Photo Essay: CET Vietnam

Photos by Lily Thomas, (Southern Methodist University) Student Correspondent CET Public Health & Service-Learning in Ho Chi Minh City, Spring 2016


My Vietnamese iced coffee at one of my favorite spots to relax and catch up on some homework. Cong is a quirky little cafe with an interesting 60s flare. Like most of the best spots its tucked away in an old apartment building. Every time I explore these buildings I find some great little spots whether a boutique or a cafe.



After dinner with our Vietnamese teacher she took us to the top of the AV tower. There were amazing views of the always bustling never sleeping Saigon.



A candid moment of Caroline and our vietnamese teacher, Thao, on a visit to her hometown. After only a few weeks she already invited us to her hometown, Vung Tau. It was such a special day we met her family, saw the sights, and ate some amazing seafood. Its amazing how close people can grow after only a few weeks.



Our first Saturday in Ho Chi Minh City we decided to visit the Bitexco tower. The building was constructed in 2010 and has since become the most recognizable piece in the Ho Chi Minh City skyline. Designed to look like a lotus the view of the building is nearly as spectacular as those from the sky-deck. The sky-deck provides a 360 degree view of the rapidly expanding HCMC. You can still see traces of the city in the horizon. In this photo fellow CET student, Caroline Creidenberg, looks out into the distance at the expansive city. This was great place to view our new home!



The first day we met our roommates we competed in a scavenger hunt. We were each given a list comprised of things to do and items to find. One of the tasks was to have your photo taken in front of the Saigon Notre-Dame Basilica. Bonus points if you were both in the photo! Nguyêt and I where very successful coming in second place and winning ice-cream vouchers!



Some of the buddhist roommates took us to a buddhist ceremony for the full moon festival. This day is very important in the lunar calander. The Pagoda was a ways outside the city center and absolutely breathtaking. There were no photos allowed inside, but the views of the skyline where stunning.



Tran, one of the Vietnamese roommates organized a food tour for myself and her roommate, Pia. We went to a neighborhood neither Pia or I had been in and sampled some truly delicious street food.



A view of a street nearby CET. This is the street we get most of our food, smoothies, and any little necessities. This was taken outside of Juicy Smoothie a great place to grab a refreshing mango smoothie and take a break from the Saigon sun.



A weekend getaway to the nearby island Phu Quoc. In less than an hour flight we were worlds away from the bustling HCMC and in calm island escape. There are so many amazing places to explore throughout Vietnam from stunning beaches to breathtaking mountain villages.