Only 6 Days in... And I'm Sick. But We Still Had an Awesome Day!! 😀

in travel •  9 months ago


Being Sick While Traveling Sucks!

It never fails. Every time I travel overseas I seem to get a cold. And there's nothing I enjoy less than walking down the steamy hot, busy, exhaust-filled roads of Vietnam with a sore throat and cough. It just sucks, there's no other way to put it. I was doing okay up until yesterday morning when the sore throat kicked in. And today I woke up and could hardly speak. So it's time to take a break, get some rest, and fill this old body up with nutrients.

As much as I hated it, we had to cancel our tour of the Mekong Delta this morning. It was going to be a full day affair with 2 hours of travel each way. Looking on the bright side, I'm REALLY glad we did the Củ Chi tunnels yesterday so I didn't miss out on that. If I had to pick between the two, I would've picked Củ Chi tunnels.

Anyways, I picked up some medicine last night for my throat. I asked for cough syrup thinking I would get that syrupy, mostly alcohol, potion that we get in the states. But no, they gave me some kind of natural ivy leaf extract. So much for a quick fix LOL. Hopefully between that and the Ricola drops I'll be better soon.

What to Do the Rest of the Day?

We contacted the tour company to see if we could exchange our Mekong tour with something else. They offered us the Ho Chi Minh Nightlife Tour. Sounds fun! It includes a traditional Vietnamese water puppet show which is an art form closely connected with the long standing spiritual life of Vietnamese people. After that we would set out for a dinner cruise on a traditional style boat to see the city from a different perspective, with panoramic views of Ho Chi Minh City.

Great, we have plans for tonight! Now to grab some lunch...

An Afternoon with New Friends

For lunch we decided to try out a vegetarian restaurant close to our hotel. Afterwards we thought we might stop by the Independence Palace, which is probably one of the most iconic landmarks in Ho Chi Minh City. This was the home and workplace of the President of South Vietnam during the Vietnam War. That was until 1975 when the North drove a tank through the gates of the palace, ending the war.

We arrived at the restaurant and ordered up some appetizers (lotus root salad & fried spring rolls)...



And for our main courses we had veggie fried noodles and shiitake mushroom noodles...



After lunch we headed off in the direction of the Independence Palace. It was raining a little bit which was nice because it's been extremely hot here during the day. We took a shortcut through a park to get to the road where the Palace was located, but we were stopped by four young Vietnamese girls who were asking for our help.

Kristen and I looked at each other with that look of "should we stop and hear them out.. or just keep going?" I decided to at least find out what they were after. It turned out that they were simply wanting to spend some time with us to practice their English. They left their homes in the middle of Vietnam to come to Ho Chi Minh City (or Saigon as many of the locals still call it) to spend three years honing their English skills.


Our New Friends

We decided to bring them along with us to the Independence Palace which ended up being good for them, but even better for us. I learned how to say popcorn in Vietnamese (bắp rang bơ) and also got to learn more about the history of Vietnam and the war between the North and the South. Oh.. and they got a free yoga lesson from @k10yoga.


Independence Palace


Kristen teaching Warrior 2

Ho Chi Minh City Nightlife

You know you're 35 when nightlife is watching water puppets and going on a dinner cruise. But seriously, what better way to experience Vietnam than watching a more than 200 year old tradition? And how about getting there in style on a Cyclos?..

Okay, so maybe it wasn't the funnest thing during rush hour traffic LOL...

But we made it there safe. Time to check out this water puppet show, which actually turned out to be pretty cool.

The puppeteers came out after the show to take a bow. They really did an awesome job and made us wonder at some parts in the show how in the world they did it. Our tour guide later explained some of the intricacies of operating the water puppets but even he didn't have all the answers.

Now it was time to board our boat for our dinner cruise down the Saigon River. This was an 8-course meal but we only made it through the first... maybe.. three courses. It was just way too much food for us.

After dinner we took some pics from the top of the boat which gave us an awesome view of the city skyline.

And that was out last night in Vietnam. Although today started off with cancelling our original plans, we made new ones that turned out to be perfect. Traveling (and life) just have their way or working themselves out like that. Now it's time to get some rest and pack up for our flight to Cambodia tomorrow. This will be our third country in just our first week!

Cambodia should be a MUCH slower pace than Vietnam. And I think we're both very much looking forward to that. Can't wait to catch up with you all from there. Until then, have a great day!!!


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That's some delicious meal up there! Sorry about the cold, I hope you get better soon. I am glad it didn't steal the fun out of your day, it definitely turned out to be a perfect one.
Your girlfriend has a kind of smile that I really love!


Thank you @audreybits, it would've been easy to sit up in the hotel room all day. But who knows when I'll come back to Vietnam, right? So I just had to make the best of it. I think I might be feeling a little better today (it's 7:15am here now). We'll be hopping on a plane to Cambodia in the next few hours. :)


Yeah, wishing you a safe trip to Cambodia (or are you there already?).


Hey @audreybits, as you probably know, each day I pick a random person to upvote with the @brandonfrye upvote bot. Well.. today is your lucky day!! I will get you an upvote on the way here shortly. Thank you for always adding to the conversation on my posts. Really means a lot! :)



It sure is my lucky day! Thanks for adding a bit of spice to my day

HEY @brandonfrye get well soon dear

u can do it

You probably took that prospan and ricola with you, didn't it?

Always thought that they were exclusive to germany. Apparently, I may be wrong there. But let us put to the side.

Hope you will get better soon so that you can enjoy yourself properly.


Yep, lol. Well.. I took the Ricola and found these lozenges called Fisherman's Friend that seem to work pretty well. Been eating them like candy. Hopefully it'll pass soon. And thanks man, I'm sure it'll get through me in the next 48 hours. :)


Let's hope that you do.

Fisherman's friend have a very strong taste but they really give you the feeling of making your nostrils free again.

Sucks to be sick but the body needs rest sometimes more. Hope you get better so you can enjoy the trip!


Thanks @gamercrypto, a little TLC goes a long way here. Loading up on the nutrients now! :)

Sorry hear your ill and I hope you get better soon. Ps great images :)

Get well soon, Brandon! I use a product recommended by Tim Ferriss for immune system boost. It’s a Zinc spray. Kinda like Zicam in spray form. Apparently he uses it a lot for traveling, because traveling in general is hard on our immune systems. The spray I have also contains Elderberry and Echinacea extracts.


Do you happen to know the name of it? Definitely sounds like something great to keep on hand for traveling. Nevermind, I just did some Googling and found it. Maybe I will come across something similar while I'm out there. Appreciate the recommendation!


You’re welcome! I learned about it from Tim’s video here:

I also started using a Bluetooth keyboard for writing on iPhone. Surprisingly works well, also great for travel.

I'm sorry you're sick, it puts a damper on things for sure. It looks like you are having an amazing time though, I'm really enjoying the photography and stories! Thank you for sharing them with us. @ironshield


Yeah, sucks... especially in this humid heat. But it'll pass eventually. And thanks, I'm glad you're enjoying it. And I really appreciate your vote for witness. Means a lot. :)


Urgh, being sick on a trip is the worst. But hey, you seem to be pulling through no matter what. Pics are really cool man, really nice to get a feel for life over there.

And I bet the food has been fantastic. Some of those dishes are quite impressive.


Yeah, trying my best to tough it through this one. Can't come this far across the world to sit in a hotel room eating rice crackers lol. And absolutely! The food has been incredible. We've really had a little of everything. And it's so cheap. Me and Kristen can eat a meal with two drinks, two appetizers, two entrees, and a dessert for like $10-15 max! It's crazy cheap and crazy good. :)

I think you made a trade up with the tour packages. It looks like a fabulous night. But I am sorry about the cold. Colds need glucose to proliferate and so watch your carb intake and alcohol of course. Colds are definitely no fun:) Hope you are feeling well soon:)


You know, I think you're right. At the end of the day we probably got a lot more out of the nightlife tour. Plus, we found out that the river we were on was part of the Mekong Delta... so techincally. LOL.

And I'll keep the carbs in mind. As you can imagine, there are lots of carbs here from the noodles to the rice to all the fried foods. So thanks for the tip!


Coffee helps though. I hear they have great coffee in SA:)

Sorry to hear that man! Traveling while sick is awful. I got sick in Mexico earlier this year -- ate a piece of undercooked fish and paid dearly for it. Stay well my friend.


It really is.. I've almost grown used to it as if it's the norm for me lol. I'll get over it in a day or two and hopefully that'll be the worst thing that happens on this trip. I just try not to let it keep me from enjoying my surroundings. Oh I can imagine.. sounds similar to what happened to me in Costa Rica last year. Loading up with nutrients over the next 48 hours to hopefully knock this out.


Best of luck! Make sure to always keep yourself within a short jog's distance of a bathroom!

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@brandonfrye how did the guys breath underwater while doing the show? I have seen both pictures and they don't seem to be using snorkles or anything.
Sorry that your feeling rough as well buddy, I fell ill with flu while in italy a few years back. the doctor over there gave me some really cool drugs that made the holiday so much better than I thought it was going to be.
But my 2 week holiday was more like 3 days skiing and the rest in bed or on the coach going back home.
The best thing I found about italy while skiing was the hot chocolate it was like liquid chocolate, and the taste wow, I would definitely go back just for another one of them bad boys.
Hope you feel a little better tomorrow buddy.


Oh no, they were actually behind those little green screens there controlling the puppets with bamboo polls. Actually, each puppet has two bamboo polls to control it. And there are lines that go up into the puppets to make them move their arms, or jaws, or sparks and smoke in some instances. Pretty neat.

I can imagine Italy would have the real drugs. Skiing sounds like a lot of fun! I didn't get to try the hot chocolate while I was there, but I did get to try their coffee. I LOVE how Italians make their Americanos. In fact, my visit to Italy made me change up the way I make coffee at home. I now make it exactly like they do: espresso with a little bit of hot water, but not too much. :)


have you ever been to the uk? are coffee sucks big time. but our tea is really nice. I have tried the coffee in italy and you are right it is really nice.
If you ever come over this way to the UK hit me up for a nice hot brew of tea. it is something I think us brits are proud of. :D

it's never fun being sick when on holiday.... it's happened to me a few times... if i can pass on a tip... get some 'thieves' essential oil - it really helps block germs from getting on ya as it acts as a barrier - especially when traveling on planes or when you're confined in small spaces like an airplane... it was used way back during the black plague + has got quite a story + history... and worth trying + inexpensive too and it works...
brightest... weaver x (((o)))


Interesting, I'll have to check that out. Thanks!