, I know a great Vietnamese family that offers Airbnb apartments. Their apartments are modern with air conditioner, close to conveniences, and safe. I really enjoyed my time there.

    2. I also wanted to recommend one of the cleanest, authentic, and most delicious Pho I’ve discovered in Ho Chi Minh City. I even had the please to meet the owner. It’s not a chain. It’s just a small business owner, and a legitimate place not in the business of stealing a foreigner’s money. I remember the staff’s English was non exist but you don’t need English to order beef Pho. Pho Hang Van 7 Ton That Tung Pham Ngu Lao Quan 1 HCMC, Vietnam

    3. For good dinner, I recommend, Secret Garden. I can think of a few others if I dig in my memories. For a cute hipster cafe, I recommend L’usine. For plotting and people talking, I recommend Highlands Coffee on Pham Ngu Lao.

    4. Lastly, HCMC sometimes felt like the WWW and petty theft is rampant. Be cautious crossing the street. Keep your purse and belongings tight. You know you can find me on FB. Enjoy your trip Ms. Betty :-)

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      Frantzie, of course I remember you! Darn, we booked hotels in Vietnam through a private tour company — but thank you for the apartment info. As for the pho, WE ARE THERE. Thank you for the other suggestions too. I will be in touch on Fb. And I will definitely keep an eye on my wallet. xo

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