Missouri State University
Southeast Asia Study Away Program
A blog about participants’ anticipations and apprehension before, during and after the program.

Binh Chau Market

Binh Chau Market is a local market in Binh Chau Hot Springs by Ho Coc beach. They have bowls of green salad or cold noodle salad with marinated pork. This could be an easy place to go to to get some food if we go to the Ho Coc beach. Here is a link to a map of where its located: https://www.google.com/maps/d/viewer?mid=12_B-TEi1lOTHO2hhxJaeTXIugKQ&ll=10.576626659181441%2C107.56728352871096&z=13

Just thinking about all the new foods I’m going to experience and try makes me hungry!

Posted in 04-April 2017, Pre-Trip | Leave a comment


I am so excited that our group gets to visiti a beach in Vietnam with the schedule change. I trust Ms. Pham when she says Vung Tau beach is more crowded and touristy than Ho Coc. I would definitely prefer to go to a beach that is less crowded. In my experience with traveling to multiple international beaches, I have always preferred quiet and less developed beaches. I think it makes for a more authentic experience. My dad was born and raised in Costa Rica so every time when visit we go to all the hidden beaches that not many of the tourists know about. I prefer the relaxation and quiet in these areas. I think it allows you to really appreciate the beauty of the natural world instead of all the manmade structures that consume other beaches. I really hope we end up going to Ho Coc beach, but I will be happy with either one because I’m a beach bum at heart and anything with water and palms trees will suffice.

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So obviously the music the Vietnamese listen to may differ from ours. I did a little research on popular dance music and I came across some interesting tracks! A famous singer that actually currently lives in Ho Chi Minh City named Ho Quang Hieu has a catchy song that I came across. The song title is Khong Cam Xuc, which translates to “No Emotion” in English according to google translator. I personally like the tune of the song and I could see it being played somewhere if we go out. Here is the link to the song and its the first one you will see on the page:


I’ve also learned that Vietnamese modern music has changed a lot in the past 10-15 years with artists combining Westernized music with their traditional music. Bao, please correct me if any part of my findings is way off! Haha

Posted in 04-April 2017, Pre-Trip | 1 Comment

Change of Plans

At first, I was a little disappointed when I found out that we aren’t going to the Nike factory anymore. I was really looking forward to this part of the trip because I love the brand Nike. However, I think the new alternative will be even better. I’m excited to go to Dobla, the Vietnamese chocolate factory. Honestly, the best part about this schedule change is that we will be able to visit a beach in Vietnam for a day. I’ve always seen picture of the unique beaches in Vietnam and I was originally upset we wouldn’t get to witness any during the trip. Overall, I really excited to taste Vietnamese chocolate and witness Vietnamese beaches.

Posted in 04-April 2017, Pre-Trip | 1 Comment

Ho Coc to do

I found some new info about Ho Coc. Even though the food selection is limited. But you still be able to find fresh seafoods here.

  1. Behind Ho Coc beach, the dense jungle is good to explore on foot; we can ask the reception at the hotel to see what they suggest.
  2. The most popular excursion from the beaches is Binh Chau Hot Springs. A very pretty 20 minute ride from Ho Coc beach, these natural spring are a draw for domestic and Russian tourists. The hot water baths, pools, and mud-baths are very soothing and fun. If we have time, hot spring could be one of the option.
  3. Much of the non-beach side of the road along Ho Tram is filled with tropical fruit plantations and fish farms. Fruits are my favorite thing!!! can not live my life without fruit.

i believe either one will be a great place to visit.

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Vung Tau or Ho Coc?

i checked both places information. Ho Coc is one of the top beach in Vietnam. All pics looks pretty. I realized that Vung Tau is crowded, and maybe dirty. But It has many great local foods. In Asian, we have an old saying that the most delicious/tradition foods are located in small alley or from the restaurant which even look not very clean. Foods are part of cultural, since we will have plenty of time to see beach in another two places, I would love to go to Vung Tao. I found an article to talk about 10 MUST – Eat Food in Vung Tau. Here is the link: https://www.justgola.com/blog/10-must-eat-food-in-vung-tau_1-157. But if we already plan to eat enough local foods ahead, then Ho Coc will be a great option too.


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Vietnamese Coffee

I was curious to find out what kinds of things tourists rave about in the cities we are going to. After all, most of us are all tourists! One thing that I found consistent from website to website is Vietnamese coffee, more specifically: French Drip Coffee. I have a French Press I use for making coffee all the time at home but I’m curious to see the differences between the two. I am a HUGE coffee drinker so trying coffee everywhere I go is a must and I can’t wait to add Vietnamese coffee to the list!

Posted in 04-April 2017, Pre-Trip | 2 Comments

Beira Lake

I was looking over the itinerary again and realized I haven’t looked up Beira Lake. This Lake is located in Sri Lanka and on the itinerary that we got in our folders, it is on the final day in Sri Lanka. I looked it up and it looks really neat in pictures! It is a lake surrounded by buildings in the heart of Colombo. I read that there is a small area in the middle of the lake with benches and there are also little swan boats as an option to ride around the lake. I just can’t wait to finally be able to see all these places we have researched about!

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Ho Coc

This is a picture from the Ho Coc beach, which is more secluded from tourists but also offers a beautiful view! When I started to research about this place it said it was a top new beach to visit! Also for those who do not want to just visit the beach and relax there is a forest behind the ocean front that has several walking trails that offer chances to view some of the wildlife there. This will be one of things I want to experience because I love hiking and viewing the different places that most people do not get to see.

I believe that the Ho Coc beach is a better option to visit because we will not have to worry about overcrowding with tourists and we can see more of the cultural side of Vietnam!

Posted in 04-April 2017, Pre-Trip | 1 Comment

Vung Tau Vietnam Beach

I am really excited to be going to the Dopla Chocolate factory and be able to see more beaches in Vietnam! I have been researching about Vung Tau and it looks like a very busy beach. They offer several different tourist attractions and hotels and I believe that to see more of the cultural side of Vietnam I would rather go to Ho Coc.

Vung Tau is on a peninsula and they said that with the ocean on three sides the sea air is very refreshing break from being in the inner city part of Saigon. This place has several historical buildings that we could go tour and also offers a very pretty beach. This is an overview of Vung Tau.

Posted in 04-April 2017, Pre-Trip | Leave a comment