Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam

Finally the long waited travel post. Travel post always requires more effort than any other post. hehe. So, to rewind a lil, I went for a holiday with kareshi during July 19-23 to Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC).

We booked our flights through Jetstar. Air tickets weren't very expensive, return flight for 2 cost us $200ish. I was very excited as its my first oversea trip with kareshi. Destination is not the point, the point is travelling with him. With him, everything is perfect.

19.7.13
Okay, The first day! Our flight was 6.30 am in the morning, thanks Shavin for sending us to the airport at such an early timing. We reached HCMC around 8.30 am. Our first meal was expensive burger king fries at the airport. Just one regular fries cost 44,500 dong which equals to RM 7! I can already have a whole meal man!

At the airport, We bought a 1GB data sim card (for gps/ map purpose) which only cost 110,000 dong (RM 15). Its CHEAP! Malaysia 1GB data also cost RM 48. It's highly recommended to get a data sim if you are on free and easy or backpacking.

We then took bus 152 to town. Bus fare is only 5,000 dong (RM 0.50), but we overshot our destination and go all the way to the end terminal hahaha, so have to pay another 5,000 dong to take the bus again and alight at Ben Thanh Market.

Ben Thanh market is a large and one of the downtown symbol that sells handicrafts, textiles and sorts. We walked in and got out in less than 10 minutes. Nothing special to us, plus the first encounter makes everything else sucks. We wanted to get a bottle of mineral water. Just a normal water.
Me: "how much?" holding a normal size mineral water.
Stall owner: "40,000 dong"
Me talking to kareshi: "40,000 is how much in RM?" *Doesn't feels right, seems expensive.
Kareshi: *roughly calculates and return her the water with "no thank you".
Stall owner goes on: "20,000 dong"
Kareshi: "no thank you"
Stall owner: *grabbing me "10,000 dong"
Kareshi: "No thank you!!" Grabs me and headed out of Ben Thanh.
Outside if Ben Thanh...
Me: "how much is the water cost exactly?"
Kareshi: *tries calculating again.. "RM6.50"
Me: "WHAATTT! Daylight Robbery ar!!"
We then went to a mini mart and got our water at 6,000 dong which is only RM 1!!!! Gosh! That's like 600% more if we bought from that lady earlier. Bad Impression, but let's just stay open.

We continue walking around exploring and search out for our hotel..

But because we were having a war with our stomachs, we have to deal with it first. We have been seeing this Lotteria everywhere along the way to the town (while taking bus) so lets try it! Its a fast food restaurant. Initially we thought its a local fast food chain but its actually a Korea brand. I love their cheese stick! see how kareshi is enjoying it! but its not cheap. 45,000 dong for only 2 stick.

We checked in at 2pm. It's a small but clean one star hotel located at bui vien street where you will find the most backpackers.

Had some rest, and we are out exploring again. Kareshi found his love bakery "Tous les Jours" he said its good! Again we thought its local French store but later on I found out that they have it in KL and its from Korea. Why name it like French? Makes me confuse~ >_<

Walking here and there, soon its time to decide what to have for dinner but we don't see anything that's appealing. Out of sudden, I thought of Cha Ca La Vong that I had in Hanoi. Quickly googled and yes, there's a branch in Saigon!

I've tried the Hanoi ones and its really superb! I miss it so much! Since they have a branch in Saigon so I die die also wanna bring kareshi to try this! (Check the one I had in Hanoi here)
But.. It turned out... Not very FANTASTIC. Why?
All because of this ultimate disgusting shrimp paste sauce. It's different from what I've taste back in Hanoi (Hanoi ones its clear red orangie color)! This purple-ish paste smells like its make from some dead fish that has been marinated for months. And it taste like you have a dead rat in your mouth. Ewwwww! I almost puke right there! I think I just spoil my taste bud! I called the waiter and show him the sauce I had in Hanoi, I told him I want that, he then serve us the orange sauce. Apparently, saigon people has different preference. Most Saigon people prefer the purple shrimp paste then the orange ones. That's why they serve us the purple one. Gosh! How can Saigon people eat it like they are eating heavenly taste durian? The fish is nice, the noodle is fine. Just the paste is a damn NO NO. Hell not I am going to taste that ever again! Even now, just by thinking of it makes me feel like puking. Both of us was seriously praying hard that we will not have diarrhea that night.

20.7.13
Aloha! We are recovering from the horrible sauce from yesterday night, so today we will explore more food and all the markets. First stop, brunch at Highlands coffee.
We ordered traditional coffee and Green tea latte, a signature pho and fried rice. Kareshi said his fried rice don't taste good but my pho was not bad. The whole cafe was crowded with people (we even share tables with others). 

Me: "hmm.. Darling, look at them. They really Zuo bo (do nothing) one hor.. Just sit there, nua (chill) And play with their gadgets. No need to work one meh? See that guy, order one drink, took the whole couch, just now play with his iPad, now sleeping some more like he is at home."
Kareshi: look around.. "Eh.. Ya Lo... It's late morning d, how come all still so eng (free/ relax) one?"
5 seconds later..
Kareshi: "eh! It's Saturday la! Don't have to work ma! Don't any how say people Zuo bo (do nothing) leh~ no manners la you.. hahahaha"
Me: "oh! My bad!! Sorry~ didn't know its Saturday ma!"

Next, we walked around 3km to get to Saigon square but on our way, we stopped by Pho 24 for a drink.
Pho 24 is a local chain restaurant. We had The traditional coffee (again), 4 season spring roll and a caramel pudding. All taste super normal except the coffee. Coffee in Vietnam is like fried kway tiao in Penang, it will never go wrong.

After we left the cafe continue heading to our next destination, the rain pours! We had to anyhow find a place to hide!
Which means, another cafe! Ordered a banana milkshake and fried calamaries, both so-so only. After the rain turns smaller, we ran because we felt like wasting time sitting there just waiting.

So here we are, at the so called middle class white collars' favorite shopping spot. After we stepped in, the rain pours badly. Phew! The whole mall took us around 20 mins to finish. But we spent the next 90mins or so rounding and rounding and rounding the mall because we were basically stuck there due to heavy rain.

After the disappointed Saigon square, we put out last hope on the "American military market" which is hidden inside 2 blocks of shop lots. It sounds fun thought. We manage to walk our way there but again, it was kinda disappointed. Kareshi said its like their beach road market but smaller and messier. Still, saw nothing special there. The fun point is to spot it because its hidden inside. Lol. Trying to make fun out of something not fun. We had fun doing it!

So, off we walked all the way back to bui vien for dinner.

Had our dinner at this pho shop very near to our hotel. They are special because of their pho. Their pho has different kind of colors because its all made by different vegetables. Mine has green and orange pho! We both ordered their specialty drink with fresh fruits. It's quite nice!

After dinner, we head back to hotel and spend our time watching nat geo, discovery, and animal planet. We totally enjoy that. Both of us concluded HCMC is too boring and its only the second day. How are we gonna spend the rest of the days here? We immediately seek help from Mr G. Mr G indicates that there's a place name Can Tho which is 3 hours away (only 160km away but bad road condition causes the long travelling hours) from HCMC that has floating market and sorts. Sounds more fun! So we booked hotel online through asiaroom.com straightaway and did some research homework about Can Tho. Next day.. We headed off to Can Tho.

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Audrey

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