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In 1991 Billy and Akaisha Kaderli retired at the age of 38. Now, into their 3rd decade of this financially independent lifestyle, they invite you to take advantage of their wisdom and experience.

Saigon, Our First Days

Billy and Akaisha Kaderli

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Our Elite Class tickets and menu from EVA Airlines

Our Elite Class tickets and menu from EVA Airlines

EVA airlines give some of the best service in the industry. Our flights from LAX-TPE-SGN took about 18 hours of travel and so we experienced several meals on board in both Asian and Western choices. Seats in Elite Class are bigger than in coach, so we were able to enjoy sleep. The seat configuration in the plane is 2-4-2, and we had an aisle and window seat.

Our own entertainment center was located on the back of the seat in front of us, and we had a variety of new movie releases, news, sports, and TV shows. We could also watch our in flight progress over the Pacific Ocean with graphics provided by EVA air.

What's not to like?

What's not to like?

Young women in Vietnam are gorgeous and social. This young girl easily posed for Billy as he took her photo.

It's been years since I saw so many rhinestones in one location, and this was just in the lounge waiting to board our plane! Rhinestone bags, headbands, belts, jackets, hats, shoes, bracelets, fingernails and even hosiery! Black stockings, we found out, are all the rage, and worn with mini skirts or shorts. We saw checked black stockings, stockings with miniature hearts, rhinestone studded and even hosiery with kitty kats on the knees and the tails curling up the back of the legs before they met the mini skirt.

What other visual treats would await us when we landed? 

 

Our studio suite

Our studio suite

We have an agreement to test drive the concierge services for Compass Living, a new international luxury way of living offered at affordable pricing.

This is our studio suite provided for us from the company. We have about 800+ square feet of living space which includes a stocked kitchenette, large bathroom, the living room above, an office area and of course a bedroom.

One million, five hundred thousand dong

One million, five hundred thousand dong

Vietnamese currency is the dong. Half a million dong is about $25USD, so the amount you see above is about $75USD. We are getting used to the exchange rate in order to purchase and there are so many zeros! $1USD is about 20,000 dong. A bar of soap is 10,000 dong. A beer at a food court is 20,000, at a Circle K it's 12,000. !!!

A typical breakfast delivered to our room

A typical breakfast delivered to our room

In the evenings we fill out an order sheet such as you see in the photo, ordering the breakfast we choose to have the following morning.

Here we have ordered an omelet, scrambled eggs, bacon, toast, fresh fruit in season, coffee with cream.

Breakfast and lunch are complimentary with the "Pampered Package."

Later on when we have finished our meal, the staff come in and whisk away the dishes!

Street vendor serving up local fare

Street vendor serving up local fare

After breakfast we decided to go outside of our protective cocoon and hit the street. Maybe we'd find some action out there?

Here is a street vendor frying up a meal. There are little tofu squares in her vat and she's arranging them appetizingly on the plate.

Corner French styled building

Corner French styled building

At our first corner we noticed this cream and white French building with poplar style trees making a striking contrast against the light colors. Traffic is mostly motorbikes and a variety of taxis.

There are helmet stores on the street selling jazzed up designed headgear. With 8 million people in Ho Chi Minh City, everyone is looking for a way to stand out from the crowd.

Massage and spa business

Massage and spa business

Businesses have menus of services outside so passers by can take a look at offerings and pricing. This massage and spa location was offering a 100-minute soak, scrub and massage for 882,000 dong, about $44USD.

More French architecture

More French architecture

French missionaries first arrived in Vietnam in the 17th century and by the mid 1800s Vietnam was added to the French Empire. The influence of the French is noticeable in the architecture and in the food. With the warm weather and the ornate French style, it is reminiscent of Louisiana.

This is a hotel apartment complex with a cafe downstairs.

 

Get your iphone and ipad here!

Get your iphone and ipad here!

Stores of every sort line the streets. Small hotels are tucked between businesses and there could very well be a cafe with outdoor seating the next door down.

Night view from our 7th floor apartment

Night view from our 7th floor apartment

Saigon is bustling with business and social activity. Night lights make a stark contrast against the black sky.

For more stories and photos of Vietnam, click here

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About the Authors

Billy and Akaisha Kaderli are recognized retirement experts and internationally published authors on topics of finance, medical tourism and world travel. With the wealth of information they share on their award winning website RetireEarlyLifestyle.com, they have been helping people achieve their own retirement dreams since 1991. They wrote the popular books, The Adventurer’s Guide to Early Retirement and Your Retirement Dream IS Possible available on their website bookstore or on Amazon.com.

Retire Early Lifestyle appeals to a different kind of person – the person who prizes their independence, values their time, and who doesn’t want to mindlessly follow the crowd.

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