The Story of “Vietnam trip Day 1″
It was a trip for couples. 1 couldn’t make it. As they were expecting the birth of their firstborn, so only 2 made the trip to the land of Viet Nam. We bought tickets thru AirAsia’s promo last year. Tickets for 2 person Kul-HCM-Kul is only RM300+. And our flight to Ho Chi Minh City departed at 2.55pm. The 1 hour 55 minute flight passed away quickly. Me and wife were sleeping most of the time. Upon arrival, the new terminal of HCM airport (for international arrival and departures) greet us in a style reminiscent of our own KLIA. Only that some of the Immigration staff could do with a little bit more smile..they looked as if they were forced to work at the airport..LOL
This is our first plane flight together and our second honeymoon (the first one being Lake Kenyir last month).
2 of the biggest and most trusted taxis were Vinasun and Mai linh. We chose Vinasun Taxis (white color Vios or Innova) for the whole duration of our trip. Just write on a piece of paper the detination and they will take you there. Better to have the Vietnamese translation too coz the average Vietnamese cannot speak English.
Land is very expensive. The plots are really narrow. But they build their buildings tall…really tall. Our humble hotel (Hoang Lien Hotel – they have the most fragrant soap) is 10 storeys tall and only 4 rooms per floor.
The roads are clean and well maintained. Not much potholes. The real different from Malaysia is the number of motorcylist is around 10 times if not more than cars. The all wore cute helmets (no fullface helmet, n visor and certainly the helmets couldn’t withstand collision…definitely not SIRIM certified) of various colors. nobody really follows the traffic light. You can do a u turn anywhere you want. They love honking and nobody is offended by it. The good thing is they didn’t speed like Malaysians do.
Our hotel is located at Bui Ti Xuan Street (about 3 km from Ben Thanh market aka city center). Its not expensive (RM70 per room per night. complete with Wi Fi, bathtub, aircond and their own cable TV with 60++ channels inc ESPN, AXN, Star Sport, HBO, Disney etc). The only thing is their breakfast always includes pork…so we only drink coffee and eat the fruits…
We had gathered information on Halal food in HCM city well before we arrive. Halal @ Saigon restaurant is one of the finest halal restaurant that serves authentic malay/Viet food. But the price is not cheap.. We chatted with Pakcik Jamil. A Malaysian who either owns the place or work there…we never asked. The food was good. the waiter could speak malay…feels good talking to them actually. Easier to ask for recommendation.
Authentic Vietnamese Springrolls (Rice, beansprout, fresh prawn rolled inside popiah skin and peanut sauce for dipping). They also have mee mamak, nasi lemak, fried koay teow, satay and rice with selection of dishes. Almost all who eat here are Malaysians who either work at HCM city or on holiday like us.
fahmi has taken a liking for Vietnamese coffee or Ca Phe Su Da. Its really thick but absolutely delish!
Its really cosy..and reminds me of Malaysia…
The restaurant is located at Du Dong street (lots of halal food nearby here) and face the Jami’ Mosque just across the street. After dinner we walk around and take some pics. Heavy rain for a while as we explore various shops located in the District 1 of HCM city.
Vietnam is famed for its lacquer products. Its not exactly cheap but it certainly looks beautiful. And the paintings are really nice too…maybe in later trip I’ll buy some for the house.
As a former french colony, everything French is regarded as status symbol. Big LV story like this shows why Vietnam is one of the emerging economies of South East Asia. Rich people simply loves luxury brand. Especially french ones.
HCM is really beautiful at night. The architecture really stands out andthe way the light it. Here is the Hyatt Saigon. Fahmi & kham is seen crossing the road in front of it.
motorcycles are everywhere…to cater for the demand, shops selling tyres, helmets and bikes of all kinds can be seen. Even roadside tire pump like this.
Wait for Day 2 review tomorrow