Retirement; like your parents, but way cooler
In 1991 Billy and Akaisha Kaderli retired at the age
of 38. Now, into their 4th decade of this
financially independent lifestyle, they invite you
to take advantage of their wisdom and experience.
Vietnam Tourism has been increasing over the years. This exotic country has a
lot to offer for their visitors such as culture, amazing architecture, beautiful
beaches, shopping, delicious cuisine and spectacular natural beauty.
Hotels and Travel Information
Cultural Guide for Expats Don't be the ugly Expat!
Make the Most of Feasting Internationally
12 tips on eating well while traveling and still stay on a
Many Different Faces of People in Asia
people fascinating. Sometimes it
would seem that we could tell a lot about a person by the way the
lines on their face are arranged or how their eyes twinkle or are
filled with fire. The people photographed below all have a story,
captured in their countenance.
Vietnam's Largest Chinatown,
The Vietnamese call their Chinatown "Cholon" which basically means
"Big Market." Cholon became a city in 1879, and by the 1930s it
pressed against the city limit of Saigon proper. In 1931 the two
cities were merged and by 1956 the name "Cholon" was dropped from
the maps, but people still refer to the area by that name.
The Ancient and Contemporary
Pieces in Vietnam's Fine Arts Museum
Near Ben Thanh Market and
located in central Ho Chi Minh City is the Fine Arts Museum. After
all the buzz and activity of the city with its motorcycle packed
streets, this museum is a welcoming haven of quiet.
The Action All within One Block
of our Suite in Saigon
How much adventure do you find
within one block of your home? Do you have street restaurants,
outdoor garden altars and people sitting on children's chairs on
your sidewalks? You can visit our neighborhood in this fascinating
city by taking a look at the photos
Delectable Treat from Street Vendors: Banana Sheets
Just outside the entrance to
our place sits this lady selling made-to-order waffles (they smell
great!) and freshly grilled banana sheets. They looked so exotic, we
had to try them and once we did, we are now hooked.
Colorful Splendor of Saigon's
There is a very narrow web of
alleyways call Ho Ky Thi which is off the larger street Le Thai To
in District 10. This is the flower market of Saigon, and if you
didn't know it was there, you could easily miss it.
When the Unexpected Happens - A Family Death while You Are Continents Away
Recently, while thousands of
miles away, we had a family emergency and received the news that
Billy’s aging Mother had passed away. Family at home needed papers
printed, signed, notarized and sent back. Notarized? In Vietnam?
The Ancient Art of Lacquerware in Vietnam
If in Asia, one must visit a
lacquerware factory. These pieces of art are highly prized for both
durability and beauty and they take skilled craftsmen months to
perfect. We decided to hire cyclo drivers to take us to the factory
and it's a leisurely way to travel this city of over 8 million
What the Heck?! It's International Pillow Fight Day!
When was the last time you had a pillow
fight? Did you even know there was an International Pillow Fight Day? We didn't
either and we were invited to attend the event here in Saigon, Vietnam at the
The Great Coconut Rip-off - This Vendor Lied to Us!
"Take this coconut! I give you this coconut!
Ice cold! You will like it. Hot today." I'm just thrilled. I'm so happy that
he's so happy. In slow motion, I. Take. The. Coco. Nut. See what happens next!
A Street Vendor Saves Billy's Travel Bag
Billy has a favorite travel bag that has seen
more miles literally and figuratively than we can count. It is special to him
because the insides have a variety of pockets and zippers to organize his
"office." But his bag had seen better days, and it was time to get it repaired.
Vast and Curious Food
If you have never been to Asia, you must
know that the food options here are exotic and plentiful. Everyday shopping
is an adventure. You don't just purchase a banana, you must choose from a
dozen of types of banana! Come take a look for yourself.
For "Close to
the Bone" Travelers, This was an Adventure in
We journey in a
“close to the bone” style of travel. Taking local transport, we stay
in hostels or a 2-3 star hotel and sometimes we book an ocean view
resort. It depends on value, available deals, what we want to do,
and how long we want to stay. But this, my friends, was an adventure
My Tale of an Emergency Dental Visit in Vietnam
Those of you who
have followed us for a while know that I have this habit of seeing
dentists all over the world. Not by choice, mind you, but because,
well, because of one thing or another. I had one of those "things"
happen while on our visit here in Ho Chi Minh City.
People Want to Know - Is Eating Street Food Safe?
Due to our restaurant background, one of
Billy’s and my greatest joys in traveling is the eating of street food. We
aren’t being careless about food and water choices; rather, we have over three
decades of world travel experience and want to share our perspective with you on
The Pumping, Thriving, Animated Center of Saigon
Saigon was originally part of the kingdom of
Cambodia, then it was absorbed by Vietnam in the 17th century, captured by the
French in 1859 and served as the capital of the Republic of Vietnam from the mid
1950's until it fell to advancing North Vietnamese forces. Saigon, also known as
Ho Chi Minh City as it was renamed in 1975, is considered to be the heart and
economic center of Vietnam, and it's Vietnam's largest city.
Simplifying Our Use of Vietnam's Currency during Our Stay
The biggest challenge
we face is figuring out the exchange rate of the
USDollar to the Vietnamese dong. There are lots of zeros
printed on the currency and to make it convenient for
our comprehension, the first thing we did was to lop off
three of them. It makes it easier figuring out pricing
in our head and eliminates some punches on our
Flying to Saigon in Elite Class Seats, Our First Days in Compass Living
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. 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.
Ha Noi, the Conservative Capitol City of Vietnam
We are staying in the
Old Quarter; a tangle of streets and alleys filled with
vendors, amazing shops, motorbikes and bicycles. It's
hectic and a bit frenetic; so easy to get disoriented,
quickly losing track of where we are. Even though the
streets wind unendingly, eventually, we find some
familiarity in all of this.
The Hoa Lo Prison also Known as the "Ha Noi Hilton"
They were cells of death and torture. Opened
in 1896, Hoa Lo prison was the largest of the French prisons built in the north
of Viet Nam. Constructed in the latter half of the 19th century, this
penitentiary was part of France’s efforts to restrain the unruly and popular
anti-colonial movements amongst the Vietnamese community. Hoa Lo Prison quickly
became a place where thousands of revolutionary fighters were imprisoned,
beaten, cuffed, beheaded and suffered the worst abuse imaginable.
A Great Natural Wonder of Asia, Ha Long Bay
One of the great natural wonders of Asia, and
northern Vietnam’s biggest attraction, Halong Bay is a must see. Although there
are many renditions of the legend of Ha Long Bay, this is the tale we were told
while cruising one of the world’s most beautiful waterways.
Hai Van Pass, a Burning Monk and a Fawning Waitress, Hue Is Way Cool
The views were spectacular. We chose the 3
dollar, 5 hour bus trip through the Hai Van pass to the ancient city of Hue.
Twenty kilometers long, this pass is the highest and longest pass in Vietnam,
often enshrouded in clouds. Today was clear.
A Thu Bon River, Paddling through Paradise
"Boat tour?" Hanging out on a bridge over the
Thu Bon River at the edge of Hoi An’s morning market, she approached us. "Have
boat, want to go?" In a 10 foot rowboat, up and down the river, for 30,000 Dong
an hour, she wanted to guide us.
Getting Tailored Clothes made in Hoi An,
They're everywhere. Celebrated for their
tailoring shops, you cannot walk a block in Hoi An where there isn’t at least
one. Walls are lined from floor to ceiling with Italian and English cashmere
wool, linen, gabardine, and silk from Thailand, Japan, and Vietnam, plus cotton,
and corduroy, all weights, and colors. It’s a virtual candy store for a
Every Vendor Has a Story, Hoi An, Vietnam
In third world
travel, street vendors are the norm. They come in all shapes, sizes
and ages, selling everything you can imagine from fresh fruit, hand
woven baskets, and jewelry, to bug repellent. Performing a much
needed service, the product comes to you, and the experience creates
colorful memories of your journey away from home.
With a Mixture of French Colonial, Japanese and Chinese Architecture, Ho Ann
Has Seaside Splendor
Hoi An, a World
Heritage site, is located on the South China seacoast about half way
between Saigon and Ha Noi. Sunny, clear skies with reasonable
humidity greeted us without fail, so we decided to venture to the
Thriving Pulse, This Is Ho Chi Minh City - Saigon
Bustling, churning, this
metropolis is just waiting to explode commercially. You can feel it
everywhere; the high energy, the industriousness of the people, the
old making way for the new. The hustle and commotion are everywhere.
Motorbikes outnumber cars by scores, and street markets are anywhere
there is space sufficient to accommodate them. Everyone seems to be
looking ahead, hungry for the future.
The Horrifying Yet Ingenious Cu Chi Tunnels Tour
The Cu Chi tunnels were built over a 25
year period beginning in the 1940’s, and became an underground city. They
housed up to 10,000 people who rarely saw daylight for years at a time,
choosing to live, get married, have children and then teach these children,
all underground. In the evenings, they would leave this subterranean
existence, and furtively tend to their crops.
Run by a Viet Cong Survivor, Hotel
The twenty dollar room rate included
air-con, TV, minibar, and ensuite bath, as well as breakfast of fruit,
baguette and jam, coffee, tea or juice, fresh fruit throughout the day, and
dinner of spring rolls and noodle soup! She also provided pick-up from the
airport for a six dollar charge.
Captivating Photos of Vietnam
With a wide range of beauty,
ranging from the natural to the people and their handicrafts,
Vietnam offers much to see at an affordable price. Take a look at
some of the photos here.
Early Lifestyle appeals to a different
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independence, values their time, and who doesn’t
want to mindlessly follow the crowd.
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