The Best of Wedding Fun–A Bonanza! [Photos]

I am now married. What seemed to be an impossibility for many years has somehow happened and I have the photos to prove it!

The event took place in the Binh Quoi Tourist Village in Saigon / Ho Chi Minh City, a venue run by SaigonTourist. It’s a big tourist venue (trap), though I had never heard of it until the wedding. It was a big of a rarity for Vietnamese weddings in two ways. The first was that we only had 80 people attend (Vietnamese weddings typically have 200+), so it was a small reception (technically, Ha and I had been married two months earlier according to the government paperwork). We had to plan the wedding on very short notice, so I could not invite people from the US, where I am originally from. The second was that the wedding took place outside – we were able to get a small grassy area by the river, with a cool breeze coming in at sunset.

Overall, I felt that the party was intimate, comfortable, and relaxed.  I hope that the friends and family that were able to attend enjoyed it too!

After the wedding, a small group went to McDonald’s. McDonalds just opened its first franchise in Vietnam two months ago, so Ha and I thought it would be interesting to visit in full wedding garb and check it out. Thankfully, we have a couple of friends who work there who were able to make sure we got through with no problem – it’s stupendously busy as people often have to wait in line outside the doors – going through Vietnam’s first and only motorbike drive-through.

Here are some of my favorite photos from the “Wedding Photos”, the actual wedding, and the McDonald’s trip:

Wedding Photos:

The Actual Wedding:

McDonald’s:

To see all the photos from the various events, please see:

Pre-Wedding “Wedding Photos”, including the fun Thor shots:

http://ispithotfire.smugmug.com/2014/Wedding-photos/

Actual Wedding:

http://ispithotfire.smugmug.com/2014/The-Wedding/

Post-Wedding McDonald’s Vietnam Bonanza:

http://ispithotfire.smugmug.com/2014/A-McDonalds-Vietnam-Wedding-Su/

A Grand Opening Preview of McDonald’s Vietnam in Ho Chi Minh City

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Yesterday, Ha and I had the opportunity to eat at the first McDonalds in Vietnam. It’s not open to the public yet, and won’t be until February 8th. But from what I’ve seen, it’s absolutely worth checking out, whether you’re a McDonalds / fast food fan or not. The location is in District (Quan) 1, 2-6 Bis Dien Bien Phu, Puong Da Kao (Ward) in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon).

It’s complete with McDonalds staple, the drive-through, a first in Vietnam. I didn’t get to try the motorbike drive-through, but I want to. Maybe that sounds weird, but as an American living in Vietnam, I can tell you that McDonalds is completely different from any other restaurant, fast food or otherwise, in Vietnam right now. If you live in Vietnam, it will feel completely misplaced, and that’s a good thing. From the sheer size of the restaurant (don’t worry about parking space) to its great wifi (inside joke for my friend Hai Do) to its children’s playground to its prominent arches sign that you will see from very far away, you feel like you’re in an amusement park in the middle of the city.

Ha and I tried a good number of items, a few of which I’ve never had at any McDonalds. In total, we had:

  1. McRoyal with Cheese (Quarter Pounder – remember Pulp Fiction?)
  2. McPork (not sure if these exists in the USA, it’s not a McRib)
  3. McFlurry
  4. French Fries (they are the same ones you know and love)
  5. Apple Pie
  6. Ice Cream Cone (priced at 10K VND, about $.50)
  7. Chicken Wings (I don’t think they are the same as Mighty Wings in the USA, but they are excellent nonetheless)

Yes, that’s a lot of food and we could not finish everything. Everything was excellently delicious however, and the entire experience was very polished.

h

I can’t wait until I can pick up a Happy Meal toy. But in the mean time, I picked up an adult “toy”, the awesome McDonald’s Vietnam t-shirt shown above. You can pick up your own once it opens. They’re also selling nice travel mugs, a special grand opening pin (got one of those as well; you can see it, albeit not clearly at the bottom of my shirt), and two other shirt options. And because these items are unique to Vietnam, not generic McDonald’s, they make excellent Vietnam souvenirs and gifts if you’re traveling through. (I especially like the French Fry pocket holder shirt, ask about that one)

Get more info on McDonald’s and the Grand Opening through its Facebook Fan Page: https://www.facebook.com/McDonaldsVN