Friday, October 18, 2013

Moving overseas with pets...a dog's tale #vietnam

When we found out we were moving from England to Vietnam, my first thought went to our English Springer Spaniel, Tika. At that point in time, she was nine years old and had lived in Australia (where she was born), New Zealand and the UK. She had seen a lot of air miles in nine years but this transition worried me the most. I knew nothing about the environment in Vietnam except for the fact that dogs were seen as more than a family pet and we would have to take great care to protect her. 

Moving Tika to Vietnam was relatively easy. We organized the necessary shots and arranged for a pet transport company to handle her transition from country to country. We were familiar with the process having moved her twice before.

Thinking back at the time, it did not seem that long ago (2010), when a while van pulled up to our home in England on a cold winter's morning to deliver Tika safe and sound. 

We opened the doors to see her peering back at us from her crate. Once the
door opened she was happily on her way with my son Connor to explore her 
new terrain.

When she flew into Ho Chi Minh City three years later, it was 
a different experience for us all. It was close to midnight 
when we were contacted to say she had cleared airport customs 
and was on her way. The trucked backed in....

and there she was, peering back at us once again.

I belive she was dubious of the whole affair...

Although, it did not take long for her to get her groove back.

Connor and Tika...Chateau Mango

Tika recently turned 11 years old and has lived in Vietnam 
for a little over a year. Chateau Mango is her domain.

She has a pretty good life...swiming

and she can shake with the best of them.

She hasn't lost her sense of humor and I want to keep it that way.

Pet stories are often traded amongst expats in Saigon. You have to be extra wary of drinking water, fleas, ticks, worms and a host of other little things that could could make them sick. Dogs and cats go missing, are stolen and often left behind for adoption when a family moves on. Rabies is a fact of life and you have to know who's who in the veterinary world to make sure you have a well qualified one. Fortunately we do. We go to Dr. Nghia of Saigon Pet Clinic. I have complete faith in Dr. Nghia, he has never steered us wrong and genuinely loves animals. His enthusiasm is infectious. I took the photo below this morning, while Tika was having a treatment. One of the many while living in Saigon but I rest easy as I know she is in good hands.

 There will come a day when it is time to move on. I dread the day for our greatest challenge will be before us. Some countries have very strict quarantine laws and if we go to a country that does, Tika would be away from us for several months until she is approved to travel again. It is a difficult concept for me to grasp as we have been fortunate to date with just a schedule of required shots prior to entering a country. We will deal with it when the time comes.

In the meantime, if you have happened upon this post because you live in Saigon or are thinking about moving your pet to Saigon. I highly recommend contacting Dr. Nghia. He made the transition for us all much easier, his assistance has been invaluable.


Nguyễn Văn Nghĩa DVM, PhD
Specialist of companion animal medicine, surgery and diagnostic imaging from the University of Bristol School
of clinical veterinary Medicine – England
Member of British Small Animal Veterinary Medicine Association
Lecturer of faculty of Veterinary Medicine – Nong Lam University - Vietnam
@ Address:  33 - 41 Street,  Thao Dien, 2 Dist, Ho Chi Minh City
@ Tel: 08 35194182

We open Monday to Friday: 7:30 am to 8:00 pm Saturday: 8:00 am to 6 pm Sunday : 8:00 am to 12:00 pm. Please call for an appointment.
Please call 0909 063 267 for an appointment in English, French or Chinese.
 The clinic is open 24/7/365. Emergency please call  08 35194182 or 0909063267

This is one of Dr. Nghia's five cats. She sided up to me as I was waiting for Tika. I couldn't resist taking a pic. He discovered her abandoned, starving and without fur and brought her back to life. Look how she has grown..a blue eyed beauty. I also have a feeling she would have loved featuring in this video clip...

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Beep Beep...Vietnam

When it comes to modes of transport around Saigon,
there is no questions that the motorcycle/scooter is the 
popular choice. Although every once and a while 
you get lucky and see something special...
something quirky.

I never cease to be amazed. 

Photos by Jeanne Henriques

Saturday, October 5, 2013

No Regrets... #expatlife


I couldn't have said it better.
If you were to ask me, 
if I could turn back the
clocks 26 years, 
and do it all over again, 
would I do it?
My answer:
yes, yes and yes,
no regrets.

This video captures life in Ho Chi Minh City very well...

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Connecting to the past...Vietnam

Something you can not help doing when living in Viet Nam 
is connecting to the past. 
I have been collecting old photographs and maps 
in my travels around Vietnam. 
They are hard to find but when I do find one 
it feels like I have struck gold. 

The top image is a collage of old photographs
I found a while back. 
The ones below are recent... 
and my favourites.

Every day is a new adventure in Viet Nam...
I always wonder what I will discover next.

Are you a collector? 
If so, I would love to know what you like to collect.
Hunters and gatherers are a unique breed..
 more on that topic here.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Shopping Ho Chi Minh City: Ton That Thiep Street

Planning on shopping in Ho Chi Minh City?
I just added these two shops to my

When I am looking for laquerware, 
I stop in at  mhCraft  33 Ton That Thiep St.
I never leave without picking up a few things,
great for gifts and keepsakes.

If you pop in a few doors down you will find 
Duy Tan at 47 Ton That Thiep St. 
As you cans see from the fellow sitting outside,
there is plenty to keep a keen shopper busy. 
It is a small store, but you can't help going around 
2-3 times to make sure you have seen it all.

More to see and do 

Michele De Albert (laquerware) 30 Ton That Thiep St, D1

MH Craft  33 Ton That Thiep St. ** Nice selection of laquerware

Celadon Green 51 Ton That Thiep

Saigon Kitsch  (art) 43 Ton That Thiep St. D1**

Duy Tan 47 Ton That Thiep St. ** nice selection handcrafted souvenirs

Dogma 1st floor, 43 Ton That Thiep (above Saigon Kitsch)**

 Temple Club 29-31 Ton That Thiep. St. **a family favourite
Fanny's Ice Cream 29-31 Ton That Thiep **

These are just a few of my favourites..
there is much more to see, 
do and eat on Ton That Thiep St. 
For such small street, it is worh a visit.

tried and true by me
photos taken on a recent visit
Jeanne Henriques