40 days before our 21km or half marathon race in Ho Chi Minh City and we are pretty excited! HCMC Run will be our first ever road race because most of our races are trail races so this is another first for us. We have an idea of how to train for the half marathon and will come up with a goal time depending on how the next weeks go. We found a running club that meets up in District 7 a few times a week and as part of the HCMC Run, RunClub.VN will have weekend running sessions to prepare for the race. One of the reasons we picked District 7 as our base camp. Hope we find a suitable and affordable apartment in the same area so we can be a part of a running community and workout at the gym we are looking into. We don’t know what to expect when we get there to start searching.
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The first week will be overwhelming because we’ve been to Ho Chi Minh City and it’s a very busy city. Motorbikes everywhere, busy streets, people rushing and it’s quite heavy traffic on the roads. Our plan is to rent a motorbike once we find a nice apartment and have settle in.
We finally found the Muay Thai apparel store, well we found it on Sunday but the store was closed when we got there. We got there today and it was open! The store is located in the Night Bazaar in Chiang Mai. It’s one of the many shopping markets in Chiang Mai and opens up every night. The shorts in this store are high quality for a reasonable price. We found the store via a blog from a Muay Thai fighter who trained in Chiang Mai. It’s going to be our workout shorts to use in the gym, a good motivation.
I collided with a motorbike this morning heading back to the hotel from the market. It’s not uncommon to be cut-off by motorbikes in the busy streets of Chiang Mai, specially crossing the road with a cruise bike. Luckily, no one was hurt and I was the one who crashed to the ground. The motorbike was upright and the driver apologized. I was a bit shaken up and assured him that I was okay, which I was. I then saw a little girl on the scooter and felt really glad it was me that fell on the ground, not her. It was all good and everyone was okay!
Dinner tonight was rice, veggies, fish and fried chicken. We have this favorite fried chicken stall right on the side of the street owned by an older couple. They must be in their mid-70’s and what is interesting is, the husband would give us a higher price for a drumstick compared to his wife. So, what we do is we wait for the husband or when we see him busy doing something else leaving the wife attending the stall, we would buy the chicken for a cheaper price.
Another corky thing from our favorite veggie and fish lady is that she is always missing whenever we get to her stall. A few minutes later, she shows up. This happens every single time we get food from her stall.
Our landlord is always sitting in the porch area by the parking lot browsing the internet with his iPad. Sometimes, he smiles and sometimes not. Whipped Cream, the cute dog of the house naps on the cool ground or sometimes finds little things to nibble on. There is an older gentleman staying in the same hotel that also hangs around and smiles at us all the time whenever we go out. The ladies that clean our rooms are really nice. The cleaning always happens when we are stuffing our faces with food at lunch time at the patio. She would let us know that she is going to clean our room which means, we get two fresh bottles of drinking water, fresh towels, clean sheets and trashed emptied. This is what I love about hotels, the cleaning service.
I know that most apartments in Vietnam have maid service a few times a week that is included in the monthly rental. It really depends on who owns the apartment. Some apartments would include water and electricity, some would not. High Speed Internet in Vietnam is $12 per month flat rate. Normal water bill is about $7 per month. Electricity is dependent on usage. We are looking at an apartment that’s around our budget, furnished with a full kitchen included as well as utilities. A motorbike will cost us about $64 per month for rental plus fuel.
It’s a little inconvenient to move to another place but we look forward to a longer stay in Vietnam.