Category Archives: Vietnam

Vietnam Trip in September, 2013

My fiancée finally got her immigration visa. I went back for moral support as well as to see if there may be any questions that I might need to help her answer at the interview. Although we had a tough interviewer, everything went well and she’s on her way! That was the main reason I went but it’s also nice to take a mini-break and visit Saigon. This time I didn’t go anywhere and just stayed in the city. I did manage to take a few photos though. Enjoy!

Rambutan or Chom Chom

One of the great things about visiting Vietnam in the summer is all of the fruits that are available to eat.  One of those is the rambutan or “chom chom” in Vietnamese.  The name means “hairy fruit” and you can see why it’s called that:

Rambutan
Rambutan

The skin is soft, as is the hair.  You can peel it with your fingers very easily.  Inside is the flesh of the fruit itself, which is a translucent white.  It looks very much like a large longan.  In fact, there is a variety of ramubtans in Vietnam called “chom chom nhan” which literally translates as longan rambutans.  Here’s what it looks like inside:

Inside a rambutan
Inside a rambutan

The fruit itself is sweet but not overly juicy.  There’s a big single seed inside, the out layer of which will oftentimes stick to the flesh of the fruit as you’re eating it.  If you’ve never had rambutans before, I suggest heading down to your local Asian supermarket and see if they have any fresh ones available.  Some of them in the bigger Asian communities do.  The canned variety in light sugary syrup does not do the fruit justice.

 

Vietnam 2012

I recently got back from a two week trip in Vietnam.  What an amazing place!  It’s the mother country for me but I haven’t been back in 30+ years.  It has a tropical climate that’s hot & humid with periods of heavy rain mixed in here & there.  It’s very reminiscent of Hong  Kong or Singapore (and I suppose also Hawaii although I’ve never been to Hawaii).  The people who live there feel different about it since for them it’s just normal and many struggle just to get by.  But as a visitor, it was a pretty cool experience.

Over the next few weeks I’ll post more of my thoughts on Vietnam but for now enjoy the photos!